“We thank you for making preparations for this meeting despite the short warning, Periveil-dono,” said a man as he politely bowed his head .
This man was not a messenger from the resistance, but the leader of the Reborn Sauron Duchy Army, Raymond Paris, who had come here with a company of messengers .
He had a well-featured face that seemed natural for a man who was the illegitimate son of Duke Sauron who had fallen in battle, and most importantly, there was an air of elegance about him .
On previous occasions, there had been no small number of young Scylla who had blushed upon seeing him, having been captivated .
“It’s no great matter; it’s a time of rest for farmers as we have finished harvesting our rice, and a season where we don’t do any hunting . There is still some time before the festival of Vida and Merrebeveil . Everyone is surprisingly unoccupied . However, the fact that the leader is here means that this is no trivial matter,” said Periveil . She had sensed that this young human was no ordinary person .
Raymond possessed a captivating charisma, the special dignity of one who stood above others that made Periveil and the other Scylla want to agree with everything he said, though it wasn’t as strong as Vandalieu’s .
Raymond might be able to accomplish something . He possessed something that made others believe that .
“Indeed, I don’t mean to frighten you, but let us quickly get to the matter at hand… but before that, just who are they?” Raymond asked with a confused expression .
He was looking at Pauvina, who was sitting next to Privel, and Vandalieu, who was sitting in front of Pauvina .
The people present here were the most prominent Scylla in the village, including Periveil, their husbands, Raymond and two other members of the Reborn Sauron Duchy Army .
And then there was Privel, Pauvina and Vandalieu . Naturally, the three of them were out of place… or rather, Pauvina stood out tremendously .
Despite that, the Scylla were focused not on Pauvina, but on Vandalieu, who, in Raymond’s eyes, appeared to be an exquisite doll of undeterminable gender .
Raymond felt a curious atmosphere about them and a strange sense of discomfort, but Periveil gestured to them with her hand as if nothing was out of the ordinary .
“Come to think of it, this is the first time you’ve met,” said Periveil . “This child is Privel . She’s my youngest daughter . ”
“My name is Privel . Nice to meet you . ”
“The pleasure is mine,” Raymond said as his gaze shifted upwards from Vandalieu to Privel . “And what about the one next to her, this –” He faltered as he wondered how he should refer to the enormous Pauvina .
Considering her size, even if she was a Titan, she should have been an adult . But considering her face and the size proportions of her head and body, she appeared to be a girl of around ten years of age .
“Nice to meet you . My name is Pauvina . I am Van’s younger sister . ”
“My name is Vandalieu . I am Pauvina’s older brother . ”
“I-I see . Nice to meet you . ”
Raymond was unsettled from how disproportionately young Pauvina’s voice sounded for her size, and the fact that Vandalieu, whom he had overlooked for the previously-mentioned reasons, had spoken at all .
However, even after the pleasantries had been exchanged, the mystery as to what children were doing here had not been solved .
“Vandalieu-kun here is still small, but he is a Spiritualist, you see, and he’s helping us investigate the murder cases,” said Periveil, giving an explanation that cleared this mystery completely .
“That is… amazing,” said Raymond . “These incidents are weighing on my mind as well, but having the assistance of a Spiritualist is reassuring . And for you to possess a Job as rare as the Spiritualist Job at such an age, you must be quite the genius . I am quite envious . ”
The Spiritualist Job was said to require talent from birth in order to acquire, and it was very powerful for use in solving murder cases . There was nothing unnatural about someone with such a Job being present here, even if he was a child .
But Raymond continued to say, “However, there are very, very few who have the ability to acquire the Spiritualist Job . I do not think that you would lie, but I cannot believe you right away . ”
“I think that is reasonable,” said Vandalieu .
He had only ever met a real Spiritualist . But he did indeed imagine that there were nefarious imposters who swindled people by lying that they were Spiritualists who could see spirits .
And given Vandalieu’s appearance, even with Periveil’s introduction, Raymond couldn’t be blamed for not being able to believe that he was a Spiritualist right away .
“Now then, I will show you proof that I am a Spiritualist,” said Vandalieu .
“Will you be showing us your Guild Card?” Raymond asked . “I do not think that there would be any branches that would issue them in this territory –”
“No, more concrete proof than that,” Vandalieu replied . “Visualization . ”
And then, in front of Vandalieu… or rather, by his side, Orbia’s spirit appeared .
“Leader, please step back!”
Raymond’s subordinates leapt to their feet at the sight of Orbia’s now-visible spirit, but Raymond held up a hand .
“Calm yourselves,” he said, and then he turned to Orbia . “Are you a spirit of one of the victims?”
“It’s my first time speaking like this,” said Orbia . “Leader-san . I’m Orbia, and I was killed eleven days ago today . ”
“Nice to meet you… it is rather strange to say that, I suppose,” said Raymond . “To think that the Spiritualist Job can show spirits to others using a skill… no, is it a spell? In any case, I am surprised that such a method exists . ”
“I was surprised, too,” said Orbia . “So… has there been anything out of the ordinary lately? Like someone from the resistance being attacked or contact being cut off from them…”
“… No, I haven’t really heard any reports of that sort . Does this have something to do with the incidents?” Raymond asked .
“Yeah, but if there hasn’t been anything, then it’s fine . ”
Orbia seemed relieved, but Raymond had suddenly turned pale . He remained calm on the surface, but Orbia’s question had clearly unsettled him .
“Orbia-san doesn’t remember anything about when she died other than the fact that the present she received from her lover was missing, so she doesn’t know what the criminal looks like,” said Privel . “That’s why we’ve decided that Van-kun should come with us to the other villages to find the spirits of the other victims . ”
“That’s why this case will be solved soon,” Periveil added . “I’m sorry to have caused concern for you people who have come from outside . ”
“That is reassuring to hear . As fellow believers of Vida, I wish for this case to be solved as quickly as possible,” said Raymond . “Now then, our business is –”
As the leader of the Reborn Sauron Duchy Army, he began persuading Periveil and the other Scylla to refuse the peace plan offered by the Empire’s army .
The Amid Empire, with Alda being its national god, would definitely not leave the Scylla race alone; it would certainly betray the Scylla one day . The Scylla should form an alliance with the resistance while they still had the chance, join up with the Orbaume Kingdom and fight the Empire’s army together . Raymond was capable of doing this .
Raymond’s argument had some persuasiveness to it . This was not only due to his charisma, but because of his confidence in knowing that he was actually in contact with people in the Orbaume Kingdom who were helping him .
There were a few holes in his speech, but this was likely because he had intended to blame the Empire for the Scylla serial-killing case .
“I understand what you want to say . But these are things that involve everyone in our territory . I’m sorry, but this isn’t something that I can decide on my own,” said Periveil, avoiding giving an immediate reply .
“Of course . But I have heard that the chiefs of all of the villages will be gathering for the winter birth festival . If you could discuss our proposal at that time, it would be more than enough,” said Raymond before withdrawing on this matter .
It was likely that he planned to visit the other villages to persuade the other chiefs in the same way before the winter birth festival came .
It’s similar to an election campaign, Vandalieu thought .
“Now then, excuse me . I thank you for making time for us today . ” Raymond left the room courteously, politely declining Periveil’s offer of a meal .
The Ghosts stationed outside watched Raymond and his men leave the village .
Meanwhile, Vandalieu and the others gathered in the center of the room and began discussing things .
“Aren’t Raymond and his men innocent after all?” Periveil .
“Yeah, I tried to lead him into saying that the present was a ring, but he didn’t fall for it,” said Privel . “I suppose he really doesn’t know?”
“But Raymond-san was definitely unsettled!” said Princess Levia .
“He was? You’re quite perceptive, aren’t you, Princess Levia?” Vandalieu remarked .
“Van, you have to look at people’s faces properly,” said Pauvina .
“He was definitely unsettled, but I’m sure that’s because of me,” said Orbia . “I mean, I’m a spirit, so I’m sure he was scared . Yes, that must be it . ”
“That’s definitely not it,” everyone said in unison .
“You didn’t have to all say it together!” Orbia said indignantly .
It was possible that the criminal was a member of the resistance . Vandalieu had already mentioned this to Privel, Orbia and the others .
The Scylla had known Raymond and the Reborn Sauron Duchy Army for over a year . Normally, they wouldn’t believe that the criminal would be among them right away, but…
“I had a dream with a Divine Message from Merrebeveil last night . It was surprising, but it seems that we should believe Vandalieu-kun?” Periveil had said .
“Me too! I got some kind of protection like you, Mother, and apparently I should stick to Van-kun in return!”
“Me too, me too! I got a divine protection and I seem to have been told to not return to the circle of transmigration . Even spirits can receive divine protections, huh?”
“Thank you, Merrebeveil,” Vandalieu murmured .
It seemed that Merrebeveil had made immediate efforts . Now that she didn’t need to suppress the Demon King’s fragments, she had been able to use some of her powers .
As a result of Vandalieu acquiring the Tentacle King Title, the other Scylla could also feel an impressive presence and charisma (though they had already felt these to some extent before because of the ‘Holy Son of Vida’ Title and the Insect User Job), so they had become unable to completely deny his words .
But it wasn’t as if they had been brainwashed, nor had their previous memories disappeared . Seeing the way Raymond carried himself and hearing his words directly made it seem impossible to believe that he was involved in such a fiendish murder case .
In fact, Raymond hadn’t let anything slip with the trap that Privel had set in her words .
It was typical for the criminal to accidentally let something slip in mystery works .
“But he knows something about the incidents,” said Vandalieu .
“Have you noticed something, Your Majesty?!” Princess Levia said in shock .
“Van, are you feeling alright?!” asked Pauvina .
“… You don’t have to be so surprised,” said Vandalieu . “First, Raymond didn’t mention a single word about the incidents during his speech . It’s a significant case, so if he believed that the criminal wasn’t among his men, it would have been fine to mention it, even if we have already come up with ways to solve it . Also, I felt his intent to kill me . ”
Danger Sense: Death, which detected any risk of dying, was constantly active . Even while Vandalieu was listening to a hollow-sounding speech .
Life is full of the unexpected, thought the ‘Liberating Princess Knight’ Iris Bearheart, the leader of the Sauron Liberation Front .
“Get back, you bastards! Or you will never have this body!” she shouted .
It was unexpected enough that someone who was merely the eldest daughter of a humble family of knights would be known by an outrageous Title like ‘Princess Knight,’ but she would never have expected that she would end up making a threat like this .
“Damn you, making such a foolish threat!”
“Don’t provoke her, you idiot! What’ll you do if something really happens to her body?!”
“Please calm down, Princess Knight-san . Let’s talk; at this rate, you won’t be able to save any of your subordinates, either . ”
Iris was holding a teaspoon-sized knife to her own throat . She was surrounded by over a dozen retreating, flustered people dressed entirely in black . Iris’s companions were lying at their feet, covered in blood . There were two unmoving ones that had been burnt completely black, with white smoke rising from them .
Yesterday, Iris and her men had prevented an illegal slave trader from exporting his illegal slaves out of the country, and sheltered the enslaved people at their base to allow them to rest .
And then they had been attacked by these people who were covered in black clothing . These people had broken through the guards with force, and several of them had flown in from the sky .
At first, everyone thought that these were the companions of the slave trader that had been killed yesterday, or assassins sent by a criminal organization that the merchant had been doing business with .
But they had ignored the former slaves that Iris had immediately helped escape, and even after defeating Debis, the one who had personally killed the slave merchant, they showed no signs of wanting to finish him off .
And although they possessed the skill to defeat Iris’s companions one after another, their movements strangely became worse as they faced Iris .
Debis had then seen an opportunity and slashed at one of black figures, who began screaming as he was burned by the sunlight streaming in through the wooden door that they had broken . And then Iris had intuitively realized: These were Vampires, and they were after her body .
“Let’s see, at this rate, you people will be taking a few charred remains back to your master, incurring his wrath, and then he will purge the lot of you, I suppose? Do you know what effect this Chastity Protector has?” Iris asked them .
The blade that was barely large enough to even be called a dagger, the one Iris was pressing against her own neck, was a Magic Item known as a Chastity Protector .
It was a Magic Item specially made for committing suicide, designed for women of noble social status . It activated when its owner thrust it willingly into her own neck or chest, turning them into a living torch and then into a pile of charred remains within a matter of seconds .
It was a Magic Item that was thoroughly specialized for suicide, preventing the owner from being violated by enemies, whether the owner was alive or dead .
These days, they were mostly uncommon antiques, but this was something that had been passed on in Iris’s family from her great grandmother’s generation .
“Don’t be so full of yourself,” said one of the Vampires . “If anything, we could sever your head with a single blow, gather your blood in a jar and then deliver that to our master . ”
“Hoh, so your master wouldn’t mind if he only received blood to add to his collection?” Iris asked .
“You… how do you know about Gubamon-sama?”
“Though we call ourselves the resistance, we’re nothing more than a criminal organization to the current government . Thanks to that, I’ve had more opportunities to listen to stories told by our bad allies . ”
Vampires were those who haunted the darkness in the absolute depths of the underworld, but it was impossible for them to continue hiding their existence perfectly .
Rumors of the Pure-breed Vampires who worshipped the infamous Hihiryushukaka, the Evil God of Joyful Life, were particularly well-known among those who kept up with matters in the underworld .
“What will you do, filthy Vampires?” Iris asked . “I am completely serious; I would much rather end my own life than be turned into an Undead . Even Alda, who forbids suicide, would forgive this foolish former believer of his . ”
Realizing that Iris was serious, the lips of the Vampires twisted in frustration beneath the black masks they were wearing to protect themselves from the sunlight .
Gubamon, who had become mad with paranoia, had ordered his subordinates to carry out difficult tasks in order to turn as many of them into Undead as possible without allowing them to escape .
These difficult tasks were to capture well-known adventurers, knights, clergymen, royals and noblemen whose whereabouts were known .
Gubamon, who was a user of space-attribute magic, had gathered his subordinates, named their targets and forcibly dispatched them through teleportation . And then he had ordered them to be ready and waiting before a certain time at the places he had sent them, along with their captured targets .
Fear of Gubamon had been instilled into these Vampires; they could not choose to run . If he had simply gone on a rampage, they might have done so . But as Gubamon ordered these difficult tasks on them, he had seemed as if he had returned to a previous, relatively more mentally stable version of himself .
Even if they were to run away, others would be sent after them through space-attribute magic; the only way to obey was to fulfil his commands . Many of Gubamon’s subordinates had convinced themselves of this . But the reality was that Gubamon had already decreased their numbers rapidly with his own hands, and they would be killed even if they managed to carry out his orders .
Sending Subordinate Vampires and Noble-born Vampires in mixed groups of around a dozen individuals made it difficult for them to discuss escaping, which forced them to take the chance and hope that they would survive if they completed the tasks that they had been commanded to do . And if things went well, Gubamon’s collection would grow as well .
If they returned disgracefully after failing their tasks, he would turn them into Undead on the spot . If they died, he wouldn’t feel any sense of loss over such fools
It was an extremely reckless plan full of flaws that only a madman could come up with .
These Vampires who were being made to dance in that plan did indeed possess the knowledge for fighting humans . They were no strangers to kidnapping . However, they were not skillful enough to capture the leader of a well-known organization alive without causing her significant injury .
And while they were fumbling and failing to hold their strength back the correct amount, Iris had seen what they were after .
Suppressing the bitter feelings of having to yield to the threats of a mere human, the temporary leader of these Vampires spoke . “Very well,” he said . “We shall spare the lives of your companions . ”
And then he began casting healing magic on Iris’s allies .
“Oi, are you serious, Matthew?!”
“Stop complaining and give them Potions and whatever to help them out . We just need to heal them to the point where they won’t die . Amber, you stop the bleeding of the woman beneath your feet . ”
Reluctantly, the Vampires used the Potions that they had planned to use to heal Iris’s injuries after capturing her on her subordinates instead, and cast healing spells on them .
“Ugh, Ojou… You can’t… Please run…” groaned the barely-conscious Debis .
“I can’t do that,” Iris said without even looking at him . “Tell everyone to carry out what needs to be done in the event of my death . ”
The reason Iris carried the Chastity Protector with her was so that she wouldn’t leave behind a dead body and one of her allies could replace her as the Princess Knight after her death .
She had been nothing more than a daughter of one of many families of knights when the Sauron Duchy was prospering, and even during her missions for the resistance, she wore a mask . There were few who knew her face .
Nobody would notice if the person behind the resistance’s symbol, the Liberating Princess Knight, were to change .
“With this, your companions will not die, for now,” said the Vampire leader . “The rest is up to you . ”
“Very well,” said Iris . “But first, I suppose I’ll have you walk out of the base with me . And then I shall hand myself and the Chastity Protector into your custody . ”
The Vampire clicked his tongue . “Stop dragging things on . Do you think that we won’t change our minds?”
“The same goes for you,” said Iris . “I can’t have you finishing my companions off along the way to repay me for this, you see . ”
“… Very well,” said the Vampire . “But don’t you change your mind . If you do, we’ll be back to slaughter all of your friends and even the ones who aren’t your friends . ”
The Vampires walked out of the base, with Iris at their center . Debis desperately crawled after them, but all he found was a trail of footprints that stopped past a certain point and the fallen, broken fragments of the Chastity Protector .
Vandalieu and his companions ate a light lunch and then departed from the village as they had told Raymond they would, accompanied by Privel and two Scylla guards (the ones that had led Vandalieu for his autopsy) to escort them .
And around the time they were far enough from the village that screams and the sounds of battle wouldn’t reach it, the men appeared .
“Vandalieu-kun, wasn’t it? Won’t you come and join me for a conversation?” said Raymond .
He himself wasn’t armed, his men spread out to block the path ahead, hands on the handles of their swords . Behind Vandalieu’s group, there were another fifty men blocking the path of retreat .
It was likely that there were archers and mages stationed at distant positions as well . Vandalieu could sense signs of life indicating this .
“You don’t seem to be surprised,” Raymond remarked .
This was quite the abnormal situation, but Vandalieu and his companions were not unsettled . Vandalieu was constantly expressionless, but even Privel and the Scylla guards weren’t fazed by the sudden appearance of Raymond and his men . They gave him a pained, disappointed look .
“There sure are a lot of them,” said Pauvina as she looked around them, looking very carefree .
“Yes, since they were expecting this,” said Vandalieu .
And though Vandalieu was easy to follow, he was impossible to ambush because of his constantly-active Danger Sense: Death, no matter how well any killing intent was concealed .
Even without this, Vandalieu had made Lemures and Ghosts tail Raymond and his men, so their movements had been fully known .
“I see . So, it really was a lie that she did not remember,” said Raymond, assuming that that this was the reason Vandalieu and his companions were not surprised .
These words and this ambush were as good as a confession that he and his men were responsible for the Scylla serial-killing case .
“Still, you acted quite quickly, and with quite a bold method, didn’t you?” Vandalieu remarked .
“I was driven by necessity, you see,” said Raymond . “And if we were not capable of bold actions, we would not be fighting as a resistance force . ”
As he said, this ambush had been necessary for him and his men to carry out . He and his men were the real culprits behind the Scylla serial-killing case that they had continuously blamed Alda extremists for . It was absolutely impossible to avoid this fact being revealed .
Raymond had no positive proof that Orbia had really lost her memories of when she had died . Even if she had, he couldn’t be certain that she wouldn’t regain them later .
They had used a poison that caused instant death for the victims, but their eyes had remained wide open until the very end . There was no telling whether they had seen something or not .
And he couldn’t imagine that the spirits of the other victims would have conveniently lost their memories as well . The truth was that it was questionable as to whether the victim’s spirits would still be there, but as there weren’t any Spiritualists among Raymond’s men, they had no way of knowing .
That was why Raymond needed to stop Vandalieu before he reached the other villages .
“So, when you said ‘conversation,’ did you mean that you were going to silence me?” Vandalieu asked .
“Don’t be so hasty,” said Raymond . “You seem to be very clever, with the capability of thinking deeply for your age, which is why I want to suggest this . Won’t you become our ally?”
Vandalieu was surprised by Raymond’s proposal .
“D-don’t kid yourself!” Privel shouted . “Why would Van-kun become your ally?! And more importantly, tell us why you killed Orbia-san and the others!” She tried to lash out at him, but the Scylla guards held her back .
“Calm down, we’re surrounded!” one of them told her .
“As I thought,” Raymond whispered as he looked Privel and the guards . “Vandalieu-kun, what I value about you, even more than the fact that you are a Spiritualist, is the way you won over the hearts of the Scylla far more than I ever managed to, in such a short period of time . ”
The sense of discomfort that Raymond had felt in front of the Scylla was the friendly way that they had treated Vandalieu .
Unlike the other children of Duke Sauron and his other relatives that had already fled to other duchies, the ones who possessed the right to succeed the throne, Raymond was an illegitimate child who had been forced to give up his right to succeed the throne . But he possessed not only raw ability, but a charisma that charmed people . This was precisely why he had taken leadership of the Reborn Sauron Duchy Army .
But during the meeting with Periveil and the other Scylla earlier today, he had noticed that their attention had been focused on Vandalieu, despite the fact that Vandalieu had barely spoken .
He and his men didn’t know what it was, but there was something about Vandalieu that had captivated the Scylla .
“It is not as if we did such horrible things to the Scylla because we wanted to,” Raymond continued . “All of this was for the purpose of taking the Sauron Duchy back – to liberate all of the people of the Sauron Duchy . If you were to persuade them, I am sure the Scylla race would once again realize that they, too, are a part of the Sauron Duchy, and join us in battle . ”
Raymond and his men had conducted the Scylla serial-killing incidents and blamed it on Alda extremists . This was not only to prevent the Scylla from accepting the terms offered to them by the Empire’s army, but to also have them join the resistance .
Although they had named themselves the Reborn Sauron Duchy Army, their military strength was nowhere near that of an army . But if they acquired the fighting strength of the Scylla race of five thousand individuals, it wouldn’t be impossible to fight back against the Empire’s army .
And if he had the Orbaume Kingdom’s army mobilized through those helping him from within the Kingdom, defeating the army occupying the Sauron Duchy wouldn’t be a mere dream .
“And, most importantly, you are a Dhampir,” said Raymond . “We have no objection to you becoming our symbol . I am sure your existence will move the hearts of the peaceful faction of Alda worshippers in the Orbaume Kingdom, who have recently been celebrating a group of heroes slaying a Pure-breed Vampire . ”
Raymond gazed into Vandalieu’s eyes, watching them dart around quickly as if he was hesitating . He continued pressing him for an answer .
“At this rate, our homeland will become a vassal nation to the Empire that treats you Dhampirs as monsters . I want you to fight with us . ”
Despite being very smart and composed for his age, he was still a child in the end . Raymond would definitely be able to persuade him . Or so he thought, but the response he received from Vandalieu was not a good one .
“I have a question . Why are you trying to get the Scylla race involved?” Vandalieu asked .
Pauvina had been stifling a yawn and the Scylla had been watching him with bated breath, waiting to hear how Vandalieu would respond when he asked this question .
“That is –”
Unfazed, Raymond tried to answer this question with the answer that he had come up with beforehand . It was easy to imagine that Vandalieu thought favorably of the Scylla, just as they loved him .
But he had acquired the Spiritualist Job at such a young age . Though his eyes showed hesitation, his expression and voice gave away no emotion or discomposure; he showed more self-control than any adult .
If Raymond didn’t make a mistake, he would definitely be able to persuade Vandalieu . Believing this, he gave his response .
“Because I wanted the fighting strength of the Scylla and this territory that is a natural fortress . I am an illegitimate child who once gave up his right to succeed the throne . In order for someone like me to rule the Sauron Duchy, I need to achieve victory against the enemy army through a plan that I am in charge of . That is why I asked my younger brother to do the dirty work . I don’t think I did anything wrong . Orbia, was it? I truly don’t believe I did anything wrong to her or the other victims . They were necessary sacrifices in order to win this war . ”
“Did you think that we’d be fooled by –” Privel began shouting, but then suddenly stopped . “Eh?” She stared blankly at Raymond and blinked several times .
“C-Commander? What are you saying?”
“What’s wrong with you, Commander Raymond?!”
Raymond’s subordinates had been calm up until now, but now they were bewildered and flustered .
What? What did I just blurt out?!
From the reactions around him, Raymond realized in shock and panic that he had blurted out unthinkable words, but his mouth continued speaking out of his control .
“The duke’s legitimate child, who officially has the right to succeed the throne, has escaped to the Kingdom . I mustn’t wait for him to gain power and begin a plan to recapture the Sauron Duchy . If that happens, I cannot become duke, no matter what us resistance members achieve . To make the Sauron Duchy a better place, I must become duke and rule it! That’s why I needed soldiers, an army with me at its center, to fight against the enemy!”
These were Raymond’s true intentions .
Ignoring the fact that the Scylla had been uninvolved in political or military matters since the Sauron Duchy was still the Sauron Kingdom, he had conducted a conspiracy in order to forcibly turn the Scylla race, who had completely lost interest in the world outside their territory, into his army .
But he’d had no intentions of saying this out loud .
“Yes, please continue answering her and my questions,” said Vandalieu . He was moving his eyes around restlessly, attacking Raymond’s mind and implanting suggestions into it with the Mental Encroachment skill .
And before Raymond and his men could give any kind of response, ‘she’ appeared .
“Tell me, did that person… did Rick kill me?”
Raymond and his men shuddered as this ice-cold question reached their ears .