Eruhaben flinched as well.
“…Pay you back?”
He looked around at the other people in confusion. Choi Han nodded his head with a nostalgic look.
“You are correct. He definitely does need to pay for his meals.”
Mary nodded her head as well while Raon shouted with joy while floating next to Eruhaben.
“You're right! You must pay for your meals! There is no such thing as a free meal in this world! I've also paid for my meals and receive 20 silvers as my allowance!”
Eruhaben’s expression continued to get worse. He then heard Cale speaking to Pendrick again.
“I heard Elves are not materialistic. You won't ask for a reward for doing a good deed, right?”
He was speaking in a gentle tone. It was not a wrong statement either.
Cale recalled how the Elf Village tried to use him and thought about how he could use Pendrick and the other Elves.
He then calmly addressed the silent Pendrick.
“Hmm? Pendrick, don't you agree?”
Pendrick blankly watched Cale who patted him on the shoulder with a bright smile. He was wondering what mess he got himself into as soon as he got here. Cale handed him a pristine white priest robe at that moment.
It was the same one that the group had worn when they were pretending to be priests with Saint Jack in the past.
“Alright, go to work.”
“Ahem, work hard.”
Cale gave the order with a gentle voice while Eruhaben let out a fake cough and stepped backward. Pendrick continued to watch blankly before taking the robe from Cale.
One hour later, a priest that Cale brought with him started to let out a holy white light from underneath the southern castle wall.
The Battle of Castle Leona.
The thing that came at the end of that battle was yet another battle.
“Aigoo, my back. I guess it’s time for me to quit being a soldier.”
“You’ve done it for a long time if you've been a soldier for fifteen years. I thought you were going to take your pension and open a restaurant?”
“That’s the plan.”
The soldier who had been a soldier since he was 20 patted his back as he sat down on the pile of rocks.
A young soldier next to him looked around Castle Leona before starting to speak.
“I finally understand what they mean when they say that behind a war is another war.”
Castle Leona and the shores in front of it.
Many people were currently moving around busy at work. They were working to restore the area to how it was prior to the battle.
The young soldier and the veteran were two of the people assigned to restore the castle wall.
“I thought we would get to rest and relax for a few days since the battle was over.”
The veteran snorted after hearing the young soldier’s comment.
“You little punk. We haven’t even purified all of the dead mana. At least they are feeding us well.”
“I guess that is true.”
The Caro Kingdom had been providing sumptuous feasts for the soldiers after achieving victory. They even provided a cup of alcohol the day of the victory.
The veteran started to speak to the young soldier who seemed to be disappointed that reality was different than what he had imagined.
“It is because his highness is a just person. We need to do this in order to defend against any future attacks and for us to be able to to return to our normal lives once the war is over.”
He pointed to the central tower with his chin as he continued to speak.
“Even the high-ranking people are not resting right now.”
He started to frown.
“There are also people who cannot move because they are injured. How can we rest and relax right now?”
“…The commander-nim is currently recovering, isn’t he?”
“Yes. That is what they said.”
The young soldier started to frown as well.
Who were they talking about?
It was not someone from the Caro Kingdom.
Cale Henituse, Commander of the Roan Kingdom's northeast region. That was whom they were talking about.
It was said that Cale Henituse had used his large shield as he had done in the Roan Kingdom and was currently recovering from the damage to his body.
“And the people from the Roan Kingdom are the busiest right now, so how can we slack off when it is our territory?”
The veteran's gaze headed down to the shores.
He looked toward the Dark Elves that he was told were scary and terrible in the past. Those Dark Elves were currently using their Elementals in order to gather the remaining dead mana.
They were working so hard, not resting day or night in order to purify the dead mana just a little quicker.
Watching them made the veteran feel guilty.
What he didn’t know was that the Dark Elves were extremely happy to gather up all of this dead mana. They had never seen such a large pile of precious dead mana before.
“Hey, hey. Gather all of it and don't leave even a single drop behind. This is all precious medicine, wonder drugs.”
Tasha whispered so that only the Dark Elves could hear as she urged them to move quickly. However, there was no need to do that.
“We already know that, boss. Don't talk to us right now. We need to focus on not wasting a single drop.”
The Dark Elves were already working hard with smiles on their faces in order to not waste even a single drop of the dead mana. The shores were quickly being purified thanks to their efforts.
The large amount of dead mana made it so the Dark Elves could not stop smiling.
The soldiers who did not know about this were touched by the Dark Elves being hard at work as they focused their gazes at the southern tower.
They then turned to look at the gates of the southern tower.
The Roan Kingdom's people were visible through the open gate.
“…I am amazed every time I see that light.”
A white light was coming out from the other side of the gate.
The person who was touched by that holy white light jumped up and bowed to someone.
“Thank you very much.”
“It was nothing.”
The handsome man's gentle smile seemed holy as well.
“They said that he is a priest-nim that the commander-nim called over?”
“Yes, he said he brought him over because he thought we needed someone to heal the regular soldiers.”
Although the priest had a scar by his eyes, rather than looking scary, the weak looking man was working hard to heal the Caro Kingdom’s soldiers.
The necromancer was helping him with miscellaneous tasks.
The handsome priest touched the corners of his twitching lips as he whispered to Mary before the next patient arrived.
“Miss Mary, when …will I be able to take a break?”
“I'm not sure.”
Pendrick was currently using Tasha’s magic device in order to make himself look human. He looked toward Mary with desperation, but she was stern.
“The young master-nim said do whatever you think is fitting to pay for your meals. I am happy to be able to do some good.”
Mary was just stating the truth and her own feelings, however, Pendrick heard her mechanical voice differently.
‘Are you really thinking about how much work you are doing when you are doing something good?’
Although that was not Mary’s intentions, Pendrick's face turned even paler. He felt that Mary's mechanical voice was cold.
- Hey Elfie, let’s work! Helping people is fun! Let’s save everybody together!
Inside his head was Raon's endless ramblings that seemed to brainwash him. Raon was next to the two of them while remaining invisible as Cale had told him to protect them.
Of course, Raon only agreed to this because Choi Han and Eruhaben were serving as Cale's guard knights.
Pendrick put a smile back on his face as he greeted the next patient. However, the problem was that he looked like a priest who was happy to see a healed patient.
A soldier who had no way of knowing this looked toward him with admiration. He then thought about someone else.
“A Roan Kingdom's priest-nim is here helping us, but the bishop ran away.”
“…Heh, did you see him running away? I saw their asses as they ran away from the light arrows. So much for people who claim to serve the light!”
A soldier shook his head in disbelief.
“And that’s not all. They crept back out after the battle and claimed that they would heal people, but they were only willing to heal the knights or people of higher ranking. All they did for the regular soldiers was throw over a roll of bandages.”
“Exactly. They even only handed over the bandages because his highness strongly argued for it.”
One of the soldiers stabbed his shovel into the ground in anger.
“They were really fast when they were taking our donations, but they ran away even faster! Dirty bastards!”
“Bad! Be reasonable. The believers will be angry at you if they hear you.”
The soldier became even angrier after hearing his friend’s remark.
“I am one of those believers!”
The reason he was angry was because he was one of the believers of the Sun God.
“I volunteered to be a soldier because I trusted the word of our god! The Sun God told me to do it! He said I should step up and be the light as darkness approaches us! That was the reason I joined the army and the reason my parents were so proud of me!”
His friend could not say anything to calm the huffing soldier. All he could do was pat the soldier who lowered his head on the shoulder.
“Cheer up. The Sun God is shining light on this land because there are people like you.”
“…You seem to know exactly what to say even though you don't believe in a god.”
“This much is nothing.”
The soldier chuckled and raised his head back up after hearing his friend's remark. He could still see the priest healing more soldiers.
“…Which church is that priest-nim a part of?”
“Ah! Haven’t you heard?”
The soldier looked toward his friend in confusion. His friend quickly shared the information that had been going around.
“A lot of people have asked him which church he was a part of. He just silently raised his hand, and…!”
His friend pointed up with his finger.
“He just pointed at the sky and smiled without saying anything.”
He lifted his head up to the sky. He could see the blue sky and the sun.
Yes, the sun. The bright sun made it difficult to keep looking up.
He shook his head, however, he still peeked toward the priest who was giving off a light that was as bright as the sun. The priest's smile seemed to flow very naturally with the bright light.
“Ah! He apparently said something else with it.”
“What did he say?”
He suppressed his beating heart as he looked toward his friend who answered back.
“He said, ‘The revered being says that light shines in the darkness and does not shrink even if you share it. A light that brightens the darkness will soon arrive in the world. I am just sharing the light with people as I wait for that moment.’ ”
The soldier’s expression turned odd after hearing his friend's response.
He recalled the teachings of the Church of the Sun God.
< The Sun finds the darkness and shines it’s light on it. The Sun is great enough to shine it’s light on all lifeforms. >
The soldier felt his heart beating wildly. His friend then patted him on the shoulder.
“There, there. Let’s just get back to work.”
His friend went back to work while the soldier picked up his shovel and lifted his head up. He could see the central tower beyond the wall. The sun was currently visible above the top of the tower.
The soldier thought about the Sun God as he started to shovel once again. He could feel the sun shining down on him.
On the other hand, there was an area that was still cold even with the sun shining down on it.
The table inside was full of delicious food. Such a feast was only possible due to the end of the battle, however, it also symbolized that this meeting was important.
However, something was off with Valentino, the Caro Kingdom's crown prince. He could not say anything even with this feast in front of him.
The soup in front of him was already cold as well.
Valentino did not pay any attention to the soup as he looked toward someone.
He was looking at Cale Henituse, who was sitting across from him.
Cale seemed to have no problem continuing to eat.
Even the guard knights were outside of the room, so only the two of them were at the table.
Cale was giving off a very noble-like vibe as he continued to eat.
However, Valentino's hands were shaking to the point that he could not hold a spoon or a fork steady.
The only thing that he could grab with his shaking hands was the knife next to the fork. A knife. That was the focus of Valentino’s gaze right now.
“…So, what you are telling me.”
Valentino was speaking in a choppy manner.
He looked again at the documents next to his soup bowl.
“The dead mana bombs were created by the Empire?”
Cale continued to eat without responding back. Valentino did not take offense as he continued to speak.
“The Empire and the Indomitable Alliance are on the same side?”
Valentino slowly started to frown.
“But the Empire still sent soldiers to us? And Adin, that bastard, came to cheer me on as well?”
The Mogoru Empire’s Imperial Prince.
Cale raised his head the moment Adin was mentioned.
He made eye contact with Valentino as he responded back.
“Please eat. You need to be full in order to fight.”
He then lowered his head back and continued to eat.
Valentino could not say anything while looking at Cale.
At first, he had wanted to say that Cale and the Roan Kingdom were lying. The documents they provided were difficult to believe at first, and he wanted to tell them not to destroy the good relationship between the Empire and the Caro Kingdom.
The Roan Kingdom was not very close to the Caro Kingdom. He could not blindly trust the words of such a kingdom.
However, Valentino did not say anything without thinking through it first, and after a while he started to lean in one direction.
The Roan Kingdom was the kingdom in the most similar situation as the Caro Kingdom.
He could also see Cale's pale face.
Valentino turned his head.
He could see the Dark Elves and the Roan Kingdom's people down by the shores. They were helping out with the cleanup and he had also heard about how a priest and the necromancer were healing the common soldiers.
Furthermore, Cale and his sword master had fought a fierce battle where they almost died.
Although he had not managed to ask Cale about the fiery thunderbolt yet, he was fully aware of Cale's shield. Such a strong person had protected Castle Leona while getting injured in the process.
Valentino slowly picked up his spoon.
He then opened his mouth in order to speak.
“Yes. We must be full in order to fight back.”
Cale raised his head and Valentino’s gaze headed toward the knife.
“We need to be full in order to raise up our blades.”
However, Valentino soon put the spoon back down. He then picked up the whole bowl of soup and started to drink it.
It was a completely classless act.
The empty bowl was placed on the table as Valentino looked toward Cale and continued to speak.
“You can eat anything when you are hungry. You also become desperate.”
Valentino was hungry.
Information, power, a sense of unfairness, anger, and betrayal. All of these things were making him hungry. He needed to fill his empty stomach.
“Commander Cale, I wish to speak in secret with crown prince Alberu.”
Cale picked up his knife and cut a piece of steak as he responded back.
“He will fill your empty stomach, your highness.”
Valentino looked toward the steak on Cale’s plate that was getting cut into pieces as he gulped. He then made eye contact with Cale once again.
Both of them started to smile.
One side was thinking about revenge while the other was thinking about blowing up the Empire and the church as a set.
The two people who were having different thoughts were both smiling brightly.
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