Everyone stared blankly at the sight.
Pow! Poow! Pow!
‘He’s beating him thoroughly.
The sword scabbard was skillfully striking the spot that it had already struck.
His body spasmed after being beaten while the sword scabbard once again drew a smooth arch as it deftly struck the same spot within two seconds.
It even struck twice in a row.
The two powerful blows soon brought everyone to their senses.
There was a lot of noise everywhere all at once.
– H, human! Choi Han is really good at giving a beating! Watching him do it is so r, refreshing! Choi Han is really g, great!
The six-year-old Raon Miru exclaimed continuously at this new knowledge.
“Y, y, y- your highness!”
“Pwahaha, beat him up! Thrash him!”
The faces of the people on the Empire’s side went pale while the Dark Elves laughed loudly and cheered for Choi Han.
“Ugh, cough! Y, you-“
Adin seemed to have summoned the black despair again as he swung his clenched mangled hand that was wrapped in black smoke at Choi Han.
However, Choi Han’s hand caught Adin’s fist.
Choi Han tightened his grip on the fist.
Adin let out a terrible scream.
Choi Han didn’t care as he broke the bones in Adin’s hand. He then resumed the beating with a refreshed expression on his face.
“…As I thought-“
‘Choi Han isn’t normal either.’
Cale shook his head as he watched Choi Han beating a person while having an innocent expression on his face. However, he gave Choi Han a thumbs up once more when their eyes met.
What Choi Han was doing now was Cale’s favorite of everything that Choi Han had done so far.
Choi Han seemed to have somehow understood Cale’s praise-filled gaze and nodded his head.
Choi Han wielded the sword scabbard in a different direction as Cale’s head tilted slightly to one side at Choi Han’s nod.
Black aura formed on the sword scabbard and drew a line.
The Imperial Prince’s right leg made of dead mana was cut off.
No, it broke into bits and pieces as soon as the beautiful black light touched it. Adin looked as if he couldn’t believe what he had just witnessed, while Choi Han started to whisper in a low voice so that only Adin could hear his voice with a grin on his face as their eyes met.
“I don’t just have despair.”
‘I have happiness too. I’m feeling a bit more free than before.’
However, Choi Han couldn’t say that last part out loud.
“We must save his highness!”
“Everyone, break through! Attack and attack again!”
The Empire’s knights and mages tried to break through the Dark Elves with a different magnitude of strength than before. The faces of the Empire’s knights were full of desperation as they were determined to save Imperial Prince Adin at all costs.
“Oh no you don’t.”
However, the Dark Elves responded in kind as the Empire’s forces ran wild. The Empire’s forces could not easily break through no matter how superior they were in number.
In fact, the Dark Elves’ side was as strong as, if not stronger, than the Empire’s forces despite the numbers disadvantage.
It was inevitable since the Dark Elves shouted loudly whenever the Empire’s sword, magic, or black magic came close.
“The Imperial Prince will get beaten more if I get hurt!”
“The Imperial Prince will have one bone broken for every injury on my arm you bastards!”
‘What the hell.’
Cale felt flustered and uncertain about what to do about the Empire’s forces while looking at the Dark Elves.
Cale couldn’t understand the intentions of the Dark Elves who were running wild and acting as trashy as himself.
However, he was satisfied either way.
It was Cale’s style to make others feel cheated and annoyed.
The Dark Elves were filled with anger after absorbing the large amount of dead mana in the area and hearing the shrieks of the unfairly killed people from within the black despair.
So Choi Han beating up the person responsible for it was making them extremely excited.
There was also a reason that they were warriors.
The particularly belligerent Dark Elves were the Dark Elves who became warriors.
Cale, who was watching them run wild and use cheap tactics against the Empire’s forces, turned his head after hearing a sound.
Choi Han was approaching.
Draag, drag, draag.
He was approaching while dragging Adin by the collar.
‘This scary bastard!’
Cale frowned at Choi Han who displayed a bloodthirsty appearance for the first time in a long while, but had no choice but to greet him since he was approaching with a refreshed expression on his face.
“Did you get what you wanted?”
Choi Han stopped about two steps from Cale’s silver shield and Raon’s shield that was in front of it and faced Cale. Cale leisurely nodded his head with a blank expression on his face.
“Yes, thank you.”
It was only a short conversation, but Choi Han finally felt completely at ease. Cale blankly looked at Choi Han’s expression before turning away.
The silver shield slowly faded away. It was only then that Raon’s silver shield disappeared as well.
– I’ll keep it up invisibly!
Raon put up a three-layered transparent shield instead of the silver shield.
Cale walked out of the shield while thinking that Raon was a clever Dragon and crouched down. It was then that he was at eye level with Adin.
“Haa, haa, ugh, gasp.”
Adin was breathing heavily.
He constantly tried to emit the black aura smoke, but the highest-grade expert’s aura smoke futilely broke at the wave of sword master Choi Han’s hand.
Cale asked the struggling Adin a question.
“Hey, I’m in a bit of a hurry, so let me ask you one question. How do you feel?”
‘How do I feel right now?’
Adin’s contorted eyes turned toward Cale. Choi Han had beat everything but Adin’s face, so his face was left unscathed.
Cale laughed at Adin’s state and started to speak.
“Black mages are quite intriguing. They don’t feel pain when they die, right?”
Black mages don’t feel pain other than when they first absorb dead mana, unlike necromancers. They can absorb dead mana painlessly after that initial painful absorption.
Furthermore, they don’t even feel pain when they die.
That was why the only way to make a black mage suffer was to keep him alive and cause them pain.
Adin started to speak to Cale despite the blood flowing from his mouth.
“You really are different from me. I can’t understand.”
Adin started to speak with an expression that truly said that he couldn’t understand.
“Cale Henituse, what do you gain from getting rid of black magic? Wouldn’t you have more to gain if you sided with the Empire and expanded its power with black magic instead?”
Cale smiled and shook his head.
‘As I thought, there’s no need to converse with this lunatic.’
Cale stood up and turned around.
“Why are you living such a difficult and stupid life? I really can’t understand.”
Adin asked, but Cale didn’t answer. Someone else answered instead.
“You, who simply looked down at the dead mana and pile of bones stacked in this underground hall, wouldn’t be able to understand. What would a bastard like you who only knows how to steal from others possibly know?”
It was Choi Han.
The refreshed expression had disappeared from Choi Han’s face and his stoic eyes were looking down at Adin. Cale’s voice reached Choi Han at that moment.
However, Cale had to stop talking.
Adin was laughing.
That didn’t matter. However, Cale turned his head at the following statement.
“You think all this dead mana belongs to me?”
Cale had a bewildered expression as he looked at Adin who was staring at him.
Adin, who once again put on a good-natured expression such that no one could discern his true intentions, was laughing despite throwing up blood and being unable to control and move his hands due to the bones being broken.
Cale bent down again and met Adin’s eyes.
“Then does it belong to the black mages? Does the Tower Master own it?”
Adin scoffed and then he started to speak.
“No, this is a tribute. It’s something that the imperial family and the Tower Master have to offer.”
Cale started to speak.
“To the White Star?”
The look in Adin’s eyes was saying, ‘why ask something that you obviously already know?’
Cale’s eyes shifted towards the huge underground hall.
It was a tribute to the White Star.
‘Does that mean that the White Star also has the darkness attribute?
However, he definitely said that the White Star was a ‘person.’
Or is it a being that imitates being a person?’
“…Is he a Lich?”
Cale asked Adin while thinking about the Tower Master.
“You think the White Star is a Lich? Pwaha, hahaha!”
Adin laughed profusely but soon started to speak to Cale with a gentle expression.
“No, He is a person.”
Adin added to his statement.
Things started getting complicated in Cale’s head.
‘The White Star is a person like Adin?’
The Dragon half-blood also said that the White Star was a human. However, the White Star kept the Dragon half-blood in a cave for close to a thousand years and occasionally brought him a Dragon’s heart.
‘But is he really a person? Is that possible?’
Cale recalled that the Dragon half-blood said that the White Star had red hair similar to Cale’s hair. His mind became more complicated the more he thought about it.
Adin’s voice was heard again at that moment.
“It’s fun, isn’t it? The fact that the person who put, ‘Arm,’ and the ‘Alchemists’ Bell Tower’ under his feet is a human being like us.”
Adin let out a faint sigh and bluntly added on.
“He can’t be beaten.”
“No lifeform, no one, can ever defeat him.”
Adin raised his head.
The eyes that were just brown in the absence of sunlight looked at the underground hall’s ceiling.
Both Cale and Choi Han’s faces turned odd.
It was the first time.
It was the first time they saw an emotion other than anger or laughter in Adin’s eyes.
“I am not afraid of you nor even the Dragons.”
It was fear.
“However, I am afraid of the White Star.”
Adin was terrified.
“He is life itself.”
Cale was certain.
‘The Imperial Prince knows who the White Star is and what kind of being he is.’
“Adin, who is the White Star?”
It happened at that moment. Cale urgently called out to Choi Han.
Choi Han hurriedly grabbed Adin by the shoulder.
Adin’s body suddenly started to shake and his face turned pale. He wasn’t in a normal state. It seemed as if he could not control himself. It was not just an act.
However, Adin’s eyes were cold and calm despite his trembling.
Adin looked around at his surroundings.
He could see his subordinates falling one by one in the Dark Elves’ hands.
There was probably a similar situation happening inside the Alchemists’ Bell Tower while the capital was probably a chaotic mess.
‘What would benefit me?’
Adin’s eyes looked around at his surroundings and soon turned to one place.
“Stop aimlessly looking around like that.”
Adin blankly stared at Cale and started to speak. His voice trembled as much as his shaking body.
“Kehehe, I tend to be satisfied only when I’m in control of everything. It’s only fun when everything is within my grasp. Do you know why?”
‘Because you’re a crazy bastard.’
Cale stopped the words that he wanted to spit out. He then heard an unexpected story.
“Our golden eyes are a symbol that we received the sun god’s protection.”
The eyes that shone gold underneath the sun had become the symbol of the Mogoru Empire’s Imperial family at some point.
Blood flowed out of Adin’s mouth.
Adin was born with an exceptionally healthy body and a talent for swordsmanship even though the rest of the imperial family were all born with weak bodies for generations. That was why he had received all the attention and thought that he could grasp anything within his hands.
However, he realized the truth the moment he entered the Alchemists’ Bell Tower fifteen years ago and faced reality.
‘I can’t change anything about my body, it is out of my control.’
That was why he decided to put everything other than that under his control. He was the Imperial Prince of the Empire who had everything in his hands. He also had the gold eyes that were the symbol of that position.
“However, it’s actually a symbol of subordination, ugh.”
A handful of blood flowed out from Adin’s mouth.
His eyes were looking around at his surroundings as that happened. He then heard Cale’s voice.
“Are you saying that the imperial family has been subjugated by the White Star?”
He then heard Choi Han who was speaking quite seriously.
“Cale-nim, I feel as if something is pressuring his body every time the White Star is mentioned.”
Choi Han tried to steady Adin’s body as if he was trying to make sure that Adin wouldn’t die. His demeanor showed that he didn’t want to miss any valuable information regarding the White Star.
He heard Cale’s nonchalant voice at that moment.
“Yes, that is correct too.”
That is correct, ‘too.’
Adin’s eyes that were looking around flinched after hearing that word. His eyes turned to Cale, who was starting to smile.
This abnormal reaction of Adin’s trembling body.
The fact that golden eyes related to subordination could be true on the one hand, but there was something Cale had learned throughout his life.
Doubt your enemy’s words and then doubt it again.
That was why Cale gently asked Adin, who was rolling his eyes.
“You’re trying to kill time while talking to me now, right? At least until the Tower Master comes, right? You’re thinking that you’ll win and live that way, isn’t that so?”
Adin’s eyes that were calm unlike his trembling body trembled.
‘He figured it out.’
He heard Cale whisper in his ear.
“But you know what? I’m waiting for the Tower Master and the White Star as well.”
Cale stood up and started to speak to Choi Han as a momentary crack appeared on Adin’s expression.
“Drag him over.”
Choi Han grabbed Adin by his hair and started to drag him rougher than before. Cale’s smile was imprinted in Adin’s eyes.
“Don’t worry, Adin. I intend to find out what I need to know from you no matter what I have to do.”
Adin realized something once again.
‘This bastard is not so different from me.’
“I told you, didn’t I? I’m similar to you.”
Cale didn’t stop walking as he grinned. He then shouted out loud.
“We’re going up!”
The Dark Elves shook the blood from their weapons the moment that Cale shouted. There wasn’t a single person from the Empire’s side left standing.
That was why there was no one to hinder Cale Henituse as he walked up.
* * *
It was still noisy above at the capital.
“Run away! It’s dangerous here!”
“Go outside of the city! We will guide you!”
The people from the slums were shouting at the top of their lungs while the people of the Empire that were hurriedly trying to get outside the capital followed behind them.
The collapsed city walls that the people originally considered a safe fence was now but an obstacle in their eyes. Quite a few people had already escaped outside the city walls.
More people were heading past the walls.
“Everyone who leaves will be seen as accomplices to these terrorists!”
However, that wasn’t easy either.
Numerous soldiers and knights came out through the various gates of the palace and were blocking people from heading past the walls.
“…Rex! Are you stopping us again?!”
However, there were people going up against those knights and soldiers.
Rex swung his shield around to prevent the knights from approaching. He looked around at his surroundings at the same time.
Quite a few people had made it past the walls.
However, not all of them had left yet.
It was both because things were chaotic even with Rex and the mages on the airships helping out and because the Empire’s knights had gotten into position in order to prevent them earlier than expected.
“I still believe in his highness!”
“You want me to abandon my home and leave? Why should I trust you?”
There were also those who didn’t believe Rex yet or refused to leave their homes.
Rex understood their feelings.
Who would want to leave their home in the middle of the night and leave past the city walls?
Furthermore, how could they believe Rex right away when there weren’t any black mages nor golems around them right now?
That was why Rex raised his voice once more and his hoarse voice echoed around his surroundings.
“The black magic attacks will begin soon! Please run away!”
“Rex! Is that something a terrorist can say?”
“A criminal like you should shut up!”
Rex’s voice was buried under the raised voices of the knights.
Rex bit down on his lip.
It was at that moment.
The central gate of the imperial palace opened.
It was the large gate that only opened when the Emperor or the Imperial Prince came out to grace the public with their presence or when there was an important event.
That gate opened completely and the first group of people came out.
Rex’s pupils started to shake.
He turned his attention to the leader of the group and his body went slightly stiff.
However, the Empire’s forces were rather delighted and started to raise their voices to shout.
“The Tower Master has come with the will of his majesty the Emperor!”
There was a person wearing the Alchemists’ Bell Tower’s robe and bearing the Emperor’s seal. His face was covered by a hood, but his robe had a pattern unique to the Tower Master of the Bell Tower.
Rex then heard the urgent voice of his friend.
“Rex! Why is the Tower Master coming out of the palace? This isn’t something we expected!”
Rex started to frowned.
He didn’t know.
Rex knew that the Tower Master might come early from the Eastern continent, but he didn’t expect him to appear from the imperial palace.
There was an alchemist to the left of the Tower Master and a knight to the right of the Tower Master.
The three of them were leading a group of knights and alchemists wearing armor bearing the emblem of the Empire as they headed towards the plaza from the palace.
They looked austere and not evil at all.
“…Isn’t it a bit strange?”
One of the people of the Empire who was running away stopped moving.
‘Do I really have to run away?’
His expression held a look of doubt. Others started to react in similar ways.
Rex started to frown after seeing that.
‘This kind of atmosphere isn’t good!’
He felt like the flow was about to change.
He couldn’t let that happen.
It would be bad if people hesitating slowed the evacuation more than it had already and caused people to get hurt or become hostages and get killed in the process.
The speed of this evacuation was already extremely slow. It would be a terrible predicament if it got any slower.
Rex strengthened his grip on his shield while knowing that that was the case, but his eyes were still shaking. He turned his attention to the airship.
‘Should I go to Eruhaben or Rosalyn? What should I do in this kind of situation?’
“Rex, what should we do?”
Rex could hear his friend’s urgent voice.
He could see the Tower Master and the knights approaching from the distance.
‘How do I change the flow?’
It was at that moment.
Ring- Ring- Ring-
It was the sound of a bell.
The bell was ringing in the middle of the night.
Everyone’s gaze turned to one spot.
The knights and soldiers.
The fleeing people of the Empire.
People who remained in their homes.
The Tower Master and his group of knights.
Even Sir Rex.
Everyone was looking at a single spot.
There was only one place in the Empire that a bell would ring from. The sound of the ringing bell was coming from the highest point in the Western continent.
Ring- Ring- Ring-
The Alchemists’ Bell Tower.
The bell was ringing from the top of that tower.
A man in a white robe inscribed with a golden sun was seen standing by the origin of the beautiful ringing noise.
The figure dressed in a robe looked holy despite having his face covered by a low hood.
Furthermore, the golden sun on the robe was catching people’s attention.
The eyes of the Empire’s people widen at that moment.
People dressed in white robes suddenly appeared from all directions while crossing the roofs on the outskirts of the capital.
They were Freesia and her subordinates.
Cale’s information network all had a golden sun inscribed on the back of their white robes as they ran towards the Bell Tower. Something happened when everyone’s attention was captured by the people dressed in white who were crossing across the roofs.
Ring- Ring- Ring-
Cale stood on top of the Bell Tower and looked down while listening to the sound of the bells that woke up the night. He could see the person with the Tower Master’s emblem inscribed on his robe, as well as the people who were standing beside him.
Cale could hear Raon’s voice in his mind.
– Human! It’s not that!
Cale had a wide grin on his face that no one could see because of his hood.