“I, it’s an attack!”
The Dubori territory lord’s eyes reflected the red fire. The fire that shot up past the city walls looked like a large snake that could attack the city at any moment.
Cale made eye contact with the White Star at that moment.
The White Star’s lips twisted up as he laughed.
Cale’s pupils shook for a moment. The White Star’s expression turned calm as if the anxiety he showed earlier was all just an act. Cale's mind quickly started to move after confirming this.
He heard an angry voice at that moment.
“You, you dare-!”
The lord slowly started to walk toward a west-facing window. The moment his hand touched the window…
The window opened as the lord shouted in anger.
“They dare to attack my territory! What the hell are those?!”
He could see the fire and the nearby whirlwinds, but he did not see anybody who was launching the attack.
"W, what is that fire?!”
“It’s a curse! It's a disaster brought forth from the Land of Death!”
The residents of the small city who had returned home after a long day ran out of their houses to scream about the fire or hide deep in their houses while shaking in fear. One old man couldn't move his eyes away from the fire.
“I, it’s the grudges of those who ran away and died! Their anger finally came to destroy this rotten territory!”
“Death, death is coming!”
The angry gazes of the people responding to the old man's words turned toward the Lord’s Castle. However, their anger did not reach the lord in the Lord’s Castle.
“My land, you are aiming for my stuff?”
The lord’s eyes showed no fear toward the fire. The badge with the territory crest hanging on his new suit glowed red.
He quickly rushed toward the White Star.
“Immediately, bring the bastard who caused that fire to me immediately!”
The lord could see the awkward expression from the shape of the man's lips underneath the white mask. That made the lord turn his gaze elsewhere.
“Knights, immediately arrest those two rat-like bastards who snuck into the hall! Throw them in the underground prison!”
The lord was pointing toward Cale and Choi Han who were standing on the chandelier.
“You dare to disturb the feast of the owner of this Dubori territory!”
Tap, tap, tap.
The hall doors opened and the servants handed the swords they had taken earlier back to the knights.
“These two bastards are definitely with those enemies outside!”
The knights immediately drew their swords and surrounded Cale and Choi Han. Choi Han turned toward Cale and noticed that Cale was slowly looking around the entire hall.
Choi Han's eyes clouded over.
Cale undid the top button of his shirt. The lord approached the White Star with an angry and confident expression as he did that.
“I knew it! Sir Barrow, you were right! There really were people aiming for our territory!”
“That is correct. Lord-nim, those people are the ones who snuck in while trying to take over the Dubori territory.”
The White Star pointed his finger at Cale.
‘Ho! I did?’
Cale looked toward the White Star in shock, but the White Star didn't show any reaction. Cale became nervous after seeing this reaction.
‘There’s definitely something else. That’s why he can be so calm.’
Cale's mind became even more complicated. He heard the lord’s voice at that moment.
“Sir Sayeru, use your holy light arrow to burn those bastards alive!”
“Yes sir, I will gladly follow the lord-nim’s will. We will punish these evil bastards.”
“Yes, yes! You are correct!”
Bear King Sayeru snickered as he threw a light arrow toward Cale and Choi Han. He seemed as if he would die from laughter from Cale’s shocked gaze.
The now extremely confident lord shouted toward Cale and Choi Han in a mocking tone.
“Put out that fire immediately if you bastards want to live!”
“But I don't want to.”
The surrounding knights and everyone in the hall closed their mouths in shock at that moment. Their gazes headed toward the brown-haired man standing on the chandelier.
“…What did you just say……?”
He responded to the lord’s question again.
“ 'But I don't want to,’ is what I said.”
“Y, you damn arrogant bastard-! Put that fire out imme-”
“I don’t want to.”
Cale shrugged his shoulders and glared at the lord in a profane way that could not compare to how he had looked at crown prince Alberu at any point so far.
“Why should I?”
“…What? You dare talk back-”
Cale reached his hand out and wind came out of his hand and surrounded the lord.
His body shot up into the air. His new suit was turning into a mess. The lord reached his hand out to the White Star in fear as if he had never been confident at all.
“Down, put me down! S, Sir Barrow! Help me down!”
The White Star looked toward the lord once before turning his gaze to Cale.
“I believe that fire is not magic?”
Cale had no issue nodding his head and agreeing to the White Star who was pointing to the fire and whirlwinds outside the city walls.
“Correct. It’s my friends’ powers.”
To be more specific, it was the Wind Elementals next to Cale who had shared Cale's message to the Elementals in the desert.
‘Wow! He said we are his friends? Hehe! It feels good hearing it straight from him!’
‘Hehe, chaos, destruction, and the friendship that grows between them.’
‘Honestly speaking, there isn’t much we did! The Dark Elves did most of it!’
The Elementals who had heard the message informed their contracted Dark Elves, making them charge into the territory like this.
“Oh my, you truly are talented. How do you land such an unexpected hit like this?”
The White Star shook his head as if he had a headache.
"Sir Barrow, what are you doing? Get me down this instant! Now!”
The corner of the White Star’s lips went up after hearing the lord’s shout. He pointed toward the lord as he continued to speak to Cale.
“But will your relationship with the Caro Kingdom be okay if you touch the lord? This guy has quite the backing. Well, I do know you have a pretty good relationship with crown prince Valentino.”
The White Star was looking at the lord as if he was looking at trash. This was someone who only cared about himself and his belongings.
“This lord’s cousin is someone even crown prince Valentino cannot touch. He is someone who controls the Caro Kingdom’s politics, so who would dare to help you? I think even crown prince Valentino would turn a blind eye to this.”
Cale did not hide his rude gaze. Who cares if this lord had a strong backing?
‘My backing is Alberu Crossman.’
No matter how strong a Caro Kingdom’s noble might be, would he be as strong as the future king of the Roan Kingdom that was now the strongest kingdom after the fall of the Mogoru Empire? And most importantly.
Cale shrugged his shoulders and added on.
“It's fine. I'm sure crown prince Valentino will trust me.”
‘No, it’s more like he’ll do as I say.’
The corners of Cale’s lips started to rise.
Wind covered Cale's whole body at that moment. The knights and mages could not easily approach him.
"Shit, we can't approach them like this!”
“Still surround them! They won’t be able to escape!”
Cale didn’t get distracted by the knights’ urgent shouts nor the administrators who were shocked by the wind and hiding in the corners of the hall as he focused only on the White Star.
“Furthermore, are you saying I did something? I haven't done anything to the territory.”
The White Star’s eyebrow slightly rose to resemble mountains.
“Did that fire touch the territory? Did it attack it? I haven't done anything.”
Cale smiled as he looked toward the White Star and Sayeru. The Bear King scoffed at him.
“The fire will soon reach the territory. The results will be that you invaded the city. We are people who protected the lord and the territory and we have the position you bastards always had this time.”
“As I expected……Heh.”
Cale laughed as he continued to speak.
“I guess you didn't plant rats in Young-en city?”
“I'm glad you didn't hear about it.”
Cale could not help but laugh. He was curious how far the White Star had the Illusionist plant her rats. However, he was able to resolve his curiosity with the last statement.
Young-en city. They would not be able to bring up the lord like this if the Illusionist had rats in Young-en. This lord's backing was strong? It was still just his backing.
The White Star who was looking at Cale took a step forward as he started to speak.
“You bastard, what did you-”
It was at that moment.
Boom! Boom- boom.
They heard drums beating outside. The noise was coming from the East. Someone in the hall shouted as the White Star and Sayeru looked toward an east-facing window.
“Why are the kingdom’s drums?”
Sayeru's pupils started to shake.
This was the noise of the drums that announced that an important individual of the kingdom had arrived. A person deployed by the kingdom had arrived much earlier than Sayeru had expected.
‘They should have taken at least another day or two according to their normal speed!’
Why else would they have installed those mana disturbance tools? It was so that the kingdom would take longer to find out about the Dubori territory's situation, giving them time to frame Cale and Choi Han.
But they had not managed to do anything yet.
His gaze immediately turned toward Cale.
‘That bastard must have done something!’
Cale's smile grew bigger after seeing Sayeru’s reaction.
‘The Illusionist did not have any rats in Young-en!’
This was because neither the White Star nor Sayeru realized that Cale met with Valentino. This now changed things. If the enemy was trying to broaden the battlefield, Cale just had to do the same.
‘I did it at a timing you bastards didn't expect.’
The lord’s backing? Would that be stronger than the crown prince who was personally heading over right now earlier than expected?
‘If you bastards pulled Choi Han and me into this, I will pull the royal family in.’
Boom- boom, boom!
The sound of the drum started to get closer. Cale heard a whisper in his ear at that moment.
‘We found it! There are many weird pillars at the border of the Dubori territory!’
‘The other Wind Elementals told us! There are weird gold pillars at the Dubori border equidistant from each other and glowing red!’
‘Those must be responsible for the illusions! They’re the reason it looks like the desert is on fire!’
‘There are tens of large pillars! But most are hidden underground with only a portion showing outside, making it hard to see!’
The bait used to make Cale rush to the Dubori territory was an illusion created by these numerous pillars.
Cale thought about something at that moment.
‘I guess the rumblings we felt in Young-en were from those pillars being stabbed into the ground. Apparently it was hard to find those pillars because they are all covered by vines! They needed to look very closely!’
Wouldn't the ground shake if tens of large pillars were stabbed deep into the ground at the same time?
‘Am I wrong? Would such a rumbling not happen with just that?’
The drums continued to beat. The drums that were getting closer reached the eastern city walls and the hands of the soldiers on guard started to shake.
“…W, why is the Royal Knights Brigade here?”
The soldier could see the Caro Kingdom's Royal Flag fluttering in the wind. The Royal Knights Brigade crest was shining on the armor of the knight holding the royal flag.
“Open the gate immediately! This is an order from his highness, the crown prince!”
Caro Kingdom's crown prince Valentino was at the center of the knights sitting on a horse and looking at the city walls. His eyes looked angry.
“…The fire in the desert was fake.”
Valentino’s eyes turned to the side.
“Young master Cale is captured inside?”
“That is correct. Your highness.”
Valentino turned away from the tattooed old man wearing an odd outfit and looked toward the city gate.
The closed gate opened and the Royal Knights Brigade entered. The sound of horses hooves were headed toward the Lord’s Castle. The old man who was on a horse next to Valentino raised his head.
Caw, caw, caw.
The sun had gone down at some point and it was night now. The crows hid their bodies in the darkness as they headed toward the Dubori Lord’s Castle. The old man, Tiger shaman Gashan, started to speak.
“Catch all the rats.”
Caw. Caw, caw.
The tens, no, hundreds of crows all started to hunt for rats. Gashan's gaze headed toward the west.
He could see the fire that shot up after an explosion. The city walls heading toward the Land of Death… The fire burning wildly outside those walls cut through the air like a red snake and flew toward the Lord’s Castle.
“R, run away! The fire, that fire snake is attacking the territory!”
The residents who had been debating whether to run started to quickly run in shock. The fire looked scary as it cut through the dark night.
However, some of them stopped running and expressed their shocks as they looked up.
“Those black people are?”
“…T, the person leading that fire is?”
There was a black person in front of the fire snake who was surrounded by wind and seemed to be leading the snake. They had not noticed right away because it was dark, but the people with great vision were able to see the person moving past them.
“…Elf! It’s a Dark Elf!”
A Dark Elf was leading the fire snake. They could also see more Dark Elves running behind the fire snake. They then realized that the fire snake was heading toward the Lord’s Castle. No buildings were destroyed as the fire snake and the Dark Elves cut through the sky. They were just charging ferociously toward the Lord’s Castle.
The people in the Lord’s Castle could see the fire snake as well. They heard the crown’s drums again as well.
“Oh my, it looks like you got us.”
The White Star looked toward Cale. He saw Cale's smiling face.
“S, Sir Barrow!”
The White Star waved his hand after hearing the lord’s desperate plea.
There was a small explosion and the wind that came out of the White Star's hand instantly gobbled up Cale's wind.
The lord fell to the ground and was busy checking his body for injuries. The White Star stared at him for a moment before starting to speak.
Cale clenched his fists at that moment. There must be a reason that the White Star was so relaxed. That was why Cale couldn't help but be nervous even though he already pulled the crown prince into this.
Choi Han approached Cale and pointed his sword toward the White Star.
He heard the sound of swords falling at that moment. That was the beginning.
‘What the hell?’
Every knight inside the hall dropped their swords and weapons. The weapons rolled on the ground. However, they did not care.
They were not the only ones.
“…Must capture them.”
“…Will capture… …Will capture…”
The territory administrators, mages, and even the lord started to move with blank expressions like the knights.
“…What is this?”
Knights, mages, administrators, territory lord, and servants, they all quickly charged toward Cale and Choi Han while trying to capture them. Cale heard the Illusionist’s voice at that moment. Red smoke was surrounding the green-haired woman.
“That person is the person who planned this terrible deed.”
That person was referring to Cale.
“Next to him is the poor soul who was bewitched by that evil man’s glib tongue.”
Choi Han was the poor soul.
“Good people of Dubori. Save that poor soul from the evildoer.”
There were a lot of people since all Dubori knights, mages, administrators, and servants were gathered together. They all started to head toward Choi Han.
“We must s, save him.”
“…We will save him. Save him… We must.”
Cale even saw a young servant reaching his hand out toward Choi Han alongside the knights and mages. There was also a weak old man approaching Choi Han while saying that he needed to be saved.
Everybody looked ready to grab Choi Han.
Cale could see the awkward expression on Choi Han’s face.
"Cale, shall we make a bet?”
He heard the laughing White Star’s voice at that moment. The White Star created a wind wall to surround the hall at the same time.
North, south, east, and west. All windows and doors were blocked by the large wind wall. The White Star continued to speak to Cale who was staring at him once Cale and Choi Han were trapped.
“A good person like you probably knows good Choi Han’s thoughts well. Okay then, do you think Choi Han can avoid the hands of the weak children, the old men, and the others who are trying to grab him?”
Cale started to frown.
“They are all innocent. They’ve all just been tricked by me.”
"No. They’ve been tricked by my amazing illusions.”
The Illusionist laughed as she continued to speak.
“Those people won't faint. Fainting has no impact on the illusion status. They will keep trying to save Choi Han even if they get hurt or lose an arm or a leg. So, Mr. Cale and Mr. Choi Han. What will you do?”
Cale could see Choi Han’s anxious gaze heading toward him. They could hear the entertained Illusionist's voice.
“Will you hurt them and push them aside? Or will you be a good boy and be captured, Mr. Choi Han?”
The White Star added on.
“Choi Han is one of my goals this time. Shouldn’t I at least grab him? So, what will you do? Cale Henituse, the man who tries to even save the enemy soldiers.”
Cale started to frown. He could see Choi Han’s sword that could not leave the scabbard because he didn’t want to attack the servants and administrators.