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"I feel like something serious has happened to me. But it was worth trying to make this my new life."
Cale's Narration, Prologue

Kim Rok Soo has just started reading The Birth of a Hero, a fantasy series about a Korean teenager named Choi Han who gets transported to a fantasy world of magic, monsters, elves, and dragons that's about to be thrown into chaos through a war. He gets 5 volumes in before he falls asleep... and when he wakes up, finds that he's been transported into the world during the time of the first novel.

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He's also been reincarnated into the body of a minor antagonist from the first novel, Cale, who is known as the trash of the count's family because of his tendency to get drunk and hurl bottles at anyone nearby, as well as treating those of lower status like they aren't people. And he's just days away from when this character is beaten to a bloody pulp by Choi Han. This meeting starts Choi Han's journey to heroism, but Kim Rok Soo-as-Cale understandably doesn't want to get hurt.

Our new Cale, who didn't have much in Korea, has decided to take advantage of his new position. He'll use his reputation as a piece of trash to do whatever he wants, use his knowledge of the plot keep himself getting beat up by Choi Han while pointing Choi Han in the right direction to start his journey, then save a bunch of money and get himself protection so he can live an easy life out of the way of the war that's about to start. Unfortunately, just by not getting beat up he's already changed the plot enough that he gets deeply involved. And since he only had knowledge up through the first 5 volumes of the series, there are a lot of dangers he still doesn't know about...

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Trash of the Count's Family is a Korean isekai series in the Action, Comedy, and Fantasy genres. It has novels published in Korean and an English translation available on Wuxia World [1].

Still under construction! Spoilers abound!


This series provides examples of:

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Cale is aware that his actions are seen as heroic by others (which they are, though heroism isn't his intention). What he's not aware of is his incredible reputation that came about from many comical misunderstandings about his intentions.
  • Action Girl: Any female character who also fights. Notable are Rosalyn, Cage, Hannah, Witira, and Litana.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: The specialty of the Mogoru Empire.
  • Almighty Janitor: A lot of them in the Henituse territory. Ron, Beacrox, and other servants of the Henituse family are this by design. However, there are also a lot of randomly skilled people in the general population. Cale knows about this from reading the book and later purposefully recruits for his information/assassin network from an art festival.
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  • Ambiguously Gay: Taylor, if only because no one's sexuality in the series has been confirmed one way or another. Having a close but strictly platonic relationship with Cage isn't suspicious on its own. While he could be joking, things still start to get questionable when, after Cage hits on Cale and is rebuffed, Taylor hits on him instead.
    Cage: Young master Cale, do you not have any desire to get to know an older sister with a great personality?
    Cale: Nope.
    Taylor …What about an older brother with a great personality?
    Cale: Even less.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Choi Han
  • Battle Butler: A requirement to be a butler in the Henituse household. Ron and Hans are the two examples we see, though we have yet to see Hans in action.
  • Birds of a Feather: Cale and Prince Alberu, who are both good at scheming, both use a "glib tongue" to make people act how they want them to, and are both very aware of the other person being the same way (aka: not able to be manipulated easily). But both of their goals are ultimately for the betterment of their kingdom (though Cale's reasons are a little more self-centered). They work together and become friends as the story goes on.
  • Biseinen: Eruhaben. The narration (sometimes with the implication that this is Cale's opinion) describes him as incredibly beautiful.
  • Blood Knight: Several. One example is Redika, the crazy blood drinking mage. There's also Toonka, who's wants to fight anything and everything that he thinks might be strong, up to and including natural phenomenons like whirlpools.
  • Brick Joke: In an early chapter, Cale opens a door only to find Choi Han standing right in front of it, immediately slamming it back shut out of shock. This happens again 200+ chapters later.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Most elves would like to think so, but this is actually subverted. They're magical, in tune with nature, and mostly peaceful, but they're also noted to be incredibly frustrating, haughty, and uncooperative with anyone who isn't an elf. Archie from the Whale tribe, who deals with them often, loathes them. Luckily, being accepted by a dragon makes Cale's interactions with them much easier.
  • Chef of Iron: Beacrox.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Cale has a certain grin which Raon notes means that he's "about to scam somebody again". Alberu has a similar one. When they're both smiling...
  • The Chessmaster: Cale.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Because he knows what coming next in the story, Cale is able to prepare for a lot. Because he's only read through the fifth volume of the story however, and because he makes so many changes, his knowledge is limited, so he's less and less prepared as the story goes on. At that point he has enough crazy powerful and numerous allies that knowing the plot isn't as important.
  • Double Entendre: Of the not-inappropriate variety; the title Birth of a Hero refers to Choi Han's journey to becoming a hero, but now it can also refer to Cale's own reluctant journey to heroism.
  • The Dragonslayer: Clopeh Sekka has the title of "Dragon Slayer". It's also stated that being a Dragon Slayer is something that is inherited through a bloodline and comes with special abilities (like being able to eat dragons and absorb their strength).
    • Eruhaben hypothesizes that Cale is a descendant of a Dragon Slayer, though it's not clear if he's getting mixed signals from Cale's ancient powers or if there's more to it. And since we don't know anything about his biological mother...
  • The Dreaded: Ron is this for Cale, because Cale is super aware of the fact that Ron is a cold-blooded killer who doesn't like Cale very much in the original novel.
    • Cale becomes this to his enemies as his reputation grows.
  • Elemental Powers: Many. Mages, Elves, Dragons, and those who posses the appropriate ancient power can use elemental magic of all kinds.
    • There's the traditional fire, wind, water, and earth, as well as illusion, light, Holy, and Dark magic.
      • People who can use Holy magic have Healing Hands. Also related are "divine items", which are incredibly powerful and contain divine power from the gods.
      • The "fire" ancient power seen in the series manifests itself as a lightning bolt. Lighting can also be used outside of this.
      • Dark magic acts almost like a poison to most living things, giving anyone who comes into contact with it a slow, painful death. People who are affected by dark magic but are able to survive the experience are capable of becoming a Necromancer, Mary being the only necromancer known to be currently alive in-series. Hannah also survives being attacked with dark magic, though she hasn't been shown be able to use necromancy and probably isn't interested anyway.
    • Then there are some more uncommon types, like poison and fog (the powers of the Cat siblings), and dust.
    • Mana can also be used on its own. It's used multiple times in-series to create magic bombs of various kinds.
    • The auras of people who can use them have elemental affinities. Choi Han has a "dark" aura which clashes with "light" auras.
    • It's possible for Dragons to have an affinity that's conceptual, so Bizarro Elements are also possible.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Young Master Silver Shield" or "Young Master Silver Light" for Cale.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Choi Han comes off as this, because of his No Social Skills and ruthlessness.
  • Epic Ship-on-Ship Action: The first big battle of the series. It's awesome.
  • Fiery Redhead: Played with with both Rosalyn and Cale, who are usually pretty calm but have their moments. Miss "don't ask me about the multiple palaces I've destroyed" Rosalyn and Young Master "I'll destroy your life if you tick me off" Cale are not to be messed with.
  • First-Person Perspective: Interestingly, only used in the prologue. Unlike similar Korean, Chinese, and Japanese novels/webnovels/light novels, most of the story is told in third-person perspective.
  • Garden of Evil: The Forest of Darkness
  • Good Parents: Count Deruth Henituse and his Wife Countess Violan. Deruth cared deeply for his son even though he was a Jerkass before Rim Rok Soo reincarnated into him. Countess Violan, while Cale's stepmother, is also shown to care for him as her own son. They are also both also good rulers who want to do what's best for the people of their territory.
  • Guile Hero: Cale, though he'd argue with you about the "hero" part. So are any of the other heroic characters who are smart, namely Alberu, Rosalyn, and Raon.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Alberu is a subversion. He's actually a brunette, but uses a device to change his appearance to legitimize his position as the crown prince and to hide any attributes that make him resemble a Dark Elf.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Whale Tribe prince is half Whale Beastman and half human. He dies in the original novel.
    • Half-elves are mentioned, but not seen in-story as of this writing. Alberu's mother was half-Dark Elf.
    • Also the Dragon half-blood. Though he's not exactly a straight example, since he's actually a chimera
  • Hero of Another Story: A literal example is Choi Han, who was the protagonist of the novel Kim Rok Soo was reading but not the protagonist of this story (since Cale took the protagonist position from him). Pendrick is also notable because while he was one of Choi Han's party members in the original story, unlike Ron, Beacrox, Rosalyn, or Lock, he now has far less of a role now that Cale has changed events.
    • A more straight example would be the holders of the ancient powers that Cale acquires. The facts about them that he knows from reading the novels, plus the things they say when the locations of the ancient powers are approached, suggest really interesting backstories. The original owners of the elemental ancient powers and the Vitality of the Heart went on a journey together to rescue the owner of the water ancient power, which is revealed when Cale eventually acquires it.
  • Heroic RRoD: Cale's body is hurt whenever he overuses his ancient powers, but thanks to the Vitality of the Heart ancient power he heals up instantly (though only after coughing up blood once). It turns out that having powers of different elements throws off the balance of powers in his body and is slowly tearing it apart, and the Vitality of the Heart is the only thing keeping him from dying instantly. But this is only a temporary solution and his body will eventually fail if he uses his powers too much. Although he wanted to avoid it at first, Cale ends up needing to gain an ancient power of each element and balance out in order to stay alive.
  • Humble Goal: Played with, in that Cale's goal involves being extremely rich and living in a luxurious villa, but really all he wants is to be set up for life so he can take it easy. He doesn't want power or prestige, just to live a lazy life. This later extends to people he cares about, wanting all of them to be safe and happy as well, and they eventually come to share it.
  • The Lost Woods: The Path of No Return, though On is able to navigate it through her fog manipulation.
  • Mage Tower: There's one located in the Whipper Kingdom. It's the center of magical tool development on the continent, as well as a center for gathering mages. Rosalyn was heading to the Tower when Choi Han meets her. After the Whipper Kingdom's civil war, which drives away all the mages, Cale buys the tower and destroys it, with the goal of building a new tower in the Roan Kingdom.
    • In a similar vein there's also the Alchemy Tower in the Mogoru empire.
  • Magnetic Hero: Cale, much to his frustration. He eventually learns to roll with it and make the most of it. Choi Han was this in the original novel.
  • The Magocracy: The Whipper Kingdom, at least until the civil war ended that.
  • Master Swordsman: Those who can use a sword and also use auras are called "swordmasters". Choi Han is one of those. Other people are also incedibly skilled with swords including Beacrox and, to a lesser extent, the Vice Captain and Hannah, the "fake Holy Maiden".
  • Mysterious Past: Alluded to with Ron, who's a butler who works for the Henituse family who also happens to be an assassin. The only reason Cale knows of his abilities is because he read about it in the novel. It's eventually revealed that he used to be the patriarch of the Molan family and the person who controlled the underworld on the Eastern continent before being driven out by ARM.
    • To a lesser extent is Kim Rok Soo. While other isekai series might establish their protagonist's age, job, any friends or family, etc. before the person is transported to another world, the only things we know about Kim Rok Soo is that he's an orphan who is poor and has to work his ass off to get by. It's not even known what his age was or if he actually died. He mentions some things about his job in passing, like that fact that there were people working under him, but no real details until 270+ chapters have passed.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: ARM, who are pulling the strings behind all the conflicts in the story. They're part of a bigger Nebulous Criminal Conspiracy
  • Never Gets Drunk: Played with, in that Cale is capable of getting drunk, he just rarely actually does. He flushes easily, so people think that he's drunker than he really is. He pretends to be drunk to give himself an alibi or otherwise get away with stuff that no sober person would be able to get away with.
    • It's sort of implied that the original!Cale was the same, acting drunker than he was as an excuse to do whatever he wanted.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: There's no romance in this series, nor has anyone expressed any explicit romantic interest in Cale. Cale himself seems to be a Celibate Hero who never has any thoughts of romance or sexual interest in anyone (acting more Asexual than anything else).
    • Though there are a couple of actual hugs between Cale and Alberu and and one incredibly awkward hug with Choi Han at different points, though those were excuses to pass on messages to the other person that they didn't want other people in the vicinity to hear.
  • No Social Skills: Choi Han, after spending decades in the Forest of Darkness and experiencing the trauma of witnessing the destruction of his new home after he finally escaped. It's also noted that he acts friendlier when he's around Cale but is more stoic and brusque when he's not, which isn't doing him any favors.
  • Older Than They Look: Choi Han, whose exact age is unknown but is stated to have lived for literal decades in the Forest of Darkness before escaping. He still looks 17. It's said that, as a reincarnated person/person who was transported into this world, he ended up with slowed aging and a lifespan like a dragon, which means he'll probably live to be about 1000.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Raon and Eruhaben. There's only about 20 of them in the world, but they can live to be about 1000 years old, are instinctively fiercely independent and tend to not get along with other races or with each other, and are also some of the most powerful beings on the planet. It's a good thing they don't care about other people because they could annihilate entire countries without breaking a sweat if they really wanted to.
    • Each dragon has their own unique color and special ability (from elemental abilities like "fire" or "water", to more conceptual). After hatching, they have three growth phases. They can also change into more humanoid forms for convenience.
    • Raon is unique among dragons since he wants to be with humans, forms a familial-type relationship with Cale, On, and Hong, and is excited at the idea of meeting other dragons.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: There are several tribes of them. They are known for their proficiency in inventing and making magic tools. In the aftermath of the civil war in the Whipper Kingdom, Cale recruits a half-dwarf, half-Mouse Beastman from the Whipper Kingdom to design and build things for him.
    • The Dwarves of the Flame Dwarf Tribe are unable to use magic, and therefore can't create magic tools. They're ridiculed by other dwarves because of it, but make up for it with the quality of their inventions.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Elves live in isolated villages that are usually hidden with illusion magic from most of humanity. Elves use magic by bonding with elementals, which are nature spirits. They also keep a branch of the World Tree in each village.
    • Dark Elves also exist, but because of their abilities they're ostracized and are even more hidden than regular Elves. Not only do they use magic that's known for giving people incredibly painful deaths, they also have to consume dark magic to stay alive. They get along with humans better than regular elves though, saving people who escaped to the desert that their village is hidden in and treating them as equals.
    • All elves revere Dragons to the point of almost worshiping them like gods.
  • Our Gods Are Different: There are many, and they can communicate with certain people they take an interest in. Despite not being the most holy of nuns, the God of Death loves Cage and communicates with her through dreams. He's starts communicating with her while she's awake when telling her things that are related to Cale, who's also the only person whose actions and future he can't see.
    • Little information about the Sun God itself has been revealed, though we know that the Church of the Sun God might have the biggest following on the Western continent. Most of it's infrastructure is incredibly corrupt. The Roan royal family is said to have been blessed by the sun god, as shown by their golden hair and blue eyes except, as Raon casually reveals, none of the royal family actually have any blessing.
    • A war god is the one who is responsible for imprisoning the user of the water ancient power Cale eventually recieves.
  • Our Mages Are Different: While Rosalyn is the only main character who's a mage, they're extremely common in the world of The Birth of a Hero, just not in the Roan Kingdom. The Whipper Kingdom is ruled by the Mage class, and they're common in the Breck Kingdom, whose princess is a powerful mage, as well.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: They're humanoid but less human-looking and more fish-looking. They rule the South seas, and are often in conflict with the Whale Tribe who rule the Northern Seas. They also have a deadly poison that had no known antidote until Rosalyn discovered it in the original novels.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: This world has Beastmen of all kinds. They are human-animal shapeshifters who also have access to a superpowering berserk transformation. So far, people from the Cat, Wolf, Whale, Mouse, Tiger, Lion, Mouse, and Bear tribes have been seen or mentioned as of this writing. It's mentioned that there are Beastmen of many more kinds of animals out there, but these are the most prominent.
    • Our Werewolves Are Different: Lock and the Wolf children are from the Blue Wolf Tribe. They don't need a full moon to transform. There are, presumably, other Wolf Tribes that haven't been seen yet.
  • Our Wyverns Are Different: They're related to Dragons, but much less intelligent and don't seem to be able to use magic. They're used as mounts by the Wyvern Riders of the Paerun Kingdom.
  • Parent-Child Team: Downplayed with Ron and Beacrox, who are father and son and work together on many occasions. Beacrox is already an adult, however.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Downplayed. Cale hardly ever explains his plans or his actions, he just commands people to do things. Sometimes the reason is because he doesn't want to explain why he knows things, other times he just doesn't. People listen to him regardless because of their loyalty or because they know his plans always work out, but that doesn't mean it doesn't frustrate them. Choi Han eventually calls Cale out on this. It turns out to not be something Cale's consciously doing a lot of the time; it's a habit from his previous life.
  • Professional Killer: Ron was this before he came to work for the Henituse family. He acts as an assassin for Cale.
  • Red-Headed Stepchild: Cale is the stepchild, but this is subverted. Even the original!Cale had a mostly neutral relationship with his step-mother and half-siblings; despite his attitude, he apparently didn't give them a lot of trouble, and they just didn't know what to do with him. Any scorn he recieved from others was the result of his own actions. KimRokSoo!Cale has a much better relationship with his family.
  • Refusal of the Call: Cale's attitude at first. He wants to do just enough to get the plot going, then get enough money to live a comfortable life. He ends up being sucked into the larger conflict anyway. He eventually realizes that he needs to work hard now and resolve the war as fast as possible so he can live the rest of his life lazily.
  • Running Gag: Cale being mistaken for something not human. Also "taking in" people who want to get revenge on someone.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: Cale sometimes has his group dress up in outfits like ARM has in order to hide their identities while framing ARM for things they haven't done. He had the outfits made as incredibly low-quality versions of the real outfits for the express purpose of making ARM angry. As he put it: wouldn't you be angry if you were completely defeated by someone who wore a shittier version of your own uniform?.
  • Shoulder-Sized Dragon: Raon at first, though he grows as he gets older. Not that you could actually carry him on your shoulders because he's much heavier than he looks.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Averted with Cale. Unlike other protagonists of the isekai genre, he doesn't get reincarnated with any special abilities or into a person who's especially strong. He seeks out a couple of ancient powers in order to protect himself, but those are considered weaker than other abilities in-universe and also considerably strain Cale if overused. He decides from the beginning to purposefully avoid gathering dangerously powerful objects or abilities because he feels like it will get him more involved with the plot more then he wants to be.
  • Supreme Chef: Beacrox.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The swamp in the Forest of Darkness that's filled with poison and also a dragon corpse.
  • Tempting Fate: Every time the narration says something like "Cale never wants to see this person again" that person will show up again. See also Running Gag.
  • Torture Always Works: Played with, in that it's also used as a punishment for the bad guys with an added bonus of getting information, or to wear them down enough for for Cale's special brand of information gathering.
  • Unscaled Merfolk: The Whale tribe, who are more like were-whales, and presumably any other Beastmen who are aquatic mammals.
  • Undying Loyalty: Most people in Cale's group toward him, eventually. The soldiers like the Vice Captain who come to respect him for his heroic actions, Choi Han, Ron, On and Hong, Raon, and basically anyone else Cale helps out or inadvertently rescues becomes loyal to him.
  • Uneven Hybrid: Alberu, whose mother was half Dark Elf. He looks mostly human but uses a device to make him look less Dark Elf while giving him the golden hair and blue eyes that are seen as the sign of royalty.
  • Vague Age: With the exceptions of Cale, On, Hong, and Raon, no one's exact age has been mentioned in the story. The most we get are estimates or approximations: for example, Choi Han's age is unknown but is at least "decades" old, and Eruhaben is "almost 1000".
  • Weirdness Magnet: Eruhaben seems to think that Cale is one and pities him for his bad luck, not knowing that most of what has happened to Cale is a result of his own actions.
  • World Tree: A branch of it is kept in each elf village. It's also sentient.
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