Many beings from all over the world of Lambda gazed at the eclipse.
The gods were observing, anticipating that this would be the day that Alda’s forces would gain a greater influence over human society, over the Amid Empire.
Ricklent scowled, wondering if Alda was planning to revert the world to the age when gods ruled over it. Zuruwarn groaned about the problems that were to come, and Vida gave a deep sigh.
And while Rodcorte acknowledged that Alda’s forces were truly making their move, he was still hesitant to work with them.
“If I work with Alda’s forces, it is possible that I would continue to be acknowledged as a god of Lambda, even after Vandalieu and the races of Vida inside the Boundary Mountain Range are eradicated. I cannot meddle carelessly,” he murmured. “If Hajime Inui who has become Fitun’s vessel or Murakami were to succeed… but to think that I am already unable to provide support for Hajime.”
The psychological connection had already been severed between Rodcorte and Hajime, who was being reformed by Fitun, the god of thunderclouds. Rodcorte could still see his records, but he could no longer do things such as sending Divine Messages.
“To think that there would be a god who would set his sights on a reincarnated individual that I had all but abandoned… But Fitun should be one of the more powerful beings, even among the war-gods of Alda’s faction. I suppose that if Hajime becomes his vessel for a spirit clone rather than a familiar spirit, it will be unnecessary for me to grant him a new divine protection.”
As a god, Rodcorte was far superior to Fitun, but the divine protection of a war-god would be far more suited for battle than the divine protection of a god of reincarnation.
Rodcorte was curious as to what had happened to the divine protection, fortune and Target Radar that he had given Hajime, as he was unable to check the status on these. But it would probably be best to leave him rather than try to forcibly intervene.
“Then I suppose my support should go to Murakami. I am sure that Aran and the others will support Asagi’s group even if I do not say anything…”
Suddenly, Rodcorte felt a disturbance in his Divine Realm. But he could not feel the presence of any intruder, and there was no sign that anyone had made contact with his circle of reincarnation system.
“Was it just my imagination…?”
Deciding that this was indeed the case, he turned his eyes towards Origin.
“Rikudou Hijiri. Although the deaths of Pluto and the others should have put a halt to research of the death attribute, it seems that he intends to continue it, but at this rate, there is no doubt that his efforts will go to waste. I do not need to stop him,” Rodcorte said to himself. “It will be the perfect lesson to teach the people of Origin that they will never acquire the death attribute again no matter what, and a good stepping stone for Amemiya Hiroto.”
On the surface of Lambda, Emperor Marshukzarl of the Amid Empire gave a sigh.
“So, it has happened,” he murmured, his irritation turning into a sense of resignation.
The view of the eclipse from the palace looked ominous to his eyes, but if this was the will of the gods, then there was nothing to be done.
“I have taken advantage of the religion all this time. I suppose it is unreasonable of me to complain now that our positions have been reversed, but…”
Gods existed for the sake of the people, but people did not exist for the gods. That was what Marshukzarl thought.
His wish, based upon this belief, was the continuation and prosperity of the Amid Empire. That was only natural for one who called himself its emperor. But as the Church gained power, that wish was endangered as well.
The teachings of the Church did not always align with the good of the nation.
Marshukzarl had never thought of committing evil acts because he had desired to; if good deeds would result in the nation flourishing, he would gladly perform them. If he were to be completely truthful and honest, he would have wielded his sword to vanquish evil if that was what was needed.
But that wasn’t how reality worked. Reality had demanded that Marshukzarl commit countless conspiracies and secretly take advantage of the evil deeds of others instead of stopping them, turning white into black and black into white.
Though Alda taught that Vida’s races must be eradicated, Marshukzarl had needed to suppress them but not to the point that they were exterminated. Even if he forcibly rounded up all of the slaves owned by the citizens and nobles to execute them, that would only achieve a decrease in budget. The only thing he would gain would be economic ruin and the animosity of those of middle class and above who could afford to own slaves.
Repeatedly sending out expeditions to hidden villages of Vida’s races would simply be a waste of war funds and soldiers. It was true that the nation would temporarily gain treasures and slaves from successful expeditions, but the hidden villages of Vida’s races were always on land that was not suitable for human habitation, so no valuable land would be gained.
The Scylla territory in the Sauron region was a good example. It wasn’t that humans couldn’t inhabit it, but large-scale cultivation or the knowledge and technology of the Scylla that had lived there would have been needed to gain sufficient income from it.
Giving that land to a lord would be equivalent to punishing that lord’s men. Of course, Marshukzarl would not be happy to have such a remote region become a direct part of the empire, either.
That was why Vida’s races merely served as files to shave off the vassal nations’ excess power, as scapegoats to bear the citizens’ discontent and as a perfect source of manual labor when left alive.
Would Eileek, the next era’s Pope who had prophesized this eclipse, take that into account?
“‘Zero Sword’ Carmine, how long do you think I can maintain my position of emperor?” Marshukzarl asked, despite nobody else being in his private room.
And yet, a middle-aged man appeared out of nowhere without warning. This was the ‘Zero Sword’ Carmine, the leader of the Fifteen Evil-breaking Swords that were under Marshukzarl’s direct command.
Carmine had stepped back from the field of battle due to his age, but he had once been a regular member of the Fifteen Evil-breaking Swords.
“How pessimistic of you,” Carmine commented.
“Of course I am; I am against a god and the clergyman chosen by him. There is no chance that a mere emperor can hope to prevail against such enemies. No matter how stubborn a man is, he will go wild once a pillar of light descends upon him from the sky and he hears the voice of a god,” said Marshukzarl.
Every human wished to believe that they were special. What if I possessed the Unique Skill of a legendary hero? Every single person had, at least once, daydreamed of such things. The divine protection and voice of a god would sweetly stimulate such desires.
And obeying the voice of the gods was guaranteed to be “righteous,” while disobeying would be proof of being “evil.”
“The teachings of Alda were convenient for maintaining my rule, and I took advantage of it too much. If things were going to turn out like this, I should have changed the national religion to worship Zuruwarn, Ricklent or Botin when I took rule,” Marshukzarl muttered.
“You jest. Perhaps Botin, but trying to convert every citizen into a believer of Zuruwarn or Ricklent would be the doing of a madman. The empire would have collapsed in less than a decade,” Carmine said with a bitter smile.
Incidentally, Marshukzarl had not mentioned Peria because changing the national religion to worship her would have caused the marine nation Galahad, one of the empire’s vassal nations, to become a holy land.
“Of course, that was a joke,” said Marshukzarl. “Now then, assuming I show my obedience on the surface while secretly continuing my resistance… No matter how much I struggle in vain, I won’t last fifty years. In the worst-case scenario, I may have a noose replacing my crown in just half a year. I truly am glad that I managed to plant my child in the care of Schneider and his companions. At the very least, my bloodline shall continue.”
And as long as his bloodline remained, no matter how close the chance of the empire’s revival came to zero, it would never be completely gone.
“If you are going to be so pessimistic, why not ask for the protection of Schneider or Vandalieu who is beyond the mountain range?” Carmine suggested.
“Carmine, now that would be a joke. I would be promptly killed, and that would be the end of it,” said Marshukzarl.
“Would they not think that there would be some value in leaving you alive and taking advantage of you?”
“No, there would be no value to them in me… an emperor who being pursued by his own empire, begging for his life.”
Marshukzarl would always potentially be an enemy to Schneider, and there was already a child with the emperor’s blood… Marshukzarl’s son, who had apparently been named Sieg, at Schneider’s side. If Schneider wanted to make use of the emperor’s blood, it would be better to eliminate Marshukzarl and turn Sieg into his puppet.
… Considering his personality, he would kill Marshukzarl even without considering such things, however.
Vandalieu would also have no use for an emperor with no power. Taking into account the fact that he had not used the previous Duke Marme after abducting him, it was likely that he would just as quickly dispose of Marshukzarl.
“No, they may accept my younger heirs. If they are not directly descended from me, then it is even more likely… I shall consider it,” Marshukzarl murmured.
As he was a half-Elf with a lifespan longer than a human’s, he had kept his potential heirs to a minimum up until now. After all, even if he were to have children now, depending on what race they were born as, they might die of old age before he did.
Thus, he had few children that were directly descended from him, and there was only one imperial prince other than Sieg, and that prince was still a mere infant.
If it was possible to leave other kin behind, it would be best to at least have one of them survive.
As Marshukzarl nodded to this thought, there was a knock on the door to his private chamber. It was a notification from the prime minister to inform him of an emergency meeting to discuss the solar eclipse that had occurred exactly according to prophecy.
“Very well. I will be there soon,” Marshukzarl said in response.
Meanwhile, Carmine had already vanished before Marshukzarl finished his sentence.
Having learned of the solar eclipse, Birkyne was biting down on his own finger in an attempt to suppress his irritation and uneasiness.
“This is bad… Alda making a move is bad…!”
Birkyne was one of the Pure-breed Vampires worshipping Hihiryushukaka, the evil god of joyful life. He and his two companions had ruled the darkness of the Bahn Gaia continent for a hundred thousand years, but they had not achieved this by fighting against Alda, the god of law and fate.
They had manipulated the humans they had managed to tempt to their side, lurking in their shadows.
The complex hierarchical societies of the human nations that had formed when humans began to rule themselves after the age of the gods had provided the Pure-breed Vampires with a shadow that was plenty dark enough for them to move about in unseen.
And the Pure-breed Vampires had been well-suited for this. Of course, there had still been several instances where they had faced danger. On each of these occasions, they had joined forces to overcome… escape from these threats.
But they had not faced such danger for the past several tens of thousands of years; their position in the darkness had remained stable.
As a result, the bonds between the three Pure-breed Vampires, each of whom had their own factions, had loosened. They had come to see each other as competitors that ought to be defeated, despite having once been companions. With Vandalieu’s appearance under such circumstances, both Ternecia and Gubamon had been destroyed in a timespan of less than ten years.
“At a time like this, Alda makes a move?!” Birkyne’s teeth tore his fingernail and the whole finger to pieces, his irritation and frustration turned into anger. “Don’t fuck with me! Does he intend to return the world to the age of the gods when he can’t even descend upon the world?!” he roared, blood spraying from his mouth.
It was well-known that once Birkyne lost his temper, he would not stop until all of the subordinates around him and the mansion that he was currently in was destroyed. Thus, there was currently not a single subordinate around him to begin with.
His voice made the air tremble and his repeated stomping destroyed the ground beneath his feet, causing him to fall through. As thunderous noises echoed throughout the empty mansion, Birkyne landed on the first floor and destroyed a wall with a single swing of his arm.
“… No, cursing Alda changes nothing. What is the matter with me?” Birkyne muttered, regaining his senses after directly seeing the solar eclipse through the wall that he had just broken.
Though it was covered by a shadow, it was the first time that he had seen the sun in a long time, and perhaps it had restored his sanity.
“Alda takes no notice of us… He might think of us as something to clean up while he has the chance, but nothing more. We have worshipped the evil god of joyful life and created new Vampires for a hundred thousand years. With that being the case, the reason Alda is making a move now must be Vandalieu,” Birkyne concluded.
He could not think of any other reason that Alda would take action so hastily. With that being the case, Birkyne considered the option of abandoning his organization and most of his clan, going into hiding with a few of his trusted retainers.
After all, the imperfect age of the gods that Alda was about to start was unlikely to last a thousand years. Birkyne would slumber somewhere during that time, then regrow his roots in human society once Alda lost his power and left this world again.
Even if gods were to rule humans directly, the true nature of humans would not change. Though there would always be a handful of good, pure individuals, there would be an equal number of humans made of pure evil, and the rest that made up the vast majority were those that were somewhere in between, able to fall either way.
Birkyne would simply need to seduce that vast majority and make use of them. He would regrow his fallen clan and rebuild his organization.
“No… If Vandalieu is to emerge victorious, what would await me in a thousand years is certain defeat. Even if that is not the case, I am done for if I am discovered by Alda’s subordinates. It seems that I cannot simply hibernate,” Birkyne murmured. “Mortor! Mortor, are you here?!”
“Yes, coming!” said one of Birkyne’s four close aides, a Noble-born Vampire who had been born as a Dwarf, came running.
It seemed that he had been taking cover outside the mansion.
“If you wish for a meal, I can prepare it right away, but…” Mortor said uncertainly, fearing that his master, who had suppressed his temper more quickly than usual, was still dangerous.
“No, I am not thirsty,” said Birkyne, giving him a calm smile. “Those humans who made contact with Vandalieu, you know where they went?”
He had positioned subordinates to monitor the former Scylla territory in the Sauron Duchy. Thus, he was aware that Kanako and Asagi had made contact with Vandalieu.
“Yes. Kanako Tsuchiya and the other two with her disappeared with Vandalieu, but Asagi Minami and the two with him are currently in the Sauron Duchy. They appear to be searching for literature on the sealing of the Demon King’s fragments and the fragments themselves,” said Mortor.
Birkyne’s faction had its roots planted in every Guild. Once a target entered their intelligence network, it was possible to learn their name.
Birkyne’s organization still hadn’t finished being rebuilt, but it was still capable of doing that.
“Never mind sealing the Demon King’s fragments, they are searching for the fragments themselves? Quite the dangerous task, for people who have come from another world, no less,” said Birkyne.
“What?! Those humans came from another world?!” Mortor exclaimed in shock. “It is true that their names are unusual, but…”
Come to think of it, I did not tell him, Birkyne realized.
“It is likely to be the case, Bellwood and the others had similarly strange names in the beginning. If I recall… it was Shouhei Suzuki, perhaps?” Birkyne said. “And in the end, you never did find out where they were born, did you?”
“No, the underlings are currently investigating,” said Mortor.
Mortor’s underlings were currently investigating the towns and villages around the Adventurers’ Guild that Asagi’s group had registered at, but nobody knew who they were. They couldn’t even find a single childhood friend or acquaintance, let alone relatives.
That was too strange to call a coincidence.
Registering at the Adventurers’ Guild could be done from any branch. Every city would always have an Adventurers’ Guild branch.
Thus, those desiring to become adventurers would naturally register at the Adventurers’ Guild branch closest to the place where they were born and raised. There was nothing to be gained by paying travel expenses to make the effort of going to a farther branch, risking being attacked by bandits on the way.
“That can be explained if they suddenly appeared from another world. I see… But Kanako Tsuchiya and her companion Melissa J. Saotome are Elves, and the other, Doug Atlas, is a human with a normal name,” said Mortor.
“Who knows why. Either way, since they’ve disappeared somewhere in Vandalieu’s company, we can’t chase them. We’ll ignore them until they show themselves again,” said Birkyne. “More importantly, the fact that they’re making contact with Vandalieu one after another, could it mean that he came from that world as well? No, that world should only have humans. So then, why…?”
Though Birkyne wondered if Vandalieu was someone who had been summoned from another world, he did not realize that there was a god who could reincarnate individuals from other worlds with their memories and personalities intact. He knew of the concept of reincarnation, but common sense told him that reincarnation with one’s memories and personality was impossible.
“Well, I suppose we’ll find that out if we keep investigating them, as well as which god summoned them to this world and for what purpose,” said Birkyne. “So, how is the investigation proceeding?”
Mortor fell onto his knees, his shoulders trembling. “That is… one of them, Tatsuya Tendou, has strangely sharp senses and we cannot approach them as we would like,” he said, barely managing to squeeze his words out. “We intend to find a good time to disguise our underlings as their supporters and have them make contact, but…”
“I see. It may be a power granted to them by the god who brought them here… Spy on them using methods that you normally wouldn’t use, then,” Birkyne instructed Mortor, not sounding disappointed. “Use familiars in the forms of mice, birds, bats and other creatures you can find anywhere, and control them from somewhere far away… No, not just far away, but underground. Either that, or simply spy on them without caring about being noticed, and observe the human named Tendou. If you do that repeatedly, you should be able to learn how Tendou detects our underlings.”
“V-very well.” Mortor lowered his head once more, feeling truly relieved.
But when he looked up again, he saw the very sharp claws of Birkyne’s fingers.
“The next time you report to me, you will meet my expectations. Is that clear?” Birkyne said, making a slitting motion with his hand that had five intact digits again.
“As you will!” Mortor replied in a half-scream, leaving the scene as if fleeing.
“If the human named Asagi is an enemy of Vandalieu, then his group can also become tools for negotiation,” Birkyne murmured to himself. “It would be ideal if they are investigating the Demon King’s fragments to oppose Vandalieu rather than give them to him, however.”
Birkyne was putting everything on Vandalieu emerging victorious during the upcoming temporary age of the gods. Thus, he would lie low until both Vandalieu and Alda became fatigued or perished.
Even if one parent was a Dark Elf, Dhampirs were not immortal. They might live for thousands of years, but they would not live to reach the age of ten thousand.
I should be able to plant my roots in a Talosheim and Boundary Mountain Range without Vandalieu, Birkyne thought, unaware of Vandalieu’s Youth Transformation spell.
Gyubarzo, the evil god of dark seas who had been sealed deep in the ocean south of the Bahn Gaia continent, let out a scream of madness.
“Foolish gods! I don’t know why you’ve created a solar eclipse, but I’ll thank you for it!”
Gyubarzo’s appearance was simple compared to other evil gods. He had the head of a fish with sharp teeth lining his mouth, limbs that were covered in scales and a finned tail.
However, he was larger than a castle; he could grasp a large boat with a single hand.
“Thanks to this solar eclipse, the sea has become pitch-black, a place where not even the light of the stars can reach! With Zuruwarn and Ricklent’s followers not watching me and Tristan’s seal weakened, there is nothing binding me down now! Gather, my followers!”
Gyubarzo’s voice echoed out across the cold depths of the ocean, and his followers appeared from the dark waters one by one.
They were Gillmen, mounted on monsters resembling sharks and deep-sea fish instead of horses. They were chanting strange words, praising their god Gyubarzo.
Gyubarzo was one of the evil gods who had created the Gillmen, and one who had fought particularly hard against Tristan, the god of the seas.
At the end of this harsh battle, Tristan and the gods helping him had sealed Gyubarzo away, but Gyubarzo had continued giving orders to the Gillmen, his followers. Orders to kill those who prayed to and followed Tristan.
Among the races that Gillmen considered ‘humans,’ they loathed Merfolk the most. Just like Gyubarzo and the other gods who had created them, they hated Tristan, the god of the seas.
Now that Gyubarzo was free, he intended to direct his hatred towards Tristan’s children, the Merfolk.
“Follow my lead! We will exterminate Tristan, his followers and all humans who dare venture into these seas, proving that we are the ocean’s true rulers!” Gyubarzo declared.
And he kicked off from the bottom of the ocean, heading towards the ocean’s surface with a thousand elite Gillmen.
His eyes could see through the darkness, and he could see a single ship traversing the sea. He detested ships, contraptions used by inferior lifeforms who could not breathe in the water, almost as much as Tristan and the Merfolk.
“A feast to celebrate my resurrection! I am sure it will not satisfy my hunger, but I shall devour it!”
Though Gyubarzo detested ships, he loved destroying them and plunging the humans onboard into the ocean. The sight of these creatures flapping their finless limbs about in vain was incredibly amusing to him.
It seemed that the ship was being towed by the follower of an Elder Dragon, but Gyubarzo paid no attention to it and aimed straight for the ship. His caution had been erased by the sense of liberation from being released after being sealed for a length of time that felt long even to a god.
Gyubarzo stopped for a moment, noticing a pair of enormous eyeballs staring at him.
The blue-white light coming from those eyeballs was growing brighter and brighter.
“What is th–”
Before Gyubarzo could even finish his own sentence, the eyeballs released a beam of light.
“Right below Cuatro, about five hundred meters down, there’s a shadow that looks like an enormous Gillman,” said Vandalieu.
“This guy’s huge! He’s even bigger than Talosheim’s castle!” said Kimberley.
Vandalieu and the Undead could see through the darkness of the ocean with the Dark Vision Skill. There were still solid particles in the ocean that prevented them from seeing perfectly clearly, but there was no way they could miss Gyubarzo’s enormous body.
“What shall we do, my lord? Leo is not well-suited for diving into the water, so shall we go in to meet it?” Bone Man suggested calmly.
“Don’t be stupid! Cuatro would sink! We have to run away, fast!” said the former pirate ship captain, who was also made of only bones.
During the week that they had been at sea, Bone Man and Leo had been weakening monsters for Cuatro and its captains to defeat, allowing them to increase their Ranks. However, they were still only Rank 5; they would certainly not be able to defeat a giant Gillman.
In fact, it was likely that combat with the giant Gillman taking place nearby would produce waves powerful enough to send them into a watery grave. It was only natural for the captains to panic.
“Starboard –” the former pirate ship captain began.
“I can’t aim, so let’s please stay where we are,” said Vandalieu.
“Never mind that! Stop here!”
Vandalieu had activated the Demon King’s eyeballs to take aim while activating the Demon King’s luminescent organs at the tips of his antennae to their maximum power, unleashing a series of beams of light.
The sea shone with a blue-white light, and a harsh-sounding howl pierced everyone’s ears.
“W-what an ominous scream…!” said Oniwaka, unable to conceal her instinctual fear.
“It’s quite loud, isn’t it?” said Pauvina, who seemed to have no reaction other than putting her fingers into her ears.
“Bocchan, shall we finish it off?” asked Sam.
“… I missed,” said Vandalieu, retracting the antennas that he had extended below the water’s surface. “It seems that the beams of light were diffused by the water. They did graze the giant Gillman, so I think they should have done some damage, though.”
At this depth of about five hundred meters, Gyubarzo had let out a scream in unbearable anguish. The attacks hadn’t directly hit him due to the water distorting and diffusing the light, but the beams of light had torn off his scales and scorched his flesh.
These were far from fatal wounds, but this pain, which felt like having his raw skin ripped off, had greatly scarred his pride.
“This is… the Demon King’s presence…?! That’s not possible; there is no way that Demon-King-sama… the Demon King, is still alive. So, this must be the doing of a human who bears one of the Demon King’s fragments! Curse you! Curse the Demon King for being defeated and used, and curse you insolent humans who dare to use his fragments!” Gyubarzo bellowed.
Letting his rage take over, he began his ascent to the surface once more. Even if those beams of light hit him a few more times, they would not be at full power as long as he remained in the sea. To begin with, even with a fragment of the Demon King, there was no way that a mere fragile human could release such powerful beams of light repeatedly.
Even if the human could still release more beams, there would be one or two more at most.
“You damned humans, pouring dirt on my resurrection! I’ll tear you apart with my teeth!”
With the remaining Gillmen, whose numbers had been reduced by about two thirds, Gyubarzo took aim at Cuatro once more.
“Come to think of it, Zadiris-san did say that light-attribute magic is less effective underwater,” said Princess Levia.
“It seems that even beams of light produced by the Demon King’s luminescent organs are still made of light in the end,” said Sam. “So, what will you do, Bocchan? Is it time for Hollow Cannon?”
Hollow Cannon was a Hollow King spell that had even destroyed the walls of a Dungeon, which existed in a special space and were normally impossible to destroy. Wouldn’t Vandalieu be able to defeat the giant Gillman with this?
But Vandalieu shook his head. “I don’t think Hollow Cannon would be diffused by the water, but it annihilates everything in its path… If I fired it at the giant Gillman from here, a huge whirlpool might form beneath Cuatro.”
Even the fearless sailors let out a scream at the thought of meeting a second watery grave.
“If that happens, we’re gonna sink!”
“I’m sick of being shipwrecked!”
“But what are we going to do?” asked Kimberley. “My lightning attacks are going to be dispersed by the water even more than light.”
“My flames won’t even reach the target to begin with,” said Princess Levia.
“My cold won’t work unless I get closer… wait, it’s coming this way again!” said Orbia, peering into the ocean to see that Gyubarzo had begun ascending towards the water’s surface once more.
“It can’t be helped… This won’t make a deciding blow, but I’ll give it a series of hits,” Vandalieu murmured, eight spider-like legs emerging from his back as he activated the Demon King’s jointed legs. “Death Cannon, simultaneous bombardment.”
Black beams of light rained down upon Gyubarzo. But they were actually made of condensed death-attribute Mana rather than light, so they made direct contact with Gyubarzo’s body rather than being diffused by the water.
Gyubarzo gave a soundless scream. The black beams of Death Cannon were far thinner than the beams from before, but they ignored his hard scales, flesh and even his bones, directly gouging the life out of him.
But as to be expected of a god, Gyubarzo was not yet dead.
He stopped heading for the water’s surface and began trying to escape, screaming for his life. He was so desperate to get as far away from Cuatro as possible that he could not even curse himself for the poor decisions that he had made several seconds earlier.
The eight beams of Death Cannon had taken most of Gyubarzo’s Vitality and Mana and broken his mind.
“To think that it can withstand Bocchan’s Death Cannon… I wonder what it is?” said Rita.
“When I attacked it, my God Devourer Skill activated, so I believe it’s a type of evil god,” said Vandalieu. “As for how powerful it is… Maybe a little above Fidirg or Zozogante?”
“A god?! Isn’t it bad to let it get away?!” said Oniwaka, her face turning pale.
Gods could generally recover from any wound as long as it was not inflicted by a divine authority, like Alda’s Stakes of Law. The amount of time they needed to recover depended on their power as a god and the number of followers they had, but… it would certainly not be good to constantly be targeted by this god from the depths of the ocean. It was too far away for Vandalieu to cast the Healing Negation spell, and even if he could cast it, he could not make the spell continue taking effect for years and years.
If this god hid itself in the deep ocean, even Vandalieu could not go out to kill it, and his spells and attacks would not reach it.
“You should have equipped Cuatro inside you and retreated to the sky to wait for it to come up to the water’s surface, my lord,” said Bone Man, pointing out Vandalieu’s strategic mistake.
“I’m in complete agreement,” said Vandalieu, nodding.
If Vandalieu had waited for Gyubarzo to reach the water’s surface before attacking, Bone Man and Leo would have been able to join the battle, and Vandalieu would have been able to use the Ghosts’ power for dead spirit magic as well.
“It can’t be helped. I’ve already used quite a bit of Mana, but… let’s get rid of it, even if it means using up the rest of my Mana. Everyone, get inside Sam,” Vandalieu said, using Flight to fly up from Cuatro’s deck and chase the fleeing Gyubarzo.
Once they were far enough away from Cuatro, Vandalieu flew directly above Gyubarzo and concentrated his Mana at his fingertip.
“Bocchan, what should we be doing?” Sam asked.
“When I give the signal, please attack that giant Gillman god with everything you have,” said Vandalieu. “Now then… Hollow Cannon.”
A beam of black Mana was unleashed from Vandalieu’s fingertip, boring through the sea. It distorted space itself and broke the seawater down, creating an empty, pillar-shaped space as it continued to the bottom of the ocean.
Gyubarzo and the Gillmen that had been fleeing with him screamed as they realized that the sea’s current had changed and there was now a fierce whirlpool around them.
“I see! Now’s the time, everyone!” said Princess Levia.
“Okay!” said Pauvina.
“JYUOOOH!” Bone Man roared.
“I think it’s best that you don’t throw your own bones, since it will probably be difficult to get them back afterwards!” Saria told him.
“The target’s so big, it’s easy to hit!” said Oniwaka.
“Well, there was certainly meaning in coming on this journey!” said Rita. “Screw Projectile!”
All of them were throwing stones and spears. Rita and Saria were now Rank 11 Tartarus Maid Armors; Rita’s spears and Saria’s rain of arrows with her Archery Skill were particularly effective.
Gyubarzo’s scales were still soft as they had not yet regenerated from the previous attacks, and Death Iron spears and arrows pierced through them mercilessly.
But even though he was cornered and weakened, Gyubarzo was still a god. Such attacks would not defeat him.
However, Vandalieu unleashed a rain of Dead Spirit Magic spells. “Dark Thunderbolt Spear, Crimson Ice Execution Circle, Great Bone Flame Jailing Destruction Bullet.”
All of the Ghosts’ Ranks had increased inside the Trial of Zakkart. Kimberley transformed into a black spear of black lightning, Orbia into a round blade of ice, and the final blow was Princess Levia transforming into a fiery skull large enough to tear a large ship to pieces with its teeth. The Ghosts flooded into the helpless Gyubarzo.
“GIBUGAAAAAaaah… The true darkness was… above the ocean…”
Gyubarzo had convinced himself that he was the ruler of the ocean, but that was the delusion of a weakling who could only rule the ocean and nothing else. Gyubarzo felt a sense of absolute defeat as he was swallowed by the whirlpool and ceased to exist.
“I get the feeling that he just said something rude… oops,” Vandalieu said, falling limp.
He hadn’t expended so much Mana that his consciousness was fading, but continuously firing Hollow Cannon for that long had damaged not only his left arm, but the entire upper half of his body.
He tried to straighten up again right away, but before he could do so, Vandalieu’s right hand was grasped by another, soft hand.
“It’s a little quick for me to come and see you, but I wanted you to see my new form now that our Rank increased, and I was curious if anything was happening on this side… Did something happen?” asked a girl who floating beside Vandalieu.
She had pitch-black hair and eyes, and her skin looked abnormally pale. She was wearing a simple, white one-piece dress.
In the corner of his vision, Vandalieu could see Sam and Princess Levia’s surprised faces. Vandalieu had seen this girl somewhere before, and he knew her voice very well.
“Is it you, Pluto?” he asked.
Pluto gave a happy smile. “Yes, I’m Legion’s Pluto. It’s been over ten years since I was able to meet you with this form, hasn’t it?”
Far below her, the whirlpool in the ocean had stopped, and chunks of Gyubarzo’s flesh had risen to the water’s surface.
Vandalieu suddenly noticed that the solar eclipse had ended, and the world was illuminated by the light of the sun once more.
《Your Mana has increased by 50,000,000 and your Vitality has increased by 10,000!》
《The Levels of the Superhuman Strength, Rapid Regeneration, Dark King Magic, Mana Control, Increased Mana Recovery Rate, Transcend Limits, Hollow King Magic, Multi-cast, Dead Spirit Magic, Surpass Limits: Fragments, God Devourer and Soul Devour Skills have increased!》
Monster explanation (Written by Luciliano):
Tartarus Maid Armor
Tartarus… According to Master, it is a word used for the otherworld or hell.
Their appearances are not much different from when they were Genocide Maid Armors, but they are surrounded by a thicker Aura of Fear and, according to Master and Legion, they have become more like “evil boss-women.”
Needless to say, this is the first time these monsters have appeared in Lambda. To begin with, the Rank and strength of Living-Armor-type Undead is usually determined by the material that the armor is made of.
Even if they were Magic Items to begin with, no Living Armor would normally be able to reach Rank 11.
Rita and Saria’s fighting strength is equivalent to that of A-class adventurers, and if they use their Coordination Skill to fight together, they become even stronger.
The two of them are happy, happy that they are “more like what you’d expect from the maids of the Demon King Bocchan.”