Queen Litana jumped up and looked somewhere.
She could see Duke Deruth Henituse standing there with an extremely pale and stiff expression on his face.
“T, the crown prince’s condition is that bad?”
Her voice was shaking.
“Please calm down.”
Crown prince Valentino, who was sitting in the seat next to her, tried to calm her down, but it was ineffective.
Commander Toonka slammed his hand down on the table in front of him. He was looking toward Duke Deruth as if he couldn’t believe it.
The representatives of the different allied kingdoms and the Roan Kingdom’s northeast coalition were all in this meeting room. It was a pretty large room since it was usually used by tens of people, but Toonka’s voice filled the entire room.
“H, he looks like he may die today or tomorrow?! The crown prince I know isn’t the kind of person who would die like that! The annoying way he smiled made it seem as if he would live a very long time! I felt as if he would live longer than most people!”
“Aigoo, please calm down.”
Valentino tried to calm Toonka, who was sitting across from him, as well.
“Duke Henituse said that he is between life and death, not that he may die today or tomorrow.”
“That’s the same thing! He said even the d, Dragon can’t heal him!”
Litana plopped back down in her chair after hearing Toonka’s comments.
‘E, even an amazing Dragon can’t heal him.’
She had not seen the entire battle as she arrived after Toonka, but she had seen the last group that fought against that monster, the Lion Dragon.
She saw how that beige Dragon used its large body to ruthlessly slam against the Lion Dragon. The Dragon couldn’t get past the Lion Dragon’s shield, but the force of the Dragon’s impact truly lived up to its name as a Dragon.
Furthermore, Dragons were said to be wise. They knew a lot of things thanks to their extremely long lifespan. Such an existence has said that the crown prince was in serious condition.
She heard a cold voice at that moment.
“Why do you think that it doesn’t make sense? Didn’t you all see it too? It would be greedy of us to wish that he was perfectly fine after receiving that kind of attack.”
Guardian Knight Clopeh Sekka, the representative of the three Northern Kingdoms, was the one to speak. He quietly looked up at the ceiling as he calmly continued.
“Of course, I’m sure there are some people here who did not see it.”
His gaze turned toward the Mogoru Empire and the Roan Kingdom’s northeast coalition’s representatives.
“Well, at least you have seen the video recording device.”
Clopeh smiled. This smile would usually seem somewhat holy, but it just felt cold right now.
“Plus, it is not that shocking either. It makes sense to receive such injuries after leaving such a battle without being victorious.”
“…Clopeh! What the fuck do you think you are saying right now?! My close friend, even he, even he! Even he is in critical condition right now!”
Clopeh’s eyes seemed to light up after hearing Toonka’s angry shout.
Toonka couldn’t help but flinch after seeing the burning gaze that did not match Clopeh’s white hair and green eyes.
“Please be careful what you say about former Commander Cale Henituse.”
‘How dare this stupid bastard call our great hero his close friend! This bastard is just a stupidly strong guy who is just an extra in the creation of the legend!’
Clopeh wanted to say those things, but he held himself back. He then calmed himself back down.
‘Okay. This is just another step in the path to becoming a legend.’
There were bastards who dared to spread lies about the legend right now. Clopeh knew that he must maintain his calm until he could get rid of those pests.
Furthermore, he was not that concerned about crown prince Alberu Crossman.
“I know what the Dragon has said, but we have the Saint-nim with us.”
Everybody turned toward the Saint at that moment.
His sister Hannah flinched and sharply glared back at the gazes turned toward them, but Saint Jack raised his hand and asked a question.
“Duke Deruth, could you please tell us more details about the crown prince’s condition?”
“According to the Dragon that is by his highness’s side right now… She was able to heal most of his external injuries but everything inside his body is a total mess……”
Duke Deruth couldn’t finish the sentence that he barely managed to say with a stiff expression on his face.
He instead turned toward Choi Han, who was standing in front of the meeting room door.
The moment Saint Jack and the others all naturally turned toward Choi Han as well…
Choi Han kept his mouth shut and just shook his head side to side.
‘Choi Han! The human said that you must not say anything!’
Choi Han recalled what Raon told him as he had a different thought.
‘The Duke-nim is bad at acting in the actual situation.’
Duke Deruth looked frozen stiff, and he was unable to say his lines properly. He had seemed to be flying around during the rehearsal, but he froze up when it was time to play it out for real.
The original plan was for Duke Deruth to use this moment to ask Saint Jack to heal Alberu.
However, the Duke seemed extremely nervous, as he was frozen in spot and had his mouth shut.
Everybody else felt this was normal because of the situation, but Choi Han wondered if he should speak up on Duke Deruth’s behalf.
But their other accomplice…
“Would it be okay for the Saint to take a look at him?”
For reference, this punk knew about some parts of this plan.
Choi Han thought that Clopeh was pretty sharp and said the right thing based on the current situation.
Silence filled the room once again.
Everybody was looking at Saint Jack.
Choi Han was focused as he observed the situation.
‘Actually, Saint Jack’s healing power is like poison to his highness.’
The Sun God’s power of purification was not helpful for Alberu because of his Dark Elf blood.
But they needed to drag Saint Jack and Hannah in, and most of the people in this room didn’t know Alberu’s true identity anyway.
Choi Han’s eyes clouded over the moment Saint Jack’s mouth opened. His gaze immediately turned toward Hannah.
She was not hiding the black veins resembling spider webs that were all over her body as she stared right back at Choi Han.
The two of them made eye contact, and her mouth slowly opened. She looked as if she wanted to say something.
But Saint Jack put his hand on Hannah’s shoulder at that moment and Hannah shut her mouth.
Choi Han realized that the current situation was not very good as he looked at the Sun God twins.
Deruth started to speak again in an extremely stiff voice.
“Saint-nim, then please take a look at his highness’s condition. I will then escort you to see former Commander Cale.”
“Is young master Cale at a different location?”
Deruth nodded his head at Litana’s question.
“Yes, ma’am. The White Star’s side might try to aim for my son, no, former Commander Cale’s life.”
Duke Deruth was silent for a moment, with his face still just as stiff, after saying that.
Choi Han had a thought while everybody else was looking at Deruth with sympathy.
‘I guess he’s not that talented at acting.’
If his other comrades heard what Choi Han was thinking, they would tell him that he was a pot calling a kettle black, but… No other comrades were here.
The only one here was the calmly crazy bastard, Clopeh.
Duke Deruth finally broke the silence.
“There is actually one more thing for me to tell you. It might be something even more important than taking care of this Lion Dragon monster.”
“There is something more important?”
Crown prince Valentino frowned.
“Yes, sir. Based on the information our Roan Kingdom has discovered, the Lion Dragon is a guardian for the sealed god’s temple. The information about the temple appearing once it dies-”
“You told us earlier.”
Duke Deruth nodded his head at Litana’s comment.
“Yes, ma’am. And that temple is said to be an even greater impasse than the Lion Dragon.”
Someone laughed in disbelief, and despair filled the meeting room.
“Is that true?”
“We found a record left behind from ancient times. According to what Marquis Taylor Stan, an expert in decoding ancient text, has translated…”
He quietly continued.
“The guardian protecting the temple may be stopped at the cost of thousands of lives, but tens of thousands of people will have to be sacrificed for 365 days to get to the end of the temple.”
Litana covered her face with both hands.
Choi Han observed the Sun God twins.
‘Choi Han, thoroughly observe the Saint and Hannah. They should react to this new information if they are related to the White Star.’
However, they did not show any odd reactions.
‘If they don’t react, it must mean that they are that good at acting.’
Cale had said that as well.
Duke Deruth started speaking with a grim expression on his face.
“…A meaningful sacrifice is worth doing for the sake of the future, but… We don’t really have an answer for it yet.”
Crown prince Valentino frowned as if he was having a headache as he spoke.
“We will not get an answer no matter how long we meet here, so let’s stop the meeting for now. How about we each organize our thoughts and meet again tomorrow morning?”
“I agree. The Saint has something to do as well. We also need to organize the troops we brought and station them properly.”
The representative of the Breck Kingdom, the kingdom where Rosalyn had once been a princess… Everybody agreed with what the prince from there had to say.
The meeting then ended, and they raised their heavy bodies and slowly exited the meeting room one by one.
Duke Deruth walked over to Saint Jack.
“Saint-nim. I apologize for asking for such a thing as soon as you arrived.”
“It is not a problem.”
Saint Jack gently smiled back. His smile that looked full of innocence seemed to fit him very much.
“It is something I must do. The Roan Kingdom has helped us out so much until now.”
He then turned to make eye contact with his little sister and smiled. Hannah just nodded her head with a stoic expression on her face.
“Thank you very much, Saint-nim.”
“Duke-nim, honestly speaking, the reinforcements from Mogoru are the smallest in number and lacking in many aspects. That is the truth. So, shouldn’t we work hard in other ways so that we can help?”
Deruth smiled with gratitude toward the Saint.
“Then I will come to escort you to his highness soon.”
“I understand. Hannah, let’s go.”
The twins left the meeting room without saying anything else.
The only ones left now were Choi Han, Duke Deruth, and Countess Ubarr, who was here as the representative of the northeast coalition.
“Are you okay?”
There was also Duchess Violan and Vice Captain Hilsman, who was here as her guard.
“I’m okay. Countess Ubarr, it must have been difficult to prepare and come so quickly.”
Countess Ubarr held back her amazement at Deruth and Violan’s demeanors.
‘I heard that their son’s condition was critical, but they are thinking and putting the Roan Kingdom first.’
The couple never talked about their son in front of others. Violan had just asked if Deruth was okay and faintly smiled.
She felt as if she could tell where Cale got his mental fortitude to do everything he had accomplished, especially after looking at this couple.
“Not at all, Duke-nim. I am just sorry that I could not come any quicker. The lords of the other territories will soon send their reinforcements in groups based on their locations as well.”
The Duke smiled at Countess Ubarr’s words as if to show that she was so reliable.
He didn’t seem nervous anymore as he greeted Hilsman as well.
“Vice Captain. It must have been a long journey. I keep having to take you away from our territory like this.”
“Not at all, sir! I am just doing my job!”
Hilsman smiled brightly at the Duke.
The current Knight Captain had to stay at the territory to protect the territory, the residents, Lily, and Basen.
“And please cheer up! I’m sure that everything will be resolved soon enough!”
Deruth and Violan faintly smiled at Hilsman’s energetic comments.
It was because these comments were not coming from a stranger, it was coming from the person who cherished Cale, the Henituse family, and their territory more than anybody else.
“We have a Dragon by our side as well. I was shocked! I didn’t know that the young master-nim would have a Dragon by his side!”
Countess Ubarr smiled and nodded her head at Hilsman’s comment.
“I agree. Those Dragons are said to have a relationship with young master Cale, right? I’m surprised that he knows two ancient Dragons. Who knew that the young master-nim would be friends with Dragons?”
Duke Deruth looked more relaxed as he responded.
“Let us all work hard.”
Deruth’s smile became even bigger after Violan responded right away.
“Sir Choi Han. We should head out as well.”
Violan walked over to Choi Han, who was still standing by the door.
“You worked hard.”
“It was n-”
“And thank you.”
A smile appeared on Violan’s stoic face.
It was not a gentle smile, more of an apologetic smile full of gratitude, and Choi Han slightly bowed his head.
“Not at all. I just did what I should do.”
“That is what I am thankful for.”
The smile disappeared from Violan’s face after she said that. It was the same for the others.
The Duke couple left before Countess Ubarr and Hilsman left behind them.
“Sir Choi Han, are you not leaving?”
“I will leave in a moment.”
Hilsman looked at Choi Han before he left, but Choi Han slightly shook his head.
Choi Han was now left alone in the meeting room.
Choi Han locked the door.
He then looked up at the ceiling.
“Something is weird.”
He then took a small orb out of his shirt.
– I know, right? Something is weird.
He could see Cale’s stiff expression.
– That’s right! This is weird!
Raon’s face stiffened up as well.
The black Dragon’s wings were fluttering as it shouted in disbelief.
“Sir Hilsman is weird.”
– Why is he lying?
– Hilsman is weird!
They all looked at each other after saying the same thing at the same time.
During the early days after Cale arrived in this world… He had experienced a lot of things with Vice Captain Hilsman.
That was why Hilsman knew.
– Hilsman knows about me!
He knew about Raon, as well as the truth about On and Hong’s identities.
Cale recalled a memory from the past.
It was after they met the Whale siblings, Witira and Paseton. Cale had headed toward the Forest of Darkness with them because of the mermaid poison issue.
Cale had stopped by Harris Village before going into the Forest of Darkness and revealed Raon to Vice Captain Hilsman at that time.
‘You got it?’
‘Yes. I got it.’ Young master-nim.’
‘Okay. I trust you.’
‘…Young master-nim. I will get stronger.’
‘Do whatever you want.’
Cale’s relationship with Vice Captain Hilsman was much deeper than with the other vassals of the Henituse territory. There had been many times they had to move together in the past.
There were times that Cale felt that this guy, who always brought up Young Master Silver Shield and was truly happy for all of Cale’s achievements, was burdensome, but… He was well aware of the positive feelings Hilsman had for him.
But that Hilsman had just said the following.
‘We have a Dragon by our side as well. I was shocked! I didn’t know that the young master-nim would have a Dragon by his side!’
‘I agree. Those Dragons are said to have a relationship with young master Cale, right? I’m surprised that he knows two ancient Dragons. Who knew that the young master-nim would be friends with Dragons?’
That was the conversation earlier.
He could have said that because Countess Ubarr was there as well, but… It was an unnecessary comment.
Hilsman seemed like a light-hearted or clueless person, but he was not like that at all.
“He is suspicious.”
He really did seem suspicious, as Choi Han mentioned.
Cale looked down after feeling something tapping on his knee. Raon was gulping with a concerned look on his face.
“Human! What if Hilsman is the W, Whi-”
“What if he is the White Star? You think it might be him and not the twins?”
“I, isn’t it possible?!”
The twins did seem suspicious as well, but they could not easily confirm anything.
Vice Captain Hilsman’s actions were the same.
They had to question everything right now.
That was why he nodded his head at Raon.
“That’s right. It is possible.”
Hilsman could be the White Star.
“Either that, or both of them could be our enemies.”
– Cale-nim. If Sir Hilsman is the White Star……
Choi Han did not finish his sentence, but Cale answered without any hesitation.
“I guess he wants to die.”
That was what it meant to touch one of Cale’s people.
Anybody who messed with his people must be asking to die.
“Choi Han. Inform my father to get it started. And deliver a message to mother. And Raon, you have my top’s whip, right? Give it to me. There is someone I need to find.”
This was the same for Cale’s family as well.
The Henituse family would never forgive someone who tried to disturb or destroy their peace and happiness.
Deruth and Violan… The two of them shared their thoughts with Cale through Choi Han.
‘My son, don’t worry! Just trust this father of yours!’
‘I will look into it and take care of it in my own way.’
The two of them started to move.
* * *
Knock knock knock.
“I have come.”
Duke Deruth took a step back from the door.
The door slowly opened and the orange sunset was filling the room through the large window.
There was someone with beige-colored hair standing at the center of the room.
“Oh, esteemed Dragon. I apologize for being late.”
“It is not a problem.”
“My chat with the Knight Captain ended up going longer than expected because it is quite chaotic with so many people here.”
Duke Deruth had to explain a lot of things to the Knight Captain who didn’t know anything.
Duke Deruth slowly took a step to the side and pointed to the people behind him.
“Oh, esteemed Dragon. This sir is the Saint I mentioned. Next to the Saint-nim is his sister, the sword master.”
Dragon Mila’s eyes gently curled up.
She motioned to the people standing behind Duke Deruth.
“Come on in.”
“Nice to meet you. Oh, esteemed Dragon.”
Saint Jack had an innocent smile on his face as he bowed. Sword master Hannah just lightly nodded her head before silently following Jack inside.
Hannah ended up gently running into Saint Jack.
It was because Saint Jack had stopped walking and was blankly staring at the bed at the center of the room.
Alberu Crossman looked terrible.
He was lying on the bed, unable to control his body, as his limbs were shaking and he was coughing up blood.
The door closed behind the twins at that moment.
Sword master Hannah turned her head to see Duke Deruth standing in front of the closed door with a stiff expression on his face.
* * *
Elsewhere in the area, a teacup was elegantly placed on top of the table.
“Yes, Deputy territory lord?”
Duchess Violan pointed to the other side of the table.
“Have a seat.”
She poured some tea into another cup and handed it to Vice Captain Hilsman.
“Is there something you wish to say……?”
She just silently picked her teacup back up and took a sip. Her hair was up in a bun without a single strand of hair sticking out. Her movements looked as flawless as her hair.
“This tea is delicious. I have been drinking this since back in my merchant guild days. It isn’t that expensive, but I drink this every so often, probably because of the memories attached to it.”
Hilsman took a sip of the tea after hearing that.
Hilsman urgently gulped down the tea in his mouth at Violan’s sudden calling.
As for Duchess Violan who was looking at him… She smiled as she said the following.
“Do I look like a pushover?”
It was at that moment.
A magic circle started activating around the room.
This tea that Violan was drinking was the tea Violan started drinking in her youth when she led a merchant guild, the tea that she always drank to calm herself down whenever something made her angry.
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