Raon was clapping while Mila was calmly focusing on her task at hand. Cale was lying on the bed, looking toward the window and snickering.
Lock just blankly looked out the terrace window.
“H, he’s acting, right? It’s fake?”
His voice was shaking.
The fallen Eruhaben…. The sight was too shocking to call it an act.
‘My heart is beating wildly even though I know it’s fake.’
Lock tightly clenched his fists.
“Lock, don’t worry! Gramps wasn’t hurt by the Lion Dragon’s attack!”
Cale looked at Raon with an odd gaze for a moment.
‘…He shouldn’t be able to see anything because it’s so far away. How is he so sure Eruhaben-nim wasn’t hit?’
Cale questioned Raon’s response, but Raon just smiled brightly, as if he didn’t question anything at all.
Lock couldn’t help but smile after seeing Raon’s bright smile.
“Lock, you start moving according to the plan as well.”
“Yes, young master-nim!”
Lock watched Cale, who was reaching the final stages of Connect Together, as he responded vigorously.
“…Yes, sir, I understand.”
Lock barely managed to lift his feet and left the office after hearing Cale say that he was okay.
Cale watched Lock leave for a bit before looking back out the window.
The fallen Dragon’s large body…
A portion of a building was unfortunately destroyed because of the Dragon’s fall. Dust and smoke rose up like clouds because of the aftershock.
This sight brought shock to everybody except the few who knew the truth.
Some of the mages plopped down on the ground.
The shield they had cast to block the aftershock of the Dragon and monster’s fight was long gone, and all that the mages could see was the fallen Dragon…an existence that was said to be the king of magic.
“I, I can’t believe that he…so futilely-”
Although the battle had been fierce and intense, it oddly felt as if it had all been futile.
The reason behind it was simple.
“…It really is a monster.”
The Dragon had fallen, but the monster was fine.
The monster was quietly observing the fallen Dragon without a single scratch on its shield.
The Dragon had not managed to harm the enemy even a little.
That fact was making the others feel as if it had been futile.
“…Something that even a Dragon couldn’t do-”
‘We have to do it now?’
The mages could not get themselves to say that part.
But there were others who were feeling even more scared than they were feeling.
“W, what just happened? Did the Dragon really fall to the ground?”
“I don’t know! I can’t see anything!”
They were the soldiers waiting outside the city walls.
The soldiers definitely saw the Dragon falling down. But they could not accept what had just happened.
They heard the noise of the Dragon crashing to the ground, but they could not accept it since the tall city walls prevented them from seeing what had happened.
The number of people quietly whispering slowly increased, getting louder and amplifying their anxiety as well.
The soldiers flinched and shut up after one of the knights shouted.
The knight would usually scold the soldiers more for their actions, but he too was swept up with fear and astonishment that he couldn’t scold the anxious soldiers.
The Knight Captain stepped forward at that moment.
“All of you stay in position! Do not lose focus!”
There was a video communication device in his hand.
Although he was shouting sternly, his back that was covered by his armor was full of sweat.
He recalled the short conversation he just had with Alberu and continued to shout.
“As long as we do not attack first! That monster will not attack us!”
The soldiers looked up at the monster in the sky.
This monster really was just quietly observing the ancient Dragon.
“So, do not be afraid!”
The Knight Captain started to walk as soon as he shouted toward the soldiers. The lower-grade knights followed right behind him.
They whispered to him.
“Captain-nim, then what should we-?”
“Are we just waiting?”
The Knight Captain nodded his head with a stiff expression.
“First of all, we have no plans on attacking first. The decision has been made that we need to first figure out the monster’s weakness and get a better grasp of the current situation. His highness has ordered us to wait.”
He then gave the knights an order.
“So make sure that the soldiers are not overwhelmed by fear.”
“…We are just going to stay in place for now, sir?”
“That’s right. His highness’s order is to wait and buy us some time in a stalemate. Inform the soldiers about the situation as well.”
The knights responded with a salute and called their subordinate knights and the ones leading the soldiers.
The message that they were stalling for time started to be distributed.
It made people scared but also relieved that they were not fighting right now.
The fallen Dragon… The struggling heroes…
And finally, the absence of their Commander, who was like a symbol of victory.
The soldiers were feeling relieved that they were not fighting right away.
The Knight Captain looked around at them and thought about Alberu Crossman.
‘Your highness. I have delivered the message to the soldiers as you have ordered.’
Buy some time.
The order was to let as many people know that as possible. The Knight Captain looked back toward the city after dutifully completing the crown prince’s orders.
The black Bone Dragon was urgently descending.
It was headed toward where the Dragon had fallen.
“How do we heal it?”
“Shouldn’t we go over and take a look first?”
Inside Puzzle City… The people immediately headed over toward the fallen Dragon once they snapped out of shock.
The Dragon seemed to be their ally, so they should check on its condition. The mages who had both respect and wariness for the Dragon started to move to be as close to the Dragon as possible.
At that moment…
They raised their heads after hearing a shout above them.
Crown prince Alberu Crossman kicked off the black Bone Dragon’s armor and descended to the ground.
There was a small rumbling once he landed on the ground.
Alberu seemed to be urgently running to the Dragon.
“All of you move back as his highness ordered!”
Rosalyn followed behind him.
“We don’t know what kind of changes there will be to the mana around a Dragon that is in danger! Do not approach unless we say so!”
The mages flinched and stopped trying to follow her.
What Rosalyn said seemed reasonable enough.
Even if they wanted to get closer because of their curiosity, they could not go against Alberu, the magically talented crown prince who had the highest position here, nor against Rosalyn, who had pretty much been solidified as the Tower Master.
Most importantly, there was a big reason they did not dare to get closer.
They could see the Dragon’s extremely faint breathing once they had gotten a bit closer.
“…What a mess.”
The mages said that toward the Dragon, a creature whose level of magic they would never be able to reach.
The Dragon scales that were said to be one of the strongest things in the world had so many cracks in them.
They looked like the cracks on a land dried out by drought. The crack started from the Dragon’s claw and spread throughout its upper body and a portion of its wings.
Its radiant golden hide seemed darker and gloomier as well.
Rosalyn subconsciously stopped walking after seeing Eruhaben’s condition.
She could finally see Eruhaben-nim’s current condition that she had not been able to see because of the Lion Dragon and the golden dust.
She was at a loss for words.
She knew that Eruhaben’s fall had been an act.
But seeing Eruhaben’s condition let her know that if Eruhaben had fought some more, that fall could have ended up becoming real.
She got a headache.
She had thought that someone might die in this war.
She even prepared herself, thinking that she might die as well.
But she felt suffocated thinking that someone who was pretty much, no, was her master, might have died.
She heard Alberu’s voice at that moment.
Alberu had taken his helmet off and revealed his blonde hair and blue eyes as he walked up to Eruhaben.
He had a very stiff expression on his face.
‘I was wondering how to keep up the act and play along since the White Star would be watching.’
He thought it was quite laughable that he had debated about how to react to Eruhaben’s dead act.
‘He really was prepared to die.’
Eruhaben looked like hell right now.
Alberu finally realized that this heavy breathing was not completely fake.
His hand touched Eruhaben’s cracking hide.
“Are you okay, Eruhaben-nim?”
Alberu’s low voice cracked a bit. It sounded so bad that the others who were watching couldn’t help but gulp.
The ancient Dragon could not respond.
Even though they all knew that Dragons were majestic creatures, they couldn’t help but look at the heavily breathing Dragon with cracks on its hide with pity.
– Crown prince.
But the moment Alberu heard Eruhaben’s calm voice in his mind…
– Do I just stay here like this?
The Dragon peeked open one of its eyes and stealthily looked around.
– Apparently, there is nothing I can’t do.
As Eruhaben was praising his acting skills…
Alberu’s gaze changed.
– …Why are you looking at me the way you usually look at Cale?
Eruhaben, who had only opened his eyes enough to see Alberu who was right in front of him, was almost at a loss for words.
Alberu didn’t care and put his hand on Eruhaben’s forehead. He then mumbled in a sad voice.
“…He’s completely out of it. He does seem to be conscious, but he keeps speaking nonsense.”
“Shit! Eruhaben-nim, you cannot die! Please stay awake!”
Eruhaben got the chills after hearing Alberu’s desperate voice.
‘What chilling acting skills.’
Alberu would make most theatre actors look bad.
But this was to be expected. Alberu was someone who had protected his position without the help of his mother’s family while hiding the fact that he was quarter Dark Elf. He would not be alive if he was not a skilled actor.
Eruhaben was being amazed internally when he heard Alberu whisper extremely quietly.
“Please, just stay here and pretend you are unconscious.”
– Got it.
Alberu then raised his voice.
“His breathing! Eruhaben-nim’s breathing is getting even weaker!”
Eruhaben just laid there without doing anything. Alberu took care of everything.
“Your highness! May I take a look?”
Rosalyn snapped out of her thoughts and moved to help Eruhaben.
Alberu left Eruhaben in Rosalyn’s care and turned around. He then gave an order to the first mage he made eye contact with.
“Contact a nearby temple right away!”
He was probably urgently looking for a temple in order to heal the Dragon. Multiple mages immediately took out video communication devices and started casting the spell.
But Alberu shook his head and started talking to himself as if it was not enough.
“This is not enough. The Saint, I need to contact the Saint-nim.”
Saint Jack. Some people around him nodded their heads after Alberu mentioned Jack.
Healing a Dragon… Maybe the Saint would be able to do that.
“I should personally go there.”
Alberu noticed Lock approaching him at that moment.
Lock bowed and respectfully greeted Alberu. Alberu quickly put his hand on Lock’s shoulder.
“I hope that the Tiger tribe and the Wolf tribe can stand guard around the Dragon-nim.”
“Yes, your highness! We will protect him so that nobody can approach him!”
Lock looked toward a Wolf elder who nodded his head and the Wolves started to surround Eruhaben.
“I leave it to you.”
Alberu quietly whispered as he walked past Lock, and Lock whispered back.
“Please don’t worry. We will make it so that nobody can get close and find out Eruhaben’s condition.”
Lock hesitated for a moment before adding on.
“…The Young master-nim…”
Alberu turned toward Lock.
“The young master-nim, no, never mind, your highness. Please, just go take a look.”
Lock did not say anything else. Alberu didn’t ask anything else and just looked over Lock’s shoulder to the ancient Dragon who had his eyes closed.
– Don’t worry about me. I have some time to rest now.
Alberu did not feel any relief after hearing the ancient Dragon’s words.
“Don’t worry, your highness. We can save him.”
A corner of his mouth went up after hearing Lock’s voice that was full of confidence.
It was because he knew where Lock’s confidence was coming from.
Alberu stopped looking at Eruhaben and looked up at the sky.
The black Bone Dragon… The Dragon half-blood and Choi Han were up in the air.
Choi Han wanted to come down as well, but someone needed to look as if they were staying guarded against the Lion Dragon. For the White Star and for their allies…
Choi Han nodded his head at Alberu that it was okay to hurry up and go. Mary was on one of her flying skeleton monsters as she moved toward the black Bone Dragon.
The Dragon half-blood, Mary, and Choi Han.
The three of them should be able to prepare for any urgent situations that may arise.
“I should hurry.”
He headed toward the City Hall as if he was rushing to contact Saint Jack.
He was planning on chatting with Cale about their plans.
Someone stopped him as he moved.
It was Duke Deruth.
His face had an unknown sense of nervousness. Alberu looked at him with pity, however…
“I hope you can wait here.”
He could not have Deruth come with him.
The cintamani… That orb that was connected to Earth was with Cale. Furthermore, Cale’s body was in a mess.
He could not take Duke Deruth who had come all the way here for his son.
“You’ll be able to see him soon.”
He could only console him with such words.
Duke Deruth nodded his head. The nervousness disappeared and an indomitable will seemed to fill his gaze.
“I will be waiting, your highness.”
Alberu nodded his head to thank Deruth before heading for the office.
* * *
Cale looked toward Mila.
“Teacher, it’s the last part now.”
The cracks all over Cale’s body were all mended with beige mana.
“Auntie! Does that mean that the human will be all better?”
“Only his plate will be fused together so he still should take it easy.”
“Auntie, you’re amazing!”
Raon’s chubby cheeks twitched as if he was happy. Raon looked toward Cale.
“Human! What are you going to do once this is done?”
Raon was curious about the next part of the plan.
Cale nonchalantly responded as he looked at two orbs.
“Time to go home.”
Both Raon and Mila looked confused, but Cale had somewhere he needed to go during this stalemate.
‘Cale Henituse’s mother’s grave.’
He needed to go there. He had a feeling that a hint would be waiting for him there.
He organized his thoughts and looked at the two orbs… The cintamani and the video communication device as he started to speak.
“Are you not turning it off?”
Ron responded with a benign smile.
– Yes, young master-nim. I am not turning it off.
Lee Soo Hyuk, Kim Rok Soo, and Choi Jung Soo were sitting in a row with Park Jin Tae peeking from behind them as Lee Soo Hyuk responded for the group through the cintamani.
– I don’t know how to turn it off.
Both of their voices were gentle, but their gazes were quite vicious.
Cale felt iffy, but he didn’t have the time to talk about it. He then turned toward Mila.
“Teacher, it’s going to sting a bit.”
“Please go ahead.”
Mila smiled gently as if telling him not to worry before she took a step away from Cale.
Beige-colored mana swirled around her.
Raon left the two orbs and stepped back as Cale closed his eyes. Mila peeked at Raon before standing right in front of him to make it unable for him to see.
Raon was about to say he wanted to see as well but shut up after feeling the mana swirling in the office.
“Raon. Stay still. This is an important moment.”
How would he dare to move during an important moment? He could not interrupt Cale’s healing because of his curiosity. Raon curled his body up and remained as still as possible. He wanted to make sure that his actions would not impact Mila’s mana. He wanted to make sure he would not get in her way at all.
Cale had a small smile on his face as he laid there with his eyes closed.
A warm and gentle aura started to spread through his body. He could tell where it started from.
The cracks all over his body… This aura had started from the beige-colored mana that had filled those cracks.
Like the morning sunlight or the bright sun in the middle of a winter day… Cale felt relaxed as he felt this warm aura fill his body.
– Cale, your plate will be connected soon!
– What an amazing Dragon!
The ancient powers could not hide their joy.
Cale was happy as well.
The door opened at that moment.
Alberu had rushed over as quickly as possible. He hesitated and didn’t know whether to go in or not after seeing the beige mana that filled the room.
He then saw Cale’s current condition.
Beige-colored mana was covering Cale’s body as if they were spider webs. The peacefully smiling Cale opened his eyes as Alberu started frowning.
Cale’s eyes opened wide.
He tried to take a breath.
That warm ray of sunlight suddenly changed.
The warm beige-colored mana that had filled the gaps in those cracks suddenly turned into sharp daggers and stabbed him all over.
His entire body was starting to burn up, and he felt intense pain.
A pain that was even incomparable to the pain he felt when he used his ‘Instant’ ability filled his entire body.
Cale could not speak.
He had never felt this kind of pain before. This pain was impossible to describe with words.
His limbs were shaking while his forehead and entire body were being covered with sweat.
Mila’s mana that was covering the office was making rumbling noises.
Cale was at the center with his face completely pale as he struggled to handle the pain.
The three people inside the cintamani, Ron, and Mercenary King Bud who were watching as representatives through the video communication device…
Alberu, who was frozen like a statue outside the door…
And even Raon, who noticed the serious situation but could only look around since he was covered by Mila and couldn’t see Cale…
None of them could say anything.
Slowly… The beige-colored mana slowly seeped into Cale’s body, healing the cracks and injuries in the process.
Cale’s body was healing, but Cale was in so much pain that he could not make any noises.
Unlike Raon who could not see, the adults could not say anything because of what they saw.
Uh oh…this doesnt’ sound good…
What will happen next?
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