Chapter 12: Picked It Up (5)

Tap. Tap. Even at the rough patting, the baby kittens could only stiffly stare at Cale. Cale thought about the moment when he first met Choi Han. The injured silver kitten was growling while the red kitten was whining next to it.

‘The silver kitten should be the older sister with grey hair and the younger brother must be the red kitten.’

Cale had a bright smile on his face. He looked toward the kittens and started to speak.

“We’ll talk later.”

The siblings who seemed to be beast people avoided his gaze and Hans confusingly replied.

“...Are you talking to me?”

“Not you.”

Hans looked at Cale and the two kittens with an even more confused expression on his face, before holding the kittens even tighter. It was a movement that seemed to show that he was trying to avoid a dangerous person. However, he soon had to approach Cale once again. 

“Are you heading back out?”

“Yes.”

It was because Cale changed his coat and was preparing to leave again.

“Where will you be going?”

“I have a promise to keep and someone to meet.”

“...Young master, you are going to keep a promise?”

Hans looked to be shocked again, as he questioned Cale.

“You seem to be getting ruder.”

“My apologies.”

The deputy butler’s apology was very quick.

‘Is he really the best of the butler candidates? He seemed decent by the way he handled Choi Han’s issue.’

Cale felt like Hans, who was caressing the kittens with a wide grin on his face, was not very reliable.

‘I’m going to take him to the capital as well.’

Cale was thinking about this, something that Hans would never expect even in his dreams, no, something that Hans would lament even if he learned about it in his dream, before Cale asked about the person he had not seen for a while.

“Where’s Ron?”

Hans had a satisfied smile on his face at that question.

“I heard that Choi Han-nim will be going with you as one of your guards for the beginning part of your journey to the capital. Is that true?”

Hans was thinking about Choi Han, who had defeated all of the Count’s Knight Brigade members today. He was more skilled than expected, making it easy for him to be Cale’s guard as Cale wanted.

Of course, neither Hans nor the knights knew that Choi Han had hidden his true power.

“Mr. Ron found out that Choi Han-nim will be going with you and went out with Choi Han-nim to purchase some clothes and other necessary items for travel. Ah, Chef Beacrox went with them a well.”

“I see. I’m relieved.”

‘They seem to be getting along well.’

There was a rare, extremely bright smile on Cale’s face. The smile was very fitting with his beautiful red hair. Hans started to speak while being happy about Cale’s bright smile.

“Mr. Ron, Choi Han-nim, and even Beacrox seem to be excited about serving you.”

He could see an instantaneous change in Cale’s face as he said that. Why would Cale suddenly look like he lost his appetite? Hans could not figure it out.

Both individuals headed outside the main gates once again. As he got on the carriage, Cale asked Hans who was watching him leave.

“Oh, Hans. Don’t the deputy butlers learn basic martial arts?”

“Of course.”

“And you are the greatest Butler candidate?”

The corner of Hans’s lips started to move up and down. Count Deruth cherished Hans because he took care of things well and had the best personality as well.

“Yes sir. I know the basics for three different styles: martial arts, dagger arts, and spear arts.”

A good butler needed to learn a couple different basic fighting styles, just in case something happened and the family members needed to run away.

“Amazing.”

“I guess I am a bit amazing.”

Cale could not hold back his smile watching Hans shrug his shoulders, while his lips continued to flicker. The two kittens could only shake their head as they watched Hans and the sly smile on Cale’s face.

“I’m leaving now.”

Cale made up his mind to take Hans to the capital to take care of all of the annoying things he didn't want to deal with before he then closed the carriage door. The carriage headed into the fog and the now stronger rain to head to his destination.

[The Fragrance of Tea with Poetry]

Cale looked up at the sign before opening the door. 

Ring.

 The clear ringing of the bell and a desolate shop welcomed Cale.

“I guess nobody is here because of the rain.”

“Welcome, young master.”

Billos. The bastard of the Flynn Merchant Guild. He welcomed Cale as if they had known each other for a long time. Cale sat in front of the counter and made eye contact with Billos.

“I promised to come back. I needed to keep my promise.”

“Of course. Promises need to be kept. Should I prepare the book and tea from last time?”

“Yes. 3 cups of tea please.”

“Which teas should I make?”

Cale ordered three types of tea and set a time for Billos to bring the teas up before turning around and heading up to the third floor.

Drip drip-

The rain was getting even worse. Tsk. Cale clicked his tongue and went back to sit at the same spot near the third floor window and looked out.

“The rain is pretty strong, isn’t it?”

Billos came up and sat across from him and put down a single cup of tea. Cale was observing Billos closely.

‘Choi Han, Beacrox, Ron. And finally, Billos.’

These were the names of the individuals who continued to show up in the novel past volume 1. Of course, Billos only has about two sentences written about him in volume 1, as the owner of the tea shop that Choi Han stops by to rest. He returns in volume 3 to swear his loyalty to Choi Han and reveal his ambitions.

‘Reveal.’ That word was important.

‘He’s always been a greedy person.’

Billos was different from Hong Gil-dong. [1] 

He was not sad that he could not call his father, ‘father,’ or his brother, ‘brother.’ In fact, he was just trying to beat them.

He wanted to make it so that they had no choice but to accept him. He wanted to create a situation where they will have no choice but to introduce him as son, to introduce him as the younger brother.

 ‘He must be exhausted.’

Cale thought Billos lived an exhausting life. However, he did not hate that. In fact, having that type of greed made him seem more human.

He didn’t like the people who had the abilities and strength, but said things like, ‘Hoho, I’m just going to give up. I have no choice.’ Why would you give up on something that could be yours? You should always take what is yours.

Anyways, this person had to meet with Choi Han at least once during the time frame of volume 1. It had to just be a short encounter.

Cale could hear Billos’s voice breaking his train of thought.

“Young master, I heard that you are going to head to the capital.”

“Are you going to keep sitting there? Don’t you have work to do?”

Seeing Cale pretending to be annoyed made Billos smile. He did not even try to hide it. This really was a very, very interesting young master. However, Billos could tell that he had a pretty sharp mind.

“I will be heading to the capital as well. I guess I will be following after you.”

“And?”

Cale already knew about it. In order for Billos and Choi Han to have an encounter in volume 3, Billos needed to head for the capital soon as well.

Billos had a stoic expression as he asked Cale, who was sipping his tea and looking out the window, a question.

“Young master, it seems like you have changed.”

Seeing Cale turn to look at him, Billos started to smile. Cale motioned with his chin for Billos to continue.

“You seem different than your nickname.”

“Which one? Trash?”

Billos could see the corners of Cale’s lips starting to go up. He definitely was different. This Cale was not the trash that he knew about. That trash did not know how to make such an expression. It was a slightly bitter smile.

‘...Should I have gotten a bit drunk and broken a chair or something?’

Billos did not know what Cale was thinking.

“Yes. You are right. Trash. Haven’t you always been a trashy young master?”

Did he not have any fear? Cale could not help but wonder, as Billos said such a thing to the Count’s son, the firstborn of the ruler of the territory. Was Billos the one who had something to drink?

But Cale did not want to fight with Billos. Billos was someone who was going to take over a large merchant guild. And Billos was being sincere. He was not smiling, he was actually sincerely asking the question.

‘Haven’t you always been a trashy young master?’

Cale decided to answer the question. It was not a hard question to answer anyways. It was easier than figuring out how to make money when you have no money.

“Billos.”

Cale had a smile on his face but did not laugh as he called out to Billos.

“You can’t call your father, ‘father.’ You can’t call your brother, ‘brother.’”

Billos’s gaze turned chilly. He started to take notice of the young master in front of him who had no problem touching his sore spot. Just like he had touched Cale’s sore spot, he was returning the favor by touching his most painful sore spot. Cale just silently made eye contact with Billos for a bit.

The rain started to pour even harder outside. Cale broke the silence and started to smile as he asked.

“Are you going to keep being the bastard? Are you satisfied with that?”

Billos could feel Cale’s sharp gaze on him.

“I know you’re not.”

Cale leaned back on the chair and continued on with an expression that seemed to be thinking about the past.

“I’ve acted like trash for about ten years, ever since I started when I was 8-years-old.”

‘Wow. Now that I think about it, Cale Henituse has been doing trashy things since he was 8 years old. He started drinking when he was 15. What a guy.’

Cale thought about the past of the original Cale that was present in his mind and started to smile. That smile looked scary to Billos.

At that moment, a small noise cut through the rain to reach Cale and Billos.

Squeak. Squeak. 

It was the sound of someone coming up the stairs.

Cale looked past Billos’s shoulder to the entrance of the third floor. He could see someone’s head. Black hair. It was Choi Han. Behind him was Ron. Cale had told a servant to tell Choi Han to come to this tea shop later in the day.

Cale moved his gaze away from the two of them and started to speak to finish his conversation with Billos. Choi Han and Ron finished coming up the stairs and looked toward Cale as he started to speak.

“Billos.”

Billos’s stoic face felt pretty chilly.

“It’s okay to throw away something you’ve been doing for around ten years.”

Cale’s eyes started to look more alive as he continued.

“I can’t live as trash forever.”

Of course, Cale would still spend all the money he wants and do whatever pleases him, even if he wasn’t trash. He was going to live peacefully and enjoy life as the son of a rich noble. Although that was different than the direction of Billos’s life, what mattered was that both of them were not going to continue living the way they had been living.

“Aren’t you the same?”

The corner of Billos’s lips started to slowly move upward. He then bowed and started to snicker.

After silently snickering for a bit, Billos raised his head up and looked toward Cale.

“I am indeed tired of it.”

Billos was laughing as he said he was tired of it.

“See? I told you.”

Cale shrugged his shoulders and motioned for Choi Han and Ron to come over. At that moment, Billos got up from the seat and started to speak.

“Young master.”

“What?”

“I will see you at the capital.”

Cale started to frown. It would be complicated if they met at the capital right away.

“Why bother?”

Cale motioned for Billos to go away, and Billos respectfully bowed before leaving. Ron, Choi Han, and the descending Billos made eye contact, but they all just ignored each other.

‘Good.’

Cale welcomed that scene. Choi Han and Billos just barely ran into each other. It was just like in the book. Cale started to smile at the other two people with satisfaction.

“Ron, I knew you would come with him. According to Hans, Beacrox went with you too, but I presume he went back to the kitchen. He has a strong sense of responsibility for that kitchen.”

“Young master, are you close with that person?”

Cale shrugged his shoulders at the unexpected question from Ron.

“No?”

“...I see.”

Cale pushed it aside as nothing important, but Ron definitely heard it. He heard Cale say that he cannot keep living as a trash. Cale stopped looking at Ron whose response trailed off and made eye contact with Choi Han.

“I guess you can’t trust the rumors.”

‘What the hell is he saying?’

Cale ignored Choi Han’s words. At that moment, Billos brought up the other two cups of tea that Cale had ordered earlier.

“Should I give these cups to these two gentlemen?”

“Yes.”

Cale started to smile again.

“I ordered them in advance.”

Cale personally picked up the teacups and put one in front of each person. In front of Choi Han was the tea he just randomly ordered from the menu. As for Ron.

“I specially ordered this for you since it seems like you like it a lot. Why else would you bring it for me every day?”

It was warm lemon tea. Cale could see Ron looking odd and felt the biggest satisfaction he had felt all day.

 

1. Hong Gil-dong was a Korean outlaw during the Joseon Dynasty who had a similar story of being an illegitimate son

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