Chapter 279: The Gartland Concert
A clattering noise echoed as Doug used a spanner and screwdriver to connect wires to machinery. He tightened screws and bolts, and checked that they wouldn’t loosen.
"Hey, if you connect that first, it’ll be hard to tighten the screw next to it," Doug said.
"I see. Given the structure of the arm, it would indeed be difficult. I’ll tighten it with my tentacle, then," said Vandalieu.
"… Come on, you’re allowed to use your tentacles? And if you’re going to do that, you could at least use ‘Telekinesis’ like a real mage," said Doug, watching with a wry smile as Vandalieu produced a tentacle from the back of his hand with claws on the end of it to tighten the screw.
"I can’t use ‘Telekinesis’ as precisely as your ‘Hecatoncheir,’ Doug. Turning a screw with it would be impossible," said Vandalieu.
"Surely you’d be precise enough, considering that you’re having a conversation with me while turning the screw with your tentacle," said Doug. "Anyway, you’re the one who said you’ve never messed around with machines and wanted to at least try pretending, right? I was just keeping you company for that, but… if you’re going to use tentacles, I’m going to use ‘Hecatoncheir,’ too."
‘Hecatoncheir’ was Doug’s cheat-like ability, a form of telekinesis. With this ability, which was named after a hundred-handed giant, it would be easy for him to use multiple screwdrivers and spanners simultaneously. In fact, he wouldn’t even need to use tools at all; he could put the machines together by moving the screws and bolts directly.
Vandalieu looked at Doug with a confused expression. "Come to think of it, why haven’t you been using it?" he asked as he continued tightening screws, this time with a screwdriver held by his tentacle.
With his considerate gesture to make the activity more like ‘real’ tinkering in ruins, Doug tilted his head backwards and clutched at his face. "I was allowed to use it?!"
"It seems like Vandalieu just wants to play around with machinery, and isn’t fussed with doing it exactly like they do it on Earth," said Melissa as she watched them.
Before they began work, Vandalieu had created not only the necessary tools, but the screws, bolts, and wires as well, using ‘Golem Creation.’
In short, he had gone out of his way to create parts and the tools needed to put them together. If he wanted, he could have simply created the final product with all of the pieces put together and wiring connected from the beginning.
He had gone to such lengths because of his desire to tinker with machines, but at the same time, it was clear that the task he was currently carrying out with Doug was nothing more than an activity to amuse himself.
"Well, it’s fine, isn’t it? If you set the stage first, you’ll think of the event differently. Phew, the last time I held a spanner was when I appeared in ‘Furious Off-roading,’" said Kanako, who was putting another machine together, as she wiped her forehead with her sleeve… though she wasn’t actually sweating; she was just playing along.
"That was your last regular program, right? If I remember correctly, it was the one about off-road cars," said Doug.
"Yes, the ones with the hybrid engines that ran on Mana and electricity," Kanako replied. "But… it wasn’t my last one! Don’t forget to say that it was the last one of my previous life! It’s like you’re jinxing me. What are you going to do if it affects my activities in this life? Seriously."
"Jinxing you? Are you planning to appear on programs in this world as well?" Doug said incredulously.
"I think you’re aware of this, but there’s no internet, TV, or even radio in this world," said Melissa, sounding exasperated.
Indeed, there was nothing on Lambda that could quite be called a ‘program.’ There were theater plays, but they weren’t programs.
Of course, Kanako was aware of this, but she confidently put her hand on Vandalieu’s head. "Indeed, there are none of those, but have you forgotten?! We have Van!"
"Yes, yes, I’m here," said Vandalieu.
"I mean, we have him, but… have you decided to aim to recreate the TV and the internet?!" said Doug.
Vandalieu had achieved the recreation of numerous impossible things… such as ramen and curry, so perhaps it was possible for him to achieve something in the areas of information and entertainment as well? Or so Doug thought for a moment.
"No, I’m still far from doing that," said Vandalieu.
"… Yeah, you’re right," said Doug, that hope extinguished immediately.
"But I can’t say what will happen in the future," Vandalieu continued. "In decades or centuries from now, modern media may develop in a form that suits this world… I’ve managed to recreate movies, after all."
Vandalieu had become able to project film using fragments of the Demon King. It was unlikely that things would develop exactly as they had on Earth or Origin, but in the future, it was possible that all kinds of media would be used as information tools or as forms of recreation.
"In preparation for that day, let’s move step by step to make the event in front of us a success! Van is going to the effort of making his debut on stage as well, after all," said Kanako, her eyes filled with her ambition to appear in future programs.
As she gave Vandalieu a slap on the shoulders, he froze and closed his eyes.
《The Levels of the ‘Deadly Poison Secretion: Claws, Fangs, Tongue,’ ‘Demon King Artillery Technique,’ and ‘High-speed Flight’ Skills have increased!》
"W-what’s wrong?! You suddenly just stopped moving," said Kanako, looking at Vandalieu with a worried expression.
"I’m fine," Vandalieu said with a nod, bringing his focus back from the notification in his head and the information that was being relayed to him from the Demon King Familiars. "It’s just that the fake Cuatro exploded as planned."
After the plan was decided at yesterday’s meeting, Vandalieu had created a fake Cuatro to act as a bomb. He had purchased an adequate amount of wood, used his ‘Golem Creation’ Skill to build a ship that looked exactly like Cuatro, and filled it with Demon King Familiars and the Demon King’s fat.
He’d then had Gufadgarn teleport the fake Cuatro to the surface, then made it detonate once enough enemies had been drawn close.
He’d spent a considerable amount of Mana on this, but looking at it the other way, it was simple for him to make as many of these fake ships as he wanted as long as he had the Mana and the wood.
"Just as Repobilis’s spirit said, there was a space-attribute god present. Now, I’m having a Demon King Familiar tail them… though it will probably fail," said Vandalieu.
The small Demon King Familiars were made of fragments of the Demon King, but there were high-Rank monsters who could likely cause damage to fragments of the Demon King lurking here on the Demon King’s Continent.
Most of them were Rank 12 or below, less powerful than demigods, but Demon King Familiars made with covertness prioritized over strength in combat would likely be destroyed by a single attack from such monsters.
With that being the case, it might have been best to use Lemures, familiars that were almost entirely transparent, but… Lemures were too frail to withstand the harsh environments on the Demon King’s Continent. They would vanish even before the monsters could find them.
"Were you feeling the shock of the Demon King Familiars when they exploded and listening to notifications in your head? I’m surprised you chose to pull off a plan involving self-detonation, considering that you feel their pain," said Kanako.
Vandalieu shared any pain that was felt by Demon King Familiars. Thus, he had also shared the sensation of being burned alive that was felt by the Demon King Familiars on board the fake Cuatro.
"Wouldn’t it be better to make the Demon King Familiars not feel any pain?" asked Doug.
"Doug, if you lose your sensation of pain, your movements become loose and your senses become dulled," said Vandalieu. "Well, perhaps it wouldn’t have mattered if their movements were loose with this plan."
After all, all the Demon King Familiars had to do was ride the ship and attack the enemies enough to draw them close. It was possible that there would have been no problems even if their movements were clumsy.
"And anyway, the way I feel pain is different from before, so it’s fine," said Vandalieu.
"The way you feel pain has changed? Does that mean your sense of pain has dulled?" asked Melissa.
Vandalieu began his explanation.
In this world, Levels and Attribute Values existed. Among those Attributes was Vitality… in other words, HP. Thus, it was common for people with high Vitality such as high-class adventurers and knights to be completely fine even after receiving an attack that was powerful enough to kill an ordinary person.
That phenomenon extended not only to physical wounds, but to the sensation of pain as well. Pain could be considered a signal to warn of danger, but the threshold required to set off that signal changed as one’s Vitality increased.
Even after receiving an attack that would normally cause extreme pain to the point that the victim wasn’t even afforded the mercy of losing consciousness, high-class adventurers would commonly feel a level of pain that was tolerable.
The sensation of pain grew even weaker when Skills such as ‘Rapid Regeneration’ were acquired.
The ‘Rapid Regeneration’ Skill allowed not only the healing of wounds, but even the regrowing of lost body parts as well. Thus, even when receiving a wound that would normally trigger a danger signal, the body would judge the wound as not being too serious.
And with the ‘Super Rapid Regeneration’ Skill, which allowed the regrowth of a new arm to replace a severed arm within seconds, most forms of pain became mere notifications.
Thus, even if Vandalieu’s arms were severed or his bones were crushed into powder, the pain he felt was still within a bearable level.
"Well, the explosion tore the Demon King Familiars apart in an instant, so I felt almost no pain at all anyway. That’s why I can create split entities of myself like cannonball-type Demon King Familiars," said Vandalieu.
"… Now that you mention it, those are Demon King Familiars as well, aren’t they," said Melissa.
In the Dungeon in the basement of his house in the city of Morksi, Vandalieu had fought against the Pure-breed Vampire Birkyne using cannonball-type Demon King Familiars. These were split entities of himself created for the purpose of self-destruction. If Vandalieu were unable to withstand the pain caused by that, he wouldn’t have made such Demon King Familiars in the first place.
"By the way, I’ve finished putting the device together," said Doug, putting his spanner down and pointing at the machine that they’d been building. "Isn’t it best to give it a test drive before the event?"
Vandalieu and Doug had been pretending to tinker about while putting the machine together, but it was not, of course, a machine that ran on electricity.
It was a Magic Item that ran on Mana. So then, as for why such a Magic Item would require wires –
"You’re right," said Vandalieu. "Well then, let’s go ahead and try passing some Mana through it."
He pointed his hand at the machine and his semi-transparent spirit form emerged from it. It glowed fiercely and emitted crackling noises – just like electricity.
The spirit form then shot forward towards the machine. The spirit form provided the machine with Mana, which then spread to the other parts through wires, activating them and glowing in a variety of colors.
"It seems that linking multiple Magic Items using wires has been successful," Vandalieu observed. "‘Spirit Form Transformation: Lightning’ has finally become of use."
The wires had been connected to make use of ‘Spirit Form Transformation: Lightning.’"
Vandalieu had acquired the ‘Spirit Form Transformation: Lightning’ Skill after devouring the souls of Fitun, the God of Thunderclouds, and the ‘Marionette’ Hajime Inui. This Skill allowed the user to change their spirit form and the Mana they produced from it, granting them the properties of lightning… in other words, electricity.
As they had the properties of electricity, the transformed spirit form and Mana could pass through water and metal, but not rubber. However, even with their properties altered, they were still spirit form and Mana, so getting electrically shocked… or rather, shocked by this Mana, would not cause numbness, and the energy it contained did not scatter easily like electricity, so it was not difficult to gather the energy in one place.
And so, Vandalieu had created a device with Magic Stone parts that acted as batteries, connected by wiring to multiple Magic Items.
Up until this point in time, every individual Magic Item had required a user to provide Mana flow or an expensive Magic Stone to act as a power source, but with this, multiple Magic Items could be used simply by connecting them with wires.
"It looks like it’s working. I remember large storage batteries being quite expensive on Earth, but… even though it’s become similar to electricity, it’s still Mana, isn’t it?" said Melissa.
"It is Mana indeed," said Vandalieu.
Unlike electricity, it was simple to store Mana in one place, technologically speaking, though it was costly in materials as a Magic Stone of a reasonable size was required. Still, if one paid the cost of that, it was simple to create equipment to store Mana.
"In the future, I hope I can create a network of power lines in the Demon Empire of Vidal so that everyone can live comfortable lives using Magic Items," said Vandalieu.
"It looks like your dreams are getting bigger!" said Kanako. "But before that, there’s today’s stage performance to worry about. Please have your Demon King Familiars ready."
"Yes, of course," said Vandalieu.
Kanako and the others, having come to visit Gartland from the city of Morksi via teleportation, held a concert in the town’s plaza.
They were not only singing, but also conducting a play about Vandalieu’s life story and past events, to teach the people about Vandalieu, who had been guided there by a Divine Message, and about the Undead. They also gave an explanation about the Demon Empire of Vidal.
As for why they were doing this – it was to efficiently guide the inhabitants of Gartland.
The strategy that they were planning would require the cooperation and, more importantly, the understanding of Gartland’s people.
Of course, the locally-hired members such as Rudolf (Randolf) had not been brought here, but the gaps were filled in by Vandalieu’s Demon King Familiars as well as new members, so there were no problems with the event.
"With that said, I’m not much more than just an instrument," said one of the Demon King Familiars.
Vandalieu had created musical-instrument-type Demon King Familiars, making use of his skills that were related to strings and sound, which had been improved by the ‘String User’ and ‘Vengeful Berserker’ Jobs.
He had created string-instrument-type ones with bundles of the Demon King’s fur, drum-type ones with echoing membranes made of fragments such as the Demon King’s lungs and skin, and flute-type ones using the Demon King’s bones.
He had taken this opportunity to learn the ‘Musical Instrument Performance’ Skill, prompting Kanako to voice a desire for him to become able to create musician-type Demon King Familiars rather than just instrument-type ones, but Vandalieu found playing instruments quite difficult.
Legion’s Pluto was making her stage debut, and they were being supported from the side by Melissa, who had firmly refused to step on the stage, as well as Kanako, Jeena, and Zandia.
"They’ve been practicing, but the real thing is quite… different from just uploading a video," said Melissa.
"Apparently, you just need to think of the audience as a bunch of potatoes or something!" said Jeena.
"Wasn’t it pumpkins?" said Zandia.
"Is Privel alright… She’s in a trance?!" Kanako exclaimed, seeing that Privel was singing.
Having transformed to her human form and absorbed an artificial skeleton created by Vandalieu in order to move her body, despite her nerves, Pluto was commanding the stage.
Privel was also making her debut, and it seemed like she was in a trance as she danced… though it didn’t seem like Merrebeveil or Jugarion would be sending her any Divine Messages during her dance.
And the stage performances were well-received by the residents of Gartland.
"This is how sermons are done for Vida worshippers on the surface? Explaining the teachings in the form of songs makes it nice and easy to understand!"
"It’s so colorful and beautiful. The songs are interesting as well!"
Though Gartland was spacious, it was secluded and its arts and various technologies hadn’t developed in a diverse way. This seemed to be why Kanako and the others’ stage performance appeared so dazzling to its inhabitants.
And by the end of the stage performance, it seemed that most of Gartland’s inhabitants had been guided. Of course, Vandalieu had no way of telling whether people were guided by him other than by feeling, so he simply had a feeling that they were, but several years had already passed since he first gained a Guider Job. He was able to get a rough idea by how he felt.
However, there was something slightly odd about that feeling as well. It wasn’t really unpleasant, nor did it make him feel uneasy. He just felt that it was a little strange.
Just in case, Vandalieu tried talking to several of Gartland’s residents, but it seemed that they didn’t feel anything.
"Strange? Now that you mention it… my body feels lighter than usual, like it’s filled with strength!"
"I could go into a Dungeon right now!"
The people told Vandalieu things like this, but that was just because their Attribute Values had increased under the influence of his Guidance Skill, so it had nothing to do with the odd feeling he had.
"Aren’t you just imagining it?" said Kanako.
"Hmm… It seems so," said Vandalieu, and as nothing unusual had occurred, he decided not to think about this matter any further.
《You have acquired the ‘Musical Instrument Performance’ Skill!》
《The Levels of the ‘Dark Dream Demon Creation Destruction Path Enticement’ and ‘Guidance: Dark Dream Demon Creation Destruction Path’ Skills have increased!》
After the concert, Vandalieu attempted to extract the Demon King fragment from Doraneza, whose Attribute Values had increased.
"My ‘Demon King Encroachment Degree’ Level is still just Level 3. However, I cannot control the Demon King fragment. If you are going to remove it, the sooner the better," Doraneza said. "The Demon King’s mucus glands have saved me numerous times, but you must remove the fragment nonetheless."
It was possible to remove fragments from their hosts while they were still alive. Upon learning this, Doraneza had requested that Vandalieu extract hers from her.
However, just in case, they had waited for her Attribute Values to increase as much as possible from being guided before proceeding.
"It’s far before the stage of rampaging out of control, and it’s the mucus glands, so it’s alright," said Vandalieu, remembering the Goblin that had immediately died when he extracted a fragment of the Demon King from it, and sensing that this time was different.
His arms, with ‘Spirit Form Transformation’ applied to them, entered Doraneza’s body.
Doraneza groaned at this unfamiliar sensation, and Vandalieu could feel the presence of the Demon King’s mucus glands through his arms.
"… Main body?! Main body!"
To the mucus glands, Vandalieu was the main body, and the fragment squirmed in its desire to join with him, but as Doraneza’s ‘Demon King Encroachment Degree’ was still low in Level, it was unable to take over her body.
It tried to activate forcefully and push Doraneza into a rampaging state.
"I, join with main body! I should destroy this temporary host! I, join with main body! I should destroy this temporary host!" the fragment screamed.
"Quiet," said Vandalieu, forcefully commanding it to calm itself.
The effect of Vandalieu’s command was dramatic.
"I, main body… I should be quiet," the fragment said, and it fell completely silent, as if it had died.
Vandalieu scooped the mucus glands up, absorbed them, then pulled his arms out.
"We welcome the mucus glands, and come one step closer to our complete body," said a voice, not from Doraneza’s body, but from the fragments inside Vandalieu’s.
Doraneza gasped. "It’s… over? Ugh… My ‘Demon King Encroachment Degree’ is gone."
It had been a short operation, but Doraneza looked fatigued.
"Yes, I’ve already extracted the fragment, and it’s inside my body. Well done. Take this to rehydrate yourself and encourage your body to regenerate," said Vandalieu, offering her a Blood Potion.
The members of Doraneza’s tribe, who had been watching the operation take place, cheered at the news of its success.
"It has been several years since Doraneza-sama was forced to remove the seal on the Demon King fragment she had been guarding to help us escape from the Bahn Gaia continent! Who knew that she would one day be free from the fragment…! I’m sure the previous generations’ guardians are rejoicing as well!" one of them said.
To Doraneza’s tribe, the Demon King fragment had been a great burden that they had borne for generations, not a treasure that they had guarded. Their faces were filled with joy at the fact that Doraneza had been spared, and with their emotions of having been liberated from this burden.
"Dora, you did well. Vandalieu-dono, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!" said Dediria.
"You did it, Dora-chan!" said Privel, who had become friends with Doraneza since they first met.
Incidentally, there were no other Demon King fragments in the possession of Gartland’s gods and its inhabitants.
Povaz and the other former members of the Demon King’s army had fled before Guduranis had been sealed away in the form of his fragments. Marisjafar hadn’t guarded Doraneza’s fragment personally, nor had the Evil Poison Mushroom God Peryazeil, the god who was worshiped by Dediria and the other Majin.
The fragment that had been under the guard of Dediria’s tribe had been stolen by the adventurers that came to kill them. According to Dediria, it was likely in a Church of Alda in the Farzon Duchy now.
"Well, with this, my worries about the future are gone," said Doraneza.
"Vandalieu-dono! No, Vandalieu-sama! I am eternally grateful! In return for what you have done for us, we shall construct a statue of you in the temple at the bottom of the lake so that we can speak of your great deeds to our children, our grandchildren, and all future generations!" said Bastian, who served as Doraneza’s confidant and was like a grandfather to her.
"Ah, I have a new worry about the future now…" Doraneza muttered.
Vandalieu fell to his knees at the thought of Bastian’s idea.
"Van-kun… You have a Skill related to it, and there’s already a big statue in Talosheim, so maybe you should get used to it," said Privel.
It was true that Vandalieu had the ‘Strengthened Attribute Values: Worshiped’ Skill… in other words, a Skill that increased his Attribute Values when he was being worshiped by someone. But that didn’t make him feel better.
"Privel, if I get used to it, there’ll be no coming back. There are lines that shouldn’t be crossed," Vandalieu said.
"… Hmm, well, I was shocked by ‘princess’ being in my race title, so I know how you feel," said Privel.
"Umm, due to the influence of today’s opera performance you called a ‘concert,’ talks of constructing statues have already been had at the temple in the town," said Dediria.
Vandalieu collapsed face-down on the ground.
"Well, it is not only a statue of Vandalieu-dono, but of Darcia-dono and Kanako-dono as well," Dediria added. "It seems that they are thought of as holy women who preach Vida’s teachings in new forms. I believe they will be life-sized statues."
"… That’s fine, then," said Vandalieu, slowly standing back up.
If the statues were life-sized, his own statue would likely be small, and he was proud that statues of Darcia and Kanako would be built, so it was a good thing overall.
"Well then, let’s talk to Mayor Yurak and the others and ask for his help with our great task… the task of pretending to struggle in battle against Gorn and the others while digging a tunnel leading directly to Botin’s seal," said Vandalieu.
《The Level of the ‘Strengthened Attribute Values: Worshipped’ Skill has increased!》