The Death Mage Who Doesn't Want a Fourth Time

Chapter 345: The teacher who remains a mystery for a little longer
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Chapter 345: The teacher who remains a mystery for a little longer

《The Levels of the ‘Constant Mana Recovery,’ ‘Super Strengthen Subordinates,’ ‘Demon Thread Refining,’ ‘Augmented Vitality,’ ‘Augmented Attribute Values: Ruling,’ ‘Blood Rule,’ ‘Divine Alchemy,’ ‘Surgery,’ ‘Embodiment,’ ‘Group Coordination,’ ‘Group Commander,’ ‘Thread-reeling,’ ‘Shadow Group Binding Technique,’ ‘Spirit Therapy,’ ‘Mental Encroachment,’ and ‘Labyrinth Creation’ Skills have increased!》

《The ‘Strengthened All Attributes’ Skill has awakened into ‘Augmented All Attributes!’》

Even while searching for Rikudou, Vandalieu was still attending the Adventurers’ School. Naturally, there was a certain individual who was displeased with this, and she finally decided to directly voice her displeasure.

“Do you not have any intention of graduating right now?” Meorilith asked.

“Have you lost your mind, Principal Meorilith?” Vandalieu asked in response.

“… I never thought I would be having my sanity questioned by you, of all people,” Meorilith sighed.

Vandalieu froze for a few seconds, but began moving again soon afterwards. “I do think it was a little rude of me to say that to my principal, whom I have great respect for, but–”

“I think you do doubt me in terms of trust and things like that. And you don’t actually respect me that much, do you?”

“I do respect you.”

Principal Meorilith had been tolerant enough to accept Vandalieu and Pauvina, who were complete outsiders, and although the teachers did have their own problems, Meorilith had been capable and well-respected enough to gather outstanding teaching staff at this school. She also handled nobles very skillfully.

Vandalieu held a certain degree of respect for Meorilith for having all of these qualities as a principal – to the point where he imagined that if he had her leadership skills, her management knowledge, and political power, he might have been able to make some progress in protesting the construction of the Great Church, and even in protesting the construction of the enormous statue of himself, a matter in which he had been overwhelmingly crushed by public opinion.

“But I don’t have enough credits to graduate yet,” Vandalieu said. “I shouldn’t be able to earn the necessary credits to graduate until this September at the earliest.”

This matter was entirely separate from Vandalieu’s respect for Meorilith. Adventurers’ Schools had a credit-based curriculum, and students could not graduate until they earned the necessary number of credits. The Hero Preparatory School was no exception to this.

“I mean, that is true, but… this is an emergency,” said Meorilith. “If I pull some strings –”

“That won’t do, Principal,” Vandalieu interrupted. “It’s important to uphold the system and follow the correct procedures.”

“… I never thought I would be having the importance of the system and correct procedures explained to me by you, of all people.”

“Principal, I don’t make light of systems and procedures. I use them to my advantage and poke holes in them, but these are things that I can do only because the systems, procedures, and rules exist in the first place.”

Vandalieu had done what he wanted by taking advantage of the rules of the Tamers’ Guild, the Adventurers’ Guild, and the Hero Preparatory School, as well as several of the laws of the Orbaume Kingdom. But if those rules and laws didn’t exist, he wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of them. He had made the people of the city accept Eisen, Silkie, and the others – the rules hadn’t forbidden them, so they must be allowed. This wouldn’t have been possible if he hadn’t been able to take advantage of the rules and laws.

A lawless society wasn’t more convenient than a society with law and order.

“That’s why you don’t need to go and set a bad precedent for no reason,” Vandalieu said.

“But I mean, there’s someone called Rikudou Hijiri who’s plotting something using the fragments of the Demon King, isn’t there? I’ve experienced fighting against and sealing away a rampaging Demon King fragment before, but Rikudou Hijiri has gathered more than ten of them, hasn’t he?” said Meorilith. “If this isn’t an emergency, then what is?”

“It is indeed an emergency, but it’s an emergency that can be dealt with without going to extreme lengths,” said Vandalieu.

“So, it’s an emergency after all. Then personally, I would like you to deal with it without worrying about school… how about putting you on temporary leave from school?” Meorilith suggested.

“It’s alright. Whether I’m attending school or not, my measures to deal with the emergency won’t change,” said Vandalieu.

“That’s what you say, but–”

“Meorilith, give it up. This kid seems to have no intention of graduating,” said the third person in the principal’s office – Randolf ‘the True.’

He had interrupted, knowing that this conversation was going in circles.

Meorilith sighed, seeming to give up. “I went into this assuming that it wouldn’t work, but it really didn’t.”

“If he intended to graduate, he would have said so, after all,” Randolf said. “But are you sure about this?” he asked Vandalieu with a stern look in his eyes.

“Of course,” Vandalieu said, nodding. “It might not be flawless, but… whether I’m at school or not, I can deal with the emergency with the same level of thoroughness. Even now–”

Vandalieu produced a small Demon King Familiar, right before Meorilith and Randolf’s eyes. They let out gasps of astonishment as they watched.

The back of his right hand swelled unnaturally, forming a lump. The skin on its surface transformed into solid bone, and compound eyes appeared as if being pushed out from within. The top of the lump split open, allowing dragonfly-like wings to emerge, and then it took flight, separating itself from Vandalieu.

“Split entities of me like this one, which are similar to familiars, are accompanying my companions while they work in my absence,” the newly-created Demon King Familiar said.

“If I’m attending lectures or practical training sessions, it won’t change anything,” said Vandalieu.

Meorilith and Randolf’s faces had turned pale, but they accepted this explanation.

“I see. You’re controlling parts of your body that have split off from you using the ‘Long-distance Control’ and ‘Parallel Thought Processing’ Skills,” said Randolf.

“You can tell?” asked Vandalieu, surprised.

“Yes. I’ve seen monsters that can do similar things. I never expected that a person would be able to do it, however.”

In truth, the Skills Vandalieu was using were ‘Group Control’ and ‘Group Thought Processing,’ the awakened versions of the Skills that Randolf had mentioned, but Vandalieu decided to move on without correcting him… for the purpose of making this conversation proceed smoothly rather than deliberately misleading Meorilith and Randolf, he told himself.

“But it’s not flawless, then?” Randolf asked.

“I can’t say for sure that there won’t be any deaths or injuries, after all. I can’t guarantee that there won’t be any damage to the buildings, either,” said Vandalieu.

“Nobody is asking that much of you. I don’t know who or what you are, but at the very least, it’s certain that you’re not in a position where you’re responsible for the Orbaume Kingdom’s public order or the lives of its people,” said Randolf. “Well, if we’re going to talk about the system, you’re the son of a noble of the Alcrem Duchy, but…”

“The one behind this conspiracy is Prime Minister Tercatanis. It would be unreasonable to hold the son of an honorary countess responsible for everything,” Meorilith agreed.

Vandalieu and Darcia had turned to Meorilith and Randolf for help, giving just enough of an explanation for them to understand the situation regarding Rikudou Hijiri, as well as Prime Minister Tercatanis, who had become his servant and was acting on his behalf. Meorilith and Randolf had promised to help him without any hesitation.

Meorilith had previously learned that Prime Minister Tercatanis had proposed to provide the army with weapons made from fragments of the Demon King, and both she and Randolf knew that Vandalieu was no ordinary child. And because Vandalieu had brought letters from Duke Alcrem and Duke Jahan with him when requesting their help, they could not doubt that he was telling them the truth.

With that being the case, Meorilith and Randolf had accepted that Orbaume would be devastated. No matter how much was done to prevent damage, the royal castle would be destroyed at the very least. Damage to important nearby facilities and the upper-class nobles’ district would be impossible to avoid as well. That was the assumption they had been working with.

That was how much of an impact the news of this conspiracy – one plotted by a dangerous person using fragments of the Demon King – had on them.

If it was just a single rampaging fragment of the Demon King, Randolf alone would certainly be able to deal with it. Even if a single fragment rampaged in multiple different places simultaneously, there were others in Orbaume with strength equivalent to an A-class adventurer or greater, such as Meorilith. There would be some casualties, but the entire city would not be at risk of destruction.

However, multiple fragments of the Demon King rampaging while fused together… Randolf had previously defeated people infested by two or three fragments and sealed the fragments away. But the number of fragments in this case was unknown, and certainly well above ten.

It would be wise to think of this as an enemy that was more powerful than the average resurrected evil god.

“Principal Meorilith, Dandolip-sensei, I would like to thank you again for your cooperation. Within the next few days, preparations will be complete for finding where Rikudou is hiding, so something might happen then. I’ll make sure to contact you in advance,” said Vandalieu, putting the Demon King Familiar he had just created into his pocket… so that he could absorb it without Meorilith and Randolf seeing it.

I should stop making them in front of people who aren’t used to seeing it, Vandalieu decided as he left Meorilith’s office.

“Randolf,” Meorilith said.

“I know,” said Randolf. “The familiar that Vandalieu made and showed us was made of fragments of the Demon King.”

He had realized that the Demon King Familiar that Vandalieu had created was made of fragments of the Demon King. Ordinary familiars were pseudo-organisms created by mages using Mana or a catalyst, or living creatures that mages could share their senses with and give orders. But the Demon King Familiar had been far different from that.

“But it was completely different from the rampaging fragments that we’ve seen in the past,” Randolf continued. “Rampaging fragments of the Demon King are like lost children. They’re panicking, screaming and running around as they look for their parents… other fragments. And yet, the fragments of the Demon King that Vandalieu showed us weren’t rampaging. They were calm, and they weren’t looking for anything.”

That was Randolf’s thoughts on the Demon King Familiar created by Vandalieu, compared to the rampaging state of the Demon King fragments he had seen in the past.

“Of course, this is just my personal observation, so there is no definitive proof,” Randolf added. “For all I know, he could be using a piece of Demon King equipment that I don’t know about.”

“No, Randolf, that’s not what I wanted to mention,” said Meorilith. “I wanted to ask, when do you intend to reveal to Vandalieu that you’re Randolf ‘the True,’ and not a teacher named Dandolip?”

Still disguised as Dandolip, Randolf remained silent and avoided her eyes. Vandalieu, who had just left the office, and his companions, still knew him as ‘Dandolip-sensei.’

“… I am simply waiting for my students to see through my disguise themselves. Revealing my true identity to them will do them no good,” Randolf said.

“Randolf, it’s rather shameful for you to give a reason like that as if it’s just an afterthought,” said Meorilith.

Randolf fell silent for a few moments. “… Keeping quiet about my real identity won’t cause any problems. I’m sure Duke Takkard Alcrem and Duke Hadros Jahan haven’t mentioned me to Vandalieu either because it’s not necessary.”

Randolf was acquainted with both dukes with whom Vandalieu had formed unofficial alliances – He had even met Duke Alcrem about a year ago; it was almost certain that Duke Alcrem would recognize who ‘Dandolip-sensei’ was if they were to meet face to face.

“No, it’s not about whether it will cause problems or whether it’s necessary. I’m sure the dukes simply don’t know that you’re here, or they’re just avoiding talking about you. They’re being considerate of you,” said Meorilith.

What Randolf had said was unlikely to be true. Both dukes did indeed know Randolf’s face and how to contact him.

But it was unclear as to whether they knew where he was now. If they didn’t even know the name and face of Dandolip, the teacher who was being temporarily employed at the Hero Preparatory School, whether they would be able to tell that he was Randolf or not was irrelevant.

Of course, if they were interested in investigating who Dandolip was, they could. Duke Jahan had investigated Vandalieu previously, so it was possible that he already knew.

But even if they were aware of who Dandolip was, the dukes knew that Randolf disliked news about him being spread, so it was possible that they had not explicitly told Vandalieu about him for that reason.

“Even if they are keeping quiet about my identity out of consideration for me, I’m sure they would have told him if they thought it was necessary. It’s a situation that will determine the fate of Orbaume, you know,” Randolf said.

“I don’t know about that,” said Meorilith. “You’ll have to ask them yourselves. But maybe they’ve hinted at it. Maybe they told Vandalieu, ‘Try asking the teachers at the school you’re attending for help. How about your homeroom teacher, Dandolip-sensei?’”

“If they did that, then I’m sure he would have realized my true identity… Could it be that he’s realized, but is waiting for me to tell him myself?”

“I didn’t sense anything that suggested he might be doing that, but… even if he really hasn’t realized your true identity, I think you should tell him. Though I’m sure that’s complicated for you, given the long years you’ve spent doing your best to avoid getting involved with Churches.”

Randolf had become secretive after retiring from adventuring, even more than that, he had become an atheist… a man who believed that people should not get involved with any god or Church – regardless of whether the god was Alda, the God of Law and Fate, Peria, the mother of the Elf race, or Vida, the Goddess of Life and Love.

That was why Vandalieu, who preached Vida fundamentalism, was someone he would normally want to keep his distance from.

“I don’t resent or hate people who pray to gods. Forcing others to worship your god or follow your doctrines is unacceptable, but I know that Vandalieu and his lot aren’t like that. I’m just hesitant because I know things will become troublesome later on,” Randolf said.

Even if the people knew that Randolf had stepped forth to act when the city was in danger, nothing would happen right away. But once the situation was brought back under control, there would be people saying things that were troublesome to him – people with influence and money.

They would say that Randolf ‘the True’ had joined Vandalieu, who preached Vida fundamentalism – in other words, the house of Honorary Countess Zakkart. They would use those rumors to make political moves.

One might wonder how Randolf could be thinking about such things when Orbaume, a city with a huge population of people, and the entire kingdom, were at risk. However… the more Vandalieu managed to minimize the damage, the more his worries would become reality.

“I know how troublesome politics are. But if you keep your identity a secret, and it becomes revealed at an unexpected moment, it might get out of control. It would be wiser to reveal your identity to a few in advance, and have them cooperate to keep it a secret,” said Meorilith.

Randolf sighed. “… It’s just as you say. But before I reveal my identity to Vandalieu, I want to make things right. I need to apologize to Sensei for receiving instruction from her while deceiving her.”

“Ah, that one, the Kanako-sensei you mentioned. The one who’s scheduled to perform at the opening event of the new theater being built by the Jahan house, the Alcrem house, and the Tamers’ Guild. Randolf, could it be that you’ve fallen for this Kanako-sensei?”

“No way. If I had a daughter, Kanako-sensei would be even younger than her.”

Randolf and Meorilith were Elves, and Kanako was a Dark Elf (as far as people knew). It was difficult to tell their ages based on their appearances. However, Elves and Dark Elves were able to vaguely discern each other’s ages.

Randolf felt that Kanako was far younger than himself, and although he respected her, he was unable to see her as a member of the opposite sex… and in reality, they were about as far apart in age as a grandfather and his granddaughter.

“I see. Sorry for asking such a strange question,” Meorilith apologized.

“No, I am aware that I am rather obsessed with her. Sorry for making you misunderstand. Now then… I need to go to give my next lecture, so I will excuse myself,” he said, turning to leave the office.

As he turned his back to Meorilith, she said one last thing to him.

“It’s possible that the Dark Elf named Kanako is a Guider. If she is, then I can understand why you’re so obsessed with her.”

“A musical Guider, huh. If she is, then maybe I wouldn’t mind lending her all my strength,” said Randolf.

Meanwhile, the ‘Kanako-sensei’ that Meorilith and Randolf were discussing was currently in the ‘theater’ that had been built beneath a warehouse owned by the Tamers’ Guild in an urban area of the city.

“He did say that he built the foundation this morning, but it really is nothing more than a foundation,” she remarked, her voice echoing in the enormous but empty space. “Well, it is impressive that he even built the foundation. It looks like it will be much faster than digging up all the dirt from scratch, too. But I need to get the interior design sorted out, so the opening event will probably be around the time Van and Pauvina-chan graduate.”

“Are you really going to perform here?” asked Orlock, the Guild Master of the Tamers’ Guild, sounding surprised.

Even his familiar, a Crystal Elder Bear – a white bear with shard-like crystals growing on its body – gave a surprised twitch.

“I thought that making this space a ‘theater’ was just a pretext to build a place where people can evacuate when needed…” Orlock murmured.

Like Randolf and Meorilith, he had been told about Rikudou Hijiri. He had promised his help with creating a shelter where people could evacuate in the event that the fragments of the Demon King gathered by Rikudou Hijiri went on a rampage and caused large-scale damage.

At this point in time, it was a mystery as to whether Prime Minister Tercatanis would have any further contact with Rikudou, but it would be inconvenient if the prime minister were to find out about this place. That was why Orlock had assumed it was being announced as a theater – to hide its true purpose as an evacuation shelter.

In the past, many had suggested a theater or circus for familiars to perform so that people could gain a deeper understanding of familiars.

Such suggestions had never materialized due a lack of budget, failed negotiations with government officials, opposition from people who believed that familiars were companions and companions shouldn’t be used to put on shows for people to gawk at, and Orlock’s own opinions, as he doubted that a theater’s operations could be sustained even if it was built. Tamers were few in number, and if the objective was to deepen people’s understanding of familiars, then familiars that were monsters would be needed rather than ordinary dogs, monkeys, or birds. And a theater or circus wouldn’t be a business run by one person; there weren’t any tamers with the knowledge and skills needed to keep such a business running.

Thus, Orlock didn’t have any intention of actually running this place as a theater.

“Of course I’m going to perform here. It would be a waste if I didn’t,” said Kanako.

“Are you mad?! This is a Dungeon!” Orlock exclaimed.

Indeed, this place was a Dungeon that Vandalieu had created. It wasn’t an underground facility that he had dug into the ground using ‘Golem Creation’; it was a labyrinth he had created with ‘Labyrinth Creation’ whose entrance he had placed at one corner of the warehouse.

Using ordinary construction methods to create this shelter would have taken too much time. And the danger that would cause people to have to evacuate was not a natural disaster, but Rikudou Hijiri. If Rikudou were to unleash a shockwave of death as he had done in Origin, no building would be able to block it, no matter how sturdy it was.

But Vandalieu could temporarily create a Dungeon. This would need a wide space, but if he made it low-difficulty, manipulated the monster spawn rates and locations, and ordered them not to attack people, he could create Dungeon floors that were safe.

It would also be isolated from whatever happened outside it. Even if an explosion enormous enough to change the landscape occurred, or slashing attacks that could split mountains were exchanged, or hundred-meter-tall Colossi and Elder Dragons brawled, it would be entirely unaffected.

If Rikudou Hijiri was somehow capable of wielding the fragments of the Demon King, it was possible that he would be able to affect the Dungeon in some way. But even so, it would be safer than any place on the surface.

That was why Vandalieu had created a theater-shaped Dungeon.

… After things were over, it would need constant management so that monster stampedes didn’t occur, but its difficulty was E-class, so that wouldn’t be too hard. Orlock and the other tamers that belonged to the Guild could clear it in turns to keep the monster numbers down. freewebnov(e)l.com

Of course, if its existence was discovered, people would see it as a problem, but Orlock believed that if this occurred, he could take responsibility by resigning as Guild Master.

But he’d never thought that it would really be run as a theater.

“Of course I’m not mad. Ah, but we still haven’t written up a contract with all the legal stuff, so negotiation is still possible,” Kanako said.

“No, that is not what I am trying to say…” said Orlock.

“You’re right, it’s definitely inconvenient to have just one entrance. Guests will have to use the same entrance as the stagehands, and the stage equipment will have to be carried through the same entrance. Not having a back entrance is tough.”

“No, no, I am not trying to point out problems with its function as a theater.”

“Ah, if you’re wanting to complain about its safety, it’s too late. If there was a problem with that, we wouldn’t be able to use it as a shelter, would we?”

“That is indeed true, but using it temporarily during an emergency is different from continuously using it as a theater, is it not?! And if we do continue to use it as a theater, people will find out that it’s a Dungeon!”

“You’re seeing the safety for yourself, aren’t you? And as for people finding out that it’s a Dungeon… I don’t think you need to be so worried about that.”

When Vandalieu proposed using a Dungeon as a shelter… he had found it difficult to believe that Vandalieu had the ability to create Dungeons in the first place, but… he had also only agreed to it on one condition. That condition was that he could confirm its safety for himself, as he was doing now.

That was why he had come here with Kanako. Just in case, he had brought his familiar that was most proficient in battle – his Rank 6 Crystal Elder Bear.

“Mmm, indeed,” Orlock said, calming down as he realized that Kanako was right. “I am convinced that it is safe, but what do you mean when you say that I don’t need to worry about people finding out that it’s a Dungeon?”

“We haven’t decided how we’re going to conclude this incident, but no matter how it ends, Prime Minister Tercatanis will be ousted from his position,” said Kanako. “The prime minister has thick connections to the Church of Alda, so…”

“I see. The prime minister and the other nobles of the royal realm, as well as the Church of Alda, will lose influence. Meanwhile, Duke Alcrem and Duke Jahan, the ones to respond to the situation the quickest, and the Church of Vida, will gain influence.”

If that happened, it would be easy to silence the voices that would criticize the creation and use of a Dungeon in the middle of the city.

“I thought that this incident would be a good opportunity for me to retire, but… it seems that I must hold my position for a while longer,” Orlock remarked.

Leaving aside the true purpose of the theater, it would be far too irresponsible to declare the opening of a theater and then retire immediately afterwards, before the theater’s opening event, despite not having any health-related problems.

“Do you need some more V Cream?” Kanako asked.

“That hair growth medicine? I am not bald, but… I suppose it would not hurt to receive some more,” said Orlock.

Several days later, preparations were complete.

A map of the castle, including every hidden chamber and concealed passage, had been made. Enough spirits, Demon King Familiars, and Imp Mice had been gathered. Vandalieu even had the Staff of Five Sins.

And he had contacted the people he needed to.

《Jobs that can be selected: Fallen Warrior, Insect Ninja, Eclipse Cursecaster, Creator, Tartarus, Wild Spirit, Dark Battery Cannoneer, Soul Fighter, Qliphoth, Dark Beast User, Hollow Shadow Caster, Balor, Apollyon, Demigorgon, Soul Devourer, God Devourer, Nergal, Ravana, Shaitan, Chi You, Ouroboros, Rudra, Blood Ruler, Demon Electricity User, Yin Guider, Juggernaut, Underworld God Mage, Berserk Muscle User, Apophis, Azathoth, Taotie, Guiding Lord, Changing Guider, Spirit Guider, Hollow World God Mage (NEW!), God Spirit Alterer (NEW!), Pandemonium (NEW!), Dark Demon King (NEW!)》

“I select ‘Underworld God Mage,’” said Vandalieu, averting his eyes from the newly-appeared ‘Dark Demon King’ Job and simply choosing the most straightforward one that would make him stronger.

《The Levels of the ‘Underworld God Magic,’ ‘Demon Thread Refining,’ and ‘Precise Mana Control’ Skills have increased!》

Passive skills:Active skills:Unique skills:Curses

And with that, Vandalieu’s Job change was complete as well.

Due to his treatment of Amelia and the other former patients of the Hospital of Psychotherapy, as well as some of the members of the assassins’ organization that had been absorbed into his forces, he had reached the maximum Level for the ‘Spirit Therapist’ Job. The Jobs he had chosen after that, ‘Magic Staff Creator’ and ‘Artisan: Transformation Equipment,’ had quickly followed after he completed the transformation equipment for the Moon Giant Deeana, which had taken a considerable amount of time, and the transformation equipment for Elizabeth, Macht-senpai, and the others.

“Now then, since I’ve finished changing Jobs… It’s time to begin the plan to find Rikudou,” Vandalieu said as he emerged after his Job change.

The spirits and Imp Mice gathered before him formed a swarm that rushed into the royal castle.

Job explanation:

Spirit Therapist

A Job that allows the adjustment (reshaping) of a target’s spirit form. It allows the user to change the shape of the target’s spirit form with their own spirit form, and grants the target the ability to manipulate their own spirit form.

This has a high chance of allowing the target to use their spirit form to inhabit artificial limbs made of inorganic matter to control them like they were a part of their own bodies, and make the spirit form protrude from their physical body to act as a third arm or leg.

It would be difficult for anyone other than Vandalieu to acquire this Job, but if those who received the above treatments from Vandalieu were to improve their ability to control their own spirit form even further, it is possible that they could apply the same treatment to others and acquire this Job themselves.

Job explanation:

Magic Staff Creator

A Job for craftsmen who create magic staves – in other words, transformation equipment.

Job explanation:

Artisan: Transformation Equipment

A Job for craftsmen whose skill in creating transformation equipment reaches that of an artisan. Such artisans are capable of creating transformation equipment for those whose bodies are vastly different from ordinary humans… a hundred-meter-tall Colossus, for instance.

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