“Young master, are you heading over there?”
Ron approached him as soon as he stepped out of the carriage.
“Who will go if I don’t?”
Ron and the Vice Captain started to chase after Cale, who was heading toward the incident location without any hesitation. The two surrounded Cale, as if the world was going to end soon, but Cale did not care.
A man slowly walked out of the other carriage. Venion Stan.
Cale started to frown deeply as soon as he saw him. There was only one line in the file that his father Count Deruth gave him regarding Venion Stan’s personality.
[A typical and authoritative noble]
Cale, well, Kim Rok Soo, could also use the information from, ‘The Birth of a Hero,’ to evaluate Venion.
Your typical villain.
However, it was quite a headache to meet that typical villain in real life, than it was as a character in a novel. Cale could not beat someone up for doing something bad or because he didn’t like them like Choi Han could.
The situation had already escalated a bit by the time Cale arrived. In those few short moments, Choi Han had already become so angry that his shoulders were shaking violently.
“How can you get in the way of a noble person like that?”
“What the hell are you saying when someone could have gotten hurt? Who was in the way? This only happened because you were driving the carriage like a maniac!”
“Peasants should move out of the way when they see a noble’s carriage. It is not my fault that this peasant was so stupid he just stood there without moving!”
Choi Han was arguing with one of Venion’s lackeys, and Hans, who had been standing next to Choi Han, had a frown on his face as he approached Cale and whispered to into his ear.
“Choi Han-nim seems to be extremely agitated.”
Hans seemed to have already realized that the owner of the carriage belonged to the Marquis’s family. He also seemed to have realized that the person standing behind that lackey was none other than Venion Stan.
That narcissist probably only stepped out of the carriage because he saw the symbol of the Henituse family on Cale’s carriage.
Venion, the man with beautiful blonde hair, gently spoke to his lackey. As soon as Venion’s words came out, the lackey quickly moved behind Venion, as if he had never been angry in the first place. Only Choi Han was left huffing and puffing while consoling the scared old man.
Tsk. Cale clicked his tongue.
The lackey wasn’t actually angry. He was pretty far away from Cale’s carriage, but just like Venion, he probably saw the Golden Turtle on Cale’s carriage. That was why he was exaggerating, being extremely loud while scolding Choi Han, so that it will draw Cale out to the scene. Hans knew what the lackey was doing, which led him to frown while waiting for Cale to arrive.
Cale glared at Venion and the lackey before putting a hand on Choi Han’s shoulder.
Cale knew why Choi Han was angry. This place was very similar to Harris Village, his second home. He was angry at the fact that these people put someone else’s life in danger but didn’t show even an iota of remorse, or any signs of apologizing.
However, the victim in this, the old man, was unable to get angry. It was because he did not have anything to support him like Choi Han had.
“They could have used another road, but decided not do so and could have hurt someone. How can I just let this be.”
Cale put some pressure to push down on Choi Han’s shoulder.
Choi Han’s black pupils looked directly at Cale. Cale could see the angry Choi Han, no, to be specific, the Choi Han that was being held down by the memories of Harris Village, starting to calm down.
After verifying that Choi Han was calming down, Cale turned his gaze to look at Venion Stan.
Beautiful blonde hair and a slight smile on his lips. Perfectly ironed attire without a single wrinkle. Boots without a single scuff mark. However, the thing that caught Cale’s attention was the small amount of red at the tip of Venion’s white dress shirt.
‘Some blood must have landed on him while he was enjoying watching the Black Dragon being tortured.’
A crazy bastard. This Venion Stan was someone who enjoyed his meal while watching the torturer whip the Black Dragon until it was covered with blood.
“Nice to meet you. Are you someone from Count Henituse’s household?”
“Yes. Nice to meet you, Young master Venion Stan.”
As expected, the other party knew of Cale. Venion was not someone who had an easy life in reaching the heir position. The problem was that he was a quite a bit rude.
Venion Stan was the type that could gently smile at you, but you still feel nothing but disgust for him.
“I have not had any reason to come to this area, and have only heard stories, but I heard there was someone in the Count’s family who was a free spirit and did not seem like a noble.”
Venion smiled as he observed Cale. It was a very annoying look, as if he was trying to start something.
“I heard that young master Basen Henituse had been taking part in all of the gatherings of the nobles since last year-.”
‘Why ask something you already know about?’
Cale was not talented in these kinds of small talk. That was why he smiled brightly and respectfully answered.
“Yes. I am indeed that trash.”
Trash. The moment that word personally came out of Cale’s mouth, Venion’s lackey flinched.
“One of the trashiest of all of the trash probably.”
The corner of Venion’s mouth started to twist up. His expression seemed to say that he had never seen such a crazy person before, but Cale did not care.
Marquis Stan was someone who was strong enough to lead a faction, but Venion could not do as he pleased with other nobles until he was officially proclaimed as the future successor of the Marquis title.
A Marquis would normally officially proclaim a child as their successor in order to provide protection to that child, as well as have that child start building their network at an early age. However, Marquis Stan had not done that yet.
‘There are still three other children.’
Venion had two younger sisters and one younger brother. The Marquis enjoyed watching the competition between the siblings. Venion enjoyed watching the Black Dragon being tortured in order to destress from the competition with his siblings. The Marquis considered the competition between his children to be like an exciting sport. Naturally, the crippled eldest son was the result of this competition.
It was a completely crazy household.
‘Our Henituse family is an extremely great family in comparison.’
“You’re a very interesting person.”
Venion just casually responded to Cale’s statement.
The wealthy Count, who resided in the outskirts of the northeast without being a part of any faction. Who would try to develop a relationship with that family? If anything, people would just be greedy to take that land as their own.
However, Venion didn’t like Cale as a person. The trash eldest son and a pretty smart younger son. Knowing about Cale and Basen’s relationship made Venion think of his own older brother when looking at Cale.
However, Venion kept up the act of a proper noble, and handed the reigns of this incident to Cale.
“An unexpected obstacle has made me waste time, but I guess it was a pretty good thing since I got to make your acquaintance, young master Cale.”
An unexpected obstacle. Venion was referring to the old man. He was disappointed at the fact that his time was wasted because of this old man, and wanted to finish this on a happy note.
“But it looks like you need to teach your subordinate to clearly distinguish between the people who have the right to travel across this road and this earth, as well as the people who have the right to make them stop.”
As a well-known Marquis’s unofficial successor, this was the most he could do to the trash of a Count’s family. His tone was saying that, although they were both young masters, their statuses were completely different.
Of course, Cale was quietly listening, but he wasn’t the type to pay attention to a dog’s yapping.
Venion finished what he had to say and looked toward the most uncomfortable looking person in the group.
Plop. The old man kneeled on the ground once Venion looked in his direction and bowed his head.
“M, my apologies.”
The hands of the old man, who was bowing so low that his head could touch the ground, were shaking. Choi Han’s hands were shaking as he watched the old man apologize.
Each territory’s residents would be shaped by the personality of the reigning noble. With the Viscount of this territory being one of Marquis Stan’s dogs, they were also very authoritative and looked down on the commoners.
The corners of Venion’s lips started to go up. He was satisfied. After observing Venion, Cale called out to him.
“Young master Venion.”
Once Venion turned his head, Cale asked him a question.
“Are you done?”
Cale crouched down. His expensive clothes started to touch the ground. He then looked toward the shaking hands of the old man.
‘It’ll be dangerous if this continues.’
Cale was certain that he heard it.
The sound of Choi Han taking a deep breath. That had to be the sound of him holding back his anger. The moment Cale heard it, he could feel chills on the back of his neck, and felt that if this continued any longer, the one to get beaten to a pulp would not be himself, but Venion. It didn’t matter to him whether or not Venion was beaten to a pulp, but Choi Han could not punch a noble while he was associated with him.
Cale put a hand on the old man’s shoulder. Venion’s eyebrow started to twitch. A noble’s hand was on a commoner’s shoulder.
The old man seemed to be extremely shocked as he lifted his head to look at Cale.
Cale casually asked.
“Where’s the bar?”
“Where can I get some delicious alcohol? As you’ve heard, I am trash. I don’t feel refreshed in the morning if I don’t have something to drink. I need to drink to make sure tomorrow is another great day. So.”
Cale lifted the old man’s upper body up. Venion, who had been watching Cale, quietly judged Cale and shook his head after hearing Cale mention alcohol.
“Lead the way.”
Making eye contact with the shaking pupils of the old man, Cale started to frown as he continued.
“Are you not going to get up?”
The old man hesitated and looked back and forth between Venion and Cale. Cale just ignored him as he got back up and reached out the hand that had been on a commoner’s shoulder toward Venion.
“It was nice meeting you today, Young master Venion.”
Cale was asking for a handshake.
Venion quietly stood there and looked at Cale. At that moment, one of Venion’s servants urgently approached them and whispered quietly to Venion. However, it was loud enough for everyone to hear.
“Young master, we have been delayed enough already.”
“…Do not interrupt a conversation between nobles.”
Venion looked down at his servant without a smile on his face, and the servant quickly bowed. Venion smiled once again as he grabbed Cale’s hand.
“I will just be on my way then, as I am very busy.”
He then let go. It was a very short handshake. Cale started to smile like a drunk person, as he responded back.
“If we happen to meet in the capital, let’s have a drink together.”
“…I do not think we would appreciate the same thing, but sure.”
Venion’s smile was lukewarm. Cale decided to do something big to finish this conversation.
“Yes. Based on our interaction today, it truly looks like only young master Venion deserves to be the future patriarch of the Stan family. You are a very cool person.”
Patriarch. That word made Venion’s eyes get cloudy. As Cale expected, Venion started to smile brightly once again, and offered praises for Cale as well.
“Young master Cale is also a very interesting and free-spirited person. Let us meet again in the future.”
‘No. I have no desire to see you ever again. Even if I do, it will be from far, far away.’
Cale hid his true feelings and nodded his head. Venion quickly got back on his carriage, as if he was truly busy, and disappeared.
Cale watched the carriage disappear before patting Choi Han’s shoulder.
“Half of the nobles are like that.”
Choi Han’s shoulders flinched at Cale’s words, but Cale was already crouching in front of the old man again.
“Old man. You can’t get up? Did you hurt your leg?”
Cale inspected the old man’s body as he said that. He did not seem to be injured. Cale started to observe the man with a confused expression. He then called Choi Han over.
Instead of responding, Choi Han just looked at the back of the crouching Cale.
“You take this old man home.”
“N, no, I am okay. That bar you were talking about.”
“No need. I’m not in the mood to drink.”
Cale stopped the old man from trying to lead him to a bar, and looked toward Choi Han, who was standing next to him.
“Since you saved him, might as well do it all the way and take him safely back home.”
Choi Han’s mouth opened and closed a couple of times, but he could not say anything. At that moment, the old man’s voice filled Cale’s ears.
“My place sells alcohol.”
“Hmm? Old man, your place was a bar?”
Cale’s eyes showed that he was really surprised. The old man awkwardly smiled, but continued to speak in a slightly more relaxed expression.
“Yes, sir. It is this village’s only inn. It has a bar and a restaurant as well.”
“Since it is the only inn, that must be the best place. Hans!”
Even without Cale saying anything else, Hans quickly approached the old man and helped him up, before starting to ask about the inn. Once the two of them started to move, things started to get rowdy around them.
Ron quickly approached Cale and brushed the dirt off Cale’s clothes. The Vice Captain and the rest of the group headed toward the village entrance. The only people left there were Cale and Choi Han.
“Are you not angry?”
Choi Han hesitated for a moment, and could not continue speaking. Cale shrugged his shoulders as he started to speak.
“The fact that he looked down on me? Or how he made such an unbelievable statement to you? How he almost killed that old man and, instead of apologizing, said that he was an obstacle?”
Cale’s voice was calm and firm. He did not seem angry at all. In fact, it sounded indifferent. Cale continued to speak.
“Do you have to keep moving when you see someone in front of you? Why didn’t you try to avoid him? Don’t you see that you could have hurt the old man? How can you casually say that a person was an obstacle when you almost killed him?”
Choi Han paid attention to Cale, who was looking at a faraway mountain range. At the same time, he made sure to listen to Cale’s every word. Cale continued to speak firmly.
“Venion, why is the old man apologizing to you? You should properly apologize to him.”
Cale could speak like Choi Han, and there were times he wanted to do that. But.
“I am not someone who can speak like that. Nor do I want to. I’m also not that angry.”
But this was not the time. Cale knew that this was one of the things that made Choi Han look cool, but he did not want to look cool like that.
The old man wasn’t injured, and he didn’t do anything that would get the blade pointed toward his family. The fact that he himself looked bad would be beneficial to Basen, so it was good anyways.
“I’ve learned in life that it is best to act like this.”
Compromise against power to a reasonable degree, accept irrationality to a reasonable degree. At the same time, live as I please within limits.
Cale smiled at Choi Han who was looking at him with a complicated gaze.
Cale was someone who always returned the favor, no matter how long it took. If someone looked down on him or does something to him, he will always get his revenge.
“That bastard will probably soon be kicked out of his house.”
Choi Han could tell that the bastard Cale was referring to was Venion. That was why Choi Han showed a rare shocked expression on his face, as he looked toward Cale.
Cale had a mischievous smile on his face. The two kittens, who were approaching him silently, halted their movement.
Cale’s smile grew larger as he continued to look toward the mountain to the right of the village. He thought to himself the thing he could not tell Choi Han.
‘I plan on snatching that bastard’s dragon.’
Once the dragon is gone, Venion will have to face the wrath of the Marquis, and would have a new obstacle in his way of becoming the family patriarch. Shouldn’t someone who doesn’t know when to stop on the road face at least one obstacle?
Cale was willing to put a large obstacle in Venion’s way. Of course, it would be done in secret. He casually spoke to Choi Han, who was looking at him with curiosity.
“If you’re curious, you can help me out.”
“Whatever it is, I definitely want to help.”
Choi Han started to smile as well. It was a pretty evil smile for such a good-natured person, but the kittens were intrigued by that smile as well.
Cale looked toward the mountain that was supposed to blow up in three days time, and started to mumble. The fact that he was looked down upon by Venion, as well as the blood on Venion’s sleeves and the sight of the old man bowing to Venion were all still on Cale’s mind.
“You won’t regret it.”
He will be able to pay him back for it.
“You definitely won’t regret it.”