There were hundreds of warriors standing outside the White Palace.
The White Star looked happy as he looked at the people Cale was describing.
The morale, nervousness, and excitement coming from the warriors were heating up the air around them.
“Yes, I will trust all of you.”
Nobody cheered or responded to the White Star’s comment.
They just looked at him with firm gazes.
The White Star responded to those gazes.
“Everybody, head out.”
Hundreds of warriors knelt down on one knee and bowed toward the White Star.
The White Star smiled at this before turning around and heading into the White Palace.
“I will not see you all leave.”
The warriors raised their heads. They could see the White Star’s back as he walked into the White Palace.
The White Star’s voice etched itself into the warriors’ ears.
“However, I will prepare a celebration for when you all return.”
He would not see them leave, but he would prepare a celebration for them.
The warriors’ eyes started to burn fiercely.
A celebration. That meant that the White Star was certain about their victory.
The rewards during that celebration would be things like noble titles, power, money, fame, etc. They will receive many things.
“Have a safe trip.”
The palace door slowly started to close after the White Star’s final comment.
He did not turn back to look at the warriors as the door closed.
The warriors stood up after hearing Count Mock’s voice.
Count Mock turned around to look at them.
He was laughing internally.
Hundreds of warriors.
There were not too many of them.
However, they were headed toward an empty castle in the middle of a forest.
This was plenty of people to destroy a single person’s castle.
‘They are of the highest quality.’
The 48 noble awaiters were all extremely skilled individuals.
And he was certain that the trusted subordinates that they brought for this battle were all strong individuals as well.
‘Our kids are decent too.’
The Dark Elf warriors that Count Mock had brought with him were talented as well.
It could not be helped.
‘These punks need to earn some merits this time too.’
Count Mock was planning on making his subordinates achieve a lot of merit during this Black Castle destruction plan so that they could at least get a Baron title.
Mock peeked next to him.
‘Only then can I move past the others.’
Count Hubesha who would normally have appeared at the front in her black armor was in regular clothes biting down on her lips.
Furthermore, Chief Priest Gersey was emotionless as if he was thinking about something.
‘I guess he’s concerned because I am about to take another step forward.’
The corners of the Dark Elf old man’s lips started to rise.
His cute but useful cooperator spoke at that moment.
“Yes, young master Naru.”
The boy who suited the stylish silver uniform quite well was looking at Mock.
‘He’s still young. He’s also inexperienced.’
There would not be much for this bastard to do even though he was taking young master Naru to the battlefield with him.
‘I will take it all.’
He was planning on making sure that the useful of the noble awaiters who said that they would follow him and his trusted subordinates would gain most of the merits.
‘I also need to make sure to use the Vampires that that kid brought over.’
Mock’s eyes sneered at the Vampire knights and warriors Naru brought with him before it quickly disappeared.
‘He really brought the core members so that he could get revenge for Duke Fredo. I’ll put them to good use.’
He would put them in dangerous situations where they couldn’t gain much merit.
Count Mock decided on how he would use the Vampires before looking toward the boy who was here to get revenge for his father and to steady his position as the leader of the Vampires.
The boy started to speak as soon as he made eye contact with Mock.
“Everybody is waiting for you, Count Mock-nim.”
Count Mock barely managed to stop the corners of his lips from rising.
‘Everybody is waiting for me.
Everybody is waiting for my order.’
How sweet does that sound?
“And Count-nim, here you go.”
Count Mock received the map that Naru walked up and stealthily handed him.
He recalled a conversation they had prior to this.
‘…Duke Fredo has information from the Northern Alliance?’
Naru had shaken his head at that question.
‘To be more specific, during the Northern Alliance’s war, a Vampire informant infiltrated the Paerun Kingdom and stole some information.’
‘And that information came from that Guardian Knight Clopeh Sekka’s office?’
‘Yes. That is how we were able to confirm the authenticity of the information.’
‘What is that information?’
Naru had quietly informed Count Mock.
‘It is a map of the Henituse territory. It had the coordinates of the Forest of Darkness as well.’
Count Mock opened the map in his hands without any hesitation.
‘It really is real.’
The map had the Paerun Kingdom’s crest and Clopeh’s personal crest.
The authenticity of the map had gone up.
He opened his mouth to speak.
“Prepare the teleportation magic circle!”
Hundreds of warriors…
The mages and priests in grey robes behind them started to move following his order.
Mock watched them before shouting in a confident voice.
“I have the coordinates, so the person in charge of the teleportation should come over to confirm!”
He purposely announced it like that in front of everyone.
He was telling them that he had all of the information related to this Black Castle Destruction Plan in his hands.
He then quietly whispered to Naru.
“Just leave everything to me, Naru.”
The boy blankly looked at him.
“I will make sure to give you your piece.”
The boy then smiled as if he was satisfied.
Mock barely managed to hold himself back from sneering at Naru.
‘Hmph. This bastard is the same even if he pretends to be a good kid.’
If he really was a good little punk, or if he was full of courage, then he would be difficult to handle.
However, Mock found it easy to handle Naru as he believed Naru had the same type of greed as his own inside.
‘Of course, I still need to be wary of him.’
He was Duke Fredo’s son after all.
A black mage approached Count Mock.
Mock became even more elated after hearing the title of commander. However, he faced the black mage with a stern expression.
“Do you need the coordinates?”
“Look at this map.”
The black mage confirmed the coordinates on the map Mock pointed at before peeking at him and cautiously starting to speak.
“Commander-nim, you are amazing. I am in awe of how you managed to prepare all these things in advance.”
“I am envious of your insight.”
“…We have a big battle in front of us. Focus.”
The black mage could tell that Count Mock was pretending as if things were nothing but was actually elated at his kissing up and responded energetically.
Count Mock had a good chance of moving ahead of Count Hubesha if this plan was a success.
The black mage was energetic seeing that the person he needed to look good toward was happy at what he said.
“Then we will activate the teleportation magic circle right away!”
“Yes. Make sure to teleport us to the right spot!”
Count Mock sternly looked at the black mage who respectfully bowed to him and walked away before turning around and looking at the waiting warriors with a serious gaze.
The boy looked at Count Mock and had the following thought.
‘He’s acting like a total fool.’
Cale was working hard to not smile while looking at the excited Count Mock.
That was why others thought that he just looked like a nervous boy.
Boom- boom- boooom-
Cale watched the large-scale teleportation magic circle shining even brighter as the priests played the drums with a sharp gaze.
‘There really is something to it.’
The drums the priests were playing were normal, but he was certain that there was an item from the Demon World among them.
“Young master Naru.”
He turned toward the voice that suddenly called out to him.
Cale walked over to Count Hubesha who had called him. She confirmed that Mock was busy before quietly whispering to Naru.
“…Ha. I don’t know if it is okay for me to say something like this, but… Since I have a close relationship with Duke Fredo-nim…”
She seemed to be contemplating something, however, she sounded firm as she finally stopped hesitating and said what she needed to say.
“Be careful. You never know what might happen in a battle.”
Cale’s expression turned odd. However, Hubesha read it as nervousness and calmly continued to speak.
“You need to take care of your own life. You also need to take care of your subordinates’ lives. That is the job of a leader. Got it?”
Cale responded confidently before he heard Solena’s voice behind him.
Hubesha looked at Solena for a moment before talking to Cale again.
“Have a safe trip. I will stop by the Duchy every so often in order to check on your father’s condition.”
“Thank you very much, Count-nim. But I will just receive your heart behind the offer.”
“My father’s condition has worsened, so it will be hard to see him. Nobody other than the healers can be around him right now.”
Cale answered as sadly as possible.
“That is why I barely managed to say goodbye to him this morning. It would have been hard to do so if I was even a bit late because he would have been in the middle of being healed. Of course, I have no idea whether father heard my voice or not.”
Hubesha could feel the emotions of the boy who said goodbye to his comatose father before coming here.
“I guess I will only be a hindrance if I went to visit, so I will not go. Cheer up.”
Cale bowed and walked over to Solena.
Count Hubesha looked at the boy for a bit before looking toward where the boy was going.
The large-scale teleportation magic circle was prepared to activate.
All of the warriors were already in place above the teleportation magic circle waiting to move.
Cale stood in his spot as well.
“We need to hurry.”
“My apologies, sir.”
Cale lowered his head at Count Mock’s comment.
“No. Don’t be nervous.”
Mock peeked at Cale’s complexion before whispering in a quiet voice.
“You said that there will be a guide once we get there, right?”
It was a guide to help them through the Forest of Darkness.
“Yes, sir. I sent someone in advance so that he could work as our guide. He was an informant in the past, so he’s quite knowledgeable of that area.”
Count Mock had a satisfied smile on his face and he raised his voice after receiving the signal from the black mage.
Boom boomboom- boooom-
As the drumming reached its zenith…
A bright light flashed and hundreds of the Endable Kingdom’s warriors teleported into the Forest of Darkness.
* * *
The Forest of Darkness.
The forest did not have physical boundaries but was instead divided between the inner and the outer regions with the strongest monsters roaming within the inner region.
A bright light flashed in the boundary area dividing the two regions.
Hundreds of warriors appeared throughout the forest once the light disappeared.
And at the center… Commander Count Mock took a deep breath.
“This forest truly does feel different.”
The Forest of Darkness was known as one of the Forbidden Regions.
It was a scary forest where monsters from both the Eastern continent and the Western continent appeared, as well as mutants.
Count Mock looked forward.
A masked person who seemed to be a Dark Elf half-blood bowed toward him.
“Young master Naru, is this person your guide?”
“Yes, sir. This is him.”
The masked Dark Elf half-blood bowed toward the boy this time.
“Your servant greets the young master-nim.”
Cale looked at the person bowing to him before looking toward Count Mock and starting to speak.
“He is my precious subordinate as well as someone who is very well-informed of this area.”
This guide obviously was knowledgeable of this region.
The guide introduced himself in a somewhat elegant manner.
“My name is Bob and I am young master Naru-nim’s servant and informant.”
Alberu Crossman who became Bob… He was obviously knowledgeable of the Roan Kingdom’s terrains.
He had a map of the Forest of Darkness that Cale had given him in his pocket.
Mock took a step forward and looked around before starting to speak.
“North, south, east, and west. We will surround the Black Castle from all directions. We will then proceed to destroy Cale Henituse’s resting place.”
The warriors’ eyes sparkled at his firm voice.
Cale just stared at Mock’s back.
‘Welcome. This is your first time in the Forest of Darkness, isn’t it?’
The corners of his lips slightly rose before they instantly went back down.
Cale heard a welcomed voice in his mind at that moment.
– It’s been a while. You unlucky bastard, it must be hard acting like a little kid.
There was gold powder faintly spreading around the Forest of Darkness so that the enemies would not notice.
The gold light that matched ancient Dragon Eruhaben’s hair was starting to cover the forest.
Count Mock started to shout.
“Everybody, move according to the plan! Squad 1 to the north! Squad 2 to the east! Squad 3 to the west and squad 4 will move toward the castle from the south with me! Move now! This is a fight against time!”
Cale quietly observed Count Mock who was walking into a Tiger’s den, no, multiple Dragons’ lairs with his own two feet.