It doesn’t need to be said that they wouldn’t exist without materials for writing. Tree bark, branches and animal skins can be used, but Vandalieu was looking at documents made of paper created by the Golem factory that he had set up.
Looking at this, Vandalieu wondered why he had made straw paper, regretting his decision.
“Well, I suppose deskwork is necessary as well.”
Things would surely be easier in the future if he got used to this now. He would be able to gain popularity and respect as a man capable of finishing his work quickly… though it seemed that strong men capable of hunting monsters were the popular ones in Lambda.
He decided to deal with the documents for now. He quickly checked over them, and as long as he saw no problems, he stamped it with a seal that he had made earlier.
“Phew, it’s done, it’s done!” said the many heads of Vandalieu, who had split them and his arms into multiples.
“… Your Majesty, could I ask you to teach me this method of doing deskwork?” Despite having done deskwork for much longer, Chezare requested instruction from Vandalieu.
“I don’t mind teaching you, but in your case, it would be faster if I multiplied your arms and heads physically,” said Vandalieu. “Should I start the surgery today?”
“No, please leave it for another time,” said Chezare. It seemed that even Zombies were reluctant to undergo body (corpse) remodeling.
“So, are there new documents?” asked Vandalieu.
“No, I was hoping that you would consider the issue of currency…”
Various systems had been put into place in Talosheim thanks to Chezare.
Vandalieu hadn’t ordered him to create these, nor had anyone else asked Chezare to do it, but he had taken the initiative and advised Vandalieu to create a government.
Because of this, the national flag had become a black and white circle using a solar eclipse as its motif, and all kinds of documents had been created.
Incidentally, laws had been created using the laws Talosheim had used in the past as well as the laws of the Hartner Duchy as references. They weren’t of much use now, however.
Naturally, Chezare pressing Vandalieu to introduce currency was the next step.
“Your Majesty. It is certainly true that there are currently no problems with bartering for goods. However, the introduction of currency is absolutely necessary for the development of our nation! Even if the commercial trade that you desire with the Orbaume Kingdom becomes a reality one day –”
“Umm, wouldn’t it be fine to handle trading with the Orbaume Kingdom by introducing the Orbaume Kingdom’s currency? I don’t really intend on making Talosheim an independent nation or anything,” said Vandalieu.
“How could this be! You would sell the nation, Your Majesty?!”
“I was thinking that Talosheim should aim to be a self-governing dominion within the Orbaume Kingdom with no diplomatic rights.”
“Your Majesty, it is madness to willingly stoop to becoming a vassal nation to the Orbaume Kingdom! Please reconsider your decision!”
Vandalieu sighed. Despite Chezare’s words, Vandalieu had been aiming to become an honorary nobleman in the Orbaume Kingdom from the very beginning. After that, things would depend on what happened to Talosheim, whether the Undead and Ghouls gained human rights or not and whether Vandalieu managed to dispose of the Pure-breed Vampires, but if things went well, he intended to have Talosheim to become a self-governing dominion of the Orbaume Kingdom.
The chances of this becoming a reality were probably quite small, but Vandalieu thought that this would provide the most benefits.
Of course, if this was impossible, the Orbaume Kingdom probably had exceptional diplomats he could make deals with while managing the nation, but… would he need dozens of experienced Undead from political families?
“Well, that’s for the future, so let’s leave it aside for now… You mentioned currency, didn’t you? I intend to depart for the Hartner Duchy before the day is over, so won’t you consider it after that?” said Vandalieu.
Vandalieu was already seven years old, and the season was summer. According to his plans, he should have already been heading for the Hartner Duchy by now.
His objective was to register at the Guild.
For underage individuals to work as adventurers, they need to enroll and graduate at the adventurers’ school. However, registration is possible even without enrolling at the school.
G-class adventurers who have just registered at the Adventurers’ Guild can only accept manual work in towns, so there is no need for them to learn at the school. Only those intending to rise to F-class and beyond enroll at the school… At least, this was true for the Orbaume Kingdom’s Adventurers’ Guild of two hundred years ago.
In the future, Vandalieu also intended to rise to F-class and beyond, gain achievements to his name and become an honorary nobleman. But right now, he intended to register, acquire a Guild Card and return to Talosheim without enrolling at the adventurers’ school.
The reason for this was –
“I want to register before my Status becomes even more outrageous than it is now.”
This sentence summarized that reason.
A registration card, commonly known as a Guild Card, would be issued when Vandalieu registered at the Guild. But Vandalieu’s Status would be displayed in full to the Guild staff member issuing him the Guild Card.
In other words, Vandalieu’s Titles of Ghoul King, Eclipse King and Taboo Name, his previously-undiscovered Jobs such as Undead Tamer and Soul Breaker, the unknown skill that was Death-Attribute Magic, his astoundingly-named unique skill, God Slayer, and even the curses placed upon him by Rodcorte, would all be displayed.
It was already looking quite bad, but there was no saying that more terrible things wouldn’t appear on his Status. Thus, Vandalieu’s plan was to register now before it got any worse and then make a dash back to Talosheim before an uproar occurred.
Of course, Vandalieu had another objective of investigating what became of the First Princess Levia, Borkus’s daughter and the others who had escaped to the Hartner Duchy from Talosheim two hundred years ago.
Like Ghouls, Titans lived for three hundred years, so he would probably be able to find out by asking Titans in a town.
It would be nice if they were healthy, but if they were too healthy and were currently planning the revival of Talosheim, it would be problematic. Perhaps not, if they were understanding towards Undead.
“I’ll bring back currency from the Orbaume Kingdom, so let’s examine that and think about it then,” said Vandalieu.
The Amid Empire used a unified currency issued by the Empire, but in the Orbaume Kingdom, each duchy and royal capital city issued its own currency. In other words, there were fourteen kinds of currency.
Baums, a unit of currency valid all over the Orbaume Kingdom, circulated in combination with the currency issued in each duchy. Because of this, despite all being part of the same nation, towns on the boundaries between duchies had currency exchange facilities. Peddlers working in multiple duchies had to constantly be mindful of the currency exchange rates.
In addition to the above, there had apparently been cases of older currencies being replaced by newer currencies in the Orbaume Kingdom’s history. It wasn’t simply a matter of the face of the king engraved on the coins being changed; the metallic ratios of the coins would change, so they would have different values as well.
Therefore, it was possible that new coins might have been created sometime in the past two hundred years.
“The Orbaume Kingdom lost one duchy in the war of six years ago, but that doesn’t change the fact that things are complicated, so we have to be careful if we’re going to create our own currency.”
It would be problematic if the value of Talosheim’s currency plummeted in the distant future due to differences in the coins’ metallic ratios. Vandalieu had learned in class that this had happened in Japan in the past.
Chezare appeared surprised for some reason. “You still intend to go to the Hartner Duchy?!”
“… What do you mean, ‘still?’” Vandalieu asked. “Of course I do.”
“But you have already postponed your departure for seven days.”
“There are various reasons for that. Various reasons.” Though Vandalieu said this, he couldn’t deny that he had continued to postpone his departure for seven days.
The ones going to the Hartner Duchy were Vandalieu, the ninja unit of Zran and Braga, and Eleanora, who was exceptional as an infiltrating spy. That was the plan.
Vandalieu would go to the city of the Hartner Duchy, take a look around and check whether there was any reaction from Danger Sense: Death. After that, he would call the ninja unit and Eleanora.
This was what he had discussed with everyone months ago, but –
The first day.
“No way, no way, I’m going with you!” Pauvina squealed.
“Go…ing!” Rapiéçage groaned.
“N-no way, no way, I-I want to go with… I cannot do thiiiiis!” Zadiris wailed.
“Pauvina, I’m just going there and coming straight back, so it might not even take ten days,” said Vandalieu. “Rappie, you’d cause an uproar if you went near areas where people live, so you can’t come. And Zadiris, you don’t have to do that if you’re going to be embarrassed about it.”
Pauvina, Rapiéçage and for some reason Zadiris, held him back. Pauvina and Rapiéçage were quickly pacified, but Zadiris was depressed, asking herself, “How unbecoming of my age. What am I doing?” By the time Vandalieu cheered her up, the sun had already set.
Giving up on departing that day, Vandalieu spent the evening playing with Varbie, Jadal and the other children.
The second day.
Vandalieu decided that he would leave today. Suddenly, the sky became dark, and before he knew it, he was kidnapped and taken into the sky.
It seemed that Knochen, the Union of Bones, had kidnapped him from behind.
“Umm, I’m intending to leave today,” said Vandalieu.
“No, I can’t really bring you with me.”
Nobody in Talosheim was aware yet that a Union of Bones was a monster that would be designated as a disaster, but even so, it wasn’t difficult to imagine that there would be a huge uproar if a mass of bones went near a town.
“Once I register at the Guild, I’ll get a Familiar’s certificate for you.”
As Vandalieu tried to persuade Knochen into letting him down while being taken on a scenic flight, the sun set.
The third day.
Vandalieu decided that he would definitely leave today. Wondering why there was a lot of buzzing and why the sky had become so dark, he was kidnapped into the sky.
“I thought I was having déjà vu, but it’s Cemetery Bees this time.”
Several dozen Cemetery Bees had grabbed Vandalieu. They flew up to their nest that had been built in a way that made it look like a part of the royal castle.
And then they offered him honey and insects. Were they trying to dissuade him from leaving by offering this food?
“I’ll be coming back,” Vandalieu reassured them.
The Cemetery Bees made clicking noises.
“Yes, really. So please stop making me trying to eat caterpillar dangos. At least boil or fry them.”
Fried caterpillar dangos with honey on top were delicious, being crispy on the outside and syrupy on the inside. If the honey was replaced with salty-sweet tare sauce, they might make good side dishes or snacks to eat while drinking alcohol.
The fourth day.
“Will you really be alright? Perhaps it would be better if you waited you leveled up a little more… After all, you did say that your level wasn’t really increasing these days, weren’t you?”
Today, Darcia, who happened to be awake in the morning, was stopping Vandalieu.
“It’s fine, Mom,” said Vandalieu, reassuring her. “I’ve just hit a wall a bit early on. It’s not like I’ve become weaker.”
As Darcia said, Vandalieu had entered a phase of development where his level suddenly became very difficult to increase, commonly referred to as a ‘wall.’
His progress was indeed slow, but he hadn’t suddenly become weaker or become unable to do things today that he had been able to do yesterday.
And it wasn’t as if his development would be stalled here forever. It was well-known that walls could be overcome. In fact, Kachia had encountered the same problem. She had now overcome that well and was currently leveling up as fast as she once did in the past.
The thickness of the wall and the timing of encountering it vary. There are those who give up and say that this is their limit, but there are also many who surpass it to grow even further. The percentage of adventurers who give up increases with the second wall, however.
Walls are something that adventurers encounter once when they become D-class. Those quickly able to overcome this wall are determined to have talent, and they attempt to become C-class, while those like Kachia who cannot immediately overcome it experience a long slump.
Incidentally, the former A-class adventurer Borkus had encountered three ‘walls’, and was still attempting to overcome the fourth when he was defeated by Mikhail.
“Looking at it another way, this means that I’m as strong as a D-class adventurer right now,” said Vandalieu. “I think making a little trip to the city and coming back will be a piece of cake.”
Vandalieu’s words were something that any D-class adventurer in this world would deny. Darcia would agree with them.
“No!” Darcia cried. “I don’t want to be separated from you! Take me with you, just as you’ve done up until now!”
“I want to bring you as well, but it’s a little dangerous,” said Vandalieu.
It was possible that Vandalieu’s belongings would be thoroughly searched by the gatekeepers as he entered the city. If by some chance they found Darcia’s bone fragment and somehow realized that her spirit was possessing it, it would be troublesome.
If the gatekeepers called for people or tried to purify Darcia’s spirit, Vandalieu would be forced to run, even if he had to kill the gatekeepers to do so.
“It would be problematic if I had to fire Death Bullets in random directions, don’t you think?”
Indeed, it would be problematic. If Vandalieu did something like that in front of the city’s gates, it wouldn’t be only the gatekeepers’ lives at risk. The walls around the gates would turn into a mountain of rubble… in fact, it wasn’t clear if rubble would even be left.
“... Fine,” Darcia agreed reluctantly. “But make sure you come back safe,” she added.
“Yes, of course, Mom,” said Vandalieu.
And so the sun set today as well.
The fifth day.
“Huuuuuuh?” Vandalieu let out a flat-toned scream-like noise as he was kidnapped by the Immortal Ents. Judging from his limp body, it seemed that he had given up on resisting.
The sixth day.
“Kid, about the letter I gave you to give to my daughter if you see her,” said Borkus. “If she's having a hard time, give her this as well.”
“Holy Son, if you meet Levia-sama, please give this to her,” Nuaza requested.
“This as well, Your Majesty!”
“… My luggage is already three times my size,” said Vandalieu.
Sorting out his luggage took time, so his departure was delayed yet another day.
And now today was the seventh day.
“I’ve convinced everyone, and the factories will keep producing miso, soy sauce, katsuobushi, smoked food, mayonnaise and ketchup for a hundred years, even if I’m not here. I’m fully prepared. All I have to do now is move my feet,” Vandalieu said eagerly.
“Umm, Vandalieu-sama, there is something of a problem…” Eleanora said reluctantly as she appeared.
“A problem?” Vandalieu repeated.
“Braga and the others ended up going to a Dungeon yesterday. They might not return for a few days,” Eleanora told him.
It seemed that the ninja unit had been unable to endure the trip being postponed day after day and had left to do some training in a Dungeon.
“It can’t be helped,” said Vandalieu. “Let’s head out first. If I leave Undead to communicate with, I’m sure they can meet up with us later.”
Communication Undead used like familiars could be used like cellphones. The distance for making calls was small, and his voice wouldn’t be heard exactly as it was because it would be the Undead’s tongue speaking for him, but these were revolutionary Undead in the world of Lambda.
They had the appearance of shrunken Goblin heads; they had the most terrible design… using freshly-severed human heads would provide better function, but Vandalieu would be arrested if he was caught with them, so he had abandoned this idea.
“Now then, shall we go?” said Vandalieu.
“Yes, Vandalieu-sama,” Eleanora replied. “Ah, a journey with just the two of us… ♪”
“No, Eleanora. You’re going to be waiting at the tunnel, you know?”
Though this was an unlikely scenario, it would be troublesome if the town’s gates had anti-Vampire defense mechanisms in place.
Even if Vandalieu didn’t take this into account, he also had to be wary of the information network of the Pure-breed Vampires who worshipped Hihiryushukaka, the Evil God of Joyful Life. He also had to be wary of things like the Magic Items that allowed the pinpointing of the owner of a blood sample.
However, he had come to the conclusion that there would be nothing to worry about this time.
He didn’t know how extensive the Vampires’ information network was, but they would never expect him to be able to reopen the tunnel. Also, they didn’t seem to be such a large and careful organization that they would have people hiding in every town and village.
There would be some informants in major cities, but it seemed that they wouldn’t have any in regular towns and villages unless there were some special circumstances. At the very least, this was how the information network was arranged in the Empire and Mirg shield-nation according to Eleanora’s knowledge.
And as for the Magic Items, they were seized during the defense of Talosheim. Even if there were more of the same items, they would be running low on Eleanora’s blood which was necessary to operate them.
And even if they did encounter subordinates of the Pure-breed Vampires, Vandalieu was confident that he would be able to dispose of almost any of them.
“That’s how it is, so let’s go,” said Vandalieu.
“Have a safe trip, Van-sama,” said Tarea. “Please make sure you come back to me.”
“Tarea, Van is going to come back to us,” Basdia reminded her.
“Bocchan, please use me, Sam, as your legs in your next journey,” said Sam.
And so, the whole nation saw Vandalieu off as he and Eleanora departed Talosheim for the Hartner Duchy.
Three days were spent flying while being occasionally attacked by Pteranodons and bird-type monsters, and then three more days were spent to pass through the tunnel that Vandalieu had turned into Golems in order to repair. Vandalieu ordered the Golem sealing the tunnel’s exit to step aside and finally arrived in the Orbaume Kingdom that he had set his sights on so long ago.
There was nothing at the tunnel’s exit other than a sparsely-forested plain with the remains of a road on it, however.
It had apparently been a magnificent highway two hundred years ago when the Hartner Duchy was trading with Talosheim, but there were only traces of it left now.
“If we travel east for three hours, the city we are headed for should be there, but… I wonder if it’s still there?” said Eleanora.
“It’s apparently a city of several thousand, so it probably is, isn’t it?” said Vandalieu. “There should be areas inhabited by people at the very least, since the Hartner Duchy shouldn’t have fallen to ruin. Well then, you wait here, Eleanora. I’ll use the communication Undead to contact you.”
“Alright. But... will you be fine on your own?” asked Eleanora.
“It’s fine. I can do this alone,” said Vandalieu.
Should he have added, “you know,” to the end of his sentence? As Vandalieu asked himself this foolish question, he left the worried-looking Eleanora behind and set out walking along the remains of the road.
He was actually accompanied by a large number of spirits, so he wasn’t really alone, however.
In addition, the Golem sealing the tunnel’s exit was camouflaged and set to only open when the password was spoken.
The password was, “Brains flying sideways repeatedly.” It wasn’t something that would ever be spoken by coincidence.
And simple accommodation had been built inside the tunnel near the wall. Eleanora was to stay there and wait for the ninja unit that would be coming afterwards.
“I suppose it’s about time,” Vandalieu murmured to himself.
Walking through grass that was taller than him had become bothersome, so he was using Flight to fly over it silently.
If it weren’t for the luggage he was carrying on his back, it was possible that he would be mistaken for a ghost.
Though this wasn’t the reason, sometimes Goblins and giant ravens with 1.5-meter wingspans attacked him. Vandalieu quickly repelled them.
He didn’t need any particularly clever plans to defeat Rank 1 or 2 monsters. Of course, he couldn’t gain Experience Points because of his curse, but this was a trivial matter that he wasn’t concerned about at all.
Goblins wielding tree branches charged at him with strange cries. Vandalieu let out a strange, unmotivated-sounding cry in response as he disposed of them by throwing rocks at them using the Throwing skill that he had acquired after training with the ninja unit.
“About one in five of the Rank 2 giant ravens gives me a Magic Stone, though. If I could get them, I could at least use them to pay the toll fee.”
In the Bahn Gaia continent, it was normal for towns and villages to charge a toll fee to enter them. As Vandalieu had no Baums, the currency of the Orbaume Kingdom, he had included salt in his luggage that he thought he would be able to pay as a substitute.
He had given up on the idea of using the Magic Stones and materials of high-Rank monsters, as people might cause a fuss and wonder why such a young child would possess such things. The Hartner Duchy had no seas and no rock salt to mine, so he had brought valuable salt with him.
“If a rock salt mine has been discovered in the past two hundred years and the value of salt has dropped, I suppose I have no choice but to hunt monsters.”
Or perhaps Vandalieu would look for non-monster rabbits, which he hadn’t done in a while.
“Come to think of it, the fresh rabbit blood that Mom gave me was delicious.”
Immersed in his memories, Vandalieu beat yet another Goblin to death and pressed forward.
A distant wall made of stone came into his view.
“I can finally see it. But there’s quite a lot of moss and ivy growing on the walls, even though I heard from Borkus and the others that this was quite a prosperous city.”
This was the commercial city that had connected Talosheim and the Hartner Duchy together. It had been constructed hastily after commercial trading between the two began, so its history was shallow, but Vandalieu had heard that it had been a lively city.
Perhaps because of the commercial trade disappearing with Talosheim’s destruction, the city had gone into a decline. In fact, Vandalieu got the feeling that there were too many monsters like Goblins and giant ravens near the city... He hadn’t been near a normal town since Evbejia, so he couldn’t be sure, though.
“It couldn’t possibly be just a ruin now…” Succumbing to anxiety, Vandalieu used the Detect Life spell across a vast area. He detected over a thousand responses in the center of the city.
It seemed that the city had declined, but hadn’t become a ruin.
There were a large number of reactions that were stronger than the average person’s, but they were probably adventurers and soldiers who had been stationed there.
“Ah, that’s good.” Letting out a sigh of relief, Vandalieu set his feet back on the ground and began walking towards the city’s gates.
As he did so, the gatekeeper that noticed him began to make a noise that sounded like, “Gegyagegyah.” Vandalieu had stopped using Flight so that he wouldn’t startle them, but it seemed that this was pointless.
The gatekeeper with dark green skin, a long nose, long ears and slanted eyes –
“Hmm, let’s face reality,” Vandalieu told himself. “That’s a Goblin.”
Judging from the fact that it was raising its spear, it seemed to be a Rank 2 Goblin Soldier. On the other side of the doorless gates, there were countless Goblins pointing in Vandalieu’s direction and shrieking as they ran towards him.
There was one particularly large Goblin who was the size of an adult human among the other chest-high Goblins, letting out a shriek.
Unlike the other crudely-armed Goblins, it was equipped with proper armor, a shield and a halberd.
It seemed that this was a Goblin King.
“Wow, this is the first time I’ve met a King other than myself,” said Vandalieu in a monotonous tone as he released Death Bullets.
And so began the battle between the two Kings, the Ghoul King and the Goblin King!