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Masked Knight - Chapter 55

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Chapter 55: Horseback Archery Examination

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translations Editor: EndlessFantasy Translations

Three days had passed. During the days before the inheritance ceremony, Rody could not sleep.

After all, he was just a boy. Although he had experienced a lot of strange things and no longer

had a normal outlook in life, when he had to encounter such a big event, he would still feel

nervous.

Nicole was in Rody's room for a long while and accompanied the servant Angel to dress Rody

up. Nicole carefully selected a silver colored piece of warrior clothing which was specially

ordered. The clothing was tailor made by one of the most famous tailors in the Imperial Capital.

It fit very well and exposed Rody's robust body, making him look heroic.

The two of them stared at each other from time to time and turned red in the face. When Rody

was completely dressed up, Nicole carefully looked at Rody's ears to make sure that there were

no flaws.

Rody remembered his ears and felt disappointed. He could not help but ask, ’’Nicole, when are

you going to remove these ears?’’

Nicole no longer dared to keep it a secret and smiled. ’’I am trying to find a way but Dandong's

notes are too difficult to understand. When this is over, we will slowly study it.’’

Rody opened his mouth and wanted to tell Nicole that he had already found the method to use it

but could not because he was not a sorcerer. He thought that Nicole would be able to control the

mask as she was an extraordinary sorcerer. However, when the words reached his mouth, he

remembered Andy telling him not to let anyone know about the last words of Dandong. Rody

immediately gave up. Before leaving, Nicole gave Rody some advice.

Rody looked at Nicole in close proximity and his heart beat faster. Uncontrollably, he bent

forward to kiss her cheek. Nicole was shocked and immediately dodged to escape. She showed a

strange begging expression and said softly, ’’Rody, don't be like this. Wait for next time....

alright? Your appearance right now....I really cannot. When I look at your face, I think of my

brother....’’

Rody sighed and did not dare to show how upset he was. He could only follow Nicole and board

the carriage.

Fortunately, the carriage was not just occupied by Rody and Nicole. Instructor Carter, who was

wearing an officer's uniform was also sitting inside the carriage. Nicole had already declared

Instructor Carter as Seth's official instructor. Following the tradition of the Empire, when a

noble inherits the title, the instructor would also receive a commendation from the emperor.

That was why Carter was wearing formal clothes and he even meticulously combed his beard.

As a show of respect to the instructor, Nicole did not let him ride on the horse but invited him to

sit together with them in the carriage.

One side of the palace hall had already been decorated. According to tradition, all the Royal

Guards were wearing distinctive suits of armor they stood respectfully around the hall. The hall

also had a lot of young nobles who had been waiting for quite a while.

In accordance to the tradition of the Empire, the inheritance ceremony was held several times a

year. Every time, there would be a lot of nobles taking the assessment. However, since this

examination was an impromptu decision by His Majesty, there were fewer candidates in

comparison to that of the regular assessments. Some of the young nobles looked at Rody

resentfully. They knew that the heir of the Tulip Family was the reason that His Majesty moved

the date of the assessment forward.

Rody did not care about them so much and followed Nicole into the audience hall with his head

held high. One of them was an attractive beauty while the other was a handsome guy. When

they entered the audience hall, they immediately attracted countless gazes.

All the young noble participants of the examination were in their best attire. In front of

everyone they were putting up their best behavior. Although the Empire had declined since its

founding several hundred years ago, they had still retained their martial spirit. All of these

young nobles had the title of warrior. Their ranks were all different and no one knew whether

they truly deserved their titles.

There were at least 20 tables in the middle of the hall. Without a word, Nicole directly brought

Rody to a front table and sat down. She looked indifferent but occasionally had a gentle

expression when she looked at Rody. On the other hand, because of his status, Instructor Carter

could not enter the hall and had to wait outside.

A few moments later, Gordon appeared from behind and walked in large strides as he shouted,

’’Radiant Empire's Mighty Emperor, His Majesty, has arrived!’’

All the whispering people silenced themselves, took a deep breath and stood up. In the silence, a

large door at the back of the hall opened and Emperor Abbas XI slowly walked out. That day, the

emperor did not wear the white robe but a gold colored light armor. On his back was a large red

cloak. His face also looked neat and dignified.

Everyone in the hall bowed and knelt down when they saw the emperor. Rody also knelt down

but he could not help but freeze for a moment when he saw the person behind the emperor.

It was not just Rody who was dumbfounded but the other nobles were also shocked.

That was because in such a formal ceremony, the person who should be accompanying the

emperor was Her Majesty the Queen. However, the woman who was standing at his side was

not the queen!

Jojo, who was wearing a brightly colored red robe, stood like a raging fire. Her beautiful face

was calm but she looked excited, searching around for someone among the crowd.

’’You may stand,’’ Abbas XI spoke in a resounding voice. ’’We don't need so many customs. Let us

start.’’ When he said that, his eyes intentionally moved to meet Rody's face. Rody immediately

looked away from Jojo.

Gordon immediately stood forward and announced the start of the assessment.

Following Gordon's order, all the young nobles came out from where they were and gathered in

the middle of the hall. Rody was naturally standing right in front.

The Emperor nodded and said a few striving words. Rody did not listen to any of it. Although he

did not raise his head, he could feel Jojo's gaze. He felt awkward but did not dare to raise his

head.

The first examination was horse riding. In front of the audience hall was a public square with

about 20 horses. All the horses were snow white and there were no mixed breeds. They looked

exceptionally eminent.

The young nobles went out of the hall and listened to Gordon as he announced the content of

the assessment. The square was earlier, arranged as a military drilling ground. On top of every

horse was also a bow and ten arrows. In addition, there was also a lance hanging each horse's

body. However, the heap of the lance had been removed. At a distance were the targets about

the height of two to three people.

In the Radiant Empire, martial arts was of great importance. All the nobles had to learn how to

fight. The successor of any title had to have a warrior ranking. That was why the examination

also placed a lot of importance in martial arts.

The examination was not just simple horseback archery but was according to the pattern of an

actual battle. When the participants got on the horses, they were still far from the targets. They

would need to ride and get closer within a certain range before they could shoot. During that

time, they were allowed to attack each other and forced others to dismount. Everyone would be

attacking one another and would also need to defend themselves. After all, there were only

three targets! If they could hit a target, they were considered half successful and if they were

knocked down, they were considered eliminated.

Of course, to ensure fairness, the examinations were conducted in groups. Only warriors of the

same level would be assessed together. Otherwise, in the assessment a Grade 1 warrior would

forever not be able to defeat a Grade 3 warrior.

The young nobles were immediately divided into three groups. Among the Grade 1 warriors was

Rody and that group had the most individuals. That was because these nobles wanted to inherit

the title. Obviously, before the succession, many whose strengths were better than the Grade 1

standard would conceal their real strength so that they could be grouped together with other

Grade 1 warriors in the assessment. In such a case, although there were more opponents, their

odds would be greater by relying on their strength as a warrior. Only a small number of people

with more confidence in their skills would bother increasing their warrior rank.

The first examination consisted of Grade 3 warriors (Among the young noble warriors here,

none exceeded Grade 3 warriors). When Gordon gave the order, four of the participants got on

the horses. Ordinarily, the four participants would just need to shoot the three targets. Even if

they did not attack each other, they could pass just by shooting the arrow. However, the four

crazy participants did not even pick up the bow. The moment they got on their horses, they

immediately took the lance and rushed at each other.

The young nobles were confident in their own skills and were full of vigor. They wanted to

display their martial prowess in front of the emperor. In their proud minds, the simple archery

was unable to satisfy their thirst for glory. Only by dismounting their opponents could they

show their bravery as a warrior!

These four participants fought each other forcefully. Rody watched the four participants clash

with interest. After all, he was also a true warrior. The four participants also had real talent and

were bold enough to use that occasion to display their prowess. For most nobles, their entire

future relied on that day. If they displayed extraordinary skill, His Majesty would be happy and

they would have a bright future.

The four Grade 3 warriors fought for a long time before there was an outcome. Finally, the

sturdiest looking warrior was knocked down by another two participants who had joined forces.

On the other hand, the frail looking warrior was already knocked down much earlier. The final

two participants looked at each other and came to an understanding. They raised their bows

and hit their targets. They hit the bull's eye.

There was a thunderous cheer. Abbas XI also looked happy and stood up to clap his hands.

The following Grade 2 warriors competition on the other hand, was not spectacular. Out of a

total of seven participants, some of them were impatient and rode forward to shoot their

arrows the moment they got on their horses. There were also some that attacked others fiercely

and there were some that hesitated, unsure as to whether they wanted to use the lance or the

bow.

At Rody's current level, he no longer had interest in the match between the Grade 2 warriors.

He yawned and closed his eyes. He did not notice Jojo looking at him from beside the emperor.

Her beautiful eyes flashed a trace of different color.



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