Cale could hear people in the distance. He couldn’t tell whether they were screams or shouts. Many unidentifiable voices were mixed together.
Cale maintained his eye contact with the Cat and started to speak.
The Cat flinched.
At that moment, Hilsman approached the Cat and reached his hands outward.
The Cat tried to quickly turn and run away. However, the injury on his side made his front paw buckle and Hilsman did not miss that moment.
“I caught him!”
The Vice Captain could not hold on tightly to the injured Cat, and thus did his best to carefully hold the Cat as he approached Cale.
The Cat revealed his fangs and raised his claws. His claws seemed ready to cut through Hilsman's leather armor at any moment.
The Cat heard a sigh at that moment. A cold fluid poured over his body at the same time.
It was a potion.
Cale poured the potion on the Cat as a temporary solution as he started to speak.
“I can’t just ignore seeing the knight who showed me around being injured like this.”
The Cat flinched. Vice Captain Hilsman also flinched. Cale held back his sigh at Hilsman’s gaze that seemed to be saying that he had no idea as he observed the Cat Knight.
This knight was said to be from the slums.
The crown of any nation selects knights from the ordinary citizens on a strict ratio. To be picked like that is already a difficult feat; that citizen being from the slums meant that they had significant talent and luck.
He recalled what Hilsman had said about the Cat Knight.
‘Some of his siblings were said to have gone to the Alchemy Tower 15 years ago. His parents definitely seem to be human.’
Where would those siblings have gone 15 years ago?
Would they have gone to the Alchemists’ Bell Tower?
It would make sense for this Knight to try to kill the Vice Tower Master if that was the case.
Cale and the Cat’s gazes were still on each other as if they were feeling each other out. The Cat looked at the empty potion bottle and his healing injuries as he started to speak.
“… What do you plan to do with me?”
“You say that after you've been caught already?”
The Cat Knight stopped speaking at Cale's response.
Are you also trying to destroy Alchemy?
He had flinched at that question and pain had shot through his body. His injuries were then healed by the potion and the pain had gone away.
He had grown up in the slums and had developed his quick wit while living on the edge inside of the palace. That wit was telling him that he should go with this person.
The Cat Knight could hear the voice of Cale Henituse, the noble from the Roan Kingdom.
“The Roan Kingdom came here to investigate the incident caused by the Alchemists’ Bell Tower and the Empire 15 years ago.”
15 years ago.
Those words made the Cat Knight emotional.
He tried to soak in Cale’s calm demeanor.
“We wish to reveal their evil sins to the world. We want to show the world what the Empire and the Alchemists’ Bell Tower did to the people of the slums 15 years ago.”
“…I heard you came here to investigate the Magic Bomb terror incident.”
“Then why did I heal you and why am I trying to save you?”
The Cat flinched before starting to speak.
Cale slowly walked away from the dark corner of the garden toward the brightly lit area. He then gave Hilsman an order.
“Hilsman, I'll take care of everything else, so carefully head back to the palace.”
A highest-grade expert.
Hilsman was an expert now as well.
“Yes, young master-nim. I understand.”
Hilsman sounded reliable as he said that. Cale turned around. His gaze headed toward the Sun Palace entrance that was still busy with people coming out.
However, he heard the Cat Knight's voice before he could even take a single step.
“I cannot live.”
Cale tried to turn around. However, he saw a maid being dragged out through the entrance at that moment.
The woman who was wearing an outfit that showed that she was one of the royal maids was laughing as they dragged her out. One of the knights who was dragging her out rushed toward the Imperial Prince with a serious expression on his face.
Cale found this to be odd.
‘Why is a royal maid here?’
A royal servant was soon dragged out as well.
A royal maid and a royal servant.
Compared to the regular maids and servants who did visible tasks such as taking care of nobles and royalty, the royal maid and royal servants oversaw many behind the scenes tasks in the palace.
That was why they were all over the place, however, they did not have the standings to be at this banquet hall that was full of nobles.
‘Why are they here?’
Cale turned his gaze back toward the Cat.
He had a bad feeling about this.
It did not seem to be over just yet.
Hilsman called out to Cale in confusion while watching him rush back toward his direction, but Cale did not answer as he lifted up the chin of the Cat in Hilsman's arms who had his head down.
“What are you trying to do?”
The Cat Knight could not look Cale in the eyes as he started to speak.
“I did not know the Roan Kingdom’s envoy came for such a reason.”
“… Get to the point.”
The Cat made eye contact with Cale after hearing his cold voice.
The Cat could hear his friend's laughter in the distance.
It was already too late.
He started to speak.
“I am a Cat that was abandoned at a young age. My parents took me in and I was able to grow up with my siblings. Three of us were selected by the Alchemists’ Bell Tower 15 years ago.”
The Cat recalled what his mother had said.
‘You'll be able to eat delicious food if you go there. You’ll also be able to succeed. However, make sure that you never show them your cat form. Lean on your older sister and older brother if it is hard.’
The Cat was the youngest of the three that were heading to the Alchemists’ Bell Tower.
He was able to escape because he was a Cat, no, because he was a very small kitten at the time. He crossed through a filthy sewer to barely get out of the Bell Tower.
His siblings helped him do that.
‘Youngest, you turn into a cat and escape.’
‘Yes. Do as your sister said. At least one of us can make it out. You can live.’
He never forgot the words of his older siblings, even though they were only one and two years older than him.
He returned to his parents, who hid him in a crypt for a while. The Cat who was the youngest of five siblings stayed hidden for two years until he turned seven years old. He then started to live as the youngest of six children, saying that he was five years old when he really was seven.
All of this was possible because he was lucky and because they were in the slums where there was not much administration.
“I, no, we have not forgotten about our siblings and friends.”
Although the Bell Tower showcased a few children to say that the children of the slums were doing well, the ones who had seen their siblings and friends going into the tower continued to question it even after they became adults.
The Cat Knight was the one who told them the truth and gathered them together.
“I started to move from the Empire’s dirtiest place to get my revenge.”
The Cat quickly described everything that had happened.
“We created an organization five years ago. We then split off into the Empire's many cities to buy bombs from both fake and real Alchemists in the underworld.”
Cale recalled what he had said to the Alchemist Rei Stecker.
‘Alcoholic fake alchemist. Makes poison and small bombs for underworld organizations to use when they fight against each other.’
Cale could tell where some of the poison and small bombs that Rei Stecker made ended up.
‘They did this all around the Empire.’
‘This is driving me nuts.’
Cale could finally start to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Yes, it would have been difficult for this Cat to attempt to assassinate the Vice Tower Master on his own.
The Cat continued to speak.
“I became a knight 3 years ago. I was talented and I was the strongest.”
The Cat who was the head of the organization and the strongest of the bunch took on the task of assassination.
“The others were brought in as royal servants and royal maids.”
The highest position someone from the slums could get was as a royal servant or as a royal maid. The Cat Knight thought about the organization members who had lived such difficult lives for the past few years.
“There is no reason why we cannot get our revenge just because we are poor. We finally made our move today.”
Cale took his hand off the Cat and turned around.
The Cat could hear Cale’s voice.
“The small bombs you gathered throughout the Empire are probably gathered here today. And there are others still out there aside from the ones that are caught.”
There was a high probability that the captured ones that are laughing right now were distractions.
Their job was to make it easier for the others to move.
Cale asked the Cat a question.
“The small bombs made with Alchemy are not strong. It will not be able to destroy the Sun Palace.”
The power of nature imitating mana inside these bombs made of Alchemy did not make the explosion very strong. There was also a low success rate compared to magic bombs using mana.
Only that timed magic bomb that had a mana orb could be said to be an Alchemy bomb with a one hundred percent success rate.
Naturally, the Cat Knight knew that the bombs did not have enough strength to destroy the Sun Palace, but they had determined that it was possible to destroy a part of it.
This was the end of year celebration after the war with the Whipper Kingdom. It was the celebration that was likely to be the focus of many citizens’ attention. That was why they had to do it today.
He thought that having as many people witness it was the way for them to get their revenge and reveal the truth to the world.
However, the Cat Knight could not say anything to this noble from the Roan Kingdom.
“… I am sorry. We gathered these bombs for the past five years. They've slowly been placed around a single wing for the past month.”
Destroying a single wing.
Cale understood that the Cat was saying that they believed their five years of effort was enough to take down a wing.
“I’m really sorry to the Roan Kingdom. However, the bombs will soon go off. It will be difficult to block the impact.”
The Cat Knight managed to injure, but not kill, the Vice Tower Master.
Since that was the case, they needed to at least get revenge against the Empire. He had been feeling sorry for the Roan Kingdom’s envoy from the beginning, but that feeling was even worse now.
The Cat could see Cale slowly turning back toward him. Cale was looking back at him. The Cat Knight suddenly had an eerie feeling.
Cale started to speak.
“You crazy bastard, what did the Roan Kingdom’s people ever do to you?”
“… It is for the greater good.”
“Greater good my ass.”
The Cat Knight could not help but put his head back down after hearing Cale's response. He then started to speak.
“That is why I have no thoughts about continuing to live.”
The Cat Knight flinched.
Cale Henituse. He was one of the people the Empire focused on because he was known as a just and respectful noble.
The knight looked back at Cale after hearing such language come out of his mouth, but Cale was not looking at him. There was wind swirling around Cale's feet.
“Make sure he doesn’t kill himself.”
Cale's body started to move forward. He heard the Cat Knight’s quiet voice behind him.
“… It is already too late. The bombs should be lit already.”
Cale could hear Raon's voice in his head.
Cale quickly started to move.
There were still many things he needed to ask the Cat Knight.
He needed to know how they placed so many bombs around the wing while avoiding the guards as well, as what they were going to do afterward.
However, there was something he needed to do before that.
Cale could see the entrance of the Sun Palace.
“Young master Cale!”
Daltaro, the diplomat in charge of the envoy, was waving to him with shock and joy.
He could see the crown prince next to him as well.
Alberu spoke with shock while watching Cale quickly approach them, but he shut up after hearing what Cale suddenly said.
Cale started to move again.
Alberu followed Cale’s movement and his eyes opened wide.
He could see the chaotic Sun Palace's entrance.
There were many of the members of the envoy there as well. They were either chatting with the Empire's administrators or having their identities checked as they were coming out of the entrance.
Most of them were low-grade administrators.
The higher-grade administrators were the first to escape.
Alberu’s gaze headed toward one of the Sun Palace’s wings.
One of the servants who should have been with the rest was standing on the wing.
That servant’s body was covered in fire.
“Gasp, what is that?”
They heard a scream again.
The servant on fire, no, the royal servant who had stolen a servant’s outfit, stuck to the wing. A small bomb fell toward the ground from his hand.
Cale recalled the Cat’s words.
‘… It is already too late. The bombs should be lit already.’
Right. The bomb was already lit.
Raon's words were correct as well.
Cale reached his hand out. Wind shot out like an arrow from his hand. Raon's magic was added onto the wind arrow.
This was the only way to hide Raon's magic from the Empire’s sword master and the Vice Tower Master.
The royal servant who was stuck to the wing fell off because of Cale's wind.
Cale heard an explosion and could feel the ground starting to rumble.
One of the large wings of the Sun Palace, the ground underneath the wing that the royal servant was stuck on, was vibrating.
The explosion had already started.
Cale could see the Imperial Prince. Sword master Huten was next to him as well. Behind them were Alberu and Daltaro, who were both heading toward him.
Cale looked at Alberu, Daltaro, and the rest of the envoy.
A voice echoed in Cale's head at that moment.
‘Sacrifice? What nonsense.’
Tens of bombs went off and rocked the foundation of the wing.
The sight of the people trying to rush out of the Sun Palace’s entrance looked like a scene from hell.
Cale started to speak.
Cale reached out his hands.
His body started to ripple. The shield surrounding his body started to move for the first time in a long time.
The middle of the wing that had been shaking had broken off. The broken part of the wing slowly started to tilt down.
Cale started to speak.
“We will support it.”
It was at that moment.
Alberu, who had been walking toward Cale, stopped moving. Cale’s name came out of his mouth.
It was currently night time.
A large silver light appeared in the middle of the darkness.
That silver light originated from Cale.