“I will be using that power.”
Cale could not get himself to call the Fire of Destruction the power of a god.
– …Cheer up, Cale.
He did his best to ignore the Super Rock consoling him. Cale just thought about it in a relaxed manner.
‘I’ll be leaving this world anyway, so it doesn’t matter whether they see me as the purifier or whatever.
I just need to take care of things properly.’
Cale decided to think about it as lightheartedly as possible.
– Human, that expression just now seemed more like the crown prince’s expression than your usual smile!
He did his best to let Raon’s comment in one ear and out the other.
He spoke to Olivia instead.
“I will let you know the overall plan, so I hope that you can move accordingly, your Royal Highness.”
Olivia had noticed how the Purifier was reluctant to show himself. She knew how big it was that he had chosen to reveal himself.
That was why she was willing to move according to his will.
She was willing to do so even though she was not fully recovered.
“And there is something we must do during this next week.”
Olivia’s shoulders tensed after hearing the Purifier’s solemn voice.
“What is it?”
She then thought about what would happen at the public execution ground in a week.
It was different from her original imagination.
The Agents of Destruction and the Church of the Fire of Purification… The Purifier revealing himself in between them…
Olivia and the people loyal to her would be with them.
How would that crazed sight she had initially imagined change?
She got chills for a completely different reason now.
‘I’ll do it.’
She made up her mind.
‘I’ll do whatever it takes.’
She would do anything for the image in her mind to become reality.
The Purifier started to speak.
“We need to loot the Emperor’s Palace.”
Silence filled the area for a moment.
Olivia could not say anything.
– Human, I knew that you wouldn’t waste your time! Yes, a week is plenty of time to loot the Emperor’s Palace! Alright! How exciting! Will we all be going?
Cale focused not on the excited Raon but the silent Olivia’s shaking pupils before wondering why she was reacting like this and continuing to speak.
“Do you remember the information that the First Imperial Prince shared with us?”
Olivia’s expression finally brightened after hearing that.
“You are talking about the issue of the undeads!”
Cale had an unsettled look on his face as he agreed with the now exaggeratedly bright expression on Olivia’s face.
“As I expected!”
Olivia nodded her head multiple times as if she finally understood him and continued to speak.
“I knew that you would have some deep meaning behind it!”
Why would the Purifier, someone who uses the power of a god, really want to loot something as trivial as the Emperor’s Palace?
Olivia gently smiled thinking that the Purifier was purposely using such lighthearted terms to address such a heavy topic.
‘Yes, this is not the time to just worry. It is the time to do something, anything.’
Olivia became a bit more energetic. However, her face quickly stiffened.
She knew what the Purifier would ask for her to do.
“Do I just need to be keeping his Majesty occupied?”
“Yes ma’am. I need someone to distract him as we need to get into his bedroom in the Emperor’s Palace.”
Olivia contemplated it for a bit before nodding her head.
“I want to be consoled and wish to console him. That should be a justified reason to go seek his Majesty.”
She then added on.
“I also think that it would be good if I use this time to make it look as if I have given up on the second test.”
“That is a good idea, your Royal Highness.”
Cale was satisfied watching Olivia figure out her role on her own.
– Human, going to loot is just going to loot. Is there some deeper meaning to it? Oh, do you mean that you are going to loot everything that is hidden deeply as well?
He tried his best to ignore Raon’s comments. But he could not do that.
– Human, but to be more accurate, it is not actually undeads, is it?
Cale recalled the interrogation of First Imperial Prince Sanders that was disguised as a quite intimate face-to-face chat.
The First Imperial Prince had not been that sincere in his response to Cale’s questions, but he did his best to answer.
‘You’ve thought about smacking the Huayans patriarch in the back, haven’t you? In fact, you’ve had that thought quite often, right?’
These questions that Cale asked seemed to impact him quite a bit.
‘You said that there is a place in the Emperor’s Palace where they store the generations of necromancer candidates who have become undeads?’
Sanders was silent for a moment before he continued to speak.
‘To be more specific, they are not undeads.’
‘…Is Mineh’s helper still captured?’
Cale immediately understood that the helper Sanders was talking about was the Blood Cultist.
‘Yes. He is still captured. That guy won’t be able to escape from me.’
Sanders’ reaction made Cale realize that the generations of Emperor candidates who have turned into undeads had some connection with the Blood Cult.
‘I don’t know the specifics either.’
Cale paid attention to what Sanders was telling him.
The Blood Cult. And existences that were similar to undeads but different.
These two keywords were making him wary.
The First Imperial Prince continued to speak.
‘However, the things that I saw were like undeads but definitely different.’
‘I heard that that helper would be handling all of the candidate corpses gained during this test.’
The House of Huayans was planning on using the dead candidates from this test as well. Sanders was saying that the person they were working with for that was the Blood Cultist.
‘This is all I can tell you about the true identity of those undeads.’
Sanders was saying that he didn’t know anything else regarding the identity of the undeads, but… This was enough information for Cale to have a good idea.
“It’s nothing, your Royal Highness.”
Cale smiled gently. However, his eyes sank coldly.
The Blood Cult.
There was something in the Wuxia World that was similar to undeads but different.
Cale was hypothesizing that the things in the basement of the Emperor’s Palace were closer to jiangshis than undeads.
‘I might be wrong, but…’
Jiangshis frequently appeared in the wuxia novels that he had read.
‘There are many types of jiangshis but they were all made of corpses.’
The Emperor was most likely the person connected to the jiangshis and handling them.
And the person who held control over the Emperor’s life would be the Huayans patriarch.
‘It’s an eat and get eaten type of relationship.’
Cale formed a plan in his mind and he spoke while walking over to the door and grabbing the doorknob.
“In three days… When everybody is frantically moving around for this Hide and Seek… That is when we will make our move.”
The door opened and Olivia quietly observed Cale as he walked toward the hallway that was being lit up by the morning sunlight. His white hair sparkled with the light but all she could think about was the violent red color burning brightly.
That red color made her think of blood.
* * *
Cale pulled the hood on his robe fully down to cover his face as he walked toward his destination.
His eyes were looking all around.
“…What a mess.”
Cale could see a man holding a sword approaching a middle-aged person who looked like a mercenary.
“State your background.”
The middle-aged man who looked as if he had lived quite the arduous mercenary life flinched at the sudden question and scowled before starting to shake.
The man had pulled out a sword and was pointing it at the mercenary’s neck.
“State your identity, your background, and the reason for your visit to the capital.”
The mercenary seemed anxious for a bit before he quickly answered.
“I was born in the capital and work as a mercenary. I was out for a job and am returning home. I have my mercenary’s plaque on me. You can check its authenticity in the Mercenaries Guild as well.”
“…Take out your mercenary’s plaque.”
The mercenary pulled out the plaque and the man thoroughly inspected it before slightly nodding his head.
“You can go.”
The man returned the mercenary’s plaque and the middle-aged man received it carefully before urgently leaving the area. The middle-aged man rushed past Cale.
“Fuck. I heard that the capital was a mess right now and it was true.”
His mumbling reached Cale’s ears.
The swordsman who was watching the mercenary leave turned to look at Cale. He saw that Cale was covered by a long robe and his face was covered by the hood as well.
The swordsman found this to be suspicious and approached Cale.
“Who are y-”
However, he could not finish his sentence.
A sword was pointed at the swordsman’s neck. The man’s pupils started shaking.
There was suddenly a person next to the robed individual who also had his face covered by a hood and that person was pointing the sword at the swordsman’s neck. It was exactly as he had done to the mercenary just now.
The swordsman, who had not noticed the second hooded figure at all, got chills on his back before he became extremely angry.
“W, who do you think you dare to point your sword at-!”
However, he could not finish that sentence either.
Cale took off his hood.
His white hair, green eyes, and the white cloth covering the area underneath his nose appeared.
“I am the priest in charge of her Royal Highness’s treatment.”
Cale then placed a hand on Choi Han’s shoulder.
“This is my guard. Retract your sword as you have startled the swordsman-nim.”
Choi Han silently moved the sword away from the swordsman’s neck.
The swordsman covered his neck with his hand before avoiding Cale’s gaze.
“…I’m sorry I did not recognize you, sir.”
His gaze headed to Cale’s hand and he finally lowered his head after seeing the plaque that Olivia gave to her subordinates.
He then urgently left without saying anything else.
There were quite a few citizens of the Empire sneering at the swordsman but an odd mood was being created all around.
Choi Han silently stood next to Cale and walked by his side after Cale gave the order. Choi Han was observing the area.
‘Everybody is suspicious of each other.’
This should be a lively business district but there was an oddly sunken mood here today.
However, it was not a depressed mood.
There were small issues here and there but it was pretty calm overall, similar to a bomb just before it exploded.
‘Today is the third day.’
Choi Han was feeling the atmosphere in the capital that was changing day by day.
‘The candidates are acting worse and worse as it continues.’
Two of the favorites had died among the nineteen candidates and three other highly-ranked candidates had lost their helpers or were injured.
The other candidates who wanted to push ahead using this opening were acting crazier and crazier in the Hide and Seek.
‘Now some candidates are even grabbing anybody on the street and questioning their background.’
The swordsman just now was one of the candidates’ helpers.
That was how he was able to immediately recognize the disguised identity of Cale.
The people acting like this swordsman were slowly starting to increase.
‘Most of the candidates are all people who have a decent level of people under their control.’
Those people were using their helpers to poke and prod around the capital. According to the information the church has gathered, some of them were not only using their helpers but stealthily using their families or organizations to help them.
And this craziness would become worse as time went by.
‘…This isn’t good.’
The citizens of the Empire had embraced this Hide and Seek quite a bit when they learned about it. However, the slowly overbearing actions of the candidates made everybody extremely cautious.
Everybody kept quiet.
They were worried that what happened to the mercenary just now would happen to them.
At the same time, their anger toward the people waiting to be publicly executed, the people who forced them to experience this, was slowly increasing.
“…Will it be okay like this?”
Choi Han asked Cale in a quiet voice.
“Of course not.”
Cale’s calm response was saying that this was just the beginning.
Choi Han scowled.
“…I feel like completely uninvolved people will get captured at this rate.”
Cale did not say anything.
Choi Han realized that Cale had the same thought as him.
Choi Han let out a short sigh.
‘How the heck would the candidates capture the groups that the Empire failed to capture?’
Most of the groups on the list, such as the Fire of Purification and the Agents of Destruction, were already listed to be immediately executed once discovered. However, the Empire had been unable to eradicate these forces until now.
It made no sense to make the candidates capture such people.
‘It’s going to be a mess.’
The capital would become even more of a mess from here on.
Choi Han’s expression oddly changed underneath the hood.
Once this chaos reached its apex…
‘…Cale-nim said that is when he will use his power, right?’
Choi Han firmed his resolve.
That day, the day Cale uses his power, Choi Han could imagine a couple things that would happen that day based on his experiences.
The enemy will definitely be stronger than they expect.
Their allies will give everything they have plus more.
Cale would use an even stronger power.
Choi Han walked half a step behind Cale and observed his back.
‘…I don’t want to say something like this, but…’
Choi Han kept having a hunch, something that seemed almost like an intuition.
‘…Cale-nim has not gotten injured compared to the amount of power he has used……’
Choi Han’s gaze slowly sank while observing Cale’s back.
‘…It is long past overdue for him to faint.’
No matter how efficient Cale’s power was in this world, Cale was too fine.
This was weird.
Choi Han clenched his sword.
Cale suddenly felt his back being prickly and subconsciously stopped to turn around.
He could see Choi Han slightly tilt his head as if to ask him what was going on.
‘What was that?’
Cale felt iffy but chose to ignore it. This was not the first time he felt something like this and Cale decided to just ignore things like this and keep walking down his path.
And that path was toward the Emperor’s Palace right now.
– Human, are we doing it now?
Cale slightly nodded his head.
Three days since the test started… Today was the day to go loot the Emperor’s Palace.
Cale’s footsteps were slowly getting lighter.
– Aigoo, it looks like he’s about to fly from joy. Hehehe.
Cale just ignored the cheapskate.
* * *
“Oho? It has been a while since you’ve come to see me, Olivia.”
“…I greet Royal Father.”
The moment that Second Imperial Princess Olivia, who was here to visit the Emperor’s Palace, deeply bowed to greet the Emperor…
“Do you want to die?”
Cale smiled at the tightly bound yet flailing Blood Cultist and started to chat.
“Human, I’ve cast both the soundproof barrier magic and invisibility!”
Raon energetically let him know that the spells were cast properly and then Cale gave Choi Han an order.
“Knock him out. We will wake him up later when we get to our destination.”
“Mmmmph, mmph, ugh!”
The Blood Cultist, who was being held up by his back collar by Choi Han, was knocked unconscious again. His eyes scowled and were despondent just as he fainted, but Cale did not care.
Choi Han looked as if he didn’t care about the Blood Cultist as well as he placed the guy over his shoulder like a bag.
“Let’s get off.”
The group got off the carriage once Cale gave the order.
This carriage was prepared by Imperial Princess Olivia to get to the Emperor’s Palace because she was unwell.
Cale cautiously got off the carriage and looked in front of him.
He could see the Emperor’s Palace.
The basement here should be full of jiangshis or undeads or whatever mysterious existence.
‘We need to take care of them somehow.’
They would need to destroy those creatures no matter what methods they had to use.
‘And Sanders said something else.
He said that the basement is where the precious treasures of the Imperial family are stored.’
Cal let out a short chuckle before walking toward the Emperor’s Palace.
He was walking stealthily and efficiently.
Of course, they were wearing that inside out Arm outfit once again.
Just for reference, the Blood Cultist was wearing one as well.
Pfft they even dressed the Blood Cultist in it.
TCF is currently posted Mondays and Fridays at evening time GMT. Join our discord to be notified as soon as the chapter posts!
If you can’t wait, please subscribe to advanced chapters on our EAP website to get access to up to 8 chapters! Almost all tiers already have access to part 2 of TCF!
You can subscribe (immediate access) through our PATREON