20 – Hunting competition (2)
In the middle of the hunting competition, inside the forest, Alan Aiden was on horseback with his head bowed, and he was swearing.
“Damn it, damn you, Physis Ortaire and Rodenov….!”
The swear words that he spat out were tinged with deep anger and hatred.
After insulting Adilun and being beaten by Physis, no one around him tried to come to him and offer help in their fight for the territory.
It was as if they were buried in an aristocratic society.
'I couldn’t even find someone to help me with a great duel because those Rodenov and Ortaire combined, had the strongest power among all the nobles within the empire.'
Central nobles were the ones who enjoyed watching other people’s ruin, so they just happily laughed at Alan.
I should have done that in an undetected place.’
‘How can I be so stupid?’
‘I recognized it from the time I hung out with the lowly merchants.
I did nothing wrong, and What does that Physis, a man without dignity believe in and be so proud of?’
A strong bond of central nobles, nothing like that actually existed.
It was a relationship where everyone used each other for their own needs.
Because of that, the only thing left in front of Alan Aiden was the abyss called the great duel with Rodenov, so that's why he was cursing Physis and all the local nobles.
The knights of Rodenov are notorious for their ruthlessness.
Alan never thought that the knights of his territory would defeat those who had been fighting monsters all their life.
‘Yes, if I'm going to die anyway… … I will just not die simply.
Yes, I will do this…’
He thought about shooting a crossbow at Princess Rodenov, Adilun, but that was already impossible.
The place where the princesses were staying was guarded by knights, so his head will fly off as soon as he showed strange behavior.
In other words, it was impossible to shoot a crossbow.
'No that's not gonna work, hmm so, what should I do?'
Alan began to think of a way.
which can harm Adilun or her family.
If I’d been a little more careful with my surroundings, I’d just be hunting… not worrying about these things…!’
Alan was a fan of hunting.
If it hadn’t been for this, he would have enjoyed the hunt, but he just lingered and pondered over and over again in the forest.
But, suddenly, in his mind, what Lobelia had said before the hunting competition started to come.
[This hunting competition may be a bit difficult.
Besides simply catching a lot of animals for high scores, or trying to catch the single animal with the highest score can be quite dangerous.]
‘If it’s a dangerous game… …They probably used a monster in it too.
In particular, there are only a few knights participating in the hunting competition, but there’s no way they’d give a high score with only animals.’
What if I somehow find the monster and lure it to Princess Rodenov? What if I attack Princess Rodenov with an arrow while everyone’s eyes are on that monster?
But he soon shook his head.
She said they were definitely deep in the forest.
And on top of that, it’s hard to lure it with my skills.
I will definitely die before I lure him and drag it to the place where the princesses are located.’
He continued to hover around the hunting ground.
While he was circling the hunting ground and shooting arrows at appropriate prey as a way to vent his anger, a unique and small animal caught his eye.
‘What is that?’
It was the first time he was seeing an animal like this but since it was an event for the imperial family, there was nothing strange about having a unique animal in it, but the shape of that animal was too unusual.
It looked like a wolf cub with many eyes, its fur shone with gold, but its eyes were dark and muddy as the abyss.
Also, there was a small horn attached to what appeared to be a head, but it never looked like an ordinary animal.
‘It’s a monster.
But it's very small, is it a baby?’
And the moment he guessed that it was a child of a monster, a plan popped into Alan’s head.
‘There’s a high possibility of having a child of a monster in the hunting ground.
If I secure this guy… …It is not difficult to lure the big mother too.
Monster values their children, so they will definitely do everything they can to find them.
Wolf-type monsters are especially sensitive to the smell of their cubs’ blood.
She will definitely come looking for it no matter how far it is.’
After thinking thus far, he swiftly fired his crossbow at the baby monster.
Although Alan had nothing else to offer, his hunting skills were still at a usable level.
The arrow from the crossbow flew ferociously and pierced into the body of the baby monster.
He immediately rode the horse and secured the baby monster.
The bleeding monster whimpered pathetically, but Alan didn’t care at all and rather dripped the monster’s blood onto the road little by little for the mother to discover it.
* * *
At this level, I must be quite deep in the forest, but there was nothing that caught my senses.
If there was real dangerous prey, like a monster, my senses must fluctuate.
But nothing was caught.
everything was normal, If so, there must be only one reason.
The prey had left.
In the end, it was a mistake to come this deep into the forest because I got nothing.
Having said that, I have no choice but to go back.
And I may have lost my way too, so I will have to find a place with many traces of people while expanding my senses.
Having caught a great number of prey while coming to the depths, the carcasses of the game hung on the horse were piled up in piles, and the horse was in a state of exhaustion.
After examining my surrounding carefully again, I immediately turned my horse toward the entrance of the hunting ground.
* * *
When I turned my head and looked back, it was Princess Lobelia.
“Yes, Your Highness.”
After hearing my response, she asked me with a slightly wary face.
“Do you know where the princess was?”
I shook my head at Princess Lobelia, who was talking to me in a somewhat cautious manner.
she asked me about a princess without telling me the name, so I asked in reply.
You’re the first person I see today.
May I know who that princess is?”
She is the eldest daughter of Duke Crocus Glosuna, the representative and prime minister of the central nobles.”
I finally understood why, as a princess, she spoke in a cautious manner.
It must have been because it was embarrassing to have someone who was no different from a political opponent to Princess Lobelia suddenly talk to me.
She whispered softly in my ear.
“You’d better not be too friendly with her.
The Glosuna family is a family that is frantic to unite the central nobles and drive out the local nobles.”
I’ll keep that in mind, Your Highness the Princess.”
Princess Lobelia then told me about Aristata Gloshna.
Even though she was raised as a noblewoman, her reputation itself is not bad as other central nobles.
She’s a bit nervous, but she’s a princess who takes care of her people quite well.
It is said that she is not a person who is particularly bad at people below her.
Princess Lobelia seemed to be sincere when she regretted that if it weren’t for the opposing faction, they would have been able to become friends right away.
She had a fiancé named Asphodel Wayham, and Asphodel, the heir to the same central aristocrat, the Marquess of Weyham, is said to have a very bad relationship with Aristata.
A man who drives all sorts of scandals.
She whispered in my ear, saying that knowing this basic information would be quite useful later.
“So, did you have a good talk with Physis? I even saw you dragging him to the terrace the other day.”
“Ah yes… …Fortunately, I spoke well.
I always wanted to talk to him about something I was a bit dissatisfied with.”
“Isn’t that because of me?”
I shook my head at Princess Lobelia’s seemingly playful attitude.
Anyway, are you looking forward to it? You even hung a handkerchief on Physis.”
“Actually, I don’t expect too much.”
Just three months ago, Physis was quite weak.
I’m not sure right now… …It’s hard for a person to grow up in just three months.
It’s true that he is quite built, but there’s no guarantee that he will be good at hunting.”
“By the way, when will the hunting competition end?”
“Why, are you bored?”
“Certainly it could be.
For Adilun, who has only seen dangerous monsters in the north, hunting competitions that only hunt animals seem trivial or boring.
Are there any hunting competitions in the North?”
There is no separate hunting competition.
In the first place, the proportion of monsters is higher than animals, so it is dangerous to try hastily.
“We have a subjugation war.
We have to wipe out the monsters periodically.”
subjugation war… …I’ve heard of it.
I heard that whenever the army of monsters becomes stronger than expected, You form a subjugation party to subdue the monsters? I know because there was a request for support from the center the other day.”
“Has Adilun ever participated in subjugation?”
I went there once with my father.”
“Wow, really? Wasn’t it dangerous?”
“There was nothing particularly dangerous.
And since I also deal with magic a little…”
“Magic! Come to think of it, Adilun inherited the blood of the ancestor dragon, right? Isn’t it a little bit out of line if I asked you about showing your magic?”
“I’m still a little short of showing off my magic skills.”
“Still, just being able to handle magic is great.”
“Thank you for your kind words.”
Princess Lobelia asked me various questions after that, and since I had nothing to do, I answered with sincerity.
* * *
Something strange started to take hold of my senses as I returned to the beginning of the hunting ground.
It was obviously a human presence.
And the other was the sign of a small creature.
Since the route had been determined, I moved my horse in that direction, thinking that I could stick to that person and follow him.
But suddenly the sign of a person stopped, and I felt the sign of a small creature actively running somewhere.
The sign of the stopped person lingered for a while, then followed the sign of the creature again.
I zoomed in to see what was going on, and I was able to confirm that the person I was following was an unknown nobleman who had been beaten by me for insulting Adilun.
Why is that guy here? Did he miss his prey?
The distance between him and me was quite far, so I paused for a moment.
And I expanded my field of view to see what was in front of him.
Using mana to broaden my field of vision, I was finally able to discover what he was after.
A small wolf-type monster.
It seemed to be a baby monster.
The young monster must have received a fairly large wound and was running away with blood dripping.
Something felt strange.
Is there any reason to deliberately let go of a seriously injured baby monster?
For a moment.
A sudden thought come to my mind.
Having a baby means having a mother.
The moment I recognized that fact, I felt a creepy presence.
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