047 Scarlets' Research 1 p.1


Translator: yAmi

The residence of Tullius Shernan Oubeniel, Lord of Marlan, was furnished in a military design to give it the feel of a Lord’s estate. Armour sat on display in every hallway, and each room was decorated with mounted animals such as deer and bear giving it a rustic feel.

It was common for first time visitors to the castle-like building to be surprised at the scenery.

The visitors on this occasion had the same reaction as other visitors.

“I hope that didn't surprise you.”

The young man who was guiding the guests said with a mischievous smile. With his gorgeous appearance, one might be misled into thinking that he was the master of this house. However, Victor Delacroix Lorge, was only a vassal, despite being considered a crown jewel in the estate.

For him to be in the service of an aristocrat with a poor reputation seemed like a huge waste. The person to whom his smiles were directed to may blush if she were a woman, and even if he was a man, they might feel conflicted.

However, the guests he was guiding this time did not have the sensitivity to be affected by his smiles.

“Oh, that was certainly surprising.”

The tall man at the front said so with indifference. He was part of the four being guided by Victor. His fiery red hair was stretched out boldly and stroked back like a lion's mane. He had a deep, chiseled nose and eyes that were stern, yet somehow had a depth that made people feel at ease. He was dressed in a black iron full-body armour with emblems and gold trimmings scattered around. The armour was covered with a gaudy crimson red cloak. The weapon on his waist was a curved sword, as though it was the fang of a giant creature. His blade was thick and wide, giving the impression that it had been forged in the fires of battle. A quick glance at it made it apparent that it was no ordinary magical sword.

If Victor gave off the impression of a well-groomed aristocrat, this man was more akin to a renowned general. But just like Victor who was simply a vassal, this man was not a general. Nor was he a knight or an aristocrat.

He was an adventurer. And a top-notched one at that.

He continued speaking without malicious intentions.

“From what I’ve heard, I didn’t think he was a man with interests like these.”

“M-Mister Gerald!

From behind the man, a voice called out his name, seemingly to reproach him for the insensitive remark.

The owner of the voice was a woman. She was in her mid-twenties or so. Her eyes were hidden by her long bangs, but even so, the neat bridge of her nose and her full, shapely lips indicated that she was a very beautiful woman. She had a fleshy and sensual body, but was dressed in the dress of a nun, with a holy cross woven on the chest area. It was an odd combination for a nun, so it wouldn't be that strange to imagine that there would be men holding immoral lusts over her. However, there was something more peculiar about her.

Everything she wore was bright-red. Her robe and her hat were all red. Strictly speaking, it was scarle in colour. Her sense of colour was, if anything, even more uncharacteristic for a nun.

That may not be a bad thing. She was not a genuine nun, but an adventurer who fought with her skills as a priest. She was a member of the party led by Gerald.

“Hm? What is it, Ninon?”

Gerald turned and looked over his shoulder. From his expression, it seemed that he was unaware of why he was being blamed. The woman, called Ninon, shied away from his gaze.

“I...um...don’t think that is a good way to put it...”

“It is no problem at all.”

Victor flashed a wry smile to help her out.

“It does not appear like the home of a person who enjoys alchemy. Is that what you think...?”

He followed up by saying that Gerald's earlier comment was not a dig at his Lord's infamous behaviour. Ninon quickly nodded to agree.

“Yes, yes! Yes, that's right! Well, I'm sorry! I'm really sorry!”

The agreement quickly turned into a bow of apology. The way she apologised for her behavior was strangely fitting, despite the provocative colours of her clothes and appearance.

Gerald, on the other hand, put his hand on his chin, groaning.

“Huh? What's going on?”

“‘What's going on?’ No! Oh, I'm really so sorry! He doesn’t mean any harm, he is just a bit impolite. We've been living in the middle of nowhere all our lives, so we're not very good with etiquette. We are sorry for being hillbillies from the countryside!”

Victor couldn’t help but twitch his mouth in response to Ninon getting down on her knees to apologise. Only he himself would know whether he was being angry or trying to hold back his laughter.

“Oh, no. We're in the middle of nowhere too, so don't worry about it.”

“Hah!? I-I've been so rude! I'm sorry too! I'm so sorry that I was born!”

“What a troublemaker.”

“You're the one who's always getting in trouble, Gerald.”

A certain person observed their uproar from a few steps away.

“Well, well, well. Here we go again, the two of you rambling on.”

“That's bullshit! Why don't you stop it, Gotsch?”

“Just kidding. Isn’t this amusing, Mister Cedric?”

One of them was of medium build and wore a red bandana over his head. He had a monkey-like appearance, which made him look like a fun and friendly guy. However, there was no casualness in the way he carried himself, and his limbs were long and slender in comparison to his height. He wore protection on areas like his chest, knees and elbows. He used a belt made with animal pelt as a tasuki (sash that loops over the shoulders) and slotted in dangerous-looking darts in it. Two curved daggers hung from his waist. But the strangest thing about this man was that his presence felt so weak that it was easy to lose sight of him even if he was just in front. If one wasn’t actively aware of him, it was very possible that he could dig the other party’s heart out without being noticed.

He was a thief skilled in stealth. It would be rather obvious that he was so by looking at him.

On the other hand, the other person was a giant, almost two metres tall. He was rugged, bulky and tough. At least that was the impression he gave. It was difficult to discern his build in detail since he wore armour from neck down. Compared to Gerald’s armour, his armour was clearly thicker. It seemed like his armour was enhanced with weight reduction magic but it still looked crushingly heavy, almost enough to cause the average person’s feet to sink onto the ground. To be so relaxed while wearing such armour must mean that he was rather well-built. On his back, he carried a variety of armaments, including a sharp pickaxe, a single-edged axe, and a short spear suitable for throwing. In his hand was a large shield with red scales. The shield was so large and heavy that it would probably sink onto the ground if dropped.

He was the personification of the impregnable — a heavy warrior. No other job seemed more fitting.

A priest, a thief, a heavy warrior, and the leader, a swordsman.

A party of four adventurers. These were the guests who had been invited to the Lord of Marlan’s mansion today.

A man who looked like an official passed by them in the corridor, while giving them a stern look. Heavily armed strangers strolling around in the mansion of an aristocrat naturally drew derision. However, the adventurers have their own reasoning for it.

For adventurers, the equipment they wore was their lifeblood. It was so valuable that it was very possible for it to be stolen at any time if they didn’t keep it by their side. This was especially true for high-ranking adventurers. The more skilled they were, the more rewards they could earn and the more opportunities they had to obtain rare materials. Naturally, their equipment was more powerful and expensive. There were probably as many people as stars who would be tempted to steal it upon seeing it. It was even necessary for the guild to make a rule that adventurers were not allowed to kill each other. In order not to be robbed or killed, they had to treat it as though wherever they went was a battlefield. This also applied even if they were visiting an aristocrat.

“Cough. ...Well, as Gerald mentioned, my master certainly does not enjoy displaying his wares. However, the people who have associated with us often suggest that we decorate the house a little. That’s why we chose to put up useful things. Well, we thought that taxidermy would blend well with armour and weapons.”
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