“Human, I have no idea what you and Choi Han are talking about right now!”
Raon squished his cheeks with his front paws as he shouted. That made Choi Han have an ‘oops’ expression as he looked toward Raon, but Raon had already put his paws back down and stretched out his wings as he energetically continued.
“But I’ll listen for now! I’ll ask questions later!”
Cale just nonchalantly nodded his head.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
However, Cale’s heart was beating wildly.
‘…It’s not like I can lie!’
Cale knew that his only choice was to tell the truth now that things were like this, but there was no way that it would be easy to tell something he had been keeping a secret from them for a little over 2 years to the person involved.
It was even worse because he had no experience speaking gently or tenderly in his 36 years of life.
“I trust that you will respond truthfully to my questions.”
Why did Choi Han who was calmly asking this question with an innocent smile look so scary?
It looked as if he was saying, ‘you know what would happen if you lie, right?’
“Of course. Ask away.”
What ended up coming out of Cale’s mouth was a snarky and confident tone. As Cale was about to frown after hearing his own voice…
“When did you come here?”
The questioning had started.
“One day before I met you.”
Cale replied almost automatically.
“You didn’t know that I was Choi Jung Soo’s paternal cousin once removed, did you?”
“Of course not! You think I would have acted so rudely if I knew?”
“Human, you are always rude! Weak human, I like you no matter what, but you really are quite rude!”
Cale who couldn’t get angry at Raon could only frown after hearing Raon's cheery voice. However, he then seriously responded to Choi Han’s question.
“I really did not know that you were Choi Jung Soo’s paternal cousin once removed.”
Yes, of course he didn’t. Of course, he knew about Choi Han because he had read, ‘The Birth of a Hero,’ but should he share this piece of information Choi Han wouldn’t know about even after seeing Choi Jung Soo's memories?
Cale started to debate this in his head, however, Choi Han didn't give him time to keep thinking about it.
“Nelan Barrow, you should have been able to read Choi Jung Gun's book as well.”
“But you pretended as if you couldn’t read it in front of me?”
Choi Han’s tone oddly became more relaxed, but Cale didn't realize this as he nodded his head.
“Yes. I pretended not to know. My acting skills are top-notch, unlike yours.”
“You must have been very shocked.”
“I was shocked as well.”
Cale looked toward Choi Han. Choi Han's face had stiffened up as he said that he had been shocked.
Cale’s face stiffened up as well as he looked at Choi Han.
Choi Han was only asking easy questions. He seemed to understand the reason why.
“Choi Han, are you not asking about me because you saw Choi Jung Soo’s memories?”
Choi Han should know as much about Kim Rok Soo as Choi Jung Soo did after seeing his memories. Choi Jung Soo and Lee Soo Hyuk were people who know almost as much about Kim Rok Soo’s life as he knew himself. This included his past.
Kim Rok Soo's life would seem like a tragedy from a distance. He lost his parents when he was young and once he became an adult and tried to do something with his life, the world flipped over and made him live a risky life every day.
He had then once again lost people who were like his family.
‘I survived no matter what.’
Survival. That was the best word to describe Kim Rok Soo’s life.
He always survived no matter who ended up dying.
In some ways, he was a very lucky person. However, it was also a life where there was nothing left.
‘Choi Han probably knows that as well.’
He was probably not asking about Kim Rok Soo because he knew what Kim Rok Soo’s life was like. Cale started to speak.
“You never seem to change.”
Choi Han was a good person no matter how strong he got or how cold he became.
“You’re such a good person.”
Cale could see Choi Han start to frown while hearing that, while Raon started to speak in shock.
“Human! Did you just realize that Choi Han is a good person? Choi Han is scary but good!”
Choi Han let out a deep sigh before looking back and forth at Raon and Cale before brushing his face with both hands. He then quietly started to mumble.
“…Who is the one that never changes……”
“Did you say something?”
“It’s nothing, Cale-nim.”
Choi Han became at a loss for words after hearing the person who changed the least tell him that he continued to remain a good person.
The Kim Rok Soo in Choi Jung Soo's memories and the Cale that Choi Han interacted with were truly, truly the same. Their identity, appearance, and situation were different, but their actions were almost identical.
‘Although it's funny.’
That was why he felt less betrayed. Pretending not to know about Korea. Pretending not to know a fellow Korean. Choi Han knew that Cale was smart enough to question things after hearing that his name was Choi Han or even assume that he was transported to this world but pretended not to know.
However, his feeling of betrayal slowly disappeared even though he originally felt disappointed and almost angry at the fact that Cale feigned ignorance at everything because the way Cale treated or talked to him and the others was the same as Kim Rok Soo in Choi Jung Soo’s memories.
In fact, he could feel that Cale treated him and the others as true friends or even beyond that of family after experiencing Choi Jung Soo’s life.
It had been over 2 years and 5 months and almost reached 2 years and 6 months.
It was a short time, but there were a lot of things they experienced during this time.
The Kim Rok Soo who would pick up a metal board to save Choi Jung Soo and Cale who would cough up blood and faint were the same.
Of course, Beacrox, Ron, and the Count’s family would feel differently.
Their situation was different than Choi Han’s. They were people who knew the original Cale Henituse. They would certainly have different emotions than Choi Han.
‘… I'm sure that’ll be the case for Rosalyn and the crown prince as well. They will think differently than me.’
There were many people who got to know Cale recently like Choi Han, but their emotions and thoughts would be different than what Choi Han was feeling right now.
‘Because I am Korean.’
It was because he was someone who thought he was alone and that his past had completely disappeared.
That was why he was extremely happy to get to know Kim Rok Soo/Cale.
“By the way-”
Choi Han looked toward Cale after hearing his voice.
“Are you okay? You saw everything.”
The corners of Choi Han’s lips slightly went up. It was hard to tell whether he was smiling or frowning. The weight of his life was buried too deeply in that smile for it to simply be called an innocent smile.
Choi Jung Soo's life.
Choi Han was able to see and feel the life he had forgotten about in the Forest of Darkness by experiencing Choi Jung Soo’s life.
His family was gone and his hometown was destroyed.
Cale was probably asking if that truth was bearable.
“I am okay.”
It would be a lie to say that he was not sad. It would also be a lie to say that he was not in pain. But he was okay.
He was not alone.
Choi Han finally felt as if he could age past 17 years old.
These two-plus years after leaving the Forest of Darkness, as well as experiencing everything that happened in Korea since he left finally gave him the courage to thoroughly face his life head-on.
“Human! I didn’t see anything!”
Choi Han could see Cale sigh after hearing Raon's comments before patting Raon’s head. Cale would explain things one by one with that stoic expression on his face. He knew that this would be the case because Cale was a sly but good person.
“Raon, listen carefully. I will not explain twice.”
‘Just look at how gently he's starting to explain.’
“Alright! I will understand everything in one go! I, Raon Miru, am smart.”
“Yes, yes. You are smart.”
Cale shook his head side to side as he started to speak. Everything turned dark as he thought about explaining everything.
That was why he decided to shorten it. Short and to the point. Isn't that great?
“I am originally someone named Kim Rok Soo. I was born in a place called Korea that exists in a different world called Earth.”
The young Dragon's dark blue eyes were blinking in confusion.
“Then one day, I opened my eyes to see that I ended up becoming Cale Henituse. I then met you.”
That was the end of the explanation.
‘Was that too short?’
Cale questioned if it was too short, however…
Raon nodded his head as if he accepted this explanation.
‘Did he really accept everything with that short explanation?’
Cale felt iffy looking at Raon's pure eyes that seemed to accept it so easily. Raon started to speak at that moment.
“That must be why the White Star said such a thing!”
“Hmm? The White Star?”
Why was he suddenly talking about the White Star? Cale and Choi Han both looked confused as Raon puffed up his chubby chest and almost arrogantly started to speak as if he was sneering at the two of them for not being able to remember.
“When we first met the White Star at the Alchemists’ Bell Tower, that crazy White Star said the following while looking at Choi Han and our human! He said, ‘it looks like time is warped for you just like that black-haired guy and myself!’ ”
Cale finally realized which record Raon was talking about.
“…The White Star said such a thing?”
“He did! Choi Han, you wouldn’t have heard it because the White Star beat you up and planted you inside the Mogoru Imperial Palace! But the great and mighty Raon Miru heard everything and clearly remembered it! My memory is great!”
Cale remembered Raon's response when the White Star said that.
‘Human! I don't know what he is saying! Our Choi Han and you are not twisted! Just like me, both of you are grea, no, slightly great and mighty!’
Cale had then responded to the White Star.
“ ’So what? What do you want me to do about it?’ was how the human responded and landed a hit on the White Star! Hehe!”
Cale let out a short laugh. Raon approached the chuckling Cale and confidently started to speak.
“Anyway, the human is the human! That’s good enough!”
The corners of Raon’s lips went up.
“Once a human, always a human.”
“Aigoo, of course I am human, what else would I be?”
“Anyway, human, you are human! You will be human in a hundred years, a thousand years, even ten thousand years!”
Raon seemed to have become excited at something as he continued to talk joyfully, and Cale could not help but laugh. There weren't any serious questions.
‘Was I nervous for no reason?’
It was at that moment.
Choi Han asked a question with his usual innocent face.
“Do you want to go back?”
‘Ah, I let my guard down.’
Cale recalled the decision given to him by the God of Death at this sudden heavy question.
Stay here or go back. The time remaining to decide was still going down.
Soon… November 8th would really be here soon. The time between the end of Fall and the start of Winter. That was when he was born. That was the reason his name was Rok Soo. Green Rok and exceptional, growing Soo. He was given this name to always grow green even in the winter and bloom exceptionally.
It would be November in a few months. That was why Cale answered without any hesitation.
“I like it here.”
He planned on ignoring that motherf*cking lunatic God of Death's words.
‘He wants me to make a decision? I should tell him to decide whether he wants me to beat him up.’
Cale was honestly feeling that way.
Cale looked toward Choi Han after hearing his quiet voice.
“I like it here too.”
“I like everything! Other than the White Star and his subordinates!”
“Ah, me too.”
“Choi Han, you agree with me?”
“Yeah. I do.”
Cale watched Raon and Choi Han chat with each other as he relaxed and leaned back on the head of the bed.
“Should I tell everyone to come in?”
Choi Han asked, and Cale nodded his head.
“We have to. We need to go North.”
Choi Han headed toward the door and Raon was about to remove his spell. Cale started to think about someone for a moment as he watched them.
‘Oh, by the way, the original owner of your body is living well too. He said he is happy.’
‘The original Cale Henituse. What would his status be right now? Did he end up in my original body? I'm glad that he is at least living happily.’
Cale recalled the original owner of this body who was trash but acted oddly. He also started to think about the Henituse household.
He thought that he had an idea about why the original Cale Henituse became trash.
‘I might be wrong, but-’
Cale could not continue to think after hearing the loud noise.
“W, what the hell?!”
Imperial Prince Adin’s former bedroom door went flying. Choi Han who had opened the door had dodged to the side while the others outside the door were standing there with blank expressions.
Cale could see someone almost stomping toward him with a vicious expression. Cale’s body underneath the blanket curled up in fear.
‘Did I do something wrong? Why is she looking at me like this?’
Sword master Hannah was walking toward him with a vicious expression that made it seem as if she wanted to beat him to death.
“What’s wrong? What is it?”
Cale asked in shock before Hannah walked up next to Cale’s bed and quietly looked down at him.
“What's wrong? Did I do something wrong?”
Hannah asked a question.
“You’re heading North right away?”
“Yes. What about it?”
‘Why did she have to send the door flying for that?’
“…With that… weak ass body?”
Cale started to frown.