Ch. 219 The Opening Of The Competition (2)
As Derek drew straight towards the group of knights, their eyes turned towards him. He stopped in front of them with a cold stare, and spoke in an authoritative voice.
“It’s not just princess, but Her Highness the Crown Princess. If you say that again in front of me…I’ll kill you.”
He didn’t care what anyone said of him, but he couldn’t tolerate anyone who disrespected Elena. One of the knights suddenly looked shame-faced when he recognized Derek.
“Oh, it’s Lord Derek.”
Everyone suddenly flinched in fear, but only Wickley seemed unfazed, and he continued on with even more bravado.
“Are you the princess’ brother?”
Derek’s brow furrowed. He had told them that he wouldn’t tolerate Elena not being called by her respectful title.
“…You ignored my warning.”
Waves of cold anger radiated off of Derek, but Wickley didn’t so much as blink. At that moment, the atmosphere turned bloody, and Wickley stared at Derek with a challenging grin.
“So what? What kind of amateur like you do to someone like me?”
Wickley grinned, showing off his yellow teeth as if to provoke Derek. If they weren’t already in the tournament, Derek would have immediately challenged him to a duel. He wasn’t in a hurry, however, as he already had a good chance of fighting Wickley today.
“Don’t get eliminated. I’ll end you myself.”
Derek’s voice was as hard as steel, but Wickley brushed it off as an empty threat.
“Try me if you think you’re good enough. If you lose, don’t go crying to the princess like a child. Kekeke.”
Derek didn’t deign him with a response, but that only served to drive Wickley even more. He continued taunting Derek, and mimed slitting his throat with his thumb.
“You’re the one who’s going to have to watch your neck. I’ll make mincemeat of you in front of everyone. You should look forward to it.”
Derek answered back with a wry smile, as if he found Wickley’s taunts amusing.
“A frightened dog barks more loudly. Bark as much as you like.”
Derek turned and moved away, ending the conversation. He heard Wickley yell at him again, but Derek ignored him. There was no need for a verbal fight anymore. They could settle this with their abilities later.
Derek had heard the name before. Lord Wickley was one of the favorites to win the tournament, and he represented the Anita family, where the Empress was born in. Derek had heard the Anita family and Carlisle’s forces had frequent conflicts. Although the fighting had calmed down a little recently, the Anita family was determined to crush Carlisle in any way they could.
Derek hardly lost his composure, but it was as if a flame had been lit under him. He glanced in Elena’s direction, and murmured to himself with newly forged will.
“… I have another reason to win.”
Soon after, the horse race with Wickley’s group began. His riding abilities were already superior to everyone else’s, nevertheless, he deliberately slowed down and knocked down the riders in second and third place. There was no rule stating he could not do so. And so, Wickley took first place score in not only archery, but horse racing as well, earning the highest possible score.
Derek followed suit, as his riding skills led him to a first place win by a long distance.
The games progressed to the tactical match. Groups were chosen by random draw, and the task was to display cooperation and leadership among themselves. Two groups would be pitted against each other, and the losing team would be eliminated. A judge also supervised the event and scored each individual on how much they contributed to the team.
The names were drawn by the host, and as such, all eyes were on him.
“Derek Blaise, group three.”
When Derek’s name was called, he walked towards his group members, his mouth set in a determined line.
“Wickley Tai, group five.”
Derek’s eyes had remained on Wickley since the horse race. Wickley was cheered on by those in the fifth group as he entered their circle.
After most of the knights’ names were called, a name of interest was spoken aloud by the host.
“Joel Sainer, group eight.”
Joel was another strong favorite to win from the Duchy of Lunen. Even those who were not particularly interested in the participants knew about him.
After this trial, the finale of this year’s tournament would be one-on-one mounted combat. Even with the hours of archery, horse racing, and tactical battles, the heated excitement on the stands would not abate.
It was then that the host shouted loudly into the air.
“Let’s start the final game, the tactical match!”
It was the last step before going into the final rounds of the tournament. Derek had perfect scores so far, and was highly likely to be selected as one of the final ten knights.