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The Death Mage that doesn't want a fourth time 109

by Densuke


Yoshi (Translator), Dakarans (Editor)

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The approaching evil


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Resistance messengers would come to this village tomorrow.

“I want to talk to those people as well. Is that alright?” asked Vandalieu upon hearing this news, wanting to be present at the meeting.

Though he wasn’t very perceptive, even he had managed to conclude that Orbia’s lover, a person who had come into the Scylla territory from the outside, was likely one of the negotiators for the Empire’s army or a member of the resistance.

Even if Orbia’s lover was not among the messengers who would come here tomorrow, there was a chance that the resistance would have some information regarding the Scylla serial-killing.

And the one who was coming to negotiate, the leader of the Reborn Sauron Army, was apparently a believer of Vida, so it seemed likely that he would listen to what Vandalieu had to say.

“We don’t mind, but the other party might not like it, so I can’t give you a definite promise,” said Periveil. “I don’t think there will be a problem, though.”

Seeing that Orbia seemed restless after hearing Periveil’s reply, Vandalieu’s heart grew even heavier now that it seemed even more likely that her lover was a member of the resistance.

“Well then, you should stay the night here,” said Privel. “It’s already the middle of the night so I was planning to suggest that from the beginning, though.”

“That’s right,” said Periveil. “Ah, but as per the custom, Privel will be sleeping in a different hut. Shrine maidens must keep their bodies pure until the festival, you see.”

“There aren’t any customs that force the husband Van to sleep alone, so he’ll be fine!” said Pauvina.

“Pauvina, what do you mean by ‘husband?’” Vandalieu asked.

“Well, he is ‘His Majesty,’ isn’t he? He’ll need two more,” said Periveil.

“Periveil-san, are you being a little too serious about the fact that His Majesty is His Majesty?” asked Princess Levia.

“It is troublesome if you take it seriously,” said Vandalieu.

It wasn’t as if they had revealed the entire truth yet.

Vandalieu and Pauvina were led to a hut used by visiting merchants. It was a little small for Pauvina, but the Scylla had apparently thought it best to give them a vacant hut that nobody was using right now.

“Mother said that you wouldn’t be able to rest properly if there were other people around,” said Privel. “Levia-san would cause a big fuss just by being seen, after all.”

As a result of this considerate treatment, Vandalieu and his companions had gained time to discuss things freely.

“Guh~.” Pauvina grunted.

Since it was a time of night where good children were asleep, Pauvina was sleeping soundly, clutching Vandalieu firmly against her large body. Vandalieu escaped with Out-of-body Experience and asked Hannah, one of the Ghosts that were accompanying him, to deliver a message to everyone waiting back at the camp.

“Yes! Leave it to me!” she said in a lively tone before vanishing silently.

She had become a Blaze Ghost recently; as her race title suggested, she would light up the dark night like a lamp, but as she was a Ghost, she was able to conceal her presence as she moved.

She wasn’t releasing killing intent into her surroundings or anything like that, so it would be impossible for anyone who wasn’t a Spiritualist to find her.

“I’ll ask the Ghosts to deliver messages rather than Undead insects from now on.”

Ghosts wouldn’t be spotted, nor would they accidentally get caught in spiderwebs.

Incidentally, the contents of the message were a report of the current plans and a request to get information out of the resistance members that were being protected at the camp.

“So, I have something to talk to you about,” Vandalieu said.

“What? A message for me?” Orbia turned around as Vandalieu spoke to her. She had been silent but looking restless up until now.

Vandalieu had already undone the Visualization spell on her, so her voice wouldn’t reach Pauvina.

“Before you received the ring from your lover, did you have any injury on your finger?” Vandalieu asked. “Like being pricked by a thorn, for instance.”

Having realized the meaning of this question, Princess Levia gasped. “Your Majesty, that is –”

“No, I don’t think I had any injuries on my fingers. When he put the ring on me, I kind of felt something pricking me. I suppose I wasn’t just imagining it. Was there something left on the finger of my body?” Orbia answered without hesitation, despite Princess Levia’s attempt to interrupt Vandalieu’s questioning.

Princess Levia blinked in surprise. Orbia looked at her, sighed and dropped her shoulders as she continued.

“I’m not very smart, but maybe because of Van-kun’s Mana, my head feels refreshed and I can think more clearly than I did back when I was alive. I don’t need anyone to tell me to know that person is suspicious. His body was nowhere to be found, the ring is gone and we haven’t heard anything from him despite the fact that his lover died days ago. No matter how you look at it, it’s suspicious, isn’t it?” Orbia gave a self-deprecating smile. “But it’s not like it’s certain that I was killed by that person, is it?”

“There is no definite evidence,” said Vandalieu.

Everything about the incident was suspicious, but there wasn’t any proof or eyewitness testimony. There was no denying that Orbia’s lover was a suspect, but there was also no denying that there wasn’t any evidence supporting these suspicions.

“Then I want to believe in that person. He’s someone that I really came to love… that’s why I still don’t want to tell you who he is. I’m sorry,” Orbia said, casting her eyes down apologetically.

Vandalieu nodded in understanding. “It doesn’t bother me,” he said. “So, about tomorrow –”

“W-wait, you’re alright with this?! You’re alright with me staying quiet?! Aren’t I being quite selfish about this?!”

“Hmm? Were you just pretending? Would it have been better if I’d read the mood and made you talk?”

“What do you mean, ‘read the mood’?!”

Orbia seemed agitated, but Vandalieu simply looked at her blankly and blinked a few times.

“Orbia-san, spirits are fundamentally self-indulgent and self-centered, prioritizing their own emotions while disregarding reason. That’s how they are,” said Vandalieu. “Rational spirits like Princess Levia and the others are very rare.”

Spirits were the dead who lingered in this world rather than returning to the circle of transmigration after leaving their bodies. There was no way that such beings could be rational.

Many of them let their emotions get out of control; their thoughts were devoid of logic in certain places and many of them unconsciously altered their own memories of the past. And since their frontal lobes and hippocampi were missing, they were unable to restrain themselves and their ability to store and retain memories couldn’t be relied on.

They didn’t even possess lungs to take deep breaths and calm down. They didn’t lose consciousness when they got too worked up, nor would they get tired from being angry, as they didn’t possess stamina that would run out.

There was no end to how mad spirits released from their physical bodies by death could become.

“In fact, weren’t you in that kind of state before you met us, Orbia-san?” Vandalieu pointed out.

“A-ah…” Orbia groaned as she remembered how she had spent days on end searching endlessly for the ring that might have fallen into the bottom of the marsh, despite the fact that she was unable to dig the mud up after having become a spirit.

The only reason she could conduct herself in the same way that she had when she was alive was due to Vandalieu’s influence and the Mana that he had supplied her.

But Vandalieu wasn’t judging her negatively because she was a spirit.

“I’m not trying to speak ill of spirits,” he said. “It’s not a matter of being good or bad; that’s simply how spirits are. I’m trying to say that I don’t think badly of you for choosing to believe in your lover, Orbia-san.”

“But…”

“It’s fine,” Vandalieu reassured her. “I’m taking all kinds of measures.”

He had accepted that Orbia would remain silent about her lover, but that didn’t mean that he was cutting corners when it came to investigating the incident. He had already sent his Lemure familiars to the other Scylla villages in the Scylla territory, whose locations he had heard from Orbia herself, Privel and Periveil, as well as the fort that had been built on its boundary.

The fragile Lemures quickly broke down if they entered water. In this water-filled region, they could only form something like a coarse draining net, but the Scylla had been murdered by their lovers, after all. Unlike the Scylla themselves, they wouldn’t go into the waters during winter.

“And since it is likely that there are multiple criminals, it is likely that they will be easy to spot from above when they move,” said Vandalieu.

“Eh? How do you know this, Your Majesty?” Princess Levia asked.

“After they killed Orbia-san, they put her body on display,” said Vandalieu. “That would have been difficult to do alone.”

In this world, there were martial skills that would allow an iron sword to split a boulder in two, as well as convenient magic spells. There were also all kinds of skills that provided help with certain actions.

But Vandalieu imagined that even if all of these things had been used freely, the things that had been done to Orbia’s corpse would have been difficult to carry out alone.

After Orbia had been killed, her tentacles had been severed, her chest cut into shreds, several arrows fired into her, the holy symbol of Alda branded into her body and then she had been tied to a nearby tree with rope.

This was clearly too much work for a single person. Including the branding iron, too many tools were necessary for all of this.

Martial skills were too powerful to use on a corpse. If they were used to try to cut Orbia’s chest into pieces, it was more likely that her chest would be cut or pierced through completely. The tentacles had all been cut at different angles, too. It was difficult to imagine that a martial skill had been used eight times… if the corpse had been placed on the ground or already hung up on the tree when this was done, then there would have been blade marks visible on the ground or on the tree. Even if they had tried to forcibly cover up the tracks, the Scylla would have noticed.

Of course, this would have been difficult with magic as well.

Even if the murderer was an adventurer or a knight with high Attribute Values and skill levels, there was a limit to what he could have done alone.

“That’s why I think we’ll be able to have a good idea of what’s happening if we look out for things,” said Vandalieu.

“I see~ That’s amazing, Your Majesty!” said Princess Levia.

“I thought you spaced out a lot, but you do a lot more thinking than I'd imagined,” said Orbia. “That’s pretty good!”

“Not at all; this is second-hand knowledge,” said Vandalieu.

Princess Levia and Orbia seemed impressed, but this was second-hand knowledge that Vandalieu had acquired from a mystery manga and the police dramas that he had seen on Earth.

Come to think of it, is that manga still being serialized on Earth?

“And even if you were to tell us your lover’s name, what he looks like and where he belongs, it’s not like I’d be able to do anything right away,” Vandalieu added.

In Japan, when a suspect’s face and full name were revealed, their address and workplace would be identified soon after and it was possible to figure out their locations through things like security camera footage.

But in Lambda, even with this information, Vandalieu would be unable to find Orbia’s lover without searching for him. After all, there were no photographs or security cameras; this was a world filled with wilderness that hadn’t been touched by civilization.

Lemures could be used as security cameras, but their eyesight was only about as good as Vandalieu’s, so they had to be relatively close in order to identify people’s faces.

But once the criminal’s face and name were known, it would be possible to warn everyone in all of the villages to be on guard against them and to not follow them alone.

Also, if the Lemures found the spirits of the other victims, it was possible to summon them here through Necromancy. It was possible that they would provide information about the criminal.

“And if your lover is involved with the resistance, I’ll probably learn something tomorrow,” said Vandalieu.

If Orbia’s lover was involved in the resistance and present in the meeting, he would definitely show some kind of response if Vandalieu were to introduce himself as a special Spiritualist who was investigating the serial-killing case.

Whether that response would be asking to meet Orbia one more time or trying to silence Vandalieu remained to be seen, however.

“I-I see. I suppose that’s true, there’ll be something to learn,” said Orbia. Judging from the way that she was clutching her head in worry, it seemed certain that her lover was indeed involved with the resistance.

It wasn’t guaranteed that he would actually be among the visiting messengers, however.

“Your Majesty, won’t things be bad for Orbia-san if it turns out that the criminal is her lover?” Princess Levia whispered into Vandalieu’s ear. “She is already being supplied with your Mana, so she may turn into a Ghost.”

Even in ancient times, deep feelings of love turning into rage and hatred had never been rare. Orbia was currently a spirit, and Vandalieu was supplying her with plenty of Mana.

As Princess Levia feared, certain events could cause Orbia to turn into a monster and attack her murderer.

Vandalieu gave an understanding nod. “Indeed, we need to make sure beforehand what kind of Undead she wants to become. It’s impossible to become a Zombie after already becoming a Ghost, after all.”

“That’s r… eh?” Princess Levia did a double-take.

“If she wants to become a Zombie, I need to use Corpse Healing to repair the damage and then cast Preservation… but since her breasts and some of her tentacles are missing, that would mean doing some patchwork there.”

“No, are you not going to stop her?”

“Hmm? Is there a need to?”

Vandalieu thought that revenge was generally acceptable as long as the hatred wasn’t unjustified. He didn’t see any need to stop Orbia, even if she were turn into a Ghost and attack the criminal. As long as nobody other than the murderer and his accomplices were involved, he saw no problems with it.

“… Now that you say that, I get the feeling that there isn’t any need to stop her,” said Princess Levia.

Now that she thought about it, she remembered that she herself had increased in Rank through her anger and hatred, even if Vandalieu had encouraged it. Considering that, she couldn’t think of a single reason to stop Orbia if she chose to take revenge.

“What are you guys talking about?” Orbia asked.

“Ah, Orbia-san, His Majesty was just saying that he’d like you to choose between being a Zombie or a Ghost,” said Princess Levia.

“I’m telling you, I won’t become an Undead… well, I am thankful to you, so if you insist… what are the differences between a Ghost and a Zombie?”

“Ah, well, if you become a Ghost –”

Princess Levia’s Undead transformation counselling continued until late into the night.

 

 

 

When Haj came to, he realized that he was lying in a room with its inner surface covered in white, bone-like tiles (the truth was that not only the room’s inner surfaces, but the entire room, was made of bone).

“W-where am I?”

Thinking that he had been captured and thrown in jail, Haj sprang to his feet and looked around. But all he saw was around a third of his companions that he had been fleeing with, all men, lying in beds as well.

There weren’t any collars, handcuffs or shackles around their ankles. There was nothing else in the room but the beds that they were lying on and a candlestick burning with an eerie-looking blue flame; it didn’t even appear as if there were any doors or windows.

“W-what happened to us? What is this place? Where are those monsters and Skeletons…?”

As Haj stood there, so bewildered that he had forgotten to wake his companions up, the wall transformed into a door before his very eyes.

“Ah, so you have regained consciousness.”

Three women entered.

The one at the front was a blonde woman wearing a tailcoat who appeared to be about twenty years old. Her straight posture and the way she carried herself was that of an exceptional servant that a nobleman or rich person might employ, but her figure was so voluptuous that Haj had to swallow the saliva that had gathered in his mouth.

Her swelling chest was so curvaceous that it looked as if her tailcoat would rip, and her hips were so abundant that one’s fingers would be buried if they tried grasping them. Her beautiful face, which still appeared bruised, only added to a degenerate kind of charm rather than appearing flawed.

It would be reasonable to believe that she was a high-class prostitute, specialized for serving royals and nobles, who had been ordered to dress as a steward. However, the ears that were covered in her soft hair were those of a monkey’s, and a silver tail longer than her arm was swaying over her bottom.

Was she a Beast-person with parents of different races?

“I have prepared meals for you. Will you eat?”

“The others are resting in other rooms, so please rest assured. Their injuries have been treated as well!”

Behind the female steward was a pair of beautiful women who looked very similar to each other, a little past their mid-teenage years. They looked adorable, but the abundant curves of their aprons and the white thighs visible at the hems of their dresses gave off a different kind of charm from the steward, but… for some reason, they were wearing sinister-looking shoulder pads and bracers.

Having noticed this, Haj’s face stiffened, but the fragrant smell coming from the pot that they were carrying hit him right in the stomach.

He hadn’t eaten anything since morning, and he had lost consciousness right after fleeing desperately for his life, so all of his stamina had been exhausted.

“We made soup that is easy to eat. There is also more available for second helpings,” said one of the maids.

“A-ah, thanks,” said Haj.

With their hunger stimulated by the soup that was being served in wooden bowls, his companions began waking up as well.

Seeing them, Haj returned to his senses. “But let me ask you,” he said. “Who in the world are you people? Where is this, and what happened after we lost consciousness? And what was that monster?!”

Highly-trained, disciplined members of the resistance would never accept food from strangers without any sense of caution. But Haj and his companions were fake members of the resistance.

They were just a group of hoodlums and thugs from the city; it was a miracle that they hadn’t become separated when they fled. It was likely that they would fill their stomachs with the delicious-smelling food being offered to them as soon as they woke up without asking any questions.

But with the food being offered by three slightly strange but beautiful women, they would be completely enticed.

Haj wanted to find out what kind of situation that they were in before that happened. If there was poison in the soup… not the life-threatening kind, but some kind of drug, they would be in trouble.

With the extermination force ambushing them today, Haj had finally realized that although he and his companions just considered themselves to be worthless swindlers who called themselves the resistance, the Empire considered them to be rebellious.

“… You people are the brave men and women of the resistance, fighting against the invaders of the Amid Empire. There is no mistake here, is there?” the female butler asked, narrowing her eyes.

Pinned down by her gaze, Haj felt a chill run down his spine as he answered reflexively. “Th-that’s right! We’re the Reborn Sauron Duchy Liberation Front Army!” He gave an organization name that was a random combination of two famous resistance organizations. And he continued speaking. He went on and on, using a believable tone of speech that he had trained from when he had pretended to be a part of the resistance and swindled naïve villagers. “D-during the day, we encountered a cowardly ambush set by the extermination force organized by the Amid Empire, and we were in the middle of retreating in order to meet up with our allies who are on standby at our hideout! We thank you from the bottoms of our hearts for sheltering us and treating our injuries!”

Hearing this, his now-awake companions reflexively stiffened their expressions.

“I-I don’t know how to thank you after you saved us from such danger.”

“Th-thanks to you, we have another chance to fight the enemy. Thank you!”

Their voices were stiff because of their fear of the sharp glint in the female steward’s eyes, but it was probably best they began acting right away. As fake members of the resistance.

The female steward gave a sweet smile. “I see, then please rest assured. Our master is someone who feels sorrow over the current state of the Sauron Duchy and wishes for its liberation from the Amid Empire and believers of Alda who began this unjust war. He supports you all.”

Haj and his companions felt truly relieved to hear this. But Haj’s sense of wariness quickly came back.

“Wait,” he said. “I’m sorry if it feels like we’re doubting the ones who saved us, but I want you to tell me who your master is.”

He thought it possible that the female steward was telling lies to try and trick him and his companions, but the answer he got made him think that a lie would have been a hundred times better.

“Please rest assured. We are… these kinds of people,” said the female butler, exposing her crimson eyes and fangs.

Haj and his companions screamed.

 

 

 

“Haj-Aniki! Why did you tell such lies to a Vampire?! If they find out, we’re going to be killed!”

“Those maids have unnaturally white skin as well; I’m sure they’re Vampires as well!”

“You morons! Then would you have preferred if I told the truth?! There’s no way I could do that, is there!”

Haj and his companions were having a conversation… or rather, an argument, that echoed through the bone pipes that had been placed in the room.

“I suppose I was hasty to reveal the fact that I am a Vampire after all,” Bellmond said with a sigh. She hadn’t expected them to be that frightened of her.

“Well, it cannot be helped,” said Sam. “They did not even know what to name themselves in order to conceal their true identities.”

“Jyuuh. And since you had no way of proving our position, I do believe there was no other option but to reveal that you are a Vampire,” said Bone Man.

The two of them were consoling Bellmond while hanging up laundry on laundry hangers made of bones. They had been washing the underwear and trousers of the fake resistance members who had soiled themselves while Bellmond was talking to them.

“They didn’t have to be so scared of us,” said Saria. “They were struggling so much that their sheets came off and…”

“Let’s forget about that, Nee-san. We have no choice but to erase that from our memories,” said Rita.

The two of them grimaced, having seen all kinds of unsightly things.

“It doesn’t seem like we’ll be able to ask them anything until they calm down. What will we do?” asked Hannah, who had brought Vandalieu’s message here. She was wearing a troubled expression as her flames flickered.

Bellmond thought for a moment. They couldn’t torture Haj and his companions.

“Please tell Danna-sama that we will listen to what they have to say if they calm down,” she said finally.

“Understood,” said Hannah as she disappeared, no doubt heading back to where Vandalieu was.

“But what could those people be hiding?” Rita wondered. “They were saying something about lies.”

“Jyuuh! Could it be that they are imposters who are calling themselves members of the resistance?! Jyujyuuh…!” Bone Man arrived at the truth through intuition while drying the captives’ underwear. However, seeing the many sad-looking faces around him, he quickly shut his mouth.

“Resis… tance…”

“Wrong…?”

“Fa… iled? … No good?”

These were the dispirited faces of Rapiéçage and Yamata. Had they gone and made a mistake? Should they not have brought these people here? Had they failed their task? Their faces seemed to be asking these questions.

“Jyuooh…”

“No, they were being chased by the extermination force, so there is no doubt that they are resistance members,” said Bellmond, extending a helping hand to the dismayed Bone Man.

But Bellmond hadn’t declared this just to comfort Rapiéçage and Yamata.

She had declared it because she truly thought that this was the case.

“The lies they are talking about are probably things such as the name of their organization and the fact that there are still allies in their base,” Bellmond continued.

“Eh, what do you mean?” Rita asked.

“I mean that they wanted to make themselves appear more powerful, so they pretended to be part of a larger organization than they actually are.”

“I see.”

The truth was that Bellmond was just as bad as Vandalieu at seeing people’s true thoughts, if not worse.

She had lived for over ten thousand years, but more than ninety percent of that time had been spent maintaining and managing the mansion by the underground lake in the hideout of her former master Ternecia, so there had been no way for her to develop her ability to communicate with others. Rather than her insight to read deeper into people becoming more polished, it had become weathered and turned into dust.

Eleanora, who had received training as a spy, would have likely been able to see through the lies of Haj and his companions and discerned their true strength, but Bellmond was unable to judge their abilities accurately.

“It’s true that they looked weak,” said Rita. “Their weapons were crude, too.”

“Well, I suppose that is how it is. They are just humans, after all,” said Bellmond. She had intended to defend Haj and his companions from Rita’s words, but the truth was that she didn’t think much at all of the human race as a whole.

Bellmond was a Rank 10 monster who was capable of destroying an entire small nation on her own. Thinking that Haj and his companions were reasonably competent was simply within her margin of measurement error. There were likely beings just as powerful who would still be able to more accurately determine the strength of Haj and his companions, but… having spent about ten thousand years as a hikikomori, Bellmond didn’t possess that insight.

“We should have asked Eleanora-san to come,” said Saria. “With her Charming Demon Eyes, we would have been able to hear what they have to say.”

“We can’t leave too few people in Talosheim,” said Darcia. “It can’t be helped, so let’s just wait until the resistance people calm down, alright?”

“But Darcia-sama, the lies that they have told are quite meaningless,” said Sam. “Even if they are part of a smaller organization, it would not bother Bocchan in the slightest.”

“Eh? Wouldn’t it have been better if we’d saved people who were part of a bigger resistance organization?” asked Rita.

“Rita-san, as long as we have actually managed to help the resistance, that’s enough,” said Darcia. “Even if the organization that Haj-san and his friends belong to is small, he might be able to introduce us to other resistance organizations.”

“You have realized this! How amazing of you, Darcia-sama!” Sam exclaimed.

As Darcia and Sam said, Vandalieu would likely choose to help any organization resistance, no matter how big or small it was. This would lead to a buildup of trust among the other resistance organizations. And it was too lucky, too convenient to think that they had made contact with a prominent resistance organization without doing any proper information-gathering beforehand.

… Though they had likely never imagined that they would catch fake resistance members.

“Come to think of it, what will we do with the people in the other two rooms?” Bellmond asked.

The women had been placed in another room, with the remaining men in a third, larger room. They were already awake and eating their meals.

These rooms also contained bone pipes that acted as speaking tubes, picking up the conversations inside to some extent.

“For some reason, the people in the women’s room seem to be afraid that they are going to be killed and have their blood consumed by Bellmond-dono’s master, in other words, Bocchan,” said Sam.

It seemed that things in the women’s room wasn’t much different from the people in Haj’s room.

And as for the ones in the last room where the rest of the fake resistance were gathered, there were no wary men like Haj. They had ogled Bellmond and the twins and ate the soup without hesitation, even asking for seconds. They were big fish in a way, but…

“They’re talking about me, Nee-san and Bellmond-san! They’re saying who they would prefer as a partner for a night, comparing us to other resistance members and women they know, and talking about our chests and bottoms!” Rita said indignantly.

They were simply low people. They were lacking caution to the point that Bellmond hadn’t needed to reveal that she was a Vampire.

“Incidentally, You are the most popular, Bellmond-san,” Rita added. “You did it!”

“… That does not make me happy in the slightest,” said Bellmond.

“But we were popular too; it was only a narrow margin, so we have not lost!” said Saria.

“Hohoh… if I had Bocchan’s permission, I would like to invite these people to a walk through the night sky,” said Sam.

“Father, I know you’re holding yourself back, but do it better!” said Rita.

“Sam-san, your fear aura is coming out. Please calm down,” said Darcia.

“By the way, those people, I wonder when those people are going to realize that the floors, walls and the beds that they slept in are made of Knochen… made of bones,” said Saria.

Knochen let out a groan.

 

 

 

The face of Mardock, the man who commanded the extermination force, stiffened as he listened to the report of the spy who had returned safely.

“A peculiar Undead made by combining the corpses of women with a Hydra, and a female Majin who manipulates lightning. How unexpected.”

The resistance contained many believers of that filthy goddess; Mardock had considered that there could be evil individuals who made use of Undead, but to think that they would really exist.

“But it did not appear that they were allies of the resistance,” the spy continued. “They were trying to run away from the Undead.”

“Hmm… which means that this Undead and female Majin are a different lot from the resistance,” said Mardock.

There was a village of Majin who worshipped Vida, and the Undead that they used as a watchdog had captured the resistance members. That was the outline of the situation that Mardock had drawn inside his head.

“What will we do?” the spy asked. “Giving chase would be simple, but… we are already inside the Scylla territory. The enemy does not seem to be a part of the resistance. Should we withdraw for now?”

Mardock rubbed his thick jaw as he contemplated his aide’s words. “No, we will continue scouting through force,” he said. “We will withdraw after acquiring some information regarding this Undead and female Majin.”

“But won’t this cause problems with the negotiations with the Scylla?”

“We are continuing because it will cause problems.”

Mardock disapproved of the decision made by the upper-ranking members of the extermination army, and Emperor Marshukzarl himself, to conduct negotiations with a filthy race that had been created by Vida.

As the descendant of the great champion Bellwood, it was the duty of the emperor to exterminate such vile creatures. To ignore this duty and conduct negotiations was utter madness.

“We will find evidence that the Scylla have been concealing the fact that there were Majin hiding in their territory and that these Majin are followers of an evil god who make use of Undead. And then we will bring it to our superiors!” Mardock declared.

The Scylla race’s territory was a place where the Scylla were permitted to live with their husbands and families. Members of other races created by Vida with monster heritage were not permitted to live there.

It was possible that the Scylla actually knew nothing of the female Majin and the Undead; they might not have noticed the presence of such beings. However, Mardock intended to report that the Scylla knowingly concealed their presence, regardless of the truth.

Even if it could just cause a breakdown of negotiations, that would be enough.

“But our enemies are Undead and Majin; they are able to see in the dark. Make camp for the night and then begin your pursuit in the morning,” Mardock ordered.

“As you will! Everyone, prepare to make camp!”

The extermination force who followed the trail left by Yamata, an evil that was incredibly feeble before Knochen’s walls, approached very close.

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