Raon approached Cale who was starting to walk to meet the White Star.
“Human! There’s something I’m worried about!”
“What is it?”
Cale brusquely responded as the Dragon half-blood peeked toward the concerned Raon’s puffy cheeks.
“In my intelligent opinion, we need to fight to f*ck the White Star up!”
Cale flinched before starting to speak.
“…How about we leave words like, ‘f*ck him up,’ out of it?”
“Alright! To chop his neck off-!”
“Then to finish him!”
“I guess that’s better.”
Cale started to think that he needed to consult someone else about the children averaging nine-years-olds’ vocabulary.
‘Ron? Eruhaben-nim? No.’
He needed to avoid those two.
Otherwise, the children may end up shoving lemons everywhere or calling someone they just met an arrogant little punk. Cale decided he needed to meet with Countess Violan when he returned home next time.
Raon continued to speak as he had that thought.
“Fine! Anyway, human. In order to finish the White Star off, we need to fight in the underground area!”
Raon looked toward the calmly responding Cale as if he was weird. The young Dragon was being serious.
“Human, listen carefully.”
Cale, who had been bored because the walk to meet the White Star had been quiet, happily nodded his head.
Both Raon and the Dragon half-blood looked toward Cale who was so calm in such a pressing situation as if he was weird.
“Human! The foundation of this underground area is very weak! The ceiling is even weaker! So the underground area will definitely break while we are fighting against the White Star!”
Even without Choi Han and Bud who used swords, Cale, Raon, and Mary’s attacks all covered large areas.
That was the same for the White Star’s side, so their fight was bound to impact the underground area.
“And if we can’t kill the White Star, the bombs that the gentle Tasha planted will explode and break the underground area!”
“Isn’t that our plan?”
The original plan was to destroy the underground area if they didn’t manage to kill the White Star.
“That is why it is weird!”
Raon could not understand this plan at all.
“Human, I somewhat understand using bombs to destroy the underground area! But what happens if the underground area breaks while we are fighting?”
The moment the underground area breaks while they are fighting…
The moment the sturdy-looking yet weak foundation and the ceiling breaks…
“The dead mana smoke on the desert will instantly fill the underground area! Then we might all end up breathing some dead mana smoke!”
Raon could teleport the group away as the bombs exploded if they used Tasha’s bombs. Then there was almost no chance of the dead mana smoke impacting the group.
However, things would be complicated if the area broke in the middle of a fierce battle. The chances of breathing in dead mana became much higher in such a situation.
Even the quiet Dragon half-blood chimed in.
“I heard that you guys saw the White Star use his fire attribute ancient power properly this time. I also heard that the White Star is not in a normal state right now after losing one arm.”
The White Star had used a lot of ancient powers already and his body was not in a stable condition either.
“That is why you guys haven’t seen that bastard fight seriously yet.”
“That’s right, human! We haven’t even experienced the White Star’s wood attribute ancient power either!”
Raon was pounding his chest with his chubby front paw as if he was getting frustrated at how calm Cale seemed to be. There was a simple reason for it.
‘The human would not do anything to make us get hurt!’
There was no way Cale had not thought about the things that Raon had just mentioned. Furthermore, Cale hated whenever his people got hurt. He was the person who said to run away and come back later to aim for their backs if it looked like someone on their side was going to get hurt. That was why Raon could not accept Cale’s current actions right now.
Cale chuckled. He looked toward Raon and the Dragon half-blood who were looking at him with similar expressions and started to speak.
“The White Star happily sacrificed his arm to save the Bear King.”
The White Star had thrown away many subordinates until now. But they had seen him make a move to save a subordinate for the first time.
“This time, he entered the underground area with that Bear King he tried so hard to save.”
Cale stopped talking at that point. He then quietly looked forward.
The incomplete Underground City. The bleak and empty sight filled his eyes. He looked at it for a while before turning back to look at Raon and the Dragon half-blood.
Their eyes still looked full of questions.
“Are you curious about my thoughts?”
He smiled as he asked that question.
* * *
“Ho! There was such a place underground? My liege, isn’t this amazing?”
Bear King Sayeru could not hide his admiration at this large Underground City.
The White Star’s group had seen this large city after sliding down the long underground path. Of course, it was not a regular city.
First of all, it was located underground.
It was a completely empty city with some places starting to fall apart. The buildings that they couldn’t tell whether they were unfinished or broken filled the city.
However, the road seemed to have been built strategically as it was wide and long. There were dry trees around the city as well.
“It feels like a city that was abandoned a long time ago.”
It was a bleak Underground City where no traces of humans could be felt.
He took one step and turned his head. He could see the White Star.
Everybody other than himself and the White Star was currently waiting by the passage entrance. Only Sayeru had received permission to move around.
The others were not allowed to take a single step inside.
“…I don’t feel anyone in here. There are no traces of people either.”
Sayeru looked around the area. There were no traces of anyone living in nor having passed through the abandoned city.
‘So the chances of Cale Henituse having come through here is high.’
The lack of traces made Sayeru even more certain that Cale Henituse had been here. There were not many who were skilled enough to erase all of their traces like this.
Sayeru reached out his hand.
A small part of the building broke and fell to the ground as he touched the wall.
“It looks very old.”
The entire city looked quite old. It seemed as if it was an ancient ruin that had been left alone for hundreds or thousands of years.
‘This is the type of place where the ancient power that the White Star is looking for would be.’
Sayeru started to smile with anticipation.
It was at that moment. Sayeru turned around after hearing the White Star’s voice.
He saw a rock that turned into dust in the White Star’s hand. It seemed to be debris from the building.
Sayeru flinched and his shoulders started to shake after seeing the White Star’s gaze.
‘This is dangerous.’
The White Star looked as he usually did when he was extremely angry. However, his voice was calm.
“This place was built not too long ago.”
“This place? That’s impossib-”
Sayeru who was about to retort the White Star’s comment quickly shut up without finishing his sentence.
It was because he saw the White Star caressing a dry tree branch. Smoke coming out of his hand covered the dead branch.
“This branch died less than a week ago.”
Sayeru gasped after hearing the White Star’s comment. There was no way the White Star would say something wrong, so that meant that it really had been less than a week since this branch had died.
“…But there’s no water here?”
Trees needed dirt, sunlight, and water to grow.
There was a destroyed drainage way, but it showed no signs of water having ever flowed through it.
‘But the fact that a tree grew means that there was water here. But that water completely dried in a week?’
There was no way that was the case.
Then there was only one answer.
“They brought over a dead tree from somewhere else?”
The White Star was calm as he answered Sayeru’s question. The White Star looked around.
“Based on the condition of these trees, this place was created in the last few years. However, they created it to look like a city that was abandoned thousands of years ago.”
“Why are you asking such an obvious question?”
Sayeru shut his mouth at the White Star’s brusque response. However, he soon started to speak again.
“…This is a trap? A trap that Cale Henituse created?”
This large Underground City was Cale Henituse’s trap?
A trap to kill them?
Sayeru could not accept that.
There was a simple reason for it.
“This is not something that can be created in a short amount of time! You need at least a few hundred people, materials, and at least a couple of years to create such a large underground city!”
Sayeru started to frown the more he spoke.
They heard some footsteps at that moment. Both Sayeru and the White Star had noticed the footsteps.
The person walking without hiding their presence was walking in a relaxed manner.
However, there was anger in Sayeru’s eyes as he looked toward the person.
“How’s your arm?”
Cale who warmly asked that question had a relaxed smile on his face.
Cale, who walked toward them from the center of the underground city and not the entrance, looked peaceful.
Sayeru looked around Cale. He didn’t see anybody else. However, Sayeru believed that the others were hiding nearby.
“Why are you looking around like that?”
Cale’s question made Sayeru look back toward him. The two of them made eye contact. Sayeru suddenly felt his shoulder with the missing arm turn cold.
It was not from the pain of losing an arm.
There was only one thing that filled his mind right now.
“…You, did you create this place and lure us down here?”
Cale had an awkward expression for the first time. He had already heard the White Star and Sayeru’s conversation as he walked over.
Cale was completely flabbergasted.
‘I didn’t think he would figure it out right away.’
He never expected the White Star to realize this place was created not too long ago so quickly.
Of course, it was not just because he thought the White Star would be crazed and focused on finding the final earth attribute ancient power that he would not think properly.
‘Young master-nim, we even used our Elementals to create the place.’
This fake Underground City was created extremely well, as Tasha had mentioned that anybody would think that it was a place that was abandoned at least a couple hundred years ago.
But the White Star had figured out right away that it was a lie.
‘…He used the tree to figure it out.’
Cale recorded how the White Star had just used the dead tree to figure out the truth about this city. He then started to get a headache.
‘What do I do?’
Cale was planning on tricking the White Star to believe the final earth attribute power was located here.
– Human! What do we do? It looks like the White Star knows this isn’t where the earth attribute ancient power is located! Then won’t he aim for the Roan Kingdom?
As Raon mentioned, the White Star would aim for the Roan Kingdom once he realized that the Land of Death did not have the earth attribute ancient power.
Cale wanted to prevent the White Star from charging into the Roan Kingdom.
– Human! What if the White Star immediately teleports over to the Roan Kingdom? Let’s destroy this place right now! Choi Han is asking for you to quickly give orders!
Cale was thinking the same thing.
The White Star who realized this was a trap could not head to the final potential spot, the Roan Kingdom.
Cale who was listening to the young Dragon’s urgent voice slowly opened his mouth to speak.
‘I guess I have no choice. Let’s just be honest.’
“Cale Henituse, why are you not responding? Why did you drag us into a trap?”
Cale immediately responded as Sayeru asked the question again.
“I’m the curious one. How did you realize this place was fake? I never expected you bastards to realize it so quickly.”
Cale noticed Sayeru start to frown in response.
– Human! Tasha and Mary are also asking what they should do. As for the Mercenary King, he’s a total mess! The Mercenary King is so loud!
He ignored Raon’s comments and focused on Sayeru’s change of expression with a stoic expression on his face. Of course, he was just putting on a poker face.
It was at that moment.
“Amazing. Very amazing.”
The White Star gasped in admiration.
Cale turned his gaze to see the White Star who was glaring at him viciously.
“What are you talking about?’
Cale subconsciously asked after hearing the White Star’s unexpected question.
“Ha! He’s feigning ignorance!”
Then Cale ended up receiving Sayeru’s extremely angry response.
‘Why is he like this?’
This isn’t the first time we’ve smacked each other in the back.
Cale found it odd that Sayeru looked so angry. He was hearing the reports from the others through Raon at the same time.
Sayeru could not hide his anger as he asked at that moment. He was extremely angry right now.
“Since when have you been thinking about taking us down? It would take at least a few years to construct an Underground City like this. This trap should have taken you years to create! Do you think we don’t know that?”
Nobody could create such a large area in a short amount of time.
Of course, creating a place that looked like a city could be done quickly, but creating an underground area like this was something that required a lot of time.
‘That’s not it.’
The exploration and selection of a location. This place required a long period of thorough planning to create.
“Cale Henituse, the Land of Death. Why would you create an Underground City like this in the useless desert? Especially a city that looks as desolate as this! You would not create such a place for no reason unless you were crazy!”
This was definitely created as a trap or for an underground evacuation center.
Sayeru got the chills as he figured that out.
‘Cale Henituse is a bastard who was known as trash until just two years ago. So, when would such a bastard have created an Underground City like this?’
The things that Cale had done until now quickly passed through his mind.
Cale Henituse had appeared exactly as the White Star was about to use Arm and black magic.
Furthermore, he also coincidentally had many different ancient powers.
Finally, he had a bunch of strong individuals around him that made people question how he had gathered such a group.
Could it all have just been a coincidence?
Was all of this the result of a trash bastard in a time span of just two years?
Sayeru wondered if Cale Henituse had been hiding his strength for a much longer time after seeing this Underground City.
‘No, even if it was not just his strength, this bastard did not manage to do all of this in just two years!’
He probably had been preparing for a very long time.
He had prepared to defend against the White Star.
‘But why? Why did Cale Henituse make such preparations? What did he know? And how did he know?’
Sayeru started to question everything.
‘It has been weird, now that I think about it.’
Cale Henituse had been involved with each and every one of the White Star’s plans. At first, he had thought that it was a coincidence. But it was easier to accept that these were not coincidences and that the White Star had failed over and over again because Cale Henituse had planned this long in advance.
‘How could there be a bastard like this?’
There was a slight trace of fear in Sayeru’s gaze as he looked toward Cale.
That was why he covered that fear with anger. Sayeru raised his voice.
“Since when have you been thinking about taking us down? 2 years! We’ve only been hearing your name for the past two years! But how long have you actually been aiming for us?”
Cale blinked his eyes.
‘This is weird. Things are progressing in an odd direction.’
He heard the White Star’s voice at that moment as well.
“I knew it was weird no matter how many times I thought about it. You might be useful for me, but I have been wondering how a bastard like you suddenly appeared to block my every move.”
He had a look that seemed to say that he finally understood.
‘… Uhh, mm. It’s true that I suddenly appeared?’
Cale who had suddenly ended up in The Birth of a Hero’s world had started all this just to avoid being beaten to a pulp by Choi Han but ended up here.
He wasn’t planning on getting in the White Star’s way from the beginning.
It just happened that this bastard was in his way of living a slacker’s life and that this bastard’s way of doing things annoyed him enough for him to somehow end up here.
However, Cale quietly listened to the White Star’s comments.
‘It looks like it’s a positive situation for me though?’
Things seemed to be going well in an unexpected way.
The White Star was looking at Cale with a different gaze than before. He was looking at Cale like he was a good rival. He was also looking at Cale with wariness about someone whose identity he could not fathom.
“Cale Henituse, someone whose time is warped. You didn’t suddenly appear. In fact, you’ve been planning for this since a long time ago. Since when have you been aiming for me?”
Cale found this situation quite amazing.
He wondered how the White Star realizing that the Underground City was recently created led to this explanation.
– Human! What nonsense are the two of them talking about? Human, you are someone without a plan who just looks like you have a plan!
‘I know, right?’
Cale could see the White Star’s stiff face before he heard Sayeru’s angry but slightly shaking voice.
“…You, how long have you known about us to prepare all this?”
‘Isn’t this great?’
Cale put on a satisfied smile while looking at the two mistaken people.
Sayeru was at a loss for words after seeing Cale’s twisted smile instead of a response. However, even though Cale didn’t say anything, an alarm went off in his head after seeing Cale’s gaze that seemed to be saying he had been aiming for them for a very long time.