I said that it felt like the elf capital wasn’t as crowded as the human imperial capital, right? Well, I take that back. The elf population is no less than the human population.
The field for the deer hunting festival was the forest in the East. We weren’t provided with maps. We were only given a rough guideline and all the participating elves gathered in the imperial capital this afternoon while all the elves in the imperial capital came out in full force, lining up all the way to the path we left via. This congested the wide stone road, leaving room for only two horses to pass through, one behind the other. They wore big smiles as they threw flower petals towards us. Female elves from the shops by the sides stuck their heads out of their windows and waved their handkerchiefs, generously cheering us on.
There weren’t a lot of elves participating, but neither was there few. There were approximately twenty participants. A few of them were soldiers in the imperial guard unit. I noticed the cavalry girl practising her jockey skills I met a few days back was also present. I noticed a few elves dressed in hunter costumes. However, elves being lean, they didn’t look badass even if they were to wear tiger skin.
I rode my horse to the front of the group with Lucia following behind. Flower petals, perfume and even handkerchiefs got thrown onto my face. The elves cheered me on and quite a number of them sent me blow-kisses. I could feel an extremely frightening aura behind me…. I smiled and waved at them. I suddenly had a thought. Did Troy see the same scenery as I’m seeing right now when he led the children of the noble families to slay the Earth Dragons?
This feeling doesn’t feel good since what followed the grandiose cheers was a tragic ending.
If I hadn’t come here, Troy would be buried in the ground as nourishment for bugs right now…. No, that’s not right. If that were the case, then angry and despaired Vyvyan and Elizabeth would probably have reduced the entire mainland to particles.
The Eastern Forest and the imperial capital are very close to each other. Actually, it’s better to say that the imperial capital is located within the Eastern Forest, but to the North is just the Grand Canyon. It’s snowy in the Grand Canyon. The bodies of elves don’t cope well in snow which is why the elves don’t have a map of the North, while humanity has no way of passing through the country under the jurisdiction of the elves and they know very little about the Grand Canyon up North.
Mom had finished the preparations in the Eastern Forest. She wore an extravagant long green dress, a luxurious crown on her head that I’d never seen before, and a long woven shawl on her back as she elegantly stood atop the altar. The large stone statue on the altar looked like a goddess with her left hand holding fresh flowers, while her right hand held a long sword as she looked down upon us majestically. Behind the queen was a brazier.
Mom revealed a gentle smile when she saw us approach on horseback. She walked up and opened her arms. I tugged the reins to stop my horse and dismounted, standing where I landed. I walked up to mom and gave her a gentle hug just like we discussed yesterday.
Mom faced the participants and people who ran over to watch, and loudly said: “Ladies and gentlemen, my beloved citizens, my courageous warriors, and divine children, welcome to the deer hunting festival! You have already proven your courage through your actions. Now please display your skill and determination before the goddess! The gods are watching all you warriors! The goddess shall bestow you all with good fortune!”
Her speech was received with deafening cheers. I noticed there were people who moved their tents here. It looks like those people intend to see the first successful participant return. The deer hunting festival is practically a legal long holiday man.
The longest time was three months. So do those people intend to wait here for three months?
Mom walked back to the lower section of the altar and pulled out a blazing pair of iron pliers from the brazier. I undid the button on my hunting gear, revealing my neck. All participants were required to leave a branded mark from the heat on their neck. The mark would become something the elves could boast about for the next year.
Mom looked at me and frowned because she felt sorry for me. She then extended her hand out and pushed me to one side. Just as I was about to call out, I felt a hot sensation on my neck. I turned my head and saw a soldier use what was like a brewed viscous juice to make a mark on my neck…. Hey, hey, hey!! Everybody else has a permanent mark. Mine can be washed off, can’t it?!
I wanted to voice my objection, but I shut my mouth when I saw them burn Lucia’s white skin and smoke was emitted…. Lucia frowned and then walked up to my side. A soldier picked up a bottle of water and gently poured the water onto the spot where Lucia’s burn mark was made. Her wound healed in what seemed to be an instant, leaving just a scar.
“This is holy water. This is the origin of the life force of elves. It is the best medicine for treating wounds for elves.”
I remember mom pointing to a secret room at the back of the palace and saying that.
Lucia took two bottles, handed them to me and said: “One for each of us to heal our wounds. With this, it’s pretty much guaranteed we won’t die from external injuries.”
“Here, your highness.”
Lucia shoved both of them into my pocket and said: “I’ll leave mine in your care.”
I nodded. I then touched the mark on Lucia’s neck. I pitied her as I said: “Does it hurt?”
Lucia whipped her ponytail with a smile and then said: “This is a talisman bestowed upon me by the gods to protect me, why would it hurt?”
“It’s a pity I don’t have one….”
Once everybody was done, mom walked up to us again, stretched her arms open and said: “Participants, children of the gods, proud elves, I hope that you do not lose yourself in the forest. Remember that no matter what, you are all comrades. Friends. Help each other when in times of need and protect each other when you face dangers. Do not scheme, do not use underhanded tactics, and do not frame others. Let there be only friendship and the determination to hunt. The gods will bestow you with good fortune, and I too will pray for all of here. I, Vyvyan Galadriel officially announce the commencement of the deer hunting festival!! The gods shall bestow you with good luck, warriors!”
Cheers erupted like an Earthquake. I turned my head around and spotted a swarm of elves. They whistled at us and cheered. They waved at us and then walked up onto the altar. Mom quietly chanted a spell and rays of blue light encaged us. This is the random teleportation formation. In the blink of an eye, we will land in random locations within the forest.
I gripped the coat of arms in my hands tightly. Lucia was by my side. She gave me a smile. We were inside the light curtains of one another. Lucia reached her hand out but had no way of touching me. I reached my hand out too, but could only touch the air. Perhaps we were already in different dimensions.
Inside my backpack are all the cheat-items mom gave me, but I was still hesitant, even now. I had no intention of utilising them as soon as I entered the field. I wanted to at least give it my best with Lucia before resorting to them. I’m of the belief that although the elves by my side are all skilled, killing a white deer king within a week is impossible for them.
“See you in a bit.”
I read Lucia’s lips. The next instant, I felt like I got shoved into a washing machine. I was entrapped in complete darkness while there was the sound of a strong wind in my ear as I was whirled around towards an exit. No, let me use another example, it was like somebody removed the cork of time which led to me being taken away with everything.
I suddenly got tossed out and could breathe in the scent of grassland once again. I heard a crisp chirp and opened my eyes where I found myself inside a shrub. I struggled to stand up, and then crawled, rolled and navigated my way out of the shrubs and stood up on the grass. I scanned my surroundings and saw a rare prairie. However, in the distance was a deep forest.
The sun above me irritated my eyes so I had some trouble opening them. It appears my landing location isn’t too shabby. Alright then, let’s start searching for a white deer king….
I felt like there was an animal that was looking at me stunned, and I happened to discover it.
It looked like a deer.
It was about the size of a horse.
It had a horn on its head.
It was completely white.
Isn’t that a white deer king?!
It stared blankly at me who suddenly appeared. It still had grass that it hadn’t finished chewing in its mouth. Its gaze indicated that it was evidently shocked like somebody who suddenly sticks their utensils into your dish while you’re eating and stirs it around, and then wears a smug look.
Mom, is this your idea of “random teleportation”?! This is random?! You “randomly” teleported me behind a white deer king?!!
This is cheating! CHEATING!!