The knight Karcan, who had managed to successfully repel the sudden monster rampage before the city suffered any damage, was in a peculiar predicament.
“Why was there a monster rampage and the appearance of a new Dungeon at a time like this?” he wondered.
Some of the company that he led were heavily wounded, but fortunately, none of them had died. The lord of the region, Viscount Niarki, had also thanked him.
However, many of the achievements had gone to the Blue-flamed Sword Heinz, the one who was rumored to likely become the Orbaume Kingdom’s second S-class adventurer. The monsters had chanted, “Kill Heinz,” as if it were an incantation and all aimed for him, after all.
With that being the case, Heinz might have been blamed for being the man who had summoned the monsters and brought a disaster to the city, but he had already gained a good reputation and was adored by many.
Rather than being blamed, his reputation has only improved for being the “champion who faced the large pack of monsters without running away.” The people were also praising the fact that Heinz had been targeted by the monsters, saying that this must be a sign that the evil gods who were surviving servants of the Demon King were after him – in other words, Heinz was a hero who was feared even by the gods.
As it was Heinz and the other members of the Five-colored Blades who had defeated most of the monsters, it was only natural that they received praise.
With that being the case, one might wonder why the adventurers and Karcan’s men had participated in the defense, but… that would only be in hindsight. There had been no proof that the monsters would actually only aim for Heinz. Even if there was, there was no way that they would have been able to say, “Well then, it has nothing to do with us,” and look unconcerned.
And so, Karcan’s company had exhausted themselves in a fierce battle. Heinz and his party were now clearing the ominous Dungeon that had been discovered in the forest near the city.
And Karcan had been told that the next expedition for his company wasn’t necessary.
“In fact, it’s true that it’s not the time to be doing things like an expedition. The men of the company are being completely healed by Froto’s healing magic, but they’re not in a state where they are able to move around so easily.”
The source of this monster rampage was almost certainly the newly-formed Dungeon, but it still wasn’t completely certain. Until Heinz and his party returned, Karcan and his men, who had been assigned to be part of the city’s defenses, couldn’t move.
Even after Heinz and his party returned, it would take time to set up a system to control and watch over the Dungeon. Karcan didn’t have any obligation to cooperate in this, but if he flatly ignored the expectations of Viscount Niarki who was relying on him, his social position would be jeopardized.
But with that said, that didn’t mean that Karcan would necessarily be valued highly even if he did meet the viscount’s expectations. After all, the cultivation project to the south that he was supposed to be in charge of had been left alone.
“The earliest we’ll be able to move is winter…” Karcan sighed. He had lost count of how many times he had done so.
The city of Niarki still hadn’t received news that the duke’s castle built by Nineroad had sunk or the scandal that had shaken the Orbaume Kingdom, or that the Guild Master of the Mages’ Guild as well as several noblemen had been revealed to have connections with Vampires.
Luciliano, the Degenerate. He was a human C-class adventurer, and when he first encountered Vandalieu, he had been working in the Mirg shield-nation.
He had created a Live-Dead out of the woman who had become Pauvina and used it as a familiar to infiltrate the village of the Noble Orc Bugogan in order to gather information.
And after the battle between the Ghouls and Orcs finished, he had encountered Vandalieu through the Live-Dead, but…
So that’s what this person’s face looked like. I guess I really do get a different impression now that I can see his physical body, Vandalieu thought.
Back then, when he was still three years old, he hadn’t known what Luciliano’s face looked like. Even if he did, Luciliano now had hollow cheeks and a freely-growing beard. If Gopher and the others hadn’t told him that there was a former human adventurer among the slaves, he wouldn’t have noticed Luciliano at all.
“So, why are you here?” Vandalieu asked one more time, as Luciliano hadn’t answered him the first time… but there was still no response.
Rather than deliberately staying silent, it seemed that he had fainted.
Eleanora quietly raised her foot.
“Eleanora, he looks like he will break if you step on him, so let’s not do that,” said Vandalieu.
Still being held in Eleanora’s arms, Vandalieu secreted some restorative medicine from his claws and used Telekinesis to apply it to Luciliano’s face. The moment he did so, Luciliano sprang up like a spring-loaded toy… but he was still bound, so he lost his balance and fell to the ground once more.
“Kahah?! Hah! W-wait, please don’t kill me! Even if you do kill me, please let me die in comfort! Also, let me have one final meal!”
“You’re looking unexpectedly lively,” said Vandalieu. “To start off with, judging from your behavior, it seems that you remember who I am.”
“Th-there’s no way I could forget someone of a rare race like a Dhampir. But wait, it wasn’t my intention to encounter you here!” Luciliano begged.
“No, I’d be pretty surprised if it was,” said Vandalieu.
It seemed that Luciliano remembered exactly who Vandalieu was. Including the fact that Vandalieu had threatened him with, “The next time I see you, I will kill you.”
“Vandalieu-sama is asking what you are doing in a place like this. Answer him,” Eleanora said, prompting Luciliano to provide a response. “Also, I am not Vandalieu-sama’s mother, but his servant,” she added, as multiple people had now made the same misunderstanding.
“Alright, I’ll answer,” said Luciliano. “After that incident, I took my money, left Balcheburg and migrated to the Orbaume Kingdom. I continued my research into Undead while working as an adventurer. But one day, unfortunately –”
According to Luciliano’s story, he had gotten caught up in the dispute between Lord Belton and Lord Lucas.
The third son of a certain nobleman in Belton’s faction plotted to have his father change sides to Lucas’s faction and name the third son as his successor. By having his father assassinated and turning him into a Live-Dead puppet.
He set his eyes on Luciliano, an adventurer working solo without forming a party or finding companions, to create the Live-Dead.
Of course, Luciliano didn’t want to get involved in such a conspiracy, but he was kidnapped and threatened without being given a choice, so he pretended to do what was being demanded of him. But he secretly used a Live-Dead mouse as his familiar to find help, and the third son’s conspiracy was stopped before it began and those involved were arrested.
“But I was arrested as well,” Luciliano explained. “That noble family seemed to want to make it as if the incident had never happened. I was taken straight into imprisonment and then sent here as a criminal slave. Thanks to the slave collar, I can’t use magic. Well, even then, my Attribute Values are higher than the average person, so I managed to survive up until now, but… I suppose that ends here. Ah, I wanted to at least have some mellow wine, warm soup, fresh salad, soft bread, a fish dish with fresh fish, a meat dish with thick chunks of meat and a dessert before the end.”
“… Isn’t that a full-course meal?” Vandalieu pointed out.
Luciliano’s oval-shaped face had grown thin, making him look even seedier, but his request was quite extravagant. It was possible that he could get along with Vandalieu unexpectedly well.
“So, Vandalieu-sama, are you going to kill him?” Eleanora asked.
“What should I do?” Vandalieu wondered, looking troubled.
Luciliano was a man with quite a peculiar relationship to Vandalieu. He wasn’t an ally, so there wasn’t any reason for Vandalieu to assertively help him. If he had to decide, he was more of an enemy. But Vandalieu couldn’t answer whether he was someone worth killing in this situation.
For Pauvina, who wasn’t present, Luciliano was the man who had manipulated her previous life’s body without permission and turned it into a Noble Orc’s plaything, but he wasn’t directly responsible for her death and Pauvina hadn’t shown any signs of hating him after being reborn. In fact, hadn’t she forgotten about it?
But if Vandalieu let him go here, there was a high chance that information on what had happened in this mine would leak.
However, Vandalieu felt reluctant to kill him.
Unlike the criminal slaves who had been evil criminals, Luciliano wasn’t an evil person, nor did Vandalieu harbor any personal grudges towards him. Considering the details of how he became a slave, Vandalieu actually felt a considerable amount of sympathy for him.
“I suppose I’ll try asking Pauvina first,” Vandalieu decided.
He would reserve judgment for now until asking Pauvina whether it was alright for him to bring Luciliano back to Talosheim.
After that, Vandalieu woke up the noblemen and soldiers in the mine and gathered them in one place.
“It’s alright if their limbs fall off or their heads smash to pieces, but please try not to crush them all over. Ah, but it’s totally OK to turn them into paste,” he said.
His dangerous-sounding words were directed not at the conscious yet paralyzed individuals behind him, but the new inhabitants of Talosheim, who were breathing loudly through their noses with clubs, shovels and pickaxes in their hands.
“Y-you bastard! What are you planning to do?!” demanded one particularly large voice among the countless pleas for mercy.
“A public execution,” Vandalieu replied.
“Don’t fuck with me!” the voice shouted back. Vandalieu found this rather unpleasant.
However, these would be the final words of the people who were about to be executed in a gruesome way.
It would be immature to think of them badly for shouting at me, Vandalieu thought as he turned around.
“I am Viscount Besser, the one who has been entrusted with the management of this mine by His Excellency, the duke! I firmly protest to this unjust treatment!” shouted the viscount, his mouth open so wide that it looked as if his entire face consisted of only a mouth.
Vandalieu gave him a perplexed look. “Unjust treatment, you say… isn’t this normal?”
The viscount and his soldiers had done things that Vandalieu would hesitate to even say aloud. The positions had simply been reversed now, so this was normal, wasn’t it?
In fact, they would die within ten minutes without being subjected to the same treatment, so weren’t they actually lucky?
“Do not fool yourself! I am a nobleman!” the viscount exclaimed.
“… I mean, I know that. Is that relevant?” Vandalieu asked.
He had explained the situation to the viscount and his men. He had the feeling that doing this instead of killing them without them knowing anything would allow him to turn them into stronger Undead.
“You bastard! Even in war, it is common sense to take noblemen as prisoners whenever possible and give them treatment appropriate to their status! Are you not even aware of this?!” shouted the viscount.
“No, I wasn’t. Sorry.” Vandalieu, having learned something new, made a mental note of the viscount’s words. If he became an adventurer, he might have opportunities to participate in wars, so it was good that he could learn this piece of common knowledge early on. “I’ll do that next time,” he said.
“No, do it now!” the viscount demanded. “Do you think that you can get away with killing me?!”
“I think I’ll make sure that I will,” said Vandalieu.
“There is no way that you could! I am a nobleman; if you do such a thing, all of you low-birth creatures will be sentenced to death! My Kingdom will put its prestige on the line to hunt down those who kill noblemen and end their lives without mercy!” Viscount Besser shouted.
The faces of some of the former-slave Titans turned pale in fear at his words; they began lowering the weapons in their hands.
That was how much of a difference there was between commoners and noblemen in the world of Lambda. Not everyone’s lives were equal; the lives of nobles and royalty were clearly more precious. That was common knowledge.
“Do you understand now, you vulgar brat?!” Viscount Besser shouted at Vandalieu, the current king of Talosheim.
At this moment, a rising bloodthirst was coming from Borkus and Eleanora, but Vandalieu raised a hand to calm them.
The important thing here wasn’t to deal with the fact that he had been insulted by the viscount, but to make the new citizens of Talosheim acknowledge his power. If he relied too much on Borkus and the others, some might change their minds and decide that they couldn’t follow him after all. And if the criminal slaves didn’t take him seriously, that would cause problems later on in the future.
“Everyone, please come over here,” said Vandalieu.
Thinking that he should show his power, Vandalieu summoned Levia and the other Ghosts, and transferred Mana to them. He looked up at the mine… the small mountain that was protruding from the surface of the earth, the small mountain that was about five hundred meters tall.
“… Corpse Flame Prison Destruction Barrage.”
Small flames appeared, like a countless number of fireflies. But in the next moment, they turned into a countless number of skulls made of black flames.
The skulls cackled as they flooded towards the mountain that Vandalieu was pointing at.
The resulting sight was fearsome to behold.
Over a hundred skull-shaped flames sank their teeth into the rocky mountain. The hard boulders became brittle and broke, burned and crumbled. This process continued endlessly, and before everyone’s very eyes, the mountain’s shape changed as it was gouged from the earth. There was a thunderous noise as rocks fell from the mountain, but even that was erased by Vandalieu’s magic.
“K-kid, the mountain’s going to disappear,” said Borkus.
“Ah, you’re right.”
By the time Borkus stopped him, the mountain had been reduced to two thirds of its size. It wasn’t that large a mountain to begin with, but this display of power made not only the previously-spirited viscount and his soldiers, but even the former slaves stare with open mouths.
Eleanora and the others were dumbfounded as well. Even Pete, whose head was protruding from Vandalieu’s hair, had frozen stiff.
Up until now, none of the spells of the death-attribute had possessed the ability to physically destroy their targets. However, by acquiring the Dead Spirit Magic skill and having Levia and the others available to use, Vandalieu could now accomplish the same things as fire-attribute magic.
Eleanora and everyone else was seeing Vandalieu’s Mana exhibit its true potential for the first time.
“Bocchan, would it not be quicker to simply invade the Hartner Duchy?” Sam suggested.
“Sam, it’s impossible because Heinz is here,” said Vandalieu. “Also, if I do that, that would mean fighting the other duchies and even the Amid Empire, wouldn’t it?’
“Well, I suppose so,” said Borkus. “No matter how strong the kid is, he’s just one person. If A-class adventurers and elite forces from every nation attacked multiple places at once, holding out would be impossible.”
As he said, there were plenty of people in this world who were capable of doing what Vandalieu had just accomplished.
“And in the end, a mountain is just a mountain,” said Vandalieu. “It doesn’t move. A B-class or A-class adventurer would be able to avoid this attack.”
Unlike mountains, people could be equipped with all kinds of Magic Items and possessed skills. Corpse Flame Prison Destruction Barrage wasn’t accurate in its targeting, so it wouldn’t be difficult for a superhuman to survive it… though ordinary people would simply turn into ash.
“It’s true that things would probably work out with me, Vigaro, Eleanora-jouchan and the others, but…” Borkus looked up at the collapsed mountain.
Normally, they might have had to run away from the falling debris, but Vandalieu had even destroyed the debris.
He had even erased the noise, which made it feel less real, but if he hadn’t done that, then many people probably would have lost consciousness.
“By the way, was it really alright to destroy the mine?” asked Borkus.
“It’s not a problem,” Vandalieu replied. “I intended to destroy the mine right from the beginning to eradicate the Hartner Duchy’s supply of mineral resources.” He turned around to face the former slaves. “What I want to say is, I have power, so the noblemen’s retaliation isn’t something to be feared. Don’t you agree?” he asked them.
The former slaves remained dumbfounded for a moment before regaining their senses.
“I’ve never seen such a great spell… This is the one who’s going to be our king?”
“If our king is this strong, then isn’t it true that we don’t need to fear the noblemen of this nation?”
“That’s right, even if the Hartner Duchy and other duchies, even if the king sends an army, they’ll be eaten up like that mountain and not even leave ashes behind.”
“If that person is our king, then we won’t even lose to the Amid Empire… we won’t be chased out of our homeland anymore.”
Strength returned to their eyes, and the weapons that had been lowered earlier were raised once more.
In fact, it was the viscount and his men who were now deathly-pale. After seeing Vandalieu’s Dead Spirit Magic, they were now perfectly aware as to whether the Hartner family they knew would be able to do something about the half-Vampire before them who called himself a king.
“W-wait. If you spare us – no, at least me, I’ll pay you any amount you want,” said the viscount.
His plea for mercy triggered the soldiers to beg for mercy as well.
“I have a wife and children; p-please spare my life!”
“I haven’t killed or raped anyone! It’s true; please believe me!”
“Umm, I can earn money in other ways, so I don’t really care about that,” said Vandalieu. “Raping others when you have a wife and child isn’t good now, is it? And you, the last one, you shouldn’t tell lies that are so easy to see through.”
All of the soldiers’ attempts were futile.
“I’ve already left out those of you who were simply working normally without unnecessarily harming, killing or raping the slaves,” Vandalieu told them. Those whom he had deemed to be not bad enough to deserve death had been gathered in a separate place.
There was an old soldier who had remained faithful to his wife and employees brought here by the viscount such as maids and chefs – around ten people in total. They weren’t particularly virtuous people, nor had they harbored deep compassion for the slaves, but they had hesitated to kill.
Vandalieu was planning to bring them back to Talosheim as slaves, watch them for a while and then, if they seemed alright, he would release them to become free citizens.
He loathed meaningless killing; he wouldn’t think of killing them unless it was necessary. The incident where he had a single silver coin stolen from him in the marketplace hadn’t even stayed in his memories.
But when there was a reason to kill someone, he believed that they should always be killed.
The viscount and his men were those who deserved to die.
“Now then, as part of my duty as the Eclipse King of Talosheim, I will carry out your sentence,” Vandalieu declared.
The war cry of Gopher and the rest of the Titans, who were armed with the weapons that they had chosen, combined with the screams of the viscount and his men in a pleasant-sounding chorus.
The screams grew gradually quieter, but the pleasant sensation and sounds of flesh being crushed and bones being broken soothed Vandalieu’s heart and the thick smell of blood stimulated his hunger.
“Now then, shall we leave this place to Princess Levia and the others while we get ready to eat? I’m sure everyone wants to fill their stomachs up,” said Vandalieu.
“I’m sure that Saria and the others have finished preparations in the kitchen. By the way, what are they making?” Levia asked.
In the kitchen, there were food supplies that had been supplied by the traveling merchant. The slaves had been forced to eat food similar to what would normally be fed to livestock or turnip-like crops that would grow even in dry land, which they had grown in the slave village. But today, Vandalieu intended to prepare food for them made from the ingredients that the soldiers had been eating.
Vandalieu and the others found these ingredients rather strange, however.
“Sam and the others brought other ingredients here for us, so let’s use those as well to make a stew,” said Vandalieu.
“Oh, miso stew? That’s good stuff,” said Borkus.
There were no dairy products available, so the stew would contain miso to provide a deeper flavor. It was a fine example of a homemade Talosheim dish.
“If there was fresh, undried meat, I would have considered a barbecue as well,” said Vandalieu.
“Vandalieu-sama, I have to question that sentiment,” said Eleanora.
It seemed that she was the only one to have noticed that eating barbecued meat would be difficult after seeing the burnt corpses.
『The levels of the Dead Spirit Magic and Commanding skills have increased!』
“Please allow me to call you Master!”
Having seen the Dead Spirit Magic, Luciliano begged Vandalieu to accept him as an apprentice. Vandalieu wondered what Luciliano had in mind. He doubted that he had any techniques that he could teach Luciliano.
“I don’t mind remaining a slave!” said Luciliano. “Please teach me your supreme techniques!”
“He is quite the promising man,” said Eleanora. She seemed to have taken a liking to Luciliano. She was probably happy with the way he gazed at Vandalieu as if worshipping him.
“Well, teaching others rather than being taught will be a good experience as well,” said Borkus. “I don’t think he’ll be able to do the same things as you, though, kid. He’ll have different magical affinities.”
“Pauvina-chan has forgotten about it and doesn’t mind, so isn’t it fine?” said Rita. “We’ll have another civil official, at least.”
“Well then… I will teach you, but what I’m using isn’t life-attribute magic, so you shouldn’t get your hopes up,” said Vandalieu.
“I would be more surprised if you were to tell me that it was the same attribute of magic as mine,” said Luciliano.
It seemed that Corpse Flame Prison Destruction Barrage couldn’t be mistaken for life-attribute magic.
In any case, Vandalieu now had a new apprentice.
After that, Vandalieu and the others stayed for two days in what was now formerly-slave-run-mine (in fact, the underground tunnel had now collapsed and turned into a graveyard).
During that time, they made various preparations, had Gopher and the other Titans gather some stamina and spirit, and Vandalieu performed physical examinations on them. As they had spent long years being exploited as slaves, there were some who didn’t have the strength to make the journey to Talosheim… they would certainly be over the limit for Vandalieu to fly them there.
As a result, Vandalieu needed to create carriages and horse-shaped Golems (similar to the clay horses in textbooks on Earth) with Golem Transmutation.
“Carriages in Lambda don’t have suspension, do they?” said Vandalieu. “Sam doesn’t have them either, though he doesn’t shake because of his skill.”
“Bocchan, why are you talking about pensions?” asked Rita.
Naturally, springs and coils hadn’t been invented in Lambda.
Boards and poles were put together in a structure to reduce shock, but metal springs didn’t exist.
So Vandalieu created them and added them to his carriages. He would be able to test the idea that he had thought of right away, so his Golem Transmutation and Carpentry skills were celebrating.
“You possess the technique of a carriage craftsman, your Majesty? But still, the world’s technology has progressed from where it was two hundred years ago when we were alive,” Levia remarked.
“No, Levia-sama; this is something that the kid’s invented himself,” Borkus told her.
In truth, however, Vandalieu hadn’t actually invented springs. He had simply reused his knowledge from Earth and Origin to reproduce them.
“You can praise me more,” said Vandalieu.
He was happy to be praised, so he showed no modesty. Although he was using his prior knowledge, it was his own skills and magic that were reproducing the technology, so Vandalieu considered it to be his own achievement.
Patents on Earth and in Origin meant nothing in Lambda, anyway.
“It would be perfect with some Golem tires, but… were those made just by hardening some rubber?” Vandalieu wondered.
Tires would be convenient in various ways, so he would try making them when he got back.
And so, Vandalieu reversed the Titans’ aging while telling them that he was performing physical examinations. They had wasted two hundred years of their lives. This was a service he was doing them so that they could live enough to make up for that.
Vandalieu had gained their permission, albeit in an indirect way, so it was probably fine.
“This massage, do people ever tell you that they feel younger afterwards? I feel a hundred years younger, seriously.”
Things were going like this.
Vandalieu couldn’t complete the task for all of them in two days, so he was planning to do the rest along the way. This also acted as training to his Mana pool, so it was killing two birds with one stone.
And then he used the monster bones that Borkus and the others had brought to create decoy Undead.
“I have a complete understanding of Titan and human skeletons. Using Golem Transmutation to change the shapes of monster bones to disguise them as Titan skeletons is simply a little heavy labor for me,” Vandalieu explained.
“It’s heavy work?!”
“I have to make a lot of them, so it’s just troublesome.”
Incidentally, Vandalieu had used Decomposition on the gruesome corpses of the viscount and his men to make them rot away, put their broken bones back together and created Skeletons. With this, even if the people of the Hartner Duchy noticed that something strange had occurred at the mine, they would simply assume that someone had killed everyone here and that all of the soldiers and slaves had turned into Skeletons.
They wouldn’t think that the slaves had been rescued.
After finishing all preparations, everyone headed towards Talosheim.
『You have acquired the Title ‘Holy Son of Vida!’』
『The level of the Carpentry skill has increased!』
【Subordinate War Princess】
A Job that can be acquired by a woman who has been born into nobility or previously held a certain social status, but is currently a subordinate to another person.
Depending on the nation, owning female warriors with this Job is a large symbol of status; it is not uncommon for nobles and royalty to trade them at high prices. Many harems contain multiple female slaves who possess (or forced to possess) this Job and act as guards.
This Job does provide bonuses to combat-related skills, but it also provides bonuses to the Allure, Seduction and Love-making skills.
In Eleanora’s case, the prerequisite of being “born into nobility” is fulfilled by the fact that she is a Noble-born Vampire.