Alberu Crossman was quietly looking down at the view from the second-floor terrace.
Although his half-mask was covering everything from his nose up, his eyes were taking in the sight of the Endable Kingdom’s Section 1 with his quarter Dark Elf appearance out in the open.
“Bob hyung, are you not going to eat?”
Alberu slowly turned his head after hearing the voice.
A boy wearing a dull grey hooded cape was looking at him.
Nobody else other than Alberu who was sitting across from him could see how he looked because he had his hood on.
Alberu looked into the eyes of the boy looking at him before turning back toward the view outside the terrace.
His mouth slowly opened to speak.
“I keep wanting to look.”
“In some ways… This place means a lot to me.”
The boy’s confident voice struck Alberu’s heart like a hook at that moment.
“Why? Because of the Dark Elves?”
He really couldn’t trick this punk.
Alberu looked at the boy in front of him. He realized that it really was hard to hide his feelings from Cale.
‘That also means that he knows a lot of my secrets.’
Sharing a secret that could not be openly shown with someone could at times bring comfort and peace, however… It could also make someone feel awkward as if their innermost thoughts were being revealed.
Alberu was feeling both the former and the latter right now.
He opened his mouth to speak.
“Well, I guess you could say that.”
He kept looking because of the Dark Elves, as Cale had mentioned.
“Isn’t it nice?”
Alberu slowly nodded his head at Cale’s question.
“It is nice.”
He then quickly added on.
“It’s better than I thought it would be.”
The Endable Kingdom’s scenery was better than he thought it would be and better than he could have ever imagined.
Although the sunlight only shined down at the center, the capital was not dark at all probably because they used a lot of magic devices.
The restaurant Cale brought Alberu to at Solena’s recommendation only had two stories, so the second-floor terrace was not high enough to see everything in the Endable Kingdom.
‘But that’s why I can see the faces of the people living here.’
It was not very high, so Alberu could get a good look at the expressions and emotions of the individuals living here.
Just as his eyes landed on a fruit vendor’s energetic smile…
“Hyung, isn’t it similar? Here and the Roan Kingdom.”
Cale, who was putting a piece of steak in his mouth, peeked toward Alberu after hearing an oddly weak voice.
He looked somewhat dispirited and tired.
Alberu was indeed a bit tired as Cale was thinking.
‘It existed on the Eastern continent. A place where races with the darkness attribute could live freely.’
Alberu’s mouth felt bitter for some reason.
He was happy and welcoming of such a place, but for some odd reason, his mouth felt bitter and hot.
It was at that moment.
He heard Cale’s casual voice.
“Hyung, you can probably come here to relax whenever you are frustrated from work once everything is done.”
Alberu looked toward Cale.
He could see Cale pointing at him with his fork.
“Looking like that.”
Alberu quietly stared at him for a while before turning back toward the outside and nodding his head.
“That’s right. I can come here every so often when I’m feeling frustrated.”
If he did that…
“I think that’ll be great.”
Alberu subconsciously chuckled.
This was the Eastern continent.
Even if he was going to be a king on the Western continent in the near future, there won’t be many people who know who he is over here.
Furthermore, there was nobody here who would know of his quarter Dark Elf appearance.
It wouldn’t be weird at all for him to walk around freely in this place.
He might even be able to walk around without a mask later on.
‘Walking around in my human form might catch more attention here instead.’
Alberu had been walking around in his quarter Dark Elf appearance ever since they left Duke Fredo’s residence.
There were people who peeked at him every so often, but their gazes were on his mask.
But those gazes soon disappeared as well.
‘There are many half-bloods and a lot of people with scars. There are also a lot of people wearing masks like me.’
Alberu’s appearance did not stick out.
That was so shocking that Alberu’s mind was roaring the whole time they walked.
He started to think about the future when he could freely walk around here without his mask.
“That sounds fun. That’d be a fun future.”
‘I hope something similar can happen in the Roan Kingdom.’
Even if he could not enjoy the Roan Kingdom’s streets, he hoped that people similar to him could walk freely through the kingdom.
He wanted the same thing to occur in the Roan Kingdom.
A refreshing smile appeared on Alberu’s face.
He turned his head with that smile still visible.
But that smile disappeared the moment he saw Cale.
He started to frown as he watched Cale thoroughly enjoying his food.
“You… I think you’ve gotten fatter?”
Cale slightly raised his head after hearing Alberu’s comment.
Cale slightly tilted his head to one side before responding.
“Mm… I guess so?”
He wasn’t sure because he looked like Naru right now, but Naru’s cheeks had gotten chubbier in just a few days.
He was certain that he would be fatter than before when he returned to his original appearance.
“…I have nothing to say.”
Alberu shook his head from side to side.
Cale looked around before leaning forward toward Alberu.
“…What is it?”
Alberu tensed up and leaned forward toward Naru-Cale.
Cale started to whisper.
“You know that white thing, the white thing.”
Alberu immediately understood what he meant by the white thing.
He must be talking about the White Star.
Alberu immediately recognized that Cale could not say, ‘White Star,’ out here in public.
“What about it?”
Alberu’s heart was beating fast as he asked.
The facility to turn the White Star into a member of the Demonic race existed underneath Section 1.
He had realized that the White Star was not just a slightly crazy bastard once he heard that.
He was an extremely crazy bastard.
‘And we are going to go take a look at the facility that would turn that crazy bastard into a member of the Demonic race.’
Was Cale trying to talk about that right now?
Alberu started to tense up.
Cale slowly started to speak.
“You see… The White thing. He gave me some delicious food.”
The corners of Alberu’s lips twisted down.
Cale didn’t seem to notice as he looked back at his food and continued to speak.
“The cookies were better than yours too, hyung.”
“…Is that so?”
Alberu was in disbelief and shocked.
However for some odd reason…
“Hmm… That’s upsetting.”
“Nothing. Keep eating.”
Alberu crossed his arms as he told Cale to keep eating.
He remembered how Raon had flown toward Choi Han with a box of cookies.
‘The White Star must have sent that box of cookies too, right?’
For some odd reason, Alberu felt as if he had lost to the White Star.
“No, I’m done.”
Alberu saw Cale push his chair back and stand.
Cale who still looked like that foreign young master looked down at him and continued to speak.
“Hyung, shall we go take a look?”
Alberu got up as well.
* * *
“Duke-nim. I brought some of the tea you usually enjoy.”
Butler Melundo carefully put a teacup down at the table Fredo was at and observed his complexion.
Fredo noticed his gaze and gently smiled to say he was fine.
“What are you looking at?”
“Well… It’s just…”
Melundo stopped for a moment before peeking toward Choi Han and then continuing to speak.
“You look very tired, sir.”
Fredo did not say anything else.
The butler understood that Fredo was saying that he would not take any more questions.
He carefully walked away from Fredo and approached Choi Han.
“I heard that you prefer fruit juice to tea, so I prepared some for both of you, sirs.”
Two cups of fruit juice were placed next to Choi Han and Raon.
“Thank you very much.”
The butler bowed and left Fredo’s bedroom.
Choi Han started to speak as soon as the door closed.
“There shouldn’t be a reason for you to be tired.”
Fredo turned toward Choi Han.
Choi Han calmly met his gaze and continued to speak.
“I can’t understand the Roan Kingdom’s thoughts nor Cale-nim’s thoughts at all.”
Choi Han had watched Alberu chat with Fredo.
The weight of the conversation felt differently to Choi Han, who, unlike Fredo who thought Alberu was a proxy, knew Alberu’s identity.
He looked at Fredo who was still looking back at him and continued to speak.
“The Roan Kingdom conceded quite a bit.”
Fredo started to smile as he responded.
“That’s why it is weird.”
Fredo admitted that the Roan Kingdom had conceded a lot but was saying that it was weird. Fredo continued to speak as Choi Han started to frown at what he said.
“To be more specific, the deal with the Roan Kingdom was one where each side gave something and then took something. Of course, the fact that the Roan Kingdom made an even deal with the Endable Kingdom could already be considered to be conceding a lot.”
Fredo hesitated for a moment before starting to speak again.
He then observed Choi Han.
Choi Han was Cale’s closest trusted subordinate who was the easiest to read.
Fredo shared his inner thoughts to figure out Choi Han’s inner thoughts.
“What I find weird is crown prince Alberu Crossman’s thoughts.”
The Roan Kingdom did not necessarily lose out as a result of the conversation.
“His highness the crown prince personally gave a lot of consideration to me and the future Endable Kingdom.”
Alberu’s considerations as shared by his proxy Bob was what was making Fredo’s mind chaotic.
Fredo recalled what Alberu’s proxy Bob had said.
‘Now then, I guess this is good for the deal between the two kingdoms.’
As the discussion was coming to an end…
‘I will now share with you something his highness the crown prince ordered me to tell you, coming from him as a person.’
‘…His highness the crown prince as a person?’
‘What is it?’
‘His highness said that if Duke Fredo wishes to grow the Endable Kingdom as an upright king… Depending on the situation, his highness will not spare any ‘personal advice’ that may assist you in getting the independence of the kingdom, setting up an administrative system, and building connections with the kingdoms of the Western continent.’
Fredo had truly been shocked to hear that.
He was about to say something because of that, but Bob had continued to speak first.
‘Of course, only if you wish for it, Duke Fredo.’
‘…You’re saying that he would give me advice and chat with me?’
‘Yes, sir. Whenever you want without holding anything back.’
The person who was turning the Roan Kingdom into a strong kingdom and would become its king was willing to give Fredo advice.
‘However, it is not as the representative of the Roan Kingdom but his highness, the crown prince as a person.’
Bob drew a line to make it clear once again, but Fredo found this shocking as well.
Leading a kingdom…
Especially a new kingdom at that and leading a kingdom as a Vampire that humans were prejudiced against…
There were many concerns that could not be resolved with troops or money.
But the person who was seen as the most talented administrator and politician would personally give him advice?
This was a precious gift for someone like Fredo who would be a new king.
‘May I ask why he is showing me such goodwill?’
‘I’m not sure. I do not know the reason either.’
Bob had smiled and shaken his head.
His gentle smile that clearly drew the line made it so that Fredo could not ask specifics about Alberu Crossman’s intentions anymore.
Fredo snapped out of his thoughts and returned to reality as he looked at Choi Han and started to speak.
“Why is his highness the crown prince showing such goodwill to the Endable Kingdom?”
Was it because they were on the Eastern continent and not the Western continent?
Or was it because it was a kingdom that he could control because he knew of its weaknesses?
His goodwill had too many good intentions for it to be the latter.
Fredo could hear Choi Han scoff at that moment.
“Why are you worrying about goodwill?”
“…I am in a spot to question everything.”
Fredo had many people he had to protect.
Furthermore, the Endable Kingdom was bound to have many moments they must survive.
That was why he had to suspect and be careful of even the smallest things.
Alberu’s reasonless goodwill was another thing to worry about and tire Fredo out.
Fredo looked toward the quiet Choi Han and continued to speak.
“It looks like you know something but have no plans to tell me.”
“…There is no reason for me to give you any help.”
Choi Han ignored Fredo’s comment and turned away from him before picking up the cookie crumbs Raon dropped.
His eyes slightly sank as he did that.
It was possible that Choi Han was the human to know the most about Alberu’s secrets after Cale.
He could understand why Alberu, as Bob, would show such goodwill to the Endable Kingdom.
Maybe that was why, but Choi Han wanted to help Alberu even more than before.
‘I need to teach him sword arts.’
* * *
“Hyung, what’s wrong?”
“I suddenly got the chills. Is someone talking shit about me?”
Cale blankly stared at Alberu who was touching the back of his neck.
Alberu noticed his gaze and slowly looked away.
“Ahem, but why are we in Section 2?”
They were supposed to go under Section 1.
Cale and Alberu who were going to go to the facility that will turn the White Star into a member of the Demonic race were current a level above Section 1. They had come to Section 2.
Alberu could see Cale start to smile.
“This is where our mole is.”
Cale was smiling like an experienced adult while looking like a little boy.