Chapter 360: No, Then Whatever (2)

Teaser

Ron turned his head.

He could see the rest of the group laying down on the ground.
Beacrox, Choi Han, and the children averaging nine-years-old looked especially tired.
Only Eruhaben was still by Cale’s side and looking through a book.

It was at that moment.
Someone entered through the library door.

“…It’s almost been a week.”

It was Bud Illis.

One week.
That was how long Cale had been in this area.

Cale had been reading through the books here while saving the smallest amounts of time for necessities.

“How about you take a break?”

Bud could see that Cale was reading even as he was talking. It would be exactly one week in about two or three hours.

Bud had no choice but to be brutally honest.

“You couldn’t find the first in the end.”

The first incarnation.

Everyone started to frown.
Even the ancient Dragon stopped reading the book.

The White Star was said to have reincarnated for about 1,000 years.
That was how he was able to create the Dragon half-blood who had lived for 900 years.

‘That means that the first incarnation should have appeared on the Eastern continent about 1,000 years ago.’

Eruhaben had already heard from Cale that the Dragon Slayer village was supposedly located in the Eastern continent's Castle of Light.

In that case, there was an extremely high chance that the first White Star would have been recorded in the Eastern continent's strong individuals directory.

‘We also looked two hundred years after that, just in case.’

However, there was nobody they suspected of being the first incarnation.
Of course, they looked at records of people who used ancient powers or earned them, but there was nobody in possession of any ancient powers with enough destructive powers like the White Star.

“Cale, think about it.”

Bud approached Cale.

“The White Star must have hidden his powers. He survived for 1,000 years by pretending to be weak. That is how he avoided the Directory.”

That was what Bud had proposed three days after they arrived here.

“Don't you agree? We only just learned about how he is a reincarnator or even his appearance for the first time in 1,000 years. I don't think looking through the Directory would help us learn about his past.”

However, what Bud heard back was not Cale's voice.

Shhhh. Shhh.

All he heard was the sound of pages turning.

The Mercenary King could also see Cale's red face and the sweat on Cale's forehead and back.

“…Crazy bastard.”

He ended up sharing his honest sentiments.
It could not be helped.

The Mercenary King had rubbed his arms that were covered in goosebumps quite often these past few days.
He could see the path that the quiet bastard had walked as he read.

He could see the large number of bookshelves behind Cale.
All of the books on these bookshelves had been read by Cale.

One week.

Cale had read 10,000 books while the others had managed to read two or three at max.
In fact, it looked more like turning the page was the thing taking the most toll on Cale.

‘Is he human?’

This was not a human's level of memory.
Nobody could have expected that Cale Henituse had such an ability.

However, Bud could not understand why Cale was using such an ability for such a useless task.
It was at that moment.

“Human-”

He could see others slowly approaching Cale.
It was On, Hong, and Raon.

“Human, isn’t it tiring? Should I give you an apple pie?”
“He’s sweating so much.”
“He can’t faint again.”

The children averaging nine-years-old roamed around Cale with concerned expressions. However, they could not get right up next to Cale.
They could not easily approach Cale, who was reading even as he sweated so much.

“Huh?! Human!”

However, Raon suddenly charged toward Cale.
Cale had stumbled as he reached his hand toward the next book.

His body started to fall forward.
Cale was about to faint as his entire body was burning up.

“Human, human!”
“Young master-nim.”

Ron supported the stumbling Cale. Everybody was shocked to see Cale stumble for the first time since they arrived here. Bud did the same as well.

Bud could see Cale looking at him as he stood there being supported by Ron.
That gaze made him subconsciously stop walking.

It was a chilling gaze.
It was an extremely cold gaze that was contrary to Cale’s face that was red from heat and full of fatigue.
Those eyes looked at Bud as he started to speak.

“There are records of the past Mercenary Kings as well.”

Bud nodded his head and answered back.

“Of course. We are strong individuals as well.”

Bud could see Cale start to smile at that moment.

“It looks like there is nobody here that is suspected of being the White Star.”
“I already told you that!”

Bud thought that Cale had given up and continued on in a concerned tone.

“So get some rest now. You need to think about the future! Why would a smart person like you do such a usele-”
“Mercenary King.”

Cale cut Bud off.

“Mercenary King? What about it?”

Bud asked back.

‘What about the Mercenary King?’

“It's not there.”
“Huh?”

Cale's smile started to grow wider as he looked at Bud.
He thought he figured out the identity of this Directory.
The Directory had a record of the majority of strong individuals on the Eastern continent.
However, the person who should have been on this Directory the most was not here.

“The first Mercenary King.”

Cale thought about the person that should have been the easiest for the Mercenaries Guild to record when they created the Directory, but was not included.

“There’s no record of the first Mercenary King.”

Bud turned grim after hearing that.

He felt as if he had been smacked on the back of the head.
It was not something he had thought about until now.

“…Perhaps?”

There were records of Bud and the other Mercenary Kings.
Cale quickly responded back.

“The first Mercenary King. Who was he? What powers did he use?”

Cale’s smile became bright.

“I feel like he is the White Star. Why is my intuition telling me that?”

The White Star would have come out into the world after destroying his village and killing his family and friends.
No matter how strong that bastard was, he would have been alone.
He would have needed some sort of foundation.

He would also have needed a job that he could easily start in his situation.

Being a mercenary.
That was a job that anybody could do.

It was especially easy for a strong individual to build a foundation through it.
Most importantly, there was no need to bring up his past or for it to be discovered.

And this Directory had no record whatsoever of the first Mercenary King.

The White Star.
If that bastard tried to hide himself…

“Where are the records of the first Mercenary King?”

Cale's gaze was focused on the current Mercenary King and the books behind him.

“…It is not here.”

Bud could not hide his shock.

“It's not there. It’s really not here.”

Bud’s pupils started to shake as he looked at Cale.

“There’s absolutely no information. The title of first Mercenary King and his name are here, but that’s the only thing here when the Mercenaries Guild system he created is still here after 1,000 years!”

Bud finally realized the odd situation.
A fact so obvious that he had not even thought much about it resurfaced in his mind.
He had looked for this information before.

“When I first became the Mercenary King… I found it odd. The first Mercenary King was the only one whose powers and details of his life were not recorded here!”

Bud brushed back his hair after feeling both frustration and a sense of clarity.

“That is why, that is why… That is why I! I contacted the city's library and libraries around the Eastern continent and asked for information on the first Mercenary King.”

Cale, who was calm unlike the frazzled Bud, asked back.

“You asked, and…?”
“Ha!”

Bud let out a gasp-like laugh.

“Do you know what information I got?”

Although he was a sword master and the Mercenary King, Bud had always liked books since he was young and enjoyed searching for and thinking about things.
This was the information such a person had found about the first Mercenary King.

“The Great Mercenary King who created the large faction that managed to survive on the Eastern continent while many kingdoms rose and fell for 1,000 years. He was the role model for all mercenaries and the mercenaries did not hesitate to act on his behalf.”

Bud scoffed as he continued on.

“That’s all I found.”

That was all of the information on the first Mercenary King throughout the entire Eastern continent.
Yet they had all of the other records of the beginning of the Mercenaries Guild.

“…I thought it was like this because he was a hero of legends…”

He looked at Cale who was smiling with a tired expression and continued to speak.

“He did it on purpose?”
“Who knows?”

Cale gave a short response back.

“I don't know. I don't know whether the first Mercenary King is the White Star or not. I don't have any definite proof yet. However…”

Choi Han chimed in at that moment.

“It is enough to be suspicious. The first Mercenary King is someone who suddenly appeared in the world.”

Choi Han had an odd smile on his face. Bud had a feeling that there was some sorrow in that smile.

Pat. Pat.

Cale patted Choi Han on the shoulder and responded back.

“It doesn’t matter whether someone just suddenly appears in the world. Something like that can happen.”

Choi Han’s smile disappeared as he looked toward Cale. However, Cale was looking at Bud and the others as he continued to speak.

“However, the fact that there is absolutely no information on that person's history from that moment is definitely suspicious.”

Choi Han could see Cale turn his head to look at him.
He recalled what Cale had told him before.

It was during the Henituse territory battle against the Paerun Kingdom.

‘It’s your turn.’
‘…There was something for me to do?’
‘Use all of your strength.’
‘…Is this the new history you were talking about?’

Choi Han suddenly remembered Cale’s response to his question. He clearly remembered it.

‘Yes. It is your history that you will write here.’

Choi Han slowly started to smile.
Cale’s eyes then naturally moved toward Bud.

“In addition.”

The Mercenary King's mind was a mess because of the story about the White Star and the first Mercenary King.
He felt an odd chill after seeing Cale trying to say something else. That is why he said something first.

“I don't think you would have spent all week to figure this out about the first Mercenary King.”

Bud gulped before continuing on.

“Right? That is something you could have figured out within 100 years worth of records, but you spent all week reading thousands of the record books. Why did you do that?”

The others agreed with the question and looked toward Cale.
They could see that Cale was still smiling.

“I think what I was about to say will answer that question.”

Cale had continued to read through the records even while having this suspicion about the first Mercenary King.

It was because he found it to be weird.
He felt as if something was fishy.

“Do you really think this is just a space to hold the records of strong individuals?”

A space with records on the Eastern continent’s strong individuals.

“If, just if, the White Star really was the one to start this Directory…”

Then why did that bastard need to leave a record of the Eastern continent's strong individuals?
Why was this necessary even if he had the desire to make the Mercenaries Guild stronger?

The final Dragon Slayer.
Would the strongest human fear other strong individuals?

That question was what made Cale look through the records all week.

“I started to look at these records and the entire Directory in a different light.”

The White Star.

One of the things he had done until now.
And a record of the Eastern continent’s many strong individuals.

These two facts came together in Cale's mind to create a narrative.

“Humans are said to have heavenly luck if they manage to find just one ancient power. Apparently, that is how hard it is to find ancient powers.”
“Ah.”

Eruhaben let out a gasp.
He seemed to have realized something as well.

“There are records of the strong individuals who revealed the ancient powers they had.”

Cale closed his eyes. The recorded information flew through his mind.
It was something that could be missed while hearing that it was a record of strong individuals.

Ancient powers were not most people's main source of strength.
However, information about them was included in this 1,000 years worth of records.

Cale had not read through all of them, however, this would be the only place with that much information about ancient powers throughout both the Western and Eastern continents.

“In addition…”

He slowly opened his eyes.

“The easiest way to gain an ancient power.”

Bud suddenly felt his hair standing up.

“Is to kill the user and collect it before it disappears.”

Bud repeatedly clenched and unclenched his fists. His hands were about to go numb from having them clenched for too long.
Cale then asked him a question.

“The first Mercenary King would be able to sneak in here if he was alive today, right?”

Cale smiled as he pointed at Bud.

“Just like you did.”

If the White Star was the first Mercenary King, he would have sneaked in here in order to check the information.

He did not need to come often.
He just needed to come maybe once every ten years, or maybe even twenty years.

He would just need to come find information on the people who possessed the ancient powers he needed.

“Ha, haha.”

Bud thought he could tell why Cale was smiling.
He had the chills, but oddly, he continued to laugh.
He seemed to finally understand.

Bud quickly responded back.

“The White Star is trying to get my ancient power.”

The White Star is currently lacking only the Earth attribute of the five natural attributes.

“If he had my ancient power and these records, it would be much easier for the White Star to find that earth attribute ancient power.”

‘That is why…’

“That is why he tried to kill me. That is also why he is trying to have Arm gobble up the Mercenaries Guild.”

The White Star who had not appeared for 1,000 years was not hiding anymore.
He was slowly showing himself.

“Because he is feeling a sense of urgency as well.”

This time, it was Bud who pointed toward Cale.

“Because you appeared.”

The White Star would have never seen someone like Cale before.

You needed heavenly luck to obtain ancient powers. It would be amazing if someone had two powers, but this bastard had over five.

He also had the Earth attribute ancient power that the White Star wanted.

“That bastard is probably thinking that he only has two options. Kill you and gain the Earth attribute ancient power, or be killed by you.”

Bud thought he could tell why Cale was smiling. He opened his mouth to speak.

“He’s panicking. You made the bastard become anxious.”

Cale was smiling even though his entire body was covered in goosebumps.
Riding the line of life and death was something that Kim Rok Soo and Cale had been doing for over fifteen years now.

He opened his mouth to speak. His calm voice flowed out.

“Yes. Just like us.”

The White Star was in a state of urgency just like them.

They each needed to kill the other.

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