“Carry on as usual. As I said, today I’m just an ordinary participant like everyone else,” said Zhao Yarou mildly.
“Uh… It’ll be more meaningful if you do it, Your Majesty. I think everyone would agree.” The chairman did not proceed with his schedule but instead requested the empress open the event instead.
Other than avoiding possible trouble, it was also a good opportunity for him to kiss ass.
“Yeah, Your Majesty! You should do it!”
There were murmurs of agreement in the audience, everyone wanted her to open the ceremony. If the empress herself was at the opening, it would make the hunt seem more important. They’d be able to tell other people about this with more pride next time.
What was there to be proud of? Sigh, they’d tell people about how they participated in a group hunt with Her Majesty herself and she even hosted it… Bragging rights.
“Alright then.” Zhao Yarou walked up onto the small stage before everyone. She uttered three words---
“The hunt begins.”
It was so short they barely caught it. Even if speeches were kept short at events like this, they took at least a few minutes. This was SHORT!
After a moment of stunned silence, the crowd cheered.
With the roar of the crowd, the group hunt officially began. Zhao Yarou’s concise, direct speech impressed many people including a particular person who hated her- Ye Lang.
“I have to say, although she’s insane, she’s efficient!” remarked Ye Lang.
“Yeah, she was so efficient she directly killed her own father to get the throne and then killed the rest of the royals to secure her seat,” agreed Coldblood Five, nodding.
There were only three royals of the Soaring Sky Empire left- Zhao Yarou, the seventh princess and the seventh sister-in-law.
Sigh, well, if you looked at it in terms of the traditional rules, this bloodline had already been broken.
Ye Lang thought so too. There were only three girls left in the family, the torch could not be passed down to the next generation.
However, these were ancient rules from Ye Lang’s other life. In this lifetime, on the mainland, there wasn’t a saying like this one. Girls could carry on the bloodline too but they, of course, needed a good partner.
Even the current empress would need a partner… Obviously one that would come to her, she would never leave her empire for marriage. Right now, there were no potential suitors…
“Come on, we’ll be noticed if we don’t leave soon,” reminded Coldblood Five when she saw Ye Lang spacing out. Everyone else had begun to leave to hunt.
There were a few stragglers, of course. Ye Lang wasn’t alone. Some of them were deliberately slow to show everyone else how calm they were…. But, to be honest, they just looked plain stupid.
Ye Lang could act like them too but of course he’d never do that because he’d always ‘been a man of low-profile’.
However, he stuck out like a sore thumb there. Everyone else was on a horse, the terrain in the area was better suited for horseback riding.
The hunting grounds were unimaginably huge. It was an entire mountainous region including irregular hills approximately 250km long and 150km wide.
This was the equivalent of a quarter of one of the empire’s provinces, it was larger than a small kingdom.
It was necessary though. This group hunt was a very popular empire-wide event, there were far too many participants. What could they hunt if the area was too small?
It would just be participants fighting for game and the event would be based on everyone’s martial arts skills instead of hunting tactics. And the event would be meaningless.
There was one rule: no fighting over prey- if the prey was already hunted. However, if multiple hunters saw the same animal, they could either fight to hunt it down first or work together to earn points.
Ye Lang was familiar with the rules, he’d participated in an event like this one in the past. He ranked quite high too, though he didn’t even have to pick up the bow and arrow. Ye Lanyu was there to help.
He was part of a small hunting party then- himself, Ye Lanyu, the seventh princess and a few other girls. He couldn’t remember who they were, Ye Lanyu and the princess were the only ones he knew well.
They ranked high not because of their hunting skills but due to their impressive luck. They kept running into different animals, it was as if the prey were delivered to them.
The most time-consuming part of hunting was searching for prey- it was also the most important. Since this team did not need to spend time waiting, they naturally won.
Many people heaved a sigh when they saw the results that day---
Sigh, the thirteenth prince’s luck remains undefeated.
Back to the topic. With such a large piece of land, a horse was essential for moving around. Since the participants were a bunch of rich show-offs, naturally everyone had one.
Ye Lang could obviously afford horses but he could only walk because he never knew how to ride a horse. He always walked and never mixed with these show-offs, often mixing with commoners who were also on foot.
If people realised an aristocrat like him couldn’t ride, it would definitely attract a lot of attention. With some speculation, they might even think of that one aristocrat who never knew how to ride. That weird prodigal son.
That was why Ye Lang should enter the hunting grounds earlier before everyone noticed.
The forest was huge. Once you were deep inside, you could remain alone for the rest of the event without meeting anyone else. With such slim odds, he felt like it was unlikely for him to meet Zhao Yarou in there
Despite that, once he set foot inside, he did not stray too far from Li Yue. If he lost her now, they might never meet again.
Please, please don’t walk with that psychotic woman or we’ll have to make a new plan…” prayed Ye Lang as he sat on a small boulder at the foot of a hill. He could see Li Yue and Zhao Yarou from here and everyone else who hadn’t entered the grounds.
Ye Lang waited to see where Li Yue would go. If she continued to follow Zhao Yarou around, he was ready to give up entirely and return back to the city to rest.
However, fortunately, Li Yue didn’t seem to plan to hunt with Zhao Yarou, nor did the empress intend to keep Li Yue by her side. In the end, Li Yue decided she would hunt alone as she had always done.