Cale left the arena with Choi Han.
“Hans, Ron. Guide the two people still in the Arena.”
Cale had Hans and Ron, who were waiting outside the first floor entrance, take care of Rosalyn and Lock while Cale was returning to his room with Choi Han.
The table which held the now cold food from earlier was between the two of them, as Cale started to speak.
The two of them got right to the point without beating around the bush. Choi Han straightened up, as he started to speak.
“Everything was fine until I met Rosalyn.”
“I arrived at the city Cale-nim mentioned. Once I got there, I found the merchant guild heading for the capital as you described. Well, it was just a small brigade of five people rather than a guild.”
That small group was better described as a merchant group rather than a merchant guild.
“They happened to be looking for two mercenaries to guard them. Their usual guard was injured.”
Choi Han and Rosalyn became the two mercenaries. That was how it went in the novel.
“That was where I met Rosalyn, who looked just like you described.”
Breck Kingdom was across the Northwest border of the Roan Kingdom. Rosalyn was originally heading from Breck Kingdom to the Magic Tower in the Whipper Kingdom, located beneath the Roan Kingdom, when someone tries to assassinate her as she crossed into the Roan Kingdom.
She had been hiding about half of her magic skills until that point and is able to escape from the danger by using all of her skills. She thought it would be smarter to go to the capital of the Roan Kingdom and get some information from the Information Guild rather than going straight back to the Breck Kingdom, since she did not know anything about the people who attacked her.
‘She then causes quite the scene when she gets back to Breck Kingdom.’
Choi Han, who just mentioned that he had met Rosalyn as a mercenary for the merchant group, continued on.
“She was also heading to the capital. Since we were heading to the same place, we were quite friendly with each other.”
Choi Han was speaking as if he was embarrassed.
“I’m generally not one to talk to people if they don’t talk to me, but I thought we might as well be friendly.”
“Not really. You just have to act like your usual self.”
Cale had a concerned expression on his face. In the novel, Rosalyn and Choi Han did not get close to each other until they met Lock. Rosalyn, who became wary of people after the assassination attempt, did not reach out to be friendly with anybody. Similarly, after the incidents in Harris Village, Choi Han was not the type to approach people to become friends.
Choi Han nodded his head at Cale’s words, before smiling and adding on.
“It definitely was not something I would normally do, but I wanted to do things properly since this was my way to pay you back.”
Ha. Cale let out a sigh and shook his head. Choi Han seemed to have expected it, as he brushed it aside and continued to speak with a stiff expression.
“That group was planning on staying at the village that Cale-nim mentioned I would find Lock residing in for a few days before continuing onward on their journey.”
That was indeed the case. That small merchant group of five people was made by someone who had been helped by the Blue Wolf Tribe. The injured guard was actually a warrior from the Blue Wolf Tribe.
The merchants deliberately chose to take the long way from Puzzle City to the capital to deliver daily necessities to the Blue Wolf Tribe and receive medicinal herbs in return.
Of course, it was extremely difficult, as well as a waste of even more time to go deep into the mountains to the Blue Wolf Village. That was why they met at a tiny village underneath the mountains. That merchant, who was now 60 years old, had continued this partnership for the last thirty years.
“But something happened once we arrived at that small village.”
Cale became alert. The story was important from here.
“Right around when we arrived at the village, I learned that the guard was a Beast Person. I also learned that the village they were planning to meet the Blue Wolf Tribe member to trade was the village that Cale-nim had mentioned as well.”
Cale nodded his head at Choi Han’s words. He knew Choi Han would easily recognize that much.
“That was why I believed that I just needed to follow the tribe member that was going to show up at the village to find Lock.”
‘But that tribe member probably never showed up.’
“But nobody showed up to make the trade. When that happened, the merchant asked us for some extra help.”
Cale thought about what that request would have been.
‘Go to the Blue Wolf Village with the injured Blue Wolf Tribe guard.’
“It was if we could go visit the Blue Wolf Village with the injured guard.”
“And you agreed?”
“Yes. I agreed. Rosalyn agreed as well.”
It followed the original story until this point. Just what could have changed?
In, ‘The Birth of a Hero,’ Choi Han and Rosalyn arrive at the Blue Wolf Village with the guard warrior, only to find the village destroyed and the secret organization’s assassins trying to leave. Choi Han recalls what happened to Harris Village, and immediately starts to attack them. The guard warrior also goes crazy and starts to kill the assassins. He is injured even more in the process, and ends up dying.
‘That is when Rosalyn learns of Choi Han’s strength.’
Rosalyn, who had been hiding her strength and masquerading as a beginner mage, learns of Choi Han’s strength and officially asks him to escort her back to Breck Kingdom. Of course, the compensation she offered him was huge.
‘They then find Lock hiding in that destroyed village.’
The coward wolf boy, Lock. Until Choi Han found him, Lock had been hiding as the chief had told him. The Lock at that point is very much a coward, a weakling, and kind of slow. In simple terms, Lock easily took the position of the character that readers found to be extremely frustrating.
However, his natural abilities and physical strength rise to the top five in the novel after his first berserk mode transformation.
‘But why would the timing of the transformation be pulled forward by a year?’
“I saw something I was familiar with there.”
“What did you see?”
Choi Han nodded his head at Cale’s question. The cold food was between the two of them, but it could probably be heated up by the nervousness that filled the air between them. Choi Han started to speak.
“A white star and five red stars.”
Cale’s expression stiffened. He could feel his heart sink. Choi Han was saying that, instead of the assassination team, official members of the secret organization showed up at the Blue Wolf Tribe. Cale could not understand why. In the novel, the Blue Wolf Tribe was the target of assassination.
Choi Han looked at Cale’s cold expression and recalled the past for a moment. He subconsciously started to clench his fists. His fists were shaking with anger.
The houses in the village deep in the mountains were simple and small. But all of them were destroyed. Most importantly, the corpses of the Wolf Tribe were completely black, as if they were burnt to a crisp on the floor. The black corpses, what smelled like burnt flesh, and the blood that was still pouring out of their open wounds. Most of the Wolf Tribe members died with their eyes still open.
“The mountain village was already destroyed when we got there. Many of the Wolf Tribe members were dead as well.”
The Blue Wolf Tribe was known for their strength, so how did the secret organization kill them?
Wolves put their family, herd, and friends before themselves.
Weak members who had not experienced their first berserk mode transformation. The secret organization used those weak members as hostages, before using divine items to weaken the adult wolves. After killing the adults, they then killed the young hostages. There were a few adult wolves that tried to attack them in frenzy, but the secret organization had Holy Water to use against those few wolves.
The secret organization was a very strong organization, that even had access to divine items. They used the fact that the Wolf Tribe was disowned by the gods to their advantage. These cruel bastards had no issues using young children as hostages to kill their mothers, fathers, and the rest of the tribe members, while the poor young children watched in horror.
‘The novel didn’t say which of the divine items they brought.’
If Cale knew what the divine item was, he would be able to get one step closer to the identity of the secret organization. Unfortunately, the novel only described how the Wolf Tribe became weak because of the divine item. He had no way to determine the identity of the secret organization.
Cale slowly asked.
“Were they all dead?”
Choi Han shook his head. Cale’s expression stiffened again. Choi Han observed Cale’s stiff expression, as he continued.
“They were trying to capture the young children.”
‘Capture? Originally, they killed them all. Why would they want the young Wolf Tribe children?’
Cale’s mind started to become complicated. Choi Han made eye contact with the Cale who was thinking deeply.
“The chief was dying when we arrived at the entrance of the Blue Wolf Tribe’s village.”
There were less than 100 members of the Blue Wolf Tribe.
“And they were trying to take 10 children with them.”
‘…This is becoming too different from the novel.’
“And the moment the chief was about to fall, a young boy got in the way of the people trying to take the children.”
“Yes. It was Lock.”
‘Why would Lock show up this time? In the novel, he had stayed hidden, even when the children were killed. Did he think killing and kidnapping were different? Was it his instinctual need to protect his family members and his younger siblings, who were weaker than him? What would have made Lock’s natural wolf instincts flare up?’
“I stopped the assassin. No, I tried to kill them.”
Choi Han said that as he looked back at Cale. Cale did not show any emotions as he urged Choi Han to continue speaking.
“…I realized that the people who did not have stars on their clothes used the same black power as the assassins I killed at Harris Village.”
Cale asked back with a shocked expression.
“It was the same power as the people who destroyed Harris Village?”
Cale grabbed his head with one hand and let out a sigh. He was acting like it was his first time hearing about this. Of course, all of this was just an act.
“Among them, there was just one person who had the white star with five red stars on their chest. That person was the one who killed the guard.”
Choi Han started to tear up.
“And that trash of a human was drinking the Wolf Tribe’s blood.”
Cale closed his eyes.
The blood drinking mage. He was the crazy lunatic who would lead the terror incident at the capital. He kept his eyes closed as he heard the rest of Choi Han’s report.
“In the end, I could not capture or kill them. The ones I captured committed suicide, while the rest disappeared when the person with the stars used teleportation magic.”
‘Why would the blood drinking mage, who is a highest tier mage and crazy for blood, try to kidnap the Blue Wolf Tribe children instead of killing all of them like in the novel?’
Cale could not figure it out.
‘Did something change drastically because I saved the dragon?’
The only thing Cale could think about was the changes he has made so far to the original story.
“This is what the mage said.”
Choi Han continued in an angry and bitter voice.
“How disappointing. They were perfect as seeds. These young ones probably have even tastier blood.”
Seed. Cale didn’t know what the mage meant by seed, but he kept the word on the back of his mind as he opened his eyes and asked.
“And the children?”
The guard, chief, and the rest of the Wolf Tribe adults were dead. The only ones left were the 10 children and Lock.
Choi Han avoided Cale’s gaze. This was the first time he did that since they sat down at this table. Cale instantly figured out what must have happened, as Choi Han reported in a quiet voice.
“They are at the inn.”
‘I knew it.’
Choi Han opened and closed his mouth a few more times before finally adding on.
“We came together with Rosalyn’s magic.”
‘…It’s going to be a real problem.’
Cale could feel a headache brewing. Choi Han should have just left the children with that merchant that they were travelling with. Although that merchant was far away from power right now, he was a great merchant.
“Cale-nim. That merchant is also at the inn.”
‘Is this how the story will go?’
That was what Cale was thinking right now. Cale observed Choi Han, who seemed to be finished with his report, and leaned back on the chair to sigh.
Seeing Choi Han like that, Cale asked a question.
“You must be curious.”
Choi Han looked toward the cold food and answered.
“Yes. I am curious.”
He did not even need to say what he was curious about.
Who they were.
Why they were doing such terrible things.
And why Cale knew about them.
Choi Han was curious about all of those things. Cale observed Choi Han’s pupils, that were looking down at the cold food on the table, and started to think.
‘This punk is really angry right now.’
The anger was not directed toward Cale. Choi Han was sharpening his anger toward the secret organization over and over again, like a sharp blade. Harris Village, the tortured dragon, and the incident with the Blue Wolf Tribe. Choi Han’s personality was one where he would clash with them instead of avoiding them.
Cale picked up a cold, but still delicious bread, and ripped off a piece to put into his mouth.
“I plan on telling you two things.”
“…But not everything?”
Cale did not care that Choi Han was staring at him. He stood up with the bread still in his hand. The chair was pushed back without making a noise on the carpet.
“…Are we going somewhere?”
Cale checked his watch after watching Choi Han get up after him. It was long past evening and heading toward night. That place was one to shine even brighter as the night got deeper.
Cale walked toward the door and responded to Choi Han’s question.
“The Temple of the God of Death.”
Cale was planning on going with Choi Han to the brightest place at night, the Temple of the God of Death.
There was a special type of priest at the Temples of the God of Death that could not be found anywhere else on the continent.
The deaf official.
They could not hear anything you said to each other. That was why the believers of the God of Death looked for them. Although Cale was not a believer, he was planning on visiting them, like most nobles.
Cale turned around once he got to the door. Choi Han was still standing by the table. Cale started to smile.
“I plan on telling you two truths.”
Although he was smiling, the next thing out of his mouth was not light at all.
“With my life on the line.”
Choi Han’s pupils lightly shook. However, Cale still had a smile on his face as he turned back around.
Choi Han slowly moved away from the table and headed toward the door. His eyes had calmed back down, but his face was still stiff. Cale was turning the doorknob as he repeated himself once again.
“I will tell you the truth with my life on the line.”
Cale headed toward the Temple of the God of Death with Choi Han.