Chapter 484: Peeling layer after layer (1)

“…A contract?”

The innkeeper’s grandson Sully sighed as he plopped down across from Cale.
Cale looked at Sully as he started to speak.

“You already know that it is an Elemental that is roaming around you.”

The last time he was at this inn, the innkeeper grandmother had said something while looking at the Fire Elemental roaming around Sully.

‘My husband told me when I said I could see them. He said that they were Elementals.’
‘I was relieved that my daughter could not see them. I worried that she would be like me and be able to see them.’
‘Because I was seduced by them. I settled down in this Land of Despair so that I could get glimpses of them when they appeared. But this damn lake seduced people even if they could not see the Elementals.’

The grandmother had said that she had built her home in this village because she fell for the Elementals.
Sully had heard her tell this story to Cale and the others.

“…Yes, I do.”

Sully continued to sigh. Cale continued to look at him before peeking away.

  • Human! The old lady is smiling!

‘I know, right?’

Sully's grandmother was smiling while looking at Cale.
Cale heard the Wind Elemental's voice at that moment.

‘The baby Fire Elemental is sad. ‘Chaos, destruction, sorrow,’ is what he is saying.’

He naturally ignored the Wind Elemental's crazy comments.

“Do you not want to contract with the Elemental?”

Cale preferred to be blunt rather than beat around the bush. It was the same for Sully as well.
The innocent-looking young man with brown hair and freckles on his face started to speak.

“I, I thought it was messing with me!”
“…Hmm?”

He looked toward the fireball next to Cale with teary eyes.

“A red fire randomly passes by my window when I try to get some rest after work! Do you know how shocked I was the first time?! It scares me like that every night!”

He started to pull his hair with his hands.
Cale heard the Wind Elemental's urgent voice at that moment.

‘It’s not like that! The Fire Elemental said he waited until he was done with work and approached him to get closer! Please quickly deliver the message! Urgent, urgent!’

Cale opened his mouth to speak.

“Uhh…mm…the Fire Elemental says he waited until you were done with work before approaching you to get closer.”
“…Haaa. I see. I can understand that. But you see… Do you know what it does when I go to the kitchen to work? The fire in the kitchen forge suddenly shoots up! Do you know how much food I ended up burning because of it?”

Cale delivered the urgent response from the Wind Elemental.

“About that… Mm, the Fire Elemental wanted to contract with you and thought he should show you his powers to do that, and the only chance he had was when you came to the fire inside the kitchen.”
‘That’s right! He says he wanted to show the human the power of the fiery thunderbolt and the sea of fire!’

He did not share that part.

“…In addition.”

Sully still had more to say.

“It put some of the customers’ clothes on fire. It even lit their food on fire. That’s why there’s a rumor that the inn has a fire ghost possessing it!”
“Mm. He says those drunk people all cause a ruckus and made things difficult for you? That they even tried to mess with your grandmother?”

Sully's shoulders shook after hearing Cale’s response.

“…Now that I think about it, that was indeed the case.”
“Yes. He says he was trying to protect you. He also says he wasn’t really going to hurt them, he was just scaring them.”

Sully's voice slowly became quieter and weaker. He then started to frown as if he was trying to think about something before he started to quietly mumble.

“…But the bag of a customer who was attacked like that and left ended up burning. He said the fire ghost from here harmed him.”
“That customer said, ‘Just wait, I won't leave you alone.’ He was mumbling to himself that he was going to bring some adventurers he knew to cause a scene.”
“…Really?”
“Yes. That’s why he burnt his bag and turned him penniless.”
“Ah.”

Cale realized the odd atmosphere.
Sully was grumbling that he was harmed by the Fire Elemental and that it messed with him, but it was understandable after hearing the Fire Elemental’s side of the story.

‘He doesn’t seem to dislike the Fire Elemental.’

Cale started to speak again.

‘It's because he is a baby Fire Elemental that is less than two years old.”
“Oh, it's very young?”

Sully’s eyes opened wide.

“He is. He seems to like you a lot.”
‘That’s right. The Fire Elemental says he likes this potential contractor.’

The Wind Elemental quickly agreed.
Cale who was about to ignore the comments couldn't help but shake in fear.

‘He says just like how he has the explosive power of destruction inside his cute furball appearance, this young man is the same. He looks innocent on the outside, but he has the potential for a scary fiery thunderbolt inside him.’

‘This kid has something like that?’

Cale could not believe it.
He then noticed Sully look toward his grandmother. He then bit down on his lips and started to speak.

“Anyway, I'm not interested in contracting or in that fireball.”
‘That's a lie! The Fire Elemental says that he always kept the window open when it was snowing or raining and closed it when he came in! He also prepared a small furnace for the Fire Elemental to rest in the corner of his room!’

Cale's expression turned even odder.

“Are you really not interested?”

The grandmother started to speak at that moment.

“Tsk. You really can’t do anything about blood.”

Sully's shoulders started to shake.

“I built my home in this village because I was seduced by the Elementals. My daughter and son-in-law were punks who needed to go on adventures to live. That punk’s gramps was an adventurer as well. Where could those genes go?”

Sully’s gaze slowly headed toward his grandmother. The grandmother smiled at her grandson.

“You're trying to ignore the Elemental and tie yourself down to the inn because of your old granny. Did you think I wouldn't realize that?”

Sully's eyes opened wide and he avoided his grandmother’s gaze.

She looked toward Sully with sympathy.
Honestly speaking, her ability to run this inn was going down day after day.
The inn didn't make her much money, but she had no way to survive in this cold place if she couldn't even run this place.
How could her grandson not know that?

‘He knows. That's why this good little punk lives with his eyes and ears closed.’

For example, ignoring the Elemental.
She had seen Sully peeking around for the Fire Elemental while in the hall.
She knew her grandson well.

“There’s only one thing this granny wants from you.”

Sully was looking at the ground. He knew what his grandmother was going to say.

“Don't die before I die. And live your life doing everything you want to do.”

That was why he had avoided the Elemental.
He could not hear its voice, but he remembered how the red furball had responded according to his emotions.

Silence filled the area.
Only Cale’s group was at the inn because it did not have many customers in general.

  • Human! It feels a bit sad! It is touching too!

Raon’s voice echoed in Cale’s mind. It was not just the young Dragon's voice.

‘…Chaos, destruction, peace. Sooob, both I and the baby Fire Elemental are crying. Sooooob. The baby Fire Elemental says his contractor truly is a warm person with the destiny to destroy the world. Destroy all darkness!’

Cale who turned his head because his mind was full of noise noticed Choi Han. Choi Han was blankly standing there as if he was thinking about something.

‘What’s up with him?’

Cale had found it odd that Choi Han had seemed to be thinking about something since they left the World Tree village.
Choi Han looked back at him at that moment and started to speak.

“Cale-nim.”

Cale looked at him with a gaze that was saying, ‘what?’
Choi Han quietly started to speak as if he was responding to the gaze.

“Why do you think they massacred the people from Harris Village? Did they just do it to get dead mana from the Forest of Darkness to give to the mermaids?”
“…Huh?”

It happened as Cale flinched after seeing Choi Han's vicious gaze.

“…I.”

Sully started to speak.

“I'm certain I would want to leave if I contract the Elemental.”
“Then you can leave.”

The grandmother bluntly responded.

“Then what about you, grandma?”

Sully’s shaking pupils headed toward his grandmother. As his grandmother was about to speak…

“You see, I…”

Sully could see Cale smiling while shaking the chicken leg in his hand.

“…Have a lot of money.”
“Excuse me?”
“I will rent this inn. The rent should be enough for your grandmother to live peacefully. I will also hire your grandmother if she wishes. She can be an inn manager.”
“…Excuse me?”

Sully, the grandmother, and even the Elementals looked toward Cale with odd expressions.

“I run an inn business.”

  • That’s right! Human, there is that!

The invisible Raon fluttered his wings.
Cale continued to speak.

“It's an inn that hires employees who can take on most adventurers or rotten thugs.”

Yes, yes indeed.
They are very strong because they are originally from the famous Mount Leeb bandits.
The language can be handled with a magic device.’ Either that or he could make Ron put the bandit employees through rigorous training in order for them to learn the language.

“We don’t have any locations on the Western continent, but we have inn number 1 on the Eastern continent.”

He shrugged his shoulders at the grandmother-grandson duo who were looking at him with blank expressions. He then added on.

“Ah! There’s no need to worry about not making money. There’s potentially a way to bring in some new income.”

  • Human! How are we going to make money?

Cale started to smile.

He thought about the Elves who said that they were willing to do anything and the Mercenaries Guild punks who were thinking about coming to the Western continent.
They were all people who had benefited a lot from Cale already or would benefit in the future.

‘Then shouldn't I benefit from them as well?’

The Molan Household needed to officially make their presence known in the Western continent as well.

He imagined Hope and Adventure Loving Inn Number 2 as he started to speak.

“I can prepay the rent if you want as well. I will take care of everything.”

He then asked Sully a question.

“What do you want to do?”

Sully felt like a gold halo was flowing out of Cale.
He then saw the red ball of yarn squirm and draw something in the air. It unraveled itself like yarn as it created letters in the air.

This was something only Sully and his grandmother could see.

< I want to be part of the family too! >

Sully looked toward his grandmother before nodding his head toward the red furball.
Sully had grown up alone with his grandmother and his deceased grandfather. He had seen numerous travelers stop by and leave.

He looked toward this ball of yarn that was the only thing that had not left his side and started to speak.

“…I, and my grandmother, want to be family with that Fire Elemental.”

Ooooooooooong-

Fiery sparks flashed in the inn's ceiling.

‘Kahahahaha! The baby Fire Elemental is cheering! Chaos, destruction, love! Kahahahaha!’

Cale ignored the crazy Wind Elemental and reached his hand out to Sully.

“Then shall we make a deal?”
“Excuse me?”
“Nothing in the world-”
“Is free.”

Cale looked toward the person who cut him off and finished the sentence. The grandmother was smiling. Cale smiled back and asked Sully a question.

"Will you return to my conditions?”

He then reached his hand out.

“Ah, haha-”

Sully smiled awkwardly and started to speak.

“Can we shake hands after you clean up?”
“Ah.”

Cale quickly wiped away the sauce from his hand.


  • Human! Are we coming back for the Elementalist and the baby Fire Elemental?
    “Yes. We’ll be back in 3 days.”

Cale, who finished making the deal, left with Raon and Choi Han as they headed for their next destination.
He had asked Elf priestess Adite to look after Sully and the grandmother.

‘Oh! Oh, oh oh!’
‘…My goodness, an Elf.’

Sully was amazed while the grandmother was shocked after seeing the Elf appear in the inn.

‘Adite here will help you contract the Elemental.’
‘Nice to meet you!’

Adite was quite respectful to the two humans.

‘My goodness, that number one troublemaker, no, never mind. I'm so happy to see that someone is willing to contract with that cute Fire Elemental! I will definitely help you create a safe and firm contract and teach you ways to handle that troublesome, no, some simple Elemental Arts!’

Both Adite and Sully seemed fired up. The grandmother looked satisfied.

‘Cale. Thank you. The Fire Elemental says he is happy to have contracted the human. ‘Happiness. Destroy darkness soon. Great explosion. Sea of fire possible soon.’ is what he said.’

Everything ended well including two happy Elementals.

‘Thank you very much. Cale-nim.’
‘Hmm?’
‘That Fire Elemental was one that even the Elves were afraid of, no, anyway, a child that everyone avoided. That Fire Elemental should calm down now that it met such a gentle contractor. I'm so relieved. The lake should be safe from burning now.’

Cale could not share Sully's traits and the Fire Elemental's determination to the relieved Adite.

“Cale-nim. Shall we go in?”

Cale who snapped out of his thoughts nodded his head toward Choi Han who had his hand on the doorknob.

“Yes.”

Screeeech-

The Roan Kingdom’s palace.
This simple and old door that was different than the other clean doors with expert craftsmanship slowly opened.
It revealed what was inside the room.

It was currently the middle of the dark night.
Only one person was sitting there under the moonlight shining down in the empty room.

“Welcome.”

Alberu Crossman.
He was alone in the Roan Palace’s Grand Library greeting Cale.

Cale had asked him for ancient texts with information on the Gate to the Demon World, as well as ancient records on the Crossman royal family and the Roan Kingdom.
He was here to hear what Alberu had found.

“Your highness.”

Cale greeted him and tried to enter.

“Stop.”

However, Alberu showed his palm to stop them.
Guards, librarians, and administrators. Nobody else was there except for Alberu.
He pointed to Cale.

“You come in alone.”

Only Cale was allowed to enter.
Choi Han and Raon could not enter.

"Didn't you say you wanted to hear a secret?”

Alberu was standing there with an odd smile that seemed to be full of bitterness and anguish.

"Well, if what I want to hear is a secret, then…”

Cale smiled as he walked into the library.

“I'll happily come in.”

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miraclerifle's Thoughts

Dun dun dun....what could this supposed secret be?