The Whipper Kingdom didn’t even mention when they should meet.
‘Come whenever you want!’
They said that their door was always open. At least for Cale.
The crown prince smiled brightly as he shared this information with Cale.
‘Cale, you go. It sounded like Commander Toonka wants to see you.’
On the other hand, Cale frowned after hearing that.
That made Alberu smile even brighter as he waved.
‘Go and take good care of things. You won’t need to do any of the complicated stuff.’
Although it was going to a foreign kingdom as a representative of Roan, Cale accepted without giving it much thought.
‘I just need to open the door today.’
The administrators would take care of the details later.
‘The Duke’s House of Henituse and Billos will take care of my mines issue as well.’
Cale subconsciously smiled with satisfaction.
‘I just need to install the mine and relax while I make money.’
It was great.
This was truly a reliable means of wealth for his future slacker life.
“Hahaha! My close friend! You must be happy to see me as well! Hahahaha! Your smile is very nice to see!”
Of course, that smile lost strength as soon as he heard Toonka’s voice.
However, the way Cale looked at Toonka was not completely unsettled.
‘…He’s turned into a decent guy now.’
The Toonka who was always shouting for war and willing to sacrifice his allies was no longer visible.
“It’s been a while, Commander-nim.”
Chief Harol Kodiang, who had been full of thoughts of revenge against the Tower Master of the Magic Tower and mages in general…
That bastard basically showed no traces of those feelings anymore as well.
“It has been a while, Chief Harol.”
Cale shook the hand that Harol Kodiang extended toward him.
“Oh right, you are no longer just a Chief. No, I should not speak so informally to you anymore, sir.”
Minister of State.
That was Harol’s new position.
“It somehow ended up that way. But you can still speak informally to me.”
Harol’s smile made Cale clearly see that, ‘It somehow ended up that way,’ really meant that Harol made it happen that way.
Cale liked that quite a bit.
‘This makes the conversation easy.’
He looked at Commander Toonka and Minister of State Harol… And started to speak again.
“Why don’t we go inside and chat?”
His voice sounded quite entertained as he continued to speak.
“There are too many eyes here.”
“You are right, Cale-nim.”
Choi Han, who was standing behind Cale, agreed. Cale slowly looked around.
Cale had teleported and arrived right in front of the palace at the center of the Whipper Kingdom’s Royal Palace.
Although there were warriors stationed around here and some administrators as well…
‘They are not the only ones here.’
There were many people all around them looking at them.
They must be the people who work in the Royal Palace.
‘The rumors are going to spread quickly.’
Not everybody who worked in the Royal Palace was tight-lipped.
Some of them had quite loose lips.
The fact that Cale and sword master Choi Han visited the Whipper Kingdom would soon spread all over.
‘I’m sure there are spies here as well.’
Eyes sent from other kingdoms were bound to exist in the Whipper Kingdom.
Cale Henituse, who had not shown himself for quite a while and stayed in confinement, came out to happily chat with the crown prince just a few days ago.
He then came to visit the Whipper Kingdom.
The foreign kingdoms were bound to notice that something was happening.
‘If they don’t realize anything from this…’
Then they are not observant at all.
And anybody who is even a little bit observant would soon realize it.
“Please let me escort you to a quiet place.”
Harol was extremely respectful to Cale despite now being the Minister of State.
“I ask for your understanding of our lack of preparations at your sudden visit.”
Cale shook his head.
“There is no need for such understanding between us.”
Harol flinched after seeing Cale acting in such a friendly manner.
“Of course! With our relationship, you can just treat it as coming to visit your next door neighbor!”
Although Toonka was shouting with joy…
Harol noticed the small smile on Cale’s face at that moment.
Cale put on a gentle and warm smile as he commented.
“Yeah. There is no need to complicate things between close friends.”
Before they headed off to a quiet area… He purposely spoke loud enough for others to hear.
“The trust and faith that the Whipper Kingdom has shown us… Made it impossible for me not to come visit.”
Harol’s gaze clouded over for a moment.
“…I knew that you would not come without reason, but… There really is a reason for your visit.”
“Of course. Have you ever seen me moving without purpose?”
Harol, who felt something from this conversation, looked around before leading the way.
“Please come this way.”
The door to the palace they were standing in front of soon opened.
Originally, this would have been the King’s Palace.
However, the King was just a puppet now and was residing in a different palace.
This palace was now a place they met to discuss the issues of the Kingdom.
“I’ve prepared a great place for you, Commander Cale.”
Harol led Cale to a small room at the top of the palace.
That finally made the gazes focused on them disappear one by one.
“Hahaha! How disappointing. We should be having a celebration!”
Cale ignored Toonka and followed Harol when he heard Harol’s voice.
“You seem to be perfectly fine and alive, Commander Cale.”
He seemed different in demeanor compared to how he had been outside. Cale chuckled at Harol’s voice that sounded a bit sarcastic.
“Yeah. I’m fine. Do you not like that?”
Harol did not respond. He just started walking a little faster.
Cale and Choi Han, who was keeping Toonka in check, did not react in any way to Harol’s reaction.
It was because they knew Harol’s true feelings.
‘Even if Toonka told them to support the restoration of Puzzle City, it would have been impossible without Harol’s permission.’
The money sent from the Whipper Kingdom to support Puzzle City…
It would only have been handled so efficiently because Harol gave his permission.
Cale followed Harol and looked around.
“The system has been set up pretty well.”
“…It needed to be done.”
The Whipper Kingdom was no longer at war.
‘Honestly speaking, Harol is not Minister of State material.’
He was not such a skilled person.
However, as someone who received the support of the people alongside Toonka, he needed to take a central position.
‘That is the only way for people who follow Harol to take their positions in the kingdom.’
The Whipper Kingdom had been in a situation where the Magic Tower had swallowed the kingdom.
The intellectuals who had rebelled against that had gathered into one tribe with Toonka at the center. Their lunacy had calmed down a bit through the war against the Magic Tower and the Mogoru Empire.
‘It is now time to take care of the internal affairs.’
The Whipper Kingdom, which had been suppressed by magic in the past, could now develop a new specialty now.
Maybe a unique kingdom not focused on magic nor knights could appear.
‘But it is not highly likely.’
This was because they did not have money.
“This is the place.”
The only room at the top of the palace…
Harol opened the door to that room as he commented.
“This is a great place to have a quiet conversation.”
Cale walked into the room.
* * *
Toonka started speaking in an extremely excited voice.
“I told them to prepare a proper feast! Make sure to eat before you go!”
“…You really aren’t having a celebration?”
Toonka smiled awkwardly at Cale’s comment.
“Hahahaha! The celebration, the celebration-”
Toonka hesitated before adding on.
“Let’s have a celebration next time! Hahahaha! My close friend, in return, I am always willing to feed you! Why don’t you stay here for around three days before heading back?”
He didn’t want to do that.
It would be quite annoying to deal with Toonka for three days.
‘At least this guy is thinking more about things now.’
The bastard who used to never care about allies nor money had given up on a celebration.
This should be his way of considering the Whipper Kingdom’s situation.
Cale’s gaze moved to Harol.
“I heard you immediately sent money to the Roan Kingdom to support the restoration of Puzzle City?”
“And quite a lot of money at that.”
“…It was not that much, Commander Cale.”
Cale shook his head at Harol’s comment.
“It was a lot of money considering the Whipper Kingdom’s current situation.”
He would have thought that the Caro Kingdom was being quite cheap if they had given that much money.
However, based on the Whipper Kingdom’s current economic situation he was able to learn from Billos due to Billos’s connections in the Whipper Kingdom…
Although they might make it past this bleak ‘winter’ right now, it would become more difficult as time went by.
The destruction of their main business, magic.
The devastation within the kingdom from the internal conflict…
The loss from the war with the Mogoru Empire…
The effect from that trifecta of issues was finally revealing itself.
It was as if all of the economic issues until now had been nothing in comparison.
‘…I didn’t know it would be this bad.’
Even the crown prince had shared his shock after reading through the information Billos had organized.
‘I’m sure even his highness wouldn’t have known about the realistic state of affairs.’
Roan had enough to take care of right now.
Cale called out to Toonka in a low voice.
He didn’t like this bastard very much, but… He could not ignore him at this point.
At least this bastard had shown loyalty.
“It is possible that I am overstepping here, but… There are some things I would like to ask. Is it okay to ask?”
“…Yes. You are allowed to ask whatever you want.”
Cale responded after seeing Toonka responding in a serious manner that was unlike his usual self.
“Do you want to gain more land? Do you want a war?”
“In your opinion, isn’t the easiest way to survive taking things from others?”
Choi Han held back a gulp after seeing Cale acting different from his usual self. He then felt relieved after seeing Harol lean back in a relaxed manner.
Harol was looking at Cale and Toonka with interest. He even smiled after making eye contact with Choi Han.
“…My close friend.”
Toonka responded after a long time.
“I always want to fight.”
Cale’s eyebrow rose slightly this time. Choi Han flinched as well.
Harol laughed at that moment.
Toonka raised his hand.
His fist slammed down on the table.
Toonka looked at Cale with a burning gaze as Cale flinched.
“I want to fight like you!”
Cale was a bit scared at Toonka’s energy.
However, Toonka continued to slam his hand on the table as he shouted.
“That is the true way of a warrior!”
“A fight where you don’t even fear the gods! The battle! That firmness to never retreat!”
“A value that a warrior who fights against nature should pursue!”
Toonka seemed quite excited as his shoulders and body were moving up and down.
Cale looked down at the table.
The table was completely destroyed.
‘Ah, right, this guy is super strong.’
Although he was beaten by Choi Han quite a bit, nobody could beat Toonka when it came to natural physical talents.
Furthermore, he recovered quite quickly no matter how pummeled he got.
There was no better tanker than this.
“I realized something after seeing our close friends fight against the White Star! That war against the Mogoru Empire was nothing!”
Toonka looked back and forth between Cale and Choi Han.
Choi Han looked away after realizing that he was a part of ‘our close friends.’
Cale asked in an unsettled tone.
“…So, you are saying that you have no intentions of going after other kingdoms’ lands?”
“Yeah! I don’t want wars like that anymore! I want to fight! A true fight! A fight against the strong!”
Toonka was still the same.
He still liked to fight and acted as if there was no tomorrow.
‘…But it is not a bad direction.’
Cale then turned to look at Harol.
Harol raised both hands in the air.
“I now have things to protect as well.”
Cale’s face turned odd after hearing that. Harol had been even crazier than Toonka in the past.
“I need to let the people who follow me live properly.”
He quietly observed Cale and slowly responded.
“…At least, it felt like I would not regret it if I lived like that.”
Cale found his odd gaze to be weird, but… He asked one more thing.
“Then will you go to war again if you had money?”
Toonka shook his head. He seemed a bit frustrated.
“My close friend. That is not what I mean!”
He continued in a stern voice.
“It’s insignificant! Wars like that are nothing! Now, I, just like you…!”
He pointed at Cale.
“I don’t want to fight if it is not a fight like the ones you are fighting in!”
Choi Han’s face did not look so good.
‘Does he even know how hard Cale-nim’s fights are as he says these things? Battles are insignificant? There’s no desire to fight? War was not something like that.’
The weight of war was not something to look down upon.
However, Choi Han did not point his blade toward Toonka.
“In addition, well, I don’t want to make those bastards who follow me fight meaningless battles.”
He understood the meaning behind Toonka’s words.
‘…He means that if he is to fight, he wants to fight in meaningful battles like Cale-nim.’
Although he didn’t agree, he at least understood what Toonka was trying to say.
Cale then turned to look at Harol.
“If we have money…”
It was rare to see Harol hesitating like this.
“I want to create an academy.”
“You had that kind of thought?”
Toonka looked at Harol in shock and Harol shrugged.
“We need a new way to survive without the Magic Tower.”
He then added on.
“Since it looks like a new Magic Tower and a new Alchemists’ Tower will be created soon… We need to grow a power to go against that.”
Cale was a bit wowed at this response.
‘It is true that Miss Rosalyn’s Magic Tower and Mogoru’s new Alchemists’ Tower will be created in the new free city.’
Cale would be a bit busy because of that issue soon.
‘There needs to be a power to contest against those two things.’
Harol wanted to be the power to contest them.
‘That’s not bad.’
In fact, it was needed.
Magic and Alchemy… Although both of those things were important, they needed other things as well.
Cale nodded his head before looking at Harol.
He then chuckled.
“You have a gaze of anticipation.”
“I felt as if you might have come with a gift, Commander Cale.”
Harol truly was a smart person. He knew how to look at the whole picture.
“Yeah. I came with a gift.”
Cale put his hand into his inner pocket.
It was at that moment.
The divine item went off.
As Toonka and the others were confused…
Cale tried to ignore it. There were other things to take care of first.
Ding! Ding! Ding!
…The notifications continued to come.
Ding! Ding! Ding!
It was loud.
Harol addressed the situation.
“I don’t know what it is, but you can check it, Commander Cale.”
Cale sighed before taking a spatial pocket bag out of his inner pocket.
He then pulled a single page document out of it and placed it on what remained of the table.
This single-page document…
Harol’s eyes opened wide.
Toonka’s eyes opened wide as well.
Harol, who was rarely this flustered, heard Cale’s nonchalant voice.
“What’s wrong? Isn’t this the gift you were expecting?”
“T, this much-”
This gift was far beyond what Harol had expected.
‘I thought he would give us some treasures or money, but something like this-’
He heard the nonchalant voice again.
“Isn’t a silver mine a decent gift?”
It was just one of a size that had never been found on either the Eastern or Western continent.
Harol looked at Cale. Cale pulled a mirror out and nonchalantly commented. It was as if this was nothing to him.
“Look through the details. There are a few things you need to know.”
As Harol was at a loss of words at Cale’s extremely calm demeanor…
Cale checked the messages with a stoic look on his face.
< Cale-nim...! Central Plains did it......! - Sincerely, Central Plains who is waiting for praise >
< Central Plains can get it done if he puts his mind to it......! >
< Central Plains did it......! >
‘Oh? Did he raise the limit?’
Cale’s eyes clouded over.
Toonka is just in awe of what Cale is doing.
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