“That is not allowed.”
Cale turned his head.
He could see Choi Han’s stiff expression. He looked toward Cale and started to sternly speak.
“I don’t know what thoughts you are having right now, but no matter what they are, they are not allowed.”
“Please let me tell you a fact.”
Choi Han slightly pulled his sword out of the scabbard.
“You will die if you are stabbed in the heart. Blood is not allowed.”
Choi Han’s vicious glare made Cale’s already wildly beating heart beat even faster.
Forget being his senior or whatever, that gaze was really scary no matter what.
That was why he subconsciously responded like this.
“Are you crazy? I’m someone who dreams about living a long life as a wealthy slacker!”
He really ended up sharing his honest sentiments.
However, Choi Han just quietly observed him without saying anything.
‘…Why does it look like you are looking at me with pity?’
Cale looked away as he could not meet Choi Han’s gaze any longer. Pendrick started to speak at that moment.
“Anyway, I delivered the World Tree-nim’s message.”
Cale looked at Pendrick and thought about the World Tree.
‘Does she know about the Vitality of the Heart that I have?’
He felt iffy after thinking that the World Tree might know about all of his ancient powers.
‘…I thought she said my future was not visible.’
Did she lie when she said that it was difficult to see the futures of people with ancient powers?
‘I don’t think that it is that.’
Cale had a lot to think about.
The problem was that this was not the time to thoroughly think things through.
There was a shaman on the ground twitching and groaning in pain.
He also heard things breaking in all directions.
‘Aren’t they all just destroying things without thinking about what to do after that?’
Everybody seemed to be using all their powers as if there was no tomorrow. He needed to stop that.
They needed to conserve some strength to escape from the palace and reunite with Bud’s side.
– …Excuse me.
The fake World Tree cautiously started to speak at that moment. They could chat because there were branches still holding Cale up.
Cale looked toward the World Tree.
However, Choi Han called out to him, making him motion for Choi Han to hold on for a moment. However, he turned toward Choi Han after hearing what he said next.
“This fake tree is being controlled by Elisneh. It is resisting it right now, but it can only maintain that for about 20 more minutes.”
“Yes. That is why we planned to destroy the maze during that time, injure the enemies as much as possible, and leave with you, Cale-nim.”
Cale started to frown.
It was only 30 minutes if he added the time he had been unconscious. It was a short amount of time.
“Were you all attacking at full strength because you didn’t have much time?”
“That is correct. I thought that escaping was the most important thing right now. I also thought that it would be difficult for Elisneh to cast an illusion properly if we were running wild like this.”
Choi Han was correct.
‘That is true, but…’
“Choi Han. You can’t use all of your strength without saving any for when an urgent situation might pop up later. Make sure nobody goes overboard.”
Choi Han was silent for a few seconds before responding.
However, Cale turned his gaze after feeling an odd sensation only to find Pendrick looking at him with an odd expression.
“What is it? Do you have something to say?”
Pendrick was shaking his head but still looking at Cale with disbelief.
He could clearly see that Cale was pale and had dry blood on his lips from using his ancient powers. That was why he couldn’t believe what Cale was saying.
‘…He truly cares more about his friends than his own body. No wonder he was able to overcome the illusion.’
Pendrick understood what Choi Han, who was standing there with a stiff expression, must be feeling. Anybody serving such a liege would feel frustrated but also respect that person.
Cale opened his mouth to speak.
“First, let the others know that I woke up-”
-H, h, humaaaaaaaaaaan-!
‘…Ha. Something always pops up when I try to do something.’
Cale started to frown as he thought about the invisible Dragon that was probably charging toward him right now.
He then flinched.
Something had slammed into the tree.
He was certain it was Raon.
“…Raon. Are you okay?”
– Human! You woke up?
However, Raon didn’t seem to hear Cale’s question.
– I’m relieved! Human, I’m destroying the maze right now! I’ll turn the maze walls into sand!
…The six-years-old Dragon’s vocabulary was increasing, but it seemed to be moving in a dangerous direction.
– Weak human, you sit still. We will take care of everything! Hey black tree, don’t let him out! The human will faint if you let him out!
The black tree enveloped Cale a little tighter.
Cale could not help but sigh.
– Ah right! We got a call from the crown prince!
A video communication device suddenly appeared in the air and headed for Choi Han’s hand.
The red video communication device was immediately connected.
– Why did you take so long to answ-! …Dongsaeng. Are you captured somewhere?
Alberu who had answered the call with a look of urgency looked confused.
“It’s nothing much, sir. What is going on?”
Alberu lightly clicked his tongue.
Cale’s appearance was terrible for it to be nothing much. It even made him debate if he needed to find some good medicine for Cale.
However, Alberu did not have time to think about such things right now.
– We got information that some suspicious individuals have entered the northwest region.
Cale’s gaze instantly changed. His body automatically leaned closer to the video communication device.
The White Star needed to go to the Roan Kingdom’s northwest region, the third potential spot for the earth attribute ancient power.
The White Star could openly invade the Roan Kingdom, but Cale had thought it was more likely for him to stealthily have his subordinates infiltrate the Roan Kingdom’s northwest region.
That was why Alberu had sent people throughout the Roan Kingdom’s northwest region to look for suspicious people.
– They seems to be the White Star’s subordinates as we expected.
“I see. In that case-”
– That is why I am busy. I will send the important info via messages.
– I’m busy. Until later then. Take care of your body.
The call ended.
Cale was silent for a moment.
He heard the video communication device go off again. It happened as Cale was about to turn back toward the video communication device expecting it to be Alberu’s message.
“…How-! How did you already!”
He could hear Elisneh’s piercing scream.
Elisneh who was shocked after seeing that Cale was awake was heading toward him with the shamans. Cale’s gaze headed toward them.
“The young master-nim is awake! Block them!”
“The Commander-nim is awake! Increase the speed even more and focus on getting out of here!”
Tasha and Jeet thought about Cale’s condition and gave orders to their respective subordinates.
Elisneh was still looking at Cale with a shocked expression. She seemed even more shocked than when Choi Han had come out of her illusion.
“T, t, that sir said that it was an illusion that would make a person face their greatest fear-!”
‘It wasn’t much of a fear.’
Cale snorted. He did not see Choi Han’s vicious gaze or invisible Raon’s sparkling eyes because he was looking at Elisneh.
He suddenly heard a suppressed groan.
Cale looked toward the direction of the groan in shock. He saw someone flying away at a distance.
The shaman with glasses fell to the ground and rolled. He looked limp as if he had fainted, and the person who had kicked him pulled out his sword.
Choi Han said that as he headed toward Elisneh and the shamans. He said one more thing as he moved.
“Please get some rest.”
Of course, he had thrown the video communication device to Cale.
The black tree’s branches made a gap to catch the video communication device and handed it to Cale.
Cale gasped while looking at what happened. He then had an odd expression on his face.
‘…It looks like they’ll be able to take care of most bastards on their own even without me.’
He thought that things might get a little easier for him as he looked down at the video communication device. He needed to check the crown prince’s message.
He then became anxious.
The sharp noise of an alarm echoed in his ear and made Cale’s face freeze.
“…As I expected.”
He bit down on his lips for a moment after seeing who was calling.
He had expected it. That was why he connected the call immediately.
He had an ominous feeling about this red light that was even brighter than the one from Alberu earlier.
– Human, I’m connecting it right away!
Cale nodded his head and looked toward the screen with concern.
It must be an emergency if this person was calling.
Clopeh Sekka’s cold and stiff face appeared on the screen.
– We found Lion King Dorph in the forest near the Lake of Despair.
Cale’s eyes started to sink after hearing that what he expected but didn’t want to happen was happening.
* * *
“Cale-nim, we found Lion King Dorph in the forest near the Lake of Despair.”
Clopeh Sekka sent that message as he looked down.
He quieted his subordinate. His cold gaze was looking at a spot on the ground.
‘It is as Cale-nim expected.’
Cale and crown prince Alberu had contacted Clopeh a few days ago to talk about an urgent need to cooperate.
It was not for the Paerun Kingdom but just for Clopeh.
< We believe it is highly likely that the White Star's subordinates will infiltrate the Lake of Despair, one of the Five Forbidden Regions. We are requesting your cooperation during that situation. >
Clopeh recalled the contents of that contract.
– It is as I expected.
Cale’s voice sounded cold and low.
Cale had been worried about something while planning the trip to the fake World Tree.
‘The Elves already tried and failed once.’
The reason for it was the dead mana liquid.
Cale had thought about this attempt through the White Star’s perspective instead of the Elves.
He would think that the Elves would attempt to come to destroy the fake World Tree again.
‘He probably expected for me to be involved as well.’
Cale had a connection with the Elves after saving the Ten Finger Mountains’ Elf Village in the past.
The White Star’s side would have expected the Elves to ask for Cale’s help and that they would come in large numbers.
That was why once they thought about Cale and the Elves coming to the Eastern continent…
‘They would have expected the Western continent to be empty as well.’
If Cale was the White Star, he would try to protect the fake World Tree while attempting to destroy the real World Tree at the same time.
That suspicion was correct.
– You remember our plan?
Clopeh gave a short, ‘yes, Cale-nim,’ in response.
He had naturally agreed to take part.
It helped that the contract had discussed the benefits for Clopeh, but…
‘…Most importantly, it is getting involved in the path of a legend.’
The corners of Clopeh’s mouth slowly started to go up.
An unbearable level of passion-filled him up.
Cale had sent him a separate message along with the contract.
< I told a few wyverns to follow you for a set amount of time. >
Of course, Choi Han was actually the one to order the wyverns.
< The wyverns will follow your orders. You may use the wyverns as you please in addition to our request during that time. >
Clopeh licked his lips with his tongue.
‘I should be able to organize the north a bit after taking care of this situation.’
His eyes sparkled.
Someone else was the hero and the legend, but shouldn’t he at least be the ruler of the north?
He opened his mouth to speak.
“We are going down.”
There were tens of wyverns. The knights on top of those wyverns started to quickly descend to the spot Clopeh pointed out.
Clopeh also headed down to the forest.
He heard Cale’s voice at that moment.
– Win. If you can’t win, persist. Persisting for as long as possible is the most important part.
‘I need to help out in writing a page in your legend.’
Clopeh turned toward a direction.
He saw Lion King Dorph who looked just as Cale described, quickly moving toward the Lake of Despair with the Lion tribe.
He could see Dorph being shocked to see the descending Clopeh.
He had a twisted smile on his face.
“Ugh! Looks like you found us.”
Clopeh immediately gave an order to the knights.
The knights tightened their grips. Their arms and shoulders swung back with long steel spears in their hands.
The long spears flew toward the forest once Clopeh gave the order.
Dorph had recognized Clopeh right away. A dark barrier was created by his hands.
The rest of the Lions took out shields or hid behind trees to dodge the spears.
Boom- boom! Bang! Baaaaang!
Dorph’s’ black barrier and the knights’ long spears crashed and caused quite some loud noises.
Dorph frowned after blocking the long spears and then glared at the person coming down toward the forest.
“Oh. You know who I am?”
Clopeh put on his holy-looking knight’s smile.
Dorph looked relaxed again as he snorted toward Clopeh.
“Ha! Clopeh Sekka! Do you even know what is here? You bastard.-”
‘That’s none of my business.”
Clopeh didn’t’ know what was in the Lake of Despair.
“I’m just helping out in the path of a legend. I don’t care about anything else.”
“…What kind of, this crazy bastard-”
Dorph shouted with a shocked expression.
“You’re supposed to be the Guardian Knight of the North but you just do whatever Cale Henituse orders you to do?”
The smile disappeared from Clopeh’s face at that moment.
Clopeh started to speak with a stoic expression as a calm but firm voice flowed out.
“You’re so stupid.”
“What reason do you need to help out in the process of a legend and a hero being created?”
The corners of Clopeh’s lips rose again and his eyes started to sparkle.
Before Dorph could think that he had the gaze of a lunatic…
As he heard the sound of leaves…
Some trees were split in half as a whip burst out between them.
The whip instantly grabbed one of the Lions who were hiding behind a tree to avoid the long spears.
The Lion groaned after they heard the noise.
The Lake of Despair and the World Tree.
Clopeh Sekka was Cale’s first safety net to protect this place.
The second safety net had now appeared as well.
Dorph started to speak.
“…The Whale has come out of the water.”
The Ruler of the Ocean, Witira had appeared through one of the split trees.