It was nice to happily laugh like that.
Cale continued to laugh after seeing Rosalyn laughing loudly like he did, Eruhaben chuckling, and everybody else looking confused.
He laughed loudly once more before suddenly stopping.
His body then curled forward.
Cale subconsciously took a deep breath.
Neither blood nor groans came out of his open mouth.
– Human! What is it? Are you okay?
Raon’s concerned voice could be heard. Rosalyn started to support Cale right away.
“Young master Cale! Are you-”
Rosalyn’s gaze that had been observing Cale’s complexion quickly focused elsewhere as she stopped speaking. Her gaze was looking past Cale’s shoulder.
The sky was slowly turning brighter as night was coming to an end.
The blue sky was lit up enough that the black tree trunks that filled Section 7 were now clearly visible.
Rosalyn bit down on her lips.
‘Nothing in life is free.’
Section 7 was filled with large tree trunks that were linked together. However, there were no buildings that were destroyed by those tree trunks.
They just took up the space between the buildings, people, and the trees.
She looked back at Cale after looking around for a few seconds and focused on supporting him up again.
“…Young master Cale.”
She could see Cale’s hands.
The tips of his white hands were shaking.
The corners of Rosalyn’s lips were shaking.
‘Yes, young master Cale always pays the price like this.’
She tightly grabbed onto Cale’s strength-less body that wanted to fall down. However, she was not strong enough to hold him up on her own. The two of them made eye contact and she could see that Cale’s pupils were shaking.
He was opening and closing his mouth as if he wanted to say something, but he was unable to say anything probably because he had no strength to speak.
He looked so terrible, almost as if that person who had been happily laughing seconds prior had never been there.
He had never looked so bad before.
“Rosalyn, I’ll do it.”
Choi Han had approached them at some point and was reaching his hand out while saying that he would support Cale.
Rosalyn sighed and was about to hand Cale over to Choi Han when someone else stepped in.
The ancient Dragon Eruhaben easily supported Cale.
No, he picked Cale up and put him over his shoulder.
“Eruhaben-nim! Cale-nim is in a dangerous state right now!”
Choi Han’s shocked shout reached both the enemies and the allies.
Litana was approaching the pale Cale.
“I will carry him. It is my job as his guard.”
It was as the Dark Elf Tasha tightly closed her eyes and opened them back with a bitter expression on her face after seeing Choi Han’s concerned and worried expression.
‘Is he crazy? Why is he carrying me?
I’m not in danger!’
Cale tried to fervently shake his head while being carried on Eruhaben’s shoulder. However, his body shook for a moment before his head weakly fell.
‘Ah, so annoying.’
He was extremely annoyed right now.
Cale barely managed to open his mouth, but he could not speak properly. He only managed to weakly say a few words.
The ancient Dragon was able to hear that quiet voice clearly.
“Tsk, you poor bastard. You seem to have been possessed by a ghost who starved to death now that your plate is better.”
‘Hooray for Dragons!’
Cale was extremely happy. Eruhaben had instantly figured out his condition.
He truly did have a starved ghost possessing him.
– I’m hungry. I’m hungry because I used my powers.
The glutton was continuously nagging Cale in his mind.
– We used our power to make the tree trunks grow. I have no strength left.
There really was no strength left in Cale’s body.
He was also really hungry. He felt as if he needed to eat something in order to be able to do anything.
– Human! I have a lot of apple pies!
Cale ignored Raon’s comments. He’ll eat it because a child was giving it to him, but he wanted something greasy right now.
“Yes, we’ll get you some pork too.”
‘Ah, this is truly the wonders of experience.’
Cale lowered his head after admiring how Eruhaben could understand what he was trying to say.
Rosalyn and Choi Han were looking at Eruhaben. They seemed to be asking him to explain. The ancient Dragon nodded his head and started to speak.
“Let’s finish things up.”
Eruhaben put a smile on his beautiful face as Rosalyn asked back in confusion.
“We all need to finish our tasks since the night is ending.”
Cale was thinking to himself while drooping on Eruhaben’s shoulder.
‘Ah, the wisdom of the old.’
Eruhaben was right to say that they needed to finish things up.
Cale could feel someone patting his back.
“Get some rest. You unlucky bastard.”
– He’s right! Human, rest like Goldie gramps is saying!
Cale wanted to shake his head.
‘No… give me some food first.
Cale closed his eyes. He felt as if he should just get some sleep.
There were talented people and Dragons present, so they should be able to take care of the rest.
Cale instantly fell asleep.
That was why he did not manage to see the look on the faces of the Jungle warriors who were quietly thinking about their victory rather than cheering out loud.
They had always lived difficult lives in nature as warriors.
All of their gazes passed by the passed out Cale at least once.
* * *
Litana, the Queen of the Jungle.
She quickly started to walk as she asked one of the Dark Elves a question.
“Young master Cale has woken up?”
“Yes, your majesty!”
Cale had supposedly woken up after just one hour.
‘…How worried must he be about the situation to wake up after one hour when he instantly lost consciousness like that?’
It weighed heavily on Litana that Commander Cale was so worried that he could not even relax properly.
She quickly started to walk toward the tent that Cale and his group were in. The palace was in a chaotic state right now, so they had needed to quickly set up this tent by the palace.
She could see a black robe crouching down by a black tree trunk and putting her hand on it.
She wondered what Mary was doing crouching there, but she just walked past Mary as she was in a hurry.
Litana didn’t pay attention to what Mary was mumbling as she reached the tent.
Litana’s expression turned odd as she stood in front of the tent.
She heard an unexpected sound coming from behind her.
Litana turned around after hearing something moving on wheels.
“Ah, you’re here, your majesty?”
The sword master Choi Han. He approached her while pushing a cart.
There was a lot of food on the cart.
It was similar to the smell of food coming from inside the tent.
“Shall we go in?”
Choi Han smiled brightly and guided Litana into the tent.
Litana slowly entered the tent.
“Oh, Miss Lina!”
Cale stuffed a large piece of beef into his mouth as he greeted her.
“…Young master Cale, are you okay?”
“Yes, I am perfectly fine.”
Cale answered back as he continued to stuff more food into his mouth.
He was somehow able to elegantly stuff his face. Choi Han, Vice Captain Hilsman, and Saint Jack were next to him for anything he may need.
– Ho ho ho, looks like I need to give him some food money.
Litana turned her head after hearing someone laugh.
“…Crown prince Alberu.”
– Long time no see.
Alberu had a look of disbelief through the video communication device. He looked toward Litana and continued to speak.
– I heard the news of your victory. Congratulations.
“Thank you. It is all thanks to your assistance.”
– Not at all. Allied nations should help each other. I want to inform our other allies about this great news, but I am unable to do so.
“…You haven’t let them know yet?”
Litana had delivered the news immediately to Alberu through a Dark Elf.
He was pretty much the central figure in their alliance, so she thought that he would inform the other leaders as well.
‘But he hasn’t let the others know?
Alberu continued to speak as if he was answering her question.
– Commander Cale prevented me from doing so.
‘Commander Cale did what?
Wasn’t he the one who was most adamant about being victorious and saving the Jungle?
So why would he say remain quiet about the victory?’
Litana and Alberu’s gazes both headed toward Cale. He sort of wiped the sauce off the corner of his mouth and looked at the two of them.
“I’m currently unconscious and on the brink of death.”
Cale rubbed his still hungry stomach as he continued to speak after seeing Alberu and Litana’s confusion.
“The airship exploded, and I tried to defend against the explosion with my shield, but I only managed to defend a part of it, destroying a portion of Section 7 of the Jungle in the process.”
Cale could see the corners of crown prince Alberu’s lips starting to curl up.
– And you overused your ancient powers so you are unconscious and at the brink of death? Nobody is certain whether you will make it or not?
“That is indeed the case.”
– Coughing up blood and shaking like that video last time?
“That sounds perfect.”
– Then Cale Henituse will not be able to come to the battlefield for a while.
The corners of Cale’s lips were slowly curling up as well before he had a serious expression on his face.
“We found a spy in the Jungle.”
He put on an apologetic expression toward Litana because he had to talk about something that was both painful and shameful to the Jungle. Litana nodded her head and motioned for him to continue.
Cale quickly added on.
“There is no way we can guarantee that there are no spies in the Roan Kingdom, Whipper Kingdom, or any of the other allied nations.”
He had not thought about a spy being in the Jungle because he had just relied on the information from, ‘The Birth of a Hero.’
Cale now knew that the novel was not the answer for everything. That was why he was moving according to the experiences he had as both Kim Rok Soo and Cale.
He was moving stealthily.
He was moving so that he could flatten his enemies.
The person most similar to him here immediately understood his words.
– So you are saying that we need to trick both our allies and our enemies?
Alberu quickly thought of a rumor to spread throughout the Western continent even without hearing Cale’s response.
– Cale Henituse is teetering between life and death. Is that good enough?
He then added on.
– But I will claim that rumor to be a lie and pretend to be ready to go to war against the Empire at any moment?
If there was a rumor that says Cale is hurt but the crown prince runs wild claiming that it wasn’t true…
– The Empire might really be tricked and think that you are hurt.
Cale looked toward Litana instead of responding to Alberu.
“…Section 7 was destroyed by the explosion and fire and Commander Cale received serious injuries in the process. That is the truth. Is that good enough?”
Cale smiled and nodded his head.
Litana really was a wily one as well. She had quickly determined what she needed to do.
“Don’t worry about information leaking out of the Jungle. We will put surveillance at the border with the Empire, the sky, and anywhere else that might need it.”
– I will trick our allies and the Western continent.
Alberu added on before asking Cale a question.
– Then what will you be doing?
Cale heard the young Dragon’s voice in his mind at that moment.
– Human! We have a call from the Empire!
There was only one place in the Empire that would be calling him.
The Empire’s capital. The small butterfly Cale planted at the capital.
– It is from the assassin who sculpted the rabbit that looks like the devil’s guard dog! It’s a message!
The assassin, Freesia. She was currently responsible for gathering information under Ron.
– It says, ‘young master-nim, when will you be coming to the Empire?’ It also says, ‘Sir Rex and Miss Hannah are waiting for you!’
The butterflies he planted in the Empire.
These butterflies will flutter their wings and cause typhoons.
Cale’s information network was currently pretending to be priests in the slums with Freesia leading the group.
The Cat Knight, Sir Rex, and the alcoholic alchemist Rei were there as well.
There was also the Caro Kingdom’s crown prince Valentino.
And finally, there was Hannah who did not know that she was a real Holy Maiden.
They were hidden inside the Imperial Prince and Arm’s pocket without their knowledge.
They would only be expecting enemies to come from the outside.
They would be expecting enemies from the Whipper Kingdom, Roan Kingdom, and the Jungle. They would only be wary of anybody coming into the capital.
However, the enemy was already within the capital.
The sharp nail that was stealthily mixed in with the other stuff in their pockets will stab them to death.
‘And I am the only one who can move that nail.’
He was the one connected with all of them.
Cale looked toward the rulers of the Jungle and the Roan Kingdom as he started to speak.
“I will go destroy the Alchemists’ Bell Tower.”
Litana closed her eyes as if she had been expecting this response. Cale continued to speak.
“Both black magic and dead mana are extremely dangerous in large battlefields. That is why I think that it will be most efficient to move with a small group and strike at the enemy’s core.”
Litana thought about the word sacrifice that was hidden underneath the word, ‘efficient.’
He was saying that he would be pretending to be hurt but was actually going to the most dangerous place.
‘…The crown prince has nothing to say either.’
Crown prince Alberu was silent as well.
Only Alberu Crossman had the power to approve or deny Commander Cale Henituse’s plan right now.
However, nobody was saying anything.
Litana opened her eyes and looked around. She could see the look in the eyes of the people behind Cale.
It was the gazes of the people who would go into the Empire with Cale.
Litana started to speak.
Young master Cale.
However, before she could call out his name…
Cale suddenly coughed.
No, he seemed to be choking on something.
He then jumped up.
Cale heard a voice in his mind as the others called out to Cale in shock.
– Looks like she is trying to purify it now.
It was the glutton.
The only thing here to be purified were the black tree trunks.
Cale shouted out before quickly heading out of the tent. He could see someone rushing toward the tent.
She seemed extremely shocked as she continued to run even after stepping on her black robe a few times.
Cale was now face-to-face with the person who had run over.
The black robe bowed 90 degrees.
“I’m sorry, young master-nim.”
Mary bowed and responded with a shocked voice that was different than her usual GPS-like voice. Cale’s gaze headed toward the tree trunk behind Mary.
Mary did not see this as she continued to rattle on with her head down.
She was shocked by this as well. She didn’t want to cause a scene while Cale was injured.
“I didn’t do it on purpose, it just-”
Mary hesitated for a moment before telling Cale the truth.
“I felt oddly hungry. I was hungry, so…”
Mary’s speedy response reached Cale’s ears.
“Yes, young master-nim. I’m so-”
“You did very well.”
Mary lifted her head up.
She could see that Cale was smiling at her.
– Human! That smile doesn’t suit you very well!
Cale completely ignored the six-years-old Dragon’s comment and continued to speak.
“Mary, you were hungry?”
He looked at the black tree trunk.
There was a spot the size of Mary’s small palm that was a different color than black.
“…Yes sir, I suddenly felt really hungry.”
The shocked Mary almost mumbled the response. The black robe was moving up and down because she was so anxious.
Cale pointed to all of Section 7 with a satisfied expression on his face.
“You can eat it all.”
Mary could see the black tree trunks, no, the dead mana, that was covering Section 7.
She looked back at Cale.
“Do whatever you feel like doing. You can do whatever you want.”
Cale’s gift was delivered to Mary.