His black hair was partially covered with dried blood which obviously didn’t belong to him, his clothes were significantly ripped but rather than swords wounds it were more like he had run without stopped from the forest not caring for the uneven path or the branches that came along his way, he had a dirty essence lingering, an awful smell Ron recall dreadfully it was one that remind him of burned flesh, blood which was never meant to be spilled and the fall of the prideful Molan household, where he acted as the patriarch a position his son was supposed to inherit but now was merely a distant debt that was going to be collected with their dead, however his old grudge faded into the background for the time being as his child was going to passed out.
Choi Han, who broke free from the butler’s restraint, prevented the dazed looking Cale from falling, he hadn’t slept for the past few days, it was natural for him to collapse.
Sthealty as always Ron guided Choi Han who was carrying the fainted Cale to the chambers of the later, his room was thankfully clean but it was empty aside from the expensive bed, side drawers, desk and the luxurious wallpaper there was nothing more, had he arrived hours earlier he would be surrounded by countless empty bottles. It was a minimalistic way of living taking into consideration his wealthy family and how he was depicted as profligate in general, he expected count’s son to be a degenerate not the sick friend that visited him every time he had an episode.
He let him down carefully and turned to the butler, he couldn’t hide his astonishment he hadn’t anticipe meeting them like this, his dark semblant became a little brighter still he had urgent matters to attend to, restless, he had to inform quickly the count and track down those bastards and as he was turning to the door a hand stopped him, after checking Cale who was sleeping soundly Ron gaze turned hostile as the first time they encounter, Choi Han flinched their relationship was not so friendly but were on good terms, that peculiar glance ad to the distress he was already feeling.
“What the fuck happened?” Throwing his manners aside Ron asked.
Choi Han expression sank again, then he told him how Harris villa had been massacred, they were dead, all of them, the attackers hadn’t spare anyone even the kids were killed in cold blood, when he returned he found some of the assassins scattered talking all things that hold value, however they were professionals not burglars he could tell, his work was brutal but only left small tracks behind and all of the people remaining on the scene had the same uniform, unable to hold his anger Choi Han blacked out, when capable of registering again his blade was bloodied, he had hunt them all they weren’t people but wild beasts which tear down the home he had fight so hard to get, of course he felt no remorse whatsoever, in fact it was not enough his veins were popping out of rage, but he had to made propper graves and inform the authorities before hunting the rest of the organization down, that was why he had trespass into the manor and currently was searching the count they had to let them rest in peace.
Although his main priority were the people who gave him a place to be, his eyes were burning and he had a thirst for vengeance an emotion that the man in front of him understood fairly well, he had escaped to save his life and his son’s life who would had thought that the ones who cast them out would dare to run rampant near his new house, the old flame that was near extinction gain strength once more but when he thought of Cale he felt like vengeance was irrelevant how could he abandon a child who was forgotten, he couldn’t let his family die again. he remain silent and made up his mind the present was more important than a lingering past.
“Go inform the lord but you have to come right after, we have things to discuss” His tone was composed, he had calmed himself, and returned to the impeccable butler he was.
Ten years ago he would have followed the rude punk without hesitation, now he knew he would regret staying, but if he could give clues to Choi Han by telling him his own encounter with the secret organization he would gladly do so. He heard the door closing, then he proceeded to change his young master into his pijama and arrange the bed before putting him under the blankets while mumbling to himself.
“You are the right choice”
Ron had told him where the office was located as he didn’t had time to spare, he almost forgot about discretion and run openly through the halls with only his hood covering his face, the manor was huge and due to the late hour he didn’t cross his way with anybody until he was near the staircase to get to the second floor there he heard voices and when he decided it was better to ignore them he catch a glimpse of what they were talking.
“How can this be? the ungrateful son of the lord come back reeking of alcohol and stumbling again, is about time the lord punish him from disgracing the name of the Henituse family”
The maids were complaining about Cale out loud, again.
They had grown gutsy as they were not scolded even when they were discovered, of course they didn’t comprehend it was due to Cale’s request, any other noble would had fired them immediately but for him it didn’t matter if he had a bad reputation nobody would question naming Basen as the successor, his sudden disappearances or him not joining family dinners, to be honest it worked on his favor more than it did against him, Ron and Beacrox on the other hand were not so lenient with the bad mouthing, if they overheard his deadly stare would shut them up or when needed they would make them regret their loss tongue yet nobody was murdered, so far at least.
“I heard the count is planning on banish him as he doesn’t serve his purpose as the first son” It was a baseless rumor as it was mere gossip it didn’t have to be an absolute truth, however Choi Han was unaware of that fact, since the first time he make acquaintance of Cale he had conjecture his relationship with his family was not the ideal, after all why would he needed to hide his sickness if he had the support of his relatives? but he couldn’t have predicted his relationship was so rotten that his own father was preparing to get rid of him, simply because he didn’t fulfill his “function”.
Choi Han speed up, he now had more than one reason to see the count, maybe what he had listen was made up or maybe it was an exaggeration, like when he was told that the first son of the count was trash, it couldn’t be further than the true, as Cale was someone who constantly had to hold on to dear life but had not lost his kindness, perhaps that was the same case with th Count, as he reached the office and was about to enter, he heard the voice of a man it was vaguely similar to Cale’s.
“Then where are we going to send him? Are the preparations complete?” He opened his eyes wide and felt his blood boiling again, that son of a bitch didn’t care for his own child, even animals worried for the wellbeing of their offspring. Choi Han wasn’t on the right state of mind and couldn’t empathize being hated by blood related family, it was inconceivable, he had never experience it, sure he had face danger for decades but when he returned to the human world he had being accepted just like that, but for his friend it seemed that he was neglected and ignored by his own family the ones that should protect him the most were searching ways to send him away, maybe they did knew about his sickness and couldn’t care less as he didn’t “serve his purpose” rendering him as unnecessary.
Choi Han impulsively kicked the doors down, he had to see his face, he was claiming he was going to send his son away, what kind of expression would he had, the man with ash brown hair barely resemble the red headed, his hair, his handsome face and his factions in general were different from the average looking Count but the air and some details reveal their kinship.
The sudden intrusion of a man clad in black with hints of dark red almost brown stains and the particular smell of dead, alarm the Count and the man that he was talking to, deputy butler Hans was on charge of everything related to young master Cale, basically he was the spie/babysitter Deruth had assign him, he would inform the lord of the late activities of his son as well on what he wasted his money.
Both man jumped from their sits, and retreat to the furthest corner of the room putting some distance between them and the covered aggressor, their hearts were beating fast pumping pure adrenaline through their stream getting ready to fight or run, they were unarmed, not that it make any difference, Choi Han was a swordmaster so either way they were doomed, particularly the intruder’s gaze was fixed on the Count sensing that what he believed to be an assassin was after him, he gesture the deputy butler to escape and called for help, understanding the order Hans exited the room, Deruth’s hunch was true, Choi Han objective was right in front of him trapped like a rat.
Without missing a beat, he reduce the distance and reach the man's neck, he lift him with one hand and throw him across the room, Deruth was not exactly what you called a sportsman nor a fighter, he was trained in the basics of the sword but his speciality was the pen and making money rather than facing opponents one one one, to keep it simply he was defenseless however Choi Han was not aiming for his life, he was delivering punishment, one that fitted his sins, his son had suffer nonstop for years, surely he could endure a beating right?
Choi Han pounce on him, immobilizing him with his weight, when Deruth hit the floor, he grabbed the confused count by the shirt using one hand while the other clench into a fist which hit him repeatedly until his knuckles were bright red, after two or three hits his head fall limply back, he was conscious but had not strength to keep his head still, his nose was badly broken but is was nothing magic couldn’t cure especially someone as rich as him who could pay priests and healers readily, thinking of that Choi Han hold back only not to kill him, he got up swiftly and before Deruth could stand he kicked his stomach strongly enough to leave bruises, he repeated his action a few times making sure he would need time to recovered, with this he would briefly understand all the pain he inflicted his son. Should he break an arm too? not thinking it twice he landed a blow on the forearm Deruth was using to cover his wounded face, the sound of his bones breaking was not something he would easily forget.
After he finished venting his anger with the breathing punching bag, Choi Han was about to flee when a semiconscious and heavily bruised Count grab his ankle weakly, he knew he couldn’t stopped him, not caring at all and hoping he could make some time for his family to get protection or flee the estate he would gladly take the risk, after all he may be an absent father but he loved his wife and children, unfortunately his action was misinterpret as a shameless man begging for his life, Choi Han felt disgusted with the Count and with himself, he was aware of his dark side more than anyone and probably had gone insane long ago, the most he could do was pretend he wasn’t however when he refer to himself as insane he refer to his abnormal moral frame, he could differentiate good from evil but the line between them became blurry with actions that could be label as wrong or unfair, beating your friend’s parent to pulp. was one of those instances.
He stood still waiting for the man on the floor to end his foolish act yet Deruth hold for as long as he could, when Choi Han ran out of patience, he shook his hand off with a brusque step he would need the count’s help later so it was better if no one knew his identity for the time being, even so he would have a lot to explain to the assassin that was waiting him back on Cale’s room, he could not fool the perceptive old man and as Cale was a smart young man he would realize it was him as soon as he woke up, Choi Han fatal flaw was his poor acting skills, so deciding it was better to tell the true right away instead of feigning ignorance he returned where the sinister butler was.
Pandemonium broke loose in the manor, employees were running all directions due to Hans lack of discretion, on his defence he was panicked still manage to run as a bat out of hell to inform the guards thanks to him a brigade of elite soldiers were running towards the Count and common soldiers to watch over the rest of the family, each of them were locked on their rooms with a small brigade waiting outside as they didn’t have the concrete number of assailants and if they were more on halt, it was safer this way. Nonetheless the guards posted in front of Choi Han's destination stood no chance against him and didn’t even notice when he entered.
Ron on the other hand noticed him right away and faced him with an inquisitive expression that quickly shifted to one saying ‘I don't expect anything from you and still you manage to disappoint me’ avoiding his vicious glare he began relating what had happened, the butler stiffen up when he mention what he heard, was the count really planning on sending the young master away? He heard the rumor before but concluded his lord was incapable of doing so, but now listening to what he said it really seemed he was attempting to force Cale out, the butler felt guilty because if he were him he would have probably beaten him too.
He was at loss for words, and change the subject later he would go to the bottom of that business, right now he had to hide the idiot who attack the count on his own office not minding if he was seen or not as he had his face covered, his clothes were the only thing they had to take care of, sighting Ron head to Beacrox room, Cale was skinnier than Choi Han and his clothes were far too extravagant for a supposed villager who come to report an attack, before going he told Choi Han to stay as quiet as a dead rat, they had enough problems already.
Choi Han took the desk’s chair dragged it to the bedside and sat there, he thought he understood why the red headed looked so gone and why he was so mature for his age and childish at the same time, a bitter smile made way into his lips, he would explain his wrong doing when the other sober up. He leaned on the backrest hanging his head on the upper part and close his eyes, his day was exhausting and pain filled, needing rest he doze off, after ten minutes or so Ron returned with clean old clothes that belong to his son when he was younger, they were nothing fancy or sort the were plain and immaculate pieces of wardrobe, Beacrox was a clean freak even when they were unused they were frequently washed.
Without any regard Ron woke him up, sent the sleepy Choi Han to the bathroom with his new disguise in hand and waited for him outside, the cold shower jolted him and washed away his drowsiness. He changed faster than ever and returned refreshed and ready to hear what Ron had to say.
Ron told him how the Molan household met his end, how his son and him were persecuted and how they managed to escaped living from crumbs until they entered to the Henituse manor, how he was assigned to Cale when he was barely a newborn, how he redid his life but telling him, he never forgot his grudge, both were so immersed on the story that did not notice Cale was listening.
Next in the morning after the late night chaos had drown out, a sober and funcional Cale woke to found Choi Han sleeping on the chair next to his bed, his hair was messy and the cloths he used didn’t fit as they were bigger, all in all he passed as a poor citizen rather than an aggressor who stir panic on the household the night before.
Ron entered with lemon tea on one hand and an abnormally large breakfast, after all he had to feed both of them, when his eye met with Cale and was about to smile benignly he froze on the spot after hearing what he had to say.
“...You… go with him” His young master was telling him to leave.
“What?” He almost dropped the cup.
Cale looked him square on the eyes, the same eyes that always consider him a child longing for love were shaking unlike him, his young master had a firm expression.
“Go get your vengeance”
Although his outer appearance and voice were steady his inside were twisting and turning but he knew he had to set Ron and Beacrox free he had hindered them for a long time and now that another will popped up he could not tie them by himside.
He was done with this, the only feeling left on him was exhaustion, he wanted to rest, he was desperate and no longer cared if the devil ate his soul afterwards, he just wanted to rest, he was not needed anymore, he served no purpose, he was just tired.