The crown prince seemed to be crying as he ran toward Cale. Cale wanted to retreat backwards when he saw the crown prince’s face.
Valentino ran forward without any worry as Mary had already purified the dead mana on the ground.
He grabbed onto both of Cale's hands.
Cale turned his gaze beyond the crown prince’s shoulders and off into the distance. However, Castle Leona happened to be behind Valentino.
He could see the castle walls as well as the soldiers, knights, and mages standing on the wall. Many eyes were focused on Cale.
That was the only thought on Cale's mind right now.
He heard a voice behind him at that moment.
“Commander-nim, we have captured the Bears that did not manage to escape onto the ships.”
It was the Dark Elf Tasha. Cale welcomed her voice. He quickly moved his hands out of Valentino's grasp and turned toward her.
Tasha lifted both of her hands up once they made eye contact. She was still covered in dead mana.
“Ah, Commander-nim. I apologize. I can’t approach you because of the dead ma-”
“It’s fine as long as we don't touch.”
Tasha smiled after seeing Cale walk right up to her.
“You are correct. You will be safe as long as we don't touch.”
Cale looked past Tasha's shoulder.
He could see the shore in the distance.
“Y, you bastards!”
The other Dark Elves were surrounding the remaining Bears. The dead mana seemed to be carried by the wind as it created a wave-like ring around the Bears.
“It must have been hard gathering them into one spot.”
Cale looked at the center of the Bears. He could see the large Polar Bear that was almost three meters tall. He was sitting on the ground with his berserk state removed.
His body was covered in injuries. The wind from the elementals had created those injuries.
“It must have been hard capturing that Polar Bear as well.”
Tasha smiled at Cale who was looking past her shoulder. There was red blood on her shoulder. The liquid dead mana and blood mixed together as it dripped down her arm.
It was the proof that she was an existence that was in line with nature. Although she had dead mana, she was still similar to other lifeforms. Red blood was clear proof of that fact.
Tasha used her hand to press down on the bloody area as she opened her mouth.
“Is this your first time seeing a Dark Elf's blood?”
“All blood is pretty much the same color.”
Tasha’s smile became brighter at Cale's stoic response. Cale found Tasha, who was injured but smiling brightly, to be weird as he took a handkerchief out of his pocket.
“I know potions don't work on you, so use this to help stop the bleeding.”
“Yes sir, thank you very much.”
Tasha caught the handkerchief Cale threw toward her as she continued to speak.
“Then we will take care of the rest as well.”
Tasha could see the person approaching them from behind Cale. It was crown prince Valentino.
All of the Dark Elves lived in the Underground City underneath the Land of Death.
This was someone who might end up ruling the Caro Kingdom that encompassed the Land of Death.
She observed how Valentino hesitated without being able to walk right up to them.
He was hesitating because he was afraid of the dead mana and because he was not familiar with the Dark Elves. That was how the Dark Elves had been treated until now, and quite possibly the same thing she would end up experiencing for the rest of her life.
However, Tasha noticed something different than usual.
“That was amazing. Let us chat later though. I am a bit afraid of the dead mana.”
Tasha could see the awkward yet honest Valentino.
‘Scary but amazing. And more importantly, he said, ‘let’s chat later.’ ’
Tasha responded to Valentino's honest comments with a slight bow as she turned around. Wind gathered underneath her feet and she quickly moved back to the shore as there was still work to be done.
She could see the knights opening up a path for her to fly by them. They were opening up a path and not pointing their swords at her. That fact made it impossible for her to stop smiling.
On the other hand, Cale’s lips were slightly twitching.
Valentino grabbed onto Cale's hands again. Cale gently pushed Valentino's hands away as he started to speak.
“Your highness, there are still enemies down there and a lot of clean up work to be done. There are also areas that still need to be purified, so it looks like we need to quickly get things rolling.”
‘Stop holding my hand and let me go.’
That was what Cale was implying.
It was the moment he said that.
The doors of the central tower opened widely.
Mages then carefully walked out over the purified area. They were the Caro Kingdom's mages. Some of them were already using flight magic in order to head down to the shore.
“Do not worry. I don't plan to burden you with all of that as well! The ships we had moved up north will head back down. The knights and the mages will capture the rest of the enemies, so you don’t need to worry.”
Valentino stopped for a moment before continuing to speak.
“But it looks like we will need to leave the dead mana to you.”
He did not want to leave it to the bishop or the churches with light-affinity. He could not trust them. Furthermore, Valentino was currently extremely angry with the churches.
However, there was a different emotion on his face as he looked at Cale.
“You do not need to worry too much about everything. It looks like you can relax now. We all managed to survive thanks to your Indestructible Shield.”
‘Driving me nuts.’
Cale really felt as if he was going crazy.
He wanted to quickly move away from crown prince Valentino's teary face.
He preferred the Roan Kingdom's Alberu. Seeing Valentino looking at him with admiration made him get the chills.
“So now the rest of us need to help lessen the burden on your shoulders.”
‘…What a fearsome enemy.’
Crown prince Valentino was a fearsome enemy.
Cale truly felt that this was the case.
He had to work hard in order to prevent himself from frowning. A stoic expression. That was the most he could muster right now.
Valentino closed his mouth after seeing that expression on Cale's face. Cale’s expression was telling him that they could not let their guards down just yet. The way he was looking at Castle Leona told Valentino that there was still a lot to get done.
Yes, the Indomitable Alliance had not given up yet.
The war was still going on.
Valentino subconsciously tightened the grip he had on Cale’s hands.
- Weak human! Is the crown prince holding your hand too tightly? Why do you have such an expression on your face? Is it painful to just shake hands now too? …You are too weak. I am worried about you. I’ll need to ask Goldie gramps to find you some wonder drug.
It isn’t either of those.
Cale just wanted to run away and leave both the young Dragon and the crown prince behind. However, Cale's eyes soon became cloudy.
His eyes turned away from the gates of the central tower.
It then looked toward the gates of the northern tower.
A person was coming out with the knights and mages behind him.
It was the other sword master, the Mogoru Empire’s Duke Huten. He was walking out with a happy expression on his face.
Cale took a step closer to crown prince Valentino. He then paid close attention to make sure Duke Huten would not be able to see his lips.
“Your highness, I have something I must tell you.”
“Of course, what is it? I am all ears if you have something to say.”
Valentino smiled brightly until he heard what Cale had to say next.
“The dead mana bombs. Do you know who made those bombs?”
Cale made eye contact with the sword master, Duke Huten. Cale motioned back with his eyes after seeing Duke Huten smiling at him.
However, his lips did not greet Duke Huten. They were saying something else.
“The enemy is sometimes smiling behind your back.”
‘Behind my back?’
Crown prince Valentino suddenly felt chills run down his back. He heard a familiar voice at that moment.
“Your highness! Commander Cale!”
The crown prince slowly turned his head toward the source of the voice. He could see Duke Huten approaching him with a smile on his face. Valentino turned his head back to see Cale, who was not smiling.
“…I will treat you to a delicious feast later.”
“Whenever it is best for you, your highness. I will be waiting.”
Valentino looked toward Cale with a complicated expression. He could see the blood on the corner of Cale's lips. He could also see Cale's completely soaked uniform.
“Then I will return to my territory now.”
The crown prince silently watched Cale walking toward the southern tower with his head down. Choi Han and Hilsman followed behind Cale while the two wyverns flew back up and headed toward the southern tower as well.
“Commander! That was amazing! I've never seen something like that ever before!”
However, Cale ended up running into Duke Huten. Duke Huten threw away the seriousness of a sword master and seemed as if he could not hide his joy.
“The necromancer's strength was so thrilling. So was the sword master’s power. I was shocked at your shield as well. We all survived thanks to you. Thank you very much.”
The Duke did not care for following the noble hierarchy as he bowed toward Cale and showed his sincere thanks. Seeing both the crown prince and the Duke being so respectful to him seemed nice.
However, Cale did not think that way.
“But it looked like the enemy’s purple orb was hit by some type of thunderbolt before it blew up. Was that also someone from your side?”
It was because Duke Huten was scoping out their strength like this.
‘Nice my ass. It’s just full of scheming.’
But Cale preferred dealing with someone like this over someone like Valentino. Cale's expression turned serious.
“I'm not sure. I thought the Empire had done that. It wasn’t you?”
“Huh? Our Empire? It wasn’t us.”
“Was there someone else there?”
Cale's expression turned serious.
“…I’m not sure.”
“I see. I guess I need to look into it. I thought that you had prepared that large thunderbolt with magic since you did not use your sword and just stood in the back leading the troops.”
Duke Huten's expression turned odd.
‘Is he complaining that I did not fight in the vanguard with my sword?’
However, Cale's expression seemed too serious for it to be that. Duke Huten was about to respond when Cale continued to speak.
“To be honest with you, I am suspicious about the dead mana as well. How do you think the Indomitable Alliance turned dead mana into bombs? They are all nations focused on knights, so they should be lacking in magic and other skills like that. I must look into that was well.”
Duke Huten and the Caro Kingdom’s knights and mages around them all nodded their heads. That was the truth. It was definitely worth investigating.
“We cannot let any more people get hurt.”
That phrase made the knights clench their fists.
However, Cale was looking at the silent Duke Huten. Duke Huten put on a smile again as he responded back.
“Yes, of course. Our Empire will assist in the investigation as well. We need to figure out the origin of such dangerous items.”
“I knew the hero of the Empire would agree with me.”
‘Although the Empire will soon go from the hero to the enemy of the continent.’
Cale said goodbye to the shameless Duke Huten and ended the conversation.
“Then I will be on my way now.”
“Alright. Our Empire will put in more effort with the cleanup.”
“Thank you very much.”
‘Cleanup my ass.’
He already needed to observe them in order to check if they destroy anything that might be used as evidence against them.
Of course, the Dark Elf Tasha was assigned to do that. Cale trusted her to do a good job as he headed back to the southern tower. The gate slowly opened as he arrived in front of it.
The ones to open the gate were the Caro Kingdom's soldiers. They were the few soldiers who were stationed at the southern tower. The young soldier from before had his spear on his belt as he pushed the door open with both of his hands.
The heavy gate slowly opened up.
The young soldier could see someone through the gap as the door opened.
It was the commander who was covered in blood and water.
Behind him were the sword master and Vice Captain Hilsman, who both looked terrible as well.
The young warrior pushed the door open with all of his strength as he watched them. He pushed so hard that his hands started to shake.
However, all sorts of emotions about managing to survive and being able to open this door were mixed into those shaking hands.
The southern gate finally opened completely.
The soldier watched as Cale entered the tower.
There was nothing he had done here. However, just watching such a battle had made it difficult for him to breathe.
But the people in front of him were the ones who had participated in that battle.
The young soldier flinched as he made eye contact with Cale. He noticed Cale looking at his shaking hands and quickly hid them behind his back.
He didn’t know why he did that.
The commander’s voice echoed inside the southern tower at that moment.
“Let’s share a drink since we all managed to survive.”
The young soldier remembered what Cale had said before the battle.
‘Let’s all survive together and go for drinks afterward.’
The soldier made eye contact with Cale once again.
“Of course, the ones who are not old enough will need to drink juice.”
The soldier started to smile. He then had an expression that even he himself would think was weird. It was one that was neither smiling nor frowning.
However, the young soldier’s hands were not shaking anymore. The soldier clenched his fists as he watched the back of the commander who was walking away.
He heard the cheering of the soldiers from the other towers. It was because the crown prince had announced the end of the battle.
However, the southern tower was quiet.
The people here who were feeling the joy of managing to survive were quiet on the outside, however, their hearts were beating faster than ever.
On the other hand, Cale was not feeling the silence.
It was loud inside his mind.
- Human! Are we eating steak? What are we going to eat?
However, Cale enjoyed the ruckus in his mind for once as he rubbed his belly. He was planning to eat all of the delicious food in the Caro Kingdom.
Although there were many things that he still needed to deal with, Cale started to smile.
It was at that moment.
- Are you trying to sacrifice yourself?
He heard it clearly even though it was loud in his mind. There was someone else speaking in his mind as well.
- Are you trying to sacrifice yourself?
It was the Super Rock.
- Are you trying to sacrifice yourself?
- Are you trying to sacrifice yourself?
‘Why is he like this? Did he break?’
Cale stopped walking. The Super Rock continuously asked if he was trying to sacrifice himself.
‘Why is he like this?
Cale suddenly forgot about the steak and the wine. All he felt was chills down his body.
Raon started to speak into his mind at that moment.
- Human! We got a call from the Super Rock Villa! The priestess Cage called!
‘…The crazy priestess Cage? The Super Rock Villa?’
The crazy priestess who had been excommunicated from the Church of the God of Death. Why had she suddenly called?
She should be resting in the Super Rock Villa with the half Saint, Jack, and the sword master, Hannah.
- Ah! It got disconnected! They left a message!
The video communication soon ended. Raon read the message that Cage had left on the device.
- Young master-nim. The stone pillar in the underground plaza is shaking. I think it might break? Is it okay if this breaks? I’m ending the call and leaving a message since you are probably still in the middle of a battle. Give it your best! I am praying to the God of Death on your behalf. I've been saying I will convert to the Church of the Sun God if you got hurt. Please keep up the good work.
It was a calm message that fit Cale’s personality.
However, Cale started to frown.
The stone pillar in the Super Rock Villa.
The was the entrance to the path that the Super Rock had sealed up. This was the same path that the monsters from the Eastern continent used to come through. The stone pillar blocked the entrance to the path.
- Are you trying to sacrifice yourself?
This stupid Super Rock!
Cale heard Raon's excited voice.
- Human, are we going home? Can we see everybody? I want to see everyone!
Cale just closed his eyes. It was pitch black.
All he could see was darkness.
Super Rock sounds like the annoying kid always asking if we're there yet.
Tomorrow will be rest day 1/3.