hey besties! i got really annoyed when i was reading the mtl version of this so i decided to edit this for u guys lmao,,,also i went into this thinking that this novel was finished but apparently it isn’t ???? pain…
“Damn, what kind of forest is this?!” Astana complained, looking back into the gloomy forest.
“I can’t go back out…”
His eyes were full of regret as they looked back at the path he had just walked in on.
And then he stopped.
“What, why isn’t there a way out?”
The nobles who were listening to Astana’s words turned their heads to where he was looking as well.
“Th-There really isn’t a way out…”
“That tree over there looks familiar, couldn’t we have come in from there?”
“No, I think we came from over there…”
Everyones opinions were divided.
Then, all at once, everyone looked to Astana.
What else could they do?
Astana was the leader of their group, so it was only natural for them to look at him.
“Why are you looking at me?!”
However, Astana cried out in a loud voice.
“Shouldn’t you all find the way out for me and serve me?!”
That’s what Astana thought being a leader was all about.
To be the most comfortable, and the most important priority.
He was born as the first prince as well as the only legitimate heir, so perhaps it was natural as he lived his entire life in such a manner.
At that time, there was someone who stepped forward.
“First, we should find a monster. When we do, I will step forward to serve you.”
It was Bellesac, who had pulled out a longsword.
It seemed like this time, he had a new dagger and had made up his mind.
Meaning he wanted to be a close aide to Astana again.
“Okay! You’re the only one I trust, Bellesac!”
No matter what motive he had, Astana still liked it.
However, he had to get through this eerie forest while being at the forefront.
“Th-Then I’ll guard the rear.”
As Bellesac stepped up, others also noticed and followed suit.
“No matter how strange Madman’s Forest is, there would still be a way out, right?”
“That’s right! Besides, how many of us are there? Even if a monster appears, we’ll be able to get rid of it!”
Furthermore, they were all nobles who had been practicing swordsmanship since they were young.
All of them knew how to wield a sword in the case of an emergency.
A weak sense of relief and confidence returned to all of their faces.
“Then, shall we go straight ahead?”
Bellesac asked Astana.
What a stupid brat.
Astana added another insult to his impression of Bellesac as he replied with a frown.
“No, the first thing we should do is get used to the area surrounding the entrance.”
Actually, it was simply because he was too afraid to go further into the forest, but Astana made up a reasonable excuse on the spot.
“Oh, as expected!”
“You’re the only one I’ll trust, Your Highness!”
The words of Astana, who didn’t want to go deeper into the forest, made his followers’ faces glow with admiration.
Astana shrugged at their reaction and pretended to be rational.
“Although we’re in this sort of situation, other people’s situations won’t be too different from ours either.”
Even if it’s that kid.
Astana muttered, remembering Perez.
“What can only four people do.”
There were as many as a dozen people who followed him.
Astana’s tense shoulders stretched again triumphantly.
And as he was about to take a step.
Suddenly, there was a loud sound echoing through the quiet forest.
Astana shrieked loudly, covering his head and crouching down.
“S-Someone must have set off a flare!”
Bellesac said while pointing to a red flame that shot up into the sky in the distance.
“I, I knew that!”
Astana shouted, pretending to be calm.
“But weren’t we going to go that way?”
It was very likely that the reason for the flare was because of a monster.
So if anyone wanted to win by catching a monster, the right decision would be to run in that direction.
Astana, however, moved calmly toward the opposite direction of the flare.
“Let’s go this way.”
However, there was no one who opposed his decision.
Because no one wanted to go in the direction where there was something that caused a flare to be fired.
[ / / / ]
The border between the land around the mansion and the forest.
Various attractions had been set up for the nobles who did not participate in the hunting competition, such as tables full of excellent food and simple games that could be enjoyed by men and women of all ages.
Exciting music was also playing constantly in the background.
By the time noon had passed, Emperor Yovanes, who came out of the bedroom, was already drunk.
“Was this all prepared by your daughter?”
Yovanes suddenly asked Gallahan, who was pouring the liquor.
“Yes, that’s right. She worked harder after hearing that His Majesty was coming.”
Gallahan replied with a proud smile.
“Yes, yes. I envy you, I really do.”
Yovanes said quietly, bringing a glass to his lips.
“I’m not just saying this because she’s my granddaughter, but our Tia is quite capable.”
Rulac slid in from the side too.
Eventually, Yovanes released a big sigh.
Rulac, who was still watching, smiled and said.
“You must have a lot of worries, Your Majesty.”
“…You knew that, yet you still kept bragging about your granddaughter?”
“I’ll take my leave for a moment then.”
Gallahan tactfully moved away.
The emperor, who had downed his leftover liquor in one gulp, stared somewhere and opened his mouth.
“I’m still healthy, but why is everyone talking about succession? Doesn’t it feel like they’re telling me to die soon?”
It was not uncommon for an emperor to be extremely reluctant to talk about succession.
Since power is something that can’t even be shared with one’s own flesh and blood.
“I think Angenas is very anxious. They seem worried about His Majesty.”
“As if they’re only worried!”
As he opened his mouth, Yovanes wrinkled his nose and poured some liquor into Rulac’s half-empty glass.
“They’re pushing me as if I’m about to die right now.”
If only there was no one around him, otherwise, he’d empty the bottle immediately.
Rulac also shook his head.
“The Empress must be in a good mood.”
There was no way it was the Empress Lavini who was pushing Yovanes to this point like this.
However, the initial prey feels it instinctively.
The fact that something is aiming at them in the bushes.
So, they run in the direction they shouldn’t have gone.
They don’t even know that the way they’re heading toward is a cliff.
Rulac grinned under his long beard and suggested in an anxious tone.
“Your Majesty, this old man speaks out of old age. Why don’t you be careful for the time being?”
“Yeah, well. Something like eating and drinking outside the Imperial Palace, or stuff that’s sent from the Empress’ Palace.”
“The Empress’ Palace?”
One of Yovanes’ eyebrows rose.
“Isn’t that going a bit too far?”
Yovanes lowered his voice, as if he was angry.
But it wasn’t very intimidating.
His eyes were already shaking and his stony expression was cracking.
The seed of doubt tends to take root horrifyingly quick.
“I must have made a slip of tongue.”
Rulac tactfully retreated.
“I’ll take a punishment drink as a sign of apology.”
However, there was a deep smile hidden behind the wine glass.
It’s always been fun to ruin Angenas’ future.
[ / / / ]
“Didn’t I tell you? That it was going to be like that.”
Clarivan said, pointing to a red flare that was rising above the forest.
“That’s already the third time, that’s it.”
“It’s only been a few hours since the competition has started and it’s already like that?”
“Maybe they were surprised by nothing. Like a rabbit, or something like a rabbit, or a rabbit-like thing, something like that.”
Clarivan put on his glasses and smirked.
“Magic flows in Madman’s Forest and monsters haunt it, but aren’t those stories from when people got closer to the centre of the forest?”
“Right? But the flare came from the area near the entrance.”
Isn’t everyone a bit too scared?
Lombardy’s knights were seen rushing to the area where the flare was fired.
“If people are scared, they should come out on their own feet so everyone can see their sincerity. It’s hard for the people of my house.”
“That’s what I mean. But…”
Clarivan said, looking beyond the entrance of Madman’s Forest.
“No one knows what nerves such a loud noise will startle. And the smell from the blood of the hunted monsters would increase that fear.”
Perhaps because of the cold wind blowing, Clarivan’s voice was cooler than usual.
It was then.
Pong! Po—ong! Pong!
Down over there.
Although it was still the in the area close to the entrance of the forest, the three flares were all fired at the same time, and further from the entrance.
“Oh, something must have happened over there.”
Clarivan’s eyes sparkled.
[ / / / ]
Astana’s group was walking along the edge of the forest.
There was no conversation, only the sound of heavy breathing could be heard.
It was a strange thing.
Although it seemed as if they had been walking for a few hours, even though the mountain terrain was not harsh, none of them seemed to be able to catch their breath.
“It must be because of the magic.”
Someone muttered in the middle of taking a breath.
Yeah, that’s right.
This is all because of the magic.
That’s why their bodies felt as heavy as wet cotton, and their heads were dazed.
A strange sound was heard in the grass nearby.
“Argh! Shut up!”
Bellesac, who was still walking ahead, shouted and cut the grass in a big motion.
But there was nothing there.
Bellesac knew as well.
About an hour ago, the bushes closest to where the group was walking, shook for no reason.
There were times when he ran away in surprise, and there were times when he bravely cut the grass.
But each time, there was nothing in it.
“In all likelihood…”
Bellesac said, looking back at Astana.
“It seems that we’re all hearing hallucinations together. I heard that magic flows through Madman’s Forest, that’s probably why.”
Fear was slowly appearing in the faces of others.
“Your Highness, why don’t you give up on this and leave?”
The first of the Maimbert family asked Astana.
“That’s right, Your Grace.”
The third of Belletiron also said the same thing.
“Just say the word and I’ll fire the flare.”
He even showed the red flare he was holding in his hand.
“Are you crazy?! No way.”
But Astana shook his head stubbornly.
He was not allowed to give up in front of His Majesty.
Empress Lavini had emphasised this several times.
It was then.
This time, the sound was heard from the grass a little farther behind his back.
Bellesac did not swing his sword this time.
He thought he was just hearing a hallucination anyways.
But everyone’s expressions were strange.
Everyone pointed behind Bellesac.
It was then that a strange sound was heard.
This was not a hallucination.
Bellesac looked back quickly in surprise and shouted.
Scaly green skin, fangs that protruded from the lips, and unusually long arms and a huge body.
The group quickly became frozen in fear.
The monster approached them, one step at a time, but none of them could move.
Astana was the only one who pushed Bellesac forward and shouted.
Eventually, it was in the moment when the third of Belletiron tried to pull the string of the flare.
The monster’s head burst with a sound similar to the firing of a flare.
The monster’s head rolled onto the floor as the huge decapitated head fell forward powerlessly.
Then, there was Perez, covered in the monster’s green blood.
“Looks like I found you here.”
Perez said, looking at Astana.
yawl i tried,,,idk if ppl still read this novel since it’s been completed for a while but lmk if you want me to mtl/edit more or if you have any other novels you want me to try hehehe