“What do you mean by that?”
Choi Han heard a voice behind his back.
Alberu was standing there.
Cage did not recognize Alberu who was wearing a mask and changed his voice and looked at him with wariness.
Choi Han started to speak at that moment.
He sounded almost as if he was shouting.
“There’s no way that-!”
“Lower your voice.”
Alberu squeezed Choi Han’s shoulder.
Alberu then peeked toward the closed strategy room door.
He had followed behind Choi Han because he found it odd that Choi Han suddenly left the room with an odd expression and managed to hear part of what Cage said.
‘…Their vow of death with Cale disappearing means-’
It meant that he was dead?
Alberu quietly whispered to Choi Han who was looking at him.
“Do you want Duke Fredo to hear everything? You want the enemies to hear everything? You want them to know about this situation?”
Choi Han’s open mouth closed shut.
Choi Han then peeked toward the closed strategy room door.
Alberu continued to whisper.
“I closed the door as soon as Cale was brought up, so they shouldn’t have been able to hear inside.”
Choi Han finally sighed in relief after hearing Alberu’s comment.
But then he immediately started to frown.
“We need to go to the Endable Kingdom. We need to hurry over to the Endable Kingdom.”
Choi Han’s fingertips were shaking. The same words continued to come out of his mouth.
“We need to hurry over to the End-”
Choi Han could see Alberu’s expression after hearing him shout in an annoyed voice.
Choi Han’s eyes opened wide.
‘…Has Alberu Crossman ever been so openly annoyed or angry before?’
Choi Han realized that Alberu was stressed out as well.
Alberu continued to mumble in an annoyed voice.
“I’m thinking. Thinking. I’m thinking about what to do.”
‘Cale Henituse died? He suddenly died like that? He died even with Eruhaben and Bud by his side? Was that possible?’
Alberu heard the strategy room’s door slam open.
He then groaned.
Alberu could see a shaking black Dragon.
“T, the human!”
Raon approached them while holding a video communication device with his shaking paws.
Black mana was fluctuating in an irregular manner around Raon.
The video communication device was starting to crack because of the mana. The mana continued to get bigger and stronger as it fluctuated around Raon.
Raon barely managed to speak after seeing Alberu’s stiff expression.
“…T, they said that the human d, disappeared. G, Goldie gramps- gramps, he-”
Alberu took a deep breath after seeing Raon being unable to speak.
He looked inside the strategy room past Raon.
Lord Sheritt, Duke Fredo, and the Dragon half-blood were inside the strategy room.
Fredo had his arms crossed as he observed them with an odd expression.
Alberu started to speak.
“…You son of a bitch.”
‘Cale Henituse. Just what the hell are you going around doing? Did something happen to you? …First of all.’
Alberu thought about Eruhaben’s description of how Cale had disappeared.
‘We don’t know if he is dead.’
In that case…
“You go to the Endable Kingdom.”
Alberu looked at Fredo and took off his mask.
His skin, eyes, and hair color all changed at the same time.
Alberu continued to speak as Duke Fredo’s eyes opened wide and his jaw dropped in shock.
“I will go to the palace first and then head over too.”
Choi Han and Alberu made eye contact.
Choi Han started to speak.
“Then I will be heading out first.”
Choi Han and Alberu started to walk in different directions after that.
* * *
Cale couldn’t breathe.
‘…It’s hard to breathe……’
He wanted to breathe, but he could not take a breath properly.
He couldn’t open his eyes and his ears felt numb.
He couldn’t even smell anything.
‘I remember getting caught by the black hand and being dragged somewhere…’
But he couldn’t remember anything after that.
For some odd reason, Cale was breathing even though he felt as if he was suffocating.
As Cale tried his best to move his body in this situation…
‘Damn it! What the hell is going on?’
It’d be one thing if he could even squirm, but his body wasn’t allowing him to make any movements at all.
– Child who has escaped the hand of god and his fate.
Cale felt his heart sink after suddenly hearing the chilling voice.
The first of his senses to be permitted back to him was his hearing.
Boom. Boom. Boom.
His heart was beating wildly.
– Humans, no, living beings are meant to be born and then eventually die. That is the law of nature and their fate. You’ve gone against that.
‘Who is this? Is the black hand talking? What is the black hand?’
– Furthermore, time is warped for you as well. You are you, but also not you.
His body started to shake.
The second thing Cale was permitted to do in this situation was to shake.
It was an instinctual fear.
– Cale Barrow. I thought that only that child was qualified to carry on my powers. But you are the same.
Cale suddenly felt as if his ears suddenly opened.
He then had a strong urge to talk.
His mouth then opened.
“Who are you?”
He heard a low laugh.
– Just as the Divine race worships the gods, there are beings the Demonic race worships as well. I am a being the Demonic race worships.
‘A being the Demonic race worships?’
– I’ve been in a deep slumber, waking up for a short duration of time over and over after being sealed by the gods a long time ago.
“…So, who the hell are you?”
Cale suddenly felt a large hand caressing his back.
But a terrible fear filled his body each time the hand touched him.
That voice whispered in Cale’s ear at that moment.
– I am wickedness.
Cale took a deep breath.
The voice continued to speak.
– I am solitude. I am despair.
A being that was wickedness, solitude, and despair.
– I am all things that humans like you do not want.
This was a being that brought out a human’s instinctual fear and anxiety.
– A being whose presence itself turns into fear, but something that still exists somewhere.
Cale’s eyes suddenly opened.
He made eye contact with the thing.
– That is who I am.
Blood-colored eyes were looking at him.
He instantly felt as if he could not breathe again.
– You have faced solitude, resigned in front of despair, were in pain, and had to face the wickedness surrounding you many times. Furthermore, you escaped your fate and the hands of a god, your time is warped, and you are you but not you at the same time.
As Kim Rok Soo, he had lost all things that were precious to him and escaped his fated death.
Now, he was both Kim Rok Soo and Cale Henituse.
The blood-colored eyes smiled as it whispered.
– Do you want me as well?
Cale opened his mouth to speak.
His lips were shaking.
He managed to speak even as they shook.
“Are you crazy?”
The corners of Cale’s lips were shaking as one corner started to rise.
“My dream is to be a rich slacker. You crazy bastard.”
‘I’m a human who even rejected becoming the Saint for the God of Death.’
Cale felt as if his ears would rip apart at this laughter that was shaking the area. It felt as if his eardrums would truly burst.
However, the other being seemed to enjoy this situation quite a bit.
– Funny, very funny.
The eyes got closer to Cale.
– You are more entertaining than the other child.
Cale and the eyes looked at each other.
– How could the two of you have moved in such different directions while being placed in the same situation?
– I also find it entertaining that you keep talking back without giving up.
The blood-colored eyes moved back.
Cale suddenly felt as if his body was being pressed down from all directions.
The eerie voice whispered to him at that moment.
– I will make you want me.
– Call me when you need me. Only I can destroy your despair for you.
Cale then felt as if his body was being sucked away.
The blood-colored eyes started to become distant.
‘Where am I going?’
Cale started to frown.
He then clenched his eyes shut after feeling terrible pain.
His senses became paralyzed again.
All connections he had with the world started to break once again.
Cale desperately moved in order to try to breathe.
And once he could breathe again…
Cale felt a terrible pain at his stomach.
His body flew up into the air before falling down to the ground.
Cale’s body rolled backward on the ground.
‘What is going on?’
Someone had hit his stomach as soon as he returned to his senses, making him fly up before rolling on the ground.
Cale reached his hand out and grabbed the ground.
His eyes focused again and he realized something was odd.
It was cracked and partially destroyed, but he could see the cement floor.
This material was something that did not go with Cale Henituse’s world.
“Hey! You bastard, can’t you even stand up straight? Where did that arrogant attitude of yours from just now go? Hmm?”
“Kekeke! Hey, hey, control yourself. You kicked him so hard that he can’t even get up.”
They were speaking in Korean.
Cale tried his best to hold back his groan as he flipped his body over.
He could see a grey ceiling.
‘…When was it that my body was this weak?’
He had no strength in his body.
He could see his thin wrists.
Cale then saw people step between him and the grey ceiling.
“Hey, this bastard looks like a mess.”
“That’s why he should have just done what we told him to do, instead of acting up!”
These people who were sneering at him and looking down at Cale with scorn…
They were Korean.
Cale remembered them.
He remembered their faces… He remembered this situation.
It was a time when it wouldn’t be weird for him to be beaten up.
“…It’s those bastards.”
‘It’s one of those bastards who hit me at that time.’
Cale started to laugh.
“What the hell? Did this bastard go crazy after getting hit once?”
This was less than 1 year since the world was flipped over.
The winter of the cataclysm had passed, spring and summer had come by, and then it was fall.
It was that first fall.
It was late fall when the unranked monster appeared in Seoul and filled the world with fear.
It turned the world into chaos and the largest number of people died at that time.
“How dare a young bastard like you glare at me like that?”
This was the fall when the pretty useless Kim Rok Soo was the most useless in his life.
Cale had opened his eyes as Kim Rok Soo at the end of that fall.
The blood flowing out of the corner of his mouth told him that this situation was real.
‘Whether you are wickedness, despair, or solitude… That black hand bastard…’
Cale’s eyes were full of fire.
The people surrounding him started to frown after hearing that.
“What? What nonsense is this lunatic spewing now?! Do you want to die?”
“This bastard! How dare a bastard who could easily die at any moment look at us with such a gaze?!”
Cale let those comments in one ear and out the other.
The place the unranked monster first appeared…
Many people died at that location.
Death and fear that could not be compared to what they faced since the cataclysm had swept the area where that unranked monster had appeared.
That was why the world started to gather together again.
In fact, that terrible incident let the world create societies again and stand back up.
A few of the people who made it back alive from that incident location ended up becoming the central figures of the Korean society.
Team leader Lee Soo Hyuk was one of the people who had experienced that incident.
‘Hey, do you know where I saw our team leader in the past? I’m someone who survived that incident as well. You remember that terrible incident? I survived that incident. I also saw our team leader fight.’
Choi Jung Soo had been there as well.
The two of them managed to survive that situation, but many lives were taken by that unranked monster.
Choi Jung Soo had spoken with a teary expression in the past.
‘I really thought that I was in hell when I saw that.’
The fire in Cale’s eyes started to burn even brighter.