‘There were traces of it.’
Those words made Cale not want to waste any more time.
It was just 3 days.
It was a long yet short amount of time.
“I will listen to the explanation on the way.”
Cale wrapped Raon back up in the bundle of blankets and held him in his arms. Since Eruhaben was there, they could immediately teleport to the Eastern continent.
Eruhaben looked toward the entrance and started to speak at that moment.
“The crown prince is here.”
Cale soon heard someone rustling outside the tent. Now that he thought about it, although Choi Han and the others had a decent idea about Cale’s situation, crown prince Alberu will find it odd that he suddenly did not go with them.
“Can I come in?”
He could hear Alberu’s voice outside the tent. Cale, who was holding Raon, looked toward Eruhaben who went to the entrance and opened the flap.
Alberu flinched after seeing Eruhaben.
It was the knight with white gold hair that had come as Cale’s guard when the four kingdoms and the one Beast people tribe had first solidified their alliance. He could not help but flinch as he had not heard that this person had arrived.
He heard Cale’s voice from inside the tent at that moment and turned away from Eruhaben.
“Your highness, I hope that only you come in.”
“That was the plan.”
Alberu was already walking into the tent alone. He knew secrecy was important if it was urgent enough for Cale to change his plans.
“What is going on?”
Alberu got right down to business. Cale preferred it this way as well.
‘I guess it is about time I told him.’
Cale briskly walked up to Alberu.
“What are you doing?”
Alberu flinched after seeing the emotionless Cale briskly walking through the dark tent while being covered in blood.
However, Cale’s next action made him completely shocked.
Alberu had none of his usual majesticness as he made that noise.
His pupils were shaking as well.
He could see the face of the creature poking out of the blanket bundle. The round and chubby face was quite cute, even with its eyes closed.
However, that was not the issue.
Alberu made eye contact with Cale when a calm voice started to speak from behind him.
“It is a Dragon. He is currently going through his first growth phase.”
“He is six-years-old. His name is Raon Miru. It is a great name that I made for him.”
However, Cale was not finished speaking just yet. He carried Raon with one hand while pointing toward Eruhaben with the other hand.
“This senior is an ancient Dragon. He is the eldest Dragon on the Western continent.”
Alberu’s eyes blinked a couple of times in shock.
He then lightly shook his head.
‘Am I tired?
Did I not sleep well for the past few days?’
Crown prince Alberu had been hearing about the battle while settling the formations of troops.
He thought that one of Cale’s people would be best to hear the story from and thus called over the freest person from Cale’s group.
That, ‘freest person,’ was none other than Hilsman, the Vice Captain of the Henituse territory’s Knights Brigade.
Alberu could not help but wonder why he was tired after hearing about the battle from Hilsman.
‘The young master-nim used his Silver Shield. He then also exploded the Dragon’s Rage in order to create a wall of fire.’
‘Then he created this wall of water which allowed the Whales to go berserk!’
‘The shield broke after that. I thought that we were in serious trouble and that the young master would faint, however, at that moment, the young master-nim used an ancient power that he had been hiding. After the shield and the water, he shot hundreds of stone spears into the air!’
He had heard about what Choi Han and the others had done as well. However, Alberu could not help but question his ears after hearing that Cale used the shield, water, and then the stone spears.
‘That is why I realized that the shield does not break in the end! That is all, your highness!’
Hilsman seemed extremely excited as he had veins visible on his neck from shouting. Normally, Alberu would have questioned such a recap, however, seeing the sniffling Knight Captain from the First Knights Brigade and the temporary Captain of the Mage Brigade nodding their head, he could not say anything about it.
‘But a Dragon?
And not just one, but two?’
Alberu turned toward the ancient Dragon. The ancient Dragon shrugged his shoulders with a stoic expression.
“Nice to meet you.”
The ancient Dragon was speaking as if Alberu was beneath him.
He had thought that this man was a guard knight, but he was a Dragon.
Alberu could not believe it.
However, Cale continued to speak.
He still had a lot of things left to say.
“Ah, and I may explode to death in three days if things go wrong.”
“What? You crazy-”
Eruhaben let out an, ‘oh,’ as if he did not expect such a response from Alberu, who stopped speaking and brushed his face with both hands.
Cale continued to speak with a calm expression.
“There is an issue with my ancient powers. It is being handled with a temporary measure right now, however, it seems that I only have 3 days left.”
Alberu was at a loss for words after seeing how calm Cale was right now. He didn’t seem to be lying, and even then he knew that Cale would not be the type to lie about something like this.
And if he thought about it, there was a good chance what Cale was saying was true.
‘The young master-nim was coughing up so much blood that I was worried that something bad might happen, however, he controlled the battlefield with a calm demeanor afterward.’
Vice Captain Hilsman’s voice echoed in Alberu’s mind.
He knew that Cale always got injured or needed to recuperate after using his ancient powers.
Such a person used three ancient powers that he had been saving for an emergency. Would his body be fine after all of that?
“That is why it looks like I will need to act on my own for the next 3 days.”
‘This stupid idiot.’
Alberu wanted to swear at Cale, but held himself back.
He felt that Cale and he were similar people from time to time. They would use sly schemes from time to time in order to profit. At the same time, they acted differently when their goal was for the greater good.
The greater good.
Crown prince Alberu was someone who walked with the weight of the greater good on his shoulder.
He finally started to speak after a long time.
“You have a 3-day break. Make sure that you return after that.”
He wanted to give Cale a longer break, however, he needed to say that Cale must return.
“I understand. I will listen to you since it is an order from the sun of the Roan Kingdom, your highness. I will come after the war to strip myself of the commander title. I will receive a lot of reward money, but please do not think about giving me a medal.”
“…You always have something to say. How can such a punk be the famed young master Silver Shield?”
“I hate that title as well.”
Seeing Cale honestly seem to hate that title made Alberu ignore Cale, Raon, and Eruhaben as he headed out of the tent. He decided feigning ignorance about the two of them was the best course of action.
The entrance flap was opened and then closed again. Cale turned away from the closed entrance as he headed toward Eruhaben, who had created a teleportation magic circle on the ground in the tent.
The magic circle underneath Eruhaben’s feet were shining brightly. Eruhaben activated the magic circle as soon as Cale stepped on top of it.
Cale closed his eyes as his surroundings blurred.
He felt his body teleport before hearing the ancient Dragon’s voice.
“We will teleport to that Dragon, to Olienne’s lair.”
The former oldest Dragon in the Eastern continent. Cale had teleported to his lair.
* * *
He could see the mess of a lair the moment he opened his eyes.
The lair that probably once had a lot of beautiful sculptures was full of dust and was also destroyed in multiple places.
Nobody would think that this used to be a Dragon’s lair.
However, Cale could tell that it was a Dragon’s lair as soon as he got there. Eruhaben’s bitter voice could be heard.
“This is what happens to a Dragon that does not die a natural death.”
A Dragon that did not die a natural death.
Whether it is from suicide or murder, a Dragon who dies without living out its full lifespan looks different from Dragons that live for their full thousand years.
Cale could see the rotting Dragon corpse from on the side.
A Dragon who finishes its thousand years of life would shine brightly and turn into dust as they become part of the earth.
However, just like the Dragon skeleton in the black swamp in the Forest of Darkness, a Dragon that does not live out its entire life starts to rot, just like any other lifeform.
It rots into the ground extremely slowly.
“The rotting usually finishes within a hundred years, but this guy…”
Eruhaben stopped to sigh before continuing to speak.
“It ended up being delayed for this guy because he died in his lair. He was in a really good area, so his rotting speed was slowed. That is why he looks like this right now.”
Cale could not say anything.
He could tell why Eruhaben had been angry.
A portion of the dead Dragon’s body was dug into with the heart at the center.
It was fitting to say that someone had eaten him, well, someone had taken a few bites out of him, as the heart and the surrounding flesh were gone.
“Olienne was a Green Dragon. He was a complete asshole who always talked back to you, but he was still a decent guy, just like the little kid.”
Eruhaben did not share any more of his past memories as he started to walk.
“Follow me. I will show you the traces of the water.”
His lips twitched for a bit before he added on.
“I will take care of him once the truth is revealed and I figure out all of the necessary information. I will return him to nature. Definitely.”
Eruhaben could see Cale walking next to him.
“Let us move quickly then.”
He laughed after seeing Cale who was more action than words walking in front of him. Eruhaben stepped back in front of Cale, who did not know where they were going, and guided him to a secret area.
Cale looked around while looking at the large lair that was giving off a majestic aura even though it was destroyed and covered in dust.
A secret area in a Dragon’s lair.
Where could that be?
He really was curious.
He was also curious about the hint about the water ancient power.
The hallway, office, study, and bedroom. Cale flinched once they walked past every room.
“…It’s in the restroom?”
“The tub to be specific. He really liked taking half-baths.” ( Half-baths are a thing where you sit and only dunk half your body. Maybe it is just a Korean thing? )
The Dragon’s secret area was in the restroom.
Eruhaben put his hand on the tub as Cale looked around with a shocked expression. It was at that moment.
– Are you trying to sacrifice yourself?
The Super Rock started to speak.
– Are we eating again?
The glutton priestess started to speak as well.
‘Why are the two of them being like this?’
Cale frowned after seeing a bright light as his mind was becoming complicated.
White gold mana was coming out of Eruhaben’s hand.
The tub shined and let out a green magic circle once the mana touched the tub. That magic circle then covered the entire restroom.
Cale let out a gasp at that moment.
A forest had appeared.
The average-looking restroom inside the cave had turned into a forest.
“Olienne’s attribute was wood. He had created a forest in his area.”
A tree had appeared where the tub used to be. It was a large tree with a round ditch dug underneath it.
Inside the ditch was a diary. The diary was covered in regular leather, however, there were some small pieces of parchment on the inside as well.
Eruhaben picked up the diary.
“The most important treasure to a Dragon is its records. The record that it existed in this world. That is why the first thing they put in their secret areas are their records.”
He felt as if he said something useless to Raon and Cale as he quickly opened up the diary. He stopped on a page with a parchment paper being used as a bookmark.
“This is the only page in the diary that talks about the Western continent instead of the Eastern continent.”
The only page with information about the Western continent. Eruhaben picked up the piece of parchment paper on that page.
“It is an old parchment paper that has had magic cast on it in order to let it last a long time. It seems to have been left behind a long time ago. I think it is possible that this is the trace- hmm? Why do you have such an expression on your face?”
Cale’s expression seemed like a mix of laughter and frown.
He could see the words written on top of the parchment.
He had seen something similar before. He recalled the wooden plaque that he received from the Elf priestess in the Elf Village with the World Tree regarding the Water of Judgment.
It also had the words, ‘letter of resignation,’ written on it.
However, the contents were a bit different.
This was what was written on the wooden plaque.
< World Tree you stupid idiot! I am now free! >
< The Water of Judgment? I am a free spirit now! >
The tone made Cale certain that this ancient power was not normal as well. However, something different was written on this one.
< You evil bastards! You dare to push me out? You damn white snake bastards. I will shoot water cannons at you bastards! >
< I am free! Judgment over my dead body! I’m going to play! >
The words that were getting more intense made Cale’s mind devolve into a complicated mess.
The dry lake in the Paerun Kingdom.
It was said that they had pushed away the child that the god who was making the lake favored, thus making the angry god take away the water.
The ones to push that child away were the members of the Sekka household with the white snake as their house crest.
Was the child that the god favored the owner of the ancient power?’
Cale read the final statement on the parchment.
< I will go cause trouble like the fiery thunderbolt cheapskate! Just watch! >
The fiery thunderbolt cheapskate. The Fire of Destruction.
He recalled one of the things that the owner of the ancient power that liked money had done.
He had heard the story when he went to visit the World Tree about how the Fire of Destruction had covered the entire north with fire, making the World Tree sense danger to its life.
He suddenly had a question.
‘Who put out that fire?’
Cale was thinking that the person who put out that fire may have been the owner of this, ‘Water of Judgment.’
“It’s written in the diary where he found the parchment. I think the ancient power may be at that location.”
Cale’s gaze headed toward the diary.
The Super Rock started to speak into Cale’s mind at that moment.
– The glutton, the cheapskate, the thief, the crybaby, and now-
The Indestructible Shield, the Fire of Destruction, the Sound of the Wind, and the Vitality of the Heart.
He was listing the names of the owners of the ancient powers.
– This time, the crazy kid.
– Are you trying to sacrifice yourself?
Cale was at a loss for words after hearing the Super Rock seriously sounding concerned.