Alda, the god of law and fate, was working to create something in order to train Heinz and his companions and in order to awaken the heroic god Bellwood, who remained in slumber after he and the evil god of sinful chains struck each other down.
“If I was able to borrow Ricklent and Zuruwarn’s powers, it wouldn’t have taken this long,” he muttered to himself.
Alda was struggling; it was a large task that he was performing alongside maintaining the light and life attributes, and one that was certainly outside his field of expertise.
If he had the cooperation of Ricklent, the genie of time and magic who was exceptional in the use of magic, and Zuruwarn, the god of space and creation, the task would have gone much more smoothly despite them not being in their ordinary conditions, but…
There is no use in expecting anything from gods that were still in slumber, Alda thought as he directed his mind elsewhere.
“But I must finish it at all… costs?”
Suddenly, half of Alda’s vision was filled with crimson. He touched his face with a hand and was shocked to feel a wet sensation.
“I’ve been wounded? I, in my Divine Realm…!”
His own blood was flowing from his forehead; it was the first time he had seen his own blood in about a hundred thousand years. The moment he realized this, he felt a series of dull pains.
The familiar spirits working in his Divine Realm made an uproar.
“Who is it! Harming Alda-sama, the chief of the gods, is a grave, unforgivable sin!”
“Calm yourselves,” said Alda.
The pain was still continuing. At this very moment, he was still being wounded by someone.
Alda quickly checked the conditions of the Artifacts that he had made himself.
“The only one that I can think of is…”
If it was beings that could inflict damage upon a god like Alda, the first thing that most people would think of was the remnants of the Demon King’s army, but that didn’t seem to be the case. It didn’t seem to be an attack from the gods of Vida’s faction, either.
Alda was a great god, the one with the most followers praying to him. The damage that he was currently receiving was nothing more than scratches. Naturally, it would have no effect on the maintenance of the world, and it would only interfere with the task that he was currently performing for a few minutes.
He couldn’t imagine that the remnants of the Demon King’s army or the gods of Vida’s faction would make a move to inflict such a small amount of damage to him.
The most likely possibility was that Vandalieu had destroyed Artifacts that Alda had created or a familiar spirit summoned by one of his believers. But as far as Alda could tell, there were no signs of this.
“No, my currently-existing familiar spirits have grown fewer in number. Artifacts that I cannot check… my divine authority… Vida!”
Instances of Alda’s power that existed in a place that Alda could never see. There were no such instances other than the stakes that he had driven into the body of Vida a hundred thousand years ago, who was supposed to be slumbering in the Boundary Mountain Range now.
Having realized this, Alda hastily commanded his familiar spirits to the two gods that were his confidants.
“Check upon Curatos and Niltark!”
In addition to the stakes that were Alda’s divine authority, Bellwood’s Artifacts were also impaling Vida. Among them were not only the Artifacts created by Alda, but also those created by Curatos, the god of records, and Niltark, the god of judgment.
If the stakes had been destroyed, it was only natural to assume that the Artifacts had been destroyed as well. This prediction was confirmed to be true by his familiar spirits’ reports.
Fortunately, it seemed that the damage itself taken by those two gods was not very significant.
But the fact that they had received damage at the same time as Alda signified an emergency situation.
“Vida has been released. Just who could have removed a divine authority?”
Alda was the god of the light attribute, and at the same time, he was the god of law. Thus, he was able to wield his divine authority to punish gods who had made mistakes. That was what those stakes were.
The stakes greatly inhibited the recovery of power of the god impaled by them, and there were great limits on the actions that they could take as gods. As they could not target any gods except those of Lambda, they had not been of any use against the Demon King’s army except for the traitors, but it was an extremely powerful divine authority.
Due to its properties, it should have been impossible for any gods other than Alda to remove them, let alone destroy them. So then, why?
“Is it a power of the evil gods that serve Vida? No, since they are gods, it should be impossible for them to remove my divine authority. If it was possible, they would have done it long ago,” Alda muttered. “Could it be… Vandalieu? Does this mean he has gained enough power to break my divine authority?!”
Vida slumbered inside the barrier set up around the region contained within the Boundary Mountain Range. Vandalieu lurked within that southern region of the continent.
Alda knew that Vandalieu had broken Yupeon’s spirit clone, but the fact that he had gained enough power to break the divine authority of a great god meant that he had already surpassed Alda’s wildest imagination.
The subordinate gods who had gathered here during this time of emergency offered their opinions.
“Alda, what will we do? At this rate, no matter how much we train Heinz and other humans as heroes, would they not still be insufficient to defeat him?”
“In fact, Vida should steadily recover her power from this point onwards. She will need at least several thousand years to make a full recovery, but unlike you, she is not involved in the maintenance of the world. She is able to move more freely as long as she stays within the barrier.”
Alda shook his head. “Everyone, the situation has already reached a point of no return. If we wish for this world to continue, we cannot avoid a confrontation with the ‘Demon King’ Vandalieu. If we leave him alone, the world will one day be engulfed in a maelstrom of chaos and all order will be destroyed. He is a true enemy who surpasses Guduranis,” Alda declared with conviction.
The subordinate gods held their breaths. They had underestimated Vandalieu… they had believed that he would be certainly defeated once the gods made their move.
“Guard the lands in which my sisters Botin and Peria slumber,” Alda ordered, having stopped the bleeding from his forehead. “It is highly likely that Vandalieu will preemptively remove their seals and harm them while they are still unable to regain their power. If Vida still has a single shred of her sanity remaining, she would not allow him to do that, but… we cannot expect too much.”
“As you will!”
The gods received his orders and left his Divine Realm one by one.
『The Levels of the Automatic Mana Recovery, God Devourer and Soul Devour Skills have increased!』
『The Hostility Skill has transformed into the Divine Enemy Skill!』
『Vida’s Divine Protection is now displayed in the Status!』
『You have acquired Increased Mana Recovery Rate and Earth’s Dark Gods’ Divine Protection!』
The moment Vandalieu heard the announcer’s voice in his mind, he lost consciousness. It seemed that his body had not been able to completely withstand using so much Mana in a soul-only state.
He would normally have used Out-of-body Experience before fainting, but he was unable to do this in time in this case, as it was an unexpected situation.
The next time he opened his eyes, he was in a resting room inside Vida’s Resting Grounds.
“The Pure-breed Vampires awaken from time to time, and this is one of the rooms in which they spend that time,” explained a Noble-born Vampire.
“I never expected that we would end up leading you here first,” said Gizan, the Dark Elf nation’s chief, who was wearing his black robe uniform.
These two had carried Vandalieu here.
“And you were holding a red gem at some point, too. What happened, Bocchan?” Rita asked.
“That isn’t a hardened piece of Kühl, is it?” said Saria.
Vandalieu was holding a fist-sized gem of a similar color to the Deep Blood Slime Kühl – in other words, it was blood-red.
Though Rita and Saria thought that this was strange, it seemed that they had simply carried him here without questioning it. Their father Sam was near the entrance of the resting grounds, as a wagon could not enter the building.
“Incidentally, Darcia-sama and the others are waiting with Sam. It seems that Darcia-sama, who is a spirit, and Princess Levia and the others who are Astral-type monsters, cannot act freely inside the resting grounds,” said Bellmond, who was straightening her crumpled clothes.
“We thought that we should stay with them as guards just in case, but the Vampires took that role for us,” said Bone Man.
Gizan lowered his head apologetically. “Spirits and Astral-type monsters have never attempted to enter the resting grounds before, so I did not know. My apologies,” he said.
“No, don’t worry about that. It doesn’t seem like their spirit forms have received any damage or been purified,” said Vandalieu.
If Darcia and the others were at risk of real harm, Danger Sense: Death should have reacted. Since that hadn’t happened, it wasn’t likely to be very dangerous to them.
As Vandalieu thought this, he looked around the room. There were Mana reactions, though weak, in the walls and ceiling. It seemed that someone had placed a weak anti-spirit charm to ensure that no impure beings could influence Zakkart’s remains.
It would likely harm the Vampires or Zakkart’s remains if it were too powerful; it had the effect of merely making spirits sleepy or unable to move well.
“I’m sorry for surprising everyone, especially you, Bellmond. Thanks to you, I was able to wake up quickly,” said Vandalieu.
The reason he had woken up after less than an hour despite having almost no Mana left was because Bellmond had fed him her blood.
Bellmond’s Unique Skill, Offering, allowed her to rapidly regenerate the Mana of those she gave her blood to.
“No, this is merely a part of my duty… But I was a little surprised when you kept sucking after you woke up,” she said.
“You must have used a lot of Mana. You kept your mouth on Bellmond for quite a while, Bocchan,” said Rita.
“I’m sorry… I showed an unsightly side of myself,” said Vandalieu, lowering his head.
“No, it was beautiful to see,” said Gizan and the Noble-born Vampire together, putting their hands together in praise of Bellmond.
Bellmond ignored them and wiped away the remaining blood on her neck. “So, Danna-sama, what in the world happened?” she asked.
“Well, actually –”
Vandalieu explained what had happened in Vida’s Divine Realm, causing a great deal of surprise to Bellmond and the others.
“So that is who you were, my lord?! I was certain that you were the reincarnation of the Vampires’ ancestor!” Bone Man exclaimed.
“Nuaza-san was wrong, wasn’t he,” said Rita.
“Well, Bocchan denied it from the beginning,” said Saria.
The Titan Lich Nuaza served in Talosheim’s Church of Vida. He had put together the contents of the Divine Message he had received from Vida and the legend that the Vampires’ ancestor would certainly return in the final hour, predicting that Vandalieu was the ‘Holy Son of Vida’ and the reborn ancestor of the Vampires.
And it seemed that this prediction had been more widely believed than Vandalieu had thought.
“I’m actually surprised that that’s what you’re surprised by,” Vandalieu remarked.
“I am not certain what kind of surprise we are supposed to show at the fact that you are a reincarnation of champions, four of them at that, Danna-sama,” said Bellmond. “Though we did know that you did not have a proper… or rather, ordinary, background.”
“But haven’t you heard anything about Zakkart and the others, Bellmond?” Vandalieu asked. “Your previous master should have been directly acquainted with them, too.”
“… Could I exercise my right to remain silent on this matter? I might receive divine punishment from the gods if I were to repeat the slander that she uttered here,” said Bellmond.
It was already known that Vandalieu was a reincarnated individual from another world, and for those who were aware that he had broken the spirit clone of a god, it seemed that today’s revelation was just another page added to Vandalieu’s abnormal history.
“So that is Vida’s blood… it is beautiful. So, this will be useful in Darcia-sama’s resurrection?” said Saria.
The gem that Vandalieu had been clutching when he woke up was Vida’s blood, which had been given to him as he left her Divine Realm.
“Yes. I don’t know how to use it yet, but it’s certain that it contains incredible power,” said Vandalieu.
Even though Vida was wounded, it was still the blood of a goddess. Ordinary Magic Stones could not compare to the vast Vitality and Mana contained within it. It was certain to be useful for resurrecting Darcia.
“By the way, the two of you are quite quiet… My lord, Gizan-dono seems to be so happy that he has lost consciousness while still standing,” said Bone Man.
“Let’s let him sleep in my place,” said Vandalieu.
Gizan had fainted where he stood upon hearing that Vida’s complete recovery was still far off but she had been freed from Alda’s curse.
And the Noble-born Vampire standing beside him was crying emotion-filled tears without making a sound. With a twisted face and clenched teeth.
Vandalieu and Bone Man couldn’t be blamed for turning their eyes away from him.
“I’m so happy! With this, with this, everyone’s… long years of effort… their suffering!” The Noble-born Vampire let out an emotion-filled shout and then ran off somewhere – probably to tell the other Noble-born Vampires the news.
“… It looks like he’s been holding it in for a while,” Vandalieu murmured, dumbfounded.
“… I wonder if he’ll come back. We have not received a layout of these resting grounds, so we cannot move about alone,” said Bellmond.
But the Noble-born Vampire didn’t return; instead, the pale, shining spirit form of a man appeared.
He was wearing armor that was patched up in several places, and his eyes were odd-colored.
“Excuse me. You’re Vandalieu, right? Those guys don’t look like they’ll be of any use for a while, so I’ll be guiding you around instead.” The man laughed, revealing his fangs. “My name is Veld. I was a Dhampir while I was alive, but I’m just a demi-heroic spirit now. I was a mercenary, so don’t mind my rough tone.”
The demi-heroic spirit Dhampir who called himself Veld… When he was alive, he had overthrown a nation ruled by Vampires worshipping an evil god and established a new nation, becoming known as the mercenary king. He led Vandalieu and his companions deeper into the resting grounds, introducing himself and describing each of the facilities.
“The documents regarding the champions in the reference room are all written in the ancient languages of Lambda that were spoken over a hundred thousand years ago, so you can’t read them. Apparently, there was the Dwarf language and Elf language and stuff before the battle against the Demon King. There are some manuscripts written by the champions personally that are written in the languages of the champions’ world, but I don’t know if you can read them. There are apparently a lot of different languages in the champions’ world, too.”
In the present era, the common language used in Lambda was a language similar to Earth’s Japanese, but its own languages had been used before that. Now, it was a lost language that only a limited number of people could read.
Naturally, almost no knowledge regarding these languages had been passed onto the races created by Vida, who had been born after the battle with the Demon King.
“The foreign languages of Earth… but if it’s something like Origin’s German or English, then perhaps I could manage to read it?” said Vandalieu, remembering the languages that he had learned in Origin.
He knew some English, as he had learned it in high school on Earth, but not enough to have ordinary conversation.
But he had learned several of the languages used in Origin. There were researchers and other experimental subjects from all kinds of nations in the research laboratory in which he had been raised as an experimental animal.
Over ten years had passed since he had died in Origin, so he wasn’t confident in their pronunciation, but it was possible that he would be able to read them to some extent.
“Legion might know more than I do,” said Vandalieu. “Incidentally, I have been curious for a while, but what kind of state are you in as a demi-heroic spirit?”
In Lambda, gods were served by familiar spirits and heroic spirits.
Familiar spirits were equivalent to the angels of Earth’s religions. They were beings that descended onto the bodies of believers through Familiar Spirit Descent to increase Attribute Values, resided in items created by gods to become Artifacts and served the gods in other ways.
There were familiar spirits that gods created with their own power like summoned familiars, and familiar spirits that were pious believers summoned by the gods after their deaths to become familiar spirits.
Heroic spirits were beings one step above familiar spirits.
Of course, being followers of the gods while they were alive was a requirement, but they also needed to be individuals whose deeds were widely-known. According to minstrels’ songs and legends told in churches, they were beings that played an important role, appearing before wavering heroes to offer them counsel and residing in heroes’ equipment to lend them strength.
To put it bluntly, they were advertising signs with power and the ability to take action.
This was what Vandalieu had been told at the Church of Vida by Nuaza. However, he didn’t know about demi-heroic spirits, whom Veld claimed to be.
And as far as Vandalieu could tell, Veld didn’t seem particularly incredible.
Veld’s presence was far more powerful than normal spirits and ordinary Astral-type monsters, but not as powerful as those of Princess Levia and the others. That was how he seemed to Vandalieu.
Veld gave a self-deprecating laugh. “Ah, I’m not officially a heroic spirit. Formally speaking, I should probably introduce myself as an unrecognized heroic spirit, but that leaves a bad impression, doesn’t it? That’s why we call ourselves demi-heroic spirits.”
“Unrecognized heroic spirit?” Vandalieu repeated.
“I mean, until you went and woke her up, Vida was mostly sleeping, right? And because of the stakes that Alda put in her, she couldn’t use her power properly, so she couldn’t turn people like us into heroic spirits or familiar spirits.”
While he was alive, the Dhampir Veld had led a mercenary band to destroy a nation controlled from the shadows by Vampires worshipping an evil god, and he had even become the king of a new nation. These achievements would definitely be considered to be those of a hero.
There had been other virtuous believers and heroes born in the past hundred thousand years who had died and left their names behind in history.
But Vida hadn’t possessed the necessary power to summon them and turn them into heroic spirits and familiar spirits.
Thus, many of them couldn’t leave the circle of transmigration. Those of races like humans, who were managed by Rodcorte’s system, were forcibly reincarnated.
Only souls belonging to Vida’s circle of reincarnation system that possessed a certain amount of power, like that of the Dhampir Veld, had come to a stop in an incomplete state in Vida’s Resting Grounds.
“Vida will probably be able to create more heroic spirits, familiar spirits and even subordinate gods now, though. She’ll even be able to grant her followers miracles like the Familiar Spirit Descent Skill,” Veld said. “It means she can finally catch up to Alda. She wasn’t very popular in the outside world when I was still alive.”
There were none in Lambda who doubted the existence of the gods. Therefore, it was natural for the people to choose the gods they prayed to not by their teachings, but by their power.
In the societies outside the Boundary Mountain Range, the peoples’ eyes were caught by gods like Alda, who had great power, exceptional heroes among his followers and large churches.
In contrast, Vida’s name was known, but legends spoke of her as a defeated goddess who had given birth to races like the Vampires and Majin. She sent almost no Divine Messages and couldn’t provide her followers with blessings like the Familiar Spirit Descent Skill, so her religion was on the decline.
Even the Orbaume Kingdom, where Vida was worshipped, couldn’t ignore the influence of Alda’s followers as the religion of Alda was the national religion of their enemy nation, the Amid Empire.
“By the way, you don’t have to speak politely to me. Even though I said things are going to change, Vida hasn’t got her power back yet. I’m going to be in this incomplete state for a while longer,” said Veld.
“Such modesty. I must show respect for such a great leader,” said Vandalieu.
“No, you’re the one being modest, you know? You’re clearly greater than I am, you know? It wouldn’t be strange for you to skip the heroic spirit part and be chosen as a subordinate god straight away after you die, you know?”
“No, no, that’s not tr… well, I suppose that wouldn’t be strange,” Vandalieu corrected himself, seeing Veld’s completely serious expression.
He looked behind him to see Bellmond and the others nodding in agreement.
“You have not yet destroyed a nation, Danna-sama, but you have already destroyed two Pure-breed Vampires who worshipped an evil god. And in addition to that, you destroyed an evil god last year,” said Bellmond.
“And you gave life to a nation, didn’t you, Bocchan?” said Saria. “Resurrecting a destroyed kingdom and creating a new one are both great deeds.”
“And you removed the curses from the goddess just a little while earlier, didn’t you? Though this may be a little rude, your great achievements surpass Veld-san’s,” said Rita.
“It isn’t rude at all. Keep telling that to this new emperor,” said Veld.
“You might be right,” said Vandalieu.
It wasn’t that he considered his own deeds to be insignificant. However, he didn’t feel anything even when told that he would become a heroic spirit or god after dying.
“Well, that’ll be a long time from now. I was born to a human parent, and even I lived for about four hundred years. Since you were born to a Dark Elf, you’ll live for a few thousand,” said Veld.
“It would be problematic if it’s not a long time from now,” said Vandalieu. “By the way, it seems that we have reached a gate while we were talking?”
“Ah, my bad,” said Veld. “This is the deepest part of the resting grounds. This is the chamber of the goddess, the champions and the subordinate gods.”
He opened the gate, which opened into a dome-shaped space resembling Rome’s Colosseum.
“It’s similar to the scenery in her Divine Realm,” Vandalieu remarked.
There was a flight of stairs descending into a plaza built around a stage in the center. A statue of Vida and Zakkart’s remains sat in the thrones on the stage. It was almost identical to the Divine Realm of Vida that Vandalieu had seen.
The difference was that there was a gravestone between the two thrones. It marked the loss of their child, the ancestor of the Vampires.
“No, Bocchan. The area around it is amazing,” said Rita.
“This is… I understand why Ternecia and the others on the other side of the Boundary Mountain Range were scared,” said Vandalieu.
There was a large number of statues enshrined where the spectators’ seats would be if this was the Colosseum. They were the statues of a countless number of Majin, as well as the statues of a far smaller number of Pure-breed Vampires, Kijin, Noble Orcs, Dark Elves, Drakonids and Merfolk.
“These statues are the Pure-breed Vampires and members of the races of Vida that live within the Boundary Mountain Range who have willingly turned into stone and temporarily released themselves from their physical bodies in order to maintain the barrier around the mountain range,” said Veld. “They took a step into the realm of the gods while they are still alive; they are far greater leaders than me.”
According to legends, the Vampire ancestor had transformed approximately a hundred of Vida’s followers into Pure-breed Vampires. Over half of them had been defeated in battle or sealed away during the battle against Alda, and no small number of the survivors had turned to evil gods. The twenty or so Pure-breed Vampires that still served Vida, whom Birkyne and his companions had feared so much, were slumbering here.
In addition to the Pure-breed Vampires, there were members of Vida’s races who had reached Rank 13 or higher such as Elder Dragons and true Colossi, who had stepped into the realm of divinity.
Though Vandalieu would learn this later, the parents of the Majin king Godwin were also in stone form here. It seemed that Majin, who were immortal, came to this place to turn into stone and wait for the final battle against Alda once they became tired of living.
“By the way, I’m impressed that you could tell that they’re Pure-breed Vampires. You wouldn’t be able to tell them apart from petrified humans or Elves,” said Veld.
“The Noble-born Vampires are sobbing with joy around the Pure-breed Vampires’ statues, so it’d be hard not to notice,” said Vandalieu.
“I suppose that’s true.”
The Noble-born Vampires, who had been born when the Pure-breed Vampires shared their blood before turning into stone or during their momentary moments of wakefulness, had reported Vida’s revival to their parents.
But there were no signs of the Pure-breed Vampires or anyone else returning to normal.
Even though Vida had been revived, she hadn’t regained her power completely, so they had to continue maintaining the barrier.
“Is it to be vigilant against the gods on Alda’s side?” Vandalieu asked.
“That’s how it is. I’m sure Alda’s noticed that his divine authority has been broken, but it’s impossible for him to enter the Boundary Mountain Range while the barrier is still up,” said Veld. “There’s a chance that he’ll physically direct the humans that worship him here, but… he should be quietly observing for a while.”
Vandalieu alone was more than enough of a threat, but the other fighting forces within the Boundary Mountain Range couldn’t be ignored. Since Alda didn’t know just how many forces there were, it was unlikely that he would make any careless moves.
There was no chance that he would abandon the maintenance of the world, descend upon the world and climb over the mountain range to attack.
“By the way, some of the Pure-breed Vampires and Majin have been turned to stone while holding sealed fragments of the Demon King, but… you should wait for them to wake up and undo the petrification on their own before absorbing the fragments,” said Veld.
“I suppose their bodies might break if you took the fragments out without undoing the petrification,” said Rita.
“Of course I’ll wait. There’s no need to hurry,” said Vandalieu.
As they descended the stairs, Godwin, the Noble Orc King Budarion and Queen Donaneris of Zanalpadna entered from a different entrance.
“Hey, the Vampires have been crying for a while. What’s going on?” Godwin asked.
“It seems that you have done something once again, Holy-Son-dono,” said Budarion.
The ceremony to crown the emperor was about to be held.
Normally, Vandalieu would simply say some words, receive some words of gratitude from a demi-heroic spirit acting as a representative for Vida and that would be the end of it, but it seemed that this ceremony would take some time.
“By the way, after the ceremony, can we hold the ceremony again, even if it’s just the parts where words are spoken to me, at the entrance to the resting grounds? I’d like Mom and Sam and the others to see, too,” said Vandalieu.
“… Aren’t you even more accustomed to this than me?” said Veld.
But since he was acquainted with everyone around him, including Vida, Vandalieu showed no signs of nervousness. He was perhaps even more relaxed than he had been during the ceremony that crowned him as king of Talosheim.
『The Ghoul King, Eclipse King, Scaled King and Tentacle King Titles have transformed into Ghoul Emperor, Eclipse Emperor, Scaled Emperor and Tentacle Emperor!』
Monster explanation (written by Luciliano):
After receiving the crystals of the crystal-horned dragon god Lioen from Vandalieu in a dream, Myuze has received his divine protection, giving birth to this race of monsters. Her exoskeleton and sickles have transformed into a green crystal material that resembles emeralds, improving their hardness and the sickles’ cutting edge.
Naturally, this is a race of monsters that have never been born before in Lambda.
Even if all of the crystals of her body are broken, she can regrow new crystal, and it is possible for the crystal to receive bonuses from Unarmed Fighting Technique and Armor Technique and even activate martial skills. In addition, she is able to release light from her crystals with the Luminescence Skill.
It is possible for Myuze to one day use wind-attribute magic with it to project illusions. The day when she vanishes into thin air or uses bunshin no jutsu* is likely near.
It is unclear as to whether she can acquire the Ninja Job as she wishes to, however. It is likely that she will become a Ninja* first.