Chimera. A man-made monster.
The ancient Dragon groaned after hearing that word.
‘This is something that goes against the laws of nature.’
It was different than a mutant or a variable.
Both of those were things that happened naturally, while a chimera was not like those things.
“Nine hundred years ago…”
The ancient Dragon almost gasped as the Dragon half-blood continued to speak.
He had expected the Dragon half-blood to have completed his second growth phase, however, living 900 years was almost the full lifespan of a Dragon.
How was that possible?
Eruhaben kept his mouth shut as he waited for the Dragon half-blood to continue.
The Dragon half-blood took some breaths before slowly taking them on a journey through the past.
“I was told that I was the only surviving child. That person told me to call him, 'father.’ Since he said I was the only surviving child, he wasn’t my real dad. Ah, you're probably curious about who my father is.”
The Dragon half-blood could see the young Dragon observing him from right behind Cale.
The dark blue pupils showed wariness, sadness, as well as many other emotions. The Dragon half-blood thought that they were very innocent emotions.
‘He's young. That Dragon is really young.’
That fact made the Dragon half-blood sigh as he continued to speak.
“My father is the, ‘White Star.’ The leader of Arm.”
Raon flinched while the ancient Dragon groaned. Even Witira, who was standing outside the cell, could not help but gasp.
However, the Dragon half-blood started to laugh again after seeing Cale's gaze.
Cale seemed to be inspecting him.
The still focused gaze was coldly trying to determine whether he was lying or telling the truth.
The Dragon half-blood did not stop himself from laughing as he asked.
“Don't you want to catch that person?”
Arm’s leader. The White Star.
The person who kept the Dragon half-blood in that cave.
“Too bad. Even I have only seen him with a mask on. Well, only his eyes were covered, so I did see his mouth.”
The Dragon half-blood had only seen the mouth of the person who was laughing as the white crown ate his blood.
He still heard that laughter whenever he went to bed. That was the only noise he had heard while staying inside that dark cave.
The Dragon half-blood pushed that memory aside as he looked toward Cale. He heard Cale's voice the moment they made eye contact.
Cale had noticed something odd in the Dragon half-blood's statement.
“The White Star is human?”
The Dragon half-blood had said, ‘that person.’
The Dragon half-blood started to smile.
“Isn’t it weird?”
Eruhaben brushed his face with his hand.
Everybody was tense as they waited for the Dragon half-blood to continue. Only the Dragon half-blood’s weak voice could be heard.
"The White Star is human. However, he has been alive for 900 years. He doesn’t even have the scent of death on him. What do you think?”
“He doesn’t have the scent of death on him?”
Eruhaben interjected into the conversation.
The Dragon half-blood made eye contact with the ancient Dragon.
“Yes, Eruhaben. I'm sure you would have figured out my situation right now. I am only a half-blood, but I still do have some Dragon's blood in me. Dragons are sensitive to the scent of nature and death. That is why they are able to notice dead mana right away, but I could not smell even the smallest amount of the scent of death on him.”
Eruhaben’s expression stiffened up.
“…You know who I am?”
“That person gave the order to destroy your house, and I was the one to deliver that message.”
Witira’s gasp filled the cell.
The puzzle pieces were falling into place one by one. However, the biggest question still remained.
Cale's mind was turning into a complicated mess.
‘Something is weird.
The White Star, Arm’s leader. Who is that person?
How can a human live 900 years?
Furthermore, the bastard with half Dragon's blood said that he didn’t smell the scent of death on him.
Was that naturally possible?’
“What do you think?”
Cale made eye contact with the Dragon half-blood again.
“Isn't that person disgusting? Don't you want to kill him?”
That person. The human who told him to call him father.
“That’s how I feel.”
The Dragon half-blood wanted to kill that person. No, he still wants to kill that person. He would do it right now if he could.
The anger and sorrow from losing his strength was visible in the Dragon half-blood’s pupils.
“My first memory is of that cave. When I opened my eyes and met that person, this is what he told me.”
Approximately 900 years ago. He could still feel the coldness of those cave walls. The voice that was even colder than those walls was his first memory.
“ ‘I placed a Dragon's heart inside your body.’ ”
Cale recalled what Eruhaben said as soon as he saw the Dragon half-blood.
‘He ate a Dragon's heart.’
‘Did that mean that he had a Dragon's heart inside of him?’
Cale turned toward Eruhaben, who was frowning as he could not hide the shock he was feeling. He could not get an answer from that response. However, Cale got his answer as the Dragon half-blood continued to speak.
“I ate a Dragon's heart every so often after that.”
‘…Is eating a Dragon's heart different than having it placed inside of him?’
Cale was speechless as he looked toward the Dragon half-blood.
‘Just how many lives were killed to keep this bastard alive?’
However, he could not easily share his thoughts out loud. The Dragon half-blood’s eyelids were slightly shaking. He was thinking about his past.
900 years ago. It was an extremely long amount of time.
“Do you know why I have black hair and black eyes?”
Only one Dragon per generation has a specific color.
“It's because it's all jumbled up.”
All you get is darkness when all of the colors mix together.
“The colors started to mix together as I ate the hearts of different Dragons.”
There was a Dragon’s heart mixed into his heart. That heart melted into his heart like a tattoo before starting to take over his body every time he ate another Dragon's heart.
Then one day, his eyes, hair, and scales all turned black.
The Dragon half-blood thought that the color matched his situation well.
“That person seemed to want to make me finish my third growth phase.”
He wanted to turn the Dragon half-blood into a full Dragon.
The Dragon half-blood did not know why.
“However, reaching the second growth phase in 900 years was my limit because I was a created being. I ate a total of four Dragon hearts until I reached my second growth phase. If you count the original Dragon's heart within my heart, I was made with the lives of five Dragons.”
Eruhaben could not help but share his sentiments.
‘He killed five Dragons?
It is six if you include the Eastern continent's ancient Dragon, Olienne.’
A minimum of six Dragons.
It was not easy to do such a thing.
No, it was almost impossible to do that.
He would have faced them individually as Dragons live alone, however, they are not weak. Dragons are strong, even if they are alone.
But a human managed to kill so many Dragons?
‘…He is not human.’
The ancient Dragon who had spent 1,000 years in the world unlike the Dragon half-blood who spent the majority of his life in a cave came to a conclusion based on his experiences.
The bastard who killed the Dragons was not human.
The Dragon half-blood looked toward Eruhaben and started to laugh.
He too did not believe what Arm’s leader, his father, had done. He did not believe it even as he ate the hearts that were delivered to him.
However, he was able to figure it out after coming out into the world.
"Dragons are existences that live alone. They are selfish and ill-tempered. That is why nobody knows when they die.”
A Dragon isolates itself. Some of the most severe cases don't even make a family. They didn’t want to create baggage that would hinder their growth.
That was their weakness.
Nobody knew when they died.
There was nobody to cry for them.
There was nobody to come save them.
“Do you know why we finally aimed for you?”
Eruhaben could read the emotion that went past the Dragon half-blood’s eyes.
That was a look of envy. This Dragon half-blood was envious of the ancient Dragon.
“Eruhaben, you are less selfish. Unlike other Dragons, you had a lot of Dragons that you kept in contact with. You also helped them out.”
This was the reason Arm did not touch Eruhaben, who was an older Dragon than the Eastern continent’s ancient Dragon, Olienne. There were many lifeforms around him.
Arm did not know why this was the case.
However, Eruhaben started to frown as he realized the reason.
Maybe it was because he had this, ‘dust,’ or, ‘powder,’ attribute, but he treasured those beings that were useless and weaker than him. He didn’t know why he was drawn to them.
He protected young Dragons during their first growth phases, the World Tree, the Elves, and even saved some of the Elves’ lives.
Eruhaben lived alone, but did not choose to isolate himself.
“That was why you ended up being the last one.”
The ancient Dragon closed his eyes and asked once the Dragon half-blood finished speaking.
“Was my heart meant to be yours as well?”
The Dragon half-blood shook his head at the ancient Dragon’s question. He looked at the young Dragon who was glaring at him and Cale Henituse, who was looking at him with a stoic expression, and responded back.
“No, not for me. That person just said he needed it, but I don't know what he was going to use it for.”
He had just given the order to invade Eruhaben’s lair to someone else.
The Dragon half-blood took in the beautiful appearance of the ancient Dragon who had lived a similarly long amount of time.
The real thing was beautiful compared to this ugly fake. Even the white gold color that he had imitated was nothing compared to the real thing.
The Dragon half-blood let out a deep sigh. He had spoken too much given his body's current condition.
He turned his gaze toward Cale. The young Dragon was quietly looking at him. Although they were both black, he could see a beautiful black skin and dark blue eyes that were unlike his ugly self.
He had never worried about becoming weak during the first and second growth phases. It was because he always thought that it wouldn't matter if he died from the pain.
However, he felt that it was a bit unfair. It was unfair for him to die without being able to live. That alone was what got him through his growth phases.
Raon’s mouth opened a bit before closing again after making eye contact with the Dragon half-blood. He was a smart Dragon, however, Raon did not know how to express his current emotions.
That was why he could only look back at the Dragon half-blood’s black eyes.
Eruhaben was also looking at the Dragon half-blood with a complicated expression. This was someone who had lived almost as long as he had but had also taken the lives of five of his fellow Dragons. Even then, he found it to be complicated.
It was at that moment.
“I’ll come again.”
This calm voice filled the cell.
It was Cale.
He stood up from where he was crouching.
Cale nodded his head as if it was obvious after the Dragon half-blood asked in confusion.
“There's still time left for you to make your decision.”
Cale had given him one week to think things over. There were still a few days to go for that. However, the Dragon half-blood could not understand Cale’s thoughts, so he asked.
“…I was made through the lives of five Dragons. Shouldn’t you kill me right now? Aren’t you angry? I am a cursed being.”
“Am I someone who will save you?”
The Dragon half-blood was suddenly at a loss for words.
Cale bluntly told the truth to the Dragon half-blood who seemed to have the wrong idea.
“Whichever decision you make, I am the person who will kill you.”
Whether he dies now, or he lives in pain for six months before his body exploded.
Either way, the Dragon half-blood was going to die.
“I'm just giving you the choice regarding how you will die.”
Cale would just change what he takes and how he takes it from the Dragon half-blood based on his decision.
“It's your life, so you decide what you want to do.”
Raon looked back and forth between Cale, who turned away from the Dragon half-blood without any hesitation, and the Dragon half-blood, who was staring at Cale, before flying toward Cale. He then saw the look on Cale's face and hung onto his back.
“…I will stay here a bit longer.”
“Please do whatever you wish, Eruhaben-nim.”
Eruhaben looked toward Cale, who responded back to him as if it was nothing, before looking back at the Dragon half-blood.
“Let’s chat for a bit.”
“…Whatever you want.”
The ancient Dragon and the Dragon half-blood's conversation was about to start.
At that moment, Cale stopped right before stepping out of the cell and asked.
“Hey, what is your name?”
Cale could hear the Dragon half-blood respond after a moment of silence.
“…My father, that person told me he would give me a name when I became a Dragon.”
However, the Dragon half-blood was someone who could not become a real Dragon.
Cale started to frown.
‘Damn it, I shouldn’t have asked.’
Cale suppressed the annoying feeling rising up through his body as he headed out of the cell.
Witira bowed toward the ancient Dragon Eruhaben who waved her away and followed behind Cale.
Footsteps were the only thing that could be heard in the dark cave that was pitch black other than from the light of the torch. Witira and Raon were both quietly peeking at Cale.
Cale was cursing this fantasy world in his mind.
‘What a rotten world!’
‘Arm, the White Star, goddamn it, there’s nothing in this, ‘The Birth of a Hero,’ world that I like.’
He wanted to flip everything over, but his glass body didn’t have the strength to do that.
Cale's annoyed footsteps were rough and angry.
Cale continued to walk in a way that showed his emotions as he headed for the entrance. They soon arrived at the entrance of the underground cave.
“Young master Cale, shall I open it?”
Witira spoke up and tried to walk in front of him, however, Cale shook his head. He pulled at the door in his way as if he was taking out all of his frustration onto it.
He was then shocked.
He closed the door back.
Cale put his hand over his heart.
Wow, damn it.’
Cale took a deep breath and opened the door open.
“Hey, why are you like this? No, when did you get here?”
He was so shocked that he almost stuttered.
It could not be helped.
Choi Han was standing right outside the door.
‘Why is this punk always in front of the door?’
Cale was frowning after having been scared by Choi Han standing in front of the door many times already. He was about to say a few things to Choi Han before turning his head after hearing a noise.
However, Witira’s eyes turned odd after seeing Choi Han’s gaze.
“Young master Cale!”
Cale could see Rosalyn and Lock running toward them. The Killer Whale Archie was shaking his head as he grumbled and walked behind them.
The gentle and innocent voice made Cale look back at Choi Han.
Choi Han handed two documents to Cale.
“I got the agreements from them.”
Two of the three northern kingdoms.
There were the signatures of Norland and Askosan on these documents.
Cale started to smile.
‘They took care of it faster than I expected. They truly are like munchkins. Very efficient.’
Cale’s gaze headed toward the other side of the cliff.
He could barely make out the flag of the Indomitable Alliance.
There were spotlights on the flags in order to keep them illuminated even during the night.
It was time.
“Young master Cale!”
Cale smiled at Rosalyn, who approached him and started to speak.
“Now we just need to strike the Bear tribe and the Flame Dwarf tribe from the back.”
The end to the war was not far away.
The Indomitable Alliance’s flag.
It was finally time to rip it down.