Cale and Alberu both just quietly observed each other.
The crown prince’s response at the end of that silence was pretty confident. His face was not shaking at all. Cale shrugged his shoulders.
“Just that I can give this to you, but not for free.”
Alberu couldn’t believe Cale had nothing else to say after giving him such a strong blow.
Alberu started to laugh. It made Cale wonder what would have happened if there wasn’t soundproof magic in the office. Either that, or what would have happened if he hadn’t sent the servants and his subordinates out.
The atmosphere turned chilly in the room.
“I was planning on putting you to work. I shouldn’t have told you to come.”
Alberu was tired of that mug on Cale’s face that was as relaxed as usual. His gaze headed toward the bottle with the black liquid.
The weight of that word pierced into Alberu’s heart.
Cale did not say anything else and just sat there observing the crown prince, who was staring at the bottle.
They were creatures of the dark that were chastised by the people of the continent because of their affinity to darkness. The base of their power was the dead mana flowing out of the dead.
In the past, Dark Elves tended to be found near graves or villages that were destroyed by illnesses.
That was why people hated Dark Elves, even though the Dark Elves never harmed people nor desecrated corpses.
This led to the Dark Elves living in hiding. They were hiding even better than the Elves.
Alberu moved his gaze from the glass bottle and looked toward Cale. Cale just smiled back at him.
“And you’ll keep your mouth shut?”
“But not for free?”
Alberu spoke his honest feelings.
“You sly bastard.”
“Why thank you.”
Alberu hated how Cale didn’t even flinch at what he said. At the same time, he was relieved as well. Cale had come directly to him instead of going to the favored third prince or the second prince who were aiming for his position.
It meant that Cale wanted to make a deal with him.
That was why he was relieved. It was because Cale was similar to him.
However, he did have a question.
“Are you really not one of us?”
How could Cale know his identity if he was not a Dark Elf as well? Alberu could not figure this out.
The only people who knew his identity were his mother’s siblings. They had helped him so that his father, the king, would not find out his mother’s identity.
They were all on Alberu’s side.
Cale pointed to the glass bottle and answered Alberu’s question.
“I will die if I drink that.”
Dead mana was like an extremely deadly poison for humans.
- Do not worry, human. This mighty dragon will save you no matter what.
Cale just ignored Raon as usual and pushed the glass bottle toward Alberu.
“Don’t you need it?”
Alberu came clean with it.
“Of course, it is good if I have it. It will make me stronger. It is clean as well. There are no traces of poison.”
“Of course. It is a very precious item.”
Cale continued on like what he said next was not surprising.
“Since it is a dead dragon’s mana.”
Alberu could not hide his shock. He then let out a sigh after seeing the smile on Cale’s face.
“You’re driving me crazy.”
Alberu was not speaking like how someone in his position should, but he did not really want to do so today. Instead, he was speaking in the way he spoke to his mother’s siblings.
“You really have no plans to say anything about my identity.”
It was difficult to find dead mana these days. But it was a dragon’s dead mana?
Of course, the amount of dead mana in the glass bottle was minimal. However, the fact that it was a dragon’s dead mana would make Alberu become at least three or four times stronger than he was right now.
Alberu could not understand why Cale would give him something so precious, even for a compensation. He thought Cale was someone similar to him, but now it was difficult to understand Cale.
“Why are you asking something so obvious?”
Alberu was at a loss of words after hearing Cale say that it was obvious.
However, it really was the obvious answer for Cale.
‘The Roan Kingdom needs to become stronger.’
If you took a look at the power struggle between kingdoms right now, the Breck Kingdom and Roan Kingdom were at the bottom. The Whipper Kingdom was on a one-way train to hell under Toonka’s leadership, but they were a different story.
At the same time, the Southern Jungle was slowly regaining its strength after putting out the fire earlier than in the novel. They all probably respected Litana even more after she brought Cale to the Southern Jungle to put out the fire.
In addition, the Northern Alliance was planning their invasion as well. Alberu was gathering the Whipper Kingdom’s mages in order to grow his own influence and prepare for the Northern Alliance’s invasion.
However, that was not enough.
‘There is also the Wyvern Knights Brigade and the Empire.’
Cale did not know what happened after volume 5. However, people had this treasure called imagination.
The Wyvern Knights Brigade would dominate the air. Once the Imperial Prince shows his greed and reaches his hand out to the Western Continent, the Breck Kingdom and Roan Kingdom will be nothing but candles in front of the wind.
That was why Cale needed the Roan Kingdom to become stronger and have the strength to defend itself in order for him to live a peaceful life. In order to do that, they needed a strong leader to guide them.
‘Since it is poisonous for me, I might as well use it to set a good foundation.’
But Cale did not want them to be too strong either.
The crown prince was already stronger than he was in the novel. The Stan family was now also under Taylor’s control, which meant that they would side with the crown prince.
One more thing.
Cale said one more thing to Alberu.
“Did you need the Magic Tower?”
“It must be hard to speak like that when you already know about everything.”
The number of mages coming under the crown prince, as well as the speed at which they were coming had increased.
“The Magic Tower’s liege’s summoning device. That was very useful.”
Cale had given Alberu one of the items he found in the hidden room on the 21st floor of the Magic Tower. It was an item that belonged to the liege of the tower, allowing the holder to send multiple short messages to all mages of the Whipper Kingdom.
The Magic Tower’s liege was the person who rose to the highest spot amongst the Whipper Kingdom’s mages and guarded the Magic Tower. It wouldn’t make sense for such a person to be unable to contact the mages.
Toonka and his people never found the item because it was hidden on the 21st floor.
Cale had delivered this to Alberu through Billos, and Alberu immediately sent a single message to all of the living mages in the Whipper Kingdom.
[The Kingdom of Boulder’s future ruler will protect you.]
Alberu, who had benefited a lot from it, wished for Cale to either move the Magic Tower to somewhere in the Roan Kingdom or to restore it. However, he was not in a place to ask for such a thing anymore.
“I don’t think I can give you an order or command. Maybe a request.”
“I do not have a plan to restore the Magic Tower.”
Alberu knew that was what Cale would say. That was why he was trying to slowly convince Cale since he knew that Cale did not like annoying things.
“However, I can eventually give you a part of the blueprints to build the Magic Tower.”
Alberu brushed his face with his hands.
“What do you want?”
Alberu knew that there was no reason to beat around the bush anymore. He was not in control of this discussion right now.
“I need something to happen in two years.”
Cale knew that he needed status in addition to money in order to live that slacker life of his dreams.
Why was it great to be a slacker? It was because you didn’t need to worry about anybody else other than your family.
Cale didn’t want to live a life where he had to report to others. It didn’t matter if he was seen as trash, he just wanted to live however he wanted. Eat, sleep, and do nothing. How great would that be?
Cale could see Alberu’s expression change as he read the contents of the document. Alberu was looking at it with confusion before his expression turned into a frown and ended with shock as he looked back up at Cale.
“…Just what the hell is this?”
Cale had a short answer for Alberu.
“I believe that is for you to determine, your highness.”
Alberu could not help but sigh.
However, Cale was able to leave the office with the contract signed by Alberu.
“I’ve never felt so iffy after signing something that was beneficial to me.”
“I believe you just need to enjoy it since it is a win-win for both of us, your highness.”
It definitely was a win for the crown prince. Cale would keep his identity a secret, give him the bottle of a dragon’s dead mana, as well as a portion of the Magic Tower’s blueprint in a few years.
He was feeling iffy even though he had received this enormous profit that had a worth that was almost impossible to evaluate in monetary value. It was because Cale was smiling too much.
It was like he was on a field of flowers all by himself.
“Then I will be on my way, your highness.”
“Hurry up and leave.”
Alberu was telling Cale to leave, but he really didn’t want to send Cale away. He wanted to hold Cale here and beat some information out of him. However, he could not do so.
‘The Forest of Darkness, the Northwestern route, and the sea.’
Alberu could not figure out Cale’s intentions in asking for something that was neither money nor material goods.
On the other hand, Cale did not care whether the crown prince knew or not. He quickly got back on his carriage after accomplishing his reason for coming to the capital. There was no reason for him to stay in the capital any longer.
“Are we heading back to the Henituse territory sir?”
Beacrox closed the carriage door and immediately started to drive toward home.
“Human, are we going home to rest now?”
“Yes. I plan to rest for quite a while this time.”
Cale answered Raon’s question and leaned back into the chair. He should be able to roll around and do nothing for at least 6 months at minimum to a year at maximum.
Then, as long as he safely makes it through the war, what awaits him should be a nice and relaxing slacker’s life.
However, Cale noticed something was off as soon as they returned home.
“What is going on?”
“That, you see, young master-nim.”
Deputy butler Hans was naturally the one who came out to greet Cale.
But something was off.
Hans seemed worried.
“Hurry up and tell me.”
Cale did not look at Choi Han, Beacrox, On, and Hong who were behind him and instead only looked at Hans. He had a bad feeling. An ominous feeling filled his mind.
‘Am I not going to be able to rest?’
Something must have happened, as the other servants and knights around Hans had the same expression.
Cale’s mind became complicated in those short five seconds.
“Young master-nim, Mr. Ron has returned.”
Both Cale and Ron’s son, Beacrox, looked toward Hans with shock. Ron was not supposed to be back for a couple more months.
Hans then closed his eyes tightly. That made Cale have an even worse feeling.
Hans opened his eyes again and could not look at Beacrox as he continued to speak.
“Mr. Ron came back injured.”
“Lead me there.”
Hans, who saw Cale’s stiff expression, quickly turned around and guided them into the residence. Cale followed him with Beacrox right next to him.
Hans guided Cale as quickly as possible and stopped in front of a room. It was not Ron’s room but a luxurious bedroom that was reserved for high ranking guests.
“Open the door.”
Hans opened the door after hearing Cale’s stern command.
The door opened and a terrible rotting smell filled Cale’s nose.
Cale stiffened up for the first time since coming over to this world.
The assassin Ron, that sly old man, was laying on the bed.
Beacrox rushed past Cale into the bedroom.
Cale looked into Ron’s eyes and asked.
“…Ron, why is your arm like that?”
Ron had returned earlier than expected and one of his arms had been cut off.
Looks like I had a good teaser to confuse many of you :)