“The Flynn Merchant Guild leader is dead. The second child has run away.”
Two sentences were enough.
– I’ll send people over right away.
* * *
The capital, Huiss City.
The atmosphere in the capital was extremely dull, unlike the blue sky despite it not being long since they heard about the victory at Puzzle City.
“I don’t see smoke anymore.”
“…The Orsena Estate was on fire, right?”
“Yes. My next-door neighbor Charles said he saw it.”
“Ho. What the-!”
The man stopped talking and quickly closed his mouth.
Clack. Clack. Clack.
Around ten soldiers fully clad in armor were walking by in formation.
Soldiers were efficiently moving around like this all around the capital right now.
Furthermore, a knight on a horse was moving quicker than they normally did in the capital.
The man who closed his mouth asked his close friend in an extremely quiet voice.
“Aside from the Duke’s Estate, at the palace earlier-”
“Didn’t you hear a loud noise coming from there? It sounded like something was crumbling down.”
“…I don’t know either.”
The eyes of the person who responded were slightly shaking.
The palace and the Orsena Estate, which was located in the area with all the residences of the nobles… Neither location was close to her house.
That was why all she knew was that something had happened.
“I guess we should probably close for the day.”
Her close friend quickly put the goods back into the store. She started to move to help him when she saw someone coming toward them and her eyes opened wide. The shop owner, who was putting away the stand, reacted the same way.
“Oh! You are-”
“Hello, mister. You still have some medicinal roots, right?”
“Huh? Y, yes!”
“Please organize all of the ones you have and send them to our estate!”
“Hey, wait a minute.”
The medicinal roots merchant urgently called out to the young boy who was speaking quickly. His voice was a bit cautious.
“Did something happen?”
Some of the people around them turned to look at the young boy as well.
This young boy was someone who worked at a Count’s Estate and had come from the neighborhood of the nobles.
Furthermore, the fact that he was buying large quantities of medicinal roots must mean that something had happened.
It was because the person who wants these medicinal roots must be someone at the Count’s Estate.
“The Orsena Estate caught on fire and burnt down completely.”
He looked around, confirmed that there were no soldiers nor knights near them, and continued to speak.
“Ah, I don’t know if I can really say this…”
“Are you really going to be like this? I’m friends with your father.”
“Mm, that is true.”
That was the reason this young boy was in charge of purchasing goods from this merchant. He approached his father’s close friend and whispered quietly.
“I heard that one of the palaces was destroyed.”
“Apparently it was a terrorist incident.”
The merchant’s pupils started shaking. His close friend, who was listening as well, could not say anything because she was so shocked.
The young boy saw their reactions and grabbed the merchant’s arm as if to snap him out of it.
“Huh, huh? S, should we run?”
The young boy shook his head after hearing what the merchant barely managed to say.
“The Commander-nim entered the Orsena Estate moments ago. I saw him myself.”
“I heard that his highness, the Crown Prince, was here as well.”
The Commander. The Crown Prince.
The merchant’s chaotic eyes slowly started to focus again.
The news about Cale’s arrival at the capital was slowly being spread.
* * *
While that was going on…
– Human, this place really is almost completely burnt down.
Cale was stepping onto the Orsena Estate.
He had left the issues at the Flynn Merchant Guild to the people Alberu had sent and then immediately headed over here.
The knight who seemed to be in charge of the situation at the Orsena Estate bowed toward Cale.
‘Something is different.’
This was the first time that the knight had met the well-discussed Commander in person.
He found it difficult to look at Cale.
‘…I feel a sense of pressure. Is this the Commander; is this the hero named Cale Henituse?’
The knight gulped and looked at Cale who was standing in front of him.
– Human! Why are you pretending to be strong? There’s nobody here who is strong.
Cale casually ignored Raon’s question.
He looked around.
To be more specific, he was looking past the troops surrounding the Orsena Estate. He was also looking at the beautiful residences around here as well.
There were people peeking through the wall of soldiers despite knights telling them to leave. There were also people looking through their windows.
Subordinates of nobles, staff of nobles’ houses, and even some nobles themselves flinched and looked away after making eye contact with Cale.
“This should be enough.”
Cale quietly mumbled to himself.
The king was missing.
The King’s Palace was destroyed.
The Estate of the Duke who controlled the central faction at the capital was burnt down.
All of this had happened in an instant.
There may be some nobles who used this chaos as an opening to run. There were bound to be people who try to use this gap of authority for their own benefits.
‘I’m sure that his highness will take care of everything, but… It should be okay for me to help out a little bit like this, right?’
No matter what happened, the Crown Prince’s biggest ally was the Duke’s House of Henituse which had his sworn brother and his sword art instructor.
Cale spoke to the confused knight in charge.
“Please report in about the situation.”
“Ah, yes, sir!”
The knight turned his head.
Cale followed his gaze.
The Orsena Estate that was completely black…
“The main building and all annexes caught on fire.”
The main building was maintaining its form as the pillars and foundation were still standing.
Most of the other buildings had been destroyed.
“The start of the fire according to witnesses and the reporter…”
The knight stopped for a moment before speaking as if he found it to be odd.
“The fire did not slowly start from somewhere, but rather everything caught on fire in an instant. They stated that it took less than 10 seconds for everything to catch fire.”
Cale nodded his head.
This was not just any building but a Duke’s Estate. Even if a building caught on fire, it was rare for everything to quickly catch fire like that.
The Duke’s Estate had completely caught on fire to the point that the crown prince and Cale could not do anything about it by the time they arrived at the capital.
“I thought it was weird because the fire was difficult to contain even with magic, but then…”
The knight held something out.
“We found these magic stones all around the Duke’s Estate.”
It was a magic stone that had turned black from soot.
“Was it a magically induced fire?”
“That is one of our hypotheses, Commander-nim.”
Cale hesitated for a moment before asking in a calm voice.
“…You should probably see for yourself, sir.”
The knight struggled to get those words out before starting to walk.
Cale followed behind him.
There were white tents that looked as if they were urgently installed on top of the now burnt garden of the Duke’s Estate. Each tent was quite large.
The knight raised the entrance flap of one of the tents and Cale looked inside. Both of them stopped walking.
“…Is that all?”
The knight responded to Cale’s question with a look that seemed to show that his shock from initially seeing this earlier had not disappeared.
“Yes, sir. These are all of the survivors from the building.”
Less than ten patients were lying down while being treated. Most of them had serious injuries.
The Duke’s House of Orsena.
This place was different from the Henituse Estate in the capital.
The House of Orsena’s territory was in the capital. That was why they had a five-story main building and numerous annex buildings around it.
As a result, there should have been a lot of people who work here.
“They stated that large flames suddenly engulfed the building. They said that they would have died if they did not run through the flames and barely make it out alive.”
“The flames engulfed the building?”
“Yes, sir. They said that flames shot up as if they were walls. They also said that they suddenly felt dizzy.”
Cale’s eyes sparkled.
“Yes, sir. They said that the dizziness almost made them faint. They didn’t have the time to look around properly, but they said that some of their friends around them suddenly fainted.”
“Then the reason there are so few survivors-”
“Yes, sir. The fire was one thing, but it sounds as if something else happened inside the Duke’s Estate as well.”
Cale nodded his head and the knight continued to speak.
“We are still continuing our search for any survivors. As for any corpses we find, we confirm their identity before moving them while making sure to keep the sight as intact as possible. In addition…”
The knight lowered the entrance flap, looked around, and spoke in a quiet voice that only Cale could hear.
“We found the Ducal couple’s corpses as well as the second son’s corpse.”
“Any traces of young lady Orsena?”
“None at all. However…”
He pointed to the tent next to them.
“The youngest young lady was found in the playground within the rear garden.”
“The youngest young lady?”
“Yes, sir. She turned seven this year and she is in quite the chaotic state right now-”
The knight lifted the entrance flap a bit.
Cale looked inside and gulped.
A child was lying on a bed with her eyes closed. She seemed to be sleeping but her body was shaking and she was groaning as if she was having a nightmare.
She screamed from time to time as well.
The knight put the entrance flap down at Cale’s command.
A royal mage and someone who looked like a priest were inside the tent with the child.
“The child’s guardian?”
The knight immediately answered Cale’s question.
“We have contacted the House of Orsena’s closest collateral line. However…”
He continued with a stiff expression on his face.
“Young lady Orsena is being suspected of being responsible for the palace terror incident and the only survivor of the House of Orsena is the youngest young lady. We cannot loosen our guard on the child because of that.”
He wasn’t wrong.
“Of course, we are focusing on the child’s treatment and stability.”
He spoke into the air without caring about the knight standing there.
“Ask the Saint-nim and Miss Cage to come to the capital.”
– I understand, human! What about the unconscious Billos?
“Tell them to bring him with them. Please do it as quickly as possible.”
– But for them to teleport such a long distance-
“Contact Sheritt-nim as well.”
– Ah! Okay!
The black castle that had returned to the Forest of Darkness…
Former Dragon Lord Sheritt and a few Dragons were there right now.
“One of them should be enough.”
If at least one of those Dragons came to the capital with the Saint, Cage, and the others…
If a Dragon resided in the capital…
Choi Han was running over after finishing things up at the Flynn Merchant Guild.
Two Dragons and Choi Han.
‘No matter who the hell those Hunters are…’
They won’t be able to touch the capital anymore.
“I’ll need to go into the building.”
“Hide the information about the youngest young lady’s survival and the Ducal couple’s death as much as possible.”
It was at that moment.
“Vice Cap, eek, Commander-nim!”
A mage was urgently running out of a tent when he saw Cale and stumbled over his words.
– Human! I’ll be back after contacting them! I’ll tell as many Dragons as possible to come!
The invisible Raon commented and moved away but Cale didn’t pay much attention to him.
Inside the tent from where the mage ran out from…
“Is the child awake?”
“Yes, yes, sir! She said that she has something to say.”
Cale walked into the tent.
The now awakened child was holding onto the priest’s sleeve and shouting something.
“The fire-, the fire-!”
Cale cautiously approached the child.
Of course, he withdrew the Dominating Aura.
The child’s eyes were wandering aimlessly in the air and her mouth was shaking.
The child made eye contact with Cale at that moment.
The child looked at Cale’s red hair before making a comment.
Cale slowly activated his shield.
He then cautiously approached the child.
The shield with silver wings appeared in the tent.
The youngest young lady stepped off of the bed.
“Young lady Orsena, you need to rest-!”
The priest stopped her but the child reached her hands toward Cale and tried to walk.
Cale walked over and extended his hand to the child. The child grabbed his hand.
The child’s grip was stronger than he had expected.
Her movements seemed extremely desperate.
Cale lowered his body and made eye contact with the child. The child shouted.
“Fire, fire- white magic-!”
Cale calmly responded.
“Was it white magic that caused the fire?”
The child nodded her head and fell into Cale’s arms before losing consciousness.
White magic? BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHERE IS THE TEAM LEADER?!!!
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