“I’ve seen something similar once.”
‘Similar, my ass.’
Cale knew what Choi Han was talking about when he said something similar.
Forest of Darkness. He was talking about the vicious monsters deep inside the Forest of Darkness. Among those terrifying monsters were creatures that were somewhere between lizards and dragons.
Choi Han had killed that dragon-like monster as soon as he advanced from the middle stage to the final stage of his Dark Destruction Sword Art.
“You did? How was it?”
Cale pretended to not know about the event, and asked Choi Han. Choi Han was the only other person in Cale’s room right now.
“…It was a monster.”
“Its appearance, its strength, everything. It was a monster in all aspects.”
“Is that so?”
Cale nodded his head and continued to speak. But his actions and his words were completely opposite.
“Then you have not seen a dragon.”
“Dragons are like people.”
Clack. Cale put the cup with the lemonade that was both sweet and sour down on the table. He then responded to Choi Han, who was looking at him with curiosity.
“Dragons, Beast people, Dwarves, Elves, they are all like humans. Why? Because they also have emotions and lives.”
That aspect wasn’t important to Cale. His main point started from here.
Choi Han might have noticed Cale’s sudden change in demeanor. He sat up straight and focused on what Cale had to say.
“Such an existence has fallen into darkness since it was born. The only thing currently lighting up the darkness in its life is torches, and it has never even seen the light of the sun. What kind of life do you think it is having?”
Cale tapped the table with his index finger.
“It is being forced to become an existence without rationality.”
He tapped on the table once again.
“It has had to suffer through its loneliness, without any family or anything to lean on.”
Choi Han’s gaze fell every time Cale’s finger tapped the table. Choi Han’s fists were clenched underneath the table, to the point you could see his veins starting to flare up. Cale did not know about this, as he continued on.
“It is tortured and abused every day, and is only left alone when it is barely alive.”
Choi Han’s expression stiffened, and anger was in his eyes. Cale knew Choi Han would react this way. There was no way a good person like this would not get angry after hearing such a story. He should also have figured out why Cale brought up such a story in the first place.
Cale took another sip of his lemonade, before finishing up his story.
“And that existence is nearby.”
A short silence filled the room. Cale looked out the window, before slowly turning his gaze to look at Choi Han. He didn’t know what Choi Han was thinking about, but his whole body was surrounded by a bloody aura.
‘Is he getting angry at the fact that it is abused because he is a good person?’
Contrary to Cale’s hypothesis, Choi Han was currently recalling the tens of years he had to survive on his own in the Forest of Darkness.
That was why the silence continued for a while. Finally, Choi Han made eye contact with Cale and asked.
“Will you save it and try to tame it?”
“Are you crazy?”
Cale acted on reflex, and asked back in shock. Choi Han also became shocked at Cale’s questioning his sanity.
“Why would I try to tame it?”
Cale waved his hand around like Choi Han was crazy.
There was no way that a dragon that was abused by humans would be willing to serve a human. In fact, it probably was full of hate and disgust for any and all humans. Even if that human was the person that saved it.
Dragons believe that they are above all creatures, including humans. This is a natural instinct for dragons, so, even without being in contact with any other Dragon in its whole life, it will still feel this way.
That was why dragons cannot grow under humans. This attitude makes it impossible to domesticate and train Dragons without using torture and abuse to break down its mind.
‘Dragons are born extremely arrogant. But, most importantly, if I raise a dragon…’
Cale could feel it. He felt like he would get wrapped up in some annoying incidents if he raised a dragon.
There were less than twenty total dragons in the Eastern and Western continents combined. Raise one of those dragons? That was pretty much the same as saying, ‘I will be at the center of all the happenings of the continents.’
It was also a dragon that was supposed to die. It would be better for it to go off into its own little world and not get in anyone’s way.
Cale was definitely against this dragon coming with them. As long as he gets rid of the mana restriction chains, this four year old dragon will live a much better life than Cale. Dragons weren’t called the kings of the world since birth for no reason.
“Why are you asking such an obvious question?”
Cale laughed at Choi Han’s question before he answered.
“Let it go so it can live a free and peaceful life. Shouldn’t a dragon live like a dragon?”
Choi Han’s clenched fists slowly started to relax.
“Then will we be saving that dragon?”
“Yes. So I need your help.”
“Anything. I really will do anything to help.”
Cale was worried that Choi Han would escalate the situation, and shook his head.
“No need to go overboard. I have no plans to kill anybody, if possible, either. We will do it as quietly as possible.”
“Cale-nim, you really-”
Choi Han started to speak with admiration, but Cale looked at the clock, before cutting him off and saying what he needed to say.
“Go tell Ron to prepare some alcohol on the first floor.”
“Are diff- what?”
Cale was prepared to drink first.
He started drinking even though it was the middle of the day. Choi Han just sat there with confusion on his face while looking around. Everybody other than himself looked peaceful.
In the middle of that peaceful environment was Cale Henituse, drinking bottle after bottle. The growing flush on his face made anybody who was watching him know that he was drunk.
“Is it okay to let him drink so much?”
Choi Han looked toward Hans, who was next to him, and asked. Deputy butler Hans was delivering food to On and Hong, who were in their cat form. He still did not know that they were part of the Cat Tribe. He then refreshingly answered Choi Han’s question.
“Yes! There is nothing in his hand. Thus, it is safe! He promised he won’t throw any bottles!”
Choi Han was talking about Cale’s safety, but Hans was referring to themselves. Choi Han just shut up after seeing the conversation take an odd turn, and moved away from Hans. It was better to leave Hans alone when he was next to the kittens. Instead, Choi Han looked toward Cale to make sure he was safe.
“Owner. Your alcohol tastes great! Much better than I expected.”
Cale didn’t seem to know that Choi Han was looking at him, instead focusing on just praising the alcohol. They had been drinking for two hours already. There were some who were not drinking, just in case something happened, but the majority of the envoy was enjoying the festive atmosphere.
‘They were all so nervous for the first hour, tsk.’
When Cale had ordered them to gather, as he would be drinking, the soldiers showed up with their helmets on. Cale couldn’t believe it, but told them that he will not throw any bottles to help them relax.
“This village may be small, but there are a lot of mountains around it. The alcohol is a special alcohol I made with fruit and herbs from the mountain. That is why it is a bit expensive.”
As the old man mentioned, the alcohol really did taste great. Cale admired the alcohol, and lifted the bottle up to the old man.
“Do you have a lot of these?”
“Yes. Quite a bit.”
“Then get some more and send it around to everybody here.”
“Young master, you don’t need to-”
The Vice Captain shouted out with a flushed face, but his eyes were focused on the bottle in Cale’s hand. The rest of the soldiers were looking at the same thing. Naturally, Cale was aware of what they were thinking.
“Just drink. I’m telling you to drink. Got it?”
The eyes of the soldiers who were present all started to sparkle. It was the first time they became excited to see a bottle in Cale’s hands.
Cale watched the excited inn owner bring alcohol and snacks for everyone there with a sharp gaze.
Cale Henituse. This human had a strong alcohol tolerance. Everybody thought he had a low tolerance because his face flushed easily and he caused a ruckus whenever he drank, but the truth was that he did all those things without being drunk at all.
That was why Cale’s head was perfectly clear right now. He drank for another thirty minutes or so before looking toward Choi Han and starting to speak.
“Choi Han. Come support me. I’m going up to rest now.”
“Young master, I will do it.”
“It’s okay. Vice Captain, rest a bit today. The rest of the soldiers as well. Didn’t you fight in a battle yesterday? This is not a dangerous area, and I feel bad for the soldiers on guard duty, but the rest of you can relax and enjoy yourselves.”
“I’m tired. Bye.”
It would become complicated if the Vice Captain or the others followed him. Thankfully, none of them approached after seeing Choi Han supporting him. It was probably because Choi Han did not drink at all, and was also the strongest person there. They had nothing to worry about since such a person was going to be guarding Cale.
‘Just one person left.’
It was easy to avoid the guards at the gate and around the inn, but Ron was still left. Hans and Ron would never come into the room if he told them not to come in. However, the difference between the two was that Hans was not skilled enough to know if Cale was still in the room, while Ron was so skilled that he would easily be able to tell if Cale snuck out.
‘It’s not like that old man will care about what I am doing.’
Realistically, Ron would not care whether Cale snuck out and what he did once he snuck out. That was how he had been until now. However, Cale didn’t want things to get annoying in the future, so he decided to tell Ron in advance.
Seeing Ron follow behind Choi Han, Cale quickly informed Ron.
“Ron, I’m going to go out to play. It’s a secret. Got it?”
This old man liked to drink, but did not drink a single drop tonight. Instead, he was just staring at Cale all night. He really was a scary person. This benign smile that Ron was giving him right now was even scarier.
“I understand. I will be waiting for you.”
‘Wait for me, my ass.’
As expected, Ron agreed without saying anything else. Cale continued to be supported by Choi Han as he went into his room.
“I’m going to be resting. Hans, Ron, don’t come in to wake me up unless it is an emergency. You know how I get when someone messes with my sleep, right?”
In the past, a servant received a barrage of swearing when they had to wake Cale up in Ron’s place. Although Cale did not physically hit anybody, that servant went around the estate telling all the other servants about how he felt like he was hit by a flurry of swear punches.
“Of course I do, young master. Please rest well.”
“Young master, this Ron will be standing right outside your room.”
Cale’s expression stiffened at Ron’s response, but he watched the two of them leave, before stealthily giving an order to Choi Han.
“Use the windows to quietly come back to my room.”
Choi Han nodded his head and quickly followed the other two out of the room and closed the door.
“Is it time now?”
Cale nodded his head at On and Hong, who followed him up to his room, and immediately opened the box.
The magic lock clicked open, and Cale removed an outfit from inside the box. Once he finished changing, Choi Han entered through the window, and then his eyes opened wide in shock.
Before putting on the mask, Cale threw the black outfit in his hand toward Choi Han.
“You wear it too.”
The orb from yesterday should temporarily stop the magic recording devices, but that was not enough. Cale did not want to get caught. That was why he had been drinking since the middle of the day and prepared these outfits.
“What is this?”
The black outfit had a single white star and five smaller red stars surrounding it on the chest area.
‘What is it? The outfit of the secret organization.’
‘The Birth of a Hero’ novel clearly and accurately explained the outfit of the secret organization that Choi Han runs into time after time. This outfit was specially ordered by Cale following the explanation as accurately as possible. Just to be on the safe side, Cale even had the outfit created separately, and personally added the stars.
That was why it was a bit crude up close, but it was pretty decent from a distance.
People who see this outfit will not remember the crudeness of the stitching, they will just remember that it was, ‘A black outfit with one white star and five red stars.’ For Venion, who has not personally met the secret organization like the Marquis did, the report from the subordinates who saw this outfit will definitely give him a significant headache and anger.
“…Are we doing something bad?”
Choi Han asked once more after seeing Cale not respond. Seeing Cale with the black mask on as well definitely made him seem like a villain.
“Yes. We are doing something bad.”
Cale started to smile underneath the mask.
“We’re doing something bad to Venion.”
Choi Han seemed to finally understand, as he quickly pointed to the other mask in Cale’s hand.
“Please give it to me.”
Even good people will have someone they don’t like and want to screw over. That was no different for this 17 year old, who spent tens of years alone in this world.
“Ah, and these kids are from the Cat Tribe. They are beast people.”
Cale casually introduced On and Hong to Choi Han as if it was nothing, and they just simply exchanged greetings as well. The Cat Tribe children, who were sensitive to a person’s true character, already had a good idea about Choi Han’s strength, and Choi Han had noticed they were not your average cats during their travel.
“He’s Choi Han, this is On, that is Hong. End of introductions. Everybody get ready.”
There was a short time to get ready before Cale ordered Choi Han, who had just come out of the restroom wearing the same black outfit and black mask.
He then added on, as he stood in front of the second story window.
“Carry me when you go out the window. I can’t jump so far down without getting hurt.”
Choi Han let out a sigh for the first time in front of Cale. On and Hong approached Choi Han and patted him with their paws to console him. Cale urged them on once again.
The group that safely exited the inn headed for the mountain with the Viscount’s Villa and the Dragon’s prison.