『The levels of the Unarmed Fighting Technique, Venom Secretion (Claws, Fangs, Tongue) and Bloodsucking skills have increased!』
“I see. This city had already become the Goblin King’s stronghold,” said Vandalieu.
“Still, you’re pretty impressive,” Zran remarked. “To think that you’d be able to take down a disaster-designated monster on your own.”
“I wanted to see King going wild, too,” said Braga.
“No, it wasn’t really that special,” Vandalieu told him.
That evening, he and Eleanora, who had regrouped with the ninja unit, were having a hot pot together.
After Vandalieu had approached the city, he had fought the Goblins in earnest. He used Out-of-body Experience and Spirit Form to divide himself, used the Materialization skill to materialize his body parts, fired Death Bullets all over the place and slaughtered the Goblins with his claws while running endlessly around them. It was a one-sided massacre.
He had used Golem Transformation to create Stone Golem allies from the city’s walls as well, so every single Goblin was turned into a silent corpse.
In addition, he didn’t have to think about finding female Goblins that could become partners for Braga and the other Black Goblins. The Black Goblins didn’t understand the Goblin language, and because Black Goblins resembled humans far more than Goblins, their sense of beauty wouldn’t match.
“It wasn’t anything amazing,” said Vandalieu. “It was only a thousand Goblins.”
“For normal people, that would be pretty amazing,” Zran told him. “That’s a number that even a C-class adventurer would run from if he was on his own.”
“Well you know, I’m not really normal,” Vandalieu pointed out.
“Yeah, King is amazing,” said Braga.
A thousand Goblins led by a Goblin King. The pack of Goblins under the Goblin King’s rule had still been small, but a normal adventurer or even a party wouldn’t have been able to challenge them.
Though the Goblin King’s Strengthen Followers skill was likely still low in level, it would still strengthen the Goblins beyond their normal abilities, and under the King’s rule, even cowardly Goblins would become reckless soldiers willing to sacrifice their own lives.
However, these had proved to be enemies that Vandalieu could defeat one-sidedly on his own.
He was vulnerable to enemies who possessed enough power to break through his Impact-Negating Barrier or his Magic Absorption Barrier, but he was essentially invincible against enemies who couldn’t break them.
Keeping his physical body and soul protected inside his barriers, he had left the outside fighting to his spirit-form clones. With Vandalieu doing this, it was impossible for Goblin Soldiers and Generals armed only with rusted weapons to deal him a fatal blow.
Though the Goblin Kings and Mages did their best to defeat the clones, they inflicted pain that Vandalieu considered to be tolerable, and he could simply make more clones again immediately afterwards.
With the remaining stone walls of the town turned into Stone Golem allies for Vandalieu, even escaping was difficult for the Goblins.
As a result, the Goblin King and his pack were annihilated after managing to make Vandalieu use only 10,000,000 of his Mana. Vandalieu had even recovered the majority of that 10,000,000 Mana with his Automatic Mana Recovery skill and by using Bloodsucking on the Goblin King.
“But Vandalieu-sama, couldn’t you have defeated them faster by using disease?” asked Eleanora.
If Vandalieu wanted to, it was possible to quickly produce the pathogen that caused the disease that he had used on the Mirg shield-nation’s army in the defense of Talosheim last year. If he had used this, the non-Black, normal Goblins would have instantly become unable to act. They wouldn’t have died immediately, but Vandalieu would simply have to finish off the collapsed Goblins as if he were performing some manual labor task, so it wouldn’t have even been a battle.
But there was a flaw with this plan.
“That’s true, but it would have been troublesome if there were people that the Goblins had captured,” said Vandalieu. “Well, there weren’t any, though.”
Like Orcs, Goblins sometimes kidnapped women and used them as tools to birth children. Vandalieu had taken this possibility into account, but fortunately this pack hadn’t been keeping any women captive. There had signs of life that could have been captive women, but they turned out to just be female Goblins.
“How prudent of you to consider women who might not even have been there,” said Eleanora.
“I think it’s normal to take that into consideration,” Vandalieu told her. “But don’t stop praising me.”
Delicious meals and the admiration of others is the richness of life. Physical contact would make it even better.
“Yeah, you did good,” said Zran.
“You’re great, King,” said Braga.
As the three of them patted his head, Vandalieu recovered from the disappointment of the failure of his first visit to an area inhabited by humans. He turned the Goblins that he had killed into Zombies and everyone began preparing to make camp.
Vandalieu didn’t really like the idea of using the houses that the Goblins had been living in, so he used Golem Transmutation to construct familiar-looking pit dwellings out of suitable wood and stone.
It was summer, so ten of these would probably be fine.
Incidentally, Vandalieu had broken the Goblin King’s limbs and left him at death’s door for Braga to deal the finishing blow. Braga did gain some Experience Points, but despite being a King, it was only Rank 4. It didn’t provide enough for Braga to level up.
“Still, what a waste,” said Zran. “If you’d defeated the Goblin King after becoming an adventurer, you would have climbed up the classes all in one go.”
“Are they really that amazing, these Goblin Kings?” asked Vandalieu.
“Well, they are,” Zran told him. “If a newbie who had just registered were to defeat a Goblin King on his own, I think they would be promoted from G-class straight to E-class, and they’d probably be allowed to take the D-class promotion exam right afterwards as well.”
“Oh, so they’re more amazing than they look,” said Braga, looking impressed. “As expected of another King.”
“… Wow, I feel like I just missed out on a lot,” said Vandalieu as his shoulders dropped.
A newbie who had just registered at the Guild, defeating a Goblin King alone. It would be incredibly big news, an achievement that would linger in the memories of even those who weren’t adventurers.
In fictional works that Vandalieu had seen on Earth, there were plots where the protagonist would suddenly achieve something great and make a striking debut. This could have been possible for Vandalieu.
If he had done it after registering as an adventurer, that is.
“I mean, we’re supposed to be leaving the city quickly, right? You wouldn’t even have time to sit the exam either way,” Zran pointed out.
“That’s right,” said Eleanora. “And you defeated such a great enemy before you even registered. I’m sure you will be able to achieve something just as great soon enough, Vandalieu-sama.”
“I suppose you’re right,” said Vandalieu, feeling a little better after being comforted like this. “But the city was beyond undergoing a decline; it had become a home for Goblins. Why is that, I wonder? The Hartner Duchy does still exist, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, there is no doubt about that,” said Eleanora. “This is my first time coming to the Orbaume Kingdom as well, but something like the destruction of an entire duchy would be news that would travel to the western side of the continent. And judging from the state of the ruins, it seems that the city disappeared a long time ago.”
“I’ve only been to this city twice as well, but… isn’t it because the commercial trading with us stopped?” said Zran. “But even then, there’s an even larger city to the north and a mine to the south. You’d think that it would still get by as a place where people stop in between.”
“Then maybe the city became impossible to maintain because of monster rampages,” Braga suggested.
“Yes, that could be the reason,” said Eleanora. “The same thing has apparently happened before in the Mirg shield-nation as well.”
Vandalieu had once heard from Kachia that after Talosheim was destroyed by the Mirg shield-nation, the monster population had no longer been kept in check by the Titan adventurers, so some monsters crossed the Boundary Mountain Range and caused damage to the Mirg shield-nation.
The same thing had likely happened to the Hartner Duchy. As Braga suggested, it was possible that the duke had become unable to maintain the city, leading to its abandonment.
“I see, no wonder the area around the city had turned into a semi-Devil’s Nests,” said Zran. “They weren’t able to keep the monster numbers in check.”
Incidentally, the difference between Devil’s Nests and semi-Devil’s Nests is the extent of Mana pollution in the soil.
Lands with Mana pollution so severe that normal plants and animals living there would turn into monsters and monsters would spontaneously appear are referred to as Devil’s Nests. The presence of produce that only grows in Devil’s Nests, such as Kobol fruits, is also a requirement of being classified as a Devil’s Nest.
In order to convert a Devil’s Nest into normal land that doesn’t produce monsters, forests need to be cut down and swamps need to be filled in, things that can easily contain Mana must be removed and clergymen from the Church are needed to purify the land.
Semi-Devil’s Nests, on the other hand, are simply lands that multiple monsters have begun living in for whatever reason. For those making use of these lands, they are essentially the same as Devil’s Nests, but once the monsters are all hunted down, no more monsters appear. Afterwards, they can be used just like any other forest and marshland.
With this logic, Talosheim and its surroundings was a splendid Devil’s Nest, with its crops turning into monster plants. But nobody minded.
“So, what are we going to do now?” asked Braga. “Are we going back to Talosheim?”
“No, let’s go and see the city to the north,” said Vandalieu.
“It’s more promising than the mine to the south,” said Zran. “Since two hundred years have passed, it might have run dry and stopped being mined by now.”
“Eh? Do ore veins run dry in this world?” Vandalieu asked in surprise.
“King, it’s only ore veins in Dungeons that don’t,” Braga told him.
It seemed that Talosheim was in a truly blessed location.
The next day, Vandalieu turned the well water into Aqua Golems (which resembled Slimes) to remove it while the Black Goblins cleaned the well so that Eleanora and the others could wait here while he went to the city. He quickly set up some walls, watchtowers and traps with Golem Transmutation before heading towards the highway that the Goblins’ spirits had told him about.
He found walking to be bothersome along the way, but unlike yesterday, he decided to build his body’s strength by running on all fours, using his claws to provide grip on the ground’s surface.
“Once I reeegister at the Guiiild, and becooome an adveeenturer~” Vandalieu sang this rhythmless tune as he ran along on all fours for around half an hour. He finally found the road. It was a crudely-built road that would cause carriages traveling along it to bump up and down, but it was clearly man-made.
Realizing that this was one of the highways of the Orbaume Kingdom, he stared at it for a while. As he took his first step onto it, he raised his arms in celebration, and then froze.
“Traveling alone feels… empty,” he whispered to himself.
He had tried singing to himself and firing himself up meaninglessly, but these couldn’t fill the void. The feeling didn’t last.
Vandalieu had been alone in his previous life and the life before that, but in Lambda, there had always been someone by his side. Because of this, he had completely lost his resistance to feelings of loneliness.
There were over a thousand spirits floating about in Vandalieu’s surroundings, however. But as spirits, their personalities had gradually deteriorated. Thus, the spirits led by Vandalieu, including the Goblins that he had killed yesterday, were simply tools to use for Golem Transmutation rather than companions.
“If I don’t hurry and get to the city, I’ll probably end up making Undead just to have someone to talk to. So, from here, north is… this way.”
Using the sun as a reference to get a sense of direction, Vandalieu began running.
After he continued running for a while, he suddenly noticed a scent on the wind that stimulated his hunger.
“This is the smell of blood. This stink is Goblin blood… no, there’s human blood mixed in as well?”
It seemed that there were people and Goblins fighting up ahead.
“Alright, let’s go and help them.”
Vandalieu used Flight to float lightly into the air, and then began flying forward at great speed.
He didn’t know whether the adventurers or soldiers who were fighting were struggling, but even if the battle was going favorably for them, wouldn’t they be friendly towards him? That was what Vandalieu thought.
As usual, he had no confidence in his ability to communicate with those who were unaffected by his Death-Attribute Charm.
Kasim stopped the club with his shield and brought it crashing down on the club’s owner.
“Eat this! Shield Bash!”
The Goblin Soldier screamed as the shield slammed into his face, sending it flying backwards. However, its place was quickly taken by another Goblin Soldier.
“Oi, Kasim! When did you learn how to use Shield Bash?!”
“I just shouted the martial skill’s name; it’s not like I can actually use it.”
“That’s what I thought!”
The Shield-bearer-in-training Kasim, the Swordsman-in-training Fester and the Scout-in-training Zeno formed a three-man party. Because Goblins had been appearing more frequently on the highway between the village and the mine, this party had been hunting them to reduce their numbers.
The three of them had just graduated the adventurers’ school and become E-class adventurers, but they were confident that they would be able to exterminate Goblins, even if they appeared in large numbers with three or four Goblin Soldiers.
But they hadn’t expected over fourteen Goblin Soldiers to appear on a highway that wasn’t even part of a Devil’s Nest.
On top of this, there was a particularly problematic Goblin shrieking orders to the others. It was a Rank 3 Goblin Barbarian, one of the newbie-killers that the adventurers had learned about in the adventurers’ school.
“What is a Goblin Barbarian doing in a place like this? I didn’t sign up for this!”
“Everyone mistook it for a Goblin. This is why they’re newbie-killers.”
If examined closely, it is clear that Goblin Barbarians have more developed muscles around the neck and limbs, but from afar, they simply look like slightly thicker Goblins. And in the majority of cases, their weapons are tree branches used as clubs just like other Goblins, only a little larger.
Because of this, many newbies approach them after mistaking them for normal Rank 1 Goblins, only to be beaten to death by their overwhelming strength.
“It’s still better than a Goblin Mage, isn’t it? Those are newbie-killers as well,” said Zeno.
The contents of a Goblin Barbarian’s head are no different from a normal Goblin’s. Even the Goblin Barbarian that was in charge now seemed to not have given any orders other than, “Don’t run away,” and, “Fight.”
“Zeno, you’re right, but trouble is trouble. No matter what happens, they won’t… run away!” Fester finally managed to cut down a Goblin Soldier, but the next Goblin Soldier stepped forward immediately to take its place.
He had already cut down three of them. Goblin Soldiers were smart enough to run when they thought that their chances of winning were slim or if they thought that victory would come at too great a cost.
But the Goblin Barbarian’s head was filled with nothing but the idea of fighting. And since the Goblin Soldiers feared the Barbarian far more than Kasim’s party, they weren’t running away.
“Oi, do you still have Mana left?” Kasim asked his companions. “If I use Provocation and either Stone Wall or Stone Form, I’ll be out.”
“I can use three more martial skills,” Zeno replied. “How about you, Fester?”
“… I only have enough to use Single Flash twice,” said Fester.
It is difficult to say that non-mage E-class adventurers have abundant Mana pools. Kasim prepared himself, knowing that it would be difficult to come out of this situation alive on their own with their remaining Mana.
At least they were all fortunate enough to be men. At worst, they would all be killed here… though they would probably turn into Goblin food afterwards, they wouldn’t feel anything as long as they were killed first.
“Zeno, Fester, I’ll draw the Goblins’ attention with Provocation. While I do that, you guys run,” said Kasim.
“Kasim, what are you trying to –”
“There’s a Barbarian on the highway! There’s definitely a large pack of Goblins nearby. You need to let everyone in the village know!” Kasim raised his shield.
The Goblins had grown tired of attacking, but they were unwilling to allow Kasim’s party to escape. The moment Kasim tried to use his Shield Technique martial skill, Provocation –
Far behind the Goblin Barbarian, there was a child carrying a large amount of luggage floating in the air.
That child was silently flying closer, swift as the wind.
“– Iron Rend.”
He swept his claws across, easily decapitating the Goblin Barbarian.
The Goblin Barbarian screamed as its head flew off and blood spouted from its headless corpse like a fountain.
Kasim and the Goblin Soldiers stared blankly at the white-haired child that was floating in the air on the other side of this blood fountain, making it difficult to believe that this was reality.
“Umm, if you’re going to attack the Goblins, I think now is your best chance,” the child… Vandalieu, advised Kasim’s party, who were still staring at him blankly several seconds later.
Kasim’s party used the mace, sword and knife in their hands to beat down the dumbfounded Goblin Soldiers. There were some Goblins who had regained their senses and tried to flee, but they fell before Vandalieu who casually swung his claws at them, and all of the Goblins were safely eliminated.
“Sorry I’m late. My name is Vandalieu.”
“A-ah. You saved us.”
The E-class adventurers were bewildered by Vandalieu’s polite self-introduction.
White hair, candle-wax-like skin, doll-like facial features and a clear-sounding voice. All of these contributed to his doll-like lack of presence… it was as if he had a phantom-like air about him, and he would vanish if touched.
The only vivid thing about him was the bloodstained, knife-like claws extending from his thin fingers, but these were his most unbelievable feature for Kasim and his companions.
Vandalieu had sliced through the Goblin Barbarian’s muscle-packed neck with these claws. The neck of a monster that was significantly stronger than them, feared at the adventurers’ school as a newbie-killer.
Who is this guy?
Nobody could blame them for having their minds completely occupied with this question.
“Umm, Vandalieu-san –” Kasim began.
“You don’t have to use the honorific,” said Vandalieu interrupting him. “Kasim-san, you are adults, aren’t you?”
In the world of Lambda, humans in most regions are treated as adults from the age of fifteen. Kasim and his companions looked to be in their late teenage years to Vandalieu.
In fact, the three of them were young men who had graduated from the adventurers’ school and turned fifteen this year.
“R-really? Well then, Vandalieu, what may you – I mean, what are you?” Kasim asked.
“Kasim, he won’t understand what you’re asking him if you say it like that!” said Zeno.
“In other words, he wants to ask who you are, where you’ve come from and whether you’re a person or not,” said Fester.
“Fester, you’re being so rude! To the one who saved our lives!” Zeno reminded him.
Vandalieu didn’t understand why the three of them were so flustered, but for now, he decided to answer their questions.
“I’m a Dhampir, and I lived with my mother in a forest far away from people. I don’t know where my father is or whether he’s alive. My mother died of illness recently, so I’m heading to a town with an Adventurers’ Guild to fulfil her last wish of me becoming an adventurer.”
He had no intention of honestly telling them about his past, so he told them the lies that he had prepared in advance.
“Ah, it’s true, his left and right eyes are different colors and he has claws. It’s my first time seeing one.”
“H-hey. Do you have fangs as well?”
The three of them seemed to think that this explanation was enough to account for Vandalieu’s strange features.
The human rights of Dhampirs were recognized in the Orbaume Kingdom, but it wasn’t as if half-Vampire children were born frequently, and even if the nation acknowledged Vandalieu as a person, whether the Vampires would accept him was another matter entirely.
Because of this, many people had never actually seen a Dhampir.
Even these three, who had attended the adventurers’ school in the city, had only heard about Dhampirs’ racial characteristics like their odd-colored eyes, claws and fangs.
Because of this, it seemed that they had brushed aside all of the other strange things about Vandalieu by telling themselves, “It’s because he’s a Dhampir.”
Could it be that Dhampirs are considered rare in the Orbaume Kingdom? Vandalieu wondered.
“Yes, I do have fangs, but… More importantly, are you fine with not cutting and taking the Goblins’ ears?” he asked them.
“OH YEAH!” the three of them exclaimed, suddenly returning to their senses. Kasim and Fester hurriedly began cutting the ears off the Goblin Soldiers to prove that they had killed them, while cutting open their chests to check if they had produced any Magic Stones.
They even took the handles of the Goblin Soldiers’ spears as well as the Barbarian’s club to use as fuel. Their greed was enough to surprise even Vandalieu, but this was normal for novice E-class adventurers.
On first glance, the equipment that Kasim’s party was using seemed to be equipment suited for adventurers who had been working for a long time, but they had simply been handed down to them by senior adventurers. In other words, they were secondhand goods.
Kasim’s shield was made of bronze, but his mace was made of stone and his armor was made of thick hide, called heavy leather armor.
Zeno’s knife and Fester’s sword were cheap products made by pouring metal into molds, and they were wearing cheap light leather armor.
Their appearance was such that if they were dirty and had lost their registration cards, it wouldn’t be surprising if they were mistaken for bandits.
In contrast, Vandalieu had done his best to make his own appearance inconspicuous. He was wearing clothes that he had spent a lot of effort in making from the civilian clothing that he had stolen from the Mirg shield-nation’s fort near the tunnel’s exit last year. He was also carrying luggage that looked heavier than his own body weight. At first glance, the only thing that looked to be of value was the contents of his luggage.
However, the only valuable item he had was the pair of sandals that he was wearing right now.
They were an excellent product that Tarea had created so that he could use his claws without discomfort. The soles had been made by sewing Ogre and Earth Dragon hides together, and the laces had been made from Rock Dragon tendons.
Selling these sandals would yield enough money to replace all of Kasim’s party’s equipment with brand-new items.
“Umm, you can take the Goblin Barbarian’s Magic Stone and proof of extermination –”
“No, I’m not an adventurer yet, so please go ahead,” said Vandalieu.
“No, we can’t do that. A Rank 3 Magic Stone sells for a hundred Baums, and the proof of extermination is worth three hundred Baums!”
“… That thing is called a Goblin Barbarian?” It was only now that Vandalieu realized that the Goblin he had decapitated was not an ordinary Goblin.
But although the adventurers spoke to him about money, he had no idea whether it was a large amount or not.
“Well then, can you please lead me to a village or town?” Vandalieu requested. “Also, it would help if you could tell me about the places people are living and the Adventurers’ Guild. I’m a little ignorant about this world, you see.”
Kasim’s party seemed to agree to this request.
“Alright. We’ll lead you to the village we’re using as our base.”
And so Vandalieu got a foothold for entering a place where people lived for the first time.