It really had been all of a sudden.
“I suddenly couldn’t go berserk. I can’t remember how I did it. I need to quickly overcome it and take care of the issue, but I don’t remember the method. It really was all of a sudden. I don’t know why-”
“Lock, since when did it stop working?”
Lock stopped talking as Raon patted him on the shoulder. However, his eyes were still showing signs of uncertainty.
He suddenly cannot enter his berserk transformation.
This sudden regression of strength.
Lock knew when it had started. That was why he could not say it. It would make him seem too stupid and useless.
“That, you see, the moment it started was…”
The tips of Lock’s lips started to turn blue.
Cale started to speak at that moment.
Lock flinched and looked to the other side.
“I’m sure it’ll return someday.”
Lock could see that Cale was speaking with a calm expression on his face. Lock could feel the emotion coming from Cale through his expression and his voice.
“First, we need to fatten you up. Relax and roll around doing nothing.”
“He’s right! Lock, you are too skinny!”
They were extremely calm, as if they had come here on a vacation. That made Lock open and close his mouth a few times before finally managing to get a few words out.
“…But the battle is coming up.”
It was such a scary and fearful word.
However, the response he got back was extremely calm.
Lock suddenly felt upset. He started to speak.
“I couldn’t go berserk since I heard about the war!”
Lock’s expression crumbled after revealing that fact. He lowered his head and buried his face in his hands.
He recalled the moment he realized he could not go berserk.
It was when Rosalyn told him about the upcoming battle.
It was when she had told him that the Indomitable Alliance was headed to the Breck Kingdom for a final battle.
His heart had started to beat wildly at that moment. It was then that he realized he could not go berserk anymore.
“Ever since that moment, ever since I learned that we are going to fight, I havn’t been able to go berserk anymore. I should be fighting alongside everyone else, but why is it that I cannot go berserk right before the battle?”
Lock was full of despair at that fact.
In fact, he was despising himself.
Anybody could see why he would be like this with this timing.
“…It’s like I’m trying to avoid the battle. It’s as if I am afraid. I need to grow quickly to help.”
Lock recalled Rosalyn’s look of confusion about how to console him, as well as the shocked expressions on the faces of the others whom he had not seen for a while.
Their concerns for him made him hate himself even more.
“Choi Han hyung and Rosalyn noona saved my siblings and me.”
Lock did not think he came all this way on his own. There were too many people who helped guide his cowardly and timid self.
“Young master-nim also saved us and gave us a home. I need to pay you back for that! But why am I like this!”
That was why Lock hated himself right now.
He was embarrassed.
Forget the Wolf King, he was just a weakling.
Lock sighed after seeing that his two hands were still shaking.
He heard Cale’s voice again at that moment.
Cale put down his fork and looked toward Lock.
It sounded as if Cale was telling Lock to look at him. The young Wolf boy slowly raised his head. Cale admitted his mistake and started to speak.
“There are people around you.”
Lock had never seen such an expression on Cale’s face before.
“I left you here alone hoping that you could learn about a Wolf’s loneliness. However, I did not want it to be painful. I also did not want you to be scared.”
Cale was not such a terrible person to want something like that to happen to a child.
He thought Lock would not feel too lonely as he knew that he had a family. However, this timid child seemed to have felt pressured and burdened rather than loneliness.
Originally in the novel, healer Pendrick’s death led to Lock’s first berserk transformation and helped him grow.
However, Cale had no plans on doing something crazy like that. Lock was only 15 years old. You had to be a lunatic to do something like that to a child.
“There is no reason for you to hurry.”
“…You saved me, and you trusted me.”
Lock’s mumblings stopped as soon as Cale asked a question.
“Would you throw me away if I was weak?”
Something like that was unbelievable.
Lock throw Cale away?
Lock’s eyes opened wide in shock as Cale smiled back at him.
“Lock, you wouldn’t, right?”
Cale picked his fork back up.
“So, don’t ask something so obvious. Just eat.”
Lock was suddenly at a loss for words once again.
“If you want to repay me for my trust, show me that you are healthy first. And just watch. Your friends, no, your family members, are stronger than you think.”
Lock could see Raon pushing a fork toward him. Cale continued to speak.
“Even I am strong enough to protect you during a battle.”
Cale was speaking in a joking tone. Lock had seen many new expressions on Cale’s face today. Lock slowly picked his fork back up and started to eat.
Food tasted good for the first time in a long time.
He had not enjoyed even the most luxurious food while he had been at the Gorge of Death.
“Eat a lot if it is delicious.”
Lock watched Cale pushing a plate full of food toward him as he continued to stuff food in his mouth.
He felt as if something else would pop out if he did not do that. He suppressed his emotions by stuffing his face with food.
Raon just quietly watched as Lock did that. The Black Dragon’s dark blue eyes then peeked to the side. The six-years-old Dragon continued to chew as he looked toward Cale.
* * *
Cale sent Lock out of his tent once Lock was full and then looked around the quiet tent.
‘Looks like I can sleep for about three hours.’
He would be busy starting early in the morning.
He needed to get at least a short nap in so that he could do that. Of course, there were still people standing guard, but one of his roles was to sleep right now.
“What is it, human?”
“Connect the video communication device please.”
Cale thought about Lock and decided that he needed to call that person.
‘Honestly speaking, it is difficult enough to protect myself right now. It will be hard to protect that tall kid.’
Cale could not trust his own level of strength. That was why he was planning on using his network. He watched as Raon prepared to take the video communication device out.
“By the way, human.”
“What is it?”
Cale made eye contact with the six-years-old Dragon who stopped connecting the device and looked toward him. Raon looked at Cale and asked.
“I cannot go through my first growth phase. Is that okay?”
Cale recalled how Raon had buried himself underneath the blanket and cried about how he was not great and mighty because he could not activate his first growth phase. Cale wondered why Raon was suddenly bringing that up.
He thought that it might be because of Lock’s berserk transformation situation, but regardless, he chose to answer back after seeing the Dragon’s gaze that seemed to be begging for a response.
“Didn’t I answer that last time? Don’t ask me something so obvious.”
“…Is it okay if I am weak?”
‘What the heck is he talking about?’
Cale was in disbelief at what the scary Dragon that was far from weak was saying before casually answering back.
“I thought you were weak when I met you in the cave.”
The small paw touching the round video communication device flinched.
Raon recalled the moment he first met Cale.
His powers were restricted as he was kept under mana restricting chains.
He was weak back then. He was so weak to the point that he could not even run away and could only live in the dark cave while pretending that he didn’t hear anything nor think for himself.
Then he was saved.
He was saved even though he was not strong.
Raon felt the rough hands caressing his head. He also heard Cale’s quiet sigh and mumble about how, ‘a six-year-old Dragon is still a child.’
“Raon, although I am weaker than you, I’ve lived at least thirty, no, fifteen years more than you. But I am still weaker than you. I am not even as strong as you front paw. Is that a problem?”
Cale realized his mistake and quickly changed the years before looking at Raon.
“It is not a problem at all.”
The young Dragon’s stern response made Cale nod his head as if he was saying, ’Isn’t that all that matters?’
Raon went back to connecting the video communication device while peeking at Cale.
He then started to speak again.
“Human, why did you save me? I am just curious!”
Raon could see Cale leaning on the chair as he responded back.
“Why did I save you? Just because.”
“Why do you keep me by your side?”
Cale casually but honestly responded back to Raon, who seemed to have more questions than usual today.
“Do you need a reason?”
“Do we not need a reason?
Why you saved me and why you travel with me?
Do we really not need a reason for that?”
Raon had not asked until now, but he had been curious. Everything in the world had a reason. All things were connected, and those connections led to different situations.
He knew that there must be a reason that Cale and he were traveling together.
The Dragon was curious as to what that reason might be. The human who claimed to have lived at least fifteen years more than he had answered back.
“Your house is our house. Is that not enough?”
Your house is our house.
Raon repeated that statement in his head. He didn’t know why, but it sounded catchy. Raon thought about that for a while before storing it in his mind.
He suddenly felt full.
The six-years-old Dragon slowly started to smile.
“You’re right! Human, that is enough!”
Cale didn’t know what was going on, but sternly spoke to the once again energetic Raon.
“Ah, right! This great and mighty Dragon will connect it right away!”
The call was soon connected. Cale left the snickering Raon on his lap as he finished the call.
He then headed straight for bed.
He would not be able to sleep properly once the battle began.
These three hours were very precious.
Cale laid down on the bed without any hesitation in order to get his precious sleep. Cale, who laid down in his uniform so that he could get up at the last possible moment, could see Raon putting out the light inside the tent.
Raon then laid down next to Cale on the bed. However, Cale did not care as he closed his eyes.
It was easy to fall asleep as he ate until he was full along with Lock.
Cale heard Raon’s voice right before he fell asleep.
‘…This six-year-old really has a lot of questions today.’
The scariness of questions overwhelmed Cale. However, Raon continued to ask his question.
“Human, would you save me again if you went back in time?”
‘Why is he like this today?’
“I told you not to ask something so obvious.”
“Human, would you save me again if I become that weak again and require you to save me?”
Cale moved his sleepy body and put his hand on Raon’s head. He felt himself slowly falling asleep as he answered back.
“Of course I would save you.”
Cale then fell asleep. Raon watched Cale for a long time before burrowing next to Cale’s side and rolling up his body into a circle before closing his eyes.
‘I will save you even if you are weak.’
Those words echoed in Raon’s mind. Thanks to that, he could easily fall asleep.
Soon the light breathing noises of the adult and the young Dragon filled the tent.
* * *
The next day.
Cale squirmed after hearing the sound of the alarm. He needed to open his eyes, but could not easily do so as he wanted to sleep some more.
Cale squirmed a bit more before forcing himself to open his eyes. He could see the ceiling of the dark tent.
The sound of the alarm. The alarm was sounding in order to wake Cale, as well as the others nearby. Cale sat up on the bed.
He sounded like an old man getting up. Cale lifted his hand up and tried to wipe the side of his eyes. He then flinched.
‘Something is weird.’
It was too quiet right now.
It should be very loud right now. Someone should be pushing on his stomach right now.
But no, it was quiet.
Cale heard something instead.
It was someone breathing.
However, it was kind of rough breathing.
Cale slowly turned his head.
The alarm was still going off around him. Cale’s eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness and let him see the existence next to him.
Yes, right next to him. This existence was curled up sleeping right next to him.
He could see the curled up Black Dragon.
Cale slowly reached his hand toward Raon’s forehead.
He had heard this type of breathing before.
Cale’s palm landed on Raon’s forehead.
Cale started to frown.
It was hot.
It was too hot.
Raon’s body was on fire.
He could see Raon’s black wings fallen to his sides without any strength.
Raon’s face looked as if he had lost consciousness because his fever was too high.
The battle was about to start in just a few moments, but Raon was sick.