Death Mage 209 – Charge! You’re dinner?!

“It has taken some time, but we have accomplished the task, Bocchan!” said Sam.

Knochen let out a happy roar.

“Vandalieu-sama, you have become even more wonderful than before!” said Tarea.

“The skewer business and the conversion of more people into believers of Vida are going well too, everything is going smoothly!” said Kanako.

Nuaza let out a happy shout. “I am honored to have taken part in this great task!”

“Congratulations, Vandalieu. Show everyone your new form,” said Darcia.

Amidst everyone’s cheers, Vandalieu stood up.

His soul’s appearance was far cleaner than its previous form… the humanoid form with human body parts and fragments of the Demon King scattered all over its surface.

From afar, he would appear to be a warrior or mage wearing armor and fur. But if one looked carefully, they would realize that he was far too thin to wear armor.

And from up close, there was no way to conceal his grotesqueness. What appeared to be armor was actually a hard exoskeleton and carapace, and what appeared to be decorations were actually horns and compound eyes. What appeared to be a cape was actually wings and membranes, and what appeared to be his two legs were actually jointed legs that were organized into two bundles.

The shield that his left arm appeared to be carrying was made from his bone that protruded through his exoskeleton and entwined with his carapace. And his clawed right hand was holding a staff that looked like a brain… If one looked closely, it was a sphere composed of countless brains that had their nerves wrapped around each other, and the shaft of the staff was a tongue that extended from that sphere.

His head had a mouth with fangs protruding from it, enormous ordinary eyes, Demon Eyes, hair and horns.

The inside of his body was visible through gaps in his joints; the blood vessels visibly pulsated, and his internal organs squirmed. From time to time, a strange-colored liquid would drip from Vandalieu’s eyeballs.

And there was death-attribute Mana… constantly emanating from him like pulsating brain waves from deep within him, and circulating around him like blood.

“It’s easier to move than before, so that’s very helpful. You did a great job, everyone,” said Vandalieu.

“Words of praise. It seems that we have done well,” said Myuze.

“Alright, three cheers to celebrate a job well done!” someone said from among the crowd.

Everyone who had participated in the soul reconstruction task, the enormous Vandalieu and the countless small Vandalieus that had joined partway through all gave three cheers in celebration.

Waking up suddenly, Vandalieu looked at his Status and saw that his Mana had completely recovered.

But he was suspicious and confused.

“What’s wrong, Vandalieu? If you’re not feeling well again, you can have some of my blood,” said Darcia, who had been sleeping in the bed next to his.

“No, that’s not it… My soul’s construction was finished in my dream, so I was wondering what all of the countless mes joining in the cheering were,” said Vandalieu.

He pondered this question, unable to understand the current state of his soul, but after a minute, he decided that it wasn’t harmful so it wasn’t really important.

At that exact moment, Heinz, who was receiving treatment in the Divine Realm of Mill, the goddess of slumber, heard a strange, distant, echoing roar.

“What is this terrifying noise?!” he exclaimed.

“A roar that echoes in my Divine Realm… Perhaps one of the remnants of the Demon King’s army who is related to slumber and dreams? No, it is likely to be… the roar of the Demon King who had joined forces with Vida, the one who defeated you and devoured Curatos-dono,” said Mill.

“No, it’s too early! He really does exist in a realm beyond humans…!” Heinz murmured.

The roar faded away, but Heinz’s trembling did not subside for some time.

《The Levels of the ‘Mana Enlargement,’ ‘Increased Mana Recovery Rate,’ ‘Enhanced Vitality,’ ‘Bloodwork,’ ‘Cooking,’ ‘Embodiment,’ ‘Super High-speed Thought Processing,’ ‘Demon King,’ ‘Group Thought Processing,’ ‘Group Control’ and ‘Soul Form’ Skills have increased!》

《You have acquired the ‘Strengthened Attribute Values: Ruling’ Skill!》

《‘Multi-cast’ has awakened into ‘Greater Multi-cast,’ and ‘Mana Control’ has awakened into ‘Precise Mana Control!’》

Seeing Fang place one paw in Vandalieu’s hand, then place the other paw in Vandalieu’s hand, lie down, stay, and stand up on his hind legs just as Vandalieu commanded, the Tamers’ Guild’s employee let out an admiring gasp.

“Wonderful. To think that a boy who has not received instruction under another Tamer, and is keeping a pet for the first time, could train a slum dog, which is essentially a stray dog, in just one week!” he said.

“… It’s because he’s very smart,” said Vandalieu, not very happy despite the Guild employee’s praise, though Fang barked happily.

This was probably because he had experienced no troubles whatsoever teaching Fang tricks and training him.

This was because Fang could immediately understand all of Vandalieu’s orders except for one. To Vandalieu, Fang was simply an intelligent dog.

But in truth, Fang was not a particularly special dog. In fact, he could have been considered to be inferior to the average stray dog. That was why he had wandered behind the house that Vandalieu had bought, unable to feed himself.

But after becoming Vandalieu’s pet, he received the effects of Vandalieu’s Guidance, and his Attribute Values were increased beyond those of any other dog. This was why he had become very intelligent.

“It does indeed seem that the dog is clever, but… I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that you are a Dhampir?” said the Guild employee. “I have heard that Vampires possess not only the ability to transform into wolves and bats, but also the ability to use such animals as their familiars and control them freely.”

“It’s true that Vampires can transform into wolves and bats, but the latter is superstition,” said Vandalieu. “Or maybe it’s simply the case that there are Vampires who were Tamers while they were still human.”

“I see… Very well. You pass. I hereby acknowledge you as an associate member,” the Guild employee said, handing Vandalieu a registration card and a collar.

A common misconception was that the Tamers’ Guild was a Guild only for those who tamed and used monsters, but this was not the case. Anyone who used any means to tame any non-human creatures was qualified to register.

The term ‘Tamer’ was a broad one that included showmen who used monkeys in their shows, snake charmers who controlled snakes with flutes, and shepherds who skillfully managed their herding dogs and sheep.

Of course, few such performers and shepherds did actually register at the Tamers’ Guild.

Even though it was possible for them to register, they only tamed animals that couldn’t exactly be called familiars, so they could only become associate members at most. No matter how much experience someone had, no matter how skilled they were in taming wild animals, they would need to teach tricks to a Rank 1 monster to progress, and even then, they would still be below the newcomers.

This system had been in place since a very long time ago, so those who tamed monsters were the ones with influence, and there were almost no benefits for those who could only tame animals, even if they did register.

The only such people benefiting from registering at the guild were skilled coachmen or hunting dog trainers registering at the Guild and applying to be introduced to potential employment by nobles or rich merchants.

“You are now an associate member. Are you planning to handle monsters? If you are merely using that dog as a guard dog for your food cart, then registration at the Tamers’ Guild is not necessary, and there is almost no work to introduce to someone who is merely good at handling dogs, so I think your registration would be quite meaningless,” said the Guild employee.

“You’re aware that we are running a food cart. I thought that it was in a place that doesn’t draw much attention,” Vandalieu remarked.

“Well, yes. It is a food cart run by a Dhampir and a beautiful Dark Elf in this country. It would be strange for it to not become a topic of conversation. If I wasn’t worried about upsetting my wife, I would visit the red-light district to have a look myself.”

A week had passed since Vandalieu opened his food cart, but it seemed that he and Darcia had already become famous in the city… Darcia would soon conduct a sermon at the Communal Church, so in another week’s time, perhaps news of them would have spread to the nearby villages as well.

“If you can’t think of any monsters that you can tame, isn’t registering actually disadvantageous?” the Guild employee asked, still looking confused. “The only difference is that you have to follow a lot of rules.”

Guild members needed to follow a number of rules regarding the monsters and animals they tamed. But they were common-sense rules, such as having to pay a large fine when one’s tamed monsters or animals caused damage to others for no proper reason, so Vandalieu didn’t think that this was inconvenient at all.

“Even if I’m just an associate member, registering gives me another form of identification,” Vandalieu said.

“You don’t need identification since you’ve already made a temporary registration at the Commerce Guild… Ah, well, you might. That man has his eyes set on you. I see. No wonder a child with a temporary registration was allocated a spot in a back alley in the red-light district,” the employee murmured to himself, realizing that Deputy Guild Master Joseph of the Commerce Guild was harassing Vandalieu. “So that is why you have registered at our Guild as well, just in case. It is convenient for us, but unfortunate for you. But rest assured; even though he is a Deputy Guild Master, he would be unable to force you out of the Guild without a good excuse. And if things get too hard, you can always leave the Commerce Guild and rely on the Tamers’ Guild. As a Tamer myself, I’ll teach you the basics!” the employee said proudly.

But having already become an associate member, if he were to show the Guild employee Pete and Kühl who were equipped inside him… or if he used less exciting examples, like the Demon Ducks and Capricorns in Talosheim’s farms, or the experimental animals that had recently mutated into monsters, he would become accepted as a Tamer without being taught the basics.

But he was sincerely happy at the man’s kind words, so he just nodded.

“Thank you. I’ll count on you if the time comes,” he said.

“Ah, if there’s anything you want to talk to me about, tell one of the employees to pass on a message to Guild Master Bachem!” the man added.

… It seemed that the man Vandalieu thought was a mere employee was actually the Guild Master of the Tamers’ Guild.

He had likely taken over the desk after hearing that the rumored Dhampir had appeared at the Guild.

Fang gave a suspicious sniff.

“… Alright,” said Vandalieu, deciding not to focus on becoming a Tamer.

In reality, he tamed far more powerful monsters than this good-natured Guild Master.

After attaching a collar to Fang, Vandalieu headed to the butcher to stock up on meat to use for his grilled skewers.

“Your Majesty, is Isla-san going to be okay with this?” asked Princess Levia, glancing at the collar of the proud-looking Fang with a worried expression.

“Isn’t this dangerous around Eleanora? Bellmond too,” said Orbia.

Isla, who was currently infiltrating the city’s criminal organization, was a Vampire Zombie who had remained low-key for three years after she became an Undead in order to acquire the ‘Eclipse Emperor’s Hound’ Title and receive a collar. Eleanora and Bellmond were Vampires who had showed great effort and dedication in order to receive collars from Vandalieu.

But surely even they would not be jealous of Fang, who was actually a dog… though nobody could be certain of this.

But Chipuras was glaring at Fang, his jealousy practically glowing.

“This dog wears a collar that I, Chipuras, the former ‘Fine Dog’ of the Five Hounds, am no longer able to wear…!” he groaned.

He had also been a Vampire when he was alive, one of Isla and Bellmond’s colleagues.

“Chipuras, your tone has not quite become unpleasant, but control yourself. I’ll tell Isla and the others when they come to the house, so it’s essentially fine,” said Vandalieu.

“Boss, are you trying to say that things are not actually fine?” said Kimberley.

“I think I’ll look for a good opportunity to invite them here, and thank them for their hard work,” Vandalieu whispered.

If I make collars out of Spirit Silver, would Ghosts be able to wear them? he wondered as he entered the butcher’s store.

Though it was called a butcher’s store, the store that Vandalieu was using was actually a meat wholesale store that was used by business owners as well as ordinary customers. The scene inside was rather graphic, with uncut meat hung from hooks descending from the ceiling and employees using knives to carve chunks of meat as their customers had ordered.

“Excuse me, could I please have some meat to be used for skewers? I’d like Horn Rabbit and Giant Rat, as well as Giga bird meat if you have it,” Vandalieu said to one of the store’s workers.

He was making the same order as last time, and the workers knew his face, so this wouldn’t cause any problems. The store’s manager would tell him, “Here you are,” and hand him meat wrapped in dried leaves or skins, and Vandalieu would pay him in exchange.

That’s what should have happened.

But today, the store manager had a sour look on his face, and he made no effort to wrap any meat.

“… Sorry, we’re sold out,” he said.

“Sold out?” Vandalieu repeated. “Then what is that Giant Rat meat that’s hanging over there?”

“Th-that’s… reserved for another customer. Can’t sell it to you!”

“Then what about that Horn Rabbit thigh there?”

“Th-this was butchered by a rookie and it’s damaged! I can’t sell it to customers!”

“Then could I please have that wild boar meat over there?”

“Th-that’s left over from yesterday! It’s gone bad! I can’t hand it to you!”

“Then I’ll take that bear meat over there, even though bear meat has a distinct, unusual flavor that makes some people dislike it.”

“That’s… Wait, why can a kid like you tell different cuts of meat apart?!” the store manager demanded.

“Even if you ask me that, I can only answer that I can because I can,” Vandalieu replied calmly.

Perhaps attempting to make the best use of limited ingredients and funds in a new environment had been a good experience for Vandalieu; his ‘Cooking’ Skill had recently risen to Level 8. He was skilled enough to be able to work at a first-rate restaurant.

He might not have been able to recognize ingredients that he had never seen before in his life, but it wasn’t hard for him to tell apart meats that he had experience in preparing before from their external appearance and the blood vessels that were left.

Perhaps realizing this, the store manager’s face was twisted in a complicated expression.

“… The cuts we have in stock now aren’t really rare, but you can tell them apart, huh, kid,” he sighed.

But it seemed that he had no intent of fulfilling Vandalieu’s order.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t sell you our meat. If this was the only butcher’s store in the city, I’d tough it out, but there are other butchers around. I can’t go against him,” he said, hanging his head. “That’s how it is. This isn’t something that an adult should be doing to a kid like you, but…”

Vandalieu stared at the top of the man’s lowered head for a few seconds, and then lowered his own head in return. “I understand. I’m sorry for being so demanding.”

And with no further complaints, he quietly turned to leave the store.

The store manager hastily called out to him. “The other butchers will be no good, too! The same might apply for the fish markets, too. But maybe things might work out if you talk directly to the Adventurers’ Guild. We stock our meat from the Adventurers’ Guild as well as hunters!”

“I see. Thank you,” said Vandalieu.

He stepped out of the store, patted Fang who was waiting for him outside, and headed for the Adventurers’ Guild.

“Your Majesty, what is going on?” asked Princess Levia.

“I think Joseph’s harassment has gone a step up,” said Vandalieu. “He’s put pressure on every wholesale store so that they won’t sell any ingredients to me.”

“Huh?! Isn’t that really bad?!” Princess Levia exclaimed in shock.

“Van-kun, the guards! Let’s report him to the guards! If you can’t be bothered with that, I’ll just drown him!” said Orbia, enraged.

“No, I think reporting him would be pretty pointless,” Kimberley said, trying to calm Orbia down. “This Commerce Guild Deputy Guild Master is definitely used to doing things like this. I have no doubt that he’s made sure not to leave any paper trails that could be used as evidence. Even for the old man running the butcher’s store, he probably just sent a messenger to verbally threaten him not to sell Boss any meat.”

“If he has done that, then he can simply pretend that he knows nothing in the event that an investigation actually happens. I used such methods often myself,” Chipuras added.

“Chipuras-san…” Princess Levia said quietly, sounding disappointed.

“That is how it is, so, Vandalieu-sama! Let us make the decision to dispose of Joseph! He is harassing us without hesitation; it is clear that he intends to force us into a situation where the food cart cannot operate, and make us fail the review!” Chipuras insisted.

“Well, I will add ‘probably’ just in case, but I do think it’s almost certainly the work of Joseph and his underlings, but…” said Vandalieu, nodding.

There was only circumstantial proof, but Joseph was probably the only one who could pressure stores that sold food ingredients but not the Adventurers’ Guild.

“But it’s not like we will be able to buy ingredients again right away after we bury Joseph… Even if we killed him and had Isla take his place with ‘Shapeshift,’ it would be troublesome having her constantly keep up a convincing act,” said Vandalieu. “And if something were to happen to Joseph, the first person the investigators would suspect is me, the suspicious Dhampir,” he added.

He was fully aware of how suspicious he was, which was why he advocated for continuing to leave Joseph be.

“In terms of appearances, it would be best for something to happen to Joseph after we’ve put this city behind us,” he said.

“… Very well. After all, there are no problems if we procure ingredients from the Adventurers’ Guild,” said Chipuras. “It may become somewhat more expensive, but we simply need to provide Miles with plenty of money in advance for purchasing skewers.”

“You’re right,” said Orbia. “If we just bear with it for now…”

“He’s the one who is in a pitiful situation,” Kimberley said with an evil cackle.

“Everyone, please suppress your bloodthirst. It’s making Fang nervous,” said Vandalieu. “And it would be troublesome if some adventurers were to take notice.”

Vandalieu reached the Adventurers’ Guild, and he had Fang wait outside once more. There was a general rule that tamed creatures could not be taken into Guilds.

Fang, who still hadn’t lost his hatred of humans, let out a dissatisfied whimper. But this was something that couldn’t be helped.

“Orbia, please stay with Fang,” said Vandalieu.

“Okay!” said Orbia, turning to Fang. “Look, I’m with you, so don’t worry about anything,” she whispered in his ear while still keeping herself invisible.

Leaving Fang to her, Vandalieu entered the Guild.

It was near noon, so there weren’t many people in the Adventurers’ Guild. Even so, perhaps because there were many who had heard the rumors of Vandalieu, the adventurers looking at the commission board and employees behind the counter turned and looked at him curiously.

But thanks to this fame, there were no adventurers who came to pick a fight with Vandalieu, which was fortunate because he was currently accompanied by a group of Ghosts in bad moods.

Vandalieu picked one of the receptionists at random and approached.

“Welcome to the Adventurers’ Guild. Please state your business,” the receptionist said.

“Hello, I want to buy some meat for consumption. Do you have any leftover meat?” Vandalieu asked, showing her his temporary registration card from the Commerce Guild.

“I’m sorry, at this time of day, meat is a little…”

The receptionist’s response was unfavorable. Vandalieu and his companions thought for a moment that Joseph had somehow put pressure on the Adventurers’ Guild as well, but… it seemed that it was just a matter of it being the wrong time of day.

Naturally, the meat sold by the Adventurers’ Guild was meat that was hunted and brought in by adventurers. Many of these adventurers accepted requests in the morning and returned to the city before the sun set. Thus, the Adventurers’ Guild’s wholesale store would only become stocked with meat in the afternoon. It wasn’t even noon yet, so it was too early.

There were some adventurers who would return in the early hours of the morning, but it was too late to buy the meat that was brought in by those adventurers.

Meat was a raw product, so the Adventurers’ Guild made an effort to trade it to other wholesale stores and restaurants before it spoiled. As a result, there was no substantial inventory of meat left.

“Then is it possible to purchase the parts that are brought in as proof of monster extermination?” Vandalieu asked the receptionist.

He had given up on acquiring ordinary meat, and was wondering if he could get his hands on the monster parts that adventurers handed in at the Adventurers’ Guild as proof of having exterminated the monsters.

Most monster parts used for this purpose were ears, tails, pointed tips among other things that were not suited for consumption, but were rather used for alchemy. But considering that the food carts of the slums served Goblin and Kobold ears, as well as meatballs containing things such as minced Giant Rat tails, it was possible to purchase them.

This would save the Adventurers’ Guild having to purchase the fuel necessary to dispose of them by incineration, so it apparently sold these parts almost for free as a charitable gesture.

Vandalieu had once wondered how the Adventurers’ Guild told apart the races of the monsters that such ears had belonged to, and what the Guild did with the ears once it purchased them. This was the answer to one of those questions.

“I’m sorry. The buyers for those are already decided,” the receptionist said.

It seemed that there was already an existing arrangement for the sale of these parts. Even though they were parts intended only as proof of extermination, and sold almost for free, there wasn’t an unlimited supply of them. Thus, a list of buyers was decided in advance, and the parts that were brought in were divided evenly among them.

“Umm… Would you like to make a commission?” the receptionist suggested. “If you’re lucky, I think you might be able to acquire some ingredients within a few hours.”

“I’m grateful for your suggestion, but that would be difficult,” said Vandalieu.

There were almost no adventurers currently inside the Guild. Even if Vandalieu were to make a commission, there wouldn’t be any adventurers willing to rush out to acquire Giant Rat and Horn Rabbit meat within such a short timeframe, especially since they wouldn’t even be paid much for it.

It would probably be possible if Vandalieu were to offer an abnormally high reward for it, but… that expense would have to be written in his ledger, which would be bad for when the ledger was inspected in spring.

“Thank you. I’ll come back if I need anything else,” said Vandalieu, giving a bow and turning to leave.

“We will be eagerly awaiting your next visit,” the receptionist said.

Vandalieu stepped outside.

“What shall you do? Will you keep the food cart closed for today and come back to buy ingredients in the afternoon?” asked Princess Levia.

“Or will you change plans entirely and go with the Tamers’ Guild? Unlike the Commerce Guild’s employees, the Guild Master seems friendly,” said Chipuras.

“No… That would kind of make it seem like I’ve lost to Joseph, which feels bad. This food cart business that we’ve all started together can’t stumble over a small bit of harassment like this,” said Vandalieu. “Let’s get some ingredients, even if we have to do it by force.”

That day, Kest was watching the city’s gate, unable to shake off a bad feeling that he had right now.

When he had taken over for the senior guard Aggar, who had been on morning duty, Aggar had been in a strangely good mood. Kest had even heard him disturbingly mutter, “With this, that woman will be mine soon.”

By ‘that woman,’ surely he doesn’t mean Darcia-san, the woman who was Vandalieu’s mother? I think that even Senpai wouldn’t dare to try and lay his hands on a woman that someone as big as the ‘Starving Wolf’ has got his eyes on… No, wait, are Darcia-san and Vandalieu really alright when the ‘Starving Wolf’ has his eyes on them?! Kest wondered to himself. But as long as they’ve got their food cart open in that spot, they can’t help but get involved with the ‘Starving Wolf’… Ah, I’m so powerless.

Though Kest was focused on his duties, his thoughts were in turmoil.

“… Kest, do something about your ears and your tail,” one of the other guards warned him.

“Huh?! Ah, I’m sorry!” Kest said, hastily straightening out his ears and tail.

It seemed that they had given away the anxiousness in his mind.

“Well, there’s nobody passing through at the moment, so it’s fine… Wait, there are some people passing through,” said the other guard, who was a serious superior unlike Aggar.

Kest turned around and saw a boy pulling a cart… Vandalieu, the source of his troubles, and a dog that he had seen before.

“Hello,” said Vandalieu.

“V-Vandalieu-kun?! W-what’s the matter? Has something happened?!” Kest asked, flustered and worried that Vandalieu had finally broken under the harassment he was receiving and was now leaving the city.

“Calm down, you’re still on duty!” the senior guard warned him, then turned to Vandalieu. “… Are you leaving the city?” he asked.

“Yes, to fill up my stocks a little,” said Vandalieu.

Kest looked down at Vandalieu’s cart and saw that it contained no belongings of any sort; it was completely empty.

“Ah, stocking up for your food cart. I see, I thought… No, never mind. Make sure not to stray too far from the highway. And sometimes Goblins and other weak monsters come out even in ordinary grasslands and woods, so be careful. No matter how trustworthy your guard dog is, don’t let your guard down,” said Kest.

Fang looked at Kest and gave a few barks.

Kest interpreted these as “Leave it to me!” and patted Fang’s head.

“Take good care of your master,” he said.

“Kest, I know he’s an acquaintance, but check his identification before you let him out,” the senior guard sighed.

Vandalieu showed the senior guard his two pieces of identification.

The guard raised his brows in surprise. “You have not only a temporary registration card at the Commerce Guild, but also an associate membership at the Tamers’ Guild? I’m surprised you managed to tame something in such a short time,” he said. “If you belong to the Tamers’ Guild, the toll fee is reduced by five Baums, whether you’re a full member or an associate member. Since you’re underage, you can pass for free. Make sure you’re back before the sun sets.”

“Yes, thank you,” said Vandalieu, giving a small nod as he took his identification cards back.

With that, he left the city, dragging his empty cart behind him.

“By the way, he said he’s filling his stocks… What does he need to stock up on?” the senior guard asked Kest as he watched Vandalieu leave.

“Herbs for his sauce, I think,” Kest assumed. “It has quite an unusual flavor… He’s probably going to harvest the herbs for it somewhere.”

“I see. The Dark Elf’s rumored secret sauce, huh. Maybe I should go and buy one of those skewers sometime,” the senior guard said with a nod, satisfied by this explanation.

But meanwhile, Vandalieu was headed not for the grasslands, but the Devil’s Nest closest to the city.

Morksi was a commerce city; it didn’t have wide open farmlands. Thus, its food was supplied through purchasing large quantities of it, as well as hunting and gathering.

A part of that was hunting in the Devil’s Nests. In fact, the city of Morksi had been originally built in this location that was close to multiple Devil’s Nests for the purposes of harvesting their resources.

“Now then… we can’t be too far away from the city, so I suppose I’ll make this lake and forest into a Devil’s Nest. I’ll have to re-examine the surveillance around the city later,” said Vandalieu as he loosened Fang’s collar and held his hand out towards him.

Fang gave Vandalieu a confused look, panting with his tongue hanging out.

“Well, Fang, the experiment is coming to an end. Thanks to you, I’ve learned that animals will not transform into monsters by spending a week living with me in a human society. So… we’re moving onto the next experiment,” said Vandalieu.

He extended his claws and made a cut on his own arm.

Blood welled up and began dripping onto the ground.

“This is an experiment to see if ordinary animals that were not born through Undead reproduction experiments will be transformed by a part of me.”

Fang sniffed Vandalieu’s blood-covered arm a few times, then began licking the blood up.

Once he was finished, creaking noises began coming from his body.

Becoming much more physically huge than he was before, Fang let out a powerful roar. The loosened collar fit his neck perfectly now.

Giving a satisfied nod, Vandalieu patted Fang in thanks, and then directed him deeper into the Devil’s Nest.

“It seems that your mutation has gone well, so shall we do some Leveling while we hunt?” said Vandalieu.

Fang, now the size of a large-breed dog, gave a proud bark then ran off in excitement.

“Ah, wait for me,” said Vandalieu, calling after him.

With a bark and a growl, Fang leapt out of the brush to attack the monster that was his target… A Giant Horn Rabbit.

The monster raised its horns and charged at Fang in return.

Giant Horn Rabbits were monsters that had progressed from Rank 1 Horn Rabbits, and they had the exact same appearance except that they were as big as large dogs.

They also changed from an herbivorous diet into an omnivorous one upon their Rank increase, but they were cowardly monsters that ate mainly insects and small animals as well as plants like ordinary Horn Rabbits.

But the horns on their heads were sharp and solid. Being stabbed by them could be fatal.

In self-defense, the Giant Horn Rabbit swung its horns at Fang, who was about the same size as it.

Fang barked and flinched as the horns struck the side of his face. The Horn Rabbit was surprised that its desperate attack had landed, but it decided to use this opportunity to neutralize its attacker. Lowering its horns, it began to charge.

Its powerful hind legs tensed with strength.

But Vandalieu ran onto the scene.

“‘Sharp Tongue.’”

His ‘Unarmed Fighting Technique’ martial skill… his extended, sharpened tongue, pierced the Giant Horn Rabbit’s head and ended its life.

Fang whimpered.

“Bad boy, Fang. We came here to hunt everyone’s dinner and ingredients to use for the skewers. What are we going to do if you eat the monster?” said Vandalieu, scolding Fang.

Fang’s seniors came out from inside Vandalieu to tell him off as well.

“Don’t go leaping out when you’ve never fought a monster before,” said Quinn.

“Don’t get… carried away,” said Eisen.

Pete made some disappointing clicking noises.

Fang whimpered, and his ears drooped.

“I know that you can feel the power filling you up. But no matter how powerful you are, you can’t win if you have no experience. Watch everyone else except me to learn and gain some combat experience,” Quinn continued.

“Quinn doesn’t fight herself… Do your best,” said Eisen.

Kühl made some encouraging wobbling noises.

“Quinn, Eisen. Kühl has finished draining the blood, so I’ll start disassembling the corpse,” said Vandalieu, seeing that Fang seemed to have learned his lesson. “Ah, Fang, please go and fetch the cart. I left it behind.”

Fang gave a bark.

And so, Vandalieu and the others began their tasks.

Though Fang had mutated into a Rank 2 Demon Dog, life had only just begun for him.

Name: Fang
Rank: 2
Race: Demon Dog
Level: 0
Passive skills:
Night Vision
Superhuman Strength: Level 1
Detect Presence: Level 1
Intuition: Level 1
Self-enhancement: Guidance: Level 1
Active skills:
Silent Steps: Level 1
Unique skills:
ヴァ■■■■’s Divine Protection [Va]


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