The beginning of the conversation naturally started with the most curious person. Odeus was the first to start the conversation.
“I never knew that the two of you knew each other.”
“Are you curious about that?”
Odeus answered as if it was obvious.
“Not at all.”
Cale also accepted it, as if that answer was the obvious answer. Someone like Odeus would personally investigate something like this. What kind of merchant earns information from his client?
“Odeus, when does Venion visit this place?”
While Odeus had been working in the underworld for the past five years, he had figured out that there was someone who was an obstacle for his taking control of the entire underworld. However, he was never able to figure out who it was.
The information that he had only recently learned was coming out of Cale’s mouth.
“You mean the back alley.”
The young master in front of him knew that Venion would come to the back alley.
Of course, Cale was just reiterating the information about Odeus that he had read in the novel.
They called the dark side of the Stan territory the ‘Back Alley.’ Gambling, alcohol, prostitution, the black market with illegal items, slavery, and violence. All of those dirty things happen on a daily basis in the Back Alley.
Only Odeus did not use slaves or violence. He always put conditions so that both the client and he could be protected by each other for any deal. That was why Cale had come to find him.
Furthermore, Taylor Stan, the eldest son of Marquis Stan’s family, probably had the same train of thought.
Well, it may be slightly different.
Taylor knew that Venion was responsible for paralyzing his legs, however, he didn’t know the source of Venion’s resources. That was how stealthy Venion was with things. That was one of his strengths.
However, Taylor was able to figure everything out thanks to Cale’s communication to him.
And he found that information to be very important.
Taylor’s desire was delivered through the excommunicated priestess, Cage.
“Young master Taylor-nim wishes to know all sides of the Stan territory and the Northwest.”
Cage and Odeus made eye contact. Taylor and Cage had asked Cale to connect them with Odeus as soon as they heard the information from Cale.
“As a noble and a member of the family that rules over the region, Young master Taylor Stan-nim hates the underworld.”
“I agree. I hate it as well.”
Cale was saying that he hated it out loud, but Odeus nodded his head.
“Yes, a noble who values the citizens should feel that way. Doesn’t the Henituse territory not have an underworld?”
He was right. Although the Henituse territory had some rebels and gangsters, there was no underworld or a black market. Although Count Deruth seemed very average, he was devoted to the noble way of life. He had a sense of responsibility and had enough money that he would never allow something like that to happen.
Furthermore, their location made it so that there wasn’t much desire to develop such a market in the Henituse territory.
“Then young master Taylor-nim probably wants to get rid of the underworld?”
Odeus started to smile at Cage’s short response. He then turned to look toward Cale.
“Young master Taylor-nim seems to be a true noble.”
The next sentence was the most important one.
“He doesn’t want to lose his sense of justice.”
There were many reasons that the Stan family was destroyed in the novel. They bickered with Choi Han and ended up in a terrible situation. There was also the Black Dragon going berserk.
Furthermore, Odeus played a role in their downfall as well. He revealed Venion’s identity in the underworld in order to prevent him from taking control of the underworld, and that destroyed the reputation of Marquis Stan and their entire family.
The family that seemed to be the noblest had done something dishonorable and hurt the citizens.
Of course, Odeus had to reveal himself to bring this news to light. That put him in a lot of danger. Although Choi Han knew him because of the Blue Wolf Tribe situation, he could not do anything to help.
However, there would be no reason to do that this time.
Cale put a clear ending to their conversation.
“The two of you can fight later. We need to get rid of our common enemy first.”
Odeus and Cage both became confused at that.
What reason did Cale Henituse have to hate Venion? Both of them had the same question.
“Excuse me, but what do you plan to do to Venion-?”
Odeus stopped mid-question and looked toward Cale. Cale had a simple answer for Odeus.
The crazy priestess Cage cut Cale off with a shocked expression. However, Cale continued to speak.
“Isn’t possible, but something worse than death?”
Cage had a blank expression as she thought about what Cale had just said.
Something worse than killing him?
She got the chills and looked back toward Cale. He still seemed to be relaxed. However, she knew about Cale who had lent them money and stealthily got them into the capital while making them make a vow of death to protect the secret.
He was someone who kept his word.
Odeus started to laugh and nodded his head.
“Of course, there are many things that are worse than death.”
Cage made a noise and then started to speak.
“Then how do you plan to do that?”
She saw that Cale turned his head instead of responding. He was looking at Odeus. That gaze let Odeus know what he needed to do for Cale.
“I will be taking care of things for the young master-nim, so you do not need to worry.”
Odeus was happy and willing to serve Cale for this. He had no choice.
“Then I will take care of it with Odeus’s assistance.”
It was because Cale had said Odeus would not need to personally do anything to Venion.
‘Well, it isn’t me but the dragon.’
In Cale’s point of view, he would not be doing anything. All he had to do was set it up. It was Raon who was going to take care of everything.
“Aigoo, it looks like I’ll be busy for the first time in a while.”
The 60-year-old Odeus pretended to be weak. However, he had a bright expression on his face. He looked like he was ready for a celebration.
“Then move quickly. I will be staying in this inn.”
Odeus, who was between the middle age and senior age, easily got off the couch and headed for the door. He then heard Cale’s voice behind him.
“Odeus, find a house.”
Odeus turned around to look at Cale.
“Yes. And you’re going to have to do a good job serving me. I only like luxurious stuff.”
Odeus was fine accepting Cale’s attitude of actually asking him to serve him.
“I’ve never had a request like this in my 60 years of life, but I will consider it my honor.”
“You’re also getting paid enough for it. I am getting rid of your obstacle for you.”
“That is plenty.”
Odeus opened the door. Choi Han gently smiled at him. Odeus now understood why Choi Han had been guarding the door. A discussion like this needed someone on watch.
“See you next time, Choi Han.”
“Of course, merchant-nim.”
Choi Han closed the door again after Odeus left. Now it was just Cale and Cage in the room. Cale had a question for her as soon as it was just the two of them.
“Yes, young master-nim.”
“Why can’t I kill Venion?”
Cage quickly answered as if she had expected the question.
“Taylor will make a proclamation to his siblings in two days.”
Cale had a feeling like he already knew what it would be.
“That he won’t kill any of them?”
“…I knew you would know.”
She held back her admiration for Cale as she continued to speak.
“Although it seems to go against the Stan family’s way of life, it is not completely going against it, as the successor only needs to make the other siblings unable to try to take the position away.”
Other people may ask how you can make sure nobody else is tempted to take the successor down except by killing them. That was why she was planning on explaining it to Cale. However, Cale already knew the answer.
“You can use a vow of death.”
“…Correct. I guess I don’t need to explain anything to you, young master Cale.”
“I guess the God of Death really hasn’t pushed you aside, Miss Cage.”
Although the Temple of the God of Death had excommunicated her, the God of Death did not do so. Cage started to smile and responded to Cale.
“Well, I would be really happy if he would stop bothering me.”
The conversation became lighter once Odeus had left and Cage had no problem saying whatever she wanted. The other priestesses might faint in shock if they had heard her words.
“We can’t always get what we want, right?”
However, Cale had no reaction to it.
“Then let us chat again next time. I am tired today.”
Cale announced the end of the discussion. He verified that Cage had left the inn before speaking to Choi Han and the invisible Raon.
“Let’s sit back and wait.”
However, there was no need to wait for a long time.
Cale stood on top of the roof and looked around.
“The weather is perfect.”
It was a foggy and hot day, making it very humid.
“The time is perfect as well.”
It was early morning before the sun even came up. Hong was next to Cale nodding off as he was still half asleep. But he was trying his best to stay awake.
“There is also not many people around.”
Since it was foggy, humid, and early, it was the perfect conditions to hinder people from being out. Especially because this was the back alley where people stayed up all night with their vices and were only just getting to bed.
Cale looked down to the ground again.
‘I heard there were a lot of routes. The chance he uses this route today is over 70%.’
Cale recalled Odeus’s report and looked to the side. Raon was calmly sitting there looking down.
Cale petted Raon’s head.
“Human, do not do that!”
Contrary to his words, Raon sat there and allowed Cale to pet him. However, he was glaring at Cale.
“Weak human, you will not do anything today.”
“Fine, fine. I will just watch.”
“Be careful as you watch!”
Raon seemed to be satisfied with Cale’s answer as he opened up his arms. The black wings started to move as Raon floated up in the air. Raon’s movement made Choi Han, On, and Hong all start to move.
“On, I leave it to you.”
“This is the best environment for me!”
On wagged her tail as she disappeared into the fog. Hong looked toward Cale.
“Time for poison?”
Hong nodded his head at Cale’s response and approached Raon who floated downward. Hong patted Raon’s body before smiling and disappearing into the fog.
“I’ll be on my way as well.”
Choi Han quietly moved to the other roof as well.
Raon approached Cale and waited in the air.
“What is it?”
“Do whatever you want.”
Raon started to smile as he answered.
“Don’t say something so obvious.”
Raon disappeared into the fog. Cale leisurely crossed his arm as he looked down to the ground.
The 70% chance was correct.
Three people hiding themselves under their robes entered the alleyway. Venion should be one of those three people. Cale leaned on the railing and looked down at the trio.
Venion Stan did not know Cale was watching as he started to walk quickly.
Venion was swearing internally, which was not how a noble should act. Yesterday, his formerly paralyzed brother, said some crazy shit.
‘I will not kill my siblings. I only plan on ruling over them.’
Taylor’s words caused a huge reaction, making the family quite chaotic right now. Thanks to that, Venion was able to come to this place early in the morning.
Taylor was gaining too much power right now. There was a need to suppress him. Normally, he would not have made the trip himself, however, according to his lackey in the back alley, the most influencing black market merchant kept getting in their way lately, making it difficult for them to make any moves.
‘All these useless fools keep getting in my way.’
Venion clicked his tongue as he quickly walked through the fog. He was thankful that it was foggy as it would prevent many people from seeing him.
‘At least the weather is helping me.’
Venion was happy that the fog was getting thicker. His two lackies followed behind him. There was something they missed as they walked through the fog. It was because their hood was down very far to prevent people from recognizing them.
The fog above their heads was slowly becoming black.
Venion clicked his tongue at these cats that meowed even this early in the morning. There were a lot of useless people and stray animals in this back alley. They needed to either gather them up and teach them or kill them all.
Another chilling meow could be heard. That made Venion think of someone. That existence was responsible for all of his issues.
‘I should have killed it.’
Venion started to frown.
He should have killed that damn Black Dragon. None of this would have happened if he had done that. He had caused a scene about taming it and that led to his downfall.
He was extremely frustrated. At that moment, he heard a cat meow once again.
It was the moment Venion mumbled in frustration.
The sound of someone trying to breathe was heard behind Venion.
Plop. He then heard something fall to the ground.
“Y, young master-ni-”
He then heard his lackey’s voice. Venion quickly turned around.
One of his lackeys was on the ground holding his neck. The lackey that had called out to Venion was staggering as he slowly fell.
“C, can’t breathe, kek!”
The lackey’s face turned blue before he fell down. That lackey’s hood touched the tip of Venion’s boot. This sudden turn of events made Venion start to frown and become chaotic.
He had never expected something like this.
At that moment, he heard the cat meow again. Venion realized something else as well.
The cat’s meow was slowly getting closer.
It is coming from above!
Venion lifted his head. That was when he saw it.
Unlike the white fog around them, the fog above them was dyed black and red. That fog looked dangerous. Venion subconsciously took a step back. It was at that moment.
Something touched Venion’s back.
Venion stopped for a moment before grabbing the hilt of his sword and quickly turning around.
However, all he could see was the fog.
“W, what the?”
He subconsciously started to speak. His lackeys were moaning behind him.
He could hear a faint wind as well.
It was the moment Venion was about to turn his head on reflex.
Venion could hear a voice. He turned back around but did not see anything.
No. It was just that he could not see it.
A black figure slowly appeared in front of Venion.
That figure was taking his time to slowly reveal himself.
Venion started to step backwards.
However, his path was blocked by one of his fallen lackeys. And then, that black existence completely revealed himself.
Those eyes that showed intense hatred for Venion.
He had not seen this figure for a very long time.
“We meet again?”
The Black Dragon appeared in front of him.
The Dragon, Raon, was smiling.