Kanako suggested to Vandalieu that her group be turned into members of Vida’s races before they immigrated to Talosheim. In that moment, she did not have any ulterior motives – her instincts had told her that this was the right thing to do, and she had obeyed them and opened her mouth to speak.
But these words were a result of the past Kanako’s cunning use of her power.
She had learned in Rodcorte’s Divine Realm that she, Doug and Melissa belonged to his circle of transmigration system, and as long as this was true, Rodcorte and his familiar spirits would be able to observe them freely.
Of course, this was the single most troublesome problem Kanako and her companions faced considering that their goal was to join forces with Vandalieu. In fact, this fact was the reason for their blunder of being followed by Asagi’s group.
In order to get out of this situation that was equivalent to having spy cameras and microphones attached to their own eyes and ears, they had no choice but to leave Rodcorte’s circle of transmigration system.
The most reliable way to do this that Kanako could think of was to transform into a member of one of Vida’s races and enter Vida’s circle of transmigration system.
There was also the method of staying the same race and being guided by Vandalieu. But it was uncertain as to whether they would be guided right after meeting him, and Kanako couldn’t imagine that he would expend long periods of time to guide them.
But once they left Rodcorte’s Divine Realm and were reincarnated in Lambda, their memories of the circle of transmigration system would be erased. It was impossible for Kanako to leave a note for herself; she didn’t even have a body, let alone any materials to work with.
That was why she had used Venus, the power that Rodcorte had granted to her.
She had explained Venus as an ability to charm others to most of the other reincarnated individuals, but it was actually an ability that let her copy and paste the memories and emotions of others, whether it was her own that she was pasting onto others, vice versa or from one target to another.
As a result of her hard work and experience, Kanako had succeeded in adding conditions in which the memories and emotions would awaken.
For example, she was able to set her power up beforehand so that memories would stay hidden until the target met a certain individual.
While she was in Rodcorte’s Divine Realm, she had waited for a time when Rodcorte’s attention wasn’t focused on her and then found a time to set this up on herself. She had set herself to feel greatly attracted to the idea of becoming a member of one of Vida’s races the moment she met Vandalieu.
And then she had used Venus to completely erase her own memories of doing so.
With that, she had believed that her memories would go undetected unless Rodcorte or Aran noticed Kanako and examined her in detail.
The reason she had only set Venus up to affect her emotions was that if she had tried to mix in memories of the circle of transmigration system, there was a possibility that the entire effect would be erased when she was reincarnated.
But hoping that she would later voice her desire to become a member of one of Vida’s races had been a gamble.
The method of having memories or emotions awaken under certain conditions had a lower chance of succeeding as the quantity and complexity of the memories and emotions increased. Even if it did succeed, emotions were something that could not be quantified.
Depending on the circumstances at the time, even if the emotions did awaken, there was the possibility that she would not voice them.
But the Kanako of the past had believed that her future self would realize that this emotion had originated from Venus and gambled everything on it.
And now, the Kanako of the present had succeeded in this gamble spectacularly.
“Eh, in other words, we can become members of Vida’s races, and you’ll let us immigrate?!” she asked.
She had never expected that Vandalieu would request for her to become a member of Vida’s races anyway.
“Wait, can you explain why we need to become members of Vida’s races?” said Doug.
“It seems that Kanako can’t explain the reason,” said Melissa.
Vandalieu nodded and began his explanation. “The reason I am asking you to become members of Vida’s races is so that there’s no going back for you. In the Amid Empire and, unfortunately, even in several of the duchies of the Orbaume Kingdom, Vida’s races have little freedom. Vampires, Majin, Kijin and Ghouls in particular are treated as monsters rather than people.”
“I see… If we’re turned into one of those races, then we’d be left with no choice but to do everything we can for your nation. That’s kind of nasty,” said Doug, his face stiffening.
“Doug! The nations that Vandalieu rules over are much larger and more pleasant than you think! I, Valkyrie, can guarantee you that you will have no feelings of being imprisoned!” said Valkyrie.
“I don’t think that you’d lie, but… Nations?” Doug said, repeating the plural word.
Unaware that Vandalieu’s influence extended beyond Talosheim, he seemed suspicious.
Vandalieu ignored him and continued. “There are other reasons, but… I’ll tell you after you become members of Vida’s races,” he said. “So, what will you do? If you really will become members of Vida’s races, I’ll give you some simple guidance before it happens, and make sure you have various forms of support afterwards.”
A change in race would mean a significant change in one’s biology. If they became Vampires, they would be fine in sunlight if they became Abyssal Vampires, and their appearances would remain largely unchanged except for the color of their eyes changing and fangs growing.
But even then, they would have to drink blood for as long as they lived, and they would become vulnerable to anti-Vampire Artifacts like Nemesis Bell. And for ordinary people, having to live immortal lives with their age frozen at the age they became Vampires was nothing but a curse.
… And according to Eleanora and Miles who had once belonged to an evil god’s faction, there were all sorts of problems associated with becoming a Vampire. Those becoming Vampires would have to manage interpersonal relationships with the Pure-breed or Noble-born Vampires that were their parents, as well as those with other Vampires. They would also need to endure being in a low social position in Vampire society.
If they became races other than Vampires, such as Majin, Kijin, Ghouls, Lamia or Arachne, their appearance would change as well.
Their lives would change significantly. It wasn’t something that could be decided with half-hearted feelings.
“A Vampire, huh. Well, I don’t think it would be all that bad, but…” Melissa said, trailing off.
“Yeah, it’s a little…” Doug muttered.
Unlike Kanako, who had suggested this on her own, the other two seemed to be hesitant.
“I’m kind of reluctant to spend an eternity with the appearance of a teenage brat. We get looked down on often,” said Doug.
“If I knew you were going to ask us to do this, I would have asked Rodcorte to give us more adult bodies,” said Melissa.
Though their races were different – two Elves and one human – Kanako, Melissa and Doug had been reincarnated about a year ago in the bodies of children in their mid-teenage years. Thus, they still had rather young-looking appearances.
In many of Lambda’s nations and regions, people were treated as adults from the age of fifteen. At this age, one would be free to not only join the Adventurers’ Guild, but drink, gamble and enter the red-light districts of towns as well.
However, just as twenty-year-old people were still treated as inexperienced youngsters in modern Japanese society, fifteen-year-old people were treated the same way in Lambda.
It seemed that Doug had considered this treatment as “being looked down on.”
As for Melissa, her sole concern was her appearance.
“… The problem is your looks, is it?” said Vandalieu, his shoulders dropping in exasperation.
“Well, it’s impossible for them to realize right away that there are going to be effects on their minds. They can’t help but think about their appearances and immortality first,” said Hitomi in support of Kanako, Doug and Melissa.
“The Pure-breed Vampires of the evil god’s faction apparently waited for Vampire candidates to mature to a certain extent before turning them into Vampires. Eleanora said so,” said Jack.
“Hmm, I do get the feeling that our figures were better in our previous lives when we were in our early twenties than our current bodies… But it would take decades for Elves to mature that much, and our race is different this time, so there’s no guarantee that we’ll mature to have the same figure. We might last longer with our teenage appearances,” said Kanako, perhaps influenced by Doug and Melissa’s words.
“Vandalieu, how about I start explaining the plan B that we came up with beforehand?” said Enma.
“Plan B? Enma, you have a plan B?” asked Doug.
“Yeah. It’s not actually a different choice; it’s a measure we were going to take in the event that transforming you into members of Vida’s races would take too long,” said Enma. “The rituals to transform into members of Vida’s races can take quite a while to prepare for, depending on the race. We came here right away after noticing your letter, so depending on the races you choose, you might be left waiting for a while.”
On top of that, there would be problems for the races conducting the rituals as well.
If Kanako and her companions became members of Vida’s races, someone from the races they chose would become their parents. For Vida’s races, this carried more meaning than merely adopting a child, so they could not make any decisions on their own without the agreement of the races.
In the case of the former resistance organization leader, the ‘Liberating Princess Knight’ Iris Bearheart asking Godwin to transform her into a Majin, it had been an emergency situation, and she had been in an alliance with Vandalieu for over a year, which had allowed Vandalieu to vouch for her character.
Kanako and her companions had worked together in conducting illegal activities with Legion for several years in their previous lives, but…
They can’t vouch for their character, Vandalieu thought.
People that Legion had formed a temporary alliance with to make use of each other were more trustworthy than ‘Marionette’ or ‘Death Scythe,’ but they could not be endorsed.
“In other words, we are moving forward with the assumption that we will undergo rituals to become members of Vida’s races, but we will undergo Plan B in the meantime,” said Kanako. “I understand. Let’s go with this plan B.”
Doug and Melissa nodded as well.
Vandalieu took three cloth bags from his pocket. “Let’s spend several days living together. It’s nothing difficult; you’ll just spend several days listening to my words, eating my cooking and leveling with me in an isolated environment,” said Vandalieu. “Now then, please wear these bags.”
Kanako and her companions opened their eyes wide in surprise, but Vandalieu gestured for them to put the bags over their heads.
Afterwards, Kanako Tsuchiya would reflect on these events and say these words about them: “I already knew this, but he’s a completely different person from when he was on Earth. Not just his appearance, but on the inside as well. If he was like this on Earth, everyone in our school would have remembered him.”
With the cloth bags obscuring their vision, Kanako and her companions were taken to an unknown place by the Teleportation of Legion’s Jack.
It was a grassland area somewhere with a clearly hastily-built hut, a well nearby and, for some reason, the entrance of a Dungeon.
Kanako and her companions spent about a week living here. Every day, Vandalieu would teleport here from somewhere and give them lectures about Vida’s doctrine and history from the perspective of Vida's faction. They trained together in the Dungeon and ate Vandalieu’s cooking.
“Vandalieu-Sensei, this is really plan B, right?” asked Doug. “We’re just spending our days living a better lifestyle than we’d get in any town’s inn and listening to simple lectures. We’re fighting monsters that are unusually large in numbers, but aren’t all that strong, and we get to eat delicious food.”
The hut they were living in was like a prefabricated house from Earth or Origin, but it was hygienic and had bathing facilities, which automatically placed it above the average inn.
“I don’t mean for it to be that luxurious for you, but this is really plan B,” said Vandalieu. “Leaving that aside, please obediently drink this mysterious, special juice. I won’t tell you its ingredients for now.”
“… This juice? It’s delicious, but why is it a black-red color?” asked Melissa.
“Doug, Melissa, who cares about our appearances?” said Kanako. “It’s been so long since I had something sweet, and there are even deep-fried foods and miso soup! Ah, it really was worth betraying Murakami!”
“I have to say, the food is amazing. After spending over a year in this world, I truly realized how blessed we were on Earth and in Origin,” said Doug as he took a bite out of a hamburger filled with demi-glace sauce.
Vandalieu was aware that in many of Lambda’s nations and regions, the standard of living, including food, was worse than the previous two worlds that he had lived in. However, he seemed a little confused by Doug’s words.
“Since you were reincarnated into adult bodies, weren’t you able to come up with things to improve your quality of life, including your food?” Vandalieu asked. “And depending on your budget, you should be able to live as comfortably or even more comfortably than you did on Earth or in Origin. Though I don’t know if there would be demi-glace sauce anywhere else.”
Even in Lambda, as long as one had the money, they would be able to live in a large mansion with excellent servants, using Magic Items in place of electrical appliances.
This was especially true when it came to food. It was true that there were many foods, flavors and dishes that didn’t exist here, but monsters made for high-class ingredients, and dishes made using their materials were first-rate delicacies that could not be eaten in either of the other two worlds.
There was a saying that money opens all doors; even in this world, most problems could be solved with money.
But Kanako, Doug and Melissa were all wearing complicated expressions in response to Vandalieu’s words.
“Well, I guess that’s true. If we had money, that is,” said Doug.
“We couldn’t really come up with much, either,” said Melissa.
“In our situation, we couldn’t really do anything that would make us stand out too much,” said Kanako.
The three of them had left Murakami’s group, who were after Vandalieu’s life. That was why they had been careful to limit the number of requests they accepted and the amount of monster materials they sold in order to not reach the higher classes in the Adventurers’ Guild, which would have attracted attention to them.
They had been changing Jobs by moving from town to town, so their abilities were equivalent to those of A-class adventurers, but officially in the Guild, they were D-class.
“D-class adventurers are the most common class of adventurers, and it’s easy to be hired as escorts for merchants that travel between towns,” said Doug. “At my age, it’s a little early to be a D-class adventurer, but it’s not like there’s none of my age around.”
“But our income was as you could imagine,” said Melissa. “We could have hunted delicious monsters ourselves, but… it would be conspicuous for three young D-class adventurers to be seen going in and out of large Devil’s Nests and high-difficulty Dungeons. Well, the best we could do was Orcs and Impaler Bulls.”
“And we were moving from town to town in short intervals, so we couldn’t really get anything set up,” said Kanako.
The three of them possessed the necessary knowledge and skills to make their own lives comfortable. They had been ordinary students on Earth, but in Origin, they had received training and later committed illegal activities with the Eighth Guidance.
But it had been difficult for them to make use of their knowledge and skills with limited money while also being on the move.
“Even if we wanted to make mayonnaise, we could get vinegar and oil, but fresh eggs are expensive. And if someone happened to see what we made and rumors of it spread, it could give away our location to Murakami… and there are apparently still dangerous guys called Bellwood fundamentalists around,” Kanako added.
“Bellwood fundamentalists?” Vandalieu repeated, having heard this term for the first time.
“I don’t know much about them either,” Kanako said. “They’re a branch of Alda’s extremist faction, and they apparently see it as their duty to punish those who make use of the things left behind by the fallen hero Zakkart. In other words, they’re guys who go around killing people who use knowledge and technology that originated in the champions’ world. Of course, according to history, they don’t exist anymore because they were declared heretics and purged by the Church of Alda.”
“Why is that?” Vandalieu asked.
“Apparently, their activities became too extreme. They did things like burning down entire villages for cultivating rice, assassinating the lords of regions where things that seemed like the champions’ relics were discovered, and killing craftsmen, their apprentices and their families for inventing convenient tools that didn’t use magic.”
“… So, they’re mad dogs. That last one doesn’t seem to even have anything to do with the knowledge and technology from the champions’ world,” Vandalieu muttered, despite the fact that these were all events that had happened in the past.
From what Kanako said, the Bellwood fundamentalists hadn’t even investigated whether they were related to Zakkart’s relics. They had simply been hindering this world’s independent progress.
Vandalieu analyzed this information calmly. It was unlikely that these Bellwood fundamentalists had not possessed accurate knowledge regarding Zakkart’s relics – in other words, the knowledge and technology from his world. Even so, they had begun their activities based on the knowledge that had been passed down to them, and as the generations passed, their activities had become more and more extreme until they were out of control.
“Even the Church of Alda thought that they were going too far. The leading members at the time were arrested, branded as heretics and purged,” said Kanako. “The gods should probably have sent Divine Messages or whatever to stop them before it got to that point, though.”
“I don’t intend to defend Alda, but it’s possible that his voice will not reach those who have separated from his original religion,” said Vandalieu. “Leaving that aside, are there no more of those Bellwood fundamentalists around now?”
“As an organization, they were erased tens of thousands of years ago, but it’s said that there might be some around today,” said Kanako. “They’re treated like evil fairies in folk tales that come to kidnap children.”
It seemed that their existence had not been confirmed in the present age. Before Vandalieu could ask why Kanako and her companions had been so worried about Bellwood fundamentalists if this was the case, Melissa began speaking.
“We were moving with the objective of immigrating to your nation. We were being wary just in case, but our lives in the Orbaume Kingdom were temporary, so we weren’t concerned enough to investigate whether they really exist,” she said.
“That’s why we just endured it for the time being,” said Doug. “If we were unable to come to your nation or decided to live in the Orbaume Kingdom from the beginning, I think we would have investigated properly.”
That was how it was. Asagi and Murakami might investigate in more detail, but… Vandalieu would already be wary of them just because they were believers of gods belonging to Alda’s faction, so there was likely little point in investigating them now.
As they continued this lifestyle and having idle conversations such as this one, Kanako, Doug and Melissa experienced the strange phenomenon of their Attribute Values suddenly increasing sharply.
“W-what is this?! I’m overflowing with power… Is this my hidden talent?!” Doug exclaimed.
“Fufufu, it seems that we have awakened something,” said Kanako.
“I don’t think that’s the case. I think this is probably the effect of plan B,” said Melissa.
“Yes, you have simply been guided by me,” said Vandalieu.
This was plan B. It was a plan to live together and guide them – a deliberate version of the way he had guided the people he had met outside the Boundary Mountain Range.
The increase in Attribute Values was the effect of Guidance: Dark Demon Creation Path.
But Kanako and her companions were Elves and a human, and they did not have any desire to die, so they were unaffected by Dark Demon Creation Path Enticement. Furthermore, Vandalieu hadn’t been able to think of any methods that would be absolutely certain to guide them, so he had simply spent time doing guidance-like things with them and fed them the Blood Potion that was made from his blood, disguising it as juice.
“I see… So that’s why you were standing behind us in Dungeons, just giving us orders,” said Doug.
“No, that was just to avoid showing you how I fight, just in case,” said Vandalieu.
“Now then, please cheer up and check your Statuses. Has Rodcorte’s divine protection and fortune disappeared?” Vandalieu asked.
Vandalieu and Legion’s Hitomi had guessed that Rodcorte’s divine protection and fortune was something that every reincarnated individual other than Vandalieu possessed from the time that they were in Origin.
However, despite Hitomi being a reincarnated individual, Rodcorte’s divine protection and fortune were not displayed on Legion’s Status.
From this fact, Vandalieu and Legion had hypothesized that Rodcorte’s divine protection and fortune would stop being displayed once reincarnated individuals left Rodcorte’s influence.
With this in mind, Vandalieu had spent about a week seeing if he could guide Kanako and her companions.
“Status… Ah, it’s gone,” said Melissa.
“Me too,” said Doug. “Target Radar is gone as well. But Hecatoncheir is still there.”
“My Venus is still there, too. That’s convenient, so it’s fine,” said Kanako.
The three of them had lost their divine protections, fortunes and even Target Radar, which apparently was a Unique Skill that detected sources of over 100,000,000 death-attribute Mana.
“With this, you can accept our… immigration… is it just me, or are you glowing…?” said Doug.
“He is. I’m glad it’s not just me,” said Melissa.
“Doug, Melissa, that’s just a temporary symptom. You’ll get used to it soon,” Vandalieu told them.
It seemed that they sensed charisma from Vandalieu as a result of the guidance’s effects.
“I never noticed because you’ve been expressionless up until now, but… you’re quite a handsome boy, aren’t you?” said Kanako.
“… The person in front of you was a person who blended into the background on Earth, someone who has lived for the same amount of time as you. Please return to your senses, former-idol-san,” said Vandalieu.
Just as Kanako seemed to be on the verge of losing her mind, there was a loud crash as the door to the house was kicked down.
In came Eleanora, defusing the situation. “Newcomers! You’ve had Vandalieu-sama to yourself for a whole week, so you’ll have to endure it from now on! Losing your mind over him is inexcusable!” she declared.
The truth was, the grasslands that this house was built on were actually inside an experimental Dungeon built inside Vandalieu’s underground workshop. He had reused this Dungeon, which he had used to test whether he could use Dungeons for other purposes such as providing living space and amusement, and whether he could designate certain floors to not spawn any monsters.
The nearby Dungeon entrance that Kanako and the others had been training in was actually the stairs to the Dungeon’s next floor, disguised as a Dungeon entrance.
Indeed, Kanako and her companions had already immigrated to Talosheim.
Now that Kanako and her companions were separated from Rodcorte’s influence by Vandalieu’s guidance, they gave him all of the information they knew regarding the other reincarnated individuals, and then they received some real guidance on how to become a citizen of Talosheim… lectures on things like the law and how to interact with Undead and members of other races. After that, they were assigned to Legion as subordinates until their rituals to transform into members of Vida’s races.
“I understand that part of the reason is so that you can keep an eye on us, but… you never explained. What kind of state are you guys in?” Doug asked suspiciously.
As usual, Legion was still wearing a robe with a hood pulled low over their eyes.
“Your presence is always strange, and we can hear multiple voices at once… Can we ask you to tell us?” said Kanako.
“I suppose so, since you’re going to become our subordinates, after all.”
“It’s uncomfortable for us to stay in this form all the time, too!”
“Now that we’re in this form, it’s bothersome to have to imitate the movements of humans with skeletons.”
“Now then, we’ll show you our true form. Remember the creatures from horror movies and games in Origin and keep a hold of yourself. If you can’t, then just give up.”
“Vandalieu is watching over you from the shadows just in case, so rest assured. I’m sure he’ll be able to treat you with all kinds of medicines.”
As each of Legion’s personalities spoke in turn, the faces of Kanako and her companions grew paler and paler. Melissa turned around to see that Vandalieu really was watching them from the shadows, and her face turned completely white.
Because this meant that something was about to happen to them that required Vandalieu to watch over them.
“I’ll let you know, we won’t be concerned if you’re scared of us and start screaming.”
“No, I’ve started to get the feeling that we should stop –” Doug began, his voice tightening.
But his words were interrupted by a creaking, echoing, expanding noise followed by multiple screams.
But surprisingly, Kanako quickly recovered from the shock and even Doug and Melissa did not require Vandalieu’s treatment such as counseling through the Mental Encroachment Skill and the administration of his secreted drugs.
And so, Vandalieu devoted his time to Kanako’s group for a while, but the situation was changing in various ways.
When he visited the spot where he regularly met with the Storm of Tyranny, there was a message that there were omens of political changes in the Amid Empire.
Alda, the god of law and fate, was intervening in human society in a way that he had never done before in history. Considering the timing of this, it could only be concluded that this intervention was in response to Vandalieu and his allies.
However, there hadn’t been any visible signs, like the emperor abdicating.
As for what Vandalieu was doing in the meantime, he was spending the new year’s winter looking for a ship in the ocean.
“I’m doing something that would even please Alda’s religion. Exterminating the evil gods that are the remnants of the Demon King’s army and the Pure-breed Vampires would be a great thing for them, right?” he said.
“But you wouldn’t be happy being praised by important Alda religion people, would you?” said the seven-year-old Pauvina, who was about ten years old in human years – now looking older than Vandalieu even if one ignored her enormous size.
“Well, you’re right about that.”
Vandalieu and Pauvina’s faces were protruding from the Nightmare Lord Carriage Sam as they looked at the view outside.
“Oh my, the sea is warm even during the winter,” Sam remarked.
“That’s because the sea inside the Boundary Mountain Range is at the southern end of the Bahn Gaia continent,” said Vandalieu.
“Your Majesty, doesn’t that ship look good? The bow’s decoration looks impressive,” said Princess Levia.
“… Princess Levia, unfortunately, that ship seems to only have the front half intact,” said Luciliano.
On a reef in the southern sea that white waves were crashing on, there was a ship’s wreckage covered in barnacles and shellfish. The sailors were all screaming Undead.
“Hmm, but just about every shipwreck is in more or less the same state,” said Vandalieu. “If we see a shipwreck of about the same size with the back half intact, I’ll just turn them both into an Undead and stick them together.”
Vandalieu and his companions were searching for a boat to get to the Dark Continent, using the rough sea chart that the Storm of Tyranny had left in their message.