“…I can’t even contact him.”
He was unable to contact crown prince Alberu right now.
It was not that he was avoiding Cale’s calls on purpose. It just kept saying that his line was busy.
‘Just what the hell is he doing that his video communication device is constantly busy?’
Cale pushed this issue back by leaving a single lined message.
It was easier for him to move if people thought that he was dead anyway.
“Raon, pretend to be me and send messages back to the people who left messages.”
The snickering Raon cutely nodded his head and Cale got up and looked at the group of people inside the tent.
Eruhaben, Mary, Choi Han, Saint Jack, Vice Captain Hilsman, and the Dark Elf Tasha.
Rosalyn and Litana were not here. The two of them were going to remain in the Jungle to restore it and to help make the rumor more believable.
Of course, the Dark Elf mayor Obante was going to stay behind and help them out with the Dark Elf warriors as well.
“Young master Cale, doesn’t it seem like his highness caused quite the scene?”
Tasha mockingly smiled as she walked next to Cale. Mary followed behind her.
Cale shook his head after seeing Tasha smile even more each time he said something negative about the crown prince.
‘She’s making fun of us.’
Tasha was definitely enjoying making fun of Cale and her nephew, Alberu.
Cale brushed this off before looking at Eruhaben.
“What is it?”
Eruhaben bluntly asked when he saw Cale’s gaze, leading Cale to respond in kind.
“Please put a disguise on me.”
Eruhaben let out a deep sigh before touching his forehead. He then mumbled, ‘what an unlucky final year for me,’ before channeling his white gold aura.
“What and how should I change it? Just let me know.”
Cale felt as if he was facing the true majestic nature of a Dragon and decided to thoroughly put this ancient Dragon to work.
He pointed to Hilsman, Choi Han, and himself.
“Please give us brown eyes and brown hair.”
“…To all three of you?”
Cale nodded his head without much thought as Eruhaben asked back. It was best to not stand out as much as possible because they would need to move through the slums as well as different places in the Empire’s capital.
The Empire had a lot of people with brown hair.
“Yes sir. That will catch the least attention, don’t you think so?”
Snap. Snap. Snap.
The ancient Dragon snapped three times. Cale’s eyes and hair changed color instantly. It was a much faster casting speed than Raon.
He heard Raon’s voice as he was satisfied with Eruhaben’s work.
“You look like siblings?”
Cale turned his head. An oddly excited Hilsman started to shout.
“Young master-nim, having our hair the same brown color like this makes us look like siblings! Hahahaha! I am the great and mighty Shield-”
Cale wanted to shut Hilsman up.
He didn’t know what this punk had been up to, but the Jungle people who had been with Hilsman were all now looking at him with odd gazes.
Cale turned away from Hilsman and looked toward Choi Han. He was quietly looking at a mirror and touching his hair.
‘I guess he probably never really dyed his hair since he came here during his high school years.’
Cale stood up from his seat.
“What is it?”
Eruhaben let out a deep sigh and then got up from his seat as well. He then started to create a teleportation magic circle.
Cale who was watching Eruhaben work turned toward someone calling for him.
It was Saint Jack.
“Is it fine for me to go to like this?”
“Yes. It is fine.”
Jack slowly stepped back after hearing Cale’s response. He had spoken much less since the battle at the Jungle.
He seemed to have a lot on his mind. He had become even quieter after Cale told him about the first page of the black magic book.
Cale observed Jack for a moment before touching his inner pocket.
‘Now what to do with this book?’
The black magic book.
Mayor Obante had said that the owner would know that the book was for them after reading the first page.
‘That’s none of my business.’
Cale took the book even though he didn’t think he was the owner. There was a simple reason for it.
‘It has information I need right now, and I can always pass it onto someone else.’
Other than the first page, the rest of the contents contained a boring manual about how to become a beginner black mage.
Cale turned his head after hearing someone else calling for him.
It was Mary this time.
Cale looked at the black robe that was squirming as if she was hesitating, as well as Hilsman and Choi Han, before starting to speak.
“You don’t need to disguise yourself either. Let’s just change the color of your robe later.”
It was impossible to use disguise magic or dye magic on necromancers.
That was why they had to live without hiding their spider web-like veins.
“That’s not it-”
Mary shook her head.
Cale then tilted his head to one side and thoroughly observed the black hood.
‘It’s not that? Then what is it?’
He hesitated for a moment before asking.
Mary had been talking less mechanically these days.
“Do you think that the Queen of Death, do you think that I will be important in the Empire this time?”
‘That was it?’
Cale lightly nodded his head. Mary slightly clenched her fists after seeing Cale nod his head.
The Sage of Death. The Queen of Death. The Underground City.
She had heard too much information from mayor Obante. She wasn’t able to think about it yesterday because she was busy absorbing the dead mana, however, she had a lot on her mind now that she was thinking about going to the Empire and defeating black magic.
Mary paid attention to what Cale was saying as he nodded his head.
“When have you not been important?”
Mary unclenched her fists.
Cale didn’t think there was anybody who was not important during the wars until now.
‘Why is she asking something so obvious? Aren’t we all here because everybody played their part?’
He couldn’t believe that someone who could now even defeat Choi Han was saying something like that.
“And what does the Empire have to do with the Queen of Death?”
Some of the information in the black magic book about the Queen of Death helped prepare the new plan, however, that was just a bit of help.
Cale thought about yesterday while looking at the still silent black robe. The stories that mayor Obante had shared with them passed through his mind.
He then nonchalantly added on.
“Do you wish to become the Queen of Death?”
Mary started to think about the existence that was pretty much her teacher.
The person she knew as the Sage of Death was also the Queen of Death.
That was the person who needed to understand everything about the darkness attribute, suppress black magic, and rise to the zenith of those with the darkness attribute. Such a person was the author of the book she had learned from.
Mary had not known about that at all.
‘Do I want to be that kind of person?’
‘I do want to be unrivaled in strength though.’
Mary shook her head.
Mary could see Cale just nodding his head.
“…Is that okay?”
“Of course that is okay.”
Cale answered without any hesitation.
It was true that Mary was able to become a necromancer thanks to the Sage of Death, however, hasn’t she already done enough to satisfy her teacher?
Furthermore, what more did you need in life in order to live while saving others?
Cale casually waved his hands.
“Just take the mayor-nim’s stories and think, ‘oh, such a thing happened in the past.’ ”
It was coming from a Dark Elf who exaggerated even more than the regular Elves when it came to Dragons and legends. It was smart to just listen to it and take what you needed from it.
Mary’s fingers underneath the robe were twitching.
Tasha, who was standing next to her, patted Mary’s shoulders as she added on.
“He’s right. This is the first time I heard those stories from grandfather as well. It is an old story, a very old story. It’s also a story only the Dark Elves who become the mayor get to know about.”
Tasha recalled the legend of the necromancer who died during the final battle in the Land of Death.
She then thought about how her grandfather had said that Mary had carried on that person’s power.
There was only one thing on her mind right now.
‘I’m very thankful for the things that the Queen of Death did for us, but I can’t let Mary become like that only to die while being attacked by everybody.’
That was the only thing on her mind. It could be considered selfish and make her a terrible person to pick Mary over saving the world, but she couldn’t help it.
Why had she destroyed the mayor’s office to make her grandfather help her nephew Alberu, who was left alone in the palace, and why was she helping Mary now?
She didn’t know what anyone else might be thinking, but she just wanted to live happily with them.
She smiled brightly and waved her hand similarly to what Cale had done.
“Who cares about all of that now. Just let it in one ear and out the other.”
There was no reason to burden a child who had worked so hard already by talking about a Queen or whatnot.
That was Tasha’s belief.
Mary remained silent for a moment before nodding her head. Her mechanical GPS-like voice came out again.
“I just like our city. I like my neighbors as well.”
Cale nodded his head and showed his agreement.
He thought that the Underground City was a nice place as well. A very nice place at that.
Someone else interjected into their conversation at that moment.
“That’s right! The Underground City is great!”
It was a Dragon.
Raon flew over and fluttered his wings next to Mary.
“Our house is great as well! Mary, you can’t become Queen!”
Raon was saying this with a solemn tone.
“Look at the crown prince! Kings are busy! The good Mary still has many things to see with me! You promised to see them with me!”
“You are right, Raon-nim. Although this Queen and that King are different, I still have many things to see and many things to do with everyone.”
The black robe moved up and down more vigorously than ever as Mary nodded her head.
Mary had things she wanted to do, as well as her own future to look forward to.
“I want to prevent them from using black magic to create despair as much as I can.”
“That’s right! I agree with you, Mary!”
Raon seemed excited as he took a piece of apple pie out and handed it to Mary.
“We will destroy the Alchemists’ Bell Tower.”
“That’s right! Mary, you’re so smart!”
Cale shook his head at the excited Raon and let out a sigh. He then made eye contact with Eruhaben.
‘Are you really making me wait?’
The gaze of the ancient Dragon who had finished activating his magic had a look of shock after feeling disrespected.
Cale quickly started to speak.
“Ahem, let’s go to the Empire.”
Cale slowly walked above the teleportation magic circle and whispered to Mary who was now next to him.
“Do you want the black magic book?”
“I do not need it, Cale-nim. I am already great and mighty.”
Cale could see Mary standing with her shoulders puffed up as things became blurry from the teleportation.
“That’s right! I, Raon Miru, am great and mighty too!”
Cale let out a chuckle as they teleported to the Empire.
* * *
And once he arrived…
‘What’s wrong with him?’
Cale had a shocked expression while looking at the hands that were shaking while holding his arms.
However, he understood why this person was acting like this.
“Billos, long time no see.”
It was the Flynn Merchant Guild’s bastard son Billos who looked like a piggy bank.
Cale’s group had not teleported to the Empire’s slums nor Valentino’s residence, but to Billos’s secret residence.
Cale recalled how Billos had left him a message asking if he was really dead and calmed him down.
“It’s fine. Didn’t you see my message earlier?”
Of course, Raon had been the one who actually sent it.
“I am not hurt. That is all a rumo-”
“That’s not it!”
Cale looked at Billos who cut him off with confusion.
Billos had an extremely concerned expression on his face as he explained himself.
“…That, in the last message, I heard that you were coming to capture the Imperial Prince. You said that you would d, mm, destroy the Bell Tower.”
‘Ah, Raon Miru.’
It was now blatantly obvious what Raon had said to Billos.
It was as Cale was about to frown.
“But something is weird!”
Cale looked at Billos to urge him to explain.
He was the person on Cale’s side with the most information about the Empire.
Billos quickly added on.
“He’s not in the capital!”
“Young master-nim, the Imperial Prince, no, only the Imperial Prince cannot be found in the capital?”
‘What the heck?’
Cale felt his mind going blank for a moment.