<Side Story 7 The Day of Rest for the One who Dreams of Being a Slacker (3)>
Cale ended up letting out a deep sigh but the children averaging seven years old did not care.
They simply thought Cale was being himself.
Cale subconsciously scoffed at that fact.
Cale couldn’t help but laugh at his current situation that was extremely different from the silence he experienced in his dreams because he recalled the memories of his past.
‘I was still young back then.’
Yes, Kim Rok Soo was inexperienced and young for the first year he became team leader.
At least it felt that way now that he was thinking back on it.
Team leader Kim Rok Soo started to have more days off as he got older, didn't find it difficult to honor his fallen friends, and even became a bit closer and friendlier with his team members.
Kim Rok Soo grew naturally because each and every day was full of all sorts of incidents and work.
“...Of course, it wasn’t as chaotic as here.”
“Hmm? Human, where is it chaotic? I want to go see it!”
“Me too, nya! I'm curious, nya!”
“...I don’t think we need to go anywhere to see that, nya.”
Raon, Hong, and On commented one after another at Cale’s comment. Cale shook his head.
Someone offered him a warm cup of tea as he did that.
It was Ron.
Cale subconsciously sat up as soon as he saw Ron smiling in the most benign way he had seen lately.
Ron handed him some honey lemon tea as if it was normal and Cale chose to drink it for now.
‘Why is he smiling like that all of a sudden?’
This was when Cale still got scared every so often whenever he saw Ron smiling benignly like this.
Ron didn't care as he observed Cale with a cold sunken gaze that was different from his benign smile.
‘He’s weirder than usual today.’
Cale’s complexion was worse than usual despite just waking up.
He looked like a puppy that was completely drenched from the rain. Of course, crown prince Alberu would just say that he looked like he was sleeping and just woke up, but it was different to Ron.
He subconsciously thoroughly inspected Cale’s face as Cale avoided his gaze.
‘What’s up with him?’
Cale suddenly got the chills.
“We are considering having a feast for dinner as it is the last day of the year. What do you think, young master-nim?”
Cale could see the eyes of the children averaging seven years old sparkling. Cale slowly turned his gaze away from the sparkling eyes that were full of anticipation and looked at Ron.
Do whatever you want.”
Ron had an exaggerated smile on his face. Cale had an ominous feeling for some reason.
“I will do whatever I want as you indicated, young master-nim.”
Why did this sound so much as if he was going to go assassinate someone?
Cale touched the back of his neck despite knowing that it wouldn't happen.
There were some knocks on the door at that moment and they heard Choi Han's voice.
Ron headed toward the door.
“Then I will go down and finish preparing for the feast, young master-nim.”
Ron opened the door once Cale nonchalantly commented.
Choi Han’s eyebrow raised slightly while looking at Ron come out.
‘He doesn’t seem too happy.’
Ron’s expression was not good. Choi Han quickly looked at Cale.
Ron didn’t care and walked past Choi Han and down the stairs.
“I'm going too! A feast! I’m very happy!”
“I'm going to help, nya!”
Raon and Hong followed behind Ron.
Only Choi Han, On, and Cale were left.
“Ah, yes, Cale-nim.”
Choi Han immediately closed the open door at Cale’s comment. But he thought of something that made his face stiffen.
‘Even the hallway is heated by magic right now. He’s cold?
Is Cale-nim’s condition very bad?
Why is he suddenly like this? His complexion was slowly getting better.’
Choi Han had all sorts of questions. He then heard Cale lie back down on the bed while mumbling.
"I want to keep living as a slacker.”
Those words sounded a bit differently to Choi Han today. Of course, the words themselves were things that Cale always said.
Cale naturally had no care about what Choi Han was thinking.
‘Should I close that window?’
The sun would be setting soon.
The temperature was falling quickly because the sun went down much faster in the winter. The fact that they were right next to a forest probably played a part as well.
However, Cale could not close the open window at the other end of the room.
“Let’s work hard a little longer!”
The Wolf children seemed to still be training outside.
Nowhere around here seemed to be quiet.
Cale didn’t even turn his head despite the rustling next to him and continued to look out the window.
He simply gave a comment to the kitten who was leaning against his side.
Cale found it a bit odd that it was On and not Raon or Hong who was doing this, but he didn’t put much attention on it.
Everything was annoying, potentially because of the time spent either sleeping or wandering through his memories.
He closed his eyes.
‘It’s never quiet.
Will the new year be different? Will it?’
Cale had those thoughts as he turned 19 in this world. (TL: Guess this world still uses the Korean system of turning older with the new year)
* * *
The now 19 years old Cale stayed in Harris Village until early spring before starting another busy year by going to the Ten Finger Mountains and saving the Elf Village.
He faced all sorts of incidents and returned to the territory after finishing his business in the Empire with a Medal of Honor from the Emperor for his heroics in the Imperial Palace Bomb Terror Incident.
"Will you rest now, Cale-nim?”
Cale nodded his head at Choi Han's question.
“Yes. Time to rest.”
He looked toward the Henituse territory that was slowly getting closer outside the carriage window and mumbled almost in a sigh.
“Slacker is best.”
Choi Han held back a sigh while looking at Cale who had become paler and skinnier since last year.
Cale had come here to rest to keep his promise of spending the new year in the territory.
It would be a short break. There were more things he needed to do.
‘Cale-nim, are we pushing back the thing with young master Antonio until February?’
‘We will. We ended up staying too long in the Empire.’
Cale spoke as if he had no choice.
‘I do have no choice. It’s the new year soon. Wouldn’t it be good to spend the new year at home with family?’
Family. Choi Han repeated that word in his mind as he gently smiled while looking at the individuals inside the carriage.
Choi Han saw Cale frown at that moment.
As they passed through the territory gate...
“Young master-nim! I was in complete awe after hearing about your Medal of Honor from the Empire! You are the treasure of the Roan Kingdom and the future of the Henituse territory, young master-nim!”
A knight who seemed pretty new at the job looked inside the carriage before glancing at Cale with a sparkling gaze that was full of awe.
Cale gently closed his eyes again and then opened them.
“...Can we pass?”
“Yes, young master-nim! I'm sure that there is nothing dangerous in your carriage, but I ask for your understanding as this is the formal procedure.”
“You shouldn’t make any exceptions. It is the right thing to do.”
“I knew it...! You truly are amazing, young master-nim!”
Choi Han could see Cale's face turning stoic by the second.
Choi Han peeked at the announcements on a board by the territory gate.
Of the many announcements, he could see a kingdom-wide announcement talking about Cale's Medal of Honor from the Empire and the crown prince's visit to the Empire. An announcement from the Henituse territory had the story of Cale’s Medal of Honor from the Empire in much larger font than the crown prince’s visit.
Choi Han hoped that Cale did not see them as he slowly turned away.
The knight inspecting the carriage bowed to Cale.
“You may proceed, young master-nim.”
“Okay, keep up the good work.”
The knight responded energetically, hesitated for a moment, and then smiled brightly as he said the following.
"Welcome home, young master-nim. I hope you have a peaceful stay.”
Choi Han could see a small smile appearing on Cale's face.
“I hope you have a lovely end of year as well.”
“Yes sir! It is an honor to hear something like that from you, young master-nim! I will remember those words for the rest of my life!”
Cale's face turned stoic again but he didn’t seem annoyed.
The carriage slowly moved through the gate and Choi Han reached over to close the open carriage window.
It was at that moment.
"Wow! Mommy, that’s Young Master Silver Shield, right? Daddy said that the young master-nim was coming!”
He heard a child’s voice.
“Yes, yes. It is that carriage. The young master of our territory who received a Medal of Honor from the Empire is in there. The sword master-nim is probably in there too.”
“I, I want to see the young master-nim’s face!
It started with a mother and daughter’s conversation, and then...
“The young master-nim is here?”
“Ahem. You heard it as well. They said that the young master-nim would be in the territory soon.”
An old couple who came out for a walk to get some sun despite the cold winter weather peeked at the carriage.
“Our Young Master Silver Shield-nim just arrived at the territory?”
They heard some voices and the residents of the territory, who had not been very visible because of the winter weather, slowly started to become visible.
Choi Han subconsciously watched the people as the bright looks of joy on their faces took him by shock.
He heard an extremely stoic voice at that moment.
"Choi Han, close it.”
Cale was wiping his face with both hands.
Choi Han chuckled before closing the window. He then made a comment.
“All of them want to see your face, Cale-nim.”
“Human! Let’s show them your face! I’m fine remaining invisible!”
Cale groaned while the children averaging eight years old seemed excited. Cale waved his hand to say no.
“Let’s hurry home.”
Home. The carriage headed toward the Henituse Estate as he said that word.
“Human, we’re here!”
On and Hong, who had been falling asleep, looked out the window at Raon's shout.
“Human, it’s your younger brother!”
Basen was looking at the carriage and waving his hand while standing outside the Henituse Estate.
“Long time no see, Basen.”
“Yes, hyung-nim. It has been a while.”
Basen responded to Cale in a gruff but slightly high tone.
Cale turned his head.
Lily had a wooden sword in her hand as she walked over from the training ground. Cale waved at her before speaking to Basen.
“I got you a present so come get it later.”
“Did you buy it at the Empire?”
Cale responded with indifference before heading into the building. Basen slightly smiled while looking at Cale. He then followed behind Cale. Basen’s shoulders were slightly raised for some reason.
“I heard that you were very busy in the Empire, hyung-nim. But you still managed to buy us presents.”
“What does being busy have to do with buying presents?”
That was what Basen wanted to say, but he kept his mouth shut.
A small smile appeared on Choi Han’s face as he realized that although Cale and Basen had their usual stoic faces, both of them seemed oddly happy.
‘Yes, this kind of peace is what Cale-nim and everybody wants.’
That was why he needed to get stronger to protect everyone.
Choi Han’s eyes clouded over as he stood there with the innocent smile on his face.
‘What’s up with him?’
Cale had turned his head without giving it much thought before seeing Choi Han’s face and flinching.
It was because Choi Han suddenly started smiling innocently as his eyes were burning up with passion.
The innocent smile was fine but that gaze made Cale get the chills for some reason.
“...What is it?”
“At least you should be able to rest properly during the end of this year and the approaching new year.”
‘Why is he saying something like that with such a look on his face?’
Cale looked stupefied. Choi Han didn't care and clenched his fists.
‘I hope the end of this year and the approaching new year will be peaceful.’
Choi Han truly hoped that would be the case.
As for Cale, he saw Choi Han's clenched fists and contemplated whether he recently did anything wrong to Choi Han despite knowing there was nothing like that.
He was feeling guilty although there was no reason to feel guilty.
However, Cale looked away from Choi Han after hearing On and Hong's meows and started walking.
Choi Han walked slowly behind them.
The group walked peacefully into the building without any signs of awkwardness.
- Choi Han, I'm going to the room first!
The invisible Raon’s energetic voice was full of warmth.
Choi Han let out a quiet sigh.
He now had many places he could return to peacefully without feeling awkward.
And those places were truly important to Choi Han.
Similar to last year, Choi Han spent the end of the year and welcomed the new year without any loneliness or coldness.
* * *
So many things happened in the new year.
Whether it was the White Star or the sealed god, all sorts of suffocating things that made it impossible for them to stop kept happening one after another.
‘But winter still came.’
Time continued to flow and it was now winter.
Choi Han heard a familiar voice in his ear.
The eldest son of the House of Henituse who is known as trash... It started there but that guy was now his liege, the friend of his nephew, the core of his new family, and possibly the person who understood him the most. It was the voice of someone who had many different titles to Choi Han.
Cale was mumbling.
“Haaaa. It'd be great to be a slacker.”
Choi Han knew the meaning of those words.
‘I want to rest. I need to heal.’
That should be the meaning.
However, he now knew what Cale would say after that.
“Did Billos wake up yet?”
“Not yet, Cale-nim. Jack-nim has finished healing him and is watching his progress.”
Billos had come to find Cale.
The bastard of the Flynn Merchant Guild came looking for Cale while severely injured and looking like a mess, asking Cale to stop the Flynn Merchant Guild.
Choi Han's eyes were about to sink low when he saw the look in Cale's eyes and slightly flinched.
Cale’s eyes showed no signs of resting just yet. Cale’s gaze was cold but burning up. There was also a twisted smile on his face that didn’t look gentle at all.
Choi Han thought that he knew what Cale would say next.
“We'll talk to Billos when he wakes up, but for now-”
“Choi Han, I think you should know this.”
“...Know what, Cale-nim?”
“The team leader is in Endable.”
Choi Han subconsciously said the name that came to his mind.
“Lee Soo Hyuk?”
Cale looked toward the east and calmly commented.
“There are too many things to do so I can’t rest.”
- Side story 7, ‘The Day of Rest for the One who Dreams of Being a Slacker’ End. -
- I will return with Part 2, ‘The Laws of the Hunt’ starting July 1st. -
< Author’s Note >
Hello, it is Yu Ryeo Han.
The side stories that have been released for about half a year have come to a close with side story 7.
There were a lot of other individuals and things I wanted to talk about, but I will push those back for another time.
Part 2, The Laws of the Hunt will start July 1st.
Why is my heart beating so wildly?!
I think that I am shaking even more now that I am writing about shaking.
The start of something coming up must be making me shake like this. :)
I want to quickly say hello with Part 2!
Ah! If you read the announcements, you'll be able to see some information about the paperback release!
Then I will see you again on July 1st.
The weather is hot but I hope that you have a peaceful and refreshing day.
Thank you very much.
- Sincerely, Yu Ryeo Han -