“Who said there’s a unicorn here? There’s not even a trace of it!” The mayor carried his shotgun on his sweaty back. His servant followed behind him who dared not speak. The two of them began their search for the legendary beast in the norning after hearing rumors about a “unicorn” wandering in the forest outside the city. However, it was already noon and their search was to no avail.
It was dusk. The servant had given up hope, so he tried to persuade the mayor to head back, but in the shade not far away, a spectacular red-brick building suddenly appeared. A wooden signboard was hung on the front door, but it was not the building’s name and instead, on it wrote “Genuine goods at a fair price. Come in if you are interested”. The words “genuine goods” prompted the frowning mayor to raise his brows.
“Opening a shop in a forest, huh? Are their targeted customers hunters?” The mayor walked to the building’s front door and saw that it was elegant lazurite-embedded, which further intrigued the mayor. The two of them pushed the door and entered the building as light radiated from within. The shop was brilliantly lit and goods were placed in countless shelves: mermaid tails, flamer dragon horns, sea elf scales...Upon seeing the goods, the mayor wore a bright smile until he saw the specimens on a wall: a row of werelizard heads. The mayor became suspicious and asked, “Are they replicas?”
Before the mayor could finish his sentence, a gigantic creature with a Human face and body of a beast suddenly leaped at him while waving its sting, pressing the mayor under its body. The sudden and dangerous change of events caused the mayor’s servant to scream in fear. Though the mayor tried to escape, he could not break free. It was not until then did the mayor take a closer look at the attacker — a hybrid creature of a scorpion and a lion, but with a Human face. The mayor was scared out of his wits when he finally realized how terrifying the creature’s Human face was.
“How dare you say my treasures are replicas?!” An authoritative female voice could be heard from behind the manticore. The female looked exotic; she wore a checkered patterned red cape, her hair was combed into a braid, and her young face was delicate. Her voice did not match her looks. She crouched down beside the mayor’s head and used her fingers to forcefully widened his eyes: “Did you not see the signboard out there? Or are you actually blind?” The torture hurt his eyes so much that he forgot his dignity as a mayor who immediately apologized and pleaded for mercy in front of his servant.
Seeing him filled with immense fear, Agarita felt relieved and hence, asked the manticore to release him. The creature then snuggled its head against her body and slightly bit on her braid while gently scratching her cape, as if it desperately wanted a reward. The mayor stood up with the help of his servant. Panting, he spoke flattering words to the maiden: “Mi...Milady, you must be skillful to be able to have all these treasures from your countless hunts.”
“Of course.” Agarita cast a contemptuous gaze at the mayor while secretly sneering at his misfortune. Knowing that the maiden’s anger was fading, the mayor scanned across the once-alive prey behind her and thought: “Could it be that she has already hunted the unicorn?” Hence, the mayor carefully said, “I believe Milady has also subdued the talking unicorn.”
“Talking unicorn? I’ve never heard of such a creature.” Though Agarita pretended not to care about his words, she was actually curious, and immediately came up with a plan. The mayor continued: “I know that Milady is good at hunting. If I can be honored enough to have your assistance in hunting the unicorn, I will repay you with a price higher than all these treasures combined.”
“I refuse.” Agarita resolutely rejected. This shocked the mayor. “Because I am the only person who can own this unicorn.” Upon hearing this, the manticore beside the maiden suddenly leaped toward the mayor and thrusted its sting through his abdomen, prompting foam from his mouth before he collapsed in a pool of his own blood. Unsurprisingly, his servant suffered the same fate.
However, Agarita angrily yelled at the manticore, “You think you’re so smart, huh? Now he’s dead, where am I gonna get more information about the unicorn?!” The manticore strangely smiled in hopes of easing its master’s fury, but she only continued to berate it: “Eww! Look how dirty you made the floor again! We always lose our customers because of you! Why on earth did I even keep you in the first place...”