Gestation time and the movement of factions
After engulfing the bone fragment that contained Darcia’s spirit, the root of life formed a sphere inside the cylindrical case and began quietly pulsing away.
“It will likely take about the same amount of time as it takes for a human baby to be born, but your mother will be resurrected with a new body,” said Gufadgarn.
“So, ten months and a bit?” said Vandalieu, giving an emotional nod.
Approximately ten years had passed since Darcia was killed. Her spirit would only have maintained itself for about a hundred years, so Vandalieu had been working hard towards the goal of resurrecting her before then. He had placed his hopes in Vida’s resurrection device in Talosheim, but as it had been destroyed, things had been quite difficult.
But now, Darcia would be resurrected in a little over ten more months. In fact, she had already been resurrected in the sense that she was now a living organism again.
Of course, Vandalieu felt the sense of not being able to wait that long. There were many things that he wanted to do with his mother and do for her once she gained a physical body again. But he knew that he needed to wait if it was going to take just ten more months.
He had the ability to cast spells like Inanimate Aging and Aging, which accelerated time around their targets. But there was no denying the possibility that using these spells could cause problems with Darcia’s new body.
“I can’t afford to risk delaying our reunion for a long time to come for the chance of speeding it up ten months… Speaking of time, what will happen to Mom’s lifespan?” Vandalieu asked, this question suddenly occurring to him.
“It wouldn’t be strange for her lifespan to become unlimited like ours,” said Eleanora. “The root of life is compatible with Elves, who also have long lifespans, right? With a Dark Elf soul, materials from high-Rank monsters, Orichalcum bones and even the blood of a goddess… There’s no way that she will live for only a millennium or two.”
“There are already other races with unlimited lifespans, like Vampires and us Majin, so I believe that it is not out of the question,” said Iris, agreeing with her.
It seemed that the two of them were already certain that Darcia would be resurrected not as a Dark Elf, but as a new race altogether.
“And Vandalieu, you can extend her lifespan for as long as you want, right? Just like you did to Zadiris and Tarea,” said Vigaro.
Youth Transformation, which removed and reversed the effects of aging from the body. At first, Vandalieu had hidden the existence of this spell, but it was now known throughout the region inside the Boundary Mountain Range… because if one wanted to live a long life, transforming into a member of one of Vida’s races would be more reliable than having their age reversed.
Those who already had long lifespans were not that concerned with extending their lives. Even if they died, their souls would likely return to Vandalieu, and they could simply become Undead if they still had an attachment to this world.
And as for the risk of this information leaking outside the Boundary Mountain Range… It wouldn’t change the Amid Empire being an enemy nation, so Vandalieu had decided that it wouldn’t make any difference.
“That is true, but Youth Transformation simply reverses aging; it doesn’t increase the length of her lifespan,” said Vandalieu. “It would be very problematic if her lifespan was extremely short.”
“I believe it best you do not use it too much,” murmured Zadiris.
“Yes, it would be problematic if she were to become addicted to it,” muttered Tarea, looking away.
The two of them had experienced Youth Transformation before. It was supposed to be a medical procedure, but…
“Well, even if it is short, a few decades would be enough, right? If you think it’s too short, you can use that time to research and find ways to extend her lifespan,” said Zandia. “I’m sure things will work out; it’s got to be simpler than bringing someone back to life to begin with.”
Vandalieu nodded in agreement. Perhaps it was strange, but in this world, immortality was a simpler goal to achieve than resurrecting the dead.
“Incidentally, what will become of the Trial of Zakkart?” Zadiris asked.
Normally, Dungeons would continue to exist forever once they appeared.
But this was a labyrinth that was personally managed by Gufadgarn, the evil god of labyrinths, and it was through his power that it Teleported around the world. There was no guarantee that it would follow the same rules as other Dungeons.
As for the answer to Zadiris’s question, it seemed that Gufadgarn would indeed stop managing the Trial of Zakkart. It was a normal Dungeon; it would continue to function even after he left it, but some of the trials… for example, the ones that involved the mind, such as the hollow image trial, would no longer exist.
In addition, some of the monsters such as Gufadgarn’s embodiment would no longer appear.
From this point on, it would be an S-class Dungeon that existed in the Dark Elf nation.
“But if I come to manage the Dungeon once more, it will function as it did before,” said Gufadgarn. “I shall move this workshop to a place of your choosing, Vandalieu. Please give me the command once you have made the necessary preparations.”
It seemed that he was ready for the command to be given at any time.
“Then I suppose it would be best to have it connected to the workshop beneath the castle,” said Vandalieu. “By the way, what will you do from now on, Gufadgarn? Would you like to build a church or statue for your worship?”
“Such honor is more than I deserve, my lord. But I shall not do this.”
There was no church for Gufadgarn, the evil god of labyrinths. The Dungeons that he had created served as his churches.
The creation of labyrinths was Gufadgarn’s authority as a god, and they were a symbol of his worship. The anger and fear felt by people that were threatened by Dungeons, the joy felt by those who earned their keep inside them and the sense of fulfillment felt by those who defeated the monsters inside them and grew stronger – these emotions became Gufadgarn’s strength.
Several evil gods with the same authority as him, such as the evil god of demon castles, had been sealed away. Thus, much of the emotions that people felt towards Dungeons was directed to Gufadgarn. This was especially true ever since he had created the Trial of Zakkart and began Teleporting it around the world.
The truth was that Gufadgarn, like the evil god of release Ravovifard, was one of the gods who had successfully become more powerful than they had been during the age of the gods.
Leaving that aside, the question at hand was what Gufadgarn would do from this point on, now that he had refused to have a statue of him built.
“However, I shall ask permission to serve you at your side, just like everyone here,” said Gufadgarn, standing close to Vandalieu.
“… What shall we do, Bocchan? If I am to be honest, I feel an odd pressure coming from him right now,” said Sam.
It was only natural that Gufadgarn would want this now that he was Vandalieu’s servant, but there were many problems with having a god so nearby.
Gufadgarn released a physical pressure into his surroundings. The only reason Sam and the others were not unperturbed by this was because they were considerably powerful themselves, and because Gufadgarn had erased his own presence as much as possible.
But even so, he would cause ordinary people nearby to be paralyzed or lose consciousness.
“Hmm, I understand your wishes, but –” Vandalieu began, intending to refuse Gufadgarn’s request.
“Rest assured. I have used the Dungeon’s monster generating function to prepare a vessel for myself with the appearance of a human. I will reside in this vessel once I have taken care of the Trial of Zakkart,” said Gufadgarn.
“I see. That would work,” said Vandalieu.
It seemed that Gufadgarn had made meticulous plans of what he would do once he found the next Zakkart.
“Even this form is not my original form,” said Gufadgarn. “I was ordered by the first Zakkart to take a form that can be directly looked upon; this is the form closest to a human’s that I could take with the power that I possessed at the time.”
“Just curious, what was your original form?” Rita asked.
Gufadgarn contemplated for a moment before answering, unable to immediately explain his previous form using the language of Lambda. “According to Zakkart, I was a creature resembling a spider or scorpion but not quite like either, made of masses of colored glass that were heptahedrons and hendecahedrons in shape.”
“H-hepta? Hendeca? Nee-san, what kind of shapes are those again?” Rita asked her sister.
“I don’t know. Do you know, Bocchan?” Saria asked Vandalieu.
“… I don’t know either, and wouldn’t that shape be impossible to recreate with this world’s laws of physics?” said Vandalieu.
Gufadgarn now had the form of something resembling a human-shaped Golem, but before he met Zakkart, his appearance had apparently been a grotesque one that caused damage to the minds of humans that looked at him.
“About my vessel, it is currently in a form that complied with the previous Zakkart’s wishes. However, I can still make adjustments to it now,” said Gufadgarn.
“I think it will be fine as it is,” said Vandalieu. “I won’t say anything other than wanting muscles, and I think it would be best for you to have a form that is easy to reside in.”
Vandalieu would come to regret this decision later, but that was still some time away.
“Ah, one more matter. I am in possession of one sealed fragment of the Demon King. What shall we do with it?” Gufadgarn asked. “It seemed that you were using them during your conquest of the Dungeon.”
Gufadgarn possessed power equivalent to one of the great gods, but back when the fragments of the Demon King were first sealed, he had not possessed much. And after the war with Vida’s forces, he had created Vida’s Resting Grounds and several other Dungeons, then fallen into a deep sleep from which he had only awoken a hundred years ago.
Thus, in the past, he had been entrusted with only a single sealed fragment.
“Ah, please give it to me,” said Vandalieu.
It happened without warning, just as everyone was relaxing, having finished cleaning up after their meal.
Heinz glanced at the Magic Item that indicated the next location that the Trial of Zakkart would teleport to and saw that it had stopped reacting. “Hmm? Has the Trial Seeker run out of Mana?”
The needle, which was supposed to point continuously towards one spot, was now wandering aimlessly like the hands of a broken clock as Heinz turned the Trial Seeker in his hands.
Edgar, who had been whistling, stopped and looked at Heinz. “Well, it’s fine, right? We already know where the Trial of Zakkart is going to appear,” he said.
Indeed, the party already knew where the Trial of Zakkart would next appear, so there was little meaning in constantly having the Trial Seeker active.
Even so, since it didn’t require that much Mana, pouring Mana into the Trial Seeker and checking the location where the Trial of Zakkart would appear had become a daily ritual for Heinz.
But the magic crystal inside the Trial Seeker was completely filled with Mana, unable to contain any more. Even so, the needle’s response did not return.
“What does this mean? There is Mana in it, but it’s not working,” said Heinz, noticing that something was wrong.
“Is it broken?” said the Dhampir girl Selen, sounding worried.
“It is not an item that would be broken so easily, but… Heinz, please show it to me,” said the Elf Diana who was a priestess of Mill, the goddess of slumber.
She was adept enough in the use of the Alchemy Skill to perform maintenance on Magic Items.
She examined the Trial Seeker.
Magic Items were generally far less easily broken than ordinary items. It depended on the item, but the Trial Seeker was something that would be fine even if worn during battle, as long as an attack did not land directly on it.
That was why even Diana seemed doubtful, but she began examining the Trial Seeker just like every other time she performed maintenance on a Magic Item.
“There is not even a scratch on the magic crystal, and there is nothing wrong with the magic circle drawn on it. Perhaps there is a problem in the contact between the needle and the magic circle?” she said, but in the next moment, her face turned pale. “This is… Why? This is strange, why… Could it be…?”
“Diana, what’s wrong? Your face is pale as a sheet; did something happen to the Trial Seeker?” asked Delizah, the Dwarf shield-bearer.
Diana looked up, a shocked expression on her face. “It is… working as normal!”
“What?! … Don’t make jokes like that, it’s ill-omened. It’s unusual for you to make jokes, though, Diana,” said Delizah, giving a bitter smile at what she thought was Diana’s joke.
But Diana’s face was so stiff that it was difficult to imagine that she was acting.
“I am not making a joke! The Trial Seeker is functioning normally as we speak!” she said.
Heinz and his companions could not understand the meaning of her words right away.
No, perhaps they didn’t want to.
The Trial Seeker, which was supposed to point at the place that the Trial of Zakkart would appear next, was functioning normally and yet not pointing at anything. This could only mean that there was no next appearance for the Dungeon.
But unable to refuse to think about the meaning of Diana’s words forever, Edgar opened his mouth. “Could it be… the Trial of Zakkart was conquered. Bellwood’s successor… Someone other than Heinz was chosen,” he whispered in a daze.
With his words, the fact that the Trial of Zakkart would not appear here began to spread.
The members of the radical faction that Heinz had convinced to join the peaceful faction held their heads and stared at the sky as they shouted in grief.
“Th-that’s impossible! There is nobody who is more fit to become Bellwood’s successor than Heinz-dono!”
“Have the gods forsaken us?!”
“W-who in the world conquered the Trial of Zakkart? They could be from the Orbaume Kingdom, but if it is someone from the Amid Empire… With Bellwood’s successor leading the charge, they could attack the Sauron Duchy once more – no, the entire Orbaume Kingdom!” said a servant of one of the noblemen supporting Heinz, chewing his fingernails in fear.
They were trying to keep themselves composed, but they were almost panicking as they imagined the worst possible future for themselves.
Selen called out to Heinz and his companions, looking worried. “Heinz-oniichan, everyone…”
She was happy that Heinz and his companions would not be risking their lives, but she also knew that they had spent a long time preparing to conquer the Trial of Zakkart.
She knew that this meant that they could no longer avenge Martina, who had passed away before Selen was saved by Heinz and his companions.
They were shaken, but she didn’t know what to say to them.
The martial artist Jennifer stared at the valley surface where the Trial of Zakkart was supposed to appear, her eyes filled with regret. But she was the first to regain her senses; she gave a sigh and closed her eyes.
“… It’s alright, Selen,” she said. “It’s not like we’re going to die. Having your prey taken by someone else is something that happens to adventurers from time to time.”
“That is right. I am sorry to the people who have supported us, but we have not failed a request or caused deaths,” said Diana, agreeing with Jennifer as she knew that there was nothing to be done about things that had already come to pass.
But it wasn’t that there were no problems whatsoever with the party not being able to face the Trial of Zakkart.
“That’s true… We might not be able to do anything about Martina anymore. But there’s the peaceful faction, the Church of Alda and all that. What are we going to do about them?” said Delizah with a deeply bitter expression on her face.
In addition to avenging Martina, Heinz and his companions had wanted to face the Trial of Zakkart so that Heinz could become the successor to the heroic god Bellwood, making the peaceful faction’s views mainstream so that Alda’s believers would be tolerant towards Vida’s races.
Even in the Orbaume Kingdom, where Vida had many believers, there was a firmly-rooted prejudice against Vida’s races that originated from monsters. Heinz and his companions wanted to eliminate that prejudice and create a world where Dhampirs like Selen could live freely.
And they had hoped that in the deepest chamber of the Dungeon, they would be granted an audience with Alda, the god of law and fate, and Bellwood himself, where they would be able to question them about Vida’s races.
If Vida’s races were evil, why had Alda given his divine protection to Heinz, who had joined the peaceful faction? He wanted to confirm the gods’ intentions.
The fact that this was now impossible was no small matter.
“But the fact that someone has conquered it is something to be celebrated. There will be no more lives lost by those facing the Trial of Zakkart. It would be problematic if the one who has conquered the trial and become Bellwood’s successor is a member of the radical faction and opposes what we are trying to achieve, but… we’ll know soon,” said Heinz.
Someone had conquered the Trial of Zakkart, the most famous Dungeon in the world. Even if it had been conquered by someone from outside the Bahn Gaia continent, rumors of it would have spread quickly.
Because he had faced the Trial of Zakkart once before, Heinz knew that it was not a Dungeon that a nameless adventurer or knight could conquer. No matter what kind of miracles happened inside the Dungeon, it would be impossible for anyone weaker than an A-class adventurer.
Since such people would already have nationwide fame, the news of their success in the Dungeon would spread quickly. If they were like Randolf ‘the True,’ who hated drawing attention to themselves, they would not have faced the Trial of Zakkart in the first place.
“Well, you’re right. There’s nothing to be solved by making a bunch of noise here. Sorry for being all shaken up,” said Edgar, the last to return to his senses. “Oi, you guys! I know it’s rich coming from me, but calm down! Making a bunch of noise here is just a waste of time! Let’s start preparing to move everything out!” he said to the people who were still in confusion, calming them down.
“Sorry for making you worry, Selen. Let’s go back to the city for now. As for what comes after that, let’s think about it there,” said Heinz.
“Okay!” said Selen, giving an energetic nod.
Just as she took Heinz’s hand and took a step forward, a pillar of light descended from the sky.
“Familiar Spirit Descent?!” Edgar shouted.
“No, it’s not!” Heinz shouted back. “There’s nobody there where the pillar of light descended… is that a Dungeon entrance?! Could it be… the Trial of Zakkart?!”
The pillar of light had descended right in the valley where the Trial of Zakkart had been supposed to appear. Within the pillar of light was a gate made of white stone that looked as if it were part of a temple.
“No, it’s not the Trial of Zakkart,” said Heinz, shaking his head as he looked at the Trial Seeker. “The needle isn’t moving, just like before. And that entrance has a different shape and color from the Trial of Zakkart, and the sign is missing.”
“Maybe it was refurbished…? Or not,” said Delizah.
Everyone had been excited for a moment, thinking that the Trial of Zakkart had appeared, but nobody could deny Heinz’s words.
Normally, Dungeons did not undergo significant changes after they appeared, with the exception of gaining additional floors. At most, the structure of the labyrinths inside might change.
It was unheard of for Dungeon entrances to change their appearances. The only exception was the appearance of a sign at the entrance of the Trial of Zakkart, but that was about it.
Thus, the Dungeon that had appeared here was not the Trial of Zakkart.
“But then, what is that Dungeon? I’ve never heard of a Dungeon appearing with what looks like a Familiar Spirit Descent. There are almost no records of the actual moment of a Dungeon coming into existence being witnessed, but… aren’t Dungeons supposed to appear in places where the land is contaminated with Mana?” said Edgar, but even now, he was walking towards the Dungeon’s entrance.
He was confused, but he had his pride as a scout, and it was a scout’s job to approach the unknown.
“There are Ancient letters engraved on the gate’s surface… this is…”
The Ancient language was the language that had been used before the Demon King Guduranis appeared in this world. Today, there were none who made everyday use of this language; they were only ever seen on rare occasions when they were discovered on ancient ruins.
But Edgar and Heinz had learned how to read and write the Ancient language to some extent from the materials kept by the Mages’ Guild and the mages who took care of them, thinking that it might be useful inside the Trial of Zakkart.
“If I’m not mistaken, it says… ‘Only those who would become Bellwood’s successor shall enter?!’” Edgar exclaimed.
These were surprising words indeed.
This Dungeon claimed to be for selecting Bellwood’s successor, even though it was not the Trial of Zakkart.
But with that being the case, there was no argument for Heinz and his companions to not enter it.
The people around the Dungeon began murmuring amongst themselves once more, but Heinz simply stroked Selen’s hair.
“Heinz-oniichan?” Selen said, looking up at him.
“I’m sorry, Selen. Our return to the city has been postponed,” said Heinz. “Bellbotro, I’m leaving Selen with you until we return.”
“Yeah, leave her to me!” said one of the nearby adventurers, placing his fist on his chest.
He was a trusted companion of Heinz’s party, and Heinz had arranged for him to protect Selen while they were inside the Trial of Zakkart.
“Heinz-oniichan… See you later! Everyone, come home safe, okay?” said Selen.
“Yeah, I promise!” said Heinz as he and his companions disappeared past the gate to enter this new Dungeon.
In front of a charred Thunder Dragon corpse, there was a boy, who was in the process of becoming a young man, trembling with joy.
“Kuh, kukukuh, I… I have defeated a Dragon, a species that is feared even in this world, one that is resistant to lightning at that, without a gun or bomb or missile, with nothing but a sword, my spells and my own body! HAAHAHAHAH! I have far surpassed myself from my previous life!” the boy laughed, unable to contain his uplifted emotion.
He had a thin, lean body and wild-looking hair that stood on end. But his face itself looked somehow insubstantial.
He resembled a dark-natured boy that was undergoing training to become a warrior.
“As I am now, I can win! I can beat the Eighth Guidance, Murakami-sensei… No, that piece of shit Murakami who betrayed me, I can kill him! With the power that I, Hajime Inui-sama, now hold!”
The boy, the one who possessed the body of a boy and was laughing now, was the one who had once been called the ‘Marionette’ Inui Hajime in the world of Origin.
He had been reincarnated in Lambda in the body of a boy who would become an adult in a year and several months, and after that, he had received the divine blessing of Fitun, the god of thunderclouds. Now, he was acting under Fitun’s commands, not Rodcorte’s.
He used the Guilds only for changing Jobs, and other than that, he was spending his time killing and robbing from bandits and pirates in places that Fitun indicated to him, and hunting monsters in undiscovered Dungeons, improving his equipment with the treasure chests and treasure chambers inside.
Because of this, despite being an F-class adventurer, he possessed the ability of a first-rate A-class adventurer.
Ordinarily, such an adventurer would have been slain by bandits or monsters – no, they would not find bandits and undiscovered Dungeons so conveniently in the first place. Even if this was made possible through some miraculous good fortune, they would encounter at least three developmental walls obstructing their growth… no, an ordinary person would encounter more than ten.
This was only possible for Hajime because he already possessed some ability from his time in Origin, and, more importantly, because he possessed the divine blessing of two gods, Rodcorte and Fitun, which improved the rate of his development.
“Fufuh, as expected of a god of war. Fitun’s divine protection is very compatible with me,” Hajime murmured as he touched the pendant hanging from his neck… the gemstone that contained Fitun’s spirit clone. “… So, Alda has finally started to make his move.” He smiled as this information poured into him from the spirit clone inside the pendant.
As Alda was not a god who specialized in creating Dungeons, mimicking the actions of an evil god was hard work for him. It was likely that he had completed his task forcefully, using his authority as a great god of law to ‘punish,’ and his authority as a god to ‘impose trials upon humans.’
Whether this would prove to be worth the effort depended on how much the Five-colored Blades developed, but Hajime had no interest in this.
The important thing was that this meant Alda had spent a significant amount of his power to achieve this.
“With this, Alda, the god of law and fate, can’t descend upon the world and fight for himself! It would take a thousand years for him to regain his power… This means I can move about more freely! HAHAHAHAHAHA! While Alda’s pawns are holed up in that Dungeon, I, Hajime Inui-sama, disciple of Fitun, will take Vandalieu’s head… No, he doesn’t die after losing his head. I’ll turn every cell in his body into ash!” Hajime cackled like a madman.
Meanwhile, Fitun’s spirit clone, who was inside Hajime’s mind, gave a bitter smile to himself. “I know that I am the cause of this, but he is getting carried away. That’s the problem with youngsters…”
Fitun provided Hajime with advice and information through the pendant that contained his spirit clone. He was fooling Hajime, gradually entering Hajime’s mind, brainwashing him and making their minds become one.
A human would not be able to withstand such a thing being done to him by a god; their mind or body or perhaps even both would collapse. But Hajime had a soul and mind that possessed divine power, given to him by Rodcorte. And his body was one that Rodcorte had created with his divine power.
There was no better vessel for a god to reside in.
“Kukukuh, our minds have already fused more than forty percent. With another year, this mortal will become my spirit clone… my incarnation. Alda, make sure you polish your pawns properly in the meantime.”
Meanwhile, the Amid Empire’s S-class adventurer… or rather, the ‘Thunderclap’ Schneider, who used that as a front while actually being a believer of Vida and helping Vida’s races, was sitting in a certain old mansion in the western side of the continent outside the Boundary Mountain Range with his face in his hands.
He was glaring at the person sitting opposite him with a displeasured look in his eyes.
“I’m surprised you dare show your face in front of me. In a deserted place like this, no less. Why do you think I won’t kill you?” he asked, his piercing stare fierce enough to make even the most seasoned warrior soil himself.
The person that this stare was directed at gave a calm shrug. “I guessed that you wouldn’t kill me here. Now then, let’s get straight to business. My son’s protection… or rather, confinement. Won’t you make use of it? With my will and the dagger that is a proof of my son’s bloodline,” said the person sitting opposite Schneider… the emperor of the Amid Empire, Marshukzarl von Amid.
After connecting Zakkart’s workshop to Vandalieu’s workshop beneath Talosheim, fixing it in place and recovering the corpses of the explorers that had been turned into ice and stone statues, Vandalieu and his companions returned to the Dark Elf nation alongside Gufadgarn, who now resided in his vessel.
The Dark Elf king Gizan, who had grown tired of waiting for them, as well as the Noble-born Vampires sent from Vida’s Resting Grounds and the citizens all cheered upon their arrival.
“With this, our hundred years of hardship are over!”
“We’ll have less work to do!”
Gizan and the other Dark Elves who had been in charge of selecting challengers for the Trial of Zakkart and treating their wounds after their defeat inside the Dungeon every year were greatly overjoyed.
It was a surreal fact that Gufadgarn was residing in a vessel right in front of their eyes, however. But Gizan and the others didn’t notice Gufadgarn, and Gufadgarn had no reaction to their celebration.
Celebrations in every nation within the Boundary Mountain Range lasted for a week straight. Vandalieu would return to the capsule where Darcia was developing every hour, but the Dark Elf nation was clamoring over the news.
It had been decided that the Trial of Zakkart would remain in the Dark Elf nation as an S-class Dungeon for training warriors inside the Boundary Mountain Range. The harsh environments of the middle floors remained the same, but the tricky trials had been removed and the Dungeon boss had been changed from Gufadgarn’s incarnation to a Rank 13 Demon and an Orichalcum Statue.
The Majin king Godwin was dissatisfied with the fact that the enemies inside the Dungeon had become weaker, but as Gufadgarn explained that he could not keep these trials in the Dungeon unless he maintained the Dungeon personally, he reluctantly accepted these changes.
As Dungeon Cards that allowed teleportation between the entrance and floors that one had already cleared were introduced, the overall difficulty of the Dungeon had been decreased significantly, but the Dungeon would go on to serve to assist the warriors of the southern region of the continent with their leveling and as a tourist attraction for the Dark Elf nation.
《You have acquired the Demon King’s claws!》
《You have acquired the ‘Violator’ Title!》
《You have changed Jobs to Disease Demon》
《The Levels of the Rapid Regeneration, Chant Revocation, Strengthen Subordinates, Commanding, Artillery Technique, Group Binding Technique and Demon King Fusion Skills have increased!》
《The Parallel Thought Processing Skill has awaked into the Group Thought Processing Skill!》
With all said and done, Vandalieu felt tired. After the banquet, he went through the Job change that he had been putting off, created a Dungeon for the thousands of Demons that he had brought back to live in, stopped Nuaza, the head priest of the Church of Vida, from building an enormous statue of him –
“Boss, Group 3 is back,” said Kimberley, having returned from leveling with the Ghosts. “By the way, which one is Boss?” he asked, looking in confusion at the red-black humanoid-shaped objects in front of him… the slime blobs that had separated from Kühl and taken humanoid forms.
The Ghosts that Vandalieu had brought back from Gufadgarn’s Dungeon had weakened, so they had been split into groups and were leveling with Kimberley and Orbia.
“Ah, Boss is that one there that’s doing the weird dance!” Kimberley said, pointing at one of the blobs that was wriggling about in a way that clearly ignored the limits of having a skeleton.
Vandalieu, who had been using the Demon King’s blood to disguise himself as Kühl, showed his true form.
“… How did you know it was me? I was trying out movements that don’t need a skeleton in place of doing stretches,” he said.
“Well, it was easy to tell by following Gufadgarn’s gaze while she’s standing next to you,” said Kimberley.
He was pointing at an Elf girl with silver hair and golden eyes.
Her age was similar to Zadiris’s; she was a beautiful girl with a mystical aura about her.
“My apologies, Vandalieu. It seems that he followed my gaze to find you,” said the girl.
The girl was Gufadgarn.
Why had Gufadgarn spent a hundred years creating a vessel in the form of a mystical-looking Elf girl? That was because Zakkart had desired this… or rather, Gufadgarn had taken his complaints and jokes seriously.
While Zakkart was still alive, he had achieved many things both on the battlefield and outside it, but that didn’t mean that he had been constantly working. From time to time, he would do things like drinking with the other creation-oriented heroes and the people of Lambda that he was close with.
During such drinking sessions, he would complain that he worked in his workshop every day, but it was Bellwood, who risked his life on the battlefield, who received encouragement from the people and, more importantly, was surrounded by beautiful women.
He had once said, “I want to be good friends with a beautiful Elf girl or something, too.”
And on another occasion, he had told Gufadgarn, who accompanied Zakkart 24 hours a day, to “at least stop trying to accompany me while I’m sleeping.” He had found Gufadgarn creepy.
Gufadgarn had asked him what he should do to not be creepy, and Zakkart had jokingly replied, “If only you were a cute girl.”
As a result, Gufadgarn, a member of a hermaphroditic race who had become a god, had thought that there would be no problem with creating a vessel in the shape of an Elf child that Zakkart would like.
As for why he had created a child, Gufadgarn had perceived “beautiful girl” to mean “beautiful female child,” and “cute girl” to mean “cute child.”
It was certainly not because Zakkart had been a pervert.
Gufadgarn had apparently wanted it to be a little younger, but he had settled for this form so that it would function properly as a vessel.
Incidentally, it was significantly weaker in terms of pure strength compared to the incarnation of his power that had served as the Dungeon Boss of the Trial of Zakkart, but it was still Rank 13.
Considering my age now, it’s fine, but in the future… Will he follow me around in this form 24 hours a day even after I become an adult?
Vandalieu’s heart sank as he came to this realization. He decided to blame it all on Bellwood.
“Leaving that aside, Boss, you seem kind of tired but you look unoccupied,” said Kimberley.
“Yes… after I made a Dungeon for crop cultivation, production of palm wine is going well, and I’m making progress in transforming my blood to make useful, special pathogens. I’m also making progress on a plan for an amusement Dungeon based on the beach floor in the Trial of Zakkart,” said Vandalieu.
Half a month had passed since Vandalieu and his companions returned to Talosheim. Less than a month had passed since they left the Trial of Zakkart. With the goal of producing palm wine, Vandalieu was using his ability to turn his own cells into pathogens with the effects of the Disease Demon Job, creating and distributing a virus that would infect and exterminate microbes and fungi that caused diseases in plants. Of course, he was making use of selective breeding as well.
With Group Thought Processing, which was apparently the superior version of Parallel Thought Processing, Vandalieu could use a part of his consciousness to manipulate the virus remotely with the Long-distance Control Skill, adapting the sizes of the bacteria and viruses he created.
The Job title sounded dreadful, but it was a very useful Job.
As for the new Jobs that had been available… Demon Ruler, Creator and Demiurge would likely have been useful Jobs as well… Perhaps Demon Ruler had appeared because the Demon Tamer Job had already been discovered by the Majin race? But what in the world was the Demiurge Job?
Also, what is the ‘Violator’ Title? I don’t remember ever being called that… No, now that I think about it, Zuruwarn called me things like ‘violator of boundaries’ and ‘one who violates the boundaries between good and evil.’ Maybe that’s what it’s referring to? But why did I gain the Title only now? Well, I did violate more national boundaries and did some good things and bad things after that.
Vandalieu did not realize that its meaning was that of a mythical trickster.
In any case, Vandalieu set these thoughts aside and returned to the topic at hand.
“I’m currently investigating the biology of the original strain of rice we brought back from the Trial of Zakkart, and Kimberley and the others are working hard in leveling the Ghosts. But I was wondering what to do with the leftover bodies… They won’t become Undead heroes unless the bodies are possessed by their original spirits, after all,” he said.
Without their original spirits, they would simply become Zombies with above average physical abilities.
He could make ordinary Zombies out of them, but he would feel bad for Rapiéçage and Yamata, who were looking forward to gaining more patchwork friends. Thus, he hadn’t touched any of the corpses, including Martina’s, and he was leaving them until he thought of an idea for what to do with them.
“My apologies, Zakkart,” said Gufadgarn.
“Ah, no, it’s not like I was blaming you. Don’t worry about it,” said Vandalieu.
“Why not just leave them to Luciliano? He’s about that age as well, right? In terms of finding a bride, I mean,” said Kimberley.
“Kimberley, I have remained silent until now, but you realize that I am still present?” said Luciliano. “Though I would be delighted to have them left to me, leaving this talk of a bride aside.”
“… I want to begin preparations to go to the Demon Continent, but it would likely end in disaster if I don’t ask the people from the Storm of Tyranny where to go,” Vandalieu muttered as he stared at the corpses, which were still in their stone and ice statue forms.
Even though Vandalieu would be able to use Legion’s Teleportation to return, it would be problematic if he got lost and ended up at a different continent or island.
“If possible, I want to meet Zantark and Farmaun on the Demon Continent before Mom is resurrected,” he said as he glanced at the root of life inside the capsule… where Darcia was floating in the liquid within.
- Name: Vandalieu Zakkart
- Race: Dhampir (Dark Elf)
- Age: 10 years old
- Title:【Ghoul Emperor】,【Eclipse Emperor】,【Guardian of the Cultivation Villages】,【Holy Son of Vida】,【Scaled Emperor】,【Tentacle Emperor】,【Champion】,【Demon King】,【Oni Emperor】,【Trial Conqueror】,【Violator】
- Job: Disease Demon
- Level: 0
- Job history: Death-Attribute Mage, Golem Transmuter, Undead Tamer, Soul Breaker, Venom Fist User, Insect User, Tree Caster, Demon Guider, Archenemy, Zombie Maker, Golem Creator, Corpse Demon Commander, Demon King User, Dark Guider, Labyrinth Creator, Creation Guider, Dark Healer
- Vitality: 11325
- Mana: 3,617,672,074 (+1,808,836,014)
- Strength: 2157
- Agility: 1807
- Stamina: 2549
- Intelligence: 4902
- Passive skills:
- Superhuman Strength: Level 8
- Rapid Regeneration: Level 5 (LEVEL UP!)
- Dark King Magic: Level 3
- Status Effect Resistance: Level 10
- Magic Resistance: Level 7
- Dark Vision
- Dark Demon Creation Path Enticement: Level 5
- Chant Revocation: Level 7 (LEVEL UP!)
- Guidance: Dark Demon Creation Path: Level 6
- Automatic Mana Recovery: Level 10
- Strengthen Subordinates: Level 9 (LEVEL UP!)
- Venom Secretion (Claws, Fangs, Tongue): Level 9
- Enhanced Agility: Level 5
- Body Expansion (Tongue): Level 7
- Strengthened Attack Power while Unarmed: Large
- Enhanced Body Part (Hair, Claws, Tongue, Fangs): Level 8
- Thread Refining: Level 6
- Mana Enlargement: Level 5
- Increased Mana Recovery Rate: Level 4
- Active skills:
- Bloodwork: Level 4
- Transcend Limits: Level 3
- Golem Creation: Level 4
- Hollow King Magic: Level 1
- Mana Control: Level 8
- Spirit Form: Level 10
- Cooking: Level 7
- Alchemy: Level 10
- Unarmed Fighting Technique: Level 9
- Multi-cast: Level 8
- Long-distance Control: Level 10
- Surgery: Level 8
- Materialization: Level 8
- Coordination: Level 8
- High-speed Thought Processing: Level 10
- Commanding: Level 9 (LEVEL UP!)
- Thread-reeling: Level 6
- Throwing: Level 6
- Scream: Level 5
- Dead Spirit Magic: Level 7
- Artillery Technique: Level 9 (LEVEL UP!)
- Shield Technique: Level 4
- Armor Technique: Level 4
- Group Binding Technique: Level 4 (LEVEL UP!)
- Surpass Limits: Fragments: Level 3
- Unique skills:
- God Devourer: Level 3
- Deformed Soul
- Mental Encroachment: Level 8
- Labyrinth Creation: Level 1
- Demon King Fusion: Level 10 (LEVEL UP!)
- Abyss: Level 5
- Divine Enemy
- Soul Devour: Level 3
- Vida’s Divine Protection
- Earth’s Dark Gods’ Divine Protection
- Group Thought Processing: Level 1 (Awakened from Parallel Thought Processing!)
- Demon King fragments:
- Ink Sacs
- Scent glands
- Luminescent organs
- Jointed legs
- Claws (NEW!)
- Experience gained in previous life not carried over
- Cannot learn existing jobs
- Unable to gain experience independently
A Job that is related to all medical procedures. It affects ordinary, living creatures, but its true value is shown when medical procedures are performed on those that have died once. Procedures such as remodeling surgery for Undead and emergency resuscitation procedures will never fail, no matter how difficult they are or how much external interference there is, unless the procedure itself is impossible to begin with.
There are also slight bonuses to acts that bring the target closer to death… assassination and torture.
Its creation-oriented aspects stand out more than its battle-oriented aspects, but perhaps because the creation of Undead does not allow it to be classified as a creation-oriented Job, it is considered to be a fringe combat-oriented Job.
However, the Job provides small increases to Attribute Values.
Enhanced Flesh, Enhanced Body Part
Both are Passive Skills that improve a part of the body.
Enhanced Flesh simply increases the hardness and the amount of muscular power that can be generated by the target body area. Enhanced Body Part does the same, but also improves function, such as improving the vision of eyeballs.
However, Enhanced Flesh provides more hardness and muscular power than Enhanced Body Part.
TLN: In light of this explanation, I have renamed these skills from Enhanced Body and Enhanced Physical Ability respectively.