The surviving elite Gillmen who had followed Gyubarzo, the evil god of dark seas, swam for their lives after witnessing the destruction of their god.
They ordered their mounts to dive as deep into the darkness as possible. They didn’t consider trying to avenge their god, not even for a moment.
Though they were elite, in the end, they were still just Gillmen. Most of them were Rank 5 or 6, and over two thirds of them had met a watery grave from the shockwaves released by the attacks of Vandalieu and his companions.
And it seemed that Vandalieu’s party had no intention of diving into the sea to chase the small fry that had been hiding in Gyubarzo’s shadow. At this rate, over two hundred Gillmen would escape and later come to attack ships, fishing villages and port cities.
But it seemed that there was no need to worry about this.
Flee! Flee! There is a terrible monster… the Demon King, above the ocean’s surface!
A fear had been etched into the Gillmen that overrode their monster instinct to attack humans.
It is said that the Gillmen never again rose from the bottom of the Devil’s Sea, a place where the light of the sun could not reach, and they became a subspecies of Gillman that was adapted for life in deep waters.
Meanwhile, Tristan, the god of the seas who was the Merfolk nation’s guardian deity, sensed that his old enemy, the one that he had sealed away during the age of the gods, had been resurrected.
“In this state, I cannot fight him directly like I did in the age of the gods… I must hurry and tell Vandalieu and Gufadgarn… Huh?”
Dumbfounded, he stood stock-still in shock at the fact that Gyubarzo’s presence had disappeared just a few minutes afterwards.
“His presence… I do not believe Gyubarzo was able to Teleport… Could it be… He was devoured by Vandalieu like Ravovifard?”
Cuatro was shaken by the great whirlpool created by Vandalieu’s Hollow Cannon, but fortunately it was far away enough from the whirlpool to get away with no visible damage.
“Yeehaw! Now I’m a unique monster in this world too!” exclaimed Kimberley, dancing wildly in the air to celebrate becoming a Rank 10 Schwarz Blitz Ghost that was enveloped in black sparks.
Meanwhile, the captains of the ship were giving out orders below.
“All right, you landlubbers, Ane-go* has finished gathering the big pieces of the evil Gillman god! You lot go and gather the small ones!”
“Don’t you miss a single scale or piece of fin! Those things are worth more than their weight in platinum!”
“You got it, Captain!”
“A product is nothing without its freshness! His Majesty the Emperor will cast the Preservation spell for us, but we cannot allow it to be eaten by fish before then!”
“Go and gather all of the flesh pieces! Once we’re finished with all the work, His Majesty is going to treat us to a god barbeque!”
“Do your best, captains!”
The Undead sailors gave enthusiastic responses and jumped into the sea, holding spare pieces of wood that were left over when Vandalieu built Cuatro as kickboards. They were proficient at swimming while they were alive and they didn’t even need to rest while swimming now, but they were made of only bones, so they would sink if they weren’t careful.
“In the end, who is the captain of the ship?” asked the ‘Ane-go’ Gufadgarn, the evil god of labyrinths, who was bending space to send the main parts of Gyubarzo, such as the head and limbs, into storage in Talosheim.
Her vessel had the appearance of a beautiful Elf girl, so she could make a beautiful picture just by standing on the edge of the ship, but there were none nearby who would be charmed by her. All of them were Undead with hollow eye sockets.
For some reason, the four captains of the four wrecked ships that had become Cuatro lined up to respond to her question.
“I’m the captain!”
“I’m the true captain!”
“I am the captain in the shadows!”
“And I’m the captain in the background!”
The four of them struck a pose.
“Together, the four of us are the Four Dead Sea Captains!” they said simultaneously, looking at Gufadgarn as if desiring a response.
“I see. You couldn’t decide who was the captain among the four of you, so Vandalieu suggested this,” she said.
“Ah, yes. That is what happened.”
“You are using the team name of ‘Four Dead Sea Captains’ and those poses at Vandalieu’s orders.”
“Y-you are well-informed.”
“As I thought… As expected of Vandalieu. How marvelous,” said Gufadgarn, remaining expressionless and yet becoming more carried away by Vandalieu’s actions.
The Four Dead Sea Captains, who were once a pirate, a nobleman, a merchant and an adventurer, began to feel embarrassed.
Meanwhile, Vandalieu and the other members of the party had gathered around Pluto.
“Your Rank increased after you saw the eclipse?”
“Yes. Our Level had reached 100, so we were ready to increase Rank once the conditions were met,” said Pluto, who was answering questions while floating in the air.
She looked completely different from Legion’s original appearance of the sphere made of flesh mannequins entwined around each other.
Legion had been able to adjust themselves to take a human’s size and shape, and each of their personalities had been able to separate themselves and act on their own. However, the current Pluto was a human in and of herself. Her face, her skin and her hair were all the real thing.
“We are now a Rank 11 Eclipse Legion. When our Rank increased, our Form Alteration Skill’s Level increased a bunch, and thanks to it awakening into a Skill called Form Shifting, I’ve become able to take this form,” Pluto continued. “We asked Kanako and the others to be sure, and it seems that we’re exactly as we were in Origin.”
“Wow. I saw you after I became an Undead in Origin, and you look the same other than the length of your hair,” said Vandalieu.
In Origin, he had saved Pluto and the other experimental subjects after he turned into an Undead.
Pluto’s appearance now was almost identical to the appearance she had back then.
“How strange, to see you for the first time despite having known each other for over a year,” said Saria.
“By the way, what are these clothes?” asked Rita.
“They look like clothes, but they’re a part of me, just with a different shape and color. Do you want to try touching them?” said Pluto.
Rita grasped the hem of Pluto’s skirt, showing no signs of reservation. “Wow, you’re right. It’s soft! It’s not cloth, it’s like flesh made thin like cloth! Ah…” She suddenly seemed to think of something. “What about underneath the skirt? The parts that we can’t see, are they like how they were originally?”
“… As for the underwear, the clothes seem to have been unconsciously recreated from the things that I wore often in Origin that left an impression on me, so I do think I’m wearing them. Not that I’ve checked,” said Pluto. “I’m different from monsters that transform a part of themselves to disguise themselves as girls, so rest assured. But don’t go checking.”
“I see!” said Rita energetically.
“Rita! Come here. Sorry about that, Legion-san,” said Saria, dragging Rita away.
“My daughter has been terribly rude,” said Sam.
“By the way, what state are the rest of Legion’s personalities in? Are they sleeping?” Vandalieu asked, changing the topic.
“No, we’re awake,” said Pluto in a male’s voice.
Taking no notice of everyone’s shock, different voices spoke one after another using Pluto’s mouth.
“Jack and everyone else are the same as always. Right, Hitomi-chan?”
“Me and Jack have heard everything that Pluto has.”
“We’ve just been quiet up until now. We only have one mouth, and we can’t make more mouths while we’re transformed, either.”
“Our face is Pluto’s face, after all! We’ve been considerate, thinking that it would only confuse everyone if we all talked!”
“Also, Pluto has control over our body right now. Not that it’s absolute control, though.”
According to Legion’s words, Pluto was controlling their body as the primary personality, while the others were simply observing.
“So, can you take forms other than Pluto’s?” asked Pauvina.
Pluto nodded. “We can. Give me a moment.”
In the next moment, Pluto’s body became distorted and turned back into a flesh-colored sphere. The sphere distorted again into the shape of a person, and this time, it was a tall, beautiful woman wearing military-style clothes.
With her golden hair swaying in the sea breeze, she joined her hands together behind her back and puffed out her plentiful chest. “Now then, who am I~?”
“Valkyrie,” everyone said simultaneously.
“H-how did you know?! Even Vandalieu shouldn’t know what I look like!” Valkyrie exclaimed, shocked that everyone, including Oniwaka who hadn’t really spoken to her, had guessed her identity correctly.
“I mean, ignoring your appearance, your tone of speech is exactly the same,” Vandalieu pointed out.
“Also, you often puff out your chest when you speak,” said Sam.
Valkyrie was one of Legion’s more talkative personalities, so her characteristics were well-known.
“I see! It can’t be helped. Next!” she said.
“Eh, we’re still doing this?” said Shade. “I mean, it’s impossible for me. Even I have no idea what form I’ll take.”
“I’ll pass, too,” said Izanami. “My original form is a little…”
“Guoh,” said Berserk.
“Alright!” said Valkyrie. “Shade and Izanami are out, so next is –”
“I think I would recognize Berserk. He’s the only one who’s a bear, after all. Also, if your form is determined by mental factors, it’s possible that my Mental Encroachment Skill could make something happen. Should we try it?” suggested Vandalieu.
Mental Encroachment was ordinarily a Skill that allowed Vandalieu to encroach upon the minds of others and brainwash them, but it was also useful to perform mental healthcare. Vandalieu’s suggestion was to utilize this positive aspect of the Mental Encroachment Skill.
“I’m happy that you’re so eager, but how about you go and change Jobs first?” said Shade, speaking through Valkyrie’s mouth.
By using Dead Spirit Magic to defeat Gyubarzo, the evil god of dark seas, Vandalieu had acquired a vast amount of Experience Points.
“You’re right. I’ve already decided on my next Job, too,” said Vandalieu.
“Has a Job that seems like it will give you muscles or something appeared, Vandalieu?” asked Oniwaka.
“No, I might not gain a lot of muscles, but it’s a Job that other people might see in the near future, so I thought it best that I chose it before that happens,” Vandalieu replied as he entered the Job-changing room in Sam’s carriage that he had installed before clearing the Trial of Zakkart. “Now then, I wonder if it’s still there?”
《Jobs that can be selected: Spirit Warrior, Whip Tongue Calamity, Vengeful Berserker, Dead Spirit Mage, Magic Cannoneer, Dark King Mage, Divine Enemy, Fallen Warrior, Insect Nin, Destruction Guider, Enchanter, Dungeon Master, Demon King, Chaos Guider, Hollow King Mage, Eclipse Cursecaster, String User, Demon Ruler, Creator, Demiurge, Pale Rider, Tartarus》
Vandalieu nodded as he touched the crystal ball and saw the messages displayed inside his head, and then tilted his head in confusion. “I understand Tartarus being there since it’s a part of Saria and Rita’s race titles, but why Pale Rider? I don’t even have the Mount Skill… Maybe it’s because I transform using the Demon King’s fragments?”
He remembered hearing the word ‘Tartarus’ in Greek mythology on Earth. He could understand it appearing in his list of available Jobs, as he possessed the divine protection of Earth’s dark gods. He was also Saria and Rita’s master.
But he couldn’t understand why there was a Job named ‘Pale Rider.’
… He would likely have recognized it if it were written in kanji as ‘The Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse’ rather than in katakana, however.
“Well, in any case, I select Magic Cannoneer as I originally planned.
《You have changed Jobs to Magic Cannoneer!》
《The Level of the ‘Throwing’ Skill has increased!》
《You have acquired the ‘Strengthened Attack Power while activating a Magic Cannon’ Skill!》
He had recently asked Kanako and her companions to conduct performance tests on the matchlock firearms, and they were now trying to create fireworks from gunpowder. Even if this wasn’t the case, Murakami and the other reincarnated individuals were still out there, so it was possible that they would begin using firearms as weapons and acquire the Magic Cannoneer Job first.
If that happened, it was possible that Vandalieu would become unable to acquire the Magic Cannoneer Job due to the ‘Cannot learn existing Jobs’ curse that he had. Thus, he had decided to acquire the Job before that happened.
“There are a bunch of other Jobs available, but just in case,” Vandalieu said to himself, still unsure about how this new Job felt.
His ‘Artillery Technique’ Skill hadn’t leveled up, and it was strange that his ‘Throwing’ Skill had leveled up for some reason, but he had acquired the ‘Strengthened Attack Power while activating a Magic Cannon’ Skill, and he was likely the first person in this world to do so.
It likely increased the attack power while using a magical cannon using a cannon barrel and projectiles made of the Demon King’s fragments rather than using a regular gun or cannon.
“Could it be that you can’t become a Magic Cannoneer by using ordinary firearms? If that’s the case, doesn’t that mean there was no need to choose this Job?” Vandalieu murmured, this possibility arising in the back of his mind.
However, this was something that he had only learned after acquiring the Job. He left the Job-changing room, telling himself there was no use in judging his decisions based on the results.
And so Cuatro crossed the Devil’s Sea that surrounded the southern region of the continent, its oars driving it towards the Dark Continent where Zantark awaited Vandalieu and his companions. They spent the time playing Legion’s “Who am I?” game and conducting cosmetic treatment (?) for Shade and Izanami.
In Origin, Shade had been a life-form consisting of only a mind that possessed corpses, and Izanami had a body covered in tumors; she didn’t know what her own face looked like. Even with the Form Shifting Skill, they were unable to take a normal form.
Izanami took the form that she had in her previous life, and Shade took the shape of a human-shaped mass of flesh despite activating the Skill.
Vandalieu tried using the Mental Encroachment Skill to revive their memories of their own appearance before they were experimented on, while leaving their negative and sad memories forgotten.
This succeeded easily for Izanami, but Vandalieu learned that Shade had been experimented on since he was a baby, so he possessed almost no memory of his own appearance at all.
“So, should we set your appearance as the most impressionable among the bodies you possessed?” Vandalieu suggested.
“That would probably be the ‘Oracle’ Endou Kouya, so maybe not. I wonder if I could acknowledge an appearance that I imagine as my own appearance,” said Shade.
“I think that’s possible.”
“Then I think it would be convenient if I had this form.”
And so, Vandalieu changed Shade’s appearance to one that he wanted.
Shade’s appearance was that of someone in their early teenage years, reflecting his mental age, and it was a gender-neutral appearance that couldn’t be said to be that of a boy or a girl. He had good facial features, but there were no real characteristics that could be called special, so his features could only really be described as “good.” In other words, it was an average face.
It could also be described as the face of a background character.
“Being under disguise with this appearance would be fun. I don’t know if there will be any need for us to be under disguise in the future, but it wouldn’t hurt to have one appearance that could be used for it,” Shade said.
It was a choice that could be expected from Shade, who was not particularly obsessed with the appearance of his body despite being interested in experiencing eating and sleeping now after going so long without a body.
And so, February came. As March approached, the strange-looking form of the Dark Continent became visible from Cuatro’s deck.
“A month and a half of traveling on while Teleporting back and forth from Talosheim. It was faster than I expected,” said Vandalieu.
Cuatro had arrived at the Dark Continent considerably earlier than the ship of the Storm of Tyranny, which had departed the harbors of the marine nation of Galahad.
The large reasons behind this were the sea chart that had been given to them, even though it was simplified, and the fact that the oars had been rowing continuously with Leo pulling Cuatro forward.
“But you were quite late, weren’t you, Owner?” said the former pirate ship captain.
“There was quite a lot of paperwork today,” said Vandalieu.
He was making day-trips back and forth from the ship, so naturally, he was still doing his work as the emperor of Talosheim.
“But the Dark Continent… it’s quite the strange place,” Vandalieu remarked.
“The entire continent and the ocean around it are one big Devil’s Nest. It would be stranger if it looked normal, Master,” said Luciliano, who was animatedly taking notes.
He had arrived via Teleportation with Vandalieu this morning, wanting to see the Dark Continent that, like the Boundary Mountain Range, was unexplored territory for humans.
The scene before him was enough to make one feel dizzy from how strange it was, even from looking at it from the distance.
On the right side of Cuatro’s deck was an icy sea with drift ice floating on its poisonous-looking, purple surface, while the sea on the left side was boiling and bubbling.
The continent beyond this sea had sandy dunes with Sand Worms swimming through the sand, grasslands with seven-colored grass that writhed unnaturally, and fiery forest overgrown with trees whose leaves were constantly burning.
The region within the Boundary Mountain Range was like a mosaic of different Devil’s Nests jumbled together, but it did not have strangely-altered lands like this. The Dark Continent looked as if the floors of a Dungeon had somehow escaped outside to form a continent.
“Though both are unexplored lands to humans, I think that the Dark Continent is far more dangerous than the region inside the Boundary Mountain Range. Normal humans could never have enough lives to survive trying to survey it,” said Vandalieu.
“Yeah. Even though the region inside the Boundary Mountain Range is unexplored to humans, we and the rest of the people live there,” said Oniwaka.
The Devil’s Nests inside the Boundary Mountain Range had countless dangerous monsters, but the environments themselves were not particularly dangerous. They were not pleasant, but it was possible to travel through them if sufficiently well-prepared.
But the Dark Continent had multiple environments that were as different from each other as the floors of the Trial of Zakkart. And unlike Dungeons, it was unlikely that there would be any safe zones.
“It’s amazing that the founders of our races live here. And the adventurer called Schneider who found Zantark and Farmaun Gold on the Dark Continent… There’s no doubt that he has a lot of muscle,” Oniwaka continued.
“Yes. Dalton is still the only member that I’ve met directly, but he had wonderful muscles,” said Vandalieu.
“If you’re saying that, Vandalieu, then he must have good muscles that are trained both for appearance and practical use. But I’m more interested in the legendary Pure-breed Vampire, Zorcodrio-sama… If you ever meet him, could you get his autograph for me as well?” said Oniwaka.
“Of course. I hope we can meet Zorcodrio-sama soon,” Vandalieu replied.
Zorcodrio was a Pure-breed Vampire who had already possessed muscles that covered his body like armor for over a hundred thousand years. He had acquired the Muscle Technique Skill that allowed him to use his muscles not only as weapons, but to generate electricity as well. In a way, he was a legendary figure inside the Boundary Mountain Range.
To Vandalieu and Oniwaka, who admired muscles, he was like a superstar.
“No, I don’t think one could reach the Dark Continent and survive on it with muscles alone…” Luciliano muttered. “Gufadgarn, do you know anything about this continent?”
Gufadgarn thought for a moment. “My knowledge does not include an accurate history of it. However, I can offer my conjectures.”
“That would be plenty,” said Luciliano.
“I believe that this is the second continent that the Demon King Guduranis intended to invade after the continent that he used as his base. Thus, it became the battlefield upon which the gods of this world fought against the Demon King’s army… It is thought that the flesh and blood of the gods and the evil gods raining upon the land and polluting it with dense Mana is the primary reason that the Dark Continent is in the state that it is in today,” Gufadgarn explained.
There were also other causes of the Dark Continent’s pollution that Gufadgarn suspected. Alda and Vida had not possessed the resources to purify the continent after the battle with the Demon King ended, forcing them to simply abandon it. As a result, remnants of the Demon King’s army such as Ravovifard, the evil god of release, had settled in on this land. Even Zantark isolating himself here after fusing with evil gods had likely contributed to the Dark Continent becoming a Devil’s Nest.
With that said, Zantark isolating himself and the members of Vida’s races he had brought with him culling the monsters had likely prevented the Devil’s Nest spreading beyond the seas around the Dark Continent.
“Vandalieu, it seems that Kanako and the others have finished setting up,” said Legion’s Pluto, calling out to Vandalieu, who was still tripped out by the Dark Continent.
Activating and maintaining the Form Shift Skill didn’t have anything like a Mana Cost, but long periods of time caused stress. It apparently tired Legion, similar to wearing overly-formal clothes.
Also… They seemed to have become too accustomed to their mass-of-flesh form and forgotten how to walk like humans.
“You say setting up, but it’s not really all that much work,” said Kanako.
“We just need Doug to hold the firework sphere,” said Melissa.
On Cuatro’s deck, a little separated from them, was Doug. He was holding a sphere about the size of a cannonball… the firework that they had created.
“You guys… This is more difficult than it looks, you know. I’m not Vandalieu,” said Doug.
“We know that,” said Kanako. “So, what are we going to do? I think the sun is going to set soon, so should we wait until it gets dark?”
“Oi! Shouldn’t you check that before making me prepare?!” Doug demanded.
“It’s fine, isn’t it? You have some nice back muscles despite your young age, after all,” said Kanako.
“What kind of reason is that?!” Doug shouted as Vandalieu and Oniwaka stared at his “promising” back muscles.
It seemed that his lean, flexible, impressive body had been acknowledged by the muscle admirers.
“If you don’t want to be looked at, you could have put some proper clothes on,” said Melissa, pointing out the fact that it was Doug’s own fault for being in an almost half-naked state.
“Well, we’re on the southern seas, so I can understand being hot when we’re not going into the icy sea Devil’s Nest,” said Kanako; even she and Melissa were dressed in considerably thin clothes.
However, Vandalieu decided that they couldn’t stand around enjoying Doug’s muscles forever. “No, let’s fire it now,” he said, looking up at the sky. “There’s still that burning forest, so it might not be that visible even after it turns dark. I’m sure they’ll notice us if it makes some loud noises, though.”
“Alright,” said Doug. “Let’s get things started right away, then! Hecatoncheir!”
He lit the fuse of the firework with magic, threw them directly above him and used Hecatoncheir to send it flying even higher, straight up into the sky.
A few seconds later, the firework exploded about five hundred meters up with a bang, scattering red sparks into the air.
“So this is a firework… yet another of Zakkart’s wishes have come true,” murmured Gufadgarn, emotional tears running down her expressionless face. “This is magnificent, Doug, Kanako, Melissa.”
“Technically, it’s a little different from a firework, though,” said Doug, stretching his shoulders.
The three of them had succeeded in creating a firework that scattered sparks into the air when detonated, but… they had been unable to prepare the gunpowder needed to send the firework into the air.
If lit, it would simply explode on the ground’s surface. In other words, they had technically only created a bomb that exploded in a pretty way. They had seen TV programs and such that described how fireworks were made, and they had gained a rough knowledge of how to build and dismantle bombs when they were in the army.
However, what they had learned was really only rough knowledge. They had no experience in actually making bombs.
After they joined the Eighth Guidance, the weapons and ammunition they had used were black market items and ready-made goods that they had seized. In fact, Baba Yaga possessed the ability to combust and explode dead organic matter, so she had been in charge of explosive work, not Kanako’s group.
It was also possible that there was some kind of problem being caused by the fact that they were using a mixture of knowledge from Earth and Origin to create fireworks in Lambda.
Regardless of the cause, they were unable to create proper fireworks at this stage, so they were dependent on Doug’s Hecatoncheir telekinesis ability.
“Well, I suppose we’ve managed to send a signal? If it doesn’t work, someone else do the next one. It’s pretty tiring to throw these things straight upwards and sending them that high,” said Doug.
“Juoh, now that I think about it, perhaps Leo’s howl would be loud enough?” suggested Bone Man.
“I think that is quite the good idea, Bone Man, except that it might simply be mistaken for a monster’s howl and ignored,” said Luciliano.
“Well, let’s wait and see first, and try again if there’s no response,” said Vandalieu. “We might attract some monsters, but let’s try making a sign in the night sky with the Demon King’s luminescent organs next.”
As they discussed how they should send a signal to Zantark and Farmaun Gold who were somewhere on the Dark Continent to let them know that they were here, the sky gradually grew darker.
Just as the sun sank, a dim moon appeared in the sky and Vandalieu and his companions were considering sending another firework, a part of the burning forest suddenly split apart.
Between the burning trees was a female Colossus clad in ancient-looking armor, a bow in her hand.
Rather than being a Job specialized for handling diseases, this is a Job for a person who is able to create pathogens inside their own body and can transform into a pathogen himself. However, one cannot acquire the Job without knowing of the existence of bacteria and viruses.
As for Attribute Values, it provides little bonuses to Strength, but provides large bonuses to Vitality, Intelligence and Stamina. It provides bonuses to leveling up the Long-distance Control Skill, and if the Job is acquired when this Skill is already at a high Level, it is possible that it awakens into a new Skill.
Race explanation (Written by Luciliano):
Legion’s Rank increased after they saw the eclipse. The only change to their appearance is that they have grown a little larger, but the most significant change is their acquisition of the Form Shift Skill, which allows them to transform into the forms that they possessed in their previous lives… So it cannot be said that they have become stronger, but it has become possible for them to infiltrate cities and have enemies let down their guard.
Currently, they can only choose one personality to transform into at a time, but it can be presumed that as the Skill’s Level increases, it will become possible to have multiple personalities in the forms that they had in their previous lives by using the Long-distance Control Skill at the same time.
However, they are apparently currently able to transform only a part of their body.
Incidentally, there are known monsters such as Mimic Slimes that disguise themselves as other organisms.
The Mass Caster Job is likely a mage-type Job, but… from the Job Title, it is likely a Job that can only be acquired by someone with a body that is a mass of flesh.
The Mass Caster is a Mage-type Job, which ordinarily provides low bonuses to Vitality, Strength and Stamina, but this Job seems to be an exception; it provides large bonuses to Vitality and Stamina.
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