Several remarkable things happened in January as Cuoco Ragdew, a former nobleman of the Amid Empire who had fled to Talosheim, welcomed the new year.
The first thing that happened was Vandalieu, the emperor, had formally granted him the position of baron. Not just Cuoco, but all of the other noblemen who had fled to Talosheim as well, had been given the position of baron to begin with… though this hadn’t been made official yet.
Apparently, in the worlds that Vandalieu had lived in during his previous life and the one before that, there were systems of government that Cuoco couldn’t comprehend, where no nobles existed. With that being one reason, Vandalieu felt no need to use an aristocratic system in Talosheim, a nation that didn’t use an aristocratic system to begin with, and until recently, there hadn’t been anyone desiring court ranks.
That was apparently why he had postponed making a decision on whether or not to adopt an aristocratic system.
But it seemed that Chezare, who was effectively a prime minister, and Kurt, who was currently Cuoco’s superior, had managed to convince him.
For noblemen, their court ranks were not simply things that represented honor, authority and wealth; they were important guarantees of the social positions and well-being of their descendants. Vandalieu had apparently been told that with these guarantees, the defected noblemen’s loyalty would grow stronger, and this would be a good point for persuading nobles of other nations as well.
And Vandalieu had apparently nodded, saying, “Well, there were second-generation politicians and entire families serving as elite bureaucrats, so I suppose it’s fine.”
There had apparently been some voices of dissention at the fact that a part of the emperor’s authority would be taken by a group of newcomers, but… they soon disappeared after being convinced that nothing would happen to the ruler of this nation just from court ranks being acknowledged. Cuoco agreed with this as well.
He was someone who had given up on his children inheriting his court rank to begin with, so court ranks had little value to him, however.
The thing that was even more remarkable than this was the cake.
“Your Majesty, I believe that a steady supply of cakes with that white, fluffy, cream-like substance is truly necessary for this nation. No, I am sure of it!” Cuoco insisted, having come to the Cemetery Bee nest that was filled with the buzzing of wings.
“Cuoco, did you come all the way here just to tell me this?” Vandalieu asked.
“So, you like cake, Cuoco-kun,” Pauvina said in a serious tone.
She was likely remembering the deeply-moved reactions of Cuoco’s entire family as they ate the slices of cake at the party of her recently-celebrated sixth birthday.
“Yes, though that is not all. I have had an interest in this place since a long time ago,” Cuoco said.
He seemed to take no notice of the fact that he was being called with the ‘kun’ honorific by a girl who was about nine years old if her age was converted to human years; his eyes were shining as he looked at the Cemetery Bees moving about busily and the breeding farm that had been built into the nest.
“In ordinary cities, this is very difficult to obtain. Even if one does obtain it, it is often already in the form of salted fish or candied chestnuts. If one wants to obtain it in a fresh state, they would need to make a contract with a specialized merchant or personally travel to the countryside. That is how high-quality this product is. But in Talosheim, it is sold as candied chestnuts, skewered meat and deep-fried food at carts for the commoners to enjoy at the price of a single Luna. The secret lies here!” Cuoco shouted.
“You’re too loud! You’re scaring the insects, be quiet!” said the ‘Insect Swarm’ Bebeckett… or rather, the Patchwork Zombie with Bebeckett’s soul inside, scolding Cuoco.
Her own corpse’s head had been crushed by Ervine, and her muscles and organs were lacking because of the insects infesting her body before that, so it hadn’t been of any use even as a Zombie.
Thus, Vandalieu and Luciliano had carefully selected materials to create a new body for her.
Incidentally, Rickert and Ervine’s souls had been eaten by Vandalieu and extinguished after he made them spit out the information they had. Although they were plenty capable enough to be useful as Undead, there were problems with their personalities. Ervine in particular was likely to do things involving sacrificing his own allies like he had done while alive.
Even after dying and being charmed by Vandalieu, his personality wouldn’t undergo large changes right away.
Of course, Vandalieu could have corrected their personalities over a long period of time or used the Mental Encroachment Skill to brainwash them, but… at the end of the day, Vandalieu had decided that they weren’t valuable enough to be worth the effort to do that.
Incidentally, Vandalieu hadn’t gained any Skills or anything by eating their souls. The same had been true when he ate familiar spirits, so it seemed likely that he wouldn’t gain anything from eating people’s souls no matter how strong they were.
Unlike those two, Vandalieu had seen value in Bebeckett. As for what she was doing here, she was beekeeping and raising insects.
For a long time, the Cemetery Bees had been hunting hornworms and bees that were either not monsters or monsters of low Rank, providing Talosheim’s food stores with their meat.
Bebeckett, who had once been a beekeeper while she was alive, had started raising insects to supplement the Cemetery Bees’ hunting and gathering.
With this, there was a steady supply of fresh insects, and the high-quality bees had become even more available for the commoners in the city.
“Kukikuki, I’m raising nice, plump hornworms and bee larvae for His Majesty, bububuh… so don’t interfere,” said Bebeckett, making clicking and buzzing noises with the Demon King’s jointed legs that had been transplanted into her sides and monster wings that had been transplanted onto her back.
Cuoco quickly apologized, not intending to anger her.
“Is it really that much of a high-class product?” Vandalieu asked once Cuoco had calmed down.
Bees had been considered a high-class product in Japan, but at least in terms of image, Vandalieu had thought of it as being below things like A5-rank Matsusaka beef, Kobe beef, caviar and truffle.
But Cuoco nodded, as did Luciliano, who had been silently writing notes while observing Bebeckett.
“Of course,” Cuoco said. “It is difficult to find living specimens in city areas, and the capture of even ordinary bees that are not monsters comes with a risk.”
“There are always a few adventurers that are D-class and below that end up dead every year because they underestimate hornets. They think that it’s easy for them to collect the nests of bees that are not even monsters to collect rewards greater than those for hunting Orcs and Huge Boars,” said Luciliano.
It seemed that even in the world of Lambda, there were dangerous hornets. And in some cases, adventurers apparently lost their lives to them.
“As for adventurers that are C-class and above, they don’t even consider it because hunting monsters is easier and more efficient. Capturing bees alive takes time, you see. And although hornets are dangerous, they don’t attack humans indiscriminately like monsters do, so finding them is troublesome. And on top of that, unlike monsters that can be hunted in Devil’s Nests all year round, bees have seasons,” Cuoco explained. “Though there are apparently E-class adventurers called hornet hunters that are well-versed in capturing hornets.”
“Wealthy individuals such as nobles tend to not eat insects, so even if it is a high-class product, there is no guarantee that it can be sold at a high price,” Luciliano added. “That is why raising bees on a large-scale is usually not profitable. The only one who is capable of doing something like this is you, Master.”
“… The two of you seem to get along,” Vandalieu remarked.
“They’re perfectly in-sync,” said Pauvina.
The two of them took no notice of these comments. It seemed that they didn’t actually have any interest in each other.
“So, have you come to see the insect breeding farm, Cuoco?” Vandalieu asked.
“Yes, that is my main objective. I had an idea for a new dish that uses bee larvae. I was thinking of making that my side business,” Cuoco said.
Perhaps because his family had once been on the verge of financial collapse, it seemed that he intended to earn his keep properly this time.
“But everyone also asked me to come and ask when they will receive their court ranks,” he added.
The ‘everyone’ that Cuoco mentioned were the noblemen from the occupying army in the Sauron region who had defected to Talosheim when Vandalieu abducted Duke Marme.
“They asked you? They could have come and asked Master themselves,” said Luciliano.
“They still seem to be hesitant to do that,” said Cuoco. “Considering what you did to Duke Marme and the others…”
Pauvina blinked curiously. “Van, did you do something?” she asked, her curiosity piqued by Cuoco’s suggestive tone. “Other than the human experiments,” she added.
“I haven’t done anything other than the human experiments,” said Vandalieu.
“Right? That’s normal, so I don’t know why they won’t come and talk to you. How strange,” said Pauvina.
“I agree,” said Vandalieu.
Both of them seem perplexed. Cuoco’s face twitched as he watched them. He looked at Luciliano, using his eyes to silently ask him, “Are they serious?” But Luciliano responded with a look that said, “Pauvina is serious.” Cuoco fearfully looked up at the three-meter-tall girl.
The skin of Duke Marme’s head from the neck up had been removed by Isla. Although his vassals had done horrible, oppressive things to Vida’s races and the people, they hadn’t been killed on the spot; they had been taken to the workshop beneath the royal castle and used as subjects for human experiments.
The theme of these experiments was, “What happens if raw fragments of the Demon King produced by Vandalieu are transplanted into living humans?”
Hair transplant with the Demon King’s fur, breast enlargement with the Demon King’s blubber and direct blood transfusions with pure Demon King blood would be convenient if they were possible, so Vandalieu and Luciliano had thought to experiment with them.
The result was that the experiments succeeded in torturing the subjects and causing them to suffer.
Duke Marme and the other subjects had displayed intense rejection responses to having fragments of the Demon King transplanted into them while they were still alive.
But they had been unable to die; they acquired the Demon King Encroachment Degree Skill and the Level of the Skill increased in the blink of an eye. Their personalities and bodies had been taken over by the Demon King fragments.
Fortunately, even though the subjects had shown no signs of being under the influence of Guidance: Dark Demon Path, they began calling Vandalieu the ‘main body’ and were obedient to him once they had been taken over.
Vandalieu named the people taken over by the fragments this way ‘monster-people’ for convenience, but they were vastly weaker than the subjects had been before they had been absorbed by the fragments. If Vandalieu wanted to create fighting forces, it would be far more effective to mass-produce Living Armors.
And the fragments tried to reunite with Vandalieu at every opportunity, so he’d had no choice but to return the fragments to his own body. When he did so, the subjects had died rather than regaining their sanity.
“I would think that seeing people they knew meet such grotesque fates would be enough reason for them to feel fear, even if they didn’t know those people well…” Cuoco muttered.
“I didn’t intend to make you tremble in fear as well, Cuoco… even the empire has done things like torturing prisoners and executing criminals in cruel ways,” said Vandalieu.
In Talosheim, experiments had been conducted in place of these, yielding the precious information that transplanting raw, unprocessed fragments of the Demon King into humans that were not under Vandalieu’s guidance was dangerous.
“And as for grotesque fates, it’s not as bad as the former and current Bebeckett is it?”
“Th-that’s true!” said Cuoco with a startled nod, having once seen what Bebeckett had looked like when her body was infested by insects.
The truth was that the monster-people that Duke Marme and the other subjects had transformed into were not that grotesque. Those accustomed to seeing Vandalieu and Legion would simply think that they had a few strange parts.
“I personally don’t think that this view is ordinary, however,” said Luciliano. “By the way, Master, why don’t you answer the question?”
“Ah, the matter of court ranks. At this point, I’m going to go around the nations within the Boundary Mountain Range, and then I’ll be giving a formal greeting at Vida’s Resting Grounds as I formally become the emperor. I’m planning to sort out the court ranks after that,” said Vandalieu.
“I see… You are surprisingly thorough about going through the formalities,” said Cuoco.
It seemed that after seeing Vandalieu appear in cities to interact with the citizens on his own without any guards, personally appear in schools to teach them and mingle with the children to accept lessons with them, Cuoco and Luciliano had thought that Vandalieu wouldn’t be so concerned about being formal.
In fact, there had been many first rulers in Lambda’s history who had brought prosperity to their nations but disliked formalities and ceremonies, so they had likely assumed that Vandalieu would be the same.
“Well, that’s because I intend to live a long life,” said Vandalieu. “I’ll be thorough if I have the time for it.”
As a Dhampir born to a Dark Elf, he had a long lifespan, so he could remain an emperor for millennia, never mind centuries.
When that time came, he would feel awkward if his strange behaviors were to become ceremonies and traditions. If their origins were questioned in the future, he wanted to avoid having to always answer, “Those were my youthful indiscretions…”
“So, please tell everyone to wait a little longer,” said Vandalieu.
“No, no, it’s helpful that you are thorough about these things. I’m sure everyone will feel relieved, too.”
The fact that Vandalieu was fussing over formalities meant that it was unlikely that he would take away court ranks on a whim. Cuoco knew that the nobles who had defected to Talosheim would likely be thinking this.
“I will warn you, I think that Master intends to conduct punishment as usual for any noblemen that he thinks have done a ‘certain amount’ of bad deeds, so I don’t think it is a good idea to feel too at ease,” said Luciliano.
“That is clear from seeing the fate of Duke Marme and his vassals,” said Cuoco. “And I did not recommend any fellows that thought of themselves as having ‘high-class’ blood.”
Having acquired the status of baron through the achievements of his grandfather who had been an adventurer, he was naturally a newcomer to the world of the empire’s noblemen. And because his family had always been on the verge of collapse due to financial problems, he had never thought of himself to have ‘high-class’ blood. Of course, the same went for his wife and daughter.
The noblemen who had come to Talosheim were the ones among those serving the empire’s occupying army that he had recommended as ‘having promise.’ They were all insignificant, poor noblemen whose families had been at risk like his, so they all understood the commoner way of thinking.
Of course, even Cuoco couldn’t guarantee that they wouldn’t become impudent and arrogant in the future.
But they were unlikely to do so if they were reminded of the fates of Duke Marme and his vassals.
“… Other than the removal of the skin of Duke Marme’s head, I didn’t intend to make an example of them,” said Vandalieu.
“Indeed,” Luciliano agreed. “It was a meaningful medical experiment, not meaningless torture.”
Cuoco averted his gaze from the apprentice and his master.
And his gaze landed on the enormous girl.
“It’s normal for someone to get angry at you if you do something bad, right?” Pauvina said curiously.
But no matter how Cuoco thought about it, such poor treatment didn’t fall into the category of ‘someone getting angry at you.’
Perhaps because it had become a little quieter now that Cuoco had fallen into silence, Vandalieu and the others noticed a wet popping sound among the noises made by the Cemetery Bees.
“This sound – it seems that the hatching is starting,” said Vandalieu.
Vandalieu had put Quinn, the queen of the Cemetery Bees, through a pseudo-reincarnation. The lid of the chamber containing her was moving, being pushed from within.
She was trying to leave the chamber, having completed her transformation.
“This is most interesting! I must record what kind of form she has evolved into!” Luciliano exclaimed.
“The birth of a being that will be important to my family’s insect cooking business,” said Cuoco. “I must witness this!”
“But us men should leave,” said Vandalieu.
“Why?!” Luciliano and Cuoco shouted.
“Shut up and come heeere!” said Bebeckett, grabbing Luciliano and Cuoco with her enormous insectoid front legs and forcibly removing them from the nest.
Vandalieu went to follow them outside, but Pauvina grabbed him by the back of the neck and held him like a kitten.
“You have to stay here, Van!” she said. “I heard from Borkus and Vigaro that if you’re not there at times like this, you’ll be resented for years.”
“Weren’t they saying that in regard to their wives’ childbirth?” said Vandalieu.
But now that he thought about it, he realized that it might be best for him to stay.
Growing wings and molting were necessary growth processes for insects, but at the same time, they were life-endangering tasks. It was possible for their bodies to change shapes as they molted, and it was possible for them to die when the processes failed, though this was rare in insectoid monsters.
Because Quinn was a Cemetery Bee queen being reborn as another queen, the worker bees would assist with her emergence.
But as she had undergone a pseudo-reincarnation while immersed in death-attribute Mana, it was difficult to imagine that she would be reborn as an ordinary queen bee. In fact, she had already been abnormal as a larva. Thus, it was possible that there would be complications that the worker bees couldn’t handle.
Thus, it wasn’t an incorrect decision for Vandalieu to be present just in case something happened.
Several seconds after Vandalieu convinced himself of this, the chamber’s lid was broken, and a hand appeared from within.
It had the shape of a human’s hand, but it was covered in an exoskeleton that made it look as if it were wearing a gauntlet, and there was soft-looking fur growing on the wrist.
Three more such hands emerged, breaking the lid more and making the hole in it larger.
“Ooh, pretty…” said Pauvina as she watched on.
There was what appeared from afar to be a woman wearing armor with bee motifs on it.
Her overall body structure was similar to a human woman. But she had four arms, and although she had two legs, they were the legs of bees from the knees down. Her limbs were covered by an exoskeleton, with soft, cotton-candy-like fur covering the joints.
Her head was similar to a person’s as well. She had hair, what seemed to be two eyes at a glance and her nose and mouth were shaped like those of a person’s. But there were two antennae growing from her forehead, and her eye sockets contained not eyeballs, but a countless number of compound eyes. Since they were all gathered together, she simply appeared to have large eyes, however.
And her wet bee wings became straighter as they dried. Below those, where a human’s tailbone would be, there was a bee’s abdomen protruding like a tail.
But unlike those parts, the front of her body was no different from that of a human woman. Even her face was like that of a woman in her mid-twenties, excluding her antennae and compound eyes.
Though this was only true if one disregarded that she was slightly taller than Pauvina.
“She’s so big!” Pauvina exclaimed happily.
“Well, she was enormous even as a larva,” said Vandalieu, having known that there was no way that she would have become smaller as an adult.
The worker bees swarmed around Quinn and began performing care on her body.
Quinn opened her mouth and took repeated, large breaths, leaving her body to the worker bees. It seemed that she wanted to say something, but because she wasn’t accustomed to her body that had undergone large changes to its structure and functions, she couldn’t.
But Vandalieu and Pauvina could imagine what Quinn wanted to say. After all, in a way, both of them were like childhood friends who had been with her since before her pseudo-reincarnation.
“I do feel a little hesitant,” said Vandalieu.
“Van, don’t be shy,” said Pauvina.
Vandalieu extended his tongue and began licking Quinn’s exoskeleton and back along with the worker bees. Just as he had done while she was a larva to ensure that mold didn’t grow on her body.
“Is your current form the one that you wanted?” Vandalieu asked the happy-looking Quinn.
She nodded. It seemed that Vandalieu had managed to guide her successfully.
A few days after Quinn emerged as a new race of monster called the Gehenna Queen Bee, Vandalieu left Talosheim to visit the nations within the Boundary Mountain Range with a delegation.
During those few days before he left, he used the Labyrinth Construction Skill to try and create an A-class Dungeon.
He hadn’t created Dungeons that were B-class and above up until now because there were the training grounds with the Undead dummies, so he hadn’t felt the need to create more Dungeons. However, the more important reason was the fact that Dungeons were dangerous.
If Dungeon difficulty increased to B-class and above, there would be less people in Talosheim capable of clearing them. With that being the case, it would be uncertain as to whether the monster numbers within the Dungeon could be kept stable and low enough so that monster rampages didn’t occur.
Vandalieu’s close friends would be able to clear a B-class Dungeon’s Rank 7+ monsters in a stable manner. But there was no guarantee that Vandalieu and his companions would always be in Talosheim. If the monsters grew in number while they were away, a monster rampage could happen, causing great damage to the city.
That was what Vandalieu had been wary of.
The monsters in the Dungeons created by Labyrinth Construction had no souls; they did roughly obey the commands of Vandalieu, their creator. However, making them obey the command of “Don’t multiply anymore” would be impossible.
Of course, even if soulless monsters increased in number, it wasn’t clear as to whether a monster rampage like those of ordinary Dungeons would occur. But this couldn’t be tested.
A-class Dungeons were even higher in difficulty than B-class Dungeons, and there were only a handful of them on the Bahn Gaia continent. As for why Vandalieu was trying to create one now, it was because the explorers of Talosheim had become more capable overall, and because an A-class Dungeon was necessary to test everyone’s current abilities before facing the Trial of Zakkart.
However, even after spending a considerable amount of time and Mana, he could only manage to create a B-class Dungeon.
“Hmm, I wonder why that is? I even pictured a Dungeon with mostly insectoid monsters so that it would be more compatible for us,” said Vandalieu after having spent all of his time until right before his departure on this Dungeon creation attempt.
“I don’t have a sense of what it’s like to create a Dungeon, but… Maybe you didn’t spend enough time?” said Privel, who was among the people who had come to see him off.
But Vandalieu had the feeling that it wasn’t because he hadn’t spent enough time on it. “Even if I spent more time and Mana on it, I don’t think there would be any change,” he said. “It’s just like the way it’s impossible to pour water into a vase that’s already full to the brim.”
“Then it is possible that your Skill’s Level is not sufficient,” said Gizania.
Vandalieu considered that this could be the case.
Vandalieu’s Labyrinth Creation Skill was Level 7. Compared to his other Skills, one could consider it a considerably high Level.
But B-class Dungeons were ordinarily considered to be quite high-difficulty Dungeons. Considering that, it was possible that Vandalieu couldn’t create an A-class Dungeon with his current Skill Level, no matter how hard he tried.
“This is a bit of a silly result, but there is apparently an A-class Dungeon in the Majin nation, so I suppose we’ll test ourselves there,” he said.
“I am sure you will be able to create an A-class Dungeon soon enough… though it would be problematic if you were to create Dungeons in large numbers in order to practice for that,” said Myuze.
“I know that. I won’t make Dungeons that we can’t manage,” said Vandalieu.
The lower-class a Dungeon was and the lower the Ranks of its monsters were, the faster the monsters spawned. Thus, Vandalieu couldn’t simply create Dungeons for practice.
“If I recall, you created very small Dungeons in the Hartner region and Sauron region, didn’t you, Vandalieu-sama?” said Tarea. “Aren’t those…?”
“Tarea, even if I create really small Dungeons, only a few Rank 1 monsters would come outside at most, so nothing will happen,” Vandalieu assured her.
In fact, those Dungeons were being used by the local inhabitants who had discovered them as places where they could regularly hunt Horn Rabbits, so the monsters almost never overflowed outside.
“Your Majesty, it is time.”
“You’re right. Well then, everyone, I’ll be off for a while.”
“See you later! We’ll be clearing the Dungeon for training while you’re gone, so do your best!”
“Even if the Trial of Zakkart appears while you are away, I hope that you will return before you enter.”
“Please leave the city to us while you are away.”
And so, Vandalieu put Talosheim behind him.
But unlike the delegations of ordinary nations, he would not have large numbers of carriages traveling around with him.
The only carriage was the Nightmare Carriage, Sam. The guard outside was Knochen.
“Now then, let us go!” said Sam.
Due to the effect of the Space Expansion Skill, the inside of Sam’s carriage was sixteen times larger in volume than it appeared. Vandalieu, who could equip Undead, insects and plants, would be riding in that. It was more of a small army than a delegation.
Behind the carriage was Knochen, a flying mass of nearly a hundred million bones.
Even Hurricane Dragons, considered to be a superior type of Dragon, would hesitate to come near.
The first place that Vandalieu and his party were headed to was not Zanalpadna, the nation that was closest, but the Kijin nation.
For some reason, contact had come from Zanalpadna, the Noble Orc kingdom and the Majin nation, telling Vandalieu that they’d had plenty and that they would be waiting for him at Vida’s Resting Grounds. The same went for the Ghoul, High Goblin and High Kobold nations.
Though Vandalieu was confused as to what they meant by ‘plenty,’ he went straight to the Kijin nation, which was on the west side of the mountain range from Talosheim.
Vandalieu got out of the carriage outside the castle built into the cliff face and the walls protecting the city from land monsters.
“Excuse me,” he said, politely calling out to the guard. “My name is Vandalieu, the king of Talosheim, the one who has promised to visit your nation. I have come to greet the nation as I assume the position of emperor. Please allow me inside.”
“Your manners get full marks, Vandalieu,” said Darcia, praising the king who was her son for personally stepping forward and naming his business.
“Your Majesty! You aren’t supposed to say that yourself!” Princess Levia said hastily. “Darcia-sama, please stop him!”
“Princess Levia, our lord is always like this, so I believe that he will always be like this in the future as well,” said Bone Man.
“If you don’t make him behave as he should from the beginning, it’s hard to have him behave properly all of a sudden,” said Kimberley.
Bone Man and Kimberley already seemed to be content with just watching from afar, not intending to butt in.
The Kijin gate guard… the enormous man with brown skin and a large, muscular body that wasn’t at all inferior to Vigaro’s, was standing in a daunting pose, seemingly unperturbed by this disturbance.
“I know. We could see you approaching from the skies from quite a distance away,” he said in a deep voice that sounded like boulders being rubbed against each other.
“Kuooohn,” Knochen groaned.
As the gate guard said, the fortress-sized Knochen following behind Vandalieu’s carriage had been visible from the Kijin nation, which was on the side of the mountain range.
“Then please hurry and –” Vandalieu began.
“But first, I shall have to test your strength!” said the gate guard… or rather, the man that Vandalieu had thought was the gate guard.
With a burning desire for battle in his eyes, the Kijin raised his weapon, a metal club as long as the height of his entire body.
“I am the ‘Great Metal Club’ Kidoumaru, the Second Horn of the Kijin nation’s prided Six Horn Battle-Demons!” he declared, his voice forceful enough to make a child cry. “If you wish to meet the king of my nation, you must first defeat me! But even if you defeat me and enter the gate, you will find your path blocked by the other four members of the Six Horn Battle-Demons, who possess even greater strength than I! Unless you defeat them and Oniwaka-sama, our leader and general, you will never meet our king!”
It seemed that he was a high-ranking member of the Kijin nation, not a gate guard.
Vandalieu pondered Kidoumaru’s words for a moment, then asked a question. “Umm, why?”
There were all kinds of meanings to his question of ‘why,’ but Kidoumaru’s answer was brief.
“This is the custom, so please oblige,” he said.
“Very well. Let’s fight,” said Vandalieu.
“Thank you for your understanding.”
Both of them bowed, then prepared to fight.
Darcia and Princess Levia watched on, dumbfounded at this unexpected development, including Vandalieu’s quick agreement to fight.
“I wonder if it can’t be helped because it’s a custom?” said Darcia.
“Perhaps he is a national figure?” said Princess Levia.
“By the way, that person is the Second Horn, isn’t he? What about the First? Do you know who he is, Nee-san?” Rita asked.
“Rita, if I’m not mistaken, one of the people from the Kijin nation that Vandalieu met in the Noble Orc kingdom said that he was one of the Six Horn Battle-Demons,” said Saria.
“Vigaro and Gorba fought the Ghoul king in the Ghoul nation, too. I suppose that’s just how it is,” said Borkus. “Go get him, kid!”
And so began the battle for visiting the Kijin nation.
『The level of the Labyrinth Construction Skill has increased!』
Quinn is a queen specimen of Gehenna Bee, a new race of monster that was born from receiving Vandalieu’s guidance and undergoing a pseudo-reincarnation at his hands.
Her Rank as an adult is 9, and she is instinctively able to cast beginner-level space-attribute magic. But as she is a queen bee, her body itself is not that strong. Her Vitality, Mana and Intelligence are appropriate for her Rank, but she has almost no combat capabilities.
Her characteristic qualities are displayed in her ability to command her worker bees and other subordinates.
With her Egg Spawn Skill, she is able to lay up to ten Gehenna Bee eggs in a single day, and she possesses the Bee Swarm Coordination and Bee Swarm Commanding Skills which have greater effects than the ordinary Coordination and Commanding Skills in exchange for only working on bees.
Bee Swarm Coordination displays its effects when bees conduct their usual roles, so its effects are seen even if… or rather, only when, Quinn is doing nothing.
In addition, with the Unique Skill called High-Speed Bee Swarm Development Skill, she is able to expend a large amount of Mana to make the eggs and larvae she lays develop into adults within seconds. But this Skill is to be used in emergency situations; she cannot make habitual, frequent use of it.
She has received the divine protection of Zanalpadna, the evil god of carapaces and compound eyes, so she has the potential to grow even more.