A small paw continued to tap on Cale’s side.
Cale looked down toward his waist to see that Raon was smiling.
“I like this place. Good job. You deserve praise!”
Cale’s expression was iffy after being praised by a 5-year-old. Eruhaben was the same way.
“Goldie, isn’t our house better than yours which is covered in gold? Our house looks nice, but it is modest.”
The ancient Dragon just agreed. At that moment, Cale and Eruhaben made eye contact. Eruhaben let out a sigh and pointed toward a location.
“Looks like you’ll need to investigate that stone pillar a bit.”
Cale had explained the story behind the ominous stone pillar to the others. Each of them had shown a different reaction.
Cale decided to ignore Hilsman since Hilsman had been standing there with a blank expression since a while ago. Raon had approached Cale and cautiously started to speak.
“Let’s just ignore it if it is fine for 100,000 years.”
‘…I feel like he’s starting to resemble me more as he gets older.’
Cale looked like a proud parent while looking at Raon who had the same idea as he did. On the other hand, Eruhaben showed a different reaction.
“Is that so?”
“Yes. I’m intrigued.”
The Gold Dragon’s eyes were full of curiosity. Cale looked at this and quickly added on.
“Eruhaben-nim, then why don’t you investigate it a bit?”
“Yes. Wouldn’t the great Eruhaben-nim be perfect to figure out the secrets of this pillar?”
Eruhaben scoffed at Cale’s comment. It was obvious what Cale’s intentions were.
“Trying to push it off on me?”
“But isn’t it true that Eruhaben-nim is the wisest one among all of us?”
“What a useless question.”
Cale was certain that he saw the corner of Eruhaben’s lips twitching. This Dragon really liked being flattered.
“Well, since it is true that I am the wisest being, I will pretend to fall for your scheme.”
In the end, Eruhaben agreed to investigate the stone pillar. However, it wasn’t because of Cale’s flattery. He really was curious about the aura coming from underneath the stone pillar.
He could not tell the affinity of the aura coming from underneath the pillar. It was definitely worth investigating. It could be a chance for him to find the secret of one of the mysteries that has existed since ancient times.
Cale approached Eruhaben and chimed in.
“Then shouldn’t you stay here in order to investigate?”
Raon was the first one to respond.
“Let’s get our practical experience here!”
Eruhaben ignored Raon and stared at Cale. Cale had an awkward smile on his face. This ancient Dragon was the type to play along even if he knew your true intentions. The ancient Dragon smiled after seeing Cale’s awkward smile and shook his head.
“Sure. You really are smart. You probably want to bring your subordinates over as well?”
“Wouldn’t it be best for everyone to do the practical experience together?”
Eruhaben could easily tell that Cale wanted Raon’s lessons to continue here instead of his lair.
“Bring your subordinates here. But I do not wish to stay here.”
Raon, who had been putting water into the fountain with magic, jerked his head toward them after hearing Eruhaben’s comment.
“Goldie! How can you not be here?! I need you!”
Eruhaben let out a sigh. Raon quickly flew over from the fountain to Eruhaben’s side.
“Goldie, stay here with us!”
Eruhaben looked toward Raon with a look of disbelief.
“Little kid, are you really a Dragon?”
“…Are you provoking me?”
Cale, who was standing between the two Dragons, quickly interjected.
“Are you thinking about installing a teleportation portal?”
“Yes. It is easy when you know the coordinates.”
Raon, who heard Cale’s question and Eruhaben’s answer, quietly flew back toward the fountain and started to splash the water as if nothing had happened.
“Aigoo, my poor old self.”
Eruhaben let out a sigh. However, Cale, who was looking at Eruhaben, could feel his heart beating with excitement.
‘I’ll have a direct teleportation portal to the Gold Dragon’s lair.’
It would be perfect in case he ever needed to ask for help if something happened in the territory.
Cale started to speak as if it was easy to set it up.
“Then Eruhaben-nim, I’m sure you know the coordinates to your lair, so we just need to find the coordinates of this place for you to set up the portal. The group at the lair can then come through the portal.”
“Yes. I’ll take care of it quickly since it is annoying.”
Cale warmly looked toward Eruhaben, who said that he would do it quickly because it was annoying.
This Dragon definitely had a soft side.
“I will do it with you!”
“Is there anything I can help with?”
Cale relaxed as he watched Raon and even Hilsman stepping up to help. He was thinking about the group that would soon join them here.
‘If it is time for training anyway.’
Wouldn’t it be better if they put in some extra effort?
They might need a source of motivation.
* * *
Everybody was gathered together now.
They were currently all sitting in the large first-floor hall of the five-story villa.
Cale had sent Hilsman to go get Hans as well as the ten Wolf children.
Once the teleportation portal was created, everybody other than the Elf Pendrick traveled to the villa. Pendrick was left alone to protect the lair.
They could not hide their shock after looking at this place. Cale started to speak.
“Look around and pick a room on either the second floor or the fourth floor. The fifth floor is my room.”
“Will we continue to live here?”
Hans’s eyes were full of energy.
On and Hong approached Cale. Raon was naturally with the two of them as well.
Raon looked up at Cale and started to speak.
“Then our room is the fifth floor?”
“…Why is it our room?”
‘When did my room become the room of these children averaging 8-year-old?’
“Hmm? Human, then is our room somewhere else?”
“…Do whatever you want.”
Cale found it annoying to chat with the confused children as he answered back. The fifth floor was large enough to share with these children.
Cale turned his gaze away from the children and looked around.
Beacrox touched the dust on the stair railing before immediately taking out a white glove. Cale could not tell what was going through Beacrox’s mind right now.
Cale looked at everyone moving around to take a look at the villa before approaching Choi Han.
Choi Han seemed to be the most shocked of the group.
“…I didn’t know that such a place existed in the Forest of Darkness.”
Cale, who was standing between Choi Han and Rosalyn, understood Choi Han’s sentiments.
‘He did live in here for tens of years and suffered quite a bit.’
That was why it made sense that he would be upset that such a peaceful place existed in the Forest of Darkness. Cale could hear Rosalyn’s admiration from the side as well.
“How is it still fine after 10,000 years? It looks like a place that has only been vacant for about a year.”
Rosalyn looked toward Cale and shared her sentiments.
“Right? Miss Rosalyn, it really does feel like that. Doesn’t it feel like time has stopped in this place for 10,000 years?”
“You are right young master Cale. It does feel that way.”
Time had stopped. That was the accurate explanation of this place.
Rosalyn agreed with Cale with a bright smile on her face. Cale casually added on after seeing her smile.
“Miss Rosalyn, do you know what this place is?”
“The place where you earned the power of earth?”
“That is correct.”
Cale looked around once more.
Eruhaben was standing off in the distance, while Ron and Beacrox had gone upstairs. He could also see the rest of the group.
‘They’re all within range to hear my voice.’
After verifying that everyone would be able to hear him, Cale said something that would light a fire in all of their hearts.
“The former owner of the ancient power was known as the Guardian.”
The Wolf children who had been admiring the sculptures on the first floor perked their ears toward Cale.
“According to the legend, he is the Guardian who protected this Northeastern territory.”
Lock and Choi Han, who were next to Rosalyn, as well as Beacrox, who was at the top of the stairs, showed interest at what Cale was saying. They were interested in knowing about the owner of this place.
“He did not hesitate to stand in the vanguard and protect the people when the continent was shrouded in darkness.”
“What an amazing person.”
“Right? This is what he said as he left this villa to me.”
Everybody was naturally interested in what the Guardian had said while leaving this exorbitant villa to Cale. Cale noticed the focus on him before he started to speak.
The voice also said to guard and sacrifice, but there was no need to tell the others about those words. He just needed to tell them the things that would benefit him.
Cale put a bitter smile on his face.
“I don’t know why I started to think about the current situation when I heard that.”
Rosalyn let out a quiet gasp.
The current situation. Enemies had appeared and the continent was expected to fall into a state of chaos.
Choi Han looked toward him with a very worried expression. Cale smiled and made eye contact with Choi Han.
“What are you looking at with such focus?”
“No, you see.”
Choi Han did not know how to answer. Cale looked past Choi Han and made eye contact with Lock, who was next to him.
“Well, anyway, after hearing what the former landlord had to say, I thought it would be good if everyone could stay here together.”
Although Cale was speaking with indifference, everybody understood the meaning behind his words.
Cale had gathered them here after hearing those words. He did not need to say it out loud for them to know that he brought them here in order to protect them.
“…Young master Cale, you really.”
Rosalyn smiled and looked toward Cale with an expression that seemed to say that there wasn’t much they could do about Cale.
‘What is it?’
Her smile became thicker after seeing Cale look at her with an expression that seemed to be asking what he had done. The rest of the group had similar reactions as well.
Eruhaben was especially looking at him while thinking about how there could be such a pitiful human in the world.
Cale shrugged his shoulders and continued to speak in a stern voice.
“I’m sure that we are going to face many difficult issues in the future.”
The Whipper Kingdom and the Empire looked ready to go to war with each other. This war would focus on taking control of multiple palaces at the border of the two nations and would probably be completed around Fall at the latest.
Furthermore, the Northern Alliance and Arm were still quiet. It looked like they were waiting for the results of the Empire’s war.
There was not much time left.
Everybody was aware of this fact.
Choi Han could see a hand on his shoulder. It was Cale’s hand. Cale kept his hand on Choi Han’s shoulder as he looked around the first floor.
His serious voice filled the hall.
“I trust you.”
Silence filled the hall for a moment.
Choi Han started to think.
He was wondering how many people in the world would be able to say that they trust someone so casually and so lightheartedly.
Cale was probably the only one who could do that.
However, Choi Han could feel the weight of Cale’s hand clenching his shoulder. He could feel the weight of Cale’s words being transferred over to him.
Of course, Cale was just leaning on Choi Han’s shoulder to stand.
At that moment, a serious voice echoed in the hall.
“I will get stronger!”
It was Raon. Raon fluttered his black wings and confidently started to speak.
“Human, do not worry! A great being like myself getting stronger means that I will be even greater!”
It was a vigorous voice with not even an ounce of hesitation.
Choi Han clenched his fist after hearing Raon speak. It was the same for Lock and the other Wolf children.
At that moment, a smile appeared on Cale’s face before quickly disappearing. He looked around only to see that everyone’s excited expressions had turned slightly serious.
Cale, who had wanted this atmosphere, started to speak again.
“I am lacking in strength.”
“That is right human! You just sit back! Don’t get involved and end up coughing up blood again!”
Raon sounded serious. Raon’s seriousness made Cale feel odd, however, he spoke normally toward the group who were looking at him.
“That is why there is only one thing I can do. I will do whatever I can to help all of you out.”
Raon started to shout.
“I am able to do well on my own! That is why I am great and mighty!”
‘Ah, he keeps ruining the moment.’
Cale was trying to create a serious moment, but realized that it would be difficult with Raon around. At that moment, Choi Han, who had been quietly listening, started to speak.
“I will get stronger in order to protect everyone.”
Cale patted Choi Han’s shoulder.
Choi Han could feel Cale’s level of trust in him through that pat.
Choi Han’s fists were clenched, his eyes looked focused, and he had a look of resolution on his face.
All of the members of the group looked determined.
At that moment, Cale started to think.
‘I’m sure that he’ll protect me too if he gets stronger.’
He had lit the fire, and that fire was burning with even more passion than Cale was expecting.
It was burning quiet dangerously, like a wildfire that could not be stopped.
* * *
Two days later, Cale regretted his actions after seeing the training ground that was covered in dust and blood.
“Are you going to fall just like that?”
“No! I will not fall!”
Choi Han and Lock were training while saying things that sounded like something the MC of a children’s cartoon would say. Lock, who was in his berserk state, was covered in injuries.
Choi Han, on the other hand, had heavy metal balls all over his body as he shouted toward Lock.
“Come! You cannot fall if you want to get stronger!”
Lock let out a shout before rushing toward Choi Han.
Similar scenes could be seen throughout the area. Everybody was training as if their lives were on the line. Blood, dust, sweat, and injuries appeared everywhere.
‘I didn’t expect this much.’
Cale was slightly anxious about how hard everyone was training.
‘Is this okay?’
It felt like they would all get significantly stronger if this continued.