Up until he heard his foolish, idiotic sons’ dying screams, Bugogan had finished his preparations for battle, but remained seated on his throne.
The reason for that was because he was the ruling king. The king was not supposed to step out onto the battlefield. That was the job of his achievement-hungry sons, their subordinates and the slaves.
That was why Bugogan had simply sat on his throne, reprimanded the failures that were his subordinates and ordered his sons to join the battle.
And then he became aware that his servants and slaves had perished, and his sons had been slaughtered.
At that moment, Bugogan’s rage exceeded its limits.
He unsheathed his prided magic sword and stood up from his throne and destroyed the walls of this building that had taken longer to build than the other Orc dwellings, but was still nothing more than a shabby house.
Sending splinters of wood flying, he gave yet another roar. His rage wouldn’t settle down at all.
How much effort had he put into increasing the numbers of the foolish Orcs to this extent?
No matter how stupid, foolish and inexperienced they were, how long had it taken him to create sons?
It hadn’t been easy to gather slaves, women, weapons and armor, either.
All of that hard work was about be nullified in a single night.
He couldn’t hold himself back any more.
These insolent Ghouls who had attacked his village! He would slaughter all of the males, capture every single female and have them give birth to as many Orcs as had been killed tonight!
As Bugogan lost himself in his rage, he saw something flying towards him with incredible speed.
Bugogan didn’t think it was more than something in the background until it was about ten meters in front of him.
And even now that he had noticed that it was there, he forgot his rage for a moment and wondered what this thing was.
It looked like a human child with long, white hair, white skin, a right eye as red as blood and a bluish-purple left eye. For a moment Bugogan thought that this was a young female Ghoul, but the ears that could be seen protruding through its hair were pointed. Did this creature possess Elf blood mixed into its veins?
The reason Bugogan was confused at this child’s appearance was that he felt nothing from it.
No presence, no sound, no smell, no bloodthirst, no hostility, no fear. He felt nothing at all.
If someone explained it to him by saying that he was having a hallucination, he would have believed it. This creature that he felt absolutely nothing from was so bizarre that he thought it might disappear if he closed his eyes and open them again.
Still floating in the air, it held its arms out as if to block his path, wrapping black Mana around itself.
Finally, Bugogan realized that this was an enemy.
The Noble Orc Bugogan. The Ghoul King Vandalieu. The scene of the two of them preparing to fight each other looked incredibly stupid.
At first, while Vandalieu was covering himself in black Mana and casting his【Impact-Negating Barrier】and【Magic Absorption Barrier】, Bugogan was simply staring at him blankly.
As Vandalieu finished casting his spells, Bugogan gave a short chant. A spear of earth suddenly appeared from below Vandalieu. It looked as if it was going to turn him into a skewer, but the moment its tip touched the【Impact-Negating Barrier】, it turned back into fragile dirt.
Combined together, the【Impact-Negating Barrier】and【Magic Absorption Barrier】absorbed all of the power from any attack that originated outside the barriers. Electrical energy would be absorbed from lightning, heat energy would be absorbed from flame and, of course, Mana would be absorbed from spells.
Bugogan’s spells were quickly rendered useless.
With that, he had likely discerned the effect of the barriers. Thinking that unarmed combat would be more effective than magic, Bugogan raised his magic sword.
And in the next instant, he had closed the distance between himself and Vandalieu. With a speed that was unbelievable coming from his enormous body that was three meters in both width and height, he swung his magic sword down.
His attack looked like it could cut a rock in half as if it were paper, but it was blocked by the【Impact-Negating Barrier】and didn’t even land a scratch on Vandalieu. The【Impact-Negating Barrier】absorbed not only the Mana, but also the kinetic energy of the weapon.
Kinetic energy is the energy needed to make a physical object move. To move a ten-kilogram dumbbell, ten kilograms of energy is required*. As that kinetic energy was absorbed by the【Impact-Negating Barrier】, Bugogan’s magic sword could not reach Vandalieu who was behind it.
In response to the strange sensation of having his weapon repelled by a soft wall, Bugogan’s face twisted in confusion.
With Bugogan’s blade stopped right in front of his face, Vandalieu looked at Bugogan with no expression on his face, but this is what he was thinking.
(This is bad, I’m going to die.)
On the surface, it seemed that Vandalieu was surrounded with an impenetrable defense. However, that impenetrable defense wouldn’t last forever.
(Stopping that one preliminary attack that wasn’t even a martial skill or anything cost me fifty thousand Mana.)
Vandalieu had been using his Mana excessively since the battle began; he had already spent half of it. He still had more than 50,000,000 remaining, but... If Bugogan attacked with a martial skill, it would cost tens of thousands of Mana to block it... Possibly even hundreds of thousands.
Of course, martial skills also consumed the user’s Mana, so they couldn’t be used endlessly. However, Bugogan could also use magic, so he would have much more Mana than his sons. And his Stamina would be even greater than that.
If Vandalieu ran out of Mana and his barriers disappeared, he would have no way of escaping Bugogan’s attacks.
(I’m weak, after all.)
Are you strong? If someone were to ask Vandalieu this question, he would answer,「No, I’m weak.」
He could use death-attribute magic that nobody else could use.
He possessed over 100,000,000 Mana.
Because he was a Dhampir, at two years of age, he possessed more physical strength than an average adult man.
But he was weak.
If one were to separate everyone in Lambda into the strong and weak, Vandalieu would undoubtedly fall into the weak category.
Death-attribute magic was more restricted than other attributes of magic; there were limits to what Vandalieu could accomplish with it. There were almost no spells that dealt direct damage to the target like【Flame Spear】,【Earth Axe】and【Wind Strike.】Its defensive capabilities were being demonstrated by Vandalieu right now, but since he could never go on the attack, he would be defeated eventually.
And whether he had 100,000,000 Mana or 200,000,000 Mana, he would die if his vitality dropped to zero.
His physical strength was barely stronger than an adult man’s; there was no way that it would be a match for this monster that could even challenge a Dragon.
That was why Vandalieu was weak.
Vandalieu did not possess a permanent strength that worked in any situation.
But that didn’t mean that he had the choice to give up and die.
First, he turned the ground beneath Bugogan’s feet into Golems to try to destroy his footing. His plan was to stop his movements until Basdia and the others got here, and then have them throw endless long-ranged attacks until Bugogan died.
However, Bugogan quickly crushed the Earth Golems under his feet as they began to move. He stomped downwards with the unarmed martial skill【Kicking Strike】, and each stomp caused multiple Golems to crumble.
It was only a tactic to buy time, but Vandalieu was surprised that he could only buy a few seconds by spending tens of thousands of Mana.
Next, Vandalieu fired the no-attribute magic spell,【Mana Bullet.】This was a simple spell where he hardened his Mana into a ball and threw it at his target, but since it didn’t have any attribute, it was a spell that one could expect to work to some degree against any enemy.
He fired off multiple【Mana Bullets】the size of his own body containing about ten thousand Mana each, aiming for different parts of Bugogan’s body with different timings, and then topped it off with a single, extra-large【Mana Bullet】containing a hundred thousand Mana.
Regardless of Bugogan’s huge size, this barrage would send Bugogan flying to the edge of the village if they hit.
But Bugogan blocked all of them with his magic sword.
He moved his magic sword with incredible speed to repel every single【Mana Bullet.】The martial skill【Instant Response】increases the user’s reaction speed. Bugogan used a superior version of the spell,【Super Instant Response】, and a defensive spell where the user deflects magic with a sword called【Magic Breaker】consecutively while channeling Mana through the blade of his weapon.
Vandalieu was astonished to see him perform this feat that even a first-class swordsman would find difficult. He was the father of that weak Bubobio; why was he this strong?
Vandalieu’s【Mana Control】skill was low relative to the amount of Mana contained in the deflected【Mana Bullets】, so the Mana quickly dispersed without affecting the nearby terrain. For some reason, Vandalieu could sense something inside the house that Bugogan had emerged from with his【Sense Life】spell, so he was being careful about where he fired.
After repelling all of the【Mana Bullets】, Bugogan raised his magic sword in the air and used the martial skill,【Cross Cut.】The【Impact-Negating Barrier】made an unusual sound.
The barrier hadn’t been able to absorb all of the destructive power in the magic blade in an instant, so the blade had made it halfway in.
(I can’t hold back here.)
It seemed that Bugogan had intended to finish things with this attack, so his eyes were wide open in surprise. Vandalieu looked down at him as he poured Mana into the【Impact-Negating Barrier】to repair it and strengthen it even further.
The【Cross Cut】executed by Bugogan was strong enough that it would cut the average knight or adventurer into four pieces.【Cross Cut】was a martial skill that actually had a lower skill level requirement to be effective than【Super Instant Response.】Bugogan was capable of using even more powerful martial skills than this.
(If he’d suddenly decided to go all-out, I might have died.)
The【Impact-Negating Barrier】protected Vandalieu’s body from almost any attack, but there was a way to break through it. A single attack focused on one point, containing too much energy for the barrier to absorb. Pushing through by force, the kind of tactic that the main character of a story might use against the villain.
Vandalieu had loved such plot developments when he had lived on Earth, but the problem was that he was on the receiving end of it, and it might actually be possible for Bugogan to accomplish it.
There was no way that Vandalieu could die here, fail to avenge and revive his mother and become some stepping stone for a Noble Orc’s ambitions.
He had to think of a way to kill him. He decided to position a Lemure behind Bugogan.
And then he would unleash a【Mana Bullet】at the same time the Lemure released its bloodthirst.
The Lemure vanished, releasing a powerful bloodthirst. It was something that Bugogan couldn’t ignore, even with an enemy right in front of him. The more powerful the warrior, the more sensitive to bloodthirst he would be and the more his body would react automatically.
And then the plan was to simply use【Mana Bullets】to turn him into a bee’s nest, but...
Bugogan used【Super Instant Response】once more to increase his reaction speed and put his huge, flexible upper body to use as he performed a【Sword Dance.】This was a martial skill in which the user attacks in any direction. Bugogan attacked both behind him where the bloodthirst had come from, as well as the【Mana Bullets】coming from the front.
The magic sword that gleamed as it reflected the moonlight flashed in every direction; it even looked beautiful as it cut the black spheres of Mana into pieces.
And then Vandalieu felt a premonition of his own death. He quickly thickened his【Impact-Negating Barrier.】
Bugogan pointed his magic sword towards Vandalieu and released a【Piercing Thrust.】A few millimeters further, and Vandalieu would have touched the cold blade. The thrust was so fast that Vandalieu would never have reacted in time if it hadn’t been for his【Danger Sense: Death.】
Bugogan was able to deal with the bloodthirst of a Lemure and the【Mana Bullets】simultaneously, while also launching an attack. Bugogan’s strength in battle exceeded Vandalieu’s expectations.
(Now that it’s come to this, what killing methods do I have –)
Release pathogens into the air with the【Incurable Disease】spell? Rejected. It would take time for the disease to infect Bugogan and produce symptoms. Vandalieu would run out of Mana before then.
Create poison with the【Deadly Poison】spell and then administer it to Bugogan? How? The simplest method would be to somehow inflict a wound and then apply the poison onto it, but it was difficult to inflict that wound in the first place.
Distract him with Golems? Vandalieu decided to give it a try.
Bugogan clicked his tongue and pulled back his magic sword. Before he could attack again, Vandalieu used【Flight】to fall back while whispering,「Get up.」
Earth Golems rose from behind, Wood Golems rose from the debris scattered around the area and the fallen Goblin and Kobold corpses rose as Living Dead.
At the same time, Vandalieu turned the ground beneath Bugogan’s feet into Earth Golems to destroy his footing and even released a Lemure’s bloodthirst and unleashed【Mana Bullets】simultaneously.
Bugogan chased after Vandalieu.
He cut the Golems and【Mana Bullets】down with his【Sword Dance】while using【Kicking Strike】to crush the Golems under his feet.
Bugogan released a【Kicking Strike】with each step he took. Was he not afraid that the ground he was standing on would collapse? The ground shook with a loud thud each time his feet contacted the ground.
Just as Vandalieu wondered whether this would become a contest of who would run out of Stamina and Mana first, he heard the voices of his allies.
Suddenly, arrows and spears, poison breath, Spirit Form feathers, arrows of fire and stone, and attacks of ice and wind all rained down on Bugogan.
It seemed that Zadiris and the rest had arrived.
Bugogan repelled these attacks with his extravagant armor, tough muscles and his magic sword. His magic sword even scattered the magic and poison breath attacks. He wasn’t unharmed, but he had only taken damage on the level of superficial scratches.
(Not good... This situation is not good.)
Everyone had arrived at the scene, and they still had no way of dealing the decisive blow. Bugogan was fixated on killing Vandalieu for some reason, but would he give chase if Vandalieu were to run? No, in the worst case scenario, Bugogan would simply target everyone else instead.
Those targeted by him would have no way to survive.
(I can’t let everyone be killed.)
Vandalieu might be able to have them stay in this world as spirits like Darcia. Sam and the other Undead might be fine as long as their souls were intact and he just repaired the bodies that contained them.
But what if that magic sword had the ability to cut through Spirit Forms?
No way, definitely not. He couldn’t allow that to happen, he couldn’t let any of that happen.
He had to kill this guy before that.
But how would he kill Bugogan? How could he get past this ridiculous defense to inflict a fatal wound?
Vandalieu thought so hard that steam might start rising from his head, and then he came to a sudden realization. He thought of something that Bugogan could neither evade nor block.
It was simple. It was nothing special.
He just needed to take a fatal wound himself.
Vandalieu deliberately made his【Impact-Negating Barrier】thinner. And then Bugogan’s magic sword pierced through it and landed a diagonal slash on Vandalieu’s torso.
Though Vandalieu wasn’t aware of this, Bugogan seemed to be on the offense, but he wasn’t in a comfortable position. In fact, from Bugogan’s point of view, he was the one being driven into a corner.
The unknown foe before his eyes gave off no presence whatsoever and unleashed lethal attacks one after another with no signs of bloodthirst.
Each of the【Mana Bullets】that Vandalieu was freely releasing contained at least as much as the entire Mana pool of the average first-class mage. Their power was lessened by the fact that his control over his Mana was imperfect, but they were still powerful enough that if Bugogan took a direct hit, his bones would be smashed and several of his organs would rupture.
In fact, every time Bugogan deflected one with his magic sword, his arms received an impact that he couldn’t completely shake off and placed a heavy burden on his wrists that he couldn’t ignore. How much longer could he endure these attacks?
And on top of that, there were unknown invisible enemies releasing a bloodthirst, the ground surface and debris nearby had begun to move and corpses had risen up as Undead. Even if he wanted to use magic to deal with these, there was a strange black substance surrounding him that prevented his Mana from manifesting outside his body, making it impossible to cast spells.
He had no choice but to simply use consecutive martial skills, mustering all his Mana, Stamina and more importantly his willpower and emotional strength to deal with this and execute his own counterattack. But then the enemy’s reinforcements arrived.
It was such a desperate situation that Bugogan wanted to shout,「You’ve got to be kidding me!」
Of course, aiming at any enemy but Vandalieu or trying to make an escape were both out of the question.
If he let this enemy out of his sight, how would he block those【Mana Bullets?】Because Vandalieu was erasing his presence completely, Bugogan could lose sight of him even if he focused on him.
If he turned his back on Vandalieu, he would take a direct hit from a final Mana Bullet and die.
What Bugogan thought was most terrifying about Vandalieu was that『expression.』The motionless eyes that watched him. They looked incredibly inhuman and showed no emotion.
Not fatigue, fear, impatience or anything else.
Seeing that, Bugogan thought that Vandalieu was composed. Didn’t this guy look as if he could continue fighting for another whole hour, or even another whole day? If Bugogan didn’t land an effective blow now, wouldn’t he run out of strength and be killed?
Bugogan could see his own defeat and death.
Believing that he was being driven into a corner one-sidedly, Bugogan thought that his only way to survive was to somehow kill Vandalieu, use what was left of his Stamina to scatter the Ghouls and then make an escape.
And then one of his countless attacks reached Vandalieu’s body. It wasn’t deep enough to slice Vandalieu’s torso in half. But as Bugogan felt the sensation of his blade cutting through Vandalieu’s ribs and sternum to reach his organs, he involuntarily gave an unpleasant sneer.
Hearing the Ghouls’ screams, Bugogan was confident in his victory.
He had expended most of his Stamina and Mana, but he still had a quarter of each left. That was plenty to scatter these inferior creatures. If he could, he would have wanted to slaughter them all, but that would have to come later. As long as he survived here, he would be able to build another kingdom. He would gather more subordinates and slaves and create more sons. This time for sure, he would create the strongest kingdom.
Licking the incredibly warm blood that had sprayed onto his face, Bugogan... fell to his knees.
(Looks like it worked. My blood spraying conveniently like that helped a lot.)
Vandalieu was on the ground, unable to breathe because his lungs had been cut. So he lay there silently, healing his own wound while watching Bugogan who was on his knees.
The moment he was cut, he had used【Spirit Form Transformation】to transform his heart and spine into spirit form. Because his back was intact, his arms and legs could still move. It was a harsh sensation, as he was bleeding a lot, but he wouldn’t die as long as he didn’t asphyxiate.
In order to close his wounds, he poured hundreds of thousands of Mana into the no-attribute magic spell,【Fortify Regeneration】, with the mending of his lungs as the highest priority. He was fortunate that Bugogan’s weapon had been an incredibly sharp magic sword. Because the wound was a clean cut, it was easy to heal.
「Boy, do not move! I will treat you right now!」
「UOOOOOH! I’LL TAKE REVENGE FOR VANDALIEU ON THIS PIG!」
『Wait, I was just spitting out the blood that had gotten into my trachea. I’ll be able to breathe again in a few minutes. And Vigaro, I’m not dead.』
『Bocchan, only we can hear your communication through thoughts.』
『I do know that.』
「Sam, what is Van saying?!」
『Ah, everyone, everything is fine. Bocchan’s wounds will heal momentarily.』
The plan that Vandalieu had executed was to receive a deep wound that he could manage to heal on his own, while using【Deadly Poison】to turn the blood that sprayed from that wound into a toxic substance, and apply that toxic blood onto to Bugogan.
Bugogan hadn’t expected that his enemy’s blood would have turned into poison. He had been showered in Vandalieu’s blood that had transformed into a poison so potent that it would permeate through the skin, and even licked it with his tongue and swallowed it.
His arms and legs began convulsing, his vision blurred, he lost consciousness and then had a heart attack. Under the effects of this incredibly deadly, poisonous blood, Bugogan couldn’t even maintain his grip on his magic sword. He fell to his knees and then crumpled onto the ground.
『First, the finishing blow must be dealt to that Noble Orc. And be careful not to come into contact with Bocchan’s blood –』
『Hmm, this should have been left to us, as we are unaffected by poison. Very well, please excuse me.』
Sam’s carriage wheel ran over the fallen Bugogan’s neck with a crunch. And so he brought an end to the Noble Orc Bugogan who had been burning with ambition, but perished without any honor or proud achievements to his name.
The battle between the Ghoul King and the Noble Orc who had both overestimated each other’s strength came to an unsightly end.
The battle was over, but there was still work to be done.
「Now that I think about it, someone did say that the hardest part would come after the battle.」
Dealing with the aftermath of war, so to speak.
The first thing that needed to be done was, of course, casting【Detoxification】on Vigaro to negate the poison in his body.
To prevent monsters that might be attracted by the smell of the large amount of blood spilled in the ruins of the village, Ghouls that had a relatively large amount of Stamina remaining were stationed as lookouts. The Ghoul women were in charge of caring for the ones that had been kept captive.
They searched the buildings that were still intact to check whether there were any survivors. And then they had to prepare bedding to sleep in tonight.
There was enough work to make their heads spin.
Even Vandalieu, who had sent Bone Bird back to the Ghoul village as a messenger, only had twenty percent of his Stamina and Mana remaining. But he wasn’t resting, either.
「There’s a full-bodied richness to it, and yet there is a persistent aftertaste that lingers in the throat.」
Fortunately, there was plenty of food lying on the ground all over the village. Vandalieu was draining the blood out of the Orc meat, and drinking it while he was at it, replenishing his Stamina and Mana.
The outer wall made of Ent materials had reverted to simply being logs. Tomorrow, the task of turning them back into Golems would be waiting for Vandalieu... Though there was something even harsher waiting for him as well.
「Boy... We are busy right now, so I will leave it until later, but there is something I want to say.」(Zadiris)
『I suspect that Darcia-sama also has something to say. She simply cannot remain silent about what happened today, after all.』(Sam)
The plan of allowing his enemy to cut through his own flesh, organs and bones in order to dish out his blood as poison had succeeded, but it had made Zadiris, among others, very angry.
『To be honest, it’s scary when people get angry at me so I don’t like it, but...』
Vigaro hadn’t been angered after finding out about Vandalieu’s plan. Instead, he had complimented Vandalieu by saying,「Vandalieu is brave. Now that’s what I call a real man.」So Vandalieu managed to comfort himself, telling himself that it might not be so bad.
「Vandalieu, we will leave the remonstrations for tomorrow, so I wish to consult you regarding what to do with the human women.」
「We ask them not to say anything about what happened and then release them near the town... This isn’t a situation where we can do that, is it?」
「Hmm... Even if we were to release them near the town, they are in a state where they would likely sit there in the same spot until they die.」
It seemed that there would be no happy ending where everyone would live happily ever after, even after the evil monsters had been defeated.