After completing his Job-change, Vandalieu left the Seventh Cultivation Village and used Flight to catch up with Eleanora and the others, who had gone ahead of him.
But there were a lot of giant ravens around today and flying over the trees would be troublesome as he would run into them, so he was flying at a height below the trees’ branches, weaving in between the trees.
Suddenly, there was a plopping sound and Vandalieu felt an unpleasant sensation on the back of his head.
Thinking that bird excrement or a tree’s fruit had fallen onto him, he stopped and ran a hand through his hair, but there was nothing there. But it felt as if there was something crawling around. Even though he tried tracing the sensation with his finger and using Out-of-body Experience to look at the back of his own head, there was no sign of the object that had fallen onto him.
“… Well, whatever.”
Danger Sense: Death wasn’t responding, and though it was ticklish, it didn’t really bother him. He decided to leave it be.
Rodcorte became aware of the destruction of Kaidou Kanata’s soul before the circle of transmigration system raised its alarm.
Although there was no chance that Kanata would turn into an Undead, Rodcorte had already realized that there was a chance that he would have his soul broken by Vandalieu or be turned into a member of one of Vida’s races.
Of course, this would have been a needless worry if Kanata had been able to dispose of Vandalieu, but in the end, he had been defeated. And it wasn’t just a mere defeat.
“The situation is one step away from being the absolute worst it can be,” Rodcorte murmured to himself.
It was unfortunate that Kanata’s soul had been broken, but the reward Rodcorte had promised Kanata if he was able to defeat Vandalieu… This reward was to reincarnate him into a world with no magic or monsters, similar to earth, as the peerlessly handsome son of a rich family. Because Rodcorte had already removed Kanata’s soul from the system to prepare to grant him this reward, his soul’s destruction hadn’t caused large damage to the system.
The problem was that Kanata had blurted out to Vandalieu that the rest of the people reincarnating from Origin would be coming to kill him, and that even if they were killed in Lambda, they would be reincarnated again right away.
This had caused Vandalieu to become warier and made him think that the people trying to kill him would reincarnate endlessly unless he broke their souls.
“In reality, things are not going that well.”
Even after Kanata had reincarnated in Lambda, three of the reincarnated individuals in Origin had died. The fact that Shihouin Mari had killed Kanata, and the fact that she had done so because of the evil deeds he had been doing in the shadows, had become clear. Because of these events, there were fewer casualties than Rodcorte had expected, but it seemed that the group of reincarnated individuals had been disbanded.
Although they had all been reincarnated from the same Earth and been riding on the same boat, they were a group of people who didn’t necessarily all share the same views. And within three years of reincarnating in Origin, there would have been changes to their sense of values.
The reason they had been part of a single group up until recently was likely due to the great presence of Amemiya Hiroto, whose ability was far above the others.
The problem was that the three who had died hadn’t been happy about Rodcorte’s request.
They had been surprised that the Undead they had killed was someone who had been reincarnated from Earth like them, but when asked to kill him again in Lambda, they had shaken their heads. Rodcorte had tried offering them rewards similar to the ones that Kanata had asked for, but they had still declined.
They had told him that they had no intention of killing Vandalieu even if they were to begin life again normally as children, let alone being reincarnated as adults immediately to work with Kanata.
“I’m tired of killing others. I want to live a normal life.”
“He has no way of telling us apart from everyone else, right? In that case, I don’t want to get involved with him.”
“Work with Kanata? Is that a joke? Even if he was our former comrade, I went through hell because of what he did.”
The first refused to engage in any fighting whatsoever, the second refused to get involved with Vandalieu and the third refused Rodcorte’s request because Kanata was more deserving of hate than Vandalieu.
Like in Origin, Rodcorte had given those reincarnating in Lambda destinies so that they would meet each other again, but it was unclear as to how they would act once they met Vandalieu.
They could do as they said and try not to get involved, but the opposite was also possible. If Vandalieu were to become someone who caused great harm to the countries and cities that they reincarnated in, they wouldn’t be able to ignore him.
They might even try to become his allies, but considering the disgraceful behavior Vandalieu had shown directly after his death in Origin, Rodcorte couldn’t imagine it likely that Vandalieu would accept them.
“Well, I do not know what will happen until I see things unfold,” Rodcorte said to himself. “I cannot predict what Vandalieu is truly thinking. To think that he would remove the seal on a part of the Demon King and even go as far as to absorb it.”
In Lambda, there were some who were making use of fragments of the Demon King… But no matter how much Mana Vandalieu had, he should have been taken over by the part of the Demon King he had absorbed and lost his sanity.
“Well, it matters not. I can use this as something to convince the others who will reincarnate in Lambda.”
Rodcorte would tell them that Vandalieu was a dangerous individual who was removing the seals on the Demon King. He could not afford to tell this information to the gods of Lambda, however.
If Alda and his subordinates were to learn of this, they would start hunting not only Vandalieu, but the rest of those reincarnated in Lambda as well.
Rodcorte had been worried that Kanata’s thoughtless behavior had caused Alda to sniff out Rodcorte’s actions, but it seemed that Alda and his subordinates were still oblivious to the existence of those reincarnated from Origin.
Perhaps they had assumed that Kanata was simply a criminal with a unique skill, or perhaps they were busier than Rodcorte had imagined and simply didn’t have the time to look through the records from a few of their followers.
“Either way, I suppose I should tell the next ones to reincarnate there that Vandalieu can break souls, that he has regained the power he had in Origin and that he has even surpassed his old power in some aspects.”
Rodcorte had kept these facts from Kanata, thinking that it would be problematic if he became fearful, but as a result, he had underestimated Vandalieu and attacked him with no sense of apprehension and no plan whatsoever, leading to his defeat.
If he told them about the danger of having their souls broken, they would be vigilant. There would probably be many who would decline his request as a result, but this would still be better than losing a great number of them pointlessly.
“It appears that the discord in Origin has settled down. Now then, I shall wait a while,” Rodcorte decided.
The ruins that had been occupied by the Goblin King were completely different now. The outer walls remained the same, but there were now many buildings built in rows on the inside, and watchtowers had been built as well.
It was as if the city had been restored.
But if one were to see the individuals gathered in this city, they wouldn’t think that it had been restored at all.
“Ah, everyone… though I am no longer alive, I am able to meet all of you again…” a woman murmured in the city’s center, her voice full of emotion. She was a beautiful Titan woman with dark skin, abundant curves, and hair and eyes of a color resembling flames, wearing a flame-like leotard.
But her legs stopped just above her knees, and she was floating in the air. Her flame-like hair and leotard were actually made of flames.
Levia, the former First Princess of Talosheim, had become a Rank 5 Blaze Ghost after defeating Kaidou Kanata.
“Curse you, Duke Hartner!”
Princess Levia was surrounded by hundreds of Undead Titans.
“I’m sorry, everyone! We couldn’t protect a single thing that you entrusted us with!”
“Don’t say that! It’s the traitorous Hartner family that’s at fault! They’re sons of bitches who killed you and burned Princess Levia at the stake!”
Borkus roared in rage. “Kid, let’s go and raid that slave-run mine right now, save those guys and then overrun this duchy!”
“There, there,” said Vandalieu, pacifying the enraged Borkus as well as the other Titans. “Let’s calm down. I said it before, but overrunning the duchy is dangerous because Heinz and his party are here.”
In fact, it was indeed possible to inflict enormous damage to this duchy with the forces that Vandalieu had available to him.
Any castle wall would crumble with a single sword swing from Borkus, a powerful Rank 10 Undead. Soldiers and knights wouldn’t even work as meat shields against him.
The other Undead and Vandalieu himself would be accompanying him as well.
They would spread deadly disease and poison around, kill men and women of all ages, turn them into Undead and repeat the cycle of slaughter. It would be an army of the dead that increased in numbers for each victim it claimed.
But there would be Heinz, an adventurer with ability worthy of S-class, and his party, the Five-colored Blades. There would be other A-class and B-class adventurers as well. And if things got bad, there would be support from the other duchies of the Orbaume Kingdom as well.
In that case, Vandalieu’s army would lose.
“So, let’s settle for only attacking the slave-run mine for now,” said Vandalieu.
“That’s fine!” said Borkus. “Let’s get going!”
“I’m telling you, you can’t,” said Vandalieu, stopping him.
It wasn’t that he was scared of failure. With the combat prowess of Borkus and the other Undead Titans, they would effortlessly defeat the soldiers guarding the slave-run mine that wasn’t even on the frontline of the war, and easily reduce their watchtower to rubble.
“It would be terrible if all of the slaves got caught up in it and died, wouldn’t it?” Vandalieu pointed out.
If the Titans attacked forcefully, there was no telling what circumstances would arise from the panic they would cause. The disordered soldiers might try to use the slaves as shields or decide to rape female slaves before their impending deaths.
And there was also a chance that the slaves would think that Borkus and the rest were simply monsters who had come to kill them rather than those who had come to rescue them.
If they decided to kill themselves, thinking that it would be better than being eaten alive, that would be problematic... though Vandalieu didn’t want to mention this to Borkus and the other Undead Titans.
“With that being the case, we’ll infiltrate first and make them understand that we’re there to save them,” said Vandalieu.
Borkus made a dissatisfied noise. “… There’s no other choice. But what are we going to do about the duke’s family?” he asked.
“I’ve made a scandal go public, sunk their castle and taken back some of the treasures they stole, so let’s leave it at that for now,” Vandalieu replied.
He had destroyed the underground graveyard and sunk the castle in order to conceal the fact that he had removed a seal of the Demon King. This was something that would cause anyone’s face to pale if they learned of it, though he wasn’t aware of this because of how simple it was for him to build, repair or even move buildings with Golem Transmutation.
The castle probably wouldn’t collapse anytime soon, but it was a national symbol for the Hartner Duchy and, in times of war, a point of defense.
It was therefore necessary for a new one to be built, but this would probably require a vast sum of money. As long as Vandalieu didn’t help them, anyway.
“By the way, Bocchan, about the treasures you took back…” said Saria.
“Yes, I’m holding onto them right now,” said Vandalieu.
He had taken about half of the stolen treasures back from the castle; the rest of them had been scattered and lost. They were items that had been given to noble families as rewards, Potions that had been consumed or treasures that had been donated to the Orbaume Kingdom’s central region (sold for support under the pretense of donation).
What remained was mostly jewelry rather than precious, expensive Magic Items like the Item Box. According to the spirits that had been haunting the duke until recently, the Item Box was still around, but it was being used for transporting goods to a military base connected to the former Sauron Duchy.
Borkus’s magic sword that was broken by Mikhail had also been a national treasure given to him by Talosheim’s king, so there had been fewer Magic Items among Talosheim’s national treasures to begin with.
Other than a few like the Second Princess Zandia, the Titan race wasn’t suited for magic and Talosheim had been isolated for a hundred thousand years, so excluding the relics left behind by Zakkart, it had been a magically underdeveloped nation.
“But let’s have Braga and the rest take them back for us,” said Vandalieu.
Braga and the rest of the Black Goblin unit were planning to return to Talosheim with Marie and the other girls who were their lovers. Vandalieu had asked one last time to make sure that the girls really wanted to do this, but their decision hadn’t changed.
“I think it will be hard, but I will consider myself reborn and live with this person.”
“I’m sure it will be fine. This person isn’t a human, and yet, he is far kinder to me than any man has ever been.”
“I’ll treasure these two.” Braga had become the husband of two of them and suddenly appeared mature.
This must be the presence of a popular man, Vandalieu thought, but Braga turned on him and glared at him with half-closed eyes.
“King… I don’t know what you’re thinking, but you’re way more popular with the women than I am,” said Braga.
“… It’s not like I’m not aware of that,” said Vandalieu, who was currently being embraced from both sides, buried in abundant valleys.
“Phew… seeing Bocchan for the first time in a while feels really good,” said Rita, a look of ecstasy on her face.
“Uu, you’re right,” said Saria, looking shy and yet unable to disobey her desires. “I know it’s wrong, but I really can’t be separated from him.”
Both of them were embracing Vandalieu. He was now at the age where he was starting to become conscious of the opposite sex, so he wished that they would stop doing this in front of others, though.
“You two, stop clinging to Vandalieu-sama already,” Eleanora said to them.
“You’re fine because you’ve been with him this whole time, Eleanora-san! We’ve been staying in Talosheim!” Rita protested.
“Eleanora-san, us maids suffer withdrawal symptoms if we are separated from our master for more than three days!” said Saria.
“… I’m not sure if being a maid is really that kind of occupation?” Vandalieu said calmly, but for some reason, it seemed that Eleanora had accepted their points.
“It cannot be helped,” she said. “But make sure you do not tire Vandalieu-sama out.”
Apparently, it couldn’t be helped.
“Yes!” said the sisters in unison.
Rita and Saria loosened their grips slightly, making it a little easier for Vandalieu to breathe. Since their bodies were made of spirit form other than their armor, they provided a coolness that was perfect for the summer heat, so being embraced by them was actually comfortable as long as they let him breathe.
“Bocchan, all of the Ghouls, Rapiéçage, Pauvina-chan and, most importantly, Darcia-sama waiting for you in Talosheim, so… you should prepare yourself while you still can.”
“Wow, I’m super-popular, aren’t I.”
It seemed that Vandalieu would be embraced passionately once he returned to Talosheim. His heart, which had splintered from the events in the Hartner Duchy, would be repaired.
Am I secreting something from my body? Vandalieu wondered. Something like Vandanium, vitamin V or Van acid.
There were no scanning devices in Lambda so he couldn’t be sure, but it was possible that some unknown nutrients and minerals existed.
Suddenly, he heard a small, grinding noise.
“Ah, Bocchan, there’s a large centipede in your hair.”
Large centipedes. They were Rank 1 monsters, centipedes around the size of medium-sized snakes. Their diets consisted mainly of small animals such as mice and insects, and they didn’t harm produce. As such, they were often considered to be useful creatures. However, sometimes they climbed into trees and grabbed onto animals that passed beneath them in order to transport themselves around.
“Come to think of it, you said you underwent a Job-change to Insect User, didn’t you? Have you already tamed this one?” Saria asked.
“Huh, looks like I did, without even knowing about it,” said Vandalieu.
After crawling around the surprised Vandalieu’s head, the giant centipede disappeared beneath his hair again.
“I wonder just what it’s like in my hair? Well, it seems to be harmless so I don’t really mind,” he said.
“Is it really harmless?!” Eleanora was frantically searching for the centipede inside Vandalieu’s hair, but she seemed to be unable to find it.
“It’s fine,” Vandalieu told her. “It doesn’t hurt, anyway.” He did feel a ticklish sensation that felt like an insect was crawling beneath his skin, however. “I’ll call him Pete,” he decided.
Now that he thought about it, he had the feeling that there was a Japanese god who had concealed centipedes in his hair. Which god was that, again?
As Vandalieu suddenly tried to dig up his past memories, Princess Levia approached him smoothly and called out to him in a shy-sounding voice. “U-umm, is it alright if I…?”
But the one who responded wasn’t Vandalieu, but Rita.
“You too, Princess?”
“Yes. For now, going beyond holding hands with Your Majesty is… but I believe it is natural for things to go that way,” said Levia, whose flames grew brighter. Judging from her expression and behavior, it was probably a sign of embarrassment, similar to one’s cheeks growing red.
“Natural for things to go that way… Well, I suppose you are right,” Eleanora agreed.
“The daughter of the former royal family and the new king… Historically, it is not unusual. Though the majority of such cases are tragedies or political marriages,” Sam added.
According to these two, Vandalieu and Levia ending up in that way would be a natural course of events.
“Wow,” said Vandalieu. “Everyone is coming to an agreement.”
That was how things were apparently going to go. Vandalieu wasn’t particularly dissatisfied with it, and Princess Levia was essential for using his Dead Spirit Magic skill, so it would be convenient for her to be with him.
Emotionally speaking, he was also happy to be adored by a beautiful woman. Thanks to his physical age, Vandalieu’s desires of that sort were still questionable, but it was only natural for him to prefer people he thought were beautiful.
He had already been entrusted with the left hand of Princess Levia’s younger sister, Princess Zandia, as well.
“Alright, go ahead and marry her, kid! I didn’t think you’d paint Princess Levia with your colors before Zandia-jouchan, but that’s how a man is!” said Borkus.
“Borkus, where did your anger and hatred from earlier go?” Vandalieu asked.
“That’s that, this is this,” he replied.
“I understand. Let us support Bocchan together,” said Rita.
“Thank you very much,” said Levia.
“We were born and died in different places, but we stand together after death,” said Saria.
“I have not died yet, but if you are devoted to Vandalieu-sama, then we are companions,” said Eleanora.
“By the way, that item of clothing you are wearing… is that supposed to be competing with us?” asked Rita.
“No, this is made of my flames,” Levia explained. “I can make them more like a dress, but making its surface area greater requires more Mana, so I am being more efficient.”
It seemed that the women had reached a conclusion.
“Please take care of me for the many years to come,” Levia said to Vandalieu. “And you too, if possible, great sisters,” she added to Rita and Saria.
Being embraced by the beautiful Titan who would have been more than 2.5 meters tall if she had legs, Vandalieu felt as if he had been completely surrounded.
“I have a long future ahead of me,” Vandalieu told her. “I’m going to live for millennia, after all.”
Incidentally, Levia and the Fire Ghosts could control their heat, allowing them to lower it to the same temperature as a bath.
Though Levia’s flames were warm, they weren’t enough to burn. She gave a giggle as she covered Vandalieu in these flames. “So you say, but our lifespans are unlimited. We are already dead, after all.”
“You got me there,” said Vandalieu.
Eleanora and the Undead blessed the quiet couple, but there were also those who felt a sense of danger.
“Honey, could it be that Vandalieu-sama is the type who uses anyone he can lay his hands on?” asked Marie. She and the other lovers of the Black Goblins felt anxious about the way the king of the nation they were about to move to handled his relationships with women. They had almost no knowledge of politics, but it had been said that the philandering of kings of the past was the greatest among the causes of their nations’ demise.
“That’s not true, King chooses his women properly,” said Braga, reassuring them.
Although the Hartner Duchy was adjacent to the Boundary Mountain Range, its mineral resources were limited. This was because even underground areas of the mountain range were danger-zones where monsters ran rampant, making it impossible to work there, and because no promising veins of ore had been discovered in other mountains.
Thus, the Hartner Duchy had been dependent on several Dungeons as well as the mine on the southern tip of the duchy for its mineral resources.
But the ore yielded by that mine had decreased drastically around two hundred years ago and had never recovered. When the duchy had still been conducting trade with Talosheim, they had continued importing metal while searching the mine for new veins of ore, but these efforts had been given up now.
The miners had vanished from the mine and been replaced by walls like those of a prison, soldiers and slaves.
Now, it wasn’t normal miners, but mostly criminal slaves who were mining and smelting the ore.
But in the mine’s earlier days, it was run not by criminal slaves, but the women of children of Talosheim who had been made criminal slaves on false accusations, so they were handled differently from how one might normally expect.
Although the exterior looked like a prison, there was a village of slaves on the inside. The criminal slaves would normally be treated worse than horses or cattle in a mine, but the duke of the past had apparently feared that some might have survived the destruction of Talosheim.
It had been unknown as to whether the A-class adventurers, the Sword King Borkus and the Saint Jeena, as well as the Tiny Genius Zandia, were alive or not.
The reality was that the three of them had been killed by Mikhail, but subordinates of the Pure-breed Vampire Gubamon had stolen Jeena and Zandia’s remains, while the third subordinate ran into and engaged in mortal combat with the fatally-wounded Mikhail. Thus, the Hartner Duchy had no accurate information on these heroes.
That was why the duke had needed hostages, just in case they had survived against all odds. Princess Levia would have worked as well, but if he had left her alive, it was possible that the other duchies would have used her as a symbol to put the blame on the Hartner Duchy rather than the Amid Empire.
Also, Titans had robust bodies, and even their children were capable of greater physical labor than an adult human. That was why they had been used in the mines while the utmost care was taken to ensure that they were not worked to death.
As time passed, this treatment of the Titans had become normal and the slaves of the slave-run mine were granted a living environment that would allow for living there for longer periods of time than other mines.
There was a city of soldiers who managed a family who had essentially been born as slaves. That was how things were in the mine.
In this slave-run mine, there was a pair of soldiers amusing themselves with idle talk as they watched over the miners who were working with collars on their necks.
“I’ve heard about it, but they don’t know when new ‘goods’ will arrive,” one of them said.
“Yeah, something about a monster rampage occurring at the city, right? I’m sick of hearing about that,” said the other.
The traveling merchant who had transported supplies of food and such to the mine, who had arrived yesterday and left this morning, had delivered news that a monster rampage had occurred at the city of Niarki. This news had spread throughout the entire mine.
Soldiers who had been born in Niarki had given the merchant letters to deliver to their families. But the two soldiers who were talking in this spot had been born elsewhere, so the monster rampage wasn’t any of their business.
“But that means that there won’t be any noisy new recruits, so isn’t it a good thing?”
“Well, that’s true... From time to time, we get guys who hesitate to kill Goblins and throw up, too.”
The soldiers assigned to this slave mine were largely divided into two different kinds. There was the ‘retired’ group, who were made up of those who couldn’t work on the frontlines due to age or injury but had been assigned here because they would go hungry or turn to crime if they were fired. The other group was made of new recruits, who had been sent here to perform exercises and training because this was a vast region with only weak monsters such as Goblins.
This pair of soldiers were a part of the former group, and when new recruits were sent here, these soldiers would have to take care of them and their workload would increase. Those from noble families born as the third or later son had a lot of pride, so they were particularly troublesome.
They were merely new recruits in rank, but at the same time, they were noblemen and future government office candidates, so they had to be treated carefully.
If the soldiers’ superior officer had things together, this would be easier, but… the current governor of this slave-run mine was Viscount Besser, an honorary nobleman. He had been a nobleman of Lord Lucas’s faction who was involved in military affairs, but he had made a blunder that caused him to be demoted. He was someone who believed that noblemen were superior beings, declaring that “only noblemen were real humans.”
It didn’t need to be said who Viscount Besser favored more between the commoner-born soldiers like these two and the young men who were frail, but still born from noble families.
“Still, the ‘goods’ not coming is… We’ve had nothing to hunt but Goblins these days, too.”
“Now that you mention it, there are a lot of Goblins for some reason. There have been less of them more recently, though. I wonder if a King has appeared nearby?”
“Stop that, it’s ill-omened to say stuff like that. What I’m trying to say is, with no ‘goods’ and no tasty things to eat, there’s no enjoyment in our everyday lives.”
“Well, we are in a place like this.”
The slave-run mine wasn’t an adequate workplace for these soldiers. If they wanted to eat something tasty, they had to go out and hunt. Of course, there were no theaters, show tents or street performers to ease their daily boredom.
For these soldiers, their only sources of pleasure they had were the supplies provided by the traveling merchant and a little shopping. That, and the ‘goods.’
“For now, we have the ‘goods’ that were brought yesterday, right?”
“Haven’t you seen it? There wasn’t a single quality person among the ‘goods’ that arrived yesterday…”
“You’re just being too greedy. They’re just slaves being brought to the mine; it’d be stranger if there were any quality ones, wouldn’t it?”
The ‘goods’ that the soldiers had been talking about were slaves. Of course, they weren’t provided to the soldiers in order to provide enjoyment by putting on performances.
“There was that female bandit that became a criminal slave and was brought here, wasn’t there?”
“Well, her face was nice, but she had no chest. Her mind seemed a little broken, too. And that was years ago, man.”
The slaves being brought to this mine were the slave trader’s stockpiled unsold products who had become a burden on him; in fact, most of them were criminal slaves, the kind that nobody wanted to buy. But of course, some of them were women.
Those women became playthings for the soldiers.
“There are always the Titans, right?”
The women among Talosheim’s refugees were treated the same way as well.
“Unlike some people, I happen to not like giant women. It kind of feels like they’re looking down on you. And if we do it too much, we’re the ones who are going to get punished, so you can’t go too crazy. Ah, man, won’t those cultivation villages hurry up and become ghost towns?”
“No, we get punished if we do it too much with the other slaves, too. There was the time we went crazy and some of them died, remember? The viscount was screaming at us not to reduce our working force for no reason.”
“You’re right. It can’t be helped; I’ll just choose one at random for now… that one will do, I guess.
One of the soldiers’ eyes had stopped upon a white-haired child slave who was wearing a cloth over one eye. The child’s dead-looking eyes weren’t unusual to see among the slaves working at the mine, but perhaps the soldier had been attracted to her white skin that looked as if it hadn’t ever seen the sun.
“Oi, isn’t she too small for that?” his partner questioned.
“It doesn’t matter, right? She won’t even survive until next month anyway. What I do is just going to shorten her already short life by a bit.”
The soldier called out to the white-haired slave who was pushing a cart full of ore, pulled her away and took her away somewhere.
Of course, they were still on duty, but this kind of thing had been occurring for a long time, so Viscount Besser overlooked it as long as the soldiers didn’t do it in front of the new recruits. Naturally, the other soldier overlooked his partner’s actions as well.
However, his partner returned less than twenty minutes later. Thinking it strange, the soldier called out to him.
“Oi, that was unusually quick. What happened to that slave? If she died, did you at least dispose of her body properly?”
Though the slave was a child, the soldier didn’t consider her life precious for a moment. But he knew that it wouldn’t be good to leave her corpse alone. There would be insects everywhere and if there was an outbreak of disease, he would be at danger as well.
As the soldier called out to his partner, his partner moved only his eyeballs to look at him.
“Everything is fine. There is no problem,” replied the soldier’s partner. His face was as expressionless as a doll’s.
“… Oi, are you really alright?”
“I am really alright. I am perfectly normal.”
“No, you’re not looking fine at all. Go and have the priest-dono take a look at you.” The soldier grabbed the shoulder of his partner, who was clearly not behaving normally, and tried to take him to the priest, who also served as a doctor. He called out to another soldier as well. “Hey, this guy’s acting strange. I’m going to take him to the priest-dono and have him checked out,” he said.
The other soldier that he had called out to approached, as if wanting to help out.
“Is everything alright? I shall help out as well.”
“Yeah, thanks. Oi, get a hold of yourself.” Not even looking at the third soldier, the first soldier walked away, looking at the face of his colleague, who was also his friend, with a worried expression.
Seeing the two soldiers return and continue working as if nothing had happened, another soldier called out to them. “Are you alright? You look a bit pale…”
“Yes, we are fine. It is just a lack of sleep.”
“After visiting the priest-dono, we feel better.”
“How about you go and visit the priest-dono too. You will feel brighter.”
“I-I see. I’ll sit out on that one.” The soldier who had called out to the pair stiffened his expression at their eerie behavior as he returned to his post.
A child slave with white hair and skin pushed a cart past him, but it seemed that the soldier was more concerned about the strange behavior of his colleagues.
The empty eyes of several soldiers stared at his back.
『The level of the Mental Encroachment skill has increased!』
【Fire Ghosts】【Flame Ghosts】【Blaze Ghosts】
These are monsters created when evil Mana contaminates the spirits of victims who were burned to death or criminals burned at the stake with deep hatred in their hearts.
Many of them are evil monsters who have gone mad with the pain of being burned to death, losing their previous memories and even their ability to reason, simply attacking the living in order to have them join them.
When criminals burned at the stake are buried, they are revived as these monsters and try to attack people. They progress from Fire to Flame to Blaze in terms of how dangerous and powerful they are.
Their main method of attack is to employ body-slams and unarmed attacks with their burning bodies, while those that have preserved more of their intelligence are capable of using long-ranged attacks by firing the flames that make up their body as projectiles.
But the most dangerous is their Possession. Unless exorcised, those possessed experience the agony of being burned alive until they suffer the worst death in absolute madness.
Physical attacks are mostly ineffective unless they use the Materialization skill; they cannot be defeated without martial skills or magic of attributes other than the fire attribute. Despite having spirit form bodies, they produce Magic Stones, but as they do not provide any other materials, they are unpopular monsters to hunt among adventurers.
The Ghosts of Levia and the warriors who were her guards transformed into these monsters after Vandalieu’s Mental Encroachment skill caused them to remember the feelings of defeat they felt when they were killed, so they possess most of their former memories.
Also, these monsters normally look like moving, burnt corpses, but Levia and her guards mostly resemble their appearances of when they were alive other than missing their feet, knees and half of their thighs, wearing clothes made of flames.
They can exert their power beyond their limits due to Vandalieu’s Dead Spirit skill and vast Mana pool.