Chapter 342: Huh? (3)

Teaser

How to approach the Mercenary King.
This information from the crown prince was extremely useful to Cale, who had been pondering that question.

However, he could see that Alberu’s expression was turning odd. Alberu Crossman only had one response to Cale, who said that his natural instincts as a trash were getting him excited.

“…Trash?”

Alberu slowly asked before laughing at Cale.

“Pwahaha-!”

Laughing at Cale.

“You're saying something that would make the real trash in the world roll on the ground in laughter.”

Cale started to think.
He felt that Alberu’s extremely glib tongue that was great at complimenting others was getting rougher and rougher with him as the day went by.

Pat. Pat.
Alberu patted Cale on the shoulder.

“Why don't you just stick to being a slacker.”

Cale who could not say that he didn’t want to be a slacker, could only keep his mouth closed as Alberu shook his head at Cale’s reaction.

‘They said you needed to meet with the fake Dragon Slayer?”

The crown prince looked toward Eruhaben. It was the only thing Eruhaben had asked for while Cale was unconscious.
Cale slowly nodded his head.

“Yes, yes I do.”

The White Star.

He was said to be the final Dragon Slayer. The first thing Cale needed to do to learn about him was to meet with Syrem, the fake Dragon Slayer and the Dragon half-blood.
Of course, the healing power for Eruhaben was more important than that.

Cale's gaze turned back toward Eruhaben. Eruhaben shrugged his shoulders and started to speak.

“Can I answer your questions now?”

The questions about the Dragon Catcher household and about how to destroy a soul.

Cale and the others looked toward the ancient Dragon as if they were ready to listen. Even Alberu who had returned in the middle seemed to have realized something important was about to happen as he sat on the bed. The ancient Dragon finally started to speak.

It was a story about the Dragon Catcher, the Dragon Slayers.

“The origin of the Dragon Slayer household is a unique one.”

Eruhaben started to talk about an ancient story that even he had heard from another ancient Dragon when he was younger.

“We can’t tell when it started, however, at some point, the strong humans of the continent gathered together to create a village.”

They did not know where this village was located.
However, this small village was said to be somewhere on the Western continent.

“Those strong individuals were kind of weird. They were people who focused on both mental fortitude and physical strength.”

In simple terms, they were similar to martial artists.

“They are said to have really enjoyed sparring. Some people say that these people who liked to spar gathered together to be able to spar against other strong individuals, but more importantly…”

More importantly?

Cale was waiting for Eruhaben who paused for suspense to continue speaking.

“It was because there was a human there who was as strong as Dragons. He was someone who could easily defeat the Whales, Lions, actually, all of the Beast people, as well as the Elves and the Dwarves.”

Cale started to speak.

“Was the Dragon Slayer that strong individual?”
“Yes.”

Eruhaben then added on.

“That person was the first Dragon Slayer.”
“…The first?”
“Yes.”

The ancient Dragon patted the young Dragon with a vicious gaze on the head before continuing to speak.

“That Dragon Slayer supposedly said the following. ‘I am the one who created the power to defeat Dragons.’ ”

He then added on.

“The first Dragon Slayer also said something else to the people of the village.”

That was the beginning.

“ ‘I will pass my powers on to the strongest individual.’ ”

Eruhaben closed his eyes and calmly continued to speak.

“A long time passed after that and a couple of different households appeared in that village.”

The gathering of people connected by blood was said to be a household.
However, the first Dragon Slayer did not have any children.
Instead, he stayed with the other strong individuals of the village as sworn siblings, some as his subordinates, and some as his friends based on the bonds he had with them.

“Eventually, those different households together were called the Dragon Catcher household.”

Cale started to speak.

“That should mean that the strongest person of that Dragon Catcher household would be the patriarch and the Dragon Slayer, right?”
“Correct.”

Cale’s expression turned odd.
The White Star had said that he had killed everyone in the Dragon Catcher household.

‘I am the patriarch of the Dragon Catcher household. I am also the one who destroyed the Dragon Catcher household.’
‘I killed everybody else other than myself.’

It meant that he had destroyed an entire village.
A village filled with strong individuals at that.

What could have been his reason for doing that?
Cale started to think about the things that the White Star wanted.

‘I can turn Cale into the Dragon Catcher. After that, I will finally be able to get the thing I’ve desired.’

That was what the White Star had said with a fatigued but greedy face.

‘It is to no longer be a treacher and be the ruler instead.’

Eruhaben sighed and continued on as Cale was thinking.

“I had mistakenly thought you were from that household. It had been so long ago that I thought you were the last remaining person from that household.”

Cale asked back.

“Then what does it mean that he is a treacher?”

The Dragon Slayer wanted to be the ruler instead of the treacher.
Cale was curious about the meaning behind that.

‘Was it something important enough to keep reincarnating for?’

Cale could see Eruhaben’s face filling with loneliness.

“Nature deemed the Dragon Catcher to be the treacher.”

The treacher. It did not sound good at all.

“It was an existence that could kill Dragons, the strongest beings in the world, and, mm.”

Eruhaben debated for a moment before continuing on.

“We need to stop by the World Tree on our way back from the Eastern continent. I only heard this information from someone else, so I don't know how much of it is accurate, but the World Tree should know the truth.”

The World Tree at the northern part of the Western continent.
They needed to go visit it once again.

“Anyway, Dragon Catchers are people whose lifespan, physical abilities, and skills have all gone beyond human limits to make them so strong.”

He then quickly added on.

“Furthermore, it is a power that only humans can have.”

Cale started to process the information he had about the Dragon Catcher.

A human who managed to overcome their limits finally managed to get his hands on enough strength to even kill Dragons, who were said to be the strongest in the world.

‘…What a headache.’

They had to defeat someone who had that power for the past 1,000 years.
He could already feel a migraine forming in his head. Eruhaben said something else in order to lift the mood that had fallen very dark.

“Ah, it is also said that the Dragon Lord's only friend was the Dragon Catcher.”
“…Is that so?”
“Yes. Of course, they are said to fight with each other a lot while saying that they were going to kill each other.”

The Dragon Lord was the leader of the Dragons.
The Dragon Slayer was someone who could kill Dragons.

But the two of them were friends? It was an odd relationship that seemed plausible but not at the same time.

“Well, it has been a while since the Dragon Lord disappeared, so I can't tell for sure either.”

Eruhaben shrugged his shoulders. He then peeked toward Raon.
However, he heard someone asking him a question at that moment.

“What does it mean to destroy someone’s soul?”

Eruhaben looked toward Choi Han who asked that question before slowly starting to answer.

“Their soul, their entire existence, will disappear.”

Nothing else needed to be said.
Silence filled the room for a moment.

However, that silence was quickly broken. Cale placed the plate of steak in his hand down on the bed before getting up.

“Let’s go for now.”

Shouldn’t they first meet with that lunatic Mercenary King first?
They were bound to arrive at their destination if they took one step at a time.


Paaaaat-

Cale blinked at the teleportation magic circle's bright light.

Hope and Adventure Loving Inn.
He saw the walls of the room that he was quite familiar with now. Cale started to think as the light disappeared and his sight slowly started to come back.

‘It's been a while since we came he-’

However, he could not finish that thought.

“Ugh!”

Cale could not help but gasp for breath. Something had charged over and slammed into Cale’s leg.

“Meeeeeow.”

Cale lowered his head.

“Meeeeeow.”
“Meeow.”

A red kitten had jumped at Cale’s leg and was rubbing his face on it. He was also tapping on Cale’s foot with his front paw.

“……”

The silver kitten who came over without saying anything stopped one step away from Cale and just stared.
Cale picked up the red kitten Hong with a stoic expression.
He was still a kitten, but he was quite heavy after fattening up.

On also jumped into his arms when he opened it up for her. He then heard Hong's voice.

“You're stupid!”
“He's right. My little bro is right.”
“You really are smart! The weak human is an idiot from time to time!”

‘Haaaa.’

Cale could only sigh at the children averaging nine-years-old speaking at the same time. He then flinched after looking forward.

“…Young master-nim.”

He could see Ron standing there with a benign smile on his face.
But he was fidgeting with his dagger as he stood there.

‘Why did this old man get even more vicious while I haven't seen him?’

Cale’s pupils started to shake. His servant Ron had a way of making him cower in fear each time.

“I heard that the last two weeks have been difficult for you, young master-nim.”

Cale looked away from Ron.
It sounded as if Ron, On, and Hong had all heard about how he had lost consciousness for two weeks.

‘It is fine for Ron to know, however, who the hell told such useless things to children like On and Hong?’

Cale started to frown and looked toward the group that came with him.

“Ahem, hem! I don't know anything about this!”

Raon was fidgeting while his big round eyes were trying their best to avoid Cale's gaze.

‘It was you.’

Cale let out a sigh.
Raon must have contacted On and Hong who were pretty much his family out of frustration.

“Ay.”

The room door almost slammed open as Cale sighed.

“Hello, young master-nim.”

Beacrox opened the door in his chef uniform and made eye contact with Cale. Cale flinched at Beacrox who was standing there with a kitchen knife.
Beacrox looked around at Cale, Raon, and Eruhaben before commenting after looking at Choi Han.

“All of you look so thin.”

He then closed the door again as he said one more sentence.

“I don't care whether or not you come to eat.”

‘…Why is he talking in such a tone?’

Cale became shocked. He looked around. Raon was now chubby even if Eruhaben and himself were skinny.

“…Choi Han, you lost some weight too?”
“No, Cale-nim.”

Cale started to frown. Raon interjected at that moment.

"Choi Han, I think you’ve started to eat less ever since we fought with that super crazy White Star!”

Cale stared at Choi Han. Choi Han slowly avoided his gaze.

“I will eat a lot.”
“I trust you.”

Choi Han flinched at that response, but Cale had already turned around to look toward Ron. Ron gently started to speak.

“How about you eat first after coming such a far way?”
“Yes.”

Click.

The door opened and Raon activated his invisibility magic.
The inn consisted of three floors. Cale felt something odd once he stepped out into the hallway.

“…There are no guests on the third floor?”

He thought the inn would be doing well, but the third floor was empty. Ron answered back as Cale stood there with a disappointed expression on his face.

“I kept the third floor empty for a week after hearing that you would be arriving, young master-nim.”

‘…But we need to make money. He didn’t need to do that for me.’

However, Cale did not say anything as Ron had done it on his behalf. Ron asked as he walked in front of them.

“You came to meet the Mercenary King?”
“Yes. Do you think you can quickly figure out where the Mercenary King is located right now?”

He needed to meet the Mercenary King as quickly as possible. Cale observed Ron peeking at the still pale Eruhaben.

“Young master-nim.”

Ron had an odd smile on his face.

“A lot of the Mercenaries Guild’s branches are being attacked right now. Arm is said to be responsible for these attacks.”

Cale nodded his head at this face that he already knew was true.
The White Star was said to be aiming for the Mercenaries Guild after all. That meant that he would need to attack the Mercenaries Guild's branches.

“That is why the Mercenaries Guild is said to be investigating each attacked branch while preparing for war against Arm.”

It was a battle between the organization that had control of the underworld and the Mercenaries Guild.
Just thinking about it made it sound like a big ordeal. Cale's expression turned serious. He felt as if he might accidentally get drawn into something big.

Ron said something unexpected at that moment.

“The Mercenary King is supposedly leading those investigation teams to visit the attacked branch locations. We received information a few days ago that he would soon visit the first attacked branch.”

‘Oh?’

That was good information to have.

“Where is the first attacked branch?”

The first location that Arm had attacked the Mercenaries Guild. Where would that location be?

Cale felt something odd after asking the question.
It was because the corners of Ron's lips were twitching. His benign smile had disappeared.

“Young master-nim, you should know where it is. You should remember the incident that happened near the beginning of the year when Arm openly attacked the Mercenaries Guild.”

‘…No way.’

A memory passed through Cale's mind.

“…That incident?”

The inn was located in Leeb-An City, a free city in the Eastern continent.
The branch of the Mercenaries Guild in Leeb-An City had been attacked.

“…You are talking about what I did?”

Cale recalled how he had pretended to be Arm and attacked the Mercenaries Guild's branch in Leeb-An City.

  • Human! We looted the Mercenaries Guild branch’s leader’s safe!

‘Oh right.
We looted that safe.’

“…You're joking, right?”

Cale could see Ron starting to smile.

“Young master-nim, it is no joke. There are rumors that he is headed to Leeb-An City to investigate.”

“… Uhh, mm.”

Cale was quiet for a moment before he started to speak again.

“Good.”

‘There’s no way they’ll figure out it was me and not Arm that looted the branch.’

Cale decided to relax.

“Indeed, young master-nim. It is perfect.”

Ron's benign smile filled his face. Cale felt iffy for some odd reason, however, he could not think much about it.

“Please eat first as I'm sure Beacrox has already prepared everything for you.”

‘Beacrox's food is really good.’

Cale looked toward Eruhaben who was nodding his head and headed down to the first floor.

“Oh.”

The smile on Cale's face grew larger and larger as he headed down.

“Oh.”

The ancient Dragon let out a gasp of admiration as well.

  • Human! We might become rich! There are so many guests! I think we will make a lot of money!

There were no vacant rooms on the second floor while the first floor was full of guests right now. Cale had a bright smile on his face for the first time in a while.

He could feel the money starting to pile up.

It was at that moment.
Cale flinched after looking around the first floor.
He had felt an odd sensation after looking at people on one of the tables.

It was a person who was sitting there in a robe that was covering all the way up to his head. There was another man sitting in front of him.
Cale’s expression turned odd after looking at that person.

“…Ron.”

Cale called out to Ron while maintaining his gaze on that person.

The first floor of the inn.
A handsome man with a refreshing face was sitting at a corner table while drinking a lot of alcohol. He was drinking as if it was his job to drink.

“Young master-nim.”

Ron was smiling when Cale turned his head back toward him.

“He came to investigate.”

Ron was smiling as if he had known all along.

“Those guests arrived yesterday.”

“Ah.”

‘Is that blue-haired man perhaps-

“Raon.”

Cale quietly called his Dragon who was an expert as identifying people. Raon quickly informed him as if he was trying to live up to Cale's unstated expectations.

  • Human! The robed man in front of the alcoholic is a highest-grade mage!

However, it was not information about the man who was chugging booze.
However, Choi Han unexpectedly came over and whispered to him.

“Cale-nim.”
“Hmm?”

Choi Han was looking at the blue-haired man. Cale looked toward that man as well.

“He is a sword master.”

‘…He must be the Mercenary King.
What are the chances?’

Ron started to explain as if he understood Cale’s thoughts. He quietly whispered to Cale.

“A large-scale inn that recently opened in Leeb-An City. Leeb-An City’s underworld was a mess starting the day that inn opened. Wouldn’t that be enough reason to come investigate that inn?”

It was at that moment.
The alcoholic jerked his head.

‘Hmm?!’

Cale made eye contact with the alcoholic.
He couldn’t help but flinch at the sudden development. It was because he needed to develop a good relationship with the Mercenary King. Wouldn’t that be the only way to easily get him to hand over the healing power?

The blue-haired man started to speak.

“Huh?”

He tilted his head before jumping up. He then quickly walked over to Cale.

‘What the…?’

Cale was starting to become nervous.
He could tell that the blue-haired man was walking toward him. It was because the blue-haired man continued to stare at him.

The blue-haired man welcomed Cale with open arms as the two of them stood in front of each other.

“Friend!”

‘What?’

Cale hugged the man back in shock. The blue-haired man, the Mercenary King Bud Illis, started to speak in a happy voice.

“Nice to meet you!”

‘…Hmm, I don't know what is going on, but was I already friends with this guy?’

Cale could see the Mercenary King's face quickly turn into a scowl once they stopped hugging.

“Hmm?”

‘Now what?’

The Mercenary King fumbled around a bit before pulling out a pair of glasses as Cale stood in shock. He then put on the glasses before starting to speak again.
He was still speaking in a cheerful voice.

“Oh, you're not my friend.”

‘…This bastard……’

Cale felt himself starting to get annoyed for some reason. However, Mercenary King Bud Illis smiled brightly as he continued to speak.

“But I can smell it.”

‘Smell? Smell what?’

Cale, who was acting like a good person to develop as good of a relationship as possible with Bud Illis, couldn’t help but start to frown.

‘Toonka, the former bandit leader of Mount Leeb, all of them said the same thing. Why do they all say that they can smell something? Do I smell like a strong person or something?’

The Mercenary King continued to speak to Cale who was getting annoyed.

“You smell like an alcoholic!”

“…Ho.”

The man who reeked of alcohol but seemed fine didn't care about Cale's reaction as he continued to speak in a refreshing manner.

“In that case…”

Cale saw a hand move in front of him.
The Mercenary King was asking to shake his hand. He cheerfully added on as well.

“Nice to meet you, friend!”

‘…He really is a lunatic.’

Cale could not help but admire the fact that crown prince Alberu had provided him with such accurate information.

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miraclerifle's Thoughts

Beacrox is such a tsun tsun.