Cale gathered people in the Commander’s office the day after his chat with the crown prince. He opened the closed door to the office.
The door opened with a quiet noise and Cale could see inside of the office.
“Commander-nim, you’re here.”
He could see the long oval table in the office. All of the people sitting at the table got up in order to greet Cale.
The Ubarr liege, the Knight Captain of the First Knights Brigade, Mage Captain Tasha, young lady Amiru who was responsible for the video communication devices and record keeping, as well as many others who were the core of the northeast region’s naval base, were in the office.
Their expressions did not look good. They lightly lowered their heads as Cale motioned to them with his eyes as he headed toward the head of the table.
“Commander-nim, did you eat?”
“Did you get to eat, commander-nim?”
Cale felt odd after hearing people greeting him like this with serious expressions.
‘Why are they caring about my meal so much?
Is this the new trend these days?’
Cale casually nodded his head as he sat down at the head of the table. The Ubarr liege started to speak as soon as he sat down.
“Commander-nim, will you be going to the capital?”
The question made the atmosphere in the room become sullen.
They had received the message at the naval base this morning. It indicated that they were requesting Commander Cale Henituse’s presence at the Grand Nobles Meeting.
That was why the naval base was chaotic ever since the morning.
“Yes, I am going.”
Cale’s confident response made them not ask any other questions.
Commander Cale Henituse. He was an extremely smart person. They didn’t know how to refute a decision made by such a person.
The Mage Captain, Dark Elf Tasha, hid her head inside her robe in order to hide her annoyed expression.
However, before she could even finish her thought, someone started to speak.
“All these noble bastards always do the same thing.”
Tasha gasped internally. She then turned her head to the side.
The Captain of the First Knights Brigade.
That stoic human was sitting there with a stoic expression as if he had not said anything. He responded stiffly after seeing the eyes fall on him.
“Ah, of course, the proper nobles are exceptions. I’m talking about the noble bastards who care so much about their factions.”
Tasha was amazed to hear these words that she had wanted to say as well. The fact that the Knight Captain had no issues saying these things meant that he considered everyone here, especially Cale, as being on his side.
The Knight Captain closed his mouth as if he had not said anything at all. Other people started to speak after he had opened up the floodgates.
“The war is not over, and the northeast region’s naval base is still busy with the cleanup. How can they order our commander-nim to come and go as they please?!”
“These fools who don’t know how cruel and scary war is as they just sit there and try to boss him around!”
“They are probably trying to suppress you, commander-nim!”
One of them shouted in anger.
“And they are not just calling you, commander-nim! They are calling Choi Han-nim and the necromancer-nim as well! Just what-”
Cale’s palm lightly tapped on the table. The person who was talking looked toward Cale before shutting his mouth.
A calm voice started to speak.
“That is why I am going.”
The people around the table remained quiet. Cale was not showing anger, annoyance, nor any emotion at that. However, the fact that he was showing no emotions made the people at the naval base know what he was thinking.
Cale continued to speak to those who were looking at him.
“They will not be calling people from our naval base in the future.”
Amiru, who was in charge of records, hesitated for a moment before her hand quickly resumed taking notes.
People from our naval base.
She knew the reason Cale was quietly going to the capital this time. It was not because he was angry at the nobles nor because he was afraid of their suppression.
Amiru and the others were thinking that the nobles may call people from the naval base in the future as well. In fact, this might be the start of them demanding more of them to show up in the future.
It wouldn’t be as bad for the northeast region’s nobles, but the ones with lower titles were bound to be dragged around left and right. It was highly likely that they would be bait in the chaotic fight for power.
That was why they were worried.
However, their commander spoke in a confident voice in order to instantly rid them of this concern.
“Of course, I will make sure to get some information and our reward.”
Amiru clenched the pen in her hand.
This person truly was always a step ahead of others and shocked people.
She let out a deep sigh before moving her pen again.
She heard Cale’s voice again at that moment, making her raise her head in order to look at him.
“The reason I gathered all of you here was to let you know about the fact that I am going to the capital, however, there is also another reason.”
Cale wouldn’t have gathered them here for no reason. It was easy to move around because he could teleport, however, it was difficult for him to always be at the naval base in the future.
“While I am gone…”
He made direct eye contact with each of them before continuing to speak.
“…I trust that the Roan Kingdom’s shores will be safe.”
The room was quiet. The only person who had been talking asked the others.
Amiru started to speak in order to respond to his question. However, there was someone else who was one step ahead of her.
The Knight Captain started to speak.
“You can trust us.”
Cale gently smiled back.
‘They have enough strength here to take care of things. I can take a relaxing trip.’
Cale started to smile while thinking that he had one less baggage to carry with him. However, the others could not smile back at him, which each of them doing their own things in order to resolve themselves.
‘Let’s protect this place until our Commander-nim gets back.’
That thought was on all of their minds.
Of course, Cale did not know it would be to this extent.
“Then let’s end this meeting here. I feel like I called you all here for no reason since there wasn’t much to discuss.”
Cale ended the meeting as there was nothing to discuss. However, this meeting was one that the people in the office with him would not forget.
Cale watched everyone bow and leave the office before sitting down on the couch in the office.
He then waited for new people to arrive.
The door opened slowly a bit later and two people entered.
They were Choi Han and Mary.
Cale pointed toward the couch across him.
Since they were going to go with him this time, it was important to keep them in the loop.
“Cale-nim, did you eat?”
‘I guess it really is a new trend these days.’
Cale casually responded to Choi Han’s greeting.
“No, not yet.”
The mechanical voice chimed in at that moment.
“Young master-nim, you must eat to be healthy. The only time you don’t have to eat is when you are dead.”
‘Why is she saying such vicious things?’
Cale nodded toward the black robe with a blank expression. Only then did Mary quiet down.
There was a story running rampant throughout the naval base right now.
The story was naturally one that a loud mouth communication mage who was full of admiration had shared with the others about Cale’s comment regarding the soldier’s meals.
But there was no way that Cale would know about this. That was why Cale pushed aside this new trendy way to greet people before trying to get down to business.
However, Choi Han was a bit faster.
“I heard that you are going to the capital, Cale-nim. Us as well.”
Choi Han gulped after seeing Cale nodding his head. Amiru and the Knight Captain had explained the purpose of going to the capital.
The Knight Captain who had gotten slightly closer to Choi Han due to their shared choice of weapon had told him with a serious expression on his face.
‘The noble bastards are probably gathering in the meeting room and plan on making Commander-nim stand in the center while trying to drag him to the ground.
Those bastards have nothing other than their titles, and thus enjoy doing such things to people. They tried to do the same to me when I went to report about the Knights Brigade at the year’s end.’
Choi Han and Mary, who had both heard of this, imagined Cale being surrounded by people and being questioned. The Knight Captain had said something else.
‘I heard Choi Han-nim and Mary-nim are going as well. You will face that together. It will be difficult, but just let it in one ear and out the other.’
Choi Han thought about the Knight Captain’s suggestion and started to speak.
“Will we be standing in front of the nobles as well? How should I act in such a situation?”
Mary clenched her fists underneath her robe and looked toward Cale. The two of them were waiting for Cale to speak.
“What is it?”
Cale was looking at Choi Han in a way that seemed to be asking what he was talking about as Choi Han blankly answered back.
Cale started to frown after seeing that blank expression.
‘It is more uncomfortable if I have the two of them with me.’
He was plotting something with the crown prince.
What good would the terrible actor Choi Han and the innocent Mary do for that plot?
Beacrox or Ron might be helpful, but these two were more likely to be hindrances.
“You two don’t need to go to such a place. I alone am enough.”
‘Yes, yes indeed.’
It was definitely plenty since the crown prince would be there as well. There were also many people to use in that gathering as well.
Cale continued to speak to the two people who remained quiet.
“Ah, of course, there may be times in the future where you will need to be in front of the citizens for parades or what not. Those are the places you need to be at.”
‘Since they are going to be heroes.’
He was planning on letting them be seen by the citizens so that they could replace him and become true heroes. Cale started to smile while thinking about how people would soon forget about him.
He heard Choi Han’s voice at that moment.
“…Are you saying that we should be present for things that will be full of cheering?”
“Well, something like that. Just be advised that the cheering might be quite loud.”
Choi Han started to frown. Mary clenched onto the sleeve of her robe. Choi Han hesitated a few times before finally starting to speak.
“…We want to follow you to the Grand Nobles Meeting.”
“We want to go.”
Mary added on. However, the two did not expect much even as they asked.
The Cale Henituse that they knew was a stubborn person.
He was someone who kept his word, as well as someone who did not change his mind once he made up his mind to sacrifice himself for others.
Choi Han started to speak.
“Then I will be waiting outside the meeting room door.”
“I want to do that as well.”
Cale casually nodded his head.
It should be fine at the entrance since they will not influence what happens inside.
– Weak human, I will follow you inside.
An invisible Dragon should be fine as well, he thought.
Cale opened his mouth in order to answer all of them at once.
“Whatever you want.”
The eyes of all three individuals sparkled.
However, Cale did not care about it as he finished his preparations and left for the capital with Choi Han, Mary, and Raon.
* * *
The only wooden building in the Roan Kingdom.
This was the hall for the Grand Nobles Meeting.
The hall was configured with seats in a circle, and it had been many years since this many nobles were present.
The circle of seats were divided into five sections.
Four of them were centered around the head of each faction.
The central region’s Duke Orsena.
The northwest region’s Marquis Stan.
The southeast region’s Marquis Ailan.
The southwest region’s Duchess Gyerre.
One of those individuals, Marquis Ailan, who was the head of the household known for being the greatest martial arts family in the Roan Kingdom, was already present. He quietly looked down at the circular hall.
One noble approached him and started to speak. His voice was full of scorn.
“It looks like the Gyerre household has moved as well.”
The noble looked toward Duchess Sonata who was at the center of the southwest region’s faction members. The old Duchess was sitting there with her mouth closed. Although she had said that she was handing the position over to her grandson, it did not seem to have happened yet.
“She claimed to have locked the gates after the slave trade was discovered, but still showed up here in the face of benefits.”
This was the reason for the scorn in the noble’s eyes.
Although it was hush-hush, may of the nobles knew about the Gyerre household’s vassal’s involvement in the slave trade. That was why they had all mocked the Duchess when she said she was going to lock the gates with her tail tucked between her legs.
However, Duchess Gyerre had shown up in order to be involved in the central region’s politics again.
Another noble interjected into the conversation that this noble was having with Marquis Ailan.
“Would she want to relinquish this chance to earn another source of strength? They probably could not sit still knowing that this war will be the door to the emergence of a new power.”
The noble continued to speak.
“Look, even the new head of the Stan household, who had been quiet up until now, is here at this Grand Nobles Meeting.”
The man he was pointing to looked gentle and weak.
Although he had once lost the position, Taylor Stan had returned in order to take control of the household. He was sitting in a side with the northwest region’s nobles.
“All of the central faction’s nobles are here as well. It’s been a while since we’ve all gathered together like this.”
The noble whose face was full of greed almost whispered to Marquis Ailan.
“We must take control of the northeast region at all cost this time. We absolutely must suppress that commander. We need to do it now before he gains any more strength.”
The noble said that as he observed Marquis Ailan’s expression.
It was stoic as usual. That made the noble relieved.
The Marquis started to speak at that moment.
“It doesn’t look like anybody is coming from the northeast region.”
All of the factions had gathered together.
There was a visibly empty region in this circular room.
Those were the seats of the northeast region’s nobles who were not here.
None of the northeast region nobles had shown up at the Grand Nobles Meeting.
However, the noble talking to Marquis Ailan was not fazed by this.
“Do not worry about it, Marquis Ailan. I was able to speak to the northeast region’s nobles associated with our faction earlier today. They said that they still wish to be a part of our faction.”
The corners of the noble’s mouth twitched.
“They should all appear soon, and they will take our side. I’m sure that they want to take control as well.”
Nobles lived for power in the end.
“They will pick our side if they want to live a long and peaceful life even after the war. I am certain of it.”
“Of course. Even if the Henituse household looks strong right now, they are just like a castle built on top of the sand. Since they are a newly rising power, they have no stable foundation. Why would anyone choose to stick to such a side?”
The nobles discussed all sorts of things.
At that moment, Marquis Ailan’s gaze headed toward the nobles of his faction for the first time. He asked with a stoic expression.
“Are you certain of it?”
It was at that moment.
The doors to the hall opened.
The noble who was looking at the Marquis turned toward the door before his eyes opened wide.
Tap, tap, tap.
The sounds of many people walking could be heard.
These people walked in with serious expressions on their faces.
They were all walking in while following behind a single person.
That person was Deruth Henituse.
They were following behind the current head of the Henituse household.
Behind him were all of the northeast region’s nobles who were qualified to attend.
“Hey, that person!”
“What the hell!”
Some of the southeast region and central faction’s nobles looked toward them with shocked expressions. Didn’t these people bow down to them this morning?
Why would those people not look at them nor any other factions? They were just walking with their gazes looking straight forward.
And where were they headed?
They were naturally headed for the open area beside the four factions.
One of the nobles let out a gasp.
He then realized something.
There was now a faction in the northeast region as well.
The Henituse household was at the center of that faction.
However, there was something that they were mistaken about.
Count Henituse did not create a faction. Deruth Henituse had no desire to be the leader of a faction.
They had all gathered together because of one person’s request, no, one person’s command. They all just looked straight forward without saying anything.
The nobles of the other factions started to whisper.
However, a voice could be heard in order to put an end to those whispers.
The knight at the entrance who had not said anything when the nobles were entering finally started to speak.
“His highness, the crown prince Alberu Crossman, is now entering!”
The nobles flinched at this statement.
One of the nobles next to Marquis Ailan couldn’t help but speak.
“But Cale Henituse is not even here yet.”
It didn’t make sense for a noble to enter later than the crown prince. It went against the proper etiquettes.
“Ha! They created a faction in the northeast region and think they can do whatev-!”
The noble who had been raising his voice looked toward his leader, Marquis Sand Ailan. The Marquis started to speak with a stiff expression.
“That’s not it.”
What did he mean?
The moment that the noble had that question, the Marquis turned his head.
His gaze headed toward the closed door.
The door slowly opened.
All of the nobles stopped whispering to each other and stood up.
However, they could not help but start to whisper once again.
Crown prince Alberu Crossman. He was wearing a fancy outfit that was even fancier than ever before. He then asked the knight a question as he entered the door.
“Why are you not introducing my close friend?”
The knight stood at attention and shouted once again.
“His highness, crown prince Alberu Crossman, and the Northeast region’s Military Commander, Cale Henituse, are now entering!”
The two of their footsteps echoed inside the hall.
The smiling Alberu Crossman walked in with Cale Henituse next to him.
Cale who was wearing black in order to symbolize the Roan Kingdom’s Northeast region’s Navy, walked into the hall with a stoic expression.
Cale and crown prince Alberu. The two of them were heading toward the same spot.
This was telling the nobles of Cale’s status.
He was someone who could stand on par with the next king of the Roan Kingdom.
Cale Henituse stood there beside the crown prince.