A floor of a slightly foggy land, not as cold as the ice field and snowy mountain middle floors, but still cold enough to keep ice from melting.
This was the 80th floor, and as Vandalieu and his companions entered it, they saw several dozen ice pillars around the entrance.
“Bocchan, I believe these are the ice statues,” said Sam, pointing at one of the pillars.
Upon looking more closely at the pillar, it was not a pillar but rather a person encased in ice.
According to the challengers from inside the Boundary Mountain Range, the challengers from outside the Boundary Mountain Range who fell in this Dungeon met one of two fates – becoming either a stone statue or an ice one. The ones frozen inside these pillars of ice were likely the ice statues.
“Yes. If I recall, those who saw these statues thought that they were in poor taste, like some kind of warning about the trials from Gufadgarn, or some kind of hint,” said Vandalieu, approaching one of the ice statues to examine the person inside through the transparent ice.
Like the stone statues, the person was wearing almost nothing that could be called equipment; they were in no more than their underwear.
But unlike the stone statues, the color of their hair, eyes and skin could be seen.
“But it doesn’t seem like they froze to death here,” said Rita.
“This one has traces of burns, and that one looks uninjured at first glance but is missing his head,” said Saria.
As they pointed out, if one examined the ice-covered corpses closely, they would see that they had fatal injuries that one could not imagine they received on this floor.
Some of them had had their entire bodies cut to pieces and then seemingly reassembled like a jigsaw puzzle before being frozen in the ice.
This was something that had taken a lot of effort. It seemed that the theory that this was some kind of warning or hint regarding the trials was not incorrect.
“According to the records, this floor’s trial is commonly known as the ‘trial of temptation,’ isn’t it?” said Vandalieu.
It was a trial where once the challengers proceeded a certain distance, their vision would be covered by the fog and they would hear auditory hallucinations from behind them. The voices of close friends who were supposed to be outside the Dungeon or family members that were supposed to be dead would say things along the lines of “That way is dangerous” and “Come back.”
“And only two groups of challengers have ever faced this trial. But nobody has ever passed it,” said Iris.
This was where the document containing the collective knowledge from Godwin and the other challengers ended. People had faced the Dungeon every year for a century, but this was as far as anyone had ever been.
“Do the records say what state they were defeated in?” asked Eleanora.
“Both groups apparently proceeded forward so that they wouldn't fall to the temptations, but… it seems that they got caught by pitfalls, separated in the fog and taken by surprise by monsters,” said Iris.
“I see, so you can’t clear the trial just by resisting the temptations,” said Isla.
Eleanora and Isla frowned as they realized how vicious this challenge was.
“Even for Vandalieu-sama, it has taken over two months to reach this floor. It would not be strange… no, it would be normal for other challengers to take over three months to reach this point. They would have had a considerable amount of accumulated physical and mental fatigue,” said Eleanora. “Being in that state, if they heard the tempting voices of those close to them… even if they knew they were auditory hallucinations, shaking them off wouldn’t be easy.”
“And even if they did, there were hidden traps and enemies in the fog… The only one who could clear this trial with no prior information would be Vandalieu-sama, who possesses the Danger Sense: Death spell,” said Isla.
“If it was darkness, we’d be able to see through it with Dark Vision, but… Fog and smoke is a bit more difficult,” said Eleanora.
As Eleanora was an Abyssal Vampire and Isla was an Undead, darkness was no hindrance to them. But they couldn’t see through fog and smoke, as they were physical substances in the air.
“Gufadgarn might have expected Vampires to face the trial… What is it, Iris? You have been looking back and forth between me and the little girl for some time now,” said Isla.
“Oh no, I was just thinking that you two are very in-sync, which puts me at ease,” said Iris, seeming to admire them.
Isla and Eleanora blinked… and then silently turned to face each other.
Bellmond looked at them, then pulled out a small hourglass from the luggage. “Now then… Fight!” she declared with her arms crossed.
Still silent, Isla and Eleanora began grappling with one another.
“Wha–?! What are they doing?!” Iris shouted, shocked.
“Physical communication in order to maintain smooth relations,” Bellmond replied coolly. “Iris, you will become caught up in it if you do not step back.”
“Shouldn’t we stop them?!”
“It is not a problem. They are not using weapons, martial skills or magic, and the match will end once all of the sand in this hourglass has fallen… If they do not stop then, I will force them to.”
“Iris, I… some warriors cannot form bonds without competing with one another,” said George.
Since rules seemed to be in place, Iris accepted her father’s words.
“Alright,” she said, reluctantly stepping back. But she kept glancing at Eleanora and Isla as they continued their match.
“You little girl,” Isla grunted.
“You old lady,” said Eleanora.
With their hands interlocked, the two of them continued their contest of strength, emitting enough murderous intent to make even a seasoned knight faint in fear.
Even though Iris knew that they wouldn’t start an actual fight to the death, she couldn’t help but feel anxious about it.
Meanwhile, Vandalieu and the others were nonchalantly examining the ice statues, seeming to take no notice of the murderous intent being released nearby.
“So, Bocchan, what will we do with these ice statues?” asked Sam.
“They’re fewer in number than the stone statues above, but in the end, we still don’t know which of the corpses is Heinz’s companion,” said Vandalieu.
“Hmm, could it be this person? I feel like I’ve seen her before… Ah, but I get the feeling that it’s this one, too… if I recall, she was an Elf woman, and she was blonde…” Darcia murmured, remembering that she had once seen Martina’s face before she was captured and killed.
She peered at the faces through the ice and searched her memories, but it didn’t seem to be going well.
“… Vandalieu, what color were her eyes, again?” she asked, sounding depressed.
“Mom, you don’t have to force yourself to try to remember. If you can’t remember, it can’t be helped, and you probably only saw Martina once. And it’s not like you examined her in detail from up close,” said Vandalieu, comforting her.
Indeed, Martina was a spiritual mage in the Five-colored Blades, so she would have taken a position at the back of the party rather than the front, so even when they captured Darcia, she would have been behind Heinz and Delizah.
And after her capture, Darcia had been tortured and burned at the stake by High Priest Gordan. That was about ten years ago. The ones she remembered were High Priest Gordan, the one who conducted the torture and execution, and the front members of the Five-colored Blades.
It wasn’t surprising that she couldn’t remember Martina’s face.
And even Martina’s death in the Trial of Zakkart had happened several years after Darcia’s. As an adult Elf woman, her appearance wouldn’t have changed over the course of a few years, but it was possible that her hairstyle had changed.
“Yes, it’s impossible after all. I might be able to remember if she was wearing the same equipment as she was when they captured me,” said Darcia.
The corpses frozen in the ice were stripped of all their equipment and were in their underwear; it seemed that this made it even more difficult to make connections with Darcia’s hazy memories.
“But Darcia-sama, there are some ice statues with their Guild Cards visible,” said Saria.
Indeed, unlike the stone statues, the ice statues’ Guild Cards could be seen, though only one side was visible. Guild Cards were Magic Items that could display their owners’ Statuses on the back at their will, but there was information written on the front – their names and class at their Guilds.
“I saw that, but it doesn’t seem like there are any with the name ‘Martina’ written on them,” said Darcia.
“Indeed, and there are some who don’t have Guild Cards,” said Saria. “There are also some with Guild Cards that are broken or buried inside their bodies.”
“It seems that they unfortunately got stuck between the severed sections of their bodies,” said Vandalieu.
“If only they were buried in between their breasts,” said Rita.
“But among the ice statues that we can see the Guild Cards of, the lowest we can see are C-class, and most of them are B and A-class,” said Vandalieu, paying no attention to Rita.
Vandalieu had already used a clone to check all of the ice statues and learned that most of the ones he could check were high-class.
It was likely that those whose Guild Cards couldn’t be checked were also high-class adventurers or knights and mercenaries with equivalent abilities.
“Judging from the difference in the number of statues, the stone statues above are the weak challengers who quickly died on the upper floors. The ice statues might be the corpses of the stronger ones who made it past a certain point,” said Rita.
“I don’t know why they’re divided like that when they haven’t even been turned into Undead,” said Saria.
“Either Gufadgarn showed some respect for the dead, or there’s no real meaning behind it,” said Vandalieu.
“And in the end, there are still no spirits,” said Darcia.
They considered various things, but the important thing was still that there was not a single spirit around. Because of this, they could not confirm the identity of Martina, the spiritual mage Elf woman who had been one of Heinz’s companions.
There were five Elf women among the ice statues.
Eleanora and Isla, who had finished their showdown as all of the sand in the hourglass had fallen, joined in the discussion as if nothing had happened.
“There should be much fewer Elves than humans, but… there are quite a lot of them,” said Eleanora.
“Elves have better magical qualities than humans, and they have long lifespans so they can accumulate more knowledge,” said Isla. “About a thousand years ago, I heard that this is why the portions of humans and Elves among high-class adventurers are not that different.”
Watching them from behind, Iris got the impression that the two of them actually got along quite well, but decided to keep quiet about it next time. She had the feeling that it would spark another fight.
“Danna-sama, what shall we do? Five corpses should not be too heavy to carry, and it is likely that we can narrow them down even further if we examine them in detail,” Bellmond suggested, looking at the hands and figures of the ice statues.
“… Let’s not do that. It would be a bother to try and make sure that the ice statues aren’t damaged in the trials ahead,” said Vandalieu.
Before entering the Trial of Zakkart, he had been thinking of taking the corpse with them if they found it, but now that he was in the Dungeon, he realized that it was a more difficult Dungeon than he had originally anticipated.
And after this floor was unknown territory, with no previous information available. It would probably be best to not take any unnecessary baggage.
It was possible that they would be given the corpse on their way home if they asked Gufadgarn, too.
“Companion…” groaned Rapiéçage.
“Patchwork…?” said Yamata.
Having anticipated the addition of a new patchwork companion, the two of them looked dejected.
“I’ll make more companions when the trial is over, okay?” said Vandalieu, deciding to move forward without giving in. “Let’s proceed with me leading, and only the Undead and those with Mental Corruption left outside,” he said, gathering his thoughts.
The party would proceed with only those that would be resistant to auditory hallucinations. And as Vandalieu took several steps past the ice statues, a fog enveloped the whole party, obstructing their vision.
Vandalieu let out a scream. “From the echoes of my Scream Skill, I have a rough idea of where the enemies are. Hmm… Bellmond, use a cutting thread in the direction I’m pointing.”
Like a bat hunting insects in the darkness, Vandalieu located the hidden enemies from a distance and Bellmond disposed of them with her threads as they proceeded.
Every time her slender fingers danced in the air, a short scream came from beyond the fog, followed by the sound of multiple wet objects hitting the floor.
“As expected of a Kunoichi. I’ll make a hachigane*, shurikens and fishnet tights,” said Vandalieu.
“Danna-sama… It is true that I have acquired the Kunoichi Job, but I believe I would have no opportunity to wear fishnet tights even if you did give them to me,” said Bellmond, who was always wearing a tailcoat that didn’t reveal her legs.
Why fishnet tights? The Empusa Kunoichi of Zanalpadna wore them, so perhaps it was a form of fashion. Then should I wear them under my clothes? Bellmond wondered as she manipulated her threads and removed the party’s obstacles.
“If it’s just us, we might be able to get through this easily if we’re just careful of the traps,” Isla murmured.
“Isla, turn around and perform a dash,” said Vandalieu’s voice.
“Yes – hagh?!”
“Isla, that was an auditory hallucination,” said the real Vandalieu, having pulled on Isla’s chain to stop her as she tried to obey the auditory hallucination’s order.
“Fuh, I’m a failure as a servant, not even being able to tell whether Vandalieu-sama’s voice is the real one or not,” said Isla.
“Eleanora, please come here,” said another auditory hallucination of Vandalieu’s voice.
“… I was thinking it would turn out like this,” Vandalieu muttered, wrapping his extended tongue around Eleanora’s arm to stop her.
It seemed that a resistance to effects on the mind was ineffective. And it seemed that this floor’s trial was even imposed upon the Undead.
“Vandalieu, hurry and come back. This way,” said Darcia’s voice.
“That’s right, Van. That way is dangerous,” said Pauvina’s.
“No, Vandalieu! That’s not my voice!” the real Darcia cried. “And Pauvina-chan should be in Sam’s carriage right now!”
“I can hear Mom’s voice in stereo sound,” Vandalieu murmured. “There’s one, two pitfalls there and one bear trap there.”
It seemed that this floor’s auditory hallucinations were not an effect on the mental state to make challengers hear the voices of those close to them directly inside their heads; they were identical, physical recreations of the voices that could be heard through the ears. Thus, Mental Corruption and Grotesque Mind had no effect.
But it seemed that Legion was the only one who could distinguish the auditory hallucinations from real voices.
“Really? They sound completely different to me.”
“HAHAHAHA! Our loyalty and belief prevail!”
“Valkyrie, isn’t it simply that we don’t have ears?”
“I wonder how we even perceive sound.”
Indeed, it was likely because they didn’t have any organs equivalent to ears.
But as Vandalieu was at the front, avoiding the traps and clearing the enemies pre-emptively, there were no obstacles stopping him and his companions from proceeding onwards.
But as he continued on, no matter how many times he examined the Dungeon’s structure with the Labyrinth Creation Skill, there was no exit leading downwards.
There are no stairs leading down? he thought.
Would they not appear until the party had proceeded a certain distance?
That was possible, but Vandalieu suddenly stopped walking as he realized that the pitfalls that he had already passed were vanishing.
“… Our vision is obscured and there are only endless traps and enemies ahead of us. The auditory hallucinations tell us ‘Come here’ and ‘That way is dangerous.’ In other words, we have to go backwards, and the area ahead is dangerous,” said Vandalieu. “Everyone, turn around. The auditory hallucinations are right.”
With those words, Vandalieu turned around on the spot. Bellmond and the others were all surprised by this sudden action, but they did not disobey their master, who appeared to be very certain of himself.
But although Vandalieu remained cautious as they headed back towards the entrance, there were no more traps and enemies. The fog cleared up, and past the ice statues, there was a staircase leading downwards that hadn’t been there when the party arrived on this floor.
“What in the world is this?” Bellmond murmured in bewilderment.
“I’d forgotten until now, but… Zakkart once said, ‘Let’s take the time to obediently listen to the warnings of others.’ It’s probably to do with that,” Vandalieu replied.
The ice statues on this floor… their backs were facing the entrance, a warning that proceeding forward would lead to failure. And the auditory hallucinations were true warnings.
“W-what a contradictory trial…” Bellmond said, her face stiff.
Proceeding forwards and then obeying voices that were clearly auditory hallucinations that told them to turn back in a Dungeon known as a ‘trial.’
This wouldn’t be an easy decision for anyone to make.
“I agree. What poor taste… well, not that it really matters,” said Eleanora.
“I’ll overlook it this time,” said Isla.
The two of them looked somewhat happy as they touched the chains on their wrists.
“Well, it is a Dungeon that imposes trials on its challengers, so we have to accept that there are going to be some trials that are in poor taste. It doesn’t make much sense to complain about it,” said Vandalieu as he walked towards the stairs leading to the next floor.
《The Level of the Scream Skill has increased!》
The 95th floor of the Trial of Zakkart made Vandalieu want to retract the words that he’d spoken on the 80th floor.
This floor’s trial created illusions of scenes that they feared the greatest.
“Van, are you alright?” asked Pauvina.
She and the others who hadn’t faced the false image trial didn’t see any illusions. It was likely that the illusions of this trial were created based on the personalities and memories of the challengers copied when the false images were created.
“Van, is there something there? I mean, are you looking at something?” asked Legion.
They had taken the trial, but they didn’t see any illusion either. It seemed that the trial was unable to decide what they would fear the most, as they were made of multiple souls fused together.
“… Give me a moment,” said Vandalieu, the only one who could see an illusion.
He was watching his citizens, friends and companions falling to the ground, enveloped in flames. He could see Heinz and believers of Alda, apparently the ones who had caused this, laughing.
They were smiling, looking refreshed or relieved.
“With this, justice has been done. The world is saved,” they said.
Vandalieu knew that this was an illusion. Due to the effects of Grotesque Mind, the illusions were faint, and there was static in the voices of Heinz and the others, telling Vandalieu that this wasn’t reality.
Other people might have felt the heat of the flames or smelled the scent of blood, but that didn’t happen for Vandalieu.
It was clearly fake. If this was a trial intended for challengers to see through the illusions and overcome their fears, Vandalieu would happily clear it. It was truly simple.
But Vandalieu was extremely dissatisfied with this!
“… Death Cannon.”
Vandalieu unleashed the Dark King Magic spell, Death Cannon, a condensed form of Death Bullets, at Heinz’s illusion. Even an S-class adventurer would have his Vitality helplessly stripped from him by this attack if it hit directly, but as this was an illusion, there was no effect.
The illusion of Heinz continued to laugh.
“Vandalieu-sama?! Calm yourself!” cried Eleanora.
“Eleanora, I am very calm. No, I am confused. If you think about it, the fact that I’m firing Death Cannon at a lifeless illusion is proof that I’m not calm, isn’t it?” said Vandalieu.
Calm down, he told himself. What do I need to do to erase an illusion? … I suppose I’ll need a physical attack. The heat and explosion of Flame Prison Death might have an effect, but it would be dangerous if the blast reached all the way here. So then, it has to be Dead Spirit Magic.
Vandalieu unleashed Bone Flame Jailing Destruction Bullet, a black, skull-shaped fireball, but Princess Levia went straight through the illusion. A dying scream echoed out, and after a while, she returned with a perplexed expression on her face.
“Your Majesty, I don’t know what I’m supposed to be burning. Was I right to hit that Demon over there?” she asked.
“I’m sorry, I forgot that this illusion is only visible to me,” said Vandalieu, realizing that he still hadn’t recovered his composure.
But he noticed that Bone Flame Jailing Destruction Bullet did touch the illusion; it hadn’t missed completely.
But the illusion had merely wavered a little. He needed a more effective method of attack.
So, do I have to use the Demon King’s fragments? he thought.
With this idea, he threw the Demon King’s horns and carapace at the illusion. He produced a cannon barrel with the Demon King’s blood and unleashed a ray of light that combined Artillery Technique, the Demon King’s eyeballs and the Demon King’s luminescent organs.
But all of them pierced straight through the illusion, and although the dying screams of what were apparently monsters in the distance echoed out from beyond, the illusion was still just flickering a little.
“Oi, everyone, fall back!” shouted Borkus. “The kid’s lost his cool!”
“We cannot stop him while he is in this state, after all,” said Sam.
“Vandalieu, don’t go overboard, okay?” said Darcia.
Everyone took some distance from Vandalieu as he was releasing attacks at an illusion that none of them could see. Meanwhile, Vandalieu stopped attacking once more and fell into thought.
It’s not like physical attack power has no effect, but maybe it’s really no good without magic? But the only other thing left is the no-attribute spell ‘Mana Bullet’… No, it could work.
Death Cannon was a spell that Vandalieu cast by condensing Death Bullets, which were the death-attribute version of Mana Bullets. Thus, it should be possible for him to condense Mana Bullets as well in order to improve the effective range and power of the spell.
“Out-of-body Experience, Transcend Limits…” Vandalieu murmured.
His spirit-form produced multiple heads and then divided even further. Vandalieu activated Parallel Thought Processing, High-speed Thought Processing and even the Transcend Limits Skill.
Vandalieu converged as much of it as he could at the tip of his finger, but as no-attribute Mana quickly dispersed, it didn’t go very well. It kept dispersing with a bursting noise.
Heinz and the other followers of Alda continued to laugh inside Vandalieu’s illusion. Even though Vandalieu’s beloved citizens of Talosheim were lying on the ground, they didn’t even look back at them.
“Even if this is an illusion, I can’t leave them like this,” Vandalieu said.
《The Level of the No-Attribute Magic Skill has increased!》
《No-Attribute Magic has awakened into the Hollow King Magic Skill, and Grotesque Mind has awakened into the Deformed Soul Skill!》
In a single instant, Vandalieu converged no-attribute Mana, uncolored by any attribute, into the tip of his finger. The pressure of the Mana ruptured the capillaries in his arm.
“It’s a simple name, but I suppose I’ll call this ‘Hollow Cannon.’”
And then he unleashed it at the illusion.
As Eleanora and the others stared at him in disbelief from behind, the recoil from the Hollow Cannon destroyed Vandalieu’s hand. The beam erased the illusion and, with overwhelming force, it buried itself in the ceiling of the Trial of Zakkart. And then it pierced through and broke the ceiling as well!
Perhaps the fact that Vandalieu was careful enough to make sure the beam wasn’t pointed downwards at the floors that he still needed to clear was proof that he was still composed.
Vandalieu forcibly adjusted his crushed hand back to its original shape as he gave a satisfied nod towards the illusion that had vanished without a trace and the hole that had opened in the ceiling… and then, as he had spent all of his Mana, he collapsed onto the floor.
At that moment, the entirety of the Trial of Zakkart, which existed in a special plane of space, trembled.
“Oooh, OOOOH! OOOOOOOOOOOH!” Gufadgarn roared, his voice sounding like a scream as he desperately drew as much of his power out as he could to maintain the Dungeon.
What on earth had happened? Could it be that Alda, the god of law and fate, had forcibly descended upon the world, rushed towards the Boundary Mountain Range, kicked down the barrier and was now trying to destroy the Trial of Zakkart in exchange for a great portion of his power?
No, this enormous power had been generated from inside the Dungeon.
The owner of this tremendous power… enough to cause great damage to a Dungeon personally maintained by Gufadgarn, the evil god of labyrinths.
Among those currently inside the Dungeon, this could only be Vandalieu.
“OOH, ZAKKART! MY MASTER!”
To be able to release this amount of power with a mortal body… as expected of the one who would become the successor to Zakkart. Gufadgarn’s fear of this power did not disappear, but his emotions were ruled by an excitement that pounded in his heart, even greater than that fear.
Gufadgarn felt fear at the fact that one of his own trials had caused Vandalieu to feel enough of something… enough fear and anger to unleash that much power. But to Gufadgarn, even that fear was just another thing that filled the emptiness in his heart.
Vandalieu was dreaming, in a stress-free, light mood.
He was in such a good mood that he could have rolled around on the ground while humming.
But he suddenly realized that a large number of pieces of himself had fallen into his surroundings. It was likely that attacking with Hollow Cannon had caused a spiritual something to be sent flying and scattering from him.
He couldn’t feel calm leaving the pieces scattered like that, so he picked them up and gathered them into one place. He tried to stick the pieces back onto himself, hoping that they would return to him, but it was impossible.
“Ah! I’ll split them among everyone, just like how I gave the things to Vigaro and the others.”
Having come up with this idea, Vandalieu began crawling across the ground, looking for people to give his own fragments to… by the next time he dreamed, his leg that was now in pieces would probably be back to normal.
“I’m sorry for pushing myself too far,” said Vandalieu.
He had spent all of his Mana, but due to the synergetic effects of his Level 10 Automatic Mana Recovery Skill and his Level 3 Increased Mana Recovery Rate Skill, he had woken up about an hour later.
After that, he had felt strangely overjoyed at the fact that he still had both of his legs, and then explained the situation and apologized to everyone.
“I knew that it was an illusion, and that I’ve taken a lot of steps so that Talosheim wouldn’t fall into the state that I saw in the illusion so easily even if Heinz and the others attacked, and I haven’t forgotten that I left Mikhail and the others there. But I couldn’t hold myself back,” Vandalieu said remorsefully.
“How am I supposed to scold a guy who’s already aware of all of that?” said Borkus.
“Muh, well, you must restrain yourself next time,” said Zadiris. “Or you must do things in a better way.”
The two of them had complicated expressions on their faces.
In the end, everyone was safe, but taking a risk in this Dungeon that didn’t need to be taken wasn’t something that could be praised.
But the enemies on this floor had already been wiped out by Vandalieu’s attack, and he had enough fighting allies around him for it to not be a problem for him to lose consciousness for a while.
On top of that, all of those who had followed Vandalieu were aware that he was insane. There was no point in being wary of that fact now.
That should have been the case, but could things really be resolved so easily by telling Vandalieu not to worry about it?
“Bad Van,” said Pauvina.
“You have to be careful not to use all of your Mana next time,” said Darcia, in a stronger tone than usual. “And even if you do, you can’t use Bellmond-san’s blood to recover it.”
“Kuh… that is right, Danna-sama,” said Bellmond as she ran her fingers over her neck, her face looking like she was in pain. “Please do things in a better way next time.”
Borkus and Zadiris were startled at the fact that they were actually scolding him.
“Yeah, that’s bad,” said Vigaro, joining in.
“Uoh, Vigaro beat me to it?!” Borkus exclaimed. “Listen, kid, what you did is bad.”
“Mmm, it is bad, boy,” said Zadiris.
“I wonder if it’s really alright for you to say that,” Jeena said to Borkus.
“Mother, where’s the sternness you showed towards me when I was young?” said Basdia, glaring at Zadiris with half-closed eyes.
It seemed that Vandalieu’s lecturing would come to an end with the word ‘bad’ summing it up.
“Yes, I’m sorry. I’ll do things better next time. I need to practice both Hollow King Magic and Dark King Magic,” said Vandalieu.
The situation hadn’t actually become too serious, and they had gained rewards in the form of Vandalieu awakening new superior Skills, so there was little use in spending a long amount of time to have everyone voice their opinions.
The moment the lecturing ended, Eleanora, Isla and Legion began pouring praise on Vandalieu.
“More importantly, to destroy a floor of the Dungeon with a spell… as expected of Vandalieu-sama,” said Eleanora.
“I haven’t even heard of a superior No-Attribute Magic Skill. As expected of Vandalieu-sama indeed,” Isla agreed.
The two of them were both aware that they had become yes-women who would never disapprove of anything that Vandalieu did.
“I don’t really know how amazing that is, but that’s amazing,” said Legion.
“That is the reason we were silent while they were lecturing you, okay?” said Eleanora.
This was in fact a historically unprecedented achievement.
“Incidentally, Master, I wonder if you could explain the spell that you used?” said Luciliano.
“Well then, should I explain as we proceed forwards? It seems that there are no illusions, monsters or traps left on this floor,” said Vandalieu.
Race explanation (Written by Luciliano):
An almost legendary kind of being of which only a few have existed in history… though as Master’s apprentice, I do witness legendary beings considerably frequently.
Although documents possessed by the Guilds merely describe Vampire Dukes as Noble-born Vampires that possess tremendous power that rivals that of gods, in Talosheim, I am able to observe one in the flesh to my heart’s content.
The power of her slicing threads is constantly boosted due to the ‘Strengthened Attack Power while equipped with Thread’ Passive Skill, and she gains a bonus to surprise attacks with the Assassination Technique Skill. And as Master has provided threads made of the Demon King’s fur, which is almost invisible to the naked eye and yet possesses strength and durability rivaling that of Orichalcum, any target she sets her sight upon is doomed.
Even if they already have Bellmond in their sights, it is still possible that her threads catch them by surprise and slice their bodies to pieces.
It is surprising that her Self-Enhancement: Subordination Skill has awakened into a superior Skill. There are several previous instances of a Self-Enhancement Skill awakening into the superior Super-Self-Enhancement Skill. But such instances were Skills such as Duty, Chivalry, Salvation and Devotion; I have never heard of Subordination awakening into a superior Skill.
… I will not mention to her that this fact alone is not of much significance.
Incidentally, she has received a divine protection recently, but as in previous cases, we do not know the name of the being who gave it to her. She herself said, “It could be… No, it cannot be. It would be hasty to decide on that just because the first character is the same. I am excessively self-conscious.”
With those words, she refused to tell me what that character was.
Well, I do have a good hunch as to what it is.
Incidentally, as an apprentice, I still have not received a divine protection from a mysterious being at this point in time.
Monster explanation (Written by Luciliano):
【Living Genocide Maid Armor】
Though it is perhaps unnecessary to go out of my way to mention this, these are monsters that have never before appeared in Lambda’s history.
They are so proficient in the use of magic that one cannot help but wonder whether they truly were once mere maids; they are so powerful in combat that even an A-class adventurer could not take them on alone.
Both of them possess a Level 10 Physical Attack Resistance Skill and each of them possesses a Level 10 resistance Skill to either the water or fire attribute. Even their armor possesses enough defensive power to match Artifacts… though one would never suspect this based on their appearances.
As they have newly acquired a Skill called ‘Enhanced Body Part: Spirit Form,’ one cannot underestimate their spirit form, even though spirit form is normally merely a supplement to real muscles. But does spirit form count as a physical part of the body?
In any case, they have acquired this Skill, so it must count.
Incidentally, the younger sister Rita is more proficient in the use of magic, but Saria is more skilled at what is supposed to be a maid’s true duty – housework. Or rather, it seems that Rita has put too much effort into her magic training.
And it seems that both of them have recently received a divine blessing from what can be assumed to be the same being. And again, only one part of that being’s name can be read.
I get the feeling that it is about time to ask Master himself.