Chapter 10: Picked It Up (3)

Deputy butler Hans immediately ordered another servant to call Choi Han over.

“Where is he right now?”

“Ah, he is with Ron in chef Beacrox’s kitchen.”

Cale’s heart jumped as he walked into the study. Were the three of them getting along as expected?

“Based on what I’ve been told, he is learning how to cook basic dishes from chef Beacrox.”

“Cooking?”

“Yes.”

One corner of Cale’s lips went up.

‘Cooking my ass.’

They were calling it, ‘cooking,’ but he was probably learning about torturing or Beacrox and Ron were admiring Choi Han’s sword skill. Cale didn’t need to see it to know the truth.

Cale naturally walked over and sat down at his desk. He then casually asked Hans, who was idly standing in the corner.

“What did he ask for?”

“Ah.”

Hans seemed shocked at Cale’s sudden words, before quickly putting on a serious expression and started to report. It was the information Cale expected it to be.

Hans could not hide his sorrow and disappointment while sharing about what happened to Harris Village, and had gone to the Count with Choi Han to deliver the Village Chief’s Plaque that Choi Han brought.

“Father met with him?”

“Yes. The Count immediately ordered for a funeral and will be sending inspectors, knights, and soldiers to investigate.”

Mm. Hans stopped for a moment and hesitated before continuing to speak.

“However, the guest has indicated he will not be going back with us.”

Hans recalled meeting the Count with Choi Han, as Choi Han explained the situation to the Count.

Choi Han was speaking normally, but the tips of his fingers were shaking. It was then that Hans found out that Choi Han was 17 years old. He was able to keep his life because he happened to be searching for medicinal herbs on his own at the time of the massacre, but he still had to watch his neighbors and friends all being killed at such a young age. Just how much shock would he have received?

“Will that be okay?”

That was why Hans had asked Cale. Will it be okay for him to not say his final farewell?

“It is his decision.”

Cale answered Hans’s question and changed the topic. He already knew why Choi Han did not want to return. He had already said his goodbye as he buried them. All that was left was to get his revenge on the people that took their future away.

“Has Ron been taking care of him?”

“Yes. He has made sure that the guest eats every meal. He has also been very friendly with him.”

The three of them did indeed seem to be getting along.

“Ah.”

Hans seemed to have remembered something as he continued to speak.

“Mr. Ron seems to have hurt himself while working again. He had bandages around his wrist.”

“Really? Make sure to give him some medicine.”

‘He probably killed someone again.’

That was what Cale was thinking. He heard Hans’s voice at that time.

“…I will make sure to deliver young master’s words and feelings to Mr. Ron.”

“Sure, whatever.”

Hans opened his mouth to say something as he looked at Cale’s nonchalant expression, but a different noise filled the study.

Knock Knock Knock

Choi Han had arrived. Hans opened the door, and Cale could see Choi Han standing outside. Cale waved his hand to send Hans away, and Hans bowed his head as he quietly exited the study. Only Cale and Choi Han were left in the room.

Cale kept the desk between them as he pointed at the chair across from him.

“Come sit down.”

Choi Han slowly looked around the study as he sat down on the chair. Cale gave him enough time to look around the study.

Like a typical pure and smart hero, Choi Han liked books. That was why the first thing he did after coming out of the Forest of Darkness and arriving in Harris Village was to learn how to read from the Chief. After looking around for a long time, Choi Han’s gaze finally landed on Cale.

“What is the payment?”

‘Getting right to the point.’

Cale smiled looking at how Choi Han didn’t beat around the bush.

Payment. Choi Han was thorough when it came to debts he owed.

Cale, Kim Rok Soo, realized that he had changed the contents of the beginning of ‘The Birth of a Hero.’ He could see that even more things would change because of it. That was why he was trying his best to not change too many things, but…

He had to go to the capital. Then even more things will change.

Cale put a piece of paper on the desk as he looked toward Choi Han.

“There is a way for you to pay back for the meal, but I need to first determine whether you will be capable of doing it. In simple terms, this is an interview.”

“Please go ahead.”

Choi Han immediately agreed to Cale’s talk of checking his qualifications. Cale started to ask.

“Do you know how to protect people?”

“… What do you mean?”

Choi Han flinched for the first time and asked after a moment. Cale’s gaze started to turn sharp. He was looking at the piece of paper on the desk and not at Choi Han.

Although he had to quickly change the plan, it might bring him more gains than before. He could prevent Choi Han’s party from getting the ancient powers while taking the ones that he needs for himself.

Those powers were useless to them anyway.

Cale kept his gaze on the paper as he continued to speak.

“Simple. Are you capable of protecting people instead of killing people?”

Silence filled the room. Choi Han did not have an answer. Cale removed his gaze from the paper and looked at the person sitting on the chair. Choi Han was sitting there with his head down, but eventually answered.

“I am not sure.”

Tsk. Cale clicked his tongue. This was why it was dangerous to provoke Choi Han right now.

“But you can kill someone?”

The answer came easily this time.

“Absolutely.”

“Then you should be able to protect people as well.”

Choi Han’s eyes shook for a moment.

“That is difficult.”

“But difficult does not mean impossible.”

There were not many things in the world you could avoid because it was difficult. The life that Cale had lived was like that. That was why he was so happy to possess the body of a trash like Cale who could do whatever he wants. But, unfortunately, there was now a mountain he needed to first climb in order to have that damn peaceful future.

Cale was looking for someone to climb and flip that mountain for him.

Choi Han had a bitter smile on his face.

“I guess that’s true.”

“Yes, it is. Now the final interview question.”

“Yes. Please ask.”

Cale looked into Choi Han’s firm gaze as he asked the last question.

“What is your name?”

“You don’t know my name?”

‘Of course, I do. You’re the person who was going to beat me up.’

“I have heard from other people, but I want to hear it directly from you.”

“Choi Han.”

Choi Han reached his hand out.

“My name is Choi Han.”

Cale shook Choi Han’s hand.

“Great. I am Cale Henituse.”

The short conversation called an interview quickly finished. Of course, it was a passing grade. Cale pushed the paper on the desk toward Choi Han.

“The way you can pay me back is simple.”

There were two names written on the paper. It also indicated where he would meet them.

“Go to the capital with these people.”

These were the party members Choi Han would meet on his way to the capital. Beacrox and these two people would grow and get strong with Choi Han until volume 5.

Rosalyn and Lock.

One was the princess of a neighboring kingdom who was returning to her kingdom after surviving an assassination attempt, and the other was an injured kid. Of course, that kid was the heir to the Wolf King. It was possible for him to transform into a wolf.

Princess Rosalyn was strong and cold. She had the most explosive strength after Choi Han and used her strength logically.

She was not interested in taking control of the throne. Instead, her goal was to create the continent’s greatest Magic Tower, and she would grow into a hero as she moved closer to her goal.

‘The Archduke of the kingdom, who attempted the assassination on Rosalyn, will be tortured by Beacrox in the future.’

Cale’s heart started to shake as he recalled just how clear and descriptive that torture scene had been in the novel. His heart seemed to be shaking quite a bit these days.

“Rosalyn. Lock.”

Cale nodded his head at Choi Han’s voice.

“Yes. Those two people. I’m glad you know how to read.”

Choi Han continued to stare at the two names. Cale’s gaze fell on the name Lock.

Lock. This world had other races such as Elves, Dwarves, and Beast People. However, the most secretive of all races were the Beast People.

Beast People. This included beasts, birds, and even insects. Beast People were different from monsters because of the existence of a conscience.

‘Lock has the purest blood of the wolf people.’

Lock had received the bloodline to dominate the wolves. The Beast People with the purest bloodline tend to look weak and average when they are in their animal form or their human form. However, once they enter their berserk state, they become more cruel and violent than anyone else. And Lock was the only survivor of the entire Blue Wolf tribe.

Cale took a map out of a drawer and opened it up on the desk.

“You will start the journey with me.”

He then pointed to a location on the map.

“We will separate at this point. You just follow what I wrote on the paper.”

Choi Han didn’t ask any questions and just quietly listened. Cale watched Choi Han for a bit. There was a reason Choi Han had to go with him until that specific point.

‘I need to avoid the crazy dragon.’

The beginning of ‘The Birth of a Hero.’ Like any other novel, new villains had to appear after Cale. However, those villains were not easy picking like Cale.

The next villain involved a Marquis who led one of the noble factions. Throughout the beginning of the novel, he gets in the way of the crown prince and Choi Han. He ends up being ruined around volume 2, but Choi Han runs into the Marquis for the first time on this trip to the capital.

‘That bastard raised the crazy dragon.’

It definitely was a crazy dragon.

It was still just a baby dragon. That black dragon was being tortured by the Marquis’s future successor in secret. They were training it to obey the Marquis’s commands.

‘They’re crazy too. Dragons are the strongest beings in the world. How do they think they will be able to tame a dragon?’

It actually does make sense.

The Marquis managed to get his hands on a Dragon egg through the secret organization and chained it down with mana restricting chains as soon as it hatched. Cale could not fathom the extent of the strength of that secret organization.

But would dragons be called the strongest beings in the world for no reason?

This black dragon, that was less than 5 years old, was still a dragon. In the end, the dragon goes crazy and berserk.

It may be young, but in the novel, it exploded with enough mana to remove the mana restricting chains. Since its mana was restricted, the mana it exploded was actually its own life force.

After living in a cave and being tortured every day without ever being able to see sunlight, the young dragon cuts into its own life force to find freedom.

After managing to escape, the dragon ends up losing its rationality and goes berserk.

The village that Choi Han is staying at the time almost ends up in danger because of the berserk dragon, and Choi Han ends up fighting against the black dragon.

[Choi Han gazed at the small dragon that was less than 1 meter long. It managed to blow up a mountain with that small body and put the villagers in significant danger. However, Choi Han could not easily attack this dragon.]
[The eyes of this dragon that had lost its rationality, were in pain and full of sorrow. However, the black dragon’s mouth was smiling. Choi Han found that to be extremely sad.]

Choi Han ends up killing that black dragon and gifting it the freedom called death.

Cale had to go to that village.

‘Either Choi Han takes care of it or I prevent it from going crazy and find a way to release it.’

There was no other choice because it was on his way to the capital. He would need to take an extremely long detour to avoid that village, and that would require a long time and change the flow of the story. He would also be late in arriving at the capital if he took that detour.

‘For being a crazy dragon, it’s described as being a really cute dragon.’

The novel described it as a cute black dragon with short legs. It mentioned that it was even scarier that such a cute existence had gone crazy and caused chaos. Cale decided to stop thinking about the dragon for now, and instead gave Choi Han the rest of the order.

“Come to the capital with the owners of these two names. That is your way of paying me back.”

Choi Han asked a question.

“…I just need to protect these two people?”

“If you want to.”

These two people should be strong enough to not require Choi Han’s protection. Especially princess Rosalyn, she wouldn’t even budge an inch even if a truckload of Cales with the Indestructible Shield attacked her at the same time.

“Do as you wish. However, you must definitely come to the capital. You must also meet me there without being injured. You can at least keep yourself safe, right?”

Cale and Choi Han should have no reason to meet again after that. Choi Han has another negative encounter with the secret organization after getting involved with Lock. Meeting with Lock should allow Choi Han to stop the danger in the capital like in the novel.

“Why are you not answering? Can you do it?”

Choi Han’s gaze became a bit clearer.

“Yes. I can do it.”

He seemed to be speaking in a more respectful tone than before, but Cale just let it be. He relaxed a bit after seeing Choi Han put the paper in his chest pocket.

‘I should have been drinking as I did that.’

It was really tiring to talk to Choi Han with Cale’s body.

“You can leave now.”

Cale waved his hand at Choi Han. Choi Han started to walk toward the door after seeing Cale’s gesture. Cale leaned his back on the chair and watched Choi Han reach for the door before starting to speak again.

“In addition, everything we discussed here is a secret. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that?”

Choi Han did not look back and answered as he opened the door.

“Of course.”

Choi Han’s voice seemed to indicate that he was smiling, but Cale did not care. Once he was alone, Cale took out a piece of paper and pen and started to write in Korean. After writing for a while, he left the study and headed for his father’s office.

“Father.”
“Yes?”
“I need money.”
“Okay. I will tell Hans to give you some.”

Cale needed a lot of money. Once Cale laid down on the bed with another 10 million gallon check in his chest pocket, Ron approached him and put a bottle on the nightstand as he started to speak.

“It is warm lemon honey tea. My son made it especially for you, young master. Please have a good night. I am always by your side.”

Cale’s sleepiness went away in an instant.
No matter what happened, he needed to make sure the two of them went away with Choi Han.

The next day, Cale Henituse headed to the slums as soon as he woke up.

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