"Wow, Hyung, did people really tell you all of that? The villagers I met out there weren't telling me a thing. What the hell did you do?"
"It's different when people in black uniforms rush around and ask questions, and when one comes to them pretending to be weak."
Gakane smiled and sat on the chair in front of the bed.
"Anyway, don't you get the hang of it by listening to this much?" (Gakane)
"I think it's because of him that Devran disappeared."
Listening to Jimmy's reasoning, Gakane curled the tail of his eyes gently.
"That's what I think. I'm just going to ask Zakail a question when he gets back."
Gakane and Jimmy's eyes were immersed in smile with the same meaning. Jimmy looked at Gakane and sighed, unable to hide his admiration.
"Gakane hyung, you said you're an Alpha Awakener, right?"
"Alpha? Yeah, that's right."
Gakane blinked quickly and looked perplexed when he heard of the sudden flow that he was jealous.
"I heard from the other brothers and sisters in the Cavalry that... I will get taller after manifesting the second gender. Hyung, too, right?"
Gakane asked back blankly. It was the most unusual question ever asked by those who had been told that he was an Alpha Awakener.
"No, I don't really... Even before I Awakened, my height wasn't that different from now. I don't really know."
"Ever noona told me that she grows taller not long before joining the Cavalry. And Commander-nim is huge, too."
"Commander-nim... well, yeah."
Gakane listened to Jimmy and thought of Commander Kishiar in his head. Gakane's height was also tall enough to stand out anywhere among ordinary men, but Kishiar was different from his physique itself.
Although such a large person often seemed dull, Kishiar La Orr's body was perfect as if the God himself created it, so it only made him feel overwhelming.
Gakane still often didn't realize that Kishiar had manifested a second gender, and that man had the power to take even the strange fact for granted.
If such a person manifested a second gender, it would be a special blessing even in itself.
Gakane recalled the immense and overwhelming energy of an Alpha that he felt when he first saw Kishiar on the podium. Gakane had met quite a few of fellow Alpha comrades ever since, but no one was like Kishiar. He was just that kind of existence.
"Commander-nim must've been born that way because he is a member of the Imperial Family. Maybe." (Gakane)
"Jimmy, do you actually want to have a second gender?"
Gakane spoke to Jimmy carefully. Then Jimmy nodded his head with a gloomy face.
"Why? Your height will grow up as time goes by." (Gakane)
The boy hesitated for a while before opening his mouth.
"I think my parents are worried about me because I'm young. But I don't want to manifest right now... I don't want to get in the way of the mission."
"Your parents? Oh, you said you live near here. Didn't you go to see them during vacation?"
Jimmy shook his head at Gakane's question.
"I stayed at my father's friend's house in the Capital. My parents told me to do that."
Gakane, who was about to ask why, suddenly remembered what the bandit leader called Nahan said to Jimmy. Jimmy's eyes sank dark as if he knew what Gakane was thinking.
"They said they wouldn't be able to meet me even if I suddenly went on vacation because the store was very busy. I thought it was true... But now that I think of it, I don't think it's true. When I sent the letter, my mother told me that the time we meet again would be when my parents come to the Capital. Maybe they didn't want me to come back to my hometown."
In the South where Gakane lived, the atmosphere of rejecting Awakeners was not so severe. That was why he couldn't easily come up with good consolation for Jimmy.
Gakane hesitated and stroked the boy's head to give honest advice.
"Your growing taller or bigger doesn't necessary mean you're going to become an adult. Your parents are wise people, so I'm sure they're doing well. So don't worry. Tell the Commander or Yuder if you're worried. I'm sure they will help you. Oh, of course I will help you, too. Shall we stop by your village when we get back?"
"No, it's all right."
"You're going to miss your parents. Didn't you say it's just a few hours from here? It won't be too much of a change, so be honest."
"No, really. It's really all right."
Shaking his head in a hurry, Jimmy smiled half-heartedly and looked up at Gakane.
"Thank you for not saying it's too childish a worry, Gakane hyung."
"You can be a little more childish. I wish my brothers were half as mature as you are."
When Gakane sighed, Jimmy opened his eyes wide in surprise at the unexpected words.
"Do you have a brother?" (Jimmy)
"Not just one. There are five."
"Wow! I'm an only child, so I've never felt how it's like to have a sibling."
"It doesn't feel good. They're so loud, and we fight so often. I've been out of my mind all day."
Gakane recalled his younger siblings who would be home by now. He didn't see the faces he missed this vacation, but it was okay because it wasn't something he would never see.
"That's the same as the Cavalry."
Gakane smirked at Jimmy's words.
"Right, it's no different from the Cavalry."
"What about Yuder hyung? Does Yuder hyung have any siblings?"
"You know, right? You're closest to Yuder hyung."
Suddenly, the story ran toward Yuder, but Gakane soon convinced Jimmy by his sparkling eyes.
Jimmy was completely infatuated with Yuder's strong performance throughout the mission. Looking at him like a puppy chasing after his owner, it seemed natural that he wanted to know even a little more about Yuder.'I'm the closest with Yuder...? I appreciate it if it looks like that.'
Actually, Gakane's honest heart wasn't even sure if he was as close to Yuder as he seemed. In Gakane's eyes, Yuder was a secretive creature with eyes that were too deep to guess.
Yuder spoke very little about himself, and he was extremely reticent, always seemed to be alone among the people.
Nevertheless, it was natural for him to buy the yearning and jealousy of others first because Yuder attracted others' attention and had overwhelming strength.
Of course, it changed after they knew that Yuder was a caring person who didn't care about taking risks for the Cavalry's sake, but he was still a man full of secret.
Even though he was from a commoner, he had no hesitation in leading others, and it was scary enough to guess where the limit of his ability was. Could that ability really come from the experience of a young man who was only 20 years old?
If Kishiar La Orr felt different like a human being created by God since birth, Yuder was different in a different sense. Yuder Aile was like the one who literally brought the "strength" that Gakane had longed for into reality.
That was why Gakane was fascinated with Yuder.
Although Yuder didn't seem to care about Gakane more than anyone else, it was fine because he didn't seem to hate him. Gakane was confident in perseverance.
"Yuder probably doesn't have siblings. That's what I heard."
"I see. Yuder hyung and I have something in common."
Smiling with an excited face, Jimmy suddenly looked toward the window and jumped up from his seat.
"Huh? Hyung, by the way... Why are those people looking at that direction?"
Gakane also got up straight from his seat and headed to the window. As Jimmy said, Hartan people who had been wandering around the village all day long gathered around the castle and pointed their fingers and looked at somewhere.
Gakane felt strange for a moment when he realized that their eyes were not on the castle but on something beyond it.'Perhaps?'
At that moment, someone knocked hard on the door of the room they were staying.
"Are you inside?"
"What's the matter?" (Gakane)
"The back mountain. There's a big fire in the back mountain! It's a fire similar to Devran's!"
It was a young servant who knocked on the door. Looking at his terrified face, Gakane quickly ran out.
They couldn't see the mountain behind the other side of the castle because the window of their room could only see the view of the village. However, when they went out into the hallway and looked out of the other window, a huge pillar of fire was soaring from the mountain.
Seeing all the servants and maids working at the castle gathered and trembled in fear, Gakane grabbed one of them and asked.
"When did that fire start?"
"Ju, just now."
"Where is Zakail-nim now?"
"He led the guards outside!"
The fact that Zakail went outside with the guards meant that even he didn't expect the situation. Gakane said 'I see'
and looked back at Jimmy who followed him.
"Jimmy, let's go."
"That fire, is that the sign from Yuder hyung?"
Jimmy asked in a voice that was too small for the others to hear.
"I don't know yet, but something must have happened. You got the practice sword, right?"
Jimmy lifted a small practice sword on his waist with a stiff expression.
"Okay, come here."
Gakane held Jimmy in one hand and called for the shadow alter ego. Seeing the black shadow rising under Gakane's feet, the servants began to scream and run away in unison.
"Monster? That's mean."