Cale observed the Dragon half-blood’s shaking eyes with a stoic expression.
‘I have no reason.’
He had no reason to sympathize with the Dragon half-blood’s emotions. Who didn’t have stories in their lives? Cale had not forgotten the crazed anger in the Dragon half-blood’s eyes as he aimed for Raon who was unconscious as he was going through his first growth phase.
That was a word that Kim Rok Soo did not use many times in his life. However, it was a word that the Dragon half-blood was familiar with.
His shaking mouth slowly opened to speak.
“My memories are not complete.”
The Dragon half-blood recalled his first memory.
It was the memory of a dark cave. Of course, his eyes quickly became accustomed to the darkness as he did not have regular human eyes.
“My first memory is about a dark cave.”
The Dragon half-blood clenched his shaking hands together.
Inside that darkness where he couldn’t even see himself…
“I was in pain at the time.”
It was different than the severe pain he felt right now, but he had continuously felt pain back then.
“It was because I was in the process of becoming a chimera.”
A Dragon was being mixed into a human’s body. The Dragon half-blood’s body was being restructured at that time.
“I was turning into a monster that was neither a human nor a Dragon.”
He didn’t remember how painful it had been. Through that pain, the Dragon half-blood had only waited for the man in the white mask who visited him the most.
The torch that the man brought with him had been his only source of light. It was also his only source of heat.
“The White Star would come and quietly look at me for a while before leaving. Now that I think about it, he probably came to observe me. He wanted to see if the creature that he had created was growing properly.”
The Dragon half-blood had not known who the man in the white mask was back then.
He was in so much pain that he didn’t have time to wonder about the man’s identity nor even his own identity. He was very young at the time. The pain alone was enough to fill the child’s mind.
“One day, a terrible pain filled my body.”
That was the last step.
That was the last step for him to turn into a complete chimera.
“I recalled something as I suffered through that pain.”
The Dragon half-blood opened and closed his mouth a few times before continuing to speak.
“That memory was not a memory I had as a Dragon half-blood, but one of my memories as a human.”
It was not his first memory as the Dragon half-blood.
It was a memory from when he was still human.
“It was just a single memory.”
He had recalled a specific incident.
“…I had coincidentally run into the White Star nine hundred years ago. I presume it was during his second or third reincarnation.”
Cale who was quietly listening twitched his eyebrow.
‘If it is as the Dragon half-blood described, then it was his life that was right after his life as the last Dragon Slayer or the life after that.’
Based on the time frame, it needed to be around there for the Dragon half-blood who has lived for 900 years to have met the White Star who has reincarnated for 1,000 years.
Cale had his hands interlocked as he looked toward the Dragon half-blood. The Dragon half-blood continued to speak while still holding his shaking hands together.
“At that time, the White Star visited my, no, the village that I lived in as a human. He gave a lot of food to the children and played with us.”
The Dragon half-blood’s eyes lowered.
“However, he was probably looking for children like me who had the body he needed to create monsters like me. Experiments that won’t die even if he channeled a Dragon’s power into us.”
The Dragon half-blood bit down on his lips.
“And the village that the human me lived in was very poor. It was a slum outside the city. He gave me a lot of food and told me a lot of exciting stories at that time.”
His heart was roaring as he continued to recall these memories.
The Dragon half-blood’s mouth stopped shaking.
A dull voice came out of his mouth.
“And then, my real parents sold me off to the White Star.”
He could still remember how his parents had pushed him toward the White Star after receiving a gold coin from him with two hands.
The final stage before he became a complete chimera…
The only memory that popped up during that terrible pain was the memory of that incident.
How terrible must that have been…
How terrible must that have been that he only remembered that incident?
Friends from when he was young? Faces of his siblings?
He didn’t remember any of that. That incident was the only memory he had during his life as a human.
“I remember it very, very clearly.”
He knew that he was being sold off at that time. However, he feigned ignorance and tried to grab onto his father and mother’s sleeves.
Unfortunately, the thing that ended up in his hand was the White Star’s stiff hand.
That was how he left the village holding the White Star’s hand and headed toward the forest. The Dragon half-blood had looked back at the village for a while before resigning himself to his fate and asking the White Star a question.
‘Are you my father?’
Are you my father from now on?
He had heard about how children who were sold off like this usually ended up being sold again as slaves or died. That was why he was hoping that would not be it.
‘I’m not sure.’
The White Star was speaking gently to him even though he had purchased him with money. However, it was only his voice that was gentle.
‘Think about it however you like.’
The child who had turned into a complete monster after coming out of the swamp of memory had looked at the White Star smiling in front of him as he started to think.
This person is my father.
No, he had to become my father. He said to think about it however he liked, so the Dragon half-blood decided that he would treat the White Star as his new father.
‘But I couldn’t treat him as my father in the end. I couldn’t be accepted as his son.’
It was because he could not become a complete Dragon.
He was a half-Dragon whose limit was going through the second growth phase. He was a chimera, a monster.
“Once the pain disappeared after the final stage, I realized that I had become a Dragon half-blood. I had become a chimera. The White Star said the following to me at that time.”’
The voice stopped shaking, but Cale could see the pupils that started to shake again.
The owner of those eyes continued to speak in a hoarse voice. He repeated what the White Star had told him word for word.
“I shoved a red Dragon’s heart into your heart.”
Cale closed his eyes the moment he heard those words. The Dragon half-blood continued to speak.
“He also said the following. ‘Your heart has the blood of the last Dragon Lord. So, you will definitely become a great Dragon. Become a Dragon and succeed me. I believe you will be able to do both.’ ”
Cale held back a sigh.
The red Dragon’s heart.
And the last Dragon Lord’s blood.
These two were enough to give him the answers.
All of his questions had been answered.
‘This bastard has Raon’s sibling’s blood.’
Cale started to feel a headache coming. His temples were hurting.
The White Star had destroyed the red egg and killed Raon’s sibling Dragon in order to use his heart as an ingredient to give birth to the Dragon half-blood.
“I ate a few more Dragon hearts after that.”
Cale ended up sighing as he brushed his face with both hands.
It didn’t seem right to share his frustrations with the Dragon half-blood.
‘It’s not like this bastard was the one who killed Raon’s sibling.’
In the end, there was only one thing Cale could say.
“White Star, you motherf*cking bastard.”
No matter how many times he thought about it, it would be too easy to let that bastard die a peaceful death. He needed to make sure the White Star died a painful death. Cale’s face filled with anger as he motioned toward the Dragon half-blood with his head.
“Tell me more.”
It was as if he was telling him to keep talking if there was anything else to say.
The Dragon half-blood continued.
“After I went through my first growth phase, I could only leave the cave when the White Star gave me an order. The White Star took me with him because I was able to tell which Dragons were strong enough to become Dragon Lords or would end up becoming strong enough in the future.”
That was why the White Star had taken the Dragon half-blood around with him and killed the strong Dragons himself or ordered the Dragon half-blood to kill them.
Cale raised his hand and cut him off.
“I don’t want to hear about your life. Tell me what you know about the black egg.”
The Dragon half-blood finally realized why Cale Henituse was calmly chatting with him. The reason he was chatting like this with someone like him who tried to kill him, his friends, and his people was because of the young Dragon.
He felt envious of the young Dragon but continued to speak with a different mindset than before.
Boom. Boom. Boom.
His heart started to beat wildly and shake as he started to think about the young Dragon.
“There was a punk named Redika who was my subordinate. You should know about him as well. He was the middle-grade Arm member you first fought against.”
The Dragon half-blood started to tell Cale everything he knew about the black egg.
He started with how he had stealthily given Redika the orders to throw it away as well as how Redika told him that he had thrown it away in a cave. He also told him how he had no idea of knowing where the egg was after Redika’s death.
Cale let out a sigh-like laugh after hearing everything. He started to speak toward the Dragon half-blood with a look of disbelief.
“You left it with Redika?”
Cale looked toward the Dragon half-blood who looked intimidated as he nodded his head and started to think.
‘…How can things end up like this?’
He could finally understand how Raon was moved from the Eastern continent to the Western continent and ended up being sold to the Stan household.
Cale started to oddly frown. His emotions were a mess right now. He looked toward the Dragon half-blood with a stoic expression and started to speak.
“You told Redika to throw it away in a clear forest with a nice breeze in the Western continent?”
“You told him to cast an illusion spell at the entrance?”
“And you asked him every so often if he threw it away properly? You asked him if it was still in that cave?”
“……Yes. I needed to confirm that he threw it away properly.”
Cale looked at the Dragon half-blood in disbelief.
‘Is that throwing it away? That’s hiding it to protect it! Aigoo.’
Cale’s headache became worse. Was this Dragon half-blood bastard such a silly fool? However, he could understand why the Dragon half-blood who said he despised Dragons would treat the black egg that way.
‘Aigoo, my head.’
Cale grabbed his forehead with one hand as he started to speak.
“You are a pretty smart bastard. I’m sure by now you know that Redika lied to you?”
The Dragon half-blood bit down on his lips.
It had been about two years since Redika died. He had said that the egg had not hatched yet. But this black Dragon was six years old already.
‘I am the great and mighty Raon Miru! I am six years old!’
If that was true, then that meant that he had been tricked by Redika. The Dragon half-blood heard Cale’s calm voice in his ear at that moment.
“Redika sold an egg to the Stan March. It was a black egg. The egg soon hatched, and it was chained in an underground cave for four years living a life of torture while being whipped and starved.”
The Dragon half-blood suddenly thought about the term, ‘rearing animals.’ He too had been reared like an animal by the White Star.
Cale was speaking as he thought about that.
“And he didn’t learn anything he should have learned as a Dragon. There were mana-restricting chains around his neck. He had never even used magic properly.”
The Dragon half-blood opened and closed his mouth a few times before finally deciding to ask.
“…Are you talking about your Dragon?”
That Dragon who was so innocent, happy, and seemed to have grown up full of love had lived such a life?
He grew up chained, imprisoned, and tortured like that?
Cale shook his head as he looked into the Dragon half-blood’s shaking eyes.
“Why is he my Dragon? Is he an item? He is Raon Miru, Raon Miru.”
Cale sighed before casually adding on.
“He is Raon Miru, the younger sibling to the red Dragon that is stuffed into your heart.”
The Dragon half-blood lowered his head.
“Haaa, so frustrating.”
Cale started to frown even more after seeing his shrunk and crumpled appearance.
What should he do about this?
Should he tell Raon?
Should he tell Sheritt?
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Cale’s finger that was tapping on the armrest stopped moving. The Dragon half-blood who had his head down soon heard Cale’s voice.
“Will you meet the red Dragon’s mom? She’s Raon’s mother.”
Cale could see the Dragon half-blood’s blank expression that looked like a broken clock. He jerked his head up and blankly asked, making him look extremely stupid.
‘Aigoo, my poor life.’
Cale pressed on his temples and started to speak.
“First of all. How much longer do you think you have to live?”
The Dragon half-blood who had been fidgeting ever since he mentioned Lord Sheritt seemed very stupid right now.
“That, I, I don’t really know.”
The Dragon half-blood really didn’t know how much longer he had to live. The pain throughout his body was so terrible that it wouldn’t be weird if he died at any moment.
“…But I can hold on.”
The Dragon half-blood looked toward Cale and answered.
He didn’t realize it, but he was looking at Cale with a desperate expression.
Cale understood the Dragon half-blood’s emotions that were behind that desperate expression and the quiet yet urgent voice.
‘I’m sure he wants to meet her. He probably wants to meet Lord Sheritt.’
This was someone who had only been thrown away by people whom he had considered parents in the past.
Of course, he didn’t want to feel sympathy for this bastard.
He had done a lot of terrible things in the past.
That was why Cale did not think about how to keep this bastard alive. However, he said something else instead.
“Stay alive. Persist. Hold on for as long as possible. You can’t die right now.”
Cale got up after saying that.
“The earth attribute ancient power. You’ll have a chat with Raon and Raon’s mom once I get that power. Keep your mouth shut until then. You know why, right?”
The Dragon half-blood understood why Cale was telling him to keep his mouth shut.
It was for the young Dragon. He opened his mouth and confidently responded.
“I know. This is a very important time for you guys, and I don’t want to harm you in any way.”
“Good. Don’t do anything to harm us. I don’t like you, so don’t cause us any more harm. Do I sound cold?”
The Dragon half-blood sighed at Cale’s comment.
“No, it does not sound cold at all.”
How could he find someone who was saying he didn’t like him but also telling him to persist to be cold?
If this was the White Star, forget having such a calm discussion, he would kill Raon and Raon’s mom in front of him before killing him in a cruel manner while saying that it was the price of his sins.
He looked toward Cale Henituse and started to speak.
“You…really seem like a good person.”
Cale instantly started to frown.
‘He thinks I’m a good person?’
“What nonsense. Are you out of your mind? Is it time for you to die? You think I’m a good person? What total nonsense. Do you think I’ll try to find a way to keep you alive if you say something like that?”
Cale was laughing as if telling him not to have such thoughts and that such things would never happen. He could then see the Dragon half-blood who was faintly smiling.
“…I have no plans to live any longer. Just a little longer, I plan on holding on for just a little longer.”
Cale was at a loss for words seeing the Dragon half-blood respond like this. However, the Dragon half-blood didn’t care as he quietly started to laugh. For some odd reason, he couldn’t help but laugh.
His heart felt at peace.
He also felt sorrow.
Why after all this time? No, why now of all times?
All sorts of thoughts filled his mind. The past, the present, and the future. All three things mixed in his mind to cause him sorrow.
He continued to hear Cale’s cold voice as he had that thought.
“Don’t laugh weirdly like that. You will follow us for now. Got it?”
The Dragon half-blood wanted to do that as well.
He wanted to follow Cale.
He needed to do that to see ‘him.’
Cale headed toward the door as he continued to speak.
“We are heading to the mountain right after we eat. Get ready.”
* * *
“Aigoo, you are going to that mountain? No, I can’t do that. I can’t guide you there!”
An old man waved his hands in front of Cale trying to dissuade him.
“You’ll be bewitched if you go to that mountain, bewitched! You’ll be bewitched by a ghost and fall off the cliff…you’ll die! Do you know how many skeletons there are under that cliff? Aigoo, you’ll be in big trouble if you go to that mountain!”
The old man was honest with this feeble-looking merchant.
“Mr. Bob, a feeble person like you going there will instantly be bewitched and die. I’m saying this because I’m concerned. Aigoo, but why do you look so feeble like you can’t even finish a bowl of soup?”
Merchant Bob, no, Cale started to frown.