Teaser: Caged Bears
Cale made eye contact with the individual who had been looking down at the ground.
“Can you do it?”
Kanelle, the chief of the Flame Dwarf tribe. The Dwarf who had been kneeling could see the smiling commander.
The other Dwarves were staring at the blank wall where the Imperial Prince's face had been.
‘Although I know that the Imperial Prince is working together with Arm…’
That was why he had been scared of Imperial Prince Adin who had been working with Arm and the Indomitable Alliance, however, this was no longer the case.
Dwarf Kanelle returned his gaze back to its original spot and slowly lowered his head.
His forehead hit the cold stone floor. The chief confidently answered back.
“We will definitely get it done.”
They could do it. They will do it.
He could not give such bland responses if he wanted to live. He needed to say something that put more certainty than that.
Cale started to frown while looking at the desperate Dwarf chief before his face quickly returned to normal.
‘Why is he overreacting like this?’
He could have simply said, ‘yes,’ so why was he banging his forehead against the ground in desperation like this?
Cale felt that something was off, but decided it must be the Dwarf chief’s personal style and just put his hand on the chief's shoulder.
Chief Kanelle got goosebumps at how cold the hand that was placed on his shoulder felt. An indifferent voice reached his ear before those goosebumps could go away.
“I feel your desire to live. Work hard.”
The Dwarf bit down on his lips.
‘As expected, is will alone not enough?’
Although he didn’t know exactly what the commander was asking for, he felt as if they needed to make that in order to survive.
‘I need to save my tribe, even if we end up being slaves again.’
The commander's voice could be heard again at that moment.
"Although you were our enemies, the wings made by the Flame Dwarf tribe were amazing.”
‘Amazing? The wings that we made?’
The chief flinched and slowly raised his head. He made eye contact with Cale.
“We will dominate the sky on the battlefield.”
Everyone else was silent in the area. Cale's voice started to settle within the Flame Dwarves.
“I look forward to the Flame Dwarf tribe making properly made wings with your hands this time.”
The chief felt the hand leaving his shoulder along with that statement.
The commander did not tell the Flame Dwarf tribe to become slaves nor talk about anything related to the future.
All he did was ask if they wanted to live as well as what they needed to make from here on.
Was that the reason? These two problems filled chief Kanelle’s mind as if he was branded with a branding iron. The chief did not need to look around at the other Dwarves in order to know what was going through their minds. That was why he looked at the back of the commander who was walking away and asked.
“Do we just need to make them?”
That was something that the Flame Dwarves had done their whole lives.
They had done it while being oppressed by the Dragon half-blood and Arm and ignored by the other Dwarf tribes.
Did they just need to do that to survive?
The Dwarves were all staring at the commander’s back. The commander responded back as he continued to walk toward the door.
"Dwarves are better than other races at making things.”
The commander didn't promise anything like, ‘I'll let you live if you make it.’ However, chief Kanelle clenched his fists at Cale’s next comment.
“I wish to see the strength of experts.”
Someone who had reached the top of a single specialty.
Someone who knew how to devote their lives to a single cause.
Those were the type of people who were called experts.
‘…Not slaves, but experts.’
The Flame Dwarf chief slowly got up from his kneeling position.
The only door to the area opened once again.
Cale walked out of the door that Choi Han had opened. Rosalyn and Mary followed behind him. The soldiers, knights, and mages who had been standing outside walked back in once they left and the door slowly closed again.
The Flame Dwarves continued to stare at the disappearing Cale's back until the door completely closed.
On the other hand, Cale didn’t have time to just look at someone.
Rosalyn sighed before looking toward Cale. Her gaze seemed to be asking how he could do something big like that without saying anything to them in advance.
Cale let out a cough after seeing her expression before taking a document out of his pocket and explaining to Rosalyn and Mary.
“This describes the information about the Firebird. I just put into words what I had in mind, so I leave this task to the two of you.”
Rosalyn held back a gasp and looked toward Choi Han.
‘This isn’t like him to prepare something like this in advance.’
Choi Han smiled back at Rosalyn’s gaze but did not respond back. Rosalyn took that as something must have changed and shrugged her shoulders before speaking to Cale.
“I must be on my way now. I have a lot of things to do. I have things to finish with Miss Witira as well.”
Mary slowly moved next to Rosalyn and added on.
“Cale-nim, I’ll be heading out as well. I will be busy trying to create this Firebird.”
Cale nonchalantly waved at them as he did not need them anymore and quickly started to walk.
While the two of them were heading out of the prison, Cale headed in the opposite direction, going deeper into the prison.
He was heading toward the location of the worst criminals in the Castle Blang prison.
It was the underground prison.
He walked past the corridor with multiple cells lined up.
The iron bars were clearly visible.
He could also see the chained individuals on the other side of the cell. The large floor of the underground prison was packed full.
There were sounds that resembled the cries of animals.
Cale put on a twisted smile after looking toward the individuals who were glaring at him in the darkness as the light of the torch did not reach them.
However, those gazes could not hold Cale back.
Cale reached the last room at the end of the underground prison.
It was located at the far end of the corridor.
Cale raised his leg as soon as he approached the door.
His foot ruthlessly kicked at the iron bars. Although this looked like the actions of a thug, only the prisoners, Choi Han, the invisible Raon, and Cale were present.
The warden and the soldiers were waiting outside the underground prison.
“…What is it?”
The voice of the individual who was chained to the wall at this last cell could be heard. It was a cracked and dry voice.
Cale could see the Bear leader staring at him from within the darkness.
The Breck Kingdom and the Roan Kingdom did not torture their prisoners. However, they had chained the enemy leader like this so that it would be difficult for him to think about escaping.
‘Did they say that he was a mid-level administrator?’
He had heard that the Bear that led the Bear tribe in the Gorge of Death was a mid-level administrator. Cale recalled what Rosalyn told him.
She had shared the information she had heard from the northern kingdoms to Cale.
‘The Bear tribe supposedly has a king that rules over them. The northern kingdoms have not seen the king, however, there are ranks to the administrators that lead the Bear tribe under the king.’
Cale sighed at the growls he heard coming from many of the cells.
It was all of the imprisoned Bears that were making these animal noises.
They were crying as if to threaten Cale and let him know that they were still strong.
Cale could hear the cries of the scared animals. That was why he started to speak to the mid-level administrator who was the leader of the Bears in this prison.
“Did you think shrewd bastards would look like warriors because they pretended to be warriors?”
The crying immediately stopped.
A shrewd tribe.
This was the way other Beast people referred to the Bear tribe.
Cale looked at the administrator before addressing all of the Bears in the underground prison.
“I asked Chief Kanelle if he wanted to live and he kneeled in front of me and banged his forehead on the ground.”
The administrator’s pupils started to shake.
Chief Kanelle. That was the name of the Flame Dwarf tribe chief that the Bears had looked down upon. That chief had supposedly kneeled in front of Cale.
He was probably begging for his life.
“I gave something for the Flame Dwarf tribe to do.”
The atmosphere around the Bears changed. They started to think.
‘The Flame Dwarves earned a chance.’
They had earned a chance at survival.
It was natural for them to think that way. However, Cale had never promised the Dwarves anything and instead had only given them an order.
Cale noticed the change in atmosphere and confidently continued to speak.
“Although it looks like your king has chosen to throw you away.”
The Bears did not seem to react to that statement. This was especially true for the administrator.
‘It’d be a loss.’
The Bears were able to be stronger than normal because of their high numbers. The king that the administrator knew would not come to the Gorge of Death to rescue them while facing a loss.
All he cared about was a land for the Bears to live on and a kingdom for him to rule.
That was why the shrewd Bears did not expect any help from their kin.
Cale knew about this as well.
“But you see…”
The fact that they did not expect to be rescued did not mean that they wanted to die.
These shrewd bastards knew better than anybody else.
They knew that they would die for nothing if they died like this. The Bears knew better than anybody else that they could not die like this.
That was why Cale asked them a question.
"Since when have Bears been faithful? Since when have Bears been loyal?”
Cale approached the iron bars. He pushed his head close to the bars and observed the chained Bear administrator inside.
“You aren’t the Wolf tribe or the Lion tribe.”
They were not the Wolves who would sacrifice themselves for their pack and family, nor were they the Lion tribe who were proud of and attached to their pride.
The Bear administrator who was in the darkness could clearly see Cale who was standing underneath a torch. He could also see the sword master behind Cale.
“You are the Bear tribe.”
The administrator started to smile.
They were not the Wolves nor the Lions, they were the Bears. They were the tribe with the highest population because they were both strong and shrewd.
“Act on your instincts.”
Cale was telling them to follow their instincts as Bears.
The administrator’s dry voice echoed inside the underground prison.
“What will we find if we follow our instincts?”
“I guess you’ll find out soon enough.”
The Bear let out a laugh. He then mumbled to himself.
Cale had said that they would find out soon. That meant that the Bears would soon have a chance at survival.
‘No, not really a chance at survival. This human would not let us live that easily.’
The Bear administrator's thoughts were spot on. Cale did not plan to let them live so easily. However, the fact that things would change was the truth.
The Bear started to speak to Cale, who walked away from the bars and turned around as if he was going to leave.
“I will be waiting for you, sir. I will be following my instincts until then.”
He was being respectful.
Cale smiled at the administrator before leaving the underground prison. He did not hear any animal noises as he had heard when he came in.
However, he could clearly see the eyes of the Bears who were clearly thinking hard about how they could survive.
Cale planned on using them.
Choi Han, who had been quiet the whole time, asked Cale a question once they left the underground prison.
“Cale-nim, will the Bears end up being the bait?”
Cale said something else instead of answering Choi Han’s question.
“You are quite smart.”
Choi Han and Cale were thinking about the same thing.
- Human! They are too big to be bait! The Bears are huge!
Cale shook his head at Raon's comment.
They were going to be bait because they were huge.
They would be a type of bait that would be easily visible due to their size.
It was enough of a bait to be seen by the Bear king.
“Cale-nim, where are we headed to now?”
Cale did not respond to Choi Han's question again and instead started to speak to Raon.
“Raon, dye magic.”
Raon shouted back at that statement.
- Are we going to go see the stupid Toonka now?
It was now time to go see Toonka and the Whipper Kingdom.
Cale became anxious after hearing Toonka's tone.
Cale had just arrived at the Whipper Kingdom palace where Toonka was located.
Cale took off the hood of the robe he was wearing to hide the priest outfit only to see that Toonka had become even more muscular.
However, the expression on Toonka's face was odd.
- Human! Toonka seems to be touched!
Cale could not help but become anxious after seeing Toonka standing there with an emotional expression just outside the teleportation magic circle. It was disgusting to see someone who was the size of a house having such an expression.
Furthermore, he was shocked that Toonka seemed much tidier, dressed to look more like a commander, and gave off a more refined demeanor.
However, Toonka left his subordinates behind and approached Cale as he started to speak.
“…You really came by yourself.”
‘But I'm not alone?’
Choi Han was behind him and an invisible Dragon was with him.
‘There’s also more people coming?’
Cale was baffled that Toonka was saying something that was not true. However, Toonka just continued to speak.
“You were the first to rush over as soon as that Imperial Prince bastard and the Empire declared war on us.”
‘The Jungle was planning on invading the Empire right away, but I told them to hold back.’
Cale looked toward Toonka who had a disgruntled expression on his face and realized that Toonka’s original personality was still there after hearing him call Adin, ‘the Imperial Prince bastard.’
However, that disgruntled expression soon disappeared.
Toonka started to smile so brightly that he looked like an idiot. He smiled like the main character of a cartoon as he happily shouted.
“Thank you! As expected of my close friend!”
‘What the hell is going on?’
Cale honestly shared his thoughts.
“…You seem to be mistaken about something.”
Toonka smirked and responded back with an emotional gaze.
“No need to be embarrassed.”
‘No, I don't think that’s what this is.
I'm not embarrassed at all.’
Cale was flabbergasted.
- Human! Toonka seems to have slightly, just slightly, become a better person! He can realize that you are a good person and that you get embarrassed quite often!
Cale was completely flabbergasted.Previous Chapter Next Chapter