Cale wanted to lie down.
He just wanted to lie down on top of the Dark Tiger.
But how did Alberu who had fallen back asleep and returned as the Dark Tiger know?
“Don't do it.”
“Whatever it is, don't do it.”
‘Wow. He’s so sharp.’
Cale nodded his head and crossed his arms.
“Umm. Hey, Rok Soo?”
Cale looked down.
Kim Po-Chul and Kim Min Joon were both looking back at him and the gate with concern.
“Can we really just stand here like this?”
Cale looked forward after hearing Kim Po-Chul’s question.
Clang clang clang! Clang! Clang!
There were all sorts of alarms going off, this northern gate was tightly shut, and there were all sorts of people pointing spears, swords, and arrows at Cale and the others.
“Mm. Did we show up too late?”
Kim Po-Chul started to pound his chest in frustration.
“Haigoo! Rok Soo, it ain’t a matter of being late!”
Kim Po-Chul then shut his mouth.
Kim Po-Chul heard a gentle voice behind him.
“We seem to be the problem?”
Kim Po-Chul slightly turned his head back and looked up.
The cute White Rabbit that was close to 3 meters tall, the White Rabbit that was scarier because it looked so cute, was quietly looking down at him.
The White Rabbit was standing to the left of Cale who was on the Dark Tiger.
The Steel Feather Hawk had its sharp feathers pointed up and did not hide its anger from Cale's right.
The Steel Feather Hawk stared at the humans pointing their arrows at it and started to speak.
“Wouldn’t it be easier if I just went inside and swiped away that Lee Soo Hyuk bastard you want to meet?”
Its feathers were twitching.
“How dare they point their weapons at me! They must want to die!”
The people pointing their weapons looked even more concerned.
One of the people standing on the castle wall next to the gate started to speak at that moment.
“Nobody will be able to easily cross this wall!”
It was a middle-aged woman wearing a judo uniform.
“And we will not hand Lee Soo Hyuk over!”
Cale's eyes clouded over as he looked at her.
‘That’s the person who becomes the Busan Precinct Leader in the future.’
Someone on the other side of the wall started to speak as well. That person was talking to the middle-aged woman and not toward Cale’s group.
“Noonim, let's just fight them.”
This middle-aged man had some kind of a cape around his shoulders.
Cale knew this man as well.
‘The Guild leader for Daejeon's strongest guild.’
These two were not the only people there.
Two or three other people guarding the castle walls were famous people Kim Rok Soo remembered from the future.
Cale let out a short chuckle.
That chuckle made the people on the castle walls as well as Cale's group all nervously look toward him.
This was an extremely tense situation that could blow up at any moment.
But Cale couldn't help but laugh.
‘…All the monsters really are gathered here.’
Numerous monster-like ability users who would become famous, not just in Korean society, but in the entire world in the future were gathered here at the Seomyeon, Busan central shelter.
They weren't necessarily all attack-type ability users.
Healing, defense, support, and other monster-like ability users in numerous aspects were gathered here.
‘Although they all just happened to gather here.’
Their hometowns and bases were all different.
They all just happened to gather here due to coincidence and many different reasons.
Of course, there were other monster-like ability users throughout Korea as well.
‘I need to drag those people in too.’
Cale was planning on bringing those ability users over as well.
Cale smiled gently toward the people pointing their arrows at him.
They seemed to become more nervous after seeing him smile, but Cale reached his hand out toward the Steel Feather Hawk.
“Noonim, you can't do that. You promised not to kill humans.”
One of the people standing in front of the castle gate subconsciously started to mumble.
“My goodness, he called it noonim.”
A lot of people looked astonished.
The Steel Feather Hawk looked at the smiling Cale for a moment before folding its wings and turning its head to the side.
“Hmph. I'll hold back this one time to save you face.”
It then continued to speak as if it was warning Cale.
“You must make sure to keep your end of the deal.”
Kim Po-Chul started to speak.
“Yes, we have a deal.”
The White Rabbit gently smiled. It looked cute either way, but that made it seem even more vicious.
Kim Po-Chul cautiously asked Cale.
"What's the deal?”
Cale thought about it for a moment.
“Yes, sir. Coexisting in peace.”
‘What does that even mean?’
Kim Po-Chul had that thought but did not say anything else.
It was because the Dark Tiger started to speak. Kim Po-Chul found the Dark Tiger more difficult to converse with than the other two leader monsters.
The other two monsters treated the Dark Tiger differently as well.
Maybe that was the reason, but the Dark Tiger felt a bit different, as if it was a more majestic existence.
The Dark Tiger started to speak in a low voice.
"Why is the hawk your noonim?”
“She said that it was disappointing that I was only calling you hyung-nim and asked me to call her noonim.”
Alberu shook his head from side to side.
His mane majestically shook each time he did that.
Park Jin Tae who was watching all this could only sigh with his head down.
“…What a headache.”
Park Jin Tae thought that this was quite the complicated situation but just wanted to get drunk even though he didn't normally drink after thinking about the even bigger headache that would come up soon.
‘Lee Soo Hyuk…’
Cale had asked them to call Lee Soo Hyuk over as soon as they came to see him.
This not even funny tense situation had been going on ever since he said that.
‘I did everything I could to get out of that son of a bitch’s shadow.’
In the end, he had to see Lee Soo Hyuk. And Park Jin Tae had walked into it with his own two feet.
‘I'm sure he’ll beat the hell out of me. Actually, I’ll be lucky if it ends with that.’
He could easily see what his future day would look like.
Lee Soo Hyuk.
That name has held quite the weight on Park Jin Tae's ever since the cataclysm.
Envy. Respect. Jealousy. A sense of inferiority.
He was someone who brought out all sorts of emotions and Park Jin Tae had always wondered, ‘What am I lacking in comparison to this bastard?’ the whole time he was serving as Lee Soo Hyuk's right arm.
But Kim Rok Soo…
Going through all these things with the changed Kim Rok Soo made Park Jin Tae realize that jealousy should be reserved for people he could reach.
Kim Rok Soo’s abilities were at a level Park Jin Tae could never reach, which was the reason he came here with Kim Rok Soo.
A sigh holding both nervousness and uncertainty came out of Park Jin Tae's mouth.
He then made eye contact with the Dark Tiger with the weird name of Alberu Crossman.
But the Dark Tiger looked away. Park Jin Tae quietly sighed.
However, the Dark Tiger had not been looking at Park Jin Tae.
It was instead looking at the two people standing in front of Park Jin Tae.
Alberu quietly started to whisper.
“Is it okay to leave the two of them so far back?”
Cale immediately understood who Alberu was talking about.
Forward… To be more specific, Cale, who was looking at the northern gate, took a peek behind himself.
He could see two people with complicated expressions on their faces.
They were the men of the Choi family.
Choi Han and Choi Jung Soo.
The two had serious expressions on their faces for different reasons as they were deep in their thoughts.
Choi Han was blankly staring at the night sky while Choi Jung Soo was staring at Choi Han’s back with a piercing gaze.
Choi Jung Soo probably thought he was stealthily staring at Choi Han every time he looked elsewhere, but…
‘I'm not sure.’
Choi Han of all people probably noticed Choi Jung Soo’s gaze a long time ago.
‘I'm sure both of their minds are complicated messes right now.’
On their way from Gyeongju to Busan…
There were many small-scale battles. Choi Han had taken the lead every time even without Cale saying anything.
Choi Jung Soo had been looking at Choi Han with a gaze that was more and more full of chaos and confusion as the days had gone by.
Cale knew the reason behind it.
‘Choi Han used Choi Jung Soo's sword art.’
To be more specific, Choi Han was using the Choi family sword art he had seen in Choi Jung Soo's memories but had taken the time to develop it further.
Choi Jung Soo's mind must be complicated because Choi Han’s sword art was similar to the ancient sword art that his family had developed and improved for generations but was one step further ahead.
However, the two of them had not chatted with each other even once during the journey.
It truly was a complicated situation as Alberu mentioned.
“I'm sure the two of them will figure it out.”
It wasn’t Cale’s place to get involved.
At least at first.
The two of them needed to chat with each other first on their own accord without Cale being involved.
Cale might be able to help out and make it easier for them after that, but Cale hoped that the two of them would get it started on their own.
At that moment…
“Leader-nim! Mr. Lee Soo Hyuk is here!”
“Sir, you’re here?”
The castle wall started to get rowdy.
Cale urgently looked away from Choi Han and Choi Jung Soo and looked forward again.
It was at that moment.
Cale could see someone laughing while standing on the castle wall.
That person was standing on the castle wall looking at Cale with a look of disbelief.
It was Lee Soo Hyuk.
The corners of Cale’s lips slightly went up.
He finally met him.
Alberu quietly mumbled at that moment.
“That person seems to be the Lee Soo Hyuk you talked about?”
Alberu made a comment again even without waiting for Cale's response.
“Mm. His demeanor seems quite different than what you mentio-”
Of course, Cale wasn’t listening to Alberu either.
He was too distracted to do that as Lee Soo Hyuk had pointed at Cale at that moment.
Lee Soo Hyuk then started to brush his hair back with a look of disbelief.
He then looked at Alberu, whom Cale was standing on, and then the monsters on either side…
And then the people around him.
His eyes opened wide once again.
“All of you too!”
His gaze headed toward Lee Jin Joo, Lee Seung Won, Grandma Kim, Park Jin Tae, and Lee Chul Min.
The two people in charge of the northern gates walked over to Lee Soo Hyuk.
“Lee Soo Hyuk. Are they people you know?”
“Hey, Soo Hyuk. You know those peo- hey, hey! What are you doing?!”
Lee Soo Hyuk ignored the two people approaching him and jumped off the castle wall and landed outside.
He then quickly walked over to Cale.
“It might be dangerous!”
The ability users stationed outside the northern gate shouted with concern but Lee Soo Hyuk lifted his hand.
He then walked over to the place with three leader monsters.
But his gaze was not on these monsters but on the people.
And of those people…
He was focused on Cale who was standing in front of everyone.
Lee Soo Hyuk started to speak as he got closer.
“Hey, have you been eating properly?”
Cale wanted to laugh once he heard that question.
Lee Soo Hyuk must have seen him smile as he started to smile as well. But he then started to frown as he started to speak again.
"Why do you look so terrible? Why did you get so skinny?”
Lee Chul Min’s pupils started to shake as he moved to hide behind everybody else before anybody even realized it.
Nobody managed to see this, regardless of whether they were part of the Seomyeon central shelter or Cale’s group.
They were all looking at Cale and Lee Soo Hyuk.
Cale got off Alberu's back and started to walk over to Lee Soo Hyuk.
He then started to speak.
“I don't think you’re in a spot to say that I look terrible?”
Lee Soo Hyuk started to smile even more in response.
“It really is Kim Rok Soo.”
He then started to walk even quicker toward Cale.
Cale looked at Lee Soo Hyuk and recalled something Lee Soo Hyuk told him in the future while thinking about this time.
‘There was a time when I was really tired. Wouldn’t you have been tired? Now…I've organized all of my thoughts. Back then… You see, back then… I was still young and I was no great person or anything. I was a bit tired. It was difficult.’
That had been the truth.
His battle outfit was covered in monster blood and his face looked like a mess too.
His expression was bright, but he could see the fatigue on his face.
Unlike the future team leader Lee Soo Hyuk, the current Lee Soo Hyuk was finding it tiring and difficult to fight monsters and save people.
Kim Rok Soo, another team leader in the future, could see all of it.
“…You really look like shit.”
Lee Soo Hyuk stopped walking and looked down at his body.
He then smiled again and continued to speak.
“I still look cool even when I'm like this.”
“Cool my ass.”
Cale snorted as he retorted back.
Lee Soo Hyuk quietly watched him for a moment before starting to speak.
“It looks like you’ve grown a bit while I haven’t seen you?”
“I've been at my full height since a long time ago.”
Cale nonchalantly responded to Lee Soo Hyuk’s statement and reached his hand out.
For the first greeting in a long while…
For a greeting that wasn't too awkward…
This seemed to be the best option.
Lee Soo Hyuk looked at his hand that was asking for a handshake before starting to chuckle.
“You punk, really, a handshake?”
Lee Soo Hyuk opened up his arms and quickly walked over to Cale.
He then hugged him tightly.
“It’s been too long. I'm really happy to see you, Rok Soo.”
The coarse hand that was patting Cale’s back then started to ruffle Cale’s hair.
“I was worried about the people at the shelter.”
The 24-hour long battle.
Lee Soo Hyuk who survived that battle here in Busan had been thinking about his first central shelter the whole time.
‘That place was probably destroyed too.’
‘The monsters must have attacked there as well.’
‘Won’t everything end up being destroyed even if I try my best?’
Lee Soo Hyuk continued to pat this kid he had once saved, who managed to survive this time and came to find him.
“I'm relieved. I'm glad you're still alive.”
He really was relieved.
Lee Soo Hyuk quietly continued to speak.
“Thank you. Thank you for being alive. Rok Soo.”
The moment he heard those words…
Cale looked toward the person who had saved his life and was his mentor and family whom he had seen for the first time in a very long while, as he started to think.
‘Lee Soo Hyuk is still Lee Soo Hyuk.’
That was what he was thinking.