Hunting Contest (12)
Kergel turned to the place where Roelin’s horse had been.
Then, Roelin soon followed after him.
After glancing back at her, he slowed down a little and opened his mouth while trying to keep his pace with her.
“Anyways, did you hunt a little?”
Roelin hesitated at his question before she answered in an awkward tone.
Then, he asked back while narrowing the forehead.
“Are you saying that you didn’t even catch a single rabbit?”
It was still a lot of work for me.”
Roelin hesitated and continued.
“And to be honest, I don’t even like it.”
He stopped to listen to Roelin and stared at her.
Roelin was just standing there together while looking rather awkward.
“Catching innocent beasts simply for fun… It may sound like a pretext or an excuse to Your Majesty.”
“No, I believe you.”
“I believe in your words.
I don’t see it as a mere excuse.”
Kergel coughed in vain as he saw that the blue eyes of the woman who was looking at him trembled a little and felt like something was shaking in her heart as well.
“…You believe in me?”
“There isn’t a need to misinterpret your words, is there? There is nothing wrong with accepting it as it is.”
“In addition, I can understand it when I saw you petting the wolf a while ago.
I’ve never seen a person talking to a wolf like that.
By the way, do I look really like the wolf that much?”
Roelin’s eyes widened instantly like that.
She was embarrassed and couldn’t respond properly since she never thought that Kergel would have heard it.
Kergel burst into laughter once again when he saw that.
“You don’t have to be that surprised.
I’m not trying to say anything to you.”
“I never meant it in a bad way…”
You didn’t mean anything bad.
By the way… am I really kind?”
He shut his mouth for a moment and asked her a question slowly.
Roelin’s face eventually turned red like a ripe tomato.
She then nodded without that flushed face of hers.
“…I’m glad you felt that way.”
Kergel responded awkwardly when that he felt that his face was burning too while he looked at Roelin who was with a positive answer to his own question.
Then, he whistled softly.
Soon afterwards, Roelin’s horse that had heard the whistle from afar, began to run.
“I’ll teach you how to whistle later.
It would be quite convenient in using it to call him.”
The faces of the both of them who were talking rather awkwardly while looking at the approaching horse had been so red that it was nearly impossible to determine who was even redder.
“Bert, take that.”
“Argh! What is this… Huh? What kind of a fox is this?”
Bert picked up that something which flew at him suddenly and soon opened his eyes wide.
Heinez also appeared suspicious when he was right next to him as he confirmed what Kergel had thrown at Bert.
However, Kergel continued to talk to Bert with a calm look in return.
“That was what you had hunted.”
“What? I hunted? What? Are you talking about this fox? Your Majesty was the one who hunted this, right? There’s Your Majesty’s arrow as well, but why are you…”
“You shot with my bow.
I didn’t mean to hunt much anyway.
Therefore, Bert, I have lent you my own bow.”
“What are you talking about, Your Majesty?”
Bert’s face turned even more strange.
However, Kergel merely continued to speak with a calm look.
“Isn’t it cruel to hunt innocent animals just for fun?”
Bert’s expression distorted as if he was talking utter nonsense.
Heinez looked at him with a face that seemed hard to understand as well.
“Anyway, make sure that the both of you understand it’s like that.
I wasn’t the one who caught that.
Kergel headed somewhere with a light look on his face as if he had finally left the troublesome burden behind.
Bert looked at it and tilted his head before opening his mouth then.
“Heinez, did you hear what His Majesty just said?”
“Yes, I did listen to it.”
“How cruel it is to hunt innocent beasts.
Is that what His Majesty actually wants to say? Look—the one who had piled up a heap of hunting beasts instead.”
Heinez then simply gazed at Kergel’s back with a vague look eventually.
As a result, Bert, who had hunted a fox with white fur, ultimately won the hunting competition.
Everyone was surprised that the Emperor’s aide, who had never been able to be at the top of a hunting competition so far, hunted a rare fox and subsequently won the championship in an instant.
However, their surprise didn’t end just there.
Their emperor, Kergel, was disgraced as the first Emperor in Seroif’s history who was not able to hunt a single beast in a hunting competition.
No, not only that, but the Empress also did not hunt a single beast, so it would have been more accurate to say that the said couple had set a record of the ‘first time in history’ together.
Those who participated in the hunting competition were utterly surprised that such an unusual thing had transpired.
They made all kinds of assumptions and began to discuss why couldn’t the Emperor catch a single beast at all when that said person would have always put multiple heads together whenever they had encountered it, but it was just impossible to find out the answer.
‘Only the Emperor, himself, would know.’
Or wouldn’t Heinez, who was the closest aide to the Emperor as well as the Chancellor, be the one that understood his heart best?
But people couldn’t ask Heinez anything at all.
This was because he, who had always been cool-headed and rational, was seen to be muttering words that others could not understand with a rather blank face all alone.
“I don’t think so.
I don’t think so.
For that mere reason…”
He sometimes shook his head as if he was amazed.
He knew that people’s views towards him were subtly changing, but Heinez could not afford to care about it at that moment.
His Master, who acted rather absurdly, was the actual problem.
Heinez shook his head repeatedly and stared at Kergel.
Whether or not Kergel was aware of his confusion and worries, Kergel still looked quite calm.
Rather, he looked somewhat satisfied beyond the realm of being calm.
In fact, all the Emperor had gained in this hunting competition was a long-standing disgrace in the entire Imperial history.
“What is it that you like so much?”
Heinez pressed down on his forehead and murmured dejectedly.
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