Cale breathed heavily as Choi Han said that.
“Are you okay?”
Cale could only nod his head in response.
‘Damn it! This damn body looks fine on the outside but it’s so weak on the inside.’
He seemed to lack more strength every day.
It was obvious based on his living pattern.
“Yes, I’m fine.”
Cale took a deep breath before answering as if nothing was wrong.
However, Choi Han did not look good as he observed Cale.
It was normal for Cale to not train like Choi Han or Beacrox, but he didn’t do anything even though Mary and Rosalyn said that strength was important for research and worked out as well.
Furthermore, there were many days when he didn’t even eat properly.
“What are you doing? Hurry up.”
Choi Han stopped thinking about it after hearing Cale scold him and started to walk forward.
He peeked back again.
“The enemies seem to have discovered us!”
Cale turned his head and looked back after hearing that comment.
He then started to frown.
‘I can’t see anything!’
The snow that had been gently falling until a moment ago had quickly turned into a dangerous storm as the wind got stronger.
The weather on the snowy region that had instantly changed was like a natural disaster.
‘This is driving me nuts.’
Cale could not see properly.
Not only could he not see the enemies that Choi Han mentioned, but he also could not even see where he was walking.
“Young master-nim, shall we proceed forward?”
However, Choi Han, Hannah, and Ron who were next to Cale were peeking back and asking Cale what to do.
The others were not with them to carry out their plan.
‘…I guess they can see everything. These scary people.’
He knew that Choi Han and Hannah were sword masters who could focus their aura into their eyes to increase their vision, but Ron seemed to also be able to see the enemies even though he was not a sword master.
‘He truly is a scary old man.’
Cale realized once more that the three people around him were no joke and started to speak.
The map of the snowy region and its terrain quickly appeared in Cale’s mind.
The recorded information unfolded to its entirety.
It didn’t matter that he could not see anything.
As long as the three people around him could see, he could use those pieces of information to determine the direction to travel.
It wasn’t hard to do.
That was why his response was short.
“Keep going like this.”
He then took a step forward.
However, he quickly gasped as his body tilted to one side.
“Hey. Be careful!”
Hannah quickly grabbed his arm to support him.
Choi Han was to the rear and Ron was up front. Hannah was next to Cale.
That was the formation right now with the three people surrounding Cale.
Cale brushed away Hannah’s hand that was holding his arm and resumed walking as if nothing had happened.
“Let’s hurry. We need to time it properly.”
Hannah started to frown while looking at Cale.
‘…This punk, he really!’
She felt upset for some reason seeing the punk who looked fine on the outside but was the weakest of them all walking through the snow as if nothing was wrong.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
Hannah’s gaze turned sharp after hearing Cale’s brusque voice.
“Who says I was looking at you?”
Hannah responded even more brusquely as Cale turned around and resumed walking while responding to her.
His voice was quiet enough to be drowned out by the strong wind, but she could still hear him.
“I need to be here to trick the enemies. You know that is the case.”
They were currently planning on tricking the enemies and leading them to their destination.
That was why they could not leave out Cale who was the ‘bait’ that the enemies wanted most.
She calmed herself down and mumbled internally.
‘This smart punk.’
The fact that Cale could accurately determine the direction they needed to move in this snowstorm just based on what they told him truly was amazing.
This punk was the one who planned this whole thing and was suffering the most.
‘…That’s why we can’t help but follow him.’
Hannah quietly walked next to Cale.
She would speed up every so often in order to sweep away the snow in front of Cale.
Choi Han who had been watching the two of them peeked toward the back again.
He started to calculate the speed of the enemies charging toward them.
‘The enemies take two steps every time we take one step.’
They were fast.
The enemies were quickly catching up to them as they were walking slowly in order to match Cale’s speed.
Choi Han started to get anxious.
‘We will head to the Roan Kingdom right away after this is done.’
Choi Han had thought about Alberu after hearing that the crown prince might be in danger.
‘…He is my student after all.’
Choi Han didn’t feel good hearing that Alberu, who was distant but close to him, might be in danger.
That was why he wanted to focus on his role even more and his gaze kept going to the back.
The enemies were thoroughly glaring at Choi Han and the others as well.
“…They noticed us.”
“How about we increase our speed?”
The old Dark Elf Count asked the black knight who looked back.
The old man seemed to have noticed her gaze as he asked the Marquis with the fan who was behind him.
“Marquis-nim, what do you think we should do?”
The Marquis was being carried by a Dark Elf.
It wasn’t possible for him to wade through this snowstorm with his body.
The Marquis covered the snow from hitting his face with the fan as he started to speak.
“We are certain that Cale Henituse and Bud split up, right?”
“That seems to be the case.”
The black knight responded but could not hide her frustration.
‘Shit! This damn snow!’
She was weighed down more than the others because of her armor.
Of course, it wasn’t an issue at all for her.
However, it was an issue for her subordinates.
She looked behind her.
‘…This isn’t good.’
The black horses were all left behind at the entrance of the snowy region.
That was why she and the Knights Brigade were all wearing armor while walking through this snowy field.
They had to move quickly as well to be able to keep up with the Dark Elves.
She could tell that her subordinates were slowly falling behind from the Dark Elves.
‘This damn old man is aiming for that!’
Her eyes were full of anger as she peeked at the old Dark Elf.
She believed he was having the Dark Elves slowly raise their speed on purpose.
That old man was moving forward while ignoring the Knights Brigade on purpose.
She could see the old man gently smiling at her once they made eye contact.
‘…This damn old man!’
The old man was doing this to earn all merits for the Dark Elves for the mission.
He was clearly planning on trying to increase his influence within the Endable Kingdom.
Both she and the Marquis with the fan knew this.
‘Where the hell is Duke Fredo?’
The Dark Elves might not be able to do anything if Duke Fredo was here.
But the Vampire who usually took a step back and didn’t do much was not visible once again.
The Marquis with the fan started to speak at that moment.
“Cale Henituse most likely split away from the Mercenary King’s group to use himself as bait and give them time to escape, right?”
The old Dark Elf’s eyes were sparkling as he continued to speak.
“Based on the Elementals, they do not feel the Dragon nearby nor any other Elementals. I’m certain that he asked the Dragon to help the Elves and the mercenaries escape while Cale Henituse leads us away with just the swordsmen.”
The old man quickly continued.
“I also saw some faint traces of people moving in the opposite direction as Cale Henituse. I’m sure the mercenaries hid those tracks as they escaped.”
The black knight started to speak as if to argue against him.
“Isn’t it weird that such tracks were still visible in such a snowstorm?”
The snow should have covered the tracks, but for some odd reason, tracks were left everywhere they believed Bud escaped.
“I’m certain the enemies left the tracks to cause confusion within our ranks. I’m sure the Mercenary King didn’t escape in the direction of the tracks we found. I’m sure they went somewhere el-”
“Count. That’s not important.”
The knight stopped talking after hearing the Marquis’s response.
The corners of the old man’s lips went up as he watched.
“That’s right. Marquis-nim. That is not important. The mercenaries are not our goal.”
“That’s right. Our goal is Cale Henituse. Isn’t that right, Count?”
The black knight sighed before nodding her head to agree with the Marquis.
“Yes, sir. Our goal is Cale Henituse.”
The Marquis flapped his fan even in the snow storm as he continued to speak.
“Cale Henituse is luring us without the Dragon nor Elementals by his side. He only has swordsmen with him.”
He folded his fan.
“He’s probably trying to sacrifice himself.”
The most unique trait the Endable Kingdom determined about Cale Henituse was his willingness for sacrifice.
He should act the same way this time as well.
“We need to chase Cale Henituse even when we know he is luring us and Cale Henituse must be running away with just the swordsmen because he knows we will chase him as well.”
The answer was simple.
“That is why we need to chase him and finish him off.”
The Marquis’s eyes started to sparkle.
‘Neither the Duke nor the White Star are here right now.’
That was why it was a great situation for him to achieve the most merit.
‘…I need to increase my forces.’
The organization that served the Demonic race and not the gods.
The Marquis who was the leader of that organization wanted to increase his strength and influence before the Endable Kingdom was revealed to the world.
“We will increase our speed to chase them. Choi Han, Hannah, and Ron Molan. They are all strong individuals to be wary of, but Cale Henituse should be worn out by now. I’m sure we will find an opening if we chase them.”
His eyes were burning up with greed.
“Once we see an opening… That’s when we will rip him apart.”
The power inside his fan started to rumble inside the snowstorm.
“We are increasing our speed.”
The old Dark Elf responded energetically but the knight flinched. She wondered if her tired subordinates could keep up.
The Marquis asked her a question.
“How about you follow us from the rear?”
She started to frown.
It was obvious that the Marquis and the old Dark Elf were trying to take everything.
However, the knight retreated without saying anything else.
‘This is not the only opportunity.’
She was good at being patient so she quietly retreated.
“Count Mock! Why do you think they are heading northwest?”
The Marquis asked the old Dark Elf, Mock a question.
Mock pushed down on the ground harder and observed Cale’s group who they were slowly approaching and started to speak.
“Based on this location, I’m sure they are heading toward the cliff on the northwest side.”
“Those four experts should find it easy to safely climb down the cliff.”
The Marquis nodded his head.
“They must be planning on climbing down the cliff so that we cannot chase them anymore.”
“That is correct. That is why we must catch up before they get to the cliff.”
Mock smiled at the Marquis’s response and increased his speed.
‘There are no preys nearby.’
The Elemental contracted to him to let him know once more that there were no other Elementals nearby.
A smile appeared on his face.
‘If there are no mages nor Elementals by Cale Henituse’s side… We have the advantage.’
It was at that moment.
He could see Cale Henituse’s eyes that had opened wide after turning around and making eye contact with him.
He seemed to be quite exhausted as he was full of sweat even in this cold weather.
‘Did he catch a cold or something?’
He seemed to have a fever and his face was a total mess.
Choi Han covered Cale from behind.
Count Mock could see everything clearly.
That meant that the enemies who were quite far away were now very close.
‘They’re right there!’
He raised his hand.
There was only one thing that ‘close’ meant for a Dark Elf like him.
He pulled the bowstring back.
The Dark Elves all instantly took out some arrows and pointed them toward Cale as they ran.
The targets were now close enough for them to use their bows.
“I will help you as well.”
Count Mock frowned for a moment at the Marquis’s statement before quickly returning to normal.
‘I knew it would be like this.’
He could tell that the Marquis was trying to steal the glory.
However, it was better for them to share the glory in a situation like this.
He could feel a large amount of power gathering together.
“Split up and get into formation!”
Count Mock shouted and the Dark Elves started to split up inside the snowstorm.
They created a formation that resembled a crescent moon and started to run toward Cale’s group.
Black aura started to gather at the tips of their arrows.
The black auras soon gobbled up the arrows and took the place of the arrows.
The knight could only bite her lips and watch as the Knights Brigade had no way of launching any long-distance attacks.
She then started to shake.
‘…What could it be?’
She felt something odd behind her.
She quickly turned around.
‘I don’t see anything.’
There was nothing behind her.
However, she could then hear a weird noise inside the snowstorm.
She could only hear it because she had retreated to the rear.
Her gaze slowly headed up.
She could hear something flying by.
She looked up at the sky and immediately shouted in shock.
“…N, no way!”
She could see something black flying past her and her allies to get to Cale Henituse.
It was a Dragon.
She was certain that was a Dragon.
The Dragon was flying from the top of the mountain toward Cale.
Her gaze moved to the mountain peak past the snowstorm.
There were no traces of the mercenaries heading to the mountain peak.
‘What could it be?’
She opened her mouth to speak as soon as she had that question.
When you have such a question on the battlefield…
During those times…
It was time to retreat.
It was time to stop.
However, Count Mock’s voice echoed louder than her own.
“Increase your speed to surround them!”
The Dark Elves who were in the crescent moon formation increased their speed.
It was at that moment.
‘Mock! Someone is coming from over there!’
‘Someone is coming?’
Mock could see people quickly flying toward them with flight magic as soon as he heard the Elemental’s voice.
They were coming from the west.
‘It’s the Dragon!’
He could also see the Dragon quickly flying down from the north as the Elemental shouted.
He had a bad feeling about it.
The Marquis reacted before he could.
The Dark Elves looked toward Mock after hearing the Marquis shout and Mock shouted as well.
“Stop! Everybody stop!”
They all stopped running.
Mock made eye contact with Cale Henituse who turned around at that moment.
Mock whose sight was better than everyone else could see Cale Henituse smiling.
On the other hand, Cale could not see Mock or the enemies’ expressions at all.
However, he had been waiting for this moment when the enemies stopped moving.
“You shouldn’t stop moving.”
His hand went up to the sky before dropping down to the ground.
That was the signal.
A large rumbling that gobbled up the snowstorm filled everyone’s ears.
All of them looked toward the north.
At the mountain peak…
A large tsunami…
A large snow tsunami was charging down.
Rosalyn who had flown over and landed in front of Cale and reached her hand out.
The bag that had been over her shoulder earlier was completely empty.
“I used them all.”
Rosalyn had gone to Eruhaben to get as many magic bombs as he had and had brought her own collection of magic bombs as well.
“Your hands must feel so light.”
Rosalyn smiled at Cale’s response and reached her hand toward him.
“Shall we go?”
Rosalyn put her hand on his shoulder and acceleration magic and temperature management magic surrounded him.
Cale looked at the charging snow tsunami and the astonished enemies before turning around.
An endless number of explosions caused the snow that had filled the mountain peak for hundreds, no, thousands of years to quickly charge down.
“…Use flight magic if you can!”
Cale could hear the enemies shouting behind him.
However, he did not have the time to look back at them.
His group quickly started to move away from the scene.
They were taking two to three steps every time the enemies took one, as if they had never been slow at all.
Cale was quickly moving thanks to magic as well.
He heard Rosalyn’s voice as he walked.
“I visited the Mercenary King just now. They all crossed the bridge and the mages are guarding them while preparing to teleport. They should all safely escape soon.”
– Human! I can’t get through to the crown prince!
Raon’s voice filled his mind as well.
Cale opened his mouth to speak.
“We are heading to the Roan Kingdom right away.”
His cold voice had no hesitation at all.
Hannah who was keeping pace with Cale looked back.
The snow had struck the area they had passed through like a tsunami.
‘…It’s hard to breathe.’
The immense tsunami attacking the enemies made it hard for her to breathe.
Even the mages by Rosalyn’s side who had planted the magic bombs were looking blankly in disbelief at what they had done.
They heard Cale’s voice again at that moment.
“Everybody, snap out of it.”
Hannah turned her gaze.
Cale Henituse who would usually be happy that they pulled one over the enemies did not look happy today.
He was still feeling rushed right now.
“…I don’t have much time.”
The quietly mumbling Cale couldn’t hide his sense of urgency in both his expression and his voice.
* * *
Alberu looked toward the enemies that were moving forward from the horizon beyond the castle wall.
His gaze was focused on the person who was at the center of the enemies and looking at him.
“That person must be the White Star.”
The White Star and Alberu Crossman.
The two of them looked at each other for the first time.
The place they first met was on the battlefield.