“This expression must have come out because I am so happy to see you, your highness.”
Cale sat down on the couch in front of the video communication device as he answered.
– Based on the fact that you can say crap like that, I guess you’re normal.
Cale did not pay any attention to Alberu’s brusque choice of words. Instead, he focused on the color of Alberu’s face.
Alberu looked very pale. Although his blonde hair and blue eyes still looked as bright as ever, he looked tired.
“Your highness, you seem to be tired.”
– You want to help me?
“I will send some medicine your way.”
Alberu snorted at Cale’s response. He lifted his hand up to touch his forehead.
The balance of power in the Roan Kingdom had changed drastically since a year ago.
The Northwestern Stan territory now followed Alberu instead of the third prince, while the majority of the Northeastern territories followed Alberu as well.
Furthermore, since the Northwestern Naval Base that is currently under construction was Alberu’s personal project, a significant amount of power was directed toward Alberu.
Finally, the King, as well as some of the top strategists of the kingdom, knew that Alberu had brought over the mages of the Whipper Kingdom and included them in his faction.
‘I am responsible for this meeting as well.’
Crown prince Alberu was the one to gather the four kingdoms, specifically, the Roan Kingdom, Breck Kingdom, Whipper Kingdom, and the Jungle. Alberu felt like that the Roan Kingdom was slowly falling into his grasp.
It needed to be that way.
‘We need to band together tightly in order to win.’
They needed to be one to survive through war and chaos. Alberu was currently taking the proper steps to get there.
That was why he was amazed.
Alberu’s gaze moved to Cale.
‘It’s all thanks to this bastard.’
He had heard about how Cale had helped Taylor Stan. Amiru Ubarr had also told him that the naval base was Cale’s suggestion.
The Whipper Kingdom, as well as this four-kingdom meeting, relied a lot on this bastard as well.
Alberu said what was on his mind without thinking.
– What the hell do you even go around doing?
“…Although it may seem like I am slacking off, I am currently working hard in order to gather information.”
Cale felt guilty internally but casually appealed to Alberu that he was doing a lot of things. Naturally, Alberu did not believe him. Instead, he said what he needed to say.
– Miss Rosalyn hasn’t come back from the Breck Kingdom?
“Yes sir. She left two weeks ago but has not returned yet.”
Alberu nodded his head and continued to speak.
– The meeting is coming up. You will go with me.
Although Alberu was saying it like a command, he was focused on Cale’s reaction. Cale was smiling.
“This will be my first trip with you, your highness.”
– That makes me really not want to go.
Cale nodded his head since he felt the same way.
Alberu thought that Cale would be the only one to treat the future king this way as he started to speak.
– I’m sure that you’ve prepared everything?
This meeting would take place in the land that Litana had given to Cale. Litana agreed to prepare everything for it, so the preparations that Alberu was talking about was regarding something else.
“Your highness, please do not worry. I will deliver it right on time.”
Cale and Alberu started to smile in a similar manner. Alberu did not hide his anticipation at Cale’s words.
– I’m looking forward to it. Everybody will be surprised. Anyway, we are moving in secret, so make your group is as small as possible.
“Yes sir. Thinking about traveling with the star of the kingdom and learning from your wise-”
Alberu had hung up. Cale snorted while thinking that the easiest way to cut the useless chatter with Alberu was to flatter him.
Cale turned away from the disconnected video communication device and moved over to the bed.
He then patted on the hump in the blanket.
A sad voice came out of the blanket.
“Don’t make me talk.”
‘I never asked you to talk?’
Cale could tell that Raon was very upset.
Dragons go through three different growth phases to become an adult. The first growth phase does not have any physical changes, instead, it prepares the foundations for the second and third growth phases.
That is why, although there would be no physical changes, the amount of mana the Dragon can store and use would grow. After their second growth phase, they would be able to use skills like, ‘Breath.’
As Dragons could live up to 1,000 years, Raon’s first growth phase should still be far away.
However, that growth phase could come earlier if a Dragon is shocked or has a very strong desire for strength.
‘Raon and Eruhaben were aiming for this.’
Eruhaben had taught Raon everything he needed to know in order to bring on his first growth phase. Raon himself had said that he seriously wanted strength as well.
Cale let out a sigh and patted on the blanket again.
“This growth speed is normal. You are great and mighty, but there’s no need for your first growth phase to be fast.”
Cale could see the blanket twitch. This was soon followed by the voice of the Dragon that asked him not to make him talk.
“…Is that so?”
“Yes, it is. You are already great and mighty.”
Cale casually answered. He had wasted time talking to the crown prince and now he had to waste some more time consoling a five-year-old. He wasn’t even shocked about the things he had to do anymore.
Raon did not say anything. Cale had nothing else to say as well, so he just patted the Dragon’s back.
Raon finally started to speak after a while.
It was such a quiet voice that Cale would not have heard him if there were any other noises in the room.
“…What if I meet a Dragon with a terrible personality?”
‘Why are you thinking such scary thoughts?’
Cale started to frown even though he was thinking that there was no way something like that would happen.
It was not easy to meet with Dragons.
Cale stopped frowning and held back his sigh. He figured out why Raon was upset. Raon was worried that he might have to fight against another Dragon.
He started to speak.
“I thought you were smart.”
Raon’s wings fluttered underneath the blanket.
“I am smart……! No. I can’t even grow-”
The confident voice quickly became quiet. Cale cut Raon off to speak.
“You just have to run.”
“If you meet a terrible Dragon, just run away.”
“Surviving is what makes you great and mighty.”
Raon stopped talking. Cale continued to speak.
“You survived through that cave.”
The Dragon who had been covering his face with his two front paws slowly moved his paws away. Raon thought about how he had survived through the cave that was even darker than underneath this blanket.
“Surviving. That is true strength.”
Raon could hear Cale’s voice from outside the blanket. He looked down at his paws and his eyes started to glow.
However, Cale had no way of knowing about this as he continued to say whatever came to his mind.
“And you can always return to get them back later.”
Raon started to shake from underneath the blanket. However, Cale, who was getting tired of consoling this Dragon, didn’t pay attention to that as he continued to speak.
“If you survive and then return to get the Dragon or whatever enemy it may be back, then you win.”
Cale had nothing else to say and got up from the bed. He casually added on to Raon, who had calmed down underneath the blanket.
“I’ll tell Beacrox to make you some ice cream, so come out.”
“…Don’t make me talk.”
Cale noticed that Raon sounded more energetic and left the fifth floor without any regret. He went into the kitchen on the first floor and gave an order to Beacrox, who was wearing white gloves.
“One ice cream and some fruit.”
Cale was soon eating fruit from Beacrox, who seemed to be more focused on cleaning the villa than training these days. Of course, the ice cream was placed by Cale’s side.
The kitchen door opened very slowly before the small Dragon entered through the crack. Raon peeked at Cale before slowly flying over to the chair next to Cale.
Cale did not even give Raon a glance. Seeing Cale not looking at him, Raon started to eat his ice cream.
The sound of Cale chewing on the fruits, Beacrox washing dishes, and Raon eating ice cream filled the kitchen.
However, a sudden sharp noise disturbed their calm.
Cale put the fork down on the plate almost as if he was throwing it. Raon slowly moved his eyes to look at Cale. Cale and Raon made eye contact and Raon flinched.
Cale looked at the flinching Raon and started to speak.
“Come with me.”
“…Who else is coming?”
“You and me. It’ll just be the two of us.”
Raon’s wings suddenly fluttered. The corners of Raon’s lips were twitching as he asked.
“The two of us?”
Raon took another slurp of his vanilla ice cream. The corners of his lips were still twitching and his wings were fluttering.
Cale, who was blankly staring at Raon, started to think.
‘He said to bring a small group, so I’ll just take an invisible Dragon with me.’
Cale thought that one Dragon should be enough to guard him. It wasn’t like he could bring a lot of people to guard him when he was meeting with the movers and shakers of the four kingdoms.
* * *
However, contrary to Cale’s plan, another individual added themselves to the trip.
“I am going as well.”
Cale calmed the corners of his lips from twitching after hearing that another Dragon would be going with him.
“Yes. It looks interesting. I also have nothing left to teach the little kid.”
Eruhaben looked toward Raon, who was playing with the kittens by the fountain, with a look of satisfaction. Raon had learned three months’ worth of lessons in just a few weeks.
‘We might get a Lord that has disappeared since ancient times.’
The Dragon Lord had disappeared since ever since the ancient times. Raon might end up becoming that Dragon Lord that had an overwhelming strength unparalleled by any other Dragon. That was why Eruhaben wanted to tag along to wherever Raon was going.
The ancient Dragon turned back to look at Cale.
He could see that Cale had neither a smile nor a frown on his face. His lips were just oddly twisted. Seeing Cale that way made Eruhaben start to think.
‘Is it troublesome for me to tag along?’
This meeting was a meeting for the leaders of the four kingdoms. With Cale Henituse being a noble, he needed to be cautious around those leaders.
Even though he was an arrogant Dragon, it wasn’t like Eruhaben didn’t know how to adapt to the situation. He was able to suppress his instincts thanks to his thousand years of wisdom.
Cale looked toward Eruhaben, who had a twisted smile on his face. Eruhaben pointed to himself and started to speak.
“I am a tactful Dragon. I will not act like my normal self. I will play along.”
‘Play along with what?’
That was what Cale wanted to ask. However, Eruhaben continued to speak before he had a chance to do so.
“I will protect you. Treat me like you would treat your guard.”
‘What did this Dragon just say?’
The word, ‘guard,’ etched itself into Cale’s mind.
A light appeared on top of Eruhaben’s palm. That light slowly turned into the shape of a sword before the light disappeared and left behind a luxurious sword. Eruhaben grabbed onto the hilt of the sword before looking toward Cale with an expression that seemed to be saying, ‘take a look at this.’
Raon approached them at that moment.
“Goldie! You know how to use a sword?”
“I’ve lived for a thousand years. There are no weapons I cannot use. Little kid, I am actually a sword master.”
Cale had to work hard to stop himself from smiling after hearing the two Dragons’ conversation. Eruhaben, who saw the look on Cale’s face, clicked his tongue and started to speak.
“Don’t worry. I will follow behind you like a proper guard.”
“…Eruhaben-nim, how could I dare to treat you like a guard?”
Eruhaben shook his head after hearing Cale’s awkward voice.
“Just do as I say. Do you think that this is the first time I’ve played a role? Treat me like one of your guards.”
“…If you say so.”
Eruhaben could see Cale slowly starting to smile. Cale continued to speak with a smile on his face.
“Then I will do as you said and treat you like a guard, Eruhaben-nim.”
Eruhaben had never seen Cale smiling so brightly before. However, he felt an odd sense of iffiness. It was at that moment that Raon suddenly shouted.
“You’re smiling like that again!”
‘Smiling like that? What does that mean?’
Eruhaben wanted to ask that question, but Raon quickly turned away and flew back toward the fountain. It seemed like Raon had expected for Eruhaben to say that he was coming with them.
Eruhaben was feeling odd, but focused on what Cale was saying.
“Then I will say that Eruhaben-nim is coming as my guardian knight with Raon following behind us while remaining invisible.”
Cale put on a mischievous smile after seeing Eruhaben nod his head. What would he fear when a Dragon said that he would take care of his protection?
* * *
The Naval Base on the Ubarr territory’s Northeastern shoreline was close to completion. Cale greeted someone he had not seen face to face in a long time.
“Your highness, the star of our kingdom, it has been a while since I’ve been graced with your presence.”
Alberu, who was covered up in a robe, held his hand out. Alberu had a smile on his face.
“Oh, it is young master Cale, the one who will brighten up our kingdom’s future. Yes, it has indeed been a while.” (After hearing all of your comments, I will have Alberu use young master on Cale as well. )
Cale and Alberu shared a friendly handshake as if they were close to each other.
Later that night, Cale’s group, Alberu’s group, and the Ubarr territory’s liege and her two loyal subordinates were standing in front of a large ship.
The Ubarr territory’s liege approached Alberu and started to speak.
“I installed the teleportation portal inside the ship.”
They were planning on making it look like Cale was leaving on a trip before using the teleportation portal. Raon started to speak into Cale’s mind.
– I know the location of your land in the Jungle! I will teleport there on my own!
Cale didn’t pay much attention to it and made eye contact with Alberu. Alberu looked behind Cale and started to speak.
“Looks like you brought one guard. I’ve never seen him before.”
Cale put a hand on his guard’s shoulder.
Alberu was looking at this handsome blonde knight who was giving off a strange aura. Cale introduced the knight to Alberu.
“Yes, this is my guard, Haben. He is a good and loyal knight.”
Eruhaben, who was now being called Haben, felt iffy after hearing Cale’s comments but still played his part like he told Cale he would.
“It is my honor to meet you, your highness.”
Alberu looked at Eruhaben, who seemed to give off a regal vibe, and started to speak to Cale.
“You really are talented in getting good subordinates.”
Cale smiled brightly and pointed to the ship.
“Shall we depart?”