The Pope, who told Cale that a statue of the Purifier was going to be made, seemed oddly happy.
“Then I will head to the Imperial Palace now. I will contact you as soon as a draft of the statue comes up, oh esteemed Purifier!”
“Just so you are aware, the Church is preparing a motion to deliver to the Imperial Palace regarding setting up a monument in all of the areas you have purified.”
She truly seemed happy based on how she was laughing.
Cale started to speak after a long pause.
“…How is the current situation in the capital-”
He could not finish his sentence.
The Pope pulled out a black magic video communication device from her pocket.
“Oh no, it looks like I will need to head back as the Imperial Palace has contacted me. I had to make a small opening to come see you like this.”
The Pope looked disappointed as she spoke to Cale.
“As expected, our esteemed Purifier cares more about the safety and security of the capital over things like statues of himself. You truly are the esteemed Purifier! Hahahaha-!”
Cale started to think.
‘Why does she look so happy?
Is the Pope someone who laughed so much like this?’
Cale weirdly did not feel good right now. Something felt iffy the entire time he was looking at the Pope laugh like this with a relaxed look on her face.
“Oh esteemed Purifier, I shall make my leave first as the others here will be able to explain the details.
The Pope disappeared with one final laugh.
Cale brushed his face with both hands in the room that was full of silence.
He raised his head after hearing someone laugh. Team Leader Sui Khan was caught by Cale while trying to hold back his laughter.
“…I’m curious as to what the hell happened.”
Cale opened his mouth and started to speak in a bleak voice.
Choi Han flinched but unfortunately, everybody else here were not people who even flinched at Cale’s bleak voice.
“Cale, there is something I want to ask you first before talking about what happened here.”
Eruhaben casually sat down.
They were currently in the secret residence of the Church of the Fire of Purification.
They were still staying in this place.
The ancient Dragon observed Cale’s complexion as he spoke.
“Why did it take a day?”
The east, south, and north… The large monsters that appeared outside the edge village precincts…
Cale had spent a whole day fighting against the monsters shaped like a crocodile, bird, and lion before just getting back.
“It didn’t take long to take care of the black tree in the west and the monster in the capital.”
“That’s right. I want to know the reason you said you were fighting against monsters all day when the others were easy to deal with, Cale-nim.”
Choi Han agreed with Eruhaben.
Cale had an awkward look on his face as he scratched his forehead. The children, who had been silent, chimed in at that moment.
“We made sure he didn’t overdo it!”
“We made him rest as he did it, nya!”
“I learned that you need to get a proper amount of rest, nya.”
They all quickly rattled out.
Raon, Hong, and On spoke one after the other with oddly proud looks on their faces. Well, Raon and Hong had those looks, not On.
Eruhaben looked at Cale as if he could not believe it.
‘You really rested while working?’
That was what his expression was clearly saying.
Cale nodded his head with an unsettled look on his face.
“Yes, Eruhaben-nim. I rested while working.”
Cale had never seen Eruhaben so amazed like this.
Cale felt Eruhaben was oddly despicable right now but he had something he needed to say.
“Of course, there was another reason as well.”
“Yes, Eruhaben-nim. That-”
Knock knock knock.
Cale could not finish his sentence.
He heard the Pope’s voice again on the other side of the door.
“Oh esteemed Purifier.”
The Pope walked back in before speaking in a voice that made it sound as if she was in an awkward position.
“The Second Imperial Princess requests an audience with you.”
She then looked at the others.
“Everybody in the group.”
Cale nodded his head and got up.
* * *
“I decided to take the throne.”
Cale heard her Second Imperial Princess Olivia speak as soon as he sat down.
“I see. Congratulations.”
Olivia smiled bitterly at Cale’s lighthearted comment.
Olivia had openly gone up against the Emperor. It was basically expected that she would be the next Empress. That would have been the final result whether it happened quickly or slowly.
However, she felt suffocated thinking about ruling the Empire from here on.
“Congratulations. Is it really?”
Starting with returning the Empire to normal…
It was revealed that the House of Huayans was responsible for the pollution of this world and, as they were a vassal to the Empire, the Empire had to take responsibility for things throughout the entire continent.
Of course, no foreign nations would attack the Empire as the Empire was in the best state among the kingdoms on the continent that were still functioning properly.
But the Empire had a duty to feel a sense of responsibility for a long time and return the continent to normal.
“Isn’t it the position you wanted?”
Olivia clenched her hands after hearing his calm voice.
“…It is. I wanted it.”
She looked around.
She looked at the people seated in this secret meeting room she had prepared in the Imperial Palace.
The people from the Imperial family included Olivia, the First Imperial Prince, and the Fourth Imperial Prince.
Her close confidants.
Zero and the chief executives of the Agents of Destruction.
The Pope, bishop, and few others from the Church of the Fire of Purification.
Finally, the Purifier and his people.
“I heard that you took care of all of the monsters, Sir Purifier.”
“Yes, your royal highness.”
“All of the Margraves delivered the news.”
Olivia had been able to receive that information in real time despite the capital being a mess because of the urgency of that info.
“…Oh esteemed Purifier.”
Olivia made eye contact with the leader of the Agents of Destruction, Zero, for a moment.
The two of them exchanged glances for a bit.
Her mouth was drying out from being tense but she continued to speak.
“Would it be okay to ask you to purify other places as well?”
Olivia looked into Cale’s eyes.
These indifferent eyes…
The achievements that the man with these eyes had made…
He had the power to turn the world white.
It was not a sparkling holy white light like the House of Huayans had used.
This person was capable of creating ashes as white as snow, white sand that anybody could touch and feel if they reached their hands out.
Wasn’t that truly the look of the Purifier that this world had wanted?
That was why she needed to nab this person.
She needed to ask him.
“If you seek compensation, we will prepare it right away. We will also make sure you and everybody in your group are not lacking in anything while staying here for the duration of the purification.”
Although Olivia was going to be the Empress, she still bowed her head.
“Please purify this land a little more. Please.”
She had no other choice.
He was not originally from this world and could leave at any moment.
Everybody here knew that was the case.
“Your Royal Highness-”
“Please, please truly consider this request. I am not asking you to be responsible for the purification of the entire continent.”
Olivia didn’t pay any attention to Cale who was trying to speak and did her best to ask as desperately as possible.
“If you could stay here for at least another year-”
She heard the Purifier’s calm voice at that moment.
“I have lost the power.”
Olivia’s eyes opened wide. She could not properly comprehend what she just heard as she looked at Cale.
It was not just her.
Zero and the Pope also looked at him in shock.
“Mm. To be more accurate…”
However, Cale looked calm.
“I am in the process of losing my power.”
“…What do you-”
Cale asked Olivia after seeing her in disbelief.
“Did you not receive the reports from the Margraves?”
“You should have heard that it took me longer and longer to deal with the monsters.”
“…I did hear that.”
Olivia stumbled over his words as she spoke.
“I, I thought that was because the monsters continued to get stronger-”
Crocodile, bird, and lion.
Just hearing about the appearances of the monsters made her think they would be stronger than a hill.
“Not at all, your royal highness. The other three monsters were weak compared to the black tree and black hill.”
They truly were weak.
“However, my power is slowly shrinking.”
To be more accurate, it was not that his power was shrinking but that the efficiency when using his power was shrinking.
What started with using one percent of power to release the strength of fifty percent was down to only ten percent by the end.
“The size of an area I can purify at once is going down as well.”
That was why it had taken Cale a day to take down the other monsters when the black tree and the black hill had taken an instant.
‘I had to take some time to recover my strength to slowly deal with the monsters because the efficiency went down.’
Thankfully, he still had enough time and the other Margraves had prepared properly after receiving the warning from the Margrave to the west. As a result, he was able to take care of the issue without anybody being injured.
“…Oh esteemed Purifier, may I ask about the reason for the decline?”
Cale snapped out of his thoughts after hearing the Pope’s shaky voice.
The reason for the efficiency going down…
– Cale, I think that has to be it.
Although Cale didn’t know the reason behind it, he had discussed the issue with the Super Rock.
– As we thought in the beginning, the efficiency of the Fire of Destruction automatically became stronger because the dead mana in this world was too strong. It was a way of balancing things.
It was similar to how the shadows become bigger as the light gets stronger.
If the world that was polluted by dead mana was the light, Cale’s Fire of Destruction was the shadow.
– However, with the fall of the House of Huayans and the monsters being destroyed, a portion of the land became purified.
‘That is probably why the efficiency of the Fire of Destruction slowly decreased.’
– Yeah. I had the same thought.
Cale thought that this hypothesis was the correct answer.
However, because he was not certain that this was the right answer….
‘I also have no reason to explain everything to these people.’
That was why…
Cale just shared the conclusion without discussing the reasoning.
“It just needed to be that way.”
Cale thought that he shared too little and added on. He wanted to be a bit nicer with the explanation.
“My power will decrease the more this world is purified.”
‘In the end, it will return to the Fire of Destruction’s normal strength.’
– Cale, will it return to normal?
Cale heard Eruhaben’s question in his mind and slightly nodded his head to respond.
He could see that Eruhaben, Choi Han, and Mary all had relaxed looks on their faces.
– Aren’t you disappointed?
Cale chuckled at Eruhaben’s question and shook his head.
He was a bit disappointed, but he had earned this power increase for free anyway.
It had allowed him to properly suppress the Black Bloods household, so that was enough.
Cale was shaking his head when he made eye contact with Zero.
Zero had a stiff expression on his face instead of smiling like a crazy bastard as he usually did.
“…Did that happen because you used too much of your power?”
“I’m not sure.”
Cale avoided answering because he did not know for sure.
“…But you are not saying that was not the reason.”
Zero quietly mumbled.
Cale did not say anything else.
‘I mean it is kind of true?’
He needed to use his power to defeat the monsters that would pollute this world and restore balance through purification.
Zero’s comment was right to a degree.
Zero then quietly chuckled.
However, that was neither a happy laughter nor a sneer; it was an empty laugh.
‘What is up with him?’
Cale looked at Zero in confusion but Zero was looking at the ceiling while mumbling.
He was scowling as if he could not hold in the frustration anymore.
“Fuck. In the end-”
Zero finished the sentence in his mind.
‘In the end he did sacrifice himself.’
He had seen Cale stagger. He had also heard Mary mention the Purifier’s tendency to sacrifice himself.
Zero looked down again and made eye contact with the Pope. The Pope closed her eyes.
“Oh esteemed Purifier.”
A deep sigh could be heard in her voice.
“…I happened to hear that there are still many enemies for you to fight in other worlds.”
The Pope continued to speak without being able to look at Cale.
“Despite that, will you be okay?”
She barely managed to added on.
“…If you lost your power?”
Will he be okay even without his power?
The mood in the meeting room became extremely heavy after the Pope’s question.
The Black Bloods household.
They had been so strong that the people here would not have been able to defeat them without the Purifier and his people.
The reason they were able to defeat such enemies without anybody getting seriously injured was because of the Purifier’s overwhelming power.
The Purifier was slowly losing that power.
Would he still be okay?
The Pope, despite being the one to ask, could not even imagine how Cale would respond.
‘Should I not have asked?’
As she had that thought…
The response came soon.
“Of course I will be okay?”
She heard a stoic, brusque yet firm voice.
The Pope looked at Cale.
His eyes were as calm as usual.
Cale continued to speak.
“Why would I not be okay?”
‘It’s just going back to normal?’
Busy tomorrow again… see you all Wednesday.
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