- I, I'm still in the middle of purifying……
The pillar of fire continued to crackle beautifully with the cheapskate’s disappointed voice in the background.
The rose gold colored ashes continued to fly in between the pillar of fire.
It looked as if the dead mana was decreasing little by little.
Cale slowly clasped both hands together as that happened.
He could hear loud explosions.
“You must be Choi Han, the famous youngest sword master!”
Dorph's fist blocked Choi Han’s sword.
“Your black aura looks cool, but it doesn't seem like you live up to your fame.”
Choi Han attacked the brightly smiling Dorph again.
Another explosion rang out and Cale clasped his hands even harder.
“Will you fight me fair and square? I request a match as a warrior. What do you think?”
His mane-like hair fluttered in the wind.
Dorph’s two arms blocked the shining black aura.
Then another black aura shot out toward him.
Dorph was forced back with each attack.
It looked as if he would be forced out of the pillar of fire he barely made it through.
The sword and the fist clashed once more.
“Tsk, this young fella is not one to talk! Can I take this as you agreeing with my request?”
Cale tightened his grip after hearing Dorph’s comment.
Dorph then flinched.
“You, so fast-!”
Choi Han had instantly arrived in front of Dorph.
The moment Choi Han and Dorph made eye contact…
Choi Han moved one hand away from his sword.
He then punched out. He started to speak at the same time.
The fist covered in aura aimed for Dorph's mouth.
The shocked Dorph barely managed to block it.
The pillar of fire touched his back. The fire instantly started to gobble up his shirt.
However, he did not have time to pay any attention to it.
“Your aura suddenly became amplified!”
This black aura was much more violent than the one that had been surrounding his sword.
Choi Han's original power that Dorph did not know about charged out again.
Choi Han punched Dorph in the stomach with his aura covered fist as he coldly continued to speak.
“You speak too much.”
Another hole appeared in the pillar of fire.
Someone was flung out through the hole.
Dorph was thrown as he touched his stomach in pain.
- Should I leave the hole in the pillar of fire? The one doing the beating is on your side while the one getting the beating is your enemy. Right? I'll just leave it alone. I'm very good at my job. Don't you agree?
Cale ignored the cheapskate.
It could not be helped.
Choi Han used his aura at max power as he followed behind the flying Dorph.
He also made a short comment as he moved.
“So much better now that it is quiet.”
The black aura struck Dorph like a boomerang.
Cale quietly watched all of this happen.
‘Wow…that, that- Scary bastard… vicious bastard…it’s fine to ruthlessly beat him up, but damn, he’s really ruthlessly beating him up……’
Cale kept his mouth shut while watching Choi Han fight.
He felt as if that loud Lion King Dorph was getting beaten up on his behalf.
Cale suddenly had a thought.
‘Can I keep calling him punk or bastard?’
He was feeling iffy about calling Choi Han a scary bastard and a vicious bastard.
‘He’s Choi Jung Soo’s uncle and not some distant ancestor. He's also no longer just a character in a book. He did say it was fine to speak informally, but… Is it too much calling him a bastard?
Haaa…damn it… I don't know.’
Cale was getting a headache.
He had visited their graves once.
Well, it was more like a forest than a grave.
‘It was a safe zone past this mountain.’
He had gone to a small mountain with Choi Jung Soo and team leader Lee Soo Hyuk.
Choi Jung Soo had calmly explained while standing at the entrance to the mountain.
‘That time, the time when the world flipped over. Remember how the monsters all poured out? The internet was down, and our cars, cellphones, nothing was working properly.’
Choi Jung Soo’s family members, the ones who were in this hometown house when the chaos happened, supposedly crossed this mountain that was the shortest path to get to the safe zone they had heard on the radio.
‘But could we just leave on our own? We had to take the other people in the village with us.’
They had started to cross the mountain with the other villagers.
‘We are a decently famous martial arts household. People would stop by every so often asking for information because they were researching ancient sword arts. We had to step up in such a situation.’
Then, Choi Jung Soo's family protected the villagers crossing the mountain, creating paths for them and defending the rear.
Some of them decided to stay back and protect the village as well. No, they had decided to fight against the monsters that tried to enter their village.
‘But too many of them appeared.’
The village and his family's house were destroyed. The small mountain became desolate.
It ended up becoming everyone’s graves. That was a time when you would be lucky to find someone’s body once they died, if you couldn’t, then the last place you saw them became their graves and the last memory you had of them.
‘Hey, so what if we buy this mountain and turn it into an orchard? Can you plant fruit trees on a mountain? Is that a bad idea?’
Kim Rok Soo had shaken his head at Choi Jung Soo's excited voice.
‘Anyway, show your respects to this mountain! Say, that Choi Jung Soo’s dongsaeng Kim Rok Soo is here.’
‘…Since when am I your dongsaeng? Our birthdays are the same.’
‘I was born in the early morning. I'm sure you were born later than I was.’
Choi Jung Soo had started to smile more and had cheekily added on after seeing Kim Rok Soo starting to frown.
‘Hey, either way, we are brothers and family. Isn’t that right?’
Kim Rok Soo had scoffed in disbelief.
But Choi Jung Soo had smiled.
‘Hey, Kim Rok Soo, you ha! Ha! Over and over, but I don't see you disagreeing with me. Do you think I don't know your personality? Hehe, don't you like being brothers with me? Hmm? Team leader-nim, doesn’t that seem to be the case?’
‘Shut up. Team leader-nim, could you please be quiet as well?’
Choi Jung Soo had laughed more at Kim Rok Soo’s response.
‘Kekeke, Kim Rok Soo is always like this. He’s such a shy boy. He can’t deny it because it's true!’
That was the case.
Although Kim Rok Soo was grumbling about what Choi Jung Soo was saying, he could not deny it. Cale had recorded Choi Jung Soo’s eyes as he laughed with the forest behind him.
He also recorded team leader Lee Soo Hyuk’s chuckling and his gaze that was filled with sorrow.
That was how life was at that point.
Cale quickly ended the record that was playing in his mind.
This useless record had opened on its own. Cale was able to snap out of it thanks to Raon.
He could see Dorph who was sent flying once more by Choi Han’s punch.
‘…He really is a vicious… Bastard…no, person.’
Cale’s face underneath the mask turned stoic as Raon continued to speak with excitement.
- Human! Choi Han is always so consistent! Choi Han is strong!
‘…This vicious little Dragon.’
Cale started to frown once more. This six years old Dragon was consistently vicious as well.
Cale let out a small sigh.
His hand slowly moved down.
- Just a little more! It is taking a while because of the large amount of dead mana but I am purifying it little by little! Only about a third of it is left now!
The cheapskate was sharing his hardworking efforts to Cale, but Cale ignored it and opened his mouth to speak.
He wanted to quickly defeat the enemy. He needed to chat with Choi Han afterward, but it looked like he would be able to get through it without getting beaten up.
‘Let's deal with the most urgent issue first.’
Cale lowered his hands. He started to activate an ancient power.
It was at that moment.
- Human! By the way, what are doenjang-jjigae and gochujang?
Cale's body flinched like a broken robot.
- Human, do you want to eat those things?
- The consistent Choi Han asked you if you were craving those things! Human, you responded that you were!
The conversation that he had had with Choi Han brushed through his mind.
‘…Huh? What is it?’
‘Kimchi, cup ramen, pork belly, green onion pancakes, veggie tempura.’
‘Don't you want to eat those things? You seemed to eat them a lot.’
‘Gochujang, doenjang-jjigae, jokbal. You don't crave them?’
‘…Of course I do?’
Cale recalled how he had stupidly answered with a question, but that wasn’t the issue.
- Human! What is cup ramen? I'm curious about what all those things are!
Cale slowly responded to Raon's excited voice.
“…Food from Choi Han’s hometown.”
Raon let out a short gasp of understanding before bombarding Cale with more questions.
- Then what are Choi Jung Soo and Kim Rok Soo? I am curious! And what is a paternal cousin once removed?  Is Choi Han that Jung Soo person's paternal cousin once removed? I am curious about all of these things!
Cale was starting to get a headache.
Raon was the only one who knew about his conversation with Choi Han and everything that just happened. Raon had also heard from Choi Han that he had lived for a long time. The next individual to know the most was Eruhaben who had only heard the names Choi Jung Soo and Kim Rok Soo.
Cale started to think but he did not have much time.
“For now, it is something that only Choi Han, you, and I know.”
- Oh! Is it a secret for the three of us?
“Yes. You can’t even tell On and Hong right now.”
- …Mm… alright! I am great and mighty, so I am good at keeping promises!
They heard another explosion.
Cale continued to speak while thinking that Choi Han was fighting well, or doing a good job beating Dorph up.
“I’ll give you a short explanation because we are in a rush right now.”
Cale who didn’t know that the invisible Raon was clasping his chubby two front paws together calmly continued to speak.
“Choi Han is related to my closest friend, someone who was like my brother. He is that guy's paternal cousin once removed, which means he is my friend’s dad's cousin.”
Cale didn’t care about the six years old Dragon being shocked as he continued to speak.
“Mm, that means he is senior to me in hierarchy.”
Cale continued to speak.
It was easy to keep talking once he got started.
“This is the issue right now. It would be fine if he was a distant ancestor.”
Instead, he was someone Kim Rok Soo might have met if he went down with Choi Jung Soo for holidays or vacations.
“But he's an elder I would have probably met when going to my friend’s house.”
He was slowly starting to whine and grumble.
“Aigoo, if I treated him the way I’ve been treating Choi Han this whole time, then I would really have been trash. Of course, I still am trash right now.”
‘Yes, yes indeed.’
Imagine telling his friend’s elder things like, ‘Choi Han, go pay for your meal,’ or, ‘Get out there and fight.’ Choi Jung Soo would have beaten him up and they would have all cussed him out while saying that he was mentally ill.
‘…One day, I-
I will smack the God of Death in the back.’
Cale made a firm resolution. He was someone who always accomplished the things he set his mind on. He had smacked both Imperial Prince Adin and the White Star from behind already. Well, not enough for the White Star just yet. He needed to smack him harder.
Cale’s mind started to get more complicated. It was hard to think as usual when dealing with such a shocking situation.
Raon helped center Cale again.
“What is it?”
- What are jokbal and veggie tempura?
- Human, do you like those things?
Cale answered without any hesitation.
Raon should act accordingly because he already said that everything they were talking about was a secret.
- Oh… I understand. I still have a lot of space in my spatial dimension.
Cale's shoulders flinched.
The tips of his hands that were lowered twitched.
Those words made Cale think about Raon stuffing his face with doenjang, jokbal, and gochujang after he faints.
That was too, too vicious.
“Those foods aren’t here.”
He urgently responded that way.
- Doesn’t Choi Han know about them? Choi Han should know how to make them because they are food from his hometown! That’s fine then!
I'm not okay with that.’
Cale started to imagine the tear-soaked kimchi that would end up in his mouth once he fainted.
That really did not seem enjoyable. But thinking about his red hair pairing with his face that would be red from blood and kimchi… That would be quite a sight.
‘No. Can’t let that happen.’
Cale thought to himself to tell Choi Han to not tell Raon about food from home. Choi Han would take care of things accordingly then.
‘…Well, does it not matter?’
The rest of the group would probably enjoy it if they were told it was food from Choi Han’s hometown.
It would be fine as long as the others did not know that Cale was Kim Rok Soo and that this world is actually in a book.
‘…I'm sure it’ll all work out.’
Cale casually started to organize his thoughts.
They were currently in the middle of a battle.
It was at that moment.
He heard Choi Han shouting at a distance as well as Raon's voice.
He could see Choi Han shouting urgently as he ran toward him.
However, something else caught his attention first.
The night sky…
The night sky seemed to be descending from above.
‘What the hell?’
It was not that the night sky itself was falling.
- It’s a wall! Human a black wall is falling!
A black wall that was impossible to separate from the night sky because they were the same in color was falling toward Cale and the pillar of fire.
“Kahahahahaha! This is it!”
He could hear Dorph laughing.
‘Is this Dorph's power?’
Cale watched as this black wall that resembled a large metal plate fell toward him.
Choi Han shouted but Cale could not move.
A loud explosion shot out from the pillar of fire.
Choi Han stopped flying toward Cale.
He then brushed his face with one hand.
The black wall had stopped in the air along with that loud explosion.
Others would think that it just stopped by itself. However, Choi Han could tell what happened.
‘It is Raon.’
Raon’s black shield was blocking that wall and keeping it up.
“Is this that famous Dragon’s shield?”
Choi Han could hear Dorph’s calm voice behind him. He turned toward Dorph.
He looked extremely calm as if he had never been the consistently talking person from before.
This was the real Dorph. He had not been running away in shock at Choi Han’s aura or getting hurt.
“It'll be hard to fight.”
Dorph started to smile at Choi Han.
He then clapped his hand.
Once the clapping noise echoed in the area…
Choi Han looked around.
The forest surrounding the Northern Alchemists’ Tower.
The many golems within the forest.
The large golems started to move toward the tower and Cale's group.
Boom. Boom. Boom.
The ground started to shake.
Choi Han turned his head.
Cale was still purifying the dead mana. This fire ancient power was the power that made Cale faint the most. Choi Han tightened his grip around the sword knowing that was the case.
"Shall we fight now?”
As Dorph smiled and made that comment…
The golems started to take out swords, spears, axes, and other weapons.
Choi Han looked at them without a smile on his face.
It was at that moment.
“I knew it would be like this.”
He could hear Cale's voice.
Choi Han turned to look at the pillar of fire.
He could see Cale through the hole he made earlier when he sent Dorph flying.
Cale had his head down with his arms slumped down.
Cale then slowly raised his head.
Choi Han could see that Cale was smiling.
Cale started to speak at that moment.
Cale had his hands slumped down toward the ground.
He was using an ancient power right now.
Once all of the golems gathered together to move toward Cale's group at the Northern Alchemists’ Tower…
They started to grow following Cale’s will.
The trees that filled this forest…
- Got it.
The glutton priestess responded.
The vines started to grow.
They then started to wrap around the golems and this entire area.
Choi Han and Dorph could see Cale smiling while looking at them.
Cale started to speak.
“It’s about time Mary came here.”
A light flashed to show someone was teleporting over as if to respond to his statement.
- Human! You are right on target!
A red light flashed by the Northern Alchemists’ Tower before it disappeared.
And in that place…
“It looks like we came right on time?”
“I think we are a bit late. But we can still destroy them all.”
Rosalyn, Mary, Sir Rex, and the Dark Elf warriors had appeared.