Death Mage 231 – Gordon becomes a her…
Having paid a considerable sum to repair his jaw with healing magic, the ‘Strong Arm’ – or rather, ex-‘Strong Arm’ Gordon left the city of Morksi several days after the duel, a day after he lost his Title.
“Shit… Damn it… Shit…!” he cursed under his breath repeatedly as he walked at a quick pace away from the city.
Those who were heading towards the city seemed uneasy with his presence and averted their eyes from him. That didn’t bother him.
But he was very bothered by the gaze of the people who had also left the city of Morksi.
Gordon couldn’t stand the stares of pity, contempt and disdain from those who had witnessed the duel or heard about it.
The injuries Gordon had received from losing the duel had been healed, and there would be no lasting effects. Simon and Natania hadn’t taken money from him, nor had the Guild imposed any penalty, nor had he been caught and punished by the guards.
But Gordon was someone who had made his way through life using his strength to bully those around him. Large damage to the reputation of such a person could become fatal.
Even though the people around him held grudges against him, they would not be able to do anything to him as long as he was ‘strong.’ But due to recent events, he had lost the ‘Strong Arm’ Title.
That meant that there were now less people who feared him as the ‘Strong Arm’ than people who had decided that he didn’t deserve to be called that.
Gordon had left the city that he had based himself in and come to the city of Morksi only recently. Considering that, the news that he had been defeated in a duel would not have reached the ears of those he had harmed… the adventurers whose money and monster materials he had taken from them by force and the relatives of the women he had bedded by coercing their consent.
But once it did… what would happen if the people who had thought that they could not stand up to him, fearing even worse things, decided that they could stand up to him after all?
“Even if they’re D-class or lower, I wouldn’t be able to get through all of this unharmed if they formed groups. Shit, I’ll have no choice but to start over in another duchy,” Gordon muttered to himself.
That was why he had left the city of Morksi. He had been unable to endure the gazes of the city’s people, and the great influence of the ‘Starving Wolf’ Michael and Vandalieu, the master of the Ghouls.
But escaping from the Alcrem Duchy would be an effective choice for Gordon. He was a little extreme, but he wasn’t a criminal. He hadn’t ever killed anyone other than criminals such as bandits, and even when taking things from others, he had always only taken a small portion; he had never stripped anyone of all of their possessions.
As for the women… even though he had left them alone, he had never been charged for his actions.
Thus, information regarding him wouldn’t spread widely like it would if he were someone with a bounty on his head. If he went to another duchy, there would be almost nobody staring at him with pity and contempt.
And if he dedicated himself to quietly completing requests at the new city that he chose to base himself in, his reputation would return as well. The Guild hadn’t given him any penalties, and although he had lost the ‘Strong Arm’ Title, the Skills that he had trained so far were still there.
As a C-class adventurer, he would be more than capable of making a living.
One day, as Gordon continued down the highway, it had been a few hours after he left a village along the road. Just as he began to think that he should have a simple meal with some dried meat and water in a flask, his feet suddenly stopped.
His gaze wandered towards the snow-covered grasslands that extended away from the highway.
“… Why don’t I just leave the highway and go that way?” he said to himself.
He didn’t know why, but this seemed like a good idea to him. He headed in the direction of the grasslands, making up reasons for obeying this hunch in his mind such as that this would get him to another duchy faster than the highway, and that although this would be dangerous for ordinary travelers, someone as capable as himself would be fine.
He began treading the snow beneath his feet. Ordinarily, one would realize that it was wiser to follow the highway rather than venture into a snow-covered wasteland, even if the highway was the slightly longer route, but… Gordon continued onwards, as if guided by something.
And after a while… a flash of lightning stretched upwards towards the sky.
“W-what is this?!” Gordon shouted in alarm as he looked up at the clouds.
“… This is the ‘Lightning of Purification,’” said a boy’s voice, naming a wind-attribute spell that Gordon didn’t recognize.
Gordon looked down again to see that a boy had appeared in front of him.
“Having spirits watching over someone isn’t as effective as having Undead or familiars tailing them,” the boy continued.
“W-who are you?!” Gordon demanded.
The boy, who had a medium build and hair that stood up on end, was in his late teenage years. He was wearing leather armor of the sort that would be sold at any arms store, and was holding an equally ordinary axe.
From his appearance alone, he looked like the kind of new adventurer that one would find in the Adventurers’ Guild of any city, other than his peculiar hairstyle.
But the pressure that was emanating from him told Gordon that this was not the case.
“… Y-you’re no ordinary guy. Who are you? Wait, are you even human?” Gordon asked, taking a step back and raising his axe.
But the boy… Hajime Inui, did not look at Gordon; he simply continued staring at the sky.
“I suppose spirits are perfect for watching over people, since humans can’t see them unless they are ‘Spiritualists’ or have very special Skills,” Hajime said, continuing to talk to himself. “But my spell will have cleared away the spirits in the area… Gah, he has some spirits keeping their distance? How many spirits has that bastard sent?” he cursed under his breath. “‘Lightning of Purification!’”
Twice more, he released the spell towards the sky. But it seemed that he was not satisfied with the result.
“They’re too far away, huh. It can’t be helped; I’ll leave the rest. It’ll be too much of a pain to purify them all. And it’s not like he hasn’t noticed my presence anyway,” he murmured, finally turning his gaze towards Gordon. “Welcome, Gordon. I’m relieved that I was able to call you here despite your questionable level of religious devotion.”
“Y-you called me here? What are you talking about! I don’t know you! I’ve never even seen you before!” said Gordon.
“No, you should know me. Though it is true that you have never seen me before,” said Hajime.
Gordon did not feel anger towards Hajime and his cocky tone of speech. His mind was filled with the fear of not knowing what Hajime was.
But something might happen to him the moment he turned his back to Hajime. Sensing this danger, he could not take his eyes away from the boy in front of him.
“Now then, Gordon, the defeated loser. I have some good news and bad news for you. The good news is that you can become a hero. Your name will be left behind in history, and stories of you will be passed down from generation to generation,” said Hajime.
“W-what’s the bad news?!” Gordon asked in a panicked tone.
Hajime’s mouth twisted in an unpleasant smile. “The bad news? That’s… the fact that although your name will be left behind in history, your consciousness will not.”
A magical light gathered in Hajime’s hand.
Gordon knew that he would not be able to get away if he ran. And so, he let out a shout and charged towards Hajime. With footsteps so powerful that it was difficult to believe that he had been unable to move until just a moment ago, he charged and raised his axe.
“You fool,” said Hajime.
Before Gordon could come within a distance where his axe could reach his foe, lightning was released from Hajime’s hand. Gordon screamed as the lightning struck him directly.
Gordon dropped to his knees, but the lightning from Hajime’s hand did not stop.
“Th… that’s enough… Commander…!” Gordon managed to utter.
The moment the word ‘Commander’ left Gordon’s mouth, Hajime stopped the lightning. With his body burned by the lightning and white smoke rising from it, Gordon gasped and gulped down a Potion taken from his pouch.
“Tastes disgusting! Seriously, what a weak body. To think that this is a C-class adventurer! The quality of adventurers these days really has fallen!” said Gordon… or the person who was once Gordon, as his burns healed.
“That can’t be helped. The times and the world have changed since you were an active adventurer, ‘Mountain Breaking Strong Spear’ Bobby,” said Hajime, referring to Gordon by the name of someone else, a certain hero.
The ‘Mountain Breaking Strong Spear’ Bobby was a hero who had lived several tens of thousands of years ago. He wielded a powerful spear made of Obsidian and an Adamantite core that even a Titan warrior could not carry, and it was said that he was capable of breaking mountains with it.
He had been a member of the mercenary band that Fitun, the god of thunderclouds, had led as a human. After his death, he had become a heroic spirit.
Ordinarily, he would not exist upon the world’s surface unless someone had summoned him through ‘Heroic Spirit Descent.’
But the being that was speaking through Gordon’s mouth now recognized itself as the ‘Mountain Breaking Strong Spear’ Bobby.
This was all the doing of Hajime… or rather, Fitun, who had taken over Hajime’s body.
“Is that how it is? But… I thought I’d be staying back this time,” Bobby said.
“Sorry, his compatibility was good for summoning you, and it’s quite hard to find capable vessels,” said Fitun.
At first, this had been a simple countermeasure to prevent Vandalieu from destroying Hajime’s soul while he was defenseless, before his spirit clone could descend upon him.
When familiar spirits, heroic spirits or spirit clones descended onto this world, a pillar of light accompanied them from the sky. This was visible even from very far distances. Thus, doing so would be like sending a signal to Vandalieu saying, “Please attack us.”
Thus, Fitun had thought that it would be best to have the spirit clone that would descend upon Hajime stay close to Hajime’s physical body at all times. He had intended to give Hajime equipment containing his spirit clone… an Artifact, and have the spirit clone enter his body without giving Vandalieu the opportunity to strike.
But the compatibility between Fitun and Hajime, as well as his ‘Marionette’ ability, was greater than he had imagined.
In the process of fusing with Hajime, consuming him, Fitun had acquired knowledge about how brain cells functioned, knowledge that should have been impossible to acquire in Lambda.
And then it had occurred to him: Combining the ‘Marionette’ ability with his own authority as the god of thunderclouds, could he not have the heroic and familiar spirits that served him descend upon the world as well?
If the body was hardware and the soul was its software, then the ‘Marionette’ ability was hacking.
Fitun had made contact with Gordon’s body with lightning, replaced the information in his brain with ‘Marionette,’ then downloaded the ‘Mountain Breaking Strong Spear’ Bobby from his divine realm and overwritten Gordon’s soul.
That was a rough metaphor for what had happened to Gordon’s body.
“Capable, huh. My body is heavy and my senses are dull,” said Bobby.
“If you’re going to complain, complain to Vandalieu who just appeared out of nowhere. Thanks to him, I had to rush to find a vessel for you,” said Fitun.
Heroic and familiar spirits could not descend upon and be given just anyone’s body. First, they needed to have at least a little religious faith in Fitun. They didn’t need to be as pious as to pray to him for victory at every battle or go to a Church once a week, but it was certainly impossible to have a heroic spirit descend upon someone who had never prayed to Fitun in their lives.
And humans to be used as vessels needed to have a certain extent of compatibility with the downloaded heroic or familiar spirit. It was desirable to have vessels of the same race and gender, and if possible, of similar physique. It would be best to have bodies that were well-trained to some extent.
“I suppose if you’re searching for a body like that around here, your options are limited,” said Bobby.
“Yes, because if I were to look for a vessel from another duchy or from the Amid Empire, having them come to Morksi would be far too much effort,” said Fitun. “But this is part of the pleasure of a battle to the death.”
It was rare for one to be perfectly equipped and in perfect health during a battle to the death. In fact, it was far more common that one would need to damage their already-chipped blades and fight with a fatigued body. Their enemy would come for them regardless of such things.
That was best. It was a thrill that didn’t exist in duels carried out with perfect preparations on a predetermined date and observers watching it happen. And there was more strategy to it.
How to defend against the enemy’s attack with damaged equipment, and how to kill them. How to withstand fatigue and wounds. To Fitun, a battle without these factors was nothing but a game.
The heroic spirits who served him thought this way as well.
Bobby chuckled. “That’s very like you, Commander.”
“If you’ve got time to be laughing, hurry up and check your Status. Your body wasn’t that of a hero with the ‘Heroic Spirit Descent’ Skill; it’s the body of a defeated dog. There are no abnormalities with its Attribute Values or Skills, are there?” Fitun asked.
“Alright. ‘Status!’ … My name is Gordon Bobby. I suppose my Attribute Values and Skills are not too bad. I think this body would break within minutes if I used my full strength, however.”
Bobby, or rather, Gordon Bobby, who had consumed Gordon’s soul and taken over his body, frowned.
“I’d expect as much. But some of the others that I found wouldn’t have lasted a minute,” said Hajime Fitun. “Those ones are currently being trained in my Dungeon.”
Fitun wasn’t classified as an evil god, so he would normally have been unable to create a Dungeon. But it was possible for him to forcibly stretch his power to create a Dungeon, just as Alda, the god of law and fate, had done to create a Dungeon for training Heinz.
But Fitun had forcibly stretched his power for this purpose over thousands of years, tens of thousands of years before Vandalieu was reincarnated in this world.
Even so, his Dungeon wasn’t on a scale that could be compared to Alda’s, however.
“You are training them in the Labyrinth of Thunderclouds? That is a trial for those who desire your divine protection, Artifacts or to become heroes, is it not? You are rash as always,” said Gordon Bobby.
Though it was inferior to Alda’s Dungeon, Fitun’s Dungeon was difficult enough for B-class adventurers to struggle with it. Facing it with a body that one was unaccustomed to would be like being pushed into a bottomless ravine.
“They’re all those like you who were my subordinates in their previous lives, or those who stood out from the small fry believers. They were actually enjoying it, being able to experience fighting for their lives again because they’ve become weak,” said Hajime Fitun. “You’re the last, so you don’t have much time, but you should do some warming up before the battle to the death against the Demon King.”
“Yes, yes… Ah, come to think of it, the goddess of rainclouds tried to make contact with you, Commander. Though she gave up and left quickly, realizing that she didn’t have any acquaintances in your divine realm,” said Gordon Bobby.
“That gloomy woman,” Hajime Fitun muttered.
Hajime’s face grimaced as Fitun remembered Bashas, the goddess of rainclouds.
Bashas had become a goddess at around the same time as Fitun… Though they had actually become gods several centuries apart, it was but a small difference to gods.
Gods that were related to clouds had originally been led by a god who was one of the more powerful gods among the subordinate gods and a confidant of Shizarion, the god of wind and art. However, like Shizarion, that god’s soul had been destroyed by the Demon King Guduranis.
The champion Nineroad, who had become a heroic god after her death, had appointed a new god of clouds, but a single young god did not have enough power to fulfill this important role on his own. Thus, the role was divided into multiple – including ‘thunderclouds’ and ‘rainclouds.’
Thus, Fitun did not think positively of Bashas, as she was someone who represented the fact that Fitun lacked power as a god despite being an accomplished hero on the battlefield.
“Leave her alone. She hasn’t descended upon the world, so she can’t interfere unless she does something like send heroes with her divine protection to fight us,” said Hajime Fitun.
Fitun already inhabited Hajime’s body on the surface of the world of Lambda. There was nothing that Bashas could do to interfere with him now.
“Very well… Speaking of heroes, I wonder why the other gods are not doing what you are doing, Commander?” said Gordon Bobby, following behind Hajime Fitun. “It would be possible to have devout believers offer their bodies for heroic spirits or what have you descend onto them, even without that ‘Marionette’ ability.”
The gods had chosen many quality individuals and were raising them as heroes to be led by Heinz as fighting forces against Vandalieu.
But wouldn’t it have been more efficient to have heroic spirits incarnated in their bodies, as Hajime Fitun had done?
“Are you a fool?” Hajime Fitun laughed. “Only a fiend like me who doesn’t think of my believers as people would come up with and carry out an idea like this. This is an accomplishment that that sophisticated lot would be incapable of!”
Fitun was certain that he would be impaled by Alda’s stakes once he learned of what he had done. It was only natural. Gods were supposed to lead the people, not use their believers as disposable resources.
But there had apparently been a saying in the champions’ world.
‘History is written by the victors.’
If the Demon King Vandalieu were defeated, Fitun would gain glory regardless of the method he had used to achieve it, and if he failed, he would simply be destroyed.
It was a very simple, easy-to-understand plan.
Doug Atlas grimaced at the stench that he had been familiar with in his previous life.
The smell of burning houses and fields, and the stench of blood. If there was gunpowder smoke in the air as well, it would have been identical to the smell he knew, but that was absent.
There were the remains of a man and woman, presumably a married couple or lovers, piled one on top of another in the snow that was red with their blood.
“… This isn’t the city of Morksi, is it?” Doug said.
“No. It looks like a village that has been attacked by bandits or something else,” said a black-haired girl wearing a snow-white one-piece dress… Pluto, one of Legion’s personalities.
“Yeah, I think you’re right. But… Why did we teleport here? We were supposed to go to the city of Morksi, right?”
Doug and Pluto had planned to teleport from Talosheim to the city of Morksi using the ability of Jack, another of Legion’s personalities.
But after a moment of feeling like they were being suspended in mid-air, they were faced with this terrible scene. For a moment, they had thought that an unexpected emergency situation was taking place in the city, but… they had quickly realized that that wasn’t the case. A quick glance at their surroundings had immediately told them that this place was clearly not a trading city.
Doug’s question was a roundabout way of asking, ‘What were you thinking, bringing me to a place like this?’
But as he looked at her, searching for an answer, she simply looked back at him.
Her eyes, which had been praised as being mystical by her worshipers in Origin, were wavering in confusion.
“Hey, Doug… Where might this place be?” she asked.
“You… Are you seriously just lost?!” Doug exclaimed.
It seemed that Legion hadn’t brought him here with some intention in mind; they had simply teleported to the wrong destination.
“It’s not our fault, is it? We’ve never been to the city of Morksi ourselves, and Vandalieu is suppressing his death-attribute Mana more than he did in Talosheim… We can make mistakes if there’s a death-filled, tragic scene like this along the way,” said Pluto.
“I guess that’s how it is,” Doug muttered.
Legion’s teleportation was not something achieved through space-attribute magic like Gufadgarn’s. It was an instantaneous movement across space, guided by the presence of death and death-attribute magic that they detected. It was Jack’s death-attribute spell.
Doug had been aware that they sometimes teleported to an intended location because they mistook the presence of death with the presence of their companions. That was part of the reason why Jack had been given the codename ‘Jack-o’-Lantern.’
“So then, this is a village somewhere between Talosheim and Morksi. Can you bring us to Morksi from here?” Doug asked.
“Yes, I think we should be fine to do that… but could you wait a minute? There’s something that we want to test first,” said Pluto.
“That’s fine. Well, it looks like I have a bit of work to do as well,” said Doug.
The two of them looked at their surroundings once more.
They were being surrounded by a group of armed silhouettes who had their faces hidden by cloths and masks, appearing one after another from the shadows of the buildings.
“You two… Where did you come from? Are you survivors of this village?” one of them asked, sounding bewildered.
Doug was lightly equipped in leather armor, with dark skin and a distinctive hairstyle. In contrast, Pluto had white, candlewax-like skin and black hair and black eyes, which were rare in this area. On top of that, she was floating in the air. No matter how one looked at it, the two of them were clearly not villagers.
“We’re something like lost travelers, but you guys don’t look like villagers or guards either,” said Doug, giving a safe answer.
One man, wearing a particularly peculiar mask among the group of masked silhouettes, burst out laughing. “Travelers, huh? I like that. Your journey through life will come to an end here, as you face your demise by becoming sacrifices to our god!”
“That person is quite the poet, despite his appearance,” Pluto remarked.
“Yeah, everyone is a traveler on their journey through life… Wait, that’s not what we should be focusing on right now, is it?” said Doug.
It seemed that the unfortunate villagers had been attacked not by bandits, but by these fanatics that worshiped an evil god. Bandits might have spared their lives in exchange for food or money, but such things were of no value to fanatics who had come to slaughter them as a sacrifice.
Because of that, the village had been so thickly surrounded by death that it had caused Pluto to mistake this place for her destination.
“This will be the final sacrifice for today! If we sacrifice these two… perhaps not that man, but the pure-looking maiden, then Tubereese-sama, the evil god of wicked blood, should speak to us once more!” the man with the strange mask shouted, and the others shouted with him.
“For our god!”
The fanatics approached, raising their weapons that were stained with the blood of the villagers.
Doug frowned. “So, what are we going to do, ‘pure maiden’ Pluto?”
“Let’s do the thinking after we kill them all, ‘that man’ Doug,” Pluto replied.
“Yeah… It’d be too much of a pain to bring them all back as gifts for Luciliano-ossan.”
As the fanatics shouted and charged forward, Doug began crushing them with the telekinesis of ‘Hecatoncheir.’
“Huh?” the man in the strange mask, who seemed to be the founder of this cult, muttered in shock as he came to his senses.
He was watching his subordinates being crushed as if they were dolls made of clay.
A boy who wasn’t even properly armed was somehow slaughtering his men in an instant. The cult’s founder was simply unable to comprehend what was unfolding before his eyes.
But he was also seeing something that was even more impossible to comprehend. The girl he had thought was a pure maiden was expanding from the inside and transforming into a mass of flesh with multiple voices coming from within it.
“Doug looks bored,” said Hitomi.
“Yeah, he likes fighting, not killing people,” said Enma.
“What he prefers is actual combat rather than a one-sided massacre… That is very brave! I hope that I can be spoken of in such a way as well!” said Valkyrie.
“Pluto, wouldn’t it be faster if I set them all on fire in one go?” suggested Baba Yaga.
“But you’d burn up all of the villagers’ corpses that way as well,” said Pluto.
With squelching noises, the girl was transforming into a sphere that was made of an endless number of flesh mannequins entangled around one another.
Trembling, the masked man dropped to his knees, and his weapon fell onto the ground. “A-ah, god, my god, grant… grant me salvation…!”
“First he called you a pure maiden, and now he’s calling you a god,” said Ereshkigal.
“Then as your god, this is my command to you. We got lost because of you, so die,” said Pluto.
Countless hands reached out towards the masked man from within Legion, took hold of him and began tearing him to pieces. The man screamed, but Legion’s fingers gripped his flesh and tore it apart methodically.
And so, the fanatical worshipers of an evil god were slaughtered so that they would never create a scene of death to confuse Legion’s teleportation navigation ever again.
And Legion discussed things with some spirits and succeeded in carrying out things that they had wanted to try.
Several hours later, the knight Abel arrived at the village, leading a group of troops. Having received the divine protection of Yunos, the god of pure water, he had been chasing the cult of Tubereese, the evil god of wicked blood. But by the time he arrived, nothing was left.
“What… What in the world is this?! There are large numbers of bloodstains, burned houses and several severed heads of the fanatics who attacked the village, but the villagers’ corpses are missing…!” he muttered in shock.
Abel conducted a deep search not only inside the village but in the surrounding area as well, but he could not get a lead on Legion, who had left this place through teleportation.
Incidentally, Tubereese, the evil god of wicked blood, had abandoned these fanatics long ago and fallen into a slumber to bide his time until the threat of Vandalieu had passed, so nothing more came of this incident.
《Vandalieu has acquired the ‘Enhanced Attribute Values: Worshiped’ Skill!》
《The Levels of the ‘Enhanced Attribute Values: Reigning’ and ‘Enhanced Attribute Values: Worshiped’ Skills have increased!》
《You have changed Jobs to ‘Whip Tongue Calamity!’》
《You have acquired the ‘Whip Technique’ Skill!》
《The Level of the ‘Body Expansion: Tongue’ Skill has increased!》
Late February. Though spring was close, the weather in this area made that difficult to believe.
Up until now, Vandalieu had established a wide-range surveillance network of spirits, and put effort into gathering information from nearby cities, villages and outposts, including the city of Itobam, though he did not rely on this information network too much.
However, he had been unable to acquire any important information regarding Murakami or Hajime.
Murakami’s group seemed to have sent what seemed to be the ‘Sylphid’ Misa Anderson out on a scouting mission on one occasion, but had not shown any further movements.
There weren’t any signs of people being hired to bring them food and other necessities, never mind them directly entering or leaving the city of Morksi or any nearby cities or villages.
It was likely that they had somehow stocked up on food and other necessities beforehand before entering the Alcrem Duchy in order to conceal themselves in the wastelands, not entering any city or village and keeping hunting to a minimum.
It was also possible that other reincarnated individuals had died in Origin and joined them, allowing the use of other abilities, but Vandalieu thought that was unlikely.
Hajime had been caught in the spirit surveillance network once, with some spirits saying that they had spoken to other spirits who said that they had seen him with the former ‘Strong Arm’ Gordon. But that was all.
The spirits that had seen them directly had been purified by Hajime’s spell, so the precise details of the interaction weren’t known.
“He’s either become a ‘Spiritualist’ or acquired a special Skill… If not, he’s become assimilated by a familiar spirit or other servant of a god, or a god himself,” said Vandalieu.
The only ones who could see spirits in this world other than death-attribute mages were those with the ‘Spiritualist’ Job, gods and their servants.
There were also Magic Items that allowed the user to see spirits, so that was a possibility as well.
And Hajime’s trail had ended there.
Vandalieu consulted not only Melissa, but Kanako, Legion and Doug as well – everyone who knew the reincarnated individuals.
“A god’s servant fusing with him… there are some eccentric gods out there,” said Kanako.
“Was there a god of sex crimes or a god of gynophobia?” Pluto wondered.
“I don’t think there are… a ‘puppeteer god’ seems too specific, too,” said Vandalieu.
None of them could figure out what kind of plan Hajime had.
Considering his ‘Marionette’ ability, it could be assumed that he was somehow controlling people in a continuous manner and using them, but… even Vandalieu and his companions had never imagined that Alda’s forces, who were not evil gods, would execute a plan that required them to use their own believers as disposable resources.
Vandalieu had struggled with gathering information, but everything else was going smoothly.
The construction of the enormous statue in Talosheim was proceeding at a particularly astounding pace, considering that Vandalieu was not assisting the project. There were no large mistakes being made, and no injured workers.
“I am continuing my protest activities, though,” said Vandalieu.
“You call those protest activities? The Demon King Familiars that stand at the ends of streets to not get in the way of the construction, holding placards silently so that the workers don’t get distracted?” said Doug, the last to leave Talosheim, as he recalled the protesting Demon King Familiars.
The Demon King Familiars were too inconspicuous to be called demonstrators; people would have believed them if they were to say that they were cleaning the streets… After all, they really did clean the surrounding areas after their protest activities.
“Nobody will take any notice of them unless you have them shout and take up whole streets like protests on Earth,” said Doug.
“… I don’t really want to go that far. I feel hesitant to selfishly deny the voice of my own citizens,” said Vandalieu.
Thanks to his attitude towards the workers, the construction was proceeding smoothly, causing him to gain Experience Points and reach the maximum for the ‘Demiurge’ Job.
Some peculiar new Jobs had appeared – ‘Balor,’ ‘Apollyon’ and ‘Demogorgon’ – but Vandalieu had recently been using ‘Unarmed Combat Technique’ often, and he had acquired the Demon King’s tentacles which could serve as whips, so he had changed Jobs to the ‘Whip Tongue Calamity’ Job.
Once he learned ‘Whip Technique,’ he would be able to fight with something other than ‘Unarmed Fighting Technique,’ making his combat methods more diverse.
Matthew and the other children of the orphanage were attending beginner seminars at the Tamers’ Guild, and a reconciliation process was proceeding between the orphanage and the Communal Church. Meanwhile, the recipe for Gobu-gobu was spreading all the way to poor farming villages.
“Leaving that aside, what are we going to do now?” asked Melissa.
“It’s certain that they are nearby… I’ve sent out Undead insects, so I think I’ll find them if they’re hiding nearby,” said Vandalieu.
“It seems that they sometimes get crushed by normal adventurers, but they’re less likely to cause a commotion like Demon King Familiars would,” said Pluto.
This was a plan that Vandalieu didn’t really want to have to resort to, but he had sent out Undead insects around the city of Morksi. This would allow the gathering of more concrete information than just stationing spirits around.
… However, this came with the risk that they were discovered by ordinary people and cause a commotion.
They had already been noticed by a number of perceptive adventurers, and subsequently crushed, captured or reported to the Adventurers’ Guild. However, the Undead insects were not bees or scorpions; they were ordinary, non-venomous insects. With only a few reports coming in, it seemed that the Guild didn’t sense any danger yet.
The furthest they had gone to was putting up commissions for adventurers to go around and check whether there were any hordes of Undead appearing near the city just in case.
“In any case, let’s just wait while maintaining the surveillance network and being ready to move at a moment’s notice… though I can roughly guess the timing that they’ll come for me,” said Vandalieu.
Title: Holy Flesh-wife
Race: Eclipse Legion
Job: Eclipse Flesh Master
Job level: 35
Job history: Apprentice Mage, Mage, Apprentice Warrior, Warrior, Meat Sphere Warrior, Enormous Meat Sphere Warrior, No-Attribute Mage, Flesh Manipulator, Thief, Assassin, Dark Fighter, Mass Caster
Mental Corruption: Level 7
Magic Resistance: Level 6 (LEVEL UP!)
Special Five Senses
Physical Attack Resistance: Level 8
Form Shift: Level 3 (LEVEL UP!)
Super-speed Regeneration: Level 8
Superhuman Strength: Level 9 (LEVEL UP!)
Mana Enlargement: Level 4
Vitality Enlargement: Level 1
Strengthened Attribute Values: Consumable Meat: Level 7
Fire and Lightning Resistance: Level 4
Strengthened Attribute Values: Creator: Level 2 (NEW!)
Self-Enhancement: Guidance: Level 3 (NEW!)
Limited Death-Attribute Magic: Level 10
Size Alteration: Level 10 (LEVEL UP!)
Commanding: Level 5 (LEVEL UP!)
Surgery: Level 7
Unarmed Fighting Technique: Level 9 (LEVEL UP!)
Dagger Technique: Level 7 (LEVEL UP!)
Fusion: Level 3 (LEVEL UP!)
Charge: Level 10 (LEVEL UP!)
Chant Revocation: Level 4
Long-distance Control: Level 9 (LEVEL UP!)
No-Attribute Magic: Level 6
Mana Control: Level 6
Surpass Limits: Level 7 (LEVEL UP!)
High-speed Travel: Level 7 (LEVEL UP!)
Strengthened Regeneration: Consumable Meat: Level 7 (LEVEL UP!)
Throwing: Level 5 (LEVEL UP!)
Cooking: Level 2 (LEVEL UP!)
Assassination Technique: Level 4 (LEVEL UP!)
Lockpicking: Level 4 (LEVEL UP!)
Assassin Combat Technique: Level 4 (LEVEL UP!)
Dark Fighting Technique: Level 3 (LEVEL UP!)
Silent Steps: Level 2
Trap: Level 2
Magic Fighting Technique: Level 2
Singing: Level 1 (NEW!)
Dancing: level 1 (NEW!)
Familiar Spirit Demonfall: Level 1 (NEW!)
God of Origin’s Divine Protection
Zuruwarn’s Divine Protection
Ricklent’s Divine Protection
Gazer: Level 5
Encroachment Fusion: Level 2 (LEVEL UP!)
Vandalieu’s Divine Protection
Deeana’s Divine Protection (NEW!)
Large Volume Parallel Thought Processing: Level 1 (Awakened from Parallel Thought Processing!)
Title explanation (Written by Luciliano):
True Ruler of the Red-light District
There are Titles such as ‘Ruler of X’ and ‘Influential person of X,’ that represent the fact that the Title owner is an important person in a certain region. These Titles cannot be acquired unless one is extremely well recognized or peculiar (For the same reason that Master does not acquire obvious Titles such as ‘Eclipse Emperor of Talosheim’).
In Master’s case, it can be assumed that he has acquired this Title because of the fact that the most influential person in the red-light district is a boy, and that there was a surface ruler in the ‘Starving Wolf’ Michael.
The Title’s effect is an increase in influence and charisma in that region.
Skill explanation (Written by Luciliano):
Large Volume Parallel Thought Processing
A Skill that Legion has awakened from the ‘Parallel Thought Processing’ Skill. It is likely a Skill that is unique to them, as a multiple-personality consisting of multiple fused souls that each have separate minds.
… As I thought, acquiring a superior Skill of a Skill that humans cannot ordinarily acquire means becoming even less like a human.