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The Death Mage that doesn't want a fourth time 129

by Densuke


Yoshi (Translator), Dakarans (Editor)

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The heroes comforting the king with their bodies


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The consciousnesses of the two had been in a foggy state for two hundred years. They were in a state that was far worse than being drunk on alcohol.

When drunk, one would think foolish thoughts and express emotions more intensely than usual, but these two had not even been capable of these things.

During those two hundred years, they had been unable to recall their memories of their past, nor could they move their bodies freely.

Zandia and Jeena had felt a sensation that was as if there was a transparent object separating themselves from their memories and bodies.

Their sense of time had been vague, so it was only later that they learned that around two hundred years had passed.

However, that vague sensation came to an abrupt end when they met a Dhampir boy with a crimson and a bluish-purple eye in a dimly-lit place. Behind him were a group of extremely familiar people.

They felt a strong sense of disgust at the commands that were issued to them by an old man’s voice, which they had never had any doubts about before.

Once they and the other Zombies were captured and taken away to a place where they received ‘surgery,’ they became at ease.

They felt surprised at how much they had been suffering and how normal suffering had become to them, and they regained their memories and their ability to think to some extent.

They were surprised when they became aware that they had died and become Undead. They were dumbfounded when they learned that their comrade Borkus had become a Zombie, and that Princess Levia, who was supposed to have escaped to the Hartner Duchy, had turned into a Ghost.

And then they learned that the destroyed Talosheim had been restored, and it was expanding beyond its scale of two hundred years ago.

“Your fury was terrible back then. You were howling terrifying things, like how you wanted to go to the Hartner Duchy right now to castrate all of the Hartner family’s men and put an end to their lineage. And when the kid tried to stop you, you just picked him up and tried to take him with you,” said Borkus.

“That’s right, Zandia. You’re the Second Princess, so you have to have some self-control.”

“No, Jeena-nee, I just shouted that I wanted to kill them all. The one who shouted that they’d castrate the Hartner family’s men and then tried to carry His-Majesty-kun away in an iron-claw grip was you!”

“That other time was pretty incredible…” said Saria.

“It was great that Luciliano-san got stepped on when he was trying to peek at your surgeries. Nobody got angry at the peeking incident, either,” said Rita.

“He traded a rib for that, and it was Jeena who started running around wearing only a single surgery gown,” said Zadiris. “In a way, being seen would have served her right.”

The Living Maid Armors Saria and Rita, as well as Zadiris who for some reason was accompanying them just because her name was similar to Zandia’s, were roasting some tare-soaked meat as they nodded to themselves, recalling the events that had occurred several months ago.

Jeena had stepped on Luciliano and tripped over him, giving Vandalieu the opportunity to grab her and calm her down. Given this achievement and the fact that he had given up a rib for this, Luciliano had been forgiven for attempting to peek.

“I’m already unemployed, so it’s fine,” said Jeena. “The Church is being well looked-after by Nuaza-kun… and everyone except that bearded person apologized, and even His-Majesty-kun forgave me, so it’s fine, right? He said, ‘When I first learned the truth, I instinctively felt a desire to start killing everyone without discrimination, so I know how you feel.’”

“You’re right about the latter, but unemployed, you say… Nuaza-kun is clinging to you and begging you to return to the Church every time he sees you,” said Zandia.

“It just means that my tendency to do things at my own pace hasn’t become any better after I died. Well, he’ll give up soon.”

After that, Zandia and Jeena, who had become even weaker after the contraptions that the Pure-breed Vampire Gubamon had added to their bodies were removed, began leveling right away in order to regain the strength that they had possessed while alive.

However, they struggled more than they had expected. Jeena had been an A-class adventurer, while Zandia had been B-class. They had defeated Earth Dragons and Stone Dragons without any problems before, but perhaps because their bodies had been tampered with by Gubamon, unlike Borkus who had become an Undead on his own, they couldn’t move their bodies as they wanted, and they couldn’t control magic well, either.

Even if they could apply an iron claw on a Vandalieu who was standing still in a daze, it was difficult to land their weapons and spells on moving monsters.

Because of this, at first, they had needed to fire their spells haphazardly and apply numerous full swings of their halberds to defeat Goblins.

Though they were feeling depressed, saying that even novices holding weapons for the first time wouldn’t struggle this much, they had steadily learned how to move their new bodies by facing monsters and Mikhail, regaining the strength they had possessed while alive.

It was this morning that things had changed for the better. Legion had acquired the Parallel Thought Processing skill, and one of its personalities, Isis, had carried out surgery that allowed Jeena and Zandia to regain their strength.

“Someone who has already modified Undead before trying to modify the bodies of a race that they’ve never seen before is quite terrifying, though,” said Jeena.

“Isis’s ‘surgery’ is half death-attribute magic, so please don’t worry about it. And I don’t have any pride when it comes to that,” said Vandalieu, who didn’t consider himself to be a doctor even if he did conduct surgery. “Come now,” he said to the two of them, beckoning them towards Legion, whom they were staring at in surprise.

“Well then, I won’t decline,” said Isis.

“The ones who want to decline are us!”

“Don’t say that. I have a lot of hands with this body, so I have the feeling that I can do more incredible surgeries than I did when I was alive.”

“Ah, I’ve just thought of something urgent I need to do, so see you later~”

“Jeena-nee! It’s unfair for you to just fly away with the upper half of your body!”

“And it’s my first time messing around with Undead that aren’t humans… I really want to play around so badly that I can’t help myself,” Isis said.

Zandia gave a shriek of terror. “You just said some really scary words, like ‘mess around’ and ‘play around,’ didn’t you?!”

“Uwah, I forgot that this flying mechanism can’t go too far away from my lower body! Don’t mess around with my cross section!” Jeena shouted.

“Well then, me and my apprentice who won’t learn his lesson will be waiting outside,” said Vandalieu.

Luciliano gave a shriek. “They are already conscious, so let me watch, Master!”

As a result of the surgery that seemed like fleshy tentacle-play, Jeena and Zandia succeeded in rapidly regaining their strength, though a few steps short of what it had been while they were alive.

“In Origin, any corpse could become capable of moving like it did while it was alive, but… I suppose because this world is different, it’s not just the laws of physics, but the properties of magic that are different as well,” said Isis.

It seemed that the ‘surgery’ that could be conducted by Isis could only restore full strength for Undead who were below Legion in Rank.

Vandalieu had never consciously thought about it before, but it was possible that such things were different for different worlds. Or perhaps because he had been unable to bring his experiences from Origin to Lambda due to Rodcorte’s curse, he had relearned everything from scratch on his own to adapt to this world.

The ‘Gungnir’ Kaidou Kanata had also reincarnated from another world and used magic, but he had never voiced any particular flaws in his magic before encountering Vandalieu or even afterwards.

It could simply have been that he hadn’t had enough time to notice the flaws during his short third life, or perhaps Rodcorte had made adjustments to all of the reincarnated individuals except for Vandalieu so that no flaws with their magic would occur.

It was likely the latter.

Leaving that aside, thanks to the tentacle play that messed around with their organs and muscle structure, and the hard work that they had put in, Jeena and Zandia, who had originally been Rank 6, had regained their strength to Rank 8.

And now, they were leveling in Barigen’s Fall Life-Mountain.

“It really is tough for the two of us to fight Rank 9 monsters without Borkus. By the way, this Dungeon Card is really convenient. Even the Dungeons have been relocated to be closer to the city; His-Majesty-kun is amazing, isn’t he?” said Zandia, who appeared to be in her mid-teenage years or even younger despite actually being in her late teenage years, as she held up a flame in the left hand that had been restored by Vandalieu.

Her brown skin looked as if blood had returned to it; she looked like a normal beautiful girl… though she was two meters tall because she was a Titan.

“Right! Bocchan is amazing!” said Rita.

“Yeah, his Mana is amazing, he’s the hero of Talosheim, he saved us, he saved Nee-san and he saved everyone who was turned into slaves by the Hartner family. I don’t know how we’re supposed to return the favor,” said Zandia.

That was what Vandalieu was to Zandia. She knew she was no longer a princess but a Zombie, and Vandalieu was her master, so she had wondered if she should treat him as such. But Vandalieu had told her, “Even Borkus calls me ‘kid,’ so you can just call me by my name.”

Vandalieu had restored the destroyed nation while she remained in captivity, and he had only received the gratitude she had been able to give as what was left of the royal family.

“So, will it be marriage, then?” asked Saria.

“That is a little early, is it not? Does engagement not come first?” said Zadiris.

“Wow, congratulations!” said Rita.

“… Yeah, that’s what surprised me most. Or rather, what still surprises me the most,” Zandia said, glaring at the happy-looking Rita and the others through half-closed eyes.

The thing that surprised her most was the fact that she had become a marriage candidate for Vandalieu.

“I mean, I am a part of the royal family, the Second Princess. Talks of marriage into the Hartner family started when trade with the Hartner Duchy first began. I’ve never really had anyone I liked while I was alive, and I thought that my marriage was something that was going to be decided by my parents.”

She didn’t have any dissatisfactions with the fact that Vandalieu would marry not only her, but Levia in the future, as well as numerous other wives, though this hadn’t been formally decided yet.

Talosheim had always had people with wild ideas about the relationships between men and women, and considering the state of the new Talosheim, it was actually necessary for every race to take multiple wives.

Connections of blood and marriage had the effects of strengthening bonds between the inhabitants of nations, particularly between those who lived in tribes.

As a member of the royal family of Talosheim, which had been isolated for a hundred thousand years with an absence of the concept of democracy, Zandia thought this way.

Bonds and religious faith were needed to gather the people into one.

And she had no complaints with Vandalieu himself. The fact that he was small couldn’t be helped since he was a member of another race, and he would be growing a little larger in the future. She knew that he had even taken care of the nails of her left hand, treating it with care.

He had rescued her from an evil Vampire, if one ignored the fact that he had done so after her death. The romance was perfect.

That was why she didn’t really have any dissatisfaction with the fact that she had somehow become a marriage candidate for him. She didn’t, but –

“The problem is, I’m a Zombie! Why?! Why would he marry a Zombie?!” Zandia exclaimed.

“What problem is there with being a Zombie?! We’re Living Armors as well!” said Saria.

“We’d have a big problem with succession!”

What Zandia viewed as a problem was that because she was a Zombie, she couldn’t see any point in a marriage.

“Well, I understand what you want to say. You mean that there is no continuation of the lineage, do you not?” said Zadiris.

“That’s right. Undead can’t have children, unlike actual members of Vida’s races like Vampires and Ghouls. I understand political marriages can have various purposes other than having children, but… His-Majesty-kun is the king of Talosheim, right? He has statues of himself standing all over the city, right? There isn’t anything for him to gain by marrying me, right…?” Wanting to sigh but realizing that there wasn’t any air left in her lungs, Zandia inhaled so that she could let it out again in a sigh. “I understand a marriage with Nee-san. She can do housework, she has a tolerant mind, she seems to expose more of her body than she did when she was alive, she burns, and with her curves, especially her chest, she was said to be one of Talosheim’s two leaders along with Jeena-nee. Compared to that, I have confidence in my magic, but that’s all. My body is skinny, and –”

“Ah, saying any more about that would be bad for Zadiris-san,” Rita pointed out.

“Eh? Ah, sorry, don’t take it personally!” Zandia said hastily.

“Having that said to me hurts more… Rita, I will be confiscating this,” Zadiris said.

“Aaaah! My serving of meat!”

“Ignoring your curves, isn’t it fine? Whether you marry him or not,” said Jeena, who had finished eating her meat at her own pace, speaking to Zandia in a light-hearted tone.

“Jeena-nee, don’t say it so simply…”

“I mean, it’s just a matter of whether you’d be a bride or a mistress, right?”

“No! You’re wrong, Jeena-nee!”

“Am I? I intend to give him my body and my heart, though. It seemed that His-Majesty-kun liked my body, too,” said Jeena, who had been praised as the ‘Saint of Healing,’ as she pointed at her plentiful chest – no, at her powerful biceps brachii muscle and her ripped (actually ripped at some point between her upper and lower body halves) abdominal muscles.

Jeena was in her two hundreds, marriageable age for a Titan woman, but her clothes and armor were kept to a minimum other than her enormous shield.

For the Titans, their own bodies were beautiful things that they were proud of, and especially for Jeena, who was a saint of Vida, the goddess of life and love, showing her vitality was a part of the Titan race’s faith.

Being an Undead Zombie didn’t change anything about that.

“Children and that sort of stuff is fine, isn’t it? It seems that His-Majesty-kun has a long lifespan, so  they’re probably not that necessary,” Jeena said.

“That’s true, but…” said Zandia.

“I actually want him to marry me. It comes with delicious food, Saria-chan, Rita-chan and Zadiris-chan.”

“Wow, you go too far as usual, Jeena-nee.”

Jeena, a tall woman even for a Titan with a height of 2.7 meters, had a preference for those smaller than her.

“Oh my, how embarrassing,” said Saria.

“I have grandchildren; do not refer to me using -chan. Despite my appearance, I am soon to be three hundred years old,” said Zadiris.

“If you include the time I was alive, I’m already over four hundred,” said Jeena.

They shared this foolish conversation, occasionally looking towards Borkus, who was completely still and silent as if he were an ornament.

Borkus had been brooding frequently ever since they entered the Dungeon. He behaved normally during battle, but he was always like this while the party was resting.

“What do you think? I was sure that you’d tell Zandia to ‘let the kid take you,’ but it feels unpleasant to have you sitting there quietly like an ornament,” Jeena said to him.

“Unpleasant, you say… well, it really is unpleasant,” said Zandia.

“That’s a word that explains what kind of person Borkus is to you two,” said Rita.

For Jeena, Borkus was a reliable companion and, at the same time, a mischievous father. To Zandia, he was a father-like figure and a man who was something of a friend to her.

And to Borkus, Jeena was someone he considered to be his innocent younger sister and Zandia was something like another daughter, someone he still needed to look after. As such, they were unreserved when interacting with each other.

“You don’t need to call me unpleasant,” Borkus groaned. “I’m feeling unpleasant too, from using my head so much.”

However, Jeena, Zandia and the rest of the women were merciless.

“Worrying about things isn’t called ‘using your head,’” Jeena said.

“That’s right; it’s easy for our sense of time to become dull as Undead, so if you think for a long time, there won’t be any end to it,” said Zandia.

“If you have no appetite, please give us your meat,” said Rita.

“Well, how about saying what is on your mind? Though I can imagine who you want to consult regarding what,” said Zadiris.

It seemed that everyone had seen through Borkus’s troubles. Perhaps realizing that his thoughts showed on his face even though half of it was a skull, he pressed a hand against his forehead on the bony side.

However, confiding in and asking for help now was like betraying Zandia and Jeena, and betraying the old Talosheim. Nobody could blame him for acting unlike himself and being troubled.

“Then I’ll say it, but… I want to release that bastard Mikhail from his role as a training dummy. It’s hard to say that he should be acquitted and made a free man, but I was wondering if he could at least be able to open his mouth and be an instructor of the training grounds… so, I was thinking of asking the kid…”

The thing that Borkus was troubled over was the betterment of the treatment of Mikhail, the Divine Spear of Ice, former hero of the Mirg shield-nation, responsible for the destruction of the old Talosheim.

Currently, Mikhail had multiple safety devices made from the Demon King’s fragments as well as explosive devices buried in his body. He was being used as a training dummy with no freedom over his movement or speech. The only thing he could move of his own will were his eyes.

It was far too tragic a fate for a hero, but to the citizens of the old Talosheim, he was the detested enemy who had destroyed their nation.

And to Borkus, Mikhail was his own killer.

“But, well, he’s an Undead now, and he can’t return to his homeland. He probably doesn’t have any faith for Alda left now, and he regrets what he did while he was alive. It’s not like I feel sorry for him, but… I was wondering… if he could at least be like a criminal slave… or… something…” Borkus said in disconnected words, gazing at Zandia and Jeena with a dull look in his already lightless, dull Undead eyes.

Mikhail was the one who had killed Zandia and Jeena as well. After Borkus was killed, Jeena had been stabbed to death, and Zandia’s left hand had been sliced off before she fell in the same way.

After that, Mikhail and his companions had challenged the Orichalcum Dragon in order to destroy the goddess Vida’s relic, where his companions were wiped out. After losing his precious spear, Ice Age, he barely escaped alive, only to run into the Vampires who were gathering the three corpses.

Although he managed to repel the Vampires, his wounds were deep, and he had died because he was not treated in time. After that, his corpse had been stolen and added to the Pure-breed Vampire Gubamon’s collection of Undead heroes.

“Hmm… well, isn’t it fine?” said Jeena.

“I suppose I’m okay with it as well,” said Zandia. “I would be reluctant to have him acquitted, but I don’t really care if he’s going to be a criminal slave.”

The two of them approved of Borkus’s idea.

“Are you serious?! We’re talking about that Mikhail, you know?!” Borkus shouted.

“This is surprising,” said Rita. “You made a sport of him so violently in the training grounds, so I thought your guts were still boiling with anger at him.”

“My guts aren’t boiling, they’re cold. You want to see them?” said Jeena.

“I wouldn’t go that far,” said Borkus, placing his hand firmly on Jeena’s head before she could float the upper half of her body away.

It seemed that Jeena was proud of the fact that she could float with just the upper half of her body and couldn’t resist any opportunity to show it off.

“So, why?” asked Zadiris. “The boy once told me that it is difficult for Undead to forgive those that they once hated.”

“It’s not really that I’ve forgiven him, but I was satisfied after having defeated him once. I think Jeena-nee feels the same way,” said Zandia.

When Zandia and Jeena faced Mikhail in the training grounds before, when they had still only recovered a small amount of their power, they had stood at a distant spot and fired spells at him endlessly until he fell.

Mikhail, unable to leave a certain area or even ready himself for combat unless someone approached him, had simply stood there and received their spells. Jeena and Zandia had chosen this method of fighting him because they knew that he was a training dummy and there had been measures taken to ensure that he would not prioritize protecting himself.

And after defeating him once, it seemed that their pent-up resentment towards him had faded considerably.

“And you’re livelier than we are, Borkus… and it’s not like the old Talosheim was destroyed by Mikhail alone. I think that the city would have been destroyed in the end even if Mikhail hadn’t participated in the battle,” said Jeena.

“W-what?! Are you saying that we’d have lost to the Mirg shield-nation’s army without him there?!” said Borkus.

“Yeah. Though I think we’d have lasted longer.”

By the time Mikhail joined the war, Princess Levia and the others had already evacuated Talosheim, and the remaining Borkus and the others had been relying on the walls to hold the city.

At the time, they had been waiting for reinforcements from the Hartner family, but they now knew that the head of the family at the time had been an Alda fundamentalist who had decided to abandon Talosheim and rob the national treasures that were carried by Princess Levia and the other evacuees. Thus, the battle to hold the city had been one where reinforcements would never arrive.

With that being the case, the Titans would have had to resist until the Mirg shield-nation and the Amid Empire behind it gave up, but would that have been possible for Talosheim back then?

“Impossible. Definitely impossible,” said the Second Princess clearly.

“That’s not true! If Mikhail wasn’t there, we could have won!” Borkus protested.

“So, do you resent Mikhail, or do you wish for his treatment to be improved? Which is it?” Zadiris asked.

It seemed that Borkus could endure being defeated by a powerful enemy, but the idea of losing to an army of nameless soldiers was something that his pride would not allow.

“I understand how you feel, but it can’t be helped. Back then, we did have Barigen and Ogbahn with us, but we only had one wall and far less people capable of fighting than we do now. And the Dungeons were all outside the city, so we couldn’t secure food and supplies while holding the city,” said Jeena. “Of course, I think we could have killed ten or twenty thousand enemy soldiers, but I think we would have been defeated in the end.”

In Lambda, where there were many with what would seem to be superhuman physical abilities from the point of view of someone from Earth, the tides of battle were often changed by the presence of a single person.

However, there was a limit to this.

If the Mirg shield-nation and the Amid Empire backing it up were to continuously throw their fighting resources into the battle… if they let their religious fanaticism take over and kept sending in soldiers and knights, closing their eyes to the large number of casualties, Talosheim would likely have fallen even without Mikhail.

If it came down to it, the Empire would have sent its own high-class Adventurers or used some other equivalent trump card.

“That’s how it is, so my hatred for Mikhail personally is… well, I get the feeling that it’s fine now. He spent two hundred years being petted by that creepy old man as well, so he’s suffered a lot as well,” said Zandia.

“Yeah, if I had to pick, I’d say I hate that Gubamon and the other Pure-breed Vampires more. And the Hartner family, the Mirg shield-nation and the Amid Empire. We think they all deserve to be castrated,” said Jeena.

“Jeena-nee, don’t just include me in your opinion.”

There were several individuals in Talosheim who were from the Mirg shield-nation, such as the general Chezare, who was essentially acting as a prime minister, as well as the lieutenant general Kurt, but it seemed that Jeena and Zandia had no intention of taking out their hatred on such individuals.

Incidentally, in the old Talosheim, where the goddess of love and life Vida was worshipped, castration was considered a punishment equivalent to execution or even worse. It was such a severe sentence that it was more of a symbol of fear; it had never actually been carried out in a hundred thousand years of history.

Vandalieu had already handled the punishment of the Hartner family to some extent, so it might have been painful for the men of the family.

“Ngh… Well, if that’s your reason…” Borkus muttered.

“For some reason, the conversation turned towards convincing Borkus-san at some point. But I think the most difficult thing is convincing Bocchan,” said Saria.

“The boy is the type to hold a grudge, after all,” said Zadiris.

 

 

 

The next day, after returning from Barigen’s Fall Life Mountain, Borkus requested for Mikhail to be treated as a criminal slave rather than a training dummy, with the same resolve as one intending to leap off a precipitous cliff. Vandalieu looked at Borkus with even less life in his eyes than usual.

The surroundings were littered with gold, silver, iron, copper, Obsidian, Mythril, Adamantite, gemstones as well as minerals and metals that Borkus and the others hadn’t seen before, in lumps of varying sizes.

Vandalieu was sitting on a small mountain of gold, right in the center.

“To be more specific, you want me to restore Mikhail’s freedom to some extent and remove the self-explosive devices?” he said.

“Y-yeah. Is that too much to ask?” said Borkus.

Vandalieu had a strange, intense aura about him, while Borkus seemed a little timid.

Behind them, Zandia was talking to a worried Darcia.

“He seems a little wild; did something happen?” Zandia asked.

“About that, he acquired the Golem Creation Job, and with the effect of the Job’s skill, he became able to create all kinds of things from nothing, but –”

“Wait a minute?! Create from nothing, you mean the gemstones and precious metals that are lying around?!”

“Th-that’s right. Also, Vandalieu has created Mythril, Adamantite, Death Iron and Dark Copper as well,” said Darcia, looking like she didn’t know why Zandia was surprised at that part, but sounding a little proud nonetheless.

“Wow…” Zandia breathed as she looked around at the minerals and metals scattered around their surroundings once more. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to say, but that’s amazing.”

“Isn’t it~? But you know, he couldn’t create Orichalcum,” Darcia added.

“No, it would be too incredible if he could,” said Zadiris. “If I recall, that is one of alchemy’s three holy grails, the only one that the boy has not achieved.”

Vandalieu, who had become a Golem Creator, had tried creating all kinds of materials. Obsidian, marble, ordinary iron, copper, silver and gold, gemstones, as well as aluminum, which was known as aluminium in this world. And then he had tried the materials that he had invented himself – Death Iron, Dark Copper, Life Gold and Spirit Silver. He had been able to create all of them.

The amount of Mana required differed based on the quantity and type of material he was creating, but it cost less Mana to create large amounts of materials that already naturally existed in large quantities. Thus, he could create iron more easily than copper.

Huge amounts of Mana were needed to create Death Iron, Dark Copper, Life Gold and Spirit Silver, which didn’t exist naturally. So much that it was far more efficient to create iron or copper and then use the ordinary method of pouring death-attribute mana into the metals and casting Inanimate Aging.

And creating materials directly into the shapes of tools needed even more Mana. It was simple to make sharp points, but creating iron knives or brilliantly-cut diamonds needed several times or even several dozen times the ordinary amount of Mana.

Creating a well-forged Death Iron sword or Dark Copper suit of armor could cause even Vandalieu, who possessed over one billion Mana, to run out.

Overall, it could be described as an ability to create matter from nothing, albeit very inefficiently. If Vandalieu’s Mana pool wasn’t so great, it wouldn’t have been very helpful at all.

It would be better to obtain normal metals or precious metals from Dungeons or even purchase them.

However, Vandalieu had wanted to be able to create Orichalcum. Either that or gain the ability to precisely change and control the shape that Orichalcum took.

However, he had not gained either of these abilities simply by acquiring the Golem Creator Job.

“He’s become able to change the shape of Orichalcum far more freely than before. But he said that he was unable to completely repair the resurrection device,” said Darcia.

Zandia looked in the direction that Darcia was looking, and saw the pool that had once contained the quivering lump of flesh, the base of Legion’s body, that had been created as a result of activating the incomplete resurrection device. The pool had been filled once more.

It was likely that Legion would fuse with it once they returned from leveling.

“So, he’s depressed because of that,” said Zandia.

“A resurrection device… it’s hard to make possible what even the goddess herself couldn’t do,” said Rita.

“Yes,” Saria agreed.

The magical resurrection device that could revive the dead if completed. Even with such a device before them, Zandia, Rita and Saria felt no desire to come back to life.

This didn’t apply to just them; almost none of Talosheim’s Undead felt any desire or attachment to the idea of coming back to life. Though it might have been different for ordinary Undead.

“But Borkus-san came at the perfect time, so I’m sure he’ll feel better now,” Darcia said.

Meanwhile, Vandalieu was requesting something of Borkus. “Well then, please move as I move. Put strength into your muscles and put on a side chest pose.” And then he made a strange movement.

TLN*: This is that bodybuilder’s pose to show off the chest muscles. You can Google it if you want.

 

“Y-yeah, side chest?”

“Side chest~”

Borkus moved in the same way as he was told, and Jeena was joining in for some reason as well. Unlike Vandalieu’s thin body, they had powerful muscles that swelled with a creaking sound.

Borkus and Jeena were made to perform more bodybuilding poses, one after another. Partway through, they became aware of Vandalieu’s intentions and made their movements smoother and more charming.

“… What should I do? I feel an even higher hurdle to climb than needing a nice body,” said Zandia.

“Apparently surgery to transplant muscles cleanly is harder than breast surgery,” said Saria.

“We don’t even have bodies for transplanting to, anyway,” said Rita. “How about you, Zadiris-san?”

“No, well, the boy should have interests in things other than muscles… I wonder if he does?”

“I-it’s fine, everyone! Vandalieu will go through puberty soon!” said Darcia.

After enjoying Borkus and Jeena’s physical display for a while, Vandalieu replied calmly. “Alright. Well then, let us treat Mikhail as a criminal slave.”

“Oh, are you alright with it?!” Borkus exclaimed.

“That was unexpectedly quick,” Zadiris remarked. “I did not think that he would really object, but did he not have the tendency to not forget past grudges?”

Everyone seemed surprised that Vandalieu nodded and agreed to improving Mikhail’s treatment (though he would still be a slave).

However, Vandalieu didn’t really mind. “It’s true that I have the disposition of not forgetting grudges. But I don’t have any direct grudges towards Mikhail. I do resent him for doing horrible things to Borkus and everyone else, but if Borkus himself says it’s alright, then I think it’s fine,” he said.

Grudges were nothing but emotions, after all. Unjustified resentment existed; grudges were not things that could be held and discarded through logic and reasoning.

If that was possible, the world would be a more peaceful place.

For that reason, Vandalieu didn’t resent Mikhail particularly fiercely. In fact, in terms of evil acts committed, those of Isla, who was currently in the Dark Night Knights’ Order, were far greater in number and severity.

That was why Vandalieu didn’t mind if Borkus and the others wanted to allow this.

“But I can’t acquit him,” Vandalieu said. “There are still people who resent him, after all. Well, there are numerous other candidates to act as a training dummy in the training grounds, so I’ll leave it to them for a while.”

The Undead heroes stolen from Gubamon. There were some among them who were members of Vida’s races, like Zandia and Jeena, but there were more heroes from Alda’s side. Some among them had hunted even more of Vida’s races than Mikhail to increase their fame.

Neither Vandalieu nor the citizens of Talosheim intended to punish those whose names they didn’t even know for sins they had committed in the past. However, there were some who had regained their sense of self and were tormented by feelings of guilt, causing them to be in even more confusion than before they had regained sense of self.

It seemed that Vandalieu was thinking of having them serve as training dummies for a certain period, giving them punishment so they could feel less guilty.

He had even tried to lessen their feelings of guilt directly with Mental Encroachment, but they had become too deranged and this had been mostly ineffective.

“That’s how it is,” Vandalieu said. “By the way, tomorrow marks the passing of one week. Have you finished leveling?”

The day of departure for the Noble Orc Empire was upon them.

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