Since Vandalieu’s【Death-Attribute Mage】Job had reached level 100 after his sixth clearing of Borkus’s Sub-Dragon Savannah, he headed for the Job-changing room in the Adventurers’ Guild for the first time in over a year.
“Give me some fish sauce for this. Miso as well.”
“Katsuobushi and kombu for me.”
“Is there any honey? I want some wasabi, too.”
“Give me some acorn powder!”
“The Giga eggs are sold out, huh. Then at least give me some eel. Ammonite is fine as well!”
The Adventurers’ Guild had been turned into a place where the food that Vandalieu had invented, including the flavorings and kombu, was being distributed and traded.
People would come here to receive a rationed amount, and if they wanted any more than that, they would have to barter using materials that they had gathered from the Devil’s Nests.
Requests for goods had been posted on a board so that the goods in short supply would be replenished, so it appeared as if the Adventurers’ Guild had begun operating again.
“If real Adventurers’ Guilds were full of Ghouls and Undead like this, going in and out would be easy,” Vandalieu said to himself.
Leaving that wishful thinking aside, the Ghouls and Undead Titans would be able to make acorn powder themselves without having to trade for it, though the flavorings would be impossible for them.
When asked why they came to trade for it instead, these were the responses they gave.
“Hey, hey, we get miso, fish sauce, kombu and agar distributed for free and if we want more, all we have to do is pick up monster materials, Magic Stones and ingredients like acorns and bring them in to trade. Why should we have to spend time making it on our own?”
“You have to break acorns, soak them in water for three days and then dry them before turning them into powder, right? Killing monsters is easier.”
It seemed that the Undead Titans and Ghouls’ sense of manual labor was very different to that of the humans on Earth.
“Well, it’s much easier to go into a Devil’s Nest and hunt an Orc than raise a pig from birth for its meat, so I understand how they feel.” Vandalieu seemed to have been raised into quite the hunter himself.
Incidentally, the amount of products Vandalieu was producing had increased, so he had built a special manufacturing facility for things like acorn powder and walnut sauce.
He had used his Alchemy skill to make Magic Items imbued with spells like Withering for drying and Decomposition to decompose the flesh of the walnuts. Golems were set up in lanes to perform tasks like smashing, cooking and powdering the ingredients, so there was a lane of Golems for making acorn powder and one for making walnut sauce.
Seeing the Golems shaped like mortars and other equipment at work reminded Vandalieu of factories on earth.
The only fuel required was Mana, so it was very economically and environmentally friendly. And in an emergency, the Golems would change shape to participate in battle.
It was a wonderful, environmentally-friendly factory that didn’t require any maintenance.
“I wonder if I can industrialize the nori and agar as well. If I made more labor necessary, it would create more jobs in the future… But the Ghouls and Titans are hunters, so maybe I don’t need to worry? But in a few decades from now, there will be Black Goblins and Anubises who have aged and can’t fight anymore.” Vandalieu contemplated these truly complicated factors.
Well, let’s leave thinking about the societal system for later on.
“So, the Job-change. I suppose I’ll be a Golem Transmuter now.”
Vandalieu could only acquire undiscovered Jobs due to the “Cannot learn existing Jobs” curse. During his previous Job-change, “Golem Transmuter” was the available Job that had appeared alongside “Death-Attribute Mage”.
So he would definitely be able to undergo a Job-change now.
He calmed himself down and coolly reached out to touch the crystal ball in the Job-changing room.
『Jobs that can be selected:【Golem Transmuter】【Undead Tamer】【Soul Breaker】【Venom Fist User】【Insect User】』
“There’s a lot more…” Vandalieu whispered in astonishment at the five Jobs displayed in his head. It seemed that among the three curses Rodcorte had placed on him, this one was the most pointless.
Well, it will probably cause trouble for me in the future.
The reason “Undead Tamer” hadn’t appeared previously is probably because I wasn’t aware that Undead can’t normally be tamed until I heard about it from Eleanora.
It’s strange to think that whether the Job is displayed or not is dependent on whether I’m aware of this fact, but it’s probably something like that.
It seems self-explanatory that this Job will provide bonuses to Undead-related skills, but many Tamer-type Jobs apparently don’t provide a lot of bonuses to Attribute Values.
“Soul Breaker” is clearly a Job that has appeared because I acquired the Soul Breaker skill after destroying Sercrent’s soul.
Soul Break is a skill that applies its effects to all of my attacks. Wouldn’t this Job probably give me bonuses to a wide range of both magic-related and martial-type skills?
As for its Attribute Value bonuses, I have no idea. It seems like it would increase Strength and Intelligence, though.
And “Venom Fist User”… What is it? Could it be a Job that appears for someone who uses death-attribute magic after reaching a certain level with the Unarmed Fighting Technique skill and killing a certain number of enemies with poison?
It seems like it would probably give bonuses to Unarmed Fighting Technique, Strength, Agility and Stamina, but… it seems like the kind of Job that would make people refuse to shake hands with me.
It would break my heart if people refused a handshake or wiped their hands with a handkerchief after shaking my hand.
There’s no doubt that “Insect User” has appeared because I tamed the Cemetery Bees. Its bonuses to skills and Attribute Values are probably the same as Undead Tamer except applying to insects instead of Undead.
It would be a good Job if it increases the amount of honey the bees produce. It might even be interesting to tame rhinoceros beetles and stag beetles so I can call myself the King of Insects that I couldn’t become on Earth.
“But I’m going with Golem Transmuter this time.”
Because the opponent I’m fighting next is a Dragon Golem.
There were no stories telling what kind of inorganic mineral the Golem was made of and【Appraisal】couldn’t be used through the ice. There was a chance that the Golem Transmutation skill would be useful against the Golem that was made of an unknown substance.
Controlling it directly would be impossible, but the place where Vandalieu would be fighting it was a large yet finite space. There was a floor, walls and, most importantly, a ceiling. In addition, the Golem’s wings had been broken. There was no chance that it would be able to fly freely.
If I turn the floor and walls into Golems and manipulate them, I should be able to rob the Dragon Golem of its freedom or at least slow its movements down.
Golem Transmutation was useful when I killed Sercrent and his subordinates. I’ve used it to develop Golems that manufacture acorn powder and walnut sauce as well as repair Talosheim’s walls and royal castle. This skill should become important in helping me survive longer and making my life richer.
【You have selected Golem Transmuter.】
【The levels of the Strengthen Followers and Golem Transmutation skills have increased!】
When Vandalieu checked his Status, he found that his Attribute Values hadn’t increased as much as they had when he acquired the Death-Attribute Mage Job.
Well, that’s probably just how the difference between a first Job change and a second one is.
“Now then, time to go below the royal castle…” Vandalieu paused and reconsidered. “Before that, I need to test out my Golem Transmutation skill now that it’s leveled up, and I should ask everyone how they’re feeling now that my Strengthen Followers skill has leveled up as well.”
Vandalieu inspected the Golem Transmutation skill to find that it cost him less Mana than before to create Golems. If he were to cross the Boundary Mountain Range again, he would be able to create the paths to do so at twice the speed that he had managed the first time.
In the future, I might be moving the mountains out of the way rather than creating paths or digging a tunnel… Though I won’t do it that carelessly, because it would be troublesome if I happened to come across some magma. I don’t know anything about this world’s geographical structure, anyway.
Also, his Golems had become stronger. It seemed that his Golems had started being affected by【Strengthen Followers.】They wouldn’t be able to put up a fight against the Dragon Golem, but they would probably be useful in the future.
“You really mustn’t push yourself too hard,” said Darcia. “If you think it’s too dangerous, you have to run away immediately, okay?”
“That’s what I intend to do, Mom,” Vandalieu assured her.
“Bocchan, may fortune be with you,” said Sam. “But it is also courage to escape when the situation calls for it.”
“If the situation calls for it, I’ll open a hole in the wall and come running back.”
Vandalieu and his carefully-selected companions headed below the royal castle as Darcia and the others saw them off.
The enemy they would be facing was the Dragon Golem. The hero who had been said to be destined to become S-class, a hero so powerful that he had killed Borkus with a single attack, had not been able to defeat this enemy.
Its head, right arm, wings and tail had been destroyed, cracks were running all across its body and the magic spear was even still embedded in its chest. But even so, this was a powerful enemy for Vandalieu and his party to face.
That was why Vandalieu had only chosen those who were Rank 6 or above, those who could be revived by being placed in a new body if their current one was damaged and those that Vandalieu was using to soak up damage.
The Rank 9 Borkus and the Rank 8 Eleanora were obvious choices. Next were Zadiris and Vigaro, who were Rank 6.
And then there was Bone Man, Bone Wolf, Bone Monkey, Bone Bear, Bone Bird, Saria and Rita. They were still only Rank 5, but their bodies were made of bones and suits of armor. Even if they were smashed into tiny pieces, they could be revived once Vandalieu prepared new bones and suits of armor.
And as for meat shields, or rather, stone shields, Vandalieu was bringing ten Stone Golems with him. This was a precaution that he was taking just in case the available materials in the Dragon Golem’s chamber were brittle or they had been magically altered in a way that would make them difficult to turn into Golems. They would sacrifice their bodies to slow the Golem’s movements and act as shields.
They were made of the spirits of the Orcs and Goblins from Bugogan’s village, so Vandalieu intended to exploit them fully.
“Depending on what the Dragon Golem is made of, I’m afraid that it might be able to attack spirits, so please be very careful,” Vandalieu warned his party.
The wall of cursed ice is still in place, so I still don’t know what the Dragon Golem is made of. I’m sure it’s not going to be made of simple iron.
“If it’s made of Mythril which has strong anti-magic properties, it will be hard for me and Zadiris to make an impact with our spells,” said Vandalieu. “Mythril can damage spirits as well. If that’s the case, we’ll be completely reliant on the physical attacks of Borkus and the others.”
“It would be a relief if it were made of Adamantite, since we wouldn’t have to worry about it damaging spirits. But if it’s made of Adamantite, my sword won’t be able to cut it. The situation would be reversed; we’d be reliant on your magical attacks, kid,” said Borkus, tapping his fingers against the handle of Bugogan’s magic sword that he had received from Vandalieu.
His sword was simply a magic sword with enhanced sharpness and strength, but its attacks were quite powerful. With this sword in hand, Borkus would be able to slice through the scales of an Earth Dragon with ease.
“Is it really that hard?” asked Vigaro, swallowing nervously upon hearing that even Borkus’s sword wouldn’t be able to cut through it.
“You bet,” said Borkus. “It’s a magical metal so hard that even the scales and bones of inferior Dragons are nothing like it. If you tried comparing iron to it, the iron might as well be slime.”
“But if that is the case, Vandalieu-sama’s spells will be effective,” said Eleanora. “There is also the option of pulling that spear out and using it.”
“Also, we have no choice but to aim for the cracks in its body,” Zadiris added. “Well, if its movements are slow, the boy simply needs to bury it in the floor.”
“There are other options. Like using the broken pieces of the Dragon Golem that are lying around. Since they’ll be made of the same material as the Golem itself, they should at least serve as shields,” said Vandalieu as he and his companions walked through the underground passage.
There were still broken fragments of ice littered across the ground. Despite this being the one place in Talosheim that not even a single Undead entered for two hundred years, it was the most ominous place in the city.
However, Vandalieu had melted all of the walls of ice that served as barriers to enter. There was now nothing in their way.
Then they arrived in front of the Dragon Golem’s chamber. They could see a dragon made of a black metal through the ice.
“The danger of death is less than it was before, but… it’s still there,” said Vandalieu.
“What will we do? Shall we postpone this venture?” asked Saria.
“No, we’ll press on,” replied Vandalieu. “It’s a Golem that defeated someone who almost possessed the power of an S-class adventurer; there’s no way that we’ll defeat it without facing any danger.”
In order to defeat the Golem that was carefully made by the goddess herself without facing any danger, Vandalieu would either need to become more powerful than an S-class adventurer or make Borkus and the others all as strong as S-class adventurers.
Vandalieu had gone from being a powerless baby with nothing but a large Mana pool to becoming this powerful in a little over four and a half years, but there was no telling how many years, how many decades it would take him to achieve that power.
Darcia had told him not to push himself, but Vandalieu had no intention of waiting that long.
I want to celebrate my birthday this year with a mother who has a physical body, Vandalieu thought as he cast enchantments on his party members. Zadiris and Eleanora cast their own spells as well.
Everyone had their physical and magical damage resistance increased by Vandalieu’s Energy Absorption.
Their weapons had their attack power increased by Zadiris’s Blade of Wind Enchantment and their Agility enhanced by her Blessing of Wind. Just in case, she cast Arrow Evasion which made it easier to dodge projectile attacks and offensive spells. It was a little regrettable that many of the party members were Undead, so she couldn’t use light-attribute enchantments on them.
Eleanora’s time-attribute spell, Acceleration, allowed them to move even faster.
Finally, Vandalieu transferred Mana to Zadiris and Eleanora until they were full and then their preparations were complete.
Other than Borkus’s magic sword and Vigaro’s axe, everyone’s equipment had been enhanced by monster materials and items obtained in the treasure chambers of cleared Dungeons.
Many pieces of their equipment were enhanced by Earth Dragon or Rock Dragon materials, or made of Black Steel, a lower-value magical metal.
Bone Wolf let out a growl. He and the other Undead were the ones making the most extravagant use out of those materials, all of the major bones in their bodies had been replaced by those of Dragons whose shape had been changed to match their skeletons.
Even an Ogre would be incapable of breaking their bones now.
“Well then, let’s go,” said Vandalieu.
He raised a hand and began sucking the Mana out of the wall of ice. It was thicker than the other walls of ice he had removed, but the difference wasn’t great and the ice began melting steadily.
The Dragon Golem sensed this and made a loud, slow movement. Sideways.
One second, two seconds, three seconds passed. It wasn’t retreating or approaching; it simply continued sideways and stopped in front of its own severed head that was on the ground.
Could it be, it’s going to pick it up and put it back on – this is bad!
“Everyone, split left and right and retreat!” Vandalieu ordered.
Vandalieu obeyed the warnings his instincts gave him and stopped his spell. Everyone followed his command and split into two groups.
The shining black head of a Dragon came flying through.
The Dragon Golem had kicked its own head to launch it as a projectile weapon!
“It’s quite the smart Golem!” Borkus spat as he avoided the Dragon’s head that had smashed the ice like brittle glass and destroyed all of the Stone Golems that were supposed to be their meat shields.
“And that’s the metal of the gods, Orichalcum! The fact that it destroyed the cursed ice that only Vandalieu-sama should have been able to remove is proof of that!” Eleanora said in a slightly trembling voice, making it clear what the Dragon Golem was made of.
Orichalcum, Mythril, Adamantite, Damascus Steel, Black Steel – all of these magical metals are high-quality materials, the most precious metals in this world. It is said that only the gods can handle them.
One of these precious metals made up the entirety of the Dragon Golem’s thirty-meter-long body.
“Using it for weapons and equipment is one thing, but what an amazing goddess, using it for a Golem larger than a dinosaur!” said Eleanora.
“Uwah, if we brought all of that back, we’d be able to buy a country,” said Rita.
“Well then, please bring it back,” said Vandalieu.
“Rita, Saria, Bone Man, everyone, please gather the pieces of that Golem,” Vandalieu ordered as he dashed into the chamber behind Borkus and Eleanora.
Letting out a noise that was difficult to tell whether it was a roar or the sound of creaking metal, the Dragon Golem thrashed around with dull but powerful movements.
“UOOOOH! Dragon Slayer!” Borkus struck the Dragon Golem with his prided, most powerful martial skill, but though it made a loud impact against its cracked arm, he didn’t manage to cause any new damage.
“Shit! GAAH!” Borkus swore as he was repelled by the Dragon Golem’s arm and sent flying like a ball in a sports match. The enchantments that had been placed on him broke like fragile glass.
“There’s no way you can get through Orichalcum that’s even harder than Adamantite, is there?” Eleanora said in exasperation as she flew through the air, trying to find an opening. Her objective was, of course, the spear embedded in the Golem’s chest.
I’ll pull it out and use it as a weapon. Even if I can’t do that, if I thrust it deeper into the Golem, it should deal some damage.
Vital spots exist for Golems other than those created by Vandalieu. Their heads or bodies contain cores that are the source of the Mana that powers them; a Golem hand-made by a goddess should be no exception.
Since the Golem already has no head, the core should be somewhere in that body. If it’s broken, the Golem will stop moving. If I’m going to aim for anything, it has to be that.
The current situation… Borkus was being stopped by Vandalieu’s Impact-Negating Barrier before he hit the wall. Vigaro had decided to give up on attacking after seeing Borkus’s sword have no effect, and it seemed that he was now devoting himself to acting as bait.
Zadiris was attacking with wind and light-attribute spells, but they were having no effect against the mass of Orichalcum that had even greater anti-magic properties than Mythril.
The ones who were playing the biggest role were probably Bone Wolf and the other Undead.
“UOOOOOHN!” roared Bone Bear.
They had been unable to increase their Ranks to surpass being Rotten Beasts, but Vandalieu had flooded them with his Mana to cause them to become Rank 5 Hell Beasts and, in Bone Bird’s case, a Hell Bird. All of the bones of their bodies were now the crimson color of fresh blood.
Their crimson bodies were picking up broken pieces of the Dragon Golem in their jaws, scooping them up in their arms and dragging them along with their claws to gather them up. This was to make sure that the Dragon Golem wouldn’t use them as projectile weapons like it had done with its own head, and also so that they could be used.
“Bocchan, do you think that you could make a Golem with this?!” Rita asked incredulously.
“… It’s repelling my Mana; turning it into a Golem is impossible,” replied Vandalieu. It seemed that it would be difficult to use directly.
“Vandalieu-sama, stop the Golem’s movements!” shouted Eleanora, as if to say that this would be her time to shine. Vandalieu answered her request by using Golem Transmutation to turn the floor into a Golem.
Countless arms extended from the floor and grasped the Dragon Golem’s legs.
However, the Dragon Golem moved with a creak and they broke like twigs. Its movements were slow, but its power was extraordinary.
However, it began focusing on trying to destroy the floor-turned-Golem at its feet; its decision-making ability seemed to be flawed from having lost its head, or perhaps it found the floor Golem extremely irritating.
“This is it!” Eleanora used Super-Acceleration to accelerate the flow of time around herself and flew towards the Dragon Golem’s chest.
She forcefully took hold of the spear’s handle, and pushed –
“Gah?!” Eleanora let out a gasp as an icicle made of cursed ice appeared from the magic spear she had grasped and pierced her chest.
She had been aware that Artifacts often rejected anyone other than their owners when touched.
“Impossible, even after two hundred years…”
However, she hadn’t expected that this weapon would still respond over two hundred years after its owner had perished.
The icicle had pierced Eleanora’s heart magnificently. There was no saving her. But Vandalieu would likely raise her as an Undead after her death and make use of her. In that case, I should push this magic spear even a little deeper into the Golem while I’m still alive, for the sake of my master who is the most fearsome being in this world.
For this purpose, Eleanora produced Mana Bullets behind her and released them at both herself and the magic spear. Even if the magic spear itself is made of Orichalcum, even if it’s covered in cursed ice that won’t let anyone near it, I should be able to push it at least a little deeper with this.
But the Mana Bullets she had created with the last of her strength vanished.
“NUORYAAAAA! DRAGON SLAYEEEER!”
“Iron Tear! Circular Axe Whip!”
Borkus and Vigaro, wielding misshapen lumps of metal that couldn’t be called swords or axes, struck the Dragon Golem with them.
The Dragon Golem’s body creaked and the cracks in its surface began to spread.
Even as Eleanora felt surprise at this sight, her consciousness became distant… And then the icicle was broken and tossed away. The next thing she knew, Vandalieu was looking down at her.
“I’m sorry. I could sense the danger, but I couldn’t stop you in time,” he said. “But please don’t try to accomplish things at the cost of your own life.”
“Kah… I… apolo…” Eleanora tried to apologize while coughing blood.
“It would be best if you don’t talk,” Vandalieu told her.
And then his claws grew longer right before her eyes.
“Because my body is small, this is all that I can give you.”
Vandalieu’s blood dripped onto Eleanora’s face. She reacted instinctively to the smell of its rich Mana, opened her mouth and accepted it.
Her heart began to regenerate rapidly. It should have been impossible for her heart to recover after being destroyed to this extent.
“I kept your death away,” Vandalieu explained. “As long as I have my Mana, no wound is fatal. I’m sure it hurts, but please do your best to heal.”
“It’s… already healed,” said Eleanora. “Thanks to your blood,” she added.
To think that I made a complete recovery after having my heart pierced through. Eleanora could feel power flowing throughout her entire body just from licking the remainders of Vandalieu’s blood on her lips.
If Vandalieu hadn’t ordered Eleanora to use her normal tone of speech, she would have been praising him as her lord and expressing her gratitude and loyalty by kissing his feet.
However, this was a time where she should express her loyalty through her work.
“Give me a sword as well,” she said.
“Umm, please wait a moment.” Vandalieu was unable to create a sword for her right away.
He was currently casting three spells simultaneously.
He had attach handles to broken Orichalcum fragments that Bone Bear and the other Undead had gathered and barely managed to alter the shapes of the lumps of metal so that at least the Swordsmanship and Axe Technique skills could be used with them, forming crudely-made Orichalcum weapons. They were trying to return to their original shape like a memory alloy, so the two instances of Golem Transmutation that he was using for the two weapons to prevent that were two spells.
Transforming the floor into a Golem to impair the Dragon Golem’s movements was another spell.
Making Eleanora’s weapon would be the fourth.
Maintaining the shape of the Orichalcum fragments was using up a particularly large amount of his Mana.
“Boy, you are so hot that my hands are almost burning,” Zadiris warned him. She was helping alleviate his symptoms by casting healing magic on his head.
“Please bear with it for a little while longer,” said Vandalieu.
“No, won’t you worry about yourself a little more?” Zadiris sighed.
“It’s alright; Surpass Limits is still taking effect.”
“Boy… Surely you are not under the impression that you can surpass your limits endlessly?” Zadiris showed her anger while wearing a smile.
“I don’t need a sword anymore! I’ll sit here quietly and watch!” said Eleanora, taking back her request.
Vandalieu decided to obey their wishes and stay put as well.
And it seems that things will be fine even if we just watch from now on.
With each swing of Borkus and Vigaro’s crude weapons, the cracks in the Dragon Golem’s body grew larger and deeper.
The Stone Golems that Vandalieu had rebuilt were acting as decoys for the Dragon Golem’s counterattacks, and each time more pieces of Orichalcum broke off its body, Bone Monkey and the other Undead gathered and discarded them so that the Golem couldn’t use them as projectile weapons.
The Dragon Golem that had limited options for attacking and dulled movements after being more than half-destroyed by Mikhail wasn’t even an enemy now that a method of inflicting damage to it had been found.
The only thing to be careful of now was the self-protecting mechanism of the magic spear that had pierced Eleanora’s heart. Borkus and Vigaro simply needed to make sure they didn’t accidentally touch it, so it wasn’t a substantial threat.
With a loud sound, the Dragon Golem’s right leg collapsed. Half of its one remaining arm dropped onto the ground.
And then its torso followed, crumbling as the Dragon Golem fell.
They had won.
Everyone believed it. The only casualties were the Stone Golems. Borkus, Vigaro and the Undead let out a shout of victory.
Vandalieu didn’t doubt their victory either. He looked towards the door on the wall far behind where the Dragon Golem had stood. The resurrection device that he had been unable to search for up until now was likely behind that door.
With this, he would be able to resurrect Darcia.
But then that confident belief turned into fear.
Countless icicles exploded outwards from the Dragon Golem, drowning out Vandalieu’s shouted warning.