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With the Mountain Giant corpse being thrown into the middle of the battlefield by the Thunder Dragon and Giant Zombies, Kanako’s side and Gordon Bobby’s side both fell back, putting some distance in between the two parties.
But they didn’t waste any time glaring at each other with the enormous corpse in the way; the battle resumed again immediately.
“I’ll crush you! ‘Titan Foot!’” shouted Doug, activating ‘Hecatoncheir.’
Even in his previous life in Origin, he had been a powerful soldier in combat with his telekinetic powers. But after coming to Lambda, discovering the Status System and learning to use martial skills – and invent them – he had developed into an even more powerful warrior.
And one of the things he had developed was martial skills that could only be used on ‘Hecatoncheir,’ based on ‘Unarmed Fighting Technique.’ In his previous life, his telekinesis had been powerful enough to mow down military tanks, but it was now a deadly weapon whose power exceeded that of a Titan.
“‘Divine Iron Wall!’” shouted the Titan shield-bearer of the Flame Blades… or rather, the heroic spirit who had taken over his body.
With a shout of exertion, he shouldered the blow of Doug’s telekinesis using his Orichalcum-plated shield.
Meanwhile, the other heroic spirits dashed past him towards Doug and his companions.
“‘Flash of Lightning!’” shouted the heroic spirit controlling the swordsman who was the leader of the Flame Blades.
But his attack was blocked by a transparent barrier.
“‘Impossible! A defensive barrier that cannot be broken by even me, the feared ‘Lightning Blade?!’”
Melissa smirked at the shock on the face of the heroic spirit known as the ‘Lightning Blade.’ Her ‘Aegis’ ability was the ability to create a powerful barrier; in her previous life, she had thought of it as almost indestructible.
It hadn’t ever been put to the test against tactical nuclear weapons, but it had withstood direct hits from tank fire and missiles without a problem. Even the abilities of other individuals, such as Doug’s ‘Hecatoncheir,’ had been unable to break it.
The only exception had been Amemiya Hiroto’s ‘Ignore Defense’… but Pluto’s rampaging death-attribute Mana had made her lose all faith in her ability.
And in Lambda, there were materials that barriers could not withstand. The defensive power of ‘Aegis’ was no longer unrivalled.
Artifacts made of Orichalcum were one type of weapon that could break through ‘Aegis.’ However…
“That sword is only plated in Orichalcum, isn’t it? It’s like you’re underestimating me. Quite unpleasant,” said Melissa.
Her ‘Aegis’ was able to repel fake or pseudo-Artifacts that only had a thin coating of Orichalcum.
The heroic spirit made a noise of frustration. “When you use that ‘Transformation’ with your staff, your barrier’s strength increases, is that it?!”
“That’s right, but let’s not talk about that!” Melissa shouted angrily from the other side of her barrier.
Her transformation improved her Attribute Values, her use of magic… as well as the defensive power of the ‘Aegis’ and the speed with which she could deploy it.
The transformation was extremely beneficial, but she couldn’t accept that fact just yet.
But before she could do anything else –
“Leave that woman’s barrier to me!” shouted the heroic spirit controlling the Flame Blades’ female archer, firing an arrow with a black arrowhead.
The arrow pierced through Melissa’s barrier with ease.
But thanks to Doug’s ‘Hecatoncheir’ sweeping the arrow away, it didn’t reach her.
“Get back, Melissa! She’s using Demon King equipment!” Doug warned her.
The female archer let out a laugh. “Precisely! The Commander brought the Demon King equipment that was given to one of the Churches, you see!”
The quiver she carried was a piece of Demon King equipment, which had been made using the Demon King’s bone marrow. Its function was simple; it coated the tips of arrows placed inside it with blood made of the Demon King’s bone marrow – effectively turning them into Demon King arrows.
In other words, it generated arrowheads made of a fragment of the Demon King.
“Now!” the archer shouted.
With the ‘Aegis’ having been shattered like glass by the arrow, the swordsman moved in to attack once more.
Kanako, who had been supporting the Thunder Dragon Zombie and Kimberley who was lurking within it, noticed Doug and Melissa’s predicament.
“‘Mercury Wall Swarm!’” she shouted, casting a spell towards them.
The swordsman snorted contemptuously. “What are you playing at?”
The mercury walls conjured by Kanako were numerous in number, but each of them was small and thin. They certainly did not look like they would provide the defense needed to stop a heroic spirit who had once been praised as the ‘Lightning Blade.’
With a smirk on his face, the swordsman moved to cut down Doug and Melissa along with the mercury wall in front of them.
But the reflection of Kanako’s face, with her tongue poking out, appeared on the wall’s silver-colored surface, and the ‘Lightning Blade’ made eye contact with her.
At that moment, his entire mind was consumed by blasphemous images!
His mind in chaos, ‘Lightning Blade’ screamed.
The paintings on the roofs of Talosheim’s buildings, the monoliths in the former Scylla territory – Kanako burnt her own memories of seeing these objects that were imbued with Vandalieu’s ‘Mental Encroachment’ Skill’s effects into the heroic spirit’s mind with ‘Venus.’
In the next moment, Doug’s ‘Hecatoncheir’ struck him directly, sending him flying backwards.
“Thanks to Van, my ‘Venus’ has easily turned into a psychological weapon! And using mercury walls as mirrors was quite a good improvisation, if I do say so myself!” Kanako said happily.
But she found herself blinking in confusion as the swordsman unsteadily got back to his feet.
“Oh dear. You did less damage than I expected,” she said.
“That was the most I can do in my current state while keeping that shield-bearer back as well!” said Doug, his forehead covered in sweat.
His ‘Hecatoncheir’ was capable of striking multiple targets as long as they were within his perception. His codename wasn’t named after a legendary hundred-handed giant for no reason.
But he could not apply his full power to every target that way. If the power of ‘Hecatoncheir’ could be thought of as having 100 units, Doug would have to split those 100 units of power among his targets.
He was currently spending 70 units on suppressing the shield-bearer. He had used 30 units when punching the swordsman.
“No matter how rotten they are, they’re still heroic spirits, after all. I’m sure they have more Vitality than you’d think from their appearance,” said Melissa.
Indeed, perhaps due to that vast Vitality, the swordsman didn’t seem like he had been greatly injured. His face was completely pale, but that was likely due to the damage to his mind rather than to his body.
“That evil wench, doing something so horrific while wearing such fucked up clothing!” the ‘Lightning Blade’ cursed with hatred in his voice, turning the shock of having his mind attacked into anger and killing intent.
“It is your fault for letting your guard down, you fool! Think of that woman as a Demon Eye user or a Medusa!” the female archer shouted, reprimanding him.
It seemed that the power relationship between the heroic spirits was different to that between the original owners of their bodies.
“So, Medusas exist in this world as well. Maybe Lamias become Medusas when their Ranks increase?” Kanako murmured.
“Are you just going to ignore the fact that you were called an ‘evil wench?’” asked the clone of Vandalieu that was currently descended on her.
“Well, he’s one of Hajime’s subordinates. It’s only natural for them to have the worst possible impression of me,” said Kanako. “Ah, would I be cuter if I looked more hurt?”
“No, if I had to choose, the ‘fucked up clothing’ part makes me angrier,” Vandalieu’s clone replied.
“You made the base design, after all… I can agree with him, though,” Melissa muttered.
The voices of familiar spirits could normally only be heard by the owners of the bodies that they had descended upon, but Vandalieu’s clones were all a part of the same person. Thus, it was possible for those with ‘Familiar Spirit Demonfall’ active to hear the clones that were currently descended upon others.
“… Melissa, do you want me to add frills, laces, hairbands with animal ears and fluffy fur to your outfit?” Vandalieu’s clone asked her.
“No! If you do that, I’m going to tell Darcia-san!” Melissa said.
The ability to hear Vandalieu’s clones that were descended upon others was not being put to particularly effective use.
“Hey, more importantly, are those reinforcements?!” Doug asked with a panicked expression.
The telekinesis he had been using on the shield-bearer having been repelled. The female archer had destroyed Kanako’s mercury mirrors. Gordon Bobby, the mage and the scout woman had defeated the Thunder Dragon Zombies.
“This is no good. I can’t do anything if they close the distance,” said Kimberley, returning to Kanako and the others since the Dragon Zombies that were his cover had been exterminated. “Their corpses are still there, so could you maybe please turn them into Undead again?”
“I could, but it would be difficult. You say that the corpses are left, but they’re in pieces,” replied the Vandalieu that had descended on Kanako and the others, looking at the Dragon and Mountain Giants that Gordon Bobby and his allies had turned back into ordinary corpses. “It’d be obvious that they were Zombies even from a distance, you see.”
“… I see. We’re still in a situation where we need to protect your reputation. But even with Kimberley here, fighting any further is going to be tough for us,” said Doug.
Indeed, it was difficult for them to face heroic spirits on their own.
They were reincarnated individuals just like Hajime, and they had trained considerably even after being reincarnated in this world.
But their situation and goals were different.
Kanako, Doug and Melissa had deserted Murakami’s group and chosen to try and become taken in by Vandalieu. During that process, they had become adventurers, a convenient occupation for them, and gained a considerable amount of experience. But they had not spent their time on Leveling like Hajime had.
And even after Vandalieu accepted their defection to Talosheim, they had not concentrated all of their efforts on increasing their strength in combat. They had been busy with various tasks such as creating fireworks and, in Kanako’s case, idol activities.
Even so, they had received Vandalieu’s guidance and divine protection, been given equipment including transformation equipment, and even been turned into members of new races – Chaos Elves and Dark Humans. The three of them were now as powerful as A-class adventurers.
Thus, they could have defeated Gordon Bobby and his allies with ease, prior to their ‘Heroic Spirit Transformation.’
But with the ‘Heroic Spirit Transformation’ in the equation, it was impossible. Among the beings that served gods, heroic spirits were those that were in charge of combat. Many of them were mortal believers with exceptional prowess in combat who had ascended after death, rather than having been directly created by gods. That was why they were called heroic spirits, to distinguish them from other familiar spirits.
Thus, many mages and scholars considered heroic spirits to have power equivalent to somewhere between Rank 12 and 14. Their strength in combat was equivalent to that of lower-ranking evil gods or even greater.
Ordinarily, heroic spirits had all kinds of limitations that made it almost impossible for them to wield their strength in the physical world. These limitations did not apply to Gordon Bobby and his allies, as they had rendered their believers disabled and then taken over their bodies.
Based on their words, it seemed that there was a time limit on how long they could exert their power, but it seemed difficult to Doug that he and his companions would be able to hold out until that limit expired.
“If possible, I kind of want the real Vandalieu to come and help out rather than just his clones!” said Doug.
“Unfortunately, it seems that I will need some more time,” said Vandalieu’s clone. “‘Let’s put our trust in them.’”
“‘Them?’” Doug repeated.
Meanwhile, the ‘Lightning Blade’ and the female archer had fallen back to rejoin Gordon Bobby and the other heroic spirits and rebuild their formation. They raised their weapons, recited incantations and aimed their arrows at Kanako and her companions.
But something that nobody had paid any attention to suddenly moved and began to stand up.
It was the Mountain Giant corpse that had been thrown here by the Dragon and Giant Zombies.
As the Giant roared and tried to get onto its feet, the ‘Lightning Blade’ clicked his tongue in frustration.
“Just another hastily-made Undead! I’ll turn it back into a corpse!” he muttered.
“Hey, wait!” shouted Gordon Bobby, trying to stop him.
“Don’t you give me orders! ‘Flying Lightning Blade!’” shouted the ‘Lightning Blade,’ paying no heed to Gordon Bobby’s warning.
He was certain that the shockwave unleashed by his martial skill would split the Giant in two before it could finish standing up, causing it to collapse onto the ground once more.
Indeed, the Giant groaned as the shockwave inflicted a deep wound upon its torso. The ‘Lightning Blade’ gave a satisfied smile… and then a spray of blood rose from his own body.
“W-why am I wounded?! When did I get attacked?! Who attacked me?!” he shouted, blood spurting from his mouth.
“You damned fool! It’s those bastards!”
Indeed, the thing that tried to get onto its feet was not the corpse of a Giant. It was Legion, who had consumed and absorbed the corpse of a Giant and turned themselves into it.
Though its back was unharmed, the muscle fibers of the front of its body were exposed, and there were several human-shaped heads made of flesh attached to them.
“‘Those bastards’ is quite rude. As you can see, we are a Mountain Giant that’s just done a little bit of mutating,” one of the heads said.
“If we take our ordinary form, people can notice our uniqueness even from a distance, so we tried disguising ourselves as a Giant today,” said a second head.
“We did use the Mountain Giant’s actual skeleton, actually,” said a third.
A fourth gave a loud laugh. “Keeping up appearances is hard work!”
Although Legion’s personalities had split apart from one another to set traps around the city, most of the heroic spirits were already inside Gufadgarn’s Dungeon, so there was no longer a need for them to still be there. Thus, they had grouped up with Isis and arrived as reinforcements.
“G-Giant, my ass! No Giant would mutate into a form as hideous as that!” Gordon Bobby shouted.
Kanako and her companions found themselves nodding in agreement. But Legion seemed to disagree.
“Thanks to Kanako teaching us how to dance, we can move skeletons other than our own.”
“Jack is right. We’ll dance for you to our hearts’ content!”
“Don’t hold back. Repel our dance with your shields, slice it with your swords and stab it with your spears. I’ll return it every single time. Just like your shockwave just now.”
Legion used a full-powered ‘Charge’ towards Bobby Gordon and his allies. The heroic spirits ran about trying to escape, unable to retaliate in fear of Ereshkigal’s Counter, and Legion ran them down.
“Th-they’re so fast! How are they so fast with such an enormous body?!” one of the heroic spirits shouted, his eyes opening wide in shock.
Even Doug was astonished. “I-is this the effect of Kanako’s dance lessons?! M-maybe I should take them too.”
The Giant, which stood over ten meters tall, crushed the ground beneath its feet with every step and sent large masses of dirt flying with its kicks. Its movements were powerful, and yet nimble and lively at the same time.
This was the power of dance – or perhaps not.
“Even without the dancing, it’s because they’re using the Giant’s skeleton. Up until now, Legion only had flesh, so even though they had a lot of muscular power, they couldn’t make full use of it because there wasn’t any bone supporting the muscles,” said Melissa.
“Well, they were taking lessons with pseudo-skeletons they received from Van, so the lessons may have actually had some effect after all,” said Kanako.
Indeed, Legion’s speed and power came not from their dancing, but from the fact that they had gained a skeleton, providing pillars of support to concentrate the force exerted by their muscles.
Legion roared as it sent a kick towards the Titan shield-bearer.
Unable to avoid it in time, the shield-bearer immediately attempted to defend himself with his shield. He grunted as the blow landed, and because he had undergone ‘Heroic Spirit Transformation,’ he was able to stand his ground despite his foe having far greater mass and muscle strength.
But in the next moment, he screamed as the impact of blocking the kick with his shield was Countered, sending him flying towards the forest.
But Legion wasn’t unharmed, either.
“… We’ve already gone and broken bones.”
“Yes, several in the legs. The bones of Rank 8 monsters are too fragile.”
The Mountain Giant’s bones, unable to withstand the impact, had begun to break. Legion had borrowed these bones to begin with, so they didn’t feel any pain, but this also meant that their ‘Rapid Regeneration’ Skill didn’t apply to them.
The heroic spirits noticed this as well and started moving accordingly.
“They can’t move once their bones are broken, so hold out until then!”
“Hurry up and conjure some familiars! I’ll kill the others in the meantime!”
But Doug and the others moved to back Legion up.
“As if we’ll let you! Let’s kill the mage first!” shouted Doug.
And in the midst of the fighting, the ‘Lightning Blade,’ who had become unable to move due to his heavy wound, was stomped on and crushed by Legion. With his body destroyed, his soul became a sphere of light, and he attempted to return to his Divine Realm.
But before he could rise up to the sky, something prevented the ascension of his soul.
“Before you leave, the master of our house would like to greet you, so please wait a moment… Just kidding!”
“Father, let it out!”
And with that, the soul was dragged inside something and disappeared.
TLN: Not sure on the last two dialogue lines, since context is limited. Will alter the translation if the context becomes clear later.
Going back in time a little, Vandalieu was continuing his battle against Hajime Fitun some distance away from Kanako and the others.
Hajime Fitun, who had unleashed his power as the incarnation of a god with ‘God Transformation,’ laughed triumphantly. “I can tell! Neither this, this nor this are inflicting great damage upon you!”
His swords were completely overwhelming Vandalieu.
Each time he swung the curved Orichalcum swords he wielded in both hands, Vandalieu’s wounds grew in number. They were slashing through the liquid metal armor beneath Vandalieu’s clothes and the Demon King’s exoskeleton, and even severing the Demon King’s bones.
The claws Vandalieu tried to use to stop the blades were severed and sent flying along with the fingers they were attached to. The blades cut into his legs and slashed away the flesh of his arms. Blood was flowing from his shoulders.
And with each blow, Hajime Fitun could feel the exact pain that he was inflicting upon Vandalieu due to the ‘Curse of Consequence of Action.’ But rather than faltering from that pain, he was using it as a gauge to measure how much damage he was inflicting on Vandalieu.
According to that gauge, none of the wounds Hajime Fitun had inflicted thus far had caused great damage.
“But… how about this! ‘Purple Lightning Full Moon!’ ‘Consecutive Blade Slash!’ ‘Guillotine Slash!’” Hajime Fitun shouted.
“‘Steel Form,’ ‘Whip Tongue,’ ‘Swift Whip Strike,’ ‘Death Bullet,’” Vandalieu murmured.
Hajime Fitun activated his martial skills, greatly increasing the intensity of his offense. Each of his attacks were aimed at the human body’s vital spots. In response, Vandalieu attempted to resist by increasing his defense with ‘Armor Technique,’ using ‘Unarmed Fighting Technique’ with his extended tongue and the Demon King’s tentacles, and casting death-attribute magic from his fingertips.
But Vandalieu’s tongue and tentacles were sliced to pieces and his ‘Death Bullet’ projectiles were repelled, and his enemy’s blades were thrust towards his body.
“Your tongue and tentacles are things that you can grow as you please, so the pain that comes to me is small!” said Hajime Fitun. “But…!”
One scimitar’s point dug deep into Vandalieu’s side, tearing his internal organs to shreds. The other’s blade cut partway into his neck. A third attack, slipping between Vandalieu’s arms, pierced his thin chest.
But the pain that Hajime Fitun felt returning to him was not particularly great. Vandalieu was simply covered in his own blood, and a large amount had also sprayed onto Hajime Fitun and become a venomous substance. Even his ‘Status Effect Resistance’ did not completely neutralize it; he could feel a stinging, burning sensation on his skin.
But that was all.
“Even these aren’t a big deal to you! I get it. You didn’t die even when the reincarnated individual called ‘Death Scythe’ used his power on you, did you?! Even if your vertebral column is half-severed, even if someone puts a hole in your heart, even if your organs are torn to shreds, these are insignificant wounds that you can recover from right away, aren’t they?! But –” Hajime Fitun stopped mid-sentence and gave a shout of surprise.
With blood still spraying from his severed tongue, Vandalieu had placed one hand on either side of the scimitar that had pierced his chest, sandwiching the blade between his palms. And then he attempted to break it.
Hajime Fitun’s scimitars were made of Orichalcum, but Vandalieu’s bones, skin and exoskeleton were fragments of the Demon King. In this position, it would be possible to break them.
Naturally, Hajime Fitun tried to slash at Vandalieu with the other scimitar. But his body would not move.
“This is… You’ve coagulated your blood?!” Hajime Fitun muttered.
Vandalieu’s blood, the blood of the Demon King, had stained Hajime Fitun’s armor and clothes a deep red color. It had coagulated in an instant, preventing him from moving.
During that time, Vandalieu succeeded in breaking the scimitar. The blade snapped with a dull noise, making it hard to believe that it was made of Orichalcum.
“How dare you do this to my beloved weapon! … Just kidding! Demon King equipment, activate!” Hajime Fitun shouted.
To Vandalieu’s astonishment, a black blade appeared in the broken blade’s place.
“‘Lightning Form!’ ‘Dark Night Full Moon!’” Hajime Fitun roared.
His magic unleashed lightning from his entire body, freeing him from the constraints of the coagulated blood of the Demon King. He then unleashed a martial skill with his Orichalcum scimitar… the piece of Demon King equipment that had been sealed and covered with an Orichalcum blade.
His slashing attack struck Vandalieu’s defenseless-looking head. It cut through the Demon King’s hair, the skull that was made of the Demon King’s bone, and the Demon King’s eyeball that had appeared on his forehead.
Hajime Fitun let out a loud, triumphant laugh. “I DID IT!”
Through the effect of the ‘Curse of Consequence of Action,’ he felt an extreme pain in his own head that he could not withstand.
It was a pain unlike anything he had ever felt before, a pain that felt like it would warp his very soul. Feeling this pain, he was certain that he had inflicted a fatal blow upon Vandalieu.
But he put some distance between himself and the staggering Vandalieu, wary of having a large quantity of blood spraying over him again.
Thanks to that, the warning was just in time.
“Fly to your right!” shouted a familiar voice, one belonging to a man that Hajime Fitun detested.
Reflexively, Hajime Fitun obeyed the command – a choice made with his ‘Intuition’ Skill.
Three beams of light passed through the space that he had been occupying moments before. Vandalieu had fired them from his Gyubarzo staff and the Demon King’s eyeballs that he had produced on his palms.
Hajime Fitun thought that it was Vandalieu’s last attempt to drag him down with him using the last of his strength, but Vandalieu fired a series of ‘Death Bullet’ projectiles at Hajime next.
“It wasn’t a fatal blow?!” he shouted.
Even as he struck the projectiles down with his Demon King equipment, he stared in disbelief at Vandalieu, who had a deep wound in the center of his face.
“… Did you forget that I’m not using my brain right now?” Vandalieu said.
To him, the brain wasn’t a vital spot. It was nothing more than a mass of gray-colored tissue. It being destroyed posed no problem for him at all.
He had simply sharply amplified the pain as Hajime Fitun struck him, making him falsely believe that he had inflicted a fatal wound and let down his guard.
Even after his sneak attack failed, Vandalieu had continued firing ‘Death Bullet’ projectiles, but his casting suddenly stopped.
“So, this is one of those abilities,” Vandalieu murmured. “‘Detect Life,’ ‘Screw Projectile.’”
It wasn’t that his spells were being obstructed; they were simply being released late, as if their cast time had been lengthened. Realizing this, Vandalieu produced throwing-knife-sized horns of the Demon King from his hands rather than ‘Death Bullet’ projectiles from his fingertips, and threw them in the direction of the life signals that he detected.
In a spot where there had been nothing but tall grass, the air distorted and two males still young enough to be called boys appeared.
One of them clicked his tongue. “He’s noticed us!”
“Avoid them, don’t try to block! We have to avoid them!” said the other.
The two of them rolled across the grass to avoid the projectiles thrown at them.
“You bastards, Murakami and Hazamada! I’ll kill…” Hajime Fitun suppressed the killing intent that he felt instinctively the moment he saw the two boys, his former companions who had once betrayed him. “What have you come here for? Do you intend to get in my way?” he asked, his eyes still fixed on Vandalieu.
“Get in your way? We’re not going to do anything like that. We just thought we’d help you kill Vandalieu,” one of the boys replied.
The ‘Chronos’ Junpei Murakami, the one who had slowed down the casting of Vandalieu’s spells, and the ‘Odin’ Akira Hazamada, who had seen several seconds into the future and warned Hajime Fitun of Vandalieu’s attack.
The two of them had broken out into a cold sweat from the bloodthirst emanating from Vandalieu and Hajime Fitun.
Both of them had their Attribute Values increased by the familiar spirits created with Rodcorte’s Mana, contained within rings that they were wearing in order to prevent Vandalieu from destroying them before they could descend. But even so, they could not defeat Vandalieu or Hajime Fitun.
We did train ourselves to be as strong as B-class adventurers, but… it’s nowhere near enough. It makes me shudder to wonder what would happen if we didn’t have our cheat-like abilities. I’m begging you, don’t go and say that you’ll continue your one-on-one fight after you kill us, Murakami prayed silently.
“Hey, you god over there that’s taken over Hajime. You know what our objective is, right? Rodcorte has loosened his conditions; he’ll give us our reward no matter who kills Vandalieu. Unlike Hajime, you should have no grudge towards us. You can make use of our powers to kill Vandalieu. How does that sound?” Murakami said to Hajime Fitun.
“Oh? So, you are different from the loose ones over there?” said Hajime Fitun in a hateful tone, referring to Kanako and the others.
“… If you swear to me that you won’t target me or those connected to me, and flee to another continent or something, I’ll let you go, you know?” Vandalieu sighed, exasperation showing on his expressionless face. “My brain is injured, there’s an open wound in my heart, and my head has been half-cut off. I think accepting my offer would be a wiser decision than trying to kill me,” he continued, running a finger over his face that had regenerated without leaving so much as a scar behind.
If Murakami and his companions were to put distance between themselves and Vandalieu and never involve themselves with him again, like Mao Smith had done, he would leave them be. This was the final obligation that he had towards his former homeroom teacher and fellow reincarnated individuals.
Of course, even as he spoke, Vandalieu didn’t think that Murakami and his companions would actually leave. He was buying time to look for signals of life with magic and talk to the nearby dead spirits.
Assuming that the presence mixed into the air is ‘Sylphid,’ where did ‘Super Sense’ go? She’s either concealing herself extremely well… or she’s acting separately from these guys? Vandalieu thought to himself. Well, if I have time after I kill these guys, I’ll ask them before I devour their souls.
Akira, who was looking into the future, gave a small nod. Murakami saw that and responded.
“A battle that will divide the gods is about to begin, and you think we’ll be safe just by fleeing the continent? In the end, we’d be rounded up to battle against the Demon King and fight in even more unfavorable circumstances than the ones we have now,” he said. “With that being the case, it might have been better to lick your feet and beg for our lives like those traitors over there did, but… that’s impossible. We would never get along with you, on a fundamental level.”
Even if Vandalieu were to forgive everything that had happened in their previous lives and their lives before that, Murakami would never accept the way he did things. That’s what Murakami had decided after learning about the things that Vandalieu had done.
Even if it were possible for him to defect to Talosheim now, it was impossible to imagine that he could become a virtuous citizen right away. He would never be able to stop himself from kicking others down for his own benefit.
Even what Vandalieu and his companions were doing now to protect the city of Morksi, Murakami felt was stupid.
If he’d fought without caring about the city’s safety, we wouldn’t have even had the chance to interfere, he thought.
That was why Murakami could see that his own destruction was inevitable, even if he did submit to Vandalieu. He’d either end up betraying Vandalieu, or Vandalieu would dispose of him before that even happened. In the best-case scenario, Murakami would leave Talosheim on his own.
“That’s why the others can’t do what those loose traitors did,” said Murakami. “So that’s how it is, god. You can make use of the enemy of your enemy. Don’t you think we should use each other’s power until this Demon King is dead?”
Indeed, Hajime Fitun thought.
It wasn’t because he had just been saved from a dangerous predicament, but these two would certainly be useful.
And his objective was not to face Vandalieu in a duel of pride like one between knights. His objective was to enjoy a battle to the death with no rules. Murakami and his companions joining in didn’t change anything.
… That is, if he could suppress his hatred and urge to kill them.
Continued battle while enduring the extreme pain from the ‘Curse of Consequence of Action’ was slowly but surely taking its toll on Fitun’s mind, which was suppressing Hajime’s consciousness.
“Very well. We will join forces until we kill this guy,” Hajime Fitun said.
And so, it was decided that he would join forces with this other group before fighting the Demon King once more.
The one happiest about this was the Demon King Vandalieu himself.
“That’s good,” he said. “I was originally angry with your plan of directly using and destroying your own believers, a method that I would expect remnants of the Demon King’s army to use… but calling Kanako and the others ‘loose’ and saying that they licked my feet has made me feel an amount of bloodthirst that is surprising even to myself.”
“What are you going to do about it then? Blow us away along with this whole grass field and forest?” Murakami asked.
“‘Space Wall,’” Vandalieu murmured in response to that question.
He cast a ‘Dead Spirit Magic’ spell, using dead spirits that had transformed into space-attribute Ghosts after having been trapped by Gufadgarn for decades after their deaths in the Trial of Zakkart. This spell built a spherical wall of space centered around Vandalieu, spatially isolating that sphere from everything else.
“Akira?!” Murakami shouted.
Akira clicked his tongue. “I couldn’t see it! But he’s only put up a flimsy wall – Shit! Use ‘Chronos’ and delay him! Hajime, do whatever you can to put up a magical barrier!” Akira screamed, seeing several seconds into the future.
“‘Bloodlust.’ I’m just going to devour you and end your lives,” said Vandalieu.
The blood that he had spilled up to this point, and the tongue and fingers that had been severed by Hajime Fitun, turned into a red mist of carnivorous microbes and attacked the reincarnated individuals.