048 Scarlets' Research 2 p.1


Translator: yAmi

Proofreader: Arciel

Three days later, in the dungeon of Marlan, Trees of Darkness.

It was midday noon, but the forest was dim. The forest was unusually noisy, because of the group of adventurers with the Scarlet Shield at their core.

“Sacrifice……! Sacrifice……!”

“Shit! It's a Manticore! It ate Marco!”

“Tch! Don't look down on it!”

The Four-headed Dragon party, one of the parties that grouped up for exploring the Trees of Darkness, encountered an unexpected enemy.

A Manticore was a human-faced winged beast that ate humans. It was one of the more powerful monsters in the B class, with high physical ability, intelligence, and even magical power. The “Four-headed Dragon" was also a B-ranked party. It might look like an even fight, but there were large differences in power within the same grade.

The manticore might as well be considered a B+ monster. It was said that even A-ranked adventurers have difficulties handling it.

In addition, one of their members had already died in an ambush. What's more, the composition of their party was extremely unbalanced. They were all swordsmen.

“Shit, shit, shit! Get ready, shitheads! Don't you dare die in vain. At least give it a scratch!”


“Goddamn it,…… just do it, do it!”

Following their leader's desperate orders, they raised their swords.

Their party composition was not due to a particular preference. They were just unable to recruit anybody else other than swordsmen. It might even be said that balanced parties were rare.

A heavy warrior to act as a tank for the party? Who would put their life on the line for another?

A priest who heals with their miracles? Their prayers to god were never returned.

A mage with firepower and resourcefulness? Where do they find people who have received such a high class education?

A dexterous thief? Even if you are slow, as long as you can cut the enemy, the reward would be yours.

There's no way that an adventurer from the slums or a peasant would have any of such specialised knowledge or skills. The best they could do was to carry a single sword on their hips e — an easy piece of equipment to obtain. The Four-Headed Dragon was a party of adventurers from the lowest ranks of society.

Such a party would have fallen apart quickly, but not these guys. They were the exceptions that made it through the battlefield with their beginner’s luck and with the experience they’ve accumulated, they’ve risen to a high rank of B.

However, their good luck seemed to be running out.

“Nonsense, this can’t be.”

The leader of the Four-Headed Dragon muttered to himself.

“I'm not going to die! I'm not going to die! I've never died before. And I’m not gonna die today!”

Having convinced themselves, they engaged with the Manticore.

Their swords were the rough diamond of swords, having only tasted blood on the battlefields. They are the swords of beasts that are far from refined. But even so, so long as they managed to cut and leave a wound, they would be able to kill their enemies. A monster was still a living thing. If you gouge out their vitals with the blades, they die. Even a zombie would turn into a corpse if you slashed it till it couldn’t move. If you feed the greedy churches with money and receive blessings on the sword, then you could even kill body-less ghosts.

When you think about it, a Manticore was just a beast. It was only a little stronger and smarter. They could band together and kill it, without a doubt, even if they were one man short.

“Sacrifice……! Sacrifice!……!!”


“Shut up, you damn…… animal!”

The manticore sprung towards them while drooling.

The adventurers were in their slashing stance.

In the meantime.

“……You're too far ahead.”

A new red beast appeared.

No, not a beast. It was a human being, of course. But his red hair gave the impression of a red mane and his earth-sweeping demeanour was that of a king of a hundred beasts. His eyes, his strength, his toughness, his toughness, resembled a lion, only that he held a weapon instead of claws and fangs.

He was Gerald Layson, the Red Lion.


In a flash, the manticore’s head hit the ground. Somehow, Gerald had swung his blade and sliced off the beast’s head.

The curved blade in his hand glimmered strangely in the dim forest. Was it truly a reflection of the light leaking from the canopies? On closer look, it could be seen that the blade itself was emitting a mysterious phosphorescence.

The leader of the “Four-headed Dragon" recovered from his momentary stupour at the alluring light.

“Hey, you! Why’re you butting in from the side?”

His face turned purplish-red as he cursed.


“Leader! Don’t do it!”

Gerald’ quizzical reply and his companions’ attempt to restrain him were ineffective. He strode up to his saviour and grabbed him roughly by the collar. This was not the expected attitude of a man who had life saved.

“This monster! Was ours! It's our prey! And you, bastard? You're gonna jump in and scoop it up, huh?”

“Your prey?”

Despite being grabbed by the collar and shouted at from a spitting distance, his reply was calm. No, there was a slight hint of confusion.

He doesn’t understand why the man in front of him was so angry. Truly no idea why.

His reply seemed to be suggesting that.

'Don’t you mean you were the prey? I think you were just moments from becoming so.”

“What the……fuck you!”


The leader of the group was about to swing his sword down, but one of the members stopped him by choking him. It's not unusual for adventurers to clash with each other in the middle of a dungeon. Still, having such fights could impact their promotions. In fact, it is said that some of the adventurers have been stuck on C rank for this reason.

The leader, however, was unable to contain himself and struggled to free his hands.

“Let go of me! It's a Manticore, it's a Manticore's head! It must have been the boss of this forest! This fucker…he stole...”

“You think this was the boss of the dungeon?”

Gerald let out a sigh, this time in disgust.

“Do you really believe that?”

“What? What do you mean—!”

The leader of the Four-headed dragon shouted.

—Thump. Thump.

They were interrupted by earth tremors.

Trees swayed, branches rustled, leaves scattered. It was clearly an anomaly, and the surviving members of the Four-headed Dragon ran away, shakened. Clearly, something bad was about to happen.

“What the……?”

“Earthquake…? No, no.”

“Don’t tell me this is...”

—Thump. Thump.

—Crunch. Crunch.

Like a child using a toy shovel to dig out an ants' nest, the branches above their heads that served as a ceiling tore away. But what replaced the branches wasn’t the sun. Instead, a bloodshot glare, filled with hunger and sadism. A single large eye, like a distorted full moon, looked down at the humans below.

A cyclops. It was the incarnation of violence, and was considered to be the strongest of giant monsters.

“I—Is that the sound of its footsteps?”

The leader of the Four-headed Dragons let out a cracked scream. It was an unmistakably a scream.

The grade for defeating this giant is A. The B-ranked Four-headed Dragon was surely no match for it. It outclassed the manticore they were fighting earlier and was considered a calamity.

“Gr, grr, grrr….”

The giant laughed, twisting its fang-lined mouth. Was it mocking the wretched humans or was it joyful at the sight of food? It's hard to say which, but no matter which, there was only one thing it would do next.

An attack on the adventurers.


With a long, lingering scream, the cyclops swung its fist down. The power of this blow was so great that even describing it as a battering ram was insufficient. It was not an exaggeration to compare it with the skies collapsing.

“Hold on tight!”

Gerald grabbed the leader and another member of the Four-headed Dragon and leapt away. They were able to avoid the destruction just in the nick of time.


There was a person who was left behind and was crushed before he even had the time to scream. Unfortunately, Gerald was a child of man even with his accomplishments as an adventurer. He had only two arms. The best he could do on the spur of the moment was to carry two of them.

Half the members of the Four-headed Dragon were lost.

“Ah, ahh, ahhhhh…!”

“Shit. How are we supposed to fight against that...”

Despair set onto the Four-headed Dragon as they ran away at high speed through the forest.

The only one who seemed unperturbed was Gerald, running with two fully grown men. To much surprise, he was beginning to break away from the cyclops, who should have an unmatchable stride length from its gigantic size.

“Don't talk or you might bite your tongue. And please refrain from pissing on me, if you can. I don't want my armour and cloak to be ruined.”
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