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Looking down at Medea’s long eyelashes, he sighed. Grazing her flushed cheek, Lyle then lifted her chin.
Overlapping lips, her mouth was so soft and sweet that his chest tightened to the point that he couldn’t breathe.
Why don’t you say ‘I love you’ now?
He knew why. Since Medea lost her memories, she won’t feel the same way as before.
But Lyle feared that she would regain her memories of her former self. He was not afraid that Medea would become what she was before; he was fearful that she would remember the many wounds he had inflicted on her.
At the time, he didn’t know it would hurt. Even if he knew about it, he thought it didn’t matter if it hurt.
Not now, Millie. I’m afraid you’ll be hurt. If a single word I threw out callously in the past makes you shed tears, it will break my heart.
“Lyle… … ?”
He smiled faintly at Medea’s curious gaze, searching his face.
His arms were tense as he embraced his most precious person but held them in place without painfully constricting her.
“I love you, my Empress… … .”
Two criteria ranked prey in monster hunting competitions.
Weight and number of teeth or claws.
In addition, monsters with violent temperaments received additional points, but because they were hunted yearly, so such monsters rarely appeared in this forest. Therefore, most knights wandered through the woods searching for a giant monster.
To make their hunting easier, magic tools were installed in the center of the forest. It attracted monsters to the aroma it gave off. Since it was installed along the foot of the mountain, it was possible to encounter a beast even if it reached the magic tool.
Kyaaak! [sfx: scream]
The heavy body of the monster collapsed to the floor while screaming in agony. After the knight had wholly stopped the demon’s breath, the servants who followed him pulled out the fangs and drew a large mark on the corpse with a dye symbolizing the family it belonged to.
Each family had one wizard assigned to them, and in the case of high-ranking nobles, they hired a wizard themselves and sent them along with the knights. It was for an emergency.
“Even if we do this every year, the number does not decrease… … .”
Finishing the fifth hunt, Beryl clicked his tongue.
He was a knight from the family of an old count with a meek disposition. However, the count agreed with the Emperor’s will to serve the people, and every year he spent a lot of money to have knights participate in this hunting competition.
“Besides normal breeding methods, demons are said to spawn from resentment or demonic energy. Isn’t that why there are so many monsters on the battlefield?”
Beryl frowned at the wizard’s explanation.
If the magician’s explanation was true, it meant that monsters could be created at the scene of a murder case, execution site, or dungeon.
However, the imperial family or nobles usually call in a priest to choose a site, hire a magician to cast a magic circle, and then build a building. For this reason, no monsters were created in the mansions of aristocrats or the imperial palace.
“It must be that you have to control your mind, but it is not easy for ordinary people.”
Even so, it was extremely rare for monsters to appear in an ordinary village.
Confirming that the signs of the monsters appearing in the vicinity had disappeared entirely, Beryl swung his sword to shake off the blood, then sheathed it.
Aaaaaaaaagh! [sfx: scream]
A sharp scream could be heard from a considerable distance away. Beryl reflexively turned his head toward it.
His eyes narrowed as if the wizard had noticed the monster’s species with just that cry.
“Huh… … . He must be quite capable.”
“Baron Hestia went that direction. It’s said the Empress favored him, it seems like it wasn’t just because of his face, hmm?”
In this hunting competition, Baron Hestia was the center of attention. He was suddenly knighted by the Emperor without any credit and became the Empress’ escort… … . There were, of course, those who criticized it.
Some say that the Empress kept him by her side to make him great after seeing his ability in a fight with the Emperor, but most said that he obtained a knighthood by seducing the Empress with his smooth face.
Since the Empress’s power and prestige soared, no one dared say more than a vague whisper. Everyone was afraid of making enemies with the Imperial family and the Card family.
The Empress, once always shunned by the Emperor, not only won his heart, she even became pregnant… … . Everyone whispered that the reason the Empress had softened was because the Emperor loved her.
Previously, most noble ladies would not have been able to attend this hunting contest. Even standing in the position where the sovereign’s eyes could reach would have earned Medea’s relentless bullying.
However, even though numerous noble ladies and ladies attended the hunting competition, the Empress remained calm. She didn’t seem to care at all. Maybe that’s why the gorgeously decorated wives and young ladies stood out quite a bit.
“Since high-level monsters tend to appear halfway up the mountain, not near these magic tools, shall we go higher?”
When the wizard suggested it, Beryl nodded.
The count put a lot of importance on participating and had him attend every year, so Beryl didn’t want to be pushed behind by such a newcomer. It was an insult to his pride. He had to hurry.
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