There was once a party named Silver Tiger Crew, but it was a long time ago, about ten years before, and few remember them.
They were a B rank party, so they were all very strong, but at the same time, they were fascinated by the ancient civilization.
“Leon, we’re going to get the secret treasures of the legendary ancient civilization.”
Their leader, Bishot, was Leon’s brother, and he was a few years older than him.
Most Tiger people were rowdy, but Bishot was more of an intellectual. He studied among humans, and could even memorize the ancient civilization’s language.
He was humorous and strong, and gathered a lot of comrades.
Leon respected his brother, and wanted to follow in his footsteps.
The Silver Tiger Crew’s downfall came alongside its success.
The labyrinth ‘Metal Moon Hell’ was a hellish place where magic dolls made by the ancient civilization were turned into monsters by miasma, and fought among themselves.
Only adventurers that were B rank and above could explore it, and it hadn’t been fully explored yet.
Not only were the monsters strong, but it was very mysterious and had a lot of nasty traps, truly befitting of the word labyrinth. It was not the kind of place adventurers could conquer just by being strong, and in a way, it was more difficult than A rank labyrinths.
The Silver Tiger Crew was the first to conquer it, and Bishot was the hero who unraveled its mysteries.
This did not just get them renown, as the Silver Tiger Crew acquired all sorts of artifacts.
Among them were a magic sword named Butterfly Sword, that could manipulate light and sound to unleash bewitching attacks, a staff named False Root Staff, that enabled the user to control the inactivated magic dolls, the treasure of the legendary phantom light race, the Phantom King’s Orb, and many more, all with extraordinary abilities.
The offers wouldn’t stop coming. ‘Name your price and I will pay it’, ‘there are too many buyers so at least put it up for auction’, ‘no no if you offer them to the royal palace you will surely be awarded a court rank’, people would say.
And then, one comrade succumbed to greed, stole the Butterfly Sword, and sold it.
Bishot was intelligent, but his social status was low, and he lacked the experience to continually carry out tough negations with high class merchants and nobles.
It was decided that the merchant guild would handle the sales, even if they did take a considerable commission, but something derailed those plans. Something that would also derail people’s character and fate itself.
Leon did not even know who started it, all he remembered was the horrible sight of his older brother and a comrade killing each other.
His brother was killed, their former comrade escaped, and the reputation of the Silver Tiger Crew fell as hard as it could.
The money Bishot had saved from all of their adventures and the residence he had built for their party, everything was taken away by the merchant guild as a penalty for breach of contract. In one night, Leon lost his comrades, family, and assets.
It started that day.
Leon realized he could not trust anyone, and people that were in the same party were nothing more than business partners.
He would never trust again, and would cut down others before they could do it to him.
In this sense, himself and Claudine made the perfect pair. She did not hesitate to frame others and would happily partake in conspiracies. She would not hesitate to betray him if he was careless, and she would sense when he was thinking of betraying her and warn him about it. She was a good girl, and the idea that humans could not be trusted.
Beck had a good head on his shoulders, but was still an idiot that could not be bothered to think about anything, but he would still happily help Leon with his work. When they were done with their work, he would gladly gulp down alcohol with no weight on his conscience. He was a man with an aptitude for evil.
Leon had other party members, bound by money or threats, but he liked to work with Claudine and Beck the most.
Where did they go wrong?
One problem was obtaining Telepath Stones. They absolutely were useful items, but they also brought about negligence, and their work became sloppier.
Before they acquired the Telepath Stones, they would have never committed blunders like meeting again with someone they had exploited and discarded.
And then, there was the trouble with Nick and his party. At first, Leon didn’t understand why Claudine was so fixated on Nick. If anything, Leon was thankful to Nick for warning him about Claudine’s plan to run away.
But as they talked, Leon understood.
He understood all too well.
Yes, this guy would not fall to despair.
He was trying to lead an honest life in a city where one misstep would pull the rug out from under you and take everything you had.
Leon was half serious when he attempted to sell Claudine to him.
He would have no regrets as long as he could see something important being distorted. If anything, he wouldn’t mind Nick becoming his partner.
But Nick responded with an honest answer, meaning he was nothing more than an enemy to them, and had to be beaten down.
“Your assets will be distributed to the victims.”
In the end, this was the result.
Leon lost the duel, and as a result of his Telepath Stone scam being revealed, many of his other schemes were coming to light. He was taken in by the Order of the Sun, and locked in a stone room.
Leon was being interrogated by knights in a dark, narrow place.
“We confiscated everything you had hidden in your room. It will all be put up for auction but…”
There was a pause by the knight, and Leon also stopped talking.
The knight’s thick arm was wrapped around Leon’s neck.
“Is that all there is? I know who you are, former member of the Silver Tiger Crew.”
Leon’s blood was boiling.
“You have stolen treasure from that time hidden somewhere don’t you? Even just one of the lost artifacts like the Butterfly Sword, False Root Staff, or Phantom King’s Orb would be enough to compensate every single one of your victims. Give up and confess.”
“What was that?”
“Don’t screw… With me… I don’t have that!”
“Hmph, are you trying to say they were stolen by another one of your comrades? Who’s going to believe that?”
The knight let go of his neck.
Leon glared at him, but he was not the least bit intimidated. If anything, the knight seemed to find it amusing how pitiful Leon’s situation was.
“None of the stolen treasures ended up on the black market. They’re not the sort of things someone would keep without selling or using.”
“And that means I have them hidden? You’re way off the mark.”
“That’s what we’re going to find out…”
“What I have isn’t one of those three.”
Leon started snickering.
There was something that he kept hidden even from Bishot.
He couldn’t trust people. After all, he himself had been lying all this time.
He took the greatest treasure of the Metal Moon Hell for himself and kept it hidden, for it was too dangerous to use or even sell.
Until that day.
The knights stepped back, feeling something was not right, and then it happened.
“…At this point I have no other choice! Come 【Mad Moon Sword】!”