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The Death Mage that doesn't want a fourth time 63

by Densuke


Yoshi (Translator), Kage (Editor)


Julien M. ($50) Petter N. ($30)
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Ah, the sound of revenge is so sweet.


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The stronghold, where General Langil Mauvid, Chezare Legston and several hundred defensive troops remained, was in a state of chaos.

This had been caused by Isla and her subordinates ceasing to hide their true identities.

“General! What is the meaning of this?!”

"Isn't it obvious! They’re Magic Items that allow the use of Flight!”

“Then why are those mercenaries being burned by the sunlight?!”

“You’re mistaken! That’s because of the poison that the Dhampir released!”

“Why were those mercenaries disguised in the first place?!”

“Th-that’s… How should I know!”

For Chezare and the rest of the people present, Vampires were evil monsters. They found it difficult to accept that such monsters had been moving in and out of the stronghold as if they owned the place. And those Vampires had been disguised as a mercenary band specially hired by General Mauvid. He had even listened to several of her opinions.

“I-I’m sure that the Vampires replaced the real mercenaries somewhere! I have nothing to do with them!” Mauvid insisted.

But with this many suspicious circumstances, there was no way that his words could be believed.

“You bastard, the Vampires are your accomplices!”

“Your objective is for all of us to be annihilated, isn’t it! That’s why the mercenaries said that the whole army should advance earlier!”

“You insolent fools, know your place! You dare defy Earl Mauvid, a general of the Empire?!”

“Shut up, shut up! That means you’re a traitor who’s with the Vampires as well!”

The stronghold was no longer that of an expedition army. There were two groups in chaos, Mauvid with the protégé subordinates he had brought with him from the Empire, and Chezare with the soldiers from the Mirg shield-nation.

Th-those damned Vampires! Were they planning to betray me and throw me away? But it won’t work, I’m not a man who will meet his end here!

And so Mauvid prioritized his own survival and tried to find a way out of this place, but…

“Damn it! Who cares about the general now! Retreat! Start the retreat! Organize the rear troops and slow the enemy down! We’re all going to be killed at this rate!” Chezare was leaving Mauvid aside and ordering the expedition army to retreat.

While they were having this unproductive argument, the enemy was harvesting the lives of their soldiers like wheat.

High Priest Gordan and Riley were still holding out, but at this rate, annihilation was inevitable.

“Have the stronghold’s men go around the back!” Chezare ordered.

“What?! Chezare, what are you saying, you bastard! If you do that, what troops will there be left to protect us?!” Mauvid demanded.

“General, what are you saying at a time like this –”

“Silence! Not a single one of my men will move!”

Chezare made a noise of frustration.

If the argument continued, a deadly battle between the Mirg shield-nation’s troops and Mauvid’s protégé knights and soldiers could break out in the stronghold. In terms of numbers, the Mirg shield-nation’s side would likely win, but this wasn’t the time to do this.

Now that things had come to this, Chezare wanted to organize a rear guard with at least the Mirg shield-nation’s troops, but though they were soldiers, they were still humans in the end. There would be an outburst of dissatisfaction at the order to march towards death while the Empire’s men remained in the stronghold.

General Mauvid’s authority had fallen to the ground now that he had been revealed as an accomplice to the Vampires. Why should the soldiers have to die so that those allied with the Vampires could retreat? That was what the soldiers would surely think.

If only Chezare and Mauvid’s positions were reversed…

“Ah! The Vampires have been defeated!”

“It’s a miracle from Alda!”

On the image of the battlefield projected and magnified with light-attribute magic, they could see Isla having her head cut off by an enemy woman wielding a sword.

The reality was that it was Zadiris and the other Ghouls who had burned Isla, and the women was Eleanora, another Noble-born Vampire. But as those here didn’t know the exact details of the situation, the light must have looked like a miracle of Alda.

Chezare felt some relief, hoping that this would somehow cause some of the chaos to subside.

“I-Isla-dono…”

General Mauvid and his confidants among his protégé soldiers turned pale. For them, Isla and her subordinates had been the lifeline for this expedition.

They would be safe no matter what happened, as long as they had the Vampires who were individually powerful enough to stand up to a thousand men, especially Isla who would be difficult to defeat without the help of an A-class adventurer. Victory was assured. That was what they had believed.

“I-it’s over! Retreat! Cover me so I can retreat!” shouted Mauvid.

“G-General?!”

Mauvid started running to escape the stronghold. He was trying to abandon the soldiers being killed on the battlefield right now, and everything else, in an attempt to save himself.

Langil Mauvid had succeeded the position of general, but he wasn’t a heroic soldier or a calm strategist. He was more like a politician who was knowledgeable about military matters.

He would receive information from the Vampires who worshipped the evil god, produce results at their convenience and make various excuses to the finance minister in order to secure budgets.

He didn’t possess any fighting power himself, nor did he have the resolve to engage in a fight to the death.

It was the duty of soldiers to exchange their lives for those of the enemy on the battlefield, and as long as he kept the chair in the stronghold warm, his subordinates would bring achievements to him.

That was why he would normally never have chosen to become the commander of this expedition army, but he had agreed to do so because he had been overconfident in the power of Isla and the other Vampires and his own sense of self-worth that they had given him.

“All forces, retreat! Protect me!” Mauvid ran, practically foaming at the mouth.

“General… No, you are no longer our general!” Chezare tried to order arrows to be fired at Mauvid’s back.

He would dispose of him for the crime of desertion. His incompetence had been revealed and it would have been better if there were no soldiers who obeyed such incompetence, but even so, he was officially the supreme commander. If word got out that the supreme commander tried to flee, the expedition army would no longer maintain its appearance as an army. It would fall apart and it would become every man for himself. And then they would be killed by their pursuers or by wild monsters.

That had to be avoided.

“Arch… ers! Rangil is… running before the enemy…”

Before he could finish speaking, Chezare began coughing violently. His throat became painful and hoarse, unable to produce words.

As he looked on with blurry eyes, he saw that Mauvid had already collapsed. No, it wasn’t just Mauvid; all of his protégé knights had been unable to remain on their feet. The other leaders of the expedition army were scattering the contents of their stomachs across the ground and groaning in pain with their faces drenched in tears and mucus.

Could this… be!

“This is the stronghold!”

“Kill all the leaders! King’s orders are to kill them in a way that their faces can still be identified, especially the general and nobles!”

“We’ll chase the ones who ran!”

As Chezare tried to get onto his feet, still coughing violently, an Undead Titan dressed in black, a black Goblin with his mouth covered by a cloth and a monster resembling a Kobold, mounted on a Raptor, charged in and broke the stronghold’s tent.

One of them, the Undead Titan, was holding a soldier with no arms or legs who was still alive, gasping for breath, in one hand. Seeing this, Chezare understood what had happened.

“One down!” Zran killed Chezare with a strangely-shaped double-edged knife… a kunai that had been custom-made by Datara.

He had made one of the soldiers from the battlefield more portable and brought him here to spread the disease, and now he smashed the soldier’s head. By the time he did that, Braga and the other Black Goblins had finished finishing off the expedition army’s leaders, so he gave them further orders.

“Let’s go, you lot!” he shouted. “This is our first battle as the ninja unit! Let’s make a show of it and gain some achievements! Those who do well will get a reward from the Holy Son!”

“I want honey!”

“Tempura for me!”

This was the ninja unit with Zran, whose Rank had increased for him to become a Zombie Ninja, as the captain. Braga, a Black Goblin Ninja, was the vice-captain. A cavalry unit of Anubis Riders led by Zemedo weren’t far behind, riding across the battlefield mounted on tamed monsters.

… It seemed that Vandalieu hadn’t explained that ninjas were supposed to conceal themselves.

 

 

 

The expedition’s soldiers, unaware that the stronghold had been overrun, were still making independent decisions to put up a resistance. In other words, they had been unable to maintain their coordination as an army, fighting in separate, platoon-sized groups.

The messengers had also been defeated by the disease and the stronghold had been annihilated after failing to recover from the chaos. The only orders were coming from the leaders currently on the battlefield.

The reason they continued fighting despite this was not because they were proud heroes who would fight with their lives on the line, but because they were simply unable to escape due to their stamina having been taken by the disease and because to them, the enemy didn’t look as if they would accept a surrender.

“GAAAAH!”

“FUGOOOH!”

Enormous bee-like monsters, Undead, Ghouls and Black Orcs holding shields, axes and mauls charged at the soldiers from behind.

But among the elite soldiers of the Mirg shield-nation, there were some whose minds would break after being placed in this situation.

“No, I don’t want to die! I’m going to become a father soon!”

“I see. Then you should have trained yourself more,” said Basdia. Her axe, imbued with wind from an enchantment she had cast herself, split the head of the soldier who had apparently left his pregnant wife back in his home country.

“I can’t die in a place like this! I’m going to go home and propose to Milly! And then she and I will –”

“I’m going to confess after this battle is over, too,” said the Orcus Gorba as he swung his club at the desperately-struggling man who appeared to be a knight. With a lethal-sounding noise, the knight was sent flying into the air before rolling across the ground.

“W-wait, I have a family –”

“Huh?! There aren’t many who don’t!” Borkus cut down soldiers begging for their lives, one after another. Vandalieu had explained beforehand that no prisoners were to be taken, and there was no reason to listen to the soldiers begging for their lives anyway.

For the inhabitants of Talosheim, the expedition army was an invading force that outnumbered them by more than three to one. They had to reduce the enemy’s numbers as much as possible while they could.

There was no need to feel sympathy for the invaders and their circumstances.

And Death-Attribute Charm would have no effect on those who would beg for their lives because they didn’t want to die.

“You lot! Put some heart into it!” shouted Riley. His mind still had not been broken. After recovering from the disease with the anti-status-effect Potion that he had brought just in case, he had regained his posture and was destroying Stone Golems and using Overpower to mow down the Cemetery Bees that were flying around.

“B-but, Master…” Gennie began to protest.

Flark was wordlessly struggling to breathe.

“Give us the Potion, too…” said Messara, choking.

Riley was the only one able to recover and fight. The three criminal slaves that formed his party were already unable to move.

Gennie was so pale that it seemed that he could collapse at any moment; Flark was holding his shield, but he was out of breath. Messara was already on the ground, unable to stand up.

Riley clicked his tongue at his disappointing slaves as he examined the situation around him.

The expedition army’s numbers had already been halved, and there were more trying to flee than there were putting up a fight. The only ones still fighting in an organized manner were the group of priest-warriors led by High Priest Gordan and a handful of knights and soldiers who had managed to join up with them.

They had formed a circle and were trying to retreat while casting healing magic on themselves.

If only Riley could regroup with them… no, if he couldn’t, he likely wouldn’t survive.

“Tch! We’re grouping up with those guys!”

“You can’t do that!”

A grand, sharp, long-ranged Sky Rend attack came flying in. Riley avoided it with Waltz, a defensive martial skill that used his weapon to spin and deflect the attack.

“You bastard…” he muttered.

“Hoh, you just used Waltz to stop my attack. As expected of an A-class adventurer,” said Borkus.

Riley’s Overpower should have cleared everyone around him, but Borkus was standing there. From his appearance, Riley instantly knew that he was distinctly different from the Ghouls and the other Undead.

Riley’s experience as an adventurer and, more importantly, his Intuition, were screaming at him. That he was in danger.

“What’s wrong with you? Why is someone like you obeying a Dhampir brat?!” he demanded.

The Sky Rend that Riley had blocked earlier was clearly not a serious attack. Borkus had sent it at him after calling out to him, rather than at the same time.

This was a clearly superior foe. Why was such a being acting as a Dhampir’s subordinate?!

“Isn’t it obvious? It’s a request. And I’ve even been made the military officer.” The remaining half of Borkus’s lips rose in a smile as he gave a vague reply, and then he raised his sword over his head. “People call you the second coming of Mikhail, don’t they? I was killed by him two hundred years ago, you see, so I want to see if you’re really his second coming or not.”

“So, you’re a loser who wants to vent his anger. How pathetic,” said Riley. But he felt a physical pressure from the bloodthirst being directed at him and his survival instincts were screaming. And yet, this wasn’t an opponent he could turn his back and run from.

“You lot! Get up! Stand in front of me!”

Flark, whose actions were restricted by the collar of subordination around his neck, staggered as he obeyed Riley’s command.

“Gennie! Messara! You guys as well! Hurry up!”

Gennie and Messara screamed in response to these orders.

“No way! I’m supposed to be positioned at the back, you know?!” Messara protested.

“Th-that’s right, Master, what are you thinking, using a Scout like me as a shield?!”

Gennie was at least wearing leather armor, but Messara was only wearing a special dress that emphasized magical defense. Against Borkus’s magic sword, both would be equivalent to a single sheet of paper.

“Shut up! You slaves are pieces of equipment for your owner! Die so that I can live!” shouted Riley as he raised his spear and focused his mind. It was pointed at the backs of his three slaves, and it was clear that he was under the assumption that he would sacrifice them.

“N-no way! Haven’t we been doing our best to serve you all this time, Master!” Gennie pleaded.

“Wait! You said you’d release me and make me your mistress when you became a nobleman!” said Messara. “Was that a lie?!”

Borkus did indeed see the screaming Gennie and Messara, and Flark whose hopeless eyes could be seen through the gap in his helmet, as pieces of equipment for Riley.

Criminal slaves were those who would normally be executed or imprisoned for their entire lives, and as an Undead, Borkus could see the spirits of their victims that were haunting them.

There was no room for sympathy.

“Don’t you worry, after I kill you, I’ll drink the alcohol I’ll be rewarded with to honor your… memory!” Borkus was unsure if Riley remembered these words but said them anyway as he charged forward rapidly.

TLN: This is a reference to a line spoken by Riley in chapter 2, which I had to re-read. Damn, it feels like that was so long ago. I also gave that line a more accurate translation so that it fits, so you can go and re-read it if you want.

 

“… Iron Wall!” Flark activated his martial skill as his last act of resistance.

“Triple Slaaaash!” roared Borkus as his magic sword went straight through Flark’s shield and severed his torso.

“DAMN IT, GEH?!”

“NOOOOOOO!”

Gennie swung his knives with tears streaming down his face and Messara raised her staff, but Borkus’s second and third attacks cut them down.

And then Riley roared as he unleashed his most powerful martial skill.

“HUNDRED RENDING SCREW THRUUUUSTS!”

But his Spear Technique skill was level 8. Meanwhile, Borkus’s Swordsmanship skill had maxed out and awakened into a superior skill, Sword King Technique. He was a superhuman with a sword.

Even Riley’s greatest martial skill wasn’t difficult for Borkus to block. He used Flowing Willow, a martial skill that would deflect his opponent’s attack…

“Hmm?”

The flesh on Borkus’s shoulder was torn away.

Riley’s spear had been faster and sharper than Borkus’s Flowing Willow.

Borkus had indeed deflected the attack that was aimed at his head, but his armor that had been made from Dragon materials was pierced and he was losing flesh from his arm and his leg.

As he saw Riley’s lips rising in a smile, Borkus remembered something. He could do the same thing that Riley was doing right now.

“If I recall, it’s Surpass Limits – Magic Sword. Was this how to do it?”

This was a skill that caused a wielded Magic Item to perform beyond the limits of its ability. Most individuals with Jobs such as Magic Sword User and Magic Spear User had such a skill. Riley had used this skill to slip through Borkus’s defenses.

And of course, as a former A-class adventurer who held the Title of Sword King, Borkus could also use this skill.

He swung his sword, remembering how he had used the skill while he was alive.

The level of Borkus’s Surpass Limits – Magic Sword skill has been restored to level 10! The Surpass Limits – Magic Sword skill has awakened into the Transcend Limits – Magic Sword skill!』

“Ah?” Riley let out a noise of surprise.

His spear, which had been caught in Borkus’s Flowing Willow, was sent flying from his hand.

“Huh, you’re nothing special after all.”

In front of Riley’s now-empty hand was an enormous swordsman, wielding a magic sword that was glowing with Mana.

“Th-there’s no way, right? I-I’m not someone who can die in a place like this, I’m supposed to become a hero –”

“You can’t,” said Borkus. “Pierce.”

As the magic sword pierced his heart, Riley’s tongue hung loosely out of his mouth as blood poured out of it, and then he stopped moving.

“By the way, this isn’t the end. In fact, it’s just the beginning,” Borkus told Riley's spirit.

 

 

 

Vandalieu breathed in deep, filling his chest with the air of the plains that was filled with the smell of blood and entrails.

And then a sense of superiority, a sense of intoxication, a sense of accomplishment, happiness and hunger all came to him at once.

He had to be calm; he was going to take his revenge now, so he needed to stay calm.

This war would end with an overwhelming victory for him and his allies. That was already a confirmed fact for Vandalieu.

Stepping onto the battlefield himself, even for a moment, was something Vandalieu had done completely on a whim. There was some strategic purpose to him doing so, but it was slight in the big scheme of things, so it was just a whim in the end.

But children are whimsical creatures.

“Get up, get up, get up,” Vandalieu murmured as he sped across the ground. By having increased his Agility and using Spirit Form Transformation on just his internal organs, he had mastered a way of moving at the speed of a wild beast.

He was headed for the only group that was putting up an organized resistance, the one led by High Priest Gordan.

“Alda is with us!” shouted a priest-warrior.

“Do not falter! There is still hope yet!” said a knight, encouraging his allies.

High Priest Gordan was leading them at the front of the group.

“Alda be my witness! Steel Crusher!” With his wrinkled face twisted in an expression so ferocious that even a demon might flee from him, he swung his war club at Vigaro.

Vigaro’s Orichalcum waistband received the blow with a clang, but he let out a groan and fell back.

Though it was a piece of defensive equipment made of Orichalcum, it was something that Vandalieu had turned into a wearable shape, attached to a belt and clasps made by Tarea’s working team. Strictly speaking, it was just a crude piece of armor made of a magical metal. As it was indeed made of Orichalcum, it did not break, but it seemed that it was unable to completely negate the impact.

“Kuh! What is the meaning of this, there are large numbers of Ghouls and Undead wearing Artifacts on their bodies…!” Gordan had no room to work with, despite having repelled Vigaro. The disease had taken his stamina, he had spent Mana on spells to recover from the disease and then he had fought continuously in this state.

During this, he had successfully purged the Vampires who had fallen to the sunlight that he assumed was a miracle from Alda, but other than that, he hadn’t achieved anything with the exception of destroying more Stone Golems that were clearly disposable.

Even the anti-Undead spells cast by Gordan and his group were blocked by the magical defense of Orichalcum equipment, so the Undead could not be defeated.

“At this rate, I will be unable to fulfil the Divine Message and everyone will…” As Gordan murmured these words to himself, in the corner of his vision, he noticed a white shadow closing in like some kind of illusion. “That’s –!”

“That’s him.”

Gordan and Vandalieu both laid eyes on their target and began moving at the same time.

“Take this, Projectile Attack!” Gordan unleashed a Club Technique martial skill that sent a shockwave flying at Vandalieu from his war club.

“… Death Bullet.” Vandalieu released a rapid-fire of Death Bullets, aimed at everyone other than Gordan.

Gordan’s Projectile Attack was easily evaded by Vandalieu. As he could sense attacks with Danger Sense: Death, it was only natural that he could avoid an attack that was released from such a distance.

Vandalieu’s Death Bullets struck the shields and armor of the priest-warriors around Gordan. As they were in a circle formation, if they evaded these projectiles, their allies on the inside and the other side of the circle could be hit, so evading hadn’t been an option for them.

These magic attack projectiles that were the size of a fingertip could be withstood by using the last of their Mana to use the Rock Wall and Rock Form martial skills. That was what they had thought, but…

Letting out surprised groans, they fell to the ground with their eyes rolling up.

“Kaufman?! Erik?!”

“No way, he took two out with one attack?!”

Wow, they’re weak.

These two priest-warriors had been brought here by Gordan; they were supposed to be superior to the expedition army’s soldiers. Even Vandalieu was surprised that they had died instantly.

But he had cast the spell that had brought down a Hydra, Rank 6 Dragon with powerful regenerative abilities and a large amount of Vitality, with several shots. And he had used even more Mana than he had back then. There was no way that mere priest-warriors with martial skills like Rock Wall and Rock Form could withstand it.

But Vandalieu ignored his surprise as he continued firing more Death Bullets into the two new person-sized holes in the circular formation.

“Guah!”

“Ugh…”

“Alda! Give me your – gyah…”

Vandalieu fired the projectiles rapidly, aiming for their legs. As Death Bullet was a spell that simply consumed Vitality, it had the same effect whether it hit the torso or the fingernail, so the mages and archers in the center were falling in unusual ways.

“Kuh, leave this to me!” Gordan, having decided that they would all be wiped out at this rate, stepped out to face Vandalieu.

“Everyone, fall back! Leave this to Vandalieu!” Vigaro ordered, and the Ghouls retreated.

In the short amount of time this gave him, Gordan offered a prayer to Alda.

“My lord! Please send me one of your familiar spirits so that this foul Dhampir may be destroyed!”

It was not a mere prayer, but a requirement of using the Familiar Spirit Descent skill that only chosen saints could use.

A pillar of light fell from the sky, surrounding Gordan. A halo appeared over his head and a pair of wings made of light emerged from his back.

The god’s familiar spirit that normally possessed no physical body descended upon Gordan’s, augmenting all of his Attribute Values. This was his trump card.

“Iron Form! Steel Wall! Light Blade!” Gordan activated multiple defensive martial skills in succession and even cast a spell with Chant Revocation, something made possible by the familiar spirit that had descended upon him. A blade of light that would cut down even a giant closed in on Vandalieu.

But it was blocked by Vandalieu’s Magic Absorption Barrier and vanished.

“Break! Diamond Club!” Gordan’s movements didn’t slow in the slightest. With his war club made of glittering Mythril, he made a full swing aimed at Vandalieu’s head.

Vandalieu’s head silently flew off his neck.

The priest-warriors cheered, and the Ghouls held their breath.

And then Gordan let out a groan of pain.

He had taken a direct hit from a Death Bullet fired by the headless Vandalieu.

“What’s wrong? Did you think you’d killed me just because I have no head?” Vandalieu had used Spirit Form Transformation on his head and separated it from his body at the right timing.

“You damn monster,” Gordan spat. He knew that without his Familiar Spirit Descent and his martial skills, the Death Bullet would have likely killed him instantly.

And because Vandalieu’s Death Bullet carried the effects of Soul Break, around a third of Gordan’s Mana had been erased.

“I do not know how you have taken my Mana, but with Familiar Spirit Descent, I am able to borrow the familiar spirit’s Vitality and Mana,” said Gordan. “I now have 100,000 Mana! It is not an amount you can erase completely!”

“… Is that all?”

Even if you boast about having just 100,000 Mana… Vandalieu thought as he grew a second spirit-form head at his torso.

“More importantly, this is a precious one-on-one battle. Let’s continue,” he said.

“You monster… What about this is a one-on-one battle?!” Gordan demanded.

“…? I’m alone, it’s just that I’ve divided my body.” Vandalieu was using the Parallel Thought Processing and Long-distance Control skills to control multiple bodies, but he only had one soul, so he was still just one person.

“Silence! I will not listen to your tomfoolery!” shouted Gordan. Though Vandalieu had simply spoken the truth, it seemed that Gordan hadn’t understood.

Well, Vandalieu would find it unpleasant if the conversation continued and Gordan started spewing vomit from his mouth instead of words, so he decided to carry on.

“Now then, from here this time.” Vandalieu extended his claws and used Spirit Form Transformation on his arms. He extended and divided them into whips.

He resembled Avalokiteśvara*, who he had seen in art textbooks on Earth. If he recalled, Avalokiteśvara had two… how many arms again? Well, it didn’t matter. He was just using Avalokiteśvara as a reference.

TLN*: You can Google this. It’s the Buddha-like god with a bunch of arms.

 

And then he began to resemble a hundred-handed giant known as a Hekatonkheire​ from Greek mythology more than Avalokiteśvara, he brought his arms down one after another towards Gordan, whose face had frozen with astonishment.

“Whip Attack.” Vandalieu used an Unarmed Fighting Technique martial skill that could normally only be used by Ghoul men, who had longer arms than legs. However, the first attack was easily deflected by Gordan’s shield.

“Hmph! Using the Ghouls’ martial skill! But before my Steel Wall, such a skill is –”

“Whip Attack, Whip Attack, Whip Attack, Whip Attack, Whip Attack, Whip Attack.”

Vandalieu’s arms were swinging endlessly. All of them were using Whip Attack.

Impossible! How could he use that martial skill so many times consecutively?!

A normal person… No, even a superhuman’s head wouldn’t be able to process this. But Vandalieu had already used Whip Attack dozens, hundreds of times.

Could it be… I-impossible!

In the gap between Vandalieu’s countless arms, Gordan saw the head that he had sent flying earlier.

“Whip Attack.”

“Whip Attack, Whip Attack.”

“Whip Attack, Whip Attack, Whip Attack, Whip Attack, Whip Attack.”

What Gordan saw resembled a bunch of grapes.

But it was an aberrant sight; each of the fruit in this bunch of grapes was a child’s head with a hollow pair of eyes.

“M-monster…!” For the first time, there was fear in Gordan’s voice.

Watching him with his countless eyes, Vandalieu felt the urge to laugh.

Back then, Darcia was burned at the stake, but Vandalieu had been unable to do anything but hide in the ground like a worm in order to survive. Now, Gordan feared him.

Gordan was calling Vandalieu “monster” out of fear rather than scorn; he truly feared Vandalieu.

Ah, how wonderful. But choosing this method and going all-out was consuming a lot of Vandalieu’s Mana.

“Come.”

Materializing one of his heads, Vandalieu called the Golems that he had made beforehand.

Letting out groans, red Golems… Blood Golems made from the blood spilled by the expedition army’s soldiers flew towards Vandalieu’s mouth.

It wasn’t very fresh; it had the taste of the dirt and grass and even contained fragments of the soldiers’ bones, but Vandalieu was in such a good mood right now that he didn’t care about that.

Seeing Vandalieu feeding like this put the final crack in Gordan’s will. He understood that even if he continued to endure these attacks, Vandalieu wouldn’t run out of breath or Mana.

Well, even without replenishing it, Vandalieu still had half… around 100,000,000 Mana remaining.

Gordan screamed.

The claws of Vandalieu’s whip-like arms ate into his shield, stripped off parts of his armor and dug into his flesh that was covered in light.

Of course, all of the attacks carried the effects of Soul Break, so Gordan’s Mana vanished in the blink of an eye and his Familiar Spirit Descent was forcibly removed.

What was left was a single old man with his entire body covered in blood.

Now, it was time to feed.

All of Vandalieu’s heads bared their fangs and attacked Gordan.

“High Priest-sama?! Everyone, help the high priest!”

The priest-warriors had been reduced in number considerably, but they ran out to defend Gordan, who could no longer move properly. It seemed that Vandalieu hadn’t noticed that they had come to interfere while he was using Whip Attack, but Vigaro and the others had disposed of quite a number of them.

They broke some of Vandalieu’s heads, but it didn’t really matter. His extra heads were just that, extras. No, even if all of his heads were smashed, he would simply have to make one new head, so their resistance was quite futile.

Vandalieu’s fangs sank into Gordan’s neck.

 
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