Roa-Tian, the capital of the Tian Kingdom, was in festivities.
It was the celebration of the completion of a succession. The main event of the celebration was the Great Warrior Tournament; there were small competitions held from time to time, but this one was different. Every warrior across the Kingdom would gather to prove who was the most powerful. To prevent the lack of manpower in the countryside, warriors had to participate in the regional preliminaries in order to apply.
The prizes were amazing. The King allowed merchants who could provide the best prizes to supply all of the festival needs. It made all the merchants prepare the best prizes they could; the profit that could be earned from supplying the festival was just too great to pass up.
The competition was divided into two groups.
The <Kaloan> and <Haron>.
There were no requirements, and the participants just needed to choose which one they wanted to join.
<Kaloan> was chosen by the finest warriors with lots of experience, while <Haron> was chosen by those who were just growing up.
Girdin, a third-grade operative officer, was busy working on documents for the festival. As he went through the piles of paper, he found one that caught his attention.
[Participant list for the Kaloan Competition]
He loved following warriors and he had even bought a subscription for the magazine, <Warrior of the Month>, so he couldn’t pass up the chance to look at the list. Sir Korakan, who protected the perimeter by the Kharan Kingdom, and Sir Mountive, who protected the Kuradan Mountains, were his favorites.
He looked through it to see where the two names were and found something strange.
“What is this? Age twenty-four… and seventeen..”
Girdin thought it could be one of two possibilities.
One was that they accidentally applied for <Kaloan> instead of <Haron>.
The other was that they had overestimated themselves.
However, after checking the names, he realized he was wrong on both accounts.
<Rian von Roman. Third Knight-Captain. 24 years old.>
<Kuntarian. Baron. 17 years old.>
The two were famous for being Masters at a young age. They had the right to join the <Kaloan> competition.
Kuntarian jumped out of his hospital bed and left hastily.
‘Dammit. It must’ve been that old man.’
It seemed certain that the girl must have had told her grandfather. Kuntarian knew he was dangerous, but didn’t expect him to be that much. His protection runes failed and yet he didn’t even realize it. It was something no Master could achieve.
He decided to quit following Celine around for a while. He heard that the Swordmeister didn’t care much about his granddaughter, but it seemed that the rumor was wrong.
Instead, Kuntarian decided to aim for the grand prize in the competition; he needed it badly.
Everyone else seemed just to consider it an excellent sword, but he knew the secret it contained. If he could acquire the weapon, it would allow him to control the remainder of his power, and there would be no need to be afraid of that old man anymore. That was when he would take Celine for himself.
Kuntarian gloated at that and thought about going to train. It had been a while since he considered himself a genius and did not need training. However, it seemed like a good idea to prepare a bit before he entered the competition.
‘But before that… I have a place to visit first.’
He then turned toward the Tra-An street at the outer edge of the capital. It was where he had found the best brothel in the Kingdom.
Sian looked at Celine who looked quite happy.
“So, the half-wit doesn’t come after you anymore?”
“Half-wit? Who’s that?”
“That… Kunta… something.”
“Oh, him. Yeah, he’s been quiet.”
Kuntarian had a bad reputation, but he was still strong. That was why Celine could not think him as a half-wit.
‘Only Sian can say that… but it’s weird. I don’t think he’s the kind to back off like that.’
Celine knew that Kuntarian wasn’t one to back off easily, but she had no way to find out why he stopped coming. She turned their conversation to the most heated topic of the season.
“Oh well. Hey, aren’t you joining the tournament? The prize and the money seem good. I’m sure you can win it easily if you enter.”
“Haha, no, no. I hate violence. I have no interest in such a savage competition.”
Celine stared at Sian with a dumbfounded expression.
“Sorry, that was a lie. I’m too lazy for that. I’m just not interested in it. How about you?”
“Right, I knew you would say that. I’ve already entered for <Kaloan>. I probably can’t win, but I want a rough idea of my strength. It’s a good chance to fight with various Masters and Exers.”
Now that she thought about it, Sian had already beaten up almost a third of all the Masters. It was only natural that Sian had no interest in the competition. However, Celine could not stop from grinning at the thought of all the participants being knocked out by a smack from a scabbard to the back of their head.
“Anyway, if that’s the case, cheer for Sir Rian and me.”
“Haha, you two are fine on your own.”
Sian did not worry about Celine. She knew when to back off. But Rian didn’t; he was too passionate. That was why Sian loved his brother, but he also sometimes made his parents worry.
Sian wished his brother would live more peacefully and transfer to the Guarran-Tia.
The <Kaloan> competition was held quickly. Unlike the participants of <Haron>, the participants of <Kaloan> were warriors and soldiers in various important positions, and they needed to return quickly.
All warriors were put into preliminary battles in their respective regions, and only the winners were allowed to come to the capital. The capital also had a preliminary round of thirty Masters fighting against each other.
The focus was always on the new and upcoming warriors. The Returnees, Rian, and Kuntarian, were included in this. People were excited to see how those young warriors could fare against the experienced warriors of Tian.
Today was the last day of preliminaries, in which Kuntarian and Rian were to take their chance. Out of the sixteen who won against their opponents, only eight of them were allowed to join the thirty-two main participants of the competition.
That was why the Coliseum was more packed than ever before. It was a place that would determine who would be leading the future of the Kingdom.