The message was delivered along with the rising winter sun.
< Our Indomitable Alliance officially announce that we will take the unfrozen lands openly and fairly. >
The Northern Alliance, Bear tribe, and the Flame Dwarf tribe. The name of this alliance of three kingdoms and two tribes was called the, ‘Indomitable Alliance.’
This information made the late winter of the Western continent hotter than ever.
The calls kept coming in as information was delivered to the tent Cale and Prince Pen were in.
The expressions inside the tent did not look good.
‘The Empire wants peace?’
There were many who flinched at Cale’s comment, however, nobody could say anything about Cale's actions or comments.
‘…I feel like I am looking at my teacher.’
Count Ecross felt an unknown sense of pressure coming from Cale. It was as if he was looking at the overlord of an area.
The calls continued to come in.
The Caro Kingdom chose to hide.
‘What a mess.’
Cale made that short observation before standing up.
The other people responded quite sensitively to the quiet noise. Count Ecross also got up and asked Cale a question.
“Young master Cale, did the Roan Kingdom know about the Bear tribe and the Flame Dwarves?”
Count Ecross was about to ask something else before he flinched and stopped. It was because of the way Cale was looking at him.
Cale did not comment back after hearing Raon's serious voice. It was because he knew that he was a pretty bad person. That was why he was letting the Count’s comment be.
He needed to work the Count to the bone later on.
Cale held back his sigh after seeing Count Ecross flinching at his gaze before responding back like a proper noble.
“We did not.”
The short response lingered inside the tent.
It was at that moment.
The tent flap was opened and someone walked in.
“Young master-nim, what is going on?”
It was the White Tiger Gashan, who was still in his berserk state.
The Tiger tribe. The Bear tribe.
The people in the tent started to think about those two tribes. Sunlight started to pour into the tent through the opened flap.
However, only Cale remained in the darkness as Gashan was standing in front of him.
That was the reason for it. It made Cale and his bright red hair stand out in the darkness.
“Young master-nim, what is going on?”
Cale slowly started to answer Gashan, who asked one more time.
Cale calmly continued to speak through the noise of the emergency calls coming in.
“We just need to follow our original plan.”
His gaze turned toward Prince Pen.
“We are strong as well.”
Prince Pen figured out what he needed to do as soon as he heard Cale’s remark.
Their alliance originally had four kingdoms and one tribe, but now they also had the Tiger tribe.
Although there were some changes, they were not weak.
That meant that what he needed to do was clear.
He was currently the person representing the Breck Kingdom at this location. Prince Pen started to speak.
“The mages responsible for the video communication devices will record all of the messages coming in. Also, report our current status to the others, Count Ecross.”
“Yes, yes, your highness!”
“I heard that there are still some magic bombs remaining. Restart the operation.”
He reiterated Cale's remark from earlier.
“Everyone will focus on their individual tasks.”
Prince Pen then looked toward Cale. He remembered what his sister Rosalyn had told him.
‘He is someone you can trust, no, he is someone you can't help but trust.’
Pen remembered that comment as Cale started to speak.
“Your highness, I will be on my way as well.”
Pen nodded his head and Cale headed out of the tent. Prince Pen, who was watching the calm and confident Cale disappear into the light, brushed his neck with his hands after Cale left.
‘I feel like I can finally breathe.’
Pen could breathe in the cold morning air now that the pressure coming from Cale was gone. However, contrary to the cold air, his heart was beating hot and fast.
This hot and fast business was the same inside the tent that Cale's group was residing in.
However, there was no conversation ongoing.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Cale’s index finger was tapping on the armrest.
He was thinking back to the novel, ‘The Birth of a Hero.’
< The bear tribe is shrewd. >
Cale finally started to feel it.
The fifth volume of, ‘The Birth of a Hero,’ was over.
Everything from here was a future that Cale had no knowledge of.
That fact was giving Cale a headache. Cale pressed his temples with his fingers.
“Human, do you have a headache? Are you sick?”
The Black Dragon was floating around Cale with a look of concern. He was not invisible anymore as only their group was inside the tent. Gashan quietly observed the situation before slowly starting the speak.
“The Flame Dwarf tribe. I have never heard about them.”
Cale had never heard about them either.
Well, Cale had never even met a Dwarf, other than the mix-blooded Dwarf Rat Mueller.
That was why his mind was currently a complicated mess.
Dwarves were a race that were known for making things.
The reason for this complicated mess started to flow out of Cale’s mouth.
Gashan asked back, but Cale finally felt as if his mind was clearing up.
The Wyvern Knights Brigade. Tens of ships.
If Dwarves were added to this mix, the shape of the North’s invasion via the sky and the sea would change drastically.
There was more.
Cale was certain that there was one other thing.
He had no choice but to think that way.
It was because he knew the truth about the Paerun Kingdom's Guardian Knight household.
He knew the truth about the God's Tears Lake. The Paerun Kingdom did not like the flowing river and thus turned it into a lake in order to monopolize it.
‘The Paerun Kingdom is not a fair and open kingdom.’
Cale opened his mouth to speak.
“We are returning right away.”
“Yes Cale-nim. I understand.”
Choi Han casually responded. Choi Han was the calmest person in the room. However, Choi Han’s eyebrow twitched at Cale’s next words.
“Lock, have you thought about it?”
‘Lock? Thought about it?’
Choi Han looked toward Lock after hearing something he did not know about. The young boy seemed to be the most uncertain person in the room since earlier. Lock flinched at the gazes focused on him before lowering his head.
Lock immediately understood what Cale was asking.
He had commented on it when the others jumped off the cliff yesterday.
‘I need someone to protect the Gorge of Death until I return.’
He was not afraid of this stupid Gorge of Death.
He had become stronger in order to protect others, and he was still getting stronger.
However, he did not want to be alone.
For Lock, who had never been alone, he needed someone to be the source of his courage. Someone like his family or his siblings.
Lock kept his head down as he started to think.
‘I want to go back with you.’
He didn’t want to be alone, but those words did not easily come out.
What was going on?
It was at that moment.
“Spit it out.”
Lock raised his head.
He had heard this phrase before.
It was when he went to thank Cale and ask him to take care of his younger siblings after his first berserk transformation. Cale had said that to him when he was fidgeting nervously and was unable to speak.
‘Spit it out.’
And then he said something else.
Exactly what he was saying now.
“Yes. You need to make eye contact like this when you are chatting with someone. Did you forget?”
‘Did you forget?’
Those words sounded very loud to Lock.
He had stuttered as he answered Cale back then.
‘I, I am the older brother.’
‘I need to take care of my younger siblings.’
‘And I was a nephew and a younger brother.’
‘That is why I need to get revenge.’
Cale had responded to those comments.
‘You're a Wolf.’
That word stuck to Lock's mind.
Choi Han tried to interject into the conversation. Lock was like a younger brother to him.
“What is it?”
“Could you please tell me what you asked Lock?”
“I asked him to observe and protect the Gorge of Death until I come back.”
“Some of the Breck Kingdom’s mages will remain for emergency contact. But yes, he will be the only one from our group remaining here.”
Choi Han looked back and forth between Cale, who did not even turn to look at him as he responded, and the quiet Lock. Choi Han started to speak after hesitating for a bit.
“He is a child with a lot of loneliness.”
Lock had experienced trauma at a young age.
His family, his neighbors, and his entire village were all massacred in front of him.
Such a child was finally starting to relax. He needed to get stronger, but Choi Han did not want Lock's heart to turn empty.
He didn’t want Lock to go down the same path that he did.
Choi Han knew that his heart felt that emptiness. That was why each and every drop of water that was wetting his heart was important. Choi Han did not want Lock to be lonely like him.
Cale looked toward Choi Han at that moment.
“Is Lock alone?”
Cale turned back toward Lock and started to speak to the fifteen-year-old Wolf teenager.
“You have family members. You also have a home to return to, and a new hometown. Are you lonely?”
The Wolf tribe cared a lot about family.
However, a Wolf needed to realize something.
It needed to realize who they were.
The Wolf King was someone who knew about their own existence.
“Lock, are you lonely?”
Lock heard those words differently.
‘Are you still scared?
Do you want to relax in a peaceful situation?
You said you wanted to get stronger, so why are you still so timid and indecisive?’
Lock looked Cale right in the eyes.
“I will stay here.”
Lock then saw Cale smiling gently for the first time today.
Lock could not say anything back.
“I trust you.”
He just bowed at Cale, who was telling him that he trusted him. He noticed an old and bloodied leather notebook once he raised his head back up.
“It is the final Wolf King’s diary.”
Lock felt his heart beating wildly.
His uncle, the chief of the Blue Wolf tribe, had died before he reached the level of the Wolf King. It made him think about his uncle.
At the same time, he was confused.
‘Why is he giving this to me?’
However, Cale's voice was like magic, as it answered his question before he could even ask it.
“I will trust you.”
A simple comment. However, that simple comment left Lock in a daze as he accepted the diary. He could feel the old leather in his hands.
Lock then tightly held the diary in his arms.
Cale watched Lock do this before giving the order to the rest of the group.
“Let’s go back.”
They needed to return to the Roan Kingdom.
The territory that was the closest to the Roan Kingdom and the start of the Northeast region.
The Wheelsman territory.
Eric Wheelsman, the son of Count Wheelsman, walked through the banquet hall with an awkward smile.
He could hear the Northeast region's nobles chatting behind him.
“Even if it is the Henituse household, can they really tell us to come and go in this state of emergency?”
“I agree. Furthermore, it is not the Count, but young master Cale who is calling us. A child without a title is calling us. My goodness!”
The Roan Kingdom’s Northeast region did not have a Duke nor Marquis in charge. That was why there were several factions fighting for power.
There were nobles like Eric Wheelsman's family whose faction was focused in the Northeast region. His faction included the Northeast shores with young lady Amiru and young master Gilbert.
The other factions chose to follow a Duke or Marquis in the southeast region, northwest region, the southwest region, or the central region.
“I also don't know why the crown has not said anything about it.”
“I agree. It will be through the northeast region if they come by ship. It’s not like they can come through the sky.”
The factions tied to the southeast region and the central region were the loudest.
In times of peace, no baron nor viscount would dare to say such a thing about a Count. However, they were running wild in this state of emergency, relying on their Duke or Marquis’s backing.
They were trying to take control of the northeast region for their faction.
Eric let it go as he had expected such a response. In fact, it was weird that the southwest region and northwest region factions were quiet.
‘This is weird.’
The northwest region’s Stan household was now run by the eldest son, Taylor Stan.
The southwest region's Gyerre household was now run by young master Antonio.
The nobles following those two households were quiet with serious expressions on their faces. In fact, they seemed to be a bit scared.
‘What is going on?’
It was weird, but Eric quickly left the banquet hall as he was still just a young master. He heard one of the noble’s complaints as he closed the door.
“He thinks he can run amok in such a time because we keep praising him as young master Silver Shield.”
It was a complaint about Cale.
Eric finished closing the door and started to frown.
‘Just what is going to happen?’
Count Deruth Henituse had gathered the Northeast region’s nobles.
‘Let's determine the center.’
The nobles had responded to those words.
War. That word also meant that it was an opportunity for a new power to step in.
However, the Count who had gathered all of the nobles had sent Cale. Eric could not sleep once he heard about this. Although he did not seem like trash anymore, Cale was someone who still worried him.
That was why he had sent a message every day but had not received a response.
Eric finally decided to ask the Henituse household’s person standing at the entrance.
“Vice Captain Hilsman, when will young master Cale be coming?”
“I am not sure, young master-nim.”
The Vice Captain’s calm response gave Eric a headache. He thought about young lady Amiru, who was responsible for the naval base.
‘Young master Eric, you don’t need to worry about young master Cale. To be honest with you, I am looking forward to what he does.’
Her gaze was sharp, as if she was looking forward to the war.
Eric ruffled his hair and was unable to hide his anxiety.
“Cale, you punk, just what ……?”
"What about me?”
He heard the sound of shoes hitting the marble. Eric turned around.
He could see Cale leisurely walking from the entrance.
He was his usually calm and relaxed self.
This slow walking pace fit Cale more than anybody else.
Cale walked by young master Eric, who had sent him a letter a day while worrying about the war.
“I’ll see you later.”
Eric turned back after hearing his comment to look at Cale’s back.
He had changed.
Although he couldn’t tell how, he could feel that something had changed.
That was why he could not easily respond.
Of course, Cale was happy that he didn’t need to hear young master Eric’s concerned voice. Cale personally grabbed the handle to the banquet hall’s entrance. It was a large door.
The knight in front of the door urgently approached him and started to speak.
“Young master-nim, I will do it.”
“No need. I will do it myself.”
Cale pushed on the door.
The noise echoed throughout the entire banquet hall.
Cale walked through that noise and into the hall.
He was the only one walking across the marble floor right now. All of the gazes of the northeast region’s nobles were focused on Cale.
Cale looked down at these nobles who were sitting down at the tables.