As Cale clearly heard Duke Deruth’s voice again…
The moment he heard Deruth’s shout through all of the other noises he had been hearing while going through the plaza…
‘This is bad.’
Cale truly realized that he was in big trouble.
Cale felt that Deruth Henituse had become a very important person in his life.
The people in the plaza moved away to make way for Duke Deruth to get to Cale.
Duke Deruth had cast aside all elegance as a noble or a Duke and was running toward Cale without thinking about anything else.
Choi Han bit down on his lips as he watched.
The look on Duke Deruth’s face was stabbing at Choi Han’s heart.
“…It can’t go on like this.”
Cale wanted to nod his head at Choi Han’s mumbling.
‘I can’t meet my father like this!’
Cale knew that although he looked terrible on the outside, he was completely fine.
Of course, it was a bit of a burden when he used the shield and Embrace earlier. However, probably because he was not able to use that properly and because of this vitality that seemed to start from his heart and spread throughout his body, his body was quickly getting better.
‘Choi Han, let’s go!’
Choi Han did not move. Even Toonka had stopped as he was looking at Duke Deruth with pity on his savage face.
Toonka bit down on his lips as if he was suppressing his sorrow.
Duke Deruth finally reached Cale. His shaking hand moved through the air and touched Cale’s body.
The moment Cale felt the shaking, the moment he felt Deruth touch extremely carefully as if Cale might break…
‘…This isn’t right. What the heck am I doing right now?’
Those were the thoughts in his head.
Cale thought that he should slightly raise his head to show Deruth that he was fine. As Cale’s body twitched a bit to do that…
Duke Deruth had hugged Cale while he was still on Choi Han’s back.
People could not easily start speaking as they watched. Nobody could cheer while looking at a parent hugging their injured child.
However, the silence did not last very long.
“…Oh no… he must really be seriously injured.”
The comment from a robed individual made people start whispering quietly.
“Hurry up and report to the kingdom. Cale Henituse, the crown prince, and others seem to be in critical condition. It’s so bad that even the Saint is worried.”
People started reporting to their respective kingdoms.
This was not an issue only for the foreign nations. The messengers of the different territories of the Roan Kingdom quickly started reporting to their territories as well.
However, all of this was done stealthily while most of the people at the center of the plaza were sharing words of concern or uneasiness while looking at Deruth who was hugging Cale without moving.
Choi Han was basically frozen there with Cale on his back.
Choi Han was close enough that he could hear what Duke Deruth was whispering to Cale.
Deruth spoke in a low voice. Choi Han could feel Cale twitching on his back. After having known Cale for a long time… Choi Han believed Cale was scared right now.
Deruth stopped Cale from talking and spoke in a vicious tone that Cale had never heard from him before.
“Yes. Let’s keep being hurt like this.”
Cale wanted to ask back, but he listened to his father’s order not to say anything.
He felt as if that was what he should do right now.
“Whether it is the Roan Kingdom or the temple or whatever… You just leave everything to your father and mother. Don’t do anything.”
Cale wanted to respond.
‘I was planning on resting now anyway?’
Cale had nothing to do immediately. Of course, he was still uneasy about the Hunters and their organization, but-
‘It’s not like I will have to do anything about it.’
He was a bit concerned about the disappearance of the Flynn Merchant Guild’s Billos, but-
‘…I’m sure nothing will happen right away.’
He could rest for now as he had no thoughts about doing anything.
Duke Deruth stopped hugging him after making one more comment.
“Don’t do anything no matter what, and sit tight.”
‘Something is weird.’
Cale felt viciousness and coldness in Deruth’s voice for the first time.
He seemed to have realized that Cale was fine after seeing him up close, but…
“If you don’t sit tight and end up doing something…”
Deruth continued speaking.
“I will sit you down in the territory Lord’s position.”
Cale felt his heart sink.
He wanted to immediately open his eyes and ask what Deruth meant by that. But he could not do that. He was told to sit tight.
Deruth looked at Cale’s eyelashes shaking through his messy hair and held back a smile.
‘This works as I expected.’
Deruth was much sharper than Cale realized.
“Sir Choi Han!”
Duke Deruth stepped away from Cale and raised his voice.
“Hurry, please hurry! I’m sorry for stopping you!”
He covered his face with both hands.
Cage quickly came over and supported Duke Deruth.
“The young master-nim, we will definitely save young master Cale-nim! Sir Choi Han, please hurry! Toonka-nim!”
“Fuck! Move the fuck away!”
Toonka shouted in sorrow and anger and ran forward while looking at the Duke leaning weakly against the priestess with his face covered.
They quickly started moving toward City Hall again.
“…M, miss Cage?”
Saint Jack tried to approach Cage with a bewildered look on his face, but Hannah stopped him, making him have to follow behind Clopeh who had Alberu on his back.
“…Did you see the look on the Saint-nim’s face?”
“He seemed out of it.”
“I can’t believe the esteemed Saint with his amazing healing power would have such a look on his face. Isn’t this a really big deal?”
“A really big deal?”
“Yeah, it might be really bad. It makes no sense that anybody would be fine after stabbing themselves in the heart. Even if he lasted throughout the battle through superhuman will or endurance, in the end-”
A soldier covered his mouth after being shocked at what he was saying while watching Cale’s group running forward.
‘A really big deal.’
The thoughts behind those words were things he did not dare to say out loud.
“Hey… D, don’t have such thoughts. No. Something like that, we absolutely can’t.”
His fellow soldier looked around before speaking sternly as if to scold the soldier who spoke. However, his hand that was holding a spear was unable to hide his uneasiness as he clenched and released his spear over and over.
This was the same for the others who heard their conversation as well.
It was especially true for the citizens of the Roan Kingdom, whose expressions were slowly getting worse and worse.
They could not stop looking at Cale’s group until they moved past the main entrance of City Hall and entered the Annex.
They could not see anything after that.
Puzzle City’s City Hall Annex was guarded heavily and did not allow any outsiders to enter immediately after Cale’s group went in.
Even Commander Toonka and Queen Litana had to leave because they were outsiders. Thankfully, Saint Jack was able to stay there with his sister Hannah to heal the injured.
* * *
The look on Cale’s face was getting worse as soon as they entered this extremely secretive Annex.
“…Do you really need to-”
There was a pair of pajamas in his hand.
Choi Han finished checking the temperature of the water in the bathtub and got up before heading outside the bathroom door.
“I will be standing guard, Cale-nim.”
Cale’s voice trailed off as he looked elsewhere and not at Choi Han who was heading out.
His attendant, Ron Molan. Ron had a benign smile on his face while looking at Cale.
Ron’s gaze was extremely vicious.
Cale had never seen such a gaze in Ron’s eyes before. It felt as if he had become Ron’s prey.
‘This vicious old man……’
Cale felt as if he might be squeezed like a lemon if he said the wrong thing.
Cale had seen quite a lot of his friends once the temple walls broke after the illusion tests, but he had not seen Ron, Beacrox, nor Lock.
However, Ron had greeted them as soon as they entered City Hall.
Everything had proceeded quickly after that. Ron had guided them to place Cale in one of the rooms on the top floor of the Annex, and that room must have either been used as a bedroom or was modified, as it looked like a decent bedroom.
Cale avoided Ron’s benign gaze.
“First of all, you are looking shabby and dirty. Please clean up and make sure to wash off the blood as well.”
Cale spoke to Ron who was smiling benignly.
“I should probably go see Raon.”
The Black Castle. He needed to go there to check on the Dragons and Rosalyn.
“Since we are in here, it shouldn’t be difficult to trick people about my condition. Nobody will know if I called Raon over, became invisible, and went to the Black Castle for a moment.”
Cale could now tell what the crown prince was trying to do.
‘This is probably to see and prepare for what happens while the main characters of this battle are out of commission.’
Either that or he was aiming to sweep away people aiming to grab power.
‘It might also be because of King Zed.’
Cale had heard that King Zed had come here.
‘That’s why it should be fine as long as people think that I am in critical condition.’
It was a good thing.
Cale could use this ‘critical condition’ excuse to quietly take care of the things that were left to do. In some ways, this was great. His face lit up.
Cale flinched and turned his head.
Ron was laughing. He was laughing quite viciously.
Cale did not know that Ron’s eyes were focused on the grotesque scar visible through Cale’s ripped shirt. The tattoo of the shield and heart could not be seen properly now because of the grotesque scar.
Cale realized what Ron was looking at after hearing Ron’s laughter.
Cale looked down at the grotesque scar before nonchalantly patting it.
“It’s a medal of honor.”
Ron was silent.
Cale subconsciously moved toward the tub after looking at Ron’s cold and stiff face.
Ron let out a short laugh before moving to the bathroom door, stepping out, and speaking in a low voice as he slowly closed the door.
“May it be a time to release your fatigue, young master-nim.”
Cale looked at the closed bathroom door for a moment before washing himself.
The Super Rock talked to him.
– By the way, your body seems to have gotten a bit better?
Cale finished washing and turned his head to look at a full-body mirror.
Ron seemed to have quickly prepared it. He probably did it to make this place seem similar to Cale’s bedroom in the Henituse Duchy.
Ron was a vicious old man, but he was an attentive attendant.
The scar on his chest was grotesque, but…
Cale’s body was much better than before.
To put it in words… His posture was straighter and his complexion was rosy.
“I guess the World Tree really did give me a good medicine.”
Vitality was still overflowing in his body.
He would probably receive great results if he worked out in his current state. Of course, Cale had no thoughts at all about doing any strength training, sword arts, nor martial arts.
Cale was nice and clean after taking the bath and walked out feeling good.
But he immediately ran into Ron.
“Please lay down.”
Cale had no choice but to lay down on the bed with the blanket up to his neck and had to stay there. Ron was pouring some honey lemon tea into a cup.
Cale looked around.
Choi Han was outside the door while Alberu and Mary were in the rooms on either side of Cale’s bedroom. Clopeh, Cage, and the others were there with them.
In this cozy bedroom…
He was alone in here with Ron.
‘…This isn’t right.’
He felt as if he would suffocate.
Ron placed the warm cup of honey lemon tea on the side table as he spoke.
“Duchess Violan and young master Basen will be here soon.”
Cale subconsciously let out a sigh.
“Ron, his highness and Mary-”
“Miss Tasha is currently looking after both of them and said that neither have any major issues. She said they were close to mana depletion.”
Ron stopped talking for a moment before nonchalantly adding on as if this part didn’t matter.
“His Majesty wishes to speak with you as well.”
“Yes, young master-nim. He wishes to see you.”
Cale had no idea why the King would want to see him. However, he had learned that King Zed had some connection to the Hunters through the sealed god’s illusion tests.
‘Is it because of that?’
Cale started to frown.
Thinking about the Hunters made him think about his maternal family, the Thames, and that red-haired man. That man had said that he would speak to Duke Deruth.
‘…I have a lot of people to meet.’
He needed to find Billos and chat as well.
Cale stood up.
“I need to go if his Majesty is calling for me.”
He heard a low laugh. He turned his head to see Ron with a dagger in his hand, cutting a cookie in half while quietly mumbling to himself.
“He’s just a king. He is not more important than your life.”
‘…This scary old man.’
Cale turned his head to look away from Ron’s dagger.
It was at that moment.
The door opened with a loud noise.
Choi Han was walking in while looking shocked. Rosalyn was with him. Cale wanted to ask if Rosalyn was okay and how she regained consciousness so quickly, but he had no time to do that.
“Young master Cale.”
A pale Rosalyn spoke with a stiff look on her face.
“Mila-nim is looking for you.”
The beige-colored Dragon Mila. She was looking for Cale.
And a pale Rosalyn had personally come here.
“Ron. Get me a robe.”
Cale immediately stood up from the bed.
Rosalyn continued speaking to him.
“Eruhaben-nim is in danger.”
Cale recalled the image of Eruhaben falling to the ground.
NOOOOO, Not GOLDIE GRAMMMMMMPS!
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