Alberu got a headache thinking about how to explain this situation to the King who did not look kindly on him right now.
‘I want to handle this incident.’
Cale. Now that he was the one who found information on this person, Alberu wanted to see through it until the end. However, Alberu may play no role in it once the information was handed to the king.
‘I, I need to explain it well.’
Alberu ignored his tired body as he debated and debated some more about what he needed to say. His door was slowly heading toward the door.
At that moment…
Knock knock knock.
He suddenly heard knocking even though it was dawn.
The attendant outside the door cautiously spoke but was unable to hide his anxiety.
“Your highness, the eldest son of the House of Stan has come to seek an audience.”
Alberu looked confused.
‘The House of Stan?’
That household was pretty much Alberu’s political enemy. No, most nobles were supporting the other princes to be the future king and not Alberu, so Alberu had to be wary of most nobles.
Furthermore, the eldest son of Marquis Stan was Taylor Stan, the trashed eldest son.
He was certain that Taylor Stan was someone whose lower body was paralyzed and was pushed out of the successor position.
“…Why would he?”
‘And why at such an early hour?’
Alberu heard the attendant’s voice again as he mumbled.
“He says that he must meet with you, your highness.”
Alberu’s eyes clouded over for a moment.
He thought about the single-use ancient power that his mother had left him. The Healing Star.
‘Is he here because he wants that power? Only a few people should know that I have it. Did someone sell my information?’
Alberu’s expression quickly turned cold.
Alberu quickly erased his emotionless face and opened the door with a gentle expression. Naturally, only the attendant was outside the door. Taylor Stan would not have been able to enter the palace at such hour, and would have had to request to see Alberu from outside.
“Did he come alone?”
“No, sir. The knight said that he is with a priestess of the God of Death and a healer. There are three of them in total.”
“Yes, sir. Umm, one person is wearing a mask.”
A priestess of the God of Death and a healer.
It felt like an odd combination. Alberu held back this unknown sense of iffyness and gave the attendant an order.
“Tell them to wait. I must go see Royal Father first.”
“That, your highness…”
The attendant responded with an awkward expression.
“Young master Taylor asked me to say something if you ordered him to wait.”
The attendant hesitated before answering.
“ ‘Don’t I have the qualifications to make a deal since I caught Toonka?’ ”
“That is what he wished for me to tell you, your highness.”
Alberu’s face almost stiffened up. Alberu had been put in an awkward position because people were talking about how he had not handled the incident well because of Toonka’s escape.
Numerous nobles were just waiting to pounce on him that Toonka’s escape and the damage to the prison were great excuses for them.
Alberu wanted to quickly meet Taylor.
“Still tell him to wait.”
However, he needed to report the current situation to the king. That was the number one priority for the Roan Kingdom.
However, Alberu said something else to show his sincerity.
“…I will go as quickly as possible so give them some tea and treat them well.”
“As you command, your highness.”
Alberu quickly started moving toward the king’s palace.
‘A deal. I’m curious to know what and how he plans on making a deal with me.’
His eyes looked curious but also looked extremely cold, as if he would not accept any sort of mischief from them.
That was how another day was starting.
* * *
“It is crumbled.”
“Yes it is.”
Clopeh and Rosalyn looked at each other before looking up into the air. The cintamani was floating there.
That meant that Cale was there.
Kim Rok Soo sighed from inside the cintamani as he spoke.
– You are one step too late for the Vitality of the Heart.
At a mountain located on the outskirts of Puzzle City… The cave where Cale had gotten the Vitality of the Heart ancient power had been destroyed by something artificial.
And that artificial power…
– It looks like he may have taken the fiery thunderbolt, Cale’s fire attribute ancient power as well.
The cave entrance was burnt at multiple places as if it had been struck by the fiery thunderbolt.
Rosalyn started to speak.
“…Was he not supposed to get the powers in the order that young master Cale got them?”
– Yes ma’am. It seems as if our hypothesis was incorrect.
Cale looked around before he spoke.
“Based on how the cave is destroyed, it looks like he got the Vitality of the Heart before the shield. That also means that he got the fiery thunderbolt before that.”
Rosalyn and Clopeh looked deep in thought after hearing those comments through Kim Rok Soo while Cale continued to speak.
“It is not based on time but distance.”
Clopeh’s eyes clouded over. Cale looked at Kim Rok Soo as he continued to speak.
“Anyway, the White Star’s base would have been the Endable Kingdom on the Eastern continent in the past.”
“Starting from there and heading toward the Forest of Darkness while stopping by these places one by one. Are you saying the fake White Star is coming?”
Cale responded to Clopeh who heard these things from Kim Rok Soo.
– He says, ‘yes.’
Rosalyn let out a sigh.
“I guess we can say that all powers except the earth attribute ancient power have been taken.”
– No. He says not all.
“What do you mean?”
– According to Cale, the ancient powers from everywhere other than the Forest of Darkness have been taken but the ones inside the Forest of Darkness are still there.
Cale recalled the remaining ancient powers in the Forest of Darkness.
Drew Thames’s wood attribute ancient power.
The Scary Giant Cobblestone.
Finally, the Dominating Aura.
These three powers were still there.
“Then why has the White Star not come toward the Forest of Darkness yet? He would have all of Cale-nim’s ancient powers if he stops there.”
Kim Rok Soo looked into the air as he responded.
– Because we are currently in the Forest of Darkness.
– ‘Yes. The White Star seems to be avoiding us to make sure he doesn’t run into us.’
He shrugged his shoulders.
– That is what Cale says.
“…A reason he can’t run into us?”
Rosalyn repeated those words.
She was thinking about why the White Star, who seemed to be the sealed god or his subordinate, was avoiding the Forest of Darkness.
On the other hand, she and the others were putting Harris Village as their number one priority while waiting for the moment to fight.
A thought suddenly flew across her mind.
“Is it possible that the White Star is trying to tie us down in Harris Village?”
Cale nodded his head. Rosalyn couldn’t see him, but she could hear what he had to say through Kim Rok Soo.
“Looking back at it now, Harris Village was used as bait. That bastard realized that we would set it as our first target and tied us down there.”
With Cale and Choi Han tied down in Harris Village…
“He is probably plotting something in secret. I’m sure of it.”
In order to give them an even greater despair.
This god had turned Cale into a ghost to make him unable to speak to his friends. The others would spend even more time waiting for the White Star at Harris Village if that had been the case.
They were thankfully able to communicate with each other because of the cintamani from the God of Death.
“If he is plotting something……!”
Rosalyn’s expression stiffened up.
The best way for the White Star to get involved and land the strongest blow against Cale’s group…
There was only one way to create a terrible situation to fill them with despair.
“The Roan Kingdom!”
That would be to aim for the Roan Kingdom itself. That would influence Harris Village, the Henituse territory, and Cale’s group the most.
Rosalyn was from the Breck Kingdom, Clopeh the North, and Toonka the Whipper Kingdom, but… Everything they had done had centered around the Roan Kingdom until now. Even now, Puzzle City was at the center of everything outside of this illusion.
If the White Star aims for the Roan Kingdom before it is ready…
If he takes Cale’s powers and leads his subordinates to attack…
Rosalyn suddenly thought of someone.
“…The crown prince. Young master Cale, we must quickly meet with his highness!”
Kim Rok Soo frowned and looked at Cale after seeing Rosalyn looking anxious.
“Cale. Isn’t time of the essence?”
Cale quietly looked up at the sky after hearing Kim Rok Soo’s question before finally responding.
“This isn’t good. We should move right away.”
Rosalyn’s expression lit up a bit and she nodded after the message was relayed.
“Okay. Let’s quickly go see his highness.”
Cale shook his head.
– He says, ‘No.’
Both Rosalyn and Clopeh looked confused when Cale said a name.
If this was based on the past…
The strongest existence right now was the oldest Dragon on the Eastern and Western continents combined.
There was only one individual.
“Let’s go see a Dragon.”
They would go see an extremely strong Dragon who had the years of experience necessary to understand Cale’s existence.
Cale nodded his head as if he was satisfied with his decision.
“Yes. It would be terrible if Eruhaben-nim and the White Star ended up on the same side.”
Rosalyn started speaking.
“…Will it be okay putting the crown prince off until later?”
Cale lightly nodded his head.
“As for his highness… right now… he had no power… at all. Hahahaha-”
Although Alberu Crossman was smiling externally while sharpening a dagger internally… He was quite lacking compared to the relaxed and feisty Alberu of two years later.
Alberu became honest enough to the point he believed in himself and that faith ended up the basis for his abilities.
In fact, the current Alberu was much easier to predict.
“Based on what we know so far, everybody other than the White Star is moving as they did in the past. Basically, the sealed god is unable to force the people in the illusion to move as he pleases.”
That was probably one of the rules of this illusion test that even the gods could not mess with.
It was similar to how the sealed god was unable to forcibly modify the contents of the test when he controlled the body of twenty years old Kim Rok Soo to fight.
“Let’s get the strongest Dragon on our side first before heading to the capital.”
If they could do that, no matter what happens, it would be very reliable having the self-proclaimed selfish Eruhaben, who was actually extremely affectionate and nosy, by their side.
“And based on his highness’s current personality, he would probably trust a Dragon more than whatever the White Star has to say to him.”
It was because a Dragon was stronger and more helpful for his gathering of power and for the Roan Kingdom.
It had taken Cale quite a bit of time to get close to the crown prince as well.
Alberu Crossman had a lot of distrust in others.
“Even the sealed god would not be able to easily make Alberu Crossman do what he wants. He’s not the kind of person who would easily be scammed.”
Cale looked into the cintamani as he continued to speak.
“Kim Rok Soo.”
– What is it?
“You’re going to have to be a well-oiled tongue starting today.”
Only Kim Rok Soo was looking at Cale’s extremely wicked and sly smile.
“Heh. Whether you are a god or an ant or whatever… I’ll make you want to give up on this test.”
Kim Rok Soo mumbled internally.
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