Chapter 25: Returning the Favor (5)
Editor: Borderline Masochist
Late at night in a small two story house in the outskirts of Puzzle City. The only light in the area was the light on the first floor of this small house, shining out through the windows. Marquis Stan’s eldest son, Taylor, the owner of the house, started to frown.
“What is going on?”
“Damn it. Ugh. Hold on. Don’t talk to me right now.”
Cage, the priestess of the God of Death, was clenching her head in pain.
The beer cup in her hand fell to the ground. Taylor and three of his people approached her quickly.
“What? Is the lord saying something to you again?”
Taylor looked toward her with concern. The God of Death spoke to Cage from time to time. This had suddenly happened one day and would sporadically appear like this. Cage had hidden this fact from the church, and only Taylor and his three subordinates knew about it.
“Ah, so annoying!”
After struggling for a while, Cage jumped up and headed to the back door of the house. She was moving pretty quickly. She was still clenching her head and staggering a bit, but her gaze remained focused on the back door.
Taylor told his subordinates to stay back as he pushed his wheelchair and followed behind her.
‘Did someone break in?’
They may be in a small house, but there were magic alarms set up everywhere. Taylor was too paranoid about his younger brother to sleep without these alarms.
After having both of his knees destroyed by a hitman in his own room at the Marquis’s estate, there was nowhere that Taylor considered to be safe anymore.
“Cage. What is going on?”
Cage slammed the back door open. Taylor could only see a peaceful backyard. It was calm and tranquil, as always. There were a couple of lamps lighting the garden up, making it the most lit area in the property.
Cage started to rush into the backyard and Taylor followed behind her. Cage walked all the way to the fence at the boundary of the property and let out a gasp.
This was the location right outside of the range of the alarm. On top of that fence was a small rock tower made of five small rocks.
It was just large enough for the single knight staying at this house to find when he went on his patrol later.
“... Crazy shit. It was real.”
Some rough words came out of Cage’s mouth. Taylor arrived next to Cage in his wheelchair and started to look at the rock tower on top of the fence with confusion.
“What is this?”
At Taylor’s question, Cage read the message that was written in chalk next to it.
“‘Break this if you want your wish to be granted.’ That’s what it says.”
Confusion and curiosity both filled Taylor’s face simultaneously. Cage let out a sigh after looking at him and pressed her temples with her finger.
“I vote that you break it. No, it sounds crazy, but the lord says to break it.”
“This is the first time the lord has not said some bullshit. Why is he talking so much these days? He usually speaks to me maybe once a year.”
“What does this rock tower have to do with it?”
Cage turned to make eye contact with Taylor.
“The turning point of our lives. That is what he said.”
The God of Death only came to Cage when she was sleeping. Sleep was similar to death. That was why sleep was a path of sorts for the God of Death. However, this time, she had heard her lord while she was drinking.
Cage thought that the God of Death was angry at her for drinking too much beer. That was why she had welcomed it. She wanted this god to stop paying attention to her. However, the God of Death had a different message for her.
“‘The decision is yours to make. However, don’t break it if you want to live a peaceful life.’ That’s what he said.”
She looked toward the rock tower. There was something underneath.
“There is a letter underneath the rock tower. I think they piled this rock tower up for the letter.”
She turned back to look at her best friend, Taylor. He had to look up from the wheelchair, so, although he could see the rock tower, he could not see the letter underneath it.
“I don’t feel any strange powers surrounding the rock tower.”
Although she was not as sensitive as real mages, using divine powers allowed Cage to be pretty sensitive and perceptive toward her surroundings. She would be able to feel if there were any curses or negative energy surrounding an item or a place. She was, after all, a servant of the God of Death.
She was waiting for Taylor’s response.
Taylor looked up at the night sky, before slowly turning to look at Cage.
Cage immediately punched the rock tower in front of her.
Tang. Tang. Tang.
The rocks on top of the fence all fell down. Taylor just blankly watched it happen.
‘Don’t break it if I want to live peacefully?’
Taylor had never lived peacefully. He also had no desire to live peacefully. He was going to find a way to get his legs fixed and continue to push forward. And then-
‘I will overturn this damned family of mine.’
Taylor reached his hand out and Cage handed him the envelope. Taylor immediately opened the envelope and found that letter was written using magic to prevent people from recognizing the sender’s handwriting. Nobles frequently used this item.
Taylor opened the letter without any hesitation. The first two lines of the letter, that were visible through the lamps in the yard, immediately caught his attention.
[The crown prince is in possession of an ancient power. It is called the ‘Star of Healing,’ and is useless to him. It is a one-time use power that can heal any type of injury.]
[He is looking to trade it for a method to hold the second prince and third prince in check.]
Taylor’s hands started to shake.
“What is going on?”
Cage stiffened up after seeing Taylor’s expression and his shaking hands. However, she soon relaxed.
It was because Taylor started to laugh. He then handed her the letter.
“it will definitely be a turning point in our lives.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
Cage took the letter from Taylor and started to read. She stopped for a moment after reading about the ancient power and the crown Prince, but then continued to read the rest. She then jerked her head up after reading the bottom part of the letter.
[Your legs might not move, but your head, arms, eyes, and mouth can. The rest of you is still very much alive.]
[The decision is yours to make, Taylor Stan, eldest son of Marquis Stan.]
Taylor looked toward the darkness at the corner of the yard and started to speak.
“Let's leave this place to the butler, and head to the capital for now.”
She decided to go along with the decision of the still alive Taylor. She was someone who had experienced death many more times than anybody else because she was a priestess of the God of Death, thus causing her to be very clear about the value of life.
“I’m sure the intelligent Taylor will take care of everything. You’re pretty good at that.”
Cage was trusting Taylor’s mind and abilities.
“You’re right. I used to be pretty good.”
‘Used to be.’ Cage gazed toward Taylor after hearing him use past tense.
“I should have known how to take care of myself.”
Unfortunately, Taylor injured his legs because he did not take good care of himself by letting himself get caught off guard.
Taylor lifted his head to look at the small two story house. He had been frustrated enough being here for the last few months following a lead he didn’t even know was real or not. Rather than just continuing this futile effort, it might be better to leave for a bit.
At least the God of Death did not lie. Taylor was in need of a turning point. He started to speak.
“If it is the Crown Prince, we need to match the timing for the royal event. We need to hurry.”
“Alright. Let’s hurry.”
“Will it be okay? We will run into a lot of the people from the temple if we go to the capital.”
“What can they do? Excommunicate me? That’d be great. I’m just worried about you.”
They smiled at each other and spoke at the same time, as Cage lifted up the letter.
Well, they couldn’t be sure if this person was their benefactor or not, but they both had a feeling that the writer of this letter was their benefactor. That meant that, eventually, they would need to find this benefactor and return the favor.
Two pairs of eyes, that were clear and without any traces of drinking just a few moments ago, quietly looked at the letter. It was the gaze of people who had found their turning point.
The red kitten that was watching all of this from the roof of another house whispered to his sister, On.
“Noona, we can go home now, right?”
“Yes. We did our job. Let’s go eat meat.”
The two kittens jumped from roof to roof as they returned to the residence.
The next day, Cale was standing with his arms crossed and a frown on his face. His gaze was looking up and down at the person in front of him.
Cale’s outfit was even more flashy and luxurious than usual.
‘Young master! Even if I, Hans, was not there, how could you go rolling around on the mountain?’
‘This Vice Captain should have escorted you!’
‘Aigoo, young master. This Ron is very sad.’
Cale had dressed up because he was annoyed at the gazes he got after coming back looking like a mess from crawling through the cave. The fancy outfit he was wearing looked quite good with his bright red hair. Cale was definitely not lacking when it came to looks.
But there was another reason Cale was looking annoyed right now.
“You’re going to go like that?”
They were standing in front of the inn. Cale was standing there with his arms crossed and looking at Choi Han. Choi Han had a small bag and his sword with him.
There was no special feast or farewell party for the leaving Choi Han. Neither Cale nor Choi Han wanted something like that.
That was why this farewell was pretty small as well.
Cale, the kittens, Hans, Ron, Beacrox, and the Vice Captain. That was it. The fact that the Vice Captain was there was a bit odd, but he was standing there with a frown like Cale as he said his goodbye.
Cale sighed before taking a small bag out of his pocket and throwing it toward Choi Han. Choi Han easily caught the bag. Choi Han recognized the bag. It was the same size as the bag that Cale had given to the Black Dragon. Choi Han opened the bag to find potions and other types of useful items inside. Choi Han lifted his head from the bag and looked toward Cale. Cale just bluntly spoke when they made eye contact.
“What? What do you want? Just chuck it away if you don’t want it.”
Choi Han did not say anything, but Cale was just saying whatever he wanted to do. He then turned around and headed toward his room.
Cale had a stoic expression as he turned around after saying goodbye. There should not be any more reasons to see Choi Han. Well, that is, after one more time. They will meet again once at the capital, before he sends Choi Han off with Ron and Beacrox, along with a few orders. After that, he planned on having no contact with Choi Han at all.
“I will be back soon.”
Choi Han’s response, that seemed to contain a bit of joy, gave Cale the chills, but he did not look back. Choi Han felt that it was very much like Cale not to look back. His gaze then turned toward the rest of the group.
“See you at the capital!”
“Ahem. I will be training myself so that I will be the young master’s personal guard when we are at the capital.”
Deputy butler Hans cheerfully said goodbye, while the Vice Captain responded in a very annoyed voice.
“I will keep my blade sharpened.”
“See you later.”
Beacrox and Ron said goodbye as well. Of course, the kittens patted Choi Han’s leg with their paws to say goodbye.
Finally, the Black Dragon, that had been using invisibility magic to stay in the yard during the day and lay by Cale’s window at night, sent some invisible mana to Choi Han.
“I’ve already received so much, but I seem to keep being on the receiving end.”
Choi Han put the magic bag in his pocket before starting to smile. Cale could not see it because his back was turned, but this was the first time the rest of them saw Choi Han with such a bright smile.
“I will see you all at the capital.”
Choi Han respectfully said goodbye before heading out of the inn. Someone like him, who had spent tens of years in solitude that felt even worse than death, now had somewhere to return to. He also had people he needed to pay back for their grace.
‘I need to make sure to properly complete this task.’
Choi Han walked away from Cale and the rest, and headed out of Puzzle City.
The next morning, Cale’s group got on the carriage and prepared to leave Puzzle City as well.
“Young master, we are ready to go.”
Cale nodded his head at Ron’s words, and Ron quickly closed the window and got the carriage to start moving. They were starting back on their journey.
“What are you looking at?”
Cale was staring at the kitten siblings, who were fidgeting while trying to avoid his gaze. The kittens flinched and turned their eyes away. Cale started to smile.
“What? Did you meet a dragon or something?”
Gasp. Cale heard the kittens gasp, but just ignored it. Choi Han may have left, but now a dragon was following them. However, he did not have time to worry about that fact.
After a day’s worth of travel, they were now getting ready to make camp.
“Excuse me, if it is okay, may we share a part of your campsite?”
A carriage arrived by Cale’s campsite area, and the person that seemed to be the driver got off and approached the Vice Captain.
“May I ask who you are?”
The Vice Captain asked, even though he already knew the answer after seeing the red snake on the driver’s armor. The driver bowed to the Vice Captain and Cale behind him and introduced himself.
“My name is Tom, and I am a part of Marquis Stan’s estate.”
Cale almost said that out loud, as he looked at the shabby looking carriage without a crest. The window opened and Cale could see the face of Taylor Stan.
“My name is Taylor Stan. I saw Count Henituse’s crest, and am asking for help, even though I’m sure it is not ideal.”
If it is the strong Count Henituse’s campsite, Taylor thought he would be safe for the night. It was not so good in Cale’s eyes.
Cale had now met Marquis Stan’s eldest son Taylor and the crazy priestess Cage. He thought about the dragon that would be hunting a boar or deer for him right now and started to frown.
One left and three showed up.