The Arcus Tournament, named after the initials of the organizers Iris and Cassius, is a competition that gives ordinary people a chance to showcase their skills before the selection of Knights Templar.

“Are you going to prevent him from participating?”

“No. I won’t prevent him from participating, but I’ll hinder him from achieving good results in the tournament.”

“Oh, that’s a great idea!”

“Let’s make sure he doesn’t make it to the top ranks and ends up embarrassed. It’s about stripping Nazret Young lady’s admiration for May Flotina.”

Diego leaned back and shook the jump rope behind the sofa. One of his attendants entered the main room.

“You called, Your Highness.”

“Bring me the invitation for the Akka Tournament.”

“Yes, Your Highness.”

As the attendant left after receiving the order, Velta pouted once again.

“But how do you plan to hinder Flotina? It doesn’t seem like he’ll just go down easily…”

“I have a plan.”

Diego raised the corner of his mouth and gave a wicked smile.

Jed remained silent, lost in thought, as he listened to their conversation.

He had always been the center of attention wherever he went. If this were a work of fiction, he would undoubtedly be the protagonist.

Anyone who showed interest in him, even though their interest became annoying, was an ongoing series of days.

But one day, everything changed with the arrival of that boy.

May Flotina. Now he had become the center of attention.

He was a hidden son of the Duke Persis, and the son had close ties with not one, but two guardian deities.

Since learning about May’s existence, Jed had felt strange. He realized that he had been a supporting character all along, not the protagonist he believed himself to be.

So he helped Diego.

Knowing that it was not good for someone to take an interest in him, he still helped him.

He lured May to Nine, feigning a desire to become close. It was not sincere, but rather a means to strip away Nazret Young lady’s admiration for May.

May Flotina, he was an annoying and unwelcome presence to him.

But May was not someone who easily fell into traps; he even went as far as to join Nine, displaying bold actions.

And now he said he wanted to become close.

In this way, wasn’t he the perfect accomplice for May?

Beside Jed, Clovin and Galley chattered.

“We will achieve better results than May Flotina.”

“It’s amusing to think about the sight of May Flotina feeling down.”

Observing those members, Diego ordered Jed, who sat quietly without saying a word.

“You will come in first as if it’s obvious. Occasionally, you’ll hinder May Flotina to prevent him from ranking high.”


Everyone in Nine was an enemy to May.

* * *

After bidding farewell to Jed and entering my bedroom, my heart was pounding, making it impossible for me to walk properly.

Leaning against the door, I recalled the conversation I had with Jed.

“Let’s become close, Jed!”

“Yeah, May.”

Jed said yes!

“I don’t knooww.”

I lowered my head and covered my face with both hands. My cheeks turned red.

Did I reveal my liking too obviously?

But if I don’t show my liking, the other person won’t know my feelings. They need to know my feelings, whether we become close or not, so I have no regrets.

‘You did well, May.’

I crossed my arms and patted myself on the shoulder, praising myself.

“Now that I’ve become a Nine member, I’ll see Jed often in the future, right? We’ll have many conversations… and if we become really close…”

Shouldn’t I reveal that I’m a girl?

I want to show my true self to the person I like. By then, even if I tell him I’m a girl, he’ll probably accept it.

Perhaps… we could become even closer…

I blushed and covered my face with my hands again.

“Oh, by the way!”

Suddenly, I realized that it was time for the Arcus competition and raised my head.

“Did the competition invitation arrive? Usually, they send it within a week after announcing the chosen participants.”

They must have sent an invitation to Nine as well. I wonder if Diego has it?

I left the bedroom and headed towards the main room.

Last time, the Arcus competition was about capturing a C-rank monster, the Blue Alligator. What kind of competition is it this time? I was getting excited about participating.

As I descended the stairs, I noticed someone opening the front door and coming in.

‘Who could it be?’

A girl with chestnut-colored hair tied in two braids. There were no female members in Nine. Well, even if there were, they wouldn’t accept such a young girl as a member.

A girl who might be visiting Nine. Then suddenly, I remembered someone.

Is she Princess Isabella, the only princess of the Stacia Empire and Diego’s beloved sister?

“Lately, you’ve been playing with Nine and not me… You’re so mean, big brother.”

She walked towards the main room, pouting.

Is she the princess?

Suddenly, Isabella remembered my presence and approached me to greet me.

“Nice to meet you, Princess. I am May Flotina, the son of Duke Persis Flotina.”

Isabella stared at me silently. She had stopped pouting a while ago. However, she just continued to stare at me without any noticeable reaction.

‘Why isn’t she responding? Is she shy, perhaps?’

I spoke again.

“You came to see the Second Prince, right? The Second Prince is in the main room.”

I pointed to the main room and guided her, but she didn’t even glance in that direction. Her gaze was fixed solely on me.

‘Is there something on my face?’

As I was about to touch my face, Isabella finally opened her small lips.



“A handsome boy..!”

A handsome boy?

It was the first time I had heard that term, so I was confused for a moment before touching my face again.

Do I really look like that…?


I burst into laughter because I liked being called A handsome boy. Isabella gently grabbed my cheek and greeted me. Her emerald eyes sparkled.

“I am Isabella Princess of  Stacia Empire.”

“Nice to meet you, Princess.”

“I’m the one who’s glad to meet you, Sir Duke.”

We exchanged smiles and entered the main room. When we entered, all the Nine members who were sitting on the sofa turned to look at us.

Diego, who saw Isabella, stood up from his seat and opened his arms as if to embrace her.



Isabella ran to him and hugged him tightly. The Nine members didn’t show any particular reaction, as they were accustomed to this sight.

The royal siblings were famous for their close relationship, and among them, Diego was particularly known for doting on his younger sister.

“What brings you here?”

Isabella put her hands on her hips and puffed up her cheeks.

“Since you’re not playing with me, I came to find you myself.”

“You came well. I’ll play with you today.”

“But, Brother, is Lord Flotina also a Nine member?”

When Isabella mentioned the name of an illegitimate son, Diego’s eyebrows twitched.

“…Lord Flotina?”

Isabella nodded and pointed towards me. Then, Diego’s gaze met mine.

When our eyes met, I could feel a spark.

Is it a tacit agreement not to attract attention…? How much do you like your sister to act like that?

“Is Lord Flotina also a member?”

“…Why do you ask?”

“Kya-ha, because Lord Flotina is also a Nine member!”

When Isabella openly expressed her liking, Diego’s expression froze.

“…Isabella, why do you like him?”

“Well, if he’s a Nine member, I can see him often!”

“That’s not what I meant. Why do you like him?”

“Because Lord Flotina is pretty and handsome!”


With Isabella’s words, silence filled the main room. It felt as if the cold air was flowing.

Finally, Diego’s stiff mouth opened.

“May Flotina. I didn’t know you were a handsome boy.”

“Well… People have different preferences and perspectives.”

“So, your appearance is Isabella’s preference, is that it?”

Diego growled softly, but I wasn’t afraid of him.

“It could be possible, right?”


At that moment, when he squinted his green eyes and gnashed his teeth threateningly, there was a knock at the door. A servant entered the room holding something in his hand.

“I brought the invitation.”

Thanks to the servant, we could divert the situation.

“Put it down and leave.”

The servant, sensing the atmosphere in the room, gently placed the invitation on the table and quickly left the main room.

I smoothly changed the topic as if asking what was going on.

“It seems to be the Arcus competition invitation.”

I approached the table and picked up the invitation, reading the title.

“The 4th Arcus Competition. The theme is collecting beads.”

Diego still had a cold expression as he snatched the invitation from my hand. Then he started reading it himself.

“…This Arcus competition consists of two rounds.”

The details of the competition were as follows:

Anyone, excluding those with magical powers, can participate in the competition.

The 1st round will last for 24 hours, and the top 30 people who collect the most beads from the D-rank monster, Bbodagu, will be selected.

The 2nd round will include the 30 participants from the 1st round, and the top 3 who retrieve the bead from the C-rank monster, Skull Ghost, first will be selected.

They will be awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals along with prize money.

“The competition will be held at the Arcus Center this Saturday.”

Galley and Velta, who were standing on either side of Diego, leaned forward and read the invitation.

“To advance to the 2nd round, we have to be in the top 30 in the 1st round.”

According to Velta’s words, the Nine members exchanged glances, sending silent signals to each other.