It was a pretty long journey from the Henituse territory to the Stan territory located at the center of Roan Kingdom’s Northwest region.
“Human, can’t we hurry over with teleport magic?”
That was why Raon was constantly asking if they could just use magic. Raon’s abilities seemed to exponentially grow after being around Rosalyn for a while.
Cale remembered what Rosalyn had said to him.
‘A Dragon really is the best, even before their first growth. His abilities and learning speed are both scary.’
Dragons live very long lives. That is why there was still a lot of time before Raon’s first growth phase. Of course, the first growth phase could come earlier if a dragon receives some type of shock or a dragon desperately seeks power.
Dragons go through a total of three different growth phases. The first growth phase had minimal changes on the physical body. The second and third growth phases were where their bodies explosively grew, making them become a 20 meter long adult dragon after the third growth phase.
On the other hand, the first growth phase focuses on the internal aspects of the dragon. It could be considered setting the foundation for the second and third growth phases. Cale looked toward Raon, who was rolling the large, circular glass egg on the side of the simple, yet pretty large carriage.
Cale’s gaze made Raon shout once more.
“We’ll have to wait, even if we got there right now.”
Cale’s indifferent answer made Raon scrunch his nose before turning to focus on the seed inside the glass egg. It was the glass egg and seed they had found in the Magic Tower. Raon only used magic to decrease the size of the glass egg in order to become closer to the seed. He was working hard to grow it and observe it.
Cale, who had been thinking about taking the seed away from Raon as soon as it started to grow, turned toward Choi Han who called out to him.
“Is that plan really possible in the Stan territory?”
Choi Han had to also listen to Raon’s revenge plans as a lullaby for the last few days. Although he was only 4-years old, the dragon used vicious words like detention, violence, and torture.
However, they were all things that Raon had experienced for the first four years of his life.
“Why? You don’t like the plan?”
Raon quickly turned his head to look at Choi Han after hearing Cale’s question. However, the response that came out of Choi Han’s mouth was simple.
“No, I think the plan is passable. I am just wondering how we can deal with Marquis Stan and Venion Stan.”
Raon started to frown after hearing that his plan was passable. Cale didn’t know that Raon was contemplating new ideas about how to make this more dramatic as he started to speak.
“The newly recovered Taylor Stan is currently increasing his influence in the Stan territory.”
Taylor Stan, who had recovered the use of his legs through the help of the crown prince, was increasing his influence at a scary rate. The crown prince’s assistance played a big part in this, however, Taylor’s own skills and new health played important roles as well.
And Taylor had done something Venion would never even think about. Taylor had pointed his blade at the current lord of the Stan territory, Marquis Stan as well.
“His influence is not only inside his family.”
“Some of the Northwest nobles have chosen to trust him?”
Choi Han really was a smart person. Cale nodded at Choi Han, who quickly understood what he meant.
“Even the number of subordinate families who prefer Taylor Stan has increased as well.”
They probably felt like they could live at least a slightly easier life under Taylor.
In the past, Taylor’s weak body made them feel like he would bring down the glory of the Stan territory, however, that weakness had disappeared, and Taylor had also pulled in the crown prince. That was why people were slowly starting to trust that Taylor could be the next Marquis.
Of course, Cale didn’t know too much of the details. He had not contacted the crazy priestess Cage nor Taylor for a while. He just asked the crown prince for a general overview of the situation.
“The Marquis is just allowing that to happen?”
“He would no longer be the lord of the territory if he stopped Taylor.”
Choi Han became confused. Cale started to explain how the Marquis’s family was able to become known as cruel and cold but efficient.
“The Stan family’s motto is pretty much, ‘survival of the fittest.’ They believe the successor has to be the strongest child. Once they officially become the successor, they must kill their own siblings.”
For the Stan family, strength did not mean physical strength nor intelligence. The strongest was the one who survived. The Marquis had not done anything, even when Venion had destroyed his brother’s legs.
“The Marquis killing that strong candidate simply because he is strong when Taylor Stan has not done anything publicly to kill him?”
The Marquis could only sit back and observe as he increased his own influence. Of course, he would still stealthily help Venion, however, he could not do too much, as doing so would go against the family’s rules.
“…It is difficult to understand.”
There was no need to understand that. Cale continued to speak to Choi Han, who was looking at him.
“We just have to do what we have to do.”
“What is it we have to do?”
Hong, who was next to Raon, suddenly shouted out.
Cale quickly added on before Choi Han, who seemed to think nothing of such vicious methods, nodded his head.
“We need to first prepare.”
“Yes. We need a location and someone’s help.”
“Who is the person?”
“Someone you know as well.”
Choi Han started to think about the nobles who were at the capital when Cale had prevented the terror incident. He remembered Taylor Stan was there as well. Was Cale talking about Taylor Stan?
At that moment, a completely unexpected name came out of Cale’s mouth.
It was a foreign yet familiar name. Choi Han then recalled the moment he first met Lock, as well as the merchant who had hired him.
“Yes. We need to see him.”
Odeus Flynn, Billos’s uncle and someone who had given up on the successor position for the Flynn Merchant Guild. He was also the person secretly in control of the Northwest’s underworld right now.
To Choi Han and the others, he was just a good person who took care of Lock and the Blue Wolf Tribe. Cale was going to go meet that good person first. That would let good things happen to them.
“We won’t work with him for that long though.”
Choi Han shut up after seeing Cale’s smile. Choi Han had learned that it was best to just quietly follow Cale when he had such a devious smile on his face.
The simple carriage that looked like the type a slightly rich peasant would use slowly left the Northeast region and entered the Northwest region of the Roan Kingdom.
The wind lightly tapped on the window. It was a surprisingly windy night.
The man whose work would only start when night approached the Stan territory was leisurely leaning on his couch as usual. On his face was a gentle smile that he brought out every so often.
“I’m really curious.”
The man was very curious about what was going on. He tapped the armrest of the couch.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
The window rustled along with the beat of his tapping. The wind was getting stronger. The moment he started to listen to the sound of the wind, he heard the sound of knocking.
Knock knock knock.
He quickly got up from the couch.
Odeus Flynn quickly opened the door with that bright smile on his face.
“Aigoo, young master-nim and Choi Han. I didn’t expect the see the two of you. I was so shocked after getting Billos’s message.”
Cale received the favorable greeting he had expected from Odeus as he entered the room.
“No need to be shocked.”
Cale didn’t even look around as he answered indifferently and went over to sit down on a couch. Odeus watched that quietly before turning his gaze to the open door. Choi Han was standing there.
“I will wait outside.”
“Choi Han, you’re not coming in?”
Choi Han stood in front of the door like a guard. There was a corridor outside the door with a loud bar downstairs. This was the second floor of an inn in the Stan territory. This location, that was busy with people both night and day, was where Cale had told Billos to inform Odeus to meet him.
“Come in if you get tired.”
“I will, Odeus-nim. Please have a nice conversation.”
Odeus slowly closed the door. Cale was the only other person in the room. Odeus naturally walked over at sat down across from Cale. Odeus, who was sitting with the door to his back, comfortably started to converse with Cale.
“Young master-nim, it is very nice to see you again.”
“Yes. I never expected you to come see me like this.”
“I couldn’t believe it. Even Billos didn’t know where I was, so how did you know I was in the Stan territory?”
Cale didn’t respond to Odeus’s question right away, instead he sat up from the couch to lean forward. He then made eye contact with Odeus, who was watching him closely, as if he was observing him. Cale didn’t want to waste his time with such useless talk.
“Odeus, let me commission you for something.”
Cale’s phrasing made Odeus start to smile.
“You really did know about it. Billos is serving a very scary person.”
Odeus’s gaze became sharp as he said that. How did Cale know? Did he have that many abilities? However, Odeus did not put much meaning behind it.
Cale had a thought as he watched Odeus’s expression change.
‘He really is different than the others.’
Unlike everyone else whose secret identities were revealed by Cale, Odeus was not surprised at all. He just considered it to be out of his expectations.
The merchant of the underworld, who had experienced almost everything in his 60 years of life, asked Cale a question.
“What kind of commission are we talking about?”
“I knew you would be easy to talk to.”
Cale looked very comfortable, as if he was sitting in his own bedroom. Odeus couldn’t believe Cale’s relaxed demeanor, but quickly stopped a chuckle from coming out.
“Don’t you want to get rid of Marquis Stan?”
Instead, the favorable smile was firmly planted on his face.
“I’m not sure what you mean?”
“To be more specific, isn’t Marquis Stan getting in your way of completely controlling the Northwest’s underworld?”
Odeus just quietly sat there and smiled. However, that smile was slowly disappearing. Cale was very calm, as if he was just talking about the weather or something trivial like that.
“I’m sure the citizens would be shocked to hear about how such arrogant person like Marquis Stan, who claims to value the proper etiquettes of nobility, is actually someone who commits a lot of atrocities in the underworld. Am I right?”
However, those years of experience do not go away that easily. Odeus looked just as relaxed as Cale.
“What do you need me for?”
Cale easily responded back to the question.
This finally made Odeus look anxious. Service? Was it what he was thinking about?
“It is as you heard. I need your service to cover up everything I do in the Stan territory, as well as supply anything I need. This includes a place for me to stay as well as food for me to eat.”
Odeus started to smile as he casually asked.
“Are you trying to use my secret identity as a weakness in order to use me as a servant?”
However, Odeus’s tone was cold and sharp. Odeus’s gaze seemed to get past anxiety and turn into anger.
Cale nonchalantly responded back.
“Do you even know what I want to do?”
“…What are you talking about?”
“Do you know what I am trying to do?”
Knock knock knock.
At that moment, Odeus heard some knocks on the door. However, he could not turn around as Cale started to speak.
“By the way, there is a third party coming to this discussion today.”
It meant one more person was coming.
The door slowly opened, even though nobody said anything. Odeus got up from the couch and turned around.
The door opened all the way and someone wearing a robe entered the room. That person removed their hood as soon as they entered.
Odeus could not help but gasp. It was one of the people at the center of the information he considered top priority these days.
“Long time no see, priestess-nim.”
It was the person who was always by the side of Taylor Stan, who was trying to take over the successor position.
It was a woman who had short hair and was wearing a priestess outfit with no crest for the god she was serving. The priestess outfit was not visible under the robe today.
It was the crazy priestess Cage.
Cale modified his greeting.
“You are not a priestess anymore. Long time no see, Cage.”
“Yes, young master-nim. Nice to see you again.”
Cale turned to look at Odeus who was staring at him. Odeus’s eyes were full of avarice.
The novel had a few lines about Marquis Stan and Venion during the Black Dragon arc. Two of those lines were about how Venion got his power within the successor candidates.
< Although Venion Stan put up the front of being a good noble, he did all sorts of dirty deeds in secret. That was why he could not be separated from the Stan Territory’s underworld. >
These two sentences made Kim Rok Soo understand how Venion could make Taylor Stan lose his legs and then eventually kill him.
The current operation had started from those two lines. Although these two lines were short, they held a lot of information about the type of person Venion was, as well as his past. He asked Odeus a question.
“So? Aren’t you curious about my commission now?”
Odeus sat back down across from Cale without saying anything else. Cage sat down on the remaining seat. It was now the perfect time to discuss the operation.