Home Post 1213-chapter-74


Carinne spent the days leading up to Giles’ requested meeting practicing her riding.

She had too much pride to show Giles how clumsy she was, and she intended to impress him with her skills so he wouldn’t make fun of her. But if someone asked her why she was suddenly interested in riding, she could always point to the letter he had sent her.



[ I am extending an invitation to Lady Carinne to attend the upcoming hunting competition as my guest.

Please come and observe.

It will be an educational experience. You may also enjoy watching who wins the competition. The winner receives all of the animals he bags, which are traditionally presented to the lady of his choice. It’s all part of the excitement.

Oh, did I mention that I have won this local competition every year I’ve entered? ]



It was an obnoxious letter, full of self-importance and thinly veiled bragging. And another thing that bothered her: who did he think he was, inviting her to attend as his guest?

So, Carinne decided to enter the competition herself.

She could have simply declined his invitation, but that would have given him an excuse to pester her. She also didn’t want him to think she was playing hard to get, so she planned to use this opportunity to show him, once and for all, that she wasn’t interested in him.

How would she do that?

She had four options.

One, if Giles won the competition and offered her the animals, she would refuse in front of everyone. Two, if Giles did not win the competition, she would remind him of his letter and tell him, in no uncertain terms, that she wasn’t interested in braggarts. Three—and this was her favorite option—she would enter the competition herself and win. Then, she would watch him squirm as she told him never to bother her again. And then there was option four, but she would explain that later.

Carinne figured option three was the most satisfying.

However, there was almost no chance she would win a hunting competition since she had never even shot a bow and arrow, let alone ridden a horse. She would be lucky if she managed to catch a rabbit.

Still, she wasn’t about to sit and watch the competition as Giles had suggested, so she planned to learn to ride well enough to participate in the competition before the big day. It wasn’t what she wanted to do, though it was the best option.

Archen, seeing how frustrated she was, offered to enchant her bow so that every arrow she shot would hit its mark.

“So you’re saying you can just cast a spell now?”

Carinne asked, her eyes wide with disbelief.

He shut his mouth when he saw the look she was giving him. Instead, they agreed that if Archen caught any animals, he would pretend that she had caught some of them. It was because if she entered the competition and didn’t catch anything, that would be embarrassing.

After they had come to an agreement, Carinne realized something new.

“I thought you only knew magic, but you can shoot a bow too?”

She had only meant to make a casual observation, but Archen seemed to take offense.

“What do you take me for?”

“Well, you do seem like the type who would rather use his brains than his brawn.”

She wished she hadn’t said that. Archen’s face fell, and he went on a long rant about how he had done more than just study at the Academy. He had taken part in many outdoor activities, he said.

“And I excelled in every one of them.”

“I’m sure you did.”

How much outdoor activity could he have done? He had probably just practiced riding a horse and jousting. He wasn’t out of shape, exactly, but he didn’t seem particularly athletic, either. He was a mage, after all. And a sickly one at that.


Archen looked shocked. He went to the armory and retrieved his bow and arrows, then took aim at an apple hanging from a tree. The arrow pierced the apple right through the center.

Carinne couldn’t believe her eyes, so she went over and examined the apple herself.


“It’s just a trick.”

The next thing he shot was a bird on the roof. The bird didn’t even have time to squawk before the arrow pierced it, and it fell to the ground with a thud. Then, he shot an ornament on the fence, then a dummy on a galloping horse…

Carinne had to spend the next two hours gushing over his marksmanship as punishment for speaking out of turn.

There was one more interruption when Iris came looking for her while she was practicing her riding.

“Oh, Carinne, are you learning to ride? What for?”

“There’s a competition in—”

“Oh, Iris! I suddenly became interested in riding, that’s all! It’s a good skill to have, don’t you think?”

Archen was about to carelessly bring up the hunting competition, but Carinne quickly interrupted him. Iris, who considered animals as friends, would not have approved of a hunting competition that killed animals.

Moreover, Iris was a vegetarian who did not eat meat.

“Hm? What competition?”

“It’s nothing! Let’s just go inside and have some tea.”

Carinne dismounted her horse and pulled Iris into the mansion, casually stepping on Archen’s foot. Iris seemed curious about what Archen had been about to say, but she did not ask any further.

It was all thanks to the cats. After the veterinarian’s visit, the two cats had visibly improved. The kitten had plumped up, and the mother cat, despite having a bandage on her leg, was walking around the mansion just fine.

“Wow, Carinne! They’re so cute!”

As expected, Iris was very fond of the cats.

Carinne diverted Iris’ attention by explaining how she had come to own the cats. In the meanwhile, they had managed to overcome the crisis, and after many twists and turns, she had become able to ride a horse, albeit clumsily.

“How is it? Is this good enough?”

She rode her horse around the mansion. Thanks to her relentless practice, she was able to balance herself with a stable posture, and she was no longer afraid of riding a horse.

“It seems like you’ll have no problem participating in the competition.”

Archen nodded as he watched her.

There were still a few days left until the hunting competition, so Carinne spent the remaining time practicing archery. Just because she could ride a horse did not mean that the prey would come to her and let itself be caught.

However, archery was more difficult than horse riding.

She devoted all her time to archery, except for when she was eating or sleeping, but unfortunately, she was unable to master it.

Of course, if it were possible to master it in just a few days, everyone would have become a hunter.

Carinne decided to be satisfied with just being able to ride a horse. Even if she had not mastered it, she could still shoot an arrow, and if she tried hard enough, she thought she could catch one or two herself.

And so, the day of the long-awaited hunting competition arrived.

She left the mansion with Archen. The hunting competition was held in the forest on the outskirts of the capital. When they arrived at the site, they saw a crowd of people. Giles, who was surrounded by people, looked surprised to see Carinne on a horse.

Carinne pretended not to see Giles and passed by, but she could hear people muttering beside her.

“Is Duke Lucas not coming?”

“I heard he declined the invitation.”

“Why? I thought he never missed a hunting competition.”

“No, I heard that the host did not invite him. They didn’t send invitations to anyone who had a history of winning the hunting competition.”

Ah, so that was why he had been so confident in his letter. Giles had shamelessly sent invitations only to those whom he thought would be inferior to him in hunting, increasing his chances of winning.

How sly.

Incidentally, Duke Lucas had a history of winning the hunting competition? A new determination burned within her. Even if she could not win first place, she had to at least rank at the top. Of course, that depended more on Archen than on herself, but she had to catch at least one rabbit herself.

As Carinne was filled with determination, Giles approached her and spoke slyly.

“Is the Princess participating in the competition as well? It doesn’t seem necessary for you to do so.”

He sounded as if he was asking why she had bothered to come when she could just sit and watch. In fact, there was a tent set up at the entrance of the forest for people to watch.

Carinne did not even look at Giles as she replied.

“My body was feeling restless, so I couldn’t help it.”

“Even so. It’s quite dangerous for a delicate woman like yourself to participate in a hunting competition. You said this was your first time participating, right? Don’t set your expectations too high.”


Who was he to say anything? And to call her a delicate woman. Carinne was so annoyed that she ignored Giles’s words.

“Why aren’t you answering?”

“The Princess will do as she pleases.”

At that moment, Archen, who had been watching the two from the side, interjected.


Archen spoke coldly to Giles, who had hardened his expression.

“In fact, I believe there is someone else who should be worried. It would be embarrassing if you did not achieve good results in a competition that you hosted yourself, wouldn’t it?”

Both Archen and Giles knew who the host was. Giles’s expression hardened at Archen’s blatant provocation, though he quickly calmed down.

“Princess, you should keep your meddlesome aide in check.”

He knew better than anyone that it was not good to get worked up before a strenuous competition. He uttered some insincere well wishes and turned away.

Archen gritted his teeth as he watched Giles walk away.

‘It’s the fourth possibility I mentioned last time. I’m confident in it.’

The last remaining possibility… it was for Archen to win first place in the competition.

He would offer her the prey, and if Carinne accepted it, they could officially announce their relationship to everyone. And at the same time, he could show Giles that he was not interested in her at all.

Carinne trusted Archen, so she encouraged him, saying that he would do well.

Finally, the long-awaited competition began. The time limit was until sunset, and the competition would last for two days. Since the hunting grounds were far from the mansion, it would be troublesome for Carinne to travel back and forth. She might as well finish it in one day. Why would they hunt for two days?

“What are you thinking? Let’s go.”

The forest where the hunting competition was held was known for its abundance of deer. However, that did not mean that the deer would be standing at regular intervals. To find a good hunting ground with abundant prey, they had to hurry before the others, or so Archen had explained.

That was why she followed Archen. However, even after two hours, they had not caught a single deer or rabbit.

After spending another hour thoroughly searching the forest, from the edge to its deepest part, she realized one thing.

The forest was surprisingly empty.