Cale flinched after seeing the frown on Ron’s face. Ron quickly got rid of the frown before he returned to his usual benign smile after seeing Cale flinch.
“Is it that difficult?”
Cale urgently started to speak after seeing the assassin’s face change so quickly.
“No, it’s alright. It’s just a little difficult.”
That was the truth. It was a little difficult.
– Can’t you throw me some money like you did last time? Think about it! It’s possible now because your plate is bigger!
It was a little difficult because of this loud fiery thunderbolt.
The voice that suddenly popped out had a lot to say. Of course, the rambling soon stopped.
The fiery thunderbolt stopped talking after telling Cale to think about it.
‘…Although I do want to throw money around like I did last time.’
He thought about how he threw a ton of money into the lava. Cale was happy at that time. He should have a lot of dirty money once he takes over the Eastern continent’s Leeb-An City’s underworld.
‘Should I use that money?’
Cale was starting to get a bit excited. It was quite fun to throw money around, especially when it wasn’t his money and instead was money he took from bad guys. Cale’s expression turned calm, almost as if he had never been frowning in the first place.
The corners of Ron’s wrinkled eyes started to shake after seeing the change in Cale’s expression. It was just the slightest of movements that nobody else would have noticed, but Ron was definitely agitated.
Twenty years old.
This puppy young master of his was only twenty years old.
Even if he was born a noble and had a strong sense of responsibility, twenty was an age where you should be running around large fields and trying to do what you dreamt of doing as a kid.
Ron thought about his son. He had escaped the Eastern continent and run away to the Henituse territory in the Western continent when his son was only about ten years old. During that time, Beacrox could not do a lot of the things that children would normally do and thus had to quickly mature and grow up.
But a youngster who was speaking as if he was older and had spent more time living than his son who had lived such a life was in front of him right now.
‘It’s alright. It’s just a little difficult.’
As someone who has lived a long time, Ron could feel the weight of those words.
The bomb inside Cale’s body could only be talking about the ancient powers. Ron had heard about the issue inside Cale’s body when they had first gone to Eruhaben’s lair.
He was certain that it was related to that.
Ron remembered how Cale had given him a new arm and taken his revenge for him.
“As you wish, young master-nim.”
Cale had asked Ron for a favor.
‘As usual, please.’
Ron gently responded to Cale while thinking about that.
“I will act like my usual self.”
“Yes. That’s all you need to do.”
Cale felt as if Ron’s words were oddly vicious, however, he still nodded his head after hearing that Ron would do as he wished.
The next day.
Cale prepared to leave early in the morning.
Even with the Vitality of the Heart, he still needed to sleep three to four hours a day. Furthermore, Cale chose to sleep in order to help relieve some of the stress and fatigue he had gained during the battle.
However, he could not help but be shocked at what he saw as soon as he woke up.
“…What is going on right now?”
Cale saw Ron, who was handing him a cup of honey lemon tea as usual, and took the cup from him. The bitter taste woke Cale right up. Ron started to smile.
“Eruhaben-nim told me that Raon-nim needs to go with you.”
Without knowing when the growth phase might end, Raon was the safest around Eruhaben.
Although he didn’t like that he needed to carry around a sick child without letting him rest, Eruhaben said that it wouldn’t be a burden at all.
In fact, Raon thinking that he was not safe and relaxed was the worst thing to have right now, so being next to Cale and Eruhaben was for the best.
That was why they would take him with them.
Of course, On and Hong would stay here.
It would be bad if the two children went with them and figured out about Cale’s situation. Even if Cale was someone who didn’t care about other people’s emotions, he didn’t want to do that to children. He already didn’t like the fact that Raon knew about what was going on.
That was why he put down the disappointed On and Hong.
However, something larger stuck to him once he got rid of the two of them.
“That is why I brought an errand boy for you. He is used to cooking and all other aspects of service, so he should be useful to have around.”
“…Father, I am not an errand boy.”
Beacrox answered disgruntledly as he stood in front of Cale.
He was his usual spotless self, but he had a larger carrier that looked like a baby sash but much larger. ( (PR: I think it is talking about something like this, https://imgur.com/3ovBwUw) )
Cale looked at that carrier and then looked at Beacrox and Ron. He then shared his honest sentiments.
“Ron, you really are good at what you do.”
“I just did what is expected of me, young master-nim.”
Beacrox started to frown.
However, he pretended not to hear his father and his young master speaking as he picked up the limp Raon and put him in the carrier.
He recalled the conversation he had with his father.
‘Escort the young master-nim.’
‘Did something happen?’
His father had answered like this to that question.
‘You’re the only one I can rely on since I cannot go myself.’
He was able to realize that his father could not tell him the real reason and that something serious was about to happen after hearing that response.
That was why he put Raon into the carrier and looked toward Cale, who stood up and started to speak.
* * *
Cale listened to the sound of branches breaking under his feet as he looked around.
Leeb-An City had the inn.
Mount Leeb had the stone pillar.
There was a large forest in the middle of these two areas. Cale looked at Beacrox and Raon in the carrier before looking at Eruhaben.
“The name of this forest is the Grey Eye Forest.”
The name alone was giving off an aura of mystery.
Eruhaben explained to Cale, Beacrox, and Raon about this place. It was not what he had read in the ancient Dragon’s diary, but public knowledge about the forest.
“They’ve been calling it that for a while, but nobody knows the reason behind the name. Although there are still monsters in every region around Leeb-An City, there are no monsters in this Grey Eye Forest.”
Cale absorbed the scenery in front of him.
It seemed to be a completely normal forest. It was even giving off the typical sounds you would hear from a forest.
“Since there are no monsters, mercenaries and merchants have no reason to come here. There are just a few people who come in during spring in order to pick some fruits.”
“Have any of them gone missing?”
The Water of Judgment was said to judge both humans and monsters.
There were no more dead monsters nor missing people thanks to the dead ancient Dragon’s barrier.
Eruhaben looked toward the calm Cale and started to smile. Contrary to his voice, Cale’s situation was not very good.
“Cale Henituse, I don’t think you’re in a situation to be so calm.”
There was red lightning flowing through the tip of Cale’s fingers.
The fiery thunderbolt roamed around for a bit before starting to become brighter.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
The Vitality of the Heart was responding more than anything else.
It was beating crazily, as if it had found a way to maintain his body and keep him alive. Cale slowly started to smile. His gaze was headed near Eruhaben.
“Eruhaben-nim, why do you ask such a question after you’ve already finished all of your preparations?”
There was white gold smoke around Eruhaben right now. He chuckled at Cale’s question before he stomped on the ground.
He could feel the traces of Olienne, the dead ancient Dragon.
The center of the Grey Eye Forest. The scent of fresh trees was rising up from that area. Eruhaben headed toward that scent.
Cale watched Eruhaben start to move before activating the Sound of the Wind. At the same time, he looked toward Beacrox, who sighed before starting to run.
“I am very good at following people.”
He had learned how to run when he had followed his father and escaped from the Eastern continent to the Western continent as a child.
It was not very hard just running while looking at his father’s back.
Cale watched as Beacrox rushed past him before kicking off the ground as well.
Cale could hear the sound of the leaves rustling in the wind, as well as sound of the branches hitting his sleeves.
However, the beating of his heart was the clearest thing he could feel right now. He had an odd feeling at that moment.
He was currently using the Sound of the Wind with the fiery thunderbolt crackling in his hand.
Cale felt something different than his usual hunger and blood coughing.
He felt woozy.
It felt as if his insides were being swept up by waves. Cale could now feel his insides that were not being protected by the Super Rock like his indestructible skin.
Although his plate had gotten bigger, that plate was still too weak.
A larger glass plate was still made of glass.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
The Vitality of the Heart made its presence known to the point that Cale could feel how destroyed his insides were. At that moment, Cale raised his head after hearing a loud noise.
White gold mana became an arrow that shot forward.
It looked as if the arrows were flying toward a normal part of the forest.
However, it was the moment those arrows hit that, ‘normal,’ forest.
Green branches appeared and started to attack them.
“Ha! He always did have an odd taste.”
Eruhaben laughed as the disgusting green branches suddenly appeared and charged toward them. However, he did not stop walking. In fact, he started to walk faster as he continued to send mana arrows out.
“We will pierce right through them.”
Cale followed behind the ancient Dragon who showed no hesitation.
The branches exploded into dust every time a mana arrow hit them. He heard Eruhaben’s voice at that moment.
“A Dragon does not necessarily need to have a natural attribute. It could just be an abstract element or something completely unique as well.”
Baaaaang! Boom, boom!
The white gold Dragon pierced through the barrier as he shared his attribute with the little kid and Cale.
“People mocked me when I first found out my attribute.”
The other Dragons had laughed at Eruhaben once he had figured out his attribute after his first growth phase. That mocking had continued even after he had become an adult Dragon.
“My attribute was terrible compared to how I look.”
Eruhaben, who was more handsome than most Dragons, had no choice but to be mocked because of his attribute. There were a lot of Dragon children with terrible personalities.
Cale looked toward Eruhaben’s back.
He could not tell what attribute made up this white gold color.
The moment Cale watched another branch explode, he could hear Eruhaben’s voice.
“Dust, or powder.”
Cale’s eyes watched as the branches crashed into the white gold mana and disappeared like dust.
Eruhaben had destroyed the stone pillar at the Super Rock Villa by turning it into dust as well.
“That is my attribute.”
Eruhaben liked his attribute.
“…And it is a quite wonderful attribute.”
He did not leave those Dragons who mocked him alone.
He had fought against them.
“Because my personality was to beat people up until the dust flew off the ground or they turned into dust.”
He had never lost a battle ever since he became an adult Dragon.
Even if people point their fingers and laugh at you, your value is determined by how you view yourself, not by them.
There was a reason Eruhaben was saying all of this to Cale and Raon.
“In nature, and in this world, there is a reason and meaning behind everything that exists.”
He had heard about the Water of Judgment from Cale as they were returning to the inn from the dead ancient Dragon’s lair. He had also read the diary in order to find out that it was an arrogant power that resembled a god.
“Cale, it is all up to how you choose to accept the will of the ancient power.”
The Water of Judgment.
Although the name might sound scary, and it was supposedly like a god, it was still a power used by a human in the end.
The value of that power would be determined by the thoughts of its owner.
Eruhaben turned the final branch into dust before he went into the barrier. Cale, who had walked up next to him at some point, started to speak as they entered the barrier.
“Thank you for your advice.”
Eruhaben smiled before it quickly disappeared.
Eruhaben winced the moment his foot touched the ground.
He felt something that felt as if numerous needles were poking at his skin.
He could see the lake at the same time.
Cale’s calm voice reached his ears at that moment.
“I see why they call it the Grey Eye Forest.”
A lake in the shape of a human eye was in front of them.
The color of the water in that lake was grey.
Cale saw Beacrox stepping behind Eruhaben. It was as if his instincts were telling him to go hide behind the strongest person with Raon on his back.
“…I have never seen such a strong ancient power before.”
Eruhaben felt as if he could understand why it was called an arrogant power.
“A violent feeling of needles stabbing at your skin. Are you okay?”
Eruhaben asked Beacrox, who was behind him, and Beacrox shook his head. The ancient Dragon immediately created a shield for him.
Beacrox looked much better once the shield was created.
He was at a loss for words the moment he saw the lake.
He had this eerie feeling that someone had tied him up and was observing him.
It was a terrible feeling.
It was a disgusting feeling.
It was a power that he did not want to be near nor even see.
Beacrox gulped and looked away from the lake.
He lowered his head at that moment. He had felt movement from inside the carrier just now. Beacrox had lowered his head to see if Raon had woken up, however, Raon was still limp.
Beacrox observed Raon for a while before hugging the carrier. He thought he had made a mistake.
However, the sensitive Dragon who could not see nor speak could still hear and feel.
He felt the eerie feeling as well.
Raon understood Cale’s situation and that he would go on to win this power. The Black Dragon’s heart started to beat wilder than ever before.
Eruhaben did not know about this as he looked toward Cale and asked.
“I haven’t felt something so violent in a long time. Should I create a shield for you? It will probably be difficult, even with your shield-”
He could not finish his sentence.
The ground started to shake.
Cale heard the fiery thunderbolt’s voice again.
– Wow, damn it. I knew he was a cool guy! He’s taking the initiative just like I taught him to do!
Cale turned his head without being able to respond to the voice after feeling the vibration traveling up his legs. The lake was shooting up into the sky.
The grey water turned into a large spear.
‘…It looks ready to attack at any moment.
You don’t just earn ancient powers with weird methods?’
Cale started to frown.
The ground was still shaking, while the spear that shot up from the lake was starting to become sharper.
The tip of that spear was directed right at Cale.
In order to earn an ancient power, the person who wishes to take the power must tackle it on their own.
‘Do I need to fight? Do I need to win against that spear?
Didn’t they say I just need to cuss, land the first hit, and convince him to cause trouble with me?’
He shouldn’t have believed these crazy ancient powers.
Cale had a disgusted frown on his face.
It was at that moment.
Beacrox groaned from inside the shield. The violent aura was giving him a migraine. Eruhaben created another shield layer around him before he looked toward Cale. He had not expected something like this either.
“I’ve never felt such a violent and aggressive ancient power before! Will you be okay? Can you do it?”
The ancient Dragon who was asking with concern flinched.
“…A violent aura?”
Cale sounded confused.
Eruhaben could see that Cale was frowning, but did not seem to be in pain.
“…You can’t feel anything? You don’t sense anything in this area?”
“No sir. It is just so so. I just feel like it would hurt if I was pierced by that spear?”
Eruhaben was at a loss for words.
‘He doesn’t feel anything? It’s strong enough to even make an ancient Dragon like me hesitate.’
He could understand why the ancient Dragon Olienne chose to put a barrier around this area.
Cale really was fine.
However, he could tell that something was odd based on Eruhaben and Beacrox’s reactions.
The ground shook once again.
To be more specific, the lake was rumbling, making the aftershocks reach Cale.
The tip of the grey spear pointed toward Cale. It was as if it was asking for a fight. That thought would end up being correct. He could hear the voice of the fiery thunderbolt.
– Looks like we need to fight first. He’s a guy who really likes to fight. Did he choose his trial to be a fight as well?
Cale started to frown.
‘I need to fight when I’m already feeling woozy?’
It was the moment Cale let out a sigh.
The grey spear started to move.
Eruhaben flinched after seeing the incoming spear.
‘Should I help Cale? But he won’t be able to get the ancient power if I do that.’
The ancient Dragon started to frown as he took a step toward Cale.
However, he did not take any more steps after that.
He could see Cale’s face.
He was smiling.
Cale could see the grey spear flying toward him.
He could hear the fiery thunderbolt’s voice at the same time. He could not help but laugh after hearing what it had to say.
– He could never win against any of us.
The Fire of Destruction recalled a memory from a long time ago.
– We drew many times.
A repressed power cannot defeat a free power. It was one thing if it repressed itself, however, a power that was repressed by another entity would not be able to win against a power that has the option to make its own decisions.
The fiery thunderbolt thought about two existences that had freely made their own goals and responsibilities, unlike the Water of Judgment.
– He always lost to the glutton and the stubborn Super Rock.
The glutton and the stubborn one.
Wood and earth.
The Indestructible Shield and the Scary Giant Cobblestone.
The repressed power had never won against them.
– Furthermore, the dominator dominates over the judge as well.
Cale recalled the small amount of the Dominating Water he still had in his possession.
He could feel the ground shake once again.
At the same time, he saw a silver shield opening up toward the spear.
The trial to earn an ancient power.
Cale still had powers that would allow him to overcome this wall.