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What if Cale turned into a child?

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"...Ron, can I not go?" 

 

Cale, the redhead slacker, buried his face on the soft pillow and asked with a sluggish voice towards the vicious old butler who was currently putting the cup away that once contained lemon tea.

 

"It is a customary, young master." 

 

Cale shivered when his eyes met with the old assassin who was smiling benignly, yet again.

 

Cale turned away and stared at the ceiling all the while moving slowly. He has been rolling around his bed, eating, sleeping and farming after their fight with the white star. It has only been 2 years since that time and he was hiding in the Super Rock villa- avoiding any public appearances. The silver shields that he saw every time he goes outside, the cheers and the titles flying around is traumatizing him.

 

"Haaa..." 

 

Cale can only sigh and sat up on his bed when he heard running footsteps and soon the door to his room opened with a bang and 3 children came in running towards his bed.

 

"Human!"
"Rosalyn-noona said there will be a festival, nya!"
"Let's go, nya!"

 

Cale can only sigh again and focus his attention on the children that's why he didn't manage to see the benign smile Ron has that will surely make his body curl.

 

***

 

Cale sat lazily in the carriage while stroking Raon's round head while On and Hong sat across them on their human forms, all dress up in a colour scheme of blue, light blue and white. The redhead slacker also has the same colour scheme, only with a darker colour.  

 

"Human, human! Is the moon going to be the same colour as my eyes?"

 

Cale stroke Raon's head, "Yes." 

 

Raon's wings flutter and move his body closer to the redhead who just let the little dragon do whatever he wants.

 

Certainly not spoiling Raon. Not at all.

 

"Our youngest has beautiful eyes so the moon will be beautiful too!"
"That's right! My dongsaeng Raon is the cutest!"

 

On and Hong showered Raon with praises. 

 

Raon's smile widens and his wings continued to flutter.

 

Cale watched this with a small smile on his lips. Not that he realizes it.

 

***

 

The sight of the palace made Cale grimace. He's having chills and shivers throughout the journey and he couldn't exactly point his fingers as to why is it that he felt something bad will happen. To his slacker life, that is.

 

"Oh! It's the crown prince's house!"
"We're here, nya!"
"We're here!"

 

In complete contrast to Cale's mood, the three children have already stuck themselves looking at the window with sparkling eyes. 

 

The Henituse entourage entered the main entrance while the carriage carrying Cale used a different entrance, prepared by his hyung-nim.

 

That, they have both taken from morning to afternoon to discuss. Cale had pestered Alberu, who's now the Emperor, for it and threatened not to attend if not prepared.

 

The carriage stopped, with Ron opening the door to them, Cale was greeted by two familiar dark elves. One was Tasha, and the other...

 

"...Hyung-nim. Are you not busy?"

 

Cale frowned at Alberu's response-that, the said Emperor is smiling brightly as if asking him what nonsense is he asking.

 

The three children greeted Tasha while Ron is busy informing Duke Deruth that they have arrived safely.

 

"Let's enjoy the festival, dongsaeng?" Alberu, who was suspiciously smiling brightly since he arrived, still kept up the annoying smile, making Cale frown even more.

 

"...What are you planning again, Your Majesty?" Cale asked like a complete delinquent and a look that is completely disrespectful towards the Emperor.

 

"Still as disrespectful as ever." 

 

However, Alberu brushed it off like it was nothing unusual.

 

***

 

The group moved to Alberu's room, a bigger one since he's an Emperor now. 

 

Cale walks breezily inside as if he owns the room, following him are the three children who immediately found the jar of cookies on top of the table and proceeded to nibble on it.  

 

Alberu, who was watching this, wondered how in the world did everything turn out like this. 

 

He could vaguely remember the first time he met Cale at the party he hosted in the past. When did it go wrong? Was it when he showed curiosity towards this redhead who was brandished as trash but was completely a different person? 

 

Well, not that he regrets it. 

 

"Queen Litana, Commander Toonka, and Queen Jopis will be attending the festival too."

 

Alberu, who informed the said hero who was now lying lazily on the couch stopped the corner of his mouth from lifting as he watched how Cale almost fell off the said couch.

 

"...shi- haaaa..."

 

Cale can only sigh and curse inside his head all the while shooting daggers at the poor marbled ceiling of the room. 

 

"Can they really go here? They each have kingdoms to manage." Cale grumbled as he got up and bite on the cookie Raon handed him.

 

"Breaks are good, once in a while." Alberu shrugged with a bright smile on his lips. Yet again, Cale, who was feeling worse than earlier from the chills and shivers that were running down his spine, did not get any better. 

 

I shouldn't have attend-

 

"Human! Human! Let's enjoy the festival with everyone!"

 

Raon exclaimed whilst flying around Cale with sparkling eyes. The two Cats were both smiling widely as well while looking up to him.

 

...No, maybe it's not that bad.

 

However, Cale would come to regret staying and would have lamented the fact that he should've gone home earlier. 

 

Not that he could've guessed.

 

***

 

Cale for the nth time looked exasperatedly annoyed while looking at the packed hall from the palace's second floor. 

 

Nobles, Palace administrators and guests from other kingdoms filled the luxurious hall and Cale could've sworn he did not want to go down there. Not with the Royals and important people from all over the western continent and even some from the east. 

 

"Human! Grandpa Ron said he'll make sure no one gets close to you! He said we can go down now!"

 

Raon, who was clearly the most excited amongst the three children, was flying around Cale all the while cheering how he cannot wait to go down and see the moon.

 

Cale can only sigh and was about to head down when someone pulled his collar to stop him. 

 

Annoyed, he looked back and glared at the perpetrator. 

 

"...Your majesty, the brightest sun of the Empire. What can this lowly noble do for you?" 

 

Cale could've sworn he wanted to grab Alberu's collar and shake him but he couldn't do that if his hyung-nim's aids are with him. 

 

The said aids, however, cannot take their eyes off the redhead hero. Flashbacks of Cale's heroic deeds made their hearts thump so loud as if pouring new vitality into their old bodies. 

 

Alberu, knowing this, looked at Cale with the corners of his lips twitching.

 

"How cold, my dongsaeng."

"I am only showing my respect and admiration to your magnificent and majestic figure, Your majesty. Even if poets wrote you a poem dedicated to praising your outstanding deeds, it won't be able to describe any of its magnificence." 

 

Cale, who was now smiling so bright, activated his glib tongue as he poured praise after praise towards the Emperor, Alberu, who was now having chills and shivers run down his spine while listening to Cale's parade.

 

"I did not know my sworn brother sees me with such high regards. This hyung-nim is also proud of your heroic deeds."

 

Alberu, who came up with the perfect counter-attack could see how Cale's eyes shook and his eyebrows twitch.

 

"Ah, yes! Indeed, Your Majesty! Young master Cale is certainly a great hero!"
"Indeed, indeed! Hohoho! A very brave and outstanding individual!"

 

The aids, as if seeing this a sign to squirm their way in the conversation of the two gave parades of praises that made Cale feel more chills. 

 

...Cale really want to go home now. Right. This. Instant.

 

***

 

Everyone cannot help but stare at the descending figures from the staircase. The red hair was almost a divine colour to their eyes, of course, that is only the case for Cale Henituse. Their eyes lingered on the young dragon at the hero's arms, and the two children with silver and red hairs.

 

'As expected of the greatest hero! How gallant!'
'A dragon it is! As expected of our great hero!'

 

Whether Cale like it or not, he has gone down the damned staircase with the three children. Raon who settled himself in Cale's shaking arms, On who was walking at his right and Hong to his left, the three of them descended to the hall.

 

He could feel the stares, and of course, he wanted to rub his head that was turning cold. 

 

...Cale made up his mind upon not visiting the capital after this festival if it's not important. He felt like his slacker life is being threatened whenever he's not in the forest of darkness. Quite an extreme realization that he finds comfort inside of one of the forbidden regions in the western continent.

 

As he descended, everyone in the crowd looked at each other, as if agreeing to the silent challenges of every other person in the room, that is...

 

'I NEED TO TALK WITH HIM FIRST!'

 

The fan spirits that were already lit the moment they saw Cale, burned more as they saw him just meters away from them. 

 

As they prepared to launch their own plans, a gigantic figure blocked them and a burst of loud laughter echoed.

 

"MY FRIEND! HAHAHAHAHA! I AM HAPPY TO SEE YOU DOING WELL!"

 

Toonka, the gigantic figure with unruly mane-like hair, beat the plans of the poor nobles, officials and guests as he strode towards Cale, following behind him is Harol who has a calm smile on his face. And the moment their eyes met, Cale signalled his message to Harol.

 

'Shouldn't you be stopping this idiot, Harol?' 

 

But Cale can only lament the fact that it seems there's something off the weather with Harol who only smiled and looks like going along with Toonka's fiasco.

 

The gigantic figure of Toonka made the others hesitate to approach Cale, but they didn't want to give up-

 

"Young master Cale, have you been well?"

 

A majestic voice came from another side of the hall and there they saw a beautiful tanned woman with black hair. It was the Queen of the Jungle, Litana.

 

Cale, who felt like he's slowly being surrounded without escape turned his heel to escape but, he was greeted by another important figure that he could only curse in his head.

 

-Cale, you're quite famous now.

 

He shivered at the Super Rock's words. Famous?! Who is!?

 

"It is good to see you again, young master Cale."

 

Queen Jopis, the monarch of Molden Kingdom, came from his side with an elegant smile. 

 

The crowd now knows they have no way in hell they could approach the hero after being approached by these important and imposing figures. They could only shiver from the cold eyes and threatening smiles from those very figures. With their hopes shattered, they could only watch in the distance while shedding mental tears.

 

As for Cale, he's certain he's got nowhere to escape. Not with the three children already having light talks with these people.

 

***

 

At some point, Cale survived from the troublesome figures who approached him earlier. He couldn't get his head on the fact that they could've just stayed in their own kingdoms and territories to watch the Venetus moon rise. It's not like they're looking at a different sky per kingdom.

 

Cale sighed and pull out his napkin and wiped Raon's mouth, the same goes for On and Hong who was gleefully eating fruits that they dipped in a chocolate fountain. 

 

Of course, he's unaware of the swooning hearts, quiet squealing and warm gazes coming from the crowd as he takes care of the three children. Even with Cale picking the most corner part of the hall to avoid them. Not that it's effective.

 

***

At the plaza, a video communication was connected to the palace and it displays the happenings inside. Of course, their main focus was Cale. 

 

Silver shields, citizens dressed in black robes, some also holds swords with black blades, white spears and many more. It adorned the whole Empire with enthusiasm when they saw Cale descending from the staircase earlier. 

 

"Ah, young master silver shield is so dashing."
"How gallant his figure is."
"So cool..."

 

The praises were raining from here and there, and if Cale would hear those, he'd be certainly traumatized and would never step out of his villa ever again.

 

***

 

As the festival came to its peak, Alberu finally descended the staircase. Wearing luxurious clothing that fitted his position as the Emperor, the citizens and nobles alike marvelled at the figure as they clapped and cheer for him.

 

Of course, Alberu Crossman smiled so wide and bright with the type of response he got.

 

-Crown prince! Are you scamming someone? are you? are you? 

 

Of course, Alberu wanted to cackle at the cute question of the great and mighty young dragon who was still calling him 'crown prince' even now that he's an Emperor. Well, not that he minds it. More like, it's making him feel relieved and relaxed for some reason.

 

"I thank you, citizens and important guests alike. I welcome you to the Venetus Moon Festival! Let us all enjoy our time together!" 

 

With the short opening coming from him ended, an applaud from the nobles and the cheers from the citizens coming from outside the castle walls, he could hear them all. 

 

These happy, enthusiastic and passionate cheers were the result of Cale's group, of course as well as his, hard work. That's why he's thankful for meeting Cale, even with how he's always getting headaches and more works every time Cale starts his activities.

 

***

 

As the festivities coming at their peak, everyone excitedly watches as the sky turned orange and later on mixes with dark blue. The hall of the palace, almost unrecognizable as the mages cast spells to make the very walls seem transparent for them to see the outside and watch the sky. It was a very magnificent spell that the new Magic Tower Master developed, Rosalyn, who trained and was taught by beings who have mastered magic and mana itself, Dragons. 

 

The Roan Kingdom, now the Roan Empire, as it is now- is celebrating its Venetus Moon Festival, a festival that commemorates the beauty of a blue moon that only shows up every five decades.

 

And as the festival was coming to its peak- right after the blue moon rose to the sky... everyone was flabbergasted as they watch an utterly shocking turn of events through the video communication device that was connected to the Palace.

 

Their great hero, young master silver shield, the continent's greatest hero- or whatever they call him-

 

"...Huh?"

 

A childish voice came out from the redhead who sat on the marble floor with his clothes that was too big on his tiny body.

 

The crowd turned completely silent as they watch the event unfold. They couldn't move and was staring at Cale with wide eyes.

 

As for Cale, who was struggling to get the clothes out of his line of sight, he looks extremely cute and small that they had to turn away and check if their noses are shedding red liquid.

 

"H-Human!"
"Cale!"

 

...Now Cale certainly knew he should've just escaped earlier and lock himself inside his villa.

 

Chapter Text

 

 

The little Cale was sitting on the marble floor while looking at his hands that were so tiny. He had turned into a kid. One that is around 4-year-old. 

 

Cale now knew why his neck felt cold since earlier and he's really regretting the fact that he had to go here when he could've just stayed in his villa and watch the moon from the forest of darkness. 

 

While he was doing this, a weird sensation came from his eyes. It was so sudden that he couldn't even process why that feeling was there. 

 

Of course, unbeknownst to everyone, as Cale turned into a child, a certain person was grinning and watching this with a large grin on her face. Her mission is now a success, and she's out of here before anyone from Cale's party--specifically the dragons and the hidden assassins that were there-- saw her. Well, it was, of course, a hard task since the head of the said assassin household was smiling so cold that it made every assassin under his command move without him saying the command. It was purely by instinct, they thought they need to move if they don't want a hellish training that ensued from their late reactions.

 

However, despite all their efforts, they couldn't catch the culprit. And so, this resulted in a whole week of training under their hell-sent head and his son.

 

Back to the palace, the Henituse couple had long forgotten where they are and rushed to Cale who was currently unmoving and had his head hanging down. The three children arrived first followed by Alberu who had even forgotten that he needs to uphold his dignity as a ruler. His friends who are hidden amongst the people inside the hall all had worried expressions as they didn't care anymore about their disguises. They had long forgotten their plan of not exposing themselves to Cale who said they should stay in the villa since Cale knew that once they saw that everyone from his family are present, it'll be more troublesome.

 

Raon, who had gotten to Cale first heard a sniffling noise that made him stop and tilt his head.

 

"Human?"

 

And so, another shocking thing happened. Cale, who had been silent and hanging his head down, now has his eyes shedding tears that he's trying to hold back but still managed to well up from his eyes, nonetheless. His nose red, his eyebrows furrowed, his lips quivering and his face that was filled with tears struck their heart senseless. Cale couldn't help it anymore. His sniffles turned into sobs that made the adults around him want to console him, make him stop crying and make him smile.

 

"H, human!" Raon who was really worried had long since in front of Cale with a worried and anxious face. His emotions were all over the place and wanted to cry with Cale too but he firmed himself and convinced himself that he's a great and mighty dragon.

 

On and Hong had long turned into their beast forms and was circling around Cale with their troubled faces. Alberu who had snapped back from his daze looked at Rosalyn, who was wearing a maid's uniform and had brown hair that was now turning back into its beautiful vibrant red colour and signalled with his eyes. 

 

Rosalyn quickly understood this signal and quickly gathered her mana and turn off every single communication device connected to the palace. The citizens who were watching wherever they are in the Empire had long since been in a daze and haven't even snapped out of it yet. Mostly because it was very shocking to them.

 

Now that there are no communication devices are on and displaying the happenings inside the palace, Alberu and Rosalyn quickly joined the Henituse couple who had arrived at where Cale was. 

 

Cale, find this situation very stressful and wanted to go home already. Adding to it, his sudden emotions that resulted in these... this un-adult like act, is confusing him. 

 

He had since deduced that turning into a child is equal to him, being unable to control his emotions, like what a child is. And it is really troublesome. 

 

Violan Henituse, who had never seen Cale cry, felt like her heart is being stabbed by needles. Although Cale certainly looks so cute right now, she wasn't heartless enough to enjoy her son's crying face. 

 

She felt her eyes sting that she quickly softly brushed away. She reached her hands towards Cale and brought her to her arms and softly wiped Cale's tears that were running down his chubby cheeks.

 

Eruhaben, who at some point, was holding little clothes for Cale, was standing next to Choi Han who currently had his hands on the hilt of his sword, tightly clenching it. He had long since picked up the three children and held this in his arms to lessen their anxiety.

 

The situation was truly absurd for him. He did not sense any mana that turned Cale into that of a child, but he is certain he felt divine power that moment Cale turned into a child. If only he had reacted fast, he could've saved Cale from turning into a child.

 

Alberu who wanted to show his anxiety too, couldn't do so as he will make the other guests anxious about this sudden situation too. He looked at Eruhaben who nodded his head and activated a teleportation spell to Cale and the others and teleported them to the Henituse Mansion in the capital. 

 

Alberu, who was left there together with Rosalyn quickly calm the crowd down and said that the matter will be taken care of and they should enjoy the festival for now. 

 

However, even if the guests wanted to, they certainly cannot. After witnessing the scene earlier, their brains had travelled to a faraway land thinking that what they saw was something out of a dream.

 

 

Chapter Text

The party had long since been displaying what's happening again to the citizens outside.

 

Alberu wanted everyone to relax as much as possible so it won't destroy the long-awaited festival. He had long since been holding himself to just tore off his cape and grab a teleportation scroll and teleport to Cale's side. 

 

Rosalyn had long changed her maid disguise into a dress that she really finds annoying. She didn't like the feeling of a tight corset on her waist and her stomach that was clenching her body and she didn't like the heels that were killing her feet right now. She's annoyed and she just wants to change back into her magician robes and teleport to the Henituse residence.

 

Rosalyn, who noticed the thought that's going on inside Alberu's head slightly nudged his side, "Your Majesty, Please compose yourself. Even I want to just fucking tear this troublesome dress and be on Cale's side right this instant, however, we have a job to do. So please hold yourself until then." 

 

Alberu's eyes slightly shook as he listened to Rosalyn who wasn't looking at him and was only standing next to him with a bright smile. They were still in front of a huge audience and they are overseeing the whole party. As much as possible, they don't want to show any of their true emotions to the crowd as they knew for sure that if they did, the party and the festival might be ruined. 

 

Both of them, Alberu and Rosalyn, had long since know they can't just leave the castle as they like. They knew because they had been taught since they were kids. They are groomed to be Kings. But of course, Rosalyn had escaped her fate and became the Magic Tower's, Tower Master. 

 

'...I wish they just leave.'

 

That was what the both of them thinking right now.

 

~~~

 

At the Henituse Mansion, as a large teleportation circle bloomed on the underground's training arena, the soldiers that were training had long since moved out of the way as they had also watched the happenings in the palace on the scattered video communication devices throughout the kingdom. 

 

Figures began to form above the teleportation circle and soon after, the Henituse couple materialized with Lily and Basen while the person they had been looking forward to seeing was on Violan's arms. The small tiny hero certainly looked so cute with his reddish nose and slightly puffy eyes and his flushed forehead and cheeks, it was too endearing how Cale wipe his tears with his other hand as the other was tightly holding on to Violan's dress. 

 

Soon after, many figures started to appear on the teleportation circle too. Eruhaben, Choi Han, Mary, Lock, Ron, Beacrox, and the three children. 

 

Cale who had stopped himself from crying and stared at the figures of the people who was wearing different disguises wanted to facepalm his face, but of course, his face distorted into a frown. It was a frown that looked so much like that of spoiled kids when their request wasn't followed. This was an uncontrollable response since Cale had become a child. His emotions that he can expertly hide as an adult won't be working right now that he's a child. He will be at most edgy and his emotions will be unstable as well. And that is clearly what Cale was stressing on right now. He did not like it when his true emotions are shown. He's a lot more unstable than anyone. 

 

"Let's talk tomowwow..."  [Let's talk tomorrow.]

 

Cale had to trail down on his words. His hands made their way towards his lips and his eyebrows started to pull towards each other together. He just lisped. 

 

This made everyone either turn away or do a fake cough. While Ron had his benign smile stiffen. 

 

Cale's lisp was too much for them. It was too much

 

"H, Hyung-nim... Are you tired?"

 

Basen's question made everyone snapped back to reality and looked at Cale who was now looking at Basen. 

 

"T, that's right! Oraboni, are you okay?" Lily also pitched in while her lips were still twitching, forcing herself not to smile. Cale was cute. End of discussion. 

 

Deruth on the other hand, was awfully quiet as he was just watching this scene in front of his eyes. Cale's appearance right now brought many stashed memories that he didn't think would still be opened. His eyes wanted to shed tears of regret, shame, grief, guilt. It was all for him. He's ashamed of himself for being a bad father, for not taking care of Cale when Drew had left them. He's regretful for the days and years that had passed without being on Cale's side as he grows up. He's grieving for the lost days he could've shown his love and care for Cale. He's guilty. And right now, he's feeling guilty again for being happy in this kind of situation where Cale was in. 

 

He's happy that Cale turned into a child. He almost wanted to thank the person who made his son turn into a child again. Can you blame him? He thought this might be a chance. A chance for him to at least redeem himself as Cale's father. Just a bit, he thought that maybe, he can be a good father to Cale and make up for the past. Just a little bit. That's all he wished for.

 

He stepped into the group and looked dead straight on Cale's reddish-brown eyes. 

 

"Cale."

 

Cale turned to look at Deruth. His father was standing in front of him with a serious face, but his eyes show the complete opposite. Deruth's eyes were looking at him directly with a soft and sad gaze, Cale doesn't know what to feel. But of course, as a child, his emotions were directly portrayed on his face. 

 

Cale's face distorted into worry. He was worried about his father. He was thinking so hard why Deruth looks so sad. He didn't want that emotion, he certainly doesn't like it, at all.

 

"F, Fathew... what's wong?" [Father, what's wrong?]

 

Deruth's eyes slightly shook before it settled and he slightly smiled. Violan was watching this quietly with worry in her eyes as well. Being with Deruth for many years made it enough for her to know what Deruth was thinking. And she's certainly worried. 

 

Her eyes met with Deruth and as the latter nod his head, Violan reluctantly handed Cale towards Deruth who had his arms stretched out to receive Cale. 

 

Cale was confused and reluctant to be in Deruth's arms. He was still Kim Rok Soo inside and he's not familiar with this type of contacts. He was an orphan at an early stage. He didn't have the chance to enjoy his childhood. He didn't have the chance to enjoy his parents' affections. His life was tough. So, this contact was an unfamiliar field to him.

 

But still, he grabbed on Deruth's clothes as soon as he's settled on his arms. He silently put his head against Deruth's firm chest and heard his father's heartbeat. Cale finds this sound very calming, and it was a very weird feeling. It was comforting, warm, and peaceful. 

 

Deruth's rough hand, it was because of him practising swordsmanship, found its way on Cale's small back and slightly patted it. His heart was beating so fast and was welling up with different emotions and his eyes were stinging. He didn't want to show an unsightly scene towards the others so he firmed his face while still holding Cale ever so carefully. 

 

"Let's all talk about these matters tomorrow. I think we all need rest. Ron can show you to your rooms for now. We will turn in first." 

 

Deruth, who said this had a small smile on his face. It wasn't happy or sad. It was a father's smile. And it was enough for Eruhaben and Ron to know what's happening inside Deruth's heart and mind right now. That's why the both of them had quickly nodded their heads with understanding and bidding the family a good night.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Cale stayed quiet on Deruth's arms. He didn't even look back towards the others and just continued to listen to the heartbeat that somehow calmed his mixed emotions. 

 

"Father, Mother, Lily and I will turn in first," Basen announced as they arrived on the grand staircase leading towards the third floor of the mansion. 

 

It had been a tiring day and they know that their father had something to talk about with their eldest brother. It was all over Deruth's body language and the way his face was distorted in an anxious one that doesn't seem to fit his image as the firm Duke of the Northeastern Territories.

 

"Yes, sleep well and we will talk tomorrow." Violan patted the two and planted soft kisses on their heads. Basen had a slight blush, he wanted to retort that he's too old for this but of course, deep down, he loves those good night kisses Violan would always give them. 

 

Deruth nodded and reluctantly remove his other hand that was supporting Cale's back and patting both Basen and Lily on their heads. Though his hand had quickly gone back to Cale's back as if he's afraid that Cale might fall off from his arms if he didn't. 

 

Basen and Lily gave each other a sidelong glance and they both grinned at each other. Their father is still paranoid every time it involves their eldest brother. Although it is done subconsciously as if it's his instinct and most of the time he didn't notice it at all, it didn't go unnoticed to anyone around them. Deruth is like that, somewhat airheaded, but still sharp. 

 

Basen and Lily slightly bowed their head and left while glancing in Cale's direction. They can't wait to see him tomorrow morning as well. Although each and every day that the Sun God had blessed with her radiant sun, tomorrow is completely different as they will be graced with Cale's child form and that itself is making them extremely excited for the sun to rise.

 

Once Violan, Deruth and Cale were all alone at the bottom of the staircase. Cale breathed in and slightly looked up to Deruth who was also looking at him. Cale knew his father was stern and serious. He's always hiding his emotions as it is inappropriate for a high noble like him to show his emotions. But right now, Deruth looks so fragile with his eyes turning glossy while looking at him. 

 

Cale tried to ask what's going on with him but his father had patted his head making him look back to Deruth's chest with a complicated face. 

 

'...What's this? What-'

 

Cale felt like something just burst in his heart. His eyes turned misty that he quickly blinked his eyes in fear of shedding tears again. Cale is the most unstable person there is. With the records that are always flying around his head, with all those memories he cannot forget nor keep in the back of his head, turning into a child is the last thing he wanted. And now, being a child, with his emotions unstable, he doubts he can hold himself for long. And Cale just dreaded that day that is fast approaching.

 

"I know you're tired Cale, so I'll call Ron and let him tuck you to bed." 

 

Deruth once again patted Cale's head before his hand gone down to Cale's back and patted it too. Cale found himself leaning on his father's chest and was again comfortably listening to Deruth's thumping heart. 

 

Cale felt his eyes started to get droopy. He could finally feel the exhaustion from the stressful happenings earlier and up to now. He's still not used to this and Cale's sure that he won't be able to.

 

Deruth felt Cale's body started to sway and he can hardly contain the emotions swelling in his chest. He simply can't help but feel more guilty while looking at his son who was holding himself from falling asleep. He glanced at Cale's small hands that are gripping his clothes, seemingly don't want to let him go. This made Deruth relieved, Cale didn't hate it when he's holding him like this.

 

"Father..." 

 

Deruth snapped back from his thoughts and looked down at Cale who was comfortably leaning on his chest. He leaned forward to hear what Cale is trying to say. He has an anxious look on his face, didn't want to miss anything that comes out of Cale's lips.

 

Violan, who was quietly watching this next to Deruth, couldn't help but smile. Through the years of her being married to Deruth, he's an affectionate person and was quickly flustered that truly contradicts his firm and serious facade as a Count--now as a Duke. 

 

"Father..."

 

Cale is just half awake right now. He's trying to stop himself from saying what's inside his head right now and, of course, Cale couldn't.

 

"Please...sing me a song..."

 

Deruth's eyes shook and he stared blankly at Cale who rubbed his head on his chest and has his eyes close with a satisfied look on his face. 

 

Violan who also heard this couldn't help but giggle at the sight of the father and son duo. She can see the happiness in Deruth's eyes and that soon bloomed to a fatherly smile as he planted a soft kiss on Cale's head. His eyes at some point had shredded tears as he carefully hugged Cale's small body. 

 

"Yes, your father will," Deruth ever so carefully brushed Cale's red hair to not wake him up and rubbed their foreheads together. 

 

~

 

 

Going up to Cale's room, he laid him down on the centre of the bed and tucked him in the comforter. Satisfied with how he tucked in Cale, Deruth carefully brought a chair and placed it next to Cale's bed and sat on it.

 

He hasn't seen Cale's sleeping figure for a very long time and his guilt continued to pile up thinking how many parts of Cale's life he had missed. He could only lament on this fact and move on and try to make up for those mistakes. 

 

He fixed Cale's hair that was on his face as he settled himself on the chair and began singing a song he remembered that Drew always sang to him and Cale whenever the three of them sleep together.

 

Deruth's voice wasn't at the very least soft, it was firm, but not intimidating to hear. It's a father's voice to say. He hasn't sung since Drew left and when he also remarried to Violan. It's not like he didn't want to, he just couldn't find time to do so. 

 

His singing voice reached Cale who slightly opened his eyes and looked at the singing figure of his father. Everything is too foreign for him. Kim Rok Soo, he wasn't blessed to have a beautiful childhood and family alike. As he assumed the identity of Cale Henituse, he thought that having a family is just having them there. He didn't know how to act as it was all new to him. 

 

But, 

 

'This is not bad...' 

 

As he thought of that, a small smile painted on his lips as he resigned himself to a night of deep sleep.

 

 

~~~

 

 

The next morning, Cale opened his eyes groggily and looked at his side. Ron was standing there pouring something on a cup. He's getting used to this scene every morning, but he can't get used to Ron's benign smile that he actually find vicious.

 

Ron turned to Cale and, as usual, put on his benign smile and carefully helped Cale sat on the bed. 

 

"Good morning, young master-nim."

 

Ron greeted and Cale nodded his head. His eyes were still threatening to close, children tend to sleep so much, and Cale is a kid since yesterday so he expects this much.

 

Ron carefully handed Cale the cup, not the usual lemon tea. It was a cup of warm milk with marshmallows on top of it. Cale wanted to frown but his instinct as a child is too strong that he can't control his face as it distorted into a bright happy face while eyeing the marshmallows floating on top of the milk.

 

'...Fuck it.'

 

 

Chapter Text

"Human!"

Raon's shocked voice made the others stiffen and quickly turned their heads to look for the redhead who was now a child. 

And there they saw, Cale was holding a watering can and was watering some vegetables on his small garden when he tripped and the watering can knocked up, spilling all the contents to the ground and Cale falling off to the mud. It was a bad start for a day. 

"Damn it." He could only grumble while feeling the mud on his body. Truly annoyed that he had to go through this because of someone's curse. 

Eruhaben discussed the situation Cale is in three days ago. He said that it was a curse, he's currently researching whose divine power is it and what God the person serves, it was quite a research since Eruhaben, in his 1000 years of life, had not encountered this divine power at all.

Cale, who spends his time inside his villa in the forest of darkness, is temporarily staying at the Henituse Estate and would only be allowed to go out in the morning and will need to come back at exactly noon. Cale finds that slightly irking. He might look like a child right now, but he's still an adult inside.

It was really troublesome. But he cannot stand it when his father's eyes seem to have disappointment in them whenever he disagrees. Of course, Cale being a heavily dense person, it didn't occur to him that Deruth just wanted to see him every day and of course, Deruth is the most worried person right now, but still happy. It was truly a cruel feeling, to feel happy when his son is cursed.

The Molan household that has removed assassination in their household, and now focuses on Intelligence gathering, had been tracking every single person and visitors who are suspected as the culprit for Cale's condition. They are currently gathering intel on every existing temple, well-known or not. They are turning everything over, leaving no stones unturned.

Right now, Cale had gone back to the forest of darkness to visit his small farm. For the past three days, he's been staying in the estate, sometimes in the garden and having tea with Violan, staying in the library with Basen who would bring sweets with him, of course, Cale didn't know it was Basen's plan for the both of them to spend more time with each other. Basen wanted to see how his hyung-nim would look while eating. When they were younger, although they live in the same estate, Basen and Cale don't meet that frequently. With Cale not joining them most of the time for meals and only have it inside his room, Basen can't gather his courage to talk to his hyung-nim who had the tendency to throw bottles or bombard the person with curses that can be compiled to a whole book if he finds that person annoying. 

Cale didn't find fault with it, since he's into sweets than sour things, he enjoyed it very much. He just enjoyed the silence between him and Basen while they are both reading books. Of course, with Basen mainly focusing on his little hyung.

There was also a time where Lily and he spend time together, but it was mostly him, sitting and watching Lily practice with her Master with the three children beside him. Again, even with Cale in a child form, the soldiers and knights who are also training cannot help but be distracted by the well-known hero of their continent. A legend, as per Guardian Knight Clopeh Sekka's dubbing. Of course, they couldn't agree more.

And right now, Cale was sitting on mud with his mud-stained clothes, he was tripped by a stupid rock while attempting to water the vegetables. The watering can is not that heavy for a child to hold, but of course, we're talking about Cale here. He's physically weak as an adult, now being reduced to a child, he's weaker than an average child of his current body's age right now.

Choi Han and Raon quickly ran towards Cale, the two Cats had to go and inform their Grandpa Ron to prepare Cale's change of clothes.

"Cale-nim, are you okay? Are you hurt?"
"Human, do we need to call over the saint?"

Raon and Choi Han was clearly overreacting. But it was a normal reaction, considering how weak Cale is right now, their worries and anxieties are reaching the highest peak of Mount Yellia, where Eruhaben's former lair is located. 

Of course, Cale isn't really hurt. Considering if he is, his regenerative ancient power, Vitality of the Heart, will do its work to heal him right away. 

"There is no need for that. Raon, teleport us to my bed chambers in the villa--"
"Let this Ron help you then, young master-nim." 

Cale stopped moving at that moment. A quick shiver run down his spine as Ron's chilling benign voice spoke not far from them.

"We brought Grandpa Ron, nya!"
"He said he'll be helping you to change, nya!"

The two culprits, who happily brought over the assassin butler made Cale sigh ever so deep and stared at the two children. On and Hong smiled so bright, showing their canine teeth. Cale could see a familiar mix of Choi Han's innocent and Alberu's bright smile that says, I do not know what you are talking about.

'Ah, these smart children...'

Cale could only lament while thinking why did these kids grow up like this. Of course, who wouldn't adapt and pick up traits from the adults? The children who are surrounded by skilled assassins, masters, vicious races, cunning adults and of course, Cale himself, it wasn't news to anyone. 

Ron came over, picked up the watering can and handed it to Choi Han, "Put this away."

Choi Han could only stare at Ron and shook his head before walking away. The two still didn't like each other, but they don't hate each other either. 

Ron carried Cale carefully, now also slightly dirtying his butler uniform. He had to remove his vest and jacket before folding the sleeves of his white polo underneath up to his elbows before proceeding to clean up his puppy young master.

He helped Cale on cleaning himself and dressed him too. Ron had done this ever so naturally, considering he took care of Cale since he was a baby, he wasn't new to this kind of things. Although Cale finds this slightly uncomfortable, he just carried on and stayed silent. He just wants this to finish quickly.

"Thank you, Ron." 
"It is nothing, young master-nim."

The old man let Cale sat on the spacious bed before looking down at him with his usual benign smile. The old assassin had done this for the past three days-- after dressing him up, he would put Cale on the bed and stare at him for a while. Of course, Cale wanted to leave and just hide away from the butler's eyes, but that was just wishful thinking. Considering how Ron ordered his subordinates to focus on guarding Cale and to also keep an eye on their surrounding as the culprit who put a curse on Cale might be lurking around. The said subordinates, who had been undergoing special training since three days ago, did their jobs so well, most will think they are being chased by a demonic race. They did not want their training to extend, it would be the death of them.

"...What is it?"

Cale decided to ask. He couldn't stand this situation anymore if this will continue until his curse is lift-off. Ron just gives him nightmares, the old assassin still likes to tease Cale and of course, the redhead did not like it one bit. 

"Young master-nim."

"...What is it?"

"Eruhaben-nim already found the God the culprit is serving."

Cale's eyes gleamed. He felt like he had received a golden plaque. Cale is overjoyed by this news. It only means they are a step closer to lifting off the annoying curse on him. Although being a child is a good condition, the drawback of him having the moods of a child is not. Considering how easily he'll tear up if he's feeling hungry, him being sensitive to others movements and interactions with him- Cale just wants to turn back to an adult as soon as possible. 

"Marquis Taylor and Miss Cage also joined on the search."

Ron reported making Cale look back to the old man who again, gave him a benign smile. 

Although Cale is thankful for the two joining and will make the search faster, a Marquis is a Marquis, "...There is no need fow the both of them to join. They have territowial duties." 

Cale's child face distorted into a frown. He will sometimes lisp while speaking making him frown with each lisp. It was truly annoying. His small tongue couldn't pronounce some words correctly and he would often end up blabbering a completely different word. This is one of the drawbacks of him being a child. His words will be a completely different meaning if he messes up one word, and again, it is truly annoying.

"Young master-nim."

Cale was brought back to his inner ramblings and looked at Ron who called him, "What is it?"

"I believe it is best to practise singing some nursery rhymes. It might prevent you from lisping too much." 

The old man had a smile on his lips as he was suggesting this. Cale flinched and looked away. A chill running down his spine. The redhead could only nod reluctantly.

 

Chapter Text

Cale was left alone in the room after Ron said he'll have to change his uniform. 

 

The three children came in earlier and said that they will continue watering the vegetables with Choi Han. Cale could only nod because he knows he'll just make it hard for the others if he'll help. Considering how he's not used to his tiny body and the possibility of him tripping on a stupid stone is high.

 

--Ehem...

 

The Super Rock could only awkwardly cough. He's not the stone, but the insult Cale was barraging at the poor innocent rock was also slightly hitting him. 

 

Now that Cale is alone, he laid down on the bed and stared at the ceiling. Ron's earlier suggestion is currently circulating in his head. 

 

"...Nursery rhymes..."

 

In his past life as Kim Rok Soo, he only heard some examples of those songs. When he was attending the primary school, their teacher would always teach them some songs. Although Cale can only slightly recall it as he doesn't have his ability when he's a child, he can still remember some parts of those songs that he somewhat thinks... too childish for him to sing.

 

Cale wasn't sure if that will be of any help to prevent himself from lisping too much but he can only try. Well, Cale's reason is more than that of worry that his vicious butler will give him those benign and cold smiles. 

 

(I've been searching Korean nursery rhymes last week and lmao, I cannot--😂 Cale? singing this? like, Nah-uh🤣 You can sing along if you want, it's really cute af)

 

https://youtu.be/99-TFvoeLVU

 

Cale opened his mouth and softly sang the first song he can remember. It was the shortest one and he can still remember it. He had heard this song from his neighbour when he was a Team leader. He could always hear the kid next door sing this when he comes home from work. Cale did not think that he'll be singing it too.

 

"Gom sae ma-ri-ga han ji-be iss-eo..." (There are three bears in a house)

 

Familiar Korean words came off his lips. He was frowning and his brows twitching from the tone. He can feel his jaw slightly go numb from the words coming out but he still continued.

 

He sat up and crossed his legs while looking outside the widely opened window that overviews the peaceful and calm blue sky. Rosalyn's magic, with the help of Sheritt and Eruhaben, which was used at the celebration three days ago was also installed in his villa. He did not want to see a rocky ceiling whenever he looks outside his villa.

 

"A, A-ppa gom, eom-ma gom, a-gi gom!" (Daddy bear, Mommy bear, Baby bear!)

 

Cale has an awkward look on his face while singing and of course, he was frowning with a slight blush on his cheeks. He was singing the song the way he remembered the kid sing it whenever he arrives home. For him to be singing this, is truly embarrassing. But his thoughts snapped to the three children. Maybe he can teach these songs to them. Again, he's certainly not curious how they would look singing it. No.

 

"A-ppa gom-eun ttung-ttung -hae" (Daddy bear is fat)

"Eom-ma gom-eun nal-ssin-hae" (Mommy bear is slim)

"A-gi gom-eun neo-mu gi-yeo-wo" (Baby bear is too cute)

"eu-sseuk! eu-sseuk! jal-ran-da!" (Shrug! Shrug! *the sound of the baby dancing*Good job!)

 

Although Cale's room was far from the ground since it is on the fifth floor, considering that the individuals around him are seasoned masters and strong races, his practice is somehow being broadcast to the whole villa and the plaza where the wolf children, some young tiger tribe members and his friends are. They can hear Cale's singing voice loud and clear. 

 

Maes, one of the wolf children, stopped attacking his sparring partner and stared blankly at the open windows on the fifth floor. He-- well everyone, actually, stopped moving and stared towards the same direction. Their pupils shaking as they listened to the adorable voice, faintly hearing reluctance and awkwardness, but still, the way Cale is singing the song is too adorable. It was too endearing. Too much, TOO. MUCH.

 

Choi Han almost slipped and almost let go of the watering can he's using. His eyes were shaking while listening to a familiar language. He can vaguely remember the song so he somewhat knows it. But hearing Cale sing this is...bad for the heart. 

 

The three children with him had long since stopped moving and was staring at the fifth floor of the villa. Their ears were perked, listening attentively, while their tails were swinging to the song. It totally captivated their attention. Raon can also understand some parts as he had been learning Korean with Cale and Choi Han, the two Cats, however, were still learning but they can quite understand the song as well.

 

Beacrox almost sliced himself while listening from the kitchen. Cale's room has an installed device and it was connected to the kitchen, in case Cale would like for a snack to be brought to his room. But right now, Beacrox stopped as his eyes slightly shook. He slowly turned to the device that was in the middle of the kitchen, up on the ceiling. 

 

Eruhaben almost choke from his tea. He was having tea with Mary and Tasha. They were taking a break from researching about the God that the culprit is serving. Eruhaben coughed and turned to look at the open windows on the fifth floor where Cale's room is. Tasha on the other hand was quick to insert some mana on a recording device. While Mary was frozen stiff in her seat while holding the teacup in the air. She was too focused on the singing voice of Cale, she seems to forget that she's holding it.

 

Ron, who was currently walking towards Cale's room had to stop and stand in front of the door while listening to his puppy young master sing. His eyes were cold, but his face was distorted in a benignly smiling one. Cale would've curled in fear if he'll see his butler's face right now.

 

Cale sang the verse two times before stopping and slightly wiping his mouth. Some saliva was threatening to flow making Cale frown even deeper. 

 

-- ...ehem. (Guardian of Boulder/Scary Giant Cobblestone/Super Rock)

-- How adorable (Sound of the Wind/Thief)

-- Hm, I did not know what's the meaning of those words but it was indeed a nice song! KAHAHAHAHA!  (Fiery Thunderbolt/Fire of Destruction/Cheapskate)

-- Wow! That's some XXX singing, Cale! HAHAHAHA (Sky Eating Water/Retrogressive Water/Crazy Kid)

-- You're so cute, Cale! (Indestructible Shield/Glutton Priestess)

 

Cale's face was distorted into a deeper frown if it was even possible to do so. He sighed and chose to not listen to the ancient powers, preparing to sing another song. He had firmed himself to take this seriously and efficiently practice so that he can get this over with quickly. 

 

Chapter Text

Before Cale could even open his lips to sing again, a knock resounded to his room followed by the door opening. 

 

It was Ron, changed into a clean butler uniform and was smiling benignly again. Cale could've sworn his lifespan is shortening whenever he sees Ron's chilling smile. 

 

"Young master-nim, lunch is served. I'll escort you to the dining room." 

 

*

 

Cale found himself being carried down the stairs by Ron. Yes, he was being carried by his old assassin butler, and Cale can't even frown as he doesn't want Ron's benign smile to be directed at him. He was just thankful that the butler isn't talking right now. 

 

Cale stayed silent throughout their way to the first floor of the villa. There he found the Wolf children entering together with the some young members of the Tiger tribe. Weird enough for Cale, the moment they saw him, they stood there unmoving, eyes blankly staring at him. Although Cale wanted to ask, he could not do so as Ron had already walked away from the group.

 

Upon reaching the dining room where Beacrox is currently putting dishes after dishes after dishes, Ron had put down Cale on the new chair that was specially made for him. Cale didn't manage to notice how Beacrox's hands falter after seeing him, spilling some of the contents but he quickly wiped it out. The son and father duo meet each other's eyes and Beacrox easily know what his father wants to say.

 

'Don't talk about it.'

 

It was clearly an order from his father that's why Beacrox only nod and got out of the dining room to inform the others. He's sure that Cale did not intend for them to hear his practice, it's just that, it happens. Cale is surrounded by masters and strong races that neither it is his, nor the other's fault that they heard him sing. 

 

Ron on the other hand has a satisfied look on his face. Cale who saw this could only slightly frown and looked at the foods in front of him. 

 

For the past three days, the meal was different from the usual meal when he was an adult. The meat was made to be soft to chew, Beacrox seems to beat the crap out of the meat to make it this soft. Also, for these past three days, Ron would personally cut Cale's food and make it into bite sizes. Although Cale would normally like this as he doesn't have to do work and just sit there. But still, Cale will always see Ron as a vicious old assassin who pretends to be a benign old man. 

 

He silently ate and the others also arrived, oddly silent and could not look straight at him. Cale just shrugged it off and ate in silence. The three children too, acted like they don't know a thing and Choi Han... Choi Han was stiff. He was so stiff while eating that it really worry Cale. 

 

"Choi Han." 

 

Choi Han flinched and almost choke from the food he's eating. He quickly drank the water and looked at Cale, "Y, Yes! Do you need something, Cale-nim?"

 

Cale observed this making Choi Han avoid his eyes again. This made Cale certain that something's going on. 

 

"...Are you okay?"

"Y, yes." Choi Han answered and nodded stiffly. 

 

This was a very weird sight for Cale, he knew that Choi Han was with the three children on the farm and watering the vegetables. What could've happened there to make Choi Han act like this?

 

"Are you su--"

"Young master-nim, please eat first. You can ask Choi Han after you eat." 

 

Cale shut his mouth and avoided Ron's cold gaze. The old man was smiling with a cold sharp gaze and Cale can feel chills running down his spine. He slightly cough and focus on his food. Cale just wants to finish eating already and get out of this room, away from Ron.

 

The meal passed by just like that, with Cale silently eating his meal because of his butler who's watching him, and with the children talking to themselves and turning away whenever they meet eyes with him, their wolf and tiger ears twitching whenever they do so. 

 

And right now, Cale was back in the estate and was currently in the garden together with Basen, Lily and Violan. Cale was looking at them with a slight questioning gazes.

 

Basen was fiddling his fingers. Weird enough, his face that was normally stoic and cold has a rare frown, with his lips twitching and a pinkish tint on both of his ears. Next to him was Lily who was also restless. She keeps shifting from her seat and keeps on glancing over to him then looking down the instant she met Cale's questioning eyes. 

 

Well, Violan on the other hand isn't any better than the two. Although one wouldn't notice it if they don't know the Duchess quite well, Cale had been with her for the past years and he observed his family closely over those years. Violan is a left-handed person, she usually held her cup using that hand but right now, Violan was using her right hand. It wasn't a big deal if that's it. However, Violan's hands were slightly shaking. Her eyes were also avoiding Cale's stares and her lips were also twitching. 

 

Of course, Cale doesn't have any idea how his little practice earlier already spread throughout his family and was continuously spreading in their territory and the palace. 

 

Alberu, who was currently having a meeting with his aides inside his office was interrupted by a sudden call from his personal video communication device. It was glowing blue, indicating it's a recorded message. For the past three days, he'll receive recorded voice messages from his aunt Tasha regarding their progress on research. That's why he opened it without thought and what blasted was a child's voice. 

 

It was Cale's voice. 

 

Alberu and his aides that was with him froze and stared at the device with shaking eyes. The audio was clear and loud, to Tasha's Air elemental's contribution. 

 

--"Gom sae ma-ri-ga han ji-be iss-eo...

A, A-ppa gom, eom-ma gom, a-gi gom!

A-ppa gom-eun ttung-ttung -hae
Eom-ma gom-eun nal-ssin-hae
A-gi gom-eun neo-mu gi-yeo-wo

eu-sseuk! eu-sseuk! jal-ran-da!"

 

Alberu's lips started twitching until a chuckle escape his lips. His neck and ears quickly turning red as well as his face from containing his laughter to himself. The aides whose lips and eyebrows were also twitching, their ears and necks red from refraining to laugh and tried so hard to keep their serious poker faces while their minds are drifting to what they just heard. Although if someone will come in and saw them in this situation, of course, they'd turn a blind eye to their Emperor, however, the sight of the aides will surely make them laugh because the said aides looked like they haven't taken excretion for a whole week. 

 

Alberu's guards, who are also disguised dark elves already received their share of record from Tasha earlier and the main culprit as to why Cale's little practice started to spread like a wildfire from the palace servants, to the palace administrators and officials and soon those reached the nobles. And what happened after? Of course, it also started spreading from the neighbouring kingdoms. 

 

Considering Cale has close ties with the Pope and the Holy Maiden of the Church of the Sun God and the King, the former Cat knight Rex, the recording quickly spread throughout the Mogoru Kingdom. 

 

Queen Litana herself was barely keeping herself from squealing, she wanted to, had been that she's not thinking about her image as a firm and dignified Queen, she'd long do so. Bin, her most trusted aid, was next to her was snickering, barely keeping his calm facade which only slowly destroys Litana's focus on keeping herself together. Next to her was her pet black panther Ten, also letting animalistic-like laugh and was smiling so wide revealing its sharp and long canine teeth.

 

Shifting to the Whipper Kingdom,

 

"KAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHA!!!"

 

The soldiers and knights flinched after they heard a thunderous laugh coming from the barracks. Their bodies began shaking as they wait for the Commander to step out. The feeling of dread was resonating in the training field, thinking that Toonka will, once again, beat the crap out of them calling it training. But no, the gigantic man with scars all over his body and an unruly mane like hair didn't came out of the barracks. The thunderous laughter was still there, seemingly causing reverberations on the poor soldiers and knights' hearts. 

 

Toonka was inside his office with Harol Kodiang, the half-mage and the only son of the former Whipper Magic Tower's, former liege Pister Kodiang. He was now the chief advisor of Toonka and was living his daily life by the side of this vicious and ruthless Commander.

 

Harol was next to Toonka smiling so wide while eyeing the communication device on top of Toonka's desk. The one that Clopeh Sekka owned and was now currently circulating throughout the western and eastern continents markets. 

 

"I do not like weaklings! KAHAHAHAHAHA!!! But, my friend, Cale! What a truly amazing performance!" 

"Toonka, tone down your voice."

"Harol! We should prepare and go to Roan! I want to personally see my friend perform this..." Toonka trailed down since he cannot choose the right word for it. But Harol was quick to catch on and faked a cough.

"Of course we can go there and watch young master Cale sing."

"Good, GOOD! KAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!"

 

Moving to Caro Kingdom, King Valentino who currently has his hand covering his lips that was twitching after listening to the recording that was sent to him by King Rex. He didn't expect it was Cale's recording. He had received intel that the great hero has turned into a child three days ago and the intelligence department under the said hero and the intelligence department of Roan Empire are working together to find the culprit. But,

 

Valentino looked down at the device that was on the table and held it in his hand, "...This isn't bad at all..."

 

The mage next to him who heard this couldn't help but flinch and linger his eyes on the device before nodding in agreement. 

 

And so, moving to the free city between the Mogoru Kingdom and Roan Empire where the new Magic Tower was located and the current Liege, Archmage Rosalyn was ruling the said Magic Tower. She was sitting alone inside her office, researching about Cale's condition as well as how to lift off the curse, when she received a recorded message from Tasha. She was busy and so she just inserted her mana in the device and what flowed out caused for her to knock down the ink, causing it to spill on the paper but she couldn't care more than what she's hearing right now. And soon, the office was filled with chuckles and laughters from the Tower Liege.

 

Farther north, where the Whale tribe is, up on a tall iceberg was where the tribe is. Witira, now the Queen was with Paseton and Archie. They were talking about the matters of guarding the ocean when Witira received a recorded message. The said device can be activated without a mage that's why Witira had quickly received the special message. The three was caught in daze as they listened to the child's voice on the recording, forgetting what they are talking about.

 

Moving so to Paerun Kingdom, at the Sekka Ducal Household, the current Guardian Knight, Clopeh Sekka stormed inside the barracks and was furiously looking for a mage. The moment he found one who was innocently walking in the hallway was pitifully dragged by Clopeh and demanded to teleport to the Free City where the Magic Tower and the Henituse Museum was. The poor mage was frightened from the serious and cold look on Clopeh's face that he activated his mana so fast for the first time in his life.

 

Clopeh, after arriving infront of the museum was heaving heavy breathes. His peridot coloured eyes is destorted into a revering, borderline worshipping the device on his hand and marched his way to the museum. 

 

Rosalyn, who just barely stopped herself from laughing heard a knock on her office's door and soon Rei Stecker, the Tower Master of the Alchemist Tower emerged from the door and has an perturbed, almost that of fear expression plastered on his face. 

 

"Rosalyn-nim, please come with me quickly to the Henituse Museum."

 

Rosalyn's ear perked up. Was it another case of robbery? There were cases of attempted robbery on the museum just to get the artefacts that Cale and the others had used on their battles with the White star. 

 

"...It wasn't robbery. G, Guardian Knight Clopeh was--"

 

And Rosalyn knew right away this would happen. She brushed her face with her right hand, facepalming before standing from her seat and teleport with Rei to the museum.

 

And so, Rosalyn had to knock out Clopeh that afternoon just to stop him from forcing his way in and putting the device in display for exhibit in the museum.

 

Of course, while all of this is happening, Cale was in the Henituse Estate's garden with his Mother and two younger siblings.

 

"...Are you okay?"

 

Cale asked to the three who quickly stopped from moving and looked at him with chaotic gazes. Cale really find this worrisome. What happened that they are having those looks in their faces while looking at him? Earlier, the others would also give him that look and he just don't know why they are acting like this. 

 

"What is it? Why are you looking at me like that?"

 

Violan was the first one to snapped out and calm herself down. A calm and elegant smile soon painted her lips, "It's nothing, Cale. We heard you had an accident earlier, we're just worried about you."

 

Basen was quick to follow and regained his composure, "Yes, we heard from Ron. That, we're sorry if we made you worried." 

 

Lily on the other hand looked back and forth to her mother and her brother before she slowly nodded her head, still conflicted, "...That's right, Oraboni. I hope you're fine now."

 

Cale did not ask any further after the three of them said that. Although his face distorted into a frown before answering them, "I merely tripped and got my clothes dirtied with mud. I am okay, I didn't hurt myself so please don't worry too much."

 

The three can only smile at him.

 

'Ah, he really doesn't have any idea about it...'

 

And so, that afternoon, while Cale was relaxing and drinking tea ever so peacefully and enjoying the company of his mother and his two younger siblings, he has no idea how his little practice is spreading like a wildfire throughout the whole Empire, up to the neighbouring kingdoms, reaching the far south and the far north like an epidemic and will soon reach the Eastern Continent. 

 

Cale who had no idea and was only drinking tea, would soon be greeted with a news that will surely make him want to lock himself inside his villa and never come out for a long time.

 

Chapter Text

 

 

The Black Castle was in the middle of the Forest of Darkness and was the castle right above the Super Rock Villa. 

 

Inside the said castle was the former Dragon Lord, Sheritt with Eruhaben, Raon and Rosalyn who came to visit especially at night to report her findings on Cale's situation. Well, she can't just disappear from the Magic Tower because as she is the Tower Master, she has a lot to do. Considering how many royals and nobles always inquire about magical artefacts and items to be supplied to their kingdoms and their territories. 

 

Raon on the other hand would sometimes sneak out and teleport to the castle once Cale falls asleep, together with On and Hong of course. Although they will really get in trouble once Ron found out they had been doing so.

 

"I think it's better to examine Cale for now. We haven't acquired any results directly from his body just yet," Rosalyn said while looking at the papers that have written information about the God that the culprit is serving. She was interested as this was the first time she heard of this God. The God of Youth.

 

Although the fundamentals of this God is focused on the concept 'of a young age', Rosalyn was curious why this God wasn't well known. It is a common tradition between commoners and nobles alike to have their children receive blessings from the church of the Sun God. However, upon considering the topic of blessings towards the newly born and the children, wouldn't it be right to seek this God's blessing too? And not only that, many people wanted to remain youthful. She had observed so whenever she attends tea parties or banquets and overhears both young noble girls and wives. 

 

"This is interesting, isn't it, Eruhaben-nim, Sheritt-nim?" Rosalyn looked up and saw how the two dragons looked at her and nodded their head with an expression that says they understand how curious she is.

 

Raon and the two children watch this while tilting their heads.

 

"What is interesting, good Rosalyn?"
"What is it, nya?"
"Tell us, tell us, nya!"

 

The three children began circling around the three adults who could only chuckle while shaking their heads.

 

"Well, Eruhaben and Rosalyn, you should go and examine Cale's body right now. Maybe we can find something," Sheritt said and carried Raon in her arms. She patted his head twice before looking towards the two Cat children and bent down and patted their heads too. 

 

"Well then, we will be right back." 

 

And with that, Eruhaben with Rosalyn and the three children teleported to Cale's room. Sheritt who was left alone picked up the papers that were still untouched and haven't been read through yet. This was the one that Marquis Taylor Stan compiled and sent here in hopes that it might help. Sheritt was amazed at how a human can gather this much information. Little did she know that Taylor flipped and turn the Stan Estate over without mercy, even visiting every mansion they owned, from the very corner of their territory to the capital, he mercilessly rummaged through the libraries to find ancient texts that were passed down by his ancestors. He had caused headaches to his vassals and other administrative officers who had to grovel for a whole day and beg their hearts out to the young Marquis just to step out and do territorial works. But of course, that's a different story to tell.

 

At that moment, something caught Sheritt's attention. 

 

 

In the earlier times, a kingdom has the Church of the God of Youth as their national religion. The Royal family who was blessed with eternal youth was coveted by many. They wanted the blessings to themselves that's why they began flocking over the royal family in hopes of gaining the same blessing. The King had known that many will be greedy over this as his ancestors told him. Having the blessing of the God of Youth is equivalent to attracting any unwanted attention. Because not only did the blessing gives eternal youth, it also gives an individual another hundred years of living to their disposal. 

 

 

According to the records, the royal family, The Hebe Household, has received the blessing of eternal youth and the innate ability to gain their own sacred animal once they reached the age of 5. The historians cannot gather any more information regarding how they inherit them and what criteria is needed to be fulfilled, however, it was recorded that the sacred animal is also blessed by the God of Youth and with that, it was enough to say that the sacred animals are powerful and is a threat to those who wish to bring harm to their lord. 

 

 

But the kingdom faced ruin after their neighbouring kingdom waged war. The great battle wasn't recorded and the historians can only ask the soldiers who survived the war, but what they only get was the same answer over and over again. They cannot remember anything that happened. This itself was unusual and still remains a mystery up until now. 

 

 

The said kingdom that waged war was now called the Mogoru Kingdom that turned into an Empire after swallowing many neighbouring kingdoms and countries. The historians also noted that the Hebe Royal Household had disappeared since then. They cannot say for sure if they died in the war or that they hid themselves to never become the point of war resulting from greed. However, many believe that they are still alive and was only hiding. With that said, there is no evidence present if it is true or not. 

 

Sheritt put a thumb under her jaw while eyeing the paper on her hand. Her face painted with worry.

 

"This might be a bigger issue than we thought...?"

 

***

 

Switching to Eruhaben, Rosalyn and the three children's current situation. They found themselves just outside Cale's room's balcony and they can see inside as it was wide open. It was in the middle of the night and someone will surely point their spears at them if they saw them right now. Appearing out of nowhere and sneakily entering the room through the balcony? That's enough to alarm the whole estate. 

 

Eruhaben stepped inside that time but he came to a halt as he saw a child's figure sitting on the bed.

 

His eyes shook as he looked towards Cale who was blankly staring at his little hands with endless drops of tears came out of the redhead's reddish-brown eyes. 

 

"Cale?"

 

Eruhaben carefully called out as he took steps after steps, his face distorting into that of a worry as he eyed the young Cale who was blankly looking at him right now with tears cascading his eyes. 

 

Rosalyn and the three children came in with confusion painted on their faces but soon got nailed on their steps when they saw Cale's situation right now. 

 

"Ah..."

 

The redhead lightly made a sound to acknowledge their presence. But the sight of Cale crying in the middle of the night while blankly staring at them as if he himself is lost and do not know what's happening is making their heart ache.

 

Cale wasn't even making any sound, he just silently watched his hands that is continuously being wet with drops and drops of tears. And soon his face distorted into that of disbelief before he let out a scoff.

 

"Ha. What the hell is this?"

Chapter Text

Cale was now sitting on a chair and was currently being taken care of Raon who continued to pile up apple pies on a plate that Ron brought earlier. His room had turned chaotic the moment Eruhaben, Rosalyn and the three children reacted to what they saw after arriving in the middle of the night. they had completely forgotten their purpose of examining Cale's body.

 

Cale sighed and patted Raon's head who was sitting on top of the table while slowly piling up soggy apple pies on the plate. The two children were on either side of his seat and were looking at him with serious expressions.

 

Cale could only think that On and Hong already has the same way Ron and Beacrox would look at him since the father and son duo began teaching the two the way of the Molan Household. 

 

Cale patted the two also and looked at the others who had come rushing from his room, using his balcony to enter. He can't help but frown on them and look away.

 

'Haaa... it wasn't even a big deal.'

 

The door opened and enter Ron who was holding a glass of milk that was quietly put next to the plate of apple pies. Cale stared at the glass of milk before he sighed.

 

"I'm okay, there is no need for all of you to be hewe. Aren't you all tiwed?" 

 

Cale said while avoiding their vicious stares. He couldn't meet their eyes, especially Ron's who was frowning. Ron's smiling face was scary, but once his face distorted into any other emotions, Cale just wants to go to a different room where his butler isn't present.

 

"Cale."

 

Cale flinched and slowly looked towards Eruhaben who was leisurely sitting at the seat opposite to him. He was the most calm looking amongst the others who were eyeing him with vicious stares. But, the golden dragon was looking at him with his intense golden reptilian eyes.

 

"...What is it?"

 

Cale responded reluctantly while reaching for an apple pie and held it with his two hands. He started chewing on it after seeing how Raon was still sniffling and the other two kids looking at him with serious eyes. 

 

"We won't ask why...Mm."

 

Cale flinched once again. He did not like the annoyed moan that came off from the dragon. He tightly closed his lips. He's just making sure that the reason why he's crying earlier won't spill out of his mouth. Cale just didn't want to worry them needlessly. It was all in the past, he doesn't need to reopen it and just worry the others.

 

"But are you okay?"

 

That question made Cale look up to him. Eruhaben could only sigh inwardly while looking at the redhead who was crying earlier. The moment he saw Cale crying there while blankly staring at them was breaking his sanity. Cale doesn't cry without any heavy reason. But, when he does, the others feel like something is tugging in their heads that pleads them to eliminate the subject of Cale's tears. 

 

They watch as Cale slowly nod. Although it wasn't enough and they want Cale to tell them why he's crying in the middle of the night, they couldn't ask. It's because they think it is a very sensitive topic.

 

Cale watched their reactions as his mind once again wondered on a deep scar embedded in his memories. Even without his Record ability when he was just a child back when he was still Kim Rok Soo, the memory was vivid and so clear like it all happened just yesterday.

 

The sound of the car crashing, the deafening sound of windows breaking, the voice of his mother screaming his name while protecting him and the sound of his father's groan while protecting him and his mother. 

 

Cale shivered. His body crawled fear from remembering the past he experienced. His face turned pale white as his eyes turned blank. His eyes started shedding drops and drops of tears again that the others almost fell from watching this happen. 

 

'It's happening again...'

 

Cale's face that was devoid of any emotion but his eyes that reflected untold fears and distress was thoroughly observed by the others who felt like their bodies turned to stone from this scene. 

 

"H,Human!"
"Cale!"
"Cale-nim!"

 

Cale had long since dropped the pie he is holding as his small body shook uncontrollably. The others rush to his side with stiff expressions. Ron on the other hand was nailed to his position and his face stiff while looking at his young master. 

 

Cale only cried once, that's when his mother, Drew Thames, passed away. But after that, Cale never cried again. That's why Ron always has this foreboding sense of making his puppy young master happy and distracted. He did not want to see Cale's crying face. Ron was the one who took care of Cale since he's a baby. He practically raised Cale more than his own son and that didn't fail to form a bond with his young master.

 

Raon was crying while shaking Cale's shoulder who was still blankly staring at his hands. They don't know what to do to stop Cale from crying. And what distressed them the most was the blank look on Cale's face but his eyes were filled with fear, devastation and chaotic emotions. They didn't want those emotions in his eyes. They will be happier to see him smiling with his usual scammer smile and his mischievous look of saying that he will do something troublesome again than to see him in this state. 

 

"CALE!"

 

And that's when Cale gasped like he had just swum up from the surface of the ocean. His breaths were deep as his eyes focus on a pair of bright blue eyes that were shedding tears. Raon was in front of him and the little dragon quickly buried his face on Cale's small torso. 

 

"H, human... you idiot weak human!"

 

The child continued to grumble while On and Hong was also tearing up while looking at him who was currently on top of the table. The others were around him was looking at him with shocked faces, full of concern and that made Cale look away from them before he wiped his tears away. 

 

This is what he dreaded the most. The moment that he let his guard down, as he had turned into a child, his emotions became unstable. He can't control it well now like when he's an adult. Cale was vulnerable. His ability didn't allow him to forget- be that happiness, fears, sorrow and many more emotions- he cannot forget. And that makes Cale's situation annoying to him.

 

"Go for now."

 

He said and carried Raon to his small arms. Although the little dragon was heavy, Cale managed to bring him to his bed as he signalled for On and Hong to come to him too, which the two quickly followed. 

 

"But-"

 

Cale stared at Choi Han who was about to say something but closed his mouth after he saw the look on Cale's face. Cale looked at them seriously as he sighed again. 

 

'Damn it. It just had to happen in front of them.'

 

"I...we will talk tomorrow. But for now, go and take some rest. The children need to rest too."

 

Cale, who said this pointed to the three kids that are now on top of his bed. With Raon who was burying his face on the pillow with On and Hong trying to calm the youngest. And of course, him. Well, he is a child right now.

 

"...Alright. We will talk tomorrow. Rest for now, you unlucky bastard." 

 

Eruhaben, who said this walked towards him and patted Cale's head with a serious expression. Cale flinched while looking at this.

 

'What... why does he looks so vicious?'

 

The others also shoot him sceptical looks before they sighed and bid their goodbyes. Cale only nodded to this and now his eyes met Ron who was now standing in front of him with a benign smile plastered on his face.

 

Cale shivered inwardly from how Ron looked so vicious right now unlike the usual.

 

"Young master-nim."

"...Yes?"

 

Ron smiled benignly but his eyes were coldly observing Cale. This made Cale gulp and fiddle the frills on his nightwear. Ron, upon noticing this, made him smile wider and this made Cale look away from his butler.

 

"Let's talk tomorrow, young master-nim."

 

Cale who heard this could only nod slowly and turn away from Ron, climbing on his bed and covering himself on his blanket. Ron watched this before helping Cale and standing next to the bed after.

 

"Well then, please have a good night sleep, Young master-nim."

 

And with this, the old assassin butler slightly bowed his head and turned off the lamp that was next to Cale's bed and left the room. 

 

Cale sighed with relief and was about to close his eyes when he felt something on his head and both of his side. It was the three children and they were hugging him.

 

This made Cale sigh again. He had shown something that he shouldn't show to them and he is extremely feeling guilty about it. 

 

"Human, if you're sad, we can loot some bad guys again..."
"That's right. We can hunt on the forest of darkness and you can smash them with your shield again..."
"Yes, we can do that, nya..."

 

Cale was speechless. The three really are vicious. He wanted to stop them from saying such vicious words but he couldn't do so as the hug slightly became tighter.

 

"Just..."
"Don't cry, nya..."
"Please..."

 

Cale stopped moving after hearing the three children mumble that. He looked at them each and sighed. He patted their heads softly and opened his lips.

 

"Yes."

 

And Cale let himself be carried by a deep slumber. 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Cale woke up after he felt his eyes being softly hit by the heat of the sun and greeted with a sight of three pairs of eyes, two golden and one bright blue eyes staring at him.


"I told you he will wake up now!"
"Aww! I thought he'll wake up after 10 minutes!"

Raon and Hong sat in front of him while On sat next to him while looking at her two younger brothers.

 

"...What time is it?"

 

Cale decided to ask On while watching Raon and Hong play with each other. On looked towards Cale and pointed outside. 

 

"It's already afternoon, nya."

 

On answered and laid on Cale's lap, who automatically patted the kid's head making On purr. Cale has a nonchalant look on his face and his eyes droopy, seemingly that it will close again. But Cale fought the urge to do so. Last night was quite rowdy and he knew for sure that he won't be able to escape their questions, that's why he already prepared himself and his answers to them. He didn't want to tell them the whole reason, Cale just wanted to let them know of certain pieces.

 

'They'll just worry needlessly. It's all in the past now. There's no need to make them worry.'

 

Cale's thoughts were somehow perceived by the three children who were observing him since the moment he woke up. They looked at each other before heaving a sigh making Cale look at them immediately.

 

"Hmm? What is it? Why are you sighing like that?"

 

Raon and Hong looked at each other before shaking their heads. Cale felt like the two were treating him like a child, well, he is, and that didn't fail to make Cale feel uncomfortable, because he's a grown man inside. But the blow was taken last by On who looked at him, sighed while shaking her head before jumping down of his bed and left his room saying she'll tell the others that he's already awake.

 

Cale watched this with disbelief plastered on his face before he sighed and decided to go and prepare. He needs to eat lunch. Well, it's weird enough that Ron isn't here yet and of course, Cale somewhat feels happy. He didn't have to deal with his vicious butler the moment he woke up-

 

"Good afternoon, young master-nim."

 

Or not. 

 

Cale turned to look at the old butler who just entered his room with a trolley cart that has steaming foods on top of it, emitting appetizing aromas that made Cale's stomach grumble.

 

Cale's face distorted into a frown and held his stomach that just produced that...that sound. With his ears slightly pink, he looked away and jump out of his bed as he looked towards the two children who are now playing again.

 

"Have you eaten?"

 

Raon and Hong looked at him before they both nodded.

 

"We already did, Human! But if you want us to eat with you, we can!"
"That's right, nya! We can!"

 

The two began circling around Cale that made him sigh before patting them both and looked at Ron who just finished arranging his meals on the table. Cale watched Ron who just turned to his direction and their eyes met making Cale flinch when he smiled benignly again.

 

"You may now eat, young master-nim. This Ron will help you." 

 

Cale slowly nodded and made his way towards the table. The only problem this time is that, the furniture in his room isn't adjusted to his current body. The table was tall and he could only slightly peek on the surface of the it. With that being said, of course, the chairs are bound to be tall too.  

 

He was carried by Eruhaben last night to the chairs that's why he didn't have to struggle but right now, Cale really wished his body is that of at least 10-year-old or just give his adult body back. Before he could even attempt to give a command to Ron to get something he can step on to help him reach the chair, the butler had already carried Cale and carefully placed him on the chair, also putting a napkin on his lap before he proceeded to cut the meat into bite sizes that Cale can chew on easily.

 

Cale who watched this with a slight hesitation sighed inwardly before speaking, "Thank you, Ron."

 

Ron's smile widened before he slightly bowed his head, "You're welcome, young master-nim. Please eat, since you haven't eaten breakfast."

 

Cale nodded to his words and started to eat. The two children were eating with him too. Raon had placed a whole apple pie on the table before he started eating earlier saying that Cale should eat it all and grow up faster. Cale felt like he's really going to stay as a child that looks like 4 years old. What more, Raon would be even taller than him if the black dragon will polymorph to his human form. Cale felt disgruntled just by thinking about it.

 

Cale who was eating silently stopped after Ron put a glass in front of him. A glass of iced chocolate drink. This made him look up to his butler who only smiled benignly and lightly patted his head. 

 

'Hmm? What... what's with this old man?'

 

Cale had been drinking many sweet drinks since he turned into a child. The usual lemon teas weren't served to him by his assassin butler that he oddly slightly missed. He doesn't know how to react when Ron would pat him too. 

 

Is this perhaps the way he treated the past Cale? Cale could've sworn shivers ran down through every nerve in his body, his guard quickly soar up as he eyed the old butler suspiciously. However, even though Ron noticed the look Cale is giving him, he just smiled and stood silently next to him. 

 

Cale gave up thinking what's going on in Ron's head before turning to eat his meal again when the sound of a familiar device rang inside the room.

 

It was the video communication device that Raon quickly took out from his spatial pocket. It was glowing red, indicating that it was Alberu who's calling.

 

"I'm connecting him!" Raon announced before putting the device down facing Cale and continued to eat his beef steak.

 

And soon after, the Emperor's face floated on top of the device. Alberu was in his office and was dressed in more majestic clothing, this made Cale wonder if his hyung-nim is going to an important meeting later or it just ended. But he decided to keep the trivial question to himself and smiled ever so bright.

 

"Your Majesty, the only Sun of our great Empire. Your radiance and magnificence is radiating that it reaches our humble tewwitory-"

 

Cale had to cut himself off and closed his lips tight with a frown on his face. He lisped, just when he's activating his glib tongue to annoy the Emperor. Cale's cheeks turned light pink before he faked a cough and fixed his facial emotions, opening his lips, ready to pour in more praises towards Alberu.

 

But he once again closed his lips when he saw how Alberu was smiling so peacefully and with amusement painted on his face, Cale couldn't help but frown. Noting that his face looks like he's one of those typical spoiled young masters who just got offended for a trivial matter.  

 

Alberu's smile widened witnessing this. He had heard what happened last midnight. He find it hard to believe how Choi Han described Cale's situation to him this morning. They had witnessed Cale cry once when he woke up after fainting and sleeping for over 3 weeks straight, and absentmindedly crying with a sorrowful smile painting his lips. But after that, there were none of the situations where Cale showed intense emotions like how Choi Han described. 

 

Well, during the sealed god's test, Cale Henituse was showing a lot of emotions that Alberu can't help but be curious about it. The cold and stoic Commander that Cale established to himself is oddly affectionate and caring towards those who are under his supervision. But those emotions were covered with layer after layer of reasons and cold actions that made it seem like it doesn't exist at all. But during the test, Cale was like a transparent object to Alberu. He can easily read Cale's intention when he usually can only roughly guess what Cale is sometimes thinking. Although it appeared like he can guess everything that is running in Cale's head, that's not the case at all. 

 

- Ah, how adorable, my dongsaeng. 

 

Cale frowned while watching Alberu chuckle while looking at him with amusement in his eyes. 

 

"Your Majesty."

- Hyung-nim.

"Yes, Hyung-nim."

- What is it, my dongsaeng?

"...Did you have enough sleep last night?"

- Ah...

 

Alberu touched his chest where his heart is located and dramatically looked at him with an expression that made shivers run down Cale's spine.

 

- My adorable dongsaeng, were you worried about your hyung?

 

Cale's bright smile that will make Raon exclaim 'Are you going to scam someone, human?' once again painted his face and opened his lips, "Of course, my dearest hyung-nim. What will be of this great Empire without our one and only Sun, Your Majesty our most esteemed Emperor?"

 

This time, Alberu's smile faded and was replaced with a frown. Shivers run down his spine as he looked at the smiling face of the young appearance of his sworn brother. He was feeling conflicted with how he's feeling right now.

 

He finds Cale's praises to him in that form satisfactory. It feels like it came from a genuine child version of Cale and listening to those praises is music to Alberu's ears. But he also feels disgruntled by it, knowing that inside the adorable appearance of the redhead, Cale is a complete grown up inside. 

 

- Haaa... you punk.

 

Cale flinched once he received a sharp gaze from Alberu. He somehow knew the others would inform his hyung-nim what happened last midnight and that he didn't even tell them the reason why. 

 

Cale slowly avoided Alberu's gaze and looked down on his plate and continued to eat. Well, he can't just leave his meal unattended, not with Ron smiling benignly again while looking at him.

 

- Hooo... you're driving me nuts.

 

That made Cale wince and focused more on his food. He tightly sealed his lips and firmed himself to not let anything slip off his lips accidentally. He doesn't have any plan to tell them the reason at all...well, for now. But if even he's already cornered, Cale will not tell them the whole reason, maybe just a bit. But not all of it. 

 

It is because he didn't want to open an insignificant topic that happened years and years ago. And considering that it connects to his past life that the others didn't know of yet aside from Choi Han, Alberu and Raon.

 

- Visit the palace by tomorrow, Cale.

 

That made Cale look up to Alberu who was smiling wide now. Although Cale finds this one suspicious. He wants to rub the back of his head that felt so cold right now and Cale's instinct is ringing bells to him. 

 

'This feels dangerous all of a sudden...'

 

Alberu, who noticed what Cale's thinking, smiled even more. It looks like his dongsaeng is still oblivious to the fact that a recording of him while singing has spread throughout the Empire, and he's not even surprised to know if it already crossed towards the Eastern Continent by now.

 

"...What for, Your Majesty?"

- Hyung-nim.

"...Yes, Hyung-nim. Why do I need to go thewe?"

 

Alberu stopped before he looked straight to Cale who was looking at him with wary eyes. He wanted to tease Cale who occasionally lisp here and there but he suppressed it together with his chuckles that are threatening to spill from his lips. But he held it in and cleared his throat.

 

- Eruhaben-nim and Rosalyn requested access to the library. It seems like they found something regarding the God that the culprit is serving. Don't you also want to know something?

 

Cale's eyes glistened with interest. He is indeed curious and interested. Considering how he received a curse from an unknown person serving a God they didn't hear before, or maybe existed in the past but was put on a lot of issues resulting in its religion not exist in the present. 

 

Cale is curious about many things and the perfect place to research was the library in the palace. It was also where the secret library of the Crossman Household is located when Alberu first showed the curse of their bloodline.

 

Cale wiped his lips and put the silverware down and looked towards Alberu, "We'll visit tomowwow then, Your Majesty ."

 

That short answer(with a lisp) made Alberu sigh and suppress his chuckle too. He really wants to smack his dongsaeng's head once. But of course, he can't do that right now considering how he'll look like an abusive adult, he's also wary of Cale's assassin butler, the Molan Patriarch who, even though appeared cold and vicious, has a very soft spot for Cale, who's obviously oblivious to this.

 

Alright, I'll expect you tomorrow then.

 

Then the call was disconnected. Cale has a satisfied expression on his face before he jumped down from his seat.

 

"Prepare a bath, Ron. I'll take a stroll in the garden today."

"Yes, young master-nim."

 

~

 

Cale wanted to dig a hole right now. He really do. 

 

He looked at the group of servants, maids and some knights clustered together that was not that far from his location. 

 

He was taking a stroll in the garden since he doesn't have anything to do. He was just calmly taking a stroll for a breath of fresh air, thinking that being a slacker is really the best. What more if your family is rich enough to just lay around, roll around his bed, eat, sleep and take care of his small farm without worrying about anything?

 

Cale felt his mood lighten up. But that quickly hit the ground and splatter without reserve when he heard something.

 

"Gom sae ma-ri-ga han ji-be iss-eo...

A, A-ppa gom, eom-ma gom, a-gi gom!

A-ppa gom-eun ttung-ttung -hae

Eom-ma gom-eun nal-ssin-hae

A-gi gom-eun neo-mu gi-yeo-wo

eu-sseuk! eu-sseuk! jal-ran-da!"

 

Cale felt like his soul will vacate his body any moment right now while listening at the familiar song, and his singing voice.

 

'No...how...how-'

 

Cale froze in his place while his eyes are shaking uncontrollably with fear. 

 

Yes, Fear. 

 

Fear of losing his slacker life.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Cale walked fast, but of course, the reality is that he looks like a toddler toddling to the estate. The knights were giving glances to Cale, the same with the servants here and there, doing their duties and works. But they would stop and stare at their young master who was a child right now and their minds began to wander on the recording of his voice singing an unfamiliar song that has been spreading in their territory since yesterday. 

 

Their young master who has a cute frown on his face made the servants and knights alike smile while slightly giggling. They had long since forgotten how they used to shiver and tremble whenever they saw him in fear of being on the receiving end of his curses and flying bottles. Their little young master who has an annoyed face was enough for them to carry on their tasks with refilled energy bars. 

 

Of course, Cale isn't aware of this. He was focused on reaching the estate while dragging his small legs to walk faster. He needs to go to Deruth's office, no, he must. 

 

'How- Damn it. How in the world do they have those recording? In the first place, who recorded it?'

 

Cale felt his head throbbing with stress as he stopped walking, catching his breath. He was already tired from walking from the garden to the estate, note that he didn't even exit the garden's premises just yet. 

 

Cale sighed and looked towards the old butler who's accompanying him. Ron said that he needs to be with Cale if he wants to go outside, saying that they can't afford to leave him alone as he might be targeted by others, considering how weak his young master is. 

 

Well, Cale couldn't have guess the real reason why Ron stayed next to him is that the old butler was reliving memories of Cale's childhood. Although it was a little bit different, Ron, who's watching his young master toddle to the estate like how he used to when he is going to bother Deruth, watched over Cale with a soft gaze. Although if Cale would see that, he'll surely curl in fear because his butler looked especially vicious.

 

Ron stopped when Cale stopped and looked up to him with his usual stoic look. He noticed the beads of sweats that are on Cale's forehead. Ron's eyebrows twitched and that action didn't go unnoticed to Cale who flinched and looked down.

 

"...Ron."

"Yes, young master-nim."

 

Cale felt like his neck is burning as he slowly extended his arms towards his old butler who quickly kneeled in front of him so he can get a better look at the little redhead. His senses of 'pleasing' (-actually teasing) Cale is kicking in again, painting a wide smile on his wrinkled face.

 

"What can this Ron do for you, young master-nim?"

 

This made Cale hesitate more while looking at his butler's smiling face. He released a sigh and stretched his hand to Ron more. Ron watched this with amusement in his eyes. Cale finally spoke,

 

"Cawwy-..."

 

Cale frowned before clearing his throat, "Cawwy..."

 

Cale's frown deepened before he gave up correcting his lisp, "...Cawwy me to Father's office, Ron."

 

Ron watched this with deep interest and amusement on his face, his lips distorted into an amused smile before he slightly chuckled making Cale shut his mouth tightly.

 

'Damn it. Do I need to practice again?'

 

"Then, please excuse me, Young master-nim."

 

Ron carried Cale in his arms. He did this so naturally without even hesitation. Well, of course, Ron raised Cale since he's a baby so this much is given. 

 

Cale silently held into Ron's shoulder and looked forward, didn't even thinking of sparing his scary butler a glance. 

 

Soon, they both reach Deruth's office. The door was opened and coming out was Hans who has a pile of paper in his hand before smiling and greeting Cale.

 

"Good afternoon, young master-nim. Are you here to see the Duke?"

 

Cale stared at Hans for a few seconds before his eyes shifted to the files in Hans' arms, "Are you bwinging that to Basen?"

 

Hans blinked and looked down at the files before he looked back up to him and smiled.

 

'Ah, young master Cale is so cute... I wish we can see him sing too.'

"Yes, young master-nim. The Duke is currently taking a break inside."

 

Cale only nodded and signalled to Ron to get going. Hans bowed to the little young master before he strode towards Basen's office. It was set up near the Duke's office so that it won't be a hassle if there will be files that needed his assistance. 

 

Basen will be the next Duke as Cale refused to be the one to inherit the title. Of course, it has to go through many processes because the family vassals are in favour of making Cale the next Duke, to which of course, when Cale heard that in the general meeting, he had a week-long nightmare with his slacker life waving goodbye from him. 

 

But after all of that, with Cale's persuasion that Basen is the rightful one for the title, they couldn't help but pass on and agree on making Basen the next lord of the Henituse Duchy. They know how skillful- no, a genius of a young lord is Basen, but if they have the chance to be directly serving the legend, they want to push it through.

 

Ron entered knocked three times then Cale announced his presence. It was necessary. Even if he's the son of the Duke, it was still a must to follow etiquette. Although Cale, who regards himself as the worst of the worst trashes out there, just thought that etiquette is bothersome but still, his father deserves the utmost respect.

 

"Father."

 

Deruth almost broke the glass teapot after his hand faltered and losing his grasp on the handle when he heard Cale's voice. But he's quick to put the teapot down and sat on his seat, fixing his clothes and cleared his throat, trying to look like a firm and dignified Duke all of a sudden.

 

"Come in."

 

Ron opened the door with Cale in his arms. This gained a sharp look from Deruth who's smile slightly faltered after he saw Cale in Ron's arms. He felt extremely envious all of a sudden. 

 

Cale who saw the sharp look on his Father's eyes made him gulp inwardly and hesitation painted his face.

 

"...Are you busy, Father?"

 

Deruth looked towards Cale before he looked back at Ron and stood up. He strode towards them and stretched his arms to Cale who reluctantly followed and gripped on Deruth's clothes. 

 

Ron stood silently while eyeing the father and son. His mind flew towards his and Beacrox's relationship when the tragedy hasn't struck his household yet. Although he quickly chuckled to himself after remembering Beacrox's childhood.

 

"Father, Which part should I slice? The throat or the limbs?"

"Father, should I also gauge the eyes? Or should I cut his tongue?"

"Mother, do I have to cut the fingers one by one, following how many debts he has?"

"Father! I can handle more! Please train me more!"

 

Beacrox was a cold person since he's a child. He would train Beacrox so strictly that his son would hang on the ropes between life and death. But nevertheless,

 

'That child still didn't change. He's weak to affections.'

 

Beacrox, who's the head chef now, was weak to affection. Especially to young people and animals. Up until now, even if he always brush off Maes and the other wolf children but still took care of them. 

 

Ron's eyes wandered to the father and son duo who's currently talking to each other. He would be lying if he didn't wish for a normal life as a father and have a normal family. But he's contented now. 

 

Cale glanced at Ron at that time and he looked back to Deruth so fast that he felt slight dizziness.

 

'What? is he planning to murder me? Why is he looking like that?'

 

The old butler was smiling benignly with a serious, deep and cold look in his eyes. Cale felt shivers run down his spine and avoided looking at Ron right now.

 

Yes. Ron was very much contented now.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Cale was back in his room after his talk with Deruth. He had hinted his father for the matters of a recording circulating in their territory. Deruth said he'll handle it, but of course, the reality is that even the Duke also has a copy of Cale's recording. That's a given. He's Cale's father, of course, he got the first copy before Alberu does.

 

Although Cale doesn't have any idea about it and was now changing into a more suitable clothing. He said he'll go to the palace by tomorrow, but Cale can't sit calmly after he heard a recording of him. And he's almost certain that if their servants and knights have it, the Emperor is bound to have it too. 

 

The three children, who said they'll go to the Black Castle earlier already returned together with Choi Han who has an innocent smile painted on his face. 

 

"Cale-nim."

 

Cale slightly flinched when Choi Han called him. He avoided looking at Choi Han and focused his eyes on his reflection in the mirror. 

 

Ron was currently dressing him up in the simplest clothing there is in Cale's new wardrobe. The clothes are newly designed just for Cale and more are coming if ever that Cale's condition won't be lift-off for a few more months. Although Cale doubts that it'll take long, his mother, Duchess Violan, insisted so. 

 

Well, of course, it's just because Violan wanted to splurge on child clothing for Cale. Like a doting mother would do. Although Ron and the others are reluctant at first because this might remind their young master about his mother, Countess Drew, they calmed down after Cale said that it's fine.

 

"What is it?"

 

Cale calmly asked. Well, he could tell Choi Han, Alberu and Raon about the reason why he was crying, but Cale still thinks it wasn't necessary. (Gosh I'm the one who's writing but I wanna smack Cale's head here🤦🏻‍♀️😂)

 

Cale didn't think it'll be necessary to tell them. He didn't want them to worry so much over a thing of the past. Although Cale understood that not telling them seems unfair, but Cale thought that it's better than painting their faces with despair. He's well informed that his past is too dramatic-sad, but to Cale who already started to replace those memories with happy ones like what he said back when he received the God of Death's message, his past was trivial for him now.

 

Cale's reddish-brown eyes observed Choi Han's face from the mirror. It looked innocent as usual, but Cale knew he's curious. And he's aware that Choi Han already has the clue that the reason is connected to him as Kim Rok Soo and not as Cale Henituse. But even so, Cale turned his eyes away from Choi Han when he saw him opening his mouth.

 

"Are you going to visit His Majesty?"

 

Cale gave Choi Han a sideways glance before slightly nodding his head, "Yes."

 

"But it seems that you said tomorrow?"

"...I need to ask him about mattews." 

 

Choi Han paused for a moment after he saw how Cale frown right after he lisp. He chuckled before he slightly bowed.

 

"Then let me accompany you," Choi Han then stood straight and looked at Ron with a bright smile, "Since Ron is needed here."

 

Cale's eyes automatically turned to Choi Han after he said that. 

 

'...Choi Han's really brave huh...'

 

Ron's benign smile spread to his face as he looked towards Choi Han with a cold and sharp gaze, sparks are almost visible from the way they are both staring at each other. Cale felt like his head will fly away from his body if this continued and resulted to the two clashing, that's why he cleared his throat and looked at his reflection, fixing his red cravat.

 

"Ron, I'll be with Choi Han so rest assured."

 

With that, it finalized that Choi Han will be the one to accompany Cale, together with the three children.

 

"Don't worry Grandpa Ron, I'll guard the weak human well!"
"That's right, nya! Me and Noona are Molan's as well!"

 

Raon and Hong shouted enthusiastically while On nodding her head in agreement with what Hong said. Well, the two Cat children had been taken in by Ron and had been training them the stealth and assassination skills of the Molan Household, and the two are very much proud of it. Even if they cannot go berserk, they are more than satisfied and happy with what they learned from their family member. 

 

Ron who stood in silence looked at the two children with a slightly surprised expression but it soon returned to normal as he smiled and patted the two. 

 

"Hm, then, this Ron expects that there won't be anything happening to you, young master-nim?"

"...Yes."

 

Cale only can only answer while looking at Ron's reflection from the mirror. The old man's smile still scared him.

 

 

~

 

Alberu was walking down the wide and spacious hallway towards the castle of the former King, King Zed Crossman, Alberu's father. He was with his closest aides and elite knights to which the disguised dark elves are mixed. 

 

Alberu was somehow spacing out as he listened to his aide explaining his itinerary. He was getting tired of signing papers, audiences and being coped in his office facing documents all day. Although Alberu love working if it is for the citizens and for the Empire, he couldn't help but feel a tad tired doing it again and again.

 

'Ah, I miss messing up with the white star...'

 

Alberu, who was thinking of that ridiculous thought quickly shook his head and slightly chuckled. This made his aide who was continuing to spit out his next appointment. 

 

They are all aware of how Alberu's working hard, with his office light lit up until midnight and will only be off when dawn came. Their young emperor who ascended the throne after delaying and delaying it even if he had the most authority over the former King, is a dignified and responsible Emperor to them. After he handled the kingdom's internal affairs, many already knew his crown prince position and cemented, adding to the fact that the former Commander Cale Henituse is with him, the kingdom grew into an Empire. 

 

Although they want Alberu to rest, they cannot suggest as there are matters that needs to be settled, just like-

 

"YOUR MAJESTY!"

 

-Yes, young master Cale's matter. That needs to be settled...

 

"Hm?"

 

They all turned to look at their back and there stood the little redhead Hero, accompanied by his knight, Choi Han, who is also the youngest swordmaster together with two Cats who has golden eyes and the little black dragon who was flying next to Cale. 

 

The aides and the knights alike froze on their spots. And as if something has gone wrong in their heads- well, of course, there is no one to blame other than them who repeatedly played the recording over and over again until they spent almost 2 high grades mana stones to supply their recording device. Even the mages who are working in different aristocrat households almost had their manas ran out after repeating the recording over and over and over again, seemingly to follow the child's voice and attempting to imitate the lyrics.

 

Although, if this news reached Cale, he will surely never visit the capital again.

 

The recording automatically played in their heads as they stared at Cale who was just looking at Alberu who looked like he saw something interesting and has a bright smile on his lips. 

 

The knights quickly give their salutation to the Hero- no, it was all because they are trying to hide their chuckles and trying so hard to keep it in while squeezing their thighs together, albeit no one noticed it.

 

The aides, however, didn't have any choice but turn away and cover their faces either with the hardbound ledger that they have or with the rolls of scrolls or just cough so forcefully that their lungs' threatening to go out of their mouths.

 

Of course, the three children and Choi Han noticed this but decided to keep quiet. Because they know how Cale's emotions are unstable. And what would be the natural reaction of a child who's feeling cornered knowing that everyone knows about his little practice

 

Cale will surely cry, sulk, and traumatized to go back to the capital and lock himself inside the villa.

 

"...Cale?"

 

Alberu acknowledged Cale's presence before he fully turned and looked at Cale who was approaching him. He was shocked but still amused. What could be the reason why Cale's here when he said he'll be visiting tomorrow?

 

Alberu racked his brain for reasons and one stood out the most.

 

'Ah... he finally found out about the recording...'

 

He could already guess it. Just by the look of horror in Cale's reddish-brown eyes, Alberu knew he'll be interrogated. Well, he could only tell that it already reached the other kingdoms and even the Magic Tower and the Alchemist Tower in the free city, and with Clopeh Sekka's continuous attempt to put Cale's recording inside the Henituse Museum-

 

Well, Alberu already knows it spread far and wide, even he can't tell for sure up to where it reached.

 

Although at this time, Cale, no- everyone didn't even imagine that it'll even reach up to the neighbouring continent. The culprit?

 

"Hoo... Cale's really a celebrity huh?"

 

Bud laughed as he received reports from that afternoon. A compilation of feedbacks from the his executives and mercenaries who also have the recordings and was teaching commoner kids or nobles kids alike of the said song.

 

Unbeknownst to Cale, his little practice has become a sensation and will be re-written by many musicians and the instrumental will be played in banquets for entertainment and for the young lords and young misses of the noble and aristocratic families' birthday banquets, even tea parties that are dedicated for nobility children. It'll be published into a music score, with orchestral adaptation. Even as far as going to be part of the scholars, professors and tutors' curriculums for the nobility and aristocrats' young masters and young ladies' music study.

 

And soon, his recording, regarded as the original and untainted version of this iconic song, ended up in the Henituse Museum. Of course, it has to be the original device too. That's why, Tasha, who didn't know it'll end up going that far could only smile hesitantly whenever she meets Cale.

 

Well, those are stories for the future.

 

 

Cale, who doesn't have any idea about this, was in front of Alberu and stretching his arms up.

 

"Hyung-nim."

 

Alberu flinched. He has a bad feeling whenever Cale switches from calling him 'Your Majesty' to 'Hyung-nim' so suddenly. But he still carried Cale to his arms who quickly settled himself and grip on Alberu's coat that has many ornaments and golden accessories, making Cale slightly grimace.

 

"We need to have a chat, hyung-nim."

 

Alberu, who noticed the glint of irk in Cale's reddish-brown eyes can only look away while holding his laughter in, closing his lips tightly as much as possible.

 

'Haaa...this punk. I really won't get bored with him here.'

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Alberu who was carrying Cale can't help but stare at the redhead who's in his arms right now. There are many things that are bothering him since Eruhaben informed them about their progress.

 

His mind was wandering on the same file that Marquis Taylor sent him yesterday. It was about a God he had never heard of. The God of Youth.

 

'What did this punk do to attract a god, again?'

 

Now that Alberu thought about it, Cale has connections- well, not a really strong connection but the string is there. He has a connection with the God of Death who frequently gives Cale a lot of headache by sending his message to Cage, the excommunicated priestess of the Church of Death. Same with how he has a tangled connection with the God of Despair. 

 

Alberu turned his face away from Cale and cover his lips with his closed fist, attempting to muffle his chuckle.

 

'This unlucky bastard...'

 

Cale, who noticed Alberu's behaviour tugged on his coat that made the Emperor stop laughing and look back at Cale with questioning eyes. But Cale smiled brightly after their eyes met.

 

"Your majesty, you really are as radiant as the sun. Your smile is truly admiwable-"

 

Cale closed his mouth before opening it again after clearing his throat and spoke slowly, "Admirabew.."

 

The surrounding turned silent for a moment. Cale was trying to fix his lisp but failed even with his second attempt. And this made the others cough loudly with their shoulders shaking. 

 

Alberu on the other hand was staring down at Cale, who currently has his eyebrows furrowed, and snicker while smirking.

 

"Dongsaeng, you seem in need of practising."

 

Alberu was clearly enjoying it and Cale, who knew it couldn't help but frown at him, "Your majesty."
"Hyung-nim."

 

Cale stared at Alberu before opening his lips to speak, but that was interrupted.

 

"Alberu?"

 

Cale stopped before he shifted to look over Alberu's shoulder but the latter was quick and put his hand over Cale's head slightly giving force so that Cale won't be able to look over his shoulder.

 

"Father."

 

Alberu turned to look towards them and turned his whole body. It was the former Monarch, King Zed together with the second prince, his half brother, Robbit- who was also carrying a child in his arms. It was Alberu's nephew, Augustus. 

 

The two, who was followed by many servants, is clearly going somewhere, given with their attires. But they had to stop when they saw a child being carried by Alberu. A little redhead was being carried by the Emperor and it was a peculiar sight.

 

"Who...?"

 

Zed Crossman's voice trailed down but he soon realized who the redhead is after he saw Choi Han, the two Cats and the little black dragon who's always around the former Commander Cale Henituse whenever he goes to a banquet. 

 

Cale who noticed the stare put his hand on his chest and bowed his head, "I greet the great Father of the Empire and Prince Robbit and the young prince Augustus. "

 

Cale rejoiced inside him. He didn't lisp. He wanted to go down and greet them properly but Alberu was holding him so tight that made Cale slightly frown. He looked up to Alberu who has a bright smile on his face, but Cale finds that smile vicious. 

 

'Ah, he's annoyed.'

 

"Please be careful on your way, Your Majesty, Prince Robbit and Prince Augustus. I still have matters to attend."

 

That was all and Alberu turned away with his lips turning into a mischievous smile. Cale find Alberu's reactions confusing but stayed silent before he tugged on Alberu's coat again.

 

"Hyung-nim."

 

Alberu looked down at Cale with that and his normal expression returned. He really feels like he's having a baby brother with how Cale calls him, but he chuckled to himself after having that thought. It would have been better if the inside was really a child and not an adult.

 

"What is it?"

"You have it don't you?"

"...What are you talking about?"

 

Cale's eyes turned sharp at that moment and sighed. Although Cale didn't know that his recordings reached other kingdoms, he already knew that it already spread in their territory and here in the palace. Cale shivered from that as his hands gripped tightly on Alberu's coat.

 

"Damn it."

 

Alberu flinched before he signalled for his aides. He didn't even look at them and just walked straight while holding the little redhead.

 

"Leave for now and put the documents that are needed to be signed in my office."

 

That was all and Alberu strode away from them, carrying Cale as if he's not their Emperor. The aides looked at each other with an undescribable look painted on their faces. Alberu, who just said that, has an audience scheduled right now and just thinking about how their Emperor walked away like he doesn't have any plan to go back and spend his afternoon with his sworn brother, their heads began to ache.

 

"Well, I guess we have to handle these matters to ourselves."

 

 

~

 

Alberu reached his bed chambers with Cale in his arms, followed by Choi Han and the three children who are chatting with Alberu while they are on their way here.

 

As soon as the door closed, Cale looked towards Alberu, "Please put me down."

 

But Cale soon flinched when he saw the look on Alberu's face. The blue eyes were looking sharply at him as if observing his reactions. Cale gulped down inwardly as his back started to turn cold. 

 

Alberu, who was observing Cale couldn't help but be frustrated. It was clear that Cale has no plan to tell them about the reason he cried. It wouldn't have been this big of a deal if Cale didn't cry but the situation is different. It was clearly an important topic that they should know. They wanted to ask, but they're afraid to see Cale's face painted with despair. Alberu wasn't there, but base on the faces he saw earlier when Eruhaben and Rosalyn contacted him through a video communication device, even though they are just retelling what they saw, the chaos in their eyes says it all. 

 

Cale's reason must be deep.

 

Alberu sighed before he put Cale down on the couch and opened the glass jar that was filled with a variety of cookies. Well, considering how Cale and the three children would always visit him late at night, or just at random times, he prepared jars and jars of cookies and sweets and restock his tea sets just for them. Alberu don't know if he should laugh or cry, his dignity as an Emperor- even back when he's still a crown prince, it didn't matter in front of Cale and the three children- no, it didn't matter in Cale's party. 

 

What's funny is that he didn't even care. But of course, if others would do these kinds of acts, other than Cale and his party, Alberu would send their heads flying.

 

Alberu sat as Cale nonchalantly reached out for the cookies and nibbled on them. The three children also sat next to Cale and already has one cookie on each of their paws, enjoying the sweet treats that they are used to now.

 

"So, what is it that you need to talk about? You said you'll visit tomorrow?"

 

Cale stopped. He looked back to Alberu and Choi Han who was standing next to his seat. Cale don't know why Choi Han wouldn't sit but he just shrugged it off since Choi Han would only give his bright and innocent smile if Cale told him to sit.

 

"Your Majesty."

"Hyung-nim."

"...Yes, hyung-nim. It's about the librawy. May I have a look right now?"

 

Alberu looked at Cale, his lips were twitching from the lisp he just heard. It was a rare scene for Alberu to see Cale lisping and frowning while his ear tips are turning light pink. It was amusing. So amusing that he wanted to record Cale's lisping with his face turning into a frown as he corrects his lisp albeit failing miserably. 

 

Now Alberu understood why Guardian Knight Clopeh would go as far as forcing his way to the Henituse Museum and put the recording in the exhibit.  Although he wouldn't go as far as that, if he's the one to record it, he'd keep it to himself. 

 

"Hmm... I don't mind if you go there now. But,"

 

Alberu's smile turned cold while looking at the little redhead sitting across him. He's hundred percent sure that his dongsaeng will surely use his ability again while memorizing every book there is that contains information about the God of Youth. But,

 

Cale being reduced back to a child, even when he was an adult, Cale was already weak. And now as a child? Using that ability that seems to overheat Cale's body? He won't be surprised if Cale will really faint after using it and not just overheat himself. 

 

"It would be better to go there tomorrow. Ron will surely request for a long chat if he happened to know you overused your ability."

 

Alberu casually said that with a cold smile across his lips. He was just being careful. He won't be denying the fact that Cale has the scariest and most vicious- borderline diabolical butler and chef. The father and son duo who he had belatedly known in the past as master assassin and master torturer, still can feel the chills whenever he meets the two. Albeit not severely to the point of him being scared- no, actually, the two are scary. But of course, he won't admit it. But still, Alberu is Alberu. He's a dignified Royal. 

 

Cale flinched from Alberu's statement before his face puffed and his lips form into a pout. That made Alberu stopped and stared at Cale with shock in his eyes. Choi Han's eyes shook while looking at Cale, and the three children who were just eating cookies while listening to them talk dropped their cookies and stared at Cale with their jaws slacking. 

 

It was a natural reaction. Yes, Cale's child instinct is kicking in. 

 

Cale who was pouting looked up to Alberu who was staring at him with shock written on his face. 

 

"Hyung-nim..."

 

Alberu couldn't help but gulp and his chest started to feel prickly all of a sudden. Looking at Cale's reddish-brown eyes that starting to get misty, a sudden strong wave of guilt slammed on his chest.

 

Well, of course, Cale wants to stop himself too. He had been holding it in for days and it seems like it'll be vent out now. The stress kept piling in, and now Cale really can't control his emotions. 

 

'...Fuck.'

 

"...Why awe  you so cruel?"

 

Alberu, the three children, and Choi Han thought they just heard something shattered. 

 

Chapter Text

Well, it would've been cute if this reaction doesn't have any other intent from Cale. 

 

It wasn't an act, but he is indeed taking advantage of his reaction right now. Cale, who had been a child for nearly a week now have been keeping the stress to himself since day one and right now, his emotional state is a mess. Although Cale thought that this timing perfect. The two, Choi Han and Alberu won't be able to ask about his matter for now. But if they did, Cale can always answer by telling them the truth, a partial truth that is part of the whole truth. He's not lying since he's still telling the truth.

 

Cale felt his eyes stinging and damn he feel so frustrated. He didn't know children has this emotional state, well, he did go through being a child too, but his wasn't...normal to say.

 

Cale didn't know what exactly triggered this reaction, but the mixed feeling of embarrassment that he had to go through this situation just because he turned into a child and the feeling of fear when Alberu mentioned Ron's name. It's because Cale knew that his vicious butler will surely do what Alberu said earlier. It's Cale's natural instinct- it's an automatic response whenever his butler is mentioned. His fear towards the old assassin butler who pretends to be a good and kind butler with a benign smile is the factor that greatly contributed to this situation.

 

"C, Cale? What-"

 

Alberu was clearly shaken up. He don't know what to do watching the little redhead sitting there staring at him with accusing eyes and those teary eyes of Cale is making Alberu's mind go haywire, he can't even form a sentence but his lips were closing and opening with a shocked and worried expression.

 

"H, Human? What is it? Do you want apple pies?"
"Or do you want lemonade, nya?"

Cale's cheeks were turning red because of embarrassment, but of course, the others find this reaction even more alarming, especially Alberu who don't know what to do that he carefully carried Cale to his arms and hand him a cookie. 

 

Cale frowned while being held by Alberu and being given a cookie, but he still accepted it and started eating. Cale was still sniffling while eating the cookie but he felt himself calmed down.

 

'Damn these unstable emotions.'

 

Cale didn't forget to curse this side effect of him turning into a child to the culprit who did this to him. 

 

Cale glanced to Alberu who was observing him. Cale wanted to grin while looking at the Emperor's flustered expression but of course, he's feeling guilty too. He didn't want them to worry like this but he needs to take advantage of the situation. Eruhaben and Rosalyn will surely just make him sit tomorrow and won't let him touch any books or even documents. 

 

"Then, you can take me to the librawy. It's not like I'm going to overwowk."

 

Cale's eyebrows twitched from his lisp and decided to practice again later in the estate. 

 

Alberu looked at Cale with disbelief written on his face. He thought Cale would still push his way and won't let them go with him. But well, if Cale ever does, they'd still tag along. Not like Cale can shake them off. 

 

Alberu sighed and walked towards his working table inside the room and picked up the papers the Marquis Taylor gave him. He ushered it to Cale who has a frown on his face. 

 

Cale clearly wanted to go to the library, but Alberu doesn't want to be the subject of Ron's long conversation. And, it's not like he's the only one who didn't want Cale to go to the library. Considering how Raon, On and Hong has vicious looks on their faces and Choi Han's bright smile was removed and replaced by a serious look.

 

"My dearest dongsaeng, this should do for now if you want to learn something."

 

That was all Alberu said and smiled so brightly that it made Cale shiver inwardly. Even though Cale wanted to persuade Alberu more, he couldn't do so as his hyung-nim would brush it off and only smile at him. It made Cale want to throw a tantrum all of a sudden. 

 

But before he could even start- not like he wanted to- they received a call from Duke Deruth that Cale should be returning now. Now Cale certainly felt like he had been defeated. Although it wasn't such a bad afternoon since he did receive some information. Now he just needs to convince Eruhaben and Rosalyn to include him in their research tomorrow.

 

 

 

"No."

 

Cale flinched while looking at Eruhaben who's standing in front of him. He still hasn't said anything but a clear rejection came from Eruhaben almost instantly the moment their eyes met. The ancient dragon was crossing his arms while staring at Cale with a vicious smile. 

 

Eruhaben already has an inkling that Cale will surely go with them tomorrow. And seeing that Cale's here, visiting the Black Castle at night and he's certain that the little redhead human in front of him didn't inform of his departure to the estate. Cale will surely be in trouble once Ron found out about this.

 

"But-"

"Cale."

 

Cale shut his mouth after Eruhaben's smile became even more vicious while calling out to him so softly. Cale felt shivers run down his spine looking at Eruhaben. 

 

"You can come with us, and you can read. But not to the point where you'll overheat."

 

Cale can only nod while looking at Eruhaben. He can only sigh inwardly and made their way to the second floor where Sheritt and Raon is. They were looking at something on the marbled table and looking at Sheritt and Raon's faces, Cale wanted to see it too. 

 

Cale walked towards the mother and son who were silently staring at something and has serious and curious looks painted on their faces. And this just fueled the redhead's curiosity. But in order to see that something, Cale needs to first go up a chair to see up the table. Because currently, he can't even see the top of the table and...

 

Cale glance at the chair and frowned when it was too tall for him to climb. He was about to call for Raon and ask but his body floated by itself- no, Eruhaben was carrying him. 

 

This made Cale speechless. Although Eruhaben did carried him last night, but this situation is a lot more different. Cale grabbed on the golden dragon's clothing and looked up to Eruhaben who has an expressionless face. Cale's question quickly shut down in his head and instead looked towards Raon and Sheritt, afraid to make Eruhaben any more annoyed than earlier. Unbeknownst to Cale, Eruhaben's face turned blank because of the sudden warm feeling growing in his chest while watching Cale's conflicted face while looking back and forth to the tall marble table and the tall chair, clearly thinking of a way to look over the table. It was all too unfamiliar for him who had lived in solitude and just got used to Cale and the others' company. Although he's already used to them and he's clearly enjoying being with them and started to care for these individuals, the feeling that he's feeling right now from Cale is different. 

 

That's why Cale didn't manage to see the fond smile that formed on Eruhaben's lips as his soft gaze cast on the little redhead in his arms. 

 

'This unlucky bastard. You really need to have a great being like me around.'

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

The next morning, Cale was being dressed up by Ron. He will be visiting the palace again, although he'll be with Eruhaben and Rosalyn. 

 

Cale sighed. The document he read through last night was helpful, he should thank Taylor but still, he needs more of the history. He needs to know the history of the household that was mentioned. 

 

Once Ron was finished, they both made their way to Deruth's office, the three children were also following them of course. 

 

Cale's mind flew back to the information in the documents. It is said that the Hebe Royal Household is a founding household that started the kingdom, and that means they are the ruling family since the establishment of the Kingdom. The blessing of the God of Youth is coveted by many since the start, then, when does their bloodline receive the blessing? In the first place, if they have those sacred animals, the royals won't be easily defeated as it is blessed too. And what more, why did he suddenly got cursed by a God he didn't even hear of before?

 

Cale felt his back going cold all of a sudden. 

 

"Human, why is your face looking like that? You look like a crushed apple pie!"
"Are you going to have lemonade, nya?"

 

The two children, who are looking up at Cale asked that and it made him sigh inwardly. He just shook his head and just on time, they reached the office. 

 

~

 

What Cale first saw when they teleported was Alberu's bright smile who's standing just a few meters away from the teleportation circle, and that made him smile bright too. 

 

"Your majesty, the brightest sun of our great Empire. Your radiance is astounding as evew..."

 

Cale frowned. Do he really need to practice again? Do that again? 

 

Alberu and Eruhaben both chuckled while Rosalyn only grinned to Cale. The little redhead who clearly wanted to annoy Alberu failed miserably. Although even if he does succeed so, Alberu would just brush it off since he wasn't at the very least annoyed. Of course, it is because of Cale's appearance right now. Seeing Cale frown at his child appearance is enough to make Alberu feel victorious. 

 

"Ehem. You can use the library now. I forbid anyone from entering there today. I cannot go with you today as I have an important audience to attend."

 

Alberu said before he ushered an aide to guide them. 

 

 

 

Cale felt like he's been cheated on. Eruhaben said last night that he'll let Cale read, well yes, he has something to read, at the piling number of two books, that is. The pages didn't even reach 200 pages. Cale's eyebrows started to pull towards each other but still read the books.

 

He sat on the marbled floor and the three children quickly sat around him while holding books too. Eruhaben and Rosalyn were currently roaming around the library to find the books and records that may relate to the history of the fallen kingdom. 

 

Cale sighed while reading. He's flipping the books so fast like usual, the others didn't find this weird anymore but they're still amazed whenever Cale used this ability of his. 

 

It didn't even take Cale five minutes and he already finished recording the contents of the books. Although his face is a little flushed, Cale couldn't pay attention to any of that as he's sorting out the information he read. 

 

The Roan Kingdom- now an Empire, has the longest history among all the kingdoms existing in the western continent. It is already existing since ancient times. Although it is a kingdom that doesn't excel with either mages or knights, it survived through hundreds and thousands of years, even with how close it is to one of the forbidden regions. 

 

The Roan Empire did not have a national religion. Considering the curse of the Crossman Household that was invoked by the Sun God, Angelina- the royal family didn't push the establishing of the Church of the Sun God as the kingdom's national religion. Add to the factor that they don't want to aggravate the Mogoru Empire. 

 

But this doesn't mean that it is a weak kingdom. It had raised and stealthily enhanced their blades all throughout the years of their silence, and of course, who brought the present glory of the kingdom? It was Cale and Alberu themselves. They were the puppeteers that made everything possible, such as making the kingdom flourished into the strongest Empire of the history. The home of many Heroes and the home of the legend- who? of course it's Cale.

 

But Cale really finds this situation of his quite intriguing and annoying at the same time. The Church of the God of Youth did not exist in the history of the Roan Empire. It didn't even have any church built here, even in the early times when the fallen kingdom of Karasi, the said religion only have the churches within the kingdom.

 

So why was Cale cursed when he didn't even have any ties to this God? And most of all, Cale didn't remember having to meet any person who has ties to the religion. It would be logical if he's cursed by the God of Death or the God of Despair since he has tangled relationship with both beings. But a completely different God cursed him? 

 

Cale exasperatedly sighed. A grumble escape his lips from frustration. 

 

'What the hell is this bullshit?'

 

Cale stood up with a frown on his face. He needs to read more. He needs to know more-

 

"NO."

 

Since when did Eruhaben sit on the floor too? He was sitting in front of Cale and was watching Cale earlier who didn't even notice him, the little redhead seems to be thinking of something deep and Eruhaben is absolutely sure that this little human will want to read more books just by the look of his face. 

 

The changes from blank to curious, questioning then later on Cale frowned. This entertained the golden dragon more than reading the books that he and Rosalyn gathered. Although Eruhaben's golden reptilian eyes glowed dangerously as Cale stood up abruptly as if ready to search for more books to answer his questions. And so, that brings to their current situation.

 

"But-"

"No."

 

Eruhaben even shook his head from left to right as he stared at the redhead who was now looking like a little puppy that's been abandoned by his mother. No- Cale certainly looked like he drank lemon tea. To say in Raon's vocabulary, Cale looked like a crushed apple pie.

 

"I need more."

 

Eruhaben's eyes stared right back towards the pair of reddish-brown eyes that were staring at him with much determination. The ancient dragon still finds it amusing how a human can stare straight at a dragon's eyes without feeling any fear at all. The dragon sighed inwardly as his arms reached for Cale's body that stood frozen after seeing Eruhaben's arms stretched towards him.

 

'Hm?'

 

Cale shut his mouth tightly as he was settled to Eruhaben's lap. The golden dragon had carried him and put him on his lap and secured the little Cale with his other arm while the other was holding the open book in front of the redhead. 

 

Cale, who was shaken up, looked up to Eruhaben who was looking at the book with a serious face. Feeling Cale's eyes on him, Eruhaben's lips and eyebrows twitched. 

 

The golden dragon was feeling satisfied. He wanted to smile so bad but he suppressed himself and pretended that this isn't at the very bit enjoyable to him and only doing it for essentiality. Yes. Purely for it being the only essential course of action if he wants to hold down the little Cale in place so he won't search the library for more books to read.

 

Still feeling Cale's stares, Eruhaben looked down to Cale and-

 

Eruhaben felt like his draconic heart pumped out more blood than usual. 

 

The way how Cale is eyeing him curiously with those surprised eyes, Eruhaben's elven ears turned light pink as his eyebrows twitched. 

 

Cale was clearly bad for the heart. Whichever race he came across, the fatality of Cale's child form look right now, is unmistakably- absolutely bad for the heart. The way how Cale's face displayed innocent confusion and surprise was too much for the golden dragon. 

 

Eruhaben raised his other hand that was securing Cale on his lap and patted the redhead to remove his eyes away from Eruhaben who's now has his eyebrows knitted together, clenching his jaws. His mind continues to wander on Cale's face while looking up to him. And he's sure that the little redhead's reaction will hunt his mind endlessly. 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

It was a normal morning, to say. Well, the normal morning was Cale waking up with Ron standing next to his bed beaming a benign smile the moment the redhead opened his eyes. The sound of the knights forming their formation right below Cale's balcony- they were being led by Hilsman, this knightage was designated by the Duke for safeguarding Cale who had turned to a child.

 

Of course, the number is a piling number of 10. And yes, the picking was bloodshed. It was the very next day when the curse befall their great hero.

 

The training ground, was, of course, fired up that day. The heat of their glares to each other can burn the others to death if their eyes could ignite flames. It was the most important tournament to ever held in the duchy. Deruth knew about it, but only ignored the movement- well, because he himself is excited of course. If the winners immerged from that said tournament between the knights and soldiers, of course, it will filter down the elites of elites. 

 

But their dreams were crushed when three individuals entered the training ground. 

 

"Oh. They are rearing with energy."

"That's a good sign isn't it?"

 

The first one to talk was the man with bright blue hair and tantalizing prehnite coloured eyes that was covered by a pair of golden rimmed circular glasses. The said man was grinning wide while his eyes displayed interest while eyeing the knights and soldiers. 

 

'Ah, I missed training my executives...'

 

Bud, who was thinking about that, grinned even more making the others felt shivers run down their spines.

 

Next to Bud was a woman with bright and vibrant blonde hair with many dark lines going on her exposed skin. Her citrine coloured eyes were displaying interest, but it was rather cold making her bright smile look vicious. 

 

The girl was clad in white knight uniform- a uniquely made one just for her. The said girl was Hannah, the holy maiden who also lead a holy knightage under her command. 

 

And, next to them who only silently nod his head was,

 

"Why is swordmaster Choi Han, Holy swordmaster Hannah, and Mercenary King Bud here?"

 

Yes, the trio, Choi Han, Hannah and Bud were the three individuals who entered the training grounds while holding their sword hilts with bright smiles on their lips. 

 

Of course, Deruth who was watching this nodded with satisfaction. The knights and soldiers who are looking at him with questioning eyes had been frozen stiff in their position and soon despair filled their eyes. 

 

They are certainly full of elation while looking at the three heroes in front of them. But the thought of-

 

"Now, everyone."

 

Hilsman was the only one who's brimming with energy. The heated atmosphere in the training ground earlier already turned icy cold just the moment they realize what is going to come.

 

"We will be having a battle, and your opponents are Choi Han-nim, Hannah-nim and Bud-nim."

 

And that day, the knights and soldiers don't know if they should feel happy for meeting the three heroes, or they should cry because their dreams of serving Cale was crushed or be honoured because battling them was also the greatest honour they can carry to their graves. 

 

But of course, that was all unbeknownst to our little redhead slacker who just woke up with Ron giving him a blinding benign smile the moment he opened his eyes. And with the usual drink since he turned into a child was given to him. 

 

It was another typical morning for Cale, but right now, the redhead just wanted to go home already.

 

The three children had dragged him out of the villa earlier and brought him to the plaza right in front of the villa. And there he stood unmoving in front of the three extremely excited children and a smiling Choi Han next to him.

 

"...What are we doing here?"

 

Cale decided to ask. He wanted to sleep for the whole day, but it turned out that he's not gonna get any sleep for the morning.

 

"Human! Let's play!"
"Let's play, nya!"

 

On was nodding her head with determination reflected in her golden eyes- no, even Hong and Raon. They are oddly looking so determined about playing that it made Cale slightly scared.

 

'Why do they look like that? we're just going to play, right?'

 

Cale was feeling a bit reluctant but still nodded his head. He's not sure what they are going to play, but considering how the three seems excited, the redhead can't even think of saying 'No,' to them.

 

Well, there is a reason why though. Why the three children were so eager to play. It was because of a ridiculous book they found in the library yesterday. 

 

It was a book written by an individual named Gillian. The Author's name wasn't at the very least familiar to the three children that's why it was quickly disregarded. Hong was the one to found this book amongst the books that Eruhaben and Rosalyn picked. 

 

But the contents greatly shook Hong's consciousness. He had quickly called for his noona and Raon for them to read the contents too. 

 

The story itself was for children like Hong and Raon, it was a story about a child who was left alone in a room with no one to talk to nor no one he can play with. It was a sad story in the first parts, but the ending was at the very least, happy. Though the children already focused their minds on the information right in the middle of the story, they completely disregarded the beginning and the ending. 

 

The child succumbed to thoughts of death. 

 

Well, in Cale's case, he wouldn't even think about it. He clearly said he wanted to be a slacker and live a long life, but the children's worries reached the bracket since the first minute of Cale turning into a child. And considering they're still not sure what side effects does this curse brings to Cale's body, they can't stop their heads from thinking of many situations that aren't very much favourably good for Cale.

 

That's why here they are, very much determined to play with Cale who had been in his room sleeping or just eating then sleeping again. 

 

The three smiled after seeing Cale nod his head. 

 

"Then should we play tag?"

 

Cale quickly shook his head, "No."

 

Cale didn't like the thought of running around while chasing these kids who are stronger than him, that was too unfavourable for him. Plus, Cale doesn't like working too much. 

 

The three children frowned and looked at each other before they stuck close to Cale. They were sure that Cale will say 'No.' to their suggestion of playing tag- more like they just downright knew how weak Cale is and they automatically thought of the sight of Cale being breathless and fainted because of running too much- then that's a no for them too.

 

Choi Han who was watching this has an innocent smile on his lips before he carefully but swiftly carried Cale to his back. 

 

This made the redhead blank out for a moment before he gripped Choi Han's shoulders. He was still surprised by the sudden action but he instinctively holds on to Choi Han's shoulders. And that saved Cale's body from waving around because Choi Han suddenly ran so fast that the redhead felt like his soul momentarily left his body.

 

"Sh*t!"

 

Cale muttered a curse as he was greatly surprised. He opened his lips to ask Choi Han what in the world is he thinking that he's doing this but his question was quickly answered as Choi Han's chuckle reached his ears followed by a playful shout to the three children who was left in their original location and was looking at Choi Han with their jaws slacking.

 

"Catch us if you can!"

 

That was it. That was the start of Cale's nightmare-ish game of tag with the three children.

 

Choi Han was running so fast, but this doesn't mean that the three vicious-looking children can't catch up. they all have wide grins on their lips as they chased the young swordmaster around the plaza.

 

But Cale's heart almost stopped when Raon fired a ball of mana towards Choi Han. It wasn't large, but it was certainly in a size that will surely cause an explosion. 

 

Well, Cale could only grip Choi Han's shoulder and yelled,

 

"No! Dodge! Dodge!!!"

 

Cale's childish screams rang up even to the farthest corners of the underground space where the villa was. It reached the small version of the farm that was on the surface inside the forest of darkness, where Beacrox is currently at, together with the wolf children who are helping him harvest some vegetables for lunch later. The chef turned to look towards Choi Han who was currently approaching the location was carrying Cale who was frantically tapping the blackhead's shoulder while looking at the black mana ball coming towards them.

 

This made Beacrox stop and chuckle lightly while watching his young master enjoying their playtime. Of course, the chuckle looked vicious if Cale saw that he'll think that Beacrox enjoyed seeing him suffer.

 

Choi Han jumped up the tree and jumped up to one of the balconies on the third floor of the villa. And the chaotic chase continued.

 

The mana ball landed on the side of the wall of the villa, but it didn't cause any destruction as it has Raon's attribute. The mana ball was set to only 'slow down' Choi Han's movement.

 

The chase of the three children continued. On summoned her fog that was infused by Hong's mild poison of paralysis. This made the poor little redhead's heart beat faster seeing the approaching fog. 

 

"No- Wait! Jump! Jump up, Choi Han!"

 

Cale's desperate cries were heard by Eruhaben who was currently with Bud and Tasha. The three was coming out from the second floor's veranda that was connected to the newly installed library that was mainly used by Eruhaben and Rosalyn. It contains many books about magic and most of it was the books that were in the former Mercenary Guild's Directory. Since the second floor was only composed of empty rooms was turned into the new Mercenary Directory and a private library of Cale and his party.

 

On and Hong's fog was quickly approaching Cale and Choi Han. Eruhaben sighed before he snapped his slender fingers and golden barriers started to cover him, Tasha and Bud who's watching the five with amusement reflected in their eyes. The same goes for any openings that the fog may enter was quickly covered with a thin barrier to prevent the fog from entering the villa.

 

And so the chase continued. 

 

Choi Han was smiling wide while securely carrying the little redhead on his back. He can only chuckle while listening to Cale's desperate cries and taps on his shoulder, telling him to dodge and avoid the attacks that the three children were throwing towards them. And Choi Han was certain that even though Cale looks so stressed, he was enjoying this. 

 

Another mana ball was released towards them but this time, it was bigger than the first ones. This made Cale's eyes grew so big that it's threatened to fall off his eye sockets- well, that was an exaggeration of course. The one that seems to come out of its proper place was Cale's fast-beating heart while eyeing the black mana ball quickly approaching them.

 

"No!!! Up! Choi Han! Up!!"

 

And so, Choi Han who was startled jumped down from the fourth floor instead of jumping up to the next floor. And so, the poor redhead can only suck in his breath while closing his eyes, feeling like his soul was left in the original position they were on before Choi Han jumped down.

 

They had dodged the incoming mana ball, but Cale's chaotic day hasn't ended with that just yet.

 

Yes, it was a very normal day for Cale. Very much so.

 

 

In a space where only darkness can be seen anywhere you look, one figure was staring at the scene that was being projected on the floating screen. The thin red lips tugged up pleasantly and an amused chuckle resounded inside that space. The vibrant light brown hair flowed after the body slightly shook because of the chuckle.

 

"Yes, That's right. Very good. Very good, Cale Henituse."

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

The chuckle that resounded inside that empty space was followed by a deep voice coming from a different person this time who had just arrived. 

 

"You're quite enjoying your time here."

 

The owner of the voice was clad in dark robes with accents of gold and violet. The long dark hair was swaying while the individual walked towards the other person inside the same room.

 

"Hm? Ah, you're here? Well, it's fun watching this, you know?"

 

He glanced at the screen as it projected the familiar human he and the other ones are keeping an eye on. His lips tugged up to a cold but amused smile eyeing the current form of the redhead hero.

 

"You found their records?"

 

The other stopped before slightly nodding her head. Cale Henituse and Kim Rok Soo's records, she had stumbled on it when she visited this man who had the books containing the records of both souls in his personal space. 

 

"Well, it is your fault for not keeping it carefully."

"Mm. I don't want a lecture coming from you."

 

She glared towards him and heaved a long sigh as she shifted her eyes back to the screen that was still displaying Cale's current situation.

 

"...Are you sure about this?"

"Since when did I doubted my decisions?"

 

The man smirked as he shrugged his shoulders from the answer that came from her. He didn't expect this situation at all, it was completely unexpected considering how this person next to him chose to withdraw her reach to other humans other than the tribe she's overseeing. 

 

'How amusing.'

 

 

~

 

 

Cale was currently sitting under a tree and controlling his breathes as he was really breathless throughout that nightmare chase. Ron handed the little redhead a glass of cold water who quickly drank the contents up. Cale was really tired, and he just wants to lay on his bed for the whole day and sleep. 

 

"Haaa..."

 

Cale sighed as he stroke the three children's head who was currently having the share of cold water from Ron. Choi Han was sitting next to them and was smiling brightly. Cale frowned while looking up to Choi Han who doesn't have any sweat and still looked fresh like he just took a walk down the park. 

 

'As expected of the protagonist.'

 

Cale didn't forget that the person in front of him is the main character of this world, it was unfair how fresh this punk look but Cale didn't care because he's rich. Filthy rich and he's living his slacker life. Although his slacker life is a bit different right now, there's nothing bothersome going on other than his current situation.

 

Cale looked down to his small hands. This day reminded him so much of the buried memories he has. The records that were flying in his head every hour and the raging memories are enough to make other people go crazy if they know what's going on inside his head. The emotions attached to those records, it's like a film that is endlessly hunting his mind. And it was tiring. Cale is growing tired of keeping himself together. 

 

Was it because he's in a child's body right now? Is it the one responsible for this feeling of exhaustion? Cale sighed as he pushed back the questions to the back of his head and laid to the grassy ground and stared at the leaves that were fluttering because of the wind. His throat felt clogged all of a sudden as a certain memory resurfaced from his mind. 

 

"Honey! What happened? Why do you look like that?"

"We were running away from the those stray dogs! HAHAHAHA"

"What? Honey! It's not a laughing matter!"

"Ouch-! Ow! I'll drop Rok Soo, honey! Calm down!"

"How can I calm down you bastard!"

"But it was fun!"

"What's so fun about being chased by rabid dogs?!"

"It was fun! Rok Soo was laughing while we're running!"

"Gah! You crazy husband!"

"It was fun right, Rok Soo?... Hm? Rok Soo...?"

"Oh my... he's sleeping."

 

Cale felt his heart clench remembering those vague memories of two familiar voices while his eyes were closed. The memories kept rushing in and Cale felt restless he wanted to wake up. He want to open his eyes... This isn't his reality, he needs to wake up. He must wake up. He didn't like the clogged feeling on his throat, he didn't like how his heart is clenching and hurting when this didn't happen when he stabbed himself by the root dagger in the past. 

 

...Cale didn't like feeling helpless like this.

 

He has to wake up. He needs to wake up from this memories that are currently playing inside his head. No... he has to wake up. Why is it that he yearn for this? Why? It was all in the past now. 

 

Cale didn't like it. He don't. 

 

But still... he wanted to stay a little more... just a little bit more.

 

"Honey, I told you. Stop running around with Rok Soo on your back!"

"But where's the fun with that?"

"What's so fun about it?! What if you trip because of running around?!"

"Heee~ honey, do you want to experience it first hand?"

"W, What are you saying you crazy bastard?!"

"Tch. But Rok Soo said it was fun!"

"It's because you keep on influencing him!"

"Huh?! Why am I the bad guy all of a sudden?!"

"Because you are! My sweet Rok Soo, your father's a bad influence, right?"

"Eh?! Wait- I'm not! Rok Soo, your Papa is the best right-?! Ouch! Honey, don't push my face! My neck's gonna break!"

"Hmp! Mama's the best, right, Rok Soo?"

"Gah! Wait, Honey!"

"...le...!"

"HAHAHA! Our Rok Soo! Good job, my son! What a genius!"

"Right? Our Rok Soo really is smart."

"...Cale...!"

 

"CALE!"

 

Cale opened up his eyes and he was greeted by a sight of familiar dark brown eyes and hair. It was Alberu in his dark elf form. The emperor was looking at him with worried eyes. He was sitting next to Cale and was peeking down at him when he opened his eyes. 

 

Alberu felt restless while looking at Cale who was crying while sleeping. He had escape from the palace and teleported here to take a break from the piling works he has to do as the emperor. He didn't like seeing his aides faces, entering his office, bringing piles and piles of scrolls and documents he has to read and sign. 

 

He had arrived inside the villa on the first floor. They set the coordinates there if ever the others wanted to visit. Alberu was greeted by the magnificent and sophisticated design of the villa. He really like the design this villa has. It was even fancier than his former palace, the crown prince's palace. 

 

Alberu really can't believe how his dongsaeng has a villa more fancy than his former castle, and the Black Castle that was on the surface of the Forest of Darkness. And the ownership of this very forbidden region- Cale really is fitted to the word Villain yet at the same time a hero. 

 

He walked out of the villa and he quickly saw Cale and the three children with Choi Han under a tree and seems like the redhead was taking a nap. The three children were playing close to where Cale is and Choi Han who was sitting next to Cale seemingly guarding the little redhead even though this villa is the safest place for Cale.

 

He quietly approached them and greeting the three children before he strode towards where Cale was. The moment he sat, the little redheads hand clutched to his clothes making the two look down to Cale who still has his eyes close. But something was troubling them the moment they saw how Cale looked right now.

 

Cale's eyes were trembling and his brows are slightly furrowed. His grip on Alberu's clothes, although it was weak, the grip was tightening. 

 

'Is he having a nightmare?'

 

Alberu and Choi Han felt restless and this didn't go unnoticed to the three children. They quickly approached the three adults. Ron, who was sitting on the branch of the tree that was near to Cale's location swiftly jumped down and approached them. He wanted to be there with Cale if something happened like him waking up while crying again. He felt restless when he was informed the Cale woke up in the middle of the night and was blankly crying. 

 

But they quickly froze from their positions when they heard a sob. They all looked towards Cale and there, they saw the tears that was cascading down the redhead's close eyes. His eyelids were trembling, his lips was pursed tightly as if to stop his sobs. And what made their hearts ache was what emotion Cale's face was displaying. 

 

Sadness. Longing. Desperateness.

 

"Mama...Papa..."

 

Cale's mumbling was clearly heard by them. Of course, it was an easy feat as they are strong individuals. They have keen senses, and those senses was activated to its maximum- no, it always breaks the chart whenever it involves Cale.

 

"No..."

 

They stared down to Cale with wide and anxious looks. The little redhead was still gripping Alberu's clothes and once again, they saw how the tears pour down faster. Cale's sob and sniffles were flowing out one after another. The desperate emotion laced on his voice made the others' anxieties and worries skyrocket. They were panicking. 

 

"Cale!"

 

Alberu was the one to call out to Cale first. Many attempts had passed until the last one. Cale opened his eyes widely and it met Alberu's dark brown eyes first. 

 

Cale still didn't stop crying. His face still displays desperate emotions and his tears was still cascading down his face. 

 

"Human!"
"Cale-nim!"
"Cale!"

 

Cale can hear them. But the aching of his heart was still there. The feeling of as if tens and thousands of needles was stabbing his heart. His throat still feel like somethings blocking it. His chest hurts so much. 

 

Cale clutched his chest and closed his eyes, biting his lips as he attempted to stop his tears from flowing. 

 

'No... I have to keep it all in. The children are here. I can't keep worrying them with this useless past.'

 

Cale was clenching his hands so tight that it made the others worry more. They were already freaking out and agitated by this situation. But Alberu, who was observing Cale couldn't help but feel angry and sorrowful. He knew Cale, he knew this redhead enough for him to tell what this idiot of a dongsaeng of him is doing. And it pisses him off.

 

"CALE HENITUSE!"

 

Cale flinched. Alberu's angry voice was new to him. This person who keeps himself cool headed and calm every time yelled at him. The voice was laced with frustration and anger. Cale bit his lips hard. Now this situation is turning worse. He had to stop crying now. 

 

"Why are you being unfair, Cale?! Stop keeping it in!"

Cale opened his eyes with that and stared at Alberu with his tear-stained face. 

 

The others bit the inside of this mouth as they saw how Cale's face was painted with sadness and desperation. Their chest felt stuffy that they had to turn away and wipe the tears that was threatening to fall.

 

"Why do you always keep it in, you stupid bastard?! You motherf*cking crazy bastard! Stop keeping it in and pour it out!"

 

Alberu was really angry. He was frustrated. Why does Cale have to hide his emotions from them? Why is it that his dongsaeng has to suffer alone from those emotions?

 

"You punk..."

 

Cale choked from the sobs he was constantly producing. He held his breath as Alberu's arms reached for him. And soon he was brought into a tight hug. 

 

Cale gripped Alberu's clothes and bit his lips. No, this isn't- he needs to gain his composure. Worrying them like this is pointless.

 

"H, Hyung-"

"Shut up! Shut up, Cale! Just please... let yourself be free from those restraints for once."

 

Cale froze. His tears were still falling. The feeling of heaviness in his chest was still there. The piercing pain he still feels in his heart. 

 

Cale slowly closed his eyes and gripped Alberu's clothes even tighter. And Alberu who felt like his words had drilled themselves on Cale's head heaved a relieved sigh as he caress the redhead's hair. He hugged Cale tightly, of course careful to not crush his body. 

 

"It's alright, Cale. Everything's alright."

 

"It's alright, Rok Soo. Mama and Papa's here. Everything will be alright."

 

Those words...was it because Cale is a child right now? Was it because his emotions are that of a child? Cale don't know.

 

He don't know why, but those words that reminded him so much of the two important people he lost for the first time in his life. The soft voice of the woman who would stroke his head while hugging him. And the sound of the man's breathing while rubbing his back. 

 

Cale cried. He cried so loud for the first time in a long while. He cried so loud that his throat felt like it was ripping. 

 

Ah...really. It really must be because he's a child right now. It really must because of his current situation that he's doing this. 

 

The desperate and sorrowful cries of the little redhead was heard throughout the villa. They were frozen on their places. Listening to those cries that they heard for the first time. Their hearts were clenching and felt like it was being stabbed just by listening to the cries of the person who always put on a cold and stoic facade.

 

 

Chapter Text

Cale had calmed down faster than they expected. The little redhead who cried so loud like this for the first time was heartbreaking for them who's witnessing this for the first time. 

 

Ron's eyes lingered on the redhead who's currently wiping his tears with the handkerchief that Alberu gave him. His heart was hurting so much while watching the young master he served since he's a baby cried so loud. He felt useless for not knowing the reason why Cale's crying like so. If he knew, he'll do something about it just to not see Cale being like this. 

 

"Cale?"

 

Cale looked up to them after he wiped off the tears. He slowly turned his eyes away from them and look at the entrance of the villa instead. He can't look at them who has vicious stares directly at him. Those curious eyes that are currently piercing the side of his face were making Cale's head throb.

 

"Let's go home fiwst, Ron. Father might be looking fow me now."

 

Cale stood up after he said that- completely ignoring the lisps- and looked at the three children beckoning them over. But the three only stared at him with serious eyes. Cale's eyebrow twitched and looked towards Choi Han and Alberu who's looking at him too. Cale was starting to feel nervous from the way they are staring and to add up to that, his old assassin butler was smiling benignly at him again with cold eyes. 

 

"Mm."

 

Cale groaned and looked down while closing his eyes. He can't just blurt out that he's crying because of a past that he now deemed useless and well, pointless. He didn't want to worry them more than they are now, just thinking how their faces will distort to a worried face, Cale's stomach is already churning. 

 

He sighed and looked at them. Well, if this continues and the questions keep on piling, that'll be bad if it blew up and Cale really finds that troublesome. That's why he planned to tell them just a part of the truth.

 

"Emotional instability is one of the side effects of the curse."

 

It is the most plausible reason he can tell them. He can't tell them that he's crying because of his past family, for one, only Raon, Choi Han and Alberu knows he's a transmigrator. So what of Ron, On and Hong? Cale can explain to On and Hong, it won't be that heavy. But one individual will be greatly impacted by this. His old assassin butler. What will Ron do if he knew that the young master he's serving isn't the same young master anymore? Cale shivered inwardly just from the countless simulations his head is coming up. 

 

Of course, while Cale is thinking to himself, the others were frozen stiff in their places as they look at the little redhead that was clearly in deep thoughts. 

 

'Emotional instability...'

 

Choi Han's eyes lingered on Cale before he stood up and picked the redhead up. Making the others look at him. He gave them an innocent smile as he looked towards Ron who's looking at him coldly. Ron clicked his tongue making Cale flinch and grip on Choi Han's clothes. 

 

This only firmed Cale's reason not to tell them the truth. 

 

'Right. Let's keep it. No need to tell them.'

 

Choi Han walked to the villa with Cale in his arms and with the others following them. Although with the three children glancing back and forth between Ron, who's extruding murderous aura and with Choi Han who will glance at them with an innocent smile. 

 

And of course, Cale who was in such deep thoughts didn't notice this at all.

 

The moment they entered, Choi Han quickly stepped on the magic circle that was installed on the floor. It was an invention of Eruhaben and Raon, this way, it won't take more time and only needed to insert some mana then the magic circle will activate. Although this also needed another matching magic circle to move from the location, it was a great invention. Even Alberu has this in his room. 

 

Cale, Choi Han, Ron and the three children teleported away after they bid goodbye to Alberu who was smiling so bright while watching them disappear. Cale finds that smile suspicious but just brushed it off as he let his body teleport away too.

 

That's why he didn't saw how Alberu's smile faltered and soon turned into a frown as the dark elf strode up to the second floor of the villa and made his way to the library. 

 

As soon as he reached the double door, he quickly opened it and the sight of tall and towering shelves of books greeted him. In the middle of the room was a long marble table with intricate designs and there he found Eruhaben and Rosalyn with scattered papers, piled-up books, some books are open and some are still closed, still unread. 

 

The two was in the act of standing up and Alberu just knew they just snapped out of their reverie after they heard the commotion earlier. But they stopped mid-way when they saw Alberu looking at them. 

 

"Cale and the others had gone back to the estate."

 

Alberu announced and strode towards them as he sat on one of the cushioned chairs. Eruhaben stared at him silently and sighed.

 

"That unlucky bastard."

 

Rosalyn and Alberu can only sigh too as they silently agree to Eruhaben's grumble. 

 

"Cale said that it was because of the side effects of the curse."

"What?"

"Hm?"

 

The two quickly turned their heads back to Alberu with questioning eyes. They had been researching since the next hour after Cale turned into a child, but their research was still on the nature of the curse, the source of the divine power, the needed conditions for the caster to cast the curse and the history, where this curse is rooted from. They had found many things already but their supposed to be research about the side effects was forgotten when they saw Cale crying in the middle of the night. Their plan to examine Cale's body was quickly thrown off the window.

 

"He said emotional instability is a side effect of the curse."

 

Eruhaben frowned as information quickly rushed into his mind, the same goes for Rosalyn who soon frowned after remembering the information that registered in her head after hearing that. 

 

Alberu watched as the two froze on their seats and looked at him with questioning eyes as if asking if he really said that. Alberu understood what's running inside their heads. 

 

Earlier, after Cale said that, he felt like his brain just shut off and completely dysfunction. Choi Han might not know it, but he's sure that Ron knew the history behind those particular two words. And of course, Alberu also knew that Cale didn't know the history of those words since his soul isn't here yet when that certain event happened.

 

Alberu slowly nodded at the two of them and just like the look of like everything just turned blank and as if their mind shut off itself- the two sat there unmoving while looking at him with blank expressions.

 

"...That, fucking God."

 

Alberu flinched after he heard Eruhaben murmured those words. Well, of course, Alberu wanted to recite curses earlier- he wanted to curse so bad but he was in front of the three children earlier.

 

Well, considering those words that Cale had said, Emotional Instability or what the physicians called Motus Instabilitatem. Alberu was in his early adolescence when this news erupted in the capital. 

 

It was an illness, to say, that caused madness over the whole kingdom. The person in question was the only daughter of a noble who took interest in his Father, King Zed. Well, of course, his father was good looking after all. The lady at that time was very fond of his Father that it became a hot topic for many aristocrats, of course, this made the Queen feel frustrated and angry. The next months, the Queen and that lady would fight and that's when they notice the behaviour of the young lady. 

 

One time she's happy, the next moment after one would just make a little comment about her, she'll teeter to sadness and anger. And this was, of course, became another hot topic for the aristocrats. 

 

And so, that certain day when the lady burst out after keeping in so many emotions, she had tried to murder the Queen- and that gained her the free pass to the guillotine. 

 

There was also that history of a young master from a noble household who had the same illness. After many more months, the young master was found dead inside his bed chambers, he hanged himself to death.

 

And many more followed. It only quieted down when he reached he entered early adulthood. But one thing is for sure, the concept of the words in this world is different from Kim Rok Soo and Choi Han's world. And this big misunderstanding had caused many waves to begin forming on Cale's supposed to be a peaceful life.

 

~

 

The next morning, Ron had rushed to go to Cale's bedroom after he received his share of information about what Eruhaben, Rosalyn and Alberu researched yesterday after they had gone back to the estate.

 

But Ron's heart turned cold when he cannot feel any presence inside the bedroom. The sound of light breathes he hears even if he's still outside the room wasn't there. 

 

He began to wonder where the three children are-

 

"Grandpa Ron! Is the Human awake now?"
"We have to play with Lily today, nya!"
"Grandma Violan said she's going to have tea with us today, nya!"

 

Ron turned to look at the three children and he saw how the young dragon's face distorted from a bright and happy face to blank, worried and agitated face.

 

"W- WHERE'S THE HUMAN?! I- I can't feel his presence!"

 

And so, the servants who heard that scream from the little dragon who had quickly barge inside Cale's room, could only be agitated too as they relay the urgent message and it soon reached Deruth who thought his heart just stopped beating and his soul escaping his body.

 

The whole duchy turned into a pandemonium that very morning.

 

 

...

 

 

"You're gonna regwet taking me, bastawd."

 

The purple eyes shifted to the redhead that was on his lap and put his chin on his knuckles. The luscious silver hair flowed as he moved and fixed Cale on his lap. His whole demeanour was giving off that slothful but still dignified atmosphere. 

 

The man's crimson lips curved into a pleasant and amused smile, revealing a long and sharp tooth. He watched how Cale's red hair turned silver just like his and the reddish-brown eyes turned purple.

 

"Ah, my son. You're such a cute son, Naru."

 

Yes, the culprit, was none other than Fredo von Ejellan, the current King of the Endable Kingdom. 

 

The current situation? Cale was kidnapped by Fredo in the early morning and took the poor redhead away. Cale who woke up inside a familiar bedroom that time was frozen for a few minutes and looked at the side of the bed where Fredo was and watching him with an almost sparkling eyes. 

 

And here they are right now, with Fredo sitting on his throne and Cale- in the form of Naru- was sitting on the damned Vampire King's lap as he eats the cookies that were given by Count Hubesha who was also looking at him with a large grin across her face.

 

Cale's mind flew back to the others who might be in his room right now. His back suddenly felt cold and of course, Cale's foreboding sense of misfortune was dawning in his chest. 

 

That, the misfortune was more like a catastrophe

 

With Deruth already preparing the knights brigades, with the Molan assassins quick assemble after being summoned by their Head, with Choi Han and the three children ready to war- 

 

Cale was lucky that he didn't know about this. He's so lucky to not have any idea what's going on, or else his soul will long escape his body from the stress it will bring him.

 

 

Chapter Text

"Hand over Cale-nim."

 

The firm and vicious look on Choi Han made Cale flinch while holding onto Fredo who's currently carrying him and giving him an ice cream cone. He just wanted to faint while looking at the large group of people that were present in front of the castle. 

 

Cale can see their Knights Brigade, lead by his Father. And Cale could've sworn he saw the hidden assassins around the palace while looking at them with sharp eyes. He can already tell that it was Ron, who was currently standing next to Deruth and holding the Duke's shoulder, was the one who assembled the assassins- and as usual, the vicious look and the benign smile only made the butler look murderous. Cale wouldn't have known that Ron's doing that because Deruth is ready to charge in like a bull and snap Fredo's neck. He was extremely jealous. Just seeing Cale being carried by that- that damned vampire like he's the real father and Deruth was just an uncle, the Duke's sanity snapped and is ready to charge in any time. 

 

'H, How did it end up like this...?'

 

Well how, indeed? Two days ago.

 

Fredo was bored to death while reading the documents and files that were piled up on his desk. He had become the King after many hardships they had to go through because of that motherfucking white star, but well, Fredo was happy.

 

BUT HE'S EXTREMELY BORED.

 

That's when an idea came to mind. Although he couldn't have guessed that executing it will fuel the possibility of war- ignorance truly is bliss.

 

Fredo teleported and he arrived exactly inside Cale's bedroom. The extravagant design of the room was the first to greet him. Well, the Henituse, even when they were just a County, was the richest noble household existing in Roan, that's why the Orsena's, despite being close to the crown because their territory was in the central region, can't help but feel envious of the encompassable amount of wealth the Henituse has. 

 

Fredo strode towards the bed only to see the little redhead sleeping while breathing lightly. Fredo could've sworn he just saw bubbles and sparkles coming out from Cale just by looking at his sleeping face. It was absurd, but for Fredo who finally found a source of enjoyment took out a clean white piece of paper that has violet and gold intricate design on the borders. He elegantly took out a pen and began to scribble on the paper.

 

This took only seconds, the paper was put on top of Cale's bed and was secured with an amethyst that was the same colour as the vampire's eyes. Fredo slightly brushed away his silver hair that was on his face and secured it on his ear as he carefully carried the little redhead to his arms. 

 

He's just thankful that the others seem to be away for a while and that gave him enough time to borrow the sleeping redhead. 

 

"Hmm..."

 

Fredo's eyes quickly darted to Cale who rubbed his cheek on the vampire's chest and with his face that reflected satisfaction-

 

Fredo touched his nose instinctively and lightly brush it. He felt like something will ooze out just by watching the redhead in this situation. But his eyes momentarily turned sharp while looking at Cale's current condition. 

 

A familiar scent of divine power was lingering on Cale's body and Fredo's face distorted with confusion. Wondering why that scent was in the redhead's body. 

 

'Didn't she said they already retracted their connections away from any other humans?'

 

Fredo's mind wandered to a lady that still hadn't aged after many years when he visited her after a century. The luscious and vibrant brown hair that flow down her back was an almost instinctive image that was imprinted in his mind. Well, it is indeed a century since they last saw each other- but this situation is truly intriguing.

 

"Relia...This is..."

 

Fredo mumbled to himself as he slightly brushed away Cale's red hair that was on his forehead. He was curious but pushed the matter away as he quickly tore a teleportation scroll.

 

The letter that was left on top of Cale's bed slightly fluttered, written in beautiful and elegant penmanship,

 

"I'll be borrowing him for a while."

 

~

 

When Cale woke up, a familiar ceiling greeted him. It wasn't his room, that he's sure. Because the dark colours that were elegant and sophisticated put on together was never did the colour of his room that has vibrant and light colours. 

 

Cale sighed and processed the current situation as records after records fly in his mind and the moment he found the certain record amongst those billions and billions of information, Cale frowned.

 

"What bullshit-?"

"Now, now. It's not good for a child to curse like that."

 

A sluggish, slightly carefree but deep voice answered next to Cale, making the little redhead abruptly turn his head to the direction where the voice came from but his face quickly distorted to a distasteful expression the moment he's greeted by a grinning face of a certain vampire he knew. The long fangs peeked on the crimson red lips that were curved in a mischievous grin. 

 

Cale watched Fredo who sat next to his bed, had his other leg atop the other while elegantly drinking a red liquid on a champagne glass. 

 

"What the hell is this?" 

 

Fredo's eyes curved as his purple eyes slightly turned red. 

 

"Good morning to you too, my son."

 

Fredo greeted Cale with a bright smile as he put the champagne glass down to the table next to the bed. And that very moment, the door opened and entered was Melundo, Fredo's butler and also one of his trusted subordinates. The vampire butler was pushing a serving cart and on top of it was steaming dishes of steak, sunny side ups and some vegetables. Just by the smell of it, Cale can feel his stomach grow hungry. 

 

"Here's your breakfast, well, more like a lunch. My son is such a heavy sleeper."

 

Fredo grinned again while looking at Cale's frowning face. The little redhead just looked cute and adorable with those plump cheeks and his droopy eyes, the glare he's receiving was just cute and not intimidating.

 

Melundo who's watching this with a worried look in his eyes looked at his master with great anxiety. He had been there when they gathered information about Cale Henituse and his party. They had found many things but one thing stood out the most,

 

'Is this really okay?'

 

The butler questioned the situation. He badly wants to pull the silver hair of his master- of course he cannot do that- who was currently enjoying the situation. But Melundo felt most restless while eyeing the little redhead that still has his bed hair and sitting on top of the bed.

 

One thing stood out in most of the information they had gathered.

 

'It is said that the moment something happen to Cale Henituse, the others will turn everything upside down.'

 

That information was written in large letters and red ink as if to imprint that information on anyone who's reading the reports. Although they had turned that information down and brush it off as a joke, with the battles they had gone through, Melundo knew that if Cale's company found out about this...

 

'Master... what have you done...'

 

The poor butler can only grumble inwardly as he watches his Master talking with the redhead, clearly enjoying.

 

Fredo grinned at Cale as he carried the little redhead to the table where the breakfast was set. Cale had expected that the vampire will finally put him down but that wasn't the case at all. 

 

"Don't make the kind of face, my adorable son. Don't you like being on your Father's lap?"

"Stop spouting bullcwap."

 

Cale frowned after his lisp but still glared at Fredo who was currently chuckling while looking at him with an amused expression. He sighed and patted Cale's head and grabbed the silverware and started to slice the steak to bite sizes. 

 

After that, he looked down at Cale who was still frowning. This is when Fredo started to think that it might be good to really adopt Cale as his son. Well, like it's gonna happen- he'll be stabbed by a stake if he does.

 

"Say 'ahh', Naru~"

 

Cale frowned and looked up to Fredo who was smiling at him. He wanted to curse the damned Vampire if only he's not hungry though...

 

"Ahh.."

"My, such adorableness. My son's really cute, don't you agree so, Melundo?"

 

With Fredo's bright question, Melundo really wanted to cry and beg his master to just bring back Cale to the Henituse territory. The poor butler felt like his long lifespan was suddenly cut down and he'd only live for the next days.

 

But of course, he can only answer with a bright smile while looking at his master who's clearly enjoying himself. As a loyal and faithful servant to his master, seeing how happy Fredo was, he can only swallow back the grumbles he wanted to spit out.

 

"...Yes, Your Majesty."

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Cale stared at his reflection in the mirror. The grimace that was plastered on his face is evident that he doesn't like any bit of this. 

 

Earlier, after Fredo finished feeding him his breakfast, Melundo, his butler, took Cale and prepared a bath for him. After that, an outrageous amount of time was spent rummaging through Fredo's wardrobe. The vampire king had frantically searched for his clothes when he was still a baby.

 

And currently...

 

"Look, Naru~ We're matching!"

 

Cale frowned at Fredo who's carrying him while doing a twirl. Yes, the two, was currently wearing identical clothes. A blue long sleeve polo with a yellow ribbon on the chest part, a pair of black suspender shorts for Cale and a pair of black slacks for Fredo. And the finishing touch was the black matching satin cape. 

 

If Deruth would see this, the duke will surely, surely forget all the noble etiquette he has and rush in like a bull and wring Fredo's neck. 

 

"What's with this chawade?" 

 

Cale was frowning so hard and glaring at Fredo who's currently looking at him with a mischievous grin plastered on his lips. The twitching of his lips and the trembling of his shoulders was making Cale grimace even more.

 

"My son."

"Don't call me that."

"Naru~"

 

Cale frowned even more and gave the vampire an incredulous look. 

 

"Just how much of a bastawd are you? Put me down."

"No can do. Ah~ my son is so adorable."

"I said, put me down."

"Now, now. Follow after your Father. Cha...rade."

 

Cale stilled and frowned and looked up to Fredo who was smiling brightly again. Cale wanted to punch that face so bad right now. He had been frustrated since the moment that greeted his eyes was this annoying vampire bastard. Cale admitted for the first time that it is better to wake up being greeted by the sight of his assassin butler next to his bed and smiling benignly- no, that's also a nightmare... but still, Cale prefer that over waking up with an annoying grinning face of this vampire.

 

Fredo looked at Cale who was frowning while looking at him. The little redhead was in Naru's appearance right now, for that reason, Fredo was grinning stupidly while watching Cale struggle from his arms. But the lisps... 

 

"Come on, Naru. Follow after Papa. Cha...rade."

"You..."

 

Cale was getting irritated. Fredo was clearly teasing him for his lisp. But what can he do? He hadn't been practising because of the events that are unfolding every day, and now he's been kidnapped by this vampire and Cale could've sworn that the three children back in the Henituse duchy are looking for him now. 

 

Well... not like Cale could've predicted that it was worse than what he's thinking. That the knights' brigade is standing atop a large teleportation circle conjured by Eruhaben, Raon and Rosalyn. The ancient dragon thought that this is truly troublesome. He can just easily teleport to where Cale is and get him without gathering this many people. By the looks of this, Eruhaben can only sigh and watch Deruth with his arms crossed. 

 

'That unlucky bastard.'

 

And yes, the unlucky redhead was currently sitting on Fredo's lap while the latter was giving him cookies and currently...

 

"Follow after me, my adorable son."

"Stop calling me that. I am not youw son."

"Now, now. This will help you from lis-...pff- ehem. Lisping too much, my dearest Naru."

 

Cale's eyebrows twitched as his cheeks started to puff. The little redhead's plump cheeks bloated and with his eyebrows pulling each other together, Fredo had to work hard to suppress his chuckles from coming out as he watched Cale with amusement in his eyes. Something's clicking in his head and whispering to his ears- tease Cale more. The heralded hero of both continents was so cute when he's irritated and Fredo could've really sworn that he really wanted to adopt Cale for himself. He really can't hold himself back if this continue.

 

Well, that was just false hope, of course. His heart would be pierced by a stake first if Deruth found out about his plan. Well, not just one though. His body would be filled with holes instead, if this plan of his was heard by the others.

 

"Come on, Naru~ This will help you, you know?"

 

Cale frowned. Why is this bastard still bringing this topic up? Even though he had turned into a child, Cale is still an adult inside and he had lead many battles to victory- albeit he had to puke blood every time- he was the puppetteer, the commander of those battles, and this vampire is thinking that he'll be tricked by this kind of attempts?

 

...Or that's what Cale wanted to say.

 

The little redhead who did not want to sing again those mortifying songs can only furrow his brows and opened his lips hesitantly.

 

"C, Cha...wade."

 

Fredo's bright smile faltered and his eyes blankly look at the redhead that was furrowing his eyebrows while slightly pouting his lips. Cale wouldn't have done this even if he had turned into a child, but one thing was currently unknown to him. The only side effect that Cale knew was his emotions became unstable. But that was only a part of it. 

 

Fredo faked a cough a fixed Cale on his lap, "Let's try that again, Naru. Follow after me. Cha..."

 

Even though he's really getting irritated, Cale still opened his mouth to try again, "Cha..."

 

"Rade."

"Wade."

"N, No...pff- Ra~de."

"Wa~de."

"Charade."

"Chawade."

 

Fredo stilled while looking at the little redhead who was now really pouting and frowning so hard. The vampire suppressed the incoming chuckle but he couldn't do it anymore.

 

Fredo chuckled. And this made Cale flinch as the pink tint became more visible. It didn't help that his current appearance has a pale complexion, even paler than his complexion as Cale Henituse. And it was noticeable because Naru's appearance was mainly composed of his pale complexion and his silver hair, the red tint was very much visible.

 

"Lets-- pfhahaha-" Fredo suppressed his laughter, his shoulders were shaking so bad and his face was tinted with red as suppress the laughter that will surely escape any moment.

 

"Let's try that again, my adorable Naru. Charade."

 

Cale groaned. Why is this more mortifying than singing?

 

"...cha...chawade."

"Cha- pff- charade."

"chawade."

"No, no. Chara~de."

"Mm."

 

Cale didn't want to do this anymore. This is even more embarrassing than when he's singing. 

 

"Come on, Naru. Charade."

 

"Naru? Come on, do it after me."

 

"Naru~"

 

Cale's eyebrows twitched as it furrowed so hard and with an irritated voice, he couldn't control himself as the annoying feeling surfaced, that's why he shouted to Fredo's face,

 

"Chalade!"

 

"...Your majesty?"

 

Cale's face flushed even more. Is this really helping him? This doesn't help at all! (actually, it does.) Cale just wanted to go home now and apart from that...

 

Cale turned to look at the newcomer who just came in and arrived at the throne room. Yes, they are currently in the throne room- doing this kind of thing...

 

Fredo was really a crazy bastard. 

 

Hubesha, formerly a Countess, now the only Marchioness of Endable Kingdom. The dark elf that sided with Cale after the citizens of the kingdom was sacrificed by the White Star to summon the monsters that came from the demon world. She was the perfect epitome of an aristocrat who wanted what is best for the kingdom and for the citizens. Her desire for a place to belong for their race and the other races who were cast aside by many, her greed for freedom and peace for the citizens of this kingdom was one of the reasons why many had respected her.

 

Marchioness Hubesha stared blankly at the two but her gaze settled more on the little child on their King's lap. 

 

"Why is Naru...?"

 

But she soon remembered a certain redhead who had infiltrated the kingdom in the past in the form of someone they didn't expect. Hubesha turned her head to Fredo who was grinning widely while cuddling the little Naru on his lap, clearly ignoring the Marchioness who was shaking and pale- if that was possible for a dark elf.

 

"Y, Your Majesty! Is, is that Cale Henituse?!"

 

Hubesha had received a report a week ago from their Ambassador that they sent in Roan Empire. Endable and Roan had an agreement in the past that a position of an Archduke will be granted to them as one of the compensations Endable has to provide to gain the support of Roan. And that position was given to Bob, Alberu's pseudo persona. The person that is faux, nevertheless still exists. This became a bridge, to say, that the very Ambassador was from the Archduke Bob's ranks and a loyal subordinate to the Archduke household. Although those servants and subordinates didn't know the truth that their master was a fake, they are very much loyal to him. 

 

And yes, Alberu would often escape from his official duties and play as an Archduke in Endable while taking a break. And well, Alberu very much enjoys it. Although his enjoyment made his aides and advisors want to pull every hair on their heads trying to find their missing Emperor.

 

Every one of those who are in higher positions and has direct access to informations from outside the kingdom knew of the condition the redhead hero was in- that, Cale turned into a child a week ago and of course, the video recording of him in the festival was included in the report and... the very recording of him singing was also attached to the report. It was Bud who had given some of this information to them and the very person who included that mortifying- according to Cale- recording of him.

 

Hubesha just wanted to grab Fredo's collars and shake the Vampire, just to also shake his brain that maybe had gone haywire after being holed up alone inside this huge palace resulting to him taking this stupid and crazy move to kidnap the most important- no, more like the treasure, no, a godly and legendary figure on both West and East continent. The titles used were courtesy of Clopeh Sekka's terminology.

 

Cale turned to look at Hubesha who has an incredulous look painted on her face while alternately looking at him and Fredo. 

 

"This... your majesty, have you gone crazy?"

 

 

Chapter Text

Eruhaben glared at the woman who stood unmoving right outside the teleportation circle that has a diameter of 500 meters, and above it was the Knight's brigade that was currently on alert after a woman appeared out of nowhere. The lady might've teleported and arrived at the coordinates just outside the teleportation circle-

 

Like hell anyone would believe that this was just a coincidence. 

 

Eruhaben's golden reptilian eyes were sharply looking at the hooded figure but it was clear that it was a lady, right around Rosalyn's age if to consider the body structure. He can feel that something's wrong and what irritates him was that this inconvenience showed up at the wrong time. 

 

Eruhaben was feeling restless just with the three children who're freaking out that when Raon said he can't detect Cale's presence at all. And there's only one place where a person's presence is undetectable.

 

Eruhaben wanted to strangle Fredo right now after he realized that it was the vampire King who 'borrowed' Cale. They had found the letter that was left on top of Cale bed and with it was a gem that was in red colour.

 

Now that was where Fredo screwed up. The very gem that he had put is a gem that was produced in their past land before the vampires moved to the Endable Kingdom. Fredo has tons of these beautiful gems that resembled his eye colour, but the colour changes the moment it is exposed to sunlight. 

 

If this would be compared to Kim Rok Soo's world, the gem would be called Alexandrite. A gemstone that changes colour the moment it was exposed to natural light, such as sunlight or artificial light such as candle lights or indoor lights. Although the characteristics have similarities, this was a different world. 

 

The purple gemstone was exposed to Cale's presence that lingered in the room, one could say that it absorbs a person's presence and store it inside and after that, if the gemstone was to be exposed to the sunlight, it will change its colour in according to how it perceives the traces of presence it absorbed. It was an item that would surely make the nobles and aristocratic households saught out the gems and do everything to have it. Well, it is a valuable item.

 

The letter that was found by Ron on top of Cale's bed together with the red gem made it look like it was a blackmail letter that if they don't move faster, Cale's life will be in danger. Although they knew that Cale will be safe because he has his ancient powers, but the thought of how Cale had weakened after he had become a child, his plate might be unable to handle the usage of the powers right now. And the thought of the little Cale puking more blood than usual with a small body--

 

Forget taking back Cale, they'd blow up the whole place and leave nothing behind even ashes and make the culprit regret that they were born in this world for the sin of taking their beloved young master. 

 

And right now, they were hurrying to the Endable Kingdom as they had to take back Cale. But this lady had appeared out of nowhere.

 

Eruhaben sighed and released his mana. He couldn't use his Dragon Fear as the others will surely be greatly affected. He had to take into concern that these humans aren't Cale Henituse and didn't have the same stature in accordance with Cale's own category. 

 

'That punk would only stare at me with stoic eyes and wouldn't even budge. But these humans might faint if I use my Dragon Fear here.'

 

Eruhaben felt his chest all tingly while thinking of the redhead human who can even look directly at him in the eyes and didn't have any fear in his reddish-brown eyes at all. Actually, deep inside, he just felt proud. One that would only be felt by a father towards his outstanding son who continued to break the brackets. 

 

"I cannot let you leave, yet."

 

A soft voice flowed out and the teleportation circle that lighting up fast- because Eruhaben's a dragon so, of course, it'll activate faster- lost its glow. It made Eruhaben flustered for a moment but glared at the woman who still stood unmoving but with her right arm stretched out and what comes out was a transparent force, almost impossible to be seen, but because Eruhaben's a dragon, the power that he can feel, it was definitely...

 

"Divine power."

 

Raon and Rosalyn's eyes that were sharply staring at the woman who slowly lowered her right arm back to her sides turned cold the moment they realize that it was divine power. They had realized it too after it was injected into the teleportation circle that rendered it useless. Although there was something else that was mixed in it, Eruhaben is certain that this lady isn't just anybody.

 

"Now, now. I didn't come here to fight with you. However, I cannot allow you to depart right now."

 

The soft voice once again flowed out and this time, the hood that was covering her face was removed. And what poured out was a vibrant brown hair and it cases a fair face of a lady that has green eyes. To say that the lady was beautiful is an understatement, although it doesn't compare to a dragon's beauty once polymorphed into their human form, it can be considered a level above the whale tribe, and a level below the dragons.

 

Eruhaben frowned at what the lady just said. Next to him was Ron who had long since wiped off the benign smile on his face and what's left was the stoic and cold look that belongs to him, the Molan Assassin Household Patriarch. He has his right hand on one of his daggers and is ready to take it out to attack this 'pest' who's blocking their plans to get his puppy young master back.

 

Choi Han had his hands on the hilt of his sword as he stared at the woman whom he deemed enemy the moment she said she can't allow them to depart. His black iris were cold, it was emotionless and it lacked the shine it has on a normal basis. If Cale would see that, he'll think that some dark spirit possessed Choi Han because of how vicious and ruthless he looks right now. 

 

"My, I won't be able to live if you all are planning to attack me. I don't have any battle experience and..."

 

The lady's lips tugged into a pleasant smile her eyes turned in crescent shapes. The smile was beautiful, but it has the air of a slight arrogance as if she has the upperhand in this situation.

 

"Don't you wanna know how to turn Cale Henituse back?"

 

That was the last pluck, and the strings that tied their sanities was cut with those last words. 

 

 

Chapter Text

The unknown lady was still grinning even though the individuals in front of her were extruding murderous auras and was only directed at her. The shivers and the budding fear inside her heart are, of course, a given. It is true that if they attacked her now, she'll be dead on the spot. Truth to be told, she will lose instantly if she battled a lowest-ranked knight of the Henituse Duchy. 

 

So yes, she's just brave to taunt these strong individuals, not to mention that there are two dragons amongst them.

 

"You-!"

 

She gulped inwardly and force herself to not flinch from the cold and vicious voice that flowed out from the Ancient Dragon who was now summoned his attribute.

 

'Ah... I'll be pulverised once that reached me...'

 

"Ah, I forgot to introduce myself didn't I?"

"Who cares about your damn name?"

 

Ron refuted as he glared at the woman. The mere thought of this woman who's hindering them from getting back Cale is enough to activate Ron's killing intent, but now that she mentioned Cale's current situation- and even asked them if they want to know how to turn Cale back to his adult form, this just means that this woman has a hand on why this is happening to Cale.

 

"My, how rude... Anywho, I am Relia Hebe. It is nice to meet the company and friends of the esteemed Sir, Cale Henituse" 

 

Relia, the lady who stood unmoving outside the teleportation circle introduced herself and curtsied. The way she spoke didn't even contain any fear even though their killing intent was directed at her. 

 

"...Hebe?"

 

Relia stared at Eruhaben and Rosalyn who looked at each other with conflicted eyes before they shifted back to her. Relia smiled towards the two of them.

 

"My, it looks like you knew our household?"

"What are you planning?"

 

Eruhaben questioned with a sharp tone. He didn't like how this woman is so carefree even though she knew she'll die instantly if they attacked her. But there's something off with this lady. Even though she's weak, even weaker than Cale, the aura she's extruding was slightly making him hesitant.

 

"Hm? I don't have any plans, no hidden agenda or anything. Good riddance, I am too old for those childish games."

 

Eruhaben and the others that are in Cale's party knew about the information that the Ancient Dragon and the Archmage gathered and it included the Hebe Household, the Royal Family of the fallen kingdom of Karasi. The bloodline of this household that was blessed by the God of Youth has the ability to remain looking youthful and their most exclusive ability was that they can have their own sacred beast that was also blessed by the God of Youth. To say that they are favoured by this God wasn't an exaggeration.

 

Their eyebrows furrowed even more after hearing Relia's carefree answer. 

 

"What the hell?"

 

Rosalyn was the one who blurted that out as irritation had overwhelmed her. Relia was so relaxed that Rosalyn couldn't help but curse out in disbelief.

 

"Hm, Cale Henituse's fine and... Fredo's taking care of him so you don't have to bring this many knights with you. What you should be worrying about now is that you're running out of time."

 

Relia was still looking relaxed outside, but her heart was thumping so hard right now. Her soul was trembling as the murderous intent increased after they heard what she said. 

 

She couldn't help but curse Fredo for taking Cale at the wrong time. She had to go out of their village just to secretly visit the redhead and just when she's tearing a teleportation scroll to the Henituse Duchy, a messenger bird delivered a note that was from Fredo. 

 

Well, it's not like Cale's party is the only one who's running out of time, she's also running out of time- like bigtime. 

 

Her mind flew back to the message that was relayed to her by the God of Youth. The curse, she needs to do something about the curse to minimize its impact on Cale's body. Although Cale suddenly turned to a child, like with a snap, that doesn't mean it didn't have any more drawbacks. Aside from the emotional instability that was only one-fourth of the real drawback, there is something far worse than that, and it would surely make these strong individuals blow up the whole kingdom of Endable if they witness that happening. She needs to be the one to meet Cale Henituse first before these individuals can.

 

 

 

Back to the Endable Kingdom, Hubesha was gawking at Fredo who was sitting on his throne with a young Naru on his lap- it was Cale. 

 

Although the family treasure recorded Fredo's appearance when he was a child and supposed to make the wearer look like a 12-year-old, it didn't have any effect on Cale. Well, the redhead is currently under a curse so it is understandable that this just means that Cale wouldn't be able to escape his current situation even if he used the Ejellan's treasure. 

 

"Your majesty, why... why is Cale Henituse here?"

 

The Marchioness really want to grab Fredo's collar right now who has the time to leisure around with Cale Henituse, which for sure the hero's party was currently looking for. Hubesha can't even imagine the thought of their kingdom winning a war between Cale's party- the thought of winning over those strong individuals is a false hope, a pipe dream- and if that were to happen, then they had gone crazy and stupid. 

 

"Ah, I borrowed him."

 

Fredo answered nonchalantly with a lazy smile on his lips. Hubesha sighed at that answer as she felt a vein on her head throb in pain. 

 

"...Your majesty, you can't just simply 'borrow' Cale Henituse. Did you even acquire permission to borrow him in the first place?"

"Of course I did! I left a note in his room."

 

Fredo announced that as if he's proud. And this made Cale and Hubesha stared at him with eyes that seem to ask 'have you got no common sense? did you go crazy?'

 

"W, what?"

"Ah~ Nevermind that! Come on, Naru. Papa's gonna play the piano and you'll sing."

 

Cale froze as he felt his body being fixed by Fredo so the vampire can carry him properly. The word 'sing' stuck in his mind and began ringing in his ears. And automatically, a record of him singing a nursery rhyme not too long ago and the nightmare he experienced after he found out that he had been recorded and the copies were all over their territory- at this point, Cale still didn't know that his recording has already spread far and wide. Well, ignorance is bliss. 

 

"Why do I have to sing? Just play the piano and leave me alone, you bastawd."

 

Cale coldly spat on Fredo's face as he gave the vampire a cold and stoic look. Although this may look like he's just the 'usual' Cale Henituse who has that cold, stoic and uncaring look, Cale was very nervous and disturbed inside. He didn't want to go and experience another mortification. He just wanted to go home and sleep in his room.

 

But of course, Fredo, a crazy bastard like him wouldn't even budge even if he received a look like that. 

 

"No can do, my son. This will be our quality time~"

 

Fredo only replied with that and strode towards the second floor of the castle and Hubesha watched this while gawking at their King.

 

"Your majesty?"

 

Fredo stopped and slightly turned his head to Hubesha who was staring at him. A smile painted his lips as he held Cale's small arms and slightly waved it towards Hubesha.

 

"Ask Solena if you have something to inquire. I'll be having quality time with my son for now."

 

And that was what Fredo said before he turned away from her and didn't even bother to look back. Hubesha stared at her King's back with an incredulous look as she massaged her temples. Her head was throbbing so much because of this nonsense that Fredo is doing, what more-

 

"Is this really fine, Solena?"

 

She asked the vampire who had just appeared next to her who has an awkward smile painted on her lips. Solena watched her master's back and sighed. 

 

"...I just hope that our kingdom wouldn't be erased from the Eastern Continent's map."

 

 

Chapter Text

Relia came back to her senses when she sensed an attack coming towards her, but before the dagger that was thrown by Ron could reach her, white mist appeared in front of her and materialized was a large white bird that measures up to 10 ft. Its wings have golden and silver streaks and this was the one that blocked the dagger from plunging into Relia's head. 

 

The bird looked at its wings where the dagger was stuck and looked at Relia who was standing behind its huge wings as it shook its head.

 

"Relia, you're really stupid, do you know that?"

 

The bird spoke with a deep voice, it was like a man's voice to say, and the irritation was evident in its voice as he glared at his master. The bird sighed and as the wings glowed, the dagger was absorbed in its wings that was slowly gaining a greyish streak. It turned its head to the others who are meters away as he sensed the strong aura those individuals were emitting. Not to mention the overflowing murderous intent that was extruding from them, the bird can only shake its head and retract his wings.

 

"I had only taken a rest for an hour and this happened? Did you pissed someone off again?"

 

The bird sent a tired look towards Relia who was now shutting her mouth tightly. She was guilty, of course. Considering how she had gone and provoked these individuals instead of explaining the matters to them. But what can she do? She was also frustrated and was venting her irritation because of Fredo. 

 

"Mm, Leucos. Spare me the nagging, for now, I need to go to Endable immediately."

 

Relia was really agitated right now. The message she received from the God of Youth was enough to wake her up even though she was only sleeping for a week. This was one of the weaknesses of the Hebe Household. Once they reach a hundred years of living, they won't live normally again like what the others are thinking. The Hebe, although blessed with youthful looks and rejuvenation, they are powerless once the last stage had dawned them. And that last stage was this, their bodies grew weak and feeble like that of a child and they often descend to sleeping for a long time. All they can do was sleep, nothing more. 

 

That is why they are blessed with Sacred beasts that will act as their guardians when they entered their last stage. Although the role of these Sacred Beasts is servitude, their main purpose was to become a guardian who will guard their masters once they descended the last stage. 

 

Leucos stared at his master and sighed as he looked towards the individuals that were meters away from them. He knew he's strong, but at the sight of two dragons- he won't be able to win. No, he has the chance to win if the only individuals he'll fight were the archmage and the swordmaster, he will be able to win, but he's sure to have fatal injuries as well. But those dragons? No. He knew he stands no chance. More like he'll be dead in an instant.

 

In the first place, this situation was hopeless. This was stupidity. His master must've gone mad to go here and provoke these persons when she knew she doesn't have any chances of winning. 

 

The bird sighed exasperatedly as it shook its wings and clipped its golden beaks on Relia's clothes. Now the woman was dangling on his beak as he flew towards the individuals that were only meters away from them.

 

He didn't want to fight them when it's obvious that they can settle this just by talking. Although he doubted that these individuals who are reeking of murderous intent will agree to that, Leucos knew that he and Relia will die before they knew it.

 

Eruhaben who saw the bird who extrudes divine aura the moment it appeared, knew it was a Sacred Beast that he and Rosalyn read through the records and books about the Fallen Kingdom's Royal Family. The sacred beast was undoubtedly strong and will be able to win if it fought with Choi Han and Rosalyn, that's why he was weary. 

 

Well, considering that Leucos and Relia had been alive for almost a hundred and eight decades already, sacred beasts who have masters that had descended the last stage grew strong day by day to effectively protect their masters. Where does this strength come from? It was the strength that their masters slowly loses while they are in the last stage. The strength they had accumulated in their lives before they descended to the last stage was being transferred to their sacred beasts to assist and protect them effectively.

 

And Relia was a Holy Maiden. That's why Leucos grew stronger than any other existing sacred beasts that were in their village. The strength that Relia has when she hasn't descended from the last stage, combined with the divine power that was given by the God of Youth, Leucos strength is by no means a joke.

 

Eruhaben, Raon and Rosalyn were summoning their manas when the sacred beast flew up and stared at them from above before securing Relia on his back and once again flew down, but this time, it landed right in front of them, although there was still a some distance. 

 

It stared at them and its eyes lingered on the two dragons before it moved towards where Ron was.

 

"You don't have to throw another dagger, human. We didn't come here to fight."

 

Leucos started speaking that time and slightly bowed his head towards the two dragons. He knew his place, of course. Dragons are the very personification of rulers. They are the creatures who stood above all other existences in this world. They stood on the apex of all existences. They are, to say, the Guardians that are protecting this world from any outside influences. And a sacred beast like him, although he was an existence that was blessed by a God, he's a rank lower to a dragon. A middle point, to say. Sacred Beasts are higher than any other tribes that are existing, but a place lower than the Dragons. 

 

Eruhaben who didn't know about this could only look at the sacred beast with amused eyes. Considering how the books they have read didn't contain any information regarding the nature of Sacred Beasts, he really wouldn't know. And that made the Ancient dragon curious. 

 

"What bullshit...!"

"My master is at fault, I apologise. But it is the truth. We didn't come here to fight."

 

Leucos sighed as he said that and looked at them. 

 

"Leucos! I told you! We need to go! We're running out of time!"

 

Relia's mission comes first. She's running out of time. These individuals were running out of time too. Although one can say that they should just go now together and settle this matter quickly, Relia needed to be the first one to meet Cale. Why? Why was she the first one that needed to meet Cale before these individuals can? Well, it was because once that started, no doubt that these individuals will go berserk. So she needs to go and meet Cale, do something about the curse, and let them meet the redhead once that unsightly scene passed. 

 

"And why are you running out of time?"

 

Eruhaben chose to ask Relia who was clearly agitated. 

 

Leucos turned to look at Relia and sighed. Although Dragons are an existence above him, Relia was his master. And that's enough reason to follow her wishes. 

 

Relia blinked and looked at Eruhaben, she sighed and stretched her hands towards them. She didn't want to do this but she has to.

 

A transparent force came out of her hands as Leucos flew up and it landed on the area where Eruhaben and the others are. 

 

The inherent ability of the Hebe Household, Delay. She has the ability to delay a certain point. This was strengthened when she became a Holy Maiden of the God of Youth. Although her ability was often mistaken as nullification or just straight out stopping the time, this ability that only the head of the Hebe Household can inherit was a big factor in why she's being sent to a mission right now.

 

"My apologies, but I need to be the first one to meet Cale Henituse-!"

 

Relia froze as she felt a cold blade on her neck. It was Ron. The old assassin had sneaked away from the group and sneak behind Relia, although it was tricky when he has to depend on Raon's flight magic, the little dragon mixed it with his attribute, meddling with the laws of Present and that's how he can sneak up to Relia without worrying about the Sacred Beast.

 

"It looks like you had a lot to say, lady."

 

The vicious and cold voice flowed out as Relia gulped as she gripped on Leucos' feathers who remained silent. They were captured and Leucos already gave up on the thought of escaping, not with the three-layered mana barriers encasing them that glowed gold, black and red.

 

But of course, there is a bigger problem now. Eruhaben and the whole troupe won't be able to escape the effects of Relia's ability. Originally, they should be delayed for three days, but it turned out to be a day because of the presence of Raon's attribute. Although the little dragon's attribute is indeed strong and can meddle with anything that was in the present, Relia's attribute that has the power of a God is strong too. 

 

Cale was sitting on top of the grand piano as Fredo sat on the stool and hovered his hands on the keys. He was grumbling while they were walking towards this room but he could only stay silent since Fredo was a persistent bastard. 

 

"Ah! Instead of the piano, there's a new instrument that I had been practising a lot!"

 

Fredo stood and left Cale for a moment, Melundo, who appeared at the right time was holding an instrument that has a unique shape. It looks like a guitar but the neck was curved, but still, it sounded like a guitar.

 

Cale frowned at this as Fredo grinned at him and proceeded to strum the instrument. Melundo moved next to Cale and set up a stand in front of him, what's written on it was clearly the lyrics of the song that Fredo will be playing. 

 

Cale's eyes began recording and the lyrics were soon recorded in his mind. 

 

"Now, my son. This will help you so let's sing together, okay?"

 

That was it and Fredo started playing, leaving no chance for Cale to refute. 

 

(So, I searched for the meaning of "Roan" and what I found was just it was a colour so, I gave up on it and instead searched where the name "Cale" came from😂 and Mr. Google said it was an Irish name, and so, I searched for Irish-ish songs and this one just captivated me- it was perfect for the 'bonding' theme)

 

https://youtu.be/rXoLf3ZXMjY

 

Fredo was the one to sing first. The tune was so energetic that Cale's foot started to move as if tapping the air while he focused on the tune that Fredo was playing.

 

"On the Banks of the Roses me love and I sat down
And I took out me fiddle for to play me love a tune
And in the middle of the tune-o she sighed and she said
Oh Johnny, lovely Johnny don't ya leave me."

 

Cale listened to how Fredo was singing. The vampire was, without a doubt, a good singer. The tune and the accent were catching the redhead's interest and...

 

'This is fun...' 

 

The song was fast and Cale would normally grimace at this because, of course, considering he has a problem with how he pronounces words right now. But Cale didn't. Instead, he tried his best to sing too.

 

"When I was a young boy I heawd me fathew say (rw: heard, father)
That he'd wather see me dead and buwied in the clay (rw: rather, buried)
Sooner than be mawwied to any runaway (rw: married)
By the lovely sweet banks of the woses." (rw: roses)

 

Fredo slightly chuckled while Cale was singing. It was because the little redhead, who's in Naru's form was singing so cutely and was clearly enjoying the music too. Although the lyrics he's singing have lisps here and there, it only sounded so endearing that even Melundo turned away, faked a cough and slightly pounded his chest.

 

The tune picked up and Fredo opened his lips as his and Cale's eyes met each other and sang the next verse together.

 

"On the Banks of the Roses me love and I sat down
And I took out me fiddle fow to play me love a tune (rw: for)
And in the middle of the tune-o she sighed and she said
Owo Johnny, lovely Johnny don't ya leave me" (rw: oro)

 

Fredo let out a chuckle as Cale's head started to slightly bob his head to the beat while his eyes were curved in a crescent, obviously enjoying this. And Fredo felt proud for some reason. 

 

Melundo who was watching this felt a presence and appeared was Solena who stood next to him and watch the scene in front of her with a surprised look. Hubesha has already gone back to her estate since she still has works to do and only delivered a report for the upcoming ball that will be held in the palace.

 

Solena opened her lips to ask the butler next to him but Melundo only signalled her to keep quiet and watch silently. She finds this intriguing. It was rare for Melundo to have a bright smile like that and Solena was growing curious why her childhood friend and long time comrade who's known for having a cold and stern facade since it was one of the characteristics of a proper butler.

 

But Solena soon looked towards the two individuals, one sitting on top of the grand piano who has the appearance of the young Fredo when he was still a toddler, and her Master who was playing the instrument and has a playful smile on his lips. Both were bobbing their heads to the tune and were clearly enjoying. 

 

Fredo was the one to sing again and Cale quietly bob his head and tap his foot on the air as his body started to move from side to side. 

 

"And then I am no runaway and soon I'll let them know
That I can take a bottle or can leave it alone
And if her daddy doesn't like it he can keep his daughter at home
And young Johnny will go rovin' with some other."

 

And once again, both of them started singing. Solena watched this with complicated emotion. Her chest felt warm while looking at this scene and...her hand landed on her chest as she watched the two with a soft smile while her foot started to tap the floor too.

 

"On the Banks of the Roses me love and I sat down
And I took out me fiddle fow to play me love a tune
And in the middle of the tune-o she sighed and she said
Owo Johnny, lovely Johnny don't ya leave me."

 

Both Melundo and Solena was now tapping the floor while listening to the two. They both have smiles on their lips as they slightly bob their heads to the tune.

 

"And when I get mawwied t'will be in the month of May
When the leaves they are gween and the meadows they are gay
And me and me true love we'll sit and sport and play
By the lovely sweet banks of the woses~"

 

"On the Banks of the Roses me love and I sat down
And I took out me fiddle fow to play me love a tune
And in the middle of the tune-o she sighed and she said
Owo Johnny, lovely Johnny don't ya leave me"

 

As the last verse came, the tune picked up more. Fredo was very much enjoying this and he was satisfied while watching Cale enjoying himself too. His chest felt stuffy and warm while watching the little Cale in Naru's form has a bright look on his face, reflecting a satisfied look.

 

"On the Banks of the Roses me love and I sat down
And I took out me fiddle fow to play me love a tune
And in the middle of the tune-o she sighed and she said
Owo Johnny, lovely Johnny don't ya leave me~"

 

Fredo sighed with a satisfied look and a huge grin across his face as he handed the instrument to Melundo who still has a small grin on his lips, that if he wasn't just mindful of his appearance as a butler, the small grin would be a wide smile.

 

Solena stood silently next to Melundo and was covering her lips with her hands as it was formed into a wide smile. 

 

Fredo walked towards Cale and carried the little Naru to his arms as he hugged him lightly and let out a chuckle. 

 

"Ah, my adorable son~ Did you have fun? You did right? Hmm~?"

 

Cale looked away and fixed his face and put back his cold and uncaring look before looking up to Fredo, "Shut up."

 

This made the vampire grin even more as he patted Cale's head who has a pink tint on his cheeks. 

 

"Alright, let's have snacks shall we? Melundo, go and prepare a snack."

"As you wish, Your Majesty."

 

Fredo moved to the veranda that was on the other side of the castle that overviews the whole kingdom of Endable. Fredo sat on the cushioned chair as he put Cale on his lap and right then that Melundo appeared together with a maid and set the snacks on the table.

 

The afternoon passed with all this, with Fredo teasing Cale and Cale ignoring the vampire but would still sometimes answer back at him. 

 

But Fredo stopped when Cale no longer answering him and throwing cold remarks. He looked down and saw how Cale has his eyes closed and was snuggling himself on Fredo's chest. 

 

This made Fredo smile as he carefully carried Cale and walked towards the room that Cale used when he woke up earlier. 

 

Fredo tucked Cale to bed and left the room after activating multiple protection devices and barriers, just in case.

 

That night, a phenomenon happened that would surely make everything complicated. Cale's body shivered for a moment before it stopped and what was heard inside the room were the peaceful breathing of the sleeping Naru.

 

The next morning, Cale opened his eyes only to be greeted by a bright smile from Fredo who was sitting next to his bed and has his chin on his knuckles. The vampire was clearly been there and observing Cale's sleeping figure for minutes already and Cale was disgruntled by that, though he chose to keep quiet and just proceeded to eat the breakfast that was brought in by Melundo.

 

The cycle was like yesterday. With Fredo feeding Cale and him going on a bath and once again wore a matching outfit with Fredo. 

 

"Where awe we going today?"

 

Cale asked as he noticed that they both are wearing outdoor clothes.

 

(Nobles have separate clothes for indoor and outdoor. This is according to the Korean historical novels I read too and dunno if this is really a thing way back in the European aristocratic history😂)

 

But his question was left unanswered as Fredo only smiled and proceeded to carry him to his arms and left the palace. 

 

"Hey, awen't you busy? You're a King, wight?"

"Hm? Are you worried my sweet Naru? Of course, Papa is busy! But my Naru is the most important so work can wait~"

 

'Aren't you just using me to ditch those paperworks, you bastard?'

 

 Cale was looking at Fredo while frowning and can only sigh as the vampire ignored the stares that he's giving him and proceeded to visit every shop that he saw. 

 

Well, Fredo wasn't really particularly ditching his works. Although he looked like he was just having fun, he was observing the citizens and comparing it to the reports that came from his aides and the other officials who are in charge.

 

"Naru~"

 

Cale turned to look at Fredo and what greeted him was an ice cream cone. He looked up to Fredo and asked with his eyes if he was serious but the crazy vampire just grinned at him making Cale sigh and accept the ice cream and proceeded to eat it.

 

He noticed that they are now going back to the castle and just stayed silent. 

 

'It looks like he's done with his inspection now.'

 

That was his thought as they entered the palace grounds again but his eyes met with Hubesha who was talking with Melundo and as soon as she saw them, she had a smile of relief and walked towards them.

 

"Your majesty, it's good to see you in high spirits today."

"Of course, I have fun with Naru outside. Right, Naru?"

 

Cale just ignored him and ate his ice cream while looking at Hubesha who has a small smile on her lips.

 

"Ah, I brought some cookies. Here, Naru."

 

They were outside, and the guards are there too. So it was a safety precautionary for Cale who was famous even in their kingdom. 

 

Hubesha handed a cookie to Cale who received it silently and was about to munch on it when a teleportation circle appeared on the wide field right in front of the castle. Cale stared at this with his brows furrowing as many figures started appearing on top of it and this soon formed into the knights who are wearing armours that has the Henituse crest and in front was Deruth together with Choi Han, Rosalyn and Eruhaben. Next to them were the three children who were now having bright faces after they saw Cale- although in Naru's form. 

 

"Hand over Cale-nim."

 

The firm and vicious look on Choi Han made Cale flinch while holding onto Fredo who's currently carrying him.  

 

His eyes lingered on the knight's brigade who was clearly ready to attack any time soon. The knights from Endable was also holding their weapons and was looking at the group with complicated gazes. Well of course they're not ignorant enough to not know who are these individuals. But what confused them the most was why are they telling them to hand over their Prince Naru? 

 

Fredo stared at them with a surprised look before it turned calm again as he looked down on Cale who was gripping his clothes, he didn't even mind the cookie crumbs that were now dirtying his clothes and can only sigh as he patted Cale's head. 

 

Choi Han walked over and stared at Fredo with cold eyes that made the vampire sigh. 

 

Of course, Fredo knew that if he didn't hand Cale over, his kingdom will be blown to smithereens. That's why even though he didn't want to, for the safety of his kingdom, he can only heave another sigh.

 

Fredo carefully gave Cale to Choi Han who was now ready to carry Cale who's in the form of Naru, but they both stopped when they heard a sniffle coming from the little redhead. 

 

Fredo froze when Cale looked up to him with a frowning face, although tears were threatening to fall from his eyes, Cale was clearly restraining himself. 

 

"...Papa."

 

The hall turned silent and a gloomy atmosphere quickly surrounded them, and what Cale said next made their souls want to vacate their bodies. Especially the three children who froze on their spots and stared at Cale with wide eyes.

 

"Who are they? Why are you giving me to them? Do you not love me anymore?"

 

Relia, who was currently being guarded by Hilsman and Beacrox can only look at the scene with a conflicted face.

 

"This is why I needed to rush here... The second stage has begun."

Chapter Text

"Do you not love Naru anymowe?"

 

Cale, who was gripping Fredo's clothes with all his might had a look of betrayal on his face. The tears that were falling down one by one was making their hearts clench. But the words that continued to flow out from Cale's lips were breaking their heart and soul to pieces.

 

"Why awe you giving me to them? Who awe they, Papa? Why do they want to take me?"

 

Cale's continuous questions made Eruhaben snapped out of his shock as he felt a hand landed on his shoulder, tightly gripping it as if to support himself from falling. It was Deruth who was looking at the scene with despair written over his face. 

 

Deruth was feeling really jealous. He was so envious of how Cale calls that vampire 'Papa' so affectionately. This was his greatest fear. With how he neglected Cale when he was just a child, his fear of Cale finding a new Father figure was driving him mad. He didn't want Cale calling anyone 'Father' aside from him. That's right, Henituses are greedy and selfish by nature. And Deruth didn't like to share his son.

 

"C, Cale?"

 

Rosalyn was the one to call out from Cale. Choi Han was frozen on his spot and was looking at the little Naru who was holding on to Fredo's clothes as if he's going to die if they force him to let go. 

 

Cale didn't even look at Rosalyn who also has a distressed look on her face. She was staggering while her hand was gripping her wand so hard. The red mana that was surrounding her was chaotic as what Cale said earlier was continuously running in her mind.

 

"Cale."

 

Eruhaben was the one to call out to Cale who turned this time, but the expected emotion that should be plastered on Cale's face whenever Eruhaben calls him by his name wasn't there. Only hostility, annoyance and how a stranger would look at another stranger were painted on Cale's face who was in Naru's form while looking at him.

 

"Shut up, will you? Who's Cale? I am Naru! My name is Naru von Ejellan!"

 

Everyone was flabbergasted with this as Cale—Naru, turned away from them after sparing them only seconds of attention and turned back to Fredo who was still standing frozen while holding onto Naru who clearly didn't want to let go of him. He has a surprised look on his face and was staring at Naru with shaking eyes.

 

"H, Human?" 
"Meow..."
"Meeooow..."

 

The three children who followed Choi Han and was expecting Cale to welcome them with open arms and pat them on their heads felt like their hearts were being crushed right now. They were so close to crying as their eyes were already turning misty. 

 

"Cale-nim..."

 

Choi Han called out and took a step but a red streak of light hit near his foot. It was a small thunderbolt that Naru had launched while looking at Choi Han with glaring cold eyes. This made Choi Han stop— no, everyone felt like someone had sucked out the oxygen inside their lungs and break their heart in the process too. They feel like their dying with how Cale's looking at them. Especially Choi Han and the three children who treated Cale as their only family since the day the redhead keep them next to him.

 

Choi Han who spent, possibly, hundreds of years inside the Forest of Darkness, surviving with all he can just so he can live. He had been through despair in his moments inside the Forest of Darkness and had to go through another despair when the people in Harris Village was massacred and he failed to save them even with his strength. But he found hope, he found happiness again. It was Cale who showed him light through his despair. And now... Choi Han feels like he's going crazy. 

 

"Take another step from there and I'll shoot you again."

 

That was Naru's sharp remarks towards the frozen Choi Han. It was cold, the words that flowed out of the little Naru's lips were ruthless that it continues to rake and break Choi Han's everything. 

 

The three children who're watching this had their eyes reflect despair and fear. They were scared. Why? Why can't Cale recognise them? Why is their Human acting like this?

 

"You idiot weak human! You're not Naru! You're Cale Henituse!"
"Stupid Cale! You're not Naru!"
"You idiot! Your name is Cale! How can you forget your own name?!"

 

The three children blurted those out making the other look at them with concerned eyes. Eruhaben knew that they were the ones who are more affected than ever as they were closer to Cale and, of course, the redhead human always doted on these three. 

 

The three children had their eyes closed tightly and was wishing that this time, Cale will remember them but what came next was a giggle from the little Naru who was looking at the three children with a scorning look, as Naru's lips tugged up into a mocking smile, revealing his fangs. 

 

"Calling a prince stupid and idiot. How brave of you. Let me introduce myself again, and make sure to drill it in your heads, our dearest guests. My name is Naru von Ejellan, the only Prince of Endable Kingdom."

 

The last strands of control on the three children's eyes were cut. Tears flowed out one by one as Raon cast an invisibility spell, even though the falling tears were continuously dropping on the ground, Naru paid it no mind. Although he slightly patted his chest when he felt a stinging pain in his heart when he saw how the three children started crying. However, Naru still ignored it. Who were these intruders to come here, take him and started calling him with another name?

 

"...Naru."

 

This time, Naru's face turned bright as he looked up to Fredo who finally spoke. 

 

"Papa, don't give me to them, please? You love me wight? Naru loves you so much! So please don't give me to them..."

 

The absurd words that were flowing out of Naru's lips were continuously breaking every broken pieces of their already broken heart. 

 

Now, why was Cale acting like this? He was here for only two days and he forgot them? It doesn't make any sense! 

 

"...This is why I told you I need to go here first and meet Cale Henituse."

 

Relia grumbled as she looked at the scene with a frowning face. Eruhaben and the others who heard her turned their heads towards her in a fast motion as Eruhaben strode towards her with an agitated face. His mind was going haywire from this situation and his sanity is threatening to break with how this situation is going. 

 

"What did you say?"

 

As soon as Eruhaben reached where Relia is, he stood in front of her and asked that. Relia flinched with that but sighed as she looked at Fredo and Naru who was talking. 

 

"The second stage of the curse is taking effect."

 

The curse that was cast on Cale has entered its second stage last night. The first stage consisted of 7 days where the individual will turn into a child, this is the stage where the individual will weaken significantly plus the side effect of emotional instability and the bodily abilities like speaking will also become affected. This was evident to Cale who was lisping and turned clumsy, plus the fact that over the week there were times when he'd uncontrollably shed tears. 

 

The first stage wasn't really alarming, to say. It gives the individual a leeway to think that the curse was a blessing. However, a curse is a curse. The God of Youth wasn't merciful, although she signifies the innocence and purity of the springtime of life, this doesn't mean that she's forgiving. Her curse was, to say, a nightmare dressed in a beautiful dream. 

 

And right now, the second stage has begun. This was why she had to go here and delay Cale's party for three days as she will take those three days into consideration to delay the first of the three effects of the second stage. 

 

"Cale Henituse is suffering the first effect of the Second Stage. A memory loss for a year." 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

"...What?"

 

Deruth almost fell to his knees when he heard what Relia said. Not only him but the others who heard this had their minds blank out. They stood there unmoving as if their souls escaped their bodies and they had turned into a lifeless statue. 

 

Choi Han, even though he's meters away from where Relia is, he heard it loud and clear, the same for the three children who froze on their spots. They even forgot that they were crying as their minds had blanked out. 

 

The news of Cale having a memory loss for a year was an embodiment of their greatest fear. The thought of Cale who can't remember them, they feel like their hearts will be crushed and pulverized finely. 

 

The first stage is spanning for 7 days, the 8th day will be, to say, the preparation. And after the individual fell asleep, that's where the second stage starts. After the 9th and 10th day passed, the third effect will start immediately. And that third effect was Relia's mission. She has to delay the effects of it. Since if it was triggered... there's no way these individuals will stay put without going ballistic while watching their beloved young master suffer from the third effect.

 

Relia glared at Fredo as she opened her lips to speak to this crazy bastard of a friend of hers, "Fredo!"

 

Her voice reached Fredo who looked in her direction with his lazy face but it soon turned to surprise as he looked at her. Relia finds that gaze annoying for some reason.

 

"I thought you were hibernating, Relia?"

 

A vein throbbed on Relia's head as she glared towards Fredo who has a carefree smile as usual. Relia's mind flew back to her mission and her head throbbed again. In the first place, if Fredo didn't kidnap Cale and keep his damned hands to himself, she could've completed her mission by now and she can rest without worry. 

 

Relia was the eldest among the others who had also descended their last stages, which means that she's the weakest among them and that also means that she needs more sleep than them—more like, she's the sleepiest among the others. And she's really irritated right now because of Fredo. She's losing her strength at a fast rate and she needs to go back to their village, fast. It would've been preferable if Cale was in the Henituse Duchy and not in the eastern continent so she can go back easily. 

 

"You bastard!"

"Hey, don't call Papa that! How dare you call my Papa, the King, that—that foul word?"

 

Naru was quick to refute Relia with a frowning face, looking more offended the Fredo is. This made Fredo chuckle and pat the little Naru. Melundo appeared next to him and offered him a handkerchief to clean the cookie crumbs that were on his clothes and Naru's hands.

 

"Now, now. My sweet Naru, Papa is fine."

 

Naru's brows twitched as he turned away from the others and looked towards Melundo who was looking at him with complicated eyes.

 

Fredo was also having the same feelings right now. He's very conflicted about this situation. Of course, he wanted Cale to call him 'Papa' voluntarily and this situation is making him happy. However, he's more than agitated because this only increased the possibility of his body turning into a bloody mess and his kingdom to smithereens. 

 

And he's curious too. His eyes lingered on Relia who was glaring at him. Relia was his close friend before they even moved to Endable and became a Duke here. He remembered her saying that their household already retracted their reaches on anything that is outside their village, but to see her out here and what more, being held captive by the Henituses, Fredo can only look at her with curiosity. 

 

"Since my Naru and I just got back from an outing, Melundo, please guide the guests to the Receiving Hall."

 

That was all Fredo said and turned around. But his eyes met with Eruhaben and the others that were looking at him with contempt. Although Fredo felt intimidated, the satisfaction of having Cale call him 'Papa' was dominating the intimidation making him feel smug. 

 

Naru was left in Solena and Melundo's care after half an hour of persuading the little vampire that Fredo will be back after he talked to the others and ask why they are here. Of course, Cale—well, Naru was still feeling contempt towards the others who appeared out of nowhere and was taking him away, and that made him wearier with them. Or that's what he should feel about it. But no. Naru feel so calm while he's with them earlier, he feels like he wanted to hug them— and to Cale, who thought he was Naru, this was the worst reaction to get. 

 

Fredo entered the hall and he was fast enough to step away from his place when a sword covered in a sparkling black aura landed on where he was standing before. 

 

"It is nice to see you too, after a long time, Choi Han."

 

That was Fredo's carefree greetings as he received the glares from Cale's party. But he couldn't dodge the incoming attack from Relia who hit the back of his head making him groan and looked at his friend with annoyance.

 

He opened his lips to grumble but Relia was faster.

 

"You idiotic crazy bastard! Don't just kidnap someone without informing the others! Borrowing? Hmm?! What bullshit is that! My mission— my mission! You almost ruined my mission, you bloodsucker!"

 

Fredo stilled on her words and caught her hands that were hitting him and looked straight at her with curiotisty.

 

"What mission are you talking about?"

 

Relia stopped as she sighed and glanced at the others who're still glaring at her. This was messed up. Relia planned to teleport in the Henituse Duchy, infiltrate the estate by pretending to be a maid and keep an eye on Cale Henituse while she uses her ability for the whole three days to effectively delay the effects of the second stage. 

 

But it was all ruined when she received a letter from Fredo as she tore the teleportation scroll, and what do you know? She appeared right outside the diameter of the teleportation circle of the Henituse's force that was clearly destined to go to Endable. And here's their situation right now.

 

"I am a Holy Maiden of the God of Youth, I cannot tell you the contents of the mission, but I don't intend any harm on Cale Henituse. That is all I can tell you."

 

She sighed as she sat down on the seat that was opposite to the group. Choi Han was standing behind the couch and was holding the three children who were still sniffling, although the golden eyes of the two Cats, as well as the blue reptilian eyes, were staring at her viciously, she's guessing that at least they have recovered a bit. Add to this was Ron and Beacrox who're both giving her those cold, murderous eyes.

 

"...The second stage. Earlier you said that the second stage of the curse has started. Then when did the first stage happen?"

 

Rosalyn asked while her brows were furrowing. She regained her composure but she was still out of it. Her mind was a mess and she couldn't think of anything aside from breaking the curse once and for all.

 

"The first stage started the moment that young master Cale turned into a child. The first stage is composed of a week, the effects were deaging, emotional instability, and his body will significantly weaken." 

 

Relia calmly said that as she watched their reactions. She can see that they knew what she's talking about since they experienced it beforehand. But her eyes looked away from them when she remembered the effects of the second stage. 

 

Cale will experience memory loss for a year, along with a stronger case of emotional instability and the last effect that she and the God of Youth were worried about.

 

She sighed when the silence only continued, and she knew they're saying that she should continue.

 

"The memory loss will span for a year, and he will only remember the persons he saw this morning the moment that he woke up. There will be also a stronger case of emotional instability, and that's what happening right now. Cale Henituse is experiencing both effects that the second stage has."

 

That was all she can explain. She can't say anything else aside from the know effects that are currently happening, as for the last one... Relia is not allowed to enclose it as that was a part of her mission. Although it would be preferable if these individuals aren't around Cale at that time so she can finish her mission carefully.

 

Eruhaben was about to talk when the door burst open and came in was Cale, in the form of Naru and was currently dressed in an outfit that was almost identical to Fredo. This made the others grimaced as they shoot Fredo sharp stares.

 

"PAPAAAAAA!!"

 

A child's voice flowed out as Naru ran towards Fredo who stood up and spread his arms to support the little vampire after he crashed on him.

 

"Awe you done? Look, we're matching Papa!"

 

If Cale can only control himself back, remember the others and restrain himself from his unstable emotions, he wouldn't have done this. It was out of Cale Henituse's characteristic, but to Kim Rok Soo's? It wasn't. 

 

To say, this was Kim Rok Soo when he was still a child and his parents were still alive, this was how he act back then. But at a young age, his parents died, he was raised as an orphan and was abused and that made him change his view of the world. He kept his childish desires to himself, and those childish desires were the drive to make him act like this. 

 

"Goodness, my little Naru is truly adorable."

 

Fredo carried Naru in his arms and lightly hugged him. Although his back felt hot because of the burning, vicious gazes they were sending his way, he couldn't care more as he was more focused on the little Naru who has a satisfied and proud smile on his lips. 

 

Relia's eyes met with Fredo as she slightly nodded her head with a sigh and stood up from her seat. She walked towards them and stopped in front of Naru who looked at her with questioning eyes.

 

"...Your highness Naru,"

 

Naru's eyes narrowed to the woman as he looked away— yes, he ignored Relia. It was because he felt that the lady was planning something and Naru wasn't very passionate about starting that topic. Even with how he can't remember anything, Cale is still Cale. His sharp senses were his trademark and that was still active even if he can't remember anything.

 

"Can you wead me a book Papa?"

"Hm? Are you sleepy already?"

"No, I just want to wead with you."

 

As the two was talking, Relia can only sigh and turned around, but someone had walked past her that moment and the sight of Duke Deruth Henituse who has a dark and desperate look on his face, approached Fredo and Naru.

 

"Cale...Cale, I'm your father!"

 

Naru grimaced with that as he felt a stinging pain on his chest after seeing the look on this man's face. The sadness, despair and frustration that was swirling inside the man's brown eyes made Naru's chest feel heavy and stuffy. 

 

But he firmed himself and gave the man a cold glare, "Such absurdity. And I am not Cale, I am Naru. Please wemembew that."

 

Naru coldly spat as he tapped Fredo's shoulder and turned away from them. Fredo looked at them with an apologetic look in his eyes as he painted a smile when Naru looked up to him.

 

"Then if it's okay for my little Naru, can Papa sleep with you tonight?"

 

If glares can burn holes on Fredo's body, his body would long be filled with holes that he'll look like a slice of swiss cheese. But Fredo ignored those as he only flashed them a smile. This might be a suicidal stunt, considering how these individuals who are heralded as heroes and stood on the apex of the present time, Fredo was feeling smug even though he's not as famous or well-known as them. Just the mere thought of Cale Henituse, calling him 'Papa', wearing identical clothes with him, and even request to read a book with him,

 

'Ah, the euphoria~'

 

Fredo and Naru left the room and who remains representative for Fredo was his butler Melundo who bowed his head to them before speaking. Of course, he's not like his master who's crazy enough to say that in front of these individuals. He admits that his master is an oddball and eccentric type of person, but to go that far just to tease these heroes, he might have a death wish.

 

"I'll guide you to the guests' rooms. This way please."

 

Melundo politely said as he opened the door. He heard Eruhaben sigh making the vampire flinch. Well of course, even if Eruhaben's in control of himself right now, it wasn't the usual perfect, almost flawless control over his Dragon Fear. Eruhaben was on the edge of bursting out himself, but he reigned over his emotions. As the eldest in the group, acting rash and impulsive just because he's frustrated by this situation is unbecoming, at least he needs to be sane and be a figure that the others can look into and help them gain their composures.

 

As they were walking down the halls, Melundo can only sigh inwardly while feeling the prickly sensation of the gloomy and heavy atmosphere looming around these individuals. The reports were really true. That without Cale Henituse, these strong individuals will also lose their restraints. He couldn't talk so easily as to say that everything will be fine since his master was the one to blame for all of these. But it also didn't mean that the blame is all on Fredo as well. The root of all of this was the curse, and that's an irrefutable fact.

 

As Melundo stopped right the corner of the hallway, the endless doors can be seen as he stood in the middle of the hallway.

 

"These are all guests rooms. There will be servants—"

"That won't be necessary."

 

Ron and Melundo stared at each other. The benign and kind smile painted on Cale Henituse's butler was contradicting the cold and murderous emotions that were swirling in his eyes. Melundo can only sigh inwardly as he bowed his head wordlessly and stepped to the side to let them pass.

 

"...I apologise on behalf of my master."

 

Although he was reluctant to say this, it was still proper to apologise to them. Melundo really feels like his long lifespan as a vampire was shorten to days while thinking of his master who always bring him headaches. Saying this was like putting himself on his own coffin, already sitting and ready to lay on it. 

 

A deafening silence followed as his words hang on the cold air of the castle. Although Melundo would be much thankful if they gave him snarky remarks considering how his master had been acting around them, he was still afraid of the possibility that he might be pulverised by the Ancient Dragon's attribute. 

 

He sighed when they just walk past him as if he didn't hear what he just said. Or so he thought—

 

His neck felt like it was being choked by a hand when it wasn't. He can feel the suffocating aura that was flowing out of Choi Han, Rosalyn and Eruhaben who was not even looking at him. But still, the chaotic aura and mana that was filling the surrounding area, Melundo couldn't help but hold onto the wall for support. He felt like he'll fall to his knees if he didn't.

 

But the tension was cut again when Relia spoke, almost in a carefree manner and cast her ability on the three. Now the released manas and aura will be delayed until tomorrow. Her ability, Delay, is really an abstract ability. Even she can't really understand how it's used, but Relia knew the fundamentals of it.

 

"Now, now. Let's just rest and take these matters in our hands tomorrow, shall we?"

 

Melundo sighed as he lamented the fact that Relia and Fredo are so much alike in this aspect. They knew they will be in trouble but still pushed forward as if some suicidal maniacs—although they also survive for mere lucks and their own stupidity too.

 

 

The green eyes stared at the scene that was displayed on the screen. Her eyes wandered to Relia who was currently talking carefreely towards the hero Cale's party. Her green eyes that were a shade brighter than Relia's reflected great amusement on her Holy Maiden who has the guts to say that in the situation she's in.

 

"Your Holy Maiden is something."

 

She turned to look at the man who was sitting next to her. They were currently watching the happenings in the Endable Kingdom where Cale Henituse is. 

 

"Relia is Relia. That's why she's my Holy Maiden."

 

She answered as she lightly brushed the hair that was on her face. The man stared at her for a moment before he turned back his attention to the scene that was currently projected on the screen.

 

"...Your way of thinking is really complicated."

"My, since when did you become interested in how my head works?"

 

The sarcastic refute came in after he muttered that while looking at Cale Henituse who was currently in Naru's appearance. He wanted to say more but he can only sigh as he gave the woman a sideway glance.

 

"I'm just saying. Giving a curse for that reason... aren't you suppose to give him a blessing rather than a curse, Gillian?"

 

The woman's eyes looked at him for a few seconds before a pleasant smile painted her lips.

 

"It is interesting this way, don't you think so as well?"

 

The answer was playful, seemingly kidding. But she wasn't. And he can see in her eyes that reflected great amusement, she wasn't backing out of this at all.

 

'So it's fun to build him, and destroy him again, huh?'

 

 

 

Chapter Text

The next morning came in and Naru was eating breakfast alone. The little vampire was clearly sulking as he pierces a piece of meat that was sliced by Melundo earlier by a fork and put it in his mouth. 

 

Alone meaning Fredo isn't with him. Yes, what matters to him the most right now was his 'Father' who had to go out early with the other nobles to inspect the other sections of the kingdom and was busy because of a conference meeting with those damned nobles. He was annoyed right now and he really wants to see Fredo, but he can't be too selfish. His father cared for his citizens more than anything else.

 

"hmp! I am more important than them though. I, Naru, is the first place in Papa's important list!"

 

Naru had a satisfied look as he slightly nodded his head in agreement with his own thoughts— although those thoughts were unconsciously whispered by him, Naru didn't care as he was busy thinking of Fredo.

 

Melundo, who was standing next to Naru and watching this, can only look at the little vampire, who was nodding his head with a satisfied look painted on his lips, with a curious look and sigh to himself. 

 

'...Master will probably be really happy if he heard that...Hm...'

 

Melundo could only lament the fact that his master's future was quite blurry and hard. Considering how the possibility of his body becoming a bloody mess and his life leaving him was increasing day by day.

 

Naru looked over the long table and to the guests who arrived yesterday. The three children who had cried yesterday when he refuted them and said that he's not 'Cale' were now eating with gusto. Well, it is only natural to be happy eating delicious foods. 

 

His eyes lingered on them as he absentmindedly pierced another piece of meat and put it in his mouth. Naru really thought that something's weird with him every time he looks at these individuals since the moment he saw them appear above the teleportation circle wearing valiant and chilly expressions. The feeling of relief and happiness flooded his chest that time that all he could do was give the snarky remarks to cover his flustered feelings. Although he thought he went too far when he saw how the children cried, Naru couldn't bring himself to pay attention to anything as he is busy sorting out his chaotic feelings.

 

"Ah... the... sauce..."

 

Naru absentmindedly murmured that as he watched the sauce from the steak make a mess on the three children's face. He's not sure whether this is a drive because he is meticulous and didn't want to see any mess in front of him, because he wanted to grab a napkin right now and carefully wipe those stains and sauces on their faces, although he really doesn't mind as they look adorable and endearing even with those messy faces.

 

"Cute..."

 

He muttered again absentmindedly while looking at them fondly—

 

"...Hm?"

 

Carefully? Wipe the sauce? Adorable? Endearing—?!

 

'What crazy thoughts am I having right now?!'

 

Naru flinched as his mind snapped from the thoughts he was having. He stared at the three children who wasn't even looking at him as he furrowed his brows and turned his head away with a 'hmp!'

 

His eyes met with Melundo who was watching him since earlier. 

 

The butler wanted to smile while watching Naru who was eating the steak with such enthusiasm. He was really relieved that even though Cale Henituse doesn't remember them, he can see the conflicted feelings reflected in his eyes while watching the others as if he was going crazy. The concern that was reflected in his eyes whenever he answered them with snarky and rude comments was, to say, ruining the cold and stoic image he wanted to project.

 

And right now, Melundo was trying his hardest to stop himself from grinning, although the twitching side of his lips was noticed by Naru that made the little vampire slightly blush.

 

Naru furrowed his brows more and faked a cough. 

 

"T, the steak today tastes different than the usual. Is the chef new?"

 

Naru opted to pay attention to the steak he was eating. He noticed that the taste was different from the steak he had yesterday for his meal. 

 

"This fragrance, its tenderness and juiciness..."

 

Another piece flew to Naru's mouth and with a satisfied expression, he moaned as the sweet taste of the sauce filled his mouth, accompanied by the taste of the well-seasoned meat. Naru can't help but wonder how could a steak be this delicious.

 

He turned to look at Melundo who was frozen stiff on his spot while looking at him. The butler regained his composure and slightly smiled.

 

"Your highness, I am glad it is to your liking."

"Yes, yes. Indeed, I like it very much. The palace chef is truly talented."

 

Melundo's smile faltered as he felt a cold sensation at the back of his head. He can feel the cold and murderous look that the person behind him currently shooting towards him. That's why faked a cough and quickly correct Naru who was once again enjoying the steak.

 

"That, your highness. It wasn't the palace chef."

"...Hm?"

"The one who prepared today's breakfast was Sir Beacrox Molan."

 

Naru's jaw slacked as he almost dropped his fork. His eyes shifted to Beacrox who was standing behind Melundo a few meters away from the vampire butler. Beacrox wasn't looking at him, but the satisfied and proud expression he has made Naru's vampire ears twitch and his cheeks painted with pink colour. 

 

Naru gulped down the meat that he was chewing and looked away before sipping on the glass of water and wiped his lips with a napkin. Though this looked like he's doing it because it is an etiquette that you need to do before you talk, it was to hide his flustered expression and his pouting lips.

 

He looked at Melundo with a betrayed expression but the butler just bowed his head. 

 

'You could've told me earlier!'

 

Naru was pissed, seeing how the vampire butler's lips were twitching, he couldn't help but frown and look away from him. He was feeling really embarrassed right now. He was being rude to them yesterday and the emotions that were flooding his chest since yesterday made his mind more chaotic. 

 

"Mm. The food was delicious. I thank you for the amazing meal."

 

Naru said that after he fixed his expression. Although the 'fixed' expression he's wearing was, his plump cheeks still pink, his eyebrow and vampire ears twitching, his image of being 'princely' was, of course, a huge fail.

 

 

 

The others glanced at each other as they secretly look towards Naru who was eating silently now with a slight pout on his lips. They were trying so hard to stop themselves from smiling and chuckling while watching the usually cold and stoic Cale Henituse become flustered and expressive like this. 

 

They were aware that Naru was watching them and as much as they want to go ahead, throw every reservations and restraint they have outside the window and talk to Cale right now. However, they couldn't do those as they didn't want to climb up 'Naru's' hate list in a fast rate.

 

Although they hate this situation where Cale can't remember them, this scene is quite amusing and interesting to see as well. 

 

The three children who were purposely eating and letting the sauce stain and make a mess on their faces almost lost control over their bodies as they heard Naru murmured earlier and wanted to just rush towards their human and hug him. But they got to hold themselves back. 

 

The three children looked at each other and nodded their heads, eyes filled with determination as they continued to eat—still purposely smudging sauce on their faces.

 

Well, all of them are restraining themselves right now and following the plan they had set up last night. 

 

Right after they entered their rooms, they had quickly brought out the communication devices and had a meeting over the night on what is going to be their plans now that Cale couldn't remember them. 

 

And the most important and crucial thing was to search for a way to break the curse fast. 

 

Why? 

 

Well, who among them is calm and can tolerate Cale continuously ignoring and treating them coldly? Not to mention that he can't recognise any of them for a year. A YEAR? 

 

They can't even hold and restrain themselves with just days and weeks that Cale's unconscious, what about a year? They'd go crazy, that's for sure.

 

They secretly glanced at each other again and looked towards Cale who's in Naru's form as determination filled their eyes that if Cale was able to remember them and saw those looks, he'd think 'Which kingdom are they going to erase in the map to have such vicious faces?'

 

Well, perhaps the kingdom will be a certain kingdom whose king was a vampire? 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

"Prince Naru."

 

Naru tore his eyes away from the book he's reading as his eyes were greeted by the lady who seems to have a close relationship with his father. His eyes lingered on the droopy green eyes that were staring at him with determination, which he finds really weird since the moment he saw her amongst those individuals who visited their kingdom.

 

'Cale Henituse...'

 

Relia wasn't ignorant not to know who this individual is, even though their village doesn't involve themselves in the matters of the kingdom—actually now an Empire.

 

They still knew what's happening outside even though they had closed their doors to the outside world. It is a way to not cause another flame of war just because of their bloodline's blessing.

 

Her eyes lingered on the silver-haired boy who was actually Cale Henituse, the greatest hero of both western and eastern continents. Not only did he defeated the White Star who planned to bring destruction and despair to the lands, but he also closed the temple of the God of Despair that appeared in Puzzle City after they defeated that monstrous Lion Dragon.

 

The very person before her was heralded as the greatest commander that had ever existed in history. He was the perfect epitome of a noble Aristocrat, a righteous and dignified individual. A hero who is willing to sacrifice his own life to bring peace to the continent, a legend who will never be rivalled by anyone, either from the past or the present. Cale Henituse will never be surpassed, no one will be able to stand on the same grounds as him, even for the future generations.

 

Well, that was based on the periodical reports and news they would read after months of sleeping and waking up just to catch up to the news outside. The information was all provided by the neighbouring elven village and will be delivered to them by their sacred beasts the moment they woke up.

 

Out of those informations, the ones that contained the name Cale Henituse is the one that she and the others are looking forward to. It was because it felt like they are reading a novel, a novel that they can't get enough of it. And the very first moment the God of Youth woke her up and gave her first mission after eight decades, Relia couldn't contain the happiness and excitement brought by the thought that she'll meet Cale Henituse for the first time.

 

And well, if Cale found out that those kind informations were circling in different villages of different races, he'd be locking himself in his villa for a decade. Not like he'll find out now though.

 

Although she didn't expect that the dignified hero was cursed to become a child, she was thankful enough to meet him and to be of some help to relieve the effects of the curse that was brought upon him.

 

'Who was it that woke up last week...? Was it Liannie?'

 

Relia thought for a moment of the lady who was the youngest in their village. Liannie was the youngest of those who had descended the last stage. She's in her first year of the last stage and was asleep for the whole year but only to be wakened up by a mission. And Relia is certain that Liannie was the one who carried out the mission to curse Cale Henituse to become a child. Although she wanted to ask the God of Youth as to why she has to curse the hero, she couldn't do so as that would overstepping her boundaries, even if she's the Holy Maiden.

 

"What is it?"

 

Naru was still wary about this lady, however, he was also curious as to why she seems to continuously send him stares that seem to tell she needed to talk to him. Although he's still suspicious about her main agenda, Naru can't help but indulge himself with the answer he's craving.

 

Naru moved back his eyes to the book and began reading again– by reading means flipping each page at a fast pace that made Relia flinch while watching this happen in front of her eyes. Her eyes turned blank for a moment before her mind cleared up as she looked at Naru with sparkling eyes.

 

'As expected of Cale Henituse!'

 

Well, even though Cale can't remember anything right now, he's still Cale Henituse, the Supreme Commander who brought many victories to Roan.

 

Relia's eyes darted towards Naru's small body and sigh. Her chest felt stuffy and heavy, thinking what's about to come to this person who received the curse even though he didn't do anything to aggravate the Hebe Household or the God of Youth.

 

'Just what is going on inside my lord's head?'

 

Although she questions the decision that her God had made, this doesn't change the fact that the God of Youth gave her a mission to at least relieve the effects of the second stage. She may not be certain as to why this is happening to Cale, she knew that her Lord didn't intend any ill intentions, although casting a curse can be counted as an ill intention, her intuition was telling that there's more to this than what she's known for now.

 

"May I hold your hand for a bit?"

 

Relia asked while looking at Naru who stopped and gave her a sideway glance before turning his head and closing the book he's reading. His pale face was stoic as his purple eyes stared at her with clear suspicion.

 

Well of course he would. Who in their right mind would readily accept that kind of request when he barely knew this person? She might be his father's friend, but that doesn't mean she's Naru's acquaintance.

 

"The weason?"

 

Naru's eyes narrowed when Relia stared at him with clear worry and concern that made no sense at all. Well, he is her friend's son so the worry and concern she's showing might be acceptable...

 

'...but those worry and concern are different.'

 

His purple eyes turned sharp, although he didn't know how his eyes changed colours from reddish-brown back to purple, both he or Relia didn't notice it. 

 

Relia opened her lips to speak but the sound of the breaking window coming from the next floor made Naru flinch and looked towards the ceiling that was decorated with a large chandelier made up of the same gem that Fredo left together with the permission letter he left back when he borrowed Cale.

 

Naru's eyes turned sharp when he realized that the room above was his father's office. He quickly jumped down from his seat and activated the Sound of the Wind ancient power. Although he doesn't remember, the preset in his mind that this will help him move faster. In short, he's acting by pure instinct and the undeniable truth, in this situation, that his current Father was in danger.

 

"Young master Cale!"

 

Relia called out but the little vampire had long since dashed in full speed towards the stairs. Relia eyed this with worry as she began running too. 

 

'I don't have any more time... if I don't apply my ability on him and continue to stall like this, it'll be too late...'

 

Relia's ability is strong, however, even though it can affect the flow of time, it is nothing in the face of the curse. The time manipulation applied to the curse was absolute. Meaning, the curse itself is accepted by fate and will not be affected if she applied her ability late. The appropriate time was now, in the noon where the curse's second effect will start to slowly make its way to Cale's system.

 

Relia was desperate right now that's why she didn't bother thinking that she might destroy the castle for doing this but her mission comes first. 

 

"Leucos! Pierce to the next floor!"

 

Leucos who appeared in a form of a dove sighed as he shook his head to his master who just commanded him to destroy a property, a royal property at that and not to mention that the King himself and his loyal subordinates are here.

 

'...why did she became my master again?'

 

Although he's grumbling, his master's order is his priority above anything else. That was their purpose, that was why he's here and existing in the first place. 

 

"Then pierce it is!"

 

A feather was plucked from his wing as it grew bigger and soon became a golden feather. Leucos' ability, absorbing any metals and making a weapon out of it. It was a destructive power that protected the village as well as his master for the last century and decades that he's existing. 

 

The golden feather that weighed 150 pounds pointed its tip on the ceiling and shoot at a fast speed. Soon, the sound of an explosion shook the palace as a whole appeared on the second floor's ceiling. Relia was quickly carried by Leucos who turned a bit bigger to bring Relia up the whole that they made. 

 

The whole was right in the middle of the hallway and Relia immediately saw the only door at the end of the hallway was open— no, more like it was burnt to ashes and there she saw Naru standing while heaving heavy breaths as his small body slightly shook.

 

Cale deaged, and that affects his overall strength. Although this much usage of his ancient power won't burden him, he's currently a child and his strength drastically lowered to the point that if Raon would charge at him to hug him would break surely break his bones. And that goes without saying...

 

"Cough!"

 

A forceful cough resounded and accompanied it was a handful of red blood that resembled Cale's red hair so much. The blood dripped from his hand, but he wiped it off as he stared at the two individuals holding a greatsword and double blades pointed to his father.

 

The sound of the running from the end of the hall, the elite knights who were running from the end of the hall towards the King's office, to Eruhaben and the other's who used the same hole that Relia used. And what awaited them was this?

 

They stood frozen as more blood dripped from Naru's lips, his complexion turning pale at a frightening pace, his small body shaking as his hands formed a ball.

 

"You...you dare..."

 

Ron and Beacrox stood there unmoving, feeling like their bodies had been pinned on their spot as they felt a foreboding sense of anger.

 

Cale's ancient power, Blood-Drenched Rock that was mixed with Dominating Aura struck everyone who's in the palace with insurmountable fear... the feeling of death.

 

"No! Cale-nim! Stop! You're overusing your ancient power!"

 

What they fear wasn't the feeling of death that was extruding from Cale, but the thought of their young master coughing blood in that small body...they're teetering from the edge of madness.

 

"You dare...You dared to harm my father..."

 

'...It's too late...'

 

Relia thought as she watched the scene unfold in front of her eyes with a pained expression.

 

 

 

"Gillian...You're aware that you're only destroying him up to this point, right?"

 

His eyes moved away from the screen and stared at the lady next to him with cold eyes. The lady next to him was still watching the scene with a serious face as she lightly brushed her hair away from her face.

 

"To start again, I need to destroy him little by little. My fundamentals is the start of life, the springtime of life. In order to help him, I need to destroy him. That's all there is to do."

 

 

Chapter Text

Naru's body was trembling. With the addition of his pale face and bloodied appearance, the sight itself was a nightmare on a higher level. Considering how Cale's a child right now, and with that appearance, the others feel like they'll go mad. 

 

"You dared...you dared to hurt my father..."

 

Naru's mumblings were the only thing that can be heard inside the office. Fredo was looking at Cale with a conflicted expression as he walked towards the little Naru who was clenching his tiny hands.

 

"N, Naru. It's not like that, okay? Let's calm down first."

 

Naru's shoulders twitched as he looked up to Fredo who was looking at him with worry. Naru's eyes were sunken and shallow. It looked like he's not conscious and that's worrying them more. 

 

(A/N: please don't get confused with the next parts. The "Italicized" are conversations from Cale's flashbacks. Haaa... let's get this done with. Hang in there my heart. The angst will be over soon😣)

 

"How is it not like that, father?"

 

Naru's voice was cold and it lacks any emotions. They were really worried about this sudden change. It was as if Cale had lost control of everything and was turning into a mess. 

 

"Naru, let's be calm okay? They didn't hurt me."

"...Calm down, Rok Soo... Papa's not hurt..."

 

Naru's eyes shook as a distant voice overlapped when Fredo talked. His hand that was holding the golden turtle badge, where the Blood-Drenched Rock ancient power was sealed, loosened and the badge made a dull sound as it hit the floor. The others only spared it a glance as the ancient power was deactivated, leaving only the Dominating Aura activated. 

 

Naru's hand made its way to his head as if to attempt to shook the familiar voices away from his mind. 

 

"Naru?"

"Rok Soo..."

"I'm not hurt, see? So don't look at them like that, okay?"

"Papa's...not hurt. So don't make that...face, my son."

 

The voices were overlapping themselves on Fredo's sentences, making Naru's head throb as more scenes continued to flash in his mind. 

 

The records were pouring inside his head slowly as if to tease him and it's tugging in his sanity. The second stage's effects—a stronger case of emotional instability to which Cale won't be able to handle the emotions a child has and this just greatly affected him because of the records that contained his hidden and bottled emotions. The rushing records that Cale had kept at the back of his mind and would always disregard it even if he's been dreaming about it once in a while—those records and memories were flooding his mind right now and combined with how he's not in perfect control of his emotions... it's breaking everything inside him. 

 

Naru clenched his silver hair and lightly tugged it as he looked up to the others, his face was ghastly pale, his eyes were dilated and his hands were shaking. Those were visible and the others were all nearing the edge of madness watching how Cale struggle about something.

 

"Father..."

"...Yes?"

 

Naru looked at Fredo before looking back at Ron and Beacrox who are standing there frozen while looking at him, worry were etched on their faces as they watch how the purple eyes glared at them. 

 

It brought pain in their chests to receive that kind of stare. It was a look someone would give to a detestable stranger they met for the first time. The emotions that were swirling inside Cale's eyes were bringing pain to their chests. Even though they wanted to do something about this situation and explain what really is happening, they were nailed on their spots. 

 

The very existence of Cale Henituse was their everything. It wasn't an exaggeration to say that they will go mad and crazy if they lost this redhead who worries them to the very corners of their soul. 

 

And it frustrates them how they're so powerless right now. 

 

"You insolent and presumptuous Father and Son! How dare you attack my Father, the great and honourable King of Endable?! Prepare the blades of the Guillotine! I, Naru von Ejellan, Prince of Endable Kingdom, sentencing Ron Molan and Beacrox Molan to be beheaded by the Guillotine!"

 

Naru's eyes flashed a chaotic emotion as he announced that while holding on to Fredo's trousers. 

 

The whole place turned silent. It was as if someone had muted the place off and the sudden announcement of the silverhead rang inside their head like a broken record.

 

"C, Cale–nim?"

"H, human... what are you talking about!"

 

Fear. Fear invaded their body as the reality that they tried to brush off and continued to ignore dawned on them. 

 

Cale can't remember them. 

 

To make the matters worst, Cale deemed them as enemies the moment he saw them appeared out of nowhere and demanding Fredo to return him to them. 

 

But it wasn't their fault. It wasn't their fault that Cale was like this. It was that God's fault.

 

Raon's eyes had darkened to the point that even light can't seem to penetrate through it. If only that God didn't meddle with their peaceful lives and cursed his human...

 

'I'll destroy everything...'

 

Raon's surroundings became distorted as his violent black mana started to pour out. Eruhaben moved and was fast to pat the little dragon on his head making Raon's raging mana dissipate and looked at Eruhaben.

 

"Calm down, Raon."

"...Okay."

 

The others sighed as they felt how Raon had calmed down. But that doesn't change the fact that they are still worried about this situation. 

 

The announcement itself of Ron and Beacrox's beheading was nothing because they can always just destroy everything and take Cale away. They're not bound to this kingdom after all. But the situation of how the little redhead is so unstable right now, that's the one thing they are most worried about.

 

"Naru...That's not possible, my son."

 

Fredo's face was serious. His voice was cold as he looked down towards the little silverhead who's looking up to him with the same purple eyes like his.

 

"The King is right, your highness."

 

A new voice rang out as a new person made its presence known. Eruhaben had already known who the individual is, as well as the others who knew this person very much. 

 

The man sauntered into the room clad in dark clothes that has silver threads forming intricate designs and a noticeable crest was pinned on his clothes. His complexion that wasn't at all rare in that kingdom was lighter than the others who's in the same race as his.

 

He was a quarter dark elf. The black mask that was covering the upper half of his face accentuate his brown eyes. 

 

It was Alberu. No, in this case, it was Archduke Bob. 

 

Fredo gave a sigh of relief upon realizing that the Emperor of Roan had arrived. He had a foreboding sense that his kingdom isn't safe after he heard Cale announced that. Although his heart is not beating like that of someone who's alive, Fredo, for the first time in his long life, felt like his heart thumped loudly and dropped when Cale said that.

 

"...Who are you?"

 

Bob gazed down at Cale who currently has silver hair and not the vibrant sunset red hair he was used to. An amused smile made its way to his lips as he picked up the little prince. Although his eyes momentarily turned dark after seeing blood on Cale's lips and on his clothes, he hid it quickly. 

 

But well, Cale is still Cale. Even if he can't remember them, he's still Cale Henituse. The most cunning person in the room and as such, the darkened expression that Alberu had in a split moment was observed by him. His purple eyes lightly squinted and let himself be carried by this individual who just arrived.

 

Strangely enough for Naru, it felt natural that he's being held by this man whom he saw for the first time, but he brushed it off and stared at the pair of brown eyes that were slightly shaped in crescents.

 

"I am Archduke Bob, your highness."

"...And what do you mean by it's not possible to punish these two?"

 

Alberu looked at Ron and Beacrox who are both extruding deadly and murderous auras directed at Fredo who had a wry smile on his lips.

 

"Your highness, I believe there is no more guillotine in our kingdom. As such, these individuals are...the Roan's treasures. We can't lay a hand on them that easily."

 

Naru stared at the man who introduced himself as Bob as he pondered over the words the Archduke just stated. 

 

"And, I believe that his Majesty didn't also want this punishment, my prince."

 

Naru flinched as he looked up towards Bob who's still smiling as he shifted his eyes to Fredo who had a serious look on his face.

 

He opened his mouth to speak to Fredo but a sudden rush of light made the room too bright that the individuals don't have any choice but to close their eyes. 

 

"Cale-nim!"

"Human!"

 

They instinctively called for Cale as they moved quickly to Alberu's place but they had no choice to halt and close their eyes because of the intensity of the light.

 

It lasted a whole minute before a dull thud was heard. The light dissipated and what they saw the moment they opened their eyes is a familiar shade of sunset red colour. 

 

The person has sunset red hair that was cascading down his shoulder of an overly familiar figure who had his pale and white body was displayed bare. He was sitting in front of Alberu— who's currently staring at the figure with wide eyes while holding the person's arms.

 

"C, Cale?"

 

The redhead, who was currently sitting there, slightly in a daze, looked up and the familiar sharp and stoic reddish-brown eyes met their gazes. 

 

"...Hm?"