The Death Mage Who Doesn’t Want a Fourth Time - Chapter 242
Chapter 242 – The plaza where the heroes are
A Giant, whose body was made of entwined plants that had grown abnormally through advanced life-attribute magic and whose head and hair were like a blazing fire, let out a roar that sounded like the creaking of a tree. Countless arrows, short spears and spells rained down upon it, wounding its vines and tree-trunk-like body, and damaged pieces of wood scattered across the ground.
“Wildwing!” shouted the Tamers’ Guild’s master, the ‘Flying Dragon User’ Bachem, calling out the name of his Huge Wyvern.
He charged towards the Plant Giant’s back… or rather, feinted a charge, and changed direction completely at the last second. The Huge Wyvern’s tail struck its target with the momentum of that movement, creating a fissure in the wooden flesh, and the spear-like, venomous stinger on the end of the tail dug into it.
But in the next second, new shoots sprouted up, repairing the wounds that had been created on the Plant Giant’s body. As the embedded arrows and short spears were shaken off, Wildwing hastily flapped its wings to retreat.
“Pointless, pointless! Such attacks are pointless against this Giant, which I have created with the greatest of my spells – ‘Great Life Fire Flaming Wood Giant Assault!’” said a human voice from within the Plant Giant.
A young mage, one of Fitun’s heroic spirits, was controlling the monster he had created with his own spell from within.
A Plant Giant with a body even larger than a Mountain Giant, and an incredible regenerative ability that caused any shallow wounds to heal in an instant. And the one controlling it was located inside.
It was a truly flawless strategy for battle. This was the reason it had been possible for a young man who was purely a mage with no ability in close-quarters combat to become a heroic spirit.
And yet, there was desperation in the young man’s voice despite his boasts.
“You’ve done as you liked for long enough! I’ll show you my true magic now!” he shouted.
He and his companion were at a disadvantage in this battle.
“Don’t step too far forward! Has the blood rushed up to your head because your first to seventh secret techniques were all defeated?!” the Tamer woman shouted at the boy as she struck her whip against the ground to prevent the few remaining monsters from running away.
There were few monsters left, and the enemy forces had suffered little damage. Meanwhile, the two heroic spirits weren’t even receiving any orders, let alone reinforcements.
What’s going on? What is this sense of loss that I’ve been feeling for a while? Could it be that something has happened to Fitun-sama…? No, that’s not possible. Even if his opponent is the Demon King, it was said that he would have certainly been S-class if he were an adventurer when he was a mortal! He is on another level from the heroes being grown in a greenhouse by Alda! the Tamer thought to herself.
“You foolish beasts! You call yourselves the natural enemy of mankind?! Show me your willpower!” she shouted, cracking her whip in command at the few remaining monsters.
But their morale was low and their movements were considerably poor.
Damn it, if only I’d had the time to tame them…! the woman thought.
She had not tamed these monsters. Even a heroic spirit like herself wouldn’t be capable of taming dozens of monsters in an instant.
The monsters were fleeing in fear of Darcia and the others, and the heroic spirit was simply using her whip to threaten them and force them into a suicidal attack. That in itself was an impressive feat, but as she had not tamed them, even her ‘Command’ Skill wasn’t in effect on them, let alone familiar-strengthening Skills such as ‘Strengthen Subordinates.’
At this rate, we have no chance of winning no matter what we do. Since we’ve already used ‘Heroic Spirit Transformation,’ we only have a few minutes left. Should we retreat already? But what will we do if our retreat causes problems for the plan as a whole? the Tamer woman thought to herself.
She and the mage were the reserve fighting forces kept back by Fitun and the rest of the heroic spirits. The two of them were the only reinforcements available for the others.
If they retreated, what would happen to the plan? The sense of responsibility for that made them hesitate to abandon their vessels and return to their Divine Realms.
But even as they did so, the situation on the battlefield was changing.
“In other words, you’ve got an enormous, regenerating wooden training dummy that burns while it fights. You’re probably using your first to seventh secret techniques all at once, but I don’t think it’s anything to boast about. Though I won’t deny your training and talent that made it possible,” Basdia remarked, provoking the mage.
“To begin with, are secret techniques something that you should have so many of?” Zadiris questioned, looking up at the Plant Giant.
The two of them had already overcome the spells that the mage called his secret techniques… the fireballs that he could control freely, and a swarm of soldiers made of plants.
“Y-you damned Ghouls! You’re nothing more than chattering old women; I’ll crush you to death!” the mage shouted.
He had lost all of his composure. He was fatigued from spending so much Mana and unexpectedly at a disadvantage in this battle. His body was collapsing from the side effects of ‘Heroic Spirit Transformation,’ and his pride was wounded from having all of his secret techniques overwhelmed.
The Plant Giant let out a roar and charged at Basdia and Zadiris, its flames burning even more fiercely than before.
“Don’t shout like that. It gives away your lack of worth as a man,” said Basdia, who was in her mid-twenties and wearing a tight-fitting leotard with wavy frills and a mini-skirt.
“Yes, you should take a leaf out of the boy’s book,” sighed Zadiris, who was actually around three hundred years old despite having the appearance of a girl in her early teens.
But the two of them weren’t letting their guard down. Basdia raised her axe and dashed towards the Plant Giant, while Zadiris cast a Light Princess Magic spell on her.
“‘Light Princess Clone Assault!’” Zadiris shouted, raising her staff into the air.
At that moment, Basdia split into seven.
“Illusions?! What a boring tactic!” the mage sneered, turning the Plant Giant’s head towards the seven Basdias.
From within the Plant Giant’s flaming hair came a series of countless dry, bursting noises.
“Take these burning-hot seeds!” the mage shouted.
The seeds flew forth and scattered like buckshot, raining down upon the Basdias on the ground. But the seeds seemed to be less powerful than they looked; the Basdias continued closing the distance between themselves and the Plant Giant without slowing down.
The mage smirked. “You’re the real one, you damn old woman!”
He pointed one of the Giant’s arms at one of the seven Basdias. Several vines with sharp, spear-like tips extended from the end of it, piercing into her.
“Did you think that I would miss that one of those lifeless illusions would move to physically block the seeds…” the mage began, but his face stiffened in astonishment in the next moment. “What?!”
The Basdia that had been pierced by the hardened vine spears had vanished like an illusion.
The mage hastily followed the remaining six Basdias, but he was already too late.
“‘Great Ogre Axe Blade Burst Slash!’” shouted Basdia, who had reached the Plant Giant’s feet.
She swung her magical Death Iron axe, which had been tempered with materials produced from fragments of the Demon King. Though the leg of the Plant Giant was easily thicker than a tree that was thousands of years old, she severed it with a single blow.
“Th-this secret technique of mine will regenerate right away –” the mage stammered.
Indeed, the branching shoots immediately grew from both the severed leg and the part of the leg that it had been severed from.
But Basdia used her martial skill once more.
“‘Surpass Limits,’ ‘Surpass Limits: Magic Axe’… ‘Great Ogre Axe Blade Burst Slash!’”
This time, she severed the other leg.
Even the regenerative ability that he was so proud of could not take effect if the other leg was severed as well before the first leg had finished regenerating. The newly-sprouting shoots snapped under the weight of the Plant Giant, and the mage shouted in alarm as it lost its balance.
He immediately tried to extend vines and branches to attack Basdia, but the other five Basdias repelled them.
“They actually had physical form?! They weren’t illusions?!” the mage shouted in disbelief. “W-wait, stop –”
“For the third time… ‘Great Ogre Axe Blade Burst Slash!’” Basdia roared.
Now that the Plant Giant’s upper half had lowered close to the ground, Basdia struck it with her martial skill. The Plant Giant’s head split vertically in two, and Basdia turned to look at her defeated foe, sweat on her forehead and a victorious expression on her face.
“Little boy, grown women don’t flinch at a pea shooter with a little heat,” she said.
“And you should at least be able to combine an illusion spell and a familiar-summoning spell then make one of them pretend to protect itself. Remember that, you brat,” Zadiris added.
It was unclear as to whether their words reached his ears, but he soon revealed himself by coughing blood from within a tear in the Plant Giant’s body.
“Th-there’s no way there can be women like that!” he shouted. “But even from this state, my Giant will regenerate right away and –”
The ferocious cries of rats interrupted him, and four shadows leapt at him.
Suruga the Steel Rat led the charge, forcing the mage to block her body-slam with the Giant’s arm. The impact of it was greater than it looked; with the arm being swung around in an unstable position, it was deflected far away.
There were two more fierce squeaks as the Snow Rat Urumi stifled the heat of the Giant’s flaming hair with her cold air and Blazing Rat Mamoru threw herself at the Giant, forcing the mage to squeeze out the last of his remaining Mana to block her.
“And I’ll finish the job!” shouted Natania, who was running across the mage’s side like a four-legged beast, having transformed her liquid-metal artificial limbs to a beast’s limbs rather than those of a human.
The mage grunted in pain as the Death Iron blade attached to Natania’s tail cut a deep wound in the side of his body as she dashed past.
The mage coughed blood once more and looked up at the sky. “N-no way… I, the ‘Titan User,’ defeated not by the Demon King himself, but these filthy Ghouls and Beast-kin – ?!”
But the dying words of the young mage with the ‘Titan User’ Title were cut short as a hand axe thrown by Basdia split his head open.
“Don’t name yourself as you die. It is too much of an insult to the original owner of that body,” Basdia murmured, giving a pitiful look at the young man who was now nothing but a corpse.
“D-damn you!” the Tamer woman muttered with anger in her voice. “So, I’ve been left on my own already. But I won’t be shamelessly retreating here!”
She had already sensed that the plan had failed. She had sensed it, but even if she were to retreat, it was clear that there was no future for her. Even if she were to return to her Divine Realm, the only fate awaiting her was to be impaled by Alda’s Stakes of Law.
With that being the case, her only choice was to struggle as much as she could.
“You’re first, dog! Submit to me!” she shouted, brandishing her whip at Fang, who had been busy finishing off one of the few remaining Trolls by biting its windpipe out.
She was attempting to stimulate Fang’s sense of fear and dominate him with that fear, just like she had done with the other monsters.
But despite the woman being a first-class Tamer, Fang showed no fear for her whip. Not only that, he even let out a roar and counterattacked with a fireball shot from his mouth.
The flames themselves were no major threat to the Tamer woman, but her pride was wounded heavily by Fang’s response.
“Impossible! My whip has no effect on a Rank 5 Huge Hellhound? Is this the extent of the Demon King’s control over his monsters?!” she uttered in shock.
“Don’t say such terrible things about him. Our Fang just loves Vandalieu a lot,” said a voice.
An arrow flew out from somewhere behind Fang’s enormous body.
“What?! Go forth!” the Tamer woman said hastily in command to a Scale Bull – a raging bull covered in scales – that she had been keeping by her side.
Thinking that it had finally been released, the Scale Bull leapt forward, but the arrow pierced straight through its body and sailed by the Tamer woman’s side.
“My aim still has a long way to go… My teachers would scold me for this,” said Darcia, who had transformed her staff into a bow, as she stepped in front of Fang.
She was wearing liquid metal clothes that clearly defined the shape of her body despite the decorative frills and ribbons attached to them.
“Damn it, the monsters have been wiped out!” the Tamer woman muttered with a grimace.
Behind Darcia, she could see the knights and adventurers trying to catch their breath and the monsters’ corpses lying at their feet.
As a Tamer, monsters were her greatest weapon, and they had all been exterminated.
“But don’t you think that I’m a woman who can’t do anything without monsters! At the very least, I’ll be taking your head back with me!” she shouted, refusing to give up.
She brandished her whip and activated ‘Transcend Limits’ and ‘Surpass Limits: Magic Whip.’ Her body, already close to collapsing, drew even closer to its fate. But she didn’t care.
“I don’t think my head is something that will be taken so easily,” said Darcia, rapidly casting layers upon layers of enchantments upon herself with ‘Spiritual Magic’ and the ‘Chant Revocation’ Skill.
Returning her staff to its original form, she dashed towards the Tamer woman.
“Is that so? Take this! ‘God-binding Instant Whip!’” the Tamer woman shouted, her whip closing in on Darcia so quickly that it couldn’t be seen by the naked eye.
Darcia immediately attempted to repel it with her staff, but the whip avoided it as if it had a mind of its own, and wrapped itself around her body.
Darcia let out a groan.
The Tamer woman laughed. “You will never escape my whip, which was said to have been capable of binding even the gods! I’ll crush your bones and organs!”
Seeing this, Fang, the knights and adventurers behind him, and Simon all ran forth to try and help her. But at the same time, they realized that they would not make it in time.
We won’t make it on time if we just run over! Damn it, what are we supposed to do?! Simon thought in panic.
Simon’s legs were made of flesh and bone; he had only a single artificial limb, his right arm. He wasn’t able to cover ground with the speed that Natania was capable of.
Naturally, he was also unable to extend his spirit form or his tongue, or cast spells, like his master Vandalieu.
Even so, he continued to look for something that he could do, and then he remembered – Vandalieu had been able to continue manipulating a piece of spirit form that he had cut off from himself. And Vandalieu had told Simon that he would become capable of doing the same.
Can I do the same thing as Master? … No, I have to! Believe in Master and the expectations that he held for me! he told himself.
Simon sharpened his mind and held his right arm in the air.
In his mind, he imagined a thrust from his own ‘Swordsmanship,’ as well as Vandalieu’s ‘Throwing’ and ‘Unarmed Fighting Technique.’ The liquid metal that made up his artificial limb responded to that image and changed shape.
“‘Surpass Limits!’ ‘CHARGING THRUST!’” he shouted.
With his hand now in the shape of a sword, his forearm detached from his elbow and flew forth.
That projectile closed in on the Tamer woman along with the arrows fired by the city guards.
With her whip binding Darcia, the Tamer woman was confident that she would be able to dodge mere arrows fired from the guards’ crossbows. And she was right; she avoided most of the arrows. But to her astonishment, Simon’s arm continued to pursue her even after she evaded it.
Even then, she should have been able to continue dodging it… but she was overworking the body that she had borrowed. All of the strength left her in an instant, and her body felt as heavy as lead.
The Tamer woman coughed. “I-I guess this is my limit…”
Simon’s arm pierced her right shoulder, and her hand released her whip.
And as if waiting for that moment, Darcia let out a shout as she tore the whip binding her to pieces, freeing herself. The Tamer woman, the soldiers of Morksi, Simon, and Fang all opened their eyes wide in shock as they saw the broken pieces of the whip flying in all directions.
With another spirited cry, Darcia took a step that dug a crater into the ground beneath her foot like the footstep of a Giant, and closed the distance between herself and her foe in the blink of an eye. At the same time, she thrust the pommel of her staff forth, piercing through the Tamer woman’s chest.
“Im…poss…ible…” the Tamer woman gasped, falling to her knees with her eyes still open wide in shock.
Simon, who had fired his right arm (or to be more precise, simply extended his spirit form to thrust it forward), stared at Darcia from behind.
She would have been fine without my help, wouldn’t she? he thought.
But Darcia removed her staff from the woman’s corpse, turned around and waved at him and the guards. “Thanks for helping me, everyone! I’m very impressed, Simon-san. I’m sure my son would be very proud to hear about what you did!”
“I-is that so?” Simon stammered.
“Yes, of course! But before that… Everyone, we are victorious!” Darcia declared.
Though their celebration was a moment late, the brave individuals who had gathered and fought with their lives on the line to protect the city of Morksi let out a cry of triumph.
Upon receiving the news that the monster rampage had been repelled, the city’s inhabitants who had been preparing to evacuate cheered. Preparations for a celebration in the city began immediately.
They had resigned themselves to an escape in the middle of a winter that they did not know if they would survive, with their husbands, fathers and friends facing a battle that they would not return from alive. Despite that situation, the city was safe, and although there had been injuries, none had died. Everyone was overwhelmed with emotion upon hearing that news.
If the city had been destroyed, Earl Morksi’s family would have lost the majority of their property, and it was possible that they would have been forced to relinquish their court rank. The families of the knights and guards might have been left wandering in the wild.
The same was true for the city’s people. The Orbaume Kingdom was not as prosperous as modern-day Japan on Earth; it was difficult to say that refugees were provided with sufficient support. They would be lucky to have unreliable tents, thin blankets and small rations in the cold of winter.
Those with enough savings or family and relatives in other regions would be fine, but the others would face cold days filled with suffering.
Even those with jobs had no guarantee that they would be able to find work in new cities and villages. If there were many workers in the same trade in the cities they moved to, there would be an oversupply of newcomers.
As a result, they would become the poor of the cities they fled to and many would be forced to live in slum districts.
As they had avoided this dark future, it was only natural to hold a festival in the city to celebrate.
But even then, the majority of the city’s inhabitants were unaware that the city’s future was not only not dark, but possibly very bright.
One part of that bright future was the materials of the monsters that had been defeated.
The monsters that had rampaged towards the city – the lowest among them were Rank 5 Ogres, and the highest were Rank 8 Thunder Dragons and Mountain Giants. It was the kind of threat that a city of thirty thousand would expect to be destroyed by.
But now that they were dead and their materials were available for the taking, they were a mountain of treasures.
A single Ogre would provide a Magic Stone, meat, tendons and organs; if all of these were used, they were worth a considerable sum. Rank 8 Thunder Dragons and Mountain Giants were each worth enough to fill one’s entire bathtub with gold coins and still have some left over.
According to common practice and the rules of the Guilds, the profits generated by the sale of these materials would be evenly divided among all who had joined the battle.
Many city guards, knights and adventurers had gathered at the front gate, but even so, each of them had earned themselves a fortune. For the city guards, it was several years’ worth of pay.
The money they spent would trickle into the city’s stores and red-light district. The city of Morksi would likely prosper for some time.
However, the guards, mercenaries and adventurers were currently still in the process of disassembling the monsters’ corpses and stripping them of the materials, and the Adventurers’ Guild did not have the cash required to immediately purchase them, so this would possibly take up to ten days.
But there was a small problem.
“This store is out of stock as well?” a customer asked.
“Sorry, we are,” the store’s owner replied. “The merchants that supply us all ran away, so…”
A sudden shortage in goods.
Knowing that a horde of monsters was approaching the city, not everyone had calmly followed the guards’ orders. A considerable number of traveling merchants, caravans, mercenaries and adventurers had fled the city before all of the gates were closed.
Doing that would lose them the trust of the city’s people, but they had considered protecting their own lives more important than keeping the trust of a city bound for destruction.
Even among the merchants that had just arrived in the city today, there were some who had simply packed their belongings and left. Thus, some of the city’s stores were experiencing a shortage in goods.
There was no shortage in food, however. It was currently winter, but food had been coming into the city as normal up until yesterday. Some of the fleeing merchants had left behind their bulky grains like wheat and their heavy alcoholic drinks.
“That puts me in a bind. The secret flavor behind our store’s meat dish needs that mushroom. You don’t even have a single piece of it?” a customer asked.
“The Birgitt Duchy’s cheese is essential for our store’s meal course. Just give me what you have. I don’t care if it’s expensive. Can’t you help me out here?” asked another.
The ones inconvenienced by this shortage were people wanting subtle seasonings for dishes and famous goods from other duchies. With the entire city in the mood for a festival to celebrate the fact that everyone had survived, the strings of customers’ purses would certainly be looser. But with stores unable to offer their specialty dishes, the customers would be disappointed.
“I’m sorry, I’m not trying to hold out on you. I really don’t have the things you need,” the store owner said.
The faces of the customers looking to buy their ingredients fell with disappointment. Normally, they would have secure routes of supply for their ingredients, but they were of no use now, right after the city had avoided its doom.
But new information soon found its way to their ears.
“Hey, a traveling merchant by the name of Edmond has opened his business in the city’s market! He’s apparently selling those mushrooms that you’re looking for, the Birgitt Duchy’s cheese and a whole lot of other stuff!” shouted one of the customers’ acquaintances in the same business.
“Really?! I owe you one!”
With that, they all hurried to Edmond’s store.
A large crowd of customers had gathered at the store, and they were buying products one after another.
“Welcome! We have fruit wine, cheese and a plentiful supply of every product you could need! Please come and take a look!” a lively voice was shouting.
The Edmond Company’s store was the only one with customers in the deserted marketplace.
The owner was Edmond. He was the one hiring the former B-class adventurer Rodriguez, and he was also the merchant who had tried to convince Darcia to open a brothel disguised as a Church of Vida with Ghoul women as sacred prostitutes.
I’ve won. My gamble has paid off! he thought to himself.
He had ordered Rodriguez to join the battle at the front gate and remained in the city, and now he was hard at work, doing business.
He had called out to his competition – the merchants who had fled the city – and offered to buy their goods, at a discount, putting on an act of being a good-natured, honest young man.
Those merchants had gladly sold their goods to him, wanting to exchange their heavy goods for his light cash, even at a discount of more than half.
“This is high-quality cheese that has been brought here all the way from the distant Birgitt Duchy! This amount would have a market price of a thousand Baums. But today is the day of the feast to celebrate the safety of the city and its people! I will offer it at a special price of five hundred Baums! All Birgitt-Duchy-produced cheese is half price at my store!” Edmond announced to the crowd.
There was a large commotion as the customers scrambled over each other to buy the cheese. But Edmond had bought the cheese from the merchants who had transported it here for even less than half price – he was still making plenty of profit.
“Give me a discount on this oil as well!” one customer shouted.
“Very well. Today, I will be selling these ninety-Baum bottles at two-thirds of the price, at sixty Baums!” Edmond said.
Each time a customer called out to him, Edmond repeatedly told them that his prices were ‘today only.’ The fact that these prices were especially low today was imprinted upon the customers’ minds.
This was a trick to make his customers stock up on goods today, and to make sure they didn’t ask for lowered prices when Edmond opened his store again later.
It was worth believing in Rodriguez and betting my life on this. With this, the Edmond Company’s name has become more well-known, and I’ve gained the people’s trust. Even if the other traveling merchants try to find fault with me later, they’ll be the ones who accepted small change and fled for their lives in a time of emergency, and I’ll be the one who stayed behind and offered goods at discounted prices. There’s no need to even think about who the city’s people will side with, Edmond thought. Still… it was really dangerous.
He had heard stories from Rodriguez and the adventurers and mercenaries who had fought at the front gate. According to them, Darcia and the Ghoul women tamed by her son were outlandishly powerful. Rodriguez himself had admitted that he wouldn’t stand a chance against any of them.
To propose using such Ghoul women in a brothel… It made Edmond sweat with anxiety as he realized how out of his mind he had been.
If I’d followed her around and tried to force the issue, I might have ended up as a corpse in a back alley somewhere. I need to know my place when I’m doing business. I shouldn’t try to get into other businesses so carelessly, Edmond thought. Once things have calmed down, I will go with Rodriguez and greet her with a present, apologize for what I did back then, and express my wish that we can do business in the future.
Though Edmond regretted having made that proposal to Darcia and tried to use Rodriguez to threaten her into agreeing, there was still no denying that she and her son were in a valuable business. He did not intend to distance himself from them; in fact, he had not given up on growing closer to them.
Vandalieu and Darcia, the heroes who had defended the city, were surrounded by people in the city’s plaza… as the business owner and salesperson of a skewered meat cart.
“Thunder Dragon organ skewers have the special price of ten Baums each today,” Vandalieu said to the crowd. “Freshly-harvested Dragon heart and liver, and the delicious sauce has Dragon blood in it as well.”
“Holy lady of victory! Five skewers, please!” a customer called out.
“Okay!” Darcia replied. “Vandalieu, five skewers.”
“Yes, Mom… By the way, why are you still transformed?” Vandalieu asked.
“Because I left my change of clothes at the house. The clothes I was wearing before I transformed are all in pieces, too.”
Darcia, as well as Basdia and Zadiris, had put on aprons and were working to sell skewers, still in the same transformed state that they had been in at the front gate.
“You can wipe not only dust, but blood and fat as well, off this costume with just a cloth. It’s very convenient,” said Basdia.
“And it’s popular among the customers,” said Zadiris. “Well, I get the feeling that it is a little too popular.”
“Zadiris-chan! Three skewers over here!” another customer called out.
“Don’t add ‘-chan’ to my name, you brats! I have lived ten times longer than you!”
The three women who had fought at the front gate were very popular among the city’s people.
“… You can go back and get changed, you know,” said Vandalieu.
“It does not matter,” said Zadiris, shaking her head with sorrow in her eyes. “Working like this is better to distract myself.”
As a result of her defeating the heroic spirits, she had achieved the Rank increase that she had longed for… from Ghoul Wizard High Princess to a race called ‘Ghoul Moon Wizard Princess.’ She had not been able to remove the word ‘princess.’
To add insult to injury, her daughter Basdia’s Rank had also increased, and she was now a Ghoul Amazoness Midnight Queen.
That was the reason for Zadiris’s sorrow.
“Surrounding myself in this noise means that I have no time to be depressed,” Zadiris told Vandalieu. “Now then, if you will please get me the skewers?”
Incidentally, she would change her Job after this, but all of them had adorable-sounding Titles and she would be forced to weep as she chose from among them.
While Zadiris was taking some time off a short distance away from the cart, some new customers came.
“Over there!” one of them said. “The food cart with the transforming holy lady, the transforming axe-woman and the transforming girl!”
“So, they’re the ones who mowed down Dragons and Giants like they were nothing…” another murmured.
Fortunately, it seemed that their voices hadn’t reached Zadiris’s ears.
… They have all kinds of new nicknames now, but I’m sure it’ll all settle down in a few days, Vandalieu told himself, recalling all of the unfamiliar ways that the customers had used when referring to Darcia, Basdia and Zadiris.
In a few days’ time, the heat and excitement would die down and the new nicknames would… The unpleasant-sounding ones would stop being used, and the similar-sounding ones would be consolidated into one or two nicknames.
I get the feeling that some cute name will stick for Zadiris and become reflected as a Title on her Status, Vandalieu thought, though he had no proof of this… and he needed to rack his brains for how to comfort Zadiris when the time came.
“How could this happen! I listened to Melissa’s request and got changed, and it’s backfired on me!” groaned Kanako, who was sitting at one of the square’s tables, near Vandalieu’s food cart.
“Why are you making it sound like I lured you into a trap?” said Melissa, who was sitting with her.
The two of them had undone their transformation and changed back into their normal clothes.
Kanako looked like she was full of regret, but she suddenly stood up out of her seat as if realizing something, and raised her staff into the air. “There’s no need to hold back just because I’ve gotten changed. I just need to transform once more, right here, don’t I!”
“W-what?!” Melissa said in disbelief.
“What’s going on? Are that Dark Elf nee-chan and that Elf nee-chan going to strip?!” a drunken passerby mumbled.
“Whoo! Now that’s a sight for sore eyes!” laughed another.
“I’m not going to strip, though I am going to show some more skin! Here we go!” said Kanako.
“Don’t! You’re getting me caught up in this! Just stay quiet and munch on some skewers!” Melissa pleaded.
“Calm down, and I’m not going to let them strip, so stop that whistling!” Doug shouted at the crowd.
“I’m counting on you to take over if things get out of control,” Vandalieu said to Miles, who had turned up with his hair in a mess and still wearing his tattered clothes, having done nothing to tidy himself up other than reapplying his lipstick.
“Yes, leave it to me,” Miles said. “But I don’t think it will turn into anything crazy. The drunken mercenaries making the noise aren’t moving any closer.”
The battle between Vandalieu’s group and Fitun hadn’t been seen by many people, but Fang and the rats were in the plaza, and more importantly, Darcia and Basdia were there. The mercenaries didn’t seem drunk enough to forget that they would be dealt with if they made too much trouble.
Simon was with Jenny, the alchemist daughter of the Adventurers’ Guild’s Guild Master Berard, and Natania was resting at home as she had hurt her waist with the four-legged movement that she wasn’t yet accustomed to.
“By the way, you don’t really need to have the food cart out at this time of day, do you, Boss?” Miles asked.
“At night, I’m planning to treat everyone to dinner in the Dungeon. I need to have the food cart out during the afternoon,” said Vandalieu.
“… Normally, wouldn’t you be leading a parade as the hero who saved the city and introduced to the townspeople by the city’s lord in a public speech?”
“Apparently, a parade will be held after waiting for the city’s people to calm down a little. Something about it being dangerous if we hold it now and people jump into the parade’s path out of excitement. The public speech will be held then as well… and a detailed explanation of the situation will come later, too.”
Incidentally, the materials of the monsters defeated by Vandalieu and his companions, and the equipment of Hajime Fitun and his group, had been treated as their spoils of war rather than being divided evenly.
Vandalieu and his companions had defeated these monsters and the individuals after his life in a battle away from the main gate. The Thunder Dragon’s organs that were being sold now were a part of those spoils.
Mountain Giant meat and organs were inedible without complicated preparation, so that had been left until later.
“Ah, the earl’s knight that came as a messenger said that the earl wants you to attend the parade as well, Miles,” said Vandalieu.
“Can I decline? My position in society is that of an outcast,” said Miles.
“Since I’m your boss, I’d like you to attend. To show that Starving Wolf Security is a respectable group.”
“… Okay, Boss.”
4 reincarnated individuals destroyed.
6 reincarnated individuals destroyed in total.
12 remaining reincarnated individuals reincarnated from Origin.
3 reincarnated individuals transformed into familiar spirits.
79 reincarnated individuals remaining in Origin.
Race: Chaos Elf Source
Age: 0 years old
Title: Witch, Holy Mother, Monster’s Parent, Vida’s Incarnation, Empress Mother, Holy Lady
Job: Holy Lady
Job history: Magical Girl, Life Empress Mage, Magical Idol, Magic Staff Clothing User, Transforming Fighter
Magic Resistance: Level 10
Physical Resistance: Level 10
Status Effect Resistance: Level 10
Monstrous Strength: Level 7 (LEVEL UP!)
Super Rapid Regeneration: Level 5
Vitality Enlargement: Level 9
Mana Enlargement: Level 8 (LEVEL UP!)
Automatic Mana Recovery: Level 7
Increased Mana Recovery Rate: Level 8 (LEVEL UP!)
Super Self-Enhancement: Vandalieu: Level 4 (LEVEL UP!)
Self-Enhancement: Guidance: Level 10
Strengthened Attribute Values: Creator: Level 6 (LEVEL UP!)
Strengthened Attribute Values: Ruling: Level 4 (LEVEL UP!)
Allure: Level 8
Strengthened Attack Power while equipped with a bow: Medium
Strengthened Defense Power while equipped with non-metal armor: Medium
Strengthen Followers: Level 1
Strengthened Attribute Values: Transformation: Level 6 (LEVEL UP!)
Strengthened Attack Power while equipped with a staff: Medium (NEW!)
Cooking: Level 5
Housework: Level 5
Hunting God Archery: Level 3 (LEVEL UP!)
Hearth-Style Dagger Technique: Level 2
Infinitely Changing Fighting Technique: Level 2 (LEVEL UP!)
No-Attribute Magic: Level 5
Fine Magic Control: Level 2 (LEVEL UP!)
Life Empress Magic: Level 4 (LEVEL UP!)
Water-Attribute Magic: Level 10
Wind-Attribute Magic: Level 10
Spiritual Magic: Level 7 (LEVEL UP!)
Dismantling: Level 2
Spirit Form: Level 3 (LEVEL UP!)
Surpass Limits: Level 5 (LEVEL UP!)
Chant Revocation: Level 6
Coordination: Level 8 (LEVEL UP!)
Goddess Descent: Level 3
Clergyman: Level 4 (LEVEL UP!)
Dancing: Level 3
Singing: Level 3
Surpass Limits: Magic Staff: Level 4 (LEVEL UP!)
Staff Technique: Level 5 (LEVEL UP!)
Life Attribute Gods’ Divine Protection (Those allied with Vida)
Chaos Elf Founder
Vandalieu’s Divine Protection
Divine Metal Skeleton
Demon Eye of Regeneration: Level 5
Age: 300 years old (Has undergone age reversal)
Title: Magical Girl
Race: Ghoul Moon Wizard Princess
Job: Magic Princess
Job Level: 0
Job history: Apprentice Mage, Mage, Light-Attribute Mage, Wind-Attribute Mage, Philosopher, Great Philosopher, Great Mage, Wizard Princess, Magical Girl, Magic Staff User
Pain Resistance: Level 5 (LEVEL UP!)
Superhuman Strength: Level 4 (LEVEL UP!)
Paralyzing Venom Secretion (Claws): Level 2
Super Increased Mana Recovery Rate: Level 2 (LEVEL UP!)
Mana Enlargement: Level 8 (LEVEL UP!)
Automatic Mana Recovery: Level 7 (LEVEL UP!)
Augmented Magical Power while equipped with a staff: Large (Awakened from Strengthened Magical Power while equipped with a staff, LEVEL UP!)
Strengthened Attribute Values: Transformation: Level 7 (LEVEL UP!)
Self-Strengthening: Guidance: Level 6 (LEVEL UP!)
Magic Resistance: Level 4 (LEVEL UP!)
Strengthened Attribute Values: Moonlight: Level 1 (NEW!)
Light Princess Magic: Level 2 (LEVEL UP!)
Wind-Attribute Magic: Level 10
No-Attribute Magic: Level 7
Fine Mana Control: Level 1 (Awakened from Mana Control!)
Alchemy: Level 7
Chant Revocation: Level 9
Multi-Cast: Level 9 (LEVEL UP!)
Surpass Limits: Level 8
Housework: Level 2
High-speed Thought Processing: Level 7
Staff Technique: Level 3 (LEVEL UP!)
Familiar Spirit Demonfall: Level 2 (LEVEL UP!)
Singing: Level 4 (LEVEL UP!)
Dancing: Level 4 (LEVEL UP!)
Zozogante’s Divine Protection
Garess’s Divine Protection
Vandalieu’s Divine Protection
Deanna’s Divine Protection
Age: 35 years old (27 years old in appearance)
Race: Ghoul Amazoness Midnight Queen
Job: Transforming Ogre Queen
Job Level: 0
Job history: Apprentice Warrior, Warrior, Apprentice Mage, Mage, Magic Warrior, Wind-Attribute Mage, Magic Axe User, Ogre Axe Blade, Ogre Queen
Monstrous Strength: Level 3 (LEVEL UP!)
Pain Resistance: Level 7
Paralyzing Venom Secretion (Claws): Level 6
Magic Resistance: Level 8 (LEVEL UP!)
Intuition: Level 6
Strengthened Attack Power when equipped with an axe: Very Large
Mental Fortitude: Level 5
Mana Enlargement: Level 3 (LEVEL UP!)
Strengthened Attribute Values: Guidance: Level 6 (LEVEL UP!)
Strengthen Followers: Level 6 (LEVEL UP!)
Allure: Level 4 (LEVEL UP!)
Strengthened Attribute Values: Moonlight: Level 5 (LEVEL UP!)
Ogre Queen Axe Blade Technique: Level 1 (Awakened from Axe Technique!)
Shield Technique: Level 9
Archery: Level 8
Throwing: Level 8 (LEVEL UP!)
Silent Steps: Level 4 (LEVEL UP!)
Coordination: Level 10
No-Attribute Magic: Level 4
Wind-Attribute Magic: Level 8 (LEVEL UP!)
Water-Attribute Magic: Level 7
Mana Control: Level 7 (LEVEL UP!)
Cooking: Level 3
Surpass Limits: Magic Axe: Level 10 (LEVEL UP!)
Armor Technique: Level 6 (LEVEL UP!)
Magic Fighting Technique: Level 5 (LEVEL UP!)
Dismantling: Level 2 (LEVEL UP!)
Commanding: Level 3 (LEVEL UP!)
Surpass Limits: Level 3 (LEVEL UP!)
Unarmed Fighting Technique: Level 4 (LEVEL UP!)
Singing: Level 2 (LEVEL UP!)
Dancing: Level 2 (LEVEL UP!)
Familiar Spirit Demonfall: Level 1 (NEW!)
Zozogante’s Divine Protection
Garess’s Divine Protection
Vandalieu’s Divine Protection
Deanna’s Divine Protection
Skill explanation: Strengthened, Augmented, Enlargement
Skills that alter certain or all Attribute Values. Their names differ depending on the target Attribute Value, such as ‘Strengthened Muscular Strength’ or ‘Augmented Agility.’
A ‘Strengthened’ Skill is the basic level, where the bonus is slight, and can awaken into ‘Augmented,’ causing the bonus to increase. Once this is awakened into ‘Enlargement’ and reaches the maximum Level, the Attribute Value becomes approximately twice its original value.
These Skills mean little on their own; the higher the original Attribute Values are, the greater their effect. Thus, there are almost no adventurers and knights who take pride in their Level in these Skills.
There are also similar Skills named ‘Strengthened/Augmented/Enlarged X when equipped with Y.’ These Skills take effect when the user is equipped with specified equipment.
These Skills are also meaningless if the user’s combat-related Skills, Attribute Values and weapons are of poor quality; they too take a greater effect with high base qualities.