The Death Mage Who Doesn't Want a Fourth Time

Chapter 344: The potential heroes endure
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This content is taken from 𝐟𝗿𝐞𝐞𝘄𝐞𝗯𝐧𝗼𝘃𝐞𝗹.𝗰𝗼𝐦

Chapter 344: The potential heroes endure

From a certain day, a somewhat tense air had enveloped the Adventurers’ Guild in Orbaume, the capital of the Orbaume Kingdom… It was like the atmosphere inside a fortress that was on the verge of a great battle.

Those with a certain amount of strength and the experienced employees of the Guild had all taken notice of it. They had investigated to see if there were any urgent commissions or whether relationships between certain adventurer parties had become volatile.

But the commission board, where commissions were written on leaves and pieces of tree bark that served as paper, was the same as always; no new Dungeons or monsters that were designated as threats had appeared nearby.

As for the adventurers, there didn’t seem to be any who were on the verge of engaging in fierce arguments or scuffles.

However, it was possible to notice that this strange sense of tension was centered on skilled adventurers that had improved in strength at a tremendous pace over the past few years.

But they would avoid the question if they were asked if anything was wrong, so this yielded no answers. The adventurers and Guild employees that were acquainted with them assumed that something had happened with their companions, and chose not to get too deeply involved.

And this was the correct thing for them to do. Even if they were to stubbornly demand answers, it wasn’t something that could be so easily told to others… and to begin with, the skilled adventurers in question – the potential heroes chosen by the gods – hadn’t been informed of exactly what was coming, either.

“‘Prepare for danger, a danger that could destroy Orbaume,’ huh? We don’t know when this danger is coming or what kind of danger it is. Is this my fault after all, for being so unworthy that I can’t correctly interpret the Divine Message?” muttered a young man with somewhat elegant facial features, letting out a troubled sigh.

The others sitting at the same table offered words of comfort.

“Hendricksen, it isn’t your fault,” one said.

“That’s right, Hendricksen-san. Don’t brood over it too much,” said another.

The young man’s name was Hendricksen Hazen. He was the potential hero who had been granted the divine protection of Elk, the Goddess of the Holy Spear.

He had left the Alcrem Duchy to work as an adventurer in Orbaume. There, he had met other individuals who had been chosen by gods, more than he had ever met before. At times, he had competed against them, and at others he had cooperated with them. And here, he had made a name for himself.

After he left the Alcrem Duchy, he had regretted doing so when he learned of the disastrous incident that had occurred – the attack on Alcrem by a resurrected evil god. But he was relieved to hear that the incident had been resolved through the efforts of a Dark Elf who worshiped Vida and was now an honorary countess.

He felt a newfound respect for Vida; he now believed that despite her past mistakes, she was as much a great god as Alda, the God of Law and Fate.

But that didn’t mean that he felt no regret. Despite the fact that he had been working in Alcrem previously, he had contributed nothing to resolve the danger that Alcrem had faced.

That was why he had polished his skills and improved his strength, so that he could be of some use if a similar incident were to occur again. And now, the time for him to put that strength to use was coming.

Or so it should have been, but there were no concrete instructions from the gods. He didn’t know if he was just supposed to wait inside the city, whether he was supposed to investigate the actions of criminal organizations, or whether he was supposed to focus on patrolling nearby Dungeons to ensure that monster stampedes didn’t occur.

Given that a significant danger was approaching, he couldn’t disobey the Divine Message he had received. But he didn’t know what he needed to do in order to obey the gods’ true will.

Could he do nothing other than stay in this city and be ready to deal with whatever was to happen? Was it impossible to avoid or resolve the danger before it even occurred? No matter how much he thought about it, he didn’t arrive at anything resembling an answer.

The people gathered at the table… the adventurers that had been chosen as potential heroes, like Hendricksen, began to discuss the topic.

“In any case, we do vaguely understand that it’s got something to do with the fragments of the Demon King… but that’s about it.”

“The parties that have connections to the Church are currently investigating it. I’m sure they’ll produce results that will help us learn something.”

“I mean, it’s possible that it’s not the Church that’s plotting something, but a cult that worships evil gods or the remnants of the Vampire organizations.”

The potential heroes gathered here, and most likely all the other potential heroes, had received the same Divine Message.

That was precisely why they were feeling a growing sense of tension, knowing that a great danger was approaching Orbaume.

All of them already possessed individual strength on par with that of A-class adventurers. Many of their own party members had received divine protections like theirs over the past few years.

Ordinary dangers could be resolved if one of the groups gathered here made an effort. And yet, all of them had received the same Divine Message. This could only mean that the approaching danger was so great that it would need all of them combined.

All of them realized this.

“Should we try talking to the Five-colored Blades after all?” one of them suggested. “Rumor has it that they faced Alda’s trials, resurrected the heroic god Bellwood, and gained his divine protection. It’s possible that they’ve received more detailed information from their Divine Messages.”

Everyone already knew the circumstances of the Five-colored Blades, the only S-class adventurer party in the Orbaume Kingdom. Many of the potential heroes saw Heinz as the forerunner, as he had received Alda’s divine protection long before they themselves received divine protections from the gods.

Incidentally, the potential heroes weren’t paying much attention to Asagi’s group. To them, Asagi’s group was nothing more than a group of adventurers hired by the Birgitt house. Some did wonder if they had received divine protections as well, but none had enough concrete information to go and talk to them.

“Yeah… It might be worth hearing what they have to say,” one of the adventurers said. “I’m sure it’s no coincidence that they’ve come to Orbaume at a time like this. But if that’s the case, don’t you think the Divine Messages should have told us to work with the Five-colored Blades?”

“That’s true, but… maybe it was there, and we just failed to hear that, like everything else?” said another.

“That’s certainly possible. What do you think, Miriam?” asked Hendricksen.

“M-me?!” exclaimed the female adventurer Miriam, leader of the Heart Warrior Brigade, pointing at herself with a surprised expression.

Recently, people at the Guild had been calling her ‘Brigade Commander.’

She had been participating in these gatherings with Hendricksen and the others for the past few months – about ten days after Honorary Countess Darcia Zakkart began staying in Orbaume, to be precise.

At first, Hendricksen and the others had been wary of Miriam and the Heart Brigade Warriors. The name of their party made it clear that they were worshipers of Vida, and they had made no attempts to hide their deep connections with Darcia Zakkart.

But none saw them as a danger. Hendricksen and the others were citizens of the Orbaume Kingdom, where the worship of Vida was allowed, and they had no reason to believe that someone was dangerous just because they worshiped Vida.

… The main reasons for their wariness towards the Heart Warrior Brigade despite this fact were the physical appearances of its members and the Divine Messages that they had received from the gods. The enormous swordsman that one would assume was their leader at first glance looked so extraordinarily ferocious that he resembled a bandit leader more than an adventurer. The female cleric who was apparently his younger sister was beautiful, but looked more like an evil woman than a cleric. The Dwarf mage simply looked sinister and terrifying.

The bearded, one-armed swordsman who had apparently been an adventurer the longest among all of them, and the female Beast-kin fighter whose limbs had all been replaced by artificial limbs, looked more normal. But the swordsman behaved somewhat like a thug, and the female fighter had a rough tone of speech.

And despite all this, their leader Miriam looked so ordinary that it seemed like she was setting some kind of trap.

The Heart Warrior Brigade had also received Divine Messages warning of danger.

But it would have been awkward to continue to blatantly avoid the Heart Warrior Brigade, and the Guild would reprimand them for behaving in such a way during commissions that required the cooperation of multiple parties.

That was why Hendricksen, who was from the Alcrem Duchy like them, had taken the initiative to make contact with the Heart Warrior Brigade. In doing so, he had learned just how wrong the preconceived views that he and the others had of the Heart Warrior Brigade were.

“Yeah, I want to hear your opinion. From the looks of it, you seem to be the one who’s staying the calmest about all this. If there’s something you’ve noticed, I’d like you to tell us, whatever it is,” Hendricksen said.

The fierce-looking swordsman Arthur was a pleasant, honest man with better manners than most adventurers. His younger sister Kalinia was a beautiful woman who could have been a saint, and her heart was equally beautiful. The mage Borzofoy, who was their childhood friend, was a considerate, wise fellow who did everything he could to help his friends despite his slim, frail constitution that was unusual for a Dwarf.

Simon, the one-armed swordsman, and Natania, the female unarmed fighter with four artificial limbs, were individuals with tenacious, noble minds who had overcome the crippling injuries that they had suffered during their adventuring careers.

Hendricksen was also certain that Miriam, their leader, was someone who deserved respect. He couldn’t yet explain in words what about her it was that deserved respect, but… he believed that it was his own shortcoming that prevented him from understanding her true value.

And on top of that, they were all heroes who had been chosen by the gods, just like Hendricksen and the others. Arthur possessed the divine protection of Bashas, the Goddess of Rain Clouds. Kalinia possessed the divine protection of Zelzeria, the Goddess of Dark Nights. Borzofoy possessed the divine protection of Hamul, the God of Shadows. Simon and Natania possessed the divine protection of Vida herself. And most astounding of all was Miriam, who possessed the divine protections of all four of those gods.

That was why Hendricksen had personally started to believe that perhaps Miriam had been chosen by the gods to act not only as the leader for the Heart Warrior Brigade, but as the leader for all of the potential heroes who had received divine protections from the gods. The only reason he hadn’t told anyone else about these thoughts was because it was unnatural that she didn’t possess the divine protection of Alda, the God of Law and Fate.

Of course, Hendricksen was greatly mistaken. It was true that Arthur, Kalinia, and Borzofoy had originally been potential heroes chosen by gods belonging to Alda’s forces, but Bashas, Zelzeria, and Hamul now belonged to Vida’s faction. The three adventurers were now potential heroes of Vida’s faction, and companions of Vandalieu.

As for Miriam, Simon, and Natania, they were simply Vandalieu’s friends, and Vida had seen promise in them.

But it wasn’t as if they had abused Hendricksen’s mistaken thoughts towards Miriam to become spies among the potential heroes chosen by the gods of Alda’s forces. They had simply gotten to know Hendricksen and the others when they interacted during commissions they completed together, and things had progressed from there until the potential heroes saw them as companions who were in the same situation as themselves.

Miriam was torn. I feel really out of place. It’s like we’re deceiving Hendricksen-san and the others, and I feel really guilty about it! But it’s not like we can tell them the truth. But simply replying, ‘I don’t know’ would make it seem like I’m not thinking about anything, and I’d feel bad for not telling Hendricksen-san and the others anything at all…

“What I feel is… Err, you might find this unpleasant to hear, but maybe the gods themselves don’t know what kind of threat is approaching?” said Miriam, barely managing to put together an appropriate answer.

Those who were fiercely devout might consider this to be words of disrespect towards the gods they worshiped. But all of those gathered here were adventurers who had been granted divine protections from the gods. They certainly didn’t lack devotion, but they knew of the realities of day-to-day life.

“I see… Now that you mention it, you’re completely right,” one of the adventurers murmured.

“The gods aren’t all-powerful or all-knowing,” another agreed. “It seems we forgot that fact. It’s pathetic that we’re so reliant on the gods despite having already received divine protections from them.”

“I suppose it’s because we’ve received divine protections and know of their effects that we’ve been so blindly trusting of the gods,” said Hendricksen. “Thank you. You’ve opened our eyes.”

“Eh, ah, yes. It’s an honor to be of service,” said Miriam, surprised by their straightforward agreement with her statement.

But for Hendricksen and the others, it was very sensible to point out that there were things that even the gods did not know.

If gods were all-powerful and all-knowing, they wouldn’t need to grant divine protections to humans in order to deal with monsters, evil gods that once belonged to the Demon Kings’ army, and fragments of the Demon king; they would easily deal with such matters themselves.

To begin with, they would have repelled the Demon King Guduranis when he invaded from another world without having to summon the champions.

The fact that they hadn’t been able to do that was evidence that the gods were not all-powerful or all-knowing. The width and depth of their knowledge and the power they possessed was far greater than that of mortals, but they were still beings that were not all-powerful nor all-knowing.

Several of the gods who had granted Hendricksen and the others their divine protections had once been humans themselves, having become gods after performing great deeds when they were mortal. It would be foolish to think that such gods would know everything there was to know about this world.

“The gods have sharper intuition and more experience than us, and that’s probably why they know of the danger approaching Orbaume. But they don’t know exactly what it is or when it’s going to happen. That’s why we need to investigate what this danger is while making the appropriate preparations to face it. That’s what all of this means,” Hendricksen said. 𝑓𝘳𝑒𝑒𝘸𝑒𝑏𝓃𝑜𝑣𝑒𝓁.𝘤𝑜𝓂

“Umm, well, yes, I was just thinking it was something like that…” said Miriam.

The fact that gods were not all-knowing nor all-powerful was something that she had learned recently. The god she was most well-acquainted with was surprisingly thoughtless, made mistakes from time to time, and often stubbornly insisted that he was human.

The demigods that they had fought on the Demon King’s Continent were superior to humans, but they didn’t transcend humans outright.

Of course, Miriam hadn’t spoken based on her experiences alone; she also didn’t want Hendriksen and the others to have much contact with the Five-colored Blades.

“So even if we ask the Five-colored Blades for information, it’d be pointless, huh…” one of the adventurers said.

“No, asking them just in case isn’t a bad idea. And I’d rather get acquainted with them in advance, since we might have to work with them in the future,” said Hendriksen. freew(e)bnovel.(c)om

In the end, Miriam couldn’t tell them about the relationship between Vandalieu and the Five-colored Blades, and Hendriksen and the others decided on making contact with the Five-colored Blades.

“The one responsible for that–” Miriam began.

“We’ll do it, of course. You can rest easy,” another adventurer said reassuringly.

“Yeah, it might become awkward if Miriam and her party had to talk to him,” said Hendriksen.

“Thank you. I appreciate it,” said Miriam, breathing a sigh of relief at the fact that she wouldn’t be responsible for acquainting the potential heroes with Heinz’s party. Hendriksen and the others had been considerate of her and her party… or rather, her master and friend Vandalieu. He was a Vida fundamentalist, and his religious beliefs would clash with Alda’s peaceful faction.

“Still, Alda and Vida… If only people could put aside their religious conflict and work together. Even if it’s just the adventurers who don’t belong to either Church,” Hendriksen lamented.

Arthur placed a hand on his shoulder. “That is a reasonable thought, Hendriksen-san. When the evil god Zer– I mean, Forzajibal, was resurrected, it was not just Darcia-sama who stood at our side; people from the Church of Alda were with us as well. Once people learn of the danger that approaches Orbaume, I’m sure everyone will stand with us.”

“In the city of Morksi where I lived, when a monster stampede occurred from a nearby Dungeon, adventurers, knights, and soldiers all fought with us,” said Simon.

“So let us do our best to prepare ourselves for now. Let us prepare for the moment we are needed,” said Arthur.

“You’re right,” said Hendriksen, encouraged by these words. “Let us build up our strength so that we are prepared for the moment we are needed, and ensure that we are ready to act at a moment’s notice!” he said, restoring everyone’s morale.

“A-are you sure about this? It kind of feels like we’re deceiving them…” Miriam whispered.

She couldn’t count herself as being one of these adventurers. Arthur and Simon hadn’t lied, nor had they misled Hendriksen and the others for their own benefit. However, they had laid the groundwork so that they would help once the moment they were needed (the moment Rikudou made his move) came.

Arthur and Simon could indeed be faulted for not telling the entire truth. However, information about the reincarnated individuals and so on would sound absurd to Hendriksen and the others; it was doubtful that they would actually believe this information even if they were told. And Arthur and Simon were not on the side that was conspiring dangerous events; they were on the side that wished to prevent them.

They weren’t trying to get Hendriksen and the others involved in this battle between reincarnated individuals. It was true that Rikudou Hijiri was only after Vandalieu. But considering what Rikudou Hijiri had done in Origin, it was difficult to imagine that he would only target Vandalieu and his allies and take measures to avoid getting unrelated people caught up in the battle.

Thus, they could not be blamed for asking for the aid of Henriksen and the others so that they could prevent innocent people from being exposed to danger.

“It’s alright. They’ll learn the truth… after everything is over,” said Kalinia.

Borzofoy sniggered. “The gods who granted them their divine protections have not told them about us because the gods expect them to prevent the people of Orbaume from being harmed. It is nothing that you need to fret over, is it, Miriam?”

“Yeah,” Natania agreed. “It’s not like we’re trying to turn them against the Five-colored Blades. I don’t think we’re doing anything wrong.”

“I-I suppose that’s true,” said Miriam, feeling slightly less guilty.

The Goddess of the Holy Spear Elk and the other gods who had granted Hendriksen and the other potential heroes their divine protections hadn’t sent Divine Messages that would create hostility, such as instructing them to work with the Five-colored Blades or to be wary of Miriam and the one she answered to – Vandalieu. The reason for this was because Vandalieu and his companions hadn’t gone after the potential heroes so far; they wanted to maintain this stable state for as long as they could.

Their original goal was to have them fight against Vandalieu, but if the one behind the actions of Prime Minister Tercatanis was indeed Rikudou Hijiri, doing this would allow Rikudou to benefit from the conflict.

The gods wished to prevent this, and the result of that was that their potential heroes in Orbaume were simply left on standby.

Furthermore, the Five-colored Blades and Asagi’s group had already arrived in Orbaume.

However, the Five-colored Blades had only visited the Adventurers’ Guild once, and Asagi’s group hadn’t even visited.

Heinz and the rest of the Five-colored Blades were spending their time gathering information by contacting the Church of Alda and nobles from Alda’s peaceful faction rather than the Adventurers’ Guild, as well as attempting to unite the peaceful faction into a more cohesive organization. Or to put it more accurately, the clergymen and the nobles of the peaceful faction were demanding that they spend their time this way.

Vida fundamentalism had spread significantly, so Alda’s peaceful faction was desperate to use Heinz’s emergence from the Dungeon as an opportunity to make a comeback. And because Heinz needed their cooperation to gather information, he was unable to keep them at bay.

As for Asagi and his companions, they had avoided the Adventurers’ Guild because they feared that there would be trouble if they were to unexpectedly encounter Vandalieu or his companions there.

The ironic result of this was that the potential heroes were able to maintain their ability to work for the sake of the people.

Meanwhile, Vandalieu was pondering and thinking about wriggle-wriggles.

Was ‘wriggle-wriggle’ an adjective or a verb? What thickness and numbers were needed to be considered ‘wriggle-wriggles?’ Should their surface be slippery? Should they be shiny? But despite much discussion, there was only one answer.

“Wriggle-wriggle!” Mei squealed happily as she played in a sea of billowing tentacles.

Vandalieu, Banda, the Scylla Privel, Queen Tanato of the Lamia nation, Mari, and Yamata nodded amongst themselves as they watched her.

“Meh-kun seems to be happy with anything that’s string-shaped and wriggly,” Vandalieu remarked.

“In that sense, it seems that she has no preferences. However, it seems that she has become able to tell people apart using their wriggle-wriggles,” said Banda.

“Hmm, she’s determining who they are by looking at their tentacles. I think she can tell from the presence or absence of things like suction cups and scales, as well as the way they move,” said Privel.

“I was seriously surprised when she first guessed me correctly,” said Queen Tanato.

“Did she really?” Vandalieu asked.

“Yes. Even if I transform my body, I can’t fool Mama’s eyes,” said Mari.

“Mari’s wriggle-wriggles are stiff to begin with,” said one of Yamata’s heads.

“They’re more like wavy-wavies than wriggle-wriggles,” three of her other heads added.

Mari made a frustrated noise. “I mean, humans don’t have tentacles or tails… One day, I’ll definitely produce wriggle-wriggles that Mama will be satisfied with…!” she said, swearing that she would improve the transformation ability of her ‘Metamorph’ even further.

“Hey, Vandalieu, didn’t you come here for another reason?” asked Hiroshi from behind, looking unimpressed.

“Ah, that’s right,” said Vandalieu, coming back to his senses. “I came here to ask Mari and the others about Rikudou because I want more clues to help find him.”

“So why are we talking about wriggle-wriggles, then?” asked Hiroshi.

“How embarrassing,” said Vandalieu, who had numerous tentacles protruding from his sleeves… tentacles of all kinds – some with suction cups on the surface, some with scales, some with fluffy fur, and so on.

Hiroshi sighed. “So, what did you mean to ask about Unc… I mean, Rikudou? I don’t know that much about him…”

“Things like how he hides the fact that he’s doing bad things when he does them,” said Vandalieu.

“Uhh, yeah, I don’t think I can answer that,” said Hiroshi, quickly raising a white flag.

Until Banda’s appearance, Hiroshi had respected Rikudou Hijiri, having been completely fooled. He knew almost nothing about his real personality or his habits.

“I have thought about it, but I don’t know much, either. However, he was something of a perfectionist. The kind of person who would make preparations that seem like they’ll crumble in an instant if anything unexpected occurs, but are perfect if that doesn’t happen,” said Mari, who was clumsily waving around the tentacles she had created with ‘Metamorph.’

Bokor laughed unnaturally as he crawled out of the sea of tentacles. “His preparations in Origin would have been perfect, after all. Thanks to those preparations, we were not able to rush to our god and goddess’s side until after he made his move.”

Mari had been used as a body double for Rikudou Hijiri, who had taken advantage of ‘Metamorph,’ her transformation ability. On many of the occasions when Hiroshi met Rikudou Hijiri, it had actually been Mari disguised as him.

Bokor was one of the experimental subjects used in Rikudou’s research into death-attribute magic. Although he hadn’t spoken to Rikudou personally, he knew that Rikudou was a cunning, meticulous planner.

Hiroshi shouted in alarm. “Why are you crawling out of there?!”

“Because I threw myself in here to receive the blessings of our god together with our goddess, of course,” said Bokor. “It seems that Gabriel and Yukijoro have yet to emerge, however.”

Hiroshi shouted in alarm again. “Gabriel?! Yukijoro-san?! Wait, Matthew?! Why are you in there as well?!”

“I mean, it looked fun, so I couldn’t help myself… By the way, get these suction cups off me…” said Matthew.

“Ah, sorry. Those are the suction cups of my tentacles,” said Privel.

It seemed that there were a number of people inside the sea of tentacles. Like any other sea, it accepted all who dove into it, not just Mei.

“So, about Rikudou… I’m afraid I don’t actually know much. I can imitate his personal habits, his tone of speech, and his facial expressions, though. Like this,” said Mari, using ‘Metamorph’ to transform from a human with tentacles for arms into Rikudou Hijiri. “Where would I hide important objects and hide myself… Guessing that would be difficult. In Origin, you might suspect that I would be inside a submarine that has been recorded as decommissioned, or a small hidden house in Antarctica, but surely nobody is more knowledgeable about Lambda than you are… is all I can say. And it seems that my personality changed significantly when I took the form of what I called ‘Arch-Avalon.’”

Mari had been speaking in Rikudou Hijiri’s human form, and now, she transformed to become three meters tall… taking the form of Arch-Avalon.

“I know no more about Rikudou after he took this form than you do,” Mari continued. “I don’t know whether it would be better to say that his true nature came out, or that some screws came loose…”

“You are imitating not only his form but the way he speaks as well, but you can’t imitate his memories or thoughts, so that can’t be helped. I can’t understand what Rikudou is thinking at all either, trying to become a god,” said Vandalieu.

“… Well, I suppose you wouldn’t,” Mari said with a nod, still in the form of Arch-Avalon, looking at the god who insisted that he was human.

“Are you going to protest the construction again? I think you should give up on that,” said Privel.

“You can’t beat public opinion, after all,” said Tanato.

But Vandalieu’s will was firm. “I will strongly object, of course. Just because I’m in the minority doesn’t mean I can afford to stay silent and not speak out.”

It was clear that the outcome would be the same as with the construction of the enormous statue of Vandalieu. The ruler’s wishes would be overridden, lacking the support of public opinion, and the construction of the Great Church theme park with Vandalieu as the theme would not be halted.

“Come to think of it, more enormous statues of me were built in the Lamia nation and the great marshlands where the Scylla moved to, weren’t they?” said Vandalieu.

“Ah, you found out,” Privel and Tanato said sheepishly.

The ‘Echo’ Ulrika, who had come to see what all the commotion was about, screamed as she saw Arch-Avalon. “Rikudou?!”

“Ah, sorry, sorry. I’ll undo my transformation now,” said Mari, returning to her normal form.

“It was you, Mari. You scared me… Why did you transform into him?” Ulrika asked.

“Actually–”

Ulrika gave an understanding nod once she heard an explanation of the various things that had been discussed. Naturally, she had no information regarding Rikudou’s hiding place or how he was making his moves, either.

“He’s still got a really high sense of pride, so maybe he’ll come out if Mari dances one of the dances that Kanako taught her while in that form?” Ulrika suggested.

“I refuse. I feel shame, too, you know,” said Mari. “Dance while in that form? I’m not a criminal who deserves to be shamed in public. There’s no way I can do that.”

It seemed that dancing in the form of Arch-Avalon specifically, not the dancing itself, was humiliating for Mari.

“Then the only thing I know is that he’s hiding in a place where Vandalieu and everyone else can’t find him, using methods so that he can’t be found,” said Ulrika.

“Aunt Ulrika, doesn’t that mean that there’s nothing we can do?” said Hiroshi.

“Hiroshi, we were completely fooled by Rikudou and didn’t notice anything was wrong until Banda told us the truth,” Ulrika reminded him.

“… Ah, yeah, that’s right. I didn’t suspect a thing until Banda told me, either,” said Hiroshi.

Everyone from Origin had learned of how perfect Rikudou’s acting and pretending had been. Of course, nobody could blame Hiroshi for not suspecting anything, as he was still just a child.

But Vandalieu seemed to have realized something. “… I see. I might be able to find Rikudou. Thank you, Ulrika,” he said.

“Huh?! What does he mean, Banda?!” Hiroshi exclaimed.

“Hiroshi, my thoughts are not constantly connected to those of my main body,” said Banda.

“It’s not really an ingenious idea or anything. I’ll just be using the sheer force of numbers,” said Vandalieu.

Active skills:

  • Unique skills:

    Monster explanation (Written by Luciliano):

    Imp Mouse

    These are mice that have become Demon-type monsters after being given Vandalieu’s flesh and blood. ‘Imp’ means ‘small demon,’ and they are weak in combat considering they are monsters, but their intelligence has grown considerably.

    Because their bodies remain the same size as when they were just mice, their ability to spy is remarkable.

    Because they do not possess any special abilities such as secreting venom, it would be nearly impossible for them to inflict fatal injuries even on ordinary people, let alone adventurers, but they do possess enough physical strength to avoid being easily defeated by an ordinary cat.

    They possess ‘Strengthened Attribute Values: Vandalieu’ Skill at a high Level, so it is possible for them to explosively raise their physical strength by consuming Vandalieu’s flesh and blood. In Tadano Nezumi’s case, he would be able to best a medium-sized hunting dog.

    However, Imp Mice are still monsters that are specialized in covert activities. They also reproduce just as quickly as ordinary mice.

    For now, it seems that the only Imp Mouse that possesses ‘Leadership’ and ‘Vandalieu’s Divine Protection’ is Tadano Nezumi, the ancestor of the Imp Mice.

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