Chapter 352: Tears (1)

Teaser

“…How tiring.”

Cale patted his shoulder with his hand.

Harris Village.
Cale had traveled to Harris Village. He had left on his own without telling anybody, so there might be chaos at the Lord’s Castle right about now…

“It’s all fake. So, it doesn’t matter.”

‘Doesn’t matter.’
‘It is fake. It is not real.’

Cale repeated those phrases to himself as he looked in front of him.

He could see a tall stone wall in front of him.

This stone wall was created to separate the Forest of Darkness and Harris Village, as well as to protect the Henituse territory from the mutant monsters of the Forest of Darkness.

If.
If Raon was here right now.

‘Human, human! Are we going to our house? Are we going to see everyone? I want to see them all!’

Cale started to frown.

“I should buy him an apple pie.”

Cale thought about things he would do after finishing the test as he stood in front of the castle wall.

Crackle.

Cale quietly observed the small rose gold thunderbolt on top of his palm.

“…How odd.”

The cheapskate.
The rose gold light of the Fire of Destruction was definitely on Cale's palm, however, he could not hear the cheapskate’s voice no matter how hard he tried.

This was the same for the Indestructible Shield, the Scary Giant Cobblestone, and the Sound of the Wind.
None of them were responding to Cale.

Cale lifted his head up.

Swoooooosh- Swooooooosh-

Wind gathered at the tips of his feet.
His body soon shot up into the air. He could see the lush forest once he flew up to the top of the stone wall.

The Forest of Darkness.

Cale let out a sigh as soon as he saw the green forest.

“This place is the same.”

Cale could see the Forest of Darkness that was almost exactly like the one in his memories.
His body quickly started to move.

He was moving toward the cave entrance.
He got rid of the Sound of the Wind once he got there and slowly started to walk into the cave.
The book was still in his hand.
Cale started to speak.

“…The first place the White Star personally appeared during the final battle was the Henituse territory, and then, and then-”

“Shit.”

Cale couldn’t help but cuss.
He opened the book.

He could not remember the contents.

He made a guess and turned to a page.

< The White Star started in the Henituse territory as they invaded the Roan Kingdom and the entire Western continent’s northeast region. There were many casualties during this time, and numerous heroes lost their lives as well. >

Cale's former team leader Lee Soo Hyuk’s voice popped up in his mind.

‘Hey, rookie. How come you can remember anything you want to remember after seeing it once, but never remember anything you don't want to remember as if you have amnesia?’

Cale walked through the cave path that was lit up by a magic light as he looked through the book.

He could not read this book well.
He could not remember the contents of this book very well.

Rustle.

A page crumpled again. Cale was starting to get angry.

“That crazy thief.”

‘How can she make a test like this?’

Cale's gaze calmed down a bit.

Tap. Tap.

Only his footsteps could be heard in this cave.
His footsteps slowed down as he continued to walk.

He had run from the Lord’s Castle to the Forest of Darkness and even to this cave entrance faster than anybody else.

However, when heading to the place that should be at the end of this cave… Cale's footsteps heading toward the Super Rock Villa continued to slow down.
He kept thinking about what would be waiting for him there.

Of course, Cale knew he needed to go.

He knew he needed to finish this test as soon as possible.
He knew that there were people waiting for him in the real world.

“…But still.”

Cale stopped walking.
His voice was calm.

“I can’t be like this.”

Cale clenched his fists. His face did not have any emotions on it. He slammed down with a closed fist.

Pow!

Cale slammed down on his thighs and legs that had stopped moving.
He then continued to talk to himself.

“I can’t be like this.”

He was slowing down.
He was slowing down when every moment was pressing. He was slowing down when there was a mountain load of things to do. How could he stop here?

This was not something that Cale Henituse, no, Kim Rok Soo should be doing.

Pow, pow!

He continued to slam down on his tired thighs that did not want to keep walking. However, his expression remained stoic.

‘Kim Rok Soo, I…I.’

He heard his former team leader Lee Soo Hyuk’s voice in his mind.
It was something he remembered even though he hated it.

‘Will you shut your trap?’
‘Shut what? Well, looks like I’ll be shutting up for all eternity in a moment.’
‘…Please don't speak nonsense either.’
‘I’ll say what I want to say. Kim Rok Soo, hey Rok Soo.’
‘…What is it?’
‘I leave it to you. Got it?’
‘…I thought you told me to be a slacker?’
‘Hey, have you ever seen anything in the world go the way you want it to go? You, cough! Anyway…I, I leave it to you, Rok Soo. Hey Rock Soo. Take care of things for me.’

‘Damn it.’

Cale stood up straight again.
He then started to walk once again.
His steps that had slowed down before coming to a halt had returned to their normal speed once again.

The voices of the people in other departments who were speaking without knowing he was there were going through his mind.

‘Hey. That snake Kim Rok Soo didn’t even cry when the person who saved his life died. How can someone be so emotionless?’
‘…Who knows. At least team leader Lee Soo Hyuk picked a good successor before he left. Kim Rok Soo is very good at his job.’
‘He may be an emotionless bastard, but at least he is good at his job.’

An emotionless Cale walked toward the end of the cave.

The thing he feared the most.
Cale knew what that was, however, it was fake this time.

“That is why it doesn’t matter.”

Cale said that to himself as he continued to walk.

Tap. Tap.

He was walking in a set cadence as he continued without any hesitation. Cale could finally see the end of the path.
A brighter light than the dim magic lights located periodically inside the path could be seen.

Cale walked into the light.

“It looks the same.”

It was exactly the same.
It looked exactly like the last time Cale saw the Super Rock Villa.

That was why he was able to walk into the villa with a more relaxed demeanor.

He then opened the room doors one by one.

“Ha, haha-”

He then started to laugh.

“…Ha, my goodness.”

He couldn’t believe it.
It was an empty laughter.

Saint Jack’s prayer room and bedroom.
Sword master Hannah’s bedroom.
Necromancer Mary’s laboratory and bedroom.
Rosalyn’s laboratory.

Click. Click.

Cale’s laughter became louder each time he opened a door.
It was the same.

Their rooms were exactly as Cale remembered.
Well, there were slight differences.

He saw the Condemnation of the Sun on top of Saint Jack’s desk. The cracked divine item was sitting there.

Sword master Hannah’s sword was gently placed on top of her bed.

One of Mary’s many black robes and a black wyvern bone were in Mary’s laboratory.

Rosalyn’s magic staff and a highest-grade magic stone that Cale had given her but she didn’t get to finish using were on top of her desk.

Cale stopped for a moment and looked through the book.

< …The majority of the people who were hit by the formidable attack of the White Star and his subordinates lost their lives and their bodies disappeared without any trace. >
< …That is why it was difficult to create graves for many of these great heroes. There was nothing to bury. >

“Ha, haha-”

Cle's empty laughter echoed throughout the villa.
He opened his mouth to speak.

"This is their grave.”

This large plaza located underneath the Forest of Darkness. This was their grave.

Click.

Cale opened the door to another room.

The rooms where Lock and his siblings had stayed in appeared in front of him.
Cale caressed the Wolf King's diary that he had given to Lock before continuing to walk.

Click. Click.

Beacrox and Ron.
He saw the scary father-son duo's rooms as well.

“Ha!”

He looked on top of Ron's bed. An arm was resting on it. It was the fake arm that Mary had given him. That seemed to have remained after Ron died.
Cale closed his eyes before opening them once again.

He then continued to move.

Click.

He then entered Eruhaben’s room.
After that…

Click.

Cale could see the sword he gave Choi Han when he opened the door. The sword was broken and only a part of the hilt remained.

< Choi Han, the hero, was the one who faced the cruelest of deaths. He directly attacked the White Star head-on and was leading the White Star away from the innocent citizens when he disappeared without a trace after getting hit by white lighting. >
< The only thing that remained was the hilt of his sword. >
< The author of this book investigated the past of this hero, the youngest sword master ever, who sacrificed himself for others. >

Flip. Flip.

Cale continued to turn the pages.

< However, nothing could be found about Choi Han’s past prior to the Roan Kingdom’s capital Plaza Terror Incident where Cale Henituse first showed himself as a hero. >
< It was as if he came into existence along with Cale Henituse's achievement. >
< Of course, this is merely the author’s thoughts. >

Pat. Pat.

Cale lightly tapped his thighs with his fists.
He was feeling frustrated.

< Cale Henituse. It was possible to find out the pasts of most of the heroes who accompanied him. >
< However, it can be said that the stories of Choi Han and Raon Miru began with Cale Henituse's achievement and ended with his greatest achievement. >

Cale opened his mouth to speak.

‘Who the hell wrote this?
What the fuck is up with these descriptions?’

He wanted to say those things. However, nothing was coming out.

“Haaaa.”

He took a deep breath.
Cale verified that he could breathe properly before closing his mouth again.

Bang.

Cale slammed the book shut before continuing to walk.
There was only one room left now.

‘My room.’

Cale headed toward the top floor of the Super Rock Villa. He had to walk upstairs because he had used the whole floor as his bedroom.
Finally, he was in front of his room.

“Haaaaa.”

Cale took a deep breath.

Pat. Pat.

He tapped his thighs with his fists as he walked in.
The first things he could see were the fountain pen and the sword he had gifted to Basen and Lily.
The next things he saw belonged to Count Deruth and Countess Violan.

They seemed to have fought hard as well.
That was why only their belongings remained.

The Cale of this world seemed to have brought his family members’ belongings here as well.

Cale understood that feeling.

This was somewhere that only he knew about now.
This was where he planned to stay with everyone once things were over.
He understood why that Cale would turn this into their graves.

“Ha! This is here as well.”

Cale scoffed after seeing the video communication device he used to communicate with Alberu Crossman on the table.

< Alberu Crossman. He fought against the White Star who was aiming for the capital and died. >

Pat. Pat.

Cale patted his thighs again.
It was so that he could keep walking.
However, he soon stopped walking again.

Cale looked on top of his bed.

“…This is driving me nuts.”

He really felt like he was going crazy.
There were three piggy banks on the table.
He didn’t need to ask who’s these were.

Raon, On, and Hong.

The three children’s piggy banks were on top of the bed.

His hands that had been patting his thighs stopped in midair.

“… Fuck.”

Cale suppressed the emotions that were coming up from his heart.

The piggy banks were approximately half full. Cale looked through his pockets.

“…Why do I have no money?”

He wanted to fill their piggy banks, but he had no money.
Cale sat down at the edge of the bed.

Pat. Pat.

Cale patted the pages of the book this time.

“What do I need to do to get out of here?”

His voice sounded calm as he asked that question.
However, his eyes were bloodshot and his shoulders were slumped.

The moment he feared the most.

He thought he would pass the test once he faced that moment.
That was why he had gone to the Henituse Estate and come to the Super Rock Villa.

He looked through all of the traces of the past.
He thought that would be the way he could move on to the future.
Cale needed to go to the people who were waiting for him.

It was at that moment.

Swoooooooosh- Swooooooosh-

He could hear the sound of the wind. Cale turned his head.
The wind was tapping on the window.
Cale walked over and opened the window.

Swoooooooooooosh- Swoooooooosh-

He could hear the sound of the wind.
The wind brushed past his face.

Cale's expression turned odd.
He could tell the flow of the wind.
It was blowing from top to bottom.
It seemed to be telling him to follow it.

Cale, who had a tired expression on his face, similar to the tired expression on Kim Rok Soo's face that made his team members worry about him, started to speak.

“You want me to follow?”

It was at that moment.

‘Can you hear me?’

Cale flinched.
He had never heard this voice before.

‘Can you hear me?’
‘Can he hear us?’
‘He needs to hear us!’

It was not just one voice.
He suddenly heard many voices.
Each voice was unique.

They were all asking if Cale could hear them.
Cale looked down below.

Tap.

He stepped on the window sill and stood there.

Swoooooosh- Swooooooosh-

The wind was blowing from top to bottom.
It seemed to be motioning to Cale. Cale looked behind him. He could see many belongings sitting there.

“This is not my future.”

He started to think not about these belongings here, but about the people in the real world outside this dream.

‘Can you hear me sir?’
‘Hey, can you hear me?’

He could still hear voices talking to him.
The number of voices was slowly increasing.

Cale thought he had a good idea about who these voices belonged to.

“Wind Elementals.”

He was certain it was them even without anybody telling him.
Cale turned back around and looked down from the window.
He could see the ground below the pretty tall villa.

“Haa, so annoying.”

‘I don't know any martial arts to be able to land safely from this high up.
Choi Han isn’t here to carry me either.
Raon's not here to use flight magic for me either.’

Cale started to smile. He threw the book in his hand into the room.

Plop.

The book fell onto the bed.

Cale then kicked off the window sill.

Swoooooosh- Swooooooosh-

The wind started to surround his body.
He was heading down.
The Sound of the Wind surrounded his body that was quickly falling down.

Cale closed his eyes.

  • You passed the test.

Cale heard a familiar voice after hearing that message.

  • Can you hear me?
  • Cale, can you hear me?
  • You can hear me, right?
    ‘Hmm?’
  • Answer me.

The thief. The Super Rock. The cheapskate.
Cale smiled after hearing these voices in his mind.

“I can hear you. I can hear you loud and clear.”

His voice was oddly light. However, Cale grumbled as he opened his eyes.

“How can you create such a terrible test- huh?”

Cale, who was about to complain to the thief, flinched as soon as he opened his eyes.

‘He opened his eyes!’
‘He must have passed the test!’
‘We've been protecting you!’

He could hear their voices. He could not see the owners of the voices though.
Cale could see the gold whip in his hand. It was not shining like before.

‘Nice to meet you! Very nice to meet you!’
‘Alright! There's finally a human to chat with! Awesome!’

It was loud.
He felt as if he was standing in the middle of a busy market.

‘Do you know how hard I worked to protect you?’

However, Cale flinched after hearing one Elemental’s voice.
The Elementals had been saying that they had protected Cale.

‘Now that I think about it-’

Cale realized something was odd about his position.
He could see a half-transparent dome.

A dome made of wind was surrounding him and the jar.

Drip. Drip.

He could hear dripping water.
Cale lifted his head up. Raon's fire orb was still shining brightly.

“…Damn it.”

Cale started to frown.
The temple's ceiling was slowly starting to crack.

Drip. Drip.

Black liquid was flowing out of the ceiling and falling down.

Cale lowered his head.

The temple had been pretty large.
However, half of the temple was now filled with a black liquid.
The temple was slowly filling up with dead mana.

‘We’ve been preventing it, but it will explode soon!’

The Wind Elementals continued to talk.

‘We are protecting this temple and the black mountain right now, but the black mountain will soon explode!’
‘Then the ocean will turn black!’
‘That’s not the problem! Everyone will die!’

Three days. Mercenary King Bud had said that they just needed to return the ancient artifact within three days.
Cale subconsciously started to speak.

“How many days?”

‘How many days was I in this test?’

  • One week! You punk!

The Super Rock shouted in a concerned voice.

  • …I am sorry. I didn’t know it would take that long. For your reference, time flows differently in the test and in the real world.

The thief cautiously explained in an apologetic voice.

‘…One week?’

Cale subconsciously started to speak as he thought about the Super Rock’s response.

“…Shit, this is bad.”

Raon, Choi Han, On, Hong, and Ron. All of their faces flashed in his mind.

‘You're right! This is bad! The black mountain is going to explode!’
‘It is bad if the dead mana storage facility blows up!’

The Wind Elementals continued to talk and Cale reacted to them by sharing his thoughts.
The black mountain. The dead mana storage facility was going to explode soon.
In that case…

“A sea of fire.”

The cheapskate quickly responded to Cale's words.

  • As expected! You want a sea of fire as soon as you open your eyes? You really are a crazy bastard!

‘What?’

Cale couldn't believe the cheapskate’s nonsense. However, he could not hide his laughter after coming back to reality.
It was not an empty laughter, but a full laughter.

Crackle. Crackle.

A rose gold current started to flow on top of Cale's hands.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

miraclerifle's Thoughts

So glad this emotional rollercoaster has ended.