Choi Han just silently looked at Alberu after being asked if he wanted to die. Alberu, who had made the offer, slowly started frowning.
“Your gaze is similar to Cale Henituse’s gaze.”
Choi Han was looking at him with an extremely disrespectful gaze. He shook his head without any emotion visible on his face.
“Of course not, your highness.”
“I guess you accept that Cale Henituse is disrespectful to me.”
Choi Han did not respond.
Alberu chuckled and headed toward the terrace in the City Hall office.
Alberu slightly pulled back the closed curtains.
“The White Star hasn’t appeared.”
Ancient Dragon Eruhaben was still lying in the Puzzle City Plaza without moving.
He was still pretending to be dead and Rosalyn, Witira, and Paseton were next to him to protect him and prevent anybody else from approaching.
Their excuse was that the talented mage Rosalyn needed to focus to check on the Dragon’s condition and heal him.
Puzzle City was currently in a lull.
The unranked monster and guardian Lion Dragon was in the central plaza without moving while Alberu had returned to the City Hall to get everything organized.
“That’s very weird.”
Choi Han’s gaze headed toward the desk Alberu had been standing by.
“We searched the area but did not find any traces of him.”
Choi Han had stealthily searched inside Puzzle City.
He had not found any traces of the White Star. He had not done it alone either.
“I did not find anything. Neither did Archie. It was the same for Lock.”
The people among the entire team currently at Puzzle City who were said to have the most sensitive senses and swift movement had gone searching.
“Clopeh found nothing as well.”
Guardian Knight Clopeh Sekka had used his wyverns to look for the White Star and his subordinates from the sky.
Although they would have been moving stealthily because they couldn’t let the White Star’s side see their movements as well, and that could have been why it was difficult for any of them to thoroughly search…
Both Choi Han and Alberu did not think that was the case.
“The White Star is not showing up even when Eruhaben-nim and Cale Henituse are unable to fight?”
“The White Star is not watching this battle?”
That made no sense.
The White Star was trying to use the sealed god to do something.
In that case, he would need to meet the sealed god first, which was only possible by going to the temple where the sealed god was sealed.
In order to get to the sealed god’s temple, the unranked monster and guardian of the temple, the Lion Dragon, had to be killed.
‘The White Star wanted to make us do all of that so that both the Lion Dragon and our side take a lot of damage.’
But right now…
Cale had figured out the plan and stopped the battle against the Lion Dragon in Puzzle City.
‘It would be normal for the White Star to be anxious in such a situation.’
Alberu was organizing the current situation in his mind.
Why would the White Star be feeling anxious?
‘The White Star does not have many things left.’
There had been a summoning ritual for unranked monsters on Mount Nex with the Cat tribe and Lion tribe protecting it.
That ritual had failed, and Lion King Dorph was barely alive with Rasheel controlling his fate.
‘The foundation for the White Star’s subordinates in the Endable Kingdom has crumbled as well.’
The Bear King Sayeru, the black knight, and a portion of his forces remained, but they were not enough compared to the White Star’s forces from before.
‘That’s why the White Star would want to get the extremely strong and overbearing power as quickly as possible.’
The answer to that was most likely the sealed god.
But their side was unable to find any traces of the White Star?
Then there was only one answer.
“We were ‘unable’ to determine the White Star’s movements.”
Unable to determine and chose not to determine were very different issues.
“Do you think that the White Star managed to get his hands on an earth attribute ancient power? Something that would let him trick our eyes.”
“The chances are high, your highness.”
The White Star would have filled the last of the five attributes he was missing while Cale and the others were preparing and fighting against the monsters.
“Choi Han. The other esteemed Dragons are waiting elsewhere, right?”
“Yes, your highness. They said that they would go to the Henituse territory where Cale-nim is so that they don’t accidentally trigger the Lion Dragon.”
The Lion King had not reacted to Dodori’s mom, Mila, but had reacted to Eruhaben. Having Dragons like Rasheel or Dodori who have offensive attributes not being here was helpful not to rile up the Lion Dragon.
“You said that Mila-nim is currently fixing a jar?”
“Yes, your highness.”
Alberu clicked his tongue.
“We cannot maintain this stalemate with the Lion Dragon forever.”
Choi Han was right.
They had informed the Roan Kingdom’s chief executives and the chief executives of partnering kingdoms about a portion of what was going on.
They naturally hid the fact about Cale and Eruhaben from their allies as well.
They didn’t know if the White Star might be listening or watching.
“The residents of the territories around Puzzle City should know about the current situation and the Lion Dragon by now.”
“That’s right. The battle between the Lion Dragon and Eruhaben-nim would have been visible even from a distance.”
The information would soon spread throughout the kingdom.
The existence of the Lion Dragon would cause fear and uncertainty in the hearts of the citizens of the kingdom.
The White Star would lose out if this stalemate with the Lion Dragon continued, but it wasn’t beneficial for their side either.
“We need to create a situation where the White Star has no choice but to come out.”
“Is that why you want to play dead?”
The corners of Alberu’s lips twisted up.
“Yes. If I and my esteemed instructor become unable to fight as well, the White Star would have no choice but to come out to get rid of the Lion Dragon.”
That was the picture Cale and Alberu wanted to see.
“He will have to kill the guardian with his own hands and open the temple doors.”
That was the way to land a critical blow on both the White Star and the Lion Dragon.
Choi Han closed his eyes for a moment before opening them back and responding.
“I understand, your highness. I guess we can…”
Knock knock knock.
“What is it?”
Choi Han stopped talking and opened the door after hearing the urgent knocking.
“Why is the person in charge of the information network here……?”
“A w, weird rumor is rapidly spreading throughout the kingdom!”
The person who quickly opened the door and stepped in was the person in charge of the department that was responsible for gathering information from around the kingdom.
He had a video recording device and some documents in his hand as he quickly walked over to Alberu, who was standing on the terrace.
Alberu instantly frowned. He had a bad feeling about this.
The man handed the documents to Alberu as he continued speaking.
“It is a rumor that a guardian of the God of Despair has appeared in Puzzle City to remove the seal of the God of Despair!”
Choi Han’s eyes opened wide.
It was similar to the truth, but completely different.
The guardian was the one protecting the sealed god’s temple and its death would lead to the doors opening. The one who was trying to release the seal on the God of Despair and use the God of Despair for something was the White Star.
“It says that the world will fill with despair and that the Western continent would be destroyed if the God of Despair’s seal is released!”
This was also true.
“It also said that the way to protect the Western continent and not release the god’s seal is to get rid of that guardian……!”
The information department head suddenly flinched. But he soon continued speaking.
“It also says that the kingdoms around the Western continent are gathering at Puzzle City with the Roan Kingdom at the center, while the people who believe in the sealed god are attacking these kingdoms to prevent them from coming to help the Roan Kingdom.”
His voice was calm now. Actually, it sounded more as if it was shaking from nervousness.
“Furthermore…it said that our hero Cale Henituse has even dragged a Dragon into this battle and that although Cale Henituse has not shown himself yet, it is to fight against this sealed god’s guardian.”
The man peeked toward the crown prince’s firm gaze while reading down the document.
“It said that the person who has the highest chances of defeating this guardian and potentially the only person who could defeat this guardian is Cale Henituse. It said that we should pray for our hero who will fight against the guardian.”
“What kind of-”
Choi Han frowned.
“Sir Cale Henituse will happily fight against the guardian for the peace of the Western continent. He is the only one we can rely on right now. That is what the rumor is saying right now.”
Choi Han scoffed in disbelief.
“Isn’t this rumor basically pushing, no, threatening Cale-nim to fight?”
The man showed his agreement by remaining silent.
The guardian Lion Dragon and the sealed god.
The information in the rumor about these things was completely different from the truth. That was a problem, but the bigger problem in Choi Han’s opinion was that it said that Cale was the only one who could defeat it and was forcing Cale to fight.
The man broke his silence to say something again.
“The rumor is currently quickly spreading throughout the Western continent.”
The rumor had spread like wildfire because the leaders of the kingdoms throughout the Western continent were busy dealing with the intruders or preparing their forces to send to Puzzle City.
“…What is this video recording device for?”
The man started the video recording device after hearing Alberu’s low voice. He was also a communications-expert mage.
“It is a video that is going around with the rumor as well. Video recording devices like this can be seen throughout the Western continent.”
The video recording device showed bits and pieces of the gold Dragon fighting with the Lion Dragon until it was defeated and fell to the ground.
Choi Han started to speak.
“…It looks like someone was hiding somewhere in Puzzle City and took this video.”
That someone was most likely the White Star.
A fire could be seen raging inside Choi Han’s eyes.
The man had no idea about this, as he was only focused on Alberu.
“…A fight where even a Dragon cannot win. Only the hero who has overcome disasters that seemed impossible…only Sir Cale and his allies can fight it properly.”
Some of the people who heard the rumor would have believed it was true after seeing this video, and it would have helped the rumor spread even faster.
“The strongest individuals throughout the Western continent would work together to do everything they could to defeat this guardian. There will be no kingdoms or strong individuals who would hide in fear in such a situation. All of these are in the rumor as well.”
Choi Han subconsciously started speaking out of frustration.
“Shouldn’t we say that the rumor is a lie and that what they heard is wrong? Don’t we have to fight against the Lion Dragon because of this rumor? We would also need to fight it with all of the strongest people on the Western continent! If we do that, if something goes wrong- if we do something wrong-”
Choi Han looked toward the person who finished his sentence for him because he couldn’t get himself to say it.
“People who don’t need to fight will end up fighting while the White Star gains all of the benefits.”
Alberu’s pupils seemed extremely sunken. His gaze headed toward the head of the information department, who answered.
“We would need a lot of time and manpower to stop the rumors and explain the situation. The video is real and a portion of the rumor is true after all.”
The corners of Alberu’s lips slowly curled up until he laughed out loud.
The man couldn’t laugh along with him. He could sense the anger in Alberu’s laugh.
Alberu slowly stopped laughing and spoke with a stoic expression on his face. His voice sounded monotone.
“That son of a bitch White Star… is using his head.”
‘That bastard was trying to drag us and the people around the Western continent to fight in his place while we were thinking of ways to get him to fight the Lion Dragon instead.’
“He’s become much smarter.”
Cale had scars all over his body and lost so much blood destroying two sculptures at the Endable Kingdom. He had then lost consciousness. He was unable to fight.
Bear King Sayeru had seen that. He must have reported it to the White Star.
“…He doesn’t believe it.”
The White Star seemed sure that Cale Henituse was alive somewhere.
That was why he was sending a message with this rumor.
‘Hurry up and come out. It’s your turn. Can’t you see the desperate pleas of the people of the Western continent?’
That was what he was saying.
No, that was the situation he was creating.
However, none of this was the most important issue for Alberu.
He pointed to the bottom of the document.
“What does it say on the bottom?”
Choi Han was curious and read the part Alberu was pointing at.
“…If defeating the guardian cannot stop the God of Despair… Then a person would appear to stop the God of Despair. That person is someone who would become a god, the only hero who can save the Eastern and Western continents, and the person who will become the god of this la……!”
Choi Han did not read after that.
He quickly looked up at Alberu. The two of them made eye contact.
The corners of Alberu’s lips curled up again.
“This is what the White Star is aiming for.”
Choi Han’s face slowly calmed down.
“The White Star wants us to use up everything we have while defeating the guardian. He then wants to use the sealed god to gain power or some benefits.”
Choi Han could imagine what would happen after that.
“If that happens, the White Star would prove that he is the hero with the qualifications to be the god of this land, as mentioned in the rumor. The rumor would become the truth or a prophecy.”
People knew about what the White Star had done until now, but he would end up the person who saved the White Star.
“Yes. The rumor… This is the reason he set it all up like this.”
Alberu realized what the White Star wanted.
“I suppose a person who will become a god needs fervent admiration.”
Alberu touched the words on top of the document with his finger.
“The person who will become the god of this land.”
He looked toward Choi Han.
“Does that mean we will become the people who will get rid of this future god?”
“We will definitely be those people.”
Alberu nodded his head and was about to speak after hearing Choi Han answer without any hesitation.
He heard a loud but short noise.
All of them turned toward the video communication device on top of the office desk. Alberu’s hand headed toward the video communication device.
They heard a short message.
< Hey, crown prince! We're going to see the World Tree before we come back! >
The information department head’s pupils shook after listening. Who dared to speak to the crown prince like this? But he did not share his thoughts out loud.
It was because he saw the gentle smile appearing on Alberu’s face. He also saw that Choi Han’s face lit up a bit as well.
The man peeked at both of them and kept his mouth shut.
The crown prince’s smile turned from gentle to extremely elegant, the type that would make Cale Henituse and Raon ask what he was plotting, as he spoke.
“We have a person who is crazy in a different manner from the White Star on our side.”
Choi Han gasped while the man asked in confusion.
Choi Han started smiling as well. Cale would have said this was an innocent smile, while Raon would have asked why Choi Han’s smile was getting more and more similar to the crown prince’s smile.
The moment Choi Han said a person’s name…
“Yes. Go call Sir Clopeh Sekka.”
The corners of Alberu’s lips twisted up.
“He seemed to be recording something during the battle earlier. Bring him here.”
No matter what the White Star was planning to do or what kind of field he has set…
“A crazy bastard is best to destroy the playing field.”
Alberu had no intentions of going along with the White Star’s plan.
But he had no problem flipping over the field the White Star had set.
* * *
At the lake with the World Tree… More specifically, at the village that was closest to the Lake of Despair…
The people of this village were bundled up as winter in this northern tip was extremely cold. But their faces were full of a mysterious excitement.
No, it was uncertainty.
“…The world will be destroyed!”
“A dragon, they said a Dragon has fallen!”
“…A god? The God of Despair?!”
“Apparently the God of Despair and its guardian are at the Roan Kingdom!”
The invisible Raon fluttered his wings.
– Human, what are they talking about?
The people did not stop talking. It was their way of overcoming their anxiety and fear.
“…Apparently our esteemed hero-nim has not been seen or heard from.”
“Damn it…! The hero-nim’s shield-”
The invisible Raon tilted his head in confusion.
– Human, did they say hero? This is weird! They also said shield!
Raon observed the people before turning away after noticing something else that was weird.
It was quiet.
There was no reaction at all from Cale, who was behind him.
They had entered this village after teleporting to a forest nearby. Cale and the others had robes on or had their hair color changed with dye magic.
– Human, what are you doing?
Raon turned toward the quiet Cale and saw that he was frowning while reading the diary.
Cale was reading the text in the diary, a message from Drew Thames.
< Hey cutie. >
< ...I'm relieved that you are a soul who ended up here because of a transmigrator. >
< You would have been hunted the moment someone found out if you were a single-lifer. >
< I'm talking about those despicable hunter bastards who are too scared to mess with strong single-lifers. There are bastards who try to kill weak and young single-lifers and hunt their souls. Well, it’s a complicated story. >
< ...It’s also a story I don’t really want to talk about. >
< Our cutie is weak and young, but you are not a single-lifer. It’s not like there is a weak and young single-lifer around you, so just ignore this. It’s just a story from the past that could have ended up a disaster. >
< It’s also been resolved, so there’s no need to worry! >
< The chances of those hunter bastards showing up again is almost zero. >
< I think I made our cutie worry for no reason! >
Cale’s mouth opened.
“…There is one.”
He had chills on his back.
The word ‘disaster’ seemed abnormally large to him.
He timidly mumbled.
“…Around me… Choi Han is there……”
That person wasn’t weak or young, but he was innocent.
Cale suddenly had a bad feeling.
‘I should be able to rest after taking care of the White Star? Right?’
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