It was rare for an Elf to approach a human first. They didn’t really have any reason to do so.
However, the Elves of the Ten Finger Mountain Village had found a reason to do so, and were very persistent as they approached the human in front of them.
That human, as expected, was Cale.
“Is it difficult to answer?”
Cale avoided eye contact with the Elf in front of the group. Why did the two Elves in the front have to be a grandma and a child? Cale looked toward Chief Canaria.
‘I thought I made it clear that I wanted to leave quietly.’
Canaria gently smiled toward Cale. Cale found that smile to be annoying, however, this was not her fault.
“I’m sorry young master-nim. I only told my family.”
Cale turned his gaze toward the source of the apology. Pendrick looked very apologetic. He was the reason that their departure time and location was revealed. However, you could not blame him for telling his family about his departure.
‘Well, in that case.’
Cale thought that he had at least avoided the worst possible situation with Raon showing up and being revered. That was why he decided to use this to his advantage. Wouldn’t it be easier to get the Elves to do his bidding if he left with a good impression?
“No, that is not something to be sorry about.”
A benevolent smile was on Cale’s face. That smile allowed Pendrick to let out a sigh of relief. However, Cale’s group slowly started to avoid looking at Cale.
Cale made eye contact with the young Elf who was holding his grandma’s hand.
“No, it is not difficult to answer.”
He seemed very gentle toward the child. Cale thought about the child’s question from before.
‘D, do you really have a Dragon-nim’s protection?’
He could see that the Elves and Elementals all wanted an answer. Some of the Elves were looking right at him, while others were off in the distance secretly peeping. Of course, the Elementals were glowing and mumbling something, but Cale could not hear them.
However, their voices were heard by the Elves.
‘This human is protected by a strong aura!’
‘It must be a Dragon-nim’s aura. I’ve never felt a Dragon-nim’s aura before! I will remember this forever!’
‘My goodness! A human that has so many natural auras on him! Fire, water, wind, and wood, all four of these are in different shapes on him!’
‘He also has an extra natural power that does not have an affinity!’
The Elementals were currently shouting chaotically.
‘I’ve never seen such a human before. He’s not an Elementalist or an Elf.’
‘I can see why Dragon-nim would like him! He must be a human that is loved by ancient powers, no, by nature!’
‘What an interesting human.’
The Elves turned even more pensive after hearing the Elementals’ words. This was the same for Chief Canaria and the Guardian Knight as well. Only Pendrick did not know about it, as he could not hear the Elementals.
Cale, who was in the same boat as Pendrick, did not know about the Elementals going crazy as he started to speak.
“The Dragon protects the weak me.”
Gasps could be heard throughout the crowd.
At that moment, Raon, who was invisible and stuck on Cale’s back, as usual, started to speak into Cale’s mind.
– I’m glad you know, weak human.
Cale just ignored Raon’s comment and started to smile while looking at the Elf child. However, that smile soon started to flinch at the child’s response.
“Wow! I’m so jealous! You’re the best! You’re so cool!”
The child’s triple combo of praise landed on Cale before the child continued to speak.
“I wanted to go meet you when you were in the World Tree’s Garden, that flower garden! However, your subordinates were so strict and so I could not go. I’ve never met such sca, I mean, mm, strong people before! They seem to be stronger than even the human Royal Knights!”
The child peeked toward the rest of the group as he said that. He then hid behind his grandma, like he was scared. An Elf was scared of a human.
‘Just what the hell did they do to protect me for those three days?’
Cale had a feeling that it wasn’t him that avoided the Elves, but the Elves that avoided him because of what Choi Han and crew did during the three days that he was unconscious.
They just gathered here today to say goodbye to Pendrick.
Cale received a few more questions after answering the child’s question. The majority of them came from other children.
“What is Dragon-nim like?”
Raon’s front paw continued to tap on Cale’s back.
Cale answered with a gentle smile.
– I am great and mighty.
“He is great and mighty.”
Cale answered as Raon instructed him to do. Since things ended up like this, wouldn’t it be great to be known as the lucky human who received the protection of a great and mighty Dragon?
He felt like he could see the Elves’ interest level going up, like he was playing a game.
“Wow! Is he handsome?”
Raon naturally gave him the answer again.
– Handsome and beautiful.
“He is handsome and beautiful.”
The children’s admiration, as well as the adults’ nods of approval, continued. Cale wanted to shake his head. They would all fall back and cheer endlessly if a real Dragon appeared in front of them.
“Dragon-nim must be very strong!”
– There is nothing in the world as strong as my body.
“Of course. He is very strong.”
Cale answered like a ventriloquist’s doll. Raon’s voice started to get louder in his head.
– I really am the great and mighty Raon Miru! I am also one year older now!
Cale was getting a headache from all the noise around him. He still managed to motion to Ron with his eyes however, and Ron stepped forward with Choi Han in order to create a path for Cale.
Cale followed the two of them to the entrance of the Elf Village. An old Elf who was with the children that followed Cale to the entrance slowly started to speak.
“Would it be possible to meet Dragon-nim?”
– I can show up right now!
Cale had no plans of letting the Elves meet with a Dragon. He was planning on using that card in the future when it would be to his benefit. As for now, it was best to leave his identity as the human who was the closest to a Dragon.
Cale stopped walking and opened up his arms.
The Elves who were following Cale, as well as the ones peeking from a distance, all listened to Cale’s voice.
“Can’t you feel the great and mighty aura of Dragon-nim around us? I believe that all of you Elf-nims, the ones who are said to be the closest to nature, would be able to feel this great and mighty aura.”
Naturally, the older Elves and the Elementals could feel the aura around Cale. It was as if a Dragon was casually roaming around Cale. However, they thought that there was no way a Dragon would follow a human around. Unless it was crazy, a Dragon would never do that, especially while keeping itself invisible. They believed that they were sensing the Dragon’s aura that was protecting the human in front of them.
Cale observed the Elves nodding their heads and continued to speak.
“I will speak with the Dragon-nim and see if I can create an opportunity for you to speak with Dragon-nim in the future.”
The Elves jerked their heads up only to see a gloomy expression on Cale’s face.
“However, right now, as you all probably know, the village is in a difficult place and many scary things are happening around the continent. I need to quickly leave to deal with some of those things.”
Some of the Elves nodded their heads.
These were the ones who were watching Cale from afar.
The Elf village was a mess. They barely managed to fend off the invaders who were aiming for the branch of the World Tree. They did not like the attitudes of the other Elves who were praising a human during such a time. It wasn’t like Dragon-nim was here. Of course, it was fine to accept and respect a person who has received the protection of a Dragon, but they did not like such a happy atmosphere in a time of trouble.
While they had such thoughts on their minds, Cale’s words reached their ears. They could clearly tell that the human in front of them was the one who had saved them from despair.
Cale still kept this gloomy atmosphere about him. They could feel a sense of responsibility on Cale’s shoulders. It was solidified even further by Cale’s next words.
“I have a lot to do. These were the tasks that were assigned to me.”
The adult Elves’ expressions stiffened at those words.
They felt like they knew what Cale was trying to do, even without him telling them.
Just like when he had saved their village, and just like they had heard from the Chief about the other time when he saved the capital, he probably had similar things to do. He was probably going to sacrifice himself again without seeking any material gain.
Cale observed the calmer crowd that was focused on him and started to think.
‘I definitely have a lot of things to do.’
He needed to trick Toonka and make some profit. He needed to meet with a lot of people. Of course, he didn’t know what the order of things would be, but he needed to do everything in the near future.
“It was nice meeting with all of you, the friends of nature, however, I believe it is time for me to leave.”
The children who still had a lot of questions seemed disappointed, but the adults consoled them and created a path for Cale.
Cale looked back at his group that had stopped to wait for him. The Elf healer, Pendrick, seemed to be full of admiration.
However, Beacrox, Ron, and the kittens were doing their best to hold themselves back from shaking their heads, while Choi Han and Lock were nodding their heads as if they agreed with Cale.
– Human, this is why I cannot leave you alone! You uselessly weak but very useful human!
It was now normal for Cale to ignore Raon’s nonsense. He was right about to start walking again, but soon stopped.
The half-transparent Elementals that had been chaotically flying around lined up to create a path for him. They looked like lamps lighting up a path. They said something while standing in line, however, Cale had no way of understanding. He just walked down the path in order to leave the village.
‘He’s a decent person. It’s just disappointing that he is not an Elementalist. I want to introduce him to my friend.’
‘He reminds me of the ancient heroes my mother told me about. They were said to be similar.’
‘I really think he is a good person. I couldn’t tell for sure earlier, but he seems very pure.’
Although Cale would have scoffed if he heard what the Elementals were saying, none of the Elves were scoffing at their comments. Only Chief Canaria greeted Cale at the entrance with an odd expression on her face.
“Chief-nim, I will be on my way now.”
Canaria asked a question instead of saying goodbye.
“Young master-nim, you said your family is in the Northeast?”
She could read the wariness in Cale’s eyes. Canaria started to smile, as this Cale was much easier to deal with than the valiant Cale from earlier.
“Young master Cale, I believe that you know that you currently do not possess the power of earth. The Roan Kingdom is the Kingdom of Boulders, and this is where the power of the earth is at its strongest. Boulders are the strongest form of earth.”
Cale did not hide his thoughts as he made eye contact with Canaria.
Cale did not have any plan of gaining any more ancient powers. He would have all five elements of nature if he gained the power of earth. He had an ominous feeling that doing something like that would lead to a difficult future.
Canaria, who noticed Cale’s expression stiffening up, carefully handed the book that was in her arms to Cale. Cale did not take it, and instead just looked at her with confusion. She started to explain what the book was about.
“This is a book that discusses an ancient legend related to the earth. It is very old. We cannot decipher its meaning at all, however, I feel that you may need this in the future.”
Cale looked at the book that Canaria was pushing toward him.
‘An Ancient legend?’
That made him want to not take the book. He didn’t need it.
However, her continued words made Cale’s eyes open wide.
“It is quite a funny legend. A hero with a strong destructive power supposedly was extremely greedy for money. Once that hero died, the hero in this legend is said to have found the wealth of his friend and kept it safe.”
“Would a hero be greedy for money? Especially a hero who supposedly saved the world from freezing and did not seek any power, influence, or fame? How could someone like that be greedy for money? Isn’t it unbelievable?”
She looked at Cale for validation. Cale also snorted and nodded his head.
“Of course. How could a hero be like that? Furthermore, many ancient legends are a mix of lies and the truth.”
“That is often the case. Anyways, this book is about the legend of the other hero, who was both the greedy hero’s friend and enemy. This hero seems to be the one who used the power of earth.”
Canaria looked toward Cale, who seemed to have a lot on his mind. Cale slowly reached his hand out and Canaria put the book in his hand.
“To be honest with you, I do not think you will find the ancient power described in this book. However, since we do not need this book, I thought it would be great if it could even help you a little bit, since you helped save our village.”
“It is not a precious book?”
“To be honest with you, no.”
Canaria thought it might make Cale feel bad, but decided to tell the truth.
“We have a warehouse where the Elves gather things they don’t need. I remembered that this book was in that warehouse and brought it over.”
However, she still thought that this book would not be of much help to Cale. That was because she had gone to the location described in the book, but did not find anything.
‘But since he is lucky.’
You needed a lot of luck to find ancient powers, to the point that it was said that the heavens determined the owner of each ancient power. However, this human in front of her had enough luck to gather five ancient powers. That was why she brought this book over.
Cale had an awkward expression on his face as he took the book.
“Mm, I will take it for now, since you say that the Elf village does not need it. It is difficult to say no to such generosity. However, ancient powers are not something you can just gain because you want to.”
“Of course. You need the mandate of heaven to get it. But it is still an unbelievable and funny legend, so at least give it a read.”
“Thank you. I will.”
Cale slowly put the book away and shook hands with Canaria.
“Let us meet again if it is the will of the heavens, Chief-nim.”
“I hope we can meet together with Dragon-nim next time.”
– Chief! I am right here!
Cale ignored Raon’s shout and said goodbye to Canaria. He touched the book in his pocket and started to think.
‘There is a reason the Fire of Destruction appeared near this Elf Village.’
He thought that the Fire of Destruction appeared nearby because this book was in the village. Although it might have been a coincidence, he thought that there might be something there.
He recalled what the Chief had said.
‘Would a hero be greedy for money? Especially a hero who supposedly saved the world from freezing and did not seek any power, influence, nor fame? How could someone like that be greedy for money? Isn’t it unbelievable?’
Of course, it made sense. Why would it not make sense?
Cale had made it rain money for that hero not too long ago.
Cale was almost certain that the greedy hero in this book was the owner of the, ‘Fire of Destruction.’ He also had a feeling that the hero’s frenemy was the, ‘Super Rock.’
Although boulders were just a sub-property of earth, it was still a part of the earth.
‘So, the owner of the Super Rock took the Fire of Destruction’s owner’s money?’
Cale’s heart was beating, not because of the ancient power, but because of the money.
It didn’t matter whether he earned the ancient power or not, but couldn’t he just take the money?
Cale held back a smirk and said his final goodbye.
“Have a safe trip.”
Cale walked into the half-transparent hut that was the entrance to the illusion magic hiding the Elf village. The rest of the group followed behind him.
Cale had finally left the Elf village for the first time in a few days. He then stopped walking right outside of the boundary.
He let out a sigh. The group slowly turned their gazes away and into the distance at his sigh. Choi Han and Lock let out some fake coughs and lowered their heads, while Ron and Beacrox still remained calm.
On and Hong meowed while in Choi Han’s arms before looking away toward a mountain in the distance.
– Human! Can you see the glorious evidence of our battle? We destroyed it all!
Raon proudly shouted in Cale’s mind.
Yes, they really did destroy everything. Cale had wondered why the Elf Chief had to personally help out with the restoration. But after looking at the sight in front of him, it all made sense.
There were a lot of trees that were destroyed, and the ground was turned over in many spots. Some boulders also looked like they were cut in half by swords or auras.
However, Cale could not say anything.
– Human, your thunderbolt left the biggest mark! Can you see it? It is a pretty useful power, but do not use it ever again!
He could not say anything because he had done the most damage to the land. There was a giant crater on the ground that looked like a meteor had landed. Everything in that crater was completely charred black.
Cale looked away toward a distant mountain peak as he started to speak.
He then asked Beacrox before using the Sound of the Wind to move away from the valley.
“He’s not too heavy, right?”
Beacrox, who had Balbud on his shoulder, made it look like Balbud did not weigh a pound. Balbud, whose eyes, mouth, and ears were all covered, was still unconscious.
Cale verified that everyone was ready before heading out of the valley and toward Bloke Village. Although they arrived at the village quickly, he stopped at the foot of the mountain because of Balbud.
Deputy butler Hans bowed and greeted Cale. The kittens, On and Hong, jumped out of Choi Han’s arms and into Hans’s arms. Cale walked past Hans and reached his hand out to someone else.
“Has it been about three months?”
“Yes, young master Cale.”
Rosalyn, who had returned from the Breck Kingdom, smiled back at Cale. She took a piece of paper out of her pocket in order to respond to Cale’s gaze that seemed to be asking how it went.
It indicated that Rosalyn would be the Captain of the Roan Kingdom and Breck Kingdom’s Mage Alliance at the beginning of a war.
Cale started to laugh as he greeted Rosalyn.
“Welcome back, Miss Rosalyn.”
“That’s what I wanted to hear.”
Cale let go of Rosalyn’s hand before giving an order to Hans. He needed to meet with the Dark Elf, Tasha, once again.
“Hans, we are first heading to the capital.”