「Why did the members of 『Dragon’s Enchanted Metal』try to kill us…?」
Fiona wondered while glaring at Titan’s body, who might’ve died with a dumbfounded look pasted on his face and both arms lopped off by Lambert.
Naturally, Titan, who might had long since crossed over the Sanzu River, couldn’t answer her question.
「Of course, it’s not as simple as capturing us. Maybe they wanted revenge too, especially Cradle… Otherwise, they wouldn’t have gone on such a suicide mission if they had known of old man Lambert’s strength.」
Lloyd offered his conjecture.
Though Lambert’s conclusion was the same as Lloyd, there were some parts that he couldn’t understand.
It felt like they were going way overboard, just to exterminate a small and weak guild.
Although, Titan himself said that part of it was because he was keen to test Lambert’s strength…
「You guys, are you sure there’s really nothing going on between your guild and this 『Dragon’s Enchanted Metal』, aside from your confrontation with Cradle yesterday?」
「N-Nay, there should be no problems between us…」
「Yes, there’s been nothing for as long as I can remember.」
Thus, Lambert came to a conclusion that he needed to cross-examine their guild master, Germain, once they got back to the surface.
Come to think of it… strangely, Germain wants to leave this city as soon as possible. Though the matter of being pursued by 『Dragon’s Enchanted Metal』 guild might be outside of his calculations, his instinct could realize that it’s dangerous for his guild to stay in the city any longer.
Now that he recalled it, there were many worrying points in Germain’s speech from back then.
Deeply involved in the matter by this point, Lambert felt the need to make Germain reveal everything he knew about Ainsaz’s current situation.
There was a man who looked at their conversation with indifference.
It was Cradle. Though his whole body was throbbing, especially his shoulder because Lambert had rammed his heavy armor into him. He’d suffered minor injuries compared to the tragic state of the other 『Dragon’s Enchanted Metal』’s members.
Titan’s arms were completely gone; he was either dead or had suffered a mental breakdown to the point of incomprehensibility. The other three were clearly dead with their bodies cleaved in half by Lambert.
Of all the members, only Cradle survived the whole ordeal with both limbs and sanity intact.
Originally, Cradle was extremely persistent about being the strongest man in 『Dragon’s Enchanted Metal』.
However, that resulted in him garnering more hate within the guild.
I’ll escape from this place as soon as I find an opening… Nay, should I take that useless chap’s sword and that woman as my hostage too? No, calm down, don’t get impatient… Escaping from this place is priority. Later, I’ll gather everyone to kill all of them. I guess I’ll use poison to kill that armor bastard.
Cradle desperately suppressed his breathing and movement as he observed Lambert.
The other three aside, Lambert had yet to lower his vigilance.
He fought four 『Dragon’s Enchanted Metal』 adventurers at once, swiftly killing them all with ease.
His strength was clearly beyond human comprehension.
I guess I need to kill that guy who’s pretending to be asleep over there to guarantee Fiona, Lily, and Lloyd’s safeties.
Thanks to his keen perception due to being an undead himself, Lambert could easily see through Cradle’s ruse.
Since he had a clear grasp of Cradle’s rotten nature from the previous meeting, he was convinced that the latter could do anything to exact his revenge.
Lambert wasn’t as naive to let a guy like him, who wanted to kill them so badly, go scot-free.
「… What is this? Why does it smell like ripened fruit?」
Fiona’s face grimaced as she asked.
Lloyd’s eyebrows wrinkled as he exchanged glances with Lily.
It seemed the three of them were overtaken by the same odor.
To be exact, it was a sickly sweet aroma wafting over them, like lumps of rotten fruit with flies drawn to it, rather than the mellow smell of ripe fruit.
Unfortunately, the current Lambert lacked both the sense of smell and the sense of taste.
Instead, the mana in his skull that served as the replacement for his eyes confirmed the presence of an amazing amount of mana starting to gather inside of this very room.
In Lambert’s eyes, it was as if the room was filled with pinkish-purple mana.
And then… It appeared from the wall.
「You guys, leave this place as fast as possible.」
Fiona and Co. were confused.
Because they were still in danger of encountering other members of『Dragon’s Enchanted Metal』if they were to leave this place.
Compared to that, staying at Lambert’s side, despite the never-ending onslaught of terrifying demons, was a better choice for them.
Lambert looked at Fiona and Co., who still hesitated to leave his side, and shouted at them while releasing some of his miasma.
「LEAVE THIS PLACE, NOW!」
Fiona’s body twitched when she heard Lambert’s shout.
Lily pulled her hand and they ran, Lloyd following close beside, toward the entrance of the area.
… AHA! AN OPENING!
Cradle leapt up right at that moment, his hand gripping the sword of one of his guildmates, whose body had split in half and crashed against the wall close to him.
Then, when he took a detour toward the entrance while avoiding Lambert, a large hole suddenly formed in the wall behind him.
The thing that poked out from that hole was a three-hein-tall bear chimera with various stitched up wounds covering its body.
The patchwork really stood out thanks to its conspicuous pinkish-purple color.
Its appearance was just like a tasteless and ugly stuffed doll, and yet, contrary to it’s stuffed-doll image, it was strong enough to break through the wall.
It widened the hole it came from till its entire body had entered the room.
As soon as it entered the room, the stuffed doll radiated the might befitting a strong one along with a sickly sweet smell.
Even Fiona and Co., who had entered the passage, couldn’t help but stop in their tracks seeing the appearance of that stuffed doll.
The stuffed doll then swung its giant wooden club toward Cradle.
Though its movement was fast, Cradle was a first-rate adventurer. Even so, he barely dodged that surprise attack.
The attack with that wooden club struck the wall, shook the entire room, Cradle fell on his rear.
Crumpled on the floor, Cradle instantly concluded that he needed to leave this room as soon as possible.
The wooden club was going in for another swing.
Cradle stabbed his sword toward the stuffed doll as he tried to stand up.
His sword, however, couldn’t even pierce the skin of the stuffed doll. Although he saw unidentified liquid gushing out from the stuffed doll’s legs, he couldn’t comprehend how a liquid could be pouring from a stuffed doll.
Then, it slowly raised its wooden club.
「WA-WAIT! I am- 」
A loud splash cut him off.
As if getting bored of Cradle’s reactions, the stuffed doll swung its wooden club five times, each faster than the previous one.
The room shook again, water sprayed into the air with each resounding swing of that stuffed doll.
Cradle instantly turned into what could only be described as “minced meat.”
「Wha-What’s with that monster…」
Lloyd barely managed to utter the words.
「It’s just illusion magic… Its real form is completely different from what you see.」
The sorcerer, Lily, realized that the cutesy stuffed doll was its fake appearance.
「You’re right. Removing that illusion is a simple matter, but if you do that… You’ll probably be scarred for life by what lies beneath. I’ll look into the room behind that crumbled wall. Be wary, I won’t be able to protect you guys from this point on.」
「… I understand.」
Pulling herself together, Fiona nodded at Lambert, and then exchanged glances with Lily and Lloyd.
Fiona turned around to see Lambert for one last time.
「… Please, don’t die.」
Lambert stood squared off against the stuffed doll without even replying.
He was experiencing nostalgia after hearing the retreating footsteps of Fiona and Co…
Please don’t die, huh…? Her Majesty often said the same thing.
『You absolutely must come back alive, Lambert.』
Suddenly, Aurelia’s worried face flashed in his mind.
She’d said the same thing on the eve of the last war too, but…
The stuffed doll raised a war cry and charged right towards Lambert.
Its danger level… About as strong as a troll. 𝙞𝒏𝒏𝑟e𝗮𝘥. c𝒐m
The danger levels of demons could be separated into five tiers: Small Demon [Goblin] level, Medium Demon [Orc] level, Great Demon [Ogre] level, Giant Demon [Troll] level, and Dragon level.
When it came to Troll-level or above, they were the kind of demons that were strong enough to match an army of a kingdom. As for Dragon-level, it was a tier reserved for one legendary monster whose name was etched into history.
Lambert himself had never tried to subjugate demons above Troll-level.
「I see now. The ones who never returned had to face off against this guy, huh… 」
Lambert kicked the ground as he made a beeline toward the plushie.
The plushie swung down its wooden club to strike the flat side of Lambert’s great sword, but Lambert skillfully redirected the impact towards the ground beneath him.
He then used the blast from that impact to jump above the plushie, landing right by its side, and then swung his great sword toward the plushie’s abdomen.
As expected, not just its wooden club, THAT is also an illusion.
After opening some distance between himself and the stuffed doll, Lambert pointed his great sword toward the plushie as soon as his feet landed on the ground.
The plushie calmly turned around, despite the gooey fluid that flowed from the slashing wound on its abdomen.
「Stop your farce and show me your true self already.」
Lambert went all out, finally releasing the miasma that was sealed in him all this time.
The air around the plushie squirmed alongside its transformation.
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