Chapter 577: The madness within the darkness (3)

“Gasp.”

Alberu sat up as soon as he took a breath.

He could see someone looking at him.

“…Ca…ge?”
“Yes, it is me, your highness.”

Jack and Cage were looking at him with nervous gazes from the other side of the couch Alberu had been lying on.

Alberu slowly looked around.

“…This is driving me crazy.”

Jack and Cage flinched after hearing the first words he said after waking up, but Alberu did not have time to focus on them.

He had woken up while he was fighting.

He had just been biting monsters apart in the body of a monster named the Dark Tiger until he opened his eyes only to suddenly find himself back here.

Sunlight was coming in through the tent entrance.

The sunlight was red.

Cage quietly started to speak.

“It is evening now, your highness.”
“It’s already that late?”

Alberu thought for a moment and mumbled to himself.

“…Two times as fast? Or is it three?”
“Excuse me?”
“It’s nothing.”

He shook his head at Cage's question. Alberu then noticed the curiosity behind the two priests’ eyes as they looked at him.

‘I'm sure they want to know how Cale and Choi Han are doing.’

Alberu looked down toward his stomach.

The half-black-half-white video communication device was sitting there.

He opened his mouth to speak.

“Has nothing else happened while I was sleeping?”
“Yes, your highness. There wasn’t even a call to the emergency line because you prepared everything prior to falling asleep.”
“That’s a relief.”

Cage and Jack carefully observed the calmly responding Alberu.

He was calm, but his body was covered in sweat.

That was why Cage had wondered whether she should wake him up prior to the discussed time.

They did not do so as he looked peaceful other than the fact that he was sweating so much.

“…Your highness. The contents of the deal-”
“Hold on.”

He opened his hand toward Cage to stop her from speaking.

The two priests didn’t know because they were faced away from it, but there was a small amount of red sunset coming in from the tent entrance.

It was obvious what that meant.

“Please come in, Raon-nim.”

He couldn't see Raon but the entrance flap lifted a little more.

“Meeeeeow.”
“Meeow!”

Two kittens walked in first and then the tent entrance was tightly closed before the young black Dragon revealed himself.

"Crown prince!”
“Yes, Raon-nim.”

Raon, On, and Hong.

The three of the slightly lifted Alberu's tent entrance flap every so often to signal whether it was okay for them to enter.

Even though Ron and Beacrox were taking care of the three of them, they were both busy managing the Molan household and taking care of things here.

Maybe that was the reason…

Or maybe it was for cookies…

It might even be because they wanted to hear some news about Cale and Choi Han, but…

The three of them came to look for Alberu every so often.

“Hey, crown prince! Are you sick?”
“Oh no, it's bad if he gets sick, nya!”
“…He needs to rest, nya, it’s probably because he hasn’t been able to rest, nya.”

These three didn’t find it difficult to talk to Alberu.

Maybe it was because they've seen him frequently since they were young.

‘No. It's because they’re like Cale.’

These three were probably imitating Cale who acted rudely around him all the time.

The corners of Alberu’s lips went up just a bit.

“I'm okay, Raon-nim.”
“Really?”
“Of course, Raon-nim. In fact, I'm doing quite well.”

Alberu started to think while looking at the young Dragon and the young Cats who seemed relieved after hearing what he just said.

‘Do I tell them or not?’

Would he tell them about Cale and Choi Han, or would he remain silent? Alberu was debating what to do.

But he didn't need to think for long.

‘Your highness. No, hyung-nim.’
‘What is it?’

He recalled a short portion of the conversation he had with Cale while they were moving.

‘Hyung-nim, you’ll keep coming and going to see me, right?’
‘Yes?’
‘Then it is probably best not to tell them everything and instead just give them a brief positive explanation. Keep things positive, you know? It’s a simple request, right?”
‘…You motherfucker. That's difficult to do.’

Alberu started to speak.

“Thanks to a deal I made with the Sun God earlier, I am now able to chat with Cale Henituse every so often.”

Raon’s round eyes opened wide.

Hong who was putting his paw into the cookie basket stopped moving while On looked frozen stiff as she was looking at Alberu.

Saint Jack urgently started to speak at that moment.

“Your highness. If you tell them about all of that-”
“It’s okay to tell them.”

Alberu confidently responded.

“It’s okay since he’s doing well.”

His expression and tone… Everything was calm and confident.

Maybe that was the reason…

“He also asked if you, Raon-nim, and On, and Hong were doing well. He asked if you were eating properly.”

The children averaging nine-years-old gathered together before their expressions brightened.

Cage, who also looked much better, started to speak.

“I, is he really fine?”
“Yes. You don’t need to worry.”

There was a small smile on Alberu’s face as he responded without any hesitation.

Alberu's gentle expression made everybody look even more relieved.

“Hey crown prince, crown prince!”
“Yes, Raon-nim.”
“Can I tell grandpa Ron and Beacrox?”

Alberu gently nodded his head.

“Of course, but please just quietly tell Ron Molan and bring Beacrox and Ron over here. I think I’ll need to explain it to the two of them.”
“I got it!”
“Oh, and please don't tell the others about it yet. I'll call them over separately and tell them myself.”
“I got it, crown prince!”

Raon looked at On who nodded her head and quickly headed toward the tent entrance with Hong and Raon.

On then suddenly stopped, turned around and bowed toward the crown prince.

“Thank you very much, your highness.”

Alberu's eyes opened wide.

She always spoke informally and added, ‘nya,’ so he thought that was her style, but she seemed quite mature just now.

“Ah! I’m thankful too, crown prince!”
“I'm thankful, nya! I'll pay you back for it, nya!”

Alberu gently responded after hearing Raon and Hong as well.

“No, it was nothing. I didn’t do much, Raon-nim.”

The children averaging nine-years-old looked even more relieved after seeing his demeanor and energetically exited the tent. They seemed excited that they had a mission to complete for the first time in a long while.

Alberu quietly observed them before turning toward Cage and Jack.

“I hope that you two could bring some people over as well, priest-nims.”
“Ah, of course!”

Saint Jack urgently jumped up from his seat. He had a bright expression on his face.

On the other hand, Cage’s expression that had been bright until a moment ago seemed a bit odd.

“…Who should we bring over?”

Alberu started to speak to respond to her question.

“Please bring Miss Rosalyn. Ah, Saint-nim, could you please bring your sister?”
“Yes, sir! Of course. I will go and quickly bring Hannah over.”
“That’s wonderful. Thank you very much. It looks like we will all need to have our first meeting in a long while.”

Saint Jack slightly bowed to Cage and Alberu and headed out of the tent.

Cage slowly followed behind him. She stopped at the entrance once Jack left and turned around to look at Alberu.

“Your highness.”

Cage hesitated for a moment before continuing to speak.

“I tend to be pretty sharp because I've been to a lot of places. That is why… Really-”

She could not continue to speak.

This was what she wanted to ask.

‘Really, is young master Cale-nim really okay? Your expression seems kind of fake, your highness.’

But she could not ask her question.

It was because Alberu started to speak as she stood there unable to finish her question.

“They’re fine. Those punks are fine.”

Cage closed her mouth after hearing his response. She then bowed and left the tent.

“I will quickly bring Miss Rosalyn over.”

Alberu was now left alone in the tent once Cage left.

“Huuuuuu.”

Alberu brushed his face with both hands.

He could feel that his hair was still wet with sweat.

The disgusting feel of it made Alberu start to frown as he recalled what Cale said again.

‘Then it is probably best not to tell them everything and just give them a brief positive explanation. Keep things positive, you know? It’s a simple request, right?’

‘Keep things positive, you know?’

Those words kept echoing in his mind.

“That damn bastard. He's pushing all the difficult things to me.”

Alberu could not stop frowning.

Keep things positive?

“How can I make any of that positive?”

Alberu recalled the night on the battlefield.

Fires, explosions…

The night was full of madness.

Alberu could not stop frowning while thinking about the two punks who were at the center of it all.


Park Jin Tae raised his voice.

“Hey, Kim Rok Soo!”
"What?”

Park Jin Tae started to frown at Cale’s short response.

"Ah, this bastard is just going to speak informally to me now all the time, isn’t he?”

He then raised his voice again and shouted loud enough for Kim Rok Soo to hear.

“Hey! Y, your hyung-nim is acting weird!”

Cale created an opening and looked behind him.

The Dark Tiger had a somewhat blank expression on its face. The Dark Tiger made eye contact with Cale at that moment and Cale shouted toward it.

“Take down all the monsters in your way!”

There was a flash in the Dark Tiger's eyes and it quietly started to move its large body.

“Park Jin Tae! You fight too!”
“Man, people are going to think I am taking a break or something. Do you know how hard-!”

But Cale had already turned his head back and resumed fighting.

“Fuck!”

Park Jin Tae frowned before touching the gun in his hand.

His fingers were slightly shaking.

His body was full of minor injuries and he was bleeding.

“So annoying. It’s so annoying!”

It was still dark.

The sun was not coming up.

Everywhere around him was full of the stench of blood.

No.

It was full of the monsters’ disgusting body fluids.

Baaaaang!

He turned his gaze.

"What are you doing?”

Kim Min Ah moved past him.

Park Jin Tae looked to the side.

Kim Min Ah had pierced a monster that had tried to ambush Park Jin Tae from the side.

It was a Grade 1 monster.

It was a snake-headed giant, the same monster that Cale taught Kim Min Ah to fight against earlier.

“…So damn strong.”
“I've always been strong.”

Kim Min Ah said something else as she moved past Park Jin Tae.

“It’s just that I only recently learned how to fight properly. Isn't that the same for you?”

That was the case.

Park Jin Tae realized it as he learned how to fight properly as well.

Even though he was surrounded by chaos, blood, and madness…

He could feel it.

‘…Humans can win!’

He was getting faster and faster at dealing with the Grade 1 monsters by following Kim Rok Soo's data.

The people Kim Rok Soo had designated as the attack team were slowly starting to get a feel for their potential.

They were getting stronger, unlike these monsters.

It was worth trying.

They could win.

That was why they could not stop.

Even though this fucking night was so damn long…

Nobody could stop.

Park Jin Tae’s finger pulled the trigger.

Tang!

A bullet flew into a monster’s eye.

Ever since the cataclysm and the discovery of abilities… His shooting skills that had regressed for some reason were slowly returning again.

Baaaaaang-!

Park Jin Tae turned after hearing a loud noise.

“Roooooar!”
“Grr- grrrrr!”

Monsters were falling down as a shining black light shot up between them.

It was quite far away, but it was the only thing clearly visible in the darkness.

It could not be helped.

There was a person whose body was surrounded in rose gold current next to the shining black light.

Furthermore, the person dressed in white was visible thanks to that rose gold light as well, and Joo Ho-Shik, the person dressed in white, clenched his hands together.

“I have faith!”
“So fucking crazy!”

Park Jin Tae swore as he laughed after hearing the voice.

Those three people… No, those two people…

Choi Han and Kim Rok Soo…

He could see these two people fighting no matter where they were.

It was because of that rose gold current.

They were too visible in this battlefield full of Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters and Grade 1 monsters as well.

That was why he could not stop.

That was also the reason that Cale could not stop.

He knew that people all around them were looking at him and Choi Han.

“Huff, huff. How much time has passed?”

He could hear Joo Ho-Shik's heavy breathing behind him.

Joo Ho-Shik who had been shouting, ‘I have faith!’ over and over was sticking to Choi Han and Cale to provide them significant support.

Cale had a watch.

“I’m not sure.”

But he did not have time to look at his watch.

“Roooooooooooooooar!”

Cale moved after looking at three Grade 1 monsters charging toward him.

2 meters to the left, and then backward in the 5 o’clock direction.

Then a thunderbolt to the front.

Crackle!

A small rose gold thunderbolt struck the monster’s body.

Slash, slash.

Choi Han's sword slashed two other Grade 1 monsters.

"Are you okay?”

Choi Han asked and Cale responded while laughing.

“Ask that after you catch your breath.”

Choi Han had been slowly breathing heavier since a bit earlier.

“Hyung, you’re in much worse condition.”

Choi Han stood in front of Cale and made it so that Cale could not keep moving forward.

Choi Han was correct.

Cale could tell that he was in terrible condition.

His hands were slightly shaking. There was dry blood by his mouth.

He was also turning pale.

‘But it's still bearable.’

He would not faint.

‘It’s all thanks to Joo Ho-Shik.’

Joo Ho-Shik's ‘faith’ was surprisingly able to amplify Cale’s ancient powers and Choi Han’s aura.

Actually, for some odd reason, Joo Ho-Shik's ability actually supported Cale and Choi Han better than the others.

‘Does Joo Ho-Shik have more faith in me and Choi Han?’

Joo Ho-Shik's ability changed strength based on the level of faith.

‘Why?’

Why would he feel that way?

Cale had many questions, but he chose to listen to what was going on rather than thinking about that again.

He could hear it.

He could hear the monsters’ cries.

But there was definitely less than before.

The fire and explosions destroyed most of the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters and the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters that had suddenly been ambushed while they were resting were unable to move quickly because of their large bodies and had their weaknesses attacked by the humans.

This ambush was a success.

However, there were still too many of them.

Monsters kept appearing no matter how many times they slashed and killed.

It was especially difficult because of the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters that became 1.5 times stronger from madness.

They were so crazy that they continued to charge forward even after receiving injuries that would normally make them become afraid, fall, or run away.

That stopping would make things a bit easier.

“Haaaaa.”

Cale sighed as he started to think.

‘When. When will the sun rise? If the sun came up…’

Then humans would become the predators instead of the prey.

Cale started to think about Joo Ho-Shik who had asked him the time and Park Jin Tae who had seemed a bit out of it.

He could then feel that the people were starting to slow down.

Even if the people he had gathered for this attack had grown at rapid speed and showed their talents…

Those people were starting to get tired.

They were almost out of strength.

They couldn't help it.

They were not used to such a long battle.

That was why he could not get tired yet.

“Choi Han.”
“Yes, hyung-nim?”
“The black Yong. Can you use it one more time?”

Unlike Choi Han's shining black aura, the black Yong required Choi Han to use a lot of strength. That was why he was fighting with his aura right now.

But Cale could read the mood of the battlefield.

As the others are getting tired…

“Yes, I can.”
“Then please use it.”

They needed to show those people the strength of their allies.

“Huuuuuu.”

Choi Han took a deep breath before pointing his sword toward the sky.

Black aura started to gather around his sword and slowly started to take the form of a black Yong.

“Mr. Joo Ho-Shik. Please use your ability on me.”

Choi Han flinched after hearing Cale’s statement, but he stayed still as he could not break his concentration.

Cale gathered fiery thunderbolts into both of his hands as Joo Ho-Shik shouted.

Cale could feel his fiery thunderbolts becoming stronger thanks to Joo Ho-Shik's ability.

He would use his fiery thunderbolts along with Choi Han’s black Yong to sweep through the battlefield.

Then the Grade 1 monsters should retreat back and the allies would feel revitalized.

Cale had such thoughts as he started to look toward the tip of Choi Han's sword that was pointed to the air.

That would be where the black Yong would soon open its jaw and charge through the battlefield.

But the moment he raised his head…

“…Ah.”

Cale's jaw dropped.

He reached out and grabbed Choi Han’s shoulder.

…Hyung?”

Cale nonchalantly commented as Choi Han flinched in response.

“The sun is coming up.”

The night sky was slowly starting to get brighter.

Night had passed and dawn was approaching.

"We did it.”

Cale added on.

“We passed the crucial moment.”

Cale looked around at the evidence of the fierce battle.

He could see the madness disappearing from the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters as the world became brighter.

The weakened Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters slowly started to retreat.

Cale had a record in his memories.

< Once the night passed, the Grade 2 and Grade 3 would no longer be crazy and would stop attacking the central shelters. >
< They could no longer attack, as it was now the Grade 1 monsters' turn to attack. >
< This was a rule that was followed at all original central shelters that were attacked. >

Cale's gaze reached the Grade 1 monsters.

There were still many Grade 1 monsters that were alive.

But the crazy Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters, humans, and leader monsters… Along with the fire and explosions… The chaos created by all sorts of things managed to kill many Grade 1 monsters.

And…

Park Jin Tae, Kim Min Ah, Bae Puh Rum, Bae Cheol-Ho, Che Soo Jung, etc.

He could see all of them.

They all looked tired.

They looked up at the sky that was lighting up before looking toward Cale.

Cale smiled toward them.

It was a smile that let them know that they had won, that they had survived.

He then said the following.

“Let’s finish the rest and head toward our new base.”

Everybody laughed and tightly clenched their weapons with shaking hands.

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