‘Double the difficulty?’
The voice continued just as Cale thought that this was really wrong.
It was a mechanical voice without any emotions.
– Determining the target of indignity.
‘Target? Am I not the target?’
The voice quickly continued before Cale could even organize his thoughts.
– Determined the target within the challenger’s data who has faced the most indignity under the requirements.
– There are two qualified individuals.
– Based on the increased difficulty, the test will take two levels.
– Based on the increased difficulty, new test conditions required. Modifications necessary.
– Starting the optimization.
Cale subconsciously touched his eyes.
The purple colored area started to warp.
– Optimization 30%.
Cale’s insides were churning the further the optimization progressed.
It felt as if he got on a roller coaster without the safety bar after having a bottle of Makgeolli. (TL: A Korean alcoholic beverage)
Basically, he felt as if he was going to die.
‘I’m going to hurl.’
The voice spoke sternly as he had that thought.
– Optimization complete.
The optimization had finally ended.
However, Cale’s insides were still churning.
Unfortunately, the voice did not wait for him.
– Indignity test version 1.5 is now starting.
The purple light surrounded Cale.
* * *
“Son of a…”
Something like his insides churning was no longer a problem for Cale.
“This is bad.”
What he saw after the purple light disappeared was the sky at dawn.
It was the twilight hour, just before the darkness disappeared and the sun came up.
The night was slowly moving aside despite the sun not being up yet. This time in between night and morning… It was truly a beautiful period of time.
However, Cale couldn’t pay any attention to this beautiful sky.
He looked down at his hands and then raised his head.
“I am Venion Stan’s lackey?”
He could see a stupid and cruel looking bastard’s reflection in the window.
That was the body Cale was in right now.
The bastard of the House of Stan who had imprisoned and tortured Raon. The bastard who did not simply try to tame Raon, but did things he should never do.
Cale knew the person he was possessing right now.
During that time when they visited the Stan territory to take care of the issue between Raon and Venion Stan…
There were some bastards who took care of the issues pertaining to the shitty things Venion Stan did.
Cale had seen Venion Stan’s right hand man at that time, and this guy Cale was possessing was that right hand man’s right hand man’s right hand man.
Basically, he was slightly higher than the lowest of the lowlifes, but was still one of Venion’s lackeys.
He had an official title, but someone doing something so shitty didn’t even deserve to be called a lackey.
Cale was truly at a loss for words.
On the desk underneath the window… Cale picked up a piece of paper.
It was a letter. No, it was an order.
< The young patriarch-nim is heading for the Tolz territory tomorrow. Prepare things so that you can serve him the same as last time. >
The paper was crumpled.
He could see the calendar on top of the desk. The date March 29, 780 was circled on the Felix calendar (F.C.).
Cale had arrived in this world on March 29, 781 F.C.
He didn’t know what today’s date was, but he at least knew that it was around March one year before he arrived.
That meant that Raon was three years old.
He would be in the middle of being tortured without even knowing anything.
Cale could see some of the words on the crumpled order.
Tomorrow, Tolz territory, prepare to serve.
The cave Raon was imprisoned in was in one of the villages under Viscount Tolz’s territory.
That was the only place in the Tolz territory that Venion Stan would go.
Basically, Venion Stan would go to the Tolz territory tomorrow to see Raon, and this guy had to get things ready to serve Venion.
Cale looked around.
He could see the bags that the owner of this body had packed.
He seemed pretty finished with the preparations.
‘Then what do I need to do?’
Cale slowly started to decide what he should do from here.
However, Cale’s body suddenly stumbled and he grabbed the desk with one hand and his head with the other.
“Why, all of a sudden-”
He suddenly felt extremely sleepy.
Cale’s sight slowly became blurry as if he was falling into a swamp and could not avoid this slumber.
‘Fuck, what the hell is going on?!’
Cale was extremely angry as the situation changed again.
However, he was able to figure one thing out with certainty as he looked at the calendar.
This indignity test was not testing indignity that he had faced.
It was watching the indignity of ‘my person’ or ‘those important to me.’
Long into the future after every test is over, Cale would hear stories from his friends and understand why they all spent the most time during this test.
“…F… U… C… K……”
Cale could not overcome the drowsiness and did not hesitate to swear as he fell asleep.
The voice had said the following prior to the indignity test.
‘Determined the target within the challenger’s data who has faced the most indignity under the requirements.’
‘There are two qualified individuals.’
The difficulty was set to twice the normal difficulty. As a result, Cale had to witness two people’s indignities.
Cale fell asleep.
“Son of a…”
He couldn’t help but swear again when he opened his eyes again.
“…What did you just say?”
There was a stubborn looking old man wearing the Roan Kingdom’s Chief of Staff’s uniform in front of him.
That meant that this place was the center of the Roan Kingdom. This was the Roan Palace.
Cale turned his head looking for a window.
It was the end of dusk. The sun was slowly rising.
The test had said the following.
‘Based on the increased difficulty, the test will take two levels.’
‘Based on the increased difficulty, new test conditions required. Modifications necessary.’
Cale immediately understood what that meant.
He would be in Venion Stan’s lackey’s body at night.
‘During the day-’
Cale heard a thunder-like shout as he tried to think.
“What are you doing?!”
The old man, who was not the Chief of Staff that Cale knew, had the Chief of Staff’s uniform on while glaring at Cale.
“Did you forget what you just said?”
‘I said son of a…’
Cale knew, but pretended not to know.
“You dimwitted fool!”
It made the Chief of Staff even angrier, but Cale still looked calm.
He had confirmed something through the window just now.
This person looked extremely clueless.
This person’s calm expression looked clueless. His clueless face would make the Chief of Staff even angrier.
Cale didn’t care and simply stood there, making the old man sigh a few times before giving him an order in an annoyed voice.
“That thing in your hand, you punk!”
Cale finally looked down at the tray in his hand after hearing the old man almost going crazy with frustration.
“Ah, yes, sir.”
There was a bowl of soup and some bread.
“…What about this?”
The Chief of Staff looked tired.
“Go take it to the first prince.”
“…The first prince?”
“The bastard without any backing. Don’t you know who that is?”
The first prince of the Roan Kingdom that Cale knew had quite a lot of backing.
First of all, Cale was his backing.
The unfamiliar Chief of Staff mumbled and turned around as if he had no more time to waste on Cale.
“Why does a young little punk like him have so many things he wants to eat? Tsk! How annoying! Are you not leaving?!”
Cale’s expression stiffened up.
Just before Cale fell asleep just now… The calendar had said that it was March of 780 F.C.
That meant that Alberu Crossman was already an adult, and although Alberu had no backing, the Chief of Staff would not say something like this openly in front of an attendant.
“Chief of Staff-nim.”
Cale stopped the Chief of Staff who was leaving.
“…What is it?”
The Chief of Staff looked at him full of annoyance, and Cale asked in a serious, but still clueless looking face.
“Could you tell me how old his highness is right now-”
Cale pointed on top of the tray.
“I do not know his age.”
Wouldn’t this be better than asking for today’s date?
Cale looked calm and not embarrassed at all.
Is that something you should be asking so shamelessly?
That seemed to be what the Chief of Staff’s gaze seemed to be saying while talking crap about Cale.
However, he sighed and walked away with a single comment.
‘I knew it.’
This was not 780 F.C.
‘Based on the increased difficulty, new test conditions required.’
Cale was experiencing two test situations as the voice had indicated.
At night, he was with Raon when he was three years old.
During the day, he was with Alberu Crossman when he was fifteen.
“Umm, Chief of Staff-nim.”
The Chief of Staff seemed extremely energetic for someone his age.
“What, what, what is it this time?!”
“Where is his highness’s palace?”
The Chief of Staff looked as if he would have a stroke because of this newbie in front of him. However, he calmed himself down.
‘Yes, a clueless idiot of an attendant like him would be great for that little punk.’
He said one thing to the attendant before he quickly left so that he could not be stopped again.
Cale looked at the disappearing Chief of Staff before turning around.
‘It’s the same.’
Cale had asked just in case the crown prince’s palace would have been different from the one he knew since it was far in the past.
Thankfully, it was in the same place.
‘I guess it’s time to go?’
He headed toward the first prince’s palace and looked around at everything, especially himself.
Attendants were sorted into ranks and their years of service and ranks were visible on the shoulders of their uniform.
‘There’s nothing there.’
There were no colors visible on the shoulder.
Cale realized that he was in the body of a new attendant who had just entered the palace.
‘He hasn’t even been here for six months.’
That meant that he became an attendant who had no power whatsoever in this palace.
Cale sighed at this fact that he suddenly figured out.
‘Does he not even have a chef in his palace?’
Members of the royal family usually had their own personal chefs in their palace.
Cale looked down at the now cold soup and realized that he knew nothing about Alberu’s childhood or his teen years.
However, he figured something out for sure.
‘The two people who faced the most indignity around me.’
Raon and Alberu Crossman were those two people. (PR: Not Mary?)
Frustration, failure, despair… They were different from indignity.
Cale inspected his body.
‘This time… I can’t even use my ancient powers. I can’t use my abilities either.’
Cale was in the bodies of people without any power or authority and had to watch Raon and Alberu’s indignity without any of his powers to help him.
It would definitely be hard for Cale to watch the two of their indignity through both day and night.
Cale came to a conclusion.
‘That’s why I should live an easy life.’
Cale made up his mind as Venion Stan’s lackey and the newest attendant of the Roan Palace.
‘Let’s flip everything over.’
These were just illusions anyway.
He decided to pour cider all over it. (TL: In Korean, cider is used to label stories that the MC plows his way forward without much difficulty. In case you are curious, the opposite, a story full of slow development and angst is called sweet potato.)
Cale’s footsteps were extremely light as he held the tray and headed for the first prince’s palace.
* * *
As for Cale’s friends who had started the indignity test long before he did…
They all started at different points.
Mary, who was in the body of a soldier in the Caro Kingdom’s Dubori territory, felt her heart beating wildly.
She had only been able to remember her mom’s voice.
Seeing her mom’s face stabbed deep into her heart.
“Please, please, I beg you. Please?”
“Shut up! Things even worse than you pests can imagine will show up if you can’t pay up by tomorrow morning! Got it?”
The unbelievably high territory tax… Mary’s father and mother who did not have the means to pay it were desperately begging to the tax collector.
Mary was able to get back a bit of her forgotten memories from before she was 10 years old.
However, it was not a joyful occasion.
It was not just her.
Rosalyn and Clopeh were also facing the indignities of people they were close to in the past.
However, just one person…
Choi Han was in a slightly different situation.
When he had finally overcome the failure test…
When he had finally managed to save the people of Harris Village…
“I did it……!”
He had become surrounded by green light and could feel that he had truly overcome it.
Both the failure of his past and his present self…
Choi Han had overcome them all.
That was why Choi Han had flinched after hearing the voice that appeared with the purple light.
– Target determined.
– Beep, beep.
– Error detected in target determination. Error detected.
The purple light swept over Choi Han as the voice continued to speak.
– Completed determination of the source of error.
– Target Cale Henituse is lacking to be the target.
– Using challenger’s memories to determine a new target.
– Target’s true nature determined.
Choi Han opened his eyes.
– Target, Kim Rok Soo.
Choi Han was the only one of the people in the temple who knew about Cale Henituse’s true nature.
Only he could face the indignity of Kim Rok Soo who was inside Cale Henituse’s body.
“…How, how is this……”
Choi Han clenched his eyes shut.
* * *
“What are you looking at?”
Cale was amazed.
15 years old Alberu Crossman.
He was going through puberty right now.
Cale subconsciously smiled because this felt quite different.
Fifteen year old Alberu Crossman’s glabella twitched at the same time.
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A decent time in the future but about the proofreader comment Mary has actually seen little indignity herself, at least in the life she remembers. Honestly she’s probably one of the more loved members of Cale’s group in terms of the past that has made up who she is, even if she was trapped under ground.
Yup, agreeing with Dracocard. Mary and her family suffered greatly in poverty in Caro/Dubori, but Mary herself was loved by her family until age 10, and then loved by her 2nd family (The residents of the Underground City) from 10 until present times. Mary has suffered greatly but her suffering was not indignity (ie “shame”). Mary’s past suffering is more similar to sadness, she was depressed from ages 10-25.
Raon and Alberu though they suffered the shame of being imprisoned, powerless, looked down upon, etc. Things that would demean their self-worth.
Even Choi Han did not suffer indignity to that level when he was a weakling in the Forest (though I assume he could be a close 3rd place finisher).
[[ Long into the future after every test is over, Cale would hear stories from his friends and understand why they all spent the most time during this test. ]]
Lol, when i read this line, I thought it was because Cale was going to be the subject of all their indignity tests, but frankly it makes sense Mary and others had different people.
OG Cale never suffered shame in the 18 years before Rok Soo came (that we could think of). And Cale-Rok Soo may have suffered all sorts of ways, but he never felt shamed during these 2 years. He was frustrated, angry, a failure, etc, but his sense of shame was never triggered.
Choi Han’s chosen person was “Cale” but since “Cale” never suffered (for the 2 years they traveled), test chose Kim Rok Soo since 1) Choi Han knows that they are the same soul 2) Kim Rok Soo’s life is just a hot mess of injustices. Jesus the poor chap
Hm, Mary was always in the underground city where she’s accepted. Oh, right. Well, she’s already powerful when she showed up in public so I guess people cannot treat her harshly compared to being exposed at a young age where her skills are still underdeveloped.
Or maybe it also has something to do with how deep their bond with Cale is? Hmm.
IDK, but Raon was tortured in the cave for 4 years. Alberu, not sure of the time frame but if he already lost backing at 15 then a minimum of 3 years, at least. While Mary joined Cale’s party for 2 years. She already has a strong mindset, too. So I doubt she was affected by indignity the most?
Im so sorry for Mary, who once try to remember her memories for long period of time. But now she got the chance in bad possible way.
Everytime I read about Rok Soo’s past and despair just pains me a lot 🤧 I can’t help but cry 😭
Mary is really an interesting character. We can’t say none tried to shame her, I’m refering to the fight in Caro Kingdom where the Sun Priest openly mocked her as a Necromancer. But she has her allies, Cale protected her and everyone thought the same way, that Mary is a good girl etc. And Mary herself is proud to herself.
Haha Cale the smartest bastard really knows how to flip situations to his favor.
Wait.. If Choi Han’s indignity target is Rok Soo… and they show him that time Rok Soo was abused…… wouldn’t Choi Han be majorly pissed off? Unless he will be taking the Uncle’s body, a.k.a the abuser, so he won’t be hitting Rok Soo. But that sounds too easy, so I bet not.
(PR: Not Mary?)
It said INDIGNITY, not the one who suffered most. Indignity is different from suffering.