Cale’s eyes observed the smiling Zed Crossman’s face.
The Duke’s House of Orsena.
They were one of the chiefs of the Roan Kingdom’s noble factions located at the center of the Roan Kingdom.
Cale had been surprised at the fact that such a household would be sponsoring Hunters, but what Zed just said was even more shocking.
Zed Crossman had led the kingdom forward without doing anything special.
‘Such a person is treating a Duke’s House as a hunting dog? He raised them as hunting dogs?’
Cale had known that Zed Crossman was not an average king based on what he saw in the sealed god’s illusion test but his mind was even more mysterious than Cale had expected.
However, Cale’s expression was calm unlike his shocked state and Zed continued as if he expected it.
“Duke Deruth told me that you have heard some things about the Duke’s House of Orsena and the Hunters.”
Zed stopped talking for a moment before he resumed speaking.
“I also heard your interest in your maternal family has increased?”
The House of Thames. The family had suddenly disappeared as if the whole family had collapsed.
“Commander Cale. I understand why you would be curious about that. It is normal to have a longing and curiosity about your own bloodline.”
Cale slightly flinched.
‘I… don’t really want to know though.’
Cale had already learned too many things because of the Hunters and did not want to learn anymore.
‘If I learned any more-’
He had this ominous feeling that he would be swept up in something big and incomparable to the White Star.
But it wasn’t as if he could pretend not to know about Drew Thames and the events of the past. He needed to be wary of them at least to a degree especially because the Hunters might aim for Choi Han since he was a single-lifer.
However, slowly finding things out and being wary of them and running into it head first were completely different things. Cale had no intentions of doing the latter.
King Zed called out to Cale in a low voice. Zed was no longer smiling or frowning. He simply observed Cale without any emotions visible on his face.
“But that is where it stops.”
The King warned Cale in a stoic voice.
“The level in which you are allowed to be curious about is at the appropriate level right now. You cannot become anymore curious or take a step forward.”
Cale thought about it for a moment.
‘…He’s telling me to not think about the Hunters?
Cale’s eyes slowly filled with energy. It was vitality.
Zed attentively observed it before nonchalantly commenting.
“…You also need to know how to suppress your passion. Commander Cale, there are many times when it is not good to step forward.”
‘Excuse me? What are you saying all of a sudden?’
Cale, who had neither desire to step forward nor any passion to suppress, looked at the king with confusion.
King Zed lightly sighed at the gaze that seemed to question what he just said and not agree.
“…You are like Drew.”
Cale ended up hearing the words he had mumbled very quietly.
‘What the hell? Why is the King calling Drew Thames’ name so gently as if they were friends or something?’
Cale thoroughly ignored Zed’s mumblings. A mysterious chill roamed around the back of his neck.
Zed contemplated something after seeing Cale calmly observing him before starting to speak again.
“I guess I need to resolve some of your questions. You are connected to a degree after all.”
‘…You don’t really need to do that?
I’m sure I can just ask my father about the things I am curious about?’
Cale could tell that Duke Deruth had already gone a round with the king based on the current situation.
The King didn’t know what Cale was thinking and continued to speak.
“I am personally chasing after Hunters.”
There were no emotions visible on his face as he said that.
“The Duke’s House of Orsena is helping me with my work. Young lady Karin Orsena was looking for a way to get connected with the Hunters under my order. That is about all I can tell you.”
Cale closed his eyes for a moment.
This was not something he should do with the king in front of him, but he couldn’t help but do so as a memory naturally popped up in his mind.
The fifteen years old Alberu Crossman he met in the sealed god’s test…
King Zed was much younger than right now when the crown prince was that age.
He had had anger and fear against the Hunters.
The ancient White Star.
He had created some sort of relationship with the Hunters to gain immense power and tried to become a god.
However, he had failed and the traces of the Hunters did not remain in history.
The House of Crossman carried down that bloodline.
Zed Crossman did not loathe the Hunters who used the ancient White Star and then threw him away. He said that they were both bad.
That was why Cale had asked the illusion Zed why he loathed the Hunters.
Did the Hunters…
‘Did they threaten your life?’
‘Was someone close to you killed by the Hunters?’
King Zed had simply peeked toward the unconscious Alberu Crossman. He did not respond in any way.
Alberu’s mother had died a suspicious death.
It was weird thinking about it now.
She was not a regular person. She was a half-blood Dark Elf, which meant that she had above average physical abilities and was quite skilled in magic as well.
‘Now that I think about it, I have a lot of things to ask him.’
Illusion King Zed had known about the Red Bloods.
The Hunters were currently active through five households.
However, they had been seven in the past and the Red Bloods and White Bloods were the two households that had disappeared.
Cale opened his eyes and snapped out of his thoughts.
He then groaned for a different reason.
“I have no plans on sharing my prey with someone else.”
Zed’s gaze was full of firmness and obsession. It seemed almost to the level of lunacy.
Zed was old enough to be able to hide his emotions under a stoic expression, but his goal seemed as certain as his years of experience.
“I’ll let you know once everything is over.”
‘I guess I shouldn’t ask right now.’
Cale thought that there would be no benefits to poking Zed right now.
Then he had to ask at least one question.
“May I ask about the reason you came here?”
‘Weren’t you acting like a lame duck king and chasing the Hunters in the background?
Such a person came to Puzzle City?
There had to be a reason.’
A smile appeared on Zed’s face.
This was the first time Cale felt that Zed looked humane.
“…Who knows? I guess the palace felt stuffy.”
Whether he was tired or relieved…
This smile was hard to decipher.
“At least I was able to quickly chat with Duke Deruth thanks to coming here. I was able to chat with you as well.”
Zed’s face had already returned to normal.
“Summer. Everything will be over before next summer so I will tell you about it at that point.”
Cale’s expression instantly turned stoic.
“…Your Majesty will personally do it?”
“Yes. I probably won’t be the Majesty at that point anyway.”
Cale realized that Alberu would officially become king before the summer.
“You’ll have to chat with me even if you don’t want to do so.”
Zed had a slightly relaxed smile on his face.
“I don’t have many people to tell my story to. Everybody my age hates me.”
Zed’s face looked quite bright as he said that.
“…As you wish, your Majesty.”
Cale contemplated it for a moment before nodding his head.
‘Whatever, he says that he will take care of everything. Let’s just sit back and watch since he is acting like he has prepared a lot of things for it.’
“However, if something happens that may cause an issue to those around me, I will step in.”
If the Hunters threatened Choi Han because he was a single-lifer…
If something happened to the Duke’s House of Henituse because they were connected to the House of Thames…
Or if something happened to the Roan Kingdom’s royal family or Alberu because of King Zed…
Cale was planning on stepping in.
The Dominating Aura inside his body burst out on its own, potentially because it was reacting to his resolve. This aura was heavier and stronger now after he stabbed the foundation of the World Tree in his heart.
Cale did not withdraw his aura as he spoke to the king.
‘If I end up stepping in…’
“Nobody will be able to stop that.”
‘So please take care of it properly.’
It was a Cale’s way of giving the king a warning.
Whether this could seem disrespectful or rude toward the king… Cale did not care as it meant nothing compared to the safety of the people around him.
Zed stared at Cale for a moment before laughing.
He laughed for a while before standing up and making a comment.
Cale tried to get up but Zed raised his hand to stop him and headed toward the door without saying any sort of goodbye.
The door opened.
“Deruth said the same thing.”
He walked out of Cale’s bedroom after that last comment.
Cale watched him leave for a moment before brushing his face with both hands.
‘…Did he just say Deruth?’
The king had not called him Duke Deruth but simply Deruth.
‘Is my father and the king in some kind of close hyung-dongsaeng relationship?
There’s no way…, right?’
Cale decided to just ignore this part.
Click. The bedroom door closed and Ron approached him.
“Are you okay, young master-nim?”
“Huh? Ah. Yeah.”
King Zed Crossman was going to take care of things.
‘I can just ask my father or his highness if I have any questions.’
If it really got annoying and distracting, he could barge into wherever King Zed was and ask.
Cale decided to slowly think about it. He slightly smiled and nodded his head.
Choi Han clenched his fists while looking at Cale and lowered his head.
‘However, if something happens that may cause an issue to those around me, I will step in.’
Cale’s words echoed in his mind.
Choi Han firmed his resolve.
‘…I need to become stronger.’
‘…I need to be able to protect him.’
Choi Han was ready to do whatever it took to make it happen. The world might have become more peaceful but he needed to live an even fiercer life now.
Ron frowned while looking at Choi Han’s condition. However, Cale was more important to him.
“Young master-nim. Is there anything you wish to eat?”
Cale suddenly thought about apple pies.
‘It’s a delicacy alright.’
The sweetness of an apple pie being shoved in his mouth when he had no strength had a way of making him think about it over and over.
However, he could not say that he wanted an apple pie.
Knock knock knock.
There were some knocks on the door before he heard a familiar voice outside.
It was his brother, Basen.
There was a bit of urgency in Basen’s voice. Cale motioned with his eyes and Choi Han immediately opened the door.
“Hyung-nim. Are you okay?”
Basen observed Cale with a concerned gaze before slightly smiling as Cale smiled cynically with a rosy complexion.
“Yes, I’m fine.”
His smile became thicker at Cale’s response.
– T, that-”
However, Basen, who looked as if he wanted say something, turned pale while approaching Cale.
“What? What is it?”
Cale had never seen Basen like this before.
Awkwardness, anxiousness, and even a feeling of betrayal were on his face.
“Umm-, something happened at home.”
Cale’s gaze turned sharp.
Their younger sister Lily was still back at the Duke’s Estate. There were many loyal vassals with her at the Henituse territory, but there was no way that he wouldn’t be worried about Lily.
“Father said that we should tell you about this.”
“Yes, hyung-nim. Father has urgently rushed back home.”
His father, who had threatened Cale to rest, had told Basen to deliver this message.
This meant that something urgent, something big had happened.
Cale’s body tensed as soon as he realized this.
“Okay, tell me.”
Basen peeked warily at Cale as he spoke.
“The man pretending to be Hilsman was moved to the Duke’s Estate.”
The fake Hilsman.
The man who was suspected of being related to Cale’s biological mother, Drew Thames. He seemed to have been moved to the Duke’s Estate after his chat with Duke Deruth.
‘That’s why I haven’t seen him.”
Nothing much should have happened since the man was moved after chatting with Cale’s father.
“That man suddenly attacked Deputy Butler Hans who was at the Estate.”
Deputy Butler Hans? Why attack him?’
He was a decent guy who took care of all sorts of things very well.
‘Why is he suddenly being mentioned?’
“…Did Hans get hurt?”
Basen urgently shook his head after suddenly feeling a heavy pressure around Cale.
“No! Hans is fine! It seemed as if he was simply suppressing him.”
This incident was flowing differently from what Cale was imagining. The moment he had that thought…
“Umm… The fake Hilsman disappeared. But then…”
“Yes, hyung-nim. But……”
He had somewhat expected the fake Hilsman to escape.
“That man looted your room which Deputy Butler Hans was cleaning at the time……”
Basen clenched his eyes shut and responded as Cale asked with a confused look on his face.
“The fake Hilsman looted everything in your room at the Duke’s Estate and disappeared! Apparently he took all of the expensive things! He supposedly left you a note!”
Cale’s eyes slowly blinked a few times.
But after that short moment…
Cale jumped up from the bed.
All of the expensive items were in Cale’s spatial pocket bag.
“…My retirement fund……!”
Cale was always the looter. This was his first time being looted.
I need to immediately head to the Henituse territory. I need to immediately head back home.’ Cale was adamant about what he needed to do.
Basen cautiously started speaking again.
“By the way, hyung-nim, the Western continent alliance wants to give you a hero’s medal for your involvement-”
“I don’t need it.”
It was just a damn medal and not even money.
Cale pulled out his spatial pocket bag from his shirt he had taken off. He then put his hand into the bag to look for a red diary.
Drew Thames. He might be able to get something if he asked her about the fake Hilsman. He seemed to be at least an extremely close relative. He could also use the golden top’s whip to have the Wind Elementals look for him.
However, Cale’s hand touched a different item first.
It was a black book.
It was the God of Death’s divine item.
Cale had lightly touched that item.
‘I’ll deal with this later-’
Cale decided to ignore the item that was extremely sus now that the sealed god was Embraced in it.
– My voice can finally reach you.
However, Cale heard the God of Death’s voice in his mind the moment his hand touched the black book.
He grabbed his head with his other hand.
He clenched his eyes shut.
The God of Death spoke carefully, almost as if he was embarrassed. His voice sounded a bit full of anticipation.
– The cintamani. It broke. I want to give you something to replace it. Do you want it? Don’t you want to chat with the other side? Don’t you?
The God of Death offered in a friendlier voice.
– You might as well be the God of Death’s Saint as well. What do you think?
Cale pulled the divine item out of the spatial pocket bag and gently chucked it to a corner of the room.
God of Death: Be the Saint.
Cale: Chucks book.
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