But he could not leave right away.
“Why are you trying to leave so early?”
A person with a bright smile approached Cale.
Antonio Gyerre was heading toward the carriage. Cale started to frown while watching him approach.
‘Do they not get along?’
Billos thought that the two nobles did not get along based on their expressions.
They were each close confidants of different princes. Furthermore, Cale had caused chaos in the territory by revealing the human trafficking in the Gyerre territory, thus making the Gyerre household face pressure from the crown and the rest of the nobles in the southwest region.
‘…This is weird.’
Billos found something weird about his thought process.
‘Why only pressure the southwest?’
The northwest and northeast regions were quiet. The central region was currently under strict scrutiny after the crown prince had personally sent out an investigation squad in rage.
Why were the other regions so quiet?
He soon realized the answer.
There were no Dukes or Marquises in the northeast region. That was why there was no, ‘leader.’
However, all of the nobles in the northeast region were wary of what Count Henituse would think of their actions.
On the other side, Marquis Stan’s household held full control of the northwest region and Taylor Stan, the head of the Stan household, was one of the crown prince’s people.
Billos recalled what his uncle Odeus, the man who had taken control of the northwest region’s underworld, had said to him in the past.
Odeus had casually said it as he happily gave Billos access to his own house when Billos was looking to create secret residences in the Mogoru Empire and the Paerun Kingdom.
‘Of course I need to do it if it is something related to young master Cale. That is the only way for me to survive in the northwest region.’
The words that he had not paid much attention to in the past suddenly came in like a hook.
Billos had worked with Cale multiple times, but he did not know everything Cale had done, nor did he know about all of Cale’s connections.
‘…Have I ever worked with someone without knowing much about them?’
Billos felt chills on his back after having that thought. It was at that moment.
He heard Cale mumbling quietly while looking at the approaching Antonio Gyerre.
He really seemed to be annoyed.
Billos’s expression changed a bit after hearing that. This wasn’t the type of annoyance you felt from running into your enemy and being put in a terrible situation. It was more like the annoyance you feel when someone wakes you up.
Antonio’s actions were different than Billos had expected as well.
Cale and Antonio. The two of them do not get along.
That was what Billos thought. However, the sight in front of him was slightly different than what he had expected.
“Young master Cale, shouldn’t you check up on things before you leave?”
Cale got off the carriage in order to follow proper etiquette and stood in front of Antonio.
“I’m sure that it was done properly since it was the Gyerre household that did it. With that being the case, is there a reason for me to check?”
“…I see. You trust in my family.”
Antonio felt an odd sensation after hearing that Cale trusted his family to take care of things properly. He heard a voice behind him at that moment.
“We are planning on locking the gates for a while.”
Antonio turned around. Everybody who was there bowed respectfully at the same time. Cale bowed as well.
Sonata Gyerre. The current Duchess approached Cale.
Cale was thinking about what she had just said as she approached.
‘We are planning on locking the gates for a while.’
The crown prince and Duchess Gyerre had decided to hide the fact that the slaves were bought by a merchant guild from the Empire. Things would spread as soon as they caught that merchant guild, but they were still trying to prevent the news from spreading right now.
A total of three times.
That was how many times the Chryshi household had sold slaves to this merchant guild. The time frame of these transactions corresponded with Alberu solidifying his position as the future king.
With Alberu gaining power instead of the prince that the Gyerre household supported, Baron Chryshi decided that it would be best to gain power through money.
Alberu was furious after finding out about all of this, although he did not show his emotions to Cale.
He was currently stealthily investigating whether there were any other slave trades happening in the kingdom. That was why he decided to hide the information about the Empire’s merchant guild.
However, this did not erase the Gyerre household’s sin of not taking care of the border to the point that citizens of the kingdom were being sold off as slaves.
Duchess Sonata Gyerre made up her mind after making a deal with the crown prince. This was the first time she was talking about it to anyone other than her grandson.
To lock the gates.
That had been Cale’s condition. There was more to it than just firmly locking the gates as the gatekeeper.
Duchess Gyerre discussed the other part as well.
“The Gyerre household will also temporarily pause all international activities, as well as call back all of our family members and vassals.”
Cease all international activities.
Call back the family.
Those words made Billos and the others’ expression stiffen up.
They had realized what the Duchess had meant.
Although she called it, ‘international activities,’ their so-called, ‘international activities,’ involved gaining more power. The people who were responsible for this were the family members involved in the central region’s politics.
She was announcing that they would pause these activities.
This pretty much meant that the Gyerre household was letting go of any power in the central region. Although she did add the word, ‘temporarily,’ it was still a big deal.
A slave trade.
That was a big sin. However, it was not big enough for the Duchess to respond so harshly on herself. Since the slave trade was caused by the actions of a vassal household, she just had to feign ignorance.
She should take some responsibility, but that was the cruel nature of the world.
The rest of the people were confused, but Duchess Sonata, Antonio, and even Cale were all calm. However, a bigger shock came from Duchess Sonata’s next words.
“I also plan to pass the title of Duke to Antonio by the end of the year.”
Antonio called toward Duchess Sonata in shock, but she was calm. No, she had a cold gaze in her eyes.
‘This was my fault.’
The Gyerre household would be shaken up once more when the identity of the Empire’s merchant guild is revealed. Her choosing to take responsibility and step down would reduce the amount of chatter in the future.
Furthermore, she was planning on having Baron Chryshi relinquish his title and punishing his family, thus making any Chryshi descendants never show their faces in the world again.
But she was still worried.
She was worried because she did not notice the gap in the gates into the kingdom.
She had thought that securing power was the way to survive, however, she was wrong.
The gates to the house were broken while they were fighting for power. This was unacceptable.
She looked toward her grandson, Antonio.
She had always told her grandson the following.
‘Nobles are all greedy people. You need to know how to use your sword if you want to survive. You cannot show any opening. You must always make a judgment about them and use those judgements to your advantage.’
It may have sounded harsh, but her grandson had never talked back to her. He always showed the demeanor of a proper and authoritative noble.
However, she had noticed how her grandson truly felt.
Although he was authoritative, her grandson held a lot of pride for the title of noble.
‘Matriarch-nim, I believe we should lock the gates.’
Antonio was the first to suggest that they let go of their power and focus on fixing their internal affairs.
That made her realize that it was time to pass the title onto her grandson and support him to be a reliable gatekeeper for the southwest region.
She scolded him after hearing her grandson calling for her once more.
“I am currently speaking as the matriarch. Make sure to use the proper title.”
Antonio realized that she had made her decision based on her stern actions. Sonata never changed her mind when she acted like this.
As such, he just quietly watched his grandmother approach Cale. He felt pained because he knew that his grandmother blamed herself for this incident.
However, he gasped after hearing what she said to Cale. It was because he realized that the Duchess was still strong.
“Do you know who the best drinker in this household is?”
Cale became anxious.
He had expected them to lock the gates, however, the Duchess had personally shown up to announce their seclusion and that she was stepping down from the position of Duchess and passing the title onto her grandson.
And why was she suddenly talking about drinking?
Cale did not know the answer and responded as such.
“…I am not sure.”
Sonata’s wrinkled face started to smile.
“I am the best drinker. Let’s drink together next time.”
Billos was amazed by her statement.
Duchess Sonata was known for not meeting with many people outside of during official settings. It was because she could not trust many people. Such a person was talking about sharing a meal with someone without power nor influence.
‘Just what did the young master-nim do this time?!’
Duchess Gyerre and Cale, who should be bitter enemies, seemed to be so friendly with each other. Billos looked toward Cale with reverence while Cale did not like how things were progressing.
‘Why is the Duchess acting like this?’
Cale had no desire to share a meal with any of the Gyerres.
Cale put on a respectful and gentle smile before responding to the Duchess.
“I will bring some great alcohol with me should we be fated to meet again.”
Fated to meet again.
That meant that he would not be coming for no reason.
Duchess Sonata was amazed that Cale did not rush at the chance to build a friendship with her.
‘He definitely isn’t an average punk.’
The crown prince had said that he would send someone to let her know when it was time to open the gates. She was certain that this person would be Cale Henituse.
“Yes. Let’s meet again next time.”
The old woman’s eyes sparkled as she proclaimed there would be a next time while Cale slowly avoided her gaze and bowed.
‘There won’t be a next time.’
Cale had no intention of that happening.
Antonio looked toward Cale and his grandmother before he started to smile. Only he noticed that his grandmother had accepted Cale Henituse as a, ‘true noble.’
“Then I will be on my way now.”
Cale bid farewell to the Duchess before trying to get back on the carriage. He then seemed to have remembered something as he turned back and asked.
“Duchess-nim, is everybody safe?”
Although Cale did not clarify who he was talking about, Sonata immediately understood.
“Yes, they are safe. They are currently getting healthier.”
Cale was talking about the kidnapped citizens.
“That is a relief.”
Sonata looked at the corner of Cale’s lips twitching and knew that this was Cale’s true smile.
‘He’s a decent kid.’
He was better than she had expected.
The crown prince that she had chatted with this time was a good boy too.
She was thinking that, if she was going to let go of power now, she needed to prepare for the next time she would seek power.
‘I should leave all communications with the crown prince and Cale to Antonio.’
Sonata’s gaze toward Cale became deeper, but Cale internally sighed in relief that she was not trying to hold him up.
He finished boding farewell once more before finally getting to leave the Gyerre territory.
Billos, who was on the carriage with Cale, was able to figure out that Cale was talented in many more things than just gaining wealth.
That was why he became full of expectations for this trip to the Caro Kingdom.
He could see Cale laying down inside the carriage at that moment.
“Ha, so tiring.”
Cale was frowning and seemed to find everything annoying.
The silver kitten bit down on a pillow and dragged it next to Cale’s head. Cale moved the pillow underneath his head and laid down across the seat.
Billos blinked his eyes in confusion.
Young master Cale truly was an unfathomable person.
“I’m going to sleep. Don’t talk to me.”
Billos nodded his head at Cale’s order and kept his mouth closed.
‘Who would see him like this and call him young master Silver Light?’
He thought about the Cale that was becoming known as a just noble in the Gyerre territory and the southwest region and chose to ignore this extremely lazy young master.
* * *
“Hello young master-nim. It has been a while.”
The GPS-like voice came out of the black robe.
“Yes. Long time no see.”
Cale casually waved his hand and received Mary’s greeting. The necromancer Mary then got into the carriage to join them.
The southern section of the Caro Kingdom.
This Vegas City that existed just for auctions was known for having the largest auction house.
“Young master Cale, long time no see!”
Alberu’s aunt, the Dark Elf Tasha, got on the carriage after Mary.
Billos was no longer in the carriage. He had gotten off the carriage in order to head toward the Flynn Merchant Guild’s Vegas branch as soon as they arrived in Vegas City.
Tasha sat down on an empty seat and put on an awkward smile.
“Mm, isn’t Vegas City such a fabulous place?”
“I suppose so.”
Contrary to Cale, who was casually responding, Tasha had an odd expression as she looked toward a corner of the carriage.
Vegas City was currently decorated to celebrate the beginning of the auction season in February. The already fabulous city was decorated with many red and blue lights, making it look extremely beautiful.
There were bards, plays, auctions, and gambling. It was a city that was full of all sorts of pleasure.
Tasha had expected Cale to be calm while looking at this city, but the reaction of the others was out of her expectations.
“Wow! I want that shining sculpture!”
“That hat is so pretty!”
“I would look so cool if I walked around with that cape!”
The Black Dragon and the two kittens were going crazy while looking out the window of the carriage. They were each holding their piggy banks. ( (PR: The cats have pouches tied around their necks if I remember correctly. Either that, or they are using Raon as their portable piggy bank.) )
The children were all touching their piggy banks while saying, ‘I want it.’
Raon’s head turned toward Cale, Tasha, and Mary. Tasha flinched as the Black Dragon started to speak to Cale.
“Human! I have a lot of money in my piggy bank! I will buy everything I want to buy!”
Vegas City and its shiny and wondrous things had captured the heart of the six-years-old Raon. On and Hong were the same.
The kittens followed Raon and looked toward Cale. They seemed ready to go out and have Vice Captain Hilsman buy things for them if Cale allowed them to do so.
The Dark Elf Tasha looked at them with a blank expression before her eyes opened wide after hearing Cale’s response.
“I’ll buy them for you.”
Silence filled the carriage for a moment.
“W, what did you say?”
Raon couldn’t help but stutter.
However, Cale just casually repeated himself.
“I will buy you everything you want. Buy whatever you want.”
How expensive could things that children want be?
“I, is that really okay?”
“I, I’m going to buy a lot of things!”
“…You’re acting weird!”
The three children’s minds seemed to be chaotic, but they still slowly surrounded Cale. Tasha continued to sit there with a blank expression until she heard Mary’s mechanical voice.
“Young master-nim, you really are a warm and kind person.”
Tasha nodded her head in agreement, but felt a bit odd while she did that.
“Human, you are the best! Our human is the best!”
“I’ll also increase your allowance. You’ll get 20 silver coins now.”
“Y, y, you generous human!”
Raon started to pour compliments on him, but Cale just casually ignored it.
How many things could children really ask for?
He was about to earn billions of gallons.
There were a red necklace and a black jewel inside Cale’s magic bag.
“Young master-nim, are we heading to the inn first?”
Tasha looked toward the excited children with a warm gaze before moving that gaze over to Cale. Cale bluntly responded back to that warm gaze.
“Yes. Then I will go for a light walk.”
The large building that was in the shape of a golden tree.
That was the largest legal casino in the continent.
The VIP auction took place four times a year on the top floor of that casino.
Cale’s small goal was to sell items at an extremely expensive price to the two people who will meet him there.