Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Prologue (Part 2)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Prologue (Part 2)

Volume 14: Prologue (Part 2)

If Demiurge was not there she’d have to find Entoma and have her use [Message] or have her older sister investigate his whereabouts. With that in mind, Albedo initiated the teleport. ——–

In the Kingdom of Re-Estize and in its capital, Re-Estize. There lies the castle Ro Lente, which contains the Valencia Palace, within which is an office.

In the office where generations of kings performed their duties, its rightful owner, Ramposa III, was nowhere to be found. Instead, the room was being occupied by the second prince, Zanac Valleon Igana Ryle Vaiself.

Zanac’s face grew dark as he stared at the documents that were submitted, a heavy sigh escaped his mouth. Surely no one could keep a cheerful expression after reading through said documents, its contents detailed the current state of the Kingdom.

During the Battle of the Katze Plains, though it would be more accurate to call it a massacre, much of the Kingdom’s population lost their lives. Even so, it wasn’t as though the damage inflicted on the Kingdom was lethal. Its population was around nine million and of that, 180,000 died, a mere 2% loss. Plus, a multitude of them were the second or third sons of farmers so they were practically “spare men”. In other cases, they had lost apprentices with barely any experience. So although saying this out loud would sound cruel, nothing of value was lost through their deaths.

Still, they had lost 4% of their male population, those who were young and strong to boot. The negative impact of this loss was gradually becoming apparent and this was all clearly outlined in the document.

Zanac let out a groan as he placed the document on the table, his vision shifted focus to the other person in the room. “Oy, sister. How would you deal with this if you were in charge?”

Upon hearing the question, his sister, Renner Theiere Chardelon Ryle Vaiself, who sat on a chaise longue far away from him, smiled as she raised her head. Renner, who was looking through a different set of documents had a worrisome smile.

“Even if you asked me what I would do…onii-sama, how can I give an answer when you haven’t even given me enough details in your question?”

“It’s about this.”

Zanac did not bother with an explanation, he just picked up the documents he had laid down and fanned them around. Renner stood up, walked towards Zanac, and took the documents from him.

“…This?”

After scanning the document from top to bottom, Renner replied in a casual tone.

“That…there’s nothing we can do about it, right?”

“Dear lord…”

Zanac raised his head towards the sky.

If his sister, who was much more brilliant than him, said this, then there really wasn’t anything they could do about it. However, as rulers, they could not just give up on something like this so easily.

“Is this matter really that troublesome? Though our nation’s strength has waned temporarily, but that’s all it is, it’s all temporary. I don’t believe that it’s serious enough to warrant us doing something about it?”

“If our nation’s power is weakened, then people will start to die from starvation right?”

Due to the repeated clashes they have had with the Empire, their inability to store sufficient grain had continued on to the present day. It was in these conditions that they ceded the crucial grain-producing region of E-Rantel, which was directly under the king’s rule, to the Sorcerous Kingdom. The loss of life on the battlefield also meant that they lost a sizable chunk of their labor force.

Perhaps the consequent effects were not as pronounced for now, but years down the line, it was highly likely that the decrease in grain production would cause the price of grain to skyrocket till the point where the poor could no longer afford it. No, it was safe to say that this was definitely going to happen.

“That makes sense.”

“That makes sO mUcH SeNsE. Say, sister, if it’s as iNsIGnIfIcAnT as you make it out to be, how will we deal with the chance that a drought or a cold snap occurs, causing crop failure?”

“High-level druids seem to have the ability to control the weather, so I believe we’ll at least have a way to deal with issues regarding sunlight. Since we’d only have to hire adventurers for it, it would be highly cost-effective. Still, whether or not such high-level druid adventurers exist is something we should find out as soon as possible. If this was in the past we could’ve always relied on adventurers from the Empire in cases of emergency, but now that the Empire has become a vassal state of the Sorcerous Kingdom, that could prove to be difficult.”

“Ah, I see, let’s handle droughts this way then. What about cold snaps, sister?”

“Druids would have to work hard on that as well.”

Zanac carefully observed Renner’s face, one that’s all too familiar to him.

{Does she not know about that?} Zanac thought.

As Renner said, high-level druids can cast spells to create temporary rain, so droughts could be dealt with. However, he remembered hearing from Marquis Raeven, his confidant, that druid magic is powerless against cold snaps.

For a cold snap, the weather must be maintained through the entire season. To that end, a high-level druid must be assigned to each village. It was simply not realistic to gather a few hundred high level druids, which were rare to begin with.

This level of knowledge in magic was not part of conventional education, so it wasn’t taught even in noble families. This fact applied to the royalty as well. The only reason Prince Zanac knew what he knew about druids was because he had actively sought out that information.

The fact that magic casters didn’t hold any status in the Kingdom was probably to blame. If it was like the Empire where someone as great as the Tri-Arts Magic Caster exists, it might have been a completely different story. However, the Kingdom’s ignorance of magic and desire for brave, strong cavalrymen had already become deeply rooted in their culture. A magic caster capable of changing the status quo never appeared.

As a result, nobles who believed that “magic is cowardice” on the battlefield passed that notion along to the next generations. Ignorance about magic turned into disdain, and a vicious cycle was born.

To Zanac, magic was an art with incredible power. For people to distance themselves away from it due to old, boring traditions would bring about a day when the Kingdom would unconditionally lose in the struggle for power with its neighbouring countries akin to death by asphyxiation. Zanac had therefore considered hiring a teacher who’s knowledgeable in magic for his future children. Some nobles should follow suit once they find out the royalty is being educated in that field, right?

No, even without doing something like that, the appearance of the Sorcerer King, one who commands powerful magic caused a paradigm shift in the minds of the Kingdom’s citizens, noble or otherwise. Perhaps the era when everyone would want to learn about magic had finally come.

Though it was disappointing that the trigger for change was an external source, it was ultimately beneficial to the Kingdom so they acquiesced.

Considering the current state of the Kingdom, it was natural for Renner to not know. Even a genius would arrive at the wrong answer on unfamiliar turf. Blindly trusting in his sister could prove to be very dangerous.

Renner, however, was close with the Adamantite class adventurers team Blue Roses, so obtaining detailed information on a spell was probably not too difficult for her. Was it really possible that his sister, a person that could be described as a singularity of intelligence, knew of the problem but didn’t bother to check with her sources?

Then again, Renner had no reason to lie about such a small detail. It was probably just a rare manifestation of her human side; in other words, she’s being a dork.

It was clear that Renner had no interest in the throne, her goal seemed tiny to Zanac. It’s better to say that her goal would become unachievable should she ascend to the throne. Even if she’s plotting against him, it wouldn’t benefit her directly.

“-sister, a cold snap is difficult to deal with even with the power of a druid.”

“Is that so? If that’s the case then it would be quite unfortunate. Ah! But the problem is about grain, right? We have plenty of supplies so it’s not a problem. That’s excellent news, Onii-sama.”

Zanac made the exact opposite face as Renner’s smile.

“By grain, you meant that? I would not want to touch that…are you sure people won’t turn Undead from eating too much of it?”

If one were to ask the question “does the Kingdom have surplus grain?”, the answer would be yes: a generous supply sat waiting in some merchants’ warehouses. But, they shouldn’t make plans that relied on said grain, because it was technically not the Kingdom’s.

The Sorcerous Kingdom, ruled by the terror that was the Sorcerer King, leased those warehouses from merchants of the Kingdom and put grain there. Such a thing had never occurred throughout the entire history of the Kingdom.

Apparently the merchants were allowed to sell the grain, but its price was a bit higher than market price due to a tariff. The price was set by the Sorcerous Kingdom with no room for negotiation. As such, the people did not buy any of it and it had been sitting there, waiting in the warehouses.

The Kingdom’s wealth was not flowing into the Sorcerous Kingdom at the moment, so frankly this was not detrimental to the Kingdom. The current situation made it feel like everything was fine. But Zanac, concurring with Renner, thought that was part of the Sorcerous Kingdom’s strategy.

“The Holy Kingdom is consuming the same grain, so the grain itself should be harmless, right?”

“No, perhaps they wanted us to think that way and only the grain in the capital was tainted?”

Renner smiled bitterly.

“You don’t really think so, do you?”

“Well, I guess not. Afterall we checked the contents.”

Regarding the use of the warehouses in the capital, the Sorcerous Kingdom’s official statement was that it was to store grain to be used as food aid for the Holy Kingdom. Apparently plans were made to transport the grain to the Holy Kingdom from these warehouses.

———-

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 11)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 11)

“I shall excuse myself then, woof.”

He heard an unfamiliar voice by his side followed by the sound of doors being shut. It woke him right up, like a trigger being activated.

Something should have happened, but everything felt like it had withered away. He felt something akin to the feeling of forgetting a dream in the morning.

Climb felt like his muscles and bones had melted as he could not summon any strength at all. Even the simple act of twisting his neck was a struggle.

He tried his best to survey his surroundings.

The most luxurious room Climb had seen so far in his life had been Renner’s, but this far surpassed hers in opulence. He had something of a photographic memory, yet he could not recall ever seeing this room in the palace.

What had happened to him?

Why…was he still alive?

Also — what happened to his master?

Although he could not move his body well, he could feel the presence of someone else in the room.

“Aaaa…”

He tried to call out to them, but the sounds that came out of him could not constitute speech. Still, the person in the room had understood him as they hurriedly rushed over.

“Climb! You woke up!”

He still could not vocalize, but that was to be expected. His entire body was without strength, so not even his vocal cords could move. Yet that was not the reason why he did not speak, it was because of the flurry of emotions that occupied his mind.

His eyes were filled with tears.

That’s right, this was all a nightmare.

The Kingdom being attacked by the Sorcerous Kingdom and how Renner had been forced to make her resolve to die had all just been a nightmare.

“Aaa, saa…”

“Uhmm, yes. I am Renner. Climb.”

The same smile as usual.

No, she was at the edge of his sightline yet he could still tell clearly, this was different from her usual smile.

Did something happen?

Climb moved his eyes to discover something bizarre on her back.

Black wings.

Like that of a bat’s.

It flapped around, making “whap whap” noises as it went along.

Even if it was manmade, it was way too realistic. In any case, he should stop making up lies to comfort himself.

Perhaps she had realized the source of his confusion. Renner’s expression became neutral.

“This thing…I was changed by the Sorcerer King’s power. I am no longer a human — but a demon.”

Climb’s eyes widened.

“Saaaaaa…”

“What a tragedy, for me to have been the only one to have survived.”

He wanted to tell her that what she said wasn’t true, but he could not muster the strength to speak. He could only groan with “aa—” and “oo—” sounds.

Droplets of tears began to fall.

Renner gently wiped his tears away.

Climb trembled with emotions as he groaned. No matter how much she had changed on the outside, she was still Renner on the inside.

“So…you must be curious about why you are still alive, correct? Before I answer that question…Climb…are you willing to listen to something selfish that I have to say? I have been turned into a demon, so I will remain in this world forever. Living alone would be a terribly painful thing to do.”

Renner looked towards him.

“Climb, are you willing to turn into a demon as well?”

He did not hesitate, he had decided long ago to give his all for Renner. Climb struggled against his immobile body to nod his head.

“Thank you…then allow me to answer your question. The truth is, I have already sworn fealty to His Majesty the Sorcerer King. That was the cost of your resurrection.”

Climb widened his eyes once more.

“Do not let it weigh on your heart. I did not believe that this was a bad deal. After all, I would not have to live on my own…Climb, are you willing to swear fealty to His Majesty the Sorcerer King too?”

“Ye…s”

While he was still a bit confused, if Renner was willing to swear fealty for his sake, he should choose to serve too. No, it was more accurate to say that this was the only option he had.

“Thank you, Climb. After you swear fealty to His Majesty the Sorcerer King, he would most definitely force some tasks onto you to test your loyalty. It will probably be painful for you, and that saddens me a lot…”

“That, won’t, be, the, case. ”

“…thank you…Climb, that is all I have to say for now. Take a rest, I will take good care of you.”

She maintained her smile and disappeared from his view. From the direction where she went, he could hear the sound of doors opening followed by doors closing.

Climb relaxed.

Immediately afterwards, his desire to sleep took hold of him.

Climb, whose face was covered in tears, lost his consciousness as though he had just sunk into mud. The emotions behind those tears were too complicated for himself to explain. Not even Climb himself knew why he cried.

—-

Renner left the bedroom and walked towards the neighbouring room. Upon noticing the person on the sofa, she knelt down in panic.

“Albedo-sama,” Renner took a deep bow, “I could not thank our master in time, so I am terribly sorry for that. The preparation of the poison and the theatrics in the throne room, to have even troubled His Majesty the Sorcerer King to personally go there to help, I am deeply grateful for that.”

“Fufu. That is enough. There is no need to worry over these things. {If} it was for outstanding individuals, such trivialities are well worth the time.”

“Thank you very much, Albedo-sama.”

The “if” part of that sentence was somewhat stressed more than the others, causing Renner to shudder. She did not know if they had seen through her even in this aspect. Albedo did not continue, but she felt her gaze on the back of her head.

“…Fufu. There is no need to be this tense around me. Demiurge and I have a full grasp on your capabilities through this event with the Kingdom.”

Back then, from the moment she had met with the demon Demiurge to the destruction of the Kingdom, around 90% of the plan had been suggested by Renner herself. She had expertly manipulated all sides through their conceit. The only thing she was wary of, was when the plan had changed to the slaughter of almost all citizens of the Kingdom. She was worried about whether or not she would be thrown away afterwards. Other than that, things had gone mostly according to her plans.

“Such exceptional abilities must be put to their full use in Nazarick — under my command.”

“Naturally, Albedo-sama.”

“Ainz-sama had high praise for you. I will not allow you to disappoint him.”

Minor, she could only detect a minor difference, but Albedo’s tone had changed somewhat.

Renner continued to act subserviently. In this situation, this was probably the smartest choice she could make.

“The reward for your service from now on, for the next millennia, will be given to you in advance.”

The sound of something being placed on the table could be heard.

“The Fallen Seed I gave you before, this is another one of them. The next step would be to prepare the sacrifice. You may start after he recovers. While magic could speed up the recovery, based on your specifications we will not do such a thing.”

“Thank you very much, Albedo-sama. Please do convey my thanks to His Majesty the Sorcerer King as well.”

“Renner. I will reiterate…do not disappoint me. This was not given to you because you have inherent value as a hostage, but something you had earned through your actions and the trust that had been built up between us. Do you understand?”

Upon hearing her gentle yet frigid voice, Renner bowed her head even lower than before.

“…Yes, Albedo-sama. To repay your generosity, your servant I will maintain, no, I will strive to serve you better than I have.”

Her superior left behind a soft laugh as she stood up and left.

Renner kept her head down until she heard the sound of the door being closed. She breathed a huge sigh of relief. Mixed in her breath were lingering sensations of fear.

She had overcome the final hurdle.

The other party was a ruthless demon after all, it would not have been strange for her to have said that all of this was to raise her hopes up only to dash it at the last moment. Yet nothing of that sort happened. The weight on her shoulders was finally lifted, but she could not allow herself to believe for a single moment that her position was absolutely safe and secure.

For her to have gained their trust — was impossible. The best-case scenario was that they believed her to be valuable as a pawn, one worthy of their favour. That was why Renner had to contribute as much as she could. If she could not prove herself worthy of their grace, things would go south fast.

This was the home of those monsters after all, they knew full well that she was absolutely powerless here no matter how hard she tried. Yet, not even that was enough for them.

For that reason, Renner had to expose her weaknesses to them, the more the better. She had essentially handed over the other end of the leash to them to tell them that she was a loyal pet and that they were her masters. She had to make the superior-inferior relationship between them as clear-cut as possible. If she had not done so, they would probably not even bother to feign trust in her.

That was why they had put on such a show in the throne room.

Climb was Renner’s biggest weakness — to show how important he was to her, she had spoken of him in the first conversation she had with Albedo — only when this truth was presented in front of these monsters, would she have truly put on the collar.

Climb’s value as their hostage had to be realized, but she had a separate reason for it too. However, it appeared as though she had been seen through, but since things had turned out better than she had expected, it wasn’t much of an issue.

There was something else that not even Renner could foresee.

She did not imagine that the Sorcerer King would act out that character himself.

{What a terrifying Supreme Being.}

Every time Renner thought about the being named Ainz Ooal Gown, she could not help but shudder all over.

It would have been more than enough for the Prime Minister Albedo to have acted that scene out, but the Sorcerer King would deign to essentially act the role of jester himself. This must have meant that he held quite a high opinion of her. “That is to say, the sovereign of a nation had gone out of his way to cooperate with your boring play. Surely you understand what that means?” was probably what Albedo was implying through her statements.

Albedo must have been against that decision.

If someone she admired had to stoop to act upon a stage, it would displease her too. Which meant that her goodwill for Renner, the person responsible for him being on that stage, had probably dried up.

{If His Majesty the Sorcerer King had intentionally gone against Albedo-sama to act out that scene, that would make things even worse for me. If they were to believe even for a split second that I was no longer of use to them, I would surely be disposed of…}

She had planned to only demonstrate a portion of her abilities and hide her true capabilities for now, but now that the Sorcerer King had personally come to cooperate with her, she had been forced into a corner.

{…His Majesty the Sorcerer King had probably already foreseen all of this. It appears that an exceptional superior would not necessarily be good news for their subordinates.}

Despite all of that, Renner still smiled.

Her dream of the past was minuscule. It only grew to how wondrous it was now because she had met them.

How lucky was she that she could realise such a dream through the simple betrayal and sacrifice of the Kingdom?

She wanted to dance.

She wanted to sing.

The joy in her heart was overflowing.

She was truly, truly overjoyed. Her brain felt like it could break from all of this happiness.

Demons were immortal. Being locked up in here meant that she had just found shelter in the safest place in the world.

If that was the case — Renner looked towards the door behind her. No, towards the young man sleeping on the bed inside.

“Climb. Stay here with me forever~ Let us exchange our first times today.”

Renner almost melted as she spoke.

“Or should I treasure it more — and stop myself short of that today? This is the first time I have been met with such a dilemma — aaaah, such bliss.”

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 10)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 10)

Climb stood in the hallway, observing the scenery outside through the overly-thick glass windows.

Renner had told him that she would be busy putting on makeup now so that she would not embarrass herself in case the Sorcerer Kingdom’s army arrived before she could meet with her father, which was why he was shooed out of the room. She also informed Climb that she might even change out of the outfit she had on, naturally it was going to take quite a while.

He looked back down the corridor, the empty, lifeless, and silent corridor.

The knights who stayed in the palace till the end were all preparing to face the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army head-on. They had left their posts and gathered together to block off the entrance to the palace.

Some might scoff at them for what seemed like meaningless resistance.

Unlike the band of warriors led by Gazef Stronoff, most of these knights were merely a smidge stronger than the average soldier. If they were to fight the monsters of the Sorcerous Kingdom, they would probably be destroyed as easily as it would be for someone to break the branches of a dead tree. Yet, as men who had been knighted by royalty, they wished to display their loyalty till the very end. They had deployed themselves without complaint. The truly pathetic ones would be those who would dare mock them.

If he was being honest, due to past experiences, Climb did not have much goodwill for the vast majority of knights. He had always thought that should a life-or-death situation arise, they would run away like chickens. Climb could not help but mock his own closed-mindedness.

It was precisely because their loyalty to the royalty was true and without fault that they could not accept a street rat serving this close to a royal.

Climb had made a severe misjudgment of their loyalty to the throne.

He looked towards the direction of the entrance.

Should he not be fighting side-by-side with the knights? Climb mulled it over and concluded that he should not.

Back then, he was not saved by the royalty. The one who saved him, was Renner herself.

If Renner ordered him to do so, he would join the knights without hesitation. However, since she had given no such order, he should stay by her side. If he could buy even a single second to die before Renner, it would be his duty, his all.

His life and soul have long been Renner’s, ever since she had saved him.

In this silent, empty hallway, Climb pondered about all sorts of things.

He thought about his life up till this point, about Renner, about their hypothetical future, and—

Climb looked around him. Of course, no one was there. The one who had served next to him, Brain Unglaus, had long since left the palace.

He did not know where Brain had gone.

If the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army had made its way to the castle, he was probably already dead.

Climb mourned deep down.

Brain was like a mentor, a friend, and a brother to him. He had taught Climb a lot of things and had guided him for quite a while.

Compared to Gazef, Climb had gotten much closer to Brain. To Climb, who held Renner as the most important person in his heart, Brain was someone who came a close second.

“Why did things end up this way…”

Climb’s whisper dissipated in this lifeless corridor.

But how did things actually turn out this way?

Climb had thought that their peace would have lasted, that things would be the same tomorrow as it would the day after tomorrow. However, looking at it now— suddenly, the doors to the room were slammed open. A loud {bang} rang out.

Because the sound was more brutal than he would have ever imagined, Climb hurriedly looked towards the door to see Renner by the door side. She did not change her outfit, only a slight hint of red was on her face, light enough that he could not tell if she put on makeup at all.

She had spent so much time in there but her appearance was no different compared to the usual.

In her hands was Razor Edge, still in its sheath.

Did something happen? Just as Climb was about to ask, Renner spoke.

“Climb, let’s hurry now.”

“Yes!”

Renner said that phrase and ran along the corridor.

Climb followed and asked.

“Did something happen?”

Renner stole a glance at him and looked back towards the front.

“Yes. I remembered something that had to be done. A mini-revenge against the Sorcerous Kingdom if you will. That is why we must hurry to where my dear father is. We have to check if he is still in his room first!”

Along the way, Renner passed over Razor Edge to him. He followed her orders and moved towards the king’s room.

Of course, there were no knights there too.

Renner did not intend to dampen her momentum, as she slammed open the doors to this room too.

Inside was Rampossa III, shocked.

“Renner. What in the…”

After so much noise, it turned out that it was his own daughter. He must have thought that someone else had broken in. Rampossa III stopped talking halfway through his sentence.

Climb felt that the king’s gaze had shifted from Renner to him, so he took a massive bow as an apology.

“Ah, father, you are still here! I just remembered something really important.”

Renner immediately spoke.

She had run her way here, yet her breath remained calm and steady. Climb was the same, but he was still curious as to how Renner, who he had rarely seen running, had the same level of stamina as him. Still, she hadn’t run that fast, so it was probably nothing to worry about. Climb quickly killed that thought.

“Renner, what happened? Also, why did you open the door like that?”

“I feel like these things do not really matter as much right now.”

Renner spoke a bit faster than she normally would, causing Rampossa III to smile wryly.

“…Well, you do have a fair point. So, Renner, what is wrong? You mentioned that there was something important just now?”

“Yes! So basically—” Renner tilted her head in an adorable manner before she continued, “Father, why are you here?”

“I was locked in here by that child, did you not know about this?”

“Yes, it was onii-sama.”

“Haaaaah, Zanac was an idiot to say that the two of you will go before I do. That child…”

Rampossa III’s expression was full of sorrow. Everyone knew at this point that of the army they sent from the capital a week ago, none had returned. Though none of them knew of their fate, it was not too difficult to imagine the reason why they had not returned.

“…and then yesterday, when I was finally released, I thought that we must make preparations before the Sorcerer King arrived. That is why I am still preparing here in my lonesome. The knights offered to help but I sent them all away. I wonder where they have escaped to…”

Climb could not bring himself to tell him that the knights were at the entrance, preparing for a last stand. Renner appeared to be the same.

“Speaking of preparations, you meant those?”

“Indeed, those.”

In the direction those two looked towards, were treasures such as the crown and many books.

“…So, why Renner, why are you still here? Did that child…not let you escape?”

“That— Is it not the same for father?”

“I will not run. That child was just a prince. I was meant to be the one to shoulder that responsibility. Yet, that child…hmmm? Is that sword not…”

Rampossa III noticed the sword by Climb’s waist. He looked towards Climb’s back and then back towards Renner.

“The one who served you…the warrior who could rival Gazef, what happened to him?”

“Brain-san had left this place to do battle with His Majesty the Sorcerer King.”

“…while I do not believe that he could defeat the Sorcerer King, he should have brought it along even more so than ever. Why, why did he not take that sword with him? Perhaps, with that sword, he could…”

“I do not feel like…it would be possible. After all, that is an opponent not even the Warrior Captain could defeat. Things have evolved into the way they are already, so even if the Sorcerer King was to be defeated, nothing would fundamentally change.”

“Is that so…indeed. That is true. If we could not push the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army back, everything else would just be meaningless.”

Rampossa III suddenly looked out the window and continued.

“As to why I am still here. I believe that I have the duty to pass on the history of our royal lineage to our conqueror. I must, as the last king, demonstrate to them our dignity.”

Rampossa III laughed as if he was tired. Well no, he was probably tired in actuality.

“—Climb. Such is the duty of a king. Take Renner and run. Although it might already be too late, the palace does have hidden passageways out of the capital. The moment the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army makes its way into the palace, make use of those passageways.”

“—there is no need for that, Climb.”

Until now, the King’s order and Renner’s had never conflicted with one another. This time was different.

Climb thought about it for a moment, and did nothing. He just clenched his fists tightly together.

Indeed, Climb did not wish to leave Renner to die, but following Renner’s orders was more important to him. In any case, if he really wanted to obey this order, he would have let Evileye take her back then.

“—Climb”

“—Climb”

After seeing that Climb had not moved, both of them called out his name. The emotions imbued within their voices however, were completely different.

“Father, Climb is mine. He will not listen to your orders.”

“Indeed…it appears to be so…but, Climb…if you truly are loyal, I believe that you should escape with this child. Do it, even if it only allows for the Vaiself bloodline to be passed on for longer. If you escape with this child, as your reward, you may have her hand in marriage.”

Climb’s eyes widened.

This suggestion was really alluring to him, causing his heart to falter. To say that he had not fantasized about doing this would be a lie. He had even frequently thought about Renner to {comfort} himself.

But, he decided that his fate would be to die as Renner’s shield.

“While the reward is certainly tantalizing…but it is far too valuable for me to accept…so do allow me to refuse your offer…”

As Climb spoke, he felt like he was throwing up blood.

He stole a glance at Renner, to see an incredible smile on her face. Surely it was out of praise for his loyalty.

“…Now then, it is my turn to say why I had rushed here…Father. Please leave the crown to me.”

“Why?”

“I believe that we should not just hand over the crown, a treasure that carries with it our family’s history, to His Majesty the Sorcerer King directly.”

“…He is the man who destroyed this country, so the symbolic gesture of passing on the crown must be done. Also, if things such as the crown continue to be passed down, the history of our family will be preserved. That was my line of thought, which was why I had retrieved these from the treasury.”

“I think these items should all be hidden in the city. Then, we could say to the Sorcerer King, ’the items that signify kingship were all hidden inside the city, so if you destroy the capital, you risk losing them all.’”

“…I see. Perhaps this would…be a good plan. Perhaps the acquisition of the crown and the destruction of the capital will become a dilemma for him. Although my life will not be spared, if this could help the people, even if by a little, it shall be done.”

Rampossa III took the crown off his head.

“Father, not only that one, but the other one too. I believe that the crown used for the coronation ceremony warrants priority in hiding.”

“Ah, indeed. That is true.”

“Also the other items father had brought over. The staff, the jewels used for coronation, and the national seal. Could you leave everything that is symbolic of the throne and the Kingdom to me? After all, the more cards we could play from our hand, the better.”

“…Mmm. Of course, that is fine.”

“Then, Climb. Could I trouble you to hide these items?”

“Of course, Renner-sama. But, where should I hide them?”

“Yes. I had discussed this with onii-sama way back then.”

“What? With Zanac?”

“Yes, father. I actually got this idea from onii-sama. The procedure for hiding these items had been planned out already. However, because he might have gotten the idea from Marquis Raeven, I felt uneasy about it…”

“Really? That child had thought this far ahead?” Rampossa III’s voice trailed as he muttered to himself. His eyes appeared to have moistened a little.

“So, Climb. There was this warehouse district that had been abandoned because of Jaldabaoth’s attack. There is a small warehouse there.”

While Renner had explained in detail, her instructions were complicated enough that Climb did not trust himself to find it.

Renner walked around Rampossa III to use the table to draw an easy to understand map on a piece of paper. It was a simple one, but now he would not have to worry about getting lost.

“Here is a hidden basement here. Please hide the items inside there.”

“Yes! I will abide by your order!”

“After you are done with this—”

Climb stared intently at Renner’s face, hoping that she would not say something like, “do not come back.” {Please let me stay by your side till the very end.} Had his thoughts reached her? Renner spoke after a prolonged moment of hesitation.

“Please do — return safely.”

While they were not certain where the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army had reached, it was highly likely that they had already broken into the capital and were crawling all over the place. In that case, to leave this place was extremely risky. However, Climb would not hesitate. Since his master had ordered it, he must do as he was told.

“Yes!”

“You must return unharmed. Do not try to fight. If you see an enemy, run with all your might. Do you understand?”

It felt like she understood his resolve, but could not place much faith in his capabilities. Renner repeated herself again.

“Yes!”

Climb nodded his head heavily. At that point, it looked like Renner was finally relieved.

“—Good. Now then, father. Given the current situation, it would be hard for him to make it out of the palace…so could you tell Climb?”

“You wish for me to reveal the hidden passageways from the palace to the capital, correct?”

“Yes.”

“I understand. Let me tell him.”

After hearing the king’s explanation, Climb was truly shocked. He had walked through that tunnel multiple times yet had never detected the presence of those hidden pathways.

“Climb, It is fine even if you return a bit late. Could you remain cautious and not let these items fall into enemy hands?”

“Of course, Renner-sama! I will complete my mission even if it is the last thing I do!”

“After you have hidden the items, even if something worrying came up, do return here as fast as possible no matter the cost. Given the current situation, we do not know when the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army would arrive.”

While that sentence’s structure was a bit different, she was probably just repeating herself to drill that idea into him. That showed how much she cared for him.

So Climb, one to do anything to even ease her mind a little bit, straightened himself and positively responded.

“Of course! I will run back with all my might.”

“—Good, I will leave that to you then.”

Renner smiled just as she normally would. Before Climb stepped out of the room, he noticed that Rampossa III had passed a few potions to Renner.

One could imagine what those were.

Climb lowered his head and exited the room. He ran towards the hidden passageways.

Afterwards, he used those passageways to enter the capital.

It felt surreal. It was as though every inhabitant of the capital had disappeared. That was how silent it was.

It was then when he heard the roar of some giant beast, but from his current position he could not figure out what that was. The capital was vast, if he did not have the vantage point of the castle or the city walls, it would be difficult for him to figure out what was going on.

However, to the current Climb, that was not necessary. All he had to do was run full speed towards the warehouse.

He did not run into anybody before he reached his destination.

This was an urgent manner, but this place was quite far away. In addition to how cautious he had been on his way here, he had spent quite a bit of time on the road.

The warehouse was not as big as he had imagined. Climb got near the door and noticed that it was not locked.

He returned the bell he had prepared back into his bag and snuck in.

Nothing was stored in this warehouse, it was empty.

The smell of dust carpeted his face. There were no light fixtures and the windows were shut, so it was terribly dark inside. There were however, rays of light that fell through some cracks, so it was not entirely dark.

Climb walked through the entrance and held his breath. He concentrated on the sounds that came from the outside.

He confirmed that there weren’t any sounds coming towards the warehouse and walked towards the wall opposite to him as he had been instructed to.

There were many empty shelves there. He found the third shelf from the right and forcefully pushed it. At first, nothing happened, but after he applied more force gradually, a click could be heard. The shelf no longer resisted his push and swung open like a door.

It was totally dark inside, a room without windows.

Climb put on his helmet.

With its power, he could make out his surroundings. In the empty room, on the floor, was a handle-like protrusion. Upon raising that handle, a spiral staircase downwards was revealed.

At the bottom of the short staircase was a small room with a single shelf.

It was equally empty as the rest, nothing of substance was on it. The dust that had built up in the room formed a thick layer that covered everything. He placed the royal treasures there.

After that, his mission was complete.

Climb returned to the surface and exited the warehouse.

He had to run back at full speed now.

He looked back towards the castle and could not help but mutter, “heh?”

The castle was snow white. Thick walls surrounded the castle, but they were painted white too. Light shone on it reflected off brilliantly.

To a third-party, it must have been a beautiful sight, but as one of its residents, this was an urgent situation—

“Ah! G-great, you weren’t squished…umm…it would be dangerous for you to stay here you know?”

He heard a child’s voice next to him.

He looked towards where the voice came from. Atop the warehouse was a girl who was looking down at him. In her hands was a black staff. Her skin tone was dark, she was probably of the race known as Dark Elves.

“You are…?”

“…eh, um, umm, ummm. This place is scheduled for demolition…so, umm, because you might get caught up in it, it would be better for you to leave here quickly okay?”

Now that she had said that, he understood.

This girl was undoubtedly from the Sorcerous Kingdom.

His hands, reaching to unsheathe his sword, stopped itself.

While she did not appear to be strong, it would not be possible for her to have made her way here alone. It would be dangerous to treat her as a simple girl.

Although he might win this fight, if he was to cause a disturbance here and cause the Sorcerous Kingdom’s undead to gather around, he would not be able to return to Renner’s side. His duty was not to defeat the enemy, but to serve by her side.

Plus, had Renner not repeatedly warned him about this?

He wanted to look back at the warehouse, but managed to quell that urge. Since he could not kill her to silence her, he should try his best not to rouse her suspicion.

Climb turned his back on the girl and ran. Compared to his fear of receiving an attack from the rear, his desire to return to Renner as soon as possible was much stronger.

Climb began to run. The moment he turned a corner, he heard the sound of buildings collapsing. He had to kill the urge to check what was going on.

The attack he was watching out for never happened. Climb arrived safely at the entrance to the passageways. While he checked if he was being followed, Climb noticed the plums of smoke rising up to the skies.

“…The capital is on fire?”

Because of the houses blocking his light of sight, he could not confirm where the smoke was coming from, but he was certain that it was from more than a couple of sources.

So that girl was not part of the vanguard, but a sizable contingent of the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army had already made their way in and were pillaging the city.

So why could he not hear any screams—

Climb ignored the questions that arose in him.

He did not have time to waste on these questions. He had to return to Renner’s side and report that he had completed his mission. After that, he could remain by her side until the end.

Climb ran through the passageway and returned to the palace.

Inside the palace, it was quiet and calm. He could not understand why.

Previously, the castle appeared to have frozen over. That was undeniably the result of some form of attack by the Sorcerous Kingdom. If that was the case, while there might not be many left, there should still be a few knights remaining to defend the place.

Even though this place was far away from the knights’ defensive lines, he should still be able to hear some sort of noise, even if it was just the sound of a sword clashing against something. Speaking of which—

{It’s even quieter than before.}

Compared to before, the silence became even more uncomfortable. Nevermind the palace, the loneliness he felt right now was like if he was the last man in this world.

Climb intentionally ran with heavier steps to make more noise as he made his way to the king’s room. Perhaps he should have followed protocol in how he opened the door, but Climb did not care anymore. He opened the door with all his might.

No one was there.

He looked around. He could neither find Renner nor Rampossa III.

The king’s room was connected to another room, perhaps they were there. Just as Climb was about to cross the threshold, he noticed that there was a piece of paper on the table.

It was the same type of paper Renner had used to draw the map.

He picked it up and looked at it.

It was Renner’s familiar handwriting, instructions for him to go to the throne room.

The next moment, Climb had run out of the room.

As Climb got close to the throne room, he slowed down. The corridor to the throne room was filled with multiple figures on both sides. None of which he had seen before in the palace.

Their faces were pale white — women who could not have been human.

They had to be the Sorcerer King’s subordinates. They did not seem to be antagonizing Climb, who had run at them. Well no, it was more like they were not interested in him at all.

Should he unsheathe, or should he not.

Climb could not make up his mind. One of the women spoke.

“Please enter, last human of this court.”

After she said that, she shut her mouth in a disinterested manner.

He had a bad feeling about what she had said, a chill was sent down Climb’s spine.

Climb ran between the women towards the throne room.

In the subsequent moment, so much information flooded his brain that he had a sensory overload.

Sat upon the throne was not Rampossa III, but a skeletal monster that radiated overwhelming pressure — the Sorcerer King Ainz Ooal Gown. To his left and right was a man with a long tail, the Prime Minister of the Sorcerous Kingdom, Albedo, and an insectoid monster that looked like it was made out of ice.

Not far from them, lifeless and on the floor, was Rampossa III. His clothes were stained dark red and next to him sat Renner, her clothes soaked in blood. On the ground, close by, was Razor Edge.

The blade of the sword was coated with blood. There was no mistaking it, this was the weapon used to kill Rampossa III.

“Princess”

“Climb”

“Hon,” someone else laughed. A mocking laugh, probably.

Climb stood between Renner and them and readied his sword. Both of them will probably die right here. To protect Renner till the end in spite of that fact was Climb’s ultimate demonstration of loyalty.

“In front of Ainz-sama, your head is raised too high up.「Kneel」.”

Climb immediately kneeled. He could not resist at all. It was more accurate to say that before he had noticed, his body had already adopted this posture. He noticed the one behind him had done the same.

Renner.

The image of Renner being mind-controlled flashed through his mind and everything began to click together.

“You controlled — controlled Renner-sama like this?”

The tragedy in front of the throne: Renner was controlled and forced to kill her own father. His anger boiled over yet he still could not move. It was as though this body was no longer his.

“Ahhh, I remember. I have met with him during my duel with Gazef Stronoff. Undo the command mantra.”

“Yes!「You are free」.”

With the mental restraints removed, Climb jumped sideways to pick up Razor Edge, which was on the ground. He stood up rapidly, adjusted his breath, and adopted a stance. His opponent, was the Sorcerer King.

Of course, this was meaningless against the opponent who was able to kill the Warrior Captain at such a speed that he could not follow his movements with his eyes at all. Still, he was Renner’s meat-shield. What good would he be if he did not stand between them.

The Sorcerer King got up from the throne and walked leisurely towards Climb.

“You should be grateful that a king, such as I, would be willing to personally duel with you. Ah yes…if I win, I shall be taking that sword.”

The Sorcerer King walked towards him without a care, he was not on guard for him at all.

Anger occupied Climb’s body and mind.

This was all his fault.

If he did not exist, peace would be the status quo, no one would have died—

“—the princess would not have had to experience this sorrow!”

The Sorcerer King looked like he was sneering at him.

A slash would not be able to reach him. He thought about how the Warrior Captain was slain. What was his best move?

He held on tight to Razor Edge—

The Sorcerer King took a step and at that moment, Climb threw Razor Edge with all of his strength.

It looked like not even the Sorcerer King had expected this.

As he threw the sword, he lost his balance.

Climb closed the distance between them, clenched his fist, and punched him.

His fist was aimed at the Sorcerer King’s face.

“Climb!”

He heard Renner mournfully call out his name.

Skeleton-type monsters being weak to bludgeoning damage was a well-known fact, yet he felt intense pain once his fist connected.

The Sorcerer King on the other hand, did not appear to be affected by it at all.

“If this was a fairy tale—”

The Sorcerer King extended his hand at an unbelievable speed to grab on to Climb’s breastplate. He tried to escape, but he couldn’t even pry his hand open.

“—passion would awake dormant power, to grant you the ability to defeat me.”

The Sorcerer King picked Climb up. His resistance did not have any effect, as if he was struggling against a sturdy wall.

“But — this is reality. Nothing so perfect would happen.”

He was thrown. Climb’s body flew through the air for quite a while before falling to the ground.

The impact of his back hitting the floor knocked the air out of him.

Climb stood up in panic and looked at the Sorcerer King. After tossing Climb, he did not take another step. He did not seem to have considered making a follow-up attack.

This was exuberance afforded to him by his overwhelming strength.

“You will die here…you are not worth saving. You, who are without talent nor ability, do not deserve salvation. However, do not despair.”

The Sorcerer King appeared to be looking at Climb, but also not at the same time. His eyes appeared to be looking somewhere far away.

“This world is unequal. The inequality you experienced started the moment you were born. The birth of those with talent meant that of course, there are those born without talent. Furthermore, the environment one was born into differs. A rich family versus a poor family, even the personality of your fellow brothers and sisters matter. Those who were lucky will go on to have fulfilling lives, but those who were not, do not. However, I must reiterate, do not despair at such inequalities. The reason for this — is because death is the equalizer gifted to all. That is to say — me. Only the mercy bestowed by the ruler of death to all could be regarded as absolute equality in a world riddled with inequalities.”

Climb could not understand what he was talking about at all, he was probably telling him to rest in peace the long way round.

He could not help but be overwhelmed by his presence.

He is death, a being no living thing could oppose. It was as though Climb was about to be swallowed up by the Sorcerer King’s pride alone.

The difference between them, on a biological level, was too great.

Of course, the Sorcerer King, head of a state and one who wielded magic that could easily destroy an army, was entirely different compared to the talentless warrior that was Climb. However, the difference between them was not just so.

It was like that of an ant, yearning for the skies. That, was the difference between their domains.

Even so — even though he knew full well that he could not win, he had made his resolve to give his all, to be Renner’s meat-shield till the end of the very end.

Courage surged through him.

His languished heart burned once more.

Yes

All of this was for Renner.

For the woman who had saved him on that rainy day.

For her, who saw him as human—

“…I see. Those eyes.”

The Sorcerer King said something strange.

He must have sensed Climb’s intent to battle. The Sorcerer King exposed his defenceless back towards Climb, picked up Razor Edge which laid on the ground, and tossed it towards him.

“Rise up.”

The Sorcerer King extended one hand and in an instant, a black sword appeared. The length of the blade was around that of a longsword.

Climb stared at the Sorcerer King without raising his guard while he picked up Razor Edge. To have left openings in this moment could not have been helped. He thought about Gazef’s duel. Right before the fight began, the Sorcerer King had said himself that weapons without adequate enchantments could not damage him, but also that this sword could kill him.

Even this set — this set of armour granted to him by Renner, which had multiple enchantments imbued on it, could not break his defence. This was a depressing fact, one he had confirmed in that strike.

“Climb…”

To Renner, who leaned towards him with worry in her eyes, Climb smiled and whispered.

“Princess, I will buy you some time. If…you wish, please do it sooner than later.”

His thoughts were conveyed as Renner nodded her head.

Climb created some distance between him and Renner before he raised Razor Edge.

“Have you bid you farewell?”

“I wish to ask. After you kill me, will you kill the princess too?”

The Sorcerer King remained silent.

Climb couldn’t help but find that odd.

This wasn’t an occasion to be silent. What answered his question was a ”hehe” from the Sorcerer King, a soft laughter.

“How shall I torment you…? The best way would be to not answer your question.”

“Sorcerer King!”

He swung Razor Edge, which was easily caught by the Sorcerer King’s sword. After multiple strikes, the Sorcerer King remained standing where he stood.

The Sorcerer King did not attack him, he was playing with him instead, like someone would do to entertain a child.

However, this was fine by him.

He raised Razor Edge up high and bet everything in this single strike.

As before, the Sorcerer King parried his attack with that sword of pure black.

Now was the time.

To bet everything he had.

Climb activated his martial arts. Not only that, but he had also activated the ring’s ability too. At that moment, Climb’s combat prowess surged significantly.

In that case — because the Sorcerer King had gotten used to his usual moments, this strike was more like an ambush.

He pretended to use all of his strength to swing the sword down, relaxed his muscles, and pulled the sword back with all his might the moment it was blocked. In a single stroke, he thrust it towards the red orb in the Sorcerer King’s stomach.

He had been thinking since a long time back.

That was probably the Sorcerer King’s weak spot.

Even if it was not, if he managed to break it, would that not also count as a form of revenge?

“—oooof.”

“—I see, an impressive attack.”

The attack he had put all of his strength into, was caught dead in its tracks by the Sorcerer King with a single hand.

Climb felt his shoulder burn, a moist sensation began expanding from it, and in the next moment, the heat turned into intense pain.

He jumped back immediately, knowing that his shoulder had been slashed.

The armour given to him by Renner was cleaved through this easily by the Sorcerer King’s blade. That said, it did not appear to have weapon destruction abilities, because the armour itself did not break.

He could still move his arm, but the problem was that he could no longer do the same attack he just did.

The thought that he could avenge those who had fallen was but a mere dream.

“Could Razor Edge break a World-Class Item? I am very interested in the result of such an experiment. If it could damage one, that sword’s value would skyrocket. That said—” the Sorcerer King threw his sword and it disappeared midair, “—I can afford to wait till after I kill you to run those experiments.”

It looked like the Sorcerer King was about to cast magic.

Climb laughed. The Sorcerer King chose to use magic against someone like him, so he could not allow his opponent enough time to cast.

Climb leapt. As he heard the words “[Grasp Heart]”, he felt intense pain, as if his body was being ripped apart from the inside.

“Outstanding.”

And then—

His vision—

Really—

Meant—

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 9)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 9)

Volume 14: Chapter 4 – Well-Prepared Traps (Part 9)

“Hello~, don’t get in my way~”

Aura called out to the cowering soldiers on top of the city walls. She made use of the imperfections along the wall to make her way up in a single breath.

While the soldiers at the top wanted to use their spears to attack, what they witnessed next were inhuman movements — she jumped over the soldiers, spun around midair—

“Hyup”

—and landed perfectly on the other side of the battlements.

“V!”

Her hands formed into a V-shaped gesture for the lined-up soldiers to see.

The eyes pointed towards Aura, whose appearance was that of a child’s, were all filled with fear. Having seen her unusually light body in action, surely none of them still believed her to be a normal child. Plus, there was also the matter of the magical beast down below, waiting for her.

Aura ignored the humans and pulled out a piece of paper from the pocket by her waist casually.

The soldiers advanced towards Aura step-by-step to surround her, their spears were pointed towards her yet she continued to ignore them.

“Okay, everybody. I’ll say this again~ — Do not get in my waaay~ —”

Aura unrolled the paper to compare the capital in front of her with what was drawn on the map.

If all of the landmarks matched up, it would be much easier to read.

She easily found the Magician’s Guild, her first intended destination.

Aura, now satisfied, turned around to see the soldiers surrounding her. The tips of a few spears were positioned right in front of her eyes at a distance where a slight movement would cause her to touch them.

“Say, even if I was the only one to have climbed up here, was it really a smart idea to focus your attention on me? You know they’ll come up here as well, right?”

The soldiers looked at each other and sprung like springs to the outer edge of the walls, but it was already too late. Aura’s magical beasts climbed up the wall one after the other.

Their surroundings echoed with the pitiful wails of other soldiers.

Aura had greater combat prowess than them and while it was true that appearances could be deceiving, this was still too much to bear for them.

The soldiers who had completely lost their will to fight, began to stampede over each other to get out of her vicinity first.

There still were soldiers who held the idea that this position had to be defended, but with so many of their compatriots scurrying away, it was hard for them to maintain their morale.

The city walls were thick so the battlements were quite wide, but the fear-driven soldiers still pushed and shoved each other in their attempts to run away. If there was any semblance of order to their rout, they would have probably made it out faster. Those pushing each other at the front made for an absolutely chaotic getaway.

Although it would be trivial for the magical beasts to chase after them and exterminate them all, they were not interested in doing that at all. They had not received orders from their master yet, which was why they were letting them go. That was true for all of the magical beasts except one.

A level 71 magical beast, the largest one she had brought along for the occasion, an Iris Tyrannus Basileus. Its posture matches that of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, but it also has dorsal fins at the back. As its name suggested, it shined with vibrant light. Aura wasn’t too sure on the specifics, but she did remember that her master had said, “its original design had to be based off of the King of the Monsters™.”

(TL’s note: yes, Godzilla)

The Iris Tyrannus Basileus roared.

A roar loud enough to make the ground clatter.

That wasn’t to assert dominance or an expression of its own emotions.

It was a type of special ability — Petrifying Bellow.

If one had a similar level to it or had resistances against mental effects, it would just be an annoying roar. The routing soldiers were about to demonstrate what would happen if you satisfied neither of said conditions.

Fear twisted their expressions to the extreme as soldiers began to fall.

Fear-induced instant death.

It did not do this because the death of the scurrying humans brought it joy, but simply because it had found the inconvenience of having to constantly shift its sightline around to be annoying. The soldiers died for that kind of a reason.

But it wasn’t as though the Iris Tyrannus Basileus came out of this unscathed, the cost of such a power was great.

Surrounding the Iris Tyrannus Basileus were five of the six remaining beasts — the level 78 Fenrir, the level 77 Hound of the Wild Hunt, the level 76 Kirin, the level 76 Amphisbaena, and the level 74 Basilisk.

The Kirin started off by bucking it, followed by the Hound of the WIld Hunt trampling on it. The other magical beasts joined in one after the other to kick the Iris Tyrannus Basileus.

“You’re too damn loud,” was probably what they were trying to convey.

While combat prowess had nothing to do with this, it was still getting bullied by magical beasts with higher levels than itself. The Iris Tyrannus Basileus tried to seek sympathy from Aura by whimpering, which only caused the other magical beasts to intensify their attacks.

If their previous attacks were comparable to that of the seniors of a club disciplining their junior, what was happening now was more like a beating brought on by its own faults.

As a side note, the only monster that did not participate in the beatings was the level 58 Avaricious Frog named Gagarpur.

It was a magical beast that looked like something straight out of somebody’s nightmare, like a giant frog but…wrong. In its mouth were rows upon rows of dirty yellow teeth and its eyes looked like that of a lecherous middle-aged man.

“That’s — it! Guys, I’m not angry, stop bullying Iris-chan right now.”

Aura crossed her arms and looked at the magical beasts with half an eye open. The magical beasts began to cry.

“Alright, alright, I’m not angry at you either.”

After she said that, the magical beasts — other than the Iris Tyrannus Basileus — gathered around Aura and used their giant bodies to nuzzle against hers.

“Myuu~”

Aura let out an adorable cry. While her physical strength was no less than any of theirs, getting pushed around by their giant bodies still made her let out that sound.

“Hey hey! Gimme some — space!”

In front of Aura, who was clapping her hands together, the magical beasts began to line up — that said, their bodies were huge, so lining up single-file was quite difficult. Each of them found a spot to stand in and switched to uptight expressions. The playful attitudes they had when they rubbed against Aura was nowhere to be seen.

“Now, we’ll begin invading into the capital to take over a few of those buildings. It’s just sad that a few of you children might not be able to shine is all.”

The largest of the bunch, the Iris Tyrannus Basileus, began to look indifferent.

“Then I’ll give you a special mission! Walk along the city walls and squish any humans you see.”

“Bwooooo…”

The Iris Tyrannus Basileus’ roar shook the air around them, its voice gradually trailing. It lowered its head and cautiously looked towards the other magical beasts and Aura.

“…Mmm, great. Now then, everyone, the operation has begun! Quick!”

Aura jumped down from the city walls and successfully entered the capital’s perimeter. She landed on top of some random roof and ran along the rooftops.

The magical beasts followed along and jumped. Each of them moved in a weightless manner as they trailed behind Aura.

While turning around to check on the magical beasts, Aura noticed that the Iris Tyrannus Basileus was swinging its thick and girthy tail around. Aura waved to it, causing it to wave its tail around with even more fervour, incidentally destroying a part of the battlements.

{—you need to get moving too!}

The Iris Tyrannus Basileus jumped up for a second after she gave her orders telepathically and began to ponderously walk along the walls.

Aura’s first destination was the Magician’s Guild. Because it was home to numerous magic items, it should be on high alert. It was widely considered to be the place that would put up the greatest amount of resistance in the capital.

Although the enemy’s combat strength was not an issue, to gather every piece of magic item in that place would probably take a considerable amount of time. Perhaps she would have to call in reinforcements.

Aura cut across the capital through its rooftops as she pondered these things.

The capital spanned a vast amount of land, but to Aura’s speed when she was serious, it wasn’t a problem at all.

Not long after she had jumped from the city walls, she arrived at her destination.

None of the magical beasts had slowed her down. Well no, Gagarpur would have slowed her down, so it was carried along by the Basilisk.

Along the long perimeter walls were three five-story towers. The Magician’s Guild, what was essentially multiple two-story tall structures that were taller than they were wide, had shut their grid-shaped gates. To the sides of the gate were two two-story tall gatehouses.

She had not detected the presence of people outside, but human activity could be seen inside. Humans were on the watch.

Aura jumped into the guild’s land and looked at the map in her hands, comparing the buildings’ appearances.

“Mmm—Hmm. That’s there, so this is here, right?”

Utilizing the intel they had received from their corroborators within the capital, they had a rough sketch of the guild’s appearance. Magic items could be somewhere within here.

However, because there were multiple probable spots for them, they weren’t exactly sure where the magic items were kept. They were not able to capture any high-tier magic casters to question, so Aura had to make her own judgment.

While it was tiresome, the land area held by the Magician’s Guild meant that this was much more efficient than a human wave attack.

“Let’s go then.”

At the same time Aura began marching towards the gates, people emerged from it. There were five men and a woman. An elderly figure stood in front of them.

Aura suddenly thought, {oh.}

If they held significant ranks within the Magician’s Guild, it would save her a lot of time, but Aura couldn’t help but feel disappointed after taking a look at the elder.

The elder had to be a warrior from his appearance.

He wore typical dojo attire, black from the waist down and #48929B from the waist up. Two swords hung by his waist side and a breastplate covered his torso.

He had a full head of white, not a single strand of hair was black. His arms were slender, as expected of his age, yet they did not sag. They were thin yet hard like steel.

Beast-like perceptive eyes sized Aura up from top to bottom multiple times.

“Probably, let us confirm it first. Boy. You are a subordinate of the Sorcerer King, are you not?”

Aura surveyed the humans behind the elder. While they wore similar clothing to him, none of them was with swords. This elder was probably the master of a dojo then, with the others being his disciples.

While she couldn’t figure out what connections the Magician’s Guild had to a dojo, there had to be a connection for them to be protecting this place.

Although she felt like they might be able to provide more intel to her than the average magic caster, it would probably be non-essential intel anyways.

“—Why are you not answering? I will have you know that I will not go easy on you, even if you are just a brat.”

To have put up such a front in spite of Aura’s magical beast was probably because they had not shown any malicious intent or bloodlust. Or perhaps their opponents were brave, had made their resolves, and were confident in themselves.

“Mmm—Hmm. Umm, if you’re willing to become my guide, I won’t kill you, you know? Ah, these children won’t attack you either.”

Aura planned to keep that promise, since Mare would kill them all later anyway.

“You dare babble your mouth, brat. You may not pass beyond this point. I cannot allow that demon-summoning item to fall into the hands of people like you.”

Aura lost her composure and laughed.

Finding out that the thing was still here was enough for her. She had to secure it and give it back to Demiurge.

“Ah — is that so. So what’s your answer to my question?”

“I refuse. In any case, I, Ves—”

The elder fell down with a thud.

Aura had let loose an arrow.

The elder’s head, pierced by Aura’s lightning-fast arrow, split open like a pomegranate. Its contents spilt all over the place.

“I don’t have time for chitchat — well then, next — looks like everybody’s feeling the same way, huh? If that’s the case, how about you run in and grab a powerful looking magic caster to help me out?”

The humans lined up behind the elder were stunned expressionless. Aura felt like it would be too troublesome to wait till their brains had rebooted so she gave an order to her beasts.

“Kill them all.”

Aura spoke as she walked towards the gate. The magical beasts zoomed past her like a whirlwind and pounced on the remaining humans. Only blood and guts remained on the ground afterwards.

—-

Mare sat by himself on top of the second-highest tower in the castle, overlooking the capital.

In the battle that commenced three days before they had arrived at this city, Mare had killed a significant number of humans. Most of them were men however, he had not seen women or children among their ranks. In that case, what was left behind were probably all of the weaklings.

Mare’s expression was filled with sorrow.

He could no longer keep count of how many times he had run those numbers in his head.

—he couldn’t figure it out.

“What should I do…”

If someone was around, Mare would have consulted them, but no one else was there. Well no, the Hanzos should be there, but they wouldn’t appear in front of Mare. Plus, it was useless to ask them this question.

{Umm. W-what should I do…to destroy a city this vast more efficiently and kill every human within it…?}

Before Mare came to the capital, he had destroyed multiple cities with his master and gained relevant experience for it. That was why he had a clear understanding of how difficult it was to destroy a city — of how difficult of a task it was to kill every single inhabitant in it.

Repeated and continuous use of magic could destroy every structure in the city and render it into a mountain of rubble, but to guarantee that everything within the city died along with that was a difficult thing to do.

For example, if he used magic to induce an earthquake, it would destroy all above-ground structures as well as underground facilities. People within said structures would largely be crushed to death or buried alive.

A magically-induced earthquake could not affect things outside of the spell’s range, so people hiding in houses in other areas would not notice. The sound of collapsing buildings and the wails of people dying was another matter entirely.

If people heard those noises, there might be a lot of people who would come out of hiding to investigate, look out of windows, or something.

People who cover their eyes and ears in fear were the best, because if they coiled up into balls inside their own homes believing that things would soon pass over, he could just cast another spell and be done with them.

What the problem was, were people who believe that they would be the next to be crushed or the inherently brave bunch. What was even more troublesome were the weaklings who would become suicidal under stress, causing them to run in unpredictable directions.

Their moods were infectious.

Once an inhabitant noticed those who were running away, they would abandon their homes to run away too.

If they chose to run to still-standing structures, things would still be easy. However, terrified people tend to make irrational decisions such as choosing paths through collapsed areas or even try to save others trapped under the debris. They made the situation much more difficult to handle.

{I really wish they wouldn’t run away…}

If it turned into that kind of a situation, he would have to use another AOE spell to kill them, effectively doing twice the work for the same result.

If not for the time constraints, doing things twice over wouldn’t be such a big deal, but this was an operation carried out alongside his master. There was no way he could allow such a thing to happen.

Reason being that he would be wasting his master’s precious time, but also because he would feel ashamed from having to admit that he wasn’t good enough to end it in one go.

If it was an earthquake-related solution, he could not guarantee that it would kill everybody. There would be more survivors than he would have expected. While he could start a fire just in case to kill those who remain, a fire would be highly visible to people far away. It could also trigger primal flight responses, causing even more people to run away.

What a dilemma.

{I have to practice more and become more natural at this!}

Bukubukuchagama had gifted Mare the ability to destroy large quantities of enemies. In terms of how wide of an area he could affect, Mare was confident that no other Floor Guardian could rival his abilities.

That was why if he could not successfully destroy the city and kill all of its inhabitants, it would make him question his own worth and existence.

Perhaps Bukubukuchagama would be angry to see Mare like this.

“Nnnnng, nnnnng…”

Mare couldn’t help but imagine Bukubukuchagama disciplining him, causing his eyes to water. Before the tears could fall, Mare wiped them away.

“I have to try my best…Ainz-sama said that too.”

Mare was deeply respectful and grateful towards Ainz.

If Ainz had not let Mare to practice demolishing cities and to accrue experience over multiple tries, he would not have been able to grow as much as he did now.

Now that he thought about it, back when the war first started, Mare was asked to destroy a small town. The results of that event were honestly terrible.

Those were results that would bring shame upon Bukubukuchagama.

But while Mare took a gigantic hit to his ego, Ainz’s gentle words made him so happy that he could cry.

Ainz had told Mare that as long as he understood that he lacked experience in something, all he had to do was study hard to better himself.

If one of the guardians had told him that, it would not have moved Mare as much as it did. However, the one who said it was a being of equal status to Bukubukuchagama, one of the Supreme Beings.

Mare made his resolve.

He will destroy more towns and cities and kill more people to become the person Bukubukuchagama wanted him to be.

“Okay!”

While his voice was still that of a cute child’s, his tone was filled with an unusually strong spirit, not expected of Mare. If the other guardians were to see him now and compare him to the Mare they knew, they would probably be shocked speechless.

“I’ll do it right!”

Mare’s hands clenched into fists as he held them in front of himself.

In any case, he had to make practical use of what he had learned so far—

“To destroy the capital and kill all of its inhabitants — hey hey, ho —”

Mare threw his tightly clenched fists upward.

The Hanzos hiding behind him raised their fists as well.

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 8)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 8)

Volume 14: Chapter 4 – Well-Prepared Traps (Part 8)

The children under Brain’s protection had already left this place.

{Have they made it out safely I wonder.} They were like seeds he had sown for the future, the source of his calm. Perhaps — there was a 0.01% chance, no, a 0.000001% chance that one of them would grow up to become powerful enough to rival the Sorcerer King. These pipedreams of his further improved his mood.

Brain stood at the middle of the road, waiting for his opponent to get closer.

It must seem terribly foolish!

What he should have done was hide and wait for an opportunity to take revenge on the Sorcerer King, and not oppose the monster that served as their vanguard.

An onlooker might say something along the lines of, “look at the bigger picture, don’t do something so stupid,” to him.

However, Brain’s goal in life was to live by his sword, so he would rather blindly allow himself to battle with his all.

After a considerable amount of time had passed, it was finally at a distance where he could make out most of its features.

His opponent was not human.

Yet he could innately understand that this light-cyan giant was of a race far superior to his own.

Not long after—

{…so cold.}

From this opponent’s direction was a gale whipped up and sent towards him, its temperature as cold as a frosty winter’s day. Brain’s entire body trembled, not because he had felt any bloodlust or an oppressive aura, but from the chill breeze alone. The white puffs of breath coming out of Brain’s mouth proved that this was no illusion.

“What…?”

He couldn’t help but mutter to himself.

Was his opponent a being that radiated cold air? Now that he thought about it, the gates just then — was it not shrouded in ice and then rammed into pieces?

{Just how cold is he…}

The gate wasn’t small at all, so whatever domain this monster belonged to, was seriously terrifying to him.

That said — he knew this already.

Brain tightened his grip on his katana and waited for his opponent.

His hands trembled, not out of excitement nor from the cold, but out of a certain emotion.

The emotion known as fear.

Time after another he lamented in his heart, the heart that told him to move aside and cower in the corner. That thing, although it is a monster, the way it pulled its halberd along the ground as it walked radiated a warrior’s aura. If he curled up at the sides, perhaps he would be ignored like a pebble.

The houses that lined the sides of the street had signs of life, but none seemed like they wanted anything to do with this.

And because of that — Brain should perhaps do the same.

If he did that, his life would probably be spared.

But — his legs refused to move.

He was not running away from this one.

He focused his strength onto the one hand that gripped the hilt and slapped himself with the other.

“Alright!”

He no longer trembled. He had made his resolve, in body and soul.

While it had already visually identified Brain’s presence, the light-cyan giant continued forward without changing its pace.

The being that held a halberd in one hand emanated an ever-increasing sense of pressure as the distance between them gradually shrunk. Brain gulped down a mouthful of saliva.

Brain waited, like a roadblock for the light-cyan giant.

Because of its overwhelming presence, Brain failed to notice that there were women behind the being until now. They were dressed in white, their skins a similar hue to its, their long hair were black, and from them were chill winds rushing towards him too.

He was made acutely aware of their gazes on him.

The enemy had not taken any action against Brain, who stood in their path, yet.

He pulled out a bottle from the belt by his waist and downed it in one go. He drank another bottle after that, and another after that. In total, Brain had applied three types of magical buffs on his body.

Even though he had drunk the potions, an act of aggression in and of itself, his enemies did not seem to plan to attack right away. Still, he felt something akin to fighting spirit from them.

The distance between them had been closed to around five meters or so.

{Oy oy oy, another sheer cliff to overcome, eh?}

At this distance, it was made all the clearer to Brain that his opponent was a being that held absolute superiority over him. It had reached heights that Brain could never even hope to reach. To Brain, one who had raised his abilities by a mere finger’s length in comparison, this was a being he had absolutely no chance of winning against.

Even so — even though he knew that, Brain still refused to move aside.

His opponents stopped its movement.

The distance between them was three meters.

Considering the length of its arm and the halberd in its hand, Brain was already well within its strike range.

“—Brain Unglaus.”

He declared his name, raised his sword, and focused his mind.

“One. Who. Serves. Under. The. Camp. Of. The. Supreme. Being, His. Majesty. Ainz. Ooal. Gown, Cocytus.”

In the moment, Brain’s eyes widened in shock.

That was probably his opponent’s name. He had not expected to receive a reply at all.

While he was shocked, he also felt déjà vu.

{What was it?} He felt like he had heard this name before but he could not remember from where. Perhaps he was just overthinking it.

And then, Brain felt unbearable shame at how rude he had been.

The opponent in front of him was willing to respond to him, yet he was so rude to be lost in his own muddy memories.

The reason why his thoughts went in that direction was because his opponent was a monster he could never hope to match, it was probably on the same level as Sebas or Shalltear Bloodfallen. That meant that to his opponent, he was nothing more than an ant in his way. Despite all of that, his opponent did not treat him like an inferior being.

If their roles had been reversed, what would Brain do? He would have probably just cut him down without much consideration and continued on his way. Brain was so insignificant in comparison to his opponent, he probably couldn’t even leave an impression of himself in his mind.

Brain straightened his back and gently lowered his head, like what a student would do for his instructor.

“Thank you very much.”

“No. Need.”

Brain gripped onto the hilt of his katana tightly. {Stronger, stronger.}

To raise his weapons against a being who possessed overwhelming power without a plan felt like he was betraying the goodwill of those who had saved him. What he was doing right now was no different than suicide.

Also, if he thought about it, of what use would stopping the enemy here have?

None at all.

Yet still—

{I’m such an idiot, this Cocytus-danna couldn’t be the only one attacking this city. I have failed those two…no, I’m no longer a child. My future is what I make it out to be. That’s right…it’s in my hands and my hands only.}

Cocytus, who was looking at Brain, stuck his halberd into the ground.

“—God. Slaying. Emperor. Blade.”

An odachi of gigantic proportions, much longer than Brain’s height, was pulled out of thin air, with which Cocytus assumed the Jōdan stance.

(TL’s note: 上段の構え, one of the five stances in kendo.)

This was such an honour.

Words need not be exchanged. Cocytus had already conveyed his wish to resolve this by the blade.

Brain breathed out heavily and rapidly drew in air again. It was like he was trying to expel all of the air remaining in his lungs.

He was completely defenceless while doing so, yet Cocytus did not move a single inch. From his posture Brain could tell that he held massive respect for him.

Not only was his strength top-tier, but so was his character.

If he was of a similar level to the monster known as Shalltear, then he could probably make use of his weapon at speeds far greater than anything Brain could achieve, even in such an upright position. Even so, Cocytus still held his stance.

This wasn’t because he viewed Brain as a formidable opponent.

But under the pretext that Brain had made his resolve, Cocytus was treating him with the honour of a fellow warrior.

Such an action overwhelmed Brain with joy.

{He’s not the same as Shalltear.}

No, it would be rude of him to compare the two.

{Hmm? Shalltear? Cocytus? I swear I heard his name somewhere… I think— No, don’t! How are you still wasting time on these unnecessary thoughts in times like these? What an idiot.}

Brain concentrated his brainpower solely onto the matter of victory.

To parry the jōdan strike of this giant’s odachi would undoubtedly be difficult. If his opponent had similar physical attributes as Shalltear, receiving the blow with his katana on its own would not be able to stop it in its tracks. Brain’s head would probably be cleaved in half, his katana would probably break too.

So, should he try to dodge Cocytus’ first strike?

No, even if he got lucky and dodged the first attack, it’s not like his opponent would just stop there. The second and third strikes were sure to be continuous after that point. The common strategy would be to deflect your opponent’s first strike and counterattack while they’re correcting their stance. However, against this extraordinary foe, to even disrupt his balance and stance would require Brain’s full strength. That meant that even if he achieved this, he would not have enough strength leftover to counterattack. Because of that, Cocytus would probably end the fight by slashing upwards as a follow-up.

Which meant that—

{This is a do-or-die situation, isn’t it?}

He remembered something Vesture had said to him.

If he wanted to win against Cocytus, he had no options other than to strike a few milliseconds faster than him. That said, even if he managed to pierce Cocytus’ body or head, it would not change the path of his blade. The battle would end with both of them striking each other.

So he had to aim for Cocytus’ wrist, the one holding onto his blade.

To wish to move faster than a monster on Shalltear’s level and cut down his wrist was an absolute joke.

But—

{This is my only option, I have no choice but to use that move…}

Brain lowered his waist.

He adopted the posture for the technique capable of cutting down Shalltear Bloodfallen’s nail — Hidden Blade Nail Clipper.

—No.

This was no longer merely Hidden Blade Nail Clipper.

Originally, Nail Clipper was a move that incorporated the martial art that guaranteed a hit, [Field], the lightning-fast [God Flash], and [Fourfold Slash of Light]. The crystallization of every skill under Brain’s employ still took all of his strength to chip off Shalltear’s nail. Of course, to have cut off her nail was already a momentous achievement — it would not be too strange for it to become a legend passed down through history even. However, Brain did not rest his laurels there, he continued to push forward for the sole purpose of reaching the same peak as she did.

It was for this reason that Brain sought to become stronger, going as far as to request assistance from that person — Gazef Stronoff’s teacher and former Adamantite-ranked adventurer, Vesture Croff di Leoghain. Under his assistance and through nonstop training, he was finally able to use [Sixfold Slash of Light]. Unfortunately, he was unable to reach the level of understanding that Gazef had of that art.

So while the use of [Field] and [God Flash] remained the same, the use of [Sixfold Slash of Light] over [Fourfold Slash of Light] made it a new technique.

Martial arts used something akin to focus. The stronger the martial art was, the more of it was required. Exceptional warriors — higher-level warriors, while they had a greater capacity for it, would also find it difficult to use multiple martial arts at the same time. Indeed, Brain had greater reserves of focus than your average warrior, but he had already reached his limit back when he used Nail Clipper against Shalltear.

So it should have been impossible for him to use [Sixfold Slash of Light], a much more focus-intensive art than [Fourfold Slash of Light], with his other martial arts.

There was only one reason why he could despite all of that.

The Brain Unglaus who stood there had already surpassed Gazef Stronoff — he had entered the realm of heroes.

All of this culminated in Brain’s new technique — True Nail Clipper©.

Cocytus moved his foot slightly forward to close the distance between them, a really short distance that was.

Considering the difference in their strength, it would not be strange for Cocytus to easily close the gap between them and hack straight down with his katana.

So why did he do such a thing?

The answer was simple, he wished to grant Brain a death that was befitting of a warrior.

Brain’s appreciation for Cocytus as a warrior deepened once more as he assumed the stance of True Nail Clipper©.

{Not…yet…}

{Not…in range…}

The magical buffs granted to Brain by his potions meant that he was much stronger than he was when he faced Shalltear.

Even so.

The human named Brain Unglaus could not hope to reach the domain of the monsters like Cocytus.

There was nothing he could do about it. After all, it was impossible for an ant to prevail against a dragon. A fact that was hard to swallow, but he had to nonetheless.

Still, he did not wish to lose. What should he do? It would be good to reduce the overwhelming gap in strength between them even if by a little, but how should he go about accomplishing that?

{—I am a warrior, so I must do as warriors would.}

“—[Ability Boost]”

Brain activated a martial art.

He had expended all of his reserves for True Nail Clipper©, there should not have been anything left for other martial arts.

However — Brain’s eyes began to fill with blood and blood began to stream down his nostrils. His capillaries had just burst.

A {shing} sound rang out as if to signify a transition. His physical capabilities were boosted to the next level.

He activated another martial art.

His physical capabilities were boosted once more.

But — {Not…yet…}

He was still unable to do it.

So what should he do?

There was only one answer.

Brain activated yet another martial art.

“—[Greater Ability Boost]”

Brain Unglaus had yet again, achieved something impossible.

He did not know this himself.

The true nature of his talent was an increase in his focus capacity, only with this and the addition of his higher levels was he able to activate the martial arts required by Nail Clipper.

But, even so, Brain had his limits. He could not use any more martial arts than that, a limit imposed upon him by the world.

But, in that moment — Brain broke the rules of this world once more.

A second miracle of this kind.

The first was when he cut Shalltear’s nail.

The second, was made in this moment.

The consequence of breaking the rules was that his body began to deteriorate.

His body probably won’t last for another minute.

However, to those who were strong, a minute was a long time.

Cocytus entered—

Into Brain’s range—

The God Slaying Emperor Blade in jōdan—

Brain pulled out his own katana to receive the attack from Cocytus’ katana—

And then—

—the sound of blood and flesh being rended could be heard.

After swinging the God Slaying Emperor Blade, Cocytus shook off the blood and fat from the katana and returned it to its space. He pulled his halberd from the ground and looked down at the corpse of the man he had just slain.

He is — was a fine warrior.

Cocytus was unscathed, the blade did not manage to reach him, yet his skills as a warrior was commendable.

{…I. Have. Never. Heard. Of. Such. An. Excellent. Warrior…}

It was such a shame that he had to kill him.

If it was possible, he wanted to save his life and have him become loyal to his master. He could have easily broken his opponent’s sword, tanked his hit, or broke all four of his limbs, but that is not the way of a warrior.

Cocytus had already sensed it when he saw this man standing on his own from afar, he knew it all the better when he stood face-to-face with him: this was a warrior who had made his resolve.

Cocytus could not dishonour such a man.

He knew exactly how beneficial it would be to bring him under their rule, but still killed him. It would not be wrong to say that he had betrayed Nazarick.

Still.

He wished to converse with him through the clash of their blades.

If Warrior Takemikazuchi were here, he would probably praise Cocytus for his decision.

{By. Levels, He. Is. Probably. Around. Level. 40.}

However, he felt that other than that single strike, there wasn’t much else power in him. Perhaps it was something like Cocytus’ Vidyārāja Strike, or perhaps he had used special abilities to strengthen himself.

He was insignificant in comparison to Cocytus, but in this world’s terms he was strong.

Cocytus picked up the katana Brain dropped.

“I. WIll. Be. Taking. This.”

Among the weapons in Cocytus’ possession, this was exceptionally weak — something that was practically useless to him. Perhaps it would be better to lay this sword by his side to mark his grave, but Cocytus decided to take the sword.

He was not too keen to leave his body as it is.

“You. All, Freeze. This. Man.”

After he gave his command to the Frost Virgins, the body of the man named Brain began to slowly freeze over.

Just as Cocytus was about to step over Brain, he stopped himself again.

He looked towards the castle behind Brain.

“…”

Cocytus turned his head around while deep in thought.

He turned right and walked into a path that was narrower than the one before. He walked down the path until he emerged onto the main street again, after which he took another right turn. He walked along while confirming the castle’s position, taking every right turn detour that he saw which brought him back to the main street.

Cocytus looked towards his right.

Brain’s remains were now quite a distance away.

Cocytus then silently walked towards his left — towards the castle.

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 7)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 7)

Volume 14: Chapter 4 – Well-Prepared Traps (Part 7)

Climb was powerless in the face of Evileye’s threats.

{If I rendezvoused with Brain — if I informed Tina of the current situation…} While Climb pondered, the unusual situation among the members of Blue Rose continued to unfold.

Tia appeared to be muttering something to Lakyus.

“I’ve been making observations for quite a while now, looking for ways to kill Lakyus…Normal methods would be resisted, so a combination of magic and poison would have to be used. That is the only way to do it. Surely not even you could resist the effect of multiple poisons simultaneously, right? Evileye, it’s your turn.”

“Alright.”

Confused, grovelling, and saddened. Pain was not the only thing conveyed through Lakyus’ expression, what stood out amongst them all was her inability to understand what was happening at all. Evileye casted a spell at her.

“I get it. [Resist Weakening]… No use. She resisted it.”

(TL’s note: would have went with [Resistance Weakening] but the Engrish in the furigana has spoken)

“What even.”

Gagaran landed yet another hit on Lakyus’ belly, the part of her body that she had minimized her own stature to protect, like a turtle retreating into its shell. Tia took out a new needle and stabbed it into Lakyus without any hesitation.

“[Resist Weakening]…alright. Now then — [Charm Person]. Done. Good job, you two. We did it.”

Gagaran and Tia pulled away from Lakyus.

“Lakyus, quick, heal yourself.”

“Yes, understood. Tia, could you help me pull these out?”

Lakyus spoke as if nothing had happened. The terror of mind control made Climb tremble with fear.

Just as Tia was about to do it, Evileye raised her voice to stop her in her tracks.

“Don’t. If you inflict pain on her now, you’ll be treated as a hostile and the magic may be dispelled. Lakyus, sorry but pull them out yourself. Those shouldn’t have pierced too deeply.”

“Its purpose was only to inject the poison, so the needle itself isn’t too thick…it’s the type that would be rendered ineffective if you were wearing armour.”

“I know, but pulling it out myself will still require a bit of resolve.”

Lakyus bit down on her lower lip and pulled the needle out. She then began to cast healing magic on the hole.

“Gagaran. Open the window and let some air in… What should we do about the blood on the floor?”

“Most of it was absorbed by her dress so not much made it onto the floor. No need to worry about it.”

Renner replied calmly. Everybody other than him was speaking in such a tranquil manner that Climb felt like what he was witnessing was an illusion. It was as if he had been transported to an unfamiliar world.

“Woah. Completely unshaken. I knew from the start that you had guts.”

“I do not think so…” Renner said with a puzzled expression, “I just felt that everyone would not just harm each other for no reason at all…but mind control is really scary though…Climb, what did you think about this?”

“Yes, I had the same thought.”

“So…could you tell us why you did this?”

“What if I told you that I won’t?”

“Are you not the least bit apologetic that you have soiled this room?”

Evileye appeared to be laughing behind her mask.

“Alright, nothing I could say about that. The reason is simple. Compared to the Kingdom or whatever else, we believe our companions’ lives to be far more important. That’s about it.”

“Defending the capital was oni boss’ decision anyways. We were against it deep down from the start.”

“But if we told her that, this dumbass would definitely say, ‘then I will defend it on my own’ or something. So, we decided that our only option was to forcefully take her away, but daylight kidnappings aren’t so easy. Neither did we have confidence in our ability to trick her into leaving too, so, though we must apologize to Your Highness the princess for what we’ve done, we had to exploit this opportunity.”

Tia and Gagaran shrugged in agreement. This must have been a collective decision made by Blue Rose barring Lakyus of course. Brain still had not returned yet, so Tina must be keeping him busy.

“But no matter what, this was far too excessive.”

“Haaaah, that’s what I said as well, but these guys—”

“It would be bad if she got on high alert after rejecting our suggestion…to catch an oni…to catch Lakyus out for sure required her to be completely off her guard. This is me speaking from experience.”

“So there is a whole system around this?”

“Aye. We used five types of poison, didn’t let her wear her gear, used debuff magic, and yet still had to rely on luck to see if we could charm her. That was why we had to go through all of this trouble, if even one of those elements was missing, we would have failed. Now then—” Evileye clapped her hands together, “after Tina comes back, we’ll head back to the inn with [Teleportation], pick up Lakyus’ equipment, and teleport out of this city.”

Evileye looked towards Climb and Renner.

“…Oy, opportunities like this won’t come twice. You know I could take you guys along with me, right? I’ll be frank with you, this country is doomed and the fate that awaits the princess of a doomed nation won’t be a pretty one. This might be your last chance at escaping.”

Climb couldn’t help but look towards Renner.

Wasn’t this exactly what he had hoped for?

If it was teleportation, they could escape even if the city was surrounded. Plus, what Evileye had said was the truth. Whatever fate awaited Renner would not be kind at all, nor was there any other way he could foresee this situation playing out. After all, their enemy was a nation of undead that trampled over the innocent.

“I wish to ask a question. Where will you be heading to?”

“Well, first things first, we have to leave this country. About that…we’ll probably be heading Northeast, I think? If we kept moving in that direction, there is a country that fell into ruin long ago. The capital there — we’ll be heading to the ruins cleansed by fire. Since that place is quite a ways away, we will have to teleport multiple times. Mmmm, in any case it’s a faraway land, one that none of you have heard of.”

“Is that so…”

Renner slightly lowered her head. Was she hesitating? Not long after, she lifted her head as if she had made a resolute decision.

“Thank you, but I cannot go.”

“Is that so…”

Evileye did not continue speaking.

Panicked feelings began to arise in Climb’s heart. If that was her decision, then Renner’s fate was set in stone. That was all he could think of.

True loyalty. Was it not what the members of Blue Rose had demonstrated? Should he take Renner to safety, regardless of whether he had to resort to violence or not?

To escape the frustration welling up within him, he looked towards Renner whose smile told him that she understood him completely. This was the expression that graced Climb every time she was about to lay down the truth.

“Climb. As royalty, I must fulfill my duties even if it costs me my life.”

He felt as though he had just been punched.

While Renner’s existence as a person was important to him, of equal value was her status as his royal liege.

In these situations, having to attend to one’s royal duties wasn’t a good thing at all. Yet, Renner, as royalty, as one who cared for her own people, was still willing to stay true to her royal status till the end.

Compared to him, someone whose thoughts were solely on survival, how magnanimous was she?

Climb made his resolve.

His responsibility in the end, will be to let Renner live for as long as possible, even if only for a second more. He will die at the hands of the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army, serving as Renner’s shield till the very end.

At the same time Climb steeled himself, he heard Evileye quietly say, “how rowdy.” Knocks came ringing from the door as it opened, stood outside were Brain and Tina, holding filled trays.

“We found and brought some desserts over.”

“Because the guy next to us had a bone to pick with me, it took a while, were we able to make it— What? What the hell happened here?”

Although the windows were open, Brain was still able to pick up on the faint smell of blood that lingered. He shifted his center of mass downwards as he carefully looked around the room.

“…lady over there. There’s blood on your clothes — did someone suspicious show up?”

“No—”

“Don’t mind it. Just ask Her Highness about it after we leave.”

Gagaran interrupted Lakyus to say. Perhaps he still felt uneasy, Brain shot a glance at Renner. One could sense the question ‘is everything alright?’ from his eyes alone. If Renner had responded in the negative, he would have probably unsheathed his sword.

“Everything is fine. There is nothing to be on guard for.”

Brain’s gaze turned to Climb.

Climb replied in the same manner as Renner.

“…is that so? That’s good to hear then.”

“Ah, right. Brain Unglaus, I have a question for you. Want to get away from this place?”

“…what?”

Upon hearing Evileye’s question, Brain began to survey the room once more.

“What are those two planning to do?” Brain answered with his own question as his gaze swung towards Climb and Renner. His lips curved into a smile after Evileye shook her head. “Is that so. If that’s the case — no, no matter what, I would not have chosen to run away — there is no point in it anyway… Honestly… I said back then that I’d choose the path of least resistance, now it looks like that was right on the spot.”

“…Really? I thought you’d respond this way, guess I was right.”

The members of Blue Rose gathered around Evileye and suddenly vanished as if they had already bid farewell. All that was left behind of them was the smell of blood and black tea.

This was supposed to be their final farewell, yet it ended so abruptly. But, considering the pain those two must feel when they have no choice but to separate, perhaps there was no better alternative to this farewell.

However, those were Climb’s thoughts, not Renner’s.

She must have been dealt a mental blow, so how should he comfort her? Climb stole a glance at Renner and saw that she was listless. The gentle smile that usually hung on her face was nowhere to be seen, it was like she had put on a mask.

It must have had an extreme impact on her.

Climb stood beside Renner.

“Princess, I can imagine the shock you must be going through right now, but…”

He could not finish his sentence. It was more accurate to say that he did not want to finish that sentence. While he wanted to say that he would stay with her till the end, how could he ever compare to that Adamantite-ranked adventurer, who was both a noblewoman and Renner’s friend. Still, he had to comfort the princess somehow, so he racked his brain.

Maybe his intentions were conveyed well enough, because Renner’s expression suddenly changed. It was back to her normal, gentle smile.

“I’m fine~, Climb…Nevermind that, Brain-san has important matters to attend to does he not?”

“Ahhh… Then, Your Highness, Climb. The timing is about right, it’s time for me to say goodbye. I apologize but I will have to leave now.”

What was this sudden development?

Climb could not understand what Brain was thinking, so he asked a question.

“Where are you going?”

“Hmmm? I plan to challenge the Sorcerer King in single combat. Mmm, I’d most likely lose, but I should be able at the very least cut down one of his subordinates.”

Brain took off the sword he kept by his waist side, threw it towards Climb, and said, “I’m returning this.”

“Wha!? What are you talking about!? The only one fit to wield this sword is the one who inherited Stronoff-sama’s will! Brain-san!”

“Oy oy, I told you back then didn’t I? I am not inheriting his will. First of all, this is one of the national treasures right? It’s not befitting someone as lowly as me. Princess-san, sorry, but please do return this to His Majesty.”

“I understand.”

“Princess-sama!”

“—Climb, Brain-san has already made his decision.”

“As expected of princess-san, you’re a good woman. That said, I don’t really understand women anyway. Mmmm, how do I put this.” Brain stood upright. “This is probably my last farewell. Princess, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. Climb— back then, I was lucky to have met you and Sebas-san. It resuscitated me…and I am grateful for that.”

Brain turned his back on them and began to march forward.

“You and Gazef, it was my honour to have met the both of you.”

As those words fell, Brain’s silhouette disappeared behind the other side of the door.

“…How did it end up this way…Sorcerer King…if only you didn’t exist…”

Everything around Climb was being destroyed. Everything other than what was most important to him had been taken away and even that might not be long for this world. Her time was running out.

“Climb, I want to hand this sword off to father-sama first.”

The depressive mood had gotten a hold on him and those words managed to pull him back. Indeed, until that moment came, he had sworn to give his all to her — to save the woman who had saved him, to serve the person most important to him.

“…say, that, this, umm.” The sounds coming out of Renner’s mouth did not match the atmosphere of the room just then at all. “Can I hold the sword for a moment?”

“Eh? Okay, yes!”

After he handed over the sword, Renner drew it out.

“It is quite heavy.”

Renner handed the sheath to Climb. The blade of the Razor Edge was honed and could cut through armour like paper. Before Climb could say “it’s dangerous,” Renner began to wave the sword around in the air.

Climb was a little shocked. Indeed, because of the weight, her movements were wobbly, causing the tip of the blade to nick the floorboard. That was purely because she did not have enough strength to wield it, because her training still shone through her stance and movements. He could feel the sharpness of the blade from afar. If a man without experience were to swing this sword around, he would not have been able to make the sword gleam the way it did in her hands.

“Uuugh — Hmmm. I’m not too suited for this.”

“N-no, not at all. I believe that if you trained more, you should be able to win against me in a duel.”

“You jest. Plus, it is unlikely that I will ever hold a sword again.”

Renner sheathed the sword after Climb passed it to her and handed it back to Climb.

“Now then, let us head to father-sama’s side, but before then—” Renner looked at herself.

“I need to make some preparations.”

—-

Brain Unglaus walked through the empty streets of the capital. Usually these streets would be bustling with life, yet today not another soul could be seen. Everyone was hiding in their homes out of fear for the Sorcerer King, but Brain knew that would not bring them salvation.

Brain was around Renner for long enough to know that the Sorcerer King had no reason to not destroy the capital.

However, if someone were to ask him “how can we be saved?” he would not know how to respond.

If everybody coordinated and ran from the capital in all directions, surely some of them would make it out alive. That was the only answer he had.

Brain looked towards the buildings along the street, every door and window was shut tight. They must have been nailed shut from the inside so there was no easy way in.

{Now…behind those doors there must be a few suicides or even entire families dead…}

It was impossible for that to not be the case.

Rumours had already conveyed the terror inflicted by the Sorcerer King’s army.

He thought about how this situation could be turned around if God was willing. If every citizen in the capital could rise up for vengeance — though it would be useless, it would probably give the enemy a good scare. But for that to happen, someone had to unite the people under one banner.

If it were the princess, she could probably achieve it, but she did not seem like she wanted to make such a move.

{If it was not me here, but him instead, would things have turned out differently…? Perhaps.}

He knew very well that they did not have any chance at victory in a battle, Brain saw it in his eyes when he led the army of 400,000 away. Yet he could not look past the 0.01% — no, the 0.000001% or even 0.0000000001% chance that they could win.

Zanac may have led them on a suicidal mission, but it wasn’t for a pipedream. He had just acted according to their best bet in that scenario

—just like what Brain was about to do.

Brain laughed in his lonesome and felt something.

{Has the air…changed?}

Nothing had changed in actuality, the capital still smelled the way it always did, but there was a noticeable difference. This was something a warrior could come to understand after experiencing multiple near-death battles. It was somewhat different from a pungent smell, it was a sort of psychological smell.

It was the same smell he smelled back when he and Climb looked towards E-Rantel’s night sky.

The smell of loss and defeat.

{Has the Sorcerer King’s army finally made their move?}

That was the only reason he could think of for such a sudden change.

An opportunity had come.

If Brain were to not use any tricks when approaching the Sorcerer King, the probability that he could make it to his side was really low. No, that was an understatement — it would be correct to say that he did not have a chance at all.

However, there was a chance that he could accomplish his goal in the midst of the chaos of battle. Of course, that depended on the security situation of the enemy’s camp. Still, to trample over a city as big as the capital would require breaks in formation and subsequently, lowered guards.

Brain stopped walking to mull over his next moves and saw the buttresses turn white.

It was as though white paint had been poured over it.

Wails could be heard from afar.

This was the start of the siege. The wails had come from the temporary shelters built for refugees from other cities near the buttresses. The enemy’s target had to be the castle, so there probably won’t be any refugees running towards Brain — towards the castle.

{What should I do? Would it be better to abandon the initial plan once the siege began?}

His initial plan was to get out of the capital first and wait for the moment the enemy’s army entered the capital. He was planning to slip past the army in the chaos of the siege to get closer to the Sorcerer King.

However, if the enemy had already made their way into the capital, it would be better for him to hide himself for now, wait for the army to pass over, and then go out of the city walls.

But if he did that, there was a high chance that the Sorcerer King might choose to leave his encampment.He had to first figure out where he was so he wouldn’t waste time running towards nothing.

Perhaps he could hide near the castle and wait till the Sorcerer King led his army inward to strike.

Well, in any case—

{All of these plans rely on me hiding myself.}

That said, he would not have to perfectly mask his presence like a rogue or assassin. He should be fine as long as he hid out of the enemy’s sight.

While he considered where to best hide himself, the city gates began to crumble. The white shrapnel being splintered off the gates reflected light in such a brilliant and beautiful way that Brain could not help but stop and admire this sight, even in this situation.

{Was that…some kind of skill?} But if he thought about it, he was about to make an enemy out of the Sorcerer King, one who could summon all sorts of deplorable beings. Nothing should be out of the ordinary for him at this point.

A tiny dot stepped over the collapsed gates. It only appeared tiny because it was so far away, adjusted for perspective it must be a giant compared to the average human.

Even though it had stepped over the threshold, no soldiers were rushing over to stop it. There could only be one reason why.

They were already dead.

Brain’s entire body began to shudder.

That had to be a super monster or something.

The being’s figure slowly began to increase in size, its stride slow and steady.

Brain’s expression became contorted.

This was a being with overwhelming physical strength, so its speed should be on par. To advance through an empty street shouldn’t take it too much time, so why was it wasting so much time—

{Ahhh, indeed. They had already breached the capital’s defences, so the ensuing massacre should be easy for them. They could take as much time as they want!}

It was then not strange for the enemy to be at ease.

However — Brain squinted and looked towards his slowly approaching yet still far away opponent.

This was the street where he was picked up, forcefully pulled along by Gazef.

This was the street he ran down with Climb to raid the Eight Finger’s facility, where he met Sebas.

This was the street he led the children destined to become the next warrior captains down.

This road was now being stomped upon carelessly by a monster. The road Brain had walked down with everyone he held dear was being stomped on.

Unforgivable.

Brain changed his mind. He no longer gave a damn about the Sorcerer King. Right here, right now, this monster in front of him—

—he swore to make it pay.

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 6)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 6)

Volume 14: Chapter 4 – Well-Prepared Traps (Part 6)

“We rarely get to drink this…You guys are seriously being ungrateful.”

Could you really consider the offering of tea to be an act of good grace? Something just didn’t sit right with that definition.

After pouring five servings of tea, Tia swung the Warm Bottle around as if to emphasize the fact that it was empty.

“Ah — it’s empty — what a shame — we don’t have nearly enough, especially with this 10-liter drinking gal around—” Tia flashed a glance at Tina, “wouldn’t rumours spread that the third princess doesn’t even have enough tea to adequately serve her guests?—”

Lakyus rubbed her glabella as Renner laughed, “ufufu.”

“Now that is troubling. Although, in times like these, it is probably unwise to maintain the image of a lavish lifestyle. But I do think there is a need to demonstrate that the royal family still has a future. So, should I steep more tea?”

“Give it a rest, Renner.”

“Lakyus. There’s a limit to how much you could remain beholden to everyone’s goodwill you know?”

“Eh?”

Lakyus was incredulous as Renner gave a wry smile.

“Should I spell it out for her? Miss Evileye.”

“Mmmm. Looks like she’s starting to understand… please do educate our hardheaded leader.”

“Very well then… The final moments will be upon us soon after all. Everybody is just trying to buy as much time for the both of us as possible.”

“…Ahhh, so that’s why.”

Climb finally understood now that she had put it that way.

Normally, adventurers could not participate in wars, this was a measure put in place to prevent higher casualty counts than normal.

However, since the enemy this time around was the undead and had committed massacres on a massive scale, the Adventurer’s Guild of the Kingdom had accepted the royal request to classify this war as an acceptable quest. Just as the case was during Jaldabaoth’s demonic disturbance, the guild had approved the mobilization of its members.

The exact details of how they would operate was entirely left up to the adventurers’ discretion.

Some had even chosen to join the ranks of the army that was sent out nearly a week ago, from which none had returned. A few of the other teams had chosen to make their last stand inside of the capital.

There were some high-tier teams that had gone missing in the midst of this, perhaps they had accepted the invitation of the Theocracy or had snuck out and fled from the capital of their own volition.

Lakyus and her team, Blue Rose, were one of the teams that had decided to make their last stand at the capital.

They had just received intel that the Sorcerer King’s army had set up camp near the capital, Lakyus and the rest of them should not be squandering away what precious time they had left.

Yet still, Lakyus consciously found time to meet with her friend, Renner. Considering that it was extremely likely— no, they were 100% certain that this was the last time she could meet with Renner.

The truth was, she had already prepared tea for five. Servings for Evileye, Gagaran, Tia, Tina, and of course, the one being handed to Climb. Yet, it seemed that none of them was planning to drink it.

If they had told Lakyus outright that she should allocate time to bid her farewells with her friend, she would have definitely rejected that notion based on her personality alone. If they phrased it as her having a cup of tea with her buddies however, she would probably be much more receptive to the idea. Her companions were just being considerate.

“…So, Brain Unglaus. I want to make tea for the remaining few, who must be terribly parched at this point. Show me the way to where the water is boiled.”

“Oh. It’s this way.”

{That was probably why.} Tina and Tia managed to get the better bodyguard of the two out of the room.

“Should I leave too?”

“Hmmm? Oh, don’t mind it. That wasn’t why they led him away.”

Climb asked Evileye only to receive an answer in the negative.

{Eh?} Climb was a bit confused. So they weren’t trying to grant Renner and Lakyus more privacy by getting everyone else out of the room?

Gagaran and Evileye did not seem to want to leave at all. Did she really only want him to lead her to where the water was boiled then?

“Since everybody has insisted, let us chat a little before the tea is ready. Ah! Before that, I have a question. Where were you just then? If you were busy preparing for what is to come, then I will just leave.”

“Do you know of the orphanage that I established? I had just returned from cooking there.”

“Huh? Cooking? At times like these?”

Lakyus vocally expressed her shock. Climb was surprised too when Renner had asked him to prepare the carriage so that she could go cook for those children.

However, upon arriving at the location and seeing the state of the place, Climb knew that she had made the right decision.

“Yes. The Sorcerer King’s army had surrounded the capital for a few days now, plus the army that was sent out a few days back had also used up a sizable amount of food. Our rations have only been dwindling down day by day. That was why I took some of the food stored here to cook a meal for them.”

The orphanage did not have much food left. Moreover, the price of food has risen due to the worsening situation in the capital, so the orphanage could no longer sustain its own operations. It had no choice but to decrease the amount of meals per day as well as the amount of food the children received per meal. That was why she chose to cook for them, since she was already there to secretly supply them with food anyways and plus it was a rare opportunity for her too.

Renner’s mutters began to flash through Climb’s mind.

Renner, as she cooked for the children with her well-learned culinary skills, had said, “I wanted to distribute grain to everybody, but we don’t have much left. I’m such a hypocrite.”

Faced with the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army which had already defeated the Kingdom’s 400,000 men strong army, they had no hope to stand against them. The capital was fated to fall and so was the royalty.

Yet, no matter how hard he tried to convince the gentle Renner to run away, she would not budge at all.

Stuck between his loyalty and his own feelings, Climb felt a suffocating pain in his heart. However, he could not allow the two in front of him to sense that under any circumstances.

Climb forcefully suppressed the pain that felt like it could tear him apart.

“You might be the only royal in history to know how to cook.”

“I do not think so. There must have been others, just not recorded in the history books was all… Those children must be enjoying their meals right now, it was worth it.”

Originally, Renner’s cooking was meant to be everybody’s lunch but in order to prevent the children from fighting over the food or the employees choosing to go without for them, she had even cooked side dishes to go along with the entree. Everybody there must be satiating themselves right now.

She had cooked so much that dinner should have also been taken care of for them.

Speaking of which, Renner, who couldn’t even peel a potato before, had seamlessly improved her cooking abilities by quite a margin. The thinness of peelings she could achieve nowadays was honestly amazing.

This woman, who glistened in radiant light in his eyes, appeared to be naturally talented for the culinary arts.

Renner seemed to have noticed Climb’s revenant gaze, and smiled in response.

It was such a warm and welcoming smile.

Those two’s conversation was filled with optimistic topics, perhaps they were subconsciously avoiding the discussion of their inevitable fate. Or rather, was it precisely because they knew what fate awaited them that they avoided talking about it?

Not long later, Tia returned alone with the Warm Bottle.

“Where’s Mr. Unglaus and Tina?”

“Hmmm? Those two went looking for desserts to pair with the tea, so I came back first.”

“Desserts?” Lakyus half-squinted at Tia, “That would have been appropriate if we were the one to bring some along—”

“—I do not mind so it is fine. I should have baked plenty of pastries back then to serve as backup food. Since I added a lot of sugar in them, they could be used as desserts.”

“…See? Even the princess agrees. Oni…crOni boss is just being extra. Also, this is the first time I have tried steeping tea.”

(TL’s note: Original was 鬼 vs 恶鬼. TLing it into a pun to preserve the nuance.)

The tea that flowed out of the Warm Bottle was excessively thick.

“Hey. Oni boss. It feels nice to down it in one gulp. It’s got a clean texture.”

“Thank you.”

“The taste is honestly excellent, I suppose Your Highness the princess would not need my recommendation. Please have my share too, it cooled down already.”

Tia placed her filled cup of tea in front of Renner.

Such a breach of etiquette angered Lakyus somewhat, but Tina kept silent anyways. Climb felt that he should also keep his mouth shut.

Lakyus picked up her cup and breathed in the fragran— smell. Her expression became twisted.

“The taste was too strong…”

“Don’t mind it.”

“…of course I would mind. This is the first time I’ve drank such a strong tea. How many leaves did you add…?”

“Hey hey. I know you said this was your first time, but there’s no need to quiver with such excitement~”

“So that was why they were looking for desserts, to balance the flavour. Understandable… Renner, you were right to not drink it.”

“How rude. Not even the term ‘oni’ could do you justice, oni boss.”

“Haaaah, just try to make something more edible next time.”

Lakyus picked up her cup and slipped from the corner of her lips. Her expression twisted into something resembling the character . Just how thick was the tea?

Tia, who stood next to Lakyus stole glances at her and asked in a matter-of-fact tone, “is it tasty?”

“Hah? If I am being honest, it is too bitter. I would not call it good—hugh!”

Lakyus’ expression began to contort.

She pushed Tia aside and held on to her stomach. The items on the table shook as she wobbled.

In the midst of the chaos, Climb finally noticed that Lakyus’ gown had been stained red. A thin, stick-like object had been thrust through her.

He could not comprehend what had happened. His brain could not accept what he was seeing right now.

Who would have thought that Lakyus would be penetrated by Tia.

Lakyus was also in a confused state, not even casting healing magic on herself. It was as though she was trying her best to understand what was happening.

Gagaran ran to Lakyus’ side.

Climb thought that she was rushing over to help, but things turned out for the worse as Gagaran struck Lakyus’ stomach with a heavy punch.

Lakyus remained defenseless against that attack, thinking that her companion was rushing over to help her. Gagaran struck her in the stomach with the force of a battering ram.

“Ooooof.”

“Let me do it.”

Tia impaled Lakyus with a new spike as the air was knocked out of her, rendering her unable to breathe.

His eyes did not deceive him, there was some sort of liquid at the tip of the spike. It must have been some sort of poison.

“Your Highness.”

Climb tugged Renner’s hand, hid her behind his frame, and moved towards one of the corners. Tia and Gagaran ignored him entirely, choosing to repeatedly attack Lakyus instead.

Lakyus tried her best to dodge their attacks, but faced with the duo’s combos she could not even properly defend herself, nevermind dodging. The gearless Lakyus could not put up an effective resistance against the fully geared Tia and Gagaran.

Climb angrily yelled towards the silent spectator, Evileye.

“What in the world is going on!!”

“Don’t move. Otherwise I would not only target you with my magic, but the princess as well.”

Climb was about to draw his sword but stopped himself when he saw that Evileye had raised a hand in his and Renner’s direction. He naturally should be assisting Lakyus, but Renner was more important to him. Protecting Renner took absolute priority.

Climb wanted to lead Renner out of the room, but the moment he moved a crystal shortsword was embedded by his foot.

“Don’t move. Do not leave this room. If you disobey me, I’ll…hack off one of the princess’ legs…? As long as you listen to me, I will not harm you.”

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 5)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 5)

Volume 14: Chapter 4 – Well-Prepared Traps (Part 5)

Climb, Renner, and Brain were informed by the few remaining knights that there were guests expecting them after they had returned to the palace.

“Blue Rose” had requested an audience.

Under normal circumstances, they would have been brought to this room immediately, but the trio’s current outfits were hardly appropriate. Especially Renner, whose clothes said handmaiden more than princess. They were absolutely soaked with sweat. The knights were instructed to bring them in after an hour to give the three enough time to fix their appearances.

The Sorcerous Kingdom’s army was in formation outside of the capital and could attack at any time. For the capital and the castle’s defence, knights were being moved back and forth. That was why they had to take care of the menial tasks, because none of the maids were there.

Most of the maids who attended to the palace were the daughters of noblemen. They had ran away from the palace to their family’s mansion. Whether that was the safer option remained to be seen.

He had heard from his master, Renner, that the atrocities the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army had committed along their way towards the capital will most likely be committed here too. That was a logical deduction. Nowhere within the capital was safe now.

So what could one do to guarantee their safety? Renner had responded to this question with the gambit of leaving the capital.

Because of that, Climb and Brain had discussed in secret about arranging a carriage outside of the palace. If Renner decided to run away, it could prove useful.

Of course, he knew that Renner did not intend to run at all, yet he could not definitely say that she would not change her mind. This was just a plan in case she does.

Climb prepared water and a towel for Renner to wipe away her sweat. Normally he would have prepared a bath for her, but they only had an hour so that was off the table.

Since the maids weren’t there, Climb had no choice but to help groom Renner. The duty to prepare tea then fell on Brain. The scene of the swordsman flipping through cabinets trying to find tea was honestly hilarious even though he felt sorry for him.

After Renner had wiped off her sweat and applied perfume to herself, while she picked out her gown, the two men took a shower.

Unlike women — unlike the princess — the two men readied themselves through much simpler processes.

They undressed, let water take its course down from the top of their heads, and wiped themselves off. A secondary rinse later and they were all done. Sure, they had to change into clean clothing too, but the entire process took no longer than ten minutes for the two.

An hour that felt shorter than it should passed by and the three were ready. Renner seemed to have picked up on some unpleasant smells as she sniffed her hair and wrist. Climb could not smell the scent of sweat, but he could faintly smell the scent of the oil and smoke that had been infused into her hair when she cooked. It should not have been as noticeable after it mixed with the scent of her perfume.

The knights not only led Lakyus in.

The entirety of Blue Rose was present. Lakyus was the only one in a gown, the rest of them were in combat gear. It looked like they were the bodyguards of a noblewoman.

Climb was a little shocked.

Indeed, Lakyus did not come over by herself normally, but it was rare to see all of them together. This might have been the first time they came all together.

“You have taken time out of what little you had, yet I still made you wait. I am terribly sorry for that.”

“No, it is fine. I did not inform you of my arrival earlier so this was an impromptu visit. I should be the one to thank you for taking the time to meet us— ah, there is no need for tea. We do not have that much time after all.”

Just as Renner was about to steep the tea that Brain had procured, Lakyus stopped her.

“Oy, Lakyus. I feel like we should have enough time to drink a cup of tea, right?”

The one who spoke was Evileye. The rest of Blue Rose nodded along in agreement, causing a shocked expression to surface on Lakyus’ face.

“Everybody…wants to drink tea?”

Evileye sighed heavily on purpose.

“The princess has been so gracious to welcome guests who had barged in without warning with tea, would our leader be so cruel as to refuse her offer? What an indifferent fellow. Oy, musclehead.”

She received no response from Gagaran. Although the gazes of everybody in the room were affixed on Gagaran, she pretended that she had heard and seen nothing at all.

“Oy, you there with the coy expression, woman who’d sink straight to the bottom if she fell into the sea.”

She was indeed being completely ignored. Evileye sighed loudly in response to her behaviour.

“Oy, Gagaran.”

“Oy? Oh? What? What do you need me for? What’s going on, Evileye?”

“…you want to drink something too, right?”

“Ahhh, yes. I feel like gulping down a large amount of liquid. I could probably drink ten liters if I had to.”

“What even…Do you know how much time you’ve wasted just to hear me say that…Mmm, whatever. Regardless of how much there is, boss, can we get some too?”

“Haaaah, of course it’s fine…are you drinking too, Evileye?”

Lakyus’ eyes widened as she spoke. Indeed, if Evileye were to drink too, Climb would be as surprised as she was. To drink the tea, she would have to take off her mask but as far as Climb knew, this magic caster did not take off her mask under any circumstances.

Evileye did not reply to her question, but only shrugged as if to say no.

“Well then, we shall steep the tea while the boss and princess talk. I guarantee the tea will be richer than you could dream of.”

“Eh? You have already poured it into a Warm Bottle, huh?”

Lakyus said with a shocked expression as Tia nodded.

“We might not have enough considering the amount of people here. We’ll see.”

Tia began pouring the tea, but her movements were so unrefined that most of the tea split onto the saucer. This country’s tea culture did not dictate that tea should be drunk from the saucer, which was why Lakyus was furrowing her brows. Just as she had said, the Warm Bottle did not hold nearly enough liquid for the eight occupants of this room.

“No need for me, right?”

“Ah, same here.”

Climb refused a cup after Brain did so too. That did not mean that they had enough tea for the rest of them. Even when those two were factored out, the amount of tea they had was still inadequate for six people.

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 4)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 4)

Volume 14: Chapter 4 – Well-Prepared Traps (Part 4)

The armoured man who went by the name of Riku Agneía used [World Teleportation] to get to their predetermined meeting spot. He showed up in front of his collaborator, who had already been waiting for him there.

“Sorry I’m late.”

“Nah, don’t sweat it. I just arrived too,” the respondent was none other than the leader of the Adamantite-ranked adventurer group Red Drop, Azuth. Because he was wearing his familiar Powered Suit, Riku had to look upwards when speaking to him.

He wasn’t being honest however, Azuth had been waiting there for five minutes already.

And as to the reason why Riku knew this, he had been observing this place from afar for a while now.

The reason for which should be obvious, he was worried that Azuth was serving as bait.

If the Sorcerer King’s subordinates were indeed surveilling Azuth, Riku would abandon him immediately to return to his own country. That was why before he had even started checking if they were being watched, he had been keeping an eye out for his surroundings.

That said, therein laid a different kind of danger, one that would require conversing with Azuth to confirm. Which was why Riku had appeared before Azuth.

“Sorry, Tsa. She got away. I think she was headed towards where you were…did you finish the Sorcerer King off?”

“Unfortunately, no. Even though you lent me your power, I truly am sorry.”

The one who had called himself Riku Agneía in front of the Sorcerer King, Tsaindorcus Vaision, lowered his head.

Perhaps the other dragon lords would say that this was beneath the dignity expected of a long-lived dragon lord, one who stood at the top of the world, but Tsa did not care much for that. If him bowing allowed him to curry favour with another party, he would bow any number of times.

“There’s no need to apologize. It was my fault that that woman was not delayed for longer. You couldn’t defeat him because you didn’t have enough time, right?”

Tsa thought long and hard about what kind of response would paint him in the best light and ended up just gently saying to Azuth, “Not at all.”

“No, Azuth. While it was unfortunate that the Prime Minister of the Sorcerous Kingdom, Albedo, wasn’t someone that you could handle, you were still able to hold her up for such a long time. That was honestly a great help. I couldn’t vanquish the Sorcerer King simply because he was much stronger than I had anticipated.”

In truth, that was indeed the case.

During their previous meetings, Azuth had been assigned the mission to draw Albedo away from the barrier. If he was being honest, he thought that it wouldn’t be too surprising if Azuth was slain by Albedo, but had he said this out loud, it was easy for him to imagine that Azuth would no longer offer his help. For that reason, he had not explained the full details of the plan to him.

Given the above, it was truly impressive how Azuth managed to survive a scuffle with Albedo.

To Tsa, his most important duty was to stay vigilant of players who held malicious intent towards this world, which was why he did not want to just blindly expend his strength.

Still, he had a question in mind, or rather something he couldn’t figure out.

That was of course, why Azuth had survived. The Powered Suit he wore could indeed raise the wearer’s offensive and defensive capabilities while also providing the user with a variety of abilities. It did not, however, raise the wearer’s HP or MP at all. It was like a sturdy chitin exoskeleton covering an insect’s soft innards.

While his combat interactions with Albedo were short, he still understood one thing — she was much stronger than the Sorcerer King.

That was probably because the Sorcerer King was more adept at handling large armies, so he might not have been able to fight at his full potential in a one-on-one.

In any case, Azuth was definitely not strong enough to survive a fight with Albedo with any ease.

So, how exactly did Azuth survive?

“That demon, Albedo, is there any way we could take her out?”

“No, it’s near impossible. I had to use the full arsenal of the suit and created as much distance between us as possible to barely even hang on to dear life.”

So that was how it was.

Indeed, Albedo did not use any ranged attacks, nor did she appear to have any ranged weapons.

Everything made sense then. His previous speculations seemed a bit malicious in hindsight.

Tsa felt ashamed for his own thoughts. He had suspected that Azuth had made a deal with Albedo, or perhaps with the Sorcerer King himself, to betray him. With that said, all was fair play in terms of hypotheticals. At the end of the day, Azuth was just a collaborator and not a companion. Moreover, he had no concrete evidence to support the notion that Azuth had not betrayed him.

“Ah, right. I told the Sorcerer King that my name was Riku Agneía, do keep a note of that. If the Sorcerer King were to ask, tell him that it was a fake name.”

“Riku Agneía? does that name signify anything?”

“None at all, just a random name I came up with. But, if someone in the world did have that name, it would probably cause them a lot of trouble.”

That was only a half-truth.

Indeed, he had not heard of Agneía being used as a surname before, but the name Riku was a real one.

“It would rouse the Sorcerer King’s anger towards them, which wouldn’t be a minor issue.”

“Indeed. Don’t forget about the anger of the Prime Minister of the Sorcerous Kingdom, Albedo too.”

The two laughed softly.

Of course, if someone named Riku Agneía really existed in this world, this wouldn’t be something to scoff at, for that guy at least.

Tsa laughed as he recalled.

The demon named Albedo.

The Sorcerer King was not able to break through the barrier, so he wasn’t that much of a threat. That demon however, was able to pass through the wild magic spell, [World-Isolating Barrier].

This mid-tier wild magic spell could create a space that was separate from reality. It prevented entry through all conventional means as well as any attempts to teleport out of it. To be able to enter the barrier meant that Albedo was either a wild magic user, or possessed a World Item.

While he had not confirmed if that demon was a player or NPC, from the master-servant relation between the two, it was most likely the latter. But if that was the case, why would Ainz not equip the World Item himself, but give it to Albedo instead? That was a mystery.

{Unless Albedo is the player and the Sorcerer King is the NPC?}

This wouldn’t be too ridiculous of an idea. To rank second in this world’s hierarchy was probably a safer choice.

{Perhaps the Sorcerer King had a World Item too? But since he couldn’t break out of the barrier, the likelihood would be low, right? Or maybe he left his World Item behind?}

That was certainly possible. He had heard from Riku that there were guilds that possessed two WCIs, so it was possible that {they} had two too.

“Tsa, how strong was the Sorcerer King? If he was someone that not even you could defeat, I feel like he would be really strong. If it were me, no, if it were {this}, could it win?”

“Azuth, no offense, but no. He’s an opponent that not even I could defeat easily.”

“Is that so…”

“But thanks to your assistance, I have a general idea of his baseline capabilities now. Of course, if I were to face the Sorcerer King one-on-one again, I should be able to triumph.”

He had said that much, but if he relied on this armour, victory would be hard-fought. Perhaps he should make preparations on where they would fight.

{But…} Tsaindorcus sighed.

If he was of a similar level to the vampire from last time, this armour would probably struggle in serious combat. However, if he were to not use the armour but face the Sorcerer King in person, he could not lose. That would be true even if he was as strong as the vampire. As long as he fought using his real body, there would be no issues at all.

Still, if he gave them too much time to expand their influence, things would get out of hand.

“As expected of you, the strongest Dragon Lord in the world.”

“I don’t think so myself. There are many out there who are stronger than I am. Hmmm…I can win against the Sorcerer King because I happen to counter him.”

Tsa’s abilities were more effective against the undead. He had also confirmed in the battle just then that his abilities did work on the Sorcerer King. That was why Tsa had judged the Sorcerer King to be an opponent that did not warrant too much caution.

Compared to the Sorcerer King, the demon named Albedo was much more dangerous.

“Pardon me, Azuth, should another situation like this arise, would you still be willing to assist me?”

“Next time…? Hmm.”

Azuth solemnly muttered a single phrase. Tsa understood the meaning behind his words, and did not question him any further.

After some time had passed, Azuth finally spoke.

“Will the Kingdom perish?”

“…It probably will. There is not much I could do to help even if I want to.”

“Is that so… So next time I’ll also have to buy time with that demoness? I could, but you do know that there’s a chance that I won’t be able to buy any time at all the next time around, right?”

“Indeed, they might not split up next time. That is why, if that demoness left the Sorcerer King’s side for any reason at all, would you be willing to fight the Sorcerer King alongside me?”

If Azuth handled the summons, Tsa could definitely defeat the Sorcerer King.

He had not been assaulted by the Sorcerer King’s subordinates during their little conversation here. There was nothing left for him to do here. Tsa shifted his gaze towards the capital far, far away.

Tsa had already witnessed the fall of many nations. This one will soon be facing its own destruction. Tsa felt somewhat lonesome, but compared to that, he was more anxious of the fact that these lands will soon fall under the Sorcerous Kingdom’s rule.

Although he had not received any grace from this Kingdom, he will still miss it dearly.

While he had already notified his companions, perhaps there was also a need to call upon the other Dragon Lords too.

“…Almost forgot, I met with the people from the Theocracy and mentioned the name you told me.”

“Really? Now they’ll know that you have someone backing you up.”

If that was the case, Azuth’s safely was more or less guaranteed.

Azuth himself held no value at all, but the Powered Suit in his possession was an item of great importance, important enough that the Theocracy might plot against him for it. For that reason, he had to make them think that Azuth had protection to fall back on so that they wouldn’t make any moves against him. This also strengthened the relationship he had with Azuth. It was a move that had nothing but upsides.

“I have a question, why not tell them that I heard it from you directly?”

“Simple, if they had no clue on where the information source was, they would try to investigate it. There is a chance that it could cause some friction among the upper echelons of the Theocracy.”

Other than that, there was another reason.

Should an emergency arise, he could kill off Azuth without leaving any loose ends.

“This is no place to talk, let’s go back. Your companions must be waiting for you, right?”

“Yes, they’re waiting for me. I’ll leave it to you then, Tsa.”

Just as Tsa was about to cast [World Teleportation], he thought about Azuth.

It was only for a single reason, the question of whether it was still beneficial to assist him or not.

Sure, Azuth’s Powered Suit was highly valuable, but without it he was nothing. To put it bluntly, if the Powered Suit were in more capable hands, they would surely be able to utilize it to its full potential.

Plus, Tsa had no confidence that he could reign him in.

Azuth as he stood, was more of an aid to Tsa than a companion.

If he were to go off script like last time, it would most likely lead to catastrophic losses.

Indeed, Tsa was in the wrong that time too.

To give unto Azuth the appropriate level of alertness against the Sorcerer King’s invasion, he had discussed the likely outcomes of the invasion with him in detail.

Azuth had requested Tsa’s aid in defeating the Sorcerer King to save the Kingdom. He should have predicted back then that he would use the Powered Suit to rescue that city.

If he had not taken independent action back then, surely Tsa would have been able to defeat the Sorcerer King during his siege of the capital.

—Should he just kill Azuth and take the Powered Suit?

This wasn’t too bad of an idea to Tsa. If he gave the Powered Suit to someone who was powerful enough to bend it to their will, it would definitely be more useful than letting Azuth keep it. He could also gain a stronger card for his hand then.

Personally, Tsa felt no disdain for Azuth, nor did he want to kill him himself, but of what worth were emotions in this world.

{…Riku}

{What was I reminiscing for now that things have turned out that way?} Tsa laughed at himself internally. These two hands of his were already besmirched with filth. It was better to do it now than later.

Plus, he could blame it on the Sorcerer King if he did it now.

Azuth fought until he lost consciousness with Albedo and later handed the Powered Suit to Tsa. That would be a good cover story.

But — should he really allow history to repeat itself again?

“Oy, what’s wrong, Tsa?”

“Huh?”

Tsa finally noticed that he had been deep in his own thoughts.

“What’s wrong? Did you notice something suspicious?”

“…Nothing. Azuth, let’s go back.”

He should put those thoughts aside. Resurrection magic was a thing, death could not guarantee one’s silence. If he returned with just the Powered Suit but not Azuth’s body, it would rouse suspicion. If one were to act purely on utilitarian principles, it would lead to negative consequences more often than not.

Just so he would have no regrets, it was best for him to return and give it greater consideration before making his judgment on whether or not he should give up on Red Drop.

Tsa prayed that his actions on this day would not lead to fatal errors in the future as he cast [World Teleportation].

The night winds blew through unoccupied space.

—-

Ainz returned to Nazarick with [Gate] and took the ring from the usual place. He used its power to advance towards the ninth floor with Albedo.

After some time travelling by foot, they reached the room that was their destination.

“Albedo, do you want to head inside first?”

“No, it is fine. You contributed more this time around so you should be the one to enter first.”

Ainz thanked her and opened the giant doors.

He walked to the center of the room, in front of the throne, and took a knee as he bowed. He could feel that Albedo, who was behind him, was making the same movements.

“Good work, Pandora’s Actor and Albedo.”

“We are not worthy of your praise.”

Upon raising his head, he saw his master nodding regally. On his sides were Shalltear and Demiurge, who was holding a Mirror of Remote Viewing.

He must have observed the entirety of his battle with Riku through that item.

Pandora’s Actor undid his transformation.

“While we wanted to return the magic items that we had borrowed from Ainz-sama, we found it to be disrespectful to make Ainz-sama wait any longer. Do forgive us for still wearing Ainz-sama’s equipment.”

He meant the equipment that he was currently wearing, lower-tier backup items that they had been lent from their master. He was intensely apologetic for still still having those items equipped.

“Haha. Pandora’s Actor, pay it no mind. It would have been fine for you to do as you wished. This was not such a big deal after all. What was important was your opponent — now then, while we have seen the battle, I still wish to hear from the combatant himself. How was it?”

“Yes. I believe that he is a tank whose level was around 90. That was because magic was generally ineffective against him, which was why I had judged him to be of that level.”

“I see. A strong foe. Hmmm…huh? What’s wrong, Albedo? Do you have another opinion?”

“Yes, my opinion differs from Pandora’s Actor’s. I do not believe him to be that strong. Of course, I only landed two strikes on him, so I could not make as accurate of a judgment, but he felt like a tank of around… level 80 or so.”

Given that they were sure that he was a tank, then Albedo’s opinion as a tank should be much more accurate than his own.

“I see. Although I was of the opinion that Pandora’s Actor, who was locked in combat with him for longer, would be able to make the more accurate judgment, Shalltear who had been observing the battle alongside me had estimated a similar range to Albedo’s. Around level 85 or so. Given that, it appears that there is a need to call Cocytus and Sebas over.”

While Shalltear’s combat prowess was high, her build was not focused on pure physical damage output. It was unfortunate that Sebas was on standby in E-Rantel and Cocytus was overseeing the siege of the capital so they could not be summoned over at the current moment.

“If the two, no, if we combined all three of your estimates… So, are the three of you in agreement that the opponent was a tank that specialized in magic resistance?”

The three fell into deep contemplation.

“…Shalltear, why do you seem troubled? If something is wrong, do speak your mind.”

“I may have just gotten the wrong impression-arinsu…”

“That is fine too. After all, this entire operation was to expose this foe’s abilities and thus have been meticulously planned from the outset. As long as we could gain some sort of insight on our opponent, do feel free to speak your mind.”

“If that is the case. Ainz-sama, because I can also summon Doom Lords, perhaps Ainz-sama had already noticed-arinsu. It felt like its combat abilities were weakened significantly, was it because Pandora’s Actor was the summoner-arinsu?”

“That would not be the case. While Pandora’s Actor’s transformations are weaker than the original, his summons would not be any weaker. In addition, he had been instructed to not use any special abilities of mine to strengthen the summons… In any case, shall we both summon Doom Lords for you all to observe after this? Perhaps you could figure out what had been bothering you.”

“Understood!”

“Now then, Pandora’s Actor, you spoke with him, correct? What did you talk about, what attitude did he adopt, and what emotions could you feel from him? Do tell us in detail. After all, this mirror cannot transmit sound.”

“Understood!”

Pandora’s Actor began reenacting his conversations with Riku. Their conversations weren’t long, so it was pretty easy to act out. He even injected some of his own interpretations mid-dialogue: the emotions he felt through Riku’s tone and the respective explanations.

Midway through, Pandora’s Actor sensed from behind him, an unpleasant aura emitted by Albedo. She spoke with an annoyed tone.

“Even if you wanted our opponent to lower his guard, to kneel as the Sorcerer King, and by extension as the Absolute Overlord of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick, Ainz-sama, is just out of line.”

Indeed, he had felt that he had gone overboard. If his master was there instead, he would have never done that. {I have to pay for my transgression,} he thought as he raised his head to see that his master was nodding along in a gratified manner.

He must be agreeing with Albedo’s opinion.

But just as Pandora’s Actor was about to lower his head, his master’s voice reached his ears.

“No, that was executed beautifully.”

While he sounded somewhat sarcastic, his master did appear to be in a good mood. Pandora’s Actor could not tell which side he was on and thus missed his opportunity to bow.

“That kneel was great. If merely kneeling could cause an opponent to falter, I would kneel any number of times. We lost nothing through that kneel yet it made the opponent think that we were nothing to be on guard for. Hehe… He should not have noticed that he had been duped yet.”

—How awe-inspiring.

Though he already had an idea of the extent of his creator’s drive for victory, chills were still sent down Pandora’s Actor’s back.

Even against an opponent that could be easily defeated should he be serious, he would still not deign himself too mighty to do such a thing in order to invoke a false sense of security in them.

Could any king, nay — could any Overlord™ really care not for their own reputation to scheme at this level?

Could any being who was only served upon but had never served, resolutely kneel in front of their enemy?

No such being existed, other than his master, the one seated in front of him.

They must have had the same thought, the other guardians in the chamber had expressions that told of the awe invoked within them.

Among them, Demiurge was the one to ask.

“Would it not rouse more suspicion in our opponent if one as great as Ainz-sama knelt down in those circumstances? He must have judged that Ainz-sama was someone who was capable of deducing the best move for every situation.”

“No, surely no one’s thought process would lead them to that conclusion normally, correct? ‘He’s not so impressive after all’ or ‘so that’s what you were really like’ was probably what was going through his mind, correct? If the situation were flipped… If I were in his shoes, I would probably be as careless as he was, right? No, I would probably kill him right away. What would you do, Albedo?”

“If they were just a regular civilian, I would kill them immediately, but if they were a king I might capture them for intel. Would I get careless…maybe.”

“Is that so…? Shalltear, what about you?”

“I would mull it over-arinsu.”

“…Mmm. Perhap it would not have an effect at all… It would be best if kneeling was not necessary. It would not be the best situation if you could not dodge the enemy’s attacks. Now then — let’s change the topic. About that barrier.”

Pandora’s Actor could not figure out what that barrier was at all. He had thought that it blocked physical and magical access in and out of it, but Albedo could enter unhindered. So, was the mystery solved?

“The two of you might have figured it out already, but I do believe that it was because of World Items. Pandora’s Actor, from what you have said, you were not too sure were you?”

Pandora’s Actor’s eyes widened.

Indeed, if that was the case, everything made sense. Albedo had a WCI on her person back then and he did not. But—

“How did Ainz-sama figure it out?”

“A logical line of questioning… I was using the mirror to observe Pandora’s Actor and Riku’s battle. Even after that barrier was erected, the mirror was not affected at all. At first I thought that it was just something cosmetic to scare us…” Ainz’s gaze fell on Pandora’s Actor, “but it did have effects. I switched my train of thought and began investigating the differences between us — more accurately, the differences between me, the user of the mirror, and Pandora’s Actor.

Ainz touched the WCI in his abdomen.

“After I took this off, I could no longer see anything through the mirror. Equipping it allowed me to see the scene again. It is highly likely that Riku has an ability that is similar to Aura’s World Item.”

“…Please wait, Ainz-sama. Riku did mutter the phrase [World-Isolating Barrier] and it did expend his HP. So was it not a special skill that only higher level beings like Ainz-sama could obtain? Like Ainz-sama’s trump card?”

“It would be impossible to accomplish what he did through the same system our powers came from. Rather, is it not more likely that he used that term as a bluff? The expenditure of HP could be an activation condition for a World Item. Problem is, I have never heard of such a World Item. While many do have activation costs, merely reducing one’s HP would almost be…cute.”

“Was his HP constantly drained?”

Pandora’s Actor shook his head at Albedo’s question.

“It fell only after he activated it. The barrier did not appear to be continuously draining him to maintain itself.”

“Exactly. Did you not say that his other abilities also drained his health? Indeed, there are World Items with multiple abilities, for example, this one.” His master touched his orb, “but, the rules his abilities were playing by were just too different from ours.”

The abilities he used were probably weapon enhancement, armour enhancement, teleportation, and barrier.

“…I talked about ability systems before because if his powers were unique to this world, then everything would be explained. Assuming the worst case scenario, it is some unusual ability that could rival World Items. If that is the case, we cannot even be sure if what brainwashed Shalltear was a World Item or not. We would have to reevaluate that. How annoying!”

“Ainz-sama, as it stands, we do not have enough information.”

“Exactly, Demiurge…perhaps there is a need to lose to Riku again.”

The two guardians next to the throne had displeased expressions on their faces, it was easy to imagine that the Albedo behind him must have been the same.

Even if it was intentional, nobody present would feel happy that their master was to lose.

“Wipe those expressions off of your faces. I am not losing because I desire to lose, but because it is a necessity to understand our opponent’s deck. That is how we guarantee victory, it cannot be helped. If this was a simple training exercise, losing would not mean death, neither would we have to put up such an act. However, this is actual combat.”

Everybody, including Pandora’s Actor, were quietly listening to their master’s every word.

“We have already confirmed that you all and the inhabitants of this world could be resurrected — but what about me? While we do not have solid proof of this, the Six Great Gods and Eight Greed Kings of yore were probably beings similar to what I am. Their legends concluded with their deaths, so it’s likely that they could not be resurrected. We have no choice but to assume that to be the truth when carrying out these operations. To put it simply, in order to avoid my death, the worst form of defeat, we have no option but to accept other forms of defeat.”

“—Ainz-sama.”

“What’s wrong, Albedo?”

“Ainz-sama, what you have just said made a lot of sense. So would it not be better for you to stay within the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick, rather than leave for excursions?”

A perfectly logical conclusion. If there was a possibility that their master could not be revived, then having him stay where it was safest for him and not step out of that place would be best.

“…Indeed. I have thought of that too, but surely you could understand it too. Especially you all?”

His brain went into overdrive in an attempt to understand what his master was talking about, but nothing came to mind.

What a deplorable thing.

As one of the foremost intellectuals in Nazarick, he still could not immediately grasp his master’s thoughts.

Pandora’s Actor racked his brains until strange liquid almost began to seep out of it. It was the same for Demiurge and Albedo, one could see it on their faces. Shalltear on the other hand, looked like she wasn’t thinking at all.

{Don’t think about the others.} Pandora’s Actor forced his attention away from them.

Silence fell upon the group for quite a while, only to be broken by their master’s disappointed sigh.

Pandora’s Actor felt unbearable shame and so did Demiurge. While he could not see Albedo, who was behind him, she was surely the same.

“What’s wrong? Raise your heads.”

He spoke with such a harsh tone, yet Pandora’s Actor could not allow himself to disobey a direct order from his master.

He raised his head.

“…Mmmm, let us move onto the next topic. Who is that person? What connections to platinum could you think of?”

Albedo spoke first.

“…One of the possibilities is just as Pandora’s Actor had said, that our opponent was one of the Thirteen Heroes.”

His master nodded in agreement.

“The other possibility is that he is one of the councilors of the Council-State, Platinum Dragon Lord. Those are the only beings I could think of with a connection to platinum.”

“Given that, let me ask a question. Was he trying to fool us into believing that he was the Platinum Dragon Lord or one of the Thirteen Heroes so that we would go against them or not? The answer might also lie in between those two extremes. So, what do you believe is the correct answer?”

“I am terribly sorry, Ainz-sama. As we do not have enough information to work off of, it is difficult to conclusively judge which is the correct answer.”

Demiurge answered so.

Pandora’s Actor concurred, but since his master had asked, “what do you believe was the correct answer?” the correct response should have been one of the options. That was probably why he had prefaced his answer with an apology.

“Are there any other opinions…? There appears to be none. I too, agree with Demiurge’s opinion that we do not have enough intel. After we are done with the Kingdom, do gather the opinions of the other Floor Guardians on this matter. Perhaps one of them could notice a detail that we had missed. In any case, we are still proceeding with our plan to send envoys to the Council-State. While they greet the heads of state, have them sarcastically scoff at this Platinum Dragon Lord fellow a few times — That should be fine, right? Albedo.”

“Understood. How shall I deal with the contents of the missive?”

“I will leave that up to you.”

“Understood.”

“That should about conclude this meeting, correct? I should return to the capital soon. Pandora’s Actor, though it might be embarrassing, I must ask you to stri—”

An “—ahh” sound could be heard. His master turned his head around to the guardian who had made that sound.

“What’s wrong, Shalltear? Did you forget something?”

“Yes, Ainz-sama. I do have a question-arinsu. Were you really planning to recruit that Riku person as a subordinate-arinsu?”

“Ahhh, about that. Of course not. If he really came under my wing, I would gather all the information I need — the organization he served, its purpose, et cetera — and he would be killed afterwards.”

“Would it not be a waste to kill him?”

He could sense that his master had a wry smile on him upon hearing Albedo’s question.

“I am not confident in my abilities to reign him in. If you are asking if we could exploit those unusual abilities of his or his World Item, whichever was the case…Albedo, would you be confident enough to do that? If you are, I will leave it all up to you…”

“It would be difficult to do so before we have collected enough detailed intel. But if it turned out that it was indeed possible for us to do so, there are many places where he could be of use to us.”

“Mmmm.”

His master’s gaze lingered on Albedo.

He was probably contemplating about Albedo’s abilities and Riku. If his creator was one to even include what could happen a millennium down the line into his grand scheme, he was probably analysing how Riku could factor into his plans.

The destruction of the Kingdom must be part of those plans as well.

He must have had ulterior motives beyond demonstrating to the world the difference in treatment received by the Kingdom and the Empire due to their actions, that had to be why he would go back on his words in order to invade the Kingdom. This was a common opinion shared by Pandora’s Actor, Albedo, and Demiurge.

One would not have to think too hard to connect the undead creation experiments to this.

After all, he was his creator. This was undoubtedly a premonition of something greater to come, something not even he could fathom.

His creator, a Supreme Being whose intellect held such depths, how awesome was he? To be honest, Pandora’s Actor felt sorry for the others. It pained him how he had to restrain himself from boasting of his dear creator.

“I see. Indeed, he would be of no use to us dead. I will hear Demiurge’s opinion on this too and depending on the situation, Albedo will be placed in charge of this. Of course, that is assuming that Riku would be willing to serve under me. If he is not willing, killing him is permissible.”

It was impossible for anyone to object to that. If their master willed it so, it must be correct.

“Good. Now…other opinions…appears to be none. It is about time for me to return to the capital. I still have to close the curtains on that show.”

“…such petty theatrics would not require Ainz-sama to personally participate, correct? I believe that I can handle it on my own…”

“No, Albedo. Pay it no mind, I will go. Hehe, though I may not be on the same level as Ulbert-san and the rest, I still have my own standards to enforce against forms of resistance.”

“…I see, was that why?” Albedo replied in a manner that implied that she had seen through the hidden meaning behind his words, prompting his master to glance at her. He must have been checking how much of his words she understood.

After some time had passed, his master seemed satisfied as he declared in a manner expected of an esteemed ruler.

“…Exactly, Albedo. It is exactly as you have surmised.”

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 3)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 3)

Volume 14: Chapter 4 – Well-Prepared Traps (Part 3)

The rate at which the black smog spewed out of it increased, spreading to its surroundings.

Its HP was falling faster than ever, the cost for a short term boost to every one of its combat related stats.

Not only that, an opponent’s passive ability to reduce the amount of damage the Doom Lord dealt to it due to level difference would be completely nullified. Undead that stood in the black smog — including the Doom Lord itself — would take less damage from Light and Holy Elemental attacks. The same applied for bonus damage due to the difference in karma. Another strength of this ability was the fact that it could be triggered simultaneously on top of other buffs.

Ainz wanted to receive that buff too, but the black smog only reached so far.

To make sure that he would not be targeted by Riku, Ainz pulled away from the two combatants.

He had made preparations to be a spectator.

It was time for him to understand the true extent of Riku’s power.

The Doom Lord’s scythe clashed with the floating greatsword, an ear-piercing noise echoed around

Neither backed off a single step, nor were they knocked back.

They must have had similar levels of strength for that to happen.

After that, the scythe continued to clash against the katana at high speeds, their metallic rings droned on.

The greatsword’s hack was rendered inert by the scythe and the scythe’s pierce was blocked by the shield-like hammer. The darting spear was deflected by the scythe’s handle as the Doom Lord gracefully dodged the greatsword’s cleave.

Soon enough — to take advantage of the distance created by the dodge — Riku leapt forward.

Both were on equal footing in terms of offensive and defensive capabilities, but Riku had more tricks up his sleeve.

[Negative Burst]

Black ‘rays of light’ began pulsing from Ainz as it swallowed up its surroundings.

The Doom Lord healed upon receiving the negative energy, but it wasn’t the most mana-efficient way to heal. On the other hand, Riku did not take damage from the spell at all.

For him to have taken zero damage, was it because he had immunity to negative energy? Was it a racial trait? Or was it a job trait? Or perhaps, the most likely explanation, was that it had something to do with his equipment.

To have planned to fight against the undead Ainz meant that by common sense, he must have prepared against negative energy attacks, a staple of the undead. Even Ainz would equip items that bestowed fire resistance if he were to fight against a fire-breathing dragon.

While the sounds of their weapons colliding with each other rang out non-stop, Ainz cast his next spell.

[Perfect Unknowable]

Ainz, now an unknown, came out of the shadow of his tank, the Doom Lord, to circle around them. Suddenly, the katana flew towards him at a speed he could not dodge. It pierced through his robe at the abdomen region.

He did not take any damage due to his immunity to piercing damage, but Ainz still scuttled behind the Doom Lord’s figure. The katana, suspended midair, then began to slash towards the Doom Lord instead.

“…He could see through unknowability huh?”

This was not surprising, one would not need to reach Ainz’s level to gain a couple of countermeasures against that strategy. The problem laid in what method he had used to detect him. Ainz had no answers. There were just too many countermeasures, too many for him to narrow it down with the intel he had.

So, what should his next move be? Riku seemed to want to target Ainz directly given how the levitating weapons were all pointed at him, but with the Doom Lord’s presence, they could not reach him at all.

After rough calculations of his available options given the current status of the battle, he arrived at the conclusion that he should be spamming offensive spells. If the Doom Lord fell, he could just summon another. The likelihood of this strategy to win was quite high.

However, this was not the way Ainz wanted to end this.

Riku was a powerful foe, something of a rarity in this world, and with myriad abilities foreign to Ainz. Given that was the case, it was better for him to witness the full extent of Riku’s power over the course of this battle so that he would be better prepared should a similar foe show up in the future.

Ainz cancelled the cast of an attack spell.

While he knew that his priority right now should be on his own defence, he had a specific reason to not do so. It was dangerous, sure, but he had to resist the urge.

Ainz observed the two’s attacks and defences. The Doom Lord was being suppressed ever so slightly, but neither were taking significant damage.

One could call the blows that they were exchanging a back-and-forth, but the simplicity in Riku’s fighting style was quite worrying. Ainz knew exactly why the Doom Lord could not gain the upperhand. None of its skills, negative energy attacks, or spiritual attacks had any effects against Riku.

At this point, it was all but confirmed that Riku was of a race that had similar properties as Golems or other Constructs. Perhaps it was some item ability or skill that gave him said properties, or perhaps he was just a plain Construct.

In terms of which option was most likely, it had to be the first one given that Riku was able to talk. Half-Golems or similar races had the same resistances as other Constructs, so he might be of one of those races.

Although, why would someone of those races be helping out the Kingdom? What mattered the most in the moment were Riku’s abilities and not his motivations. Why was he using such simple attacks? He appeared to have neither used skills nor martial arts the entire time.

One of the Supreme Beings was a Golem user. Riku’s movements were nearly identical to the Golems controlled by that person.

Riku would be easy to deal with if he was a Half-Golem, but if he was a pure golem with speakers attached or made through secret techniques, things would be much more difficult.

As far as Ainz knew, a Golem’s strength scaled with the value of metal used to construct them, the creator’s abilities, and the data crystals added.

High-tier Golems were relatively costly to manufacture.

If Riku was a Golem, one constructed out of a metal as cheap as platinum yet was this strong, there might be more than a few or even dozens of him laying around.

He had to collect more intel.

Ainz gave the Doom Lord an order.

The Doom Lord began releasing more black smog upon receiving his command.

Its speed and offensive capabilities were raised even further, to the point where Riku’s armour began to take damage. However, the rapid loss of HP on the Doom Lord’s part caused it to disappear not long after.

Ainz had timed for this, as he cast another [10th Tier Summon Undead].

It was a level 68 undead, an Elemental Skull.

Its appearance was of a floating skull, surrounding it was a magical haze of light that constantly switched between four colours: red, blue, green, and yellow.

Ainz made it fall back and took its place at the front.

The Elemental Skull was a caster type undead capable of using magic of the four major elements.

Its HP was about equal to a magic caster of its level, way below that of the Doom Lord. Its offensive capabilities were pretty impressive, that was because every single spell it cast had the [Maximize Magic] metamagic tagged onto it.

In terms of defence, it had immunity to most spell attacks, including Fire, Lightning, Acid, Ice, and other types of elemental attacks. In contrast, it was extremely vulnerable against physical attacks, especially bludgeoning damage.

That was why Ainz had to stand in front of it.

Riku did not raise his guard any further even though a magic caster was now at the frontline. He just kept silent, closed the distance between him and Ainz, and began attacking.

{Why are you not the least bit worried about this?} Ainz grumbled in his heart as he used the experience he had gained through his training with Albedo to block Riku’s slashes.

That said, he could only block one slash out of five, it was basically a one-sided pummel. As Ainz’s staff was ignored, the greatsword, spear, and katana began their attacks. Though the hammer was used once too, it was nullified by [Body of Effulgent Beryl]. After three nullifications, Riku appeared to have finally taken the hint. He never used the hammer afterwards.

While Ainz had already known about this, Riku was indeed insanely fast.

Although he wasn’t as fast as the Floor Guardians, he was still relatively fast. Ainz was quite fortunate that Riku had stopped using the hammer. If it was still in use, Ainz would not be able to win at all.

Having bore witness to the Doom Lord’s battle, Ainz knew he could not serve as an adequate vanguard.

Of course, Ainz had the option of using [Perfect Warrior], but the lack of equipment on his person would guarantee him a loss if he did so.

Still, Ainz’s struggles at being a vanguard began to see some returns as spells began soaring through the air from his back.

At the same time, Ainz cast the ninth tier spell, [Vermillion Nova].

The strongest single-target, fire-based spell attack began to scorch Riku, yet his opponent showed no signs of slowing down as the greatsword cleaved towards Ainz again.

Even though his body was bathed in fire, his swordsmanship remained calm and steady. If he had made his resolve as a warrior, this would not be too surprising, but the complete lack of response from him was suspicious to say the least.

The Elemental Skull cast a ninth tier spell, [Polar Claw].

A claw that emitted air as chilled as the poles clawed at Riku. This was a spell that Ainz had not learnt. It had no secondary effects but dealt a lot of damage, the highest DPS of any ice-based spell in fact.

Ainz memorised the amount of damage Riku took from the two spells.

This was while he was receiving a simultaneous strike from the spear and the katana.

He cast another ninth tier spell, [Call Greater Thunder].

The Elemental Skull on the other hand, cast a tenth tier spell, [Mist of Super Acid]. This was also a spell that Ainz had not learnt, that was the reason why he had summoned the Elemental Skull.

Riku was instantly surrounded by a mist of strong acid and so were his weapons.

[Mist of Super Acid] not only damaged an opponent, but also their equipment and weapons, albeit only a small amount of damage to those. Surely the floating armaments around Riku counted as his equipment, right?

Even the weapons around Riku were damaged yet Ainz, who was well within the AOE, was unscathed. This was because of a special condition applied to the spell.

Riku’s HP loss from the acid was notable. Of the four elements, he took the most amount of damage from acid.

That said, the actual percentage of HP loss was still low.

Through the analysis of every bit of intel he had, Riku must have had defence-focused job classes. He was probably around level 90.

{In any case, the best strategy is to use acid attac— Ahhh! It hurts so much!}

“Nuisance!”

His anger flared up as his thoughts were interrupted, but then a miracle occured.

He managed to perfectly bat the katana flying towards him away with his staff, causing Ainz’s nonexistent eyes to widen.

The spear was blown away as if the knockback effect had activated.

{Why!?}

This staff’s knockback effect had all kinds of activation conditions placed upon it.

First of all, blocking a warrior’s strike with the staff would not trigger the effect. The effect would not trigger at all if the staff was not used offensively.

If an opponent blocked the attacker’s blow with a sword or shield, its effect would not trigger. It would only trigger if one were to land a blow on their opponents’ body with it. A sword or shield would obviously not count as an opponent’s body. That was why the effect would still trigger if one were to strike an opponent’s gauntlet.

So what happened to Riku’s katana?

Given the conditions mentioned, that meant that the floating weapons counted as a part of the wielder’s body.

But that wouldn’t make sense.

Sebas had brought back weapons from the capital in the past.

Floating weapons used by a dancer.

The weapons were analyzed in detail when they were sent to the Treasury and judged to be simple floating weaponry that obeyed commands to attack in a semi-autonomous way. It should only count as equipment, which meant that if this staff were to strike the dancer’s weapon, the knockback effect should not trigger.

If the knockback were to be applied on equipment, only weapons like Female Sensei’s Iron Fist of Wrath would be able to pull it off. That was a weapon that had the sole purpose of creating shockwaves when the wielder punched the air. As a weapon that applied knockback to everything, it could also apply knockback on equipment.

But this staff was nowhere near as powerful as that weapon, so why was it able to do such a thing?

From these series of tautologies, he deduced the answer: Riku’s weapons counted as a part of his body.

{I see…}

Ainz had two hypotheses around the mechanics behind this.

First was that Riku’s weapons were creatures like Entoma’s Blade-Bugs. If he was like that Sword Saint Golem, it would make sense why the knockback effect was triggered.

The other hypothesis, the more likely one, was that the weapons were not equipment at all, but were actual parts of Riku’s body. This would be a similar situation to how the knockback effect would still apply if the staff’s strike was to be met with a dragon’s claw attack.

He had felt that the weapons had HP too, but thought that it was because they counted as Riku’s equipment. It was a mistaken assumption based on the fact that they took damage when Riku took damage. It appeared as though those were separate health bars, so—

That moment felt like forever to Ainz in his infinite confusion.

What if he used those methods—

But— would that be the correct decision?

No— wrong, that would be a mistake.

Ainz felt the Elemental Skull cast the tenth tier divine spell, [Seven Trumpeter] and immediately canceled the cast.

He had to reaffirm his role in all of this.

Ainz silently cast a [Message] as Riku retreated as if he was chasing after the knocked back katana. The katana then returned to its original position.

So if the weapons were to be separated from Riku by a certain distance, they could no longer move? Or was his opponent trying to make him think that? Or was he just shocked that it was knocked back?

“…We more or less understand each other’s powers. That’s good enou—”

Riku slashed towards Ainz as he glided along the ground. He did not intend to speak.

Ainz grumbled deep down at that fact.

It made sense for his opponent to wish to make the most of his time, to answer one’s opponent in battle would be a foolish action. So while he respected Riku’s commitment to his strategy, he was still annoyed that his opponent was ignoring him.

“Wait! Wait! I haven’t finishe—”

Ainz, in the midst of Riku’s attacks, threw his staff behind himself. He could see that Riku was slightly confused.

Ainz kneeled down immediately.

“Wait! Please wait! Listen to me!”

The greatsword in Riku’s hand stopped on its way to Ainz’s head.

Because he was immune to critical strikes, he wasn’t too scared to lower his defenceless head. He gave an order to the Elemental Skull at the same time.

“I did not mean to clash with Your Excellency. This whole thing started because the Kingdom stole the grain that was meant as food aid to the Holy Kingdom. Between them and us, the greater evil should be obvious. What does Your Excellency think? That we were the greater evil!?”

“…You went too far. There had to be better ways to deal with that.”

Ainz raised his head.

Riku’s greatsword remained suspended, it seemed like he had no intention to strike him at the moment.

“That is because Your Excellency was not the victim! How would Your Excellency have dealt with this!? When the grain that your countrymen toiled to produce was stolen away!?”

“If you did not have the power that you have, things would not have turned out this way. People with power have to be careful about how they use their power and take responsibility for their actions — I, for example, protect the world. Indeed. This world is under my protection.”

Upon hearing his opponent’s rhetoric, Ainz thought, {this dumbass is finally talking}. He was being a silent listener. Some people preferred audience response during their speeches while others did not. From his self-righteous tone Ainz could tell it was best that he kept quiet.

Ainz took mental notes of everything he said.

“The deeds of those who gathered around my loving mother were wrong. They were wrong in the same way that father was. In the end, absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is the source of all faults.”

Ainz observed Riku in silence, calming his breath as much as he could.

Riku was being impassioned, Ainz should not be as rude to interrupt him.

To be honest, Ainz could not understand what Riku was talking about at all, but at the same time he did not sound like he was just rambling nonsense. He should’ve at least spoken in a way that a layman like Ainz could understand.

“Although the root of every wrong could be traced back to us, I will not seek forgiveness for that, nor can I allow you to continue on your current path of destruction. That is why — Perish.”

“Woosh,” the greatsword swung down.

Perhaps he felt guilty for executing the defenceless Ainz, the sword was swung at a much slower speed than before.

{Hold up, hold up, please reveal some more intel while you’re in a good mood}, Ainz almost said out loud. His opponent did not intend to speak any more, so there was no need to keep up the act.

—the battle continued.

The Elemental Skull, which he had commanded to be on standby, rushed into the greatsword’s trajectory and took the hit.

This was an effective use of a summon, because the Elemental Skull was no longer of use to him. That was why this was the right choice. If say, this was against Shalltear’s Spuit Lance, he would not have done that. However, since Riku’s weapon did not have lifesteal abilities, he could freely use summons as sacrifices.

“Hiiiiiiii!? So this was all your fault!? Are you not in the wrong then!?”

Ainz let out a pitiful cry. Who was ‘them’? ‘What’ did they do wrong? Ainz could not understand at all, but if he phrased his response this way, perhaps Riku would expose some more intel. It was worth a try.

Perhaps he really was feeling guilty, his movements were much tardier than before. Ainz capitalized on this opportunity to roll backwards.

The Elemental Skull rushed in between them.

“—Block him!”

The Elemental Skull cast its spell while Ainz yelled. Riku ignored the skull and charged for Ainz. The Elemental Skull attempted to stop him, but due to its size and a lack of skills to do so, it failed.

“[Wall of Skeleton]!”

Ainz cast his spell to erect a wall to keep both Riku and the Elemental Skull on the other side.

“How pathetic, Sorcerer King!”

Riku bellowed with anger. Perhaps his fury was because Ainz had left his summon on the other side of the wall so he could escape, but it did not matter to Ainz. If a magic caster was not behind someone but stood alone, it would be no different from suicide. It would be worse than—

He could’ve easily flown over the wall, but Ainz felt that Riku was attacking both the Elemental Skull and the wall.

Compared to the Elemental Skull, the [Wall of Skeleton] wasn’t too durable. It crumbled immediately at Riku’s strike.

The Elemental Skull had cast multiple [Vermillion Nova]s to reduce Riku’s HP, but to defeat him would be a tall order. It could be because of his job classes, but his magic resistance was abnormally high.

Given that was the case, Ainz cast a spell on Riku.

“[Temporal Stasis]”

This was a ninth-tier single-target spell. Although the spell could prevent the opponent from moving, it also prevented them from taking any damage while the spell lasted. That was why it was usually used when there were multiple hostiles.

However, Ainz found that his spell was not just resisted, but nullified completely. It appeared that Riku had time-stop countermeasures. Of course, that wasn’t too unusual given how strong he was.

At the same time the greatsword was swung towards Ainz, the hammer was also swung towards the Elemental Skull.

Ainz tanked the greatsword’s damage and as a precaution, cast [Greater Break Item] on the other weapons flying towards him. It was not just resisted, but nullified again.

So it was true that the weapons counted as Riku’s body.

As the Elemental Skull took a massive amount of damage, Riku looked into the air in panic.

A figure was rapidly descending.

It was Albedo.

“—!”

Ainz heard Riku let out a sound that couldn’t even be defined as a sound. He was absolutely stunned.

As Riku shook, Albedo approached him, her speed was on par with one of Aura’s arrows. And then—

“Your bastard, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!”

While that terrifying roar was heard, the halberd named 3F was swung down with the intention to split Riku’s head open. Riku raised his greatsword and spear in a cross to block her attack.

The impact created by 3F was sizable, as both of Riku’s feet were sunk into the ground.

In the next moment, Riku was blown away to the side.

Albedo had stomped her foot onto Riku’s chest. The armour let out a pitiful clang.

“You insect! How dare you disrespect Ainz-sama! Unforgivable!!”

Albedo’s declaration caused the air around them to quake. She began attacking afterwards.

The distance between the two was closed in an instant as Riku received an attack with enough force to send him into orbit.

The sound of metal clashing together rang out at an ear-piercing volume.

Riku used two of the floating weapons to block this attack.

He flew backwards with all of his strength. Not with a jump, he flew back without his feet touching the ground.

“Albedo, stop! That is enough!”

Ainz halted Albedo, who was about to follow up on her attack.

That was enough, he should not allow Albedo to fight any longer.

“—Understood.”

While her glance told him that she was unhappy, Albedo still stopped moving.

It was probably correct to assume that he no longer wished to fight, Riku began ascending to pull some distance between them.

Albedo stood silently by Ainz’s side, using her own body as a shield against Riku. She was probably on alert for long-range attacks by the enemy.

“Agneía-danna. I will say it again. Become my subordinate! How about it!? I will give you everything you have ever wanted for!”

His proposal received no reply, yet Ainz continued on.

“How unfortunate! Still, the Sorcerous Kingdom’s doors are always open to you. You may come to visit anytime you want!” After he said that, Ainz lowered his voice to say to Albedo, “do you think he still wants to fight?”

“No — I do not think he wants to anymore. But, if he is not retreating, it might be best for us to defeat him right here. If we both attacked at the same time, it should not be too difficult, right?”

While he should not have heard their conversation, Riku disappeared nonetheless. The barrier he had erected also melted away.

Ainz was not sure if he had teleported before taking down the barrier or vice versa, nor could he tell where he ran off to.

Although there were still things that had to be investigated, Ainz felt as though they had successfully completed their mission.

“…Good grief, that takes care of that. Good work.

“I am not worthy of such praise. There still might be people surveilling us. It is best for us to return to Nazarick first.”

“Ah, let us do that then.”

After recalling the Elemental Skull, Ainz cast [Greater Teleportation] to retreat with Albedo.