Inside a typical two-story house surrounded by a forest… A few people were sitting around a table in the basement. Alberu nonchalantly threw the document in his hand.
“It’s definitely it.”
The document that landed on the table had an insignia on the first page.
“I thought that the ranking would be low because you said it was a non-mainstream faction, but it is still an Elder-Grade insignia.”
“We need some clout to settle in properly in a new location; don’t you believe so, your highness?”
An old woman sitting across from Alberu smiled warmly at him. She was the leader of the non-mainstream faction of Alchemists and had stealthily come here to negotiate with the crown prince.
The crown prince looked at the old woman and middle-aged man sitting on either side of the White Star before leaning his body forward. The middle-aged man had introduced himself as the representative of the reclusive mages of the Whipper Kingdom.
Alberu smiled elegantly.
“It’s good to settle in well at a new location. But doing that is the hardest thing.”
“That is why we are trying to get on the good side of the owner of that new place.”
Alberu’s smile became thicker.
“Don’t get the wrong idea.”
However, the words coming out of his mouth were cold.
It was so cold that the people who came to support the old woman and the middle-aged man flinched.
“I am not the owner of this place.”
The White Star smiled brightly.
“But won’t you soon become the owner? With the slightest of help from us of course.”
The White Star turned to look at Tasha and some camouflaged Dark Elves standing behind Alberu.
“The owner does not have to do anything except open up the place to us. We, as the owner’s hands and feet, will make the place beautiful and plentiful.”
“Yes. That would be wonderful.”
Alberu did not deny what the White Star said. However, he said one more thing.
“I just need to confirm that those hands and feet are truly my own hands and feet.”
The old woman who came as the representative of the non-mainstream faction tilted her head to the side.
“Your highness, I’m not sure what else we need to show you. This is putting us in quite an awkward position. I, as the representative, personally came to a place like this at your request. Is that not enough?”
“Yes. I recognize you as the leader of the non-mainstream faction. This insignia on the document… It is indeed an Elder-Grade insignia. It is as I have seen.”
Alberu pointed at the insignia.
“So bring the insignia.”
The old woman frowned.
“It will put me in a difficult position if it is revealed that I removed the insignia from the Alchemists’ Bell Tower, your highness.”
“That’s the reason I want you to do it.”
A relaxed smile appeared on Alberu’s face.
“Shouldn’t I hold onto some sort of weakness for both of us until you all properly settle down here?”
He then turned toward the middle-aged man.
“The Whipper Kingdom’s side has no way to prove it, but… I can easily suppress them by contacting the Whipper Kingdom if they do anything funny.”
Alberu’s index finger tapped on the table. He smiled brightly.
“So go and bring it. Immediately. Not a stamp on a piece of paper but the real thing.”
The White Star’s gaze turned odd as he listened. The old woman realized that there were no changes on the faces of anybody on Alberu’s side and responded, almost as a sigh.
“…You’re quite formidable, your highness.”
“Shouldn’t that have been expected?”
The old woman could not say anything and subconsciously peeked at the White Star sitting next to her.
At that moment…
“Why are you looking that way?”
The old woman flinched and looked forward again. Alberu Crossman was looking at the old woman with cold eyes that did not match his elegant face.
“Aren’t you just the middle man to introduce us to each other?”
His voice was directed at the White Star, although his gaze was focused on the old woman.
“Yes, your highness. My job is to simply introduce you to each other.”
Alberu then spoke quite warmly to the old woman.
“That’s what he says. Alright, now it is time for you to decide.”
The old woman frowned before standing up.
“I suppose we must properly show our desire to change our home.”
“A wise decision.”
“I will be back soon, your highness. It will not take long.”
The White Star pushed back on his chair and stood up.
“I will escort her to the front of the residence.”
This two-story building and its basement had defensive spells that made it impossible to teleport in or out of here. They needed to go to the backyard to teleport away.
Alberu’s excuse was that it was for his safety, and the others had accepted it without any questions. In return, Alberu agreed to only bring a few of his subordinates. He had only brought a few Dark Elves using dye magic.
“No. You must stay here.”
Alberu waved his hand up and down to tell the White Star to sit back down.
He then said something in a cold voice.
“Otherwise, I may suspect that you and the Elder are conspiring against me at that time.”
The White Star started to smile.
“I can’t have such suspicions.”
“That’s right. I’m glad you know.”
Alberu leisurely added on.
“I hate the bastards who try to stab me in the back the most.”
The old woman stoically bowed and left the basement after receiving his gaze.
She immediately headed toward the backyard. There was a teleportation magic circle there. Some mages stationed there stood up straight after seeing her.
“I need to go to the tower for a moment.”
“Did something go wrong?”
One corner of the Elder’s lips curled up as she sighed.
“Huuuuu. He has a lot of suspicions.”
The mage frowned and looked around before whispering in a quiet voice.
“It sounds like unnecessary nitpicking.”
“But we should be willing to play along at least this much to establish a new home. Please commence the teleportation.”
The teleportation magic circle soon activated and released a bright light.
There were individuals on a hill next to the forest looking down at this.
“Shall we go?”
“Yes, sir, I understand.”
Eruhaben started with Mary, who was standing next to him, and slowly looked around.
There were numerous Dark Elves disguised, not with dye magic, but black clothes and masks. They were all holding something covered in black cloth on their shoulders.
“Keke. This is my first time doing something like this.”
Eruhaben was also wearing the typical thief outfit.
He pointed to his chest.
“By the way, is this really necessary?”
– Yeah. That’s the most important part.
Eruhaben was pointing at a shabby white star with five red stars surrounding it. He chuckled and responded to the black tiger inside the cintamani.
“I’ll be back.”
“I’ll be back soon, your highness.”
There was a map in Mary’s hand as she bowed. The basement of the Alchemists’ Bell Tower. It was a map with a drawing of the secret passage to get there.
There was a gold mana whirlwind and then Eruhaben, Mary, and the Dark Elves disappeared from the hill.
They soon appeared somewhere else.
It was where the secret passage to the basement of the Alchemists’ Bell Tower was located.
Eruhaben nonchalantly commented while watching the old woman entering the secret passage.
“She came here as expected.”
“It is the best place to move stealthily.”
Eruhaben slowly started walking after Mary who had responded emotionlessly.
He was walking openly without hiding.
The old woman’s eyes opened wide.
“W, what the-?!”
The woman who had subconsciously raised her voice in shock frowned as soon as she saw Eruhaben’s long vertical pupils.
“Did I get fo-”
She could not finish her sentence.
She felt an immense pressure that made it feel as if she could not breathe.
Dragon Fear was focused on her.
The Gold Dragon, Eruhaben, quietly looked down at the old black mage.
“It’s a waste to use my hands on something like you.”
“But I guess I have to since I was asked to capture you?”
The woman, who was about to shout something while drenched in fear, watched a group of individuals run past the Dragon and into the passage.
“Shall we go too?”
Eruhaben floated the black mage in the air with magic and leisurely followed behind the Dark Elves and Mary.
He then saw a large underground plaza.
Wrath was visible on his face.
He saw numerous large and small mounds of bones. There was a circular pillar in the middle shooting up the center, as if it would touch the ceiling. The pillar was full of a black liquid that was created from the death of the owner of those bones.
Eruhaben’s eyes were burning with anger after looking at it.
It was the same for the Dark Elves.
“Please get them all.”
The robed necromancer pointed to the enemies guarding the plaza paths and some of the Dark Elves took them down.
Imperial Crown Prince Adin, the Tower Master of the Alchemists’ Bell Tower, really nobody would come here as long as they did not inform their superiors.
It was because they were all busier with the thought of gobbling up the Roan Kingdom than dealing with this place.
“We are stealing the dead mana.”
Mary shared Cale’s orders she had heard through the black tiger.
“And then outside… We will reveal this basement area to the outside so that the people of the capital can see it.”
These large mountains of bones were not just bones, they were all someone’s family member or close friend. They needed to be returned to their proper places even if this was just an illusion.
The black mage tried intensely to resist as she watched but she could not do anything as she was surrounded by gold mana.
‘I need to quickly inform our liege-!’
Her liege, the White Star, who was currently not in the Empire but in a remote forest of the Roan Kingdom. She needed to inform him about this. However, she had no way to do so.
The Dragon’s gold dust was covering the entire underground plaza.
On the other hand, in the basement of the normal two-story building where the liege that the black mage was desperately looking for was currently at… Alberu did not hide his dislike of the situation.
He was smiling brightly as he asked.
“That’s odd. Should it be taking her this long? It should be quick if she used the teleportation magic circle.”
“It must be difficult as she is trying to remain stealthy, your highness.”
Although he was smiling, Alberu was showing anxiousness with his whole body. The White Star slowly leaned against the chair and commented after seeing Alberu looking so anxious.
“Please don’t worry, your highness.”
“I don’t have much time.”
The White Star nodded his head as if he understood everything, and the middle-aged man commented as well.
“Your highness, the Elder-nim will definitely come back with the insignia. It is simply a matter of whether it takes a bit more time or not.”
“Isn’t it possible that someone caught her?”
The White Star shook his head.
“There’s no way that is the case. The Alchemists’ Bell Tower, the Empire, nobody will be able to realize what the Elder is doing.”
Of course, it was not that they would not realize it, they were simply pretending. Either way, there was nobody to get in the Elder’s way.
The White Star and the middle-aged man looked at Alberu, who had ordered the Elder to bring the insignia as he could not trust her but became anxious because she was taking a while to get back, with odd smiles on their faces.
Alberu shook his head at that moment.
“Yes. I’m sure that nobody would realize it. However, I don’t have the time.”
The White Star opened his mouth to tell Alberu not to worry as Alberu was repeating himself.
“We can make the time if we need to, isn’t that right, your highness?”
It was at that moment.
They heard the sound of the door to the basement opening.
The middle-aged man, who had introduced himself as the representative of the reclusive mages of the Whipper Kingdom, stood up.
“Aigoo, the Elder-nim must have returned.”
A smile appeared on Alberu’s face. As the White Star and the middle-aged man smiled as well…
“It’ll make things complicated if she comes now.”
The middle-aged man subconsciously asked while Alberu smiled as he looked at the White Star.
“I won’t get the time to capture you like this very often.”
The basement was connected with the outside as soon as the smile disappeared from the White Star’s face.
It was connected not through the door, but the ceiling.
There was an explosion that was so loud that it felt as if their ears would burst before a hole appeared in the ceiling.
The middle-aged man quickly dodged and cast a shield spell.
The middle-aged man looked astonished as a person descended from the ceiling while laughing loudly.
He landed easily before his large body stood up straight.
“I see shitheads I need to fuck up!”
Toonka revealed his teeth while his lion’s mane-like hair fluttered in the wind. His eyes were sparkling as they focused on his enemies, specifically the middle-aged man.
The middle-aged man could not hide his shock. The White Star immediately looked at Alberu.
“What the hell are you doing, your highness?”
“Hell? Did you just say what the hell?”
The corners of Alberu’s lips twisted up.
“That’s too bad. Unfortunately, this is not my plan.”
The door opened.
The path was darker than this basement area that was lit up. Dark blue eyes were looking right at the White Star from within the darkness.
“I am not a toy.”
Wrath was dominating the young black Dragon’s eyes.
“Haa, my my.”
The White Star sighed and shook his head. He heard a person’s calm voice at that moment.
The White Star raised his head. He immediately moved his hand.
An explosion that was much louder than the ceiling being destroyed echoed through the area. The rumbling that was so strong that it shook the whole house subdued a bit and the White Star was able to see a pair of black eyes through the dust clouds.
“Is it fun?”
Choi Han. The Black Yong was coming out of the tip of his sword.
Choi Han of this time would normally not be able to use the Black Yong. However, Choi Han knew how to quickly pull forward a path he had walked once already.
Choi Han launched another Black Yong as he asked the White Star one more time.
“Is it fun to impersonate someone else? Does it make you happy?”
One corner of his lips curled up.
He was standing in the vanguard in Cale’s place today. That was why he said something that Cale would have probably said.
He asked the White Star another question.
“Do you like it?”
The Black Yong attacked the White Star at that moment.
* * *
While that was going on… Cale was leisurely walking down a hill with the cintamani in his hand.
– It looks like the building will be destroyed.
“Your highness, the magic circle surrounding the building will still remain so the White Star shouldn’t be able to teleport away, right?”
Alberu had said that he would put magic circles around the building to prevent teleportation for his safety, but the truth underneath the surface was different.
– He is a rat in a jar.
Cale listened to the Dark Tiger’s voice as he leisurely headed toward the building.
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