“It has been a while since all of us ate together like this.”
Cale placed a piece of steak in his mouth and nodded at Deruth’s comment.
He then made eye contact with Duke Deruth as he peeked up.
The Duke was looking at him with a satisfied gaze.
Next to him was the still strict-looking Duchess Violan, who was thoroughly inspecting Cale.
Lily, who was seated next to Duchess Violan, looked down almost to the point that her nose was touching the plate, when she made eye contact with Cale.
Cale’s cheeks felt hot. He could feel Basen’s fervent gaze from next to him.
‘Should I have brought the kids?’
The children averaging nine-years-old told Cale to have a nice meal as a family and went to the Black Castle with Eruhaben who came to get them.
‘Human! We are going to my mom!’
Raon was excited to head to the Black Castle in the Forest of Darkness to see former Dragon Lord Sheritt.
This was On’s suggestion.
‘I hope you can have a nice time together, nya.’
Cale couldn’t help but frequently think that On was more thoughtful than most adults. Of course, Cale hoped that On would be able to be less thoughtful and freer.
Duke Deruth couldn’t hide his concern and asked.
“This time, umm, are you feeling okay?”
Cale responded without any hesitation.
He could clearly say that without lying.
“I did not cough up any blood nor did I faint. I didn’t even fall over.”
Although he did get extremely dizzy for a little bit… ‘That’s nothing.’
“I slept well, I ate well, and to be honest with you, I did not face any difficulties during my time there.”
A voice that could come off as a bit cold responded back.
“It does seem that way.”
It was Duchess Violan. Cale looked at her perfectly kept hair before making eye contact with her.
“You’ve gained some weight.”
“I think so.”
The corners of Violan’s lips curled up a bit. Cale knew that this tiny change in her expression meant that she was very pleased.
Cale turned to look at Lily after sensing her gaze.
“You’re even taller now.”
Lily flinched at his comment before vigorously nodding her head.
Basen added on.
“Even I get surprised at it, hyung-nim. I would see her and then the next time she would be taller.”
Cale agreed with Basen. Lily seemed to be getting taller every time he saw her.
‘The blood of our family’s martial artist history could be strongest in Lily.’
As a martial artist household, the members of the House of Henituse tended to have good physique. Lily seemed to be the one in Cale’s generation who carried on that blood the most.
“Cale. Were there no difficulties in that world?”
Cale snapped out of his thoughts about his youngest sibling and recalled something after hearing Duke Deruth’s question.
“Ah, excuse me.”
He put down his fork and knife and pulled a spatial pocket bag out of his inner pocket.
‘I should tell them when I have the time.’
He was among family right now anyway. It wouldn’t matter to tell them.
He heard Basen’s anxious voice next to him but Cale continued to pull things out of the bag.
Cale nonchalantly responded to Duchess Violan’s shaking voice.
“These are presents.”
There was a sculpture that looked more luxurious than splendid despite having jewels all over it.
Then there was a fountain pen with a diamond.
A scabbard decorated with beautiful jewels with a small dagger in it.
A turtle sculpture that looked as if it was made by melting a bar of gold.
“I couldn’t come back empty-handed after going on a trip.”
Silence filled the room for a moment.
Duchess Violan asked.
“Is the sculpture for me?”
“Yes ma’am. I thought that it would be to your liking.”
Duke Deruth stared blankly for a bit before asking.
“Umm, where did you get these things-?”
Cale calmly answered back.
“I swiped them from a tomb owned by the former Emperor.”
“I didn’t swipe them; I was gifted them by the future Empress.”
Basen asked this time.
“Hyung-nim, you went to another world, swiped things from the tomb of the former Emperor in an Empire there. But the future Empress said you could keep the things?”
Yeah. She said it was a reward. Do you like the fountain pen? I have other things as well. Do you want more?”
Basen shook his head at Cale’s question.
“No… This is enough, hyung-nim.”
He thoroughly inspected Cale before continuing to speak.
“…Yes. It is fine as long as he is not hurt. Being healthy is important.”
Cale found it odd that Basen was mumbling to himself but he had more things to say to his father.
He handed the last thing he pulled out of the spatial pocket bag to his father.
“…A magic stone?”
Cale nodded his head at the confused Deruth.
“Yes sir. It is a magic stone.”
“It seems to be an extremely high-quality magic stone.”
“Yes sir. In Roan, something like this would be considered a highest-grade magic stone.”
In Xiaolen, this was only considered a high-grade magic stone.
Cale had been shocked to find that out.
In a place like Xiaolen that was overflowing with magic stones mines, something that was considered highest-grade in Roan was only high-grade.
Cale had brought a mine full of magic stones that were considered highest-grade magic stones in Xiaolen.
“How would you feel if we had a mine full of magic stones that were even higher quality than this one?”
Cale asked the confused Deruth.
“How are the territory’s marble and wine businesses right now?”
Basen reacted in shock to that question. His eyes clouded over.
“Hyung-nim, have you developed interest in businesses within the territory?”
Cale flinched at Basen’s exaggeratedly sparkling eyes before smiling.
“Basen. Do you know about them?”
“Of course! I can explain all of it to you, hyung-nim!”
His smile became thicker.
‘Basen has a firm grasp on the businesses in the territory.’
He truly deserved to be the lord in the future.
Being a member of the House of Henituse, he knew the importance of money from a young age. No matter how much he thought about it, Basen truly was the person who should lead the Duke’s House of Henituse in the future.
“Should I explain in detail?”
Cale looked at Basen, who wanted to quickly say the things he knew, with a look of satisfaction before responding.
Cale added on as Basen flinched at Cale’s response.
“I’m sure it is not bad based on the look on your face. Isn’t that right, father?”
“Yeah. It is not bad.”
It was neither good nor bad right now.
Cale nodded his head before placing the magic stone in front of his father and nonchalantly commenting.
“I will place a magic stones mine that will produce magic stones that are better than highest-grade magic stones in our territory.”
The silent Deruth opened his mouth.
“Cale. Please explain in detail.”
Cale had no problem discussing this because the meal had progressed to the point where dessert was about to be served.
He gave an extremely simple explanation without going into details about gods, other worlds, etc.
After hearing everything, Deruth’s face had changed from that of Cale’s father to that of the Lord of the Henituse territory.
However, he could not speak.
Duchess Violan spoke in his place. Her voice was cracking a bit.
“Cale, so you are saying that you earned a magic stones mine that is larger than any on the Eastern and Western continents combined as a reward. The qualities of those magic stones are even better than highest-grade magic stones and there are quite a lot of stones to mine in there?”
“And you want to place that in the Henituse territory, in the area between the Lord’s Castle and Harris Village?”
At first, Cale had considered putting the mine in the Forest of Darkness.
‘Then it would be difficult to have that relaxing slacker life.’
If he did that, Harris Village and the Forest of Darkness would urgently be developed with the mine at the center. Then Cale’s plan to be a slacker and farm in peace would crumble.
‘In order for the Tigers, Wolves, and Dragons to live in peace… It is better not to put the mine there.’
Cale looked at the silent Deruth and added on.
“Ah, please let me know if there are any other mines you would like as well.”
“Yes sir. Diamond, gold, silver, pretty much anything is possible.”
Cale had told the crown prince that they should talk about the location of the other mines. However, he would put the Henituse territory as the top spot if they desired more mines.
There was also the dead mana magic stones mine but that was better with the Dark Elves, Endable, or the crown prince.
Deruth shook his head as Cale waited for a response.
“…If the mine is as big as you say it is, that should be plenty. We do not need any more.”
Cale smiled internally while seeing Deruth truly mean what he said.
‘Yes. One is enough in the Henituse.’
Having more would be difficult to maintain.
“You should be able to discuss the details with his highness, father.”
Cale skillfully pushed the details off to Duke Deruth and Alberu.
‘It’s not like I know anything.’
Deruth was the expert for the territory and Alberu for the kingdom. It was better to follow the two of their suggestions.
‘At least the two of them will not rip me off.’
Deruth nodded his head.
“Yeah. Something like that is my responsibility.”
He looked at Cale. Although he gained some weight, Cale was still pale and looked weak. There was probably nobody in the entire history of the House of Henituse who looked as weak as Cale.
‘…It’s not like he looks like his maternal family either.’
Cale’s maternal family had healthy bodies as well.
‘I’m so worried about him.
He should look after himself more.
Why is he going around trying to save the world?’ In addition to that, he brought presents for the family and a reward that would be helpful to the territory.
‘I wish he would just get some medicine that would make him healthy as a reward-’
He didn’t care for himself and only cared for others.
Deruth felt upset.
Cale took a bite of the pudding that came out as dessert and commented.
“Father. I’m sure you will do well with the negotiations, but I hope that we can get stronger with the magic stones first.”
Strengthen the forces of the Henituse territory.
Deruth responded to his son’s concern.
Now that they received something precious, they needed to grow the strength to protect it.
“I will need to discuss it with the Royal Palace but we plan on pushing back the announcement of the mine for as long as possible.”
At least until the Henituse territory and the Roan Kingdom became much stronger by having a large quantity of magic stones in stock.
“Of course, I don’t think it will take very long.”
The Roan Kingdom was already famous for its magic.
As a result, having magic stones would allow it to exponentially grow its strength.
“I agree with you.”
Cale smiled with satisfaction that he did not need to speak in detail as he and his father had the same thought and gently patted Basen’s shoulder.
“You help father as well.”
It would be a part of his lessons on territory management.
The magic stones mine would probably become the core item to help the Henituse territory grow in the future.
Basen responded with determination.
‘I need to make sure that hyung-nim at least doesn’t have to worry about the territory while he is traveling through these other worlds.
I need to make it so that he can return and lead the territory in peace as he rests.
I will definitely make that happen.’
Basen heard Cale’s voice at that moment.
Cale looked at Deruth as he spoke.
“I will be going to Puzzle City for a day.”
“Yeah. You should go at least once.”
Deruth hesitated before nodding his head in understanding.
The White Star. Puzzle City was destroyed because of the battles against the White Star and the sealed god.
They should slowly be starting the restoration there.
Cale decided that he needed to stop by there.
There was someone to meet there as well.
* * *
The person he needed to meet was Billos.
Billos was the only person right now who could lead the Flynn Merchant Guild.
Cale heard something odd as soon as he met Billos.
“…So, you’re saying…”
Billos’s swollen face had recovered a lot but he was still in terrible condition.
Cale inspected his face while repeating what he had just heard.
“So you’re saying that the Whipper Kingdom, Breck Kingdom, and the Jungle jumped in to help with Puzzle City’s restoration-”
After hearing that much, Cale thought that at least these three kingdoms had tact.
“…But the Whipper Kingdom has no money right now?”
Billos smiled awkwardly and nodded his head.
“Yes sir. They are currently on a path to ruins. It is very bad.”
The Whipper Kingdom.
The land with Commander Toonka in charge.
Billos continued with an unsettled look on his face.
“Honestly speaking, that kingdom was surviving off of magic devices.”
After the Magic Tower was destroyed, the Whipper Kingdom had basically no knowledge of magic.
Although that allowed the Roan Kingdom’s magic to grow…
“Plus, there were so many wars. Mm. But it wasn’t as if they gained anything from these wars.”
Billos spoke as if it was an uncomfortable topic to discuss but he still spoke resolutely.
“…It has become time for that nation to crumble. Plus, it is winter right now, young master-nim.”
“…But they were the first to pay to help with Puzzle City’s restoration?”
“Yes, young master-nim… Commander Toonka said that this was because they were different from the Whipper Kingdom of the past and said that they must do this.”
One corner of Cale’s lips subtly twisted up. Billos gulped in response. Cale slowly started to speak.
“And the other nations are using this opening to gain a lot of things? I heard that they are making a lot of money?”
“…Yes, young master-nim. The Eastern and Western continents started to communicate with each other after the issue at Puzzle City and many nations have gained a lot of benefits as a result. Furthermore, since places such as Mogoru, Whipper, and Roan all require reconstruction, other places are benefiting quite a bit right now.”
Billos felt the mood getting sour but did not stop.
“The Caro Kingdom and the free city around there have started trading with the Northern Alliance and have been making a lot of money. Roan has not been able to gain a lot of benefits from trade because the kingdom is in its current state.”
Cale chuckled and commented toward Billos.
“Billos. You are bringing such things up as soon as we meet.”
“It is because I am frustrated, young master-nim. You are the only one I could say such things to without worry.”
Cale did not say anything about that.
The Flynn Merchant Guild was a mess right now. Billos was trying to lead the guild while not being fully recovered, so he probably had to keep most of his thoughts to himself.
Cale was truly the only person he could say such things to without worry.
“Seriously, the way the world is running, there is no shame at all.”
He then added on.
“No tact either.”
Cale quietly chuckled after hearing that people had no tact.
Billos did not know anything about the mines yet. Nonetheless, he was talking like this.
This was why Cale had worked with Billos for so long.
“Why do they have no tact?”
Billos answered without any hesitation at Cale’s question.
“Don’t you agree, young master-nim? They think that Roan has gotten weaker. The disappearance of his Majesty? His highness has the authority to rule anyway.”
“Even with the crumbling of the Duke’s House of Orsena, the new Duke’s House, the House of Henituse, is supporting the northeast region. Both Puzzle City and the northeast region will recover soon. Basically, there is no reason for our Roan Kingdom to be shaken. They don’t know that, which is why they have no tact or a sharp mind.”
That was the right answer.
“I knew it was easy to talk to you.”
“I agree, young master-nim.”
The two of them looked at each other and smiled.
Shame! Shame! Shame! *insert Game of Thrones meme*
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