Death Mage 196 – Blood, blessings and a curse that bears fruit
“Everything is proceeding according to schedule…” murmured a Demon.
“Yes. Some unexpected things did occur, but everything still lies within our grasp,” said another.
“I see. That is excellent. How are the stockpiled Blood Potion supplies?” asked Luciliano.
Another Demon laughed. “No matter how much the Pure-breed Vampires drink, there is no end to the magnificent black blood.”
“Shouldn’t you be more worried about the beasts? They’re starving!” a fourth Demon cackled.
“I see. I agree with you. Doug-kun, could I ask you to feed the experimental animals?” said Luciliano.
“… I don’t mind that, but can’t you have a conversation in a more normal way?” Doug muttered, looking at Luciliano and the ten or so Demons that he was talking to.
The exchange between Luciliano and the Demons sounded as if they were plotting a conspiracy, but it was nothing significant at all. The Demons were merely reporting that the experiments were under control and going as planned though a little late, and that there were enough Blood Potion ingredients stockpiled no matter how much the Pure-blood Vampires consumed. As for Luciliano, he had merely asked Doug to feed the experimental animals, as it was time for their meal and they were hungry.
Luciliano seemed taken aback. “You want me to match my speech to theirs?!” he exclaimed.
“No, you’re fine as you are! If you did that, I’d have no idea what the Demons are saying!” Doug shouted.
This time, it was the Demons who twisted their faces in discontent.
They were Demons tamed by Vandalieu in the Trial of Zakkart – the most intelligent ones who could best comprehend human speech.
They had roughly humanoid bodies, but they were grotesque, as there were large variations in the number of heads and limbs they possessed, as well as the shapes of their bodies differing from those of humans.
Though they had been brought out from the Trial of Zakkart, Vandalieu had simply kept them in a Dungeon that he had made. This was because the Majin king Godwin and others from the Majin nation had told him how difficult it was to handle Demons.
If Demons’ bodies were destroyed, they would revive a few days to a few hundred years later with their souls, memories and personalities intact. Thus, they would do anything to seek pleasure, prioritizing it even above their own lives. For them, the state of being tamed was an enjoyable game of being a servant to humans.
They had told Vandalieu as much, so he had been unable to trust them and let them loose in the city. He had decided to choose Demons that seemed like they would be useful when he had time later.
But upon hearing this, the Demons had felt endangered.
“It is regrettable that you think us to be suspicious… even though we are doing our utmost to gain our lord’s trust by displaying our loyalty,” one of the Demons lamented.
“Indeed. You say such hurtful things, even though we are wearing cheerful smiles in order to please you humans,” said another.
“Don’t say such things to him, my brethren. Though he has experienced reincarnation like us, he has only experienced it twice. We are more experienced in this regard, so we should keep our tears inside and smile gently on the surface!” said a third Demon with a cackle.
The Demons, whom Doug was criticizing, were divided into those who criticized him back and those who advocated for overlooking his behavior and responding with cheerful smiles.
“You guys are definitely doing this on purpose, aren’t you. Especially you,” said Doug, pointing at the one who had laughed.
The Demon that Doug pointed at gave a low laugh. “It seems that you are more intelligent than you appear, Doug,” it said.
“Vandalieu, Luciliano-ossan*, can I smack this guy?” Doug asked.
TLN: An informal way to say “ojisan” which is used to refer to older men or uncles.
Naturally, there was a Demon King Familiar stationed here in the underground workshop, too. It looked even more grotesque than the Demons; there was a large treasure orb in its chest, and it possessed arms that were made only of bones, blood vessels and suction cups.
It manipulated its arms by using the suction force of the suction cups to move the bones, and it picked objects up with the suction cups on its fingertips.
“I don’t mind as long as it’s outside the workshop,” the Demon King Familiar said. “Also, this me is not Vandalieu it’s an alchemy-type Demon King Familiar.”
“I am in agreement with Master. Also, if you consider the total number of years you have lived, I should be considered younger than you,” Luciliano pointed out.
“Also, it’s true that they are doing their best to gain our trust,” the Demon King Familiar said.
“… Are you serious?” Doug muttered.
“I’m serious. The structure of their minds is different from humans to begin with, so they are quite arrogant, though,” Vandalieu explained.
“Indeed, my lord,” one of the Demons said in agreement.
“We swear our eternal loyalty to you,” said another.
“So please, spare our souls…” begged a third.
The reason the Demons had not only been tamed by Vandalieu but also were trying to gain his trust was because Vandalieu radiated a presence similar to the Demon King, their creator. And like the Demon King Guduranis, he possessed the ability to truly destroy them.
Demons were made of corrupted Mana; they did not fear the deaths of their own bodies. However, they could not be reincarnated if their souls were destroyed.
That was why they feared Vandalieu, who could devour souls. They were wholeheartedly trying to gain his trust so that they would not be destroyed, doing their best to interact with humans in the process.
… They did not take races other than the Majin seriously, which is why they could not help being disrespectful towards members of other races, like Doug.
“Look, they’re so desperate,” said the Demon King Familiar.
“You’re right,” said Doug.
The Demons had clearly discarded their pride; he could not think of them as being pathetic. In fact, he, Kanako and Melissa were working for Vandalieu for the same reason as the Demons, so this was only natural.
He couldn’t help but feel a sense of companionship towards them.
I’ll treat them a bit nicer from now on, he thought.
One of the Demons laughed. “What is the matter? Why is there such a strange look in your eye?” it asked him.
“… Vandalieu, I hate these guys after all,” said Doug.
“They haven’t seen humans for a long time, so they’re not good at interpreting facial expressions,” said Vandalieu.
“More importantly, what about feeding the animals?” asked Luciliano.
“I don’t need reminding,” said Doug, pointing behind him with his chin.
Luciliano looked in that direction to see several containers floating in mid-air, animal feed already prepared inside them.
It was not the Telekinesis spell, but Doug’s ability, Hecatoncheir.
Hecatoncheir was a powerful Telekinesis ability, and it also included Omnidirectional Perception and Force Vision. With all of these abilities combined, it was possible to unleash powerful attacks on the entire area around Doug. It would be like a giant with a countless number of eyes and arms going on a rampage; this was why the ability was codenamed after a mythical giant with a hundred hands.
Those around Doug had acknowledged it as a brute-force ability that allowed him to crush enemies and flip armored vehicles from a distance. However, the reality was that Doug was capable of using Hecatoncheir with great precision.
If he went all-out, he was certainly able to produce the kinetic energy to crush a tank, but he had undergone training to gain fine control, to the point that he was able to knit or do calligraphy with it.
He wouldn’t be able to survive with only a rough control over his power, and the Bravers had started out as a disaster rescue team, not an organization that fought terrorism.
As a member of that organization, he had been required to perform more delicate tasks than one might expect, such as removing rubble to rescue survivors who had been buried alive.
This wasn’t something that he had kept a secret, but… the reincarnated individuals who didn’t know Doug well were unaware of his surprisingly fine control over his ability.
Also, it had been of no use when he died in Origin.
“Ah, you are quite skilled after all,” Luciliano remarked.
“You are a strange creature, being able to see behind you despite not having eyes in the back of your head like me,” said one of the Demons.
“Those are compliments, right?” Doug said suspiciously. “Well, I did similar tasks in my previous life, too. It’s far easier in this world now that I have Skills, too.”
Since Doug had acquired the Parallel Thought Processing Skill, his use of Hecatoncheir had become far more refined compared to when he was in Origin. He was likely capable of knitting multiple items at once, doing multiple pieces of calligraphy and cooking multiple dishes simultaneously… though these were not exactly his hobbies.
“By the way, how long are we keeping these guys? These are mostly already fourth generation, aren’t they?” asked Doug, looking at the experimental animals that he had started feeding.
They were not animals that were used in experiments. They were the animals born as a result of the breeding experiments conducted between Undead implanted with Life Gold and Spirit Silver.
There were mice, rabbits, chickens, small pigs, frogs and insects. There were already several hundred of them. There was a particularly large number of mice and insects, but if they kept breeding at this rate, they could not all be taken care of.
“We made them reproduce over and over to make sure that there weren’t any individual differences, after all,” said the Demon King Familiar. “Some of them die naturally during the process of development, but their rate of reproduction is higher.”
“Indeed… I suppose we should stop the experiment around the sixth generation. Honestly speaking, I have grown tired of it, as there are no differences between them and ordinary small animals,” said Luciliano. “I thought that there would be at least one specimen with some unimaginable mutation by the fourth generation.”
“Ossan… Don’t go hoping for something that would become a biohazard,” said Doug.
Despite Luciliano’s very problematic hopes, the end of the experiment was in sight. It was possible that continuing only up until the sixth generation would not be enough, but the reality was that the animals that Doug was feeding looked like perfectly ordinary animals.
Well, I’m not that knowledgeable about animals, and it’s my first time looking at animals from up close since I was reincarnated in this world. I saw a few horses, cats, dogs and mice, but I only saw monsters after that… Come to think of it, why are these guys so calm? Doug wondered.
Obviously, ordinary animals feared and avoided monsters. In addition to the direct threat that monsters represented, they could sense the corrupted Mana radiating from monsters, and felt an instinctive urge to avoid it out of a fear of being corrupted by it.
That was why Devil’s Nests had almost no ordinary animals other than certain birds and insects that had evolved to not fear corrupted Mana.
This underground workshop was filled with just as much, if not more, corrupted Mana as a Devil’s Nest. After all, there were ten high-Rank Demons lurking about, as well as several Demon King Familiars.
Ordinary animals would be driven insane by fear.
Despite that, the mice and rabbits were calmly nibbling on their food; the small birds let out cheerful chirps and the insects seemed normal as well.
Why is that? Is it because they’re descended from Undead? Or is it because they’ve been in this environment since they were born, so they’re used to it? Doug wondered as he fed them, but as he wasn’t an expert, these were the only explanations that he could come up with.
He did feel almost satisfied by these explanations, but driven by curiosity, he called out to Luciliano who was moving bottles of Blood Potion behind him.
“Hey, why do you think these guys aren’t scared of Demons and Demon King Familiars?” he asked, expecting Luciliano to immediately begin explaining with a triumphant look on his face.
But Luciliano’s reaction was different to what Doug expected.
“Now that you mention it…” he muttered in shock. “I can understand them not fearing the Demon King Familiars, as they are made from Master’s own body, and they are accustomed to him. But why do the animals not fear the Demons?”
It seemed that Luciliano hadn’t noticed the fact that the animals weren’t scared of the Demons until now, though he was not surprised that they weren’t scared of the Demon King Familiars.
“What? Are animals supposed to fear us?” one of the Demons asked.
“These are the first animals I’ve seen other than monsters, so I never noticed,” said another.
The Demons themselves were just as surprised.
Luciliano approached the animals’ cages, his eyes sparkling with even more curiosity than Doug. “We must investigate this – oops,” he said as a bottle of Blood Potion slipped from his hand, dropping onto the floor.
The bottles were built to be sturdy, but perhaps it had landed on a weak point; there was a shattering sound as the fluid with the black-red color of coagulated blood spilled out.
“Oh dear. Eleanora and Bellmond will give me a good scolding if they found out about this,” Luciliano muttered.
One of the Demons cackled. “Should we tell the Undead Vampire woman named Isla, then?”
“Don’t do that; she’ll skin me alive,” said Luciliano. “Well, it cannot be helped – let’s gather it into a container with a cloth and reuse it.”
“… I can cast Sterilization, so I don’t mind reusing it, but don’t let anyone drink it,” said the Demon King Familiar.
“Hey, you’re going to injure yourself on the broken pieces of the bottle,” Doug warned. “Let me gather it up with my Hecatoncheir –”
The attention of Luciliano, the Demons and Doug was focused on the broken bottle and spilled Blood Potion. At that moment, the animals all simultaneously flooded out of their cages, which had been open in order to feed them.
Doug had been using Hecatoncheir to feed them, so mice, rabbits, small birds, frogs, lizards and rhinoceros beetles all escaped from their cages.
Of course, Doug tried to use Hecatoncheir to catch them. But even with his skillful control over his ability, it was difficult to catch multiple small animals without injuring them; it was too late.
But the animals, of which there were multiple species, did not separate and flee in different directions. They all flooded towards Luciliano’s feet… the Blood Potion that he had spilt.
“W-what is this?!” Luciliano shouted, instinctively jumping out of their way.
The animals ignored him and began drinking the black-red liquid with their tongues and beaks.
“My lord, is that Blood Potion popular among animals, too? These animals ran towards it as if their lives depended on it,” one of the Demons remarked.
“Who knows… I’ve never let animals drink it before. It’s sweet, so I don’t think they’d hate it, though,” said the Demon King Familiar.
The animals were devouring the Blood Potion greedily. They shouldn’t have been intelligent enough to know what effects the Blood Potion would have, so the Demons and Vandalieu (the Demon King Familiar) observed them with great interest.
Doug decided to see what happens, and Luciliano had taken out a notepad.
As they watched, the sound of flesh and bone being ground came from the small animals as they transformed.
Mice, lizards, frogs and rhinoceros beetles small enough to fit on the palm of a hand were now Giant Rats, Giant Lizards, Big Frogs and Giant Insects, each the size of a medium-sized dog.
The rabbits had grown considerably larger as well; they had become Horned Rabbits, with a single sharp horn protruding from their foreheads.
The small birds remained their original size, but they were now Scissor Finches with sharp beaks and talons.
“W-what is this?!” Doug shouted.
“Wonderful! To think that animals could transform into such a wide diversity of monsters right before my eyes!” Luciliano exclaimed.
Once the newly-transformed monsters finished draining all of the Blood Potion from the floor, they flooded towards the Demon King Familiar… and embraced him.
“Hmm?” the Demon King Familiar murmured in surprise.
Horned Rabbits and Giant Rats rubbed their bodies against it; Giant Lizards and Big Frogs were licking its eyes. Scissor Finches were chirping as they rested on its bone arms, and Giant Insects were clambering all over its body.
Though some of these behaviors were strange, they were likely expressing affection.
“Hmm, adorable, aren’t they?” one of the Demons remarked.
“No, no, they might be swarming our lord to demand that he spills more blood. Of course, they would not be able to inflict a single wound upon him,” said another.
Indeed, these Rank 1 monsters posed as much or even less of a threat than medium-sized animals out in the wild. They could even be described as the weakest monsters in all of Talosheim. It would be impossible for them to inflict even a single wound on the Demon King Familiar that was made of the fragments of the Demon King, even if they attacked the eyeballs directly.
But the important thing was that up until a minute ago, they had been nothing more than ordinary animals.
“Could it be that the ones left in the cages would turn into monsters if they drank Blood Potion as well?” Doug whispered in horror, looking at the small animals in the cages behind him through his Omnidirectional Perception.
He could see them all gazing at their transformed brethren from the wall of cages as they chirped and whined.
They were crying out in jealousy.
“While it’s fine because they’ve transformed into Rank 1 monsters, this is a real biohazard! Hey, Ossan, Vandalieu, make sure you don’t spill any more Blood Potion around here!” Doug shouted.
“It is as you say, Doug-kun. First, we must prudently investigate whether the other animals will transform into monsters, how much Blood Potion is required for them to transform, and whether their Ranks differ given different Blood Potion dosages,” said Luciliano, and then he turned to the Demon King Familiar. “As such, Master, we will need increased Blood Potion production.”
“It can’t be helped. I’ll bring my main body back,” the Demon King Familiar said.
“Things have gotten interesting, haven’t they?” one of the Demons laughed.
“Are there only mad scientists here except me?!” Doug shouted, clutching his head.
“Still, Doug-kun and I have consumed your blood, the original main ingredient of Blood Potion. Why is it that we have not transformed?” Luciliano wondered. “Is it because you did not activate the fragment of the Demon King at the time, or is there some other reason… or could it be, the onset of the effects has been delayed?!”
Doug returned to his ordinary posture like a machine. “I’ve already prepared myself for the worst, so don’t go saying things that’ll scare me!” he shouted angrily.
Meanwhile, in the ‘city’ of the Dark Continent, a sermon was happening on a temporary stage that had been hurriedly built on land that had become vacant for the city’s future extension.
In the world of Lambda, much like during Earth’s past eras, such sermons were a form of leisure for the common people. They included myths, legends, the teachings of the gods, anecdotes relating to those teachings, and moral lessons.
For those reasons, people listened to the sermons of clergymen, donated money, learned morals and became closer to the gods. This was no different in the ‘city’ of the Dark Continent, which in a way was the closest to the age of the gods, as the people could simply walk a short distance and meet their guardian deities directly.
“And so, Vandalieu conquered the Trial of Zakkart and brought me back to life. He accomplished what could only have been thought of as impossible,” said Darcia, the one who was giving the sermon.
She was recounting the adventures of her son Vandalieu, so there was a larger crowd than usual gathered in front of the enormous stage.
She was amplifying her voice with a wind-attribute spell. As she watched her listeners being drawn to her words and overcome with emotion, she reminded herself what was next on the program.
Having to talk, sing and dance in front of a big crowd is a different kind of nervousness from having to talk to someone really important! But this is all for everyone to enjoy themselves as they learn about Vandalieu. Mom’s doing her best, Vandalieu! she told herself.
“Our next performance is a medley of songs, with the theme being our adventures!” she announced.
The listeners stirred with excitement.
“We’ve been waiting for this!” one of them cheered.
In the next moment, bright lights of all colors illuminated the stage.
“We’re including a song we finished today! We’re sure you’ll love it!” announced Kanako, the person in charge of songwriting and choreography.
“Every member has done their best to practice. I would most appreciate if everyone cheers for us,” said Zadiris.
The listeners… the audience, cheered excitedly in response to Zadiris’s request and began reciting enchantments and preparing Magic Items.
“Hey, cast it on my stick, too. I can’t use light-attribute magic.”
“That’s why you buy a Magic Item, stingy guy. It can’t be helped. Just this once.”
“Heh, I owe you one.”
The audience members were holding sticks that were shorter than wands, and with a small white light shining from their ends, the audience looked like a night sky full of stars.
Zandia raised her hands into the air. “Here we go, everyone!” she shouted.
She was holding a metal staff with a complicated shape… a transformation staff.
Zadiris, Kanako and Darcia raised their own transformation staves in sync with Zandia.
“Transform!” they cried in unison.
The stage lights grew brighter, and four cloaks materialized out of nowhere. The audiences’ cheers were greeted by the four members, wearing their combat gear made from the transformation staves’ liquid metal parts changing shape to form metal fibers… their costumes.
This sight brought the audiences’ excitement to a climax. Their eyes sparkled as they bore their fangs and let out roars that would cause monsters to flee.
Some of them accidentally let out fiery Breaths; the ‘Divine Spear of Ice’ Mikhail, who was working as security, had to warn them: “Please refrain from releasing Breaths inside the venue.”
To speak in defense of the audience members’ honor, they were not merely excited by Zadiris and Kanako’s leotards with mini-skirts attached, Zandia’s dress with bold slits, or Darcia’s plentiful chest.
Half of the audience were women, and many of them were wearing clothing that was just as revealing as Darcia’s.
The audience was wildly excited by the format of the sermon… this idol concert.
The idols danced in time to the music, using their transformation staves and lights in an original performance. The audience contributed with their cheers, creating a sense of unity.
The songs and dances were new, and the audience was experiencing something they had never experienced before, and they were drawn into a new perspective on the world.
Phew. At this rate, our weeklong consecutive sermons… our fifth concert, is a success as well, thought Kanako, the mastermind behind Lambda’s only entertainment scene.
Her costume had many ribbons and laces, emphasizing her cuteness, and she was giving the audience a radiant smile.
She had poured a considerable amount of work and effort into this concert.
A few groans came from the concert venue itself – Knochen.
Inspired by the deeds of Vandalieu, the ‘Sword King’ Borkus and others, the inhabitants of the ‘city’ had decided to expand it, and construction work had already started. Thus, Knochen had become a concert venue, utilizing the newly-vacated land.
Knochen was tougher now as had acquired several hundred of the Demon King’s bones that Vandalieu had absorbed, and it had also undergone training on the Dark Continent. As a result, it had gone from a Rank 11 Bone Palace to a Rank 12 Death Bone Palace, and then a Rank 13 Bone Pandemonium.
Its size was indeed worthy of Pandemonium. It was large enough to fit the entirety of Tokyo Dome and the surrounding area inside it.
This space was being used as a stage, with seats provided for the audience, and Knochen was even skillfully producing a band performance… though the instruments were flutes and xylophones made of bone.
As for the lighting, it was being provided by the Demon King Familiars provided by Vandalieu. They were lighting-type Demon King Familiars, specialized for providing stage lighting, consisting of large eyeballs with bone arms protruding from them. They were singing the idols’ names in flat-toned voices.
They controlled their arms, which were made of the Demon King’s Bones, by gripping or sticking to Knochen’s bones with the Demon King’s claws and suction cups. They produced light with the Demon King’s Luminescent Organs, and adjusted the lighting with the Demon King’s lens.
However, Vandalieu was not watching the performance through these Demon King Familiars.
Because there was a great distance between the Dark Continent and Bahn Gaia, it was out of range of Vandalieu’s Group Control Skill. Also, there was no pseudo-main-body-type Demon King Familiar stationed here like there was in Talosheim. This was because if Vandalieu created too many pseudo-main-bodies, it could cause chaos inside his own mind.
And thus, the Demon King Familiars in the Dark Continent were not under Vandalieu’s control. As for the question of what would happen to parts of Vandalieu’s body that were out of range of Skills such as Long-distance Control and Group Control… Ordinarily, they would not be able to move. Perhaps they could twitch in response to a stimulus, but they would not be able to produce any meaningful movement.
However, that was not the case for the Demon King Familiars. They were a part of Vandalieu, but they had been made so that they would be able to sustain their own existence independently to some extent, and they were equipped with enough sensory organs such as the Demon King’s eyeballs and antennae, as well as nerves and sub-brains, to be able to conduct some form of thought.
Thus, the Demon King Familiars could move despite not being under Vandalieu’s control. Their ability to think was decreased to that of an average animal, and they were unable to use most Skills, but they obediently followed the instructions of those that Vandalieu recognized as allies. Thus, they conducted physical work and construction in the ‘city,’ and they also served as guards to watch out for monsters approaching the outer wall.
And Kanako was using them as lighting staff.
I have to give them instructions in a lot of detail, but that’s the only flaw they have. I just need to tell them what my plan for the performance is using Venus, and they follow the instructions perfectly, Kanako thought.
She had pretended that her cheat-like ability, Venus, was a power that let her charm its targets. However, it was a power that allowed her to imprint her own emotions and memories upon others. She was using this ability without reserve.
Ordinarily, Demon King Familiars would be unaffected by things influencing their mind due to the Deformed Soul Skill. However, even though the Skill prevented the Demon King Familiars’ own memories from being altered, it was still possible to share memories and images.
As I thought, this concert… this idol unit has potential! Legion and Gufadgarn are helping us with transport, so I’d like to make them official members, but… that would need one of Legion’s members to make a lot of effort, Kanako thought.
Even with these thoughts running through her mind, Kanako and the other idols continued their performance with no mistakes… or rather, with some small mistakes from the idols other than Kanako, but none that were large enough to affect the show.
Borkus and the others, who were watching from the audience, were also enjoying themselves.
“Sermons from other worlds are pretty fun! It’s just like a festival! Zandia, don’t trip over your own feet, now!” Borkus shouted towards the stage, waving a glowing stick in rhythm with the music.
“To be more precise, this is an idol concert, not a sermon. It’s not common for there to be singing and dancing in Earth and Origin’s sermons… though I won’t say there’s none,” said Pluto in a calm tone, also waving a glowing stick.
“Is that right? But it was written somewhere, ‘One-week-long-sermon,’” said Borkus.
“People wouldn’t know what it is if we wrote ‘concert,’ so Kanako apparently thought of calling it a ‘sermon’ so that everyone would come to listen,” Pluto explained.
“If I recall, the musical composition and choreography is a slightly altered version of the ones used in Origin and Earth. We’ve never heard them, so we wouldn’t know, though,” said Saria.
“She said that nobody would notice if she copied them exactly, so she’d make things easier for herself where she could,” said Rita.
“Jyuuh, I see. How clever,” said Bone Man with a nod, waving one of his own ribs instead of a glowing stick.
Naturally, even Kanako, who had been an idol in her previous life, did not have first-rate skills in songwriting and choreography in addition to everything else. She could do these things, but it would have been impossible to produce a medley with top-notch composition and choreography in only a few months.
Thus, she had made use of songs she had sung and heard in the past. It seemed that she had done this without hesitation, as the copyright license holders from Earth and Origin wouldn’t come all the way to another world to make claims.
Zadiris’s granddaughter Jadal was cheering as she watched. “Do your best, Grandma!”
“More importantly, Zadiris is… Is she really trying to not gain attention? I’m worried…” murmured Vigaro, Jadal’s grandfather.
“Mother did say that she’s going to do one year at a time, and she doesn’t stand at the front too often, so it’ll be fine if Kanako gets more members… probably,” said Basdia, Jadal’s mother.
“But you were invited to be a member as well, weren’t you, Basdia-san?” Rita asked.
“That’s right. Van made me a transformation staff already, too. Apparently, I’d just need to do some ‘voice training’ and dance practice and I’d be able to stand on the stage,” said Basdia, showing Rita the transformation staff that she had received from Vandalieu.
It seemed that Kanako really was determined to fill her idol unit with magical girls.
“It’s not like I’m not interested. I can see the effects it has on morale, and the dancing can be applied to combat techniques. It would probably be useful to inspire the Ghoul Amazonesses and lead the new Ghouls in Talosheim… like Mother,” said Basdia.
“Zadiris-san is more popular among the Ghouls than she expected, after all,” said Saria.
Zadiris was such a powerful type of Ghoul that her race title was not even known among the Ghoul tribes; to the Ghouls who had moved to Talosheim late, she was an inspiring figure – a true legend.
Now that she was standing on stage, there was no way that she would not gather attention. Even now, the Ghoul Amazonesses of the Dark Continent were cheering for her.
“I don’t think Kanako thought this far, though,” Basdia added.
“But if you were to stand on the stage as well, wouldn’t she draw even more attention?” asked Borkus.
“That’s what I’m a little concerned about. Mother said that the fad will die down after ten years at most, so I’m thinking that it should be alright,” said Basdia.
“Mommy’s going to be a magical girl, too!” Jadal said excitedly.
“Jadal’s saying things like this, too, after all,” said Basdia.
It seemed that Basdia was thinking of accepting Kanako’s proposal. Perhaps the day that mother and daughter appeared on stage was close.
“This world’s idol’s standards are pretty amazing right from the start, aren’t they,” Pluto remarked, imagining how amazing Lambda’s entertainment industry could be one day.
Even at this point, two members, Darcia and Zadiris, had children. Idols with children at the time of their debut… such idols would certainly attract a certain type of attention on Earth and in Origin, but these were the pioneers of idols in Lambda.
“We’ll need to learn how to dance in a way that makes it look like we have a skeleton,” said Shade, borrowing Pluto’s mouth.
“We can’t fail at dancing after Ghost finally agreed to it,” said Isis through Pluto’s mouth as well.
“You’re right,” Pluto nodded in agreement.
Legion could transform to make themselves appear just like a human, but this was merely an alteration of their appearance; they did not actually grow bones.
Thus, if they tried any strenuous activities like dancing, their body would flop about in a very strange performance.
“Perhaps it would be best to implant a spine and bones for our hands and feet while we’re transformed,” said Pluto.
“That is an excellent idea. Once the sermon is over, let us have Knochen share one skeleton’s worth of bones,” said Bone Man.
“Wow, Pluto-san’s debut is coming soon, isn’t it! Nee-san, we should join, too!” said Rita.
“Rita, we’re here as Darcia-sama’s guards and security staff; we can’t become members,” said Saria.
“… Incidentally, it is time for security staff to change shifts,” Mikhail said reservedly, and the conversation came to an end.
However, there was another unsettling conversation happening somewhere else, with nobody stopping it.
A three-meter-tall, burly Kiryujin with horns, claws as well as scales covering its arms, legs and shoulders, was talking to a Maryujin with membranous wings and the tail of a dragon.
“Unforgivable… No, it should not be forgiven,” the Kiryujin whispered.
“Yes. After doing something like that…” the Maryujin whispered back.
“Unforgivable… Heinz and his party. They have not received any punishment.”
“You’re completely right. They captured our Holy Mother and had her burned alive, but they’re still treated as heroes.”
These curses were directed not at the members on the stage, but at Heinz and the Five-colored Blades.
Darcia had mainly spoken of her adventures with Vandalieu; she hadn’t deliberately gone out of her way to directly talk about her torture and execution at the hands of High Priest Gordan and the evil-god-worshipping Vampires pulling the strings, nor had she denounced Heinz.
Her objective was to have the audience learn of Vandalieu and enjoy the entertainment.
But Darcia’s kindness only caused increased feelings of animosity towards Heinz and his companions, for mercilessly killing such a good person and causing the still-young Vandalieu long years of hardship.
Darcia was Vida’s incarnation; to the listeners, she was a god in person. Some were already worshipping her as the Holy Mother. They could not help but feel anger at the fact that the ones who had killed her were being praised as heroes in another nation.
Voices cursing Heinz spread deep among the crowd.
And these sentiments had already spread in Talosheim and the nations inside the Boundary Mountain Range. The people of Talosheim in particular had heard the story from Vandalieu directly; Heinz’s name was synonymous with the word ‘villain’ there.
But these cursing thoughts had never taken form until now.
As the music continued and the concert disguised as a sermon approached its end, two enormous gods appeared in the sky – Tiamat, the Mountain Queen Elder Dragon God, and Deanna, the Moon Giant.
The audience was surprised, wondering if there was a large-scale monster rampage or an attack by Alda’s forces.
“Everyone, calm yourselves. Today is an auspicious day, and we wish to give a gift,” said Tiamat, calming the audience down.
“A gift?” repeated Darcia, a puzzled look on her face.
The goddesses nodded.
“Indeed. The gift is not for you, Darcia, but for Vandalieu,” said Tiamat. “My children, Vandalieu is the emperor who rules this ‘city.’ The emperor who rules my Maryujin and Kiryujin children, and the one who leads them. Thus, I wish to give him the Title of ‘Elder Dragon Emperor.’”
Tiamat announced her wish to grant Vandalieu a Title higher than the ‘Dragon Emperor’ Title she had attempted and failed to grant Lioen, the Crystal-horned Dragon God, who was currently the most powerful Elder Dragon.
The audience fell into complete silence for a moment, and then exploded in cheers.
“It seems that there are none in opposition of this. With everyone’s agreement, there is no doubt that Vandalieu will gain this Title, as he is already being served by Fidirg and Luvesfol… Incidentally, where is that Pauvina? I was thinking of naming her ‘Elder Dragon Princess’ and granting her my divine protection,” said Tiamat.
“Pauvina-chan was cheering for us in the audience up on the previous days, but they’re in a Dungeon with Jeena-san, Rappie-chan and the others along with Luves-kun,” said Darcia.
“I see; what poor timing. Well then, it can wait until they return, so please tell her to come to my statue,” said Tiamat.
“It is unfortunate that we were not able to remove all of the obstacles,” said Deeana.
“Dear me, I wonder what you are talking about?” said Tiamat, feigning ignorance.
Deeana sighed, and Kanako, Zandia, Zadiris, Basdia and Legion all looked at her.
“I shall grant you a divine protection. May it help you support Vandalieu,” said Deeana.
The Moon Giant glowed faintly, and the light enveloped Kanako and the others.
“Amazing! Is this a divine protection?!” Kanako exclaimed.
“That is right. I am only able to grant it to those who are close to me, but… there are more of you than I thought. I am a little surprised,” said Deeana, having been able to grant her divine protection to more people than she had expected. “Zandia, please tell your two older sisters to receive divine blessings from my brother when he awakens,” she added, and her glow faded.
“Ah, yes! … Wait, Talos-sama is going to be resurrected?!” said Zandia.
“Yes. He was heavily wounded by Bellwood and Nineroad while trying to defend Vida, so it took some time, but it will happen soon… but perhaps he is simply unable to come out because there are many drunkards making noise on top of his head,” said Deeana.
“Eh? Drunkards?” Zandia repeated blankly.
“You will understand if you ask Vandalieu about it later,” said Deeana, and her image vanished from the sky along with Tiamat’s.
“I see… It seems that something troublesome is about to happen,” said Kanako.
“Yes, Talos-sama’s resurrection… We need to call Nee-san and Jeena-nee back,” said Zandia.
“The guests are really excited. I don’t think they’ll be satisfied unless we do an encore performance… Which songs shall we perform?” said Kanako.
“Is that what you’re worried about?!” Zandia said, exasperated.
“Well, that is indeed troublesome as well… incidentally, my throat is…” Zadiris murmured.
With some hurried cooperation from the musicians and boastful singers of the ‘city,’ and a short break to allow their throats to recover, the idols performed several encore songs and the concert ended in success.
Meanwhile, Heinz was about to challenge a new floor in Alda’s Dungeon when he suddenly heard an announcement in his mind.
《You have acquired the ‘Holy Mother Killer’ Title!》
“W-what?! I’m the ‘Holy Mother Killer?!’”
Titles: All Bone Palace, Concert Venue
Race: Bone Pandemonium
Monstrous Strength: Level 5 (LEVEL UP!)
Spirit Form: Level 10 (LEVEL UP!)
Precise Bone Form Manipulation: Level 2 (Awakened from Bone Form Manipulation!)
Physical Resistance: Level 10 (LEVEL UP!)
Absorption Healing (Bone): Level 10 (LEVEL UP!)
Fortress Form: Level 8 (LEVEL UP!)
Fission: Level 10 (LEVEL UP!)
Strengthened Attribute Values: Fortress Form: Level 7 (LEVEL UP!)
Strengthened Attribute Values: Creator: Level 5 (LEVEL UP!)
Self-Enhancement: Guidance: Level 5 (LEVEL UP!)
Silent Steps: Level 2
Breath (Poison): Level 10 (LEVEL UP!)
High-speed Flight: Level 6
Projectile Fire: Level 10 (LEVEL UP!)
Parallel Thought Processing: Level 10 (LEVEL UP!)
Construction: Level 3 (LEVEL UP!)
Musical Performance: Level 2 (NEW!)
Dance: Level 2 (NEW!)
■ァンダルー’s Divine Protection [a, n, da, ru-]
Group Bone Control: Level 3 (Awakened from Long-distance Control!)
Monster explanation (Written by Luciliano):
A Pandemonium of bones. Such monsters are only vaguely referenced in legends, and in a way, it is the most powerful kind of Undead; its existence is only theorized about.
As its name may suggest, it generates armies of skeletons. It is an enormous castle of walking Undead monsters. It is larger than castles of large nations; describing it would be easier by comparing it to a mountain.
There is likely not an A-class adventurer party or even an S-class adventurer who would want to face this monster, as they might starve to death before the battle comes to an end.
Knochen in particular would be a particularly problematic foe. Master gladly offered it a countless number of bones of the Demon King, thinking of it as spoiling his pet. Thus, some of the bones cannot even be damaged without Orichalcum equipment.
Honestly speaking, I believe that Knochen could perhaps destroy the Mirg shield-nation and occupy the capital city on its own. After all, it would be capable of dispatching a countless number of Skeletons as an extension of itself to watch citizens and dispose of them if need be, and it would become a strategic location to hold.
Even if A-class adventurers capable of sundering mountains and S-class adventurers even more powerful than them were to appear, they would struggle in battle against Knochen. Monsters like Knochen can often be defeated by destroying some kind of core at their center, but this does not apply to Knochen.
Of course, Knochen is specialized in defense and generating numbers, but it does have flaws. It has limited attacking capabilities and few methods of attacking. However, as a Rank 13 monster, there is no doubt that it could overwhelm A-class adventurers through brute force.
For some reason, it has become a concert venue and acquired the Musical Performance and Dance Skills.
Concepts originating from other worlds cannot be underestimated, nor can the power of Venus, which is capable of imprinting memories and experiences onto others.