049 Scarlets Research 3 p.1


Translator: yAmi

As soon as we passed the thicket, we suddenly had a clear view.

We seemed to have entered a gap within the endless sea of trees, and a magnificent mountain landscape stretched out before us. A series of gently undulating ridges led up a narrow path to the highest peak. And on the highest peak.


At the top of the mountain, at an altitude of about 2000 metre, there was something bright-looking. I squinted my eyes and caught sight of a tall building.

Light was emitting from the structure.

"Is that a temple?"

"I can't see it from a distance. Shall we try to get closer?"

Gerald, who was leading the alliance of investigation teams, asked the people trailing him. For his part, he hoped that they would show patience. They had countless encounters with monsters on the way and their stamina was expended. Also, the Four-headed Dragon party had already lost half its members. The right course of action was to return to their camp location, rest up and head in again tomorrow.

That was his intention when he asked, however, it seemed that there were some dense people among them.

"Yes, of course! Let’s go!"

"It smells like treasure... don't hog it for yourself okay, Scarlet Shield?"

"If you're tired, you're welcome to leave first."

The other participants reacted this way.

Ars Longa was excited at the prospect of new discoveries. Four-headed Dragon’s greed was clear as day. And the Apostles of the Dawn, seemed to be preoccupied with outdoing everybody ever since the humiliation they faced in the fight against the Cyclops.

All three parties gave the attitude that if Gerald and the other members of Scarlet Shield hesitated here, they would leave them behind. Gerald sighed and looked for feedback in his comrades. His trustworthy and genuine comrades, that is.

"What about you all? If it’s no, we can head back."

"Heh, what do you mean! I haven't even had a scratch on me today!"

"No, Cedric. That's not what he means... But yeah, I'm good, leader."

"...Haa. I'm fine. I'm tired, but I should be able to cope with it."

Cedric made a pose to show off his strength, though his muscles weren’t visible because of his armour. Gotsch had given his affirmation but seemed to have some reservations. Ninon sighed but agreed anyway. Naturally, Gerald had leftover stamina. Enough to create a path of retreat for his comrades if they met an incredibly strong foe. This meant that their investigation would continue.

"Let's go, then. The sun is going down. Let’s be extra cautious."

"Tch, treating us like kids...!"

"Oh, dear… Country bumpkins sure like to put on airs..."

"Oh, how exciting! An undiscovered structure in the middle of the mountains! It must be an ancient ruin! And we are going to be first! Oh, we are going to explore these untouched ruins personally!"

With the Scarlet Shield at the head of the alliance, they set off messily towards the top of the mountain.

All the while without knowing what lay in wait for them.

What existed at the summit was a large ruin, just as Ars Longa had claimed. The series of ancient and weathered stones gave the atmosphere of a deserted building. At first glance, it appeared as big as a royal castle of a small country. It was nothing short of astonishing that such a huge structure could have gone undiscovered.

In fact, the members of Ars Longa started their survey with sparkles in their eyes.

"It's amazing! Why is this here? What is its purpose? Is it for religious reasons, like a temple? Or is it the grave of an ancient ruler? I've never heard of a civilisation existing in such a place."

"It is similar in style to the ritual grounds of an ancient religion, the cult of Saint King, that could be found in Omnia! Then this must be a temple?"

"Who cares? Anything expensive-looking?"

It was the leader of the Four-headed Dragon who asked in an arrogant manner.

'Yes, if it is a grave, there may be burial accessories and other objects, and those may go for a good price."

"Whoa! Really! This must be our lucky day!"

He whistled and snapped his fingers. Gerald decided to give him a warning.

"Hey, don't forget that we're still in the middle of the Trees of Darkness. You never know what might be lurking around the corner."

"No, no, no, I know. If there's a dangerous monster out there, we'll just leave it to you guys, won't we? Heroes of the West."

Ignoring his sarcastic reply, Gerald looked at the entrance of the ruins.

It was about 2.5 metre high and 4 metre wide. With the decorative reliefs on the border of the entrance, it did look like it could only be a temple of sorts. The place was dimly lit and the interior could not be observed from outside. It was dusk, but sunlight only shone up to around a dozen steps from the entrance. Beyond that, the darkness swallowed everything up.

And then Gerald realised.

"By the way, what was that light we saw earlier?"


"Considering the potential locations, it is most probably somewhere in the upper levels."

"Could it be a stone or something reflecting the setting sun?"

Gerald asked his comrades, but none could provide a convincing answer.

Firstly, the light did not come from a stone reflecting sunlight. It was much brighter and dazzling. It was unlikely that an ancient rubble could be that reflective.

"It's no use thinking about it. We'll just have to go in and find out, don't we?"

"This might be the home of the boss."

"A monster taking residence in ancient ruins huh."

One could only imagine what a nuisance it must be.

In these old ruins, the flow of magic felt obstructed, causing magic from the spiritual to pool. A monster that collected such magic would easily become powerful. If it was a newly born monster, there was still hope. The worst would be a monster that has been around since ancient times. If it was a survivor that escaped being killed by the Saint King or a hero from ancient times, it was hard to imagine how powerful the monster would be now.

"Ars Longa, any idea what period these ruins belong to?"

"Hmmm, the age of this stone is... about 1,500 years old. That's what Detect is showing."

Gerald bit down on his tongue. It was very old. This meant that it went back even before the age of the Saint King. If there were monsters from such a time period, the danger level was certainly a high A. Even more so if this monster held dominance over the Trees of Darkness below them.

The leader of the Four-headed Dragon was oblivious to such concerns.

"How could the stones from that age remain so beautiful? It should have been crumbled to pieces, shouldn't it?"

"No, if a preservation magic is applied tightly, it should be able to prevent natural weathering. Look carefully, all these stones are covered with preservation magic! Whoever constructed this must have been amazing! It's impossible without more than thirty mages."

"...Huh, THAT is amazing?"

Gerald was not convinced. St. Gallen with their magic academy, or even Arquell or Molbaehr with their court mages, would be able to gather that many mages.

But a member of Ars Longa waved his finger in the air, refuting that possibility.

"Tsk, tsk, how naive. Where do you think we are? We are deep in the mountains of Marlan! It might be possible for adventurers like us but there's no way the weak court mages would be able to make through the forest and up the mountain."

"Is there any country on the continent of Ithuselah that can bring more than thirty mages to such a place for construction work? At least, not in the Kingdom of Arquell."

"I see. Then I can understand how amazing it is."

"Yes, it's amazing!"

Gerald did not completely follow, but decided to just agree and let the Ars Logan party be happy. Gerald was not convinced, but it was better than them being angry at least.

Gerald's eyes wandered and he noticed Gotsch studying the relief on the roof of the entrance.

"Huh? Doesn't this look like a letter? Hey, anybody can read this?"

"Hmm, it looks vaguely like the Old Elvish script, but it's also Pre-Omnian. If that's the case, then... wait a minute…"

The member of Ars Longa turned his gaze upwards, as if trying to remember something.

"It says, 'In the beginning, women were the sun,' I think...probably."

"What th’ heck that means?"

"Well...maybe it’s referring to the qualifications to be a priestess or something? If this was a temple for a sun god, that's a possible statement."

"A temple for a sun god right after the Trees of Darkness? What a strange combination."

"But the sun and women? Normally, the sun is viewed as a male, but it seems to be different here."
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