Cale pulled the dagger out and a single strand of blood flowed out of the White Star’s collarbone.
The White Star’s body plopped to the ground as if he was a puppet that had had its strings cut.
The White Star’s ears were going deaf from a sharp noise.
He could not hear anything else, and it felt as if he was slowly being separated from the world.
The White Star’s instincts were telling him something.
However, this death felt different from the countless deaths he had faced until now.
The aura of the God of Death that had been on his body was disappearing.
The power of that curse had been on the White Star’s body through his endless reincarnations. The God of Death’s aura that had been the driving force of his reincarnation was scattering away like smoke.
The White Star’s pupils started shaking.
‘I can’t reincarnate anymore? I worked my ass off to get to this point! But I’m going to die? I’m going to die like this? This is how I meet my end?’
The White Star was not afraid of death. He was that kind of person.
However, the White Star reached his hand out after facing eternal death.
His arm was shaking as it reached away from his crumbling body.
The weak hand that he barely managed to reach out grabbed Cale’s arm.
However, that hand did not have the strength to hold onto it.
The hand slipped and the White Star did whatever he could to put some strength into it.
The fingernail he raised to flail around left a light injury on Cale’s arm.
That was his limit.
Cale looked down at the fallen White Star. The White Star and Cale were still observing each other.
Once his Instant ended in less than one second, Cale wiped some blood off his face with the hand not holding the dagger.
It was fine.
No, his body was instantaneously becoming fine.
– Cale, your plate is fine… And you-
The Super Rock could not finish his sentence.
He could not hide his shock.
He barely managed to speak again after a while.
– …You’re getting healthier.
The injury on his heart was closing.
The healing could not be seen because of the blood that spurted out when he stabbed and then removed the dagger, but Cale could feel his life force that was stronger than ever before swirling around in his body.
Cale lowered his head.
The now red dagger that had absorbed Cale’s blood…
The root dagger in his hand slowly turned to dust starting from the tip.
That red dust left the dagger and approached Cale.
It then seeped into Cale’s heart.
‘The World Tree was telling the truth.’
Cale recalled what the World Tree had said while giving him the dagger.
‘Don’t worry. You will not die. It will be grotesque since you will bleed a lot, but it will actually be helpful to you too. I guarantee it.’
It had not hurt at all when he stabbed his heart either.
That was how he was able to stab so deeply in one try.
And when he made up his mind to use Instant…
When he decided it would only be about half a second… Cale had decided that it would not be very dangerous because it was less than one second and he was not planning on using any ancient powers with it.
He thought that he would not faint nor have his plate broken like last time.
However, he did expect it to tax his body in multiple places at least a bit.
‘…It’s really weird.’
It had not burdened his body much to use Instant.
Of course, it had hurt when he received injuries on his body to take that one step forward while using it.
Cale was personally experiencing the fact that his body condition was getting much better, to the point that he did not even need objective data.
He heard an old man’s voice at that moment.
It was the first time in a long while that the Vitality of the Heart had spoken since being absorbed into the shield.
– …It looks like a new regeneration power will be born.
Cale’s eyes became a bit wider.
– Traces of an immortal are being gathered.
Cale let out a gasp.
The World Tree’s roots were the things that had never disappeared as it repeated death and life. It had given Cale the foundation of those roots.
‘That foundation has been imbued into my heart.’
‘This is like herbal medicine. This is an extremely great herbal medicine.’
The whole dagger had turned to dust and disappeared. Cale looked down at his empty hand before turning his head.
The White Star was breathing lightly, as if it was difficult to even breathe.
Cale reached his hand out.
The red diary floated up.
Red leaves fluttered and Cale’s eyes turned red.
– Cale, I know that your plate wasn’t destroyed, but… You should still not overdo it!
– It’s okay. Hyung-nim, this kid’s going to live even longer than I did.
The Super Rock tried to stop Cale while the old man of the Vitality of the Heart laughed out loud.
– But still!
The Super Rock tried to stop him again, but Cale had no plans on listening.
He needed to confirm it.
His now red eyes focused on the White Star.
The White Star’s eyes were slowly closing.
Lines appeared above his body.
The annual rings of his numerous lives appeared once again.
Cale closed his eyes for a moment and then opened them back.
The White Star’s largest ring was breaking down.
The annual ring was crumbling from the spot he had stabbed with the dagger.
The White Star was talking about the next life until the end.
Cale silently observed all of it.
There was nothing else for him to do. He had to keep his eyes on the White Star just in case something happened.
‘That damn god bastard is quiet.’
He was just waiting.
‘The sealed god is probably waiting for the same moment as me.’
Everything was quiet.
He didn’t know what the hell Clopeh was doing that he was this quiet, but he felt as if he knew why the sealed god was not attacking at all.
Once the White Star completely dies…
His ancient powers would flow out.
Based on what he knew, ancient powers were seep into the place where their master dies or into a special item.
‘It’ll be bad if they seep into the temple.’
The temple was the sealed god’s territory.
They would definitely negatively impact Cale. Furthermore, these were not regular ancient powers; these were the White Star’s powers.
It was especially important that the sky attribute ancient power did not end up in the temple’s hands.
‘That’s why I need to take them.’
Although Cale felt that it was wrong to have these thoughts in front of someone who was dying and whose soul might even be damaged despite them being the enemy, Cale had to get rid of as many variables as possible since he had decided to take care of this on his own.
Cale was someone who could do that.
He planned on Embracing all of the White Star’s ancient powers.
‘Where should I store them?’
Cale moved his hand to his inner shirt pocket to find things to Embrace them in.
‘It’s a good thing that the heart is on the left.’
He would have stabbed this pocket with the dagger as well if it had been on the right.
Cale kept his eyes on the White Star and tried to put his hand into his pocket.
An orb rolled into his viewpoint at that moment.
He recalled that Clopeh had been holding some kind of orb in his hand.
‘…Video recording device.’
Cale got chills for a different reason after realizing that this broken orb was an automatic video recording device.
‘That could have been bad.’
Clopeh had almost recorded the whole thing.
Thankfully, the orb was broken and rolling on the ground.
‘I just need to make Clopeh keep his mouth shut.’
Then the others will have no idea as to what happened in here.
They will only be able to imagine what happened even with Cale covered in blood like this.
‘They’ll never imagine that I stabbed my own heart.’
Cale then thought about the others who were still taking the test.
‘Are they still not out?’
They were taking longer than he expected.
Cale thought that he would be hearing people trying to break through the rubble he had used to block the opening by now.
‘…What is that? What is this laugh-like sob-like noise?’
Cale could not look away because the White Star could die at any moment and could only focus to listen better.
This weak voice that sounded as if it might break off was definitely not Clopeh’s voice.
He did not hear any response nor noise.
Cale remained calm and continued speaking.
He needed to be calm.
He needed to figure out what that punk had seen.
“When did you get here? I didn’t sense you coming in.”
He suddenly heard Clopeh’s voice at that moment.
“You must not have heard because it was the moment you stabbed your heart, Cale-nim.”
Cale didn’t need to look to know what kind of look was on Clopeh’s face right now, as he sounded as if he had seen something that left a deep impression on him.
However, that crazy bastard’s face wasn’t the issue right now.
It was true that Cale might not have felt Choi Han’s presence at that moment since he was focused on the dagger. No, it wasn’t just a might. It was highly likely.
Cale heard extremely weak footsteps behind him.
‘Has Choi Han ever walked this weakly before?’
Cale heard Choi Han’s voice at that moment.
“What was that? What did I just see?”
He sounded as if he was scolding Cale, but his voice was shaking and extremely weak.
Cale could not respond.
Choi Han scowled while looking at the back of the person who did not respond nor even look back.
Everything turned white for him.
His mind was still blank. He had no thoughts whatsoever…
Other than whether he was still in an illusion.
Mary pulled on his clothes as he started walking. No, she was barely holding it.
Mary was so shocked that she could not say anything and could only barely hold onto Choi Han’s clothes with a shaky hand.
‘What is going on? Miss Mary, what happened?”
Rosalyn was running toward them in the back.
However, Choi Han simply continued walking toward the back of the person who was still silently looking at the White Star.
‘He’s alive. He’s okay. This person did not fall down. Yes, he’s not dead. He will not die. There is no way that this person will die. He will definitely not die.’
Choi Han repeated these words as if they were a prayer.
He felt as if he would fall to the ground if he did not do that.
There was someone who did fall to the ground though.
Outside the temple…
“…What did I… just see……”
Litana, the Queen of the Jungle. Her lips were shaking. She could not think of anything because of the shock and had fallen to the ground because her legs had grown weak.
“…How… How… Such a thing……”
She could not speak either.
She was looking at the orb above the sealed god’s temple with her pupils shaking.
Cale had stabbed himself in the heart with the dagger just now.
He then used that dagger to defeat the White Star.
She felt as if everything was going dark because of these two short statements.
She thought at first that the sealed god was showing everybody the worst possible illusion. However, she was able to tell that it was real the moment the White Star fell.
What Cale had done in an extremely short period of time was something that was the most sublime and beautiful yet sad thing that Litana had ever seen in her life.
Cale was still standing firmly in her eyes.
Although his whole body was covered in blood and his heart was stabbed…
He was still alive.
“…Is he human……”
Numerous emotions flew through her mind before she ended on awe.
She could not say anything else after that.
She couldn’t even scream nor gasp.
She was very, very shocked.
Her heart was also in pain.
Her heart was also heavy with an emotion she could not figure out.
However, she knew that she was not the only one having such emotions.
Everybody around her was quiet.
Nobody dared to speak loudly.
There were only quiet mumblings every so often, but no cheering nor screaming.
It was probably even more like this because Litana was where the respective representatives and chief executives of the different nations were gathered.
Litana and these chief executives had headed toward the temple as soon as Clopeh showed up on the orb. They were speechless at what they saw as soon as they stepped onto the temple steps.
“What is it?! What is going on?!”
She heard a young voice at that moment.
“I couldn’t see because the crown prince blocked me!”
Raon, On, and Hong looked around because the rowdy area around them had suddenly become silent. It was because Alberu suddenly stepped in front of them and made them unable to see what happened.
The children then raised their heads and urgently looked for Cale.
Raon pulled at Eruhaben’s clothes.
“G, gramps. Why is our human like that? W, why is there-”
‘Why is there so much blood?’
Raon could not get himself to say the word blood. That was why he quickly said something else.
“Gramps! What happened?! The human seems fine right now!”
Hong, in his kitten form, curled his body and grabbed On.
On was unable to say anything as she observed Cale’s condition.
His body was covered in blood and his chest was quite the mess, but his body was not shaking and his complexion looked fine. He was not stumbling and instead was standing up straight with a firm gaze.
Yes, he seemed okay for now.
‘That’s right. He should be fine. He must be fine.’
On, who was able to understand Cale’s condition well after having seen it multiple times, turned her head to get some validation.
Alberu was quietly standing there.
On frowned as soon as she looked into his eyes.
Alberu was standing there with his mouth shut and the expression on his face was one she had never seen before.
On’s front paw grabbed at Alberu’s pants with concern.
She could see Alberu still only looking at the orb as he started speaking.
He sounded terrible.
Not even a speck of his usual grace could be felt from his voice.
On felt someone pick her and Hong up.
Eruhaben held the children in his arms and left that single comment.
On saw it at that moment.
She saw Choi Han and Mary coming over and standing next to Cale.
Raon’s eyes opened wide.
“The White Star-”
Raon could not finish his sentence.
* * *
Inside the temple.
The White Star’s body was slowly turning into dust and disappearing.
Cale immediately moved again at that moment.
There were many sources of light floating up from the White Star’s disappearing body.
‘Those are the ancient powers.’
His eyes looked at the White Star… And then past him toward the sculpture.
That was why he had not managed to see Choi Han’s gaze that had turned vicious and Mary’s gaze that had become even more vicious.
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