That odd sensation continued until Cale arrived at the dinner table. All he said was one sentence.
“I will be visiting the Whipper Kingdom for a bit.”
The spoon in the hand of his youngest sister, the 7-year-old Lily, fell to the ground. Cale turned to look at Lily after hearing the noise only to see Lily with a pale face and the corners of her lips shaking.
“My teacher said.”
Lily didn’t even think about picking up the spoon as she continued to mumble.
“The Whipper Kingdom is very scary right now and people die every day. The nobles have to hide and it is even hard to eat yummy food! You can’t even sleep in peace! That is what my teacher said!”
Her emotions seemed to be getting stronger as she continued to speak. She then started to frown after looking toward Cale.
“You are not allowed to do that.”
Count Deruth cut Lily off and sternly answered. Cale looked toward Deruth with confusion. The crown prince had promised assistance during his travel to the Whipper Kingdom so that he could safely and stealthily get there.
‘We will tell your family that you are doing my bidding. There’s no need to tell them about the mages or Magic Tower or anything of the sort, right?’
‘Of course. Secrets are the best. I also only want my family and the Ubarr territory liege to know of my travels.’
‘Naturally. I will have it all prepared.’
Crown prince Alberu then immediately informed Count Deruth that it was a secret mission that he had tasked for Cale.
“Father, it is an order from his highness, the crown prince.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
The good-natured and average looking Count Deruth’s face was extremely scrunched up in a frown. Cale looked around to Basen, who was stiff like time had frozen, and then to the only person who looked calm, Violan.
She casually asked once they made eye contact.
“Is this your own decision?”
“Yes. I wish to go.”
Violan put her spoon down and continued to speak.
“You know it is dangerous over there?”
Cale lightly agreed. However, it would be fine with Choi Han, the Black Dragon, Rosalyn, and Lock. Even Hilsman and the 10 Wolf Children were passionately asking him to take them with him, so he didn’t think he would be in danger at all.
“Cale, just remember one thing. I am always worried about you, my son. We all worry about you. However.”
Violan’s gaze suddenly turned sharp.
“We don’t care about this kingdom at all.”
“Ahem, wife, we need the kingdom to be safe for our family to be safe as well.”
Deruth stopped frowning and let out a fake cough. However, Violan ignored it and continued to ask Cale.
“Is this your decision?”
Violan asked the same question once more and Cale immediately responded back.
“I am a Golden Turtle.”
Count Deruth recalled what he had said to his son not too long ago.
‘We protect anything and everything with our very sturdy shell. However, the most important thing is to protect ourselves.’
He looked toward his son, who seemed calm and relaxed.
“It is most important for me to use my sturdy shell to protect myself.”
That was Cale’s answer.
“I am a Henituse after all.”
Of course, Cale put his own safety first. He would only step into a battlefield if it looked like they would definitely win, and he had the strongest person on the battlefield next to him.
“You don’t need to worry.”
His voice was full of certainty and his gaze was confident. Countess Violan started to smile.
“Alright, I understand. But I do not think I can stop worrying. That is what it means to be a parent.”
There really wasn’t a reason to worry, but Cale nodded at Violan anyways. Count Deruth kept his mouth shut as they restarted their meal. Based on how he was not telling Cale that he could not go, it seemed like he had accepted it as well.
“They think we’ll do anything they order us to do because we have been staying low for a while.”
Count Deruth just mumbled to himself as he roughly chewed on a piece of a meat every so often. However, seeing as how there was no more opposition, Cale peacefully focused on his meal again.
He was focusing on his meal intensely, such that he did not notice what happened next.
He didn’t see that the gaze shared between Count Deruth and Countess Violan was not normal. He also didn’t know that after dinner, Count Deruth ordered the butler to secretly gather any and all information related to the crown prince and the Whipper Kingdom, regardless of the cost.
Cale just finished the great meal and left the dining room. He could hear someone rushing toward him, although this was against the nobles’ etiquette.
It was Basen and Lily who chased after Cale.
“…Hyung-nim, must you go?”
He didn’t need to go, but he just preferred 10 years of peaceful days rather than just one day. Cale continued to speak to his two quiet siblings.
“Both of you need to focus on your studies and training. I can only go around like this because the two of you are here holding things down.”
Cale was always at peace knowing Basen would become the next liege of the territory and Lily the commanding officer for the military. At least they wouldn’t have the typical drama plotlines of the eldest son and the more talented younger son fighting for the successor position nor something of the sort.
Cale turned away from the siblings who were still just quietly watching him. He still had a lot to prepare. Cale started to walk away as he spoke to his siblings again.
“I will bring you both some souvenirs from the Whipper Kingdom.”
Cale could not see that Basen and Lily’s gazes were focused on Cale before exchanging glances with each other and nodding their heads. He had absolutely no idea that his younger siblings had already decided their future occupations.
A few days later, Cale was happy that he was able to get on the ship at exactly the time he planned to do so.
“Young master Cale.”
Cale looked toward the source of the voice as soon as he got on the ship.
“Young lady Amiru.”
Amiru quietly observed Cale, who was still just as relaxed as before. The Ubarr liege had already gotten on the same boat as the crown prince, so Amiru had ordered for them to prepare the largest and strongest ship as soon as she received the crown prince’s order.
“Young master Cale, I hope that you return safely without hurting yourself this time.”
“I hope for the same as well.”
He had absolutely no plans to get hurt. Cale could see that Amiru started to frown like she didn’t believe him.
“I do not understand why his highness would send you to that dangerous place when you just finished your recovery. However, his highness is probably sending you because it is you, and he can trust you.”
Trust? The crown prince was not the type to trust anyone. Cale had no problem honestly saying that with a stiff expression.
“Really? I’m not so sure. He didn’t seem to trust me much at all.”
Amiru raised her voice at Cale’s bitter smile.
“Of course! Young master Cale, if it means anything, I trust you.”
“Ah, yes, well, thank you very much young lady Amiru.”
Seeing Amiru respond so fiercely, which was opposite her calm demeanor, Cale could not say anything else. He then started to walk again as they needed to leave on time. He had people he needed to meet.
“Young master Ca-.”
“I’ll be on my way now, young lady Amiru.”
Amiru had some other things to say, but just closed her mouth. The image of Cale pushing back his red hair that was moving along with the ocean breeze was both refreshing and cool.
Cale got on the ship with a relaxed heart after seeing that Amiru was no longer trying to hold him back. He got on the deck and could see that the village was very noisy with construction right now.
Furthermore, some of the other whirlpools had disappeared, creating a safe path that was wide enough for a large ship.
‘But the rest of the whirlpools are still the same.’
Cale turned his gaze back to the ship and started to sigh.
How did he end up with so many people?
Choi Han, Lock, and Rosalyn.
The kittens, On and Hong, were shaking because they were on water yet were adamant that they would come with him.
Hans, who was next to the kittens.
Finally, Vice Captain Hilsman, who was completely pale because he was on a ship, Beacrox, who was observing Hilsman silently, and the ten Wolf children next to him.
‘If I get hurt with all of these freaks around me, that would be very surprising.’
Someone might even think he was trying to go destroy a kingdom right now.
Why would he fear anything, especially with the Black Dragon coming along as well?
Cale gave an order to the group, who were all looking at him.
The horn sounded their departure across the Ubarr sea. The ship was disguised as a trade ship. Well, that wasn’t really a disguise.
‘It is a trade I am making after all.’
But it will naturally not be a fair trade. It would be very beneficial for Cale, but unfair for the other party.
He could hear the Black Dragon’s voice, but chose to ignore it and enjoy the refreshing ocean breeze. Just like that, the ship started to head for the Whipper Kingdom’s smallest port.
Later that night.
Cale was not sleeping but standing on the deck. It was close to midnight, so nobody else was on the deck, but the deck was lit up and the full moon made it not dark at all.
He was planning to meet some guests here tonight.
Cale leaned on one of the railings as he calmly looked out to the ocean. It was at that moment.
The Black Dragon revealed himself and approached Cale. There was no need to be invisible because nobody else was here right now.
“I was just wondering…”
The Black Dragon seemed to have a lot on his mind. No, he seemed very suspicious as he blankly looked Cale up and down.
“…Is the name you are thinking of a random word?”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
The Black Dragon seemed very concerned.
“I feel like you will pick something like Black or Dragon.”
“Ah, your name?”
The Black Dragon was talking about his name. Cale made a very serious expression at the 4-year old’s very concerned question.
“…Is a name like that not very good?”
Cale’s expression was very serious. The Black Dragon had not seen Cale look so serious for a while now. The Black Dragon’s eyes started to shake as he urgently responded.
“Not at all! I am fine with anything! It is fine as long as you give me a name, human! Do not worry!”
His wings were fluttering rapidly, and his tail was shaking as he strongly appealed to Cale. Cale’s expression instantly turned normal like he was never serious at all.
“Then I am glad.”
He then casually continued on.
“Raon, On and Hong would have been sad if they heard what you said.”
Silence suddenly filled the area.
“…Human, what did you just say?”
Cale had actually thought a lot about the Black Dragon’s name, contrary to the Black Dragon’s expectation. A name was a special thing given to someone. For Kim Rok Soo who had to live on his own, the only thing that was given to him by his parents was his name.
“Your first name is Raon.”
Raon. It meant joyful in pure Korean.
“And your last name is Miru.”
Miru. Pure Korean for Dragon.
Joyful Dragon. It was a funny name, but Cale had come up with it with full sincerity. He was worried that Choi Han might be suspicious of a pure Korean name, but he had come up with an excuse for that as well.
A calm voice reached the Black Dragon’s ears. However, The Black Dragon had never seen such an expression on Cale’s face before. A calm smile was on Cale’s face right now.
“I came up with this name in the hopes that you will be happy and live a joyful life.”
“…What does it mean?”
The Black Dragon asked Cale for the meaning of the name. Cale pointed to the Black Dragon with his index finger.
Raon and Miru. Neither of these words existed in this world. There was only one thing these two words stood for in this world.
“It is you. They are words just for you and only you.”
Cale started to smile as he patted the Dragon’s head.
“Since you are a great and mighty dragon.”
“…Only me ……”
The Black Dragon mumbled to himself for a while before patting away Cale’s hand from his head and stretched out his wings. His wings were fluttering rapidly as he snorted.
“I guess it is useful. I will do you a special service and use this name.”
The Dragon started to scrunch his nose. The corners of his lips were twitching as he flew up into the air.
“I am the great and mighty Raon Miru.”
“Right. I am Raon.”
The Black Dragon had received a first name and a last name after four years of life. He now had something other than his body that belonged to just him. The Dragon raised his head.
He could see the darkness of the night sky that was different from the darkness inside the cave. It was a night like this when he had been rescued from the cave. The Black Dragon, Raon, would never forget that moment. He also felt like he would never forget this moment either.
Cale raised his head like the Black Dragon. The night sky was the same no matter where he went. He could hear Raon’s voice as he blankly continued to stare at the sky.
“Thank you, Cale.”
Cale looked toward Raon with surprise. However, The Black Dragon was already back to normal.
“Human, how is it that you cannot understand the first time?”
“Why don’t you say it once more?”
Cale started to smile as he tried to pat Raon’s head. Raon headbutted the palm and strongly objected.
“No. I really, truly, absolutely will not! Weak human, go inside and sleep! You will catch a cold.”
However, contrary to his actions, Raon’s wings were fluttering and his tail was wagging like On and Hong. Cale quietly laughed at Raon’s appearance. The quietly laughing Cale was very visible, even though it was night time and they were out in the ocean.
“I think it will be difficult to go back in.”
“Why is it diff-.”
Raon suddenly stopped talking before looking out into the ocean. He was looking at a spot far from the ship.
The water parted as a large existence slowly showed itself.
It was a Whale.
It was at that moment.
Someone urgently shot out from inside the ship and was rushing toward Cale at a very fast pace. It was Choi Han. Choi Han had a worried expression as he inspected the existence that was slowly revealing themselves. He then turned to look at Cale and approached him.
It was then that Choi Han could see it.
Cale was waving at him to go away with a very annoyed expression. The Dragon Raon then scoffed at Choi Han and started to speak.
“They are not enemies.”
Choi Han turned to look back at the ocean. At the same time, Cale stopped leaning on the railing and bowed his head toward the ocean.
It was not just one Whale. There were three Whales coming to them.
The guests had arrived.
One was Witira, the Humpback Whale. The other was a Killer Whale. And finally.
“I greet the Whale King.”
Cale greeted the largest of the three, a Humpback Whale, the Whale King.