Count Mock’s gaze moved to the document that was slowly being opened on the table.
He looked away from the document and looked at Cale. Cale felt his gaze and raised his head as Mock started to speak to him.
“…The Duke does something like this?”
“Of course. There is a reason he is the Duke.”
Mock barely managed to hold himself from scoffing out loud.
“Is there anyone who knows about this?”
“The fact that he is collecting information like this?”
Mock subconsciously tensed up.
But the boy casually answered as if it wasn’t much.
“How would there be anybody who knows?”
Mock tightly clenched onto the armrests after hearing that nonchalant response.
‘I didn’t think Duke Fredo would be gathering information in secret like this without even reporting it to his majesty!’
Based on how he said that it was top secret information, there was a whole system set up to divide the information up by value or importance.
Mock knew that Duke Fredo was the strongest physically among the first four nobles.
‘But I thought that he was just an eccentric individual whose thoughts I couldn’t predict but that he was still loyal to his majesty!’
Mock could not hide his shock at this newly gained knowledge.
He then started to think.
‘…I guess these kinds of things need to be done to rise to the Duke position.’
The veins on the back of his wrists were clearly visible as he continued to clench on the armrests.
Mock’s gaze shook as he looked back at the document. His gaze was filled with self-reflection at the fact that he had not gathered information in this matter and that he should do so in the future.
Furthermore, there was also a strong desire that doing so would allow him to rise to the Duke position as well.
‘My goodness, he lives such a complicated life.’
Cale confirmed Mock’s status before smiling internally.
The document containing top-secret information finally opened all the way.
“Please take a look.”
Count Mock leaned forward and focused on the document after hearing Cale’s statement.
< 1. The location suspected of being Cale Henituse's base. >
“Cale Henituse’s base……?”
Mock immediately looked back at Cale. The boy smiled and motioned with his hand.
“Please keep reading.”
Mock turned back toward the document.
“Count-nim. You should read all the red words first.”
There were a lot of things written on the document, but the red words were quite eye-catching and Mock started to read them first, as Cale had mentioned.
< The Forest of Darkness, one of the Forbidden Regions that exists in the Roan Kingdom's Henituse territory. >
< The families of Cale Henituse's friends are confirmed to be living there. Determined to be a black castle located at the center of the Forest of Darkness. (Confirmed in the air.) >
< Security is quite tight because the Tiger tribe and others usually reside there. >
The Henituse territory.
It was a place that any of the Endable Kingdom’s chief executives have heard about at least once, no, many times.
It was Cale Henituse’s hometown as well as where the northern Indomitable Alliance’s first plans failed.
Mock confirmed the new details among the familiar details.
“…There’s a castle in the Forest of Darkness within the Henituse territory?”
‘And that is where Cale Henituse’s friends and their families live? It is where Cale Henituse spends most of his time as well?’
Mock naturally looked at the next sentence.
< It is not easy to approach because of the Tiger Tribe and Cale Henituse's friends who reside in the castle. >
At the bottom of the document…
Written in the brightest red color…
< However, I believe that if we are able to attack and take control of this location, we could use the hostages here to land a serious blow on Cale Henituse and his friends. >
That last sentence was written in Duke Fredo’s handwriting.
Count Mock was the overseer of the grand assembly.
He had seen the motions the first nobles had submitted many times and was familiar with all of their handwriting.
‘That should mean that this last sentence is Duke Fredo’s opinion.’
He could consider the last sentence to be Duke Fredo’s analysis of this top-secret information.
‘…The chances of this information being real just went up.’
Mock’s level of trust in the information went up as well.
He had gone himself to confirm Duke Fredo’s status.
Fredo was clearly comatose, so he would not have been able to write this at the moment.
That meant that this information was analyzed prior to his going unconscious, so the chances of this being real were quite high unless Duke Fredo had gone crazy and acted nonsensically.
Mock tried to maintain his expression and nonchalantly asked the boy as if he wasn’t interested at all.
“…What is this?”
“Count-nim, I know you read it all.”
The boy mischievously smiled.
“I read it, but I don’t understand why you are showing this to me.”
Mock could see the mischievous expression disappear from the boy’s face after hearing that.
The boy leaned forward toward the Count as well.
“The Tiger tribe that is the central force for protecting the black castle at the center of the Forest of Darkness is currently at the Roan Kingdom’s capital with crown prince Alberu.”
The boy lightly tapped on top of the document as he continued to speak.
“And where are Cale Henituse and his famous friends right now?”
Mock and the boy made eye contact.
“Count-nim, they are all split up among the four different battles we had prepared.”
The Lake of Despair at the north of the Western continent.
The snowy mountain on the northern part of the Eastern continent.
The Eastern continent’s Molden Kingdom.
And the Roan Kingdom’s Stan territory and capital on the Western continent.
“Finally, our information team has figured out Cale Henituse’s current location.”
“…Where is it?”
“He is said to have headed north to the Lake of Despair. One of our people who have infiltrated the Stan territory has figured that out.”
“…He must have gone to the World Tree.”
“That’s right. Cale Henituse is probably worried about the World Tree the most right now.”
Mock silently nodded his head to show his agreement.
He felt his mouth going dry at that moment. His body was slowly starting to tense up.
Mock knew the reason this was happening.
However, he did not say it out loud. The boy in front of him would say it first.
“Count-nim, the black castle is currently empty.”
Count Mock’s heart was slowly starting to beat wildly.
A plan naturally formed in his mind.
The boy’s voice egged him on.
“To be more specific, there are no strong individuals there right now. There are some magic circles, but there is nobody protecting the place. We should be able to destroy the magic circles if we go attack it a few times.”
‘We can destroy it.’
That sentence etched itself on Mock’s mind.
“Count-nim, instead of the strong individuals, what we will find there are the weakest people related to Cale Henituse, the people he needs to protect.”
Mock had enough information about Cale Henituse to know that he cherished his friends quite a bit.
He also had this hero mentality of trying to protect the weak.
Mock ignored his wildly beating heart and calmly asked.
“…But Cale Henituse will not leave that place empty forever.”
“That’s why right now is the time!”
The boy raised his voice.
Mock’s heart started to beat even louder than before.
“Count-nim, Cale Henituse must have decided that it was okay to leave the castle empty for a bit because he thinks we have not discovered it! But based on his personality, he will soon send people back to protect his weak but precious people!”
The boy slammed his hands on the table.
Mock and the boy looked at each other.
“Count-nim, so, before that happens!”
The boy’s eyes looked extremely heated.
The boy, Cale, strongly thought about smacking this guy from behind as he shouted each word one by one.
“Count-nim, you and I. And a select few from the 96 noble awaiters. We can take control of this castle.”
The secretive nature of that word filled Count Mock.
Count Mock started to heat up. He slowly lifted himself away from the back of the chair and started to organize his thoughts.
‘His majesty is more likely to approve of this because it is not an all-out war nor a large-scale battle.
‘This plan Naru brought is something his majesty might desire as well.’
It seemed like a better and better plan the more he thought about it.
It would calm the noble awaiters who wanted to achieve merit while landing a blow on Cale Henituse at the same time.
Mock nonchalantly asked Cale who looked like Naru.
“Taking control of Cale Henituse’s black castle. Are you satisfied with just that?”
“Not at all.”
The boy smiled.
Mock could feel anger within that smile and believed it to be anger directed at Cale.
‘Do you know how many times he’s screwed me over?!’
However, Cale was filled with anger against the White Star.
He continued to speak.
“Taking control of that castle will be step one to drag Cale Henituse in. And then-”
“Take it to an all-out war?”
“Yes, sir. Even a small flame can end up burning down an entire mountain.”
Mock quietly asked.
“His majesty won’t want that.”
The boy just smiled.
Mock realized that what Naru wanted, in the end, was an all-out war.
‘He has no hesitations about it.’
Was it because he didn’t know the ways of the world?
Or was it because dirt was finally starting to get on his innocence?
Either way, it wasn’t bad for Mock.
He could see the document being pushed toward him.
“Please let me give this to you.”
Cale started to speak to the greedy old man.
“Please use it to gain merit yourself.”
His voice was calm but held a quietly suggestive tone.
“And please make your decision and pull them in.”
“Only a few of the 96 people will be able to participate in this plan. We cannot make it a large-scale situation.”
“Please choose the chosen ones yourself. Then they will follow you, Count-nim.”
Mock slowly started to smile again.
“Count-nim, you will gain more people within your faction. At least, for when the Endable Kingdom is revealed to the continent, that is.”
The old man ended up laughing out loud.
He could not hold back his laughter anymore.
The boy calmly spoke at that moment.
“I do not need anything as long as I can get revenge for my father.”
Mock stopped laughing.
“Is that really all you need?”
‘This punk doesn’t seem stupid enough to let such an opportunity go and give it to me instead.’
Mock’s sharp gaze headed toward Cale.
Cale started to smile.
“It’s time to show my abilities since my father will be in bed for a long time. I plan on involving half of the Vampires’ strongest individuals for this task.”
Mock slapped his knee with his hand.
“You plan on showing the Vampires your leadership skills.”
“That’s right. Shouldn’t the leader’s position be set in order to have a war?”
Mock did not stop himself from laughing.
He stood up from his seat. Naru stood up as well and faced him.
“Your grandfather will help you.”
“Thank you, grandfather.”
Mock and Cale had turned back into a friendly grandfather and child at some point.
“Then I will trust you and wait.”
“Yes, just trust your grandfather.”
Mock walked the boy who covered his face with his hood once again all the way to the front door.
“I will be on my way now.”
The old and simple carriage door closed and Naru and Solena left the mansion as stealthily as they had arrived.
Mock waited until he could not see them anymore before he gave his butler an order.
“Prepare the carriage. I need to go to the white castle.”
His gaze was directed at the white castle.
It was still bright over there.
It was because the master of that place never slept.
The old man’s eyes were full of a greedy fire.
A moment later, Cale was hiding within a shadow as he observed a single spot.
He saw a carriage leave Count Mock’s residence and head toward the white castle.
Cale heard Solena’s voice next to him.
“He’s fallen for the trap.”
“Yes, although he doesn’t know that that is the case.”
Cale stopped crouching and headed toward the carriage which was also hidden.
He started to speak as he got on the carriage.
“I’m curious to see how Count Mock will convince the White Star.”
“I’m sure that he will be able to convince him.”
Cale and Solena made eye contact.
She smiled brightly as she continued to speak.
“It is for his own greed.”
“That makes sense.”
The old and simple carriage finally headed home.
* * *
“Count Mock. What is going on?”
“Your majesty. I apologize for visiting you so late.”
Count Mock bowed toward the White Star who was bathing in a tub full of a black liquid.
“Your majesty. I have found Cale Henituse’s weakness.”
The White Star turned toward Count Mock.