“You can lay him down here.”
Bud pointed to a bed and Choi Han put the person who was on his back down.
Ron Molan quickly fixed up the person and the bed.
The Mercenary King let out a low moan.
They had quickly gotten here to the twin-island next to Wind Island by using teleportation magic.
Bud had to face his father’s shocked face as soon as he returned home.
‘What is going on? What happened to Wind Island?’
The large silver shield covering the twin-island was now gone.
That was why people could now see the changes to one of the Three Restricted Areas, putting the Bud household which had been serving as the gatekeepers for Wind Island on alert.
Bud had the responsibility to answer his questions.
However, he could not easily head toward his father who should be standing outside the room door.
He could see the red hair that was as red as blood on top of the bed.
The person on the bed was laying there with a pale expression on his face.
Bud’s gaze moved from Cale to the others.
They were all quiet.
However, all of them were moving differently even while being quiet.
They seemed to be used to this.
“Beacrox, go bring a wet towel.”
Ron gave the order to Beacrox, who walked over to Glenn Poeff. Glenn flinched before quietly taking Beacrox out of the room.
Plop. Plop. Plop.
The Dragon and two kittens quietly plopped down on one side of the bed. The three of them had all curled up their bodies next to each other and were quietly observing Cale Henituse.
The Mercenary King’s gaze moved again.
Choi Han, the youngest sword master. He had put Cale on the bed and silently walked over to the door.
He definitely looked like a guard knight as he stood there with his hand on the hilt of his sword.
The ancient Dragon was standing by the window and quietly looking out.
Everybody was quiet.
All of that happened without any verbal conversation other than Ron’s order.
Mercenary King Bud Illis groaned at this odd silence.
He had a lot of things he wanted to say.
He needed to figure out exactly what happened to Wind Island and discuss plans for the future.
However, he could not say anything right now.
It was not because everybody was silent.
‘Bud, here’s the organized information on Cale Henituse.’
His close friend, the highest-grade mage Glenn Poeff who went to get a wet towel.
He had gathered and delivered information about Cale Henituse to Bud before they headed over to Wind Island.
That information consisted of things someone from the Mercenaries Guild, who had been on the Western continent, had gathered.
Bud recalled that information.
< Cale Henituse, the first son of the Roan Kingdom’s Count Henituse, is known as a hero who does not care about putting his body in harm’s way. >
< Normally, he is known to stand in the back and lead the operations as a strategist, however, he is said to always step forward and use his ancient powers in order to change the flow of battle in urgent situations even though he is not a knight nor a mage. >
In simple terms, he always stepped up.
< The way he fights during battles is said to look beautiful and serene. >
‘His fighting looks serene?’
Bud Illis had thought that this evaluation was exaggerated.
‘This is not realistic at all.’
That was what he had thought.
However, he changed his mind after seeing Cale purifying Wind Island.
He thought that this evaluation might actually be correct.
It was different than magic and aura.
‘…The way the fire and wind were working together, that-’
It was beautiful.
Bud Illis had a wind attribute ancient power as well, however, it was not his main method of fighting.
However, Cale Henituse’s ancient powers seemed to be a bit different than his own.
That beautiful sight of the black mountain and the dead mana being purified…
The scenery that was created by the power of nature was both beautiful and destructive.
Furthermore, it even made him a bit wary of Cale Henituse who managed to do all of this with a short command and a flick of his hand.
However, he could not only think that what he saw was beautiful.
‘It’s also serene?’
Bud Illis could not help but smirk.
He recalled what happened after he thought that the scenery Cale’s power created was beautiful and serene.
Bud could not help but change his opinion about Cale after seeing what came next.
‘Human! Eat slowly!’
He recalled how the cute yet majestic young Dragon tried to stop Cale.
Bud Illis remembered how Cale tried to gobble up apple pies.
He seemed to be struggling, but still kept eating piece after piece.
Seeing him stuffing apple pies in his mouth while not caring about the crumbs on his lips could make people think that Cale lacked class or that Cale looked funny, however…
Bud did not think that it was funny looking at all.
The purified Wind Island.
The person responsible for that was stuffing his face with an expression that seemed to say that he had not eaten for days.
He looked desperate.
He was eating with such desperation in order to not faint, to keep on living.
Furthermore, whatever he had been doing the past few days had turned his clothes into a mess such that someone could easily think he was a beggar who had not eaten for days.
This was the true appearance of the person people called a serene hero.
Cale had then fainted.
Bud slowly pressed his palm over his heart.
His mind was feeling frustrated right now.
It was at that moment. He heard the ancient Dragon’s voice.
The Mercenary King did not need to ask who the ancient Dragon, who was looking out the window, was talking about.
Bud Illis started to think about Cale’s trajectory in the Western continent since last year.
He prevented the Plaza Terror Incident in the Roan Kingdom’s capital.
He put out the fire in Section 1 of the Jungle.
He had amazing achievements in the battles that took place throughout the Western continent earlier this year.
Many people lived thanks to him.
Bud turned to look at Cale, who was breathing slowly with his eyes closed, as he started to think.
‘…Even these appearances-’
How he had desperately stuffed himself.
How he looked so shabby with ripped clothes that were covered in dust.
How he fainted frequently.
Did people know about this side of Cale as they did of his achievements?
Bud kept his mouth shut.
He was frustrated, but there was nothing he could really say right now.
The silence just continued in the room.
* * *
Cale felt that his body was heavy.
A feeling of having fallen into a deep swamp overwhelmed him.
‘Am I dreaming again?’
He seemed to dream every time he fainted these days.
‘What kind of dream am I having this time that my body is so heavy?
Is it from when I was beaten up while fighting against that dangerous monster?
Or is it from when I went to investigate the Monster’s Swamp that appeared in Korea?
If not that, then is it from when I was beaten up and slammed against a wall when we went to clear out an illegal guild?’
It was difficult for Cale to figure out which moment it was because there had been too many times in the past where his body had felt heavy after being beaten up.
However, Cale noticed something weird.
This was definitely the sound of someone sniffling.
Cale felt some clothes moving before he felt something small and something bigger pushing at both of his sides.
‘Ah, is it not a dream?
Am I not dreaming this time?’
He heard someone sniffling once again.
‘This is definitely Raon Miru.’
The only one to do this in both Kim Rok Soo and Cale Henituse’s life was Raon.
‘The quieter sound coming from the other side is most likely Hong.’
Raon and Hong acted pretty similarly.
Cale was relieved that he was not dreaming and instead was comfortable on a soft bed, so he chose not to open his eyes.
There was no need to get up.
Of course, he thought that he might open his eyes if he heard the children averaging nine-years-old sniffling once more.
It wasn’t fun to hear them sniffling.
However, Cale had no choice but to jerk his eyes open soon enough.
He heard a low voice by his ear.
“I know that you are awake.”
Cale could not help but gasp.
The scary old man is here.’
Cale’s eyes opened wide.
He then flinched.
It was because he could immediately see Ron with a benign smile on his face.
“Ah, you really were awake.”
Cale’s ears became noisy right away.
“Human! Let’s eat meat!”
“There’s a lot of delicious food here! You need to eat!”
“I agree! There’s so much food to eat! You need to eat like my noona and the youngest said!”
Cale, who sighed and looked up toward the ceiling, could see a Dragon with puffy cheeks, a chubby red kitten, and a nimble silver kitten.
It was at that moment.
It was the sound of a sword leaving its scabbard. He turned his head to see Beacrox cleaning a sword.
‘What’s up with him?’
Beacrox was staring at Cale.
He then abruptly stood up and headed toward the door.
The door opened and Beacrox walked out before glaring at Cale through the door as it closed.
That vicious look made Cale think that Beacrox was very similar to Ron.
“…I will go prepare some food.”
Beacrox grumbled before heading out.
‘Why does he need to say that he’s going to bring me food so viciously?’
Cale could not understand Beacrox at all. However, Cale had no time to think about Beacrox as he kept looking around.
Choi Han, Ron, and Eruhaben.
The three of them were surrounding the bed.
They were all quietly looking at him.
Did I do something wrong?’
Cale couldn’t help but feel iffy at this oddly serious situation. However, he could not think about that either.
The door slammed opened.
Cale casually made a comment.
“Ah, smells like alcohol.”
The smell of alcohol filled the room as soon as the door opened.
Cale could see someone walking toward him as well.
“Sob! My friend! You woke up!”
Mercenary King Bud Illis who smelled like alcohol approached Cale. Choi Han naturally stopped him with his scabbard.
Cale looked toward Bud and asked.
“Are you drunk?”
“Yes! I am drunk!”
‘…What’s up with him too?’
Cale wanted to scoff at Bud who was pretending to be drunk.
‘Drunk, my ass.’
Cale could see Bud’s perfectly clear eyes that showed that he was not drunk. But why was he pretending to be drunk?
However, Bud ignored Cale’s reaction and continued to speak.
“I, I! My heart hurt so I drank a bit! My friend!”
‘What’s wrong with him?’
Cale’s expression continued to turn odd.
“Seeing you stuffing those apple pies to survive because you were so hungry!”
Cale’s expression soon turned into an awkward one.
“You were like this, like this!”
Bud who was holding a bottle suddenly reenacted how Cale had stuffed apple pies into his mouth.
“You were stuffing yourself as if you had been possessed! That hurt me so much! My friend! I was able to understand how hard the past week had been for you! That was why I was so sad! Sob, how difficult must it have been for you to keep munching on apple pies even as you fainted……!”
‘No, that was just me trying to not faint.’
“How hungry must you have been……!”
‘…I wasn’t very hungry at all.’
Cale wanted to say something, but he did not have the chance.
The Mercenary King’s eyes were clear.
He was only pretending to be drunk, as Cale had mentioned.
The Mercenary King who was known to be quite intelligent was someone who only considered the practical benefits of everything other than his Mercenaries Guild members.
“I was able to think a lot during the three days you were out.”
He decided to share the decision he came to while drinking out of heart-clenching frustration for three days.
“… 3 days?”
‘I was out for longer than I expected.’
Cale, who did not know about the frustrations Bud had these past three days, was just thinking about how long he had been out.
The Mercenary King shouted to snap him out of his thoughts.
“I suck at drinking! I am weak! I will definitely lose the drinking bet!”
‘…What the hell?
Why is he suddenly acting like this?’
“That is why, the White Star.”
“I will be your secretary until we get rid of that bastard.”
Cale became anxious.
Cale and Bud’s drinking bet. Bud had to be Cale’s secretary if he lost.
Cale was anxious at how Bud was suddenly bringing this up, however, Bud was serious.
“You really are the greatest hero that I know about.”
Cale got goosebumps after hearing Bud’s words.
He had to hear such terrible words from the moment he woke up.
“Put me to work! Use me, my friend!”
The frustration on Bud’s heart disappeared as he shouted that to Cale.
The man who had seen the side of the hero that many people did not know about decided to help this hero.
Cale started to think.
‘…His highness’s information was accurate as I expected.’
That was the thought on his mind.
Alberu Crossman’s information was accurate.
Bud Illis, this bastard really was crazy.
Cale made sure to remember that fact.
It was at that moment.
Ron gently called out to him.
Cale could see Ron handing him a cup of lemonade for the first time in a long while.
He could also see the ancient artifact at a corner of the room.
Cale started to smile at Eruhaben, who was looking at him.
It was now time to use this ancient artifact.