At the Emperor’s command, the knights scattered toward the hunting ground right away.
Spectators were seated in the shelter on the hill just next to the hunting ground.
The hill was so high that the entirety of the wide area was visible.
The hunting ground was originally filled with huge trees and thick grass, but most of the trees were cut off to avoid blocking the audience’s vision while also allowing the monsters to spot the hunters easily.
In this competition, strength and martial arts were more important than intelligence because it would be difficult to launch a secret attack.
All of them were wearing belts that could amplify sound.
This made the show much more interesting.
A total of 100 knights participated in the competition for the honor of their respective families.
Paris smiled as if his victory was already guaranteed.
Gareth stood beside him, and Caelion, who copied their arrogant expressions as much as possible, ran to the hunting ground.
The silver-haired knight dressed in a hunting suit with the Grand Duke’s family crest followed suit.
“Good luck, everyone,” Apollonia said.
She wanted it to go smoothly as planned.
May Paris win so she could hide behind his glory.
May the competition end with Caelion showing his incompetence.
May the competition go smoothly and Uriel remain unnoticed.
But none of her wishes came true.
Paris stood out among the 100 participants.
His beautiful platinum blonde hair, which was quite similar to Apollonia’s, and his handsome face that resembled his father’s, drew people’s attention even from far away.
His light brown eyes shone brighter than ever under the harsh sunlight.
Perhaps he was conscious of people’s eyes, for he wore a golden cloth on his arm that made him stand out more than others.
Other participants similarly chose the color of clothes that represent their respective families, but Paris was the only one with that color.
Behind him was Eckart, who wore a dark-green hunting suit and held a spear.
Gareth, who wore the most luxurious clothes, also followed close behind.
“How is the preparation for this year’s competition going”
“You can look forward to it, Your Majesty.
We have a rare item that is stronger than the one from five years ago.”
The emperor listened to the royal attendant’s report while his eyes fixed on the participants.
Petra was also seen engaged in the conversation once in a while.
The precious hunting prey would shortly be released one by one in front of the participants.
Paris, unlike most knights, did not carry a bow.
Instead, he only had his sword and a dagger fastened around his waist.
It meant he would ignore smaller prey that could only be caught with an arrow.
He only wanted the biggest and most spectacular prey.
As the competition began, some knights shot arrows and caught small animals like rabbits on the hunting grounds.
One might be able to save face by catching as many animals as possible, but the real game was about catching monsters, to begin with.
Some of the winning candidates, including Paris, intentionally sprayed their bodies with a fragrance that attracted monsters.
It was a very dangerous choice, but quite effective for glory-seeking.
Caelion caught Apollonia’s eyes as she focused her attention on the competition.
He was carrying a bow, but he did not deal with small prey, just like Paris.
‘You chose the right person to copy.’
Apollonia nodded when she watched his gentle eyes follow after Paris.
Uriel was nowhere to be found despite his remarkable appearance.
As usual, he would hide where no one else could find him.
Whether he was among the knights or behind barren trees, he would always be near Caelion somehow.
“Release 60 Kayas!”
When the royal attendant shouted, the podium filled with nobles went abuzz with excitement.
Black monsters the size of adult men began to run around the hunting grounds.
A hideous creature with an appearance similar to a giant rat.
Sharp toenails and teeth, swift movements, and a mouth that gushed out a poisonous odor that could knock people unconscious.
Several participants seemed startled by the sudden attack.
At that time, their formation was disturbed, and the giant rats rushed in between them as if they didn’t want to miss the chance.
Several knights collapsed, overwhelmed.
Some of the nobles clicked their tongues in disappointment, and some cheered.