“I understand it’s harmless, but… what do we do with it?” asked Eleanora. “It resembles a Dungeon.”
“We leave it,” Vandalieu replied.
“Seriously? We’re not going to try going inside?” asked Zran.
“This is too close to the city,” said Vandalieu. “It would be troublesome to run into adventurers coming to investigate as we come back out, wouldn’t it? Also, more importantly, we need to look for Princess Levia.”
“That’s true,” Eleanora agreed.
Vandalieu decided that they would discuss his Labyrinth Construction skill later. It wasn’t a skill that he could investigate near the city, anyway.
The day after the small incident where a Dhampir child fled the Adventurers’ Guild for some unknown reason, the city of Niarki was experiencing an ordinary day as usual.
Other than the absence of addicts buying drugs and men going to the brothel that they were familiar with, it was supposed to be just another day like yesterday.
Daene’s life had been a series of small misfortunes; things had never gone her way. Her father injured himself, forcing her to work to support her family. As soon as her father recovered and became able to work again, he forced her to get married.
Her mother-in-law worked her like a servant, and soon after that mother-in-law died, the man Daene had married died as well. Life remained busy for her.
Just when she thought that she might be able to be at ease as her son got married, her son turned out to be a thankless child, taking his wife and leaving, showing no sign of wanting to make life easier for his parent. The only one who would listen to Daene’s words was her foolish nephew.
Nothing good happened after that, either… An endless cycle of growing apples and selling them…
Daene was walking at the front of the group as if dragging her legs along the ground.
That day, she had been selling apples in the marketplace as usual when she saw a kid with money passing by –
But you know… I never expected that I would be able to keep going after I died… To think that that person would entrust me with this after my death… I’m sure that I lived my entire life for the sole purpose of dying yesterdaaaay… That’s why I was booorn…
Daene felt a sense of fulfillment that she had never managed to experience while she was alive. She even felt proud at the fact that she could be a part of something bigger.
Daene emerged from the dark, comfortable passage into a forest. This was a forest that she remembered; this was the forest where she had died.
If she passed through here, she would reach the city of Niarki. Daene could guide her ‘companions’ through this place while whispering the important mission that she had been entrusted with.
“... ill… ein…”
Daene, who had been selling apples in the marketplace up until yesterday, was walking forward as a part of a group of over a thousand Undead.
A Dungeon had suddenly appeared in what had been a normal forest up until yesterday, and a large wave of monsters overflowing from it, mainly consisting of Undead, was closing in on the city of Niarki.
“I am a cheerful mercenary-sa~an. Today’s going to be cheery, heart-skipping fuuun~” a certain individual sang as he plowed the dirt with a hoe and spread fertilizer across the ground. “Eh? You want more broken shells? Leave it to me, honeeeey~♪”
Flark, who had once been a criminal slave owned by the Green Wind Spear Riley, was happily obeying the instructions of the Monster Plants.
Now that he had turned into a Zombie, it was impossible for his heart to be skipping. But for some reason, this was how he always was now. He even sang at night, so he was even shunned slightly by his Zombie companions.
Incidentally, it was a complete mystery as to how Flark could accurately and immediately interpret what the Monster Plants wanted despite the fact that they had no eyes or mouth to communicate. Flark gave a different answer each time he was asked, so nobody knew the truth. The most common answer that he gave was that he was able to hear the voices of fairies.
“Oi, Flark! We’ll leave the fields to you guys!” shouted an Undead Titan whose entire body was radiating fury.
Apparently, the Undead Titans of Talosheim were about to initiate a plan to take back the children that had been stolen from them.
Flark didn’t know the exact details of the plan. But he had no qualms with that.
“The Holy Son told us to leave the Monster Plants to you, so don’t let us down!” the Titan told him.
“Of cooooourse!” Flark shouted back.
For some reason, Vandalieu trusted him and held expectations of him. Hearing this was enough to blow Flark’s fatigue away.
Not that Zombies like him felt fatigue in the first place.
Skipping around the field, he harvested vegetables, used a Tractor Golem to harvest wheat and checked up on the Immortal Ents.
“Lookie here, lookie here~♪”
In the Immortal Ents’ forest, there was a wooden gate made of numerous plants twisted together that certainly hadn’t been there yesterday.
For some reason, a Dungeon had appeared.
Kanata, who was sitting in his carriage and traveling along the highway, was slowly approaching Vandalieu’s location that he knew through his Target Radar, but… there were things that frequently bewildered him.
“What kind of tricks has that Undead bastard used?” he wondered.
Thanks to the Radar, Kanata knew the exact details of where Vandalieu was. It told him not only the distance, but even the difference in height between Kanata’s position and Vandalieu’s.
According to the Radar, Vandalieu had been traveling about three hundred meters above the ground last night. Kanata didn’t have a clock, so he couldn’t be completely accurate, but making a rough calculation based on the distance and time that Vandalieu had traveled, his speed was around sixty or seventy kilometers per hour.
He had traveled in this manner for several hours before finally coming down around sunrise.
As Kanata didn’t have an accurate map, he could only make a rough guess, but it was likely that Vandalieu had stopped in the Hartner Duchy’s capital.
The problem was not the place Vandalieu was in, but how he had traveled there.”
“The fact that he has some crazy amount of Mana that’s over 100,000,000 was included in the information that the god gave me, but he shouldn’t be able to use any magic but death-attribute magic. How is he flying in this world that has no planes or helicopters?” Kanata wondered.
According to the information that Kanata had been provided, Vandalieu should have been unable to use any magic other than death-attribute magic. And what Kanata knew about death-attribute magic was the knowledge detailed in the documents that had been left behind in Origin and the incomplete information that Rodcorte had given him.
Kanata had analyzed that information to conclude that contrary to its title, death-attribute magic was specialized for use in medicine. He believed that he could deal with it as long as he had a way to block poison and disease, that it was the kind of magic that would be a seasonal exclusive ability in a game.
According to his analysis, there was no death-attribute spell that would allow the user to fly through the sky like a bird.
“He hasn’t acquired an affinity for any other attributes. What method did he use to fly? Surely, he isn’t going to tell me that he’s created an airplane, is he?”
Kanata wondered if Vandalieu had used his knowledge from Earth to build a vehicle, but decided that it was probably too difficult to accomplish this after all.
In the army, Kanata had received all kinds of training and learned about advanced technology. If he wanted to, he could probably gather materials and create a glider or, with his magic, a hot-air balloon.
But it would probably be impossible to travel that distance at that speed with nothing but a glider, and doing it with a hot-air balloon was out of the question.
That was why Kanata thought that it must be an airplane, but he knew that it was probably impossible to build one, even if Vandalieu did have the knowledge required to do so.
No, it might be possible in theory, but… it would require all the tools to be built by hand, not to mention every single screw, and the airplane would have to be designed before being assembled. An airplane-otaku might be able to build a propeller plane given a few years, but it was difficult to believe that Vandalieu had been an airplane-otaku when he was still known as Amamiya Hiroto.
“Ah, come to think of it, this is a fantasy world, isn’t it?” Kanata remembered. “Not simply a world in a primitive era. The god said something about Dragons, too. He might have tamed a monster or Undead that can fly around while carrying someone. Say, what do you think?” Kanata turned to ask the half-naked women lying in the carriage.
After stealing the merchant’s carriage, Kanata had stocked up on food and equipment in the city. With that said, he hadn’t really felt like wearing leather armor made of the hides of monsters that he wasn’t familiar with, and he couldn’t even stand the sight of heavy-looking metal armor. In the end, the only armor he bought was a pair of boots and some gloves made from the hide of a wild beast.
To make up for that, he bought a silver-coated knife as a countermeasure against Undead, a bow and arrows among other things as weapons. He also bought a short staff, which would be helpful as a medium to channel his magic, while complaining that in Origin, there were items like rings, gloves and arm implants that had the same function.
He also wanted a crossbow, but apparently those couldn’t be purchased in the Hartner Duchy without identification papers, so he gave up on that.
He thought to recuperate his strength with a delicious meal and a clean bed, but no meals or beds of the kind that Kanata demanded were to be found in a city of Lambda with a population of just a few ten thousand people.
He didn’t particularly want to eat the bizarre meat of monsters.
Deciding that he would have women instead, Kanata headed to the red-light district, only to be presented with Beast-person, Dwarf and Titan prostitutes.
“Does this world have nothing but trash?” he wondered.
Apparently, it just so happened that no human prostitutes were available, but Kanata decided that he wasn’t interested in paying money to buy low-quality products and put the red-light district behind him.
The next day, he happened to see the Adventurers’ Guild, remembered Rodcorte’s words and decided to try registering, thinking that he would be able to buy a crossbow if he did.
Things went well until partway through. He was even calm enough to look at the Elf receptionist and think, “Come to think of it, I never got to watch the last movie in that trilogy about the ring.”
But before he knew it, he was surrounded by soldiers and adventurers.
Apparently, among the goods that Kanata had sold, there were products that were only sold by the merchant that he had robbed. This had put the authorities on his track.
“Flame,” Kanata whispered, unleashing a fire-attribute attack against the threatening soldiers around him. As the soldiers and adventurers who had assumed that Kanata was a simple bandit and the receptionists who were unlucky enough to be there were engulfed in flames, he used Gungnir to slip through the building, the ground surface and the outer walls of the city to make an escape.
They were probably still under the assumption that Kanata was inside the city and conducting a futile search.
And then Kanata traveled along the highway and encountered another merchant’s carriage, which he attacked and robbed.
The half-naked women in the carriage now were the adventurers who had been guarding that carriage.
“It was surprising to me, but the Adventurers’ Guild wasn’t anything special,” said Kanata. “I suppose it’s only natural, since I’m still one of the Bravers despite being a degenerate.”
Kanata’s Attribute Values were equivalent to a D-class adventurer’s, his skills to a C-class adventurer’s and his magic to a B or A-class adventurer’s. He wasn’t invincible by any means. If he didn’t have Gungnir… No, even with Gungnir, if he had stayed in the city and continued his rampage, he would have been defeated by the C-class adventurers and knights the moment he ran out of Mana.
He didn’t know any martial skills or no-attribute magic, and he was unaware of the effects of many skills.
“By the way, aren’t you going to respond?” he asked the women. “Oh, come to think of it, I’ve already killed you. Man, I don’t remember killing that woman there, but… Ah, I guess I didn’t stem her bleeding properly when I cut the tendons in her limbs to make sure that she couldn’t resist.”
The female adventurers whom Kanata had briefly enjoyed were all dead. Because he hadn’t paid for them, he had even been able to enjoy the Beast-person and Dwarf woman to some extent.
It was certain that Kanata was already being searched for as a dangerous criminal. He had cast an advanced fire-attribute spell and killed many people inside the Adventurers’ Guild, after all. To regain its honor, the Guild itself would be hunting him down even more zealously than the soldiers. Even if he used Gungnir, he would probably be caught and killed within a few years.
But how could Kanata behave like this despite this fact? How could he carry out such senseless violence without feeling any guilt or fear of being punished?
The answer to these was that Kanata had essentially been ‘transferred’ here, and he couldn’t even perceive any value in this third life of his.
Vandalieu had previously thought that Amemiya Hiroto and the others reincarnating with him wouldn’t be able to lay a hand on him without trouble because when they reincarnated in Lambda, they would be born to parents giving birth to them. They would have family and friends in Lambda, a society that they relied on. They would have to live in Lambda until they died. If they did anything reckless, they would simply be tightening a noose around their own necks, and they would even cause trouble for their family, friends and lovers in Lambda.
But someone transferred here directly from another world wouldn’t have any bonds to the world of Lambda. To take extreme examples, such a person could vent his anger and kill innocent people, rob others because he doesn’t have money and rape women for his own enjoyment before killing them as long as he ensured his own escape, since he would have no concerns for anyone other than himself.
Even if he was caught and punished, he wouldn’t cause any trouble… there wasn’t a single person that he wanted to avoid causing trouble for in this foreign world, so nobody would be troubled.
Kanata was technically someone who had been reincarnated and reborn, but he had come to Lambda with a physical body of the same age as the one he had in his previous life. There was essentially no difference between him and someone who had been transferred here directly.
Thus, he didn’t have the common sense and ethics of this world that someone reincarnating and doing things over from childhood would learn. Such a person would – for better or worse – understand that the inhabitants of this world were humans, just like them, but Kanata hadn’t learned that. Nor did he have any intention to.
Most importantly, for Kanata, this third life in Lambda was nothing more than a connection to his fourth life. He was also treating the people of this world with utter contempt. To him, they were primitives living in a world inferior to Earth and Origin.
No, he might not even consider them to be living beings. Statuses, skills, Elves, Beast-people, Dwarves – to him, Lambda felt like a very realistic game; he couldn’t think of this world as reality.
“He’s not going to fly off to somewhere else if I head for the capital now, is he? It would be a real pain to have to figure out a way to cross the mountain range,” Kanata murmured to himself.
The information that Rodcorte had given him was full of holes, so although Kanata knew that Vandalieu’s stronghold was beyond the mountain range, he had no idea how Vandalieu had crossed the mountain range, nor did he know anything about the stronghold itself.
“Well, if I have this ‘destiny’ or whatever, I’m sure I’ll be able to kill him. Ah, but before that, I have to dispose of this carriage and these corpses.”
The marketplace of Nineland, the capital city of the Hartner Duchy, was full of liveliness under the hot summer sun.
As the duchy was located inland, most marine products were dried, salted or pickled; there were only a few fresh products from the sea as they required Magic Items to preserve them as they were transported. But other than that, there was an abundant assortment of products available for purchase.
“That spice, I’ve never seen it before,” said Eleanora.
“Yes, it’s a special product of this country! It’s not sold in other duchies!” the shopkeeper told her, ogling at her without any subtlety.
“Well then, may I have some?” Eleanora asked with a smile.
“Yes! Thank you,” said the shopkeeper. “But wouldn’t you prefer to have the powdered stuff?”
“It’s fine; please give me the fruit,” Eleanora requested.
“You’re quite the connoisseur for a first-time buyer. Here you are.”
After receiving a bag of the spice, Eleanora headed towards another store.
“Hey, the pretty lady over there,” an accessory merchant called out to her. “Won’t you come and take a look?”
Eleanora paid no attention to him. The task that Vandalieu had entrusted her with was the collection of spices, vegetables and fruit.
“Fufufu, your prided special products will lose their exclusiveness to Vandalieu-sama’s magic!” she said to herself with a laugh.
With death-attribute magic, it was possible to prevent plants that were difficult to cultivate from dying. Although water was still needed, it was possible to grow alpine plants in deserts. Despite this, in Origin, even if the plants grew, it was difficult to make them produce flowers and fruit in such harsh conditions.
But organisms mutated much more easily in Lambda than in Origin. It was certain that if these plants were planted in Talosheim, they would turn into Monster Plants or Immortal Ents and produce fruit.
As soon as the bag in Eleanora’s arms was handed over to Vandalieu and taken to Talosheim, the Hartner Duchy would lose its industrial strength!
… Although, that would only be meaningful once Talosheim began trading with other duchies.
Eleanora herself didn’t actually really understand just how much suffering her actions would cause the Hartner Duchy.
“It sounds a little empty to say aloud,” Eleanora murmured. “Vandalieu-sama did say that he would cause a ‘calamity,’ so he should be causing a proper calamity.”
Eleanora and everyone else, who had traveled a distance that would take a month on foot in a single night with Vandalieu’s spirit-form wings, knew nothing of the assault of the monsters that had appeared in the city of Niarki a few days ago.
“Now then, next is… That fruit, I’ve never seen it before.”
“Are you a traveler, Ojou-san? This fruit is a special product of this duchy; it can’t be cultivated anywhere else. It’s the pride of my birthplace!”
“I see. Then I suppose I’ll take some.”
“In the end, I do have to reject the society of this duchy.”
“Is… that… so…”
“Is… that… so…”
Though he was facing the Guild Master of the Mages’ Guild, who was twitching with the whites of his eyes showing, Vandalieu was having a conversation that was very close to a monologue.
As for why the Guild Master of the Mages’ Guild had entered a vegetative state, the reason was that he was an individual with connections to the Pure-breed Vampires.
Vandalieu, who had learned this information from the Vampire he had turned into an Undead in the city of Niarki, had attacked the Guild Master on the morning of his arrival in Nineland.
He had asked the Guild Master’s whereabouts from the countless spirits that approached him the moment he arrived in Nineland, and assaulted his mansion.
He had covered the entire building in a Magic Absorption Barrier that ran along its walls before defeating the Guild Master. The Guild Master would probably have been a powerful foe if allowed to use magic, but inside the Magic Absorption Barrier, he was nothing more than an old man. Well, after having flown such a long distance with his spirit form wings, it had cost Vandalieu the rest of his remaining Mana to create the barrier, though.
Braga, Zran and Eleanora had used physical attacks to defeat the mages who couldn’t cast magic and the Guild Master’s guards.
After that, Vandalieu had thought hard about how to interrogate the stubborn Guild Master who possessed Poison Resistance, and decided to try using the Mental Encroachment skill.
With that said, all he had done was make additional heads and stare directly into Guild Master’s eyes while whispering into both of his ears. For a mere hour.
As a result, the Guild Master had entered a vegetative state. Vandalieu had wondered whether it was alright to simply kill him after extracting information from him.
“Well, he did do a lot of bad things in order to learn forbidden knowledge from Ternecia, so I don’t feel sorry for him at all,” said Vandalieu.
“I… am… sorry.”
“Hmm, the Mental Encroachment skill is powerful but hard to hold back with. I have to practice properly with it,” said Vandalieu.
Strictly speaking, the effects produced by the skill were more due to the fact that Vandalieu himself had a personality of not forgiving his enemies rather than due to the special characteristics of the skill itself, however.
“I suppose it’s fine since I got my hands on the forbidden archives, though,” he decided.
Vandalieu had used Spirit Form Transformation on his entire body, used ‘Possession’ on the broken Guild Master and manipulated his body to successfully gain access to the Mages’ Guild’s forbidden domain.
Possession was a death-attribute spell that he had recently invented; rather than ‘taking over’ someone it was more like sharing their body. Normally, it wouldn’t allow Vandalieu to steal control from the body’s owner. However, he had been able to manipulate the body of the Guild Master whose will had collapsed.
Thanks to this, he had gained forbidden knowledge at a bargain sale price.
“Well, it doesn’t seem like he has any knowledge that will be immediately useful, though,” Vandalieu said to himself.
“Ah, I’ve found a way to create Homunculi,” reported one of Vandalieu’s clones. “But it seems that having a contract with an evil god is a requirement.”
“A spell that controls the minds of others… Its procedure is troublesome, so it’s unnecessary considering I have the Mental Encroachment skill,” said another.
“This poison is… inferior to the poison I can already create, isn’t it? Its Mana cost is needlessly high, too.”
Just because it was forbidden knowledge didn’t mean that all of it was useful. Much of the information here were things that Vandalieu was already capable of or inferior versions of things he could already do.
Well, it probably couldn’t be helped considering that death-attribute magic had many spells that would themselves be considered forbidden techniques.
“But to think that spells artificially creating mutant variations of monsters would be considered forbidden… Wouldn’t I be arrested if people found out about the things I’ve done in Talosheim?” Vandalieu wondered.
“No, I suppose it’d be fine as long as I’m not a member of the Mages’ Guild. Well, it just means that I can’t join them,” one of his clones added.
“To have to consider how narrow each Guild’s doors are… How sad.”
Of course, the Adventurers’ Guild here was the same as it was in the city of Niarki.
Admission into the Mages’ Guild required the approval of an instructor or a letter of recommendation from a member of practitioner rank or greater, as well as from a nobleman. Alternatively, it required one to possess qualifications certifying graduation from a mages’ school.
The Workers’ Guild required applicants to perform manual labor under an instructor or supervisor.
The Commerce Guild required applicants to be prepared to conduct business and to pay an admission fee.
The Tamers’ Guild required applicants to study under other members, have a recommendation or otherwise prove that they could indeed tame monsters to a Guild staff member.
Though their names differed a little, all of the Guilds required the same things for registration.
Among these, the one that Vandalieu could probably apply for was the Tamers’ Guild, but if he were to show off the fact that he had tamed monsters like Eleanora, a Noble-born Vampire, he would be noticed by the Pure-breed Vampires’ subordinates who were still in Nineland. If he were to show off his Zombie Ninja (Titan), Zran, or Braga and the other Black Goblins, he would cause an uproar.
There was also the option of simply creating a Golem to demonstrate his ability, but then he might simply be called an Alchemist.
“Registering at an Adventurers’ Guild elsewhere after things have settled down is the most realistic option after all,” Vandalieu concluded. “I’ll think about registering for the Tamers’ Guild and Commerce Guild after that.”
“Well then, let’s withdraw for now,” said another of Vandalieu’s clones.
Vandalieu, who had cloned himself to search the forbidden archives, gathered all of the forbidden tomes and cursed items that appeared to be of value and began preparing to leave with them in hand.
He had already used the allies of the Pure-breed Vampires, the high-ranking members of the Mages’ Guild, as practice dummies for Mental Encroachment and turned them into vegetables.
Still using Possession on the Guild Master, he had summoned the mages one by one, telling them that there was something to discuss, brought the Guild Master’s mouth close to their ears as if to whisper something confidential, undid the Possession over the Guild Master and extended his narrow tongue into the mages’ ears to administer poison and capture them.
After that, he had used Mental Encroachment until they entered vegetative states.
“I always imagined mages to be mentally strong, though,” said Vandalieu.
Ordering them to carry forbidden tomes and cursed items outside of the forbidden archives hadn’t been difficult. They were all important individuals, after all.
“I’ve finally learned the whereabouts of the underground cemetery, so I suppose I’ll start digging a tunnel tonight,” Vandalieu decided.