Thanks to the sponsors of this (shorter) chapter: David R. ($5) Cameron A. ($50) Austen P. ($25) Brooks J. ($20)
The resurrection of the heroic god Bellwood was a greatly shocking revelation for Vandalieu and his companions, who had been enjoying a banquet in Gartland to celebrate their victory in battle.
To them, Bellwood was a murderous fiend who had stood on the frontlines and massacred members of Vida’s races during the war between Vida and Alda a hundred thousand years ago. He was the accursed being who had sealed away the subordinate gods of Vida, as well as those of the gods who supported her such as Ricklent and Zuruwarn; he was the one who had defeated even the evil gods who had accepted Zakkart’s offer, willingly betraying the Demon King’s army and changing sides.
The damage caused by Bellwood dwarfed that caused by Nineroad, as well as that caused by Farmaun before he joined Vida’s allies on the Demon Continent about fifty thousand years ago.
This was remembered all too well by the incarnation of Vida, Darcia, as well as Zod and Gufadgarn, who had been attacked by Bellwood and his allies a hundred thousand years ago. Privel, Doraneza and the others, who were the descendants of the survivors of those battles, had heard the tragic legends. And now that they had grown stronger, they were able to understand just how terrifying Bellwood was.
Zozaseiba and the other gods of Gartland, Gartland’s people, as well as Luvesfol, had lived in hiding from him during the fifty thousand years that passed between the Vida-Alda war and Bellwood falling into his slumber. To them, Bellwood’s return was as terrifying as the resurrection of the Demon King.
It was true that this world had only survived because Bellwood defeated the Demon King Guduranis. In that regard, Bellwood deserved gratitude.
But that didn’t mean that they would be content with the blood of their current families, lovers, friends, and companions becoming rusty stains on Bellwood’s blade.
Bellwood and Heinz, the man who had resurrected him, would not be met with conversation. It was only natural for Vandalieu and his companions to prioritize preparing their defenses, with the knowledge that offense was the best form of defense.
“Well, in any case, the crab gratin is ready. And so is the Gorn Salami Pizza, Madro-Bacon Pasta, and Brateo Fritto,” said Vandalieu.
Preparing their defenses was indeed a priority, but if it was possible to do so while also continuing the banquet, then it was also only natural to continue the banquet.
All Vandalieu needed to do was create new Demon King Familiars and have Gufadgarn teleport them to where they needed to be, so it only required large quantities of his Mana. It wasn’t a task that needed the banquet to be canceled.
But there were still some who were unhappy.
“… Sorry, but could you please stop naming the dishes with names like ‘Gorn’ and ‘Madroza?’ We don’t need to know whose meat was used to make them,” said Deeana.
“Indeed, it is not so great for our appetites…” agreed Talos.
Deeana and Talos had known Gorn and the others since more than a hundred thousand years ago, so they were opposed to their names being used to name the dishes. They had stood alongside their allies to fight against these enemies, but they apparently found it unpleasant to see rows of dishes that were named in a way that made them recall the enemies’ faces.
“I see. But the quality of the meat differs from demigod to demigod… How about Boulder Salami Pizza, Great Ocean Bacon Pasta, and Roaring Thunder Fritto?” suggested Vandalieu.
“Ah, mmm… I suppose that is better,” said Talos.
“It is only the name you are displeased with?” Tiamat asked with an exasperated expression.
But Deeana and Talos seemed satisfied. Unlike Zozaseiba, they were eating and enjoying the dishes.
It was likely that they saw this as a way to show their respect for their fallen enemies.
“But this Heinz guy, I wonder how long it will take him to get used to summoning Bellwood onto his own body?” Pauvina wondered out loud, as if talking to herself.
“Unfortunately, we do not know,” answered Doraneza, who was the shrine maiden of Marisjafar, the Righteous Evil God of the Crimson South Sea.
… This answer was not of much use.
“Aww,” Pauvina said in disappointment.
“It cannot be helped,” Doraneza said. “Even looking across all of history, individuals who are capable of summoning gods onto their own bodies are not very common. Even the ability to use ‘Familiar Spirit Descent’ is considerably rare.”
‘Familiar Spirit Descent’ was a Skill that summoned familiar spirits… the equivalent of Earth’s angels and divine messengers, upon the user’s body. It could be acquired by devout worshippers with well-trained bodies.
Its effects and the burden on the user were far smaller than summoning a god, but as Doraneza explained, the acquisition of this Skill alone was enough to be praised as a saint.
“That is why there are few examples to use as a comparison,” said Doraneza.
“I see,” said Pauvina. “Luves, how was it in Leo’s case?”
“… Help…” groaned Luvesfol, the Raging Evil Dragon God, who still had a dead look in his eyes after having been used as a toy airplane by Bakunawa. But life suddenly returned to his eyes at the mention of one of his former worshippers. “Ah, the Scaled King. Now that is a nostalgic name.”
The Scaled King had been an extraordinary Dragon-type monster who had acquired ‘Spirit Clone Descent.’
“The Scaled King had always been capable of using ‘Spirit Clone Descent.’ It did not suffer side-effects while a spirit clone was in its body, and it suffered only fatigue, not pain, after using the Skill,” Luvesfol said. “Although it was a Dragon that possessed only a little of my blood, its body was far more durable than that of humans… Well, even so, it was still defeated.”
“Yeah, I defeated it before it could summon a spirit clone, after all,” said Vandalieu.
He and his companions had fought against the Scaled King in the great marshlands south of Talosheim, but they had defeated it by targeting the spirit clone first, preventing it from using its trump card.
After it was turned into an Undead, it became Leo, Bone Man’s mount, and was currently on standby in Talosheim.
“Pauvina-sama, if you are curious about this matter… perhaps you could use ‘Familiar Spirit Demonfall’ as a reference? That uses a spirit clone as well, does it not?” said Luvesfol.
‘Familiar Spirit Demonfall’ summoned a split entity of Vandalieu, and at its core, it was the same as ‘Familiar Spirit Descent’ and ‘Spirit Clone Descent.’ The only difference was that it summoned a split entity of Vandalieu created from his soul, rather than summoning a servant or spirit clone of a god.
“Hmm, Luves, Van’s split entities aren’t of any use as a reference. They’re too gentle,” said Pauvina.
“G-gentle?!” Luvesfol exclaimed in surprise.
Pauvina nodded, and everyone else who possessed the ‘Familiar Spirit Demonfall’ Skill nodded in agreement as well.
“I’ve never felt it cause any burden on my body,” said Basdia.
“They always give us a warning to let us know when the Skill’s duration is about to run out,” said Eleanora.
“From what I’ve heard, the split entity each person summons generally remains the same,” said Vigaro.
“It seems that each person always summons a split entity of the right size for them. I guess ‘size’ in this case means that if it’s smaller, it’s closer to being a familiar spirit, and if it’s larger, it’s closer to being a spirit clone,” said Privel.
“It seems that everyone’s come up with a good system,” said Vandalieu, as if this had nothing to do with him.
… After all, he didn’t consciously process the use of ‘Familiar Spirit Demonfall’ by his companions.
Incidentally, as Privel suspected, Vandalieu’s split entities could indeed be considered equivalent to familiar spirits and spirit clones, and the differences between them were the volume of power they contained… in other words, their size. When someone used the Skill, the size of the split entity they summoned was dependent on the Level of their Skill.
“Then how come Van hasn’t learned ‘Familiar Spirit Descent?’”
The moment Pauvina asked this question, everyone except for Vandalieu froze, as if she’d asked something she shouldn’t.
“I want to, but it’s quite difficult,” said Vandalieu.
As Vandalieu and Pauvina shared this carefree exchange, Bakunawa looked down at them with a confused expression.
He was likely thinking, Papa is a god, so why does he want to summon the familiar spirit of another god?
“Darcia-sama, Bocchan is still…?” Sam whispered.
“Yes, this is the one thing he refuses to accept,” Darcia whispered back.
“I thought he’d come around to it when the divine statue of him was finished, you know,” said Borkus quietly.
“As expected of the great Vandalieu. Indomitable and persistent,” said Gufadgarn.
This story goes back to before Botin’s resurrection, shortly after Bakunawa’s birth.
That day, the streets of Talosheim were more cheerful than usual.
The bones of Skeletons clattered with laughter, Zombies danced energetically, Ghosts sang praises, and even the silent Golems seemed to stand taller and prouder.
There was a group of men who would usually be spending their days packed inside the walls that protected Talosheim, but even they were restless today.
“The day has finally come.”
“Yes. To think that a day such as this would be upon us…”
“My Rank has finally increased to the point that I have gained a body. There has never been a prouder day for me than this.”
“You’re right about that.”
These men, who were black like shadows, held crossbows and watched for dangerous monsters and invaders from the outside as they shared cheerful conversation.
Naturally, these men were not humans. They were Undead created by Vandalieu. They had initially been Cursed Weapons – weapons that were possessed by evil spirits – but now, they were Rank 5 Shadow Snipers.
The crossbows were their main bodies, not the black men that held them.
“To commemorate this auspicious day, let us shoot and slay the monsters that approach, and offer their lives to Vandalieu-sama.”
“Yes, to the great Vandalieu-sama.”
Perhaps because their bodies were mechanical objects, their favorite thing to do was to work.
The Shadow Snipers were a means of defense against threats from outside Talosheim’s walls. Inside the city, a festival was being held to celebrate the peace of the nation.
There were rows of stores set up for this festival.
“Come and take a look! These are transformation equipment toys! These are the latest kind, and even come with sound and light effects! We have every model, from Zadiris, the original magical girl, to the most recent addition, Miriam!”
“How would you like to try our Gartland-grown mushrooms?! Fry them, boil them, dry them to use as an aromatic ingredient – you can use them for anything!”
Commercial trading with Gartland had begun recently, so some of the stores were carrying goods produced in Gartland.
Vandalieu and his Demon King Familiars watched his delighted citizens through eyes whose gaze was like that of a dead fish.
He had been completely defeated. Defeated in every possible way.
He had been defeated in negotiations and in ability. Or perhaps he had never even intended on winning to begin with.
Indeed, if victory was all that he wanted, Vandalieu would have been able to win very easily. But he had not been able to do that.
“After all, it would have been too childish to enact a law to forbid building statues of me… Ah, there’s only an hour left until the ceremony to celebrate the statue’s completion,” Vandalieu sighed.
Today’s festival was to celebrate the completion of the enormous divine statue of Vandalieu.
Vandalieu’s claim that taxes should be used on more important things had been crushed by a rebuttal from Nuaza, the head of the Church of Vida – the argument that this was the will of the nation’s people. Not a single person had opposed the construction of an enormous divine statue of Vandalieu.
After that, Vandalieu was constantly on the back foot, unable to make use of his abilities.
He had used his Demon King Familiars to stage a protest that appeared to be large, but was in fact the protest of only a single person. But the citizens had mistaken this for some kind of eccentric parade, and although they were happy to see it, not a single person had joined his efforts to oppose the divine statue.
Vandalieu’s protests had continued during the divine statue’s construction, but now that he reflected upon it, perhaps the citizens had never considered it to be a protest in the first place.
Before conducting his protests, Vandalieu would apologize to the owners of houses and stores facing the streets he protested on by offering them boxes of sweets, and he would always clean the streets afterwards.
He would voice his objections quietly so as not to interfere with the construction, and when the construction required dangerous tasks to be done or didn’t have enough people, he would join in and help.
From the people’s perspective, it didn’t seem like Vandalieu truly opposed the divine statue’s construction, but from his perspective, he had protested with all his efforts.
And the outcome, which had been clear from the very beginning, had now been finalized. Now that celebrations were being held to complete the divine statue’s completion, Vandalieu had stopped his protest activities.
Rather than putting up an unsightly and futile resistance, he graciously accepted his defeat.
He could at least take pride in being a good loser. That’s what he had thought, until yesterday.
“Mom, can I please pretend to be ill so I don’t have to attend?” Vandalieu asked.
Currently, he was just being a spoiled brat.
“Vandalieu, it’s not good to pretend that you’re ill,” said Darcia. “So many of your friends have come today. Don’t you want to meet them?”
She was attempting to placate Vandalieu, who was clinging to a wall with the Demon King’s suction cups. She was happy that Vandalieu was acting a little selfish for once, but she couldn’t allow him to feign illness.
After all, his friends had come… King Budarion and Queen Kurnelia of the Noble Orc Kingdom, King Godwin and First Princess Iris of the Majin nation; Queen Donaneris of Zanalpadna; King Sylvari of the Centaur nation; King Tenma, Queen Yura, and their first child Oniwaka from the Kijin nation; and Rowen of the Drakonid nation – all of the important figures from the region inside the Boundary Mountain Range.
Zalzarit, Feltonia, Zorg, Doraneza, and Dediria had come from Gartland, and Earl Morksi and Duke Alcrem had secretly come as well.
The earl and duke had apparently almost fainted the moment they arrived in Talosheim. But perhaps they had recovered, as they had exchanged serious discussions with their closest advisors afterwards.
“… I’ll be there to announce Bakunawa’s birth,” Vandalieu said.
He planned to announce the birth of his first child, who had hatched from his egg. Bakunawa wouldn’t become Talosheim’s next ruler, but it was only natural that he be revealed to the citizens.
The events leading up to Bakunawa’s birth were rather questionable, but Vandalieu still recognized him as his own child. And Vandalieu was the emperor of the Demon Empire, so he had a duty to reveal his child to the people.
“I’ve already set up vision-blocking spells in the sky, so there’s no need to worry about being seen,” Vandalieu added.
The Goddess of Rain Clouds Bashas, who had joined Vida’s faction, had informed Vandalieu that the gods of Alda’s faction were able to look down on the region within the Boundary Mountain Range from the skies above.
Vandalieu was surprised to hear this – not at the fact that this observation was taking place but by how primitive a method it was; the gods of Alda’s faction were simply looking down from a height that was above the barrier.
It was reasonable to observe without using magic, as using magic would cause it to be reflected by Vandalieu’s ‘Root Source’ Skill with unpredictable results.
But looking down from a height above the clouds would make it difficult to even identify individual citizens on the ground. And apparently, the gods doing the observing were being affected by the ‘Mental Encroachment’ Skill that had been applied to the images painted on Talosheim’s rooftops.
Upon hearing this, Vandalieu had wondered if it was best to take precautions… and eventually decided that it was, so he improved the images that were painted on the rooftops.
And it was actually very simple to stop the gods of Alda’s forces from viewing Talosheim altogether.
He simply needed to conceal Talosheim with mist or an illusion created by a spell, and create a source of light beneath it to replace the sun – like putting up a parasol and hanging a lantern underneath it.
“That’s not good enough,” said Darcia chidingly. “I know everyone ignored what you wanted, but they built that divine statue for your sake. You have to show them your appreciation, don’t you?”
“… I did attend the party to celebrate the end of the construction,” said Vandalieu.
A party had been held for everyone involved in the divine statue’s construction after the final task needed for the construction, and Vandalieu had attended it.
“You still have to go to this ceremony,” said Darcia. “If you don’t get off that wall right now, I’m going to have Master Veld descend on me, then carry the whole wall if I have to!”
The heroic spirit Veld was thought to be the reason Darcia had acquired the ‘Monster’s Parent’ Title. Through various events, he had become a heroic spirit who would descend upon her when she summoned him.
Darcia was already capable of having Vida descend upon her, so she would only need to summon Veld when concealing her true identity. Thus, Veld planned to become solely devoted to Schneider once he acquired the ‘Heroic Spirit Descent’ Skill.
“… Yes, Mom,” said Vandalieu, resigning himself to his fate as Darcia dragged him to the ceremony… even though he was supposed to be the ceremony’s host, not just a participant.
During the ceremony, his eyes were so lifeless that those who saw them couldn’t help but wonder how someone could look so dead. He referred to the great divine statue as ‘great statue,’ refusing to acknowledge it as a divine statue.
But he regained his liveliness when announcing the hatching of Bakunawa, and celebrated the birth of his first child with the people.
Through these events, Vandalieu’s companions had thought that he might gain more of an awareness that he was a being that was worshipped, but that hadn’t happened.
If it had, Vandalieu would never question why he had never acquired ‘Familiar Spirit Descent’ or any other related Skills.
“After all, there is no way a god could learn a Skill that powers them up by summoning another god or another god’s servant,” said Deeana.
“And a god that grants divine protections and sends familiar spirits… split entities of himself, at that,” Talos added.
Vandalieu wasn’t a god, and he was also different from a regular demigod… or even extraordinary demigods. Considering that, it wasn’t entirely impossible for him to acquire the ‘Familiar Spirit Descent’ Skill.
But he already not only bestowed his divine protection on others, but sent split entities of himself to those who had acquired the ‘Familiar Spirit Demonfall’ Skill.
Given that, summoning a familiar spirit, heroic spirit, or a spirit clone onto himself wouldn’t accomplish much. Vandalieu himself already consisted of countless split entities; using such a Skill would only add a single being that was equivalent to – or even weaker than – any single one of his other split entities.
Fidirg, the Dragon God of Five Sins, had once powered himself up by summoning a split entity of Vandalieu upon himself, but that was not because Fidirg was unusual, but because Vandalieu was simply so different from what was ordinary.
In Vandalieu’s case, there was also a possibility that he would even be weakened by having a god’s familiar spirit – a foreign being – enter his body.
Summoning an actual god rather than a spirit clone would also be difficult. After all, the structure of his mind was too different… In other words, there were no gods that were compatible with him.
“I see. So that is how it is,” said Zadiris.
“I never realized that,” said Zandia.
The two of them were nodding as they listened to this explanation with great interest. They were both exceptional mages, but it was quite difficult to imagine these kinds of things as someone who was on the worshipping side rather than the side of those being worshipped.
“I suppose I’ll try making a request the next time I visit their Divine Realms,” said Vandalieu. “I’ve always felt a bit hesitant to ask directly when it comes to things like this, since it feels like I’m cheating, but…”
It would be a problem if Vandalieu continued to remain unaware.
“Vandalieu, we have something that we want to tell you. Could you listen, please?” said Darcia.
And so, Darcia and the others put in their best efforts to make Vandalieu accept the truth.
《The ‘Cooking’ Skill has awakened into ‘God Cooking!’》
Vandalieu, having made numerous dishes using demigods, had awakened the ‘God Cooking’ Skill that allowed him to make dishes with divine spirits.
TLN: This is a wordplay/pun in Japanese. 料理/ryouri = cooking or food/dish, depending on the context. 神料理/kami-ryouri = a kind of slang meaning something like ‘godlike food,’ where 神/kami means god. This Skill’s name is 神霊理 which is also read kami-ryouri, but the second kanji has been replaced with the kanji for ‘spirit.’ So its meaning is something like ‘Divine Spirit Cooking.’