“I’ll bet on Ent-user,” said Vigaro.
“Heh,” Borkus snorted. “How naïve. I’ll be betting on Armor Master.”
“Hmm, how difficult…” Zadiris paused to think. “How about the Golem Factory Manager? Those Golems that are lined up are called a factory, are they not?”
“Umm, what are you betting on?” asked Vandalieu.
Vandalieu had come to the remains of the Adventurers’ Guild – which should probably be relabeled as a distribution center or trading post – to get a Job change, and spotted Vigaro and Borkus betting on something.
If there were at least cards in their hands… No, there were no playing cards in this world as paper was a precious material, but Vandalieu wouldn’t have considered this unnatural if they at least had something resembling cards.
Zadiris looked up. “Ah, boy, this is, well, every time you undergo a Job-change, there are new Jobs, are there not?”
Vandalieu had received the ‘Unable to learn existing Jobs’ curse, but every time he visited the Job-changing room, there were new Jobs that hadn’t existed before displayed for him. Vandalieu had consulted the knowledgeable Zadiris and experienced adventurer Borkus regarding this.
Of course, as the Jobs hadn’t existed before, they could offer no knowledge on the Jobs themselves, but he could ask them to make guesses on Jobs that were similar to existing Jobs.
Incidentally, after his coronation ceremony, Vandalieu had explained his circumstances to everyone in Talosheim. The Ghouls, Undead Titans and even the Cemetery Bees and Immortal Ents. Everyone, without exception, was now aware that Vandalieu had lived two previous lives, that he was a human from another world, that he had been cursed by the god of reincarnation and that one hundred people would be reincarnated in this world from Origin one day.
The reactions to that had been –
“I don’t really get it, but that’s amazing!”
“I knew you weren’t an ordinary kid, but that’s amazing!”
“You lived on a continent called Another World in your previous life? On an island? A country called Earth, huh. Amazing.”
Buzzing from the Cemetery Bees.
Rustling from the Immortal Ents.
Well, it seemed to have been accepted. It also seemed that nobody really understood anything about other worlds, though they did have a grasp of the concept of reincarnation.
There were apparently many among the Undead Titans who had a vague idea of his circumstances. Thinking about it, a child had created the legendary flavorings left by the Champion Zakkart, miso and soy sauce (or, to be more precise, fish sauce). It was only natural for them to wonder whether the Holy Son was also from another world.
Vandalieu had already been marked as an enemy by Alda, the god of law and fate who possessed the most influence in this world, the gods who served him as well as the Pure-breed Vampires who worshipped an evil god. An unknown god named Rodcorte had cursed him, but even Rodcorte was apparently just another god to add to the list of enemies so it wasn’t considered surprising.
What a reliable and happy response.
Leaving that aside, what would happen with Vandalieu’s Job?
“So we are placing bets on what Job will appear for you next,” Zadiris told him.
“Leaving aside which Job you’ll actually choose, kid, there’s going to be new Jobs that you can actually change to, right?” said Borkus.
“What do you think will appear?” asked Vigaro.
Vandalieu looked at them. “… New Jobs are normally discovered once every few decades or centuries, if I recall?”
Right after the age of the gods was a turning point in this world were new Jobs like Knight and Soldier were discovered one after another. However, as time went on, the discovery of new Jobs became more and more infrequent.
That was why each Guild, including the Adventurers’ Guild, offered a cash reward to those who discovered new Jobs.
“But you know, you’ve been discovering new Jobs one after another for the past two years, haven’t you, kid?” Borkus pointed out.
“That’s why we thought that there would be more new Jobs,” said Vigaro.
“… Don’t get angry at me if there aren’t any new ones, okay?” Vandalieu told them.
“So, boy, what kind of new Jobs do you think there will be?” Zadiris asked him.
Vandalieu gave Zadiris’s question a little thought before answering. “Tree Planter, perhaps?”
Vandalieu was probably the first person in Lambda who had created Ents from seeds, so this was the answer that he had come to.
He was also continuing to plant trees found in the Dungeons and Devil’s Nests and turning them into Immortal Ents.
“Tree Planter? There are already people doing that in human countries,” said Borkus. “Not that anyone has a Job for it.”
“Eh? Really?” Vandalieu asked.
In Earth’s history, deforested areas had often been left as they were, causing an increase in bare mountains and wastelands in areas with dry climates. But it seemed that people planted trees in Lambda.
“Yeah, apparently it began from people planting trees in the lands destroyed during the battle between the champions and the Demon King,” Borkus told him.
… It seemed that even Bellwood wouldn’t have advocated to deny the planting of trees and insisted on waiting for the greenery to recover naturally.
But perhaps the champion Suzuki had been a radical advocate of nature conservation on Earth. This might explain why he had allowed afforestation while forbidding technology from another world.
Well, it was certainly possible that afforestation had been occurring prior to the Demon King’s appearance and there were simply no records of it remaining.
“So, what are you actually betting?” asked Vandalieu.
As there was currently no currency being used in Talosheim, the trading of goods was being done through bartering. For now, there weren’t any items being prominently used in place of currency, either.
Vandalieu thought that food was probably the closest thing there was.
“I am wagering fern tea,” replied Zadiris.
“My bet is dried and salted Ammonite,” Vigaro declared.
“Mine is the meat I took off a Noble Orc before,” said Borkus. “You can hunt quite a lot of them in Barigen’s Fall Life-Mountain.”
Vandalieu decided to make his own wager. “Well then, I’ll bet some honey that there won’t be any new Jobs.”
“Boy, why is your wager so pessimistic?” asked Zadiris.
“If good things continue for too long, you never know when your good luck is going to run out. I’m scared of that,” Vandalieu told her.
With those words, he departed for the Job-changing room.
『Jobs that can be selected:【Soul Breaker】,【Venom Fist User】,【Insect User】,【Archenemy】,【Zombie Maker】,【Tree Caster】』
Despite Vandalieu’s expectations, there were two new Jobs.
“Zombie Maker and Tree Caster… I suppose Tree Caster is read ‘Ki-jutsushi*’. I’m sure that’s there because I’ve made Immortal Ents from seeds and branches and every other part of a tree possible, but…”
It seemed more like being a magic performer. In Lambda, they weren’t known as magicians, but as magic performers who made their living as entertainers at parties or as street performers.
Was it a plant-monster version of the Tamer Job + something that made it easier to create plant monsters?
However, unlike Undead and insectoid monsters, it should be possible to tame plant monsters normally… Well, Vandalieu would think about that later.
The more mysterious one was the Zombie Maker Job. Gubamon and Ternecia, Pure-breed Vampires who created and controlled Undead with the divine protection of the Evil God of Joyful Life, had existed in this world for a hundred thousand years.
Vandalieu had thought that they would have already discovered and acquired Jobs such as Zombie Maker or Ghost Mage.
“Could it be that they haven’t acquired Jobs… or can't?” Vandalieu wondered.
Perhaps they had become too much like monsters and lost the ability to acquire Jobs when they began worshipping the evil god. Vandalieu made this guess with no evidence, but as Eleanora didn’t know the race titles of the Pure-breed Vampires, it was impossible to confirm this. Vandalieu would leave finding this out for another opportunity.
For now, leaving aside the fact that he had lost his bet, the question was, which Job should he choose next? But…
“For improving our fighting strength as a whole, it would be Insect User or Tree Caster. But Riley, a former companion of Heinz, is going to be among the army coming in spring.”
Vandalieu wasn’t thinking that he would kill Riley by his own hand at any cost. Even if there was an opportunity to do so, if it would cause strategic problems, he would give up on the idea without hesitation.
He firmly believed that everyone would be capable of taking revenge for him.
However, if the reason for him giving up on killing Riley personally was his own powerlessness, it was a different matter. Vandalieu wouldn’t be able to stand that.
“… I’ll choose Soul Breaker.”
That was why Vandalieu selected the Soul Breaker Job.
『The levels of the Spirit Form, Soul Break and Long-distance Control skills have increased!』
『You have acquired the Parallel Thought Processing and Materialization skills!』
The moment Vandalieu changed Jobs, his Spirit Form, Long-distance Control and Soul Break skills leveled up as a result of the skill bonuses. It seemed that the Soul Breaker Job granted bonuses to spirit-related skills.
And he had acquired the Parallel Thought Processing and Materialization skills, but… what were they? Vandalieu guessed that they were probably also skills related to spirits or souls.
Vandalieu thought it unusual that his fighting ability hadn’t increased as much as he’d hoped for.
“… Should I have chosen Venom Fist User? Or maybe I should have just resigned to taking the Archenemy Job.”
Well, Soul Break was a skill that granted an additional effect to his magical and physical attacks. It would likely increase his ability to fight.
Vandalieu consoled himself by telling himself this and left the room. He reported the results to Zadiris and the others who were waiting for him on the first floor and treated them to honey.
And then he headed for Borkus’s Sub-Dragon Savannah as he had been doing since last year.
Though winter’s footsteps could already be heard and Talosheim was surrounded by mountains to both the east and the west, the sunlight was still strong in the afternoon.
In the courtyard behind the royal castle was a stone monument to the Sun Giant Talos and the goddess Vida, and this was the spot in Talosheim that was said to receive the most sunlight.
In fact, the sunlight was very strong in the courtyard for some reason. It was as if it was summer. It was possible that the stone monument to Talos and Vida was the cause of this.
“Ugh, ah, hic.”
“Hah, ah, th-there, it’s so deep!”
“I… kuah*, ah, it’s hot, it’s like my body’s burning!”
“I-I can’t take any more, don’t pour any more into me, it’s going to overflow!”
In that courtyard, there were beautiful women gasping for breath with their skin exposed.
“… I can stop anytime,” Vandalieu said to the four beautiful women… Bilde, Basdia, Eleanora and Kachia. What a tempting sight, he thought.
They weren’t doing anything particularly immoral or flirtatious.
There was a reason for this.
“N-no!” Eleanora cried. “I can still keep going!” White smoke was rising from her white skin, but this had all began when she said that she wanted to acquire the Sunlight Resistance skill in preparation for the war in spring.
Sunlight, silver and light-attribute magic attacks are universal weaknesses shared by all Vampires. The Status Effect Resistance skill does not offer them any defense against them, and skills like Sunlight Resistance and Silver Resistance cannot be acquired.
However, circumstances were different for Eleanora. As Vandalieu had acquired the Title of Eclipse King, it was possible for her to acquire the Sunlight Resistance skill.
The Mirg shield-nation’s expedition army that would approach in the spring would surely attack during the day. No human would dare fight during the night, knowing that their foes were monsters that could see in the dark.
There would probably be Vampire assassins mixed in among the expedition army’s forces, but they would cover themselves with a thick coat or full plate armor in order to prevent the sunlight from reaching their skin. There would be nothing more conspicuous if they were to do this in the middle of a town, but among the expedition army, they wouldn’t stand out at all.
Also, the Vampires would likely participate in the expedition posing as the private forces of noblemen or as mercenaries rather than as part of the regular army, so the fact that they wore different equipment from the regular army wouldn’t cause any problems.
Vandalieu had thought that it would be fine if Eleanora learned from their example and wore a heavy coat and veil or a suit of plate armor, but she was used to being agile in battle. Wearing some metal armor would slow her movements down only a little, but there was still time until spring so she had decided that it would be better to acquire the Sunlight Resistance skill.
And so, in this place where the sunlight was strong despite winter being close, she was busily sunbathing in order to acquire this resistance skill.
The sunlight was burning her as she was dressed in a stimulating way, having only her chest and her waist covered by pieces of cloth. She was healing her burns with her Rapid Regeneration skill, and Vandalieu was supplying her with Mana when she ran out.
It was quite the Spartan training regime, but for some reason Eleanora had shown incredible enthusiasm at the idea.
Vandalieu hadn’t been spoiling her lately, so he had decided to let her have her way.
And then Bilde, Basdia and Kachia had passed by, resulting in the current situation. Of course, as Ghouls, they had no need to acquire the Sunlight Resistance skill. They were simply training in magic while having Vandalieu supply them with Mana.
“B-but Vandalieu, your (spirit form) hands are rubbing me (in stiff spots)…” Bilde mumbled.
“That’s right,” said Basdia. “Since you keep pressing those things you call acupuncture points, we can’t help but let out strange noises, Van.”
For Bilde and Basdia, Vandalieu was not only providing them with Mana, but also giving them the same spirit-form massage that he had once given Tarea as their bodies had apparently grown stiff with fatigue recently.
He was using Spirit Form Transformation on his hands, sinking them into their bodies and directly stimulating their stiff muscles and acupuncture points. He was effectively a low-frequency massager that was conscious.
“And… are there these acupuncture point things in places like this as well?” Basdia asked in embarrassment.
“There are,” replied Vandalieu.
Acupuncture points are found in places like the top of the head and the soles of the feet, but there are also many in places that people of the opposite sex might be hesitant to touch. Vandalieu was saying, “I’m going to press the acupuncture point here,” and pressing the points in such places. He was carefree about it because his hands had undergone Spirit Form Transformation and had branched out into tentacle-like shapes, so he couldn’t feel the sensation, warmth or softness of their skin other than being conscious that he was touching a living creature.
“I see... Then it’s fine, but…”
Of course, he wasn’t trying to sexually harass Basdia, so he wasn’t touching her or pressing her in persistent ways.
Incidentally, in Origin, where science and magic had co-existed, Qigong* had been acknowledged as a form of magic. Eastern medicinal techniques such as pressing acupuncture points, acupuncture treatment and moxibustion were as well-researched as western medicine, and were widely used.
As a result, Vandalieu had been thoroughly subjected to experiments to see whether death-attribute magic could be applied to Eastern medicine.
If he used Spirit Form transformation to examine a creature’s body, he could intuitively feel the locations and effects of acupuncture points in the creature’s body. Because of this, he had a clear understanding of the locations and effects of Ghoul-specific acupuncture points that didn’t exist in humans.
Applying death-attribute magic to Eastern medicine apparently hadn’t had much success in Origin, however.
“Ah, it isn’t that I dislike you touching me,” Basdia said hastily. “In fact, I’m happy, but I’m just perplexed when you’re suddenly so assertive.”
“No, it’s not really a matter of being assertive or not,” said Vandalieu. “Of course, it’s not that I don’t want to touch you, Basdia.”
This was a massage. It was rather difficult to describe as Vandalieu’s hands had undergone Spirit Transformation and branched out into tentacles, but it was still no more than a massage. There was no lewd meaning behind it.
Kachia was breathing heavily. “Van… You gave me… too much Mana.”
Vandalieu was doing nothing but supplying her with magic, but this was how things were.
“Hmm, but I only transferred you a small amount, you know?” Vandalieu told her.
“That ‘small amount’ is too much! My maximum Mana pool is less than two hundred, isn’t it!”
Kachia, who had undergone a Job-change to Apprentice Mage, had a maximum Mana pool of less than two hundred. Ghoul women had an aptitude for magic, so Kachia’s Mana pool was a little smaller than average, but it was greater than the average Ghoul man’s Mana pool.
This was probably because of the fact that she had once been a human, and that she had once been an adventurer in a frontline role on the battlefield.
Frontline fighters like Warriors and Knights have less Mana than those like mages who fight from the back. However, they have higher Attribute Values for Vitality, Strength, Stamina and Agility to compensate for it.
Unlike mages, the Mana of frontline fighters is not consumed unless they use martial skills, so this is only natural. In fact, those with more Mana than Vitality wouldn’t choose to fight at the front.
Kachia had been a frontline fighter, and the way her Attribute Values increased when she became a Ghoul had been influenced by that. The increase in her Mana had been relatively greater than the increase of her other Attribute Values, but since her Mana value was small to begin with, the resulting value after the increase was still small.
She had undergone a Job-change to Apprentice Mage with this small Mana pool, but because her Mana was lacking, she couldn’t practice magic enough and she was finding it quite difficult to level her skills up.
That was why Vandalieu was accompanying her and providing her Mana for her to practice, but… The problem was Vandalieu’s senses.
A ‘small amount of Mana’ for Vandalieu, whose Mana pool was over 200,000,000, could be in the tens of thousands. Two hundred would be a fraction of ‘a tiny pinch’ of Mana for him.
Because of that, whenever Kachia ran out of Mana, Vandalieu poured into her what he regarded as ‘a tiny pinch’ of Mana, numbering in the dozens.
Nobody could blame Kachia for gasping and saying that she was “overflowing.”
“That’s true, but there’s no harm to your body caused by the overflowing Mana, is there?” asked Vandalieu.
“No, you’re right, but it’s incredibly…” Kachia looked troubled.
“Well, your Mana has recovered, so please continue your practice.”
“N-no way, if I keep practicing, my Mana will disappear again right away…”
“If it does, I’ll transfer you some more.”
Kachia made noises of discontent. For some reason, there were tears in her eyes as she continued her practice. Bilde and Basdia had already restarted their practice before her.
Incidentally, Bilde possessed an affinity for the earth attribute, Basdia possessed an affinity for the water attribute while Kachia possessed an affinity for four attributes – fire, wind, light and space. Though Bilde could be considered average, Basdia’s talent as a mage was meager which was why she had decided in the past that the Ghoul village would benefit more from her learning martial skills and was completely absorbed in learning those instead. In Kachia’s case, she had been told that it would be a miracle if her magic could even be considered useful at all, so she had given up on magic before even starting out on that road.
However, because Basdia’s Rank had increased and Kachia had transformed into a Ghoul and undergone a Job-change, their Attribute Values such as Mana and Intelligence had increased enough for them to be able to practice like this.
Incidentally, like Eleanora, the other three were also wearing revealing clothes. This was because it was normal Ghoul fashion to do so, but they had taken even more clothes off because their bodies were ‘too hot’.
No matter how strong the sunlight was, it was incomprehensible.
Eleanora panted and groaned. “V-Vandalieu-sama, just a little more, with just a little more, the skill…”
“Hmm, controlling the ground is hard. How do you do it, King?” Bilde asked.
“Alright, once more from the top,” said Basdia, firing herself up.
Kachia sighed. “If I don’t hurry and gain more skills, I’m going to become addicted to this.”
Eleanora’s snow-white skin turned a painful-looking red, then back to white. In contrast, the skin of Bilde and Kachia was a beautiful, healthy-looking gray-brown, while Basdia’s skin was of the same color but a little stronger, with red lines running across it and emphasizing her curves.
The exposed curves of their bodies were shaking in a stimulating way. Vandalieu had wondered whether doing something like this in front of the stone monument would cause some kind of divine punishment, but apparently it wasn’t a problem as Vida and Talos were gods who were very open to these kinds of things.
Come to think of it, I wonder if Vida will send me any Divine Messages?
Vandalieu did pray at the Church every day while he was in Talosheim, but it was something like lightly bowing his head to Ksitigarbha* on Earth, so perhaps it wasn’t enough?
Since the prophecy given to Nuaza had been referring to Vandalieu, it was almost certain that Vida had taken notice of him, however.
Vandalieu decided that he would have Nuaza teach him how to pray properly.
In the cold winter air, the soldiers were busy doing hard carpentry work.
“It’s good that we’re getting paid, but when did we become slaves?” a soldier said bitterly. He and another soldier were working in a pair to transport stones.
The soldier he was paired with gave a bitter smile. “Hey, hey, slaves wouldn’t be earning any pay or wages,” he said. “Well, even if they did, they wouldn’t be of any use here,” he added.
The soldiers were at the exit of the tunnel leading to the Mirg shield-nation. They had been given the mission of building a simple fort there.
The inside of the tunnel had been swept clean of monsters by Riley, the hero praised as ‘the second coming of the tragic hero’, so it was safe to travel through. However, once the Boundary Mountain Range was crossed, the outside world was completely unrelated to the safety of the tunnel.
Rank 3 monsters that would normally only be encountered in Devil’s Nests were rampant here, and monsters even stronger than them came to attack as if it were only natural for them to do so.
A fort was necessary to maintain the tunnel that led into the Boundary Mountain Range, into the southern reaches of the continent. Monsters needed to be prevented from entering the tunnel.
However, normal craftsmen wouldn’t be able to work in a place where there was a constant risk of being eaten alive by monsters. Therefore, the Mirg shield-nation had dispatched soldiers for this task. A third of them were guarding the site where the fort was to be built, another third did the construction work and the other third would rest. It had been decided that they would rotate these roles in order to construct the makeshift fort.
In addition, dozens of adventurers, mostly consisting of C-class individuals, had been hired to keep watch, scout the surrounding areas and defend the fort if necessary.
No monsters of Rank 5 or higher had appeared after the Green Wind Spear Riley and his party had exterminated several powerful monsters such as Rank 8 Stone Dragons, but it was just in case.
Because their defenses were solid, though some had been injured, no casualties had been suffered. The frontline in the war against the Orbaume Kingdom would be far more dangerous than this.
It was hard to believe that this was a cursed land where Vampires and Dragons ran rampant.
“Still, we’re lacking amusement,” one of the soldiers lamented.
Naturally, as this place was far from the nearest human settlement, there were no ways for the soldiers to amuse themselves. There were no peddlers, entertainers or prostitutes, and not only the soldiers, but even the adventurers had been forbidden from drinking alcohol so that they would be prepared for emergency situations.
The only thing they could look forward to was food, but even those were wartime rations of hard bread and dried meat with a little cheese and dried vegetables.
Riley had generously distributed Dragon meat while he was still here, but it would be cruel to expect the C-class adventurers, who had been forced to accept this low-pay emergency request without being given a choice to refuse, to be as generous as an A-class hero adventurer who had signed a specialist contract with a general of the Amid Empire.
The C-class adventurers were gathering rare materials from monsters that could only be found in the southern reaches of the continent, and kept the meat mainly to themselves. When they gathered more than they could eat, the army would sometimes buy it at reasonable prices, but… the chances of that meat being distributed to the ordinary soldiers were low.
“Ah man, come to think of it, I heard rumors that the S-class adventurer, the Thunderclap Schneider, declined to join the expedition,” said one of the soldiers.
The other one snorted. “I’m sure an S-class adventurer-sama would be busy hanging out with the women who approach him. Ah, while we’re working like this, I’m sure he’s being served by multiple half-naked women at once… He should just go and die.”
“Don’t say any more. Let’s just make sure we enjoy ourselves once we return to the town. Anyway, this fort-barrier is an important location for the upcoming expedition to Talosheim.”
“That’s true, but… do you think that we can participate in the expedition?”
“… It’s impossible, huh.”
Rumors had it that only the elite of the elite would be selected for the expedition. There was little hope for ordinary soldiers like them to participate in it. There were plenty of ordinary soldiers, and these two were mediocre even among them.
“Well, it’s fine. Everything is according to Alda’s guidance, as they say. I’m sure good things will happen if we just work hard.”
“Yeah, yeah. Alda-sama, Alda-sama, we’re working hard, so please bless us with popularity with the women at the bar.”
“You should pray for a promotion instead.”
The soldiers struck nails with their hammers as they joked around.
Also known as Gladiator. The owners of this skill can be referred to in various ways, but this is a Job that can be acquired when one gains close-quarters combat skills while being in a slave-like social position, and the Job owner’s master grants permission for this Job-change. The slave-like social positioned is determined not by social structure or the Job owner’s mental state, but by a worn sign such as a subordinate’s collar or one engraved directly into the Job owner’s body such as a tattoo or brand that acts as proof of subordination.
The bonuses to skills are fundamentally the same as the Warrior Job, but it also grants a bonus to the acquisition of skills such as Surpass Limits, Robust Health, Enhanced Muscular Strength as well as Self-Enhancement: Subordination, a skill that increases Attribute Values when acting as a Subordinate to another individual.
But unlike the Warrior Job, there is no bonus for skills such as the Armor Technique skill, so it is not a Job suited for Shield-bearers.