Silence filled the cave once again. Litana turned away from Cale in order to look toward her subordinates.
She was trying to see if she had heard correctly.
Her subordinates had the same expression that she had.
“Mr. Cale, may I ask you to explain?”
Litana, who had been leaning on the cave wall, sat up straight. The leather armor had dried with the fire, showing off her toned warrior body.
“I am a citizen of the Roan Kingdom.”
“You are from the Northeast. We are people who work in the jungle as warriors.”
“I see. I am from a small territory in the corner of the Roan Kingdom. Mm.”
Cale scratched his cheek as if he felt awkward listening to Litana call herself just a, ‘warrior,’ and cautiously continued.
“I am from a small noble family. Thanks to that, I do not lack the funds to travel. I also have a crew that travels with me.”
“Yes. I came into the forest alone with On, but there are people who trust and follow me.”
Litana and her subordinates who valued the, ‘leader and followers,’ philosophy looked toward Cale a bit more gentler now.
“Anyways, as I traveled around, I was able to come across a fateful encounter.”
“A fateful encounter?”
Cale had a bitter smile on his face and started to scrunch his eyes like he was recalling a difficult memory.
“Yes. I was caught up in an ocean whirlpool and barely managed to get out. Once I got out, I found this fateful encounter inside a cave. At that moment, I was able to find an injured person and have them. I was relieved to know maybe that was the reason I ended up getting caught up in the whirlpool, ah.”
He suddenly put on an embarrassed smile.
“I’m sorry. That wasn’t the story I was trying to say.”
“It looks like Mr. Cale has saved a lot of people.”
Litana looked toward the calm Cat tribe child On before looking back at Cale. This respectful and courteous noble did not even act arrogant because he was a noble.
“No, I just couldn’t walk by without doing anything.”
He seemed very modest and good.
“Anyways, there was a power I managed to gain at that time.”
Litana realized Cale had gotten to the point and asked.
“Fire Suppressing Water. It is able to suppress any and all fires.”
Litana and her subordinates’ eyes all became cloudy. It definitely sounded different than your average water.
And that would be accurate. This water was different than your regular water.
No matter what kind of fire it was, if it had the word, ‘fire,’ in it, it could suppress it.
Originally, Toonka would have found this fateful encounter and used it as a base to develop a body that cannot be burnt. However, Cale was not afraid of getting burnt because of his, ‘Vitality of the Heart.’ It would hurt a bit, but the Vitality of the Heart would let him recover right away. Why would he use something like this in addition to that?
Instead, Cale had put that water into the, ‘Absorbing Necklace,’ that Lock had brought back.
Cale cautiously added on.
“However, there is a limit to how much I can use, so I am not sure if it will be enough.”
Litana let out a gasp. She opened and closed her mouth a couple times before finally asking.
“It sounds like a precious power. Is it okay to use it for us?”
Cale worked hard to prevent the corners of his lips from moving upward.
There definitely was a limit to how much he could use.
‘It is limited to putting out a fire about the size of the entire Western continent?’
As long as Cale was not putting out a fire that burned across the entire Western Continent, he had enough to last him a lifetime. However, it wasn’t like he had lied to her.
“That, how should I address you?”
“…You can call me Lina.”
One of her subordinates flinched. Cale pretended not to see and called out Litana’s fake name.
“There is no precious or not precious when it comes to powers. I believe the important thing is how you use that power.”
Litana and her subordinates could see that Cale’s eyes were clearer than ever.
“If I can use this power of mine to save the nature, the animals, the plants, as well as people and their livelihood, I believe I definitely need to use it.”
Litana subconsciously started to clench her fists. Her heart was also beating quickly.
“Of course, now that it has recognized me as its master, I need to personally go there to use it. It might take some time and be burdensome.”
“…Do you need to go into the fire to use it?”
“I think inside the fire might be difficult, but I probably have to at least get near it.”
Cale could see Litana starting to frown. Both gratitude and sorriness filled her heart. It was the same for her subordinates as well. Of course, two of them were still wary of Cale, but even they were grateful to Cale.
Cale then launched the final blow.
“I will be very happy if my power can be of assistance. I want to save and help everyone.”
– This isn’t the weak human I know. No, you are a good person, but still, this isn’t like you. Anyways, saving someone is a great deed!
The four year old became chaotic before coming to a conclusion. On the other hand, On just yawned and looked away from Cale.
“Thank you very very much.”
Cale put a gentle smile on his face in response. However, his eyes were coldly observing Litana and her subordinates.
Litana had come to the forest, leaving behind the jungle and people she needed to protect, with a single ray of hope. They had been here for two weeks with no results.
To them, Cale was no different than the dragon of legend.
“How could we repay you for your gratitude?”
“Gratitude? No. I have not done anything yet. I just have a feeling that I was drawn into the forest for this exact reason.”
Litana admired Cale, who did not show even an ounce of greed. He really seemed to be a good-natured person.
Pay back revenge at ten fold, while paying back gratitude to the best of her abilities.
“Mr. Cale, I still want to repay you for your gratitude somehow. You are going to guide us and go to the fire to use a limited power. We cannot accept it all without giving anything back.”
“No, I’m really okay.”
Cale put on an awkward expression. He then seemed to contemplate something for a bit before clapping his hand like he had thought of something.
He looked embarrassed as he started to speak to Litana and her subordinates.
“I read about Section 1 in a book about the Jungle. I read that the combination of the vibrant jungle and clear coastline makes it very beautiful. It said that the sunset there was amazing. I remember thinking that it would be great if I could have a villa in Section 1 as I read that.”
Section 1 was the section that was currently on fire.
The eastern shores of Section 1 were filled with rare materials like gold.
In the novel, a shaman from the Eastern continent will end up putting out the fire in about a month. The shaman goes over to the shore to gather some sea water when he happens to find a gold ore.
That gold ore was just the tip of this, ‘Magic Stone,’ mound.
It wasn’t a full mine, but just a pile of buried Magic Stones of the highest quality. The shaman keeps it a secret before gathering it all and running away.
“May I go over to Section 1 to look at the sunset once the fire is out?”
Litana was suddenly at a loss of words. The beautiful Section 1 shoreline. However, that place was on fire as well. The man in front of her should know that, even after the fire is put out, the sights there would be terrible. However, the fact that he didn’t ask for land or money and just to go visit there was surprising to her.
That was why she was the first to bring it up.
“I don’t think seeing it is enough.”
“I will build a villa there for you. If you are not satisfied with Section 1, I will build it anywhere in the Jungle for you.”
“N, no, there is no need for that. That’s too much! I really am okay.”
Cale had to work really hard to keep his lips from forming a smile.
“No, I will build a villa for you.”
“Ah, well, if you insist.”
Cale put on an expression of, ‘there’s nothing I can do,’ as he answered.
“If I am able to help you put out the fire, the villa is too much. May I just ask for a small plot of land where I can build a villa?”
Litana could tell that, although Cale said he was from a small noble family, that really may not be the case. Based on the material of his clothes, the size of his magic bag, as well as his elegance, he definitely was someone who could easily buy things like villas or land.
“Yes, of course. I will give you as much land as you want. In fact, I insist. I will only be satisfied if you do so.”
Cale held back his cheer and let out a sigh as he nodded.
“Yes, I will make sure to do so.”
He made it look like he had no interest in the land of the Jungle, but had agreed since Litana insisted. That made Litana decide that, if everything goes well, she would give more than what Cale wants to accept in order to repay this debt of gratitude.
Cale knew very well about Litana’s nature. Cale made eye contact with On as he continued to pet her.
‘Your goal is the land, right?’
On’s gaze seemed to be asking that question, but Cale pretended not to notice as he opened his magic bag.
“Would you like something to eat? All of you look a bit famished.”
Cale took out the food he had Beacrox make for him from the bag. He knew the most basic way of turning someone to your side.
‘Someone who feeds you is a good person.’
That was how he had earned Choi Han’s trust as well. Cale touched the blanket that Litana’s subordinate had handed him as he continued to speak.
“You can treat it as the cost of this blanket. Let’s share a meal together and move tomorrow.”
The atmosphere went from casual to very friendly.
“First, we will return to the village where my crew is at and then cut through the forest to the Jungle. Please go on and eat.”
Cale continued to lay it on thick for Litana and her subordiantes.
“You can’t use any strength to save the jungle if you don’t eat.”
Cale’s words made Litana and her subordinates think about the people waiting for them. As for Cale, the Magic Stones were waiting for him.
Litana looked toward the food that was still fresh and warm because it had been in the magic bag and grabbed the fork that Cale handed her. She then started to mumble.
“The legend was not very far away.”
Cale had heard the whole thing, but pretended like he did not hear a word.
“No, nothing. This is delicious, Mr. Cale.”
Litana and her subordinates were able to have a relaxing and full night for the first time in two weeks. On peeked at Cale, who watched them with satisfaction before letting out a sigh.
“Mr. Cale, this is amazing.”
“Right? On is amazing.”
Cale peeked at Litana and her subordinates, who were following behind him. Looking at the six of them under the sun made it very easy to see that they were strong warriors.
There were two different types of warriors in the Southern continent. ( In Korean, there are two different words that are used for warrior, Moosa and Junsa, but they both translate to warrior, making me use two different types of warriors instead. )
Someone like Toonka was the, ‘fighter,’ type while the Northern Knights were more the, ‘warriors.’ The people of the Jungle were a mix of the two. They were both good at fighting and at training their martial arts or weapon arts.
“Miss Lina, we are almost at Hoik Village.”
Cale could see Litana and her subordinates tighten the raincoats around them after hearing his words. They had suddenly ended up crossing the border, so they were covering themselves up as much as possible with their dark blue raincoats.
Litana was especially making sure to cover her black hair. The royal family had pitch black hair. Since she was on a smaller side for a Southerner and was working hard in order to hide her identity, it was difficult for anyone to tell that Litana was a strong warrior.
However, Cale knew the truth.
‘One level under Choi Han.’
She was much stronger than Toonka. One level under Choi Han meant that she was very strong. Once she got on her Black Panther and used her spears, nobody was able to catch her. She was like the reaper of death to her enemies, even in broad daylight, as she moved around in the jungle that was dark from the shadows of the forest. That was how she had become the Queen who unified the Jungle.
The head of the Jungle needed to both be empathetic and strong. They needed to protect their tribe.
“We are almost there.”
Cale could feel Litana’s group behind him as he started to walk forward once again. On was controlling the fog to open up a path for them.
The fog started to move away.
Litana’s subordinates let out a gasp. They could feel that they were finally getting out of this, ‘Path of No Return.’ Cale just continued to walk in silence.
Litana and her subordinates trusted Cale even more as they watched him leisurely walk down the path.
The rain fell on the new raincoat that Cale had received from Litana.
– We are here.
Finally, the fog lifted and they could see the entrance of Hoik Village. He had returned.
A gasp-like laughter escaped from Cale’s mouth.
On jumped out of Cale’s arms and started to run.
Hong ran toward her as well. The siblings ran into each other and started to rub their cheeks against each other. Cale had his arms crossed as he watched the two kittens before starting to frown after seeing the people standing next to the slab.
“Why are you all out here in the rain?”
Hans, Choi Han and Rosalyn were all waiting for him. None of them responded, instead, they all just pretended as if they didn’t hear him.
“Young master-nim, as the deputy butler, I could not go to sleep.”
“Cale-nim, it is cold. Who are the people behind you?”
“Young master Cale, did you have a good trip?”
Cale uncrossed his arms and headed to them. He stood in front of them and started to speak.
Cale didn’t want to see the smiles on their faces, so he turned around. His gaze then fell on the people who were staring at him. It was the families of the people who had gone in and never came back.
Cale headed toward the old man who was sitting next to the slab. It was the same one who had warned him about going into the forest. He then crouched down next to the old man. The old man’s eyes were shaking in disbelief.
Cale confidently spoke to the old man.
Cale, no, Kim Rok Soo, knew what it was like to wait for something that was never going to come back. He knew that his parents were dead, but, at one point, he had hoped that they would come back if he waited long enough. Cale looked directly into the old man’s eyes.
“There is no dragon.”
The legend was no more.
The old man’s eyes slowly started to tear up. The old man quietly looked down at the ground before nodding his head over and over. Cale walked past the old man and the others before casually adding on.
“I saw some clothes and skeletons in the forest. I can bring them for you if you’d like.”
That was the only thing Cale could do for them.
He returned to his crew and started to speak to Choi Han and the rest, who were looking back and forth between him and Litana’s group, who were wearing a different style of clothing.
“Pack our stuff.”
He pointed to the forest.
“We are heading to the Jungle.”
The fire that enveloped the entire Section 1 of the Jungle. It was time for Cale to suppress that fire on his own.