Leeb-An City, the free city for adventurers and mercenaries.
However, it became a lawless city for pleasure once the sun went down.
This was especially the case for the east side of Leeb-An City that was controlled by the underground organizations.
Choi Han was deep in thought while standing on top of a building’s roof.
‘The sun is setting.’
The sky was turning red from the sunset.
It made him recall something from tens of years ago. He had not been very strong at that time and there were many carnivores that could threaten him in the Forest of Darkness.
That was why he headed home whenever he saw the sky turning red through the lush trees.
His home was a cave or a hole in the ground and changed every two to three days.
‘I guess it wasn’t really a home. I never stayed anywhere long term.’
It was as Choi Han watched the sunset and recalled the desperation he felt at that time.
“So, you’re saying we need to kill this Mostue first?”
Choi Han quickly came back to reality at Cale’s harsh words.
“Yes sir! The balance of power that was 5:5 just six months ago is now 6.5:3.5. Of course, the 3.5 is Mostue’s share!”
The Mount Leeb’s former bandit leader responded with excitement.
Mostue’s faction and Arm’s faction were currently engaged in a fierce fight for power in the free city Leeb-An’s underworld.
“Mostue’s faction is lasting quite a while.”
“It is because the Mercenaries Guild is protecting Mostue’s faction.”
The merchants and mercenaries have always had strong influences in Leeb-An City.
That was why the two forces took turns controlling the market. It was no surprise that they had a close relationship with the underworld and that corruption was rampant.
Even if Arm was the Eastern continent’s strongest faction in the underworld, they could not have a negative relationship with the Mercenaries Guild that had branches all throughout the continent.
That was why they were slowly and carefully taking down Mostue’s faction without touching the mercenaries.
You could say that they were going at it at a leisure pace.
Cale nonchalantly commanded the bandit leader who finished his explanation.
“Yes sir! I will see you again soon!”
The former bandit leader bowed before quickly climbing down the stairs in order to get off of the roof. Seeing the bandit leader leave made Choi Han approach Cale.
“Are we heading out now?”
Cale looked toward Choi Han who asked a lot of questions these days and started to speak.
Choi Han could see Cale petting On and Hong. They seemed to like it as they rubbed their heads on Cale’s palm.
Cale started to speak to Choi Han who was watching that peaceful scene.
“We will start with Leeb-An City to clear the Eastern continent of Arm. I also plan to get rid of the Empire and Alchemy as well.”
Choi Han looked at Cale with an odd expression. Cale shrugged his shoulders and continued to speak.
“I think that we should shed as little blood as possible to get rid of Arm. We will set the foundation in Leeb-An City. After that, we will work with the Dragon half-blood in order to hit them at their core. I think that we need to get rid of Arm for good.”
Both Choi Han and On looked toward Cale, who was saying all sorts of things unlike his usual self, with odd expressions. Cale pretended not to see those gazes.
His mouth had moved on its own as he remembered the conversation he had with Choi Han and the children averaging nine-years-old earlier this morning.
Choi Han opened his mouth at that moment.
“You are correct. We need to do that.”
Cale asked Choi Han a question.
“Why do we need to do it?”
Choi Han looked at the sun that was setting behind Cale’s back. It had taken him tens of years to earn this small bit of peace.
He did not need to run away when he saw the sunset anymore.
“It will be difficult, but that is the way for us to be happy.”
Cale turned toward the sunset as well.
Choi Han had lost the people of Harris Village because of Arm.
Ron had lost his household and his wife because of Arm.
Raon had been tortured because of Arm.
Lock and his siblings’ parents and neighbors were killed by Arm.
Innocent people had died because of the Empire and Alchemy’s dead mana bomb experiments.
Someone had to do something about these things.
True peace was not achieved because your body was at peace.
Your mind had to be at peace too.
The best slacker was one who had a ton of money and his mind was at peace.
For your mind to be at peace, the people around you had to be happy as well. Isn’t it logical?
The problem was that he had quite a lot of people around him now.
But what could he do about it?
Might as well give it a try it if it seemed doable.
“I should have just gotten beaten up back then.”
Choi Han could see Cale’s usual nonchalant expression on his face.
“We are thinking about the same thing.”
Cale lowered his head. On pressed down on the back of Cale’s hand as she started to speak.
“Huh? I don’t know what you are talking about, but me too! We’re all thinking the same thing!”
– He’s right! It’s the same! We will all do the same thing!
Hong and Raon chimed in as well.
However, Choi Han shook his head at Cale’s comment.
“It is a bit different.”
“Cale-nim, your thoughts and mine are a bit different.”
“What is different?”
Choi Han had followed behind Cale this whole time. That was why he could see it.
‘Something too big is happening.’
But Cale was trying to handle and take care of it all on his own.
Although Cale might think that was the right thing to do, Choi Han did not agree. He recalled the conversation he had with Ron while Cale was in pain.
Ron had quietly told Choi Han and the others that they should get stronger. He had said something else as well.
He had looked Choi Han right in the eyes as he said the following.
‘The young master-nim is still young. He may seem like an adult, but he has not lived as long as an old man like me. Follow him. Follow him no matter what. You’ll be able to see something if you do.’
Choi Han had lived longer than Ron, however, Ron had more world experiences.
That was why he had taken Ron’s words to heart.
‘And if you fill your fence with that, both the young master-nim and all of us will have fewer chances of getting hurt.’
Choi Han thought about Ron’s comments as he started to speak.
“I think that everyone needs to carry the weight together.”
Cale recalled his subordinates from when he was Kim Rok Soo.
Cale looked toward Choi Han, On, Hon, and the invisible Raon who were all looking at him as he responded back.
“I’ll think about what you just said.”
Choi Han started to smile. It was because Cale seemed pretty serious. Cale usually meant the things he said if he said it with this nonchalant expression.
And Choi Han’s guess was correct.
“However, there is something I am curious about.”
“What is it?”
Since it was like this already, Choi Han decided to ask more questions.
“Our work in the Empire will probably get a lot of their citizens involved. Wouldn’t a lot of innocent people end up getting hurt?”
Choi Han had never heard Cale use such an extreme and dangerous word as, ‘revolution.’ Furthermore, the fact that he planned on drawing in the citizens of the Empire made it seem like quite serious of an affair.
“It does not seem like your usual methods, Cale-nim.”
Cale had done a lot of big things until now, however, it was rare for the people involved to get injured. In fact, in Choi Han’s eyes, Cale seemed to despise using people he didn’t know or seeing them getting hurt.
Cale was the type to not let others get hurt or die, even if it meant that he himself would end up coughing up blood.
He might say, ‘damn it!’ and grumble, however, Choi Han believed that Cale’s expression whenever he used his shield to save others showed his sincere desire to save them.
And Cale was the same this time as well.
He looked at Choi Han with quite a shocked expression.
“Why would the innocent citizens get hurt? They won’t be getting hurt.”
Choi Han suppressed his smile and asked a different question.
“But there will be chaos with such a sudden change.”
Choi Han had always been an intelligent person. That was why he had understood everything Cale wanted to do, even without being told the details. He continued to speak.
“There will be a lot of angry citizens if the deeds of the Empire and the Alchemists’ Bell Tower are revealed.”
There would be more than just a few issues when those evil deeds were revealed.
“And there is no way that the Empire and the Alchemists’ Bell Tower only took in the Roan Kingdom’s citizens as slaves, they probably brought the citizens of some other kingdoms as slaves as well.
Would the other kingdoms just let that go?”
The Roan Kingdom was the weird one for covering up the kidnapping of the citizens and the slave trade.
“Furthermore, we may be in an alliance right now, however, maybe not the Breck Kingdom, but at least the Caro Kingdom and the Whipper Kingdom will probably desire some of the Empire’s land if the Empire and Alchemy both go down.”
The two kingdoms that had been tricked by the Empire or fought them once before would definitely desire the weakened Empire’s territory. Even if they were currently moving for the peace of the Western continent, they would desire the ownerless Empire once it was all over.
Choi Han thought that there was no way Cale had not thought about something that even he was able to notice.
Cale looked at Choi Han with a peculiar gaze.
‘Oh right, he was the main character.’
He was a very intelligent main character. Cale had forgotten about it.
However, Cale thought to himself that it didn’t matter if he forgot about that and started to speak. Choi Han was just Choi Han now and not the main character.
“That is why we are starting from the bottom.”
Causing chaos in the Empire was different than taking down Arm and the Indomitable Alliance.
“We need to gather the citizens of the Empire in order to channel their anger toward one thing. We are also doing it this way to prevent the other kingdoms from creating a bigger war that would turn the Empire into a shit show.”
They could not cause a revolt within the Empire.
That was why Cale chose to create a, ‘story.’
They could not allow other kingdoms to start another war just because they desired the Empire’s lands.
They needed the strength and justification to prevent that.
“To move forward in a constructive manner, to give strength to the new Mogoru, and furthermore, to give peace to the sad people who had lost their family members, we are gathering them all together.” ( Just Mogoru and not the Mogoru Empire because they mentioned they didn’t know how it will come back (as a kingdom, as an empire, etc. etc.) )
Cale was thinking that he was suffering quite a bit right now.
‘This is why I can only be a slacker in my late twenties.’
There were at least seven years left until that time.
Cale looked at On and Hong. They didn’t seem to fully understand what he was saying, however, they were listening carefully. Raon was probably doing the same thing.
Cael stood up and put On and Hong down on the roof. He then stretched before casually adding on.
“The Roan Kingdom will become a strong ally for the new Empire. Others will think that the Roan Kingdom is being a total idiot.”
The Roan Kingdom will make a suggestion for the newly born Mogoru. He wanted an elegant war based on politics and diplomacy instead of strength.
Crown prince Alberu did not want to expand their territory using the citizens’ blood.
Cale was not a good person, however, he did not want to create a bigger problem than necessary.
That was why he chose a new method.
‘I’ll need to talk to Sir Rex about it soon too.’
Power and strength knew no eternal enemy nor eternal ally.
However, Cale did not care about power or strength. He decided to speak honestly.
“Imperial Prince Adin wishes to make the Mogoru Empire the control tower of the Western continent.”
The Sound of the Wind roamed around Cale’s feet.
“However, I, mm, if I’m being honest with you.”
Cale stopped for a moment before jumping off the cliff and casually adding on.
“I just want the Western continent to be a land of peace.”
On and Hong jumped off the roof behind Cale.
Choi Han replayed Cale’s comment in his head before following behind them.
He could hear Cale’s voice through the wind.
“I think my mind will only be at peace if I do that.”
Choi Han nodded his head.
He agreed with Cale.
That was the only way for Choi Han’s future to be peaceful. He believed that Cale was also thinking about their future and did not question anything.
‘This is the place I will continue to live at, this is my home base.’
Cale had the same sentiments.
* * *
The East side of the free city of Leeb-An City.
The Action Leader, head of the most remote region of the Mostue faction’s territories and fifth in command of the Mostue faction, clenched his hands around his head.
Arm was slowly taking away Mostue’s territory.
No matter how many times the Action Leader deciphered the current balance of power, other than the territory where their leader Mostue was, his region had the least favorable balance of power.
‘I’m sure I’m next, fuck… I wish a Dragon would come out and rip all those Arm bastards to shreds!’
He was extremely angry. How could there be an organization that takes control of the Eastern continent’s underworld so mercilessly? He was starting to become afraid of Arm that continued to show an endless number of forces for battle.
It was at that moment.
The door opened with a loud noise.
“Son of a bitch! You scared me!”
The Action Leader jumped up and glared at his subordinate. It was one of the chiefs working under him.
However, the chief’s face was completely pale, and he did not seem to notice the Action Leader’s anger at all. That response made the Action Leader feel that something was off.
The chief stuttered as he continued to speak.
“A w, weird Arm is invading.”
That word made the Action Leader’s sight turn white as he immediately rushed out of the building.
“Call the other regions right now to call the battle squads! Contact the boss as well!”
He did not notice the chief’s hesitant reaction as he focused on the word, ‘Arm’ and quickly gathered his armor and axe before heading out.
Outside the building. He could see the gate and the walls surrounding this territory.
He looked beyond the gate.
The Action Leader noticed some people wearing masks.
“…What the hell?”
They looked like Arm, however, the outfit was a bit weird. It was different than the Arm that they knew about.
‘Why do they look so shabby? Did they make it while they were drunk?’
He looked toward his chief. The chief who had chased behind him repeated what he said once more.
“A weird Arm is invading.”
The Action Leader shouted toward the intruders who were leisurely walking toward the main gate.
“Who are you?!”
One of the intruders confidently stepped forward at that moment.
This passionate person lifted up his average steel sword and confidently shouted.
“We. Are. The. Real. Arm.”
Cale looked toward Choi Han, who had still not changed his acting style, and closed his eyes.
He didn’t think the terrible acting would return at this moment.
“W, what the hell?! What’s wrong with this bastard?”
Cale could hear the Action Leader shouting in confusion.
‘Right? That’s exactly how I feel.’
Cale truly felt the same way the Action Leader was feeling.
At that moment, Cale heard the Action Leader gasping for breath. That noise made Cale open his eyes.
“Gasp!” Y, you crazy!”
Choi Han activated his black aura and waited for Cale’s order.
“What should we do?”
Cale looked at Choi Han who was no longer acting and thought to himself.
Cale could not help but get scared at Choi Han’s attempt to do well.
That was why he gave a short order.
The ‘Real Arm’ would only charge forward from here on.
There was no going back.