“We have had many battles, both large and small, with the mermaids over the years. We control the north and the mermaids control the south.”
Paseton looked toward Cale. Cale, who was leaning on the couch, motioned to Paseton with his chin to continue with his story. On and Hong peeked at Cale’s face before slowly moving away from Cale’s knee and heading toward the corner of the room next to the Black Dragon.
“We are fighting to prevent the mermaids from creating a kingdom throughout the entire ocean. However, something changed six months ago.”
Paseton’s eyes started to fall.
“The mermaids started acting weird.”
Cale started to think about the novel’s information regarding the mermaids.
“They crossed over the implicit border between our two tribes and started to provoke us.”
This was something Cale knew about. The mermaids start to provoke the Whales so that they could take control of the ocean. Cale started to feel relieved after hearing information he already knew about. Paseton continued to speak.
“I was able to figure out the reason behind it.”
‘I’m sure it is because they want to create their kingdom.’
The Whale tribe in volumes 4 and 5 knew about the mermaids’ plan, and that was why Choi Han was helping them fight against the mermaids.
“They are trying to take control of the sea route that connects the Eastern and Western continents.”
Cale sat up straight and looked toward Paseton before asking.
“Isn’t the sea route something for the humans?”
There were a couple different sea routes that connect the Western and Eastern continents. The humans had found these routes, but they were far and dangerous, preventing an official route from becoming created.
According to the novel, there was an implicit agreement between the lifeforms living in the water and the lifeforms living above water. The sea lifeforms would not touch these sea routes and the land lifeforms would not meddle in the issues of the sea in exchange. That was why Choi Han was troubled on whether to involve himself in the battles between the Whales and the mermaids.
But the mermaids were going to break this agreement?
Witira started to speak.
“At first, we thought that the new king of the mermaids was leading the charge to create their kingdom, but the information Paseton brought back was different.”
Cale let out a sigh and took a sip of his now lukewarm tea.
‘I learned something I shouldn’t have learned again.’
The problem was that it was an even bigger issue than all of the other information he had learned up until now. It was even bigger than the issue with the crown prince Alberu.
“And there was one more weird thing.”
Cale prevented Witira from continuing by interrupting her.
“Just tell me why the Forest of Darkness is involved.”
Cale felt like he would become involved in something big if he heard anything else. He was starting to feel uncomfortable. Cale could see Witira slightly smiling.
Why did the smile of this beautiful Whale look so scary to Cale?
“Yes. This is regarding that!”
Witira brightly answered while Cale’s expression turned darker.
“As we mentioned, the mermaids became stronger about one or two months ago. We were able to figure out the, ‘ingredient,’ that caused this to happen.”
Cale closed his eyes. He slowly opened them back and asked the two Whales.
“That ingredient is in the Forest of Darkness?”
“Correct! You realized it right away!”
‘What the hell was going on? How could something from land in the Forest of Darkness make a sea lifeform stronger?’
Cale was shocked.
More importantly, how did the mermaids reach the Forest of Darkness? Cale had an iffy feeling about this.
Paseton’s eyes were sparkling as he decisively continued.
“I heard them talking about a swamp in the Forest of Darkness. That was why I was chased by them. We need to go to the swamp and figure out what the ingredient is.”
Cale did not need to hear anything else.
The Forest of Darkness.
Choi Han’s Harris Village.
Cale thought about the ten Wolf children, who were probably outside the door right now, before turning to look at the corner of the room. On and Hong were there with an odd gap between the two of them. The invisible Black Dragon was probably between them.
– Human, what are you looking at?
‘I was thinking about building him a villa.’
– Is it because you think I am the coolest? Fine, I will give you permission to keep looking at me.
The Whale siblings’ pupils grew larger. However, Cale did not look at them as he started to think.
‘What would be the benefit?’
In order to figure out what the benefits would be, there was something he needed to understand first.
“Humans cannot interfere in the events of the sea.”
Witira immediately responded.
“We know that is the case. However, we plan on making sure you are not at a disadvantage in any way from this. Everything will be done by us in secret.”
She then added on to respond to Cale’s statement.
“Furthermore, the mermaids broke the agreement first. They would have needed help from the land in order to reach the Forest of Darkness.”
“But there is still a huge chance of danger. You know that, right?”
Next came the second thing he needed to know.
“So what is in it for me?”
Cale informed them about the danger first before asking about this. A thick smile formed on Witira’s face as she slowly started to speak.
Cale knew what was going to come out of her mouth.
It would be the same condition the Whale King had offered Choi Han in the novel.
“A sea route.”
Cale started to smile.
“There is a sea route that the mermaids have prioritized in their takeover. It is one that the humans have not found yet. It is the safest sea route available.”
Cale asked, even though he already knew.
“Where is it?”
Witira, who did not know Cale knew about it, confidently answered.
The Western continent’s Northern Sea.
“It is in the Whale tribe’s territory.”
Cale started to laugh as he asked.
“Isn’t the Whale territory the most dangerous? It is the location of the ocean’s strongest lifeforms.”
“But it is a safe place for you now, young master Cale. You will be given the rights to use that route.”
Cale casually asked the confident Witira.
“But I don’t need it?”
Cale had absolutely no need for a sea route like that. It wasn’t like they were giving him the sea route. They were just giving him the rights to use it. Cale did not need that sea route in order to live peacefully.
“Let me add one more condition.”
The sea route will make his family wealthier and stronger. Of course, Basen will have to work even harder as the head of the territory, but that didn’t matter to Cale. Cale could see the confusion in Witira’s face, and answered the future Whale Queen.
“Lend me your strength when I need it.”
“Yes, strength. Two times.”
Nothing else mattered to Cale other than keeping this Northeastern territory safe when the Northern knights headed down toward this warm and plentiful part of the continent. The whirlpools in the Ubarr sea and the naval base, why else would Cale have involved himself in all of this?
It was because Cale was preparing for the future based on his knowledge of the novel.
“We can’t interfere with the issues of the land.”
Cale looked at Witira’s pale expression before casually adding on.
“So you want me to put myself in danger, but you won’t do the same?”
“…We are a peace-seeking tribe.”
“I don’t think you can say that when you have been fighting with the mermaids for so long.”
The Whale tribe was feeling danger from the stronger mermaids. They had never felt such danger before. They probably wanted to completely get rid of that source of danger in order to maintain their peace.
Cale continued to speak to the silent Witira.
“The Forest of Darkness is one of the most dangerous and mysterious areas in the world. It is not somewhere you will have safe travels just because you are strong. Especially for someone like you, who does not know much about the land.”
Cale was planning on heading to Harris Village anyways.
“I will help you.”
The Forest of Darkness that Choi Han had lived in for tens of years. Choi Han did not know everything about the Forest of Darkness, even after spending that long in there. He just knew bits and pieces of it.
And the human who knew the most about the Forest of Darkness after Choi Han was, of course, Cale.
“I think I know which swamp it is.”
Witira could see Cale smile as he gently answered.
“Doesn’t the Whale tribe want a peaceful life as the strongest lifeform in the ocean?”
Cale could see Witira’s point of view starting to change. She was slowly changing from a position of request to a position of making a deal.
“You are right, young master Cale.”
The Whales that wanted peace. That was only possible because they were strong. The Whale tribe in the novel did anything and everything to fight the mermaids.
“I, Witira, as the successor of the Whale chief, accept your conditions.”
WItira could see that Cale was still calm after she revealed her identity.
“You were the successor? Great. We can finalize our deal without delay.”
He just seemed happy that they could complete the deal right then and there. He reached his hand out as he asked.
“Am I supposed to speak formally to you now?”
“There is no need to do that, young master Cale. I need to hide my identity.”
“Only I should know about it?”
Cale shook hands with Witira. That was enough. Cale plopped down on the couch once the Whale siblings left. He then looked up at the ceiling and started to speak.
The Black Dragon appeared and grudgingly responded.
“Do not call me, ‘you.’”
“Then what should I call you?”
Cale could see the Black Dragon land on the other side of the couch and scrunch his nose.
“You figure it out, human.”
“Shouldn’t you first start calling me Cale instead of, ‘human’?”
Cale watched the Black Dragon with curiosity in his eyes as it snorted and avoided answering Cale’s question. However, he still said what he was planning on telling the dragon.
“Don’t you want a house of your own?”
Cale had been thinking about this for a while. If he was going to live with this Black Dragon, wouldn’t it be great to give this, ‘greatest lifeform in the world,’ a fitting house?
The dragon’s wings started to flutter. Normally, dragons had a strong desire for independence. Although this one seemed a bit different, that desire should still be there. Cale casually nodded his head at the dragon’s question.
However, the Black Dragon’s response was weird.
“Are you kicking me out?”
The Black Dragon’s wings were shaking and the mana in the area was starting to go wild. He seemed to be very angry. Cale immediately started to speak.
“Mm, it’s more of a villa.”
“Yes. Somewhere that you, me, On, Hong, and the Wolves will go visit and have fun.”
Of course, some of that, ‘fun,’ would involve clearing the monsters in the Forest of Darkness. The Black Dragon stopped shaking his wings and comfortably laid down on the couch as he responded.
“…I will pick the location of villa.”
The Black Dragon’s eyes, that were slowly blinking like he was sleepy, suddenly became sharp as he looked toward Cale.
“In return, you will pick my name for me. You have one month to figure it out.”
The Black Dragon did not care about the flabbergasted look on Cale’s face, and closed his eyes to take a nap. The Black Dragon had a satisfied smile on his face. Cale turned his head after hearing some snickers to see On and Hong immediately stop snickering, acting like nothing was going on, and ask Cale a question.
“When are we going home?”
“I like fish, but I don’t like the sea.”
Cale answered the kittens.
Two days later, Cale got on the carriage with Amiru and the others seeing him out. The carriage started to speed up, and Cale closed the carriage curtains as he started to speak.
“You can turn it off now.”
The Whale siblings appeared after they turned the invisibility magic device off. The Black Dragon also revealed himself.
Seeing the Black Dragon made Paseton flinch and Witira’s pupils dilate. The Black Dragon put his head on Cale’s leg and blankly looked toward the Whale siblings.
“What are you looking at?”
“…That fluctuation of mana back then. That was you.”
The Black Dragon and Witira stared at each other. The two of them was recognizing each other’s strength. They also wanted to see how strong the other really was.
At that moment.
Cale’s hand landed on the Black Dragon’s head.
“Let’s go home quietly.”
Cale calmly stated and the Black Dragon quietly closed his eyes and went to sleep. The carriage immediately turned quiet.
A few days later, Cale arrived back at Rain City in the Henituse territory, and immediately started to frown. ( Western City seems to have become Rain City. )
“Young master Cale-nim!”
‘How did the information from the capital reach here?’
Cale was looking at the people cheering at him and his group with a complicated expression.
‘Did they forget about how he was trash?’
Of course, there were still people who immediately froze or ran away as soon as they saw his carriage.
However, a new title was now associated with Cale.
“Young master Silver Light!”
“Young master Shield-nim! Shield!”
Cale started to frown again. He wanted to know if there was a way for him to avoid those cheesy nicknames.
The Vice Captain then appeared within his line of sight. The Vice Captain, who was on a horse protecting the carriage, was proudly puffing up his chest with pride and started to speak as soon as he made eye contact with Cale.
“Young master, your heroic deeds have spread! Haha.”
He slowly guided the horse close to the carriage and continued to speak.
“I think the name of Young master Silver Light is very cool. I am jealous, young master.”
Cale slammed the carriage window closed in the Vice Captain’s face.
Cale did not care that the Whale siblings were looking at him with curiosity as he closed his eyes and crossed his arms.
At that moment, The Black Dragon lightly tapped on Cale’s knee with his paw. Cale slightly opened his eyes and looked down. The Black Dragon saw the expression on Cale’s face and cautiously asked.
“Are we home?”
Cale answered with disinterest.
“Yes. We are home.”
On and Hong started to stretch and the Black Dragon fluttered his wings. At that moment, Cale could hear the Vice Captain’s voice through the closed window.
“Young master. No need to be embarrassed!”
“Oo, young master Silver Light!”
Cale could hear the Vice Captain as well as someone cheering for him.
‘That damn punk.’
Cale did not open his eyes again until they arrived at the Henituse estate. The trash who had left for the capital had returned home for a moment.