– You shouldn’t have thoughts like destroying the entire maze’s ceiling!
The Super Rock raised his voice in shock.
Cale listened quietly as his gaze deepened while quietly focusing on the high ceiling.
The Super Rock sensed danger while looking at this action.
‘This punk is about to cause trouble again!’
– I have no idea how long you will faint for if you destroy something that large! You got that?
The Super Rock’s voice quickened.
– Cale. We suspect that the White Star made a contract with the Demonic race or has some type of connection! We can’t have you faint for a week, no, at least a month in such a situation!
“Mm. It does seem like too much, right?”
– That’s right! That is absolutely the case!
The Super Rock emphasized his agreement.
Cale looked away from the ceiling and looked at the black tree.
‘The chances of the palaces above us also crumbling are high if I destroy the ceiling.’
This maze was said to be as wide as the palace grounds.
That meant that the foundation of the entire palace grounds would break if the ceiling of the maze was destroyed, which would naturally destroy everything above it as well.
‘Then the people inside the palace will get hurt.’
It was too much to do that for the fake World Tree.
– S, save…
The black tree was shaking as it started to speak at that moment.
– P, please save me.
It sounded even more scared than earlier. Every branch other than the one Cale was holding was curled up and shaking.
‘Why is it like this?’
It seemed to have been scared about the situation until a moment ago, but it seemed to fear Cale now.
“What is w-?”
Cale who was starting to ask the black tree what was wrong turned around having heard a sharp voice calling his name.
Elisneh who had cuts all over her body was floating in the air while clenching her bleeding right shoulder.
She was riding a wind horse.
‘Where is Choi Han?’
As Cale looked for Choi Han who had been fighting against Elisneh…
He heard a loud explosion and saw a red tiger attacking Choi Han.
It was the fire tiger.
Choi Han slashed that tiger with his black aura before stepping back.
He then slightly bowed toward Cale.
An old shaman on another wind horse appeared as well. Two more horses appeared with a shaman riding on each of them as well.
Cale’s group started to arrive one by one as well.
The Dark Elves who were nearby were the first to arrive.
Tasha looked toward Cale and urgently started to speak.
“Mr. Jeet tried to stop them, but he couldn’t do anything once they ran away through the air!”
There was an obstacle for Cale’s group in this battle.
The maze walls.
The fact that getting on top of the walls would make them fall into a hallucination was making Cale’s group fight as if they had one hand and one arm tied down.
On the other hand, the aerial battle was extremely beneficial for the enemies.
They just needed to escape to the air, and nobody could chase them.
However, the old man who should be elated did not look happy.
In fact, he had a look of urgency on his face.
He was shouting toward Cale with such force that the veins on his neck were showing.
“You cannot do that if you wish to save your comrades!”
Cale found the old man’s response to be a bit odd.
It was the same for Elisneh and the other shamans on wind horses as well. They did not dare to enter the flower field with the World Tree and were just observing Cale with serious gazes.
Their gazes seemed to be saying that they would not miss any movements Cale made, but they were not making any movements to match those gazes.
‘I wonder what is going on.’
He recalled what the old man had just said.
‘You cannot do that if you wish to save your comrades!’
He didn’t like how they were threatening him with his comrades again, but it was something else that caught his attention.
‘I cannot do that? What am I doing? I’m just talking to the fake World Tree.’
Cale’s gaze slowly moved down to his body. He wanted to see what he was doing.
It was at that moment.
“Everybody, capture the evil leader of the enemies!”
The people who were the closest after the Dark Elves and Mary appeared.
They were the fifty knights.
The Knight Captain immediately pointed his sword at Cale who naturally looked at him.
“Death to the rebel! You bastard who lured former Princess Jopis and brought chaos to the Molden Kingdom, are you not afraid of dying with your limbs ripped off?!”
The Knight Captain sounded full of dignity.
However, his shoulders flinched once he heard a dog bark. A few knights around the Knight Captain urgently started to speak.
A man wearing a servant outfit arrived with two puppies and started to speak.
The assassins who had been hiding in the shadows of the maze walls popped out and started to surround the knights after Ron gave the order.
Their actions made the knights who were starting to surround the Dark Elves, Mary, Choi Han, and Cale stop moving.
“You bastards! Are you not afraid of death?!”
The Knight Captain still sounded honorable.
“Everybody follow her majesty’s will and raise the sword of justice toward those evil rebels!”
He sounded very heroic.
The knights bit down on their lips and clenched their swords with stiff expressions.
However, some of them were looking at the black tree with shaking eyes. Among them was the knight who had gone to report about the intruders and Jopis to Elisneh the First.
He was someone who had guarded the entrance by the statue in the central plaza for many years.
‘…This disgusting tree is what I was guarding?’
The knight had found this eerie maze to be weird as he came to save Elisneh.
The knight’s eyes headed toward the skeleton monster. He could see the royal children glaring at Elisneh from the tree nest the skeleton monsters were guarding in their arms.
‘…They were the ones who followed her majesty the most. Something is weird.’
The fact that something was weird filled his mind.
That was why he slowly released his grip on his sword.
It was at that moment.
“Your majesty! Please leave it to me! I will kill that evil bastard!”
The Knight Captain shouted toward Elisneh who was in the air with a more reliable expression than ever before.
He then pointed his sword toward the man by the black tree.
“Charge! Slash the neck of the enemy leader!”
The Knight Captain flinched and lowered the sword he had energetically pointed.
He then turned around.
“…Minister of Finance-nim?”
“You stupid idiot!”
The old Minister of Finance was shouting at the Knight Captain in anger.
“Do not rile that bastard up! You stupid idiot! Keep your rotten trap shut! You useless bastard!”
The Knight Captain could not speak properly as he was shocked.
The eyes of the knight who was watching all this clouded over.
‘Something really is weird.’
The Minister of Finance was never known for being a nice guy, but he was known for his calm demeanor and big heart.
He was someone they had treated as an elder in their family or a teacher.
But that person was actually a shaman who used such coarse language?
There was someone else other than that knight who realized something from this situation as well.
It was Cale.
His eyes sparkled.
He slowly looked down at his body.
The rest of his body other than his forearm and hand that was holding the tree branch was still covered in fire.
The rose gold color was getting much clearer in that fire.
Cale was able to realize why the fake World Tree that was asking him to save it was starting to shake in fear.
He looked toward the enemies and allies surrounding him and started to speak.
“Are you scared I might burn this whole thing up?”
The three shamans and Elisneh stiffened to confirm his thoughts.
He could see his allies’ expressions as well.
‘Isn’t that what we were going to do?’
‘Aren’t you holding it like that to burn it?’
Choi Han and Tasha’s expressions seemed to be delivering such messages.
– Human! I know everything! I realized long ago that you were holding the tree to burn it up.
Cale started to smile.
He was thinking about saving the tree, but the others all thought that he was going to burn it down.
“This… I’m not such a bad person.”
A cheeky smile appeared on Cale’s face.
– Human! You look really evil right now!
Raon shouted with joy while the middle-aged man wearing glasses shouted as well.
“Y, you evil bastard-!”
“Who is calling whom an evil bastard? He’s better than you! You’re a bastard who deserves to get his f*cking head ripped off!”
Cale was not the one to respond.
He turned his gaze in shock. Jopis was warmly and elegantly looking at the injured boy as if she had not said anything.
Cale was at a loss for words for a moment but quickly snapped out of it.
Then one corner of his lips went up.
“It’s probably best to burn it up without any remains to get rid of this fake, right?”
The middle-aged man wearing glasses looked ready to attack Cale at any moment. However, Cale pointed at the knights.
“Make them withdraw.”
“Enough. Do as Cale Henituse says.”
The Minister of Finance responded and looked toward Elisneh. Elisneh who was standing there holding her shoulder with a frown on her face nodded her head and started to speak.
“All knights move back and come this way.”
The Knight Captain had no idea why they wanted him to retreat, but he slowly started to move as he needed to follow the order.
He looked around.
Once he moved back, he saw that the rear was full of assassins and the Elves while the front had the Dark Elves and Mary.
Choi Han was the only one to walk up to Cale who was holding the tree. Of course, Raon had been by Cale’s side since earlier.
Cale was not looking at him.
Cale saw it.
“Raon, go protect Jopis.”
Elisneh was stealthily peeking at Jopis.
She was looking at Jopis as if she was looking at prey.
Elisneh and Cale made eye contact at that moment.
Both people realized it at the same time. They realized they had been looking at the same thing.
Elisneh the First started to speak.
The three shamans on wind horses instantly released a lot of energy.
They seemed to have been waiting for this moment as well.
A large fire tiger and numerous feather arrows moved toward Mary’s skeleton monsters.
The wind horse caused a strong gust of wind to make the fire burn stronger and the feathers fly faster.
Cale called out to his people and the Dark Elves and Mary started to move.
He then called for Choi Han.
Choi Han was already in the air heading toward Elisneh.
– I’ll help too! I’ll pull that wind horse down!
Raon headed toward Choi Han to help him as well.
It could not be helped.
Elisneh’s eyes turned red.
Her left hand that was holding her right shoulder let go and started to form hand signs as well.
Some of the knights stumbled. However, most of the knights’ eyes turned blank and they pulled out their swords.
“Kill the rebels.”
“Kill the rebels.”
“Kill the rebels.”
Half of the knights headed toward the skeleton monsters while speaking without any emotion.
The other half got in Choi Han’s way.
Choi Han pointed his sword at the knights as Elisneh started to speak.
“They are all innocent. Is it okay for them to get hurt?”
Elisneh smiled as she said that.
Choi Han’s eyes opened wide at that moment. It was because he noticed something.
A small staff was in her dangling right hand.
It was black and looked somewhat disgusting.
Something like that in an Illusionist’s hand could only be a medium.
But Choi Han had destroyed her medium which had been a bracelet.
What could be going on?
However, Choi Han realized the identity of that black staff before he could question what was going on.
‘That’s the fake World Tree!’
He was certain that was one of the fake World Tree’s branches.
It was his intuition. That staff was pointed at Cale.
Choi Han subconsciously turned his body and looked toward Cale.
He just realized that neither he nor Raon were by Cale’s side right now.
Everybody was currently away trying to protect Jopis or attack Elisneh.
That meant that currently, the only things next to Cale were the imugi, the fire…
Choi Han realized something at that moment.
The last thing by Cale’s side…
That was the fake World Tree.
Cale realized that fact as well.
His hand let go of the fake World Tree’s branch.
He faintly heard the black tree’s voice at that instant.
– …Control…this is not…my will…I’m sorry…I don’t want to die…I don’t want to burn……
The timid voice that was full of fear and despair became faint.
Elisneh who was looking toward Cale moved her staff as her eyes turned red.
She was not looking at Cale nor Jopis.
All of that had been an act.
The large black tree charged toward the human covered in fire without any hesitation.
The fake World Tree that was being controlled and moving according to Elisneh’s will showed no hesitation.
Cale had let go of the branch the moment Elisneh had taken out her new medium, but he could not avoid the branch that had already been close to him.
The branch started to burn.
The black tree branch turned into rose gold ashes.
It definitely looked like a tree that had absorbed dead mana.
– Hey, hey. What do you want me to do? Should I burn it up? Isn’t it being controlled?
He heard the anxious voice of the Fire of Destruction.
“Ugh! Damn it!”
Cale couldn’t help but groan at the branch that was persistently trying to tie him down without being afraid of burning.
It was at that moment.
“Cale-nim! I will cut it!”
Choi Han and Raon had instantly returned toward Cale.
Raon had already created a large mana hand to rip apart the branch that was imprisoning Cale.
However, Cale started to speak.
“Move! Step back!”
He did not let Choi Han or Raon approach him.
He shouted toward the confused Choi Han and Raon.
“It’s not the tree!”
Elisneh had not been looking at Jopis, Cale, nor the tree.
All of those were tricks.
“It’s the sky!”
Cale raised his head as he shouted.
Choi Han raised his head and realized something at that moment.
The maze’s ceiling. That distant ceiling was the trap that Elisneh the First used to place people under illusions.
That ceiling was her territory.
No matter how much they moved inside the maze, they were all under her territory.
He realized this fact too late.
Choi Han gasped.
Elisneh had not told the tree to move.
She had told the sky.
Choi Han saw a flashing light.
That was the end.
That light shot down as soon as he saw it.
“Get them away!”
Choi Han heard Cale shout at the same time and saw the stone imugi push him and the invisible Raon away.
He saw the light, the thunderbolt strike down while being pushed away by the imugi.
It was so white that he could not see anything for an instant.
However, that light accurately landed on Cale.
A large explosion occurred.
He heard Elisneh’s voice at that moment.
“No matter how much you run around on the ground, you are still underneath my sky.”
He saw her smiling leisurely as if this was her true expression.
However, Choi Han’s expression did not change at all at her sneering.
– Choi Han, did you hear it?
It was a quiet voice that only Choi Han and Raon had heard the moment the white light struck down.
“Elisneh cannot use magic. I’m sure it is an illusion. I’ll snap out of it soon.”
It had been Cale.
Choi Han was waiting for Cale to show up as the explosion and the white light disappeared.
He just needed to wait a few seconds.
He then saw an unconscious Cale.
* * *
The world had turned white before it turned dark.
However, Cale had to open his eyes as someone was shaking him.
He then saw a white light.
‘It’s a lamp….Hmm? …A lamp?’
It was a fluorescent lamp.
He then felt someone shaking him.
“Team leader-nim, team leader-nim! Are you not going to get up?”
“…Who the hell?”
‘Why are you here?’
Cale touched his neck.
“Why else?! I came here because someone whose vacation was over didn’t show up for work!”
Cale turned his head.
There was a book next to him.
< ‘The Birth of a Hero Volume 5 >
Cale looked at his subordinate who stopped shaking him and started to clean up the room as well as the calendar on top of the table.
It was the next day after he had read, ‘The Birth of a Hero.’
What Cale faced was his life he should have continued as Kim Rok Soo.