“GAAAAH…” groaned the final monster, a Rank 7 Poison Zombie Giant that was a combination of multiple Poison Zombies.
Heinz, the man wielding the magic sword enveloped in blue flames that had cut the monster open, sighed as he confirmed that there were no more enemies.
The monster, whose core had consisted of a middle-aged female Zombie, had been conspicuously more powerful than the other monsters.
“It seems that the monsters’ rampage has ended. Is everyone alright?” Heinz asked.
“Yeah, no problems here. I am tired though.”
“I’m not hurt, either… but I’m tired, too.”
Heinz’s party was severely exhausted. Most of the monsters that had appeared were Rank 4 or 5, and the only Rank 7 monster was the Poison Zombie Giant that had been finished off a few moments ago. There had been just over a thousand of them, a smaller number than the average monster rampage.
They hadn’t been enemies that the Five-colored Blades, an A-class adventurer party, would have had trouble with. In fact, they were small fry that would simply be scattered aside in a one-sided fashion. Even if there were over a thousand of them.
That was the power of an A-class adventurer party.
However, the monsters that had closed in on the city of Niarki were not ordinary monsters.
Seventy percent of the swarm of monsters had been Undead, while the other thirty percent consisted of plant-type and insectoid monsters. And the monsters that possessed the body parts required for speech had been repeatedly groaning, “Kill Heinz,” as if these words were some kind of incantation.
A group of monsters led by a mighty commander with the title of King would move like a single creature, but this was a completely abnormal situation.
With that said, this could actually be considered fortunate. The monsters hadn’t been fixated on entering the city of Niarki. The guards, knights and adventurers had hastily formed a defensive force and risen to meet the monsters in battle, but the monsters had ignored the city and charged at Heinz, who had been standing at the forefront of the defense.
Despite wounded, immobilized knights and completely exhausted adventurers being within their reach, they had continued aiming for Heinz.
But all of the monsters had been more individually powerful than their Ranks would have suggested, and no matter how many times they were defeated, they kept attacking endlessly.
Defeated insectoid monsters had turned Undead, mold and fungi had grown on the remains of defeated Undead to spawn plant-type monsters such as Poison Mushrooms and Venom Molds, and the remains of plant-type monsters had spawned insects which turned into monsters.
Thanks to this endless monster chain, Heinz and his companions had actually been forced to fight against over ten thousand monsters.
“Still… they seem to have hated you quite a lot. What have you done?” asked Jennifer, the unarmed human fighter.
“Us adventurers have defeated a countless number of monsters, so there could be any number of reasons as to why we could be hated,” said Diana, an Elf priestess of Mill, the Goddess of Slumber. “But that was completely out of the ordinary, wasn’t it?”
The two of them had joined Heinz’s party after they moved to work in the Orbaume Kingdom.
Before responding to either of them, Heinz turned to look in the direction of the city of Niarki.
Because the monsters had only been aiming for the Five-colored Blades, for Heinz, the city’s outer walls were unharmed and although there were some among the defense force who were severely wounded, only a few truly unlucky individuals had perished.
“If I had to make I guess, I’d say it was that Dhampir boy,” said Heinz.
“The one who suddenly ran out of the Adventurers’ Guild? Do you remember doing something that would make him hate you?” Jennifer asked.
“No, there isn’t any connection between that boy and this monster rampage, is there?” said Diana.
Heinz paused for a moment to figure out how to phrase his thoughts correctly before opening his mouth again. “I don’t think there is, either. But… His name was Vandalieu.”
Jennifer and Diana blinked, not knowing what Heinz meant. Heinz wasn’t sure of his own theory, either.
But the name of the Dark Elf ‘witch’ whom he had captured in the Mirg shield-nation was Darcia. That was an event that had occurred about seven years ago.
TLN: Reminder that Vandalieu’s name contains a part of Darcia’s name in the Japanese spelling.
And what had been written on the registration form left on the counter in the Adventurers’ Guild, which had now been disposed of after it was rejected, was the name ‘Vandalieu’ and an age of seven.
“It’s possible that he was –”
“You’re overthinking it, Heinz.”
“No matter how you look at it, that Dhampir wasn’t the child of any Dark Elf,” said Edgar. “With how white his skin was, there’s no way, right? You’re just being too conscious of your sin, which is what’s making you believe that.”
“That… might be true.”
The visible special characteristics of a Dhampir are eyes with different colors, one of which is blood-red, as well as fangs and retractable claws. Other than these, their characteristics are those that they inherit from their parents. If one parent of a Dhampir is a Dark Elf, it should be impossible for that Dhampir to have white, candle-wax-like skin.
And there was no way that a baby that was not even a year old at the time could have survived on its own in the wilderness. And how could it have crossed the Boundary Mountain Range to escape to the Orbaume Kingdom?
“I guess I’m overthinking it. And to think that I would suspect that Dhampir to be connected to this monster rampage. It seems that I’m more tired than I thought. It’s not like he’s the second coming of the Demon King or anything like that.” Heinz gave a wry smile as he mentioned a rumor that was being whispered at the Church of Alda recently.
“That’s right,” said Edgar. But despite his words, he made a note of investigating Vandalieu further once he returned to the city.
If I recall, the information broker in the city of Niarki is run by an organization called the ‘Fangs of Dark Nights.’ I suppose I’ll try asking them.
Edgar’s actions would later bring an astonishing incident to light, revealing the fact that the organization had continued to operate after its leader and high-ranking members had become Undead.
“More importantly, after we get back to the city and have some rest, we need to go and find the Dungeon that these monsters came from,” said Jennifer. “They came from a completely different direction from any known Dungeons, so a new Dungeon must have appeared. It might be the Trial of Zakkart.”
The Trial of Zakkart. A Dungeon that first appeared a hundred years ago. It appears somewhere on the continent without warning, only to disappear again about a month later. It is the world’s only confirmed moving labyrinth. It is impossible to categorize its class and nobody has ever entered and lived to tell the tale other than Heinz’s party, the Five-colored Blades, who managed to escape at the cost of one of their members. It is said that a treasure left behind by Zakkart rests in its deepest chamber. According to another story, the Undead form of Zakkart himself awaits those worthy of challenging him, and the hero who defeats him will become a successor to the champion Bellwood.
“If that’s true… We’ll clear it for sure this time. For Martie’s sake, too. But you’re right. First, we need to go back to the inn where Selen is waiting,” said Heinz, thinking of the Dhampir girl who was awaiting their return.
“No, the report to the Guild comes first… Yeah, yeah, I’ll do it. Don’t complain that I’m having the receptionist nee-san’s attention all to myself,” Edgar said with a wry smile.
“Haah… I see… That’s terrible… Unforgivable. Worthy of death,” said Vandalieu.
“Vandalieu-sama, what is this all of a sudden?” Eleanora asked.
“It’s the members of the adventurer party, the ‘Western Calm,’ the receptionist Aria-san, Hannah-san and Hannah-san’s father.”
Vandalieu was currently digging a tunnel from the mansion of the Guild Master of the Mages’ Guild to beneath Duke Hartner’s castle by turning the ground into Golems and using Golem Transmutation to form a passage.
He had left the Black Goblins and their lovers in the mansion, while the Guild Master and his subordinates who were now in vegetative states prepared a ‘parting gift.’
Incidentally, the Guild Master’s mansion had contained valuable items such as first-class staffs, but Vandalieu was still unarmed. If he, who possessed a monstrous amount of Mana, were to use a staff designed for humans, he would have to exercise extreme care in casting spells, or the staff could explode, rot away or turn into dust.
In order to use a staff that assisted with magic, Vandalieu would need to concentrate as if he were writing kanji in miniscule letters, so he didn’t use them. Weren’t there any staffs somewhere that were designed to be used by beings more powerful than humans?
Leaving that aside, Vandalieu had begun talking to himself in the midst of creating this tunnel.
But the eyes of Zran, who was Undead, could see that Vandalieu had been surrounded by spirits in tragic states.
“They’re part of the countless spirits that gathered around him when we came here,” Zran murmured to himself. “The ones near him now look like they’ve all died recently, though.”
Just like when he had arrived at the city of Niarki, all of the spirits in the capital city had flooded towards Vandalieu when he arrived here. There were so many of them that Zran couldn’t hear what they were saying.
However, the spirits that were currently speaking to Vandalieu looked a little different.
“Eleanora, Zran, if a black-haired, black-eyed man in his thirties by the name of Kaidou Kanata appears, please leave things to me until I give you further commands,” said Vandalieu.
“Kaidou Kanata?” Eleanora repeated. “… Could it be?!”
“One of the scum who killed you in your previous life, Holy Son?! That bastard. This is a great opportunity. Let’s kill him, turn him into a Zombie and hear everything he has to say!” said Zran.
Vandalieu had already heard information regarding Kaidou Kanata from the spirits of his victims.
According to them, Kanata had already come to Nineland, and although it was unclear as to how he knew where Vandalieu was, he was drawing closer.
According to the other information given by the spirits, for some reason, swords, spears and spells hadn’t worked on Kanata, while his attacks had passed straight through their armor to strike their bodies. He was a user of the Unarmed Fighting Technique and Short Sword Technique, as well as high-level fire-attribute magic and wind-attribute magic.
The penetration ability must be the cheat-like ability he got from Rodcorte. He must have improved his affinity for the fire-attribute and wind-attribute in Origin. Unarmed Fighting Technique and Short Sword Technique… is from his experience in Origin, I suppose? Jeez, so this is how it is for people who don’t have curses.
Considering that Vandalieu had relearned everything from scratch through hard work, he thought that it was rather unfair that Kanata possessed all these abilities. But for now, he prioritized pacifying Eleanora and Zran, whose expressions had become bloodthirsty. Their abilities in combat couldn’t be matched by the average adventurer or knight, but cheat-like abilities were dangerous enough to overcome such differences in strength.
That was why they were called cheats, after all.
“Like I said, leave things to me,” said Vandalieu. “If we’re going to kill him… no, he’s been indulging in unforgivable acts of violence, so I’m definitely going to kill him, but I want to do it myself.”
“I can tell he’s quite the scoundrel just from looking at those spirits, but… is it really that bad?” Zran asked.
“Quite,” Vandalieu replied. “To the point that I question his sanity.”
But Vandalieu felt more bewilderment than hatred upon learning about Kanata. To summarize Vandalieu’s thoughts, he was basically wondering, “What the hell is he doing?”
Kanata’s acts were so cruel that they couldn’t be considered the acts of a human, but more importantly, they were too reckless. He would simply kill, rape and steal if things became inconvenient or he thought that doing things that way would be quicker.
If he kept doing such things, even with a cheat-like ability, it would be impossible to live for very long.
Vandalieu was far more curious about this than the fact that Kanata had a far more adult-like appearance than him despite him having been the first to die in Origin, or how Kanata knew where he was.
Rodcorte probably had something to do with those, after all.
“For now, it seems certain that he has come to kill me, but… Let’s make a habit of casting Detect Life periodically from now on,” said Vandalieu.
The “work” that Kanata had apparently mentioned was probably the task of killing Vandalieu.
Vandalieu didn’t really care, but why had he come to interfere now, of all times? It was good that he was aiming directly for Vandalieu rather than Braga and the others who were standing by in the Guild Master’s mansion, though.
“If I recall, those people were acting like allies of justice, weren’t they?” said Eleanora.
“That’s how allies of justice are,” said Vandalieu. “They’d be considered heroes from the point of view of the followers of Bellwood or Alda, but from our point of view, they’re not.”
“Indeed, you’re right,” Eleanora agreed.
As they were conversing, Vandalieu and his companions arrived in the deepest part of Nineland.
There was a dark stone corridor before them, and casting Detect Life ahead revealed no signs of human life. But Vandalieu’s Danger Sense: Death was giving a response.
“Is it a trap?” asked Zran.
“No, with this shape, it’s probably a barrier,” said Vandalieu. “It’s said that the champion left a barrier behind, too.”
Continuing from the tunnel into the corridor, Vandalieu fired some weak Death Bullets into ahead into it.
A wall of light appeared in a spot that previously had nothing there, emitting flashes of light and noises as it repelled the Death Bullets.
“This is the barrier left behind by the champion Nineroad…!” Eleanora murmured.
“It repelled the Holy Son’s Death Bullets!” Zran exclaimed.
“Well then, I’m going to remove it now,” said Vandalieu.
“Eh?” Eleanora and Zran said in unison.
Right before the eyes of a surprised Eleanora and Zran, Vandalieu used his death-attribute Mana to steadily remove the champion’s barrier.
He wasn’t doing anything difficult. He was simply applying huge load that the barrier couldn’t withstand, all at once, to break through it by force.
Nineroad’s barrier resisted for a few dozen seconds, but in the end, it fell apart with a sound similar to the noise of glass shattering.
“Phew, it was harder than Ice Age’s ice,” said Vandalieu. “I used 300,000,000 Mana, too. Ah, give me one of the obentos, please,” he requested.
“S-sure,” Zran said with an astonished expression as he took out a flask from the luggage. It contained the fresh blood of the protégé bodyguard of the Mages’ Guild’s Guild Master.
He had apparently benefited plenty from the fact that his employer was working with the Pure-breed Vampires, so his blood was particularly delicious.
“Phew, having a drink after doing some hard work really is something,” said Vandalieu.
“Vandalieu-sama, that –” Eleanora began.
“Sounded like something that a middle-aged man would say?” Vandalieu asked.
“No, it was like a child trying to do his best to push himself past his limit, so it was rather adorable.”
With his shoulders dropping a little at Eleanora’s words, Vandalieu started walking forward again without waiting for his Mana to recover. He knew that Kanata was heading this way, but thanks to the Automatic Mana Recovery skill, he was recovering more than 10,000 Mana every second, so it wasn’t a problem.
Past the barrier, the corridor ended in an unimaginably enormous underground cemetery. There were holes of various sizes containing bones and shells. It was a sight that made it difficult to call this a holy place.
The air lingering here was full of an unpleasant moisture and somehow felt sinister. Though there shouldn’t have been any signs of life here, there were quiet noises that sounded like groans coming from somewhere.
“Hmm, the princess isn’t here,” said Vandalieu.
“Oooi! Levia-sama!” Zran called out. “It’s me, Zran! You can come out now!”
But Vandalieu couldn’t see any vengeful ghosts or evil spirits. Nor could he see the First Princess Levia.
“There might still be another barrier. It is not uncommon for there to be two or three barriers when something needs to be sealed inside,” said Eleanora.
As they heeded her words and looked around, they found something that did indeed resemble a barrier.
A silver coffin bound by whips. This was likely the barrier’s core.
“… I wonder whose idea it was to do this,” said Vandalieu.
“Ah, Nineroad was apparently a user of the Whip Technique,” said Zran. “Doesn’t that explain it?”
“By the way, what do you think is inside the coffin?” asked Eleanora. “If it is a Pure-breed Vampire, then they might become a powerful ally… or perhaps not. It might be a Vampire who turned to the evil gods, after all.”
“It would indeed be problematic if I were to undo the seal and someone we couldn’t handle were to come out,” Vandalieu agreed as he tentatively tried beginning to remove the seal, but there wasn’t really any reaction from Danger Sense: Death. “Is it empty inside? It seems fine, so I’m removing the seal,” he said.
And then he began removing the barrier in the same way he removed the outside barrier earlier.
Before he had even finished removing it, the whips snapped as the coffin opened forcefully from the inside.
“Vandalieu-sama!” Eleanora cried.
She and Zran tried to grab Vandalieu and retreat, but the red amoeba-shaped thing that had flown out of the coffin raised its head and looked down at Vandalieu, approaching him with incredible speed like a venomous snake!
Gargle, gargle, gargle… gulp.
It was swallowed by Vandalieu.
“… Eh?” Zran and Eleanora said in unison, dumbfounded.
Vandalieu finished drinking the coffin’s contents, put his hands together, lowered his head and said, “Gochisousama.”
“V-Vandalieu-sama? What was that?” Eleanora asked. “More importantly, why did you swallow it?!”
“Why, you ask… it did enter my mouth,” Vandalieu replied.
“No, you’d normally spit it out, right?!” Zran exclaimed.
“But I don’t think it’s good to leave food unfinished,” said Vandalieu. “Well, I suppose you wouldn’t normally refer to blood that a champion sealed away a hundred thousand years ago as ‘food.’”
“So at least you know – wait, so that thing you just swallowed was blood?!” Zran shouted.
“Then could it possibly have been part of the Demon King?!” asked Eleanora.
It was a well-known story that the champions had defeated the Demon King Guduranis, taken his body apart and sealed each part away individually. It was just blood, but considering that it had been sealed away, they couldn’t think of anyone it could possibly belong to other than the Demon King.
In fact, the announcer in Vandalieu’s head had said,『You have absorbed the blood of the Demon King!』He had been wondering whether he should tell Zran and Eleanora, knowing that it would shock them.
『The Bloodsucking skill has reached level 10! It has transformed into the superior skill, Bloodwork!』
『The level of the Bloodwork, Death-Attribute Magic, Superhuman Strength, Rapid Healing, Automatic Mana Recovery, Magic Resistance, Venom Secretion (Claws, Fangs, Tongue), Body Expansion (Tongue) skills have increased!』
『You have acquired the Title, ‘The Second Coming of the Demon King!’』
Vandalieu wanted to strongly protest to the last part, the Title that he had gained. Who was the announcer calling the Second Coming of the Demon King? But –
“Vomit it out, you have to vomit it out, Holy Son!”
“Vandalieu-sama, spit it out, spit!”
Zran had grabbed Vandalieu’s legs and was now shaking him while holding him upside-down, so he didn’t have time to think about this.
“No, I mean, but, I’ve, already, absorbed, ah, hello.” As Vandalieu was being shaken up and down, perhaps because he had removed the champion’s seal, he could now see countless Ghosts. Upside-down.
Ghosts. Unlike the powerless spirits that could only be seen by Vandalieu, Undead and Spiritualists, these are beings that have turned into monsters without physical bodies.
They are Rank 2, and although most physical attacks are ineffective against them, they have no physical power of their own. But most of them still possess incomplete versions of the personalities and memories that they possessed in life.
“Who is it? A pawn of the Hartner family? … No, this presence that is both terrifying and comforting, just what could it…?”
“Look at that Titan. It’s an Undead.”
“Why is an Undead here? The barrier has been broken… Are we going to be set free?”
The semitransparent Ghosts with blurry outlines, whose legs were missing below their knees, were whispering amongst themselves. Vandalieu couldn’t feel any hostility from them, but he could sense that they were frightened.
Zran unconsciously let go of Vandalieu’s legs and began shouting in the Ghosts’ direction. “Levia-sama, is Levia-sama here?! I’m Zran of Talosheim!”
Vandalieu, who had quickly been caught by Eleanora, saw a female Ghost with long hair extending past her waist, floating to the front.
“Levia-sama!” Zran exclaimed.
“Zran… I remember you. A Scout warrior, the most proficient in the use of short swords among our race.”
Zran hadn’t been intimate with Princess Levia, nor had he served in a position close to her. But in the city of Talosheim, with a population of only five thousand and society with loose hierarchies, exceptional warriors would have had opportunities to meet the princess in person.
Zran was a Scout, the kind of fighter that Titans lacked most, so it seemed that he had been easier to remember than others.
“You remained in Talosheim with Zandia and the others to fight until the very end, so why are you here?” asked Levia. “Ah, but now that you have been sealed in here, you are prisoners like us. We are forced to wander this place, unable to return to the goddess’s side or rid ourselves of our regrets –”
“Ah, I’ve removed the barrier,” said Vandalieu.
“Indeed, as long as the two barriers that have been set up are not removed…” Levia stopped speaking for a moment. “They have been removed?”
“Yes. I’m sorry for the late introduction. I’m Vandalieu, the current king of Talosheim.”
And so, Vandalieu introduced himself, still being held upside down in the position that Eleanora had caught him in.
After hearing Vandalieu’s explanation and seeing the rock salt originating from Garan’s Valley that he had brought from Talosheim, Levia completely believed in his words.
It would have been problematic if she had refused to believe him, so Vandalieu felt relieved.
“I see,” said Levia. “Everyone who stayed behind in Talosheim was valiant until the very end. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for leading Borkus and the others, and for protecting my homeland. But despite that, I was unable to protect everyone…”
“It’s not your fault, Levia-sama!” Zran exclaimed. “The ones at fault are those traitors of the Hartner family!”
When Princess Levia and her small escort force escaped from Talosheim into the Hartner Duchy, they had been warmly welcomed by Duke Hartner and the inhabitants of the city that was now in ruins.
But Duke Hartner poisoned the meal that had been prepared for the Titans.
None of the Titans, who had believed that the Hartner family was a sworn ally, doubted the duke. They ate their meals, swallowed the poison. Although they tried to resist after that, they were captured by the duke’s knights and the mages who served him, and Princess Levia’s guards were slain on the spot. Princess Levia herself was accused of plotting to kill the duke and burned at the stake.
And then her remains had been buried beneath this underground barrier.
“I learned of what happened after that from those who were buried here like us and gained a good understanding of things,” she said. “The knights and mages who killed us were also killed and buried here to ensure their silence, you see.”
Apparently, the duke at the time had been exceptional when it came to conspiracy; he hadn’t left anyone involved alive. Perhaps Old Lady Milan of the city of Niarki had heard the story from the wandering spirits who had managed to escape before being imprisoned here.
“So, about what comes next,” said Vandalieu, changing the subject.
“It does not even need to be said by someone who no longer belongs in this world. The right to Talosheim’s throne is yours. Please save everyone and guide them.” Levia lowered her head towards Vandalieu. Each of her movements was so elegant that it was difficult to believe that she didn’t have a physical body.
And yet, there was no trace of pride in her actions.
So, this is what a graceful princess is like, Vandalieu thought. She was a Titan, so she was still two meters tall despite having half of her legs missing, however.
Her appearance was blurred now, but she had probably been a beautiful princess when she was alive.
“With this, we can all return to the goddess’s side,” she said.
“Ah, please wait.” Vandalieu stopped her, though this beauty wasn’t the reason that he did so. “I need your help to save everyone at the slave-run mine,” he said.
“My help?” Levia repeated. “But I am not capable of doing anything significant as I am now.”
“We don’t need you to,” Eleanora told her. “What is important is for you to cooperate with Vandalieu-sama and be seen doing so.”
Of course, the Titans being held captive in the slave-run mines knew nothing about Vandalieu and the current Talosheim. Most importantly, Death-Attribute Charm wouldn’t work on them, so even if Vandalieu were to tell them, “I’ve come from Talosheim to save you,” there was a high chance that they wouldn’t believe him.
Even if the Undead Titans like Zran and Borkus convinced them, they would still have their doubts. They might believe the words of their families or relatives, but if they weren’t closely related to the Undead Titans, they might simply think that the Titans had gone mad after becoming Undead.
The teachings of the goddess Vida said that Undead should be treated with open-mindedness, but not that Undead should be befriended without question.
Of course, there was the option of ignoring the feelings of the captive slaves and dragging them to Talosheim by force before explaining things, but if they resisted unexpectedly and there were injuries… or casualties, it would leave a bad aftertaste. It would be possible to turn them into Undead, but if it was possible to prevent them from dying in the first place, that would be best.
That was where Princess Levia came in. She had led the Titans two hundred years ago. Even though she had turned into a Ghost, her words would probably reach them.
“At the very least, you should be able to make them listen to us,” said Eleanora.
“But why would they listen to the words of someone who failed to protect everyone…? And I no longer have any regrets or grudges needed to bind me to this world,” said Levia. “My heart has already been saved. Your son will surely be able to free the slaves and –”
“S-son?!” Eleanora repeated. “No, I’m not Vandalieu-sama’s parent –”
“Is that alright with you?” asked Vandalieu, interrupting Eleanora who seemed to have been mistaken for his parent because he was a Dhampir.
“What do you… mean?” asked Levia.
“Are you alright with simply forgiving them? The ones who killed you, killed your guards and warriors and shut you in here for two hundred years. The ones who unjustly took your people as captives and continued to exploit them for two hundred years. Are you alright with the decision of not releasing your anger, resentment and hatred?”
“Th-that is…” Levia’s voice trembled. The Titan Ghosts behind her appeared to waver as they trembled as well.
When they had been killed two hundred years ago, when they had learned that their people had been taken to the slave-run mines, they felt anger, resentment and hatred towards the Hartner family, just as Vandalieu said.
They had cursed their betrayal, screamed that they would never forget this grudge and seethed with hatred. To the point that the tiny amount of the Demon King’s Mana leaking from the seal had reacted to it, turning them into Ghosts.
“But vengeance is –” Levia began.
“A reasonable act,” said Vandalieu, interrupting her. “Especially in this case. I’m not telling you to take your hatred of two hundred years ago and take it out on the people living today,” he continued, looking directly into the eyes of Levia and the other Ghosts. “I’m only telling you to use your current hatred and take it out on today’s people.”
Vandalieu conveyed to them the anger, resentment and hatred that he felt, awakening their own anger, resentment, hatred and regret.
“It’s only natural to be angry, to resent, to hate. It’s normal for any person. Someone you trusted betrayed you, showed contempt for you and robbed you of your lives. People important to you were unfairly turned into prisoners and exploited for two hundred years. If you feel nothing towards those who did this, I can only say that you have gone mad,” said Vandalieu.
“What did you feel when you realized that your food had been poisoned, when your guards were killed, when you were burned alive?” asked Vandalieu.
“I… Ah! Back then, I!”
“Inside you, there should be resentment, anger and hatred. Let it burn once more.”
Even Ghosts that were completely unrelated were stirring, but Vandalieu took no notice of them as he continued.
“Please lend me your strength,” he said. “In order to take back what was taken from us.”
As he finished speaking, there was the sound of an igniting spark as light and heat spread across the underground graveyard that had been in complete darkness a moment ago.
“I’ve remembered, my anger, my resentment!” Levia cried. “Moving on without ridding ourselves of this hatred is impossible! Isn’t that right, everyone!”
Princess Levia was burning. Not metaphorically, but literally.
Her unreliable-looking spirit-form body was now shining red, and her outlines and the details of her face were now clearly visible. She looked just like a goddess of fire, with hair and a dress made of flames.
『You have acquired the Dead Spirit Magic skill!』
“That’s right, that’s exactly right!”
“We cannot disappear until we deliver a calamity upon the Hartner family that has scorned and tormented us!”
“They’ll feel my wrath for playing around with us and throwing us away! Don’t underestimate a maid! KYIIIIH!”
There were some Ghosts getting fired up who were not among the victims of the Hartner family, but Vandalieu took no notice of this.
All of the Ghosts in the underground graveyard were burning, as if surrounded in flames.
“Did their Ranks increase?! But just how…?” Zran wondered. “No, I suppose it doesn’t matter. In any case, it seems that Levia-sama and everyone else is going to stay to help us.”
Vandalieu had used the Mental Encroachment skill to share his feelings of defeat with Levia and the others, setting alight the feelings of defeat that they themselves had once felt.
Influenced by Levia, who had been burned at the stake, they had become Rank 3 Fire Ghosts while Levia herself had become a Rank 4 Flame Ghost.
It was a phenomenon that would cause an uproar if witnessed by researching mages and scholars of the Mages’ Guild.
“Vandalieu-sama has become an even greater figure,” said Eleanora. “Isn’t that just fine?”
“I suppose you’re right,” said Zran.
And so, this phenomenon was brushed aside just like that.
Well, Vandalieu himself was also very surprised at the way Princess Levia and the other Ghosts had gotten so fired up. He had shared his feelings of hatred and anger that felt like they were burning his body, but he hadn’t expected them to actually burn.
He wasn’t surprised enough to forget about everything else, though.
“Now then, let’s get going and save everyone!” said Levia.
“Sorry, but there’s a matter that I have to deal with first.” Instead of taking Levia’s burning hand, Vandalieu turned around to look towards the corridor that he had come through.
There was a man in his thirties with black hair and black eyes standing there, his empty hands raised in the air.
“Wait! Listen to what I have to say! I’m sorry for what I did back then, please forgive me!” said Kaidou Kanata. He kneeled before Vandalieu, pressing his head against the dusty floor.
【Second Coming of the Demon King】
A Title that indicates the second coming of the Demon King. One must not only be recognized as such, but also be able to perform the same feats as the Demon King Guduranis, in order to gain this Title. For example, breaking souls, generating new races of monsters and creating Dungeons. It is also possible to gain this Title by taking in, absorbing or being taken in by a part of the Demon King.
Those who acquire this Title gain bonuses to various techniques that are considered forbidden techniques and evil knowledge, as well as to the aforementioned acts that are part of the conditions of gaining the Title.
The ability of creating and altering new races of monsters receives a particularly large bonus. Princess Levia and her companions becoming a Flame Ghost and Fire Ghosts is another example of this.
However, this does not allow unconditional creation and alteration of new monsters; there are fine conditions and affinities for this that need to be considered.