The details of the incident were simple.
After meeting with Tasha, Cale’s group returned to Harris Village before heading to Eruhaben’s lair with Choi Han. Naturally, they installed some defensive spells around Harris Village before they left.
Eruhaben walked out of his lair as soon as they arrived outside of it, as if he had been waiting for them, before channeling his mana right away.
‘Then Raon suddenly appeared and we ended up in this mess.’
Cale let out a sigh. The reason for all of this was obvious.
“Eruhaben-nim must have met the White Star first.”
The answer was clear after what Eruhaben had said just now.
‘Ha. That bastard was suspicious as well, but it is exactly as he said.’
‘Foolish Dragon, free yourself from their brainwashing.’
That bastard was probably referring to the White Star, and Eruhaben probably believed that they had brainwashed Raon to have him travel with them.
Eruhaben’s cold gaze landed exactly where Cale was crouching. Although Eruhaben could not see him, he used his mana to accurately detect Cale’s location.
“Are words not enough?”
The Dragon, who looked as if he had a halo around him, had a twisted smile on his face.
“If words don’t work, I guess I can take you on with these?”
Golden dust gathered in Eruhaben’s hand and created a wild whirlwind.
Cale quickly looked for the cintamani in his pocket.
Cale had originally planned on having Kim Rok Soo act as the glib tongue.
‘…You have no talent for it.’
‘I’m more surprised that you do.’
Unfortunately, the twenty years old Kim Rok Soo had no talent for it whatsoever. Cale had then thought about Lee Soo Hyuk, but he was too busy. They were currently starting with the Seomyeon, Busan shelter at the center while creating precincts all around to stabilize the area. Lee Soo Hyuk had to be dispatched quite frequently because of that. Choi Jung Soo was with him and focusing on his training that Cale couldn’t even see his face.
‘Absolutely not Park Jin Tae.’
He didn’t even consider Park Jin Tae.
That left only one individual.
‘It might actually be the best decision.’
Cale pulled the cintamani out of his pocket.
Eruhaben’s eyes opened a bit wider after seeing the orb suddenly appear in the air.
‘There is no magic used for this at all.’
The mana in the air did not fluctuate at all. However, this orb suddenly appeared in the air.
‘Is it a new power that is not magic?’
This was neither aura nor dead mana. Eruhaben frowned. He recalled the man in the white mask who visited him not too long ago.
‘So, if it is as you say, there are bastards who have abducted a young Dragon, brainwashed him, and are causing issues all around the Western continent?’
‘And the Alchemists’ Bell Tower and some mages have created a secret organization to chase them?’
‘Yes, sir. Eruhaben-nim, I thought it was best to inform you, the longest living Dragon, about this because it involves a young Dragon.’
The man in the white mask sternly responded.
‘Please be careful of them. You must not be tricked by them. Please pay special attention if they tell you to believe something that exists but does not exist at the same time, as that is a lie.’
The man in the white mask had told Eruhaben not to believe something that exists but does not exist at the same time.
That was why this presence he could not see, smell, or sense any body heat from… He couldn’t help but be wary of this presence that he could only sense with his mana.
However, the situation had turned differently from what that man in the white mask had said because of this orb that had suddenly appeared.
Eruhaben could see someone appear on the orb.
He subconsciously groaned.
It could not be helped. What he saw in the orb was something he had never seen before.
The individual inside the orb silently looked at Eruhaben.
Cale started smiling while watching all of this. The individual inside the orb was someone who was an expert at figuring out a situation and someone who had a glib tongue that was well-oiled more than anybody else.
‘He’s the OG, the father of smooth talking if you would.’
The black tiger with a lion’s mane inside the cintamani had his eyes focused on Eruhaben.
‘Yes. A tiger, especially a black tiger with a lion’s mane, seems more out there than a person.’
It was a mysterious creature on appearance alone.
Even a thousand years old Dragon would never have seen a tiger like this.
The Dark Tiger, the OG glib tongue. Alberu Crossman finally started speaking.
– Why would you think that a great and mighty Dragon would get brainwashed?
Eruhaben’s pupils shook for a moment.
“That’s right! I did not get brainwashed!”
Raon added on right on cue. The Dark Tiger ignored him and continued speaking.
– Although a Dragon may lose their physical freedom, they would never submit themselves.
The corners of Cale’s lips twisted up.
‘He’s speaking informally to Eruhaben-nim. He’s made up his mind to play the part of a mysterious creature.’
Cale proudly looked at Alberu, who was acting well without having to be told anything. Alberu almost frowned after seeing the expression on Cale’s face, but he barely managed to contain himself and shook his head.
His lush black mane gently fluttered.
– Do you think that I am wrong?
‘Oh. He’s enjoying this.’
Cale noticed the ever so slight curve on Alberu’s lips. However, everybody other than Cale and Clopeh could not hide their anxiety at this sudden development.
Rosalyn was hiding her anxiety because she did not know about the Dark Tiger. Choi Han was anxious because Alberu had suddenly appeared and was acting disrespectfully to Eruhaben in the same way that he always said that Cale was acting toward him.
Clopeh was just calm.
Finally, Eruhaben couldn’t help but speak in shock.
“…What the hell is going on?”
This was an obvious reaction for him.
He had seen all sorts of monsters and animals in his close to 1,000 years of life, however, he had never seen a tiger like this.
‘It’s also speaking the human language. Most importantly, those eyes…’
The Dark Tiger’s eyes were clear, allowing Eruhaben to feel the wisdom behind them.
Furthermore, although he looked smaller than an average face because he was in this orb, the aura emanating from this tiger as it sat there was the aura of a liege, someone who has led others before.
– What the hell is going on you ask?
Alberu stealthily peeked toward Cale. He was asking how he should respond to Eruhaben’s question.
Cale immediately started to speak.
He could not say it.
‘Test. Please tell him it is a test. Please also say that we can explain in detail.’
That was what he wanted to say.
However, he could not say the word, test.
Cale opened his mouth again.
The sealed god’s test. He tried to say that but that didn’t work either. Alberu’s eyes clouded over as he looked at Cale as if he was acting bizarre.
Cale tried to say the sealed god’s name and that this world is a test multiple times. He tried saying everything except that this was an illusion.
“…Your highness, it is not working.”
However, he could not say anything.
‘What is going on all of a sudden?’
He had been able to talk about it all this time so why wasn’t it working now?
‘Is it because Eruhaben-nim is not one of the people taking the test?’
That shouldn’t be it because they had been chatting in front of Raon, who had turned invisible and followed them to Choi Han’s house.
‘Why can we talk about it in front of Raon but not Eruhaben-nim? What is the difference? Ah.’
There was one difference.
‘The White Star.’
Eruhaben had met the White Star, the one they presumed to be the sealed god, before he met Cale. Currently, Cale could not mention the test to Eruhaben.
‘I understand why the White Star rushed so much.’
The Dark Tiger made eye contact with Cale before starting to speak.
Alberu couldn’t say it either.
He understood it right away as he had seen Cale attempt it.
– Mm. I guess this doesn’t work.
He instantly figured out the situation as Cale had done.
Eruhaben, who had been quietly watching, resumed speaking.
“Are you the warp in the mana?”
The Dark Tiger started to smile.
– No. My dongsaeng, someone who cannot be seen, is with you.
Eruhaben closed his mouth. He looked at Alberu and the spot Cale should be at for a long time before barely managing to ask.
“You and your dongsaeng who cannot be seen… are you gods?”
‘Why is he suddenly talking about gods?’
Cale naturally turned toward Alberu who leisurely shook his head.
– No. I am not a god.
“Then… are you not an existence of this world?”
– Mm. That is true.
Alberu thought that there was some sort of misperception but decided to answer honestly. He pretended not to see Cale’s shaking pupils.
Eruhaben continued to ask. His face slowly stiffened.
“…Then are you part of the Demonic race?”
– No. I may look like this, but it is bad if you think I am part of the Demonic race.
Eruhaben looked to the sky and sighed. The golden dust surrounding him dissipated a bit.
“Then there is the answer.”
The ancient Dragon used his years of experience and the knowledge he had gained through his long life to come to a conclusion.
“…If you are neither a god nor part of the Demonic race, there is only one other option.”
An existence that is not of this world but another.
Someone that uses something that is not magic or aura… An existence that uses a method that even he couldn’t fathom to suddenly appear.
If they were neither gods nor part of the Demonic race… That only left one answer, the Divine race.
“You look different from what I have learned, but it’s not like I’ve been there. I guess there could be many different types of unique appearances.”
Alberu debated for a bit before not saying anything.
Cale frowned and addressed Alberu.
“It looks like he has mistaken us to be a part of the Divine race, your highness. Why don’t you tell him? Tell him that we are from another w-”
“Mm. It doesn’t work.”
Cale could not say that they were from another world.
‘Is it because it is a term associated with the test?’
Alberu seemed to be facing the same issue as he slightly shook his head toward Cale.
Cale peeked toward the others who were standing behind him.
Rosalyn was looking toward them with her pupils shaking.
‘There seems to be a problem.’
That was what her gaze was saying.
Eruhaben didn’t care as he seemed to be in a different world by himself as he asked Alberu a question with a serious expression on his face.
“Then who is that bastard that came to see me?”
– I cannot say it.
“Based on what I have observed, there seem to be some parts you are unable to say even if you want to say them.”
– That’s right.
“…Yes. There needs to be at least some kind of restriction like that.”
‘There must be some restrictions for members of the Divine race like them to get involved in the affairs of another world.’
Eruhaben was convincing himself of what was going on.
Alberu observed him for a moment before he thought of something and sternly started speaking.
– What I can tell you about that bastard is that we are certain that he is trying to cause chaos in this place. We are trying to stop him.
The Dark Tiger’s mane elegantly fluttered as he continued speaking.
– Can we talk more about it inside your lair?
Eruhaben’s gaze stopped somewhere at that moment. A human giving off an odd sensation was standing there.
The person who received his gaze stepped forward.
“I have the power of the Dragon Slayer, as well as the power to control wyverns.”
Clopeh Sekka’s white hair fluttered in the wind. However, his green eyes were not shaking.
“I gained these powers by killing the fake Dragon Slayer, Syrem, who has actually harmed Dragons. I am able to show you as much evidence as you wish regarding this matter.”
Anybody would say that Clopeh looked serene and holy right now.
The corners of Cale’s lips curled up.
‘He’s taking the initiative.’
Clopeh taking the initiative to thoroughly explain these things would allow Eruhaben to get rid of his suspicions and for them to have an even deeper discussion.
Clopeh slightly bowed his head to greet Eruhaben.
“My name is Clopeh Sekka, and I am the Guardian Knight of the Paerun Kingdom. I am here to calm the chaos in this world following Cale-nim’s will.”
Cale’s expression instantly turned stoic.
At that moment…
Eruhaben’s expression suddenly changed.
“Yes sir. Following Cale-nim’s will-”
“…That bastard in the white mask’s name was Cale.”
Clopeh’s eyes opened wide. Eruhaben looked toward Alberu inside the cintamani.
“The man in the white mask that I met. Yes, that White Star bastard said that his real name was Cale. What is going on?”
Cale and Alberu looked at each other.
The White Star’s real name was indeed Cale. Cale Barrow.
But something seemed off.
Alberu immediately responded.
– …Did you see his face as well?
“Of course. I can’t trust someone whose face I don’t even know.”
– …What did he look like? No, wait a minute.
Alberu suddenly moved back and pulled someone, who had been covered by his large body, forward.
– Did he look similar to this guy?
A confused twenty years old Kim Rok Soo was awkwardly standing there.
“No. He looked different. Mm.”
Eruhaben tilted his head a bit at this weird mood as he continued to speak.
“Should I phrase it as he looked a bit fancy?”
Alberu slowly turned his head. He looked at Cale as he started speaking.
– Dongsaeng, I think he has your face.
* * *
Knock knock knock.
Necromancer Mary headed toward the door after hearing the knocks.
She heard Tasha’s voice.
Mary opened the door a crack Tasha had a slightly awkward smile on her face as she pointed behind her.
“This is a guest of his highness. He said that he knew you and wished to have a short chat with you.”
Mary’s eyes opened wide. A man in a white mask was standing at the end of the hallway Tasha was pointing toward. Mary was about to channel her powers as she thought it was the White Star before she froze like a statue.
He was wearing a mask, but his physique, hairstyle, skin, and the face visible from the nose down… The eyes and hair color… Everything was the same as someone she was familiar with.
The person standing at the end of the hallway slowly walked over and put on his unique tired smile as he started speaking.
“Mary. Where are the others?”
Mary let out a gasp.
Mary had stayed behind alone in the Henituse Lord’s Castle to look after On and Hong. Unlike how Rosalyn, Choi Han, and Clopeh knew about Cale because they went back to Harris Village and heard through the cintamani, Mary had not met Cale yet.
Cale, Rosalyn, and Clopeh had gone to the Henituse Lord’s Castle early the next morning to find Mary, On, and Hong, but… Tasha made it so that they had to separate without being able to chat.
Mary was currently waiting for Rosalyn to come to see her in the capital.
The man who had now walked past Tasha and was standing in front of Mary lifted his white mask a bit.
A man who looked the same as Cale Henituse was smiling like Cale Henituse underneath the mask.
Despair was slowly, slowly approaching.
* * *
At a table at the center of Eruhaben’s lair… Cale was seated on one of the chairs as he spoke almost as if he was sighing.
“Whether it is a god or the god’s puppet, it is doing all sorts of things. Is it not tired?”
Cale was shaking his head with an annoyed, no, extremely disgruntled expression on his face.
Eruhaben, who had just finished his conversation with Alberu, spoke with a bewildered expression.
“You want to infiltrate the royal palace?”
– Yes. I know all of the secret passages. You just need to infiltrate it with my dongsaeng. It’ll be easy.
“…You want us to sneak in to meet the crown prince?”
– That’s right.
The Dark Tiger started to smile and his fangs were revealed. His eyes were sparkling coldly.
– I cannot watch the crown prince do anything stupid.
His gaze turned toward Cale. Cale was undoing the top button of his shirt. Cale had said something to Alberu moments ago.
‘I will look through the records a bit, your highness. That is where the answers will be. So please take care of things from here on as we have planned.’
Although he was grumbling with a disgruntled look on his face, Cale looked like someone who had already found the answer.
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