The event started right after the sun set over the horizon.
As the sound of drums resounded loudly through the air and the many torches that had been set up around were set ablaze, a total of 5,000 wolf half-bloods poured into the arena and gathered in the center where the audience could see them clearly.
This year's Royal Hunt was particularly eye–catching as it was attended by more than 1,000 magus, while the rest were either rank 9 acolytes or saint grade warriors. The sight of these strong individuals filling half of the field was enough to spark cheers and applause from the audience.
It wasn't long before the Alpha King made his appearance, arriving at the main balcony that oversaw the entirety of the arena. Alongside him were renowned figures and leaders of major factions of the Wolf bloodline.
The man stood tall, hand on his staff, as he faced the crowd of people, participants and spectators alike. But even though he tried to act as vigorous as he could, those who were perceptive were able to notice the Alpha King's unusual state.
Nevertheless, the man had no problem addressing the audience and participants before him.
"Welcome to the Royal Hunt, It was an honor for me to be able to host this event" He then looked toward the gathered participants and said, "Hunters, I wish you all great success in the event, May the best hunters win"
The Alpha King only delivered a short message, encouraging the participants to do their best, before he withdrew. A female wolf half-blood soon took over the proceedings and explained the rules of the competition.
There were six teleportation gate formations already set up at the six corners of the field, which would teleport them to where the yearly event would take place, the Silvermane Sacred Ground. A restricted island that lies 3,000 miles away from the coast of the Silvermane City.
The participants would be given 3 hours of time, where they were required to hunt the selected breeds of creatures deemed worthy of such a grand occasion. Holographic screens appeared all over the arena, to further explain this particular rule of the competition by visually displaying the information participants need.
[Shadow Cat - Magical creature]
[Battle power: 40 - 60]
[Reward: 1-2 points]
[Chaos Bat - Magical creature]
[Battle power: 70 -90]
[Reward: 4-5 points]
[Abyss Worms - Legendary creature]
[Battle power: 100- 130]
[Reward: 6-8 points]
[Wailing Treant - Legendary creature]
[Battle power: 150-300]
[Reward: 10-15 points]
Each was a creature prepared specifically for the events, there were thousands of them. Some younger and some stronger which was the reason for the range of points.
As for the conditions for winning, the top 200 wolf packs with the most points would be categorized as Hounds while the top 20 would be entered into the Wolves category and were entitled to take part in the final round.
Emery overheard some of the packs in the vicinity commenting in whispers about this rule, saying how much they appreciated the increase in the number of winners following the high number of participants in this year's event.
Another thing that these people appreciated about was how the points would be awarded automatically as soon as a kill occurred and not by collecting the creatures' carcasses. This would stop the act of stealing from other packs after the killings.
However, the rule should not be misunderstood as the old chief had already informed Emery and the others that the Royal Hunt has always been a brutal competition since its inception, with an average death rate of 17%.
Moments later, the screens that could be seen above the arena changed what it was showing. Both spectators and participants were given a glimpse of the sacred ground at this time, the latter looking intently at the screen as they tried to find something they could take advantage of.
"Hunters, have a good hunt!"
The moment the signal was given, all the teleportation gate formations were lit up. All the hunters quickly made their way into the gate in droves under the cheers of the excited audience.
Emery and his Twilight Fang were designated to enter gate number four, and so they did just that.
The 5,000 participants were split into 6 different gates that were placed in the 6 outermost areas of the Silvermane Sacred Grounds. Once they opened their eyes again, a notification popped up in their minds.
[Royal Hunt will start in 5 minutes]
The event didn't start immediately after they arrived at the sacred grounds. Time was given to ensure that everyone had passed through the teleportation gates before they were allowed to move, to prevent anyone from gaining an advantage by exploring the island first.
Nevertheless, there's no stopping to do anything else.
The packs that arrived first quickly used the time to study the surroundings, figuring out their current location in the sacred grounds. After all, even though most had studied the geography of the 1,000 mile sacred grounds, the teleportation gates' location changed with every Royal Hunt.
All packs had their own secret technique to be able to utilize the available time without breaking the rule of not passing the line in the first five minutes.
One could be seen sinking his hand underground, some sent their familiars to scout the area, while most of the others concentrated on their spirit reading. As for Emery's group, just seconds after arriving at the scene, Beowulf looked around casually before opening an old map and secretively pinpointing their location.
Seeing that, Emery immediately thought through the list of strategies they had prepared beforehand, deciding on the best one that would get them the most points with the current location given to them.
He pointed his finger at the map the old chief opened, at three locations on the path leading to the center of the island where the highest-tier creatures were. There was no objection as they all already knew what their roles were.
The clock was ticking down and Emery took the remaining time to observe the other packs around him. Some were nervous, but most of them were excited. In the last 30 seconds, they all started to transform into their respective Wolf Transformation.
Multiple howls were heard in the area along with the arrival of the moon in the sky.
As for Emery, when the countdown was almost over, he used his newfound innate ability.
All four members of the pack were empowered ready to start the hunt.
"Twilight Fang, Let's Go!!"