Upon receiving the information from Rodcorte that Amamiya Hiroto had been reincarnated in Origin as the ‘Undead’ and was now Vandalieu, the faces of the Bravers, as well as Murakami and the others who had deserted them, grew pale. The ‘Oracle’ Endou Kouya reacted particularly severely; he collapsed onto his knees.
Of course, the reasons the two groups turned pale were different, however.
“How could this have happened! To think that the Undead was him… Amamiya Hiroto, one of our companions!” Minami Asagi shouted. He clutched his head at the realization that he and his companions had exterminated a former classmate as a mere Undead and unknowingly handed the Eighth Guidance, the ones that this former classmate had saved, to a research laboratory for further inhumane research to be carried out on them.
Tendou, Akaki and Mao felt the same way, but it seemed that Asagi felt even more shock because Amamiya had been his own classmate.
“What have we done to such a good guy, someone who risked his life to try to save Narumi!” Asagi groaned.
“Eh?! Minami, you remember Amamiya-kun?!” Izumi asked him.
She had been the class representative and even she didn’t remember Amamiya Hiroto; it was very surprising that Asagi remembered him.
“Of course, how could I forget such a good guy!” Asagi said.
“What specifically do you remember?”
“Specifically, you know, when Naruse was about to fall, but he saved her and fell into the ocean instead. Not just anyone could do something like that. And we did something like that to such a guy.”
“No, that’s a story you heard from Narumi; you didn’t see it with your own eyes, right? Do you remember anything other than that… you don’t, do you.”
Asagi’s eyes wandered around restlessly as he searched his memories. “No, but he’s a good guy, right?” he said in the end.
“It’s true that I’ve never talked to him before. But I never heard any bad rumors about him, so I thought he was a good person…”
It seemed that both Asagi and Izumi simply remembered that they didn’t remember anything about Amamiya Hiroto.
Other than Asagi, the ‘Death Scythe’ Konoe Miyaji and the ‘Venus’ Tsuchiya Kanako had been Amamiya’s classmates as well, but judging from the fact that they weren’t saying anything, it seemed that they didn’t remember anything about him either.
“I’ve realized the weakness of my Inspector once more…” Izumi once again realized that she couldn’t detect falsities that she herself assumed were true.
“Who cares about memories of a guy on Earth? Nobody remembers him anyway,” said the ‘Chronos’ Murakami Junpei, who had been the homeroom teacher of Amamiya Hiroto’s class, forcefully changing the topic. “The problem is that it’s highly likely that he resents us, and the question is whether we can kill him.”
Murakami and his group had turned pale not because of a sense of guilt, but because of the fact that there was a being waiting for them in their next life who would have a desire to kill them.
And that being was the ‘Undead’… the one who had given the Eighth Guidance their powers. For Murakami, this was quite a bad situation.
“Gazer and the Eighth Guidance are with him as well, right? He already resented us before, but now I’m sure he’ll be wanting to kill us even more. Shit!” Murakami cursed.
“No, he was unexpectedly indifferent… Murakami-san, you’ve received the information that Kaidou Kanata experienced as well, haven’t you?” asked Aran.
The information that Rodcorte had given the reincarnated individuals included the fact that the second reincarnated individual to die, the ‘Gungnir’ Kaidou Kanata, had tried to kill Vandalieu and then been destroyed.
Several of them had muttered, “Scum will always be scum, even if they’re reborn,” but the truth was that before destroying Kanata, Vandalieu had said that he didn’t care about the reincarnated individuals as long as they didn’t get involved with him.
“After he was exterminated by us… the Bravers, in Origin, and he’d just arrived here, he was angry to the point of losing his sanity, but now, the environment around him has changed and time has passed. As long as you don’t accept this idiot’s stupid idea and don’t do anything stupid, I think it’ll be fine,” said Aran.
“Aran, when you say ‘idiot,’ are you perhaps referring to me?” Rodcorte asked.
“That’s right, I’m referring to you, idiot,” said Aran.
He was an angel, calmly insulting a god that was his own boss. Of course, Rodcorte showed no signs of caring about being called an idiot. He had known from the beginning that Aran and Izumi had no respect for him, and he was aware that their objective was to ensure their companions’ safety; they were against his plan of using them as assassins to kill Vandalieu.
“And Vandalieu is capable of destroying souls,” Izumi added. “Because Kanata said something stupid about him continuing to be reborn and going after Vandalieu no matter how many times he died, if you try to kill Vandalieu and are killed in return, you won’t just die. I’m sure no matter what you say, your souls will be broken and your existence will be extinguished.”
She clearly explained the risks involved with showing hostility against Vandalieu. Even after being told that their souls would be broken, normal people wouldn’t really be able to fear how fearsome that was, but these people were those who had already experienced reincarnation and died twice; they understood what this would mean.
A final, irreversible end. They would not return to Rodcorte once more; there was not even the smallest chance of a miracle that could make that happen.
“Looking at it another way, he’s the only one who can break souls. As long as you don’t become his enemy, your soul won’t be broken,” Izumi said, imploring her companions to not show hostility towards Vandalieu.
“No, that’s impossible,” said the ‘Death Scythe’ Konoe Miyaji, cutting her off.
“Oi, Miyaji, what do you mean?” asked the ‘Hecatoncheir’ Doug.
“Doug, do you really believe what Vandalieu said? The words from the mouth of a person whose thoughts you can never tell, whose expression doesn’t budge an inch even as he’s killing people? And they’re words that he said after Kanata pretended to kneel on the ground. How can you be sure that those words weren’t an act as well? Or are you saying that one of you can declare with absolute certainty that he’ll do exactly as he said?!” Miyaji shouted at everyone else.
Doug nodded. “That’s true. The records we got from this god showed that he has eyes like those of a dead fish. The fact that he shows no expression is creepy, and his voice sounds so monotone that it sounds like he’s reading a script. It doesn’t look like he’s clearly trying to deceive us, but he’s not someone we can trust.”
It wasn’t just him; it seemed that the ‘Clairvoyance’ Tendou and the ‘Noah’ Mao were doubtful of Vandalieu’s words as well.
After all, this was a person whose existence they couldn’t even remember from the time they lived on Earth. The reincarnated individuals couldn’t see a single thing that suggested that he might be trustworthy.
“Shimada, can’t you use Inspector to find out?” asked the ‘Ifrit’ Akaki.
“This happened before I became a familiar spirit, so I don’t know anything but what I saw in the record. But what I do know is that he really said those words to Kanata,” said Izumi.
When she looked at a record of the past, her Inspector could only tell whether that record itself was real or not.
“Well then, I can’t really believe him, either,” Akaki said. “I feel bad, but…”
“I mean, he does do all of those things.”
“He makes Skeletons and Zombies, commands monsters, spreads a biological weapon to slaughter six thousand people, sews corpses together or feeds them to his minions… and he’s killed several people by drinking their blood, hasn’t he?”
“He brainwashes people as well, and he’s a cannibal, too. He acts more like a demon than Rikudou does.”
As the reincarnated individuals unanimously agreed, from their perspective, the acts that Vandalieu had committed up until now were almost purely evil. The individual events had their own circumstances, but Vandalieu being insane and the fact that he would sacrifice others for his own benefit were both real facts.
However, the reason the reincarnated individuals thought this way was because the information about Vandalieu that Rodcorte had given them was biased.
Being a god of reincarnation, Rodcorte could see the records of what the souls in his system had experienced. This was the information that Asagi and Murakami had.
However, Vandalieu was often surrounded by only those who were outside Rodcorte’s system – those of Vida’s races and Undead. And since he had acquired the Demon Guider Job, even the humans and Dwarves who were supposed to be a part of Rodcorte’s system were led to Vida’s circle of reincarnation system, so the information that Rodcorte could obtain was terribly limited.
As a result, Rodcorte could only show the reincarnated individuals records of the things experienced by those of races such as humans before they came under Vandalieu’s guidance, or Vandalieu’s enemies who could not be guided.
Of course, there was a limited amount of favorable feelings towards Vandalieu recorded in this information.
“So, the plan to trust Vandalieu and try to convince him that we won’t get involved with him, isn’t it impossible after all?”
“Haah… Even if the risk is too high and it isn’t worth it, it would be nice if he could understand us.”
Whether out of trust or fear, as long as the reincarnated individuals avoided Vandalieu, their souls wouldn’t be destroyed. Of course, Lambda was filled with plenty of dangers other than Vandalieu, but as long as their souls weren’t broken, they had the hope of another life.
“But Kouya, hadn’t you learned of the situation with your Oracle beforehand?” Mao asked. “Even if nothing could be done right after he was born, I think that things wouldn’t have turned out this way if we’d found him and rescued him before he turned into the ‘Undead.’”
Kouya, who was still on his knees, suddenly returned to his senses and raised his head, but he quickly shook his head. “If you’re asking me whether it was possible or not, then I think it was possible. But I wasn’t careful enough; I didn’t notice. I realized that Amamiya Hiroto had been reincarnated quite some time after we defeated the ‘Undead.’”
“Quite a useless oracle, aren’t you?” the ‘Death Scythe’ Konoe Miyaji muttered.
His eyes seemed to be saying, “If you did your job properly, the Eighth Guidance would have never formed, and I wouldn’t have been killed.” They were filled with clear, unfounded resentment.
“Miyaji, shut up for a moment. Now that I’ve become a familiar spirit, and you’re still just a spirit, it would be simple for me to beat the hell out of you,” Aran reminded Miyaji, glaring at him.
Miyaji clicked his tongue and fell into silence.
Aran turned his gaze away from him and looked at Murakami and Asagi. “You guys, too. Feel free to discuss things, but leave the arguing for later. We won’t get anywhere otherwise. You hear me?”
“Yeah, yeah, alright,” Murakami said reluctantly.
“Alright. I just have to be the bigger person here, right?” said Asagi, being obedient for once.
“Thanks, Aran,” said Kouya. “I’ll preface this by saying that my Oracle doesn’t send me prophecies like its name might suggest. Just like how Odin isn’t actually a Scandinavian god, and how Chronos and Venus aren’t a god of time or a goddess of love, either. It’s just a codename that was given to me because it seemed like an oracle.”
The Bravers’ codenames had been decided back when they were still a non-governmental organization that conducted relief work for disasters and accidents, after consultation with each other and those whom they were close with in Origin.
To put it bluntly, it was a strategy to build an image for themselves.
Because of this, there weren’t many that used titles that would easily generate a negative image. They didn’t use the names of saints and gods of currently-existing religions, either. They didn’t want to face backlash from the people of those religions.
Thus, many of them were named after ancient Scandinavian and European gods, as well as well-known fairies and youkai.
Those who didn’t fit under this description had codenames that straightforwardly described the effects of their abilities, like Inspector and Gazer.
The Oracle ability was a powerful one, so it was given that name.
It answered questions with almost a hundred percent accuracy. It wouldn’t have been strange for the people of Origin or even the reincarnated individuals and Endou Kouya himself to believe that these were messages sent by an all-knowing, omnipotent god.
“The reality was different. Isn’t that right?” Kouya asked, directing his question at Rodcorte.
“Of course,” Rodcorte replied immediately. “I, the one who gave you your powers, am far from all-knowing and omnipotent. How could I give just one of you a power that allows you to ask an all-knowing, omnipotent being your questions and have it answer them?”
The Oracle was just another one of the abilities given by Rodcorte to the reincarnated individuals. It was one of over a hundred.
Thus, of course, it was not a power that surpassed Rodcorte’s own.
“And I deliberately applied restrictions to that power. You have asked it numerous questions in various forms, trying to find out what has become of Earth now. What was the answer you received to those questions?” Rodcorte asked.
Most of the reincarnated individuals other than Kouya frowned. They had asked Kouya to ask those kinds of questions themselves.
Because the reincarnated individuals had suddenly died unreasonable deaths at the hands of terrorists, the curtain had been closed on their lives in an abrupt fashion. It was only natural for them to be curious as to what became of their families on Earth.
However, Kouya had asked the Oracle these questions and received no answers.
This was because Rodcorte had placed limits on Oracle’s power. He had made it so that it would not give answers regarding worlds other than the one its owner currently resided in.
If he had made its power encompass multiple worlds, it would have too much of a burden on a human’s mind and Mana, so the person possessing the ability would become a vegetable.
Rodcorte had also thought that there was no point in knowing about things happening in other worlds.
Telling the reincarnated individuals how their families on Earth were doing might have been good for their mental states, but Rodcorte was a god who not only didn’t consider these feelings important; he thought very little of them. If he wasn’t like this, he wouldn’t have prepared a hundred and one reincarnated individuals… enough so that there would be no problems even if some were to be destroyed, like the ‘Gazer’ Minuma Hitomi.
And he hadn’t thought that telling them about Lambda while they were in Origin was necessary for his original purpose of Lambda’s development.
If he was the kind of god to take such indirect actions, he would have explained everything to the reincarnated individuals when he’d gathered them in his Divine Realm after they died on Earth. And if he had intended to support them so attentively, he would have told the other reincarnated individuals about Amamiya Hiroto early on and asked them to save him.
“In fact, I do not understand why you were so over-reliant on the Oracle,” Rodcorte said. “I had thought that you would keep your use of the Oracle to a minimum.”
From his point of view, it was incomprehensible that Kouya and the others had relied so heavily on an ability that provided answers from an unknown source, a source that gave different answers to the same question depending on the words and nuances used in asking the question.
“… Now that you mention it, it’s exactly as you say. I relied too much on the Oracle. So then, please tell me. What was the Oracle, the being that answered my questions?” Kouya asked.
He had once investigated what the Oracle answering his question was. Even if he asked the Oracle itself, its answer was always different, so he had investigated himself by studying psychological and magical theory, myths and legends, and even asking Aran to use his Calculation to help investigate while he was still alive.
Even so, in the end, he never knew what was answering his questions.
“I suppose you cannot make full use of it unless I explain…” Rodcorte said. “It is the information that the souls of my circle of transmigration system know or once knew. While you were alive in Origin, you could have thought of it as the memories and knowledge of all of humanity and all plant and animal life in Origin. As an ability, it should have been named ‘Archive’ instead of ‘Oracle.’”
“I see,” Kouya murmured. “No wonder I couldn’t understand what it was that was answering my questions.”
Nobody had ever known what the source of the Oracle’s answers were, so there was no way for the Oracle to answer what its own identity was. It was only natural for different answers such as “probably a god” or “perhaps the will of the heavens” to be given based on people’s assumptions.
“Then why couldn’t he use it to find Amamiya Hiroto? Back then, he was a soul that existed in your system as well, wasn’t he?” Murakami asked Rodcorte.
But it was Kouya who answered this question. “This is only something that I know now, but he probably didn’t think of himself as one of our companions. You all just said it a moment ago, didn’t you – you don’t remember him. He was probably aware that none of us remembered him.”
“I see. And he didn’t receive anything from the god before being reincarnated in Origin. He fell outside your search criteria,” Murakami muttered.
At the time, none of the reincarnated individuals, including Kouya, had known about the circle of transmigration system. That was why Kouya had narrowed his search criteria to ‘reincarnated individuals who received abilities from a god,’ but that had done more harm than good in the end.
“And after he became the Undead, he was removed from the system, so there was no way to detect him at all,” Kouya added.
“Wait, then how did you realize afterwards that Amamiya Hiroto had died after that? After he reincarnated in Lambda, nobody in Origin should have known about him. Including the Eighth Guidance,” said Tendou.
As he said, even the Eighth Guidance had been unaware that Amamiya Hiroto, who had turned into the Undead, was a reincarnated individual from Earth.
However, the beings that the reincarnated individuals had regarded as inferior had known the whole truth.
“When Amamiya Hiroto awaked to the death attribute, the spirits around him would have known everything. As they were wandering as spirits, they were outside of my system, and they returned to my system when Amamiya Hiroto was exterminated at your hands,” said Rodcorte.
At the time, because Amamiya Hiroto’s ownership over his own body had been stolen from him, he had spent his days as a spirit outside his body, talking and listening to the spirits around him.
But these spirits were his enemies, the ones who had conducted research on him while he was alive. Though he listened to what they had to say, he seldom spoke back to them.
However, the spirits had been around him when he muttered words of resentment towards Rodcorte, who had failed to give only him any power at all, and the other reincarnated individuals who weren’t coming to save him.
“I see… I understand why. I understand why, but… nothing can be done about it now,” said Kouya.
Amamiya Hiroto… Vandalieu, wouldn’t care, even if the reincarnated individuals explained why they hadn’t noticed him and ended up exterminating him.
Even if he had been serious when he said that he didn’t care about the reincarnated individuals as long as they didn’t get involved with him, the moment they contacted him to explain the situation, they would become ‘involved’ with him.
If it was a lie, there was nothing to even think about.
“Now that I have finished explaining things, I will have you make a choice,” said Rodcorte. “The first choice is to accept my request and eliminate Vandalieu. If you choose to do this, I will grant you all of the rewards you wish that I am capable of granting, just as I promised Kaidou Kanata. The second choice is to reincarnate in Lambda without accepting my request. Even if you choose this option, there will be no punishment or penalty. As long as you cooperate in Lambda’s development, I do not mind. I do not mind allowing you to ascend to become familiar spirits as Shimada Izumi and Machida Aran have done, but be aware that if you do this, it will not be easy for you to become a human again.”
Whichever the reincarnated individuals chose, Rodcorte would make adjustments and help them, just as he had done with Kaidou Kanata, or perhaps to an even greater extent.
After hearing Rodcorte’s promises, the reincarnated individuals remained silent, looking at him suspiciously.
“Everyone, my Inspector isn’t responding, so he’s telling the truth,” said Izumi.
“Of course I am,” said Rodcorte. “As I said before, it would be troublesome if you were to die in Lambda so easily. I want you to understand that the situation has changed for me since the time you died on Earth and you were reincarnated in Origin.”
In other words, Rodcorte was in a position where he couldn’t afford to easily lose “a few of the hundred” reincarnated individuals in Lambda, unlike in Origin.
“There’s no lies in his words,” Izumi said, assuring the reincarnated individuals.
And then an argument between them began. Whichever they chose, the threat of Vandalieu would still exist, so they felt that it would be dangerous for one person to make a decision on their own.
“I don’t mind if you argue for several days, but please give me an answer within a month. If you cannot come to an answer, do as I, Shimada Izumi or Machida Aran suggest,” said Rodcorte.
And while he waited for the reincarnated individuals to make a choice, he turned his thoughts towards perhaps answering Alda’s request, which he had put aside and left for a while.
“… If Vida, the manager of the system, could be destroyed, or at least removed from her position as a god, then is it possible?”
Upon laying eyes upon the thing, the man showed astonishment, and then he began trembling, tears flowing from his eyes. He was so filled with emotion that he had become completely immobilized, on the verge of soiling himself.
The thing he was looking at was what had become of the person he had looked up to as his master.
There was a boy with white, wax-like skin and eyes like those of a dead-fish, half-buried inside the sphere of what appeared to be flesh-colored clay mannequins entangled around each other.
Unable to endure his emotions any longer, the man let out his voice in a shout. “Master! You are the greatest! You did not create a living creature from a pre-existing base life form; even if you did use the relic of a goddess, you created life from nothing at all! This is truly the work of a god!” shouted Luciliano, who, as a life-attribute mage, had been moved to the heights of emotion.
The lump of flesh that had absorbed Vandalieu began to tremble as well.
“Luciliano, please be quiet. Legion is clinging onto me strongly out of fear, and there is a risk of me suffocating,” said Vandalieu.
The morning after Lump-of-flesh-chan had become a new life-form, Vandalieu had summoned all of his important allies that he could gather.
So that he could share the information that he had gained from Lump-of-flesh-chan, who had been renamed ‘Legion.’
Mouth-like tears had formed on Legion’s numerous faces; some were groaning, some were shrieking and some were simply breathing. Even Luciliano had been doubtful as to whether it was possible to understand it, but when Vandalieu extended his spirit form towards it and fused a part of himself with it, communication had become possible.
It was difficult, however, as he would hear a new, different voice take over after several seconds or a minute at most, and sometimes he heard multiple voices at once.
Communication using this method was probably only possible because Vandalieu possessed the Parallel Thought Processing skill and he normally had his spirit form heads split into multiple.
“If there is a chance that Vandalieu-sama is going to suffocate, then perhaps it is time that you let him go?” said Eleanora, sounding a little envious.
“Van, I want to hug Lump-of-flesh-chan as well! She looks soft and pleasant!” said Pauvina; her words were rather dangerous as she could easily crush a log by hugging it.
“It kind of looks like… it would be delicious if it were cooked. I don’t mean any harm though,” said Basdia, who hadn’t eaten breakfast yet, causing Legion even more fear.
Incidentally, the Scylla Privel had collapsed onto the floor, wearing an expression that was as if the world were about to end.
“No way… I can’t even win in terms of number of legs… I can’t even compete… It’s over for me!” she cried, bursting into tears.
“Privel, it seems that you have become confused, so how would you like some tea to soothe your heart?” said Bellmond, offering Privel a cup of tea. “Incidentally, Danna-sama… What would that Legion…dono, like for breakfast?” she asked, seeming confused as to how to address Legion since it contained many female parts but several male parts as well.
Legion seemed to be a life-form, not an Undead. Thus, food was certainly necessary not just for enjoyment, but to maintain life, but… from its appearance, it was difficult to imagine what it would eat.
It looked able to eat things normally, and it didn’t seem like it would only eat raw meat.
“It seems that anything will do. Meat, fish, vegetables are all fine. It can apparently absorb any organic matter through its body surface. But if possible, meat is best,” said Vandalieu.
“So, it is like a Slime,” Bellmond said.
Her words seemed to trigger a hostile response in Kühl; it trembled and began repeatedly trying to change its liquid body’s shape to resemble Legion’s, failing and collapsing again.
“By the way, is this the kid’s kid? Or does this make it his aunt?” asked Borkus.
Legion was a failed product created by Vandalieu trying to create the body of Darcia using Vida’s relic, the resurrection device. It seemed that Borkus was curious as to its relationship to Vandalieu.
“Everyone, calm down! Vandalieu has something important to say, so please listen,” Darcia urged everyone. “Also, don’t scare Legion-chan. She was only just born, after all.”
“Still, it’d be great if it’d stop trembling whenever me and Levia-ohimesan get close to it,” said Kimberley.
“Uu, Your Majestyyy. I was supposed to spend the whole day within fifteen centimeters of you today. You promised that we’d go to visit Zandia together,” Levia complained.
“It can’t be helped; Kimberley is made of lightning and you’re made of flames, Levia. She seems to be weak to fire, too. I’ll join you, so don’t be like that,” said Orbia.
The Ghosts were muttering their complaints a short distance away.
We’ll get nowhere if I don’t quickly explain things, Vandalieu thought as he started speaking.
“A number of the guys who will possibly become my enemies… the reincarnated individuals, have died in Origin. About ten of them,” he said.
The memories of the Eighth Guidance and the ‘Gazer’ Minuma Hitomi remained within Legion.
【Living lump of flesh】
A mysterious combined life form created from a mixture of ‘Lump-of-flesh-chan,’ who seemed to be a base form of life, the disappearing silver that Vandalieu created, and the souls of all of the Eighth Guidance members as well as the ‘Gazer’ Minuma Hitomi, which Zuruwarn did away with various procedures and hammered into the body.
The souls were supposed to be inserted one at a time, separate from the lump of flesh and gain bodies resembling the ones they had in their previous lives, or bodies that were at least appropriately-shaped even if they were slightly different.
It has the appearance of a sphere around three meters in diameter, made of flesh-colored clay mannequins entwined around each other. The shapes of the outlines of their heads might share some familiar features that could possibly be recognized by those who knew the Eighth Guidance Members and Minuma Hitomi well.
As it appears, it is made entirely of flesh; it contains no organs such as brains or eyeballs, nor does it contain any bones. In a way, it could be described as a Slime made of flesh.
It has the ability to float in mid-air, but it can also move around by rolling across the ground.
Also, it is the failed product of trying to recreate the body of Darcia, a Dark Elf, so it possesses the Magic Resistance skill that all Dark Elves possess.
Its numerous souls have partially fused with one another, and its mental age has regressed due to having been reincarnated. However, it does possess memories and knowledge from its previous lives, even if they are a little damaged in places.
It has limited death-attribute spells (the abilities of the Eighth Guidance Members), the cheat-like ability ‘Gazer’ that predicts the future, and various other abilities from its previous lives other than magic of the other attributes as skills.
However, because its body is too different from any of its previous bodies, it is likely difficult to make use of all of these skills.
From its Status, it seems to be similar to Vida’s races, but as there are no precedents of such a life-form, it is unknown as to how it will develop from this point onwards. However, it possesses the divine protection of multiple gods, so it is highly likely to become a powerful being.
It had also originally possessed Rodcorte’s divine blessing, but because the reincarnated individual Minuma Hitomi was led to Vida’s circle of transmigration system, it has disappeared.