Chapter 400: Alright, this is the beginning (2)

Teaser

Plavin Singten gulped while looking at the masked man who was asking if he wanted to live or die.

‘How did it……!’

He then started to think about how he ended up receiving a threat like this.

A few days ago, no, it wasn’t that long ago. It happened about two days ago.

After he handed the bag filled with magic stones to the man who seemed to be the masked man's subordinate, that subordinate told him about a secret location to use for any emergency messages.

For some reason, something came up that made it necessary for him to use that emergency contact almost right away.

‘Should I not have told him about the Alchemists’ Towers and the magic faction’s plans?’

The Southern Alchemists’ Tower that Plavin was connected with had told him that the four Alchemists’ Towers would work together to attack the capital, as well as the fact that there was a mysterious mage faction working with them.
Furthermore, the Southern Alchemists’ Tower had asked Plavin for materials and magic stones to use in this battle.

Plavin had debated what to do before providing this information to the man who seemed close to the Church of the Sun God.
And tonight… That man had come to Plavin’s secret residence once again.

‘…And who they heck are they?’

The red-haired man with the black mask from last time was not here today.
Instead, there were two masked men standing behind the man in the white mask.

“Why are your eyes moving around so much?”

Flinch.

Plavin quickly moved his gaze from the two men to the ground.
Cale watched him and started to chuckle. His gaze headed behind Plavin. Plavin’s trusted assassin subordinates were quietly standing behind him.

  • Human! I want to remove my invisibility! I want to stand next to grandpa Ron and the tasty food providing Beacrox! I want to wear a mask too!

Cale pretended not to hear Raon. The black Dragon was excited for some reason.

Choi Han and Bud were not here right now.
Beacrox and Ron were with him instead.

‘Choi Han.’

Cale had given a different order to Choi Han who tried to follow him to the Empire.

‘You go and quickly take care of the Syrem issue before coming over. Come with Miss Rosalyn.’

Choi Han had flinched before shaking his head after hearing Cale’s comment.

‘What is it, do you need me to come with you?’
‘No, Cale-nim. I can take care of the Syrem situation on my own.’
‘I'll be waiting for you.’
‘Yes, Cale-nim.’

Choi Han had headed to the Roan Kingdom's capital instead.
Of course, Cale did not send him alone. Eruhaben was moving with Choi Han while Cale brought the rest of the group to the Empire.

“Cough, cough!”

Cale looked back at Plavin Singten after hearing some coughs.

“I apologize, something seems to have gone down my windpipe, cough, ahem, hem.”

Cale gently started to speak to Plavin as he had done to his guild subordinates when he was Kim Rok Soo.

“Oh, you were just choking. I thought you were poisoned or something.”

The tips of Plavin's fingers were shaking. His gaze headed toward the red fog that was eerily visible outside the open terrace window.

“That poisonous fog should not come into the terrace. You would die instantly if you were hit by that poison. That was why I was worried when you started to cough, guild leader Plavin.”
“Ha, haha- thankfully it was not poison. Haha-”

‘Damn it!’

Plavin was laughing externally, but his mind was turning into a mess.

‘Why is he acting like this?’

He had told the Church of the Sun God about the four Alchemists’ Towers’ plans.
So why was the man asking if he wanted to live or die instead of giving him a reward that matched his contribution?

‘Should I not have told them?’

Plavin's mind was getting complicated when he heard a voice.

“Why is the Singten Merchant Guild gathering materials? It looks like the materials soldiers need during war.”

Plavin felt his heart instantly sink.

He had been stealthily gathering war materials as the Southern Alchemists’ Tower had asked.
Of course, he had left this part out when he told this man from the Church of the Sun God about the Alchemists’ Towers’ plans.

He was doing what he needed to do to keep his connection with both the Southern Alchemists’ Tower and the Church of the Sun God.
He was confident that he would not get caught. That was why he had been stealthily gathering the materials.

“…How did you……?”

So how did this man find out about it?
Plavin could see a warm smile and a cold gaze directed at him.

“It looks like your mind and your body are busy trying to maintain your connections everywhere. Those are the kind of people who die first.”

Plavin suddenly felt suffocated.
Plavin's eyes looked back down on their own after seeing the man's gaze that seemed to be saying he knew about everything.
Cale looked toward Plavin with an even colder gaze.

“Our side discovered your merchant guild gathering war materials.”

Fear appeared on Plavin’s face.
However, the man continued to speak in a gentle voice as if he understood Plavin's situation.

“I understand. I'm sure you don’t want to let go of our side, but you don't want to let go of the Alchemists’ Towers’ side either. You have no way of knowing who is going to win.”

However, Plavin had to jerk his head up after hearing the next question.

“But why are you looking for slaves? Did they say they need dead mana?”

All emotions disappeared from Plavin's face.
The fear and anxiety disappeared and turned emotionless while his pupils started to shake uncontrollably.

‘…He saw that as well?’

The Alchemists’ Tower had not just asked Plavin for materials and funds.

Slaves.

They asked him to quickly procure slaves to create dead mana once again.

However, doing this would mean he was completely going against the Church of the Sun God. Even the corrupt Church of the Sun God would still keep their foundational beliefs.
Furthermore, black magic was the reason the Church of the Sun God was able to take control in the Mogoru Empire once again.

“That makes it seem like you are eager to die.”

Yes. That is how it must seem to the Church of the Sun God.
It was one thing if he didn’t get caught, but he would be dead if he did.

‘Fuck!’

Plavin started to wonder how things had turned out like this.
Just how did he know about the war materials and slaves he was gathering in secret?

Of course, Cale had his methods of finding things out.
Some beings had welcomed him as soon as he arrived at the Mogoru Empire’s Imperial Prince Palace. They had come to talk to him once he held the top's whip in his hand.

‘Hey Cale, the people from the merchant guild you visited were kidnapping people. They said they'll turn them into slaves!’
‘That’s right! They said they needed dead mana!’

Forget a munchkin, he had a cheat key in his hands now.

Cale had started to think after hearing the information from the Wind Elementals.
The Wind Elementals would bring him information even if he stood still.

Of course, this didn’t make him omnipotent.
Wind Elementals did not know how to use teleportation magic.
They could move more freely and faster than others, but there was still a limit to it such that Cale who was in the Roan Kingdom could not hear the voices of the Wind Elementals in the Mogoru Empire’s capital.

However, that meant that as soon as Cale arrived in the Mogoru Empire’s capital, the Wind Elementals he had connected with at the capital would bring him information.

“Singten Merchant Guild Leader Plavin.”

Plavin’s face was emotionless without signs of fear or anxiety. On the other hand, his eyes were filled with chaos and despair.

“But we decided to watch what you did.”

Plavin's eyes opened wide.
His gaze headed toward the masked Cale.

"We have just been watching to see how far the four Alchemists’ Towers would go.”
“Ah.”

Plavin let out a gasp.
They had been watching. They had been watching without doing anything.
He became at a loss for words after hearing that.

“But it looks like we need to take those towers down now.”

He then held back another gasp after hearing what came next.

“Are you going to head over to the Southern Alchemists’ Tower?”

Plavin hesitated for a moment. He wondered why the man was asking this question.
It was a different topic than what they were discussing, but Plavin cautiously answered.

“…The original plan was for me to go. I needed to go at least once.”
“I'm going with you.”
“Excuse me?”

Plavin looked at the masked man in shock.

‘He's going there?
Does he mean he's going there for war? That doesn't seem to be the case.’

The man calmly and leisurely started to speak to the chaotic Plavin. His slightly smiling lips looked beautiful and warm.

“The new light wishes to meet with you.”

Plavin had no choice but to shut up again after hearing that.
However, it was different than before.

“The two weeks I discussed last time. I guess now it is about 12 days. At that time…”

The new light. The Pope of the Sun God.
He wishes to meet with Plavin.
The original plan was to meet in two weeks.

“Let’s take care of things by then and meet with relaxed hearts at that time.”

Take care of things.
Plavin who understood the meaning of those words felt his heart beating wildly as he started to speak.

“…Is that possible?”

Was it possible to take care of the Alchemists’ Towers’ factions within two weeks?
Plavin asked and the man responded back immediately.

“Plavin, we know the enemy. But do you think the enemy knows us? They don't even know someone like me exists?”

Plavin felt as if someone had smacked him on the back of the head with a large hammer.

The man was right.
The man in front of him knew about the Alchemists’ Towers’ plans and their approximate strength.
However, the Alchemists’ Towers did not even know about the existence of this masked man in front of him.

The man who knew the enemy's plans was saying that they should quickly take care of things.
Was that arrogance?

‘No. He’s not that type of person.’

The Church of the Sun God in the Empire had fallen.
This man was someone who would still stealthily approach him in the Caro Kingdom to make a deal rather than focus on lifting the Church of the Sun God back up.

He was not someone who would act without confidence.

“I think you are smart enough to know.”
“…May I really meet with the person who will be the new light once everything is over?”

Plavin could see the masked man hand him a small plaque.

“This is…!”

Plavin knew about this plaque.
This plaque was what the previous Pope had used to order him to get to, ‘work,’ which meant to bring him bribes. This plaque was said to be something that could not be faked or created by anyone other than the Church of the Sun God.
He could tell that this was real because he had seen it once before.
Plavin instantly reached toward the plaque.

“No. Not yet.”

However, the masked man put the plaque back in his pocket.

“…Is it mine once everything is over?”
“Who else would I give it to? It’s enough for me to show you proof, right?”

Cale could see Plavin's eyes fill with greed as if they had never been full of despair just moments ago.
Plavin had no way of knowing he would walk into a pit of fire on his own volition.

This plaque was something Saint Jack had given at Cale's request. Of course, Saint Jack had said something as he handed it over.

‘Young master Cale-nim, I can make as many of these plaques as possible if they are being used to catch such evildoers.’

Plavin Singten will be sent to prison once everything was over.

“Plavin Singten, does the other side know that your subordinates are assassins?”

The other side was naturally talking about the Southern Alchemists’ Tower.

“Yes sir, they do. I had to inform them of everyone on my side to enter.”

Secrecy was more important to the Alchemists’ Towers than ever right now.
They needed to thoroughly determine who was on their side and who wasn’t, thoroughly investigating anybody who gave them even the slightest of suspicions.

“They will become suspicious of me if I hid my subordinates. They will think I was hiding something from them.”
“Then I just need to become your subordinate. Isn’t that right?”

Plavin did his best to put on a smile as he nodded his head.

“Yes sir, that is the case. I will work very hard.”
“You really do seem like someone who is well-versed in finding ways to live.”

Plavin could not respond.

This person was saying he was going to go to the Southern Alchemists’ Tower while pretending to be his subordinate.

Plavin clenched his fists.
He would have no choice but to be on the same side as this man as soon as they went to the Southern Alchemists’ Tower together. There was no way the Alchemists’ Towers would let a traitor who brought someone from the Church of the Sun God continue to live.

Cale started to smile toward the assassins who were standing behind Plavin with masks on their faces. They avoided Cale’s gaze and Cale looked back toward Plavin as he continued to speak.

“Oh, right. The two behind me are going with us as well.”
“I will get everything prepared, sir.”

That was the end of Plavin and Cale's conversation.


The next day, Cale opened his eyes.
His sight that had gone blurry from teleportation magic started to return.

Paaaat!

A lush forest appeared in front of him once the bright light disappeared.

“It has been a while, merchant guild leader-nim.”
“Yes. Nice to meet you.”

Plavin Singten who was in front of Cale stepped off the teleportation magic circle and gave a short response to the person wearing an alchemist robe.

“The people behind you?”
“My subordinates. You know about them.”

Three people wearing black masks and assassin outfits were behind Plavin.

“Yes sir, we do. But it looks like their physiques have changed a bit.”

The smiling Alchemist's eyes were sharp with suspicion.
Cale was amazed that they were even checking the physiques of Singten Merchant Guild leader’s subordinates. However, the Singten Merchant Guild leader was smart and good at acting.
Plavin Singten calmly responded back.

“You need to change people who know many secrets every so often. Don’t you agree?”

The alchemist put on a real smile this time.

“As expected. This is why I respect you so much, Singten Merchant Guild leader-nim.”
“This is nothing. It is just necessary for my trade.”
“Then I will lead the way.”

The Alchemist pointed to a direction.
Cale could see a tall tower past the forest.

That was the Southern Alchemists’ Tower.

  • Human! I'm here as well!

Raon, Ron, and Beacrox were with him.

‘Bud.’

Cale had told Bud who was responsible for communicating with everyone before he came here.

‘This battle is a battle involving two things.’
‘What two things?’

In order to fight with overwhelming strength…

‘Money and magic.’

He recalled the orders he gave Bud.

‘Strike as soon as I give the signal.’
‘We will strike the enemy first.’

Cale could hear the Alchemist’s voice.

‘Please follow me.”
“Sure.”

Plavin took the lead and Cale moved behind him as if he was protecting Plavin.
The Southern Alchemists’ Tower.
They were heading toward the first place that they would loot dry.

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