An unbearably anguished dying scream.
The reincarnated individuals, who had been through numerous battlefields in Origin, had heard such screams multiple times.
However, even so, the scream of the ‘Death Scythe’ Konoe Kyuuji echoing in the Divine Realm was so wretched that they covered their ears.
“I thought it would go a little better than that, but this was at least a reasonable outcome,” said Rodcorte, glancing at Kyuuji as he fell apart, becoming particles of light that dispersed and disappeared. He stopped his forceful Mana flow into the ‘Clairvoyance’ Tendou Tatsuya.
Tendou staggered; Asagi and Akaki hastily rushed over to catch him before he fell.
And then the image of Vandalieu, who had black-red tears of blood running from his eyes, disappeared.
“Oi, is Kyuuji… dead?”
“W-why? This Divine Realm place is supposed to be special, so that guy, Vandalieu, shouldn’t have been able to lay a hand on us, right?!”
With the tension broken, the reincarnated individuals, especially the ‘Marionette’ Inui Hajime and the ‘Venus’ Tsuchiya Kanako, were shaken and making noise.
“I-it’s over! I’m going to be killed again!” Hajime moaned.
“H-hey! I’m going to be fine, right?! I’m not going to be killed, right?!” Tsuchiya shouted hysterically.
“H-how am I supposed to know! O-oi! I’m not involved in this!” Hajime said.
“Calm down, all of you! Tendou’s Clairvoyance has already stopped! He shouldn’t be able to see us anymore!” Asagi shouted loudly, and the unrest settled down, at least on the surface.
In fact, Kyuuji Konoe was the only one who had been extinguished. The reason Tendou was so exhausted was because of the shock and fatigue from having Rodcorte force Mana into him to make him continue using Clairvoyance.
“Can you move now?” the ‘Oracle’ Endou Kouya asked Izumi and Aran.
The two of them let out great sighs.
“Yes, because Rodcorte isn’t doing anything now. Phew, that was frightening,” said Izumi.
“More importantly, can you explain what the hell you were thinking?!” Aran demanded, looking at Rodcorte.
“Hmm? Very well, if you do not mind that I do it as I perform maintenance on the system,” Rodcorte said.
The destruction of Konoe Kyuuji’s soul had caused a slight error, so Rodcorte had already started his maintenance work on the circle of transmigration system. He began his explanation, not even looking at Aran and the others.
“It appears that Vandalieu has acquired a special skill that reflects the effects of skills that use the eyes… vision, and abilities that require vision as a condition for their activation, back upon the user. This allowed him to gaze back and see the inside of my Divine Realm through Clairvoyance, and reflect the power of Death Scythe, which requires the user to see the faces of creatures in order to stop the movements of their organs, back upon to Konoe Kyuuji to destroy him.”
I suppose it is also this skill’s power that allowed him to reflect that Pure-breed Vampire’s Demon Eyes of Destruction as well, Rodcorte thought to himself, satisfied with this explanation.
“W-wait a minute! Does that mean that whenever we look at him through the vision of Lambda’s people, he can attack us?!” Izumi exclaimed.
“And why am I unharmed? No, if the effects are reflected, why did Kyuuji die? We’re just souls; we shouldn’t have hearts or lungs, right?” asked Tendou.
Even as the questions came one after another, Rodcorte answered them without hesitation.
“As you are Familiar Spirits, it is unlikely that he will notice your gaze. If you are so concerned about it, you can simply observe him not through humans’ present vision, but their memories of the past. The reason Vandalieu was able to see into my Divine Realm was simply because he reflected the effects of Tendou Tatsuya’s Clairvoyance, and he exists within my Divine Realm. Clairvoyance is a power that I bestowed, but it is simply a power that has been altered to be usable by humans.”
With that being the case, it is best to avoid using Clairvoyance for gathering information, Rodcorte thought as he continued answering the next question.
“Next is the reason Konoe Kyuuji, a soul with no heart or lungs, was destroyed… to explain things in a way that is easy for you to understand, it is because the damage reflected by Vandalieu exceeded his Vitality, his maximum Hit Points. I do not know if Vandalieu did this on purpose or unconsciously, but it was not the effect of the heart and lungs being stopped itself, but the damage caused by this effect that was reflected.”
“M-maximum Hit Points?” Tendou repeated.
Perhaps having not played many games, he and several others had bewildered expressions on their faces.
“This concept doesn’t exist on Earth or in Origin, but they do in Lambda, so don’t make fun of it and listen,” said Izumi.
“I know that, but… we’re souls, right? I don’t get how we can break and fall apart just by having damage reflected onto us,” Asagi said.
It seemed that he had imagined that minds and souls were inviolable and more resilient than physical bodies.
But Rodcorte said otherwise. “You are in a state with no physical body, so the damage was done directly to Konoe Kyuuji’s soul. You seem to be unaware of this, but you are like shellfish without shells. Even so, I protected him to some extent, allowing him to resist the damage from just Vandalieu. However, it seems that attacking the others as well was fatal.”
Even with the Hostility skill increasing the damage, Kyuuji had been able to resist the damage from just Vandalieu, but when he attacked Zadiris and the other two, he had been unable to resist all of it.
As Rodcorte gave this explanation, he finished his maintenance work. It wasn’t just that he had become accustomed to dealing with these errors; it was fortunate that Konoe Kyuuji’s soul had been separated from the regular circle of transmigration and his reincarnation destination had not been decided yet.
Having resolved both problems, Rodcorte looked back towards the reincarnated individuals, and though he had answered their questions, they and his familiar spirits, Izumi and Aran, were looking at him with pale, stiff faces.
“In other words, you made Kyuuji, who was equivalent to a shellfish with no shell, attack. And you realized that Vandalieu was counterattacking partway through but didn’t warn him or stop him?” said Izumi.
“On top of that, you were protecting Kyuuji? Then shouldn’t you have been able to save Kyuuji? By making your protection stronger or covering him. The fact that you didn’t do that means… you let him die?” said Asagi.
The two of them were blaming Rodcorte, as if he had killed Kyuuji himself.
“That is correct. What of it?” Rodcorte said in response, sounding unconcerned.
The reincarnated individuals shuddered.
“Y-you! Didn’t you say that you didn’t want our numbers to be reduced for no reason?!” Inui Hajime shouted, his face pale.
“That is right,” said Rodcorte, as if nothing were out of the ordinary. “In exchange for the being known as Konoe Kyuuji, we learned of a part of Vandalieu’s power.”
Rodcorte did not value the reincarnated individuals to the point that he would protect them at all costs. They were simply beings that he had gathered to accomplish his goals; it was only natural for him to use them in order to accomplish those goals. Also, some of the reincarnated individuals were more useful than others; there were some that he did not mind sacrificing as long as they were useful in the process.
Like the currently-screaming Inui Hajime, and Konoe Kyuuji.
Kyuuji’s Death Scythe was powerful, but like Marionette, it was poorly-matched against Vandalieu’s death-attribute magic, and he couldn’t be relied upon as an assassin on his own.
And he would be of almost no use at all for the future goal of developing the world. His level of knowledge could be replaced by any other reincarnated individual.
He would have been fairly useful for hunting powerful monsters. However, that was something that could be achieved by granting the people already living in Lambda divine protections and abilities. And this was something that the gods of Lambda, such as Alda, the god of law and fate, were already doing.
In Rodcorte’s eyes, this was insufficient for a reincarnated individual that he had spent time and effort into bringing to Lambda.
Kyuuji himself had brought up the idea of using Clairvoyance to try and erase Vandalieu. There had been no reason for Rodcorte to refuse.
It would have been good if he had succeeded, and even in the unlikely event that he failed, Rodcorte would be able to observe a part of Vandalieu’s powers.
Those had been his intentions, but… it seemed that Kyuuji succeeding had been the more unlikely event.
Incidentally, it was true that Rodcorte would have been able to save Konoe Kyuuji if he had wanted to. It would have been possible to make Kyuuji stop at any moment. The reason that Kyuuji had been able to use Death Scythe as a mere soul was because Rodcorte had allowed it and provided him with Mana, after all.
But because there had been the possibility of killing Vandalieu by allowing Kyuuji to continue, Rodcorte hadn’t stopped him.
If Rodcorte had put any more of his power into protecting Kyuuji, there would have actually been a high chance of breaking Kyuuji’s personality and memories, but it would have been possible for Rodcorte to cover him using his own body. Even the damage Rodcorte would have received by doing so would have been equivalent to his pinky finger being broken. It would have been far from a fatal wound.
However, Rodcorte hadn’t even considered Konoe Kyuuji to be as valuable as his own pinky finger. There hadn’t been any guarantee that he would only receive that small amount of damage, and even if Kyuuji’s soul was broken, Rodcorte had been prepared to deal with it.
There were still ninety-five remaining reincarnated individuals, and among all of the worlds that Rodcorte governed, there were hundreds, thousands of trillions… an uncountable number of souls, so there was no need to value Kyuuji’s soul so highly as long as its disappearance didn’t cause any problems to the system.
“Now then, with the information that we have just gathered, I wish for you to think about the decision that you must make,” Rodcorte said. “I am sure there will be individual differences in how useful your abilities will be, but I will allow all of you to use your abilities here. I want you to use those to make your decision as well. You will be using your own Mana, however, so there will be limits.”
With that, he left the speechless reincarnated individuals and familiar spirits behind, returning to his work and meditation.
Of course, with this incident, I believe it has become difficult to choose any option other than to kill Vandalieu.
This incident had been an unforeseen fortunate event for Rodcorte. With the ‘Death Scythe’ Konoe Kyuuji’s attack, it wasn’t difficult to imagine that Vandalieu now saw the reincarnated individuals as his enemies.
Considering Vandalieu’s ferocious personality, he will not think of it as the Death Scythe’s individual, rash action. Even if he does, he should view the others as guilty for not stopping him. The other reincarnated individuals should realize this, even without me telling them.
With this, the number of people choosing not to become assassins would decrease. And there would be none betraying the other reincarnated individuals to join Vandalieu.
And the more reincarnated individuals chose to become Vandalieu’s enemies, the more difficult it would be for the individuals that would reincarnate from Origin in the future to not become Vandalieu’s enemies as well. Rodcorte wanted Vandalieu to die before then if possible, however.
“I’m sure they will have their answer just as Vandalieu’s sense of vigilance loosens.”
Vandalieu was painting the highest roofs of Talosheim’s royal castle, using the Demon King’s ink sacs.
“This is taking longer than I thought.”
He was working while hovering using the wings of an insect he had equipped with Insect Binding Technique, so the work wasn’t too inefficient. It wasn’t too inefficient, but the area of the roof was too large for Vandalieu.
“Van-kun, you’re still recovering. I can help, too… if you teach me how,” said Orbia, who had been born a Scylla and was now a water-attribute Ghost. She was looking at the parts that Vandalieu had already painted, and her voice didn’t have much confidence in it.
She was looking at the indescribable thing that was drawn in stimulating, retina-piercing colors.
At first glance, it simply appeared to be an abstract painting. However, looking closely, it looked like a portrait depicting a person drawn in twisted lines against a landscape made entirely of primary colors.
And for some reason, simply staring at it made one feel at ease. That was the kind of picture that Orbia was looking at.
“Hmm… If I could ask someone else to do this work and still have my Mental Encroachment skill take effect, I would,” Vandalieu said.
“Mental Encroachment? What is this?” Orbia asked. “I was under the impression that you were so overjoyed with your first kiss that your eccentric behavior took over.”
“Wow, that’s a terrible misunderstanding. Zadiris just performed artificial respiration.”
Artificial respiration didn’t count as kissing. Especially the type conducted by blowing air straight into the lungs through metal tubes.
“This is a countermeasure against Clairvoyance,” Vandalieu explained. “It will eat away at the mind of those looking at it.”
Now that the soul of the ‘Death Scythe’ Konoe Kyuuji had been broken, it was unlikely that the reincarnated individuals with Rodcorte could attack using Clairvoyance.
But even if they couldn’t attack, there was no reason to allow the enemy to gather information freely.
This was a mental trap to prevent that.
“Well, there’s no sure positive proof that Clairvoyance used from the Divine Realm looks down at us from above, though,” Vandalieu said.
It was Clairvoyance from a god’s perspective, and even last night, the enemy had been looking down from above, so Vandalieu thought that it was likely that they had to view from above.
… The truth was that this was quite accurate.
“Really? It’s definitely a strange picture, but… I don’t dislike it,” said Orbia, doubting whether this picture was effective as a trap. But that meant it had been successful.
“Yes, because I drew it in a way that those affected by Demon Path Enticement and Guidance: Demon Path are unaffected by it,” Vandalieu said.
The picture was drawn on the tallest roof of the royal castle, so it wouldn’t be seen unless looking at it from the sky. However, there were many who could fly in Talosheim.
It would be a problem if Orbia and the other Ghosts, the Pteranodon Zombies and the Cemetery Bees fell like flies every time they saw the royal castle’s roof.
“So, are you changing the shape of the walls surrounding the city as a countermeasure for Clairvoyance as well?” Orbia asked.
Though Vandalieu had silenced the noise of the work with magic, one of his spirit form clones that had separated from his body was changing the location and previously circular shape of the city’s walls.
He was adding more walls and building new watchtowers.
“Yes,” Vandalieu said. “I’m using Golem Transmutation, trying to make a large stone circle that surrounds Talosheim to apply the effects of my Mental Encroachment skill.”
Pictures would lose their effect if the paint, the Demon King’s ink, faded away. But the positioning and organization of structures wouldn’t lose their effects as long as the structures weren’t destroyed.
It was something that would need to be viewed from an even greater height than the rooftop pictures to take effect, but it was targeted at someone using Clairvoyance from a Divine Realm. There would be no problems.
“But to get the most out of the effects, more work needs to be done… I suppose I’ll do it when the rest get back from the Sauron Duchy,” Vandalieu decided.
“Yeah, yeah, that’s a good idea,” said Orbia.
In the coming days, the previously stone-colored royal castle of Talosheim was painted artistically, and the unremarkable fortress walls were arranged in an avant-garde style.
『The levels of the Mental Encroachment and Golem Transmutation skills have increased!』
Baron Cuoco Ragdew was likely doing his best to put on a sullen expression.
In fact, Iris could see his effort in the wrinkle between his brows… though the effort had no effect, as his cheeks were red with excitement, his nose was twitching and he appeared to be swallowing his saliva that was overflowing with anticipation.
“Iris Bearheart-dono. I would like you to… understand my position as well. I have been placed in a very… very, difficult position,” Cuoco said in a voice that was suppressing something.
He had a slightly rectangular contour and his hairline was receding slightly, but his features could be described as well-ordered enough. He was looking at Iris with his eyes filled with blazing desire.
“Of course,” Iris said, nodding. “I and everyone in the Sauron Liberation front understand your efforts and sincerity, Cuoco-dono. It can only be described as fortunate that we have gained the cooperation of such an understanding nobleman of the Amid Empire as yourself.”
Baron Cuoco Ragdew was not a nobleman of the Orbaume Kingdom, nor was he a subordinate of the late Duke Sauron. He was one of the noblemen who had been dispatched by the Amid Empire that had invaded the Sauron Duchy and was now occupying it.
The Ragdew house of barons was a rising family. Cuoco’s grandfather had been an adventurer and had been allowed by a family of barons whose bloodline had ended to marry an adopted daughter from another noble family, reviving the family of barons.
In the Amid Empire, which still had strongly authoritarian views, such families were disdained and insulted as ‘a bloodline of a lowly adventurer,’ with the exception of special cases like the Thunderclap Schneider.
And thanks to a certain bad habit that had continued since Cuoco’s grandfather’s era, his entire family had been sent to the Sauron Duchy, the frontline of the battle against the Orbaume Kingdom despite not being a military family, where policies for occupation were still unstable.
That was Cuoco’s background, but he wasn’t cooperating with the resistance, the Sauron Liberation Front, because he harbored a particular spirit of rebellion against the Empire.
The continuous bad habit of his family. That was the reason.
“I still have not received a formal knighthood, but I will certainly make the Orbaume Kingdom swear that the Ragdew family of barons will carry on. I swear it on my life,” Iris said.
“Oh no, of course, I am not doubting you and your group, Iris-dono. After all, I consider the fact that you have told me your true identity, something that you should normally keep hidden, to be a symbol of trust. However,” Cuoco added before continuing. “Bonds of trust are cultivated through repeated exchanges with good faith. Is that not right?”
“… Of course, I am aware of this,” said Iris. She covered her eyes and extended a hand towards her belt – or rather, towards the small porcelain bottle hanging from it, and placed it on the table.
Normally, such a bottle would contain a Potion of some sort, but the contents of the bottle were no Potion.
“Oh, this, this is it!” Unable to hold himself back any longer, Cuoco reached out for the small bottle like a starving beast, pulled out the cork stopper and poured the contents onto his palm.
He let out a noise of wonderment as the amber-colored liquid, which had a phlegm-like viscosity, dripped from the bottle.
“Oh, this color, this fragrance, I cannot have enough of this!”
And then he licked the fluid with his tongue! Normally, the head of a noble family would have someone test it for poison, but Cuoco possessed the Poison Resistance skill at a high level, so he had no hesitation.
And Cuoco was displaying his intoxication at the sweetness that melted his tongue and the rich fragrance that filled his nose. He even took no notice of the saliva dripping from the corner of his mouth.
“Wonderful… I have sampled Ent Syrup refined from Ent sap on numerous occasions, but this is truly extraordinary. The rich sweetness, the smooth texture and the full-bodied fragrance. This is truly the nectar of the heavens!”
“… It seems that you have taken a liking to it,” Iris said in a slightly exasperated tone as she stared at the head of the Ragdew family of barons, which was known for its gluttony that ruined the family in the Empire.
Cuoco’s grandfather’s motive for becoming an adventurer had been the truly simple one of “I want to eat delicious things!” Even after he became an honorary baron, his appetite and passion for delicious food hadn’t grown any weaker in his son or grandson, and now in, Cuoco’s generation, the family had repeatedly fallen into debt.
Normally, a small, weak family like the Ragdew family of barons falling deep into debt would mean the end of the house. However, Cuoco did have exceptional military prowess, though not as much as his grandfather, and he possessed a capable private armed force as well as close relationships with adventurers.
Cuoco might have appeared on first glance to be a stubborn bureaucratic nobleman, but because he was actually friendly, wasn’t concerned with the relative social positions of others, had no interest whatsoever in power struggles and was only interested in delicious food, he was an individual who was completely free of conspiracy.
Thus, the work that his private armed force did was gathering delicious monsters and produce from Devil’s Nests and Dungeons, and buying ingredients from distant places. His requests for adventurers was gathering food ingredients as well.
An employer that would be difficult to offer your whole life to, but was friendly when working for him for a short period of time. That was Cuoco.
Thus, in exchange for erasing his debt, his whole family and his private armed force had been moved to the Sauron Duchy.
It was certainly fortunate that a baron who would discard his own nation for the sake of delicious food had been successfully tempted by the support goods provided by Vandalieu.
Every time we have this conversation, we acquire quite a lot of information. It is a little tiring, however.
“My subordinates are in possession of bottles containing this syrup,” Iris said. “This is a symbol of our gratitude to you, Baron.”
“Ah, Iris-dono, the food that you provide is wonderful as usual. But where in the world do you acquire such products?” Cuoco asked. “This syrup is even finer in quality than what can be obtained by Treants, the superior race of Ents. Has the Sauron Liberation Front tamed a new mutation of Ent-type monster?”
He was no mere food maniac. It seemed that he questioned how the Sauron Liberation Front could supply this Ent Syrup… the purified sap (blood) of Eisen, the Skogsrå.
“My apologies, Baron, but I do not believe our bonds are yet deep enough to share that secret,” Iris said.
This Baron seems like he would gladly rebel against the Empire if it meant that he could immigrate to Talosheim, but… this is not something that I can decide on my own.
Cuoco gave a bitter smile at Iris’s reply and took out a piece of paper from his breast pocket, showing her the cryptogram written on it. “I suppose it was ill-mannered of me to try to force a lady to divulge her secrets. This is the route of the army’s transportation troops. As usual, please memorize it right here.”
And so, information regarding the Amid Empire’s army was sold for the price of some syrup.
“That baron named Cuoco has some things in common with Luciliano, doesn’t he? He simply prioritizes different things,” said Vandalieu, the sponsor of the Sauron Liberation Front, as he carefully stirred a bubbling, simmering curry.
“Your personal disciple, Your Majesty? I do not know him very well, so I cannot say anything, but… is he really so strange… is he really so incredible?” Iris asked, looking a little perplexed, as she chopped some leafed vegetables to be used in a salad.
Having finished her dealings with the traitor, she had regrouped with Vandalieu and his companions who had brought support supplies to her base, and they were exchanging information. They roughly discussed future plans, and then Vandalieu had suggested that they have a somewhat late lunch.
Lunch was important. A single bowl of curry would preserve the morale of Haj and his Armor Tamer squad.
“Rather than incredible… he is already within the realms of eccentricity,” Vandalieu said.
“Then he may indeed get along well with the baron,” Iris remarked.
“That’s true; he does seem to have a certain amount of interest in eating as well. Now then, I suppose it’s time to serve the food.”
Right before the eyes of Iris and the others, Vandalieu’s spirit form slipped out of his body and split up to produce more Vandalieus, one after another. The sight of the countless Vandalieus heaping the curry and rice onto wooden plates and setting the tables was quite spectacular… though it wasn’t a sight that one would want to see late at night.
“If Brownies really existed, I’m sure they would be spirits like the boss,” said Miles, who was helping serve the salad.
That was how skilled Vandalieu was.
Brownie spirits, that helped with housework while families were asleep. They were generally beings that were considered to be creatures of superstition and fairy tales, but they were unlikely to resemble Vandalieu.
TLN: This is a reference to Brownies, household spirits in English and Scottish folklore.
“I wouldn’t work for a glass of milk,” said Vandalieu, meaning that he wouldn’t want to work under such conditions.
But Iris took it in the opposite meaning. “Indeed, you would not even take a glass of milk in payment Your Majesty,” she said.
“It’s true, you lack desires,” said Debis, nodding.
“Yeah, why aren’t you conquering the Sauron Duchy?” said Haj.
“Eh? Is that how you take it? Also, Iris and the rest of you are not my subordinates, so you don’t have to call me ‘Your Majesty.’ Please call me Vandalieu-san,” said Vandalieu.
He would be hurt if they suddenly started calling him by his name with no honorific, so he wanted them to add -san. But all of the resistance members under Iris’s command denied his request, shouting, “We can’t do that!”
“… Then calling me by my name is fine.”
“Why would you say that?! Are you aware of just how incredible the things you’re doing are?!”
“Providing funds, supplies and military strength, and making delicious curry.”
The curry had been almost completely prepared in Talosheim and then preserved using Preservation, so Vandalieu had simmered it overnight. Iris and her companions were the only ones in the Sauron Duchy who could eat this.
“Thank you very much for that. But please, I want you to reconsider the value of the funds, supplies and military strength that you have provided, Your Majesty!” said Iris.
“I mean, it’s not that I don’t understand,” Vandalieu said.
Vandalieu was over-supplying the Sauron Liberation Front. He didn’t have Amids that were the currency currently circulating in the Sauron Duchy, but he provided funds in the form of gold, silver and jewels. He had trained Haj and the other former fake resistance members in Dungeons, given them several disguised Dark Copper Living Armors and even dispatched Miles, a Rank 9 Abyssal Vampire.
He was even providing high-quality arms, even if they were made of regular iron and Obsidian, as well as food like curry and other daily necessities. It was thanks to this that Cuoco had been successfully enticed.
Just how much would the total value of these items be worth if converted at market value…? It was far in excess for supplying to a resistance organization. If the Amid Empire’s army were to learn of this, they would be certain that the Sauron Liberation Front was Vandalieu’s private army.
It was Vandalieu’s idea of maintaining a relationship as equals after having provided so much support that was strange.
If Iris were one of the late Duke Sauron’s orphans or a relative of the duke’s family, then considering that the Sauron Duchy might return to the Orbaume Kingdom’s possession in the future, this could be considered. However, unfortunately, although the Bearheart family was well-known for its military prowess, it was a mere house of knights. It was of the lowest rank of noble heritage in the Orbaume Kingdom.
No matter how much action the Sauron Liberation Front took, no matter how much Iris was praised, she would never become the new Duke Sauron.
Because the real sons and daughters of the Sauron family who had the rights to succeed it had already fled to other duchies.
“Your Majesty, if you are holding any expectations of my future, it is unfortunate, but I cannot answer those expectations,” Iris said. “Even if I were to raise the decapitated head of the Amid Empire’s general, even if a nobleman is adopted into my family, the Bearheart house would become a family of barons at most.”
“No, Ojou, if you achieve something like that and that nobleman is a distant relative of the Sauron family or something, I think your family will become a family of earls at least, you know?” said Debis.
It seemed that Iris’s self-value was so low that even Debis had felt the need to slip in a word.
“But I think it’s strange, too. Why isn’t His Majesty gaining control over the Sauron Duchy with military force? We’ve found out that the Thunderclap Schneider that you were worried about isn’t an enemy, right?” said Haj.
Merrebeveil, the goddess of the Scylla, had informed Vandalieu that the Thunderclap Schneider, the S-class adventurer of the Amid Empire, was actually an ally of Vida’s races.
Vandalieu knew this but hadn’t changed his decisions.
“First of all, even if the Thunderclap Schneider is an ally of Vida’s races, that doesn’t mean he’s my ally. Next is the fact that I find it difficult that I would be supported by the people. And for geostrategic reasons, it will be difficult for me to occupy the Sauron Duchy and maintain rule over it,” explained Vandalieu, who had returned to his physical body. He was expressing that it would be dangerous to assume that the Thunderclap Schneider was not an enemy until meeting him and talking to him directly.
Vandalieu had learned from Merrebeveil that Schneider was actually a believer of Vida, and had saved many tribes of Vida’s races, including Scylla living in the Amid Empire. However, if he were to decide that Vandalieu’s actions would have negative consequences for the members of Vida’s races that he had saved, it was possible that he would still become an enemy.
Vandalieu couldn’t be sure that Schneider would be an ally.
Next, as for the question of whether Vandalieu would be supported by the people, it didn’t even need to be discussed. As someone who wasn’t known in the region at all and commanded large numbers of Undead, creatures that were considered to be taboo, Vandalieu was more likely to be thought of as a villain that needed to be exterminated than a hero.
And Vandalieu intended to introduce the rich eating habits of Talosheim and the light income taxes, but that would be equivalent to picking a fight with influential people with vested interests.
Last was the geostrategic reasons… If Talosheim, a third nation, were to occupy the Sauron Duchy that was sandwiched between the Orbaume Kingdom and the Amid Empire, it would have a great nation adjacent both to the east and to the west.
Even going back and forth from Talosheim would be difficult because of the Boundary Mountain Range. Even if Vandalieu teleported from Dungeon to Dungeon using his Labyrinth Construction skill and the flying Knochen and Sam were to travel through the skies, it was difficult to imagine that they would be able to transport enough personnel and goods.
“It won’t go so well, huh. Then how about turning an entire portion of the Boundary Mountain Range into Golems and changing the terrain?” Miles suggested as a joke.
Vandalieu blinked and looked towards the Boundary Mountain Range.
Can he actually do it?! everyone thought as they looked at Vandalieu, holding their breaths.
But Vandalieu quietly replied, “No, that’s impossible. For now.”
As Haj and Debis exhaled, Iris and Miles shuddered, forgetting the hunger-stimulating scent of curry.
“For now, he says… so he’ll become able to do it one day?” Iris muttered.
“It’s something that I suggested myself, but the fact that he doesn’t deny it is terrifying,” Miles whispered.