Cale headed down from the sky and landed on the ground.
Morning had come and gone, and it was now noon.
Cheers filled Cale's ears.
It was only a few hours since the beginning of the battle.
However, a lot of things had happened in those few hours.
Cale landed at the center of the Breck Kingdom's formation and met with someone.
“Commander Cale Henituse.”
It was crown prince Alberu.
Alberu could hear Rosalyn’s voice as he approached Cale.
“Tie up the defeated enemies!”
The enemies were defeated while they had achieved victory.
No matter how strong and numerous the Bear tribe were, they still could not handle the thousands of soldiers in the Gorge of Death.
It was the same for the Flame Dwarf tribe.
Tens of thousands of soldiers, hundreds of knights, and numerous strong individuals surrounded them all.
The only plausible result was a victory.
Alberu stood in front of Cale.
It was an easy victory.
However, he still wanted to enjoy this victory a bit. That was why he came to see the person who worked the hardest during the war.
The crown prince looked toward Cale and asked for how he was feeling.
The area was full of cheers and the stomping of feet. Alberu was curious to know how Cale was feeling right now.
He wanted to know the emotions behind that same stoic expression Cale always had.
Cale commented with that stoic expression on his face.
“I’m hungry after being in such a cold place.”
“You emotionless bas-… Haaaa.”
Alberu barely caught himself and sighed.
Alberu Crossman, the soon to be king of the Roan Kingdom, and Commander Cale Henituse, the core player in this war.
The soldiers could not approach as the two of them chatted. However, they were looking toward the two of them with anticipation.
A bit away from them, the battlefield was full of cheers.
However, the allied headquarters did not have such cheers as well. This was because the core players at the center were quiet.
Alberu knew this was the case as well.
He put on a bright smile on his face.
‘Alright, snap out of it and do what you have to do.’
That was what Alberu’s gaze was saying and Cale immediately understood.
“Your highness, we were victorious.”
The commander reported to Alberu with a low but joyful voice.
The crown prince approached Cale and hugged him with joy.
The crown prince and the commander.
The sight of the two of them hugging made the soldiers become emotional. Seeing their usually cold leaders doing this made them truly feel that it really was happening.
It's finally over.’
The soldiers looked at each other and relaxed.
Some of their weapons started to fall to the floor. Others lifted up their weapons into the air.
They then started to shout.
The cheers of joy could be heard throughout the base. Even more people started to join in as the feeling of bliss filled the area.
Alberu recalled the Plaza Terror Incident in the past. He had done something like this with Cale then as well, but it wasn’t like what they did was as impactful as now.
They just smiled brightly and quietly mumbled to each other.
“You don’t want a medal, right? Should I give you money?”
“Yes, please give me another golden plaque.”
“To throw away, I mean, I need some money for something.”
He then heard Cale’s honest request.
“Your highness, I am hungry.”
Alberu could feel himself getting annoyed. He saw the person who came down to the ground with Cale at that moment. Clopeh Sekka. Alberu had first thought this bastard was an aloof and quiet Guardian Knight.
But this bastard was next to Alberu and Cale while the other soldiers and knights were hesitant to approach them.
Alberu could hear what Clopeh Sekka had to say.
“Cale-nim, you truly are a hero who deserves all of this cheering.”
Alberu then heard Cale's voice.
“To be honest with you your highness, he has a few loose screws.”
Alberu held back his sigh and put on his bright smile again as he let go of Cale. Cale also had his reliable and cool commander-like smile on his face.
Cale ignored Raon's question about scamming someone that he had not heard for a while before looking around.
His people were returning to the base from the battlefield one by one.
Cale could hear Raon's voice.
Cale did not ignore Raon this time.
“No, we are going to the villa at the capital.”
Cale whispered the response before turning toward crown prince Alberu and starting to speak.
“Shall we go back, your highness?”
Alberu nodded his head.
They needed to first go to the Roan Kingdom's capital.
“…Why did I do that?”
Cale started to question himself.
Why did he agree to go to the capital first?
He should have realized something was up when the crown prince immediately agreed when he mentioned going back. There was no way that person would easily nod his head like that.
‘I knew something felt iffy.’
Cale was frowning right now.
A piece of apple pie was placed in his mouth and Cale started to munch as he peeked out the carriage window.
He could see them.
He could see the silver shields.
Cale was not in a parade right now.
He was also in a shabby looking carriage that did not have the Henituse household's golden turtle crest on it.
However, he could still see children walking around with silver shields. There were also children wearing black robes, children walking around with black cloths on their heads, while some children had even tied black strings to their hair and walked around with swords.
He could also see the luxuriously decorated street.
An extremely happy capital could be seen outside the small window.
“Human! It’s nice to come here after such a long time! It's not as nice as our house, but it is better than the tent!”
The Black Dragon Raon sat on the plush couch and put another piece of apple pie into Cale's mouth.
Raon was happy to return to one of the first residences he had stayed at after starting to follow Cale.
The Henituse residence at the capital.
Raon was smiling and fluttering his wings after coming back from the Gorge of Death and staying here for a night. He then pushed a piece of apple pie toward Mary.
“Little Mary! You should eat some too!”
“Thank you very much, Raon-nim.”
Her usual mechanical voice responded back.
It was the moment Cale turned toward Mary’s black robe. Mary calmly started to speak without holding back.
“I could hear the citizens cheering for you yesterday, young master-nim. Some of the citizens were supposedly singing about you in joy as well. Apparently, the song was about the silver shield, the pillar of fire, and the water wall.”
Cale continued to chew on the apple pie with a dejected look on his face.
He then noticed Choi Han.
Cale, Mary, Choi Han, Raon, and Lock were all on this carriage. Vice Captain Hilsman was on top of the carriage with the driver.
Rosalyn was not here because she was still busy taking care of things in the Breck Kingdom. Cale had asked for her help regarding the Bear tribe and the Flame Dwarf tribe, so both Witira and Rosalyn would be extremely busy right now.
‘I guess I need to go meet with the Bears and the Flame Dwarves later.’
Cale thought about the basement of the Henituse residence at the capital.
The training ground in the basement. The Killer Whale Archie and Paseton were currently keeping watch over the Dragon half-blood in the same place where Lock had his first berserk transformation.
The week that Cale had given the Dragon half-blood was almost up.
Tonight. Cale needed to go ask the Dragon half-blood for his decision tonight.
All sorts of complicated issues started to fill his mind. That was why Cale bluntly asked a question after blankly staring at Choi Han for a while.
“Are you going to a war somewhere again?”
Cal nodded toward Choi Han, who had a pure smile on his face.
“Yes, you. Why are you still clenching onto your scabbard?”
“I think it is because I am shaking while thinking about going to the palace.”
Cale found Choi Han's current state to be odd, but was about to just let it go. Raon shouted out at that moment.
“Human, Choi Han is currently getting stronger!”
“Inside the carriage?”
“While eating apple pie?”
“Yes! You don't need to know about it!”
‘What the hell?’
Cale looked at Raon with a confused expression but Raon closed his mouth and avoided his gaze. That was why he turned back to Choi Han, who calmly answered back.
“I'm just trying to do my part in order to pay for my meals.”
‘You're already doing plenty?’
Cale found it to be odd, but decided to let it go since Choi Han wasn’t raising his blade against him. Cale started to frown as he looked back outside the window while Choi Han watched Cale.
He recalled the conversation he had with Ron.
It was while Cale was in pain, no, when Cale was about to die.
Ron had said something to Choi Han as that conversation was ending.
‘Both you and I have experienced it once. That is why we cannot let it happen again. This is our last house. You know that, right?’
Of course he did.
Choi Han knew it too well.
Ron had his experience of having to leave the Eastern continent while Choi Han had the incident at Harris Village. Both of them wanted to call the Henituse household their last house.
However, Choi Han had not experienced it just once.
He had lost his home once when he was transported to this world alone, while Harris Village had been the second home that he had lost. This was the third.
It really had to be the last house.
Choi Han was fully aware of his current limits.
An incomplete darkness.
His black aura still could not be filled with complete darkness. Both Raon and Cale told him it was okay not to be complete, however, Choi Han had to prepare for the future.
He was caressing his sword while training right now.
No, he was currently thinking.
‘How can I make this darkness complete?
Do I need to return to how I was in the past when loneliness and despair filled my heart?’
All sorts of thoughts were clashing in Choi Han’s head right now. He knew that there was just one more wall in his way.
He just needed something to support him past the wall.
That was all that he needed.
However, there was something he was worried about.
He needed a stepping stone if he could not support himself over the wall.
He needed someone to step over.
However, Choi Han did not want to do that. He wanted to climb over the wall with his own two feet, just as both Raon and Lock had done.
“Ah, Choi Han.”
“Don't destroy a palace like last time.”
Cale felt iffy while watching Choi Han who smiled innocently instead of responding before looking out the carriage window and fixing his sleeves.
The carriage was passing through the main gate of the Roan Palace.
The news about the end of the war had been spread little by little by word of mouth.
The official proclamation for it was supposed to happen today.
Crown prince Alberu went up the steps to the platform one by one.
He was currently at the central palace that was the first visible palace when you walked through the main gate to the Roan Palace. He was heading to the highest spot on that central palace.
He stood on the terrace for a moment before heading up to the even higher platform.
Neither the king nor anyone else from the royal family was there except Alberu. That was how they had discussed it.
Alberu could see the citizens gathered in a faraway plaza outside the gate the moment he stepped onto the platform. They were all waiting for Alberu.
A mage activated the video communication device in front of Alberu as soon as he stood at the center of the platform…
The video communication device lit up as it activated. Alberu turned around during the slight moment that he had. He then motioned to someone who was inside the terrace.
However, the person who was at the receiving end of that motioning shook his head in shock.
It was Cale.
His now quite long hair shook as Cale shook his head with a disgusted expression.
Alberu chuckled at Cale's response.
‘Does he think the citizens won't know about his achievements if he does that?
What an oddly smart yet stupid bastard.’
He had never seen someone be at the front of all difficult things but hide in the back when it came time to receive the reward for his actions.
This bastard was someone who cared not for power nor fame, but was extremely greedy for money.
‘Why does he suddenly need 5 billion gallons?’
He could not understand this bastard at all.
“Your highness, it has been connected.”
Alberu stood up straight in front of the video communication device after the mage’s report.
An even louder cheering could be heard.
His face probably became visible to those in the central plaza.
Alberu could not be in the plaza with the citizens, however, he smiled brightly as if they were right in front of him before he started to speak.
The plaza became completely quiet the moment he opened his mouth. The crown prince’s statement cut through that silence.
His calm voice reached all corners of the Roan Kingdom.
The statement itself was short.
"The war is over.”
The citizens silently clenched their fists in joy.
This was thrilling news no matter how many times they heard it, and hearing the official proclamation filled their hearts with joy.
"The Roan Kingdom protected itself and helped save this continent.”
The crown prince’s words went past their ears and into their hearts.
The Roan Kingdom was the first to clash against the Indomitable Alliance.
Everyone believed that they would not be able to defend themselves.
Such a kingdom had fought the Indomitable Alliance first and won before helping out other kingdoms around the continent and achieving victory.
“Do you remember what I said?”
The Roan Kingdom was the last to speak when the Indomitable Alliance had sent their notice for war.
There was something Alberu had said as the representative of the Roan Kingdom.
“The Roan Kingdom is the kingdom with the longest history in the Western continent.”
The citizens recalled that statement.
They then remembered what he had said after that.
‘We will show them the strength of the survivors.’
That was what Alberu had said that time.
However, the crown prince had something else to say this time.
“We survived and showed them the strength of the survivors.”
The Roan Kingdom had shown the Western continent their history and strength by achieving these results.
The crown prince's bright smile was etched into the citizen's minds. His gentle voice felt like the warm sun that was signaling the start of spring.
“Now we just need to greet spring with happy hearts.”
Greet spring with happy hearts and no worries.
The crown prince looked at the mage after saying that and the mage quickly ended the call.
At the same time, cheering that seemed to reach the sky could be heard.
This joy would probably cover the capital and the entire kingdom for about a week.
Alberu headed down from the platform with the same smile on his face.
He then headed past the terrace and into the palace. He could see Commander Cale Henituse and four other people.
The ones who had achieved merits during the war were elsewhere, so he had only called Cale and these four people here separately.
The northwest region’s Marquis Stan.
The southeast region's Marquis Ailan.
The central region’s Duke Orsena.
The southwest region's Duke Gyerre.
The leaders of each region were standing in front of the crown prince. The nobles had stiff expressions on their faces, contrary to Alberu’s bright smile.
Alberu looked toward Cale, who was also smiling, and raised his hand.
The terrace door closed, and the curtains were shut the moment he raised his hand.
The scenery outside the terrace was now gone.
The bright sun and the cheering of the citizens. Neither of those things could be seen or heard.
Crown prince Alberu started to speak.
“Commander Cale Henituse.”
“Yes, your highness.”
Only the winter chill cooled the room once the sunlight was gone. Alberu looked at the four nobles’ stiff expressions before asking Cale a question.
“What do we have to do now?”
A calm response quickly came at his relaxed question.
“We need to go rip down the Empire's flag.”
Crown prince Alberu could see Cale’s appearance.
Although he had signaled the end of the war, Cale was still wearing the northeast region’s commander’s black uniform.
It was now the end of winter. The Roan Kingdom was stretching out its wings, similar to the animals who were stretching as they came out of hibernation in order to greet spring.