Things progressed smoothly so far so Cale was not scared. That was why Cale immediately traveled to the Forest of Darkness.
“Y, young master-nim, I will take the lead!”
Hilsman moved forward after seeing the entrance of the Forest of Darkness. However, he could see two people looking at him with blank expressions.
One was Cale while the other was Eruhaben.
However, another existence helped Hilsman relax a bit.
“Yes! Vice Captain, let’s go!”
It was Raon.
Raon stopped being invisible and urged Hilsman forward with a smile. Hilsman started to smile as well. However, Cale quickly interjected.
“Hilsman, have you ever been to the center of the Forest of Darkness?”
The Vice Captain had trained in the outer regions of the Forest of Darkness last winter with the ten Wolf children.
“I have followed Choi Han there once! Please trust me.”
Cale waved for Hilsman to hurry up and move. Hilsman nodded his head and started to walk.
Cale leisurely followed behind him and looked to the side. Eruhaben had been quiet since earlier.
“Is something wrong Eruhaben-nim?”
Eruhaben looked toward Cale and started to speak.
“You also have 10 Blue Wolf Tribe children?”
Hans was currently staying in Harris Village with the ten Wolf children after having returned from the Ubarr territory. They all welcomed Cale’s unexpected visit.
The Gold Dragon started to mumble.
“…Six ancient powers, all sorts of Beast people, and even multiple strong humans. What an exhausting way to live.”
Cale was suddenly at a loss for words. Now that he thought about it, he was indeed living an exhausting life.
Eruhaben shook his head and clicked his tongue. He observed Cale’s expression turning complicated as he started to think.
‘This punk has a difficult life if you think about it.’
Eruhaben had heard everything about the secret organization.
He wondered if a god had given this human punk all sorts of ancient powers to help him out since Cale seemed to get involved in all sorts of messes wherever he went.
The Gold Dragon felt a bit of pity for the human in front of him.
Of course, he did not know that it was not an act of god but Cale’s own decision to gather all of these things. The Beast people, the ancient powers, and the human experts, Cale had done all of it himself.
There was no way that the Gold Dragon would know about that.
Eruhaben, who was currently having the wrong idea about Cale’s life, could hear Raon starting to speak.
“But it is fine because the weak human has me! He has the great and mighty Raon Miru!”
Raon seemed extremely pleased with himself.
The Gold Dragon ignored Raon and started to speak to Cale, who still seemed to be deep in thought.
“You’re working so hard.”
Cale nodded his head.
“…Seems that way. I need to quickly finish everything.”
He needed to finish everything so that he could play. So that he could roll around on his bed and sleep all he wants.
Cale’s desire for the slacker life started to get bigger and bigger.
The Ancient Dragon who had lived close to 1,000 years casually remarked after seeing the human thinking about his fate.
“You can tell me about what is bothering you.”
Cale’s pupils turned hazy for a moment before returning to normal.
Eruhaben clicked his tongue and nodded his head.
“Tsk tsk, yes.”
Cale started to think that Eruhaben would help him out at least once.
Cale started to smile. The Gold Dragon felt better, thinking that the human was happy about what he had just said.
However, one person in the group was feeling something else.
“What is it?”
“…The monsters are weird.”
The monsters at the edge of the forest were acting weird.
Kiiiiiii- Huff, kiiiiiiiii-
A goblin who could not even breathe properly ran away toward the grass.
Boom. Boom. Boom!
A group of monsters that looked like rats were all banging their heads on the ground while shaking.
Hilsman, who was watching the monsters with confusion, accepted what was going on once Cale pointed to someone in their party.
“We have an adult Dragon with us.”
It made sense.
Eruhaben looked toward Raon and started to speak.
“Little kid, do you now know of my greatness?”
Raon turned his head away and flew over to Cale.
An Adult Dragon has an overpowering aura even without using Dragon Fear. Monsters that relied on their instincts would show the swiftest reaction to that aura.
– Human, I will soon go through my first growth phase! So I am better!
‘Whatever you say.’
Cale ignored the whining voice in his head and started to speak to Hilsman, who was standing there with a blank expression.
Eruhaben asked Cale a question.
“Cale Henituse, will you find the location of the ancient power once you get to the center of the Forest of Darkness?”
“Yes sir. I believe I will need to use one of my ancient powers to locate the Super Rock.”
Cale thought that he would need to use the Fire of Destruction in order to find the house of the Guardian, the location of the Super Rock.
“Human! You’re going to use that thunderbolt again?! You’re going to get hurt!”
“I will only use a weak version.”
“Don’t you dare cough up blood again! I will destroy all of the rocks in the world if you do! DESTROY THEM ALL!”
Cale casually played along with Raon.
Eruhaben had a look of disbelief while watching the two of them. However, he did not comment on it and instead asked a different question.
“Did you say you found a Dragon corpse in the black swamp in here?”
“Yes sir. You mentioned that you have never been to the Forest of Darkness?”
“Yes. I didn’t want to look at any of these ugly monsters.”
‘What a response.’
“Would you like to go to the swamp afterward?”
“No need. Too annoying. None of my business as to how another Dragon died.”
Eruhaben showed an expression of annoyance. Raon flew up to his face and tilted his head in confusion.
“Really? Goldie, I’m curious about your story! I’m curious about you!”
The corner of Eruhaben’s lips twitched before returning to normal.
“Ahem. I’ll tell you about it next time if you really want to know, little kid.”
“Alright! I’ll be waiting!”
Eruhaben let out some fake coughs before stealthily changing the topic.
“Well, this Forest of Darkness is slightly unique, so it is worth visiting at least once. That is why I am here now.”
“The Forest of Darkness is unique?”
Eruhaben nodded his head.
“The Five Forbidden Regions that the humans talk about were determined hundreds of years ago. Of those, the ‘Forest of Darkness,’ the ‘Path of No Return,’ and the ‘Lake of Despair,’ have been around since ancient times.” (The Valley of Despair seems to have become the Lake of Despair…maybe they are different. We will have to see. )
“Since ancient times?”
Cale had never heard this story before.
“Yes, these three have existed since ten thousand years ago. Ten thousand years is long, even for a Dragon.”
Ancient times referred to anything more than ten thousand years old.
Cale felt like asking Eruhaben more questions about this curious story. However, something prevented him from doing so.
“Y, young master-nim!”
Hilsman took out his sword and called out to Cale. Cale looked to the front.
They were currently at the boundary of the outer and inner regions of the Forest of Darkness. Hilsman was already across the boundary line.
Cale had come to this boundary before, but this was his first time stepping into the inner region.
‘Although I’ve flown over it before.’
This was his first time walking through this region.
The necromancer Mary’s cave that was full of skeletons was in the outer region as well.
It was because she did not want to run into any strong monsters for no reason.
Cale stepped over the boundary line.
He could see a large monster as soon as he entered. A monster that looked like a more violent version of an ogre showed itself from between the trees.
Its fangs were the size of Cale’s arms and its black skin made it look uglier than an ogre. The club in its hand seemed to be made of rock.
However, this monster’s eyes were focused.
It seemed to have some intelligence.
“Young master-nim, please come behind me!”
Hilsman pointed his sword at the monster as if he had never been scared of it.
Cale asked the brave Hilsman a question.
“What are you doing?”
Hilsman was confused at Cale’s question. It was at that moment.
The monster dropped the club in its hand and then…
It started to bang its head on the ground.
Hilsman finally took the time to look around. It was quiet, too quiet.
At that moment, he could hear someone’s voice.
“Oh, you have some intelligence.”
It was Eruhaben.
Hilsman flinched at Eruhaben’s comment before seeing something that he had never seen before.
“Lead us to the center.”
The monster quickly got up. Hilsman felt like he had seen the speed of a knight in the monster’s movement.
The monster grabbed its club once again and slammed it toward a short tree next to it.
The tree fell over. Hilsman gasped at the strength of the monster, but the monster’s next few actions were even more surprising.
The monster was guiding them while destroying any obstacle in their way.
Trees, small boulders, tall weeds, nothing survived the monster’s desire to create a straight path for Eruhaben.
Hilsman put his sword back in the scabbard at Eruhaben’s words. He could feel the majestic nature of a Dragon.
However, Hilsman could not move.
“Hey, why are you doing that?”
Eruhaben was looking at Cale with confusion while Raon was starting to get anxious.
“Human! Isn’t that small thing in your hand the thunderbolt?!”
A small fire was floating on top of Cale’s palm.
“Why are you using it without saying anything?! You cannot faint!”
However, Cale could not hear Raon’s comments.
His heart had been beating wildly ever since they entered the inner region.
Cale lowered his head to look at the ground.
Something, an unknown aura, was rising up from the ground. That aura made the fire in his hand appear.
It also made the Vitality of the Heart run wild.
Cale sounded confused.
Wind started to gather down at his feet. The Sound of the Wind was creating a small whirlwind by his feet.
A small shield appeared on his left hand.
It was the Indestructible Shield.
‘…This is weird. This is very weird.’
Cale recalled something he had read in the ancient book.
< Right before going to save the world from darkness, he left all of his belongings, as well as the belongings of his friends, in his hometown. >
The other three got closer to Cale. Eruhaben was looking at Cale like he was looking at an interesting creature, while Raon shouted with anxiety.
“Human, what is going on? What’s wrong? Did your ancient powers break?”
Cale slowly started to speak.
“…I’m getting a feel for where it is.”
It was an Eureka moment!
Cale quickly started to walk. He looked toward Eruhaben and started to speak.
“I will take the lead.”
Eruhaben, who had been observing Cale with an interested expression, started to walk in front of Cale. Eruhaben had already told the monster to get lost.
Cale nodded his head at Eruhaben’s command and headed toward the center of the Forest of Darkness.
Eruhaben was moving quickly while Cale was using the Sound of the Wind to keep up.
Raon used haste magic on Hilsman so that Hilsman could keep up with them.
Cale was telling Eruhaben where to go.
“Let’s turn to the left.”
The ancient powers in his body, as well as the ground under his feet, were telling him where to go. It was impossible to explain this with words.
“To the Northwest.”
“Now to the Northeast.”
Cale finally stopped after a while.
They were near the Northern boundary of the inner region.
Cale could see a boulder at this location.
It was just a large boulder that was about three times as tall as Cale.
It looked just like your average boulder that could be found anywhere in the Henituse territory.
“Is it here?”
Eruhaben looked toward Cale and asked. However, he did not need to hear Cale’s answer.
“I guess it is.”
Cale was smiling.
‘They’re running wild.’
The four ancient powers inside Cale’s body were running wild.
Were the Super Rock’s friends really the owners of the ancient powers he had gained until now?
Cale slowly started to smile again.
It was at that moment.
The fire that was floating on top of Cale’s right palm started to fly toward the boulder.
The boulder and the fire made contact with each other.
The boulder started to shake as soon as the two made contact.
Cale could feel the rumbling underneath his feet.
The boulder started to crack on its own.
At that moment, a foreign voice started to speak in Cale’s mind. It was a profound voice that seemed to belong to a righteous person.
‘I came to the right spot.’
Cale was feeling extremely giddy.
– My friend of fire, you have finally arrived. My eternal enemy and friend, I- mm?
The profound voice became nervous.
The voice seemed extremely confused as well.
– …What is going on?
The profound voice, the owner of the ‘Scary Giant Cobblestone,’ started to speak in a nervous voice.
– Why is the cheapskate with the thief, the crybaby, and even the glutton-
The cheapskate was the Fire of Destruction.
The thief was the Sound of the Wind.
The crybaby was the Vitality of the Heart.
The glutton must be the Indestructible Shield.
– Who are you?
Cale started to speak.
“My name is Cale Henituse.”
Eureka! (The Korean phrase that is used literally means something along the lines of, ‘I found a ginseng!’ but I thought Eureka! Would be a fitting equivalent. )