Cale held a bag that was twice the size of yesterday’s bag as he headed back up to the top of the slums. The two siblings were there to greet him once again.
The children kept their mouth shut as they looked toward Cale. Cale smiled as he took out two small bags and pushed them toward the children.
The young girl slowly approached him. Cale frowned as he watched the girl with coarse grey hair approach him. She had a hand on her side as she limped over to him.
Cale pushed the two bags toward the young boy.
“You come here and take it.”
The young boy quickly rushed over and snatched the bags before quickly running back. Compared to Cale’s bright red hair, the boy had coarse dark red hair that shook as he ran.
Cale then turned around and headed toward the man-eating tree.
“It’s not bread. It’s meat and cake.”
He could hear the siblings talking about the food, but he did not care. He continued to walk toward the man-eating tree’s territory.
“…It’s a bit scary.”
The black tree without any leaves seemed to be moving its branches to welcome Cale. This eerie feeling made Cale nervous, but he still poured the contents of the bag into the hole underneath the tree.
The bread quickly disappeared.
It was at that moment.
- …More, give me more.
‘…It’s driving me crazy.’
The response he read about in the novel showed up. It was the voice of a weak girl. Yes, the person who starved to death was a priestess who served a god. However, unlike the present day priestesses of the temples or churches, the ancient priestesses were shamans. The majority of the ancient shamans could be considered people who had superpowers or natural forces under their command.
Cale quickly grabbed the bag and started to move.
‘Cale, come to my study tonight.’
That was what his father, Deruth, had said to Cale when he went to get some allowance. That was why he had to leave here before evening at the latest.
He came here with the intention of taking care of half of the gluttony of the tree today. He went back down the hill to get more bread. He could see the two siblings looking at him with cake on their lips.
Cale frowned and clicked his tongue as he walked past the two siblings.
Cale then walked to the street where there were a lot of bakeries. He had already swept the stock of the bakery he went to yesterday this morning, so it would take them some time to restock. That was why he needed to look for another bakery. It was at that moment.
“Y, young master.”
A woman’s voice made Cale turn his head. A middle-aged woman smiled awkwardly as she pointed to her shop. Her hand was shaking and she was full of fear, but she still had some confidence.
“We have a lot of bread.”
Cale started to smile. Now this was a woman who knew how to do business. The other vendors were peeking their way while looking at what was going on.
Cale threw her a gold coin and the woman quickly picked it up.
“Give me everything you have. Pack it quickly.”
In that instant, the smile on the middle-aged woman’s face grew wider. She instantly went into the store and immediately came back out with a large bag full of bread. She had already packed it all up in advance.
“Here it is, young master.”
‘Wow. She really is a good merchant.’
This was someone who knew how to make money.
“I can also prepare some more.”
Cale liked this woman even more. However, at that instant…
“Young master! We can make even more bread than that!”
An old man across the street raised his hand as he rushed over. He was wearing a baker’s uniform. Cale liked his fitting outfit and threw a gold coin to him as well.
“I will head to your shop next. Have a bag ready.”
“Thank you very much!”
Cale was amazed by these vendors. They were still afraid of him because of his identity as the trash of the Count’s family, but they had no issues coming up to him to make some easy money. It was probably because they knew that Cale did not hit anybody who was not a gangster, but he still could see why the Henituse territory was doing so well.
The fact that Cale had spent a gold coin to buy a bag of bread yesterday had already spread like wildfire. 1 million gallons. The others gasped at the week’s worth of profit while their eyes started to sparkle.
‘I can go around to those three places tomorrow to get bread.’
Since he gave each of them a gold coin, he should be able to get another bag from them tomorrow. Cale was happy that things were going so smoothly.
However, there was someone who was watching him from afar.
It was the chef, Beacrox. Just like his father, he had a bandage around his neck, and he was watching Cale from behind a corner. He just watched Cale buy the bag of bread and some medicinal herbs before heading back to the slums.
“…Did he go crazy?”
Cale seemed like he had gone crazy since yesterday.
Beacrox had never cared about Cale, even when his father had said that Cale was an interesting kid, but, the more he saw, the more he started to agree. It felt like it would be just as fun to watch Cale as it was to watch the black-haired punk. Beacrox’s eyes started to sparkle.
Billos, the owner of the tea shop with the highest view, took a sip of his tea as he received his subordinate’s report.
“Young master Cale is going in and out of the slums?”
“We also received communication from the capital.”
“Is that so?”
Billos’s round eyes, that were hard to see because of his fat, opened widely. The subordinate flinched for a moment before continuing his report.
“Yes. It mentioned that the crown will soon gather people. That is why they wish for Billos-nim to return and get to work.”
Billos put the teacup on the table as he motioned with his chin.
“You can head out now.”
The subordinate quickly moved into the shadows and disappeared. Billos stared at the spot his subordinate was standing in as one corner of his lips twisted upward.
“Do they think I will be their dog and watch the house again?”
His gaze headed out of the window. It felt like his gaze could reach the far away capital.
“This, this isn’t bread. Isn’t bread.”
Seeing the young girl who was mumbling, ‘isn’t bread,’ over and over as she held the medicinal herbs in her hand, Cale just snorted as he headed back to the man-eating tree. However, the young boy got in his way.
“You cannot die.”
It was the young boy saying he cannot die now. Cale did not even frown as he just walked past the young boy.
Cale, no, Kim Rok Soo.
He was an orphan and didn’t have anything to his name. That was why there were a lot of people who showed the poor Kim Rok Soo a lot of sympathy.
‘Is there a reason to show sympathy for the needy?’
That was something he heard all the time when he was younger.
‘You don’t need a reason to show sympathy.’
There was a time he just took that at face value, but he started to understand the real meaning of it as he got older.
There wasn’t a logical reason for the things your heart draws you to do. You didn’t need a reason.
Cale hated to see young children being hurt. However, he didn’t have any thoughts about nursing the young girl nor thoughts of consoling her. He frowned toward the young girl who was limping toward him and the young boy next to her as he answered them.
“I won’t die.”
The siblings finally stopped following him once he said that. Cale was unhappy at the thought that he did something he hated the most. He hated people who got involved in other people’s business without being asked, but he had done just that by giving the young girl the medicinal herbs.
- More, give me more.
“Yes. Eat it all.”
Cale dumped the whole bag into the man-eating tree without caring about how it landed. He was not afraid. The bread instantly disappeared into the darkness that was now too light to be called darkness. Cale could now see a new grey light. However, it would only seem grey to him.
‘I guess it is paying off for the money I spent.’
Cale poured the other bag of bread into the hole as he headed back home. He didn’t see the siblings anymore, but that was better for Cale.
However, he saw the two struggling cats on his way back home and flinched.
‘It’s the cats from yesterday. They shouldn’t remember me, right?’
Silver fur and golden eyes, dark red fur and golden eyes. The two cats did not even meow as they stared at Cale. Cale did not want to cause a scene, and just looked away as he headed back home.
He then heard something from his father that almost made him faint.
“… Could you please say that one more time.”
Basen was standing next to Cale as well. The story of the Henituse family that was not mentioned in the novel was happening in front of Cale’s eyes.
“You shall go to the capital as our family’s representative.”
Cale could feel a headache coming.
“Originally, Basen was supposed to go. However, you are the first born of our family.”
Cale just opened and closed his mouth repeatedly as he watched Count Deruth sitting there with a gentle smile. Going to visit the crown at such a time. Cale was quickly thinking about the contents of ‘The Birth of a Hero’ as Deruth continued to speak.
“The crown is hosting a big event, and the noble families of each territory have been invited to gather. It will be your first time to go visit the crown, but Basen has been going to similar functions for the last two years. However, I am hoping for you to go this time.”
Big event hosted by the crown. That made Cale think about a single incident.
The Plaza Terror Incident.
A secret organization commits a terrorist act when many of the citizens of the capital are gathered in one place. Our hero Choi Han is the one who manages to block about half of their plot. That would be the fourth time that Choi Han and the secret organization would come into contact with each other.
As a result, Choi Han is able to save a lot of the citizens at the plaza and becomes connected with the crown prince. They then quickly develop a friendship with each other.
Cale suddenly got the chills.
Since the novel described the event from Choi Han’s point of view, it did not talk much about the gathering of the nobles. All it mentioned was that Choi Han gains some party members before and after the incident, as well as the strong backing of the crown prince.
But he had to go to the scene of that terrorist attack?
Of course, he did not know whether the nobles would gather in the plaza as well. Cale started to recall the information in ‘The Birth of a Hero.
[Tons of people were gathered in the plaza. The platform was still empty. It was for the royal family that would soon arrive. Choi Han could see some other people who looked like they held important positions. However, more important to Choi Han, was the fact that a lot of citizens, young, old, male, female, were gathered here. Choi Han’s heart started to beat faster.
He did not want to see a group of innocent people dying ever again.]
Would people who looked like they held important positions include the nobles?
Cale turned to look at Basen even as his father was continuing to speak. Basen stood there stoically, looking at his father without giving Cale a single glance.
‘Deruth said Basen normally goes to events like this. Should I tell him to go?’
Cale’s mouth continued to repeatedly open and close. He did not want to go to a dangerous area. However, he could not bring himself to say Basen’s name.
A relationship that was neither good nor bad. That was the relationship between the original Cale and Basen. Basen found Cale to be difficult, but that was it.
Cale’s mind started to get complicated. Would Cale have gone in the story? There was no way Deruth would send the trash to the capital. Just why was he trying to send him then? Cale was wondering if he had done something wrong to have caused this to happen.
“You will leave in five days.”
Five days later. Hearing Deruth say that, Cale knew that the Cale in the novel had not gone to the capital.
In the novel, he was beaten to a pulp by Choi Han four days later and carried into the Count’s estate. There was no way he could go to the capital in that condition.
“Cale. Before Basen started to do it, you had participated in all of these ceremonies. Think back on those times and have a relaxed journey.”
Deruth looked toward Cale at his calling. Basen slowly turned to look at his older brother as well.
“I am a bit anxious because of this sudden development. I have not gone to any of these since two years ago. I don’t understand why I would suddenly have to go. Please let me think about it.”
Deruth agreed and told his two sons that they could leave. The siblings quickly left the study. Cale was busy thinking about all sorts of things. If Cale threw a fit and caused a scene, Deruth would probably send Basen, but that would leave a bitter taste in his mouth.
It was at that moment.
Cale could hear his young brother, Basen’s voice. Cale turned his head. He could see Basen still stoically walking without looking at him. The 15 year old Basen always talked like this without ever making eye contact.
“Hyung-nim, there is no reason you cannot go.”
Sigh. Cale let out a sigh.
Basen did not even look at Cale as he left the study and headed to his own room. Cale stared at Basen for a long time.
“…It’s not supposed to go like this.”
Cale had been pushed out of the successor spot. Cale could not stop acting like trash even when his younger brother flat out acted like he was the family’s successor since two years ago. He was the joke of the family.
That was why there were a lot of reasons he should not go as the family representative to the crown’s summon. However, Basen was saying that there were no reasons not to go to the event.
Basen was saying that there were enough reasons for Cale to go as the family representative.
‘Things will become complicated like this.’
Cale stated to frown. He did not like how things were going.
But the other problem was…
‘It’s worth a shot.’
He thought it was worth going through the events that were about to come up.
The reason was that the chances of Cale coming back without dying or getting hurt were pretty high.
‘It will also make it difficult for me if Basen dies without being able to take the Count position.’
In order for Cale to live a peaceful life, Basen needed to survive. There was still their youngest sister, Lily, but she was too young. Furthermore, Cale needed to head out of Western City after taking the ancient power located at the man-eating tree in order to take some other ancient powers located outside the Henituse territory.
The scale inside Cale’s mind started to tilt.
He started to stare at deputy butler Hans who was heading his way. Hans’s expression was intense, but not dark. He seemed to be a bit bitter, but his eyes were clear.
“Young master, the request that your guest has asked for-”
Cale cut him off as he said something else.
“Bring that guest here.”
Cale was not going to be pushed around. If he was going to have to move, he might as well do it in a way that was most comfortable for him and in a way that was most beneficial for him.
“Ah, if he doesn’t want to come, just tell him this.”
Based on Hans’s expression, Cale was certain that Choi Han’s issue was settled properly. In the novel, Count Deruth gave a proper funeral for the villagers and took care of everything even after Choi Han beat Cale to a pulp. That shouldn’t have changed at all.
“Tell him to come because a way for him to pay me back has come up.”