Fredo was with Solena in his bedroom.
Cale looked toward Fredo and bluntly asked.
“Where are they?”
Fredo had a bright smile on his face.
“My son, you must finally be looking for the bodies.”
“Haaaaa. You crazy bastard.”
Cale could feel Solena flinch, but he ignored it and plopped down on the empty chair across from Fredo.
“Where are they? Actually, no.”
Cale asked the same question before shaking his head. He then asked Fredo a different question.
“Why did you do it?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Don’t feign ignorance. It’s funny to hear someone who just smiled and asked if we were looking for the bodies pretending like he doesn’t know anything now.”
“Mm. I guess it is funny.”
Fredo nodded his head as if he agreed with Cale.
He then continued to speak.
“It was because the weight wasn’t balanced.”
“A deal or a contract means that both sides are giving something of equal value to the other.”
Fredo believed that they needed to be clear on what each side was giving and receiving.
“And when both sides of the scale are equal in weight… That’s when a contract is set.”
“You thought that holding the Ranger Brigade members hostage was balancing the scale?”
“Yes. Shouldn’t I at least do that much?”
Choi Han who came through the mirror after Cale started to speak at that moment.
“Is that why you included Cale-nim’s blood as a condition?”
Choi Han’s gaze did not look happy as he glared at Fredo. Actually, there was a lot of animosity that Choi Han did not hide.
Choi Han thought Cale had more trust in Fredo than before, but in Choi Han’s point of view, Fredo was just an enemy aiming for one of his family member’s blood.
He saw him as someone who could stab them in the back at any moment.
Choi Han could see Fredo smiling toward him at that moment.
Fredo started to speak in a gentle voice as if Choi Han’s animosity was cute.
“Choi Han. Do you think your master values his blood a lot? I think Cale Henituse would put a higher value on his friends’ blood than his own.”
Choi Han was suddenly at a loss for words.
Cale started to speak instead.
“My blood is very important to me.”
Choi Han was at even more of a loss for words that he turned away from Cale.
On the other hand, Fredo looked toward Cale and nonchalantly commented.
“I also needed a conversation with the Mercenary King.”
Solena sighed quietly after hearing that.
Fredo continued to speak as Cale looked at her.
“I didn’t want to be hated anymore.”
It sounded light, but those words were not light at all.
“The people of the Eastern continent do not look favorably on most of the races that make up the Endable Kingdom.”
The animosity toward Vampires and Dark Elves were obvious, but it was highly likely that the people on the Eastern continent would feel repulsed by the citizens of the Endable Kingdom when it was revealed.
“There were people I needed to slowly change that mindset.”
Cale immediately realized who those people were.
“You’re talking about the mercenaries.”
“Yes. The mercenaries going around the continent and saying good things about us in restaurants or shops will slowly change people’s opinions about us.”
Cale tapped his knee with his finger as he started to speak.
“You hid the Rangers because you needed to make a deal with both the Mercenary King and me?”
Fredo raised his hand and pointed somewhere.
“Here. Solena was in charge of that. The other Vampire knights helped her as well.”
Now that he thought about, Cale had not seen any Vampires other than Solena and Fredo in the northern snowy mountain.
Cale crossed his arms and stared at Fredo as he started to speak again.
“It looks like you are not going to tell me where they are.”
Fredo did not disagree with that statement.
“They are safe. Ah, but we did suck some blood from them in order to trick both allies and enemies while we were on the northern snowy mountains.”
Solena urgently interjected.
“Sucked their blood?! My liege, you must not use such phrasing! Mm! Young master-nim, the amount was very minimal. It was only a tiny bit that we couldn’t help but absorb while pretending to take their blood. Everybody is safe.”
She smiled as gently as possible toward Cale.
“This is the truth.”
“Who said it wasn’t?”
Cale shrugged his shoulders toward Solena and then stared back at Fredo.
Fredo smiled at him and started to speak again.
“I will let you know where the Ranger Brigade members are if you properly destroy the facility that would turn the White Star into a member of the Demonic race.”
“It’s not enough.”
Cale looked right at Fredo and shook his head.
“There are not enough benefits for me.”
“…You’ll prevent the White Star from becoming a member of the Demonic race and manage to save over half of the Ranger Brigade members that you thought were dead. But that’s still not enough benefits for you?”
Cale started to smirk.
‘Well, I would have made that deal if things had proceeded according to Fredo’s plan.’
If Cale had followed the map to the Endable Kingdom and met with Fredo as he had originally planned… And then if he had heard about the Ranger Brigade members still being alive at that moment…
Cale would have made the deal as Fredo wanted.
‘But the situation is different now.’
The situation had changed.
Shouldn’t he earn more benefits while he could do so?
Cale uncrossed his arms and leaned his upper body toward the bed.
Fredo flinched after hearing Cale call him father.
His eyes could see Cale’s twisted smile on his innocent childhood appearance.
“Father, you become king in return, but there’s nothing I gain from it. Nothing in my hand.”
Fredo let out a short groan.
As Cale said, there was nothing Cale Henituse would gain from this.
Fame, power, wealth, none of it.
‘I thought he wasn’t the type to seek those things?’
Fredo wondered if he had heard wrong about Cale. On the other hand, he had a different thought as well.
‘…It would be weird if he had no greed at all.’
He heard a cold voice as he had that thought.
“In addition, the situation has changed.”
Cale returned to his usual tone as he continued to speak.
The situation had changed.
“How will you handle this without me now?”
His help was now necessary.
Solena let out a groan.
Fredo quietly observed Cale for a bit before starting to speak.
“Yes. Now we need you.”
Cale’s value to Fredo had gone up more now.
Cale nonchalantly commented as Fredo accepted this.
“Raise it some more.”
Offer some more things to put on the scale.
Balance the weights on the scale.
That was what Cale’s gaze was saying and Fredo accepted it.
“Sure. I will think about what to add to my side of the scale.”
“Good. That’s what I wanted to hear.”
Cale immediately stood up from the chair.
“Slowly think about what I would want. Then I’ll start to prepare and make my move as well.”
Solena flinched and turned toward Cale after hearing him saying that he would prepare.
However, Cale ignored her gaze and headed back to the mirror.
He heard Fredo ask him a question from behind him.
“My son, have you called his highness, the crown prince?”
Cale turned back for a moment just before climbing through the mirror and smiled at Fredo.
“A long time ago. I’m quite a thorough person.”
More than he seemed at least.
* * *
It was late at night.
The moonlight from above was shining down on the white palace.
However, in a dark residence on the southern part of Section 1 where that light did not reach…
Knock knock knock.
The person who was looking through documents in this study that was full of books looked up after hearing someone knocking on the door.
“What is going on?”
This study… Actually, this southern mansion’s owner looked out the door and started to speak.
The middle of the night was too early for a person like him who stayed up very late with work to sleep.
The owner of the house slightly tilted his head to the side after hearing the butler’s voice.
The butler knew that he did not like being interrupted while he is working and did not come around this time if possible.
He was a talented butler who usually took care of everything himself.
He heard the butler’s voice at that moment.
“Count-nim, young master Naru Von Ejellan has come to see you.”
The Count immediately got up.
The old man’s eyes were full of shock and confusion.
He immediately opened the door to his office and the butler bowed.
“The young master has requested to meet quietly with you alone as he has something he would like to discuss with you.”
Quietly. Something to discuss with him alone.
That meant that Naru wanted this meeting to be a secret.
‘Naru Von Ejellan came to meet with me? Why?’
The butler cautiously asked.
“Count-nim, what shall I do?”
The Dark Elf old man’s mind quickly started to move.
‘…Naru Von Ejellan secretly came looking for me so late at night?’
Mock started to recall the events from the afternoon.
‘The proud warriors of the Endable Kingdom and I will kill Cale Henituse.’
He naturally thought about the moment Naru caused chaos in the grand assembly room.
The innocent-looking bastard had done something big.
Count Mock started to smile.
It was because he suddenly thought of something.
“Will you look at that?”
A wicked smile appeared on the old man’s face before it instantly disappeared.
He gave the butler and order with a solemn expression.
“Bring young master Naru inside.”
“Yes, Count-nim. I will escort him to the reception room-”
“No, just bring him to the study.”
The reception room was where he met with guests.
“I feel like I’ll have to do some work to do.”
His study was the place to work.
Rooms were supposed to be used as they were planned.
Count Mock soon saw a hooded individual walking into the study with his butler.
The person walked in and removed his hood before greeting Mock.
“Hello, Count-nim. I’m sorry for visiting you so late at night.”
“It’s not a problem.”
Mock greeted young Naru with a benign smile.
“Don’t be so stiff calling me Count. I told you to call me grandfather.”
He gently sat the boy across from him.
“Here are the cups of tea.”
“Good work. Butler.”
“Please have a nice conversation.”
The butler left tea and snacks before carefully leaving the study and closing the door.
The study was separated from the outside once the door was closed.
“Naru. Drink some tea first.”
“Thank you very much, Count-nim.”
“I told you to call me grandfather.”
The boy picked up the cup and observed the Count.
“I think I need to speak to you today not as, ‘grandfather,’ but as, ‘Count-nim.’ ”
Count Mock realized that the boy’s passionate gaze looked different than usual.
One corner of the Count’s lips went up.
“Sure. What brings you here?”
The boy took a sip of tea and put the cup back down on the table.
There was a short moment of silence after the quiet clinking of the cup.
The boy said the following at the end of that short moment.
“Our liege will not start a war.”
The corners of Mock’s lips went up.
Cale looking like Naru continued to speak.
“I say that based on his majesty’s usual demeanor. The fact that he did not make his mind up right away in the assembly hall and pushed it back shows that he has no thoughts on starting a war right now.”
“You’re right. I also feel that our liege does not plan on starting a war.”
He benignly smiled after noticing Cale’s gaze.
“If he had any thoughts about starting a war, he would have called Count Hubesha or me. He would have also called you to have a separate conversation.”
“Unfortunately, he only took Chief Priest Gersey-nim with him to his office.”
Count Mock had not liked that either.
‘Why does our liege stick around Chief Priest Gersey so much?’
Cale started to laugh internally while looking at Mock, however, he continued to speak as if he did not realize how Mock felt at all.
“However, it will be difficult for his majesty to just ignore this motion.”
“Yes. 101 people have heard it.”
Count Mock agreed with this.
The Noble awaiters.
Their desires and patience were at their limits after waiting so long for the White Star to cover this issue up and forget about it.
Mock noticed a deep smile on the boy’s face at that moment.
“That’s right. We cannot ignore the 96 people.”
Mock subconsciously laughed at that moment.
“Naru, you knew what you were doing in there, didn’t you?”
‘I thought he was just a clueless child! I thought he was stupidly charging forward in the grand assembly hall!’
Based on his actions right now, it seemed as if he had acted that way in front of the 96 people on purpose.
The boy quietly started to speak.
“I am an Ejellan after all.”
Mock suddenly felt chills on his back.
“You remind me of your father when he was young.”
Mock recalled the focused eyes that had been charging forward toward his goal.
“So then. Why did you come looking for me?”
The boy smiled and asked back.
“Why did you decide to meet with me?”
The boy acted as if he knew everything as he quietly spoke to the Count almost in a whisper.
“Count-nim, you want there to be a war, don’t you?”
The old man’s gaze stiffened and became colder.
Cale looked at him as he recalled a conversation with Duke Fredo.
‘My son, you’re going to target Count Mock?’
‘Yes. Based on what you told me, he seems to be the greediest for power.’
‘That is true. It would be good to put him in the forefront.’
‘That’s right. I’m going to use that bastard.’
Fredo had smiled after hearing Cale say that he was going to use Mock.
‘Mock will move according to your will without knowing anything.’
‘What is it? You don’t like it?’
‘No, I think it’ll be entertaining.’
Cale looked right into the eyes of the old man who had come out of his thoughts and was staring at him with a piercing gaze.
Cale knew as well.
The White Star who wished to become a member of the Demonic race would put his grand vision ahead of dealing with Cale Henituse.
That was why an all-out war was impossible.
He had come up with a plan while knowing that that was the case.
‘Destroy and swipe.’
He would destroy the White Star’s things and swipe them.
Cale stealthily asked the old man a question.
“Count-nim. Don’t you want to achieve some merits?”
A short moment of silence fell in the room.
However, Mock soon destroyed that silence.
The old man’s laughter filled the study.
Mock’s gaze turned cold as he put the teacup down.
“Crisis is said to make people grow. Naru. You’ve grown. I don’t know when you grew so much.”
He stopped leaning on the couch and leaned forward toward the boy and asked.
“Yes. You want to plot something with me?”
Cale took a document out of his pocket and put it on top of the table.
“…Naru, I don’t know what this is.”
The old man’s questioning gaze changed the moment he heard what Cale had to say.
“This is top secret information my father has been gathering.”
Mock subconsciously clenched the armrest with both hands.
It was here.
A big opportunity had come his way.
That was what Mock’s intuition was telling him.
“…What is the information?”
Cale laughed internally at the Count’s question.
His gaze headed toward the document.
‘Information my ass.’
This was a fake document he and Fredo created this morning.
Cale slowly unraveled the rolled-up document and gently smiled toward the enemy.
“This is precious information.”