“I will lead you to your room first.”
“Thank you very much.”
Taylor smiled at Cale’s thank you before quickly leading them to another room.
They did not see anyone in the hallway as they left the underground room and moved to their room.
The door opened and a place that was set up like a meeting room appeared in front of them.
“It’s over here.”
“Thank you very much.”
“It’s nothing, young master-nim. I will see you later.”
Taylor stealthily walked away as he had done while guiding them here.
Cale entered the room as if all of this was normal and everyone other than Choi Han and the invisible Raon followed behind him with suspicion on their faces.
Beacrox closed the door to isolate them from the outside and started to speak.
“Why are we not in the desert?”
He asked before seeing the usual expression on the now visible Raon's face and Choi Han's calm expression, making him nod his head with a bitter expression.
“Choi Han seems to know something as well. I guess there's a reason.”
“I don't really know either.”
“Is that so?”
Beacrox sat next to Choi Han at the table before speaking toward Cale who was at the head of the table.
“Young master-nim, I know you suspected that the final earth attribute power would be in the Roan Kingdom’s northwest region.”
The Dragon half-blood who was the only one here to hear this information for the first time flinched.
His mind was still a chaotic mess, but he realized that he was hearing some dangerous and secretive information and cautiously started to speak.
“…Is this okay for me to hear?”
Beacrox who received that gaze bluntly responded.
“Why wouldn't it be okay?”
“That’s right. It is as Beacrox mentioned.”
Cale agreed with it as well and the Dragon half-blood looked toward Cale with an even more confused expression. However, his gaze then headed toward the children averaging nine-years-old sitting around Cale.
To be more specific, his gaze moved toward Raon. He was fluttering his wings and tapping Cale’s arm with his tail as if he was happy and he was smiling.
The Dragon half-blood’s gaze could not move away from that smile.
Cale sighed internally while watching this.
The answer seemed obvious even without asking about it, however, Cale could not just keep standing there observing the Dragon half-blood.
“Young master-nim, are we here at the Roan Kingdom's northwest region and not the desert because you located the earth attribute ancient power?”
He turned toward Beacrox who had asked the question. Beacrox who had asked in a pressing tone thought they were wasting precious time.
‘We don’t know when the White Star will return to the desert. He might have immediately returned there for all we know.’
That would mean it was likely for the White Star to notice Cale’s absence and turn his attention toward the Roan Kingdom’s northwest region.
“You see, I…”
Cale started to speak at that moment.
He looked toward his friends sitting around the table.
In addition to the children averaging nine-years-old and the Dragon half-blood, Beacrox, Choi Han, and Mercenary King Bud Illis were there.
“Yes, yes. You what?”
Bud looked toward Cale with an entertained expression.
Choi Han who was the only one other than Raon who knew that Cale would come here chose to be silent.
‘…Is the earth attribute ancient power located in the Stan territory?’
However, Choi Han did not know everything either.
He had no way of knowing whether Cale had found the earth attribute ancient power or not. He just waited for Cale to open his mouth which happened soon enough.
“Does anybody clearly remember the Henituse County's crest?”
Bud looked toward Cale with a shocked expression.
The Henituse County's crest was the golden turtle. He knew that much, but he didn't know the detailed crest on their County flag.
‘Who the hell would remember something like that?’
However, Bud was mistaken about this.
"Cale-nim, I remember it.”
“Human, I remember it! I will make a crest like that in the future too!”
“I know it!”
“I know it because Hans taught it to me!”
Choi Han and the children averaging nine-years-old answered as if it was an easy question.
“Young master-nim, of course, I can draw something like that.”
Beacrox sounded annoyed to even answer such an obvious question.
“…Well, I can describe most of it even if I can't draw it out.”
Even the Dragon half-blood cautiously nodded his head.
This made Bud at a loss for words.
‘…What the? Am I the weird one?’
Cale continued to speak as Bud stood there unable to share his thoughts.
“Yes. As you all know, the Henituse County's crest is-”
Beacrox raised his hand and cut Cale off. Bud was waiting for Beacrox, who stopped Cale who had gone off-topic from talking about the earth attribute ancient power to the Henituse crest, to keep talking.
The person who had asked the question earlier to get the discussion started had been Beacrox.
“What is it?”
Cale responded to Beacrox with a stoic expression and Beacrox answered with a serious expression.
“It is not the Henituse County anymore. It is the Henituse Duchy now. Please use the proper term especially in front of the children.”
Bud was at a loss for words.
He wanted to ask if that was the reason Beacrox had cut Cale off, but the look of pride on Beacrox's face made Bud keep quiet.
‘…I should just stay quiet.’
Bud chose silence and Cale looked toward Beacrox in shock before continuing to speak.
“Anyway, the Henituse Duchy’s symbol is the golden turtle and it was used as the family crest.
“I will show it to you! I remember everything because I am great and mighty!”
Raon used magic to create the Henituse crest at the center of the table.
A golden turtle was at the center of it as Cale mentioned.
‘That’s right. That is how it looked.’
Bud nodded his head at the crest he had seen a few times. He heard a whisper at that moment.
It was Cale.
“What is the golden turtle carrying?”
There was something on the golden turtle’s shell.
“Human, I know the answer! It's a boulder, it's a stone mountain!”
Raon answered with excitement and Hong chimed in as well.
“Deputy butler Hans told me! He said it was a stone mountain on top of the golden turtle! He said that the mountain was made of marble!”
“That’s right! You really are smart!”
“You're smart too, youngest bro!”
Bud nodded his head after hearing the children’s comments.
The Henituse County’s crest was a golden turtle with a marble mountain on top of it.
‘The territory is famous for its marble. That was the reason it became so wealthy.’
It was normal for the territory crest to have their symbol along with the item their territory was famous for.
‘But why does that matter?’
Bud didn't know why Cale would bring that up right now.
It was at that moment.
Choi Han quietly gasped. Bud wanted to ask, ‘what's wrong with him?’ after seeing Choi Han nodding his head, however, Choi Han could not pay any attention to that right now.
‘Cale-nim was definitely looking at the file about the northwest region’s nobles at that time.’
It was the day when the celebration had happened after the Henituse household was promoted to a Duke's household. Choi Han had gone to find Cale in the corner terrace where Cale was reading some documents.
Those documents were full of information about the northwest region's nobles.
Cale was looking at information on Marquis Stan’s household as well as all nobles in the northwest region in addition to a map of the northwest region.
“Choi Han, did you figure it out?”
Choi Han who turned to see Cale who was smiling so much that his eyes were in the shape of a crescent moon nodded his head, and Cale immediately continued to speak.
“My earth attribute ancient power can be said to be a type of ‘stone’ based power.”
Even its name was the Scary Giant Cobblestone.
Cale continued to speak just as Bud was about to frown at Cale changing topics again.
“There are only two noble families in the Roan Kingdom with ‘boulder’ or 'stone’ in their crest.”
Bud found this to be odd.
‘Are there really only two households?’
“Only two noble households in this land of boulders has some kind of ‘stone’ in their crest.”
As Cale mentioned, the Roan Kingdom had been called the Land of Boulder since a long time ago.
"Furthermore, other than the royal family, no organizations are using any kind of stone even now.
“Merchant guilds, associations… None of them have used any type of stone in their crest.
“Do you think this is a coincidence?”
Cale took a small piece of paper out of his pocket as he asked. There was a crest drawn on this piece of paper that seemed to have been ripped out of a book.
Beacrox saw a red snake on the paper.
Bud lightly slapped his knees with his palms.
He could see the red snake as well.
It was another family’s family crest.
That red snake was wrapped around a stone mountain as it glared at someone with its jaw opened.
This red snake symbolized only one family in the entire Roan Kingdom.
Even Bud who had been paying attention to the Roan Kingdom knew this crest because he had been paying attention to this household that was one of the strongest households of the Roan Kingdom.
Bud said that household’s name as he looked toward Cale.
“…The Stan March.”
“Yes. Only the Stan household and the Henituse household use a boulder in their crests.”
Was this a coincidence?
That was the thought passing through Bud’s mind.
“But you see…”
Cale wasn’t done just yet.
“The Roan Kingdom is very unique. It has a large territory, but only the marble in the east and the granite in the west are famous.”
The group all focused on the Stan household’s crest.
Unlike the Henituse crest, this red snake was wrapped around a thicker and darker boulder. This probably represented granite.
“Is there anywhere else where the quality of the boulders is so clearly different? I also found out one other thing.”
His quiet voice sounded extremely loud as everybody focused on Cale.
Knock knock knock-!
Someone knocked and Cale immediately got up and opened the door.
“Young master-nim, here is the item you requested.”
“Thank you, Marquis-nim.”
“Not at all. Something like this is nothing for you, young master Cale-nim. Then I will be on my way as you are in the middle of a meeting.”
Taylor Stan quickly left after noticing the serious atmosphere in the room. Cale said that he would come to greet him later and walked Taylor out.
He then returned to the table and opened up the item in his hand.
It was a map.
The northwest region. This map clearly showed the northwest region with the Stan March at the center.
This was the second most thorough map in the Stan territory other than the one used by their troops.
Cale pointed to a spot with his finger.
“A stone mountain filled with granite is in the Stan March.”
It was a rough mountain that was not comparable to the Ten Finger Mountains where Cale had visited and met the Elves. It was made of granite and famous for the beautiful scenery.
However, people rarely visited that place now because of the rough terrain, a scary legend, and rumors about how it was dangerous.
“That scenery is said to look like a red snake wrapped around a stone mountain.”
Cale started to smile.
“And there is also a legend that says that a red snake gobbles up anybody who tries to conquer the mountain.”
His relaxed smile reached the others.
“What do you think? Are you getting a feel for it now?”
They definitely were.
As he mentioned, they all had a certain thought come to mind.
"Cale-nim, are we going to this mountain?”
Choi Han asked for everyone and Cale answered without any hesitation.
“We definitely need to check out the places that have the highest chances of having what we are looking for.”
Choi Han got up and the others followed as well. Cale who was already standing made eye contact with the others and looked ready to head to the marked mountain at any moment.
“However, before that…”
Cale shook his head.
He started to speak in a serious tone to the others who were confused.
“We need to eat first.”
Cale who was hungry after not eating for a long time looked toward the children averaging nine-years-old before looking toward Beacrox.
"We can’t starve the children.”
“…Ha, I suppose that is true, young master-nim.”
Beacrox shook his head and headed toward the door without saying anything else.
"Where are you going?”
He turned the doorknob and responded to Bud’s question.
“To make some food.”
He then headed out toward the Stan household’s kitchen without any hesitation. His footsteps quickened after thinking about how dirty On and Hong had gotten in half a day and because he was worried about Raon.
Beacrox did not seem to care about how shocked the Stan household's chefs would be at this outsider’s visit.
The others who were blankly staring at his quick movement then heard Cale’s order.
“Everybody head out for a bit.”
“Human! Do I need to go out too?”
“Yes. Everybody out. Ah, except you.”
Cale motioned for the Dragon half-blood to sit before pointing to the door for the others. He saw the Stan household’s butler who had a shocked expression on his face after probably seeing Beacrox.
“Ask that butler to show you where to rest.”
“Hey, what do you mean a place to rest, aren’t we in a hurry?”
Cale ignored the grumbling Bud and closed the door behind the others without any hesitation.
Raon who turned invisible after seeing the butler said goodbye, leaving only Cale and the Dragon half-blood inside the meeting room.
Cale sat down on the chair across from the Dragon half-blood. And started to speak.
“As Bud mentioned, we are in a bit of a hurry right now. So, I’ll give you thirty minutes.”
The Dragon half-blood subconsciously clenched his fists. His back was sweating. Cale didn’t care as he asked the Dragon half-blood a question in a stoic voice.
“Do you know about the red egg?”
The Dragon half-blood’s pupils started to shake.