Ron nodded his head at Cale’s words, but added one more thing before he left.
“I understand. By the way, young master, you do remember that you have to visit the palace the day after tomorrow, right?”
Before the king announces the start of the festival in the plaza, the nobles were scheduled to meet with the crown prince. It was neither a serious meeting nor a feast, but something in between. It was set to take place in a wing of the palace where important meetings usually took place.
Cale thought about the crown prince and the palace before his mind drifted elsewhere.
‘I wonder if Taylor and Cage are well.’
The fallen eldest son and the crazy priestess. Cale thought that the two of them were probably doing very well.
But suddenly, his back felt chilly and he caressed the back of his head. That coldness made Cale make up his mind.
‘Let’s not think about the two of them.’
Cale will be very still at the palace. Even if someone curses him from the side, he will just sit there silently before returning here. Cale peeked at the table in front of them. There was a letter from Eric sitting there.
[Cale. You don’t have to do anything, anything at all. This hyung-nim will take care of it all for you. Got it? …]
Eric Wheelsman, one of the Northeastern nobles, sent him a letter a day. It was very clear that Eric was worried about what might happen. Cale grabbed the letter on the table and chucked it to a corner.
“Then I will make sure to have them wrap up a bottle of our best alcohol.”
Cale was watching Ron leave, when he saw some faces he had not seen for a while enter through the open door. Ron peeked at the two of them before closing the door. The two that entered approached Cale and started to speak.
“I think I can kill them if they let their guard down!”
“I see a way we can kill them!”
It was the kittens On and Hong. These two kittens, who Cale had not seen for a while, were excited, as they seemed to have found a way to kill the Beast people who were as strong as the Wolf Tribe.
The two kittens came and rubbed their faces on Cale’s leg after hearing his compliment toward them. Cale pushed the two of them away because he found it annoying. Ron soon entered the room once again.
Ron looked at Cale, who answered like he didn’t care, before asking his question.
“May I go as your personal servant to the palace?”
“Why are you asking such an obvious question? Who would go if it wasn’t you?”
That answer made Ron make up his mind to leave.
The people who called themselves, ‘Arm,’ and ruled the Eastern continent’s underworld had started to expand their reach to the Western continent. ‘Arm,’ was just one limb of the organization, and nobody knew their true identity.
The Molan family was a fifth generation assassin household that sought to rule the night in the Eastern Continent, and Ron Molan, the successor to the Molan family, hated and feared this, ‘Arm.’
“You will be very cool in the palace.”
Cale looked toward Ron, who, after returning from his time off, was flattering him unlike his usual self, and casually asked.
“I do have a handsome face and figure don’t I?”
The kittens snorted at Cale, but they couldn’t disagree. Cale was a handsome man with a slick figure.
Kim Rok Soo’s favorite thing about Cale was his money, but right after that was Cale’s body and face. Cale’s lips looked like they wanted to form a smile.
“Of course. Our young master is the full package.”
But that smile quickly disappeared.
‘What did I just hear right now?’
It was a very gentle, warm, and caring voice. It even sounded like Ron was playing along with him. Cale felt chills all over his body, and turned his head around to see Ron standing there with a satisfied smile on his face. It looked different from when he was pretending to be satisfied.
Cale really felt chills all over his body now. But Ron did not care and continued to go on with his duties.
“Then I will head out for now. I need to go report to deputy butler Hans.”
“Oh? Oh. Go ahead, quickly.”
Ron soon left, and Cale started to ponder while looking at the closed door.
‘Why is he acting like this?’
But Cale did not want to find out the reason. What good would come from being interested in Ron’s life? Cale stared at that closed door for a long time, before a confused expression filled his face.
Knock knock knock.
Someone was knocking on the door. The red kitten Hong started to speak.
“Smells like a wolf.”
Cale looked toward the door and started to speak.
The door clicked and slowly started to open. Cale could see the wolf boy, Lock, awkwardly standing there. Lock hesitated for a bit, before starting to speak.
“Hello, I, I came to thank you. I didn’t know when would be a good time to stop by, so, if it is okay with you, may I come in for a bit?”
Cale didn’t want to hear this awkward voice any longer, so he waved Lock inside. Lock carefully closed the door with a nervous expression, and approached Cale. Cale pointed to the couch across from him.
“Take a seat.”
Lock sat down on the couch and peeked at Cale. Unlike his earlier words that made Lock think of his uncle, this person, named Cale Henituse, had an aura about him that made it difficult to approach him.
Rather than it being difficult because he was strong like his uncle, it just felt like it would be difficult to talk to Cale.
“Say what is on your mind.”
Lock seemed to be thinking about what to say, before jumping up from the seat and bowing toward Cale.
“Thank you very much!”
Lock seemed very naive, scared, and, in some aspects, stupid. He definitely fit the profile described in the novel.
‘His personality changed in the novel after going berserk for the first time, but it looks like it is still the same now.’
Cale responded to Lock’s thank you.
“Sure. It is definitely something to be thankful for.”
“Excuse me? Ah, yes.”
Lock had an odd expression on his face as he sat back down. Cale watched Lock sit and started to speak.
“No need to thank me anymore, you can go.”
“Ah, well, actually.”
Lock could not stand back up, and just moved his lips without saying anything. He had heard stories from Rosalyn, the two Cat tribe kittens, Choi Han, and even Hans, which made him think things through over and over. He was still not done thinking things through.
Cale just quietly watched Lock. It was because he knew how Lock would act that he was trying to quickly kick Lock out of here.
“Well, young master, you see.”
Lock didn’t know how to start. He continued to peek at Cale every so often while staring at his feet. Lock lightly bit down on his lips a couple of times. He didn’t like this personality of his very much. At that moment, Lock heard a cold voice.
“Spit it out.”
Lock lifted his head up to see Cale. This was the first time Lock made eye contact with Cale since coming into the room. Cale kept eye contact with Lock, as he continued to speak.
“Good. When you are talking to someone, you should make eye contact like this.”
He continued on.
“Spit out everything you want to say.”
Cale looked at the clock before looking back at Lock, who was looking at him with a blank expression on his face.
“I will at least listen to what you have to say.”
Lock let out a gasp. He clenched his fidgeting hands and finally started to speak.
“I, I am the older brother.”
His voice was weak. His body was large, but he was still a young boy.
“I need to take care of my younger siblings.”
Lock knew that he was still lacking a lot to be called a member of the Wolf Tribe. However, he had 10 younger siblings that he needed to protect and care for right now.
“I was also a nephew and a younger brother.”
The Blue Wolf Tribe loved and cherished the cowardly and stupid Lock. He could not forget about his family, friends, and neighbors who cared for him so much.
“That is why I need to get my revenge.”
That was why he needed to pay them back for everything they took from him.
Lock pressed down on his shaking hands and said whatever came to mind. Once he did that, he felt his head clearing up a bit. He then bowed his head and could see his feet and the carpet. He then heard a voice.
“Young wolf boy.”
Lock lifted his head up. Cale Henituse. This owner of a large residence that Lock couldn’t even dream of when he lived in his village, was someone that Choi Han hyung had said was worth betting at least ⅔ of his life on. Such a man was bluntly speaking to him.
“You are a wolf.”
Lock started to recall many past memories. He could see his life in the Blue Wolf Tribe.
“Wolves protect their families and put them first, before even themselves. I consider them to be a tribe to be proud of.”
Lock could see a smiling face in front of him.
“I have heard what you wanted to say.”
At that moment, Lock could clearly see this man and everything in this room. On either side of Cale were the cute Cat Tribe kittens, and the sunlight coming into the room made it seem very peaceful.
Lock finally remembered the words that he needed to say, and the words he wanted to say.
“Thank you very much for your help. And…please help me.”
The owner of this peaceful atmosphere started to speak.
“Once was enough for the thanks.”
The reason Cale was thinking so much about how to act like a trash these days was because of Choi Han and the Black Dragon. The Black Dragon itself was a concern, while Choi Han was a concern because of the things he brought back with him.
“I do not wish to help you.”
Cale did not want to help Lock. However, he knew the pain the 10 wolf children were feeling after losing their parents and their support. He had experienced it himself. Furthermore, he already had a foot inside this situation. He did not want to be responsible for everything.
He planned to do just the bare minimum, so that he would break even.
Cale continued to speak toward Lock, who was lowering his head after hearing Cale say that he did not want to help him.
“However, I do have plans to make a deal with you.”
“… A deal?”
Cale continued to speak.
“What do you need help with? And what can you do for me in return?”
Cale had no desire to teach this wolf boy, who was not experienced with anything. That was for Choi Han or Rosalyn to deal with. Cale stood up, as he still had a couple things to take care of before heading to the palace, before speaking once more to the wolf boy.
“Come back when you have the answers.”
Lock thought for a moment, before getting up from the seat and bowing his head.
“I understand. I will come back to see you when I have figured things out.”
Cale lightly patted Lock’s head once. The gaze in Lock’s eyes as he looked up was quite satisfactory.
* * *
Cale grabbed the crown prince’s invitation and got off the carriage. The gathering was to start at 5 pm. Cale looked at the palace, that was incomparable to both the Henituse estate and their residence in the capital combined.
The Palace of Joy. The name of the location of the gathering was called the Palace of Joy, and it was built by the king to share his joy of the birth of the crown prince. Of course, the king now favored the third prince.
Cale was planning to meet up with Eric, Gilbert, and Amiru outside the palace and enter together. He looked toward the palace and started to think.
‘Is this a cliche too?’
It just so happened that someone else arrived at the palace right when Cale arrived.
“Wow, who is this? Isn’t this our famous young master Cale?”
Cale held back his sigh. He could feel the distaste from the person before him just from their tone. The person approaching him was Neo, the successor to Viscount Tolz.
‘Why do I have to run into one of Venion’s minions now?’
Neo Tolz was one of the stereotypical villains. He went around doing Venion’s biddings.
The village that the Black Dragon was tortured in belonged to Viscount Tolz.
And Viscount Tolz’s people never liked the Henituse family. It was because, although they were separated only by a single mountain, the difference in wealth was drastic. However, in the past, they were once friendly with the Henituse family.
That all changed once they went under Marquis Stan’s faction 5 years ago. Of course, they wouldn’t say it out loud, but they would stealthily try to take control of the Northeastern nobles meeting.
Neo Tolz smiled brightly as he stood in front of Cale.
“You are alone?”
They were still a bit away from the palace entrance, and the Vice Captain and Ron were speaking with the guard to get permission to enter. Cale, who brought only the minimal amount of people with him, looked down to Neo.
Neo saw that Cale was alone, and thus pushed his subordinates back.
“I am going to chat with young master Cale for a bit. Go get permission for us to enter.”
Neo sent his subordinates to the guard, and took one step closer to Cale. Once the two of them were standing very close, Neo started to speak.
“Young master Cale.”
Neo had a warm and friendly smile on his face, as he spoke in a quiet voice that only Cale could hear.
“What is a terrible trash like you doing coming to the palace?”
‘Sigh, so childish. Is it like this because it is a world inside a book? Or is it because it is a fantasy world? Is it possible that punks like this exist in the real world too? They must exist since he’s provoking me like this.’
The son of a viscount dares to speak like this to the son of a count? Cale thought it was only happening because it was a novel, but actually dealing with this made Cale extremely frustrated.
‘I’m not even the MC. Can I not deal with cliches like this?’
Cale wanted to just tell Ron to kill these stupid villains who didn’t know their place.
Cale just continued to look down at Neo. Neo’s expression brightened even more. To Neo, Cale was a trash who just looked fine on the outside. For someone like Neo, who had to suck up to Venion the entire time he was at the capital, Cale was a good prey to bother.
“What? Do you want to throw a bottle at me? Or do you want to hit me? Go ahead and try.”
‘He’s just provoking me. He’s doing it on purpose. He can’t take any magic items into the palace, so he won’t be able to take a magic recording device inside. That is why he’s trying to rile me up out here.’
If Cale caused a ruckus here, it would be seen as a fight between a trash and a dignified noble. It would only be to Neo’s advantage, that was why he was trying to provoke Cale to bring down the Henituse family name.
Cale just sat there. He then heard a voice inside his head.
It was the dragon speaking through magic.
– What a bastard. It reminds me of that bastard Venion.
‘He is Venion’s minion.’
Although Cale could not say that out loud, the dragon continued to speak in Cale’s mind.
– Should I kill him?
‘I don’t think there’s a need to do that.’
Cale shook his head to the dragon who was following him while remaining invisible.
Seeing Cale shake his head made Neo provoke Cale once again, as it did not look like Cale was going to bite.
At that moment, Cale’s gaze turned to a new carriage that just arrived.
Bang! The carriage door burst open as soon as the carriage stopped, and Eric Wheelsman got out of the carriage. Gilbert and Amiru were inside the carriage as well.
Cale signaled Eric, who was rushing over with his eyes wide open, with his eyes while pointing to Neo with his index finger.
Cale’s sincere voice that called out to him, as well as the cold gaze in Cale’s eyes, told Eric everything he needed to know.
‘Get rid of him.’
The eyes of the calmly standing Cale were giving that message to Eric.