The elder priest was slightly at a loss when he caught Kieran's glance. His face looked a little pale.
"Please follow me!"
Herasu said as he led Kieran inside after a few seconds of pause.
Pudd strode into the temple ahead of them.
The crowd, however, was discussing the young hunter's rudeness against Kieran.
"An arrogant hunter!"
"He is more unlikeable than rumor has it!"
"He really has balls to challenge the Godslayer himself!"
"I know right!"
"That young hunter is really something!"
The weird discussions that were going on made Herasu even more nervous.
"Please forgive his ignorance, Pudd doesn't really mean to offend you."
Herasu explained while walking.
Kieran didn't reply. He only nodded without really commenting on the matter, he followed Herasu into Hunter Temple's front hall.
Dirt, jungle and a real river!
The moment Kieran entered Hunter Temple, he felt like he had entered a forest.
However, he wasn't that surprised.
"Analytics of the temples developments in Naveya City" had already introduced Kieran to the uniqueness of Hunter Temple.
It was different from the standard building of other temples. The whole Hunter Temple was a jungle constructed by the Hunter himself using his divine power, including the core of the temple.
The believers of the Hunter learned to hunt, cooperate, and honed their skills here. It was safe to say each priest from Hunter Temple was an amazing hunter on their own and for a hunter of the temple, the hunting hound and archery were their pride and honor.
Pudd who was already there had a full grown hawk on his shoulder.
The hawk was silver in color, had a pair of keen eyes and anyone who went up close to it would be greeted with a screech. Pudd was holding a hunting bow that was longer than the usual one.
The longbow was as tall as a grown man, its design was simple and plain while the string was tied in an old fashioned way on the bow's body.
"What bow do you need?" Pudd asked.
Kieran didn't answer. He looked to Herasu instead.
Herasu immediately lent his bow to Kieran and his action agitated Pudd even more.
Pudd thought his teacher was too soft and weak and had lost the pride of a hunter, while he would defend the last pride.
As the thought came into his mind, Pudd stepped up and said loudly, "People recognize your strength but your strength doesn't make you an excellent hunter! Archery is my strongest skill and I have confidence in beating you in my own game!"
His words sounded very confident but at the same time also utterly arrogant.
The crowd showed disdain toward his claims.
Lilith had an obvious disgust in her gaze toward Pudd. Livezel, however, was confused.
"This shouldn't have happened! Given the tenacity of Pudd's character, even if he was frightened to his core, he would have been better after a few days of buffering and readjusting. Why is he much more serious than before?"
The Melody Temple priest frowned uncontrollably.
As Pudd's longtime rival, Livesel knew him very well, despite the tremendous shock and agitation, he shouldn't have behaved like this.
"Something isn't right!"
Livezel wanted to stop his rival out of instinct but when he saw the crowd surrounding them, he sighed quietly.
The crowd was made up of archpriests, officiants, and chief knights, let alone the one who stood in front of them accepting the challenge.
A small person like Livezel wouldn't have made any difference even if he said something.
While all that was going through Livezel's head, Herasu was already reading the rules of the challenge.
"As you begin, the servants will release 10 rabbits in a certain area of the forest. Whoever gets the most rabbits within 30 minutes shall be the winner. Do you understand Archpriest Ryan?"
Herasu looked at Kieran and after Kieran nodded again, he signaled the servants further away.
The servants then quickly carried out their task in releasing the rabbits.
After 15 minutes, the servants returned from the forest area and in order to prevent any cheating, the challenge would only start 10 minutes after the last servant has returned.
Herasu declared loudly.
Pudd dashed into the forest right away. He was overflowing with confidence at the moment.
He felt like he had already caught the scent of victory, he could already picture Lilith's new appraisal of him after the victory.
Even if the servants returned to the crowd after releasing the rabbits to prevent cheating, what use would it have?
Pudd lived here since he was young!
He knew every inch of grass and wood of the forest. He knew exactly what the frightened rabbit would do. He even knew where those rabbits would hide after being released!
"Victory is mine!" Pudd made a claim in his heart.
His sprinting got even faster, he raised his bow as he saw his target.
The bow was loaded with an arrow and…
However before Pudd released the arrow, another arrow grazed his body and struck the target instead.
An arrow with a red marking was swiftly shot into the air. Whose arrow got the prey? whose arrow was shot up in the sky? It was the common way of announcing the result.
"He followed me and beat me to it?!"
The thought came to Pudd's mind, it made him turn around in a furious manner as he wanted to blame Kieran but…
There was no one behind him!
"He didn't follow me?! Then…"
Pudd was dumbstruck. The young hunter didn't know what was going on, just like he didn't know what kind of opponent was he facing.
Sou Sou Sou!
His ears heard more air-breaking whistles of arrows being fired up in the sky; his eyes saw arrows with red markings flying across the sky one after another.
A total of nine whistles were heard and a total of nine markings were shot to the sky.
As Pudd looked up at the markings in the sky, he was stunned frozen in place.
After a while, he shouted, "LIES! ALL LIES! IT'S NOT REAL!"
Pudd sprinted back even faster to where he began but when he arrived, Kieran was not there.
The observers that were still around were pointing fingers at him.
"How dare him to challenge his lordship!"
"Ya right! He still claimed his strongest skill was archery but his lordship defeated him without even moving!"
Pudd didn't listen to anything else after that.
He couldn't take in the defeat, he pushed away Livezel who was trying to calm him down. Pudd dashed out to the front hall of Hunter Temple.
His head was repeating that same phrase over and over again.
"He didn't even move!"
"He didn't even move?"
"He didn't even move and…"
Pudd knew very well how hard was it to achieve that feat since he himself originated from Hunter Temple. Aside from bow techniques, one would need an extreme understanding of the forest before his eyes and any movements in the air could not escape one's sight.
"Damn it!" The young hunter grunted. His voice was filled with unwillingness.
His unwillingness was followed by the original rage and envy, hence forming something unusual in his mind.
What took form together with the unusuality was a dagger.
The young hunter's throat was slit!
He widened his eyes at the attacker before him. His eyes were filled with disbelief yet it faded quickly.
The attacker didn't even care about Pudd's gaze. All the attacker did was take out a cowhide bag and filled it with Pudd's fresh blood.
A few minutes later, Livezel caught up with Pudd but he was too late.
All Livezel discovered was a body with his throat cut open.
Livezel's face was bleached right away.
If the unusuality on Pudd was just Livezel's guesses before, now with his body lying down on the floor, it told Livezel something definitely happened.
"What happened!? Who is the killer?"
Livezel pondered the question in his head. He did not notice a shadow was slowly approaching him.