Chapter 15: In the VIP Seats

(POV Change)

While the Rock Dragon was crushing the Warrior Crab and devouring its flesh, there were spectators in the VIP seats watching the scene.
They were the children of the nobles, and the actual owners of this battle beast.

Of course, not all the owners of the battle beasts participating in the “Rookie’s Battle” tournament were of noble descent.
Wealthy merchants and research institutions were also registered as owners.
However, only nobles were allowed to enter the VIP seats.

In the Harlasia Kingdom, owning battle beasts was considered a noble’s favorite hobby.
The affluent gather in the VIP room to watch the fights and enjoy social parties.
However, it was not a leisure activity for everyone, as it cost a considerable amount of money to nurture and take care of the beasts.
Therefore, if it were a regular Battle Beast tournament instead, there would be much fewer young people in the VIP seats since it was recognized as an adult’s leisure activity.

Nevertheless, during the “Rookie Battle” an unwritten rule among the nobles allowed only underage owners to participate.
Consequently, only affluent nobles who could afford to provide their children with battle beasts were present in the VIP seats.
It was a rare sight to see the VIP room filled with children, and this sight could only be seen at this once-a-year event.

It was important to note that the staff and trainers of the battle beasts also had access to VIP seats, but the number of seats available to them was limited to less than ten.
This was due to the fact that, while a larger number of individuals were involved in the handling of the battle beasts, only those of noble birth were permitted to occupy the VIP seats.
Therefore, even if these individuals were involved in the event, they were not granted access to the VIP seats unless they were of noble status.

The noise from the audience below was blocked out by some sort of spiritual art, and soft music played by a renowned orchestra flowed through the VIP seats.
There was also an abundance of fruit and snacks available, providing a truly luxurious experience.

“That was quite impressive power, wasn’t it?”

“Will the upsets continue? As expected, the dragon species is on a different level.”

“How did you manage to acquire it, Lord Wilibald?”

Now at the center of their attention was Wilibald, the second son of Ernest Lutz, Duke of Danmarren.
This handsome young man with silky black hair and auburn eyes was the owner of the favored rock dragon, making him a top contender for the “Rookie battle” tournament championship.
It was only natural that he would receive attention as the owner of a battle beast that was closest to winning the tournament.

“It’s because I hired skilled individuals,” he replied.
“They also got lucky.
It would have been impossible to catch a dragon, even a young one, if we hadn’t stumbled upon the sleeping rock dragon by chance.”

“It’s not just for show that they’re called the strongest species, right, big brother?”

Wilibald said that both he and his client were just lucky, which was actually true.
Despite being surrounded by vain nobles, he was extremely humble.
This was not an act, but rather his innate character.

Following his words were those of his sister, Adelheid, whose lush hair cascaded down to her waist like fiery red flames and whose hawkish eyes exuded a strong sense of confidence in the same chestnut color as her brother’s.
Her confidence gave her a mature air, despite still being a young girl.

“Addy is right… the way we fight is boring, and our victories are not pretty,” he said

Wilivard, contrary to the others’ beliefs, did not revel in the success of his battle beast.
He concealed his true feelings with a cheerful smile, but his sister, Adelheid, understood his emotions deeply yet could only give a wry smile.

Meanwhile, in a place far from their group, Friedrich, the legitimate son of Willem Heidegger, the maquis of Ashvald, looked outside with a sullen expression.
He was the owner of the Dak Emperor Scorpion, but his foul mood was specifically due to this beast of his.

“Please cheer up, Lord Friedrich.
You won, so why not be happy?”

“I spent so much effort, time, and money, so winning is only natural.

Despite the efforts of his friend, a viscount’s son, Friedrich’s mood did not improve.
He was upset because other battle beasts were more conspicuous in this tournament than his Scorpion.

Using its speed and agility to slowly chip away at its opponents while also covering its size and defense to secure a victory, the Dark Emperor’s Scorpion’s battles were impressive for those who loved the “Battle beast tournament” or made a living from fighting.
However, compared to the crushing victory of the powerful Rock Dragon, the Scorpion’s win was indeed more modest.

What a luxury it was, to be angry despite winning and feel unsatisfied because your victory was, somehow dull.
However, any noble seriously competing in the “Rookie battle” would feel the same anger.
Their desire for honor was so strong that they would spend enormous sums of money to become the owners of the “Rookie King”.

Friedrich didn’t dare bite back at Wilibald, who had stolen the show from him with his battle beast.
Instead, he scolded Georg in a somewhat intolerant manner.
Because of this, even the Underworld Scorpion was subjected to unjustified violence; consequently, if the scorpion knew about this, he would have had a strong desire to kill Friedrich.

“Haa… I would have preferred a bigger and flashier battle beast.
Something like a dragon species…”

“Really? Personally, I would want your Underworld Scorpion instead.”

Responding to Friedrich’s small murmur was a boy with a cheerful smile on his face.
He was a beautiful androgynous youth with platinum blonde hair and golden eyes, whose beauty would captivate people of all ages and genders.

Friedrich, who was approached by the boy, opened his eyes wide and quickly stood up.
Other noble children had similar reactions to him, but only Wilibald seemed unfazed.

“Oh, Your Highness!? I had no idea you were here to present yourself! I apologize for my rude behavior…”

“No, no, there’s no need to apologize.
I purposely didn’t tell you to surprise you.
Did I startle you too much?”

“Your prank has gone too far, Prince Carl.”

Facing Adelheid’s stern admonishment with a shrug, was Carl, the second prince of the Shwetz dynasty’s Harlasia Kingdom.
He was intelligent, skilled in martial arts, and it was no exaggeration to say that he was blessed with a charming appearance and a host of other enviable qualities—he had it all.
Additionally, he was widely beloved among the people, many of whom hoped he would ascend to the throne instead of his older brother.

However, his one flaw was his love of playing pranks.
While he refrained from mischief in public, among the nobles in the palace, there was no one who had not been the victim of one of his pranks.

Carl and the Lutz brother-and-sister pair were childhood friends.
As friends of the royal family, the most noble of statuses, they had to be nobles of comparable status.

“Hey, Addy.
You’re looking lovely today.

Thank you, Your Highness.
But I won’t let your small flattery stop me from admonishing you for your mischief.

“Hahaha! Addy is very strict.”

Prince Carl laughed happily, ignoring Adelheid’s nagging, and sat down naturally next to the chair where Friedrich was sitting.
He then gestured with his hand to encourage Friedrich to take a seat, as the latter remained standing.

Friedrich sat nervously on the chair, and upon seeing this, Prince Karl smiled and spoke while looking straight into Friedrich’s eyes, without letting go of his smile.

“You know, I really meant what I said earlier.
If I had to choose between the Rock Dragon and the Dark Emperor Scorpion, I would choose the latter without hesitation.
It’s simply because it holds that much value.”

The young people in the VIP seats were confused by Prince Carl’s words.
After all, the Rock Dragon had stirred up the arena with its powerful fighting style, while the Dark Emperor Scorpion’s performance was somewhat lackluster.
When comparing the two, it seemed that the Rock Dragon was superior.

In contrast, the only one who understood Prince Carl’s intention was Wilibald, the owner of the Rock Dragon himself.
He nodded in agreement with the prince’s opinion.

“My Rock Dragon only rampages with brute force.
However, the underworld scorpion is different.
It understands its own power and shows the tactics it has practiced to win.
So, which one is truly outstanding?”

“Your Highness values substance over style, as always.”

“I’m glad you remember, Addy.
Thank you, Will, for speaking your mind.”

With a smile on his face, Prince Carl spoke those words.
He was often seen as a perfect human, but in reality, he was a hardworking person.
His goal was to make his country a better place, no matter what position he ended up in.
This was the motto of the wise man who had been his mentor and educator, and who had since passed away.

Following that teaching, he worked hard in his studies and swung his sword until his arms could no longer move.
His efforts bore fruit, and he grew up to be a prince with both academic and martial skills.

However, he was still aware of his own immaturity.
While he appeared cool and collected in public, he was still working hard behind the scenes in both his studies and martial arts.

Due to this experience, Prince Carl tended to prioritize substance over appearance.
When he saw the well-crafted fighting style and cunning tactics of the Underworld Scorpion, it was evident that it was the product of extraordinary effort.
For him, it was natural to value the Underworld Scorpion’s refined, albeit unflashy, fighting style over mere appearances.

“Besides, in the first preliminary rounds and in the first match, didn’t you win with utter raw strength? Are you dissatisfied with that?”

“Well, yes, but…”

“Come on, the second match of the semi-finals is about to begin.”

As Prince Carl had sai, the second semifinal match was about to begin in the arena.
Despite sustaining a serious injury in the quarterfinals, the Land Emperor Bird had somehow managed to recover enough to fight its next battle.
This was likely thanks to the skills of some skilled healer.

On the other hand, the Underworld Scorpion still bore the painful cracks in its pincers, apparently having received no treatment.
Prince Carl frowned slightly at this.

Regardless of their condition, once the contestants entered the arena, they were not allowed to run away or avoid fighting.
The manager declared the start of the match as usual.
The first to charge forward was the Land Emperor Bird, using its powerful leg muscles to explosively close the distance and attempt to bite the Underworld Scorpion with its large beak.



Undaunted, the Underworld Scorpion intercepted the attack with its tail, specifically targeting the beak itself.
Its stinger pierced through the beak and pinned it to the ground.
The Land Emperor Bird struggled to break free, but the thin tail was unbreakable.

Not only that, but the Underworld Scorpion swung its tail, throwing the Land Emperor Bird and slamming it onto the ground with tremendous force.
Shaken by the impact, the Land Emperor Bird could only convulse uncontrollably.
The Scorpion then mercilessly severed the defenseless Land Emperor Bird’s neck with its pincers.

Most of the noble children were left dumbfounded by the overwhelming display of power that twisted and subdued the opponent.
Even Friedrich, who should have been the owner of the scorpion, was no exception.
Among them, only Prince Carl and Wilibald were laughing with enjoyment.

“Hehehe… Ahahahaha! It’s spectacular, but did you see how it aimed for the beak and stabbed it? The Underworld Scorpion’s amazing skill is what makes it so fascinating! It would be even more entertaining if it wins the championship, don’t you think, Will?”

“Well, I’m not sure.
At the very least, it will be a match that His Highness will enjoy, don’t you think? After all, it will be a clash between ‘inherent strength’ and ‘technique honed through effort’.”

“That’s great! Regardless of who wins, it’s going to be a must-see battle!”

Prince Carl sat in his chair, in high spirits and eagerly surveyed the arena as he awaited the start of the match.
It had been a while since the Lutz brother and sister had seen Prince Carl so genuinely happy.

For him, the royal palace was never a relaxing place.
In the palace, many assume that his tireless efforts were driven by his ambition to aim for the throne.
Some viewed his excellence with contempt, while others tried to cozy up to him as a potential ally.
He despised those who tried to drag him into petty political struggles or exploit him for their own gain.

To survive in such an environment, he had to fend off the snide remarks from the former and casually brush off the latter’s attempts to curry favor with him.
How can one relax in a place where they have to lead such a life? His mischiefs were one of his ways to relieve stress.

The two who knew the prince’s agony were relieved to see the genuine smile on his face.
They had always believed that he needed to take a break.
However, Adelheid was worried about one thing.

“I wonder where Your Highness was watching the match until now? You weren’t here a moment ago,” she asked.

“Hmm? Of course, I was hiding my face and mingling within the regular seats.
I had a great time with the old man who explained everything to me as a regular of the Battle Beast tournament,’” he replied.

“Oh dear! I told you not to do anything that would trouble the knights guarding you,” Adelheid scolded him while trying to calm down.

While calming and appeasing Adelheid’s anger, he kept his attention on the arena.
The final match of this tournament was about to begin.

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