– I presume that the bastards of the Empire think that I am really annoying.
Why was the crown prince suddenly criticizing himself?
Cale quietly waited for the crown prince to continue to speak.
It was because the crown prince looked extremely happy.
‘I’ve never seen him looking like this.’
Cale suddenly started to feel iffy.
– I was the crown prince who sought justice for my kingdom as I sought out the organization responsible for the magic bomb incident in our Roan Kingdom.
Cale’s expression became even worse.
On the other hand, crown prince Alberu’s expression became even brighter as if he was very happy.
– I looked like a crown prince who had set his goal toward getting rid of those damn bastards from the Western continent rather than paying attention to what was going on. I had shown sympathy to the Empire for having suffered a similar incident and had urged them to work together to find the culprits.
Cale started to speak.
“The Empire probably had a major headache.”
– Yes. I enjoyed it.
Alberu was smiling brightly in front of Cale for the first time in a long time. Cale avoided his gaze and started to think that the Empire was put in an awkward position.
The Roan Kingdom.
It was a so-so kingdom that was neither strong nor weak. However, it was a kingdom with a long history on the Western continent.
If the crown prince of that kingdom becomes filled with justice and causes a scene, the Empire would not be able to ignore him. However, they also could not scream, ‘justice,’ with him.
‘Since they are accomplices.’
Neither Cale nor Alberu could confirm whether the Mogoru Empire was in cahoots with the secret organization Arm and their magic bomb terror incident on the Roan Kingdom.
However, the Empire was definitely involved with the secret organization’s attack on the Church of the Sun God and they had also tried to kill the Saint and the Holy Maiden.
That was why they would want to push aside the terror incidents as quietly as possible.
So this crown prince who continued to bring it up would be extremely annoying to them.
However, Alberu was acting like that in order to hide their alliance with the other kingdoms.
“But what does that have to do with doing something big?”
– As I was acting like that.
Cale shook his head at Alberu’s words.
“Acting? Your highness has always been such a person. You are just and pure.”
– Enough with the nonsense.
Alberu started to frown, so Cale shut up. Alberu started to speak to the person who was even worse than him.
– Anyways, I asked day and night for an investigation of the bombing location.
– Yes. I said I wanted to find even the smallest clue and said that I wanted to look around the Church of the Sun God’s Vatican and the plaza in front of it. (Vatican is the word the author used here. )I continued to ask, even when they were at war.
“Did the Empire not get angry?”
– I jabbed at them slowly.
Cale did not believe him at all. Cale held back his scoff and asked.
“Your highness, based on the fact that you have contacted me, I’m guessing that the Empire agreed to your investigation?”
– It has already been a year since the incident. They seem to have agreed while thinking that I will not manage to find anything.
Alberu tapped on the table and continued to speak.
– Wouldn’t it be great to observe some Alchemy while we are looking around, no?
It was not great at all.
He had been having a bad feeling ever since his back started getting itchy.
“Isn’t the Empire in a bad mood because they lost a castle to the Whipper Kingdom?”
– They are. That is why I think they are trying to change the focus of the citizens by talking about how they are cooperating with us to investigate the terror incident.
Alberu looked right at Cale as he continued to speak.
– The Empire probably took everything of value in the name of investigating. Right?
“… I suppose so?”
– Are the Saint and Holy Maiden well?
Cale suddenly had a thought and stopped responding. He then started to smile.
Alberu looked at Cale, who no longer seemed frustrated, and urged him to continue.
“Are you thinking that there may be some hidden treasure at the church?”
– You don’t think so?
Cale was almost certain that there would be something.
This was his intuition as someone who has read fantasy novels for many years.
The Church of the Sun God had survived as the official religion of the Empire for hundreds of years.
They were bound to have hidden some of their precious treasures somewhere. The Empire had yet to destroy the buildings of the church that were not affected by the bombing incident.
Raon, who had been quietly listening in the corner, started to speak in Cale’s mind.
-Human, human! Are we treasure hunting? I’m very good at treasure hunting!
Cale started to smile even more.
Even if the Saint was kind of clueless and the Holy Maiden had negative feelings about the church…
‘Wouldn’t they at least know about any secret compartments?’
Cale could hear Alberu’s voice as he organized the thoughts in his head.
– 5 to 5. I’ll take the 5. (This is a joke knowing it is equal halves. )
Cale’s gaze headed toward Alberu.
– I’m being very generous.
“You are not going to turn the treasure over to the palace?”
– I’ll turn it over and get some money. My personal finances are lacking after paying for all those potions.
Raon’s voice echoed in Cale’s mind once again.
– Human, you and the crown prince are smiling the same way! You’re even laughing like that again!
Cale sat up straight and asked the crown prince a question.
“When is it?”
– December. They said that we should come to celebrate the end of the year with them. I guess they want to show off their wealth.
“Wealth? Isn’t the Empire currently hiding their strength?”
The Empire had hidden their core strength, including Alchemy, even in their war with Toonka. It was not even funny.
– Anyway, we are heading to the Empire at the beginning of December.
It was currently mid-November and the beginning of winter.
Cale prepared to turn the video communication device off and said his goodbyes to Alberu.
“I will see you at the capital, your highness.”
As expected, Alberu hung up as soon as he heard Cale’s response. This crown prince never seemed to change.
* * *
Cale moved faster than the others with Raon and Choi Han with him.
He was currently meeting with his father in his office in the Henituse castle. He had not been here in a while.
Count Deruth could not stop smiling after seeing his son for the first time in a long time.
The Count believed that Cale had been living like a hermit at the villa in Harris Village until he traveled to another kingdom to do the crown prince’s bidding.
“You see, I-”
“Speak at ease.”
There was a reason Cale came back here before the others.
“I plan to bring some people I know to our territory.”
People I know.
He was naturally talking about the Tiger tribe. It would be difficult and annoying to hide them because of their number and size.
Count Deruth saw the seriousness in his son’s face and started to speak.
“How many people?”
“Approximately twenty. They are poor and pitiful people who lost their home.”
“Are they a family?”
Count Deruth started to think.
Early winter. People wandering around without a home. He was sure that these people were wandering without having been able to harvest anything in the fall.
“There are some adults, as well as children and the elderly.”
Count Deruth’s frown became deeper after hearing Cale’s words.
He was thinking about how these pitiful people were shivering while looking for a new home.
Count Deruth took a sip of tea to calm himself. He looked toward his son Cale after the tea warmed him up a bit.
He understood why his son would want to bring them here. His son really was a big-hearted man.
Cale observed Deruth’s response and said in the most pitiful tone as possible.
“Father, that is why I hope to let them immigrate to Harris Village. Will that be okay?”
It was the Lord of the territory’s decision whether new residents could move into the territory. Cale was being cautious because he was not bringing just a few guests, instead, he was giving them a residence in their territory.
‘But I’m sure he will allow it.’
He thought that Deruth would not object based on his personality. The Count slowly started to speak.
“That is a bit difficult.”
He did not expect Deruth to say no.
He did not expect it at all. Count Deruth continued to speak at that moment.
“Harris Village is the most northern part of our territory. The Northern Alliance is expected to head down in the spring.”
Count Deruth considered himself to be a selfish person, however, he still showed warmth to the people in his territory.
“That is why I plan to move the current residents of the north prior to the spring as well. We can’t leave the residents in a dangerous location.”
Deruth put down his teacup on the table and continued to speak.
“Bring those people to the castle. I will give them a place to say.”
Cale observed Count Deruth without being able to say anything. The Count started to speak again after seeing Cale’s condition.
“You do not need to worry about anything else. Our territory has a lot of mines and is developed in the arts, so we have never been wary of foreigners. The castle has also gotten bigger since we reinforced the castle walls. I can even help them with their monetary needs.”
Cale cautiously cut off Count Deruth, who sounded like he would continue to speak, and responded back.
“They are the Tiger tribe.”
“They are Tiger tribe Beast people.”
Count Deruth looked toward his son while wondering why he was suddenly talking about the Tiger tribe.
“Father, the people I am bringing are from the Tiger tribe.”
Cale generously explained to Count Deruth, who seemed to be confused.
“They are very strong. They are a great addition as we prepare for war. I am thinking of bringing them over because they are wandering without a home.”
Count Deruth started speaking after a long time.
“You did well.”
Cale happily accepted the Count’s praise.
“Father. The restoration of Harris Village is completed, but we do not have any residents living there.”
‘The Tiger tribe wants to be around a forest as well.’
“I think it would be great if we gave them the village as a new home.”
“You’re right, you’re right.”
The Count nodded his head multiple time as he answered.
There was a different kind of smile on his face now. Raon, who was watching the father-son duo chat while remaining invisible, started to speak into Cale’s mind.
– Human, the Count is smiling like you do when you are scamming people! It is amazing! It is very similar! ((PR: I wonder what Deruth’s young scamming years were like…) )
Cale paid no attention to Raon’s words and acted as if they were background music. The Count gave his son an order as the Lord of the territory.
“I will leave that to you.”
Cale chatted with the Count about some other things as well before getting up. Count Deruth started to speak again as Cale headed for the door.
“Show your face every so often, even if you are busy. Your mother and siblings are waiting for you.”
“I understand. I will try to spend the beginning of the year here.”
Cale walked out of the office.
Kim Rok Soo, who had become Cale. As someone who did not have any blood relatives for a long time, these conversations always made him feel a bit awkward.
However, he did not have time to continue to feel this type of awkwardness.
Cale visited the tea shop in the city for the first time in a while.
< The Fragrance of Tea with Poetry >
It was the tea shop run by the Flynn Merchant Guild’s Billos. A worker had been running it ever since Billos left for the capital, but it still remained in the same location.
And today, the owner had returned to the shop for the first time in a while.
“Long time no see.”
“Have you been well, young master-nim?”
Billos’s piggy bank-like face was full of joy.
He was currently using the magic devices Cale had handed to him, as well as the benefits he got from the Whipper Kingdom’s Civil War, to increase his influence in the Flynn Merchant Guild.
“So-so. I didn’t expect you to come right away after I contacted you.”
“I happened to be in the area. I should come right away when you call for me anyway, young master-nim.”
Billos shared his honest sentiments. The reason he had no choice but to come was because Cale never wasted his time.
His intuition as a merchant was telling him something.
It was telling him that something always happens whenever Cale called him.
He had rushed over right away because he was curious what it would be this time.
Cale slowly started to speak.
“Let’s go to the Empire.”
“… The Empire?”
Billos was not shocked. It was because he had prepared himself for anything Cale might say.
Cale casually added on.
“Yeah. But do you know any Alchemists?”
Cale tapped on the table as he continued. He was speaking in a contemplating tone.
“I’m sure that there are some Alchemists who were pushed aside by the Empire without having been able to be a part of the Alchemists’ Bell Tower. Just like in the Whipper Kingdom.”
Just like in the Whipper Kingdom.
During the time when the Magic Tower ruled the land, there were mages who had walked away from the Magic Tower after seeing the cruel experiments and oppression of the people, as well as some who were kicked out after asking the Magic Tower to change their methods.
Although the Alchemists’ Bell Tower was pretty quiet right now, they were also conducting cruel experiments.
There were bound to be people who could not stand such experiments and acted out or walked out on their own accord.
Cale watched as Billos slowly opened his mouth. Billos started to speak.
“Although I do not know of anybody, I will find someone.”
“Yes. That’s the type of response I like.”
It was easy to talk to Billos. Billos cautiously asked Cale, who seemed to be satisfied.
“But what do you plan to do if you find such an Alchemist?”
“Put them to work.”
Cale ignored Billos’s question and said what he needed to say.
“Do you know where to buy ingredients for Alchemy?”
“… There are a lot in the Empire.”
“Then buy a lot of the things I tell you to buy.”
“… Uhh, mm. Yes sir.”
Raon started to speak in Cale’s mind.
-Human! Are we making that pillar of fire too?
The thousand-year-old ancient Dragon had a significant amount of knowledge in Alchemy as well. Eruhaben looked at the liquid that created the pillar of fire and started to speak.
‘Hoo, the humans made something quite entertaining.’
Eruhaben was currently researching in his lair after getting intrigued.
Cale planned to get everything he needed while he was in the Empire.
– Human, this sounds fun!
There was no reason they couldn’t make it when the Empire could.