With the defeat of Bugitas, who had become an incarnation of Ravovifard, the evil god of release, the army of Buzazeos and Gerazorg, who still had plenty of numbers remaining, were easily defeated as well.
The effect of Bugitas’s False Guidance: Beast Path had disappeared, and the Noble Orcs under Buzazeos’s command had lost the bonus to their Attribute Values. Since Gerazorg’s god had been defeated, he had lost his Divine Protection and the ability to use the Familiar Spirit Descent Skill, and though his Rank, Skills and Level were still intact, he had become remarkably weaker.
Of course, False Guidance: Beast Path’s side effects, the amplification of instincts and desires as well as the loss of the ability to think and reason, were also undone. But they would have been happier if the side effects had stayed.
“Ravovifard! Why have you abandoned us?!”
“It’s hopeless, it’s over, we’re finiiiiished!”
The only reason they had been able to hold out against the allied army of the nations was because of the high morale maintained by False Guidance: Beast Path and the belief that Bugitas would be able to turn the battle around.
Now that those had vanished and the soldiers had regained the reasoning to understand how hopeless the battle was, the army’s morale was shattered to pieces.
Abandoning command, Chief General Buzazeos had shouted, “I shall at least die a glorious death!” and then led several of his close aides in a suicide attack. He was defeated as a result of a fierce battle with Gorba, the leader of the Black Fang Knights’ Order.
Gerazorg cried and fled, but the angry king of the Majin nation, Godwin, chased him down on his own and captured him alive.
There were some on Bugitas’s side inside the city in addition to Buzazeos’s army, but they were merely guards; they weren’t powerful or many in number, so they were exterminated by the people on Budarion’s side once it was known that Budarion had defeated Bugitas.
Some had surrendered, but it seemed that whether their surrenders were accepted or not depended on their previous actions.
Of course, there were some who’d had no choice but to obey Bugitas, but the majority of them had joined up with Budarion’s side the moment Bugitas was defeated.
Since these events took place very quickly, Vandalieu didn’t really have anything to do. He had made sure that the buildings and evacuated people were not affected by the shockwaves from the battle against Ravovifard’s incarnation in Bugitas’s body, so all he had to do was fix the ground, which had broken stone paving and holes all over it.
After that, he accompanied Budarion as he held up the barely-recognizable head of Bugitas and his broken scythe, pressing those loyal to Budarion to take action and meeting up with the allied nations’ army.
Vandalieu was riding on Budarion’s shoulders for most of the time, so it was very easy.
After that, he went outside the gate to gather the remains of Budirud and the rest of the Undead army to use as food. However, flavoring and eating the meat in the Noble Orc empire would have been a bad idea, so it was decided that the feast held with the meat of Bugitas and the rest of the Noble Orcs would take place on a later date.
But Vandalieu did deal with the Noble Orcs’ souls.
“In light of your achievements in battle, I will exempt you from having your souls broken,” Vandalieu said to Budirud and his army, who had returned to being spirits, raising a commotion that only Vandalieu could hear.
Now that they had died twice, much of their forms from while they were alive had been lost, but even so, they were trembling with what was immediately recognizable as delight.
“Now then, I’ll have you start working right away. Get up.” Vandalieu turned them into Golems, one after another. And then he gave orders to the new Earth Golems and Stone Golems. “Now then, each of you, please dig yourselves holes that you can fit into. Once you have, bury yourselves in them and return to normal. After that, please repeat that task over and over until Prince… Emperor Budarion or I give you a new command.”
The Golems let out a groan-like roar as they began their entirely meaningless task.
“After half a year, I think their souls will be worn out, their memories and personalities gone, and they will simply become a power source for the Golems. Is that alright?” Vandalieu asked.
The Ghoul nation’s king, Princess Lulu and Prince Zorgo were here to represent the victims. All three of them nodded.
“… My wives will not object. I shall obey Great-aniki,” said the Ghoul nation’s king.
“I do not object, either. For the acts of betraying my father and brothers and oppressing the people, this is a worthy punishment,” said Princess Lulu.
“Neither do I. Gobairyo, thank you,” said Prince Zorgo.
Incidentally, Vandalieu still had things he wanted to ask the spirits of those who had only recently died, including Chief General Buzazeos, so he was keeping them around.
As for Bugitas’s spirit, it seemed to have been broken at some point as Vandalieu attacked Ravovifard’s incarnation with the Soul Break Skill, so it was nowhere to be seen.
General Bumogan was supposed to have been suppressing the Centaurs, Harpies and Lamia, so why had these races managed to form an allied army along with the Majin race at that timing? This was the doing of Queen Donaneris of Zanalpadna.
Around the time Vandalieu and his companions had taken over the Noble Orc empire’s frontline base, Queen Donaneris had sent fast-running messengers to investigate the situations in each nation.
And then she had exchanged information with those nations, with the exception of the Ghoul nation, whose entrance was occupied by Budirud’s army, and the High Kobold and High Goblin nations, which had been taken over entirely.
And with this information, King Godwin of the Majin nation had personally led his royal guards to pursue Gerazorg, who had become a traitor to the nation. On the spur of the moment, he had joined the allied nations’ army to crush Bumogan’s army and then marched on towards the Noble Orc empire with them.
And this was how Bugitas and Ravovifard had been trampled not only with violence, but in terms of military might as well.
After repairing the gate with the Golem Creation Skill, Vandalieu headed to the Noble Orc empire’s Job-changing room.
This was an empire where the main rulers and manual labor workers were Noble Orcs and Orcs that could not acquire Jobs, but a Job-changing room had been established here because the humans, Dwarves, Elves and the other races that made up the citizens needed one to acquire production-related Jobs.
“Now then, let’s get my Job-change out of the way while everyone is preparing for the victory celebration feast.”
Eleanora and the others had apparently already gone through with their Job changes, so Vandalieu, not wanting to be late, reached out for the crystal in the center of the room.
Since the room was designed to be used by the citizens rather than the Noble Orcs, the crystal was positioned at a height that Vandalieu could reach, and he was grateful for this.
“Well, I’ve already decided on my next Job, though.”
Vandalieu had decided to choose the Demon King User Job this time. Due to the effects of the Demon King’s scent glands and luminescent organs that Bugitas had activated, the Demon King’s fragments in his possession had gone on quite the rampage, and he had almost lost control of them.
In the end, he had regained control over them and nothing serious had happened. The problem was that he had absorbed the scent glands and luminescent organs, which were now a part of him.
But as it was unknown as to how many other Demon King fragments existed, there was no guarantee that there wasn’t another fragment that had similar powers to the scent glands and luminescent organs, causing the fragments held by others to run rampant.
“If that hadn’t happened, I would have chosen one of the Guider Jobs,” Vandalieu murmured.
『Jobs that can be selected:【Disease Demon】【Spirit Warrior】【Whip Tongue Calamity】【Vengeful Berserker】【Dead Spirit Mage】【Dark Healer】【Labyrinth Creator】【Demon King User】【Magic Cannoneer】【Dark King Mage】【Divine Enemy】【Dark Guider】【Creation Guider】【Fallen Warrior】【Insect Nin】』
“… There aren’t any new ones. I select Demon King User.” Confirming the information displayed to him inside his head, Vandalieu chose Demon King User.
At that moment, his body became so hot that it felt like his blood would boil.
『You have acquired the Surpass Limits: Fragments Skill.』
『The Levels of the Superhuman Strength, Status Effect Resistance, Magic Resistance, Automatic Mana Recovery, Venom Secretion (Claws, Fangs, Tongue), Body Expansion (Tongue), Enhanced Body Part (Hair, Claws, Tongue, Fangs), Mana Enlargement, Bloodwork and Demon King Fusion Skills have increased!』
『Rapid Healing has awakened into Rapid Regeneration, Soul Break has awakened into the Unique Skill Soul Devour, and God Slayer has awakened into God Devourer!』
“A bunch of Skills improved and changed all at once… as expected of Demon King User.”
It seemed that there were many Skills that received bonuses from Demon King User. Of course, the skills that had improved all seemed to be quite strange ones. They were all Skills that most ordinary people didn’t possess.
The Surpass Limits: Fragments Skill was, as its name suggested, likely to be something that applied the effects of the Surpass Limits Skill to the Demon King’s fragments. Vandalieu had come to use the Demon King’s fragments more frequently, so this was probably going to be useful.
And there were numerous awakened superior Skills…
“I don’t really mind the Dark King Magic and Rapid Regeneration that have transformed from Death-Attribute Magic and Rapid Healing.”
The Dark King Magic Skill had awakened immediately after the battle against Ravovifard. Jobs didn’t exist in Origin where Vandalieu had spent his previous life, so he couldn’t be sure, but he suspected that he had surpassed the ability he possessed when he was known as the ‘Undead’ in Origin.
But although the name had changed, the Skill itself was unlikely to be significantly different. Even when he was creating Golems, there hadn’t been any changes other than that the amount of Mana spent in doing so had decreased a little.
But it was unclear as to what he could do now that he hadn’t been able to do before. Even when referring to his previous life, everything from here on out was unexplored territory, so he would probably need trial and error like he had done when developing the Death Bullet spell.
There were even less problems and doubts concerning the Rapid Regeneration Skill. It was a Skill possessed by all of the Vampires, including Eleanora and Bellmond.
Simply put, Rapid Healing was a Skill that increased the speed at which wounds healed. But it was not all-powerful; severed limbs would not regrow, nor would bones with compound fractures return to normal. It only healed wounds.
But if severed limbs were stitched back on and bones broken in multiple places were put back together correctly, one would have a far greater chance to make a full recovery with the Skill than without.
On the other hand, Rapid Regeneration was a Skill that allowed the regeneration of missing body parts exactly as they were before. Of course, the time required for the regeneration depended on the condition of the wound and which body parts were missing, but generally, fingers, arms and even eyes would return in their normal states. This wasn’t always the case when afflicted by special curses, diseases or poisons, however.
Of course, even when it came to healing regular wounds, a Level 1 Rapid Regeneration Skill would heal faster than a Level 10 Rapid Healing Skill.
But although Vandalieu wasn’t really aware of this, it wasn’t normal for Rapid Healing to transform into Rapid Regeneration, even after reaching Level 10.
Lambda was a world where the Skill system made most things become a reality if it was possible to do so with hard work, but large biological changes couldn’t be made.
“The problem is Soul Devour and God Devourer. Hmm, is it like an effect where I can absorb souls after breaking them? It seems unlikely that it just provides nutrients and makes me feel full… If it makes me absorb their memories, that would be really unpleasant.”
The Noble-born Vampire Sercrent who had killed his father, High Priest Gordan and the ‘Green Wind Spear’ Riley who were responsible for his mother’s death, the ‘Gungnir’ Kaidou Kanata, the Pure-breed Vampires as well as Raymond and Rick, who had committed a series of bizarre murders for their own self-centered causes. And, most recently, the ‘Death Scythe’ Konoe Miyaji.
These were the main people whose souls Vandalieu had broken, and although he had wanted information from them, they were scum and he would never want to share their memories.
Vandalieu thought that memories were a part of the mind that formed the personality. That was why he didn’t want any portion of their memories becoming mixed with his own.
But it wasn’t certain that the memories of the souls he broke would become mixed with his.
“I can confirm this by actually using this Skill and experimenting with it, but… there are ethical problems with breaking souls just for the sake of experimenting. I suppose I’ll ask the gods what state the Demon King was left in after his soul was broken the next time I meet them. It should be a useful point of reference,” Vandalieu said to himself as he left the Job-changing room to join in on the feast’s preparations.
The entire townscape of the Noble Orc empire was used to host a feast to celebrate the victory of the allied nations’ army and Budarion’s return to the throne.
The important people ate together in the plaza, where Bugitas’s head and the tied-up Gerazorg were put on display, but today, every single house would be having a feast, and drinks would be exchanged in every neighborhood and busy street.
The meat of the Noble Orcs under Bugitas’s command couldn’t be used, but even so, the dishes eaten in the southern region of the continent were quite impressive even for Vandalieu and his companions.
“You can’t start a victory feast without hoof-kneaded udon!”
“No, no, it’s got to be Gante mochi.”
“What are you saying, it’s gotta be sushi and tempura!”
Knowledge from Zakkart, Hillwillow and the other creation-minded champions had been left behind in the southern region of the continent, where Vida’s gods and the races and monsters that obeyed them had fled.
But most of the information left behind by the champions were written as notes or diaries, not as documents to be read by others, so they were unreliable or incomplete.
But unlike in the human societies outside the Boundary Mountain Range, they had remained after the passing of a hundred thousand years. The inside of the Boundary Mountain Range had been stable enough for these records to be used as references to recreate a number of technologies and form cultures.
Unlike the human societies outside the Boundary Mountain Range, there hadn’t been any wars large enough to cause the destructions of nations in the past hundred thousand years. And each nation had adhered to the teachings of the creation-minded champion Zakkart, who had told them to not let technicians and craftsmen die out, working hard to ensure that technology and culture did not come to an end.
Also unlike the outside of the Boundary Mountain Range, the influence of the Church of Alda, who banned the use of knowledge and technology that came from foreign worlds, didn’t exist to hinder the passing on of technology and culture.
That was why the Samurai and Kunoichi Jobs existed, why thread-tatami existed in Zanalpadna and Japanese-style concrete was made in the High Kobold nation.
As a part of that preserved culture, things that didn’t exist outside the Boundary Mountain Range such as udon… udon, mochi, sushi and tempura, existed inside the mountain range.
“Hmph! Nuoryaah! Seiyaaah!” A representative from the Centaur nation, an individual with a sturdy, tattooed body with brightly-colored feather decorations in his hair, let out what sounded like war cries as he used his cleanly-polished hooves to stamp on and knead the udon batter.
“Sei, haah! Sei, haah!” The Ghoul nation’s king pounded mochi with his fists. The finished, steaming mochi… or rather, the fruit of a tree resembling a chestnut tree with no thorns, was probably hot, but the Ghoul nation’s king swung his long, flexible arms and kneaded it directly with his large hands.
“YAAAAH!” shouted a female Drakonid warrior next to him. She was holding a curved blade in each hand, turning fresh seafood and reptile meat into sushi ingredients with incredible spirit.
This Drakonid warrior was someone who had been sent from the Drakonid nation even though it was still working hard to suppress the monster rampages even now. Her swordsmanship displayed her great skill… even though she was cooking.
“UOOOOH!” came yet another spirited shout from the Majin race’s representative next to her, boiling tempura with his bare hands. He was thrusting his hands directly into the boiling oil, lifting out vegetables, fish, insects and meat.
… Vandalieu and some others had wondered whether these people needed to return to their own nations, which were exposed to monster rampages, but there were apparently no problems. They had been told that there were battle addicts in both nations that were engrossed in fighting the rampaging monsters.
Incidentally, the representative from the Dark Elf nation and his companions were boiling mushroom tea in a large pot. He was quieter than the other representatives, but it couldn’t be said that he was being reserved.
There was something far too suspicious about the way he chuckled as he stirred the pot.
“What an incredible cooking scene,” Eleanora murmured as she watched everyone cook.
“It is partially a performance as well, after all,” Zadiris explained. “Each of these dishes are apparently used to celebrate victory in battle.”
Japanese cuisine such as udon, mochi, sushi and tempura had remained in the region within the Boundary Mountain Range, but the methods of creating them had changed considerably.
None of these dishes were food enjoyed by the citizens; they had all become dishes created by the warriors of the nations in a heroic manner to be eaten in feasts celebrating victory in battle.
The dishes were eaten on occasions other than after battle, but other than the mushroom tea, the cooking process was so harsh that one needed a well-trained body and considerable swordsmanship to create them. Thus, they weren’t common enough to be called staple dishes.
In the case of tempura and sushi, however, it was also because cooking oil and ingredients fresh enough to be eaten raw were far more expensive products in Lambda than in modern-day Japan.
“Well, Vandalieu-sama seems to be happy, so it’s fine, but… still, even if we’re making food to celebrate the victory, I don’t think Vandalieu-sama needs to be making food as well,” said Eleanora, who was cutting onions to be made into vegetable tempura.
Onion vapor was wafting into her eyes and nose, but what rose to her eyes was not tears, but doubt. That was thanks to her Status Effect Resistance Skill.
“Prince Budarion… Ah, he is already emperor. The emperor tried to stop him, but… it cannot be helped,” said Zadiris as she sliced a cabbage.
“Drink,” said Eisen, who was standing next to Zadiris.
As ordinary vegetable graters wouldn’t work for the fruit growing from the branches growing on Eisen’s back, Vandalieu had created a vegetable grater using the Demon King’s carapace, and Eisen was using that to grind the fruit into a juice and serve it.
“Those dishes are apparently thought of as food spoken of only in legends, so he can’t be blamed for changing his mind about stopping Van,” said Basdia, chopping spring onions and boiling eggs at the same time.
The feast that Vandalieu was making to celebrate victory was… katsu curry and ramen.
When Vandalieu had tried to start cooking, all of the nations’ representatives, including Budarion and Kurnelia, had stopped him, saying that the hero who had taken the enemy general’s head couldn’t be allowed to do such a thing.
And then, Vandalieu had said, “Then let’s leave the katsu curry and ramen for next time.”
The moment he said this, the nations’ representatives had started earnestly requesting that he continue instead.
While tonkatsu had been successfully recreated, the documents left behind by the champions were incomplete, so curry and ramen had not been recreated, known only by their names as dishes that the champions liked.
“Well, it’s not unheard of for normal households to handmake curry from the spices and ramen from the flour, but it’s quite unusual,” said Vandalieu.
From the new information that he’d learned, Vandalieu had concluded that Zakkart had been a former manager of a small-town factory, Ark a liberal arts student at university, Solder a science student and Hillwillow an actor in the making.
Though they had some differences in ability between them, they all seemed to have been able to cook for themselves, but… perhaps because they hadn’t had the knowledge of a professional chef, even though they had written things like “I want to eat katsu curry” and “I saw ramen in my dreams” in their diaries, they hadn’t written how to create these dishes.
In Origin, Vandalieu had had the opportunity to gain the knowledge from the spirits of the chefs of the research facility and the spirits of the other experimental subjects that had formerly been chefs, but even so, he had gone through a lot of trouble to figure out how to create curry and the lye water needed to make ramen.
However, it had been impossible for these dishes to have been recreated here with nothing but their names and a vague description, even after a hundred thousand years.
“So, these are the noodles of ramen… they’re yellow. They’re different from udon and soba after all,” said Gizania.
“Vandalieu-dono, could it be that you are able to create tare with kabayaki*? If you are, then please do so the next opportunity you have!” said Myuze.
Gizania and Myuze’s eyes were shining as noodles came out of the noodle-making Golem in order and were boiled.
“Very well,” said Vandalieu. “But I don’t have mirin… Is it alright if I use something to replace it?”
“Katsu curry made from mammoth meat. It’s ready, so everyone please line up!” said one of Vandalieu’s spirit form clones created through Out-of-body Experience.
“The ramen is ready, too,” said another.
With the garnish made by Eleanora and the others added on top, the dishes were complete.
With bloodshot eyes, looking like saliva could drip from their mouths at any moment, the Noble Orcs serving Budarion and the people of the allied nations’ army lined up in front of Vandalieu’s spirit clones, outside the makeshift kitchen that had been set up in the plaza.
Today, Vandalieu and his companions had made mammoth meat katsu curry with potato. The reason potatoes had been used instead of rice was that variants of potatoes were the staple food in the Noble Orc empire, and they didn’t cultivate much rice and only had small amounts of imported rice.
And Vandalieu had thought it would be a bad idea to use tonkotsu for the ramen, so it was mammoth-kotsu ramen.
“This is curry… the dish that the champion Zakkart was said to eat in his home world before facing any great trial.”
“Oh, ramen. The dish said to have given the champion Solder her wisdom in her home world… the legendary dish!”
The members of the allied nations’ army and the Noble Orcs accepted their bowls as if receiving communion, and then returned to their seats, trembling with emotion.
“I suppose they wrote in their diaries that they wanted to eat curry and ramen?” Vandalieu wondered.
It seemed that the champions hadn’t been free to eat whatever they wanted. They were in a time of war, so it couldn’t be helped, however.
“Bukyupbupuh,” said a woman…-shaped flesh-wife, whose sensual figure was visible through her loosely-fitting clothes.
“Oops. Yes, you wanted a katsu curry, right?” said one of Vandalieu’s spirit clones.
The flesh-wife received a plate of katsu curry for two, gave a short bow and then returned to where her Orc husband was.
Flesh-wives were monsters that were divine messengers, created by Mububujenge, the evil god of degenerate corpulence, to be used as wives. Vandalieu had learned of their existence from Budarion, but this was his first time seeing one.
Her appearance was such that it was clear why Legion had been called “the Holy Son’s flesh-wife,” and her face had contours but no features, her skin a light, flesh-colored pink… if she were to hold a knife in one hand, she would resemble a creature from a horror game or horror movie.
But it seemed that flesh-wives’ personalities were gentle like those of the Orcs… though if they caused anger, they would return home (to the Church) where they would be remonstrated by Mububujenge’s priests.
Incidentally, they could only speak the Orc language, so they used gestures and written communication to communicate with other races.
“These noodles have a tender texture that udon does not have!” exclaimed the beautiful female Drakonid warrior… or rather, the beautiful female Drakonid samurai, who possessed impressive horns and features and bright blue wings. She slurped her soup. “A rich mammoth stock and… what is this? Could it be the legendary soy sauce, or is it eel tare sauce?”
“No, that should be soy sauce,” said Basdia.
“I see. So, this is soy sauce. In our nation, we were able to create miso, but we couldn’t make soy sauce.” The Drakonid took out a piece of paper from a pocket and made a note of this information.
“Drakonid, the curry is even greater!” said the representative of the Kijin nation who had a club for a weapon and was wearing a tiger-striped fur; his appearance was that of a red ogre straight out of a picture book. “I can’t get enough of this hunger-inducing scent! I can’t get enough of this sauce that has not only spice, but a refreshing sweetness and sourness! The sweetness of the katsu coating and the chewy texture of the meat! Ah, I want rice! It’s not that the empire’s potatoes are bad, but I want to have these on rice as it is said to be eaten in legends! Or pour it on bread to make it curry bread!”
“According to the boy, curry bread is not a dish where you pour curry on bread in place of rice,” Zadiris told him.
“W-what? I see… then what in the world is curry bread…?” The red-skinned Kijin was dumbfounded by Zadiris’s words.
“Holy-Son-dono’s cooking is wonderful,” said Budarion.
“Not at all, everyone else’s cooking is delicious as well,” said Vandalieu, who was munching on the feasts created by the people of the southern region of the continent now that he had finished making katsu curry and ramen.
The springy udon, vegetables and the sushi that used sashimi made from fresh fish and insects were healthy. The heroically-fried tempura’s coating was crispy, its contents juicy.
And the fruity scent and the bittersweet flavor of the mochi ingredients were pleasant.
“Vandalieu-sama, the Gante mochi that you have been eating is awfully… purple. Is it delicious?” Eleanora asked, watching Vandalieu eat mochi of a poisonous-looking purple that she seemed to have associated with the warning colors of venomous creatures.
“They are,” said Vandalieu. “The purple color is from the color of the Ghouls’ paralyzing venom.”
“Is it really delicious?! Isn’t it just that the venom isn’t having any effect because you have Status Effect Resistance?!”
“The Gante fruit neutralizes the paralyzing venom, so it’s apparently not poisonous… mostly.”
The Gante fruit, which could only be found on trees native to Zozogante’s Great Forest, the D-class Dungeon that was the Ghoul nation. This fruit was the staple food of the Ghoul nation, as the Dungeon had a forest layout so it was difficult to cultivate rice and wheat.
When boiled, it had the effect of neutralizing paralyzing venom, so it had medicinal uses as well.
The Gante mochi that the Ghouls made with their bare hands was bright purple, but it had almost no poison. But this was not always true for mochi made using small quantities of Gante fruit or made by those with a high Level in the Paralyzing Venom Secretion (Claws) Skill. And even when the Ghouls who prepared the mochi tasted it themselves, there were some cases when they didn’t notice that there was venom left in it.
Thus, it was treated as a food for tough warriors that children and the elderly of other races shouldn’t eat.
And Vandalieu was a child, but at the same time, he possessed such a high Level in the Status Effect Resistance Skill that most poisons were ineffective on him. That was why he was eating the mochi without any hesitation.
“Then it’s fine, I guess… okay, say aah~♪” Eleanora’s expression changed into a smile as she offered to feed Vandalieu some Gante mochi.
Vandalieu opened his mouth and… took the mochi with his extended tongue to eat it.
Eleanora’s smile grew deeper.
“Holy-Son-dono, these fried hornworms are delicious!” said Myuze.
“The teriyaki made from the hind legs of Giant Locusts are not bad, either,” said Gizania.
The two of them began feeding Vandalieu, as if competing with Eleanora. As expected, it seemed that Empusa and Arachne, who had the characteristics of praying mantises and spiders, enjoyed eating insects.
And then Basdia and Zadiris returned, starting to feed Vandalieu other dishes.
For them, this was the act of feeding each other often seen between men and women who were intimate with one another, but if an outsider were to see this with no knowledge of the circumstances, it would appear as if they were feeding some unusual animal.
Incidentally, Kasim, Gorba and the others were also taking part in the feast. They had been fighting Buzazeos’s army alongside the allied nations’ army rather than participating in the battle against Bugitas, and they had completely opened their hearts to the people of the continent’s southern region.
“I didn’t think there would be any humans with as much backbone as you!”
“Let’s compare our skills when we can! You saved me during the battle, but I won’t hold back!”
“No, I’m telling you, I’m not all that great. I still have a long way to go,” said Kasim.
Kasim was particularly popular… he had been surrounded by the Centaur and Ghoul men, having alcohol poured into him.
“Hahaha, how modest! If you hadn’t saved me, my rear half would have been cut off and I’d only have two legs!” said a Centaur.
“I was only able to block that Noble Orc’s attack because of this shield. It would have been impossible with just my skill alone. It’s thanks to my equipment,” said Kasim.
“Making the best use of exceptional equipment is another quality of an exceptional warrior! I am a shield-bearer as well, but the way you handled your shield isn’t easy,” said a Ghoul.
“I-is that so?”
The smile on Kasim’s face was growing gradually broader as the Centaur and Ghoul men continued to compliment him. But there were simply too many men around him.
Centaurs were a race where both their men and women could become warriors, but there was apparently a tradition where the men would fight in battles far away from their nation, while the women remained behind to protect it.
As usual, the Ghoul women were making their moves in the direction of Vigaro, as well as Gorba and the Orcuses.
Things aren’t going as I wanted them to, Vandalieu thought as he noticed Kasim. Kasim himself doesn’t seem to think much of it, so maybe I’m reading into things too much?
Chewing on a fried hornworm, Vandalieu looked around for Fester and Zeno and saw that they had their own company.
“W-won’t you come on a hunt with me sometime?” said Gaol with flushed cheeks, probably… asking Zeno on a date.
“Us? I’ll have to ask Kasim and the others,” said Zeno.
“If possible, just you and I…”
“If it’s just the two of us, we’ll only have you as a frontline fighter and me as a scout, so isn’t the party a bit imbalanced?”
Vandalieu had heard from Myuze that Gaol had been conscious of Zeno ever since he saved her during the battle in the High Kobold nation.
However, it seemed that Zeno didn’t understand Gaol’s intentions. Rather than him being thick-headed, he seemed to be unable to realize that this was a date invitation because of his lack of experience in love and the way that Gaol was inviting him.
“You said your name’s Fester, right? There’s a girl called Cassie working in my house right now. I don’t have a daughter, so I’ve come to think of her as my own. But she was taken from me by Gargya… could you take her? I would be relieved if she were to have a man as great as you…” an old High Kobold was saying to Fester.
“No, I have a wife called Lina, so that’s…” Fester was flustered by this marriage proposal.
“I see, so that girl is also a poor victim… No, forget it. I’m sorry to bring up such a gloomy topic at a feast.”
“W-wait a second, what’ll happen to that girl if I refuse?! And does it have to be me?! Hang on, where did Kasim go?!”
Incidentally, according to Cassie-san herself, Gargya hadn’t laid his hands on her. However, at this rate, she would be viewed as a victim of the usurper and looked upon with eyes of pity, placing her in an awkward position as a young woman of marriageable age.
And apparently, she had fallen in love with Fester at first sight when he rushed to the High Kobold nation’s palace with Budarion and the others to rescue Princess Lulu and Gargya’s other victims.
Thus, it was only natural for the High Kobold who considered himself her father to bring this talk to Fester first rather than Kasim.
Incidentally, the women of the High Goblin nation who had found themselves in similar circumstances to Cassie had brought talks of marriage to Borkus, Bone Man as well as Kurt, who had been going back and forth between Zanalpadna and Talosheim between battles inside Legion.
“I’m telling you, I’m already an Undead! I even have grandchildren, you know! Even if you want to be my wife, what do you want me to do?!” shouted Borkus.
“I am extremely grateful for your proposal, but as I am a royal servant, it would be unwise of me to give my reply here,” said Kurt, playing innocent and declining the flood of proposals for marriage interviews. It seemed that he intended to consult his brother and Vandalieu later.
I don’t have the resources, tolerance or any interest in being served by multiple women like His Majesty! he thought to himself, though Vandalieu would likely object if he could hear these thoughts.
“As you can see, I am made of naught but bones, so I believe that it would be impossible. Since you are ojou-sans with a bright future ahead of you, why not try and marry into another nation? If it seems that you will not be able to marry before it is too late, there are always methods such as transforming into Vampires or Ghouls. Of course, if you are to come to Talosheim, we will do our utmost to meet your needs,” said Bone Man, convincing the High Goblins with such politeness that it was difficult to believe that he was originally made of the spirits of mice.
But on the other hand, Borkus seemed to be at a loss as for what to do.
“Kid! Do something!” he said.
“Hmm? Ah, I think it will take over ten years, but if research into the new material Life Gold continues, the problem of making children might be solved. But I can’t really make any firm promises now,” said Vandalieu.
“That’s not what I want you to do something about!” Borkus moaned.
“Borkus, you are known to take care of others, are you not? With that being the case, how about you choose a few of your acquaintances to have marriage interviews with those ladies?” Zadiris suggested.
“Zadiris-jouchan, do you really think anyone would ask someone like me to act as a marriage interview mediator? I’ve only ever done that once in my life! And after that one time, I’ve been constantly getting told to stop meddling in their business!”
“Is that something to be proud of!”
It seemed that Borkus, who had been quite a famous person in the old Talosheim, had once failed in some way while mediating a marriage interview.
On the stage where Bugitas and Buzazeos’s heads had been put on display and Gerazorg had been tied to a log, his face swollen from having been punched so many times, Budarion addressed the people present here.
“Everyone, there is something I would like to say,” he said.
Come to think of it, he did say that he had something important to say, Vandalieu remembered, listening in.
Budarion’s speech seemed to be an apology for being unable to stop his brother Bugitas’s coup d’état, as well as thanks to everyone for cooperating in suppressing him.
If that was all, Vandalieu wouldn’t have really thought of it as that important, but Budarion’s words towards the end were shocking… probably.
“The imperial family has undone the peace of the southern region of the continent and spilled its people’s blood. This nation no longer has the right to call itself an empire. It is my opinion that it should take responsibility, relinquish its title as an empire and begin as a kingdom once more,” Budarion announced.
The members of the allied nations and Princess Lulu gasped.
“… What do you mean? It doesn’t seem like you’re saying that the nation will disappear or that you will not become emperor,” said Eleanora.
“Perhaps he is saying that the Noble Orc empire will become not an empire, but a kingdom, so he will become a king rather than an emperor?” said Zadiris.
“Indeed. Prince Budarion will become not an emperor, but an ordinary king,” said Myuze.
It seemed that the difference between a nation being called a kingdom and an empire held a special meaning in the southern region of the continent.
“But I don’t know anything about this matter…” said Vandalieu.
【Corpse Demon Commander】
A Job that can be acquired by a user of death-attribute magic who possesses the Coordination and Commanding Skills, as well as experience in conducting large-scale battles while commanding tamed Undead.
It does not provide great increases in Attribute Values, but it provides high bonuses to the acquisition of the Corpse Binding Technique Skill as well as the development of this Skill and the Coordination and Commanding Skills.
The following is an excerpt from Luciliano’s research notes.
Monsters directly created by Mububujenge, the evil god of degenerate corpulence. They could be considered ‘clones’ of Mububujenge in a broad sense, or perhaps as a type of familiar spirit.
They are Rank 1, and they generally cannot acquire combat-related Skills, and other than their physical abilities, Vitality and Stamina, they are like ordinary people.
Their appearance resembles Legion’s separate personalities (Isis, Valkyrie, Ereshkigal and Izanami) to the point that Legion was mistaken as a flesh-wife.
But regarding their physiques, they are often very tall compared to human women, as they have been made for two-meter-tall Orcs.
Each Orc is given a single flesh-wife at the Church of Mububujenge. The flesh-wives’ intelligence and their abilities in housework and cooking increase as the Level and Rank of the Orcs they are given to increase.
Also, they are capable of reproducing, giving birth to and raising Orc children.
Their personalities are reserved and feminine, and they are obedient towards their Orc husbands. However, there are some who scold their husbands from time to time as well.
Flesh-wives are unbelievably weak when considering that they are monsters directly created by an evil god, but there have been periods of time since the foundation of the Noble Orc empire where the flesh-wife population reached multiple tens of thousands, and it can be assumed that their combat abilities were sacrificed in order for them to be distributed evenly to tens of thousands of Orcs.
Naturally, these are monsters that do not exist outside the Noble Orc empire, so the Adventurers’ Guild and Mages’ Guild are unaware of their existence.