Kanata, who knew that Vandalieu was headed for the area beneath the castle through his Target Radar, clicked his tongue in frustration.
In an underground area with limited space, he couldn’t use his abilities to their full potential.
If he were to release his magic with full power, his own life would be endangered by a cave-in. Even if he used Gungnir to pass through the dirt, he wouldn’t be able to do anything about the lack of oxygen.
And the gun that he was so proficient with… in Lambda, it had become Archery, but he could imagine that it would be difficult to fire underground, where there would be many obstacles. He could use Gungnir to make the arrows he fired pass through such obstacles, but his eyes wouldn’t be able to see through them.
That was why he had used infrared scopes and detection spells to identify his targets’ locations in Origin, but… infrared scopes didn’t exist in Lambda and if he recited an incantation for a detection spell, there was a chance that Vandalieu would sense it and Kanata would be the one being located.
Thinking that there was no other choice, Kanata had given up on sniping Vandalieu from afar and started to think about a close-range assassination.
He had decided to continue with the plan of attacking Vandalieu here rather than waiting for another opportunity with better conditions for the assassination or creating a better plan to create such conditions. He knew that Vandalieu’s mobility was superior to his so there was a chance that Vandalieu would simply run away, but the bigger reason was that he wanted to get this job over and done with so he could begin his fourth life.
And in order to purify the spirits haunting him (although at this point, they had already left him to go to Vandalieu), he had poured holy water, which he had obtained from one of the female adventurers he had raped, over himself.
The moment he had on Target Radar and used Gungnir to pass through the walls and floor to get underground, he had realized that Vandalieu had noticed him.
It wasn’t a skill that told him this. Despite being a degenerate individual, he was an experienced combatant who had been through countless battles to the death; it was his instincts that told him that he had been noticed.
“Wait! Listen to what I have to say! I’m sorry for what I did back then, please forgive me!”
Having revealed himself faster than he had planned, Kanata kneeled on the ground.
He’s bigger than the information that the god gave me would suggest. And he’s got so many monsters with him that I have no information about. What are those things that look like flaming people?
Kanata performed a desperate-looking apology. But Vandalieu, who seemed to have gained many pawns, was being held in contempt in Kanata’s mind for having an interest in such bizarre creatures.
“… What are you playing at?” Vandalieu asked.
Kanata could feel his heart applauding the fact that Vandalieu had chosen to engage in conversation rather than attacking. He’s naïve after all, Kanata thought.
“D-don’t you remember what happened in Origin? I’m Kaidou Kanata; I was one of the students from the same high school as you,” said Kanata.
Of course, Vandalieu, who had already heard Kaidou Kanata’s name from the spirits, had a good idea of who he was. There wouldn’t be anyone in Lambda with the surname “Kaidou,” after all.
Even if that weren’t the case, everything about Kanata’s words and actions were too strange, so Vandalieu hadn’t been able to imagine that Kanata was anything but someone who had reincarnated from Origin.
“I’m one of the people who accidentally defeated you at the research laboratory back then,” Kanata continued.
“… Ah, come to think of it, I do get the feeling that you were there,” said Vandalieu.
He was hearing this for the first time. Back then, his eyes had only been looking at Naruse Narumi and the more familiar-looking among his former classmates; those whose names he hadn’t even remembered, like Kanata, hadn’t lingered in his memories.
Kanata was a little bewildered at Vandalieu’s reaction, which had been weaker than he had expected, but he began speaking more smoothly now. “We didn’t know that you were one of us back then. I’m really sorry, so please forgive me,” he said. “If you can’t forgive me, then I don’t mind being killed by you. But won’t you at least spare the others?”
“Sure,” said Vandalieu.
“I’m begging – eh?”
“I mean that I’m accepting your apology for killing me in Origin.”
Kanata raised his head without thinking and saw Vandalieu’s emotionless eyes.
“The one at fault is Rodcorte, and as long as they apologize like you’re doing now, then I’m alright with that,” said Vandalieu. “As long as they don’t interfere with me or my companions, I won’t get involved with them. I have a mountain of things that I want to do and things that I need to do, so I don’t have time for that.”
Even now, he had to go and save the Titans that were being made to work in the slave-run mines. He didn’t care about the others who would reincarnate from Origin as long as they didn’t harm them, apart from Kanata. These were Vandalieu’s true thoughts.
In fact, being invited to be their companion or them becoming his allies would be more troublesome. No matter how Vandalieu thought about it, their senses of values wouldn’t match. He would consider it if they were willing to acknowledge each Zombie and Skeleton as an individual and respect them as such, however.
It was probably impossible, though. On Earth and in Origin, raising the dead as Undead was generally considered to be “desecration of the dead.” In many stories, including the stories told by every religion, there were only tragic endings unless the undying were buried immediately.
Situations were frequently seen in the movies and games of Earth where characters would say, “That’s not the real him anymore,” as they fired a bullet into the Zombie’s head. Such situations would likely become reality if the others were to try to join Vandalieu.
Wouldn’t they only accept the use of Undead as weapons at best?
Such people would be too dangerous to allow near Talosheim.
“I-is that… right?” said Kanata. “Alright. I’ll make sure to tell everyone else, too. Anyone who interferes with you is – barrier.”
Kanata quickly pulled the trigger of the crossbow that he had been keeping hidden inside the floor with Gungnir. No matter how Vandalieu answered, Kanata had been planning to find an opening and shoot him to death anyway.
The bolt fired from the crossbow passed straight through the barrier that Vandalieu had put up instinctively, grazed his ear and bounced loudly off the wall behind him.
The bolt hadn’t missed. Vandalieu had dodged it.
“I see,” he said. “Your cheat-like ability is penetration… Not only through physical objects, but it can even penetrate my barrier.”
Kanata had been certain that his surprise attack would go well, but now his face stiffened at how easily Vandalieu had avoided it. But Vandalieu’s Danger Sense: Death had been reacting long before Kanata had even bowed before him.
That was why Vandalieu had been staring intently at Kanata. Kanata had only thought that there was an opening because he had been unable to read Vandalieu’s expressionless face.
And Vandalieu had actually heard from the spirits that Kanata’s cheat-like ability was a penetration ability, so he’d already had a good idea of what was coming.
At the very least, he had known that Kanata wasn’t an enemy that he could let down his guard against just because there were obstacles and barriers between them.
Kanata clicked his tongue again. “Dance, sash of flames!” Recovering from his shock, he conjured flames to obstruct the view of Vandalieu and his allies.
“Bastard!” Zran shouted.
“Zran, Eleanora, just like I said earlier, leave things to me… because I want to know what kind of power I can expect from those who reincarnated from Origin like me,” said Vandalieu. “Also, I have to test my new skill.”
Vandalieu instantly extinguished the raging flames with Heat Leech. He used his tongue and claws to secrete a highly volatile poison that wouldn’t work on Undead like Zran or those with the Status Effect Resistance skill like Eleanora, and then chased after Kanata.
“Floor, ground.” Kanata used Gungnir to hide inside the floor, realizing that Vandalieu was faster than he had expected.
But Vandalieu instantly turned the floor around Kanata as well as the ground beneath into Golems. “Move out of the way,” he ordered them. “Death Bullet.” He fired Death Bullets at Kanata’s location, which he had determined with Detect Life.
“GUAH?! H-he’s fast!” Though Kanata was astonished as the ground surface that he was using as a shield moved, he moved out of the way. The Death Bullets grazed him, but he managed avoid a direct hit.
Considering that the Death Bullets contained enough Mana to cause instant death even with a graze, Vandalieu felt a little surprised to see Kanata still moving around quickly.
And it seemed that his poison was ineffective.
“Judging by the speed of your movements and the power of your spells, your Attribute Values seem to be around the same as mine or a little higher; you don’t look like someone who would possess an unimaginable amount of Vitality,” said Vandalieu. “Did Rodcorte give you some resistance skills or something?”
“Great Burning Destruction, Mana!” Without answering Vandalieu’s question, Kanata cast a large-scale fire-attribute spell. It was a spell that produced high temperatures to incinerate everything within its large area of effect.
You’d normally be able to block it with that barrier and his heat-leeching spell, but I even used Gungnir after casting this spell! You can’t block this scorching heat, so stay quiet and turn into ash along with the pieces of trash behind you!
Certain of his victory, Kanata held his breath. Once the flames had subsided to some extent, he undid Gungnir and used wind-attribute magic to create air to breathe. As long as Vandalieu was dead, his Job was complete, so he was intending to commit suicide in order to live the fourth life that he would be rewarded with. But he wasn’t thoughtless enough to die without confirming that he had accomplished his mission.
“To think that you would even get caught up in your own spell. You’re making some bold moves.”
Vandalieu was standing there with a calm expression. Still surrounded in flames.
“Jesus!” Kanata shouted. “What kind of sorcery is this?!”
“It’s just that these ladies protected me,” said Vandalieu.
“These ladies?!” Kanata didn’t understand, but as the flames surrounding Vandalieu died down, he could see the silhouettes of several women.
Their faces looked familiar to him.
“Those bitches! Damn it, I poured holy water over myself for nothing!” Kanata cursed.
The women whose bodies were made of flames, including Hannah, were those that Kanata had killed after reincarnating in Lambda.
“You never made those Undead in Origin or this world!” Kanata shouted.
“I just became able to make them a short while ago,” said Vandalieu. “I suppose I’ll name this, ‘Embrace of the Flame Spirits.’”
Behind Vandalieu, Zran and Eleanora had also been protected by the Fire Ghosts.
They had expressions of agreement on their faces.
“Someone like him isn’t even a worthy enemy for Vandalieu-sama,” said Eleanora.
“You’re right about that,” Zran agreed. “I feel foolish for panicking about him.”
As they said, what was happening between Vandalieu and Kanata could no longer be called a fight to the death. Vandalieu was one-sidedly driving Kanata into a corner.
“Can you do it like this?” Vandalieu asked.
“Leave it to us!” Obeying the will in the Mana that Vandalieu transferred to them, the Fire Ghosts… the dead spirits of flames, attacked Kanata. Some of them became flaming spears, some crawled like snakes and others still transformed into giant skulls, moving to scorch Kanata with their dark red flames.
This was the effect of the Dead Spirit Magic skill that Vandalieu acquired a short while ago. One might assume that Dead Spirit Magic would be similar to the skills that allowed him to manipulate dead bodies and turn them into Zombies and Skeletons. However, it was effectively a skill similar to Spiritual Magic.
Just as Spiritual Mages would transfer their Mana and their will to spirits, allowing them to cast spells more efficiently than simply using magic of one of the attributes, Vandalieu transferred his Mana and his will to the dead spirits and had them cast spells on his behalf.
The Fire Ghosts, which had been charmed by his Death-Attribute Charm, attacked their enemy, Kanata, with no mercy.
Kanata tried to avoid them at first, but the Fire Ghosts had all changed their shapes to become spears, snakes and skulls made of flames. No matter how much he avoided them, they chased him persistently.
“F-flames, Wind – GAH?!” Kanata’s incantation was interrupted by his own scream. “Why can’t I pass through them?!”
Unable to withstand the persistent chase of the Fire Ghosts, Kanata had tried to pass through them with Gungnir and attack with wind-attribute magic, but against his expectations, the dark red flames had wrapped around his body and begun to burn him rather than passing through.
Kanata tried to escape beneath the ground’s surface, but his legs didn’t sink at all.
“W-what the hell?! Why isn’t my Gungnir activating?!”
“It is,” Vandalieu told him. “But it’s just – it’s called Gungnir, is it? – That penetration ability just can’t pass through ‘spirit form.’”
Kanata’s Gungnir was an ability that allowed him to penetrate anything he designated as a target. If he designated weapons as a target, not only would his enemies’ weapons pass through him, but his own weapons would slip through his fingers and fall to the ground.
Vandalieu had more or less figured this out from what the spirits had told him. Kanata had apparently fought barehanded when he had designated ‘weapons’ as the ability’s target, and there were numerous similar examples in his use of Gungnir as well.
That was why Vandalieu used the one thing Kanata couldn’t slip through. Spirit form.
Spirit form was something that resided within the bodies of all living creatures, including humans. If Kanata were to use Gungnir to pass through it, this would be an act equivalent to his physical body discarding his spirit and soul. It would be no different from committing suicide; it was something that Kanata's instincts prevented him from doing.
That was why Kanata couldn’t avoid the attacks of the Fire Ghosts, whose spirit form bodies themselves were burning. And Vandalieu had used Spirit Form Transformation on a part of his physical body, extended it behind the walls, floors and ceiling and used Materialization.
“Ah, I have some other attacks that you can’t pass through, too,” said Vandalieu. “For example… ■■■■■!”
Vandalieu pursed his lips and released a Scream directed in Kanata’s direction. Kanata, who was struggling to withstand the Fire Ghosts’ attacks with his Fire-Attribute Resistance and Wind-Attribute Resistance and somehow trying to make a counterattack, took a direct hit and let out a scream as he covered his ears.
His Mental Corruption mostly blocked Vandalieu’s Mental Encroachment, but Scream was a skill rather than a spell. Thus, it was impossible for Kanata to block the direct attack on his sense of hearing, the harsh noise that sounded like fragments of glass being grinded against each other.
This was another of Gungnir’s weaknesses. If Kanata were to designate sound as a target, he wouldn’t be able to recite any incantations himself. He couldn’t designate sound as a target for Gungnir if he intended to cast spells.
“Also, your final weakness is –” As Kanata suffered with blood pouring out of his ears, Vandalieu approached him defenselessly.
Kanata drew his knife with his burnt, blistered hand and threw it at Vandalieu as his only way to recover from this hopeless situation.
Vandalieu effortlessly deflected it with his claws.
“No matter what kind of attacks you use, you can’t designate your enemy’s body as a target for your ability. If you did, you wouldn’t be able to harm them, after all,” said Vandalieu. “That’s why I can just use my physical body to protect myself. Of course, my claws –”
“Claws!” Kanata shouted, throwing another knife.
This time, Vandalieu struck it down with his extended tongue.
“Even if you designate my claws as a target, I can simply use parts other than my claws to defend,” said Vandalieu. “Well, I wouldn’t die from a knife of that size hitting me, anyway,” he added, speaking with his tongue extended out of his mouth and twisting around. As his skill had leveled up, he was now able to extend it even further.
“…?!” This time, Kanata was lost for words.
“Well, in summary… you showed off your cheat-like ability too much, when you’re supposed to use it to kill the enemy the first time he sees it,” Vandalieu concluded. “Also, why aren’t you using martial skills? If you did, you might have been able to put up a better fight.”
If Kanata hadn’t killed anyone or used Gungnir before attempting to kill Vandalieu, he probably wouldn’t have suffered such an utter defeat.
If he had used martial skills, there might have been a chance for him to kill Vandalieu. At the very least, he wouldn’t have had his knife deflected by Vandalieu’s tongue.
Truly exasperated, Vandalieu transferred his Mana to Levia and all of the Fire Ghosts, including Kanata’s victims.
“I don’t mind stabbing him with my tongue to finish him off, but… can you do it?” he asked them.
“Yes, everyone, aid me!” Levia cried. With her dress of dark-red flames expanding, she closed in on Kanata.
Levia’s appearance changed in an instant; she turned into restraints that bound Kanata down in a crucified position. Starting from his legs, the dead began crawling their way up his body.
An unsightly scream came from Kanata’s mouth.
“Burning Funeral… You seem to possess Fire-Attribute Resistance, but it appears that it is working against you now,” said Vandalieu. “It’s extremely painful and agonizing, isn’t it? But you won’t be able to die so quickly.”
This isn’t what I was told! Kanata screamed in his mind as his entire body burned little by little. Why is this guy stronger than me when I was forced to go through harsh army training in Origin?! Why can he dodge my knives so easily? He doesn’t even feel any unrest or fear?! He’s a guy who spent twenty years in Origin as a guinea pig! Weakened, my ass! Isn’t he way more troublesome than when he was an Undead?! I have a body that can’t be affected by disease or poison, but I’m still so powerless against him!
Kanata had assumed that he had known everything about Vandalieu from using his own common sense to interpret the information that Rodcorte had given him, but this had turned out to be a mistake.
The information that Rodcorte had given Kanata was only information that applied at the time he had gathered it. And that information had been gained by looking through the eyes of others. He had essentially watched a documentary with no commentary; it wasn’t information that he had gathered firsthand.
Vandalieu had continued growing after this, and he had undergone much harsher experiences after reincarnating in Lambda than Kanata ever had.
Meanwhile, Kanata hadn’t put in any effort after reincarnating in Lambda. He had no Job and his Attribute Values were just a little above those of the average individual who has leveled one common Job from level 0 to 100.
Kanata’s Mana had already run out; he had no means of escape. He had no choice but to simply wait until he became a burnt corpse. But even so, Kanata didn’t think back and regret his actions. For him, this wasn’t the end.
“Damn it!” he screamed. “But don’t get so full of yourself, you necrophile bastard! You thought you’d be able to turn me into an Undead and make me talk, right?! Hihi, too bad for you!”
“… What are you talking about?” asked Vandalieu.
“Those of us who are being reincarnated here, even if we die, we can return to the god before you can turn us into Undead! No matter how many times you kill us, there’ll be no end! We’ll just have the god reincarnate us over and over, and we’ll definitely kill you!” Kanata screamed.
Kanata had no intention of dying quietly and giving up on his reward. He intended to request Rodcorte for another chance to get revenge on Vandalieu, who was looking down on him despite being a dropout of a reincarnated individual, and next time, he would certainly receive his reward, the fourth life that he had been promised.
“I won’t let my guard down next time!” he shouted. “I won’t face you alone, either! I’ll cooperate with the others and we’ll torture you before we kill you! The god promised a fourth life full of luxury to anyone who kills you, so everyone will be aiming for you! Even Amemiya, even Naruse!”
Vandalieu’s tongue, which had still been extended outside, loosened and returned to the inside of his mouth.
Taking this as a sign that Vandalieu’s mind had broken, Kanata felt such joy that he forgot the pain of his body being burned.
“PREPARE YOURSEEEELF! After I kill you, I’ll kill those women around you – kaheh?!”
“– Sharp Tongue.”
There was a wet-sounding noise that was lost in Kanata’s scream of resentment, as well as the sound of a crack appearing in a hard object.
From Kanata’s point of view, it appeared as if Vandalieu’s tongue had pierced his chest. But there was no blood. Confused, he wondered whether he had accidentally used Gungnir, but Vandalieu returned his tongue to his mouth and continued speaking.
“I just used my spirit-form tongue to break your soul,” he said. “It’s my first time doing it with my tongue, so I couldn’t break it into pieces with a single attack. But I put a deep crack in it, so I’m sure it will break soon.”
“Eh? Huh? M-my soul?” Kanata repeated blankly.
“In other words, you are finished here. There won’t be anything after your death, no reincarnation, no fourth life.”
“Y-you’re lying! There’s no way such a thing – GAAH!”
Kanata’s face turned pale for the first time as he was consumed by a pain completely different from that of his body being seared by flames. The pain was intense, but he couldn’t tell which part of his body was hurting.
“The god, GAAAH! Didn’t mention… anything about…!”
Kanata’s body was still resisting the flames, but the crack in the important thing that made up the being ‘Kaidou Kanata’ grew deeper and wider.
“So, you didn’t know about it after all,” said Vandalieu. “If you did, you wouldn’t have said the stupid things you said just a moment ago. Well, even if you didn’t say them, I did intend to break your soul anyway.”
Kanata had been panicked and flustered up to this point, but he hadn’t felt the raw despair that his face was filled with now.
“No, stop it, how, how can you do such a horrible thing?!” he cried. “To think that there’s nothing left in the future for me… I-I still have a lot of things I want to do! I don’t want to die, please spare me!”
Kanata screamed, feeling the terrifying sensation of his very being collapsing steadily.
Vandalieu gave a deep sigh. “Everyone thinks that,” he said. “Including the people that you’ve killed and even the people that I’ve killed. Life isn’t a game that you can reset, you know? You should have faced reality a little more.”
For Vandalieu, who was doing his utmost to live his third life in Lambda because he didn’t want a fourth one, the way Kanata lived was worthy of scorn.
Kanata felt anger take over his entire consciousness as he realized that there was contempt for him somewhere in the depths of Vandalieu’s expressionlessness.
“DAMN IIIIIIT! I’LL TAKE YOU WITH ME, YOU SHITTY FAILURE OF A BASTARD!”
Using the Assignable Active Skill* in his Status that he had made fun of for being like something out of a game, Kanata acquired the Surpass Limits skill at level 5.
Using this to overcome his limits, Kanata tried to deal Vandalieu a blow in return, but –
“– Pyuh.” Letting out a comical noise, his head went limp and fell back against the ground. Though his heart was still beating, he was now completely motionless.
“Princess-sama,” said Vandalieu.
He transferred Mana to Levia, who used it to burn Kanata’s head clean off.
Kanata’s decapitated head with a scorched, black neck rolled across the floor.
Not only Levia, but Vandalieu, who had been making little progress lately, suddenly leveled up with this influx of Experience Points.
『You have acquired the Strengthened Attack Power while Unarmed (Small) and Enhanced Body Part (Claws, Fangs, Tongue) skills!』
『The levels of the Enhanced Agility, Commanding, Dead Spirit Magic and God Slayer skills have leveled up!』
Despite having a degenerate nature, Kanata was someone who had been granted cheat-like abilities by the god of reincarnation. It seemed that such beings yielded an amount of Experience points that couldn’t be compared to normal monsters or humans.
“Vandalieu-sama, there are ninety-nine remaining, aren’t there?” said Eleanora.
“Even cheat-like abilities are no match for the Holy Son,” said Zran. “At this rate, won’t you eliminate them all before you need to become a nobleman?”
“We will be your arms and legs and fight for you, our new king!” said Levia.
Everyone was excited over the fact that Vandalieu had so one-sidedly defeated someone from another world with cheat-like abilities, who was supposed to have been a powerful foe. But Vandalieu himself remained calm.
“No, I won’t necessarily be killing the other ninety-nine,” he said. “There might be people who don’t want to fight me, after all.”
“But this scum said…” Eleanora muttered.
“We can’t trust the words of such scum,” said Vandalieu.
Among the things that Kanata had said, Vandalieu didn’t really believe the parts about the others who would reincarnate here.
Vandalieu didn’t know what kind of social position Kanata had in Origin, nor did he know of his relationships with the others reincarnated by Rodcorte. But judging from his actions and words, it was difficult to believe that he had been an important figure. Even if he did have some close friends, they were probably few in number.
The others who would reincarnate here would probably already know, or soon know, about Kanata’s demise and the fact that Vandalieu was the one who had caused it, but… Wouldn’t there be some who changed their opinions given this information?
Other than keeping quiet about my Soul Break, I think Rodcorte is underestimating me when he tells the others about me. With that being the case, the fact that I’ve destroyed Kanata should be enough to make the others reconsider coming after me.
Of course, there would be some among them that would criticize Vandalieu for having broken Kanata’s soul. Even if he told them about the inhuman things that Kanata had done, there might be some with flowery ideals in their heads insisting that Kanata was still a human.
It was unlikely that all of them would be like that, however.
“For now, we’ll deal with the others reincarnating here with the same policy as we’ve done up until now… but what should we do if they all reincarnate here with adult bodies?” Vandalieu wondered.
If they were all to start in this world with no bonds with other people, the efforts that Vandalieu was planning to make in order to become an honorary nobleman, gain societal fame and create circumstances where it would be difficult to lay a hand on him…
“It won’t be pointless, will it?” said Zran. “If you become great before them, Holy Son, even if they act like heroes and try to find faults with you, those around you will be your allies.”
“Indeed,” Eleanora agreed. “Even if they have incredible skills, if it comes down to choosing between people whose identities and origins are unknown and a well-known person, people will normally support the well-known person, won’t they?”
“Eh? You already rule Talosheim, yet you want to become even greater?” asked Levia. “You are an unexpectedly ambitious individual.”
“Our new king intends to reign supreme over this world…!”
“No wonder there’s a god sending assassins after him.”
“We have already perished. If we can become the cornerstones for our king’s rule, nothing would make us happier!”
Princess Levia and the Ghosts of her bodyguards were stirring in excitement. It seemed that Vandalieu needed to discuss things with them a little more.
“Wait, I don’t have any intentions of reigning supreme or ruling the world,” he said. “For now, we’ll destroy this place so that people don’t make a fuss over the seal on the Demon King’s blood being removed, make it look like this guy on the ground here was the one who did it… and I suppose we’ll stop by the treasury where the treasures stolen from Princess Levia are being kept before we return.”
It would be bad if it became known that Vandalieu and his companions had infiltrated the castle and removed the seal on the Demon King’s blood, but with that said, slaughtering everyone in Duke Hartner’s castle wasn’t a good idea, either.
Vandalieu decided to be satisfied with these measures.
“Well then, tomorrow night, let’s fly to the city ruins near the tunnel where Borkus and the others are headed,” he said.
After retrieving the coffin in which the Demon King’s blood had been sealed and the remains of the whips that had bound it, Vandalieu and his companions put Duke Hartner’s castle behind them.