Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 2)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 2)

Volume 14: Chapter 4 – Well-Prepared Traps (Part 2)

Albedo’s silhouette shrunk gradually as she chased after the red Powered Suit.

And now, Ainz was the only one remaining at the encampment. If all went according to plan, the main event should be starting soon.

Ainz cast the spell, [Body of Effulgent Beryl].

Those who wish to destroy Ainz, even if they knew little of the weaknesses of skeletal type monsters, would know to use blunt weapons. If Ainz was to lose a significant chunk of HP due to his weaknesses before he achieved his goal, that would be somewhat troubling.

And then, the [Delay Teleportation] Ainz had cast before, took effect.

In other words, things were indeed proceeding as he had predicted.

It seemed like Albedo was not their target after all. Ainz was relieved. If she was their target instead, things would have gotten quite difficult.

But — was that really the case? Could this be a double-layered trap?

The enemy was teleporting behind Ainz.

A single enemy.

Someone who preferred close-quarters combat.

While his opponent was being delayed, Ainz cast an [Explode Mine] spell on the teleportation destination. Afterwards, he stood still, waiting for his opponent to arrive. At first, he had planned to use [Life Essence] to confirm if they had lost health, but ultimately decided against that.

He heard the sound of the explosion the moment his opponent arrived.

Ainz immediately began moving forwards, away from his enemy, and turned around.

“Silver…no wait, the luster is different. Is that platinum? Or a metal I do not know of?”

The explosion kicked up quite a bit of dust and at its center, stood a set of platinum-coloured full-body armour.

Four weapons hovered around them, following their every move.

A spear, a katana, a hammer, and a greatsword.

All of them were oversized for humans, their appearance screamed form-over-function. Nazarick’s treasury held many more weapons similar to these.

The weapons had a similar luster as the armour, it was then highly likely that they were not silver, but platinum instead.

Given that was the case however, it created more questions than it answered. Ignoring the monetary value of the precious metal, platinum had no special magical properties at all. He could not fathom what advantages could be granted by creating weapons and armour out of it.

The most likely explanation was that it was only platinum-coated, to hide the true metal the equipment were made out of. An example he could think of was the Golem he had just learned was in Kyouhukou’s room. There were other examples of the same technique being used in Nazarick as well.

The next most likely explanation was that it was a metal that was identical to platinum in appearance — but Ainz was not well-versed in the types of metal in this world.

Ainz’s undivided attention was on his opponent’s every move. After all, even trivial intel could tip the balance of a fight.

What was unsettling to him was the fact that his opponent, since their debut, had not shown any emotional response at all. Since their appearance, they had stood still in one spot with a daunting pose. Was it because they had not taken any damage — they had not bled at all — that they had resorted to such showmanship?

It was impossible for them to have not taken any damage at all.

It was hard for Ainz to believe that it had taken the full brunt of his [Explode Mine] but all it did was sully that eye-catching armour with dust. Even with Ainz’s necromancy job classes, it was still impossible for him to gain complete immunity to the damage of a high-tier spell. It was impossible without underhanded tricks, especially because [Explode Mine]’s damage type was non-elemental, it could not have been nullified so simply.

In that case, did their carefree attitude stem from them toughing it out, or was it from their do-or-die resolve? Or perhaps — they really had an ability to nullify the damage.

“Did you think that I would just stand here without taking any precautions? There are more around you—”

He tried to gauge his opponent’s reaction through conversation, or at least that was what he had intended anyways. His opponent however, did not give him much chance to speak, as the armoured fellow unabashedly took an offensive stance. The hammer in their arsenal floated to where they could easily grab it.

That revealed a piece of intel to Ainz, causing him to gently laugh deep down in his heart.

This meant that their target was not Albedo, but Ainz himself.

Since they had not bothered to converse with Ainz at all, they were not trying to buy time. They were probably planning to end this fight before any backup could arrive.

If they had appeared from the sky and began talking to him, that would have meant that their target was Albedo or that they were both their targets.

Everything up till this point had occurred well within the margins of Ainz’s plan.

However, not even Ainz could predict his opponent’s next move.

Since their weapons moved with them, he had thought that they were the fighter type and would want to close the distance between them. Instead, his opponent moved his hand in a somatic gesture, causing the giant hammer to suddenly shoot forward.

So fast.

It was like a high-level warrior had lobbed it at him, Ainz could not dodge it at all. If this weapon was not enchanted, it would be nullified by his immunity to non-enchanted projectiles, but no matter which way Ainz sliced it, it had to be enchanted. If that was the case, Ainz stood still, mimicking the stance his opponent had adopted as he took the hit. Of course, the spell activated the moment the hammer connected with Ainz’s body.

The bludgeoning damage was completely nullified by the [Body of Effulgent Beryl] spell. His gaze had remained on his opponent this entire time, observing his every move. In that moment, his opponent stopped moving, probably out of shock that he had taken zero damage.

The hammer returned to its original position as fast as it had been launched, floating around the enemy.

“Muwahahahaha—”

Ainz laughed loudly with his arms extended outwards to show that he was unscathed.

“—Do you understand now? As I am sure you are aware, skeletons are weak to bludgeoning attacks. That is true for me too. So did you really believe that I would not take precautions against it? That I would be so stupid? …That’s right”

Ainz patted his own body, “I am immune to bludgeoning damage.”

While he was sneering, his opponent did not seize the opportunity to attack. {What does that mean?} Ainz contemplated. If he made a mistake here, he might not be able to salvage the situation.

The enemy landed, raised a hand, and spoke. Their voice was that of a male’s.

“[Wall of the World]”

(TL’s note: the spell is 世界絶対障壁, the literal TL is “World Absolute Barrier” and I would have localized it as “World-Isolating Barrier” but I have been informed that all Wild Magic spells are references to some obscure novel.)

With his foe as the origin, a — space-warping — shockwave passed by Ainz.

If it continued to expand in its initial form, this place would be encompassed in a dome. Its size was immense, at least a kilometer wide. Albedo and the other guardians should all be outside of its range.

Ainz’s mind spooled up as he deliberated.

This was one of the oldest tricks in the book, to cut off an enemy’s connection to the outside world. Then, how hard would it be to break in? Would it be able to prevent someone from running in? Would teleportation still work?

Its effect and area-of-effect also had to be considered. Since it was a dome, could someone enter it through the ground?

And most important of all, could he destroy it through any means?

He was severely lacking in intel and thus could not be certain of anything, but he could at the very least make some rudimentary inferences..

First of all, his opponent knew that Ainz was a magic caster for sure, so this should at the very least be able block teleportation spells.

Unless he had a reason to not use the World Class Item that could dominate minds, this person wasn’t the one who brainwashed Shalltear. What if there was a specific reason why he did not use it? Questions continued to pile on, but one thing he was certain of was that he should not underestimate this enemy.

That was because Ainz had mastery over a wide range of spells and special abilities. From the experience he had gathered through experimentation, he knew their full capabilities. This placed Ainz at the top of Nazarick in terms of battle tactics.

However, the ability this enemy had just used, Ainz could not recall. An ability that would cover this much ground had to be from a Super-Tier spell or a World-Class Item. This meant that his opponent had easy access to — and immediate use of — skills that could rival the heights of those abilities.

He was undoubtedly a strong enemy.

Someone who could remove Ainz, and the other level 100 Floor Guardians, from the picture.

However, faced with this enemy, Ainz did not emote at all.

Of course, Ainz’s face could not emote anyways, but his uncertainty could still be observed through his attitude and tone. Ainz Ooal Gown would never do something so unsightly.

At the same time, he could not allow the enemy to perceive Ainz’s joy and relief.

The thought of, {it was wise for me to have been the one to face him} came to mind.

Ainz squinted his eyes and continued to observe him.

Though this was an unknown ability, he could still pick up on certain aspects of it. First, this was an ability that expended HP and quite a lot of it. Given that, this barrier could not be cosmetic only. If he could not figure out its exact effects, he would be in deep trouble.

Ainz had seen his opponent’s immediate loss of HP when he had activated that ability through his [Life Essence] spell. [Mana Essence] picked up nothing in contrast, meaning that his foe was of a pure warrior build with no mana at all.

If the mysterious enclosure was an inescapable prison, it would not be odd for his opponent, who had effectively imprisoned Ainz in this dome, to relax a little.

Ainz began to calmly ask a question with that in mind.

He used an uncharacteristically gentle tone given he had just been smacked with a hammer.

“I will pardon your prior ambush. I do believe that you already know of my name, but do allow me to re-introduce myself. I am the Sorcerer King Ainz Ooal Gown. Now then, it is your turn. Could you tell me your name?”

After a few seconds of silence, he received a reply.

“…Riku Agneía”

Ainz immediately began to analyze the information he had just gained.

The likelihood that this barrier not only prevented his escape, but also prevented reinforcements from making their way in just increased drastically. The fact that he would risk exposing intel meant that he was trying to tell him, “you can’t escape,” and also, “your reinforcements won’t make it in.”

In the documents compiled by Sebas and Demiurge, there were no mentions of the name ‘Riku’. Someone this strong would not have slipped through their information gathering network. Even if he was hermit, there were still things that could not be explained. In any case, someone this strong would have surely ended up in the Kingdom’s history books. For there to be no records of him at all was absurd.

The most likely explanation was that he had been given an alias.

But why would he give him an alias?

If he was from the Kingdom, he should have proudly declared his name and his intention to destroy the root of all evil that had started this war. Was it because he was someone who wished to remain anonymous of his own volition? Another possibility was that he was trying to draw Ainz’s aggression towards the real Riku Agneía, or perhaps the knowledge of his true name gave Ainz power over him or something.

Although it was essentially pure wilderness when those lands came under his rule, they had still gathered quite a bit of intel from the demi-human residents of that land. Of the intel they gained, one was about the connection some had between their true name and soul, and how one could become more susceptible to curses should their true name become known. However, after much investigation by Nazarick, they could not find conclusive proof of such a phenomenon. They had relegated this intel as plain folk legend.

So was it possible that Riku was of a tribe that held similar beliefs?

He had little to no intel. This was not the most ideal situation for him to make deductions here and there. As far as he could remember, there were only two powerful beings with connections to platinum. One of which was not a humanoid, the other was—

“I have heard through the bards’ songs, the heroic tale of the Thirteen Heroes. Quite a few of their names have been lost, though I do recall one of them wearing an armour forged in platinum… If I remember correctly, his name was Riku Agneía. Will those bards not be elated to find out that their tales were true?”

“Would they? I did not know that I was renowned enough for bards to sing of my name.”

His foe did not shrug, nor did he make any movements as he answered calmly.

Was he truly one of the Thirteen Heroes, or was he an imposter? There might be details that he was missing.

{Good grief}, AInz thought.

What was true and what was false, it was hard for him to tell. But, given how his opponent was confident enough in himself to face off against the Ainz Ooal Gown who could handily defeat an army of 200,000 with a single spell, the full extent of his capabilities must be explored in this battle.

“Riku, do you mind me addressing you by this name?”

“Denied.”

An immediate answer, one filled with palatable disgust in tone.

“That was rude of me. Perhaps that was too familiar of an address. Shall I refer to you as Agneía then? Would you still mind?”

“That is fine.”

“Oh. Well then, I have a proposal for you. Become my subordinate, how about it?”

The air around Riku froze a bit. He did not take a stance, nor did he move at all. Riku just stood there completely unfazed.

Ainz could not figure him out.

If Riku viewed him as an inferior, it would make sense why he did not take a stance at all. After all, Cocytus was the same during his battle with the lizardmen. So, was Riku looking down on him or not?

He felt different compared to Cocytus back then.

So, perhaps that already {was} the stance he intended to take for this battle.

He might have planned to stand in one place and have his floating weapons do all of the work for him, which was why he had adopted such a battle stance.

“…Looks like I’ve been rejected. How regretful. Could I implore you once more? I am currently trying to recruit powerful individuals into my services. Even that Momon of Darkness has been happily under my employ. If you are willing to become my subordinate — I would even end my conquest of the Kingdom right here. You alone are worth more than this country.”

“Denied.”

If words could kill. There wasn’t a single shred of hesitation in his voice.

Ainz, without showing any emotions, began to ponder the hidden meanings behind their little back-and-forth just now.

Even if he had the confidence that he could defeat Ainz and save the Kingdom, did he truly have no doubts or hesitations? Even if Ainz was killed, was he truly certain in his belief that the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army would just give up?

{…Perhaps he does not care about the Kingdom after all…? Is he from another nation?}

“[Cloak of Light]”

Riku’s armour began glowing. For a brief moment, Ainz thought that it was the Sun reflecting off of his armour until he noticed that Riku’s HP had just decreased. That was undoubtedly the activation of some sort of ability.

Now he had concrete proof.

Riku’s abilities were powered by his own health pool.

However, because lost HP could just be recovered through restoration spells or potions, abilities that were powered by HP were usually weaker by comparison. All in all, the higher the ability’s HP cost, the stronger it would be. The same logic should apply even in this world.

Riku had activated his special ability, that meant their parley had broken down. Ainz immediately cast his spell.

“[Greater Teleportation]”

Ainz teleported all the way to — the edge of the translucent dome. After his sight had adjusted, he found the translucent barrier blocking his way.

“Teleportation failed…”

He took a look around. It appeared as though Riku did not have the ability to follow him through his teleport, he was nowhere to be found.

In front of Ainz, not too far away, was his intended destination, the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick.

He could at least confirm one thing of this barrier: it cut off teleportation completely. That said, since he was now in front of the barrier, that meant that teleportation to destinations within it was still possible. Only teleportation in and out of the dome was disabled. It seemed like if one were to try and teleport outside, they would instead be teleported to the edge of the dome closest to their intended destination.

This was crucial intel.

He had originally intended to not use teleportation throughout this battle, but it was still worth it to have gained this intel at the cost of one of his trump cards.

Ainz then extended his hand to touch the barrier.

If it had defensive capabilities, he would probably receive the damage immediately, but that was unlikely. He thought so because the interrupted teleportation did not do damage to him either.

The bones in his finger made contact with the barrier.

Contrary to its soft appearance, it was extremely hard. When he tried to exert force on it, nevermind breaking, it did not faze at all. It was like a wall that separated worlds apart.

Ainz pulled out a common gold coin and tossed it.

The coin hit the barrier and bounced off.

Next, he cast a [Lightning] spell at a pre-calculated angle.

“…It cannot get through, hmmm.”

Just as he became satisfied with the results of his experiments, the [Delay Teleportation] spell activated once again. No doubt it was Riku.

Ainz cast [Body of Effulgent Beryl] and stood there, with his back towards Riku.

After Riku showed up, he used some unknown object to slam into Ainz’s body at high speeds. Because it was bludgeoning damage, it was completely nullified by [Body of Effulgent Beryl].

But for whatever reason, his body was sent flying and pressed against the barrier. That was highly unusual. Normally when an attack’s damage had been nullified, its secondary effects would not apply. However, Riku’s attack did not follow this rule. So what did that mean? He had no idea as of yet.

Ainz slowly, and regally, turned around.

The hammer returned to Riku’s side. The four weapons that surrounded Riku were different from before: they were all glowing white. Combined with the armour, they looked undeniably badass.

On the other hand, Riku’s health had decreased even further.

He had lost more health than when he activated that ability on his armour just then. Was it because he had to apply that ability to each weapon separately or because teleportation had cost him a bit of HP too? Ainz desired more intel.

“I am immune to bludgeoning damage, I believe I have said that already…so how did you do that?”

“…Even if you can teleport, you cannot use it to escape this barrier. Your fate is to perish here.”

{Answer the question, dumbass}, Ainz thought but did not say it out loud. After all, if he wanted his opponent to talk, he had to avoid pissing him off too much.

“I see. I am impressed that you could create such an inescapable barrier. I assume then that you have made your resolve already?”

No response. One of the four weapons, the greatsword, stopped moving.

—He’s coming.

Riku did not appear to wish to converse with him. Ainz made the first move with that in mind.

“[Twin Magic: Obsidian Sword]”

Ainz summoned two obsidian swords and rushed at Riku.

If his opponent was using floating weaponry, he would do the same.

One of the swords was deflected by Riku’s greatsword and the other’s strike was dodged in an unnatural manner.

“What!?”

Ainz couldn’t help but vocalize his thoughts.

What was shocking wasn’t the fact that Riku could dodge the attack, but rather how he had dodged it. Not even Cocytus would be able to pull off what Riku just did.

Riku had performed a sideways somersault at head’s height to dodge the attack. Although there were other oddities apart from what he had just done, Ainz should not be focusing on those details right now. The questions laid in the fact that those movements were inhuman.

Normally when a humanoid jumped, they would bend their knees and apply force on them. There should be reflexive movements before the actual jump. However, Riku skipped all of that, applied no force at all, yet still performed a sideways somersault in the same stance he had this entire time.

While it was not impossible, especially with spells like [Fly], not even Ainz could pull it off. One’s body would always reflexively move in a certain manner when performing such actions.

Perhaps those who were adept at using [Fly] would be able to do those moves, but Ainz still felt weirded out by those movements. The explanation for it was just on the tip of his tongue, but his brain could not express it properly.

While Ainz was getting increasingly annoyed, Riku counterattacked with his greatsword. Ainz’s two swords were deflected by the other weapons floating around Riku.

The greatsword, as if it had a mind of its own, flew towards Ainz, prompting him to think of his Guild Weapon. Ainz cast defensive magic in response.

“[Wall of Skeleton]”

The greatsword clashed with the newly created wall. The [Wall of Skeleton] was destroyed in a single hit.

“Impressive.”

In place of where the [Wall of Skeleton] stood, the honed edge of the greatsword pointed towards Ainz as it hovered. He had thought that it would return to Riku’s side after that, but instead it flew towards Ainz as if someone was wielding it. On the contrary, Riku was standing still in his original position, in his original pose.

From his observation of that pose, what had been at the tip of Ainz’s tongue finally came out.

Indeed, he was just like a puppet.

Riku was moving around like a puppet whose strings were still intact.

It was as though giant hands were behind him, one controlling the body and the other controlling the weapons.

{This isn’t something like [Psychokinesis] controlling the weapons, but the armour too? Unless, the insides are empty? Or was a living person within it too?}

Faced with the greatsword’s cleave from top to bottom, Ainz pulled out a [Blasting Staff] to intercept it.

The amount of pressure exerted on him made him feel as though he was sinking into the ground.

If he had weapon destruction skills, it would be worth his time to target this greatsword specifically, but Ainz had not bothered to learn such skills. Even anti-material acid spells would take quite a bit of time to chew through this sword, so he was better off attacking Riku instead.

“[Grasp Heart]”

That was Ainz’s favorite necromancy spell, yet it had no effect on Riku at all.

Did he have immunity against necromancy? Or was it resistance against negative status effects? While Ainz was still considering those things, the greatsword was swung at him at even greater speeds.

“Guhhh!”

He could neither tank nor dodge it in time, so his body took the full brunt of that attack. After receiving the blow, Ainz backed off a little only to bump against the barrier behind him. This position was disadvantageous for him.

“[Greater Teleportation]”

Ainz teleported upwards. Because they were summoned through non-conventional summoning magic, the two swords soon returned to Ainz’s sides.

As he was right above his opponent, he would have been easy to spot. Ainz did not teleport a long distance away, nor did he intend to buy time until Albedo arrived. This battle was what he had been craving.

Just as a precaution, he cast [Body of Effulgent Beryl] again while observing Riku, who appeared to be a dot from his perspective. He began to ascend as soon as he spotted Ainz.

He did not try to attack Ainz with his weapons, that was probably due to a range restriction.

Ainz responded by descending.

The moment they passed by each other, he threw out the twin obsidian swords.

The [Obsidian Sword] constructs could only be used as an offensive tool and could not be used to defend oneself. That was because the obsidian swords suffered from a mass loss of durability if used to receive an opponent’s attack. If used defensively, the swords’ durability would rapidly diminish until they shatter.

Riku used the weapons around him to deflect the two swords that were soaring through the skies.

Did he put his all into defence? Riku did not choose to counterattack.

After brushing past Riku, Ainz landed on the ground only to find the spear falling towards him at ludicrous speed.

Ainz leapt forward, barely dodging the attack. Because he had [Fly] activated already, he did not have any issues getting back on his feet.

Ainz stood up to distance himself away from that spot as Riku casually descended to the ground. His three weapons floated around him and the spear that had been implanted into the ground soon joined their ranks again.

Ainz also had his two obsidian swords float by his side.

His movements made it all the less believable to Ainz that a living being was in that armour. His knees did not bend at all when he landed.

It was at this time when Riku, who had been standing with the same pose this entire time, suddenly took the greatsword into his own hands.

This distance between them was closed in an instant. This was the fastest speed he had moved at yet.

He was like a shooting star.

Ainz sent out the two obsidian swords to intercept Riku’s attack, but they were deflected by Riku’s katana, subsequently falling onto the ground.

“[Call Greater Thunder]”

Multiple streaks of lightning converged on Riku, yet he did not slow down at all. It was not as though he hadn’t taken damage, Ainz could see his HP pool falling. It was more likely that he had suppressed all forms of pain.

The greatsword was raised high above Ainz’s head as it was cleaved downwards.

“Oooof!”

The moment Ainz took damage, he saw from the corner of his eye, Riku’s katana swinging in from the side.

Ainz began waving his Blasting Staff.

Riku tanked that attack with his own body. A magic caster’s physical strikes weren’t so impressive, so if he chose to tank that hit, he must be planning to strike Ainz too.

His deduction was correct.

If Ainz were in his shoes, he would have done the same.

However, that was a terrible, terrible mistake under these circumstances.

Ainz smiled deep down as the shockwave began propagating outwards. Riku was knocked far away.

Blasting Staff had a similar enhanced knockback enchantment as Yamaiko’s Female Sensei’s Iron Fist of Wrath. The cost of that enchantment was the staff’s complete lack of offensive capabilities, but it granted distance between a magic caster and their foe, one of the most important things to a caster.

Was it because he had been knocked back? The katana’s strike only grazed Ainz by a little, barely touching his sternum.

Riku remained unyielding in pose even after he was knocked back. Ainz cast another spell.

“[Summon Tenth-Tier Undead]”

The one to replace the twin obsidian swords was the level 70, melee warrior Doom Lord. A rusted crown sat on his dome and a blood stained cape hung off his back. Adorning his full-plate armour were multiple scythe-like curved blades.

Minute amounts of negative energy ebbed from the gaps in its armour in the form of a black mist. His health was constantly decreasing, a penalty placed upon the Doom Lord for its agility which was unthinkably high for a level 70. Optimal use of such a summon required mastery over unit placement.

However, Ainz just wanted him to be his shield, so none of that mattered to him.

Summons’ were either used as shields or swords.

Magic casters who could use them were all pretty strong in general. That said, a powerful pure warrior build could easily ignore these summons.

For example, what would Cocytus do?

He would probably kite the summons towards the summoner to bring the both of them into his range.

What would Albedo do?

She would probably use her defensive capabilities to her advantage to charge straight for the caster, completely ignoring the summons. She could also redirect aggro so that they would kill each other.

So, what would Riku do? Riku’s tactic up till this point had been to rely on his auto-attacking weapons. Though he had wielded his greatsword, he had not used any special abilities or martial arts to go along with it. For that reason, Ainz did not have a firm grasp on his abilities as a warrior at all.

That was why—

Riku closed the distance between them and beelined for Ainz without hesitation at all. An adamant action.

He was probably the type to have specialized in super close-quarters combat rather than purely relying on his floating weapons. For that reason, if he was able to swiftly destroy his summon, Ainz would have lost an option to widen the distance between them.

Faced with the rapidly-approaching Riku, the Doom Lord tightened his grip on his weapon, a long curved blade set upon a pole, a War Scythe. The scythe was shrouded in negative energy, shrouded in the same black mist as before.

Ainz used the magical link he had with the Doom Lord to give it his orders.

“It is highly probable that our opponent is not a living creature, but try to confirm it anyways,” his order was vague. Needless to say, a summon possessed a portion of its summoner’s knowledge, so it should have understood his intentions even without his order, but it was better to veer on the safer side of things.

The Doom Lord activated its special ability.

[Ruinous Night]

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 1)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 4 -(Part 1)

Volume 14: Chapter 4 – Well-Prepared Traps (Part 1)

The sound of footsteps rang as Hilma led three of her associates from the Eight Fingers along the corridor of a mansion. They were making their way towards the giant room one of the Sorcerer King’s subordinates had chosen.

The rest of them were there already, awaiting the arrival of the Sorcerer King’s envoy.

They did so because although the subordinate of the Sorcerer King had specified the day they had to gather at this mansion, they had not specified the specific time they had to do so. For that reason, Hilma and the rest of the Eight Fingers were on rotation in the hall to prevent a scenario in which the envoy would arrive to find it empty.

If they made the envoy wait, that would be incredibly disrespectful. There was a possibility that they would get another whiff of hell for it too. No matter how minuscule that probability was, they had to avoid it at all costs.

The four had been walking in silence for a minute now.

Although that was partially due to the sheer size of the mansion, it was also because they had furnished a room far away from the main hall to be their lounge. While it might have been better to have furnished a room closer to the hall to be a lounge, after they had deliberated on this matter, they ultimately decided to use the rooms close to the hall as luggage storage.

The silence wasn’t exactly unbearable, but one of them — Perianne Porson — began speaking.

“Isn’t it a little, noisy?”

Hilma concentrated.

She could indeed hear the sound of children frolicking. That said, it sounded like something that was far too distant from the mansion. It was quiet enough that you couldn’t really hear it unless you tried. This was because the hall was far removed from the hustle-and-bustle of life, that was also the reason why they had chosen to use the rooms close to the hall for storage.

Still, even if Hilma and company had not found it to be annoying, if the Sorcerer King’s envoy were to be annoyed by this, they could not even imagine the consequences that would arise.

“…Maybe a little. Should we tell them to keep quiet?”

Everybody agreed with Olin. If they were to warn the people next on the rotation, the others should have warned the children by the time it was their turn to rest.

Was a weight lifted off of Olin’s shoulders because he had spoken up? He proceeded to say what everybody had in mind but would have never given voice to.

“…But…Will he truly come to rescue us?”

He probably did not mean to blurt that out, but the stress from having to wait for the envoy from the Sorcerous Kingdom had probably gotten to him.

It had been seven days since the 400,000 men strong army of the Kingdom had begun their march. Not long after that had happened, they heard rumours that the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army had begun encamping close to the capital. Though that was only a day ago, the mental stress they were experiencing far outweighed the physical fatigue they were experiencing too.

They had received their orders from one of the Sorcerer King’s subordinates about a month ago, back when the war had just begun.

They were told, back when the Sorcerous Kingdom had begun their march towards the capital, to choose about a thousand people from the Kingdom who were loyal to them to spare so that they could serve them in the future. The chosen would then be taken to a safe location.

For that reason, a thousand people related to the Eight Fingers were gathered at this place.

No doubt was the Eight Fingers a giant organization if you counted the grunts too. From their ranks, Hilma and the rest picked out the outstanding and loyal bunch, as well as their family members too. That was why there were children present.

What they were uncertain of, was if they would really come to save them or not.

The capos of the syndicate of the Eight Fingers were all people who had promised others that they would be spared yet would toss them away once they were no longer of use. Was it their turn this time? These thoughts lingered in their minds, doubts unshaken.

Hilma did not look towards her associates, but said,

“I believe in His Majesty the Sorcerer King’s words.”

Olin panicked and began saying— No, he was mortified. To Hilma, what Olin had been spouting was his distrust of the Sorcerer King’s sincerity.

“I-I think so too! What I just said was not meant to discredit His Majesty the Sorcerer King.”

The sound of Olin’s voice covered up any sounds the children could have made as it echoed through the corridor. Olin realized what he had just done and immediately shut his mouth and lowered his head.

No one else spoke the entire way to the hall.

As the door opened, what greeted them was what they had expected: the tired smiles of their other associates.

The envoy of the Sorcerous Kingdom had not come yet.

The mixed emotion of relief and impatience arose within Hilma’s heart. Surely her companions were feeling the same thing.

“You’re here. Now then, we’ll go rest up. If the envoy comes—”

A magic item in the form of a handbell rested where Noah Zweden was gazing at.

If one of the two was rung, the other would also ring.

However, if the distance between them were too great, it would not have an effect at all. In addition, that was the only way that both could affect each other so it wasn’t exactly the best tool for communication. This task was easy enough that they could use it for this purpose.

“Ahhh, leave it to me.”

As their representative, Perianne answered him.

“—say. Do I still have to wait around here? We’ve wasted enough time, the Sorcerer King…His Majesty. I get it I get it. No need to look at me like that with those scary eyes.”

A short and tall man said.

That was the head of the slave trade division, Cocco Doll.

The frontline of the Kingdom’s army had been bolstered by the prisoners who had been kept captive in the capital. When they were being released, during the chaos and confusion of those few days, Cocco Doll had been rescued and brought to this mansion.

At first, they had two ways they could have dealt with Cocco Doll.

If he was sent to fight the Sorcerous Kingdom, they had no doubt in their mind that he would have died, so of course his rescue was non-controversial. What was controversial was how they should introduce him to the Sorcerer King.

Some thought that because he was a regular head, it would not matter if they did not introduce him at all. Others thought that if the Sorcerer King knew of him already and they were to not introduce him to him, it would end in tragedy.

They wanted to avoid endangering themselves no matter how unlikely it was, and so they went with the latter.

Their opportunity to introduce him — to place him on the chopping block — was about to come.

They were all in agreement that he was the first one they had to introduce, to remove any doubts that they were attempting to hide him.

“You have to wait here so that His Majesty the Sorcerer King’s envoy can get a good look at you.”

For that reason, he had to wait in this room. They did not know when the envoy was going to come after all. He ate and slept in this room, and was absolutely disgusted by it.

“I mean, I have been thanking you all constantly, thanking you for bribing the guards so they wouldn’t treat me so harshly in prison, and thanking you for saving me from the draft — to have saved poor, old me.”

“What are you trying to say, Cocco Doll?”

To Noah’s question, Cocco Doll responded with a piercing gaze.

“To go out of your way to save someone who has lost all of his power, connections, and lackeys, isn’t that a bit too suspicious? What is your goal? Why have you gathered everybody related to the Eight Fingers here? Are you planning to kill me?”

“—hah?”

Hilma was frozen solid. No, it wasn’t just Hilma, everybody else in the room other than Cocco Doll was the same.

If they were equally guilty, none of them could wash their hands clean of his blood, was probably what he meant—

“W-What? Your expressions. That was bullseye…wasn’t it?”

Hilma surveyed her surroundings. Everybody had the same expression, one that said, ‘this guy is going to be trouble soon’. She spoke up as their representative.

“What are you talking about, Cocco Doll? No, Apéritif. Aren’t we partners?”

“—Hah?”

This time it was Cocco Doll’s turn to be shocked. His expression was whack, almost hilarious.

“You, what is your goal!? Ah, I get it, you are all monsters wearing their skins! That’s why every other word out of your mouths is praise for the Sorcerer King!”

Cocco Doll yelled with an expression that was a cross between panic and fear. The monster he spoke of was a folk’s tale that mothers usually used to scare their children when they were being restless at night. Most adventurers agree that no such monster actually existed.

“I thought that something was off from the start! The fact that you guys went on a diet at the same time was suspicious enough. Even if I concede that point, Hilma’s figure is so inelegant! She’s too skinny to be healthy. This could all be explained if you guys were just monsters wearing their skins!”

Hilma looked towards Cocco Doll with warmth in her eyes. Such bliss, to have not experienced that hell.

“Wh-what? Your expression…”

“No, don’t mind me, Apéritif. Indeed. I am flattered by your observation.”

“—Huh?”

“What?”

“No, no, nothing…nothing at all… I’m being serious, I am unsarcastically asking you. Are you really Hilma? Hilma Cygnaeus? Not a twin sister or something like that? Were you brainwashed?”

“Have I really changed that much?”

He wasn’t talking about how skinny she had gotten. He was probably talking about her personality, she had mellowed out a lot from before. Normally, that would be a positive change, so his suspicion of her was surprising to say the least.

“…Of course, it’s like you’re a completely different person. No, that applies to you all. Did monsters truly steal your skins?”

“I could only say that we experienced certain things that made us this way.”

Everybody agreed with what Noah had said. Cocco Doll was terrified.

“What, happened… Though I don’t want to hear it, I still want to know. You—”

A thin, endless, and circular darkness suddenly appeared in the room. A semi-oval object began emerging from the ground.

Hilma recognised this as the [Gate] spell that had whisked her away so many times. It was a high tier spell, high enough that there were no magic casters within the Kingdom who were capable of it. Only a subordinate of the Sorcerer King would be capable. The fact that this spell was cast meant that—

Hilma hurriedly took a knee. After a while, she felt Cocco Doll do the same.

Hilma buried her head and clenched her fist.

There were two possible outcomes.

They were either getting disposed of, or saved.

A person’s footsteps could be heard.

“You can raise your heads now.”

In front of the [Gate] was a maiden whose bust size was mismatched with her apparent age. Though she had not heard her speak of her name directly, Hilma knew her name was Shalltear. Noone here was brave enough to refer to her by name, even someone as clueless as Cocco Doll could tell from the atmosphere of the room alone.

“I am here to retrieve you all. Although I heard there would be a thousand or so of you-arinsu, could you bring them over immediately-arinsu?”

“Understood! Please wait a moment!”

Olin ran out of the room in a full sprint. He had the best stamina of them all after all.

“—Shadow Demon.”

Shalltear called and a demon soon materialized from the shadows. When had it entered the room? Perhaps it had been monitoring them for a long time. This was not surprising to them at all. Instead, they all thought, {thought so}.

That Shadow Demon began whispering into Shalltear’s ear. They then heard her respond with murmurs. After their conversation ended, Noah began speaking with a trembling voice,

“…U-Umm…Olin will need some time to bring everyone over. Before that happens, there is someone we wish to introduce to you. Do you find that to be agreeable?”

“Unnecessary-arinsu. Rather than doing that, I heard you had luggage to bring along-arinsu, move those first. I heard there were quite a lot of it, perhaps it would be faster if my servants did it for you. How about that-arinsu?”

“C-Could we trouble you then?”

Shalltear responded with a curt, “of course” before casting her spell. That was probably summoning magic. A few strong undead began appearing around them. Following their orders, they exited the room and returned with a sizable quantity of luggage, which they moved through the [Gate].

The luggage was moved at an unbelievable speed. Just as they were done moving, they could hear the sound of many footsteps.

While this might be the largest room in the mansion, it could not contain a thousand people.

“Now then, enter that door in your predetermined orders. Inside is a village within a forest-arinsu. You will exit what looks like a town square. Wait there.”

They followed her orders and entered the door in order.

Though it was unlikely that none of them were hesitant to enter the portal, everyone there had already been warned to follow their exact orders; as a result, there was less confusion than they had expected.

In comparison, the boys around {that} age stalling and blushing were a bigger problem. The girls becoming frustrated at the boys’ reactions were an issue too.

Shalltear was a world-class beauty.

So, them falling in love at first sight wasn’t such an unusual phenomenon, so was the women’s jealousy.

However — Hilma had engraved a fact in her heart.

If those kids were to do something stupid, she would be the one responsible. To prevent that from happening, she had to keep a close watch on them. Her attention was especially focused on the girl whose hands were on her flat chest, attempting to compare sizes with Shalltear.

Those children’s hands were taken by their guardians and led through the [Gate]. Fortunately, nothing had gone awry.

Hilma and her associates were the last to enter the [Gate]. Just as she had described, in front of them were wooden houses and their surroundings felt like a forest.

In the plaza where the undead had piled up their luggage, there was some commotion. Or was it excitement instead? Given the amount of youths there, the latter was more likely.

Was this their reaction to their first time passing through a [Gate]?

“Attention!”

Noah yelled. Gradually — faster than she had expected — the noise died down.

Was it to let them all see Shalltear? She slowly ascended into the sky and said,

“Currently the village is still under development. You will be brought over there in around a week. Before that happens, you will be living here. Just so you could effectively manage the village, we will be lending you four Golems. If you need anything heavy moved elsewhere, let them do it. Undead currently surround the village, if you are to exit the perimeter and attempt to re-enter, they will attack you. For that reason, please do not cross the perimeter formed by the undead.”

Shalltear looked around to check if they all understood her, and continued,

“Other than that, you will decide among yourselves how you will be spending this week. We have prepared two weeks worth of food-arinsu, so you should be set on that front. I will return in three days, if you have any issues, I will listen to them then.”

Shalltear descended to the ground and looked around, her gaze fell upon Cocco Doll.

“You are one of the capo, correct-arinsu?”

“Eh? Eeeh? W-, no, yes, what can I do for you?”

Cocco Doll had experienced the difference in status between him and her, so he tried his best to be cordial.

“You should take a trip to Kyuokukou’s room too-arinsu.”

“Eh?”

Shalltear closed the old [Gate] and opened a new one.

Was it his instinct? Something told Cocco Doll that something bad was about to happen to him, causing him to look around with a helpless expression.

After her gaze met his, Hilma shifted her own away. She could not go against Shalltear’s decision. The other heads were the same, no one dared to make a sound.

“Wa-Wait, Wait! No! Why are you guys reacting like this!? Save me!”

“Yeah, yeah. Let’s go-arinsu!”

Shalltear dragged a screaming Cocco Doll away. Faced with that kind of strength, he had lost all urges to resist.

“Ahh! No! Save me!”

“Sorry, Cocco Doll.”

Hilma whispered to Cocco Doll, who disappeared through the [Gate]. After that, the [Gate] disappeared.

Yet, the tense atmosphere never dispersed. They were all grasped by that suffocating silence.

A thousand people, blissfully unaware of that hell, occupied this plaza. Still, they could instinctually tell what fate awaited the Cocco Doll who had just been taken away from them. That was why none dared to move.

They understood that they had been brought to this place not out of someone’s generosity, and were beginning to understand exactly how terrifying this place was.

“…We couldn’t save Cocco Doll.”

Hilma said to Noah, who was walking over to her.

She did not want anyone else to experience that hell. That was what she had in mind, but that was impossible. An intense guilt washed over her.

“There’s nothing we can do about it. Still, it does not mean death…it would be more appropriate to call it a baptism. Afterwards, he could…come to understand why we would cherish each other so much.”

“Baptism…true…if I thought of it like that, it would alleviate a lot of the guilt I’m feeling.”

“You two, while I can understand how worried you are for Cocco Doll, we have to discuss our future right now.”

They had to relieve the people there of their worries.

Hilma took the lead.

If their goal was to kill them all, they would have done so already and not bring them all the way over here…or take Cocco Doll away.

That meant that the Sorcerer King was holding up his side of the deal, given Shalltear’s actions.

“Thank you so much, Your Majesty the Sorcerer King.”

Hilma lowered her head. Of course, she had no idea where she was or where the Sorcerer King was, but this was the only thing she could think of that could properly express her gratitude given her situation.

Something along the lines of a prayer.

—-

Three Floor Guardians set off from the front they had established in front of the capital.

The one in charge of the capital’s siege, Cocytus. The one in charge of crucial facilities, Aura. And finally, the one in charge of casting offensive AOE spells to render the entire capital into a mountain of ash, Mare.

The three each had their subordinates.

Mare had Hanzos under him, Cocytus had Frost Virgins, and Aura had her magic beasts.

The place they were looking towards, the capital, was awfully silent. Were they mourning? Or perhaps were they cowering in fear from the sight of the Sorcerous Kingdom’s forces?

Only a few days had passed since their previous battle, yet the capital’s forces were already cracking at the seams. From the vantage point of the encampment Ainz had set up near the capital, not many soldiers could be seen manning the outer walls of the city, nor did they appear to intend to put up a fight.

While it was true that they were few in numbers, Ainz’s camp was equally unmanned. High-tier mercenaries were nowhere to be found, not even Nazarick’s Master Guarders could be seen. The camp was occupied by Ainz, Albedo, and around ten of Ainz’s Death Knights.

Albedo wore her full-body armour and held a halberd in her hands. Her World Class Item should also be on her person just as a precaution.

“…Is it about time?”

Ainz asked Albedo after the guardians had left the camp. They were spread out to surround the capital.

“It should be. The guardians have moved quite a bit of distance away. If they really wanted to take action, this would be their last chance to. Given the lack of movement from their side, while it is unfortunate, it appears that there were none here this time too.”

“Is that so,” Ainz replied and shifted his gaze towards the capital.

He saw a silhouette flying towards them from the capital. After he took a look around, it appeared that this was the only entity coming towards them. Someone who had the courage to challenge the Sorcerer King, the one who dismantled an army of 200,000 with a single spell. From the intel they had collected, only one person matched that description.

The Powered Suit — probably Red Drop.

Ainz squinted his eyes to focus on the rapidly approaching entity and muttered, “now then.”

If that was the case, they could move on to the second stage of the plan. However, Ainz was a bit uneasy.

This was an important plan after all. It had to be handled carefully, like a thin sheet of ice. Was he truly capable of pulling off such a plan? Sigh, he could not have handed something this important to someone else either.

The silhouette got ever so closer. Honestly, has he not considered the possibility that they had an airforce too? Or did he think that the Floor Guardians would not notice him if he was high enough? Or was it some equally stupid line of thought? Ainz was stunned by his opponent’s faulty strategy. No, perhaps he knew that was the case but had no other choice.

So did he know that this was a trap, but had the balls and resolve to break through it? Or maybe—

“—Is he clueless or prideful? Or perhaps… Whatever, that does not matter. We will find out once he reaches here.”

“Indeed,” Albedo replied.

“…I will leave it all to you then?”

“Yes, please leave it all to me.”

Her replies were short and straight to the point. Ainz could not tell what her current mental state was. However, He knew enough to tell that she was not too happy about this.

Ainz looked back towards the silhouette. It would take him quite a while to reach where they were, they could afford to let him get closer before setting off the ambush. The moment that thought crossed Ainz’s mind, he realised that he had made a mistake.

It was highly likely that he was a disposable pawn.

“Does he know what he is? Or does he have no clue at all?”

“Who knows? It does not matter if he does, the plan has entered its third stage. Are we good to go?”

“…We are all set. I will accomplish my duties to the best of my abilities, you should do the same.”

“Yes — ah, no. Please leave it all to me, Ainz-sama.” Albedo replied just as that silhouette reached the Sorcerous Kingdom’s front, hovering a hundred meters up in the air and about a hundred meters away from them.

He could clearly make out his opponent’s appearance now. That said, it was unnecessary at this point to confirm his appearance.

The bright-red Powered Suit came to a sudden halt mid-air and remained there. Though he could not see his face, Ainz could tell that he was being observed.

Albedo raised her arm and the Death Knights around her began moving to form a shield wall in front of her.

The hovering Powered Suit’s right shoulder began to draw light into a box-shaped object. The light was converted into lightning and subsequently released.

“—[Chain Dragon Lightning].”

Just as Ainz mumbled the name of the spell, the lightning had already formed into the shape of a dragon and struck one of the Death Knights. The lightning dealt significant elemental damage to the Death Knight before leaping onto the Death Knights next to it.

After the blinding light of the lightning subsided, the undead were nowhere to be seen. They were all taken out in a single attack, which did not reach Ainz and Albedo. That was probably a coincidence rather than a calculated move from their opponent.

“Insolent fool! Identify yourself!”

Albedo roared with an infuriated tone. The volume of her voice was high enough that Ainz wanted to cover up his ears. Given how far away their opponent was, he should still be able to hear it, but he did not respond at all. Well no, he did respond, that just depended on one’s definition of a response.

The next thing they knew, the weapon rack on his left shoulder activated. Light was drawn in again as another spell was cast.

A whirlwind of fire encompassed Ainz and Albedo, the turbulent wind sounded like a wolf’s howl.

This was the divine AOE attack spell, [Firestorm].

Fire was a weakness of Ainz’s, but because the spell had not been enhanced through any special abilities, nor was the caster on the same level as Ainz, it did not do too much damage. Still, he could not just tank hits like that all day long.

Ainz gave out his order.

“Go! Albedo. Do not let him escape!”

“Yes!”

—-

Albedo took flight as she gripped tightly onto her halberd.

Her wings of pure black flapped once and it was more than enough for her to close the gap between them.

She was not sure if it was because the gap between them had been closed so fast, but the Powered Suit turned around in a stiff motion.

Albedo almost sunk her halberd into his unprotected back before the Powered Suit flew away. He did not fly towards the capital, but moved northwards instead.

Albedo recalled the geography of their surroundings.

She could not remember anything special about the direction he was heading towards, there weren’t any features that could facilitate an ambush.

Under her helmet, Albedo was fuming.

{Seriously, do you think that we’re blind? You really thought that we couldn’t see through what you’re trying to do? Or perhaps…If he’s this confident knowing that his plans have been revealed…I have to be on alert for this…}

Albedo turned her head around, shifting her gaze over her shoulder towards the Sorcerous Kingdom’s encampment, where she had just been at. She could see a lone silhouette, it was Ainz by himself. Even if she was following her orders, she should have been the one to guard him, especially given that he was her last remaining master. Yet she had left her protectee behind, that deeply unsettled her.

What was more displeasing was the fact that she was not allowed to make their enemy pay for his insolence with his life.

“Tock,” Albedo clicked her tongue and stared at the retreating Powered Suit.

There was an object that resembled a backpack on the back of the Powered Suit. It had six nozzles, each ejecting white light that formed into a trail, like a shooting star.

Those who are not familiar with Powered Suits would probably assume that if those nozzles were destroyed, their opponent would lose their ability to fly and thus fall to the ground.

However, Albedo’s master had already told her, “That’s just a cosmetic effect.”

That was because a Powered Suit’s flight capabilities worked in a similar fashion to the spell [Fly]. According to her master, though it was correct to say that it would not lose its ability to fly once its nozzles have been destroyed, that was not a given. Her master had added, “at least that was the case back then,” implying that he had not tested out this theory himself.

{Still, how long will he be flying for? We’re already so far away from — the encampment? Was I his true target then?}

Gradually, the gap between them was being drawn out.

If this continued on, her opponent would escape successfully.

Albedo did not have any abilities that could boost her own flight speed. Normally, when she was engaged in a chase, she would be riding her War Bicorn but that was no longer an option. That was why she was flying with her own wings, which were only capable of these speeds.

Still, Albedo had prepared for this. She had borrowed items from her master that could boost her flight speed. As long as she equipped those, she could easily close the gap between them. So why hasn’t she done so already? The answer was because she was waiting to see what her opponent’s next move would be.

If he was just trying to escape, Albedo could deal with that easily.

Just as she was calmly analyzing his silhouette, her opponent turned around.

He began to set up a weapon that was similar to Shizu’s Arcane Rifle.

“Hmph.”

Albedo prepared herself for an attack while mocking her opponent.

Compared to Shizu’s assault rifle type Arcane Rifle, this enemy’s Arcane Rifle was more of a heavy machine gun type according to Cocytus. Its destructive capabilities were a tier above Shizu’s weapon.

A row rumbling sound accompanied the large amount of bullets being fired from the weapon.

Those bullets were larger than an acorn and were shot out at blazing speeds, it was difficult for her to dodge them all.

However, Albedo could at the very least, redirect a few of the bullets back at him. Not only would this damage the opponent’s weapon, the damage of Albedo’s halberd was added on to it as well. Combined with the damage she could deal with her skills, this should deal a considerable amount of damage to the enemy.

Yet — Albedo did not activate any special abilities. She tightened her grip on her halberd and closed the distance between her and the enemy, nothing more.

She intended to take the full brunt of the attack with her own body.

The bullets fired by the enemy was about to connect with Albedo’s armour—

{oops…that was a big miscalculation…}

—She had thought that her armour would mitigate most of the damage, but there wasn’t even a need for that.

None of the bullets landed on her, they all curved away.

It seemed likely that none of the bullets were enchanted.

At the Floor Guardians’ level, one would have complete immunity to unenchanted projectiles. If his weapon had not been enchanted, he should not have equipped it at all.

{I wanted to test the destructive capabilities of his weapon…but ended up exposing one of my abilities. Given that, he would surely use an enchanted attack next…}

From his body language, Albedo’s keen sight could tell that he was quite shaken. Still, things progressed the way she had expected it to. Her opponent let go of his Arcane Rifle and extended something forwards.

His next attack appeared to be magic-based.

“Good, now what?” As she pondered. Albedo did not use any special ability of hers as she shortened the distance between them. If she had, even give the current distance between them, he would still be in her strike range. However, Albedo did not wish to expose her hand yet.

From the enemy’s right hand, a brilliant green light shot out, flew towards Albedo, and struck her.

Suddenly, Albedo’s body — and armour — began glowing with the same light. However, the light did not have any effects and soon disappeared.

She was not hurt. In fact, she did not feel anything at all.

This was not because she was actively defending against that spell, but because that spell could not even get through Albedo’s passive magic resistance.

It was likely that this was one of her master’s specialties, necromancy, specifically an instant-death spell.

Those types of spells were not only affected by ability scores, passive skills, special skills, and equipment abilities, but were also affected by resistances gained through levels, penalties, and so on. If they were cast on an opponent of similar level, it would be hard for those spells to have any effects at all if they were not enhanced through any means.

Not only was Albedo created as a level 100 NPC, she had equipped multiple items that strengthened herself. Spells of that Powered Suit’s level could not affect her at all.

Perhaps he was trying to gauge the difference in strength between them, and that was why he took the gambit of an instant-death spell. But, the fact that her opponent had even thought that this lowly spell could serve as an equalizer between them pissed Albedo off.

She had to show him what she was made of.

As she rapidly approached her enemy, Albedo raised her fist for a punch.

She intended to make a mockery of her opponent by not using the halberd in her hand. Another reason for the punch was that she could not accurately gauge the amount of damage he took if she was to use the halberd.

Her opponent attempted to block it with the Arcane Rifle, but Albedo’s strike was much faster.

Even though she held back a little, a hit from the level 100 Albedo was still devastating.

Gooong. A metallic noise rang out as her opponent was sent flying.

The suit, taller than 3 meters, was sent flying by Albedo’s punch despite her being an entire meter shorter than it. Not only was it sent flying, it also began shaking uncontrollably. It was a hilarious sight to behold.

{…looks like I dealt more damage to it than expected. He’s more delicate than tofu…}

He was certainly, unexpectedly—

{Weak…}

—Albedo felt frustrated as she laughed.

“—Ahahaha, now you will understand how foolish you were to attack Ainz-sama. I will dismember all four of your limbs, break every tooth in your mouth so you cannot even end yourself by biting off your tongue…but perhaps I will allow you to get another hit in. In any case, I will bring you to Ainz-sama to apologize for your crimes.”

“—tock.”

Albedo heard a click from that man’s mouth.

“Did you just click your tongue at me…? How rude. Nevermind, you were such an indignant bastard that you chose to attack us without declaring your own name, I expected this much insolence from you.”

“What are you talking about? Slayer? There is no indignity in vanquishing evil pieces of shit like you.”

“Tsk. I thought you were an illiterate barbarian to have attacked us without saying anything at all. I did not expect…no wait, the citizens of the Kingdom are no different from barbarians anyway, right?”

“That’s rich coming from you, Prime Minister of the Sorcerous Kingdom, Albedo.”

Albedo calculated the pros and cons of dragging this conversation on and concluded that this was an exploitable situation.

{If it were Ainz-sama or Demiurge here, they could probably engage him in a better conversation…}

Albedo was confident in dealing with matters of interior affairs, but she was not too confident in her skills to plot or deal with matters of foreign affairs. Still, she was alone with no help at all so she had to rely on her own head.

“Nonsense, whatever of Red Drop? Sorry, I do not commit mere adventurers’ names to memory.”

“Hmph, how is someone like you fit to be the Prime Minister of a state.”

Was he truly one of Red Drop? Or was he trying to confuse Albedo?

In any case, Albedo had to continue the conversation. From her strike back there, she had already grasped the full extent of her opponent’s capabilities. Even if their fight was to resume, she would not have issues dealing with him at all.

Albedo mentally prepared herself to trap him in this conversation.

{What a tiresome way to buy more time…}

After all, to not rouse her opponent’s suspicion, Albedo had to perfectly emulate the character of an arrogant strongman.

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 3 -(Part 5)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 3 -(Part 5)

Volume 14: Chapter 3 – The Last King (Part 5)

The minister of military affairs was shocked at this answer, his eyes were so wide that they almost formed into circles. Perhaps that was the first time Zanac had seen him make that expression.

Zanac began recalling his time with the Sorcerer King.

It was true that on the outside, he appeared to be a terrifying monster, one that exuded an oppressive aura. Zanac could not even fathom how high of a value the clothing he wore had. Yet, even so, his only priority, the reason behind all of his actions, was for the happiness of those he held dear. Isn’t that the most common of desires?

Honestly, that should not have been the reaction of an undead, the mortal enemy of the living. He was too human.

He could not understand the exact level of consideration the Sorcerer King had placed on this matter to have arrived at this conclusion, but from that bit of conversation, he could sympathize with him a little.

“Haha, yes, indeed. Just like a normal — human.”

Zanac shifted his gaze from the minister to the exterior of the tent.

If say, before — before things had turned out this way, perhaps he could have thought up a better method to deal with this. But, they were past the point of no return already.

“…So what is the status of the command hierarchy and battle preparations?”

“Your Highness’ subordinates — those from the capital are ready to move out immediately, distributing our men between the capital’s residences proved to be effective. The speed of the landed nobles however, leaves much to be desired. They are still debating on who should be vanguard.”

The minister of military affairs ranted on without hiding his disdain.

“Hmmm, that cannot be helped. They are not under our command after all. Some of the nobles have not even made the resolve of self-sacrifice. We can only hope that they will not initiate the battle before the rest of us are ready. The lower our expectations are, the less disappointed we would be.”

It was indeed troubling if they could not even synchronize amongst their own ranks for this battle. That said, without their forces, they would lose out on a quarter of their mobilized soldiers. That scenario would be equally troublesome.

Even if the Sorcerer King’s magic was to only kill 200,000 like last time, assuming that half of their army and their corresponding nobles survive, just how much responsibility would fall onto a quarter of their current forces?

“So what is our current strategy?”

“None whatsoever, Your Highness.” The minister of military affairs laughed in a tired and apathetic way. “We do not have a formation in mind, we will just be blindly charging into them. Because of that… If we were to do nothing to prevent the soldiers from losing their morale, that would not be good… Shall I form an anti-retreat force?”

“You shouldn’t. Rather than that, the royal knights should be stationed at the front, and—”

“—Your Highness, do forgive me for speaking out of line, but let us be the vanguard.”

Zanac looked towards him with a gaze that said, {are you sure?}. Putting his own condition aside, it was hard for him to imagine this skinny, jaundiced man swinging a sword around.

“If someone has to stand at the front, please do allow me to be that man. Your Highness should command from the rear.”

Zanac and the minister looked at each other for a while and he nodded his head.

“I am very glad that you could understand…” the minister’s gaze trailed towards the ceiling of the tent. There was neither anything of note there nor could he see the sky, yet he stared at it for a moment while he mumbled to himself.

“To be honest, I never liked that man Stronoff, yet not a day passes where I did not wish that he could be here…”

“I can sympathize with you. It’s just that, I was quite fond of him.”

Just as the minister meekly smiled, a commotion could be heard outside.

“What’s going on? Did the Sorcerous Kingdom make their move?”

“No…” Zanac raised his ear and laughed, “not at all.”

A group of impassioned people stormed the tent.

Landed nobles whose fiefdoms were around — though a certain distance away from — the capital. Among them were the nobles who had turned pale a while ago and what appeared to be mercenaries wielding blood-stained swords.

“What do you intend to do with your drawn swords in His Highness’ tent! Fall back!”

None of the nobles answered the minister of military affairs’ roar. They all looked towards Zanac like cornered rats.

Zanac wanted to hold his belly in a hearty laugh.

He more or less felt it when he entered the camp, he completely understood what thoughts their stupidity had wrought.

He had appointed the knights under him to commanding positions, so for them to have been swayed away from his side was a failure all on its own. This was a mutiny spurred on by his loss of agency, yet he did not expect them to have plotted against him especially under these circumstances. He could not have expected the rationality of humans to have stooped so low.

No, that was inaccurate.

Their actions in a sense, were correct. They were simply trying their darndest for a chance at survival.

Zanac could only have himself to blame. He was not able to empathize with them, he was not able to quench their qualms, he was not able to unite them under the same banner.

What would his father have done? Zanac almost ruined the serious face he had put on with his best efforts by laughing out loud.

“Fall back! You imbeciles!”

“…Please stop! Minister!”

“But! Your Highness!”

“I said stop! You should fall back.”

“I cannot take that order.”

“Minister—”

“—end of the line, Your Highness. There’s no use buying time now.”

“…Hmph. I was planning no such thing”

Although he was wearing the armour that was a national treasure, Zanac was not well trained for combat. If it were his brother instead, this would have been a different story, but it was impossible for Zanac alone to slay every hostile here.

If their treachery was not the spur of the moment but instead had been well-planned from the start, he would have no chance at salvation at all.

He focused his gaze on them and saw that they were terrified.

How disgraceful. If they truly believed in themselves, they would have held their heads up high. That was why Zanac held his head up high, to convey his grit.

“So, what was so important that you must come to my tent to talk to me about? Do you not understand what it means to draw your swords here in my presence?”

“—of course, Your Highness. This war, please forfeit it.”

Zanac smiled.

“It is a waste of time to surrender to His Majesty the Sorcerer King. I have received his message loud and clear, he will never accept our subservience…Although you might not believe me, our only hope lies in His Majesty the Sorcerer King’s defeat.”

“There’s no way we can win…”

One of the nobles mumbled and Zanac concurred.

“Even so, we have no option other than to fight. I suggested vassalage, but it was useless. I will reiterate, our only hope of survival is through battle.”

“…Perhaps that is the case for Your Highness, but, maybe if we were to contribute enough merit, they will let us live — please sacrifice yourself so that we may live.”

The noblemen began joining in agreement.

“This whole thing began because of the people who stood in the way of the Sorcerous Kingdom’s grain transport. We should not be held accountable for them!”

“We will pledge our loyalty to the Sorcerer King.”

To Zanac, what they were saying was no different than what the noblewomen would say about their ideal knight during tea parties. Still, he understood where they were coming from.

“Let me say one thing, it is useless for you to take me to him. I, as a member of the royalty, have made up my mind to battle to the end. Those of you who wish to die here, do try!”

Yareyaredaze.

Blue-on-blue, what an absolute joke.

No, he should count himself fortunate that these fools would meet their ends right here. Surely they cannot burden his sister or father after this, right?

Well, his sister would be safe from these idiots by virtue of that warrior by her side alone.

“Those who wish to claim my head, come if you dare!!”

Zanac pulled his sword out and stood shoulder to shoulder with the minister.

While he had no confidence in his swordsmanship, his armour will more than make up for it.

Zanac stared at the noblemen, frozen in their tracks.

“What!? Weren’t you all out for blood!? Shouldn’t you have at least prepared to dirty your own hands even if you were to force poison down my throat!? Aren’t you supposed to have made your resolve?!”

The nobles looked at each other.

They had not even considered that, fucking pathetic. Was his life really about to be terminated by incompetent bastards like them?

At the end of the day, after having witnessed the military might of the Sorcerer King, it must have been fear that rendered them so short-sighted to be unable to see reason.

He was not fit to rule after all. He did not have his father’s virtue, his brother’s charisma, or his sister’s intellect. He had nothing at all, but that was fine. He did not want to be king anyways, he merely wanted this Kingdom to be functional.

That’s right.

To give unto this country, its people, and his family.

To give unto them happiness.

Then, one of the nobles called to people outside of the tent and multiple tough-looking mercenaries entered.

Zanac swirled his tongue around and recalled the silhouette of his brother swinging a sword. He mimicked his brother’s movements and charged at the noblemen.

—-

In their camp, Cocytus, Aura, and Mare were just discussing the upcoming siege of the capital when Albedo, who was supposed to be conducting the final inspection of the formations, came in with a troubled expression. {What happened?} Albedo responded to his questioning gaze.

“Ainz-sama, it seems like there was some commotion in the enemy’s camp.”

“…What? Commotion? What happened?”

Ainz stood up and walked out of the tent. It did appear as though there was some sort of trouble there, or it was more accurate to say that a fight had broken out amongst themselves.

In the end, a group of cavalry emerged from the enemy camp. It did not appear as though they were eager vanguards

As Ainz watched them silently, the group swiftly reached the Sorcerous Kingdom’s front. They were mercenaries equipped with all sorts of equipment, as well as a few noblemen.

A man in his prime, who had the air of a noble around him, stepped forth from the group. That man began shouting almost hysterically, his voice was carried towards Ainz by the wind.

“I have matters to discuss with His Majesty the Sorcerer King! Please!”

Zanac was not among them. The commotion in their camp plus the small amount of nobles in this group told Ainz all he needed to know.

“…Albedo, bring them over.”

He did not look towards the bowing Albedo, but instead returned to his tent where his body fell heavily upon the temporary throne. The three guardians stood silently beside Ainz.

After a short while, ten noblemen were brought over by Albedo. The mercenaries who were serving as bodyguards had appeared to have been left behind.

They were shocked by the sight of Ainz upon his throne, more shocked by the sight of Cocytus by his side, and confused by Aura and Mare’s presence.

“Do as you should in front of the one above all.”

The nobles of the Kingdom took a knee near the entrance of the tent and lowered their heads towards Ainz.

“Raise your heads.”

Albedo, who was now standing besides Ainz, said.

“A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Your Majesty.”

The eldest of the nobles began to speak. From the others’ expressions, he appeared to be the leader of this posse.

“We are in awe of Your Majesty’s greatness and wish to serve under your reign. First of all, we have an offering for Your Majesty…”

One of the nobles took out a sack-like object from his back. Albedo was about to respond before Ainz stopped her. He stood up slowly — as he had practised numerous times — from his throne and moved to the noble’s side.

He was handed the sack.

{Does not appear to be a trap huh…}

A disappointed Ainz looked at the sack.

The smell of blood gushed from within the sack, he could already guess what was inside.

Ainz opened it to take a look inside.

His eyes met Zanac’s.

Ainz observed it in detail. They had just met, so it was hard for him to tell if this was a body double or not. However, given how they were acting, it was unlikely for this to be the head of a body double.

Ainz closed the bag, walked back to his throne to hand the sack over to Albedo, and said,

“Give him a proper burial.”

He had many other corpses he could use for the creation of the undead, letting go of Zanac’s was fine.

“So, what happened to the armour he was wearing?”

The nobles looked towards Ainz with baffled expressions upon hearing Ainz’s question. They probably thought that the head of their general was more than enough for their prize.

“What? Do you not have an answer to Ainz-sama’s question?”

“N-No! Yes, that, that armour should still be on the prince’s corpse in his tent.”

The noble who acted as their representative hurriedly answered Albedo’s unemotive question.

“Is that so…? I see… You all. Good Job.”

The nobles all responded with “Yes!” as relief bloomed on their faces and as they lowered their heads.

“I shall reward you appropriately for your accomplishment. So, what do you wish for?”

“Please spare me and my family! Your Majesty the Sorcerer King! I swear my absolute fealty to you!”

Suddenly, the noble behind the representative began yelling, prompting the annoyed representative to bark,

“This guy! Me too! Your Majesty! Please extend the same mercy to me too!”

More and more “me too!”s piled on. Ainz waved his hands magnanimously to silence their pleas.

“—I understand. I understand. I completely understand you all. Everybody here wishes for the same thing, correct?” The noble began nodding their heads furiously, “is that so? Well, I will not kill you then. Albedo — send them to Neuronist.”

“—Understood.”

“Your Majesty, what about our family…?”

Ainz did not overlook one of the nobles attempting to whisper to him.

“Your family too?” Ainz smiled. Of course, they had no way of perceiving that. “What will I do about you all. Albedo, inquire where their families are and send them over too.”

“Yes, Ainz-sama. —you all, come over here.”

The nobles were led away from the tent by Albedo. After they were gone, Ainz motioned for Aura to come forth and gave the following order,

“Those who do not wish to die, do not grant it to them. That is an order.”

“Yes, Ainz-sama!”

Ainz caught Aura’s hand as she was about to leave. He continued to the confused Aura,

“Even if they desire death, do not grant it to them for now.”

“Understood!”

After he had let go of her hand and after she had confirmed that he had no other orders, Aura ran after Albedo.

Ainz’s gaze remained fixated on her back as he gave his orders to the two remaining guardians.

“I’ve lost interest. With Cocytus as commander and Mare as second-in-command, I permit the two of you to use the full extent of your abilities. Do not leave a single citizen of the Kingdom unscathed.”

The two responded affirmative.

An hour later — the army that was the Kingdom of Re-Estize’s last hope disappeared completely from the face of this world.

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 3 -(Part 4)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 3 -(Part 4)

Volume 14: Chapter 3 – The Last King (Part 4)

Azuth sneered a little, yet that gentleman’s smile never faltered.

“Now then, do forgive me for my frankness — let us get down to business, Azuth Aindra-sama and the members of Blue Rose present,”

Lakyus squinted her eyes.

Her uncle had abandoned his title as a noble, but because he still retained the title of honorary knight, proper etiquette dictated that he must be referred to by his full name. However, Azuth was the type to dislike being called by his full name.

Those who were meeting him for the first time and wanted to follow protocol would have fallen into this trap.

This gentleman however, managed to avoid this. This meant that this man had done his thorough research, no, it was probably more accurate to say that the people behind this man had done their research.

“Lakyus Alvein Dale Aindra-sama. Evileye-sama. Tia-sama. Tina-sama. Gagaran-sama. We are here to persuade you to join our side. Though fighting to your last breath here is an honorable option, we do implore everyone here to consider the future instead.”

“Ugh. Such an impolite fellow. So, which country sent you?”

“It doesn’t matter which country we’re from. It’s all usele—”

Suddenly, a hand appeared from behind the woman and covered her mouth.

“No way!”

Tia and Tina drew their weapons in surprise.

Behind the woman stood a man wearing an odd outfit. His entire body, including his face and hands, were covered. Metal plates lined his clothing for better defense.

“Not good, it’s an assassin way beyond our league.”

“Not good, he’s much stronger than us.”

These two were the strongest — most vicious — assassins that Lakyus knew of, but this man was stronger than them both.

“Please do not worry and please sheath your weapons. If our goal was your demise, we would not have introduced ourselves in such a trifling method.”

The gentleman was correct. To have entered this room in a way where none of these Adamantite-ranked adventurers could notice must have included the use of an ability that was capable of completely masking oneself. To have revealed himself in such an idiotic manner meant that he wasn’t there to assassinate them.

Or perhaps this was part of their tactic too. They were reminding them that if they did not join their side, outstanding assassins could get them at any time.

“Also, as for my companion’s slightly inappropriate matter of speech, I do deeply appologi—”

“—Oy oy. What good does hiding that fact do for you? You guys are from the Theocracy, right?”

“Are they really from the Theocracy…? I can’t believe that people like this exist there.”

A shocked Evileye said. Lakyus was equally surprised.

They had fought against a unit that was burning down demi-human villages in the past and they were strong. Especially the captain of that unit, who was stronger than Lakyus was at that time. Yet, no one from that unit was as strong as the people in front of them.

“You didn’t know? I thought that you’d at least have heard rumours about them…they are the pride of the Theocracy, their unit of heros, the Black Scripture. It’s likely that all of them have reached the realm of heroes.”

Azuth was looking towards the barbarian.

That man put on the smile a beast would have right before it feasted on its prey.

“Hahahaha… Looks like you know quite a bit about us. But, don’t you have one too? Someone like me, or even stronger than me?” He pointed towards Evileye, “Evileye of Blue Rose. You’re a hard one to deal with.”

Yet his attitude was not of one admitting defeat, rather, his expression told them that he treated Evileye as an equal.

“…Hmph. There are people stronger than me…Hmm…excluding fiends, of all of the humans and demi-humans, only Momon-sama is stronger.”

“Only Momon? Hmmm…”

The barbarian muttered to himself while a faint smile bloomed on his face, and said no more.

“I say. People of the Theocracy’s secret unit. Why won’t you fight alongside us against the Sorcerer King?”

“Perhaps that woman also…no, that was…” Evileye continued to mumble to herself, but Azuth ignored her and asked the gentleman, who responded with his unwavering smile.

“To have received an invitation from your esteemed person is an utmost honour to us all. However, we are here on an express mission to convince your esteemed persons to join us. That is why we can only choose to ceremoniously reject your suggestion. After all, soldiers who participate in battles out of their own selfish desires would only bring harm to their organization.”

“Trying to use your orders as a scapegoat, I see. Still, I’m interested to hear your personal opinion.”

“What a bore — Aren’t things much simpler if we just followed our superiors’ order?”

The annoyed woman said. The gentleman’s smile faded away as it was replaced by a troubled expression.

“I bet you’re the type to find even your own thought process to be annoying.”

“That’s about right. As long as I carry out my orders, the responsibility for them will always fall on my superiors. It’s too annoying to have to shoulder responsibilities myself, so I don’t bother with it. I’m pretty good at shifting responsibilities onto others, I’ve even received praise for it~”

“They weren’t praising you.”

The barbarian whispered to himself.

“Hehe. Now then, Aindra-sama…my apologies. Azuth-sama, we understand what you meant. So, what about the members of Blue Rose?”

“Before that, could we ask a question? How can we escape from here?”

“I will tell you how after you join us. By the way, we have extended this offer to numerous other adventurer groups already and they have all accepted. Those groups have already been relocated to safer locations to sit this one out.”

“…Oy. Did you use violence or threats to force them to go with you?”

As Gagaran had said, if someone as strong as them were to threaten other people, it would be hard for them to refuse.

“We really do, from the depths of our heart, want to become comrades with you all. This is a cooperation for our future — for humanity’s future.”

The gentleman did not appear to be lying at all, his personality was probably the reason why he was chosen to be the negotiator.

“…I refuse”

Lakyus did not even have time to ask for everybody else’s opinions before Gagaran replied.

“No need for ‘I’…we will go with the leader’s decision.”

Her companions started nodding their heads in agreement upon hearing what Gagaran had said.

“Is that true…? Looks like nothing I could say will sway your opinion. Looks like I’m out of options.”

The gentleman took their rejection unusually well. Lakyus lowered her posture in case he resorted to force.

After seeing what Lakyus had done, the gentleman gave a wry smile.

“Please, there’s no need to worry, Lakyus-sama. We do not plan to use force. We hope that everyone here could avenge those who have fallen to the Sorcerer King. We have left a fee for your troubles at the reception, please do accept it before you return. Now then — we’ll be on our way.”

After the gentleman gave his orders, the people of the Theocracy began walking towards the exit. Things appeared to have concluded peacefully. Just as Lakyus breathed a sigh of relief, Azuth called out to the gentleman,

“Oy, speaking of which… The mister named Rufus or Roof-Ass, is he still okay?”

“Ru…? I’m terribly sorry. Our country spans a vast area so I do not know who you are referring to… If you could be a bit more specif—”

“—Ah, is that so. I suppose it’s only natural for people of your rank to not know him by name after all. So, how do you guys usually address that undead? Milord or something?”

Every member of the Black Scripture was stunned and were subsequently filled with malice. The entire room was suddenly overflowing with an aura of bloodlust that made them feel as though combat was about to break out at any moment. The gentleman was the first to make a move.

He extended both arms to stop the people behind him.

“Quie-chan. What’s wrong? Are we not killing them?”

The gentleman stared at Azuth with cold, unmoving eyes and calmly replied to the woman,

“He’s bluffing. Do not move of your own accord. This is an order.” The bloodlust that emanated from them disappeared as fast as it had appeared. The gentleman’s cold-eyed stare remained on Azuth, “…though I am extremely curious to find out the extent of your knowledge on this matter…I will report this to my superiors. Everybody, it’s time for us to leave.”

The members of the Black Scripture did not lower their guards as they walked out the room but maintained the attitude that if Lakyus’ group was to take any sort of action, they would retaliate in kind.

After a while, after Lakyus was certain that the Black Scripture had left already, she started ranting at Azuth.

“Uncle…you’re the weakest of us all. Please stop provoking other people.”

“Hah…? Indeed, that was pretty dangerous. I did not expect them to antagonize us that hard. If it wasn’t for that man with the fake smile, I would have been dead. They were probably thinking something along the lines of, ‘rather than dirty our own hands, it’ll be more beneficial if we let the Sorcerer King have his fill first before we have ours’ or something. Though I doubt we were worth that kind of consideration.”

Lakyus intentionally directed her sigh towards Azuth, who had been laughing loudly.

Was that really the case?

Her uncle had revealed to the Black Scripture that he had some sort of crucial intel on the Theocracy, it would not have been unusual for them to kill him to prevent that intel from getting into the Sorcerer King’s hands. The other probable outcome would have been for them to kidnap him to interrogate him or use magic to get the intel out of him.

The root of the issue was why her uncle had let the Theocracy know that he had that kind of intel. If he had not done so, the conversation would have concluded with nothing else happening.

Why would he intentionally burn himself?

Azuth wasn’t someone who couldn’t see the bigger picture. Given that was the case, there had to be something in the background that Lakyus did not know of.

She would not get an answer from thinking about it alone. Lakyus stopped that useless train of thought.

“For God’s sake…So, what does uncle plan to do next?”

“Hah? I plan to wait till the Sorcerer King’s army made its way here. The big boys up there seem to be planning to send soldiers to the neighbouring territories to take formations. To be honest, I don’t think they have a chance at victory. The Sorcerer King and his lackeys will come here sooner or later… You’re not strong enough to trade blows with him, just run away.”

He had made his intentions clear.

“Even so, I will not abandon this city to run away. Uncle…”

If something was to defeat the Sorcerer King, it would not be the strike of a warrior but rather, the stab of an assassin. Precisely because of that, Lakyus had to clench her teeth and simply watch as waves of men were sent out to defend against the Sorcerer King’s attack.

“If you wish to invite me to fight alongside you, I refuse. I have my own plans.”

“Really?”

“Yup. I will do what I do best, and you should do what you do best. However, for the sake of my cute niece I will reiterate again. It’s best for you all to run away. You are all nothing in the face of the Sorcerer King’s power.”

“…hmph, what does that mean? Are you saying that you could achieve more than us?”

Faced with Evileye’s question, Azuth laughed as if he did not have an answer to that.

“Indeed, even I could not win against the Sorcerer King. I am but a mere man. But, even if the Sorcerer King surrounds the entire capital, I alone could still escape.”

Azuth stood up.

“Now then, I’ll be going to the other room to work these hips, what will you guys be doing?”

Lakyus realised what her uncle had meant and furrowed her brows.

“We’ll go back. After all, there are still things we need to prepare for.”

Lakyus bid farewell to her uncle and descended the stairs carefully with the rest of her group. They took their pay on the first floor and left the inn. It did not appear as though the Black Scripture was waiting in ambush there.

3

At a distance away from the capital that would take the average traveller three days to cross, the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army could already be sighted. This report landed in Zanac’s hands. To receive the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army’s attack, the entire army of the Kingdom had mobilized under Zanac’s command.

On the plains about half a day’s worth of marching away from the capital, the Kingdom’s army had already established a front upon receiving news that the Sorcerous Kingdom was invading from the west. According to their battle plans, they were to wait for the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army there.

The front was built upon a wide bit of road that was locked down for this purpose. If the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army was to continue on their current, straight trajectory, this would be the most effective. However, if the Sorcerous Kingdom was to change their direction of approach, there would be a need to form a new front. Though they were worried about that possibility, the reports all indicated that the Sorcerous Kingdom was beelining for them. It appeared as though they did not have to worry about that possibility coming true.

Yet no one was rejoicing because of it.

The Kingdom’s army that will be facing against the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army this time around was comprised of levies from the neighbouring nobles, the capital’s militia, and able-bodied men drafted from the refugees. It would not be incorrect to call this army the Kingdom’s last hope.

In total, there were over 400,000 men.

To have formed such a large army was something worthy of praise, yet the reality was that they were scraping at the bottom of the barrel. Not many had suitable equipment, a lot of people only had a club.

Even under this situation, morale was high. However, the reason for that was purely because they had the spirit of a cornered beast. They knew the extent of the cruelty the Sorcerous Kingdom had displayed and thus took up arms through the sheer force of will to protect that which they hold dear. If their courage was to take a hit in any shape or form, the Kingdom’s army would surely instantaneously collapse.

The size of the army was a weapon in and of itself, the long lines of soldiers alone gave off an overwhelming pressure without them doing anything at all. So then, for what purpose was the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army advancing straight towards this army of 400,000?

Even those who aren’t too well versed in battle tactics would know that facing such a large army head-on wasn’t the best strategy. For the Sorcerous Kingdom, their best strategy would have been to ‘do nothing’. They had an army full of the undead, which did not require supplies at all. In comparison, the Kingdom’s 400,000 strong force was akin to a gigantic yet starving beast. As long as they manage to completely surround them and apply pressure inwards, this giant beast would soon doom itself by starving to its death.

Yet the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army marched in a straight line, destroying everything in their path. He knew of the Sorcerer King’s firm grasp of the bigger picture, so it was hard to imagine that they had done so with no purpose in mind at all.

The Sorcerous Kingdom simply had confidence in their imminent victory.

To something like the Sorcerous Kingdom, this was not reckless behaviour at all. To those who could defeat an army of 200,000 men with a single spell, this army of theirs could be wiped out with the use of only two spells.

Of course, Zanac, as the general, did not want to believe that that could happen. However, the people, especially nobles, who believed in that notion weren’t exactly a minority either.

He understood why they had suggested that their forces should be split into groups. Though they could fall one-by-one, they also avoided the possibility of their entire army succumbing to a single spell.

But they could not do that.

Due to the devastating loss they had experienced during the battle of the Katze plains as well as the current invasion by the Sorcerous Kingdom, not many noblemen who had the skills to command such a large number of soldiers and cavalry were left. Splitting their forces would not create smaller armies, this force of 400,000 soldiers would suddenly turn into 400,000 commoners instead.

It was precisely because they had this many men gathered — this many comrades — in one place that people had the courage to face the Sorcerous Kingdom.

They had been manning this front for two days now.

A lot of time had been eaten up by the preparation this many men required.

After both sides had set up their formations, the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army had adopted a prideful attitude that said loud and clear, “we gave you just enough time to prepare.”

Their forces numbered around 10,000, comprising 3-4 types of undead. This was a miniscule number in the face of 400,000 men. However, in terms of individual strength, the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army undoubtedly held an overwhelming advantage against them.

“Your Highness.”

“I know.”

Zanac gave a prompt reply to the minister of military affairs.

The minister’s movements were stiff, almost comical at times, due to his unfamiliarity with the armour he wore. But, Zanac was not a pot to call the kettle black.

He was wearing what used to be Gazef’s armour, one of the treasures of the Kingdom. Zanac knew that it did not suit him at all, he was far from Gazef’s league.

But, Zanac was thankful for this magically-enchanted armour.

These past few days, Zanac had been packing on the pounds due his stress-eating habits. If it wasn’t for the armour’s enchanted nature, he would have had to request a blacksmith to add an inch to the waist area.

“Bring forth my horse!”

A steed was brought forth to Zanac’s large tent by a knight following his order.

It took Zanac quite a bit of effort to get on his favorite horse, which did not look too kindly to Zanac. He did not take any bodyguards along with him as he rode out of the front and towards the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army.

Even if he brought bodyguards along, if the Sorcerer King wanted to kill him, bodyguards would be completely useless. They could not serve as deterrents at all.

That was why riding solo was effectively a demonstration to the onlookers of his courage. If he was killed while riding solo, it would serve to damage the Sorcerer King’s public image.

{The Hero of Re-Estize…has a nice ring to it}

Zanac reached the midpoint between the two armies with no obstacles at all. He activated a magic item to amplify his voice.

“I am the prince of the Kingdom of Re-Estize, Zanac Valleon Igana Ryle Vaiself! I wish to seek an audience with His Majesty the Sorcerer King!”

Zanac did not plan to fight a battle of wits against the Sorcerer King. Things had already come to a point where that was completely meaningless.

He just wanted to find out what kind of a thought process would have led the Sorcerer King to do what he had done.

—-

Ainz surveyed the front his army had formed from a three-sided tarpaulin tent. Due to the fact that the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army was comprised of undead beings that did not require food resupplies, the front they had formed was much smaller than what a conventional army would have.

From an objective perspective, there was no need to establish a front at all and some had even suggested this to him. However, Ainz believed that front building was a valuable experience to gain too.

Actually, from the several fronts they had formed already, the one in front of him looked to be a lot sturdier than what they had at the start.

At first, these fronts were formed with the aid of Mare’s magic, but due to a specific reason, Mare had been relegated to simply watching the soldiers build the front at Ainz’s side.

Aura was also watching the soldiers on the side, but it appeared that she was only observing her own servants.

No matter if it was front building or tents, magic could always produce an outcome of higher quality. However, due to the same reason as above, Ainz had ordered this tent that was currently being used as their mobile headquarters to be transported to this location through physical means.

{It might be a good idea to leave all civil engineering tasks in the future to Mare.}

Amongst the populace of the Sorcerous Kingdom, there were many races of demi-humans and heteromorphs that were adept at digging tunnels. It would be a good idea to make them subordinate to Mare. That said, Albedo or someone else might have also had this idea and put it into action already. If someone had done so already, then the relevant documentation for this should have already been perused by Ainz. There was a need for him to ask Albedo about this in a roundabout way later.

Was she being tacit? Albedo, who should have been working hard to establish the front, had returned with Cocytus.

“Ainz-sama. It appears as though the humans have sent an envoy. How shall we proceed?”

“Not a messenger to declare the start of the battle? Prepare a reception… Prepare the receptive drinks as well.”

As Albedo began to prepare the table, chairs, and such, a man wearing full-plate armour on horseback entered Ainz’s line of sight.

Ainz recognized the armour worn by that man.

{That’s…I think that’s Gazef Stronoff’s armour. Is this man the Vice-Warrior Captain? He’s quite different from the descriptions I’ve heard.}

The envoy stopped between the two armies and started yelling his introduction.

“I am the prince of the Kingdom of Re-Estize, Zanac Valleon Igana Ryle Vaiself! I wish to seek an audience with His Majesty the Sorcerer King!”

He could hear him clearly even from this distance. He must have used some kind of magic item.

“What should we do, Ainz-sama? If he is not here to declare the start of the battle then it would be a waste of time to converse with him. Shall we initiate the battle as is?”

“No, Albedo, We. Cannot. Do. That. The. Opponent. Desires. To. Have. A. Battle. Of. Wits. With. Ainz. Sama, If. We. Rejected. Him. Outright. It. Would. Reflect. Negatively. On. The. People’s. Impression. Of. Ainz. Sama’s. Magnanimity.”

“What value do rumours hold?” Albedo sneered, “They are dead men walking, what good are rumours that fall on no ears?”

Ainz was not too keen on fighting a battle of wits or whatever, surely the royalty of this country would not lose out to him in anything other than combat prowess. Still—

“Albedo. Have you forgotten? About the possibility that the rumour could be transmitted through magic?”

“…I’m terribly sorry.”

“Hmm…I will go then. The royalty of our opposition came alone. If I were not to do the same, it would not reflect well on us.”

“Are you sure it will be alright? Ainz-sama.”

“I have no idea. Aura, if I were to be brainwashed or mind controlled, you should use your World Class Item to protect me.”

Ainz’s usual World Class Item was in Nazarick’s storage, so if Aura used [Depiction of Nature and Society] on him, he would be trapped in it. This way, even if he was brainwashed, they could not kidnap him through teleportation or other similar methods.

“Understood!”

“Umu,” Ainz replied to Aura and left the front on a Soul Eater. It was worth noting that after Ainz had practised horse riding, he looked adequate while doing it. However, because he wasn’t too apt at it, to prevent making a blunder in front of the two armies, Ainz still chose to ride a Soul Eater to be on the safe side.

The other party was waiting for Ainz next to his horse, so Ainz also got off the Soul Eater upon arriving at his destination. No matter how bad this was going to get for him, Ainz steeled himself to do to others what they had done to him.

His opponent was a man on the chubbier side of the spectrum. Makeup caked his face to cover up the dark circles under his eyes.

“Nice to meet you, Your Majesty the Sorcerer King. My name is Zanac Valleon Igana Ryle Vaiself.”

“Nice to meet you, I am the Sorcerer King Ainz Ooal Gown. I will be in your care then. Now, a standing conversation would be neither here nor there.” Ainz cast a spell twice, producing two black thrones that faced each other. Because it was created with magic, the two thrones were naturally identical.

“Though it is hard and metallic, we should still sit down first. How do you feel about that?”

“I would be glad to, Your Majesty.”

As they both sat down on the thrones, Ainz cast another spell to create a reflective black table between them.

While Ainz had started casting magic the moment they had met, Zanac did not seem to be on guard at all. It appeared as though he did not have any intention to assassinate Ainz.

Afterwards, Ainz took out two cups and an ice-filled container from his inventory.

“How about some water? Alcohol would be inappropriate given our current situation so, what about orange juice instead…?”

“Thank you very much, Your Majesty. Just water would be fine.”

“Now then, we are all set for the talk. What should we discuss then? Perhaps about the justification of our invasion?”

“That would not be necessary, Your Majesty. I am more interested in the reason why you were insistent on carrying out such heinous acts? Why did you refuse our offer to surrender?”

That was a natural question for him to ask. Although to Ainz, his reasons were clear and justified, to them it must have appeared to be senseless slaughter.

“Umu,” Ainz nodded his head. Given how things had turned out, there was no point in hiding his intentions anymore. He began to exposit the Sorcerous Kingdom’s plans to Zanac.

“Because we stood to gain nothing from that. I intend to sacrifice your people as an example to the world of what would happen to them if they stood against the Sorcerous Kingdom. To that end, you will all be eradicated and the Kingdom will be rendered into a mountain of ash. That mountain will continue to serve as a warning after centuries, after millenia, of how foolish of an act it would be to go against the Sorcerous Kingdom.”

“…You do not appear to be jesting.”

“Of course not, I am just stating what is to come.”

“Why?”

“What do you mean?”

Ainz could not read between Zanac’s lines and thus replied with a question.

“Your Majesty the Sorcerer King is in possession of immense amounts of power. Even if you did not do what you said you would, the people of the world would still come to know your awesome power.” Zanac wetted his lips, swallowed a mouthful of saliva, and asked, “Why are you this petty?”

“Petty, am I?”

Zanac tensed up at the possibility that he had angered Ainz, but Ainz was not angry at all.

“What is your goal?”

Ainz grumbled to himself, “what is {your} goal?”

In the past, to Ainz— no, to Satoru, to have met the buddies he had in the game of Yggdrasil was the epitome of his entire life. It was such a wonderful memory that all he wished for was to be reunited with his friends again.

When the plug was about to be pulled from the game, when all of this was meant to be for naught, he was transported to this world instead.

The end turned out not to be the end at all,

But instead, it was a new beginning.

The NPCs created by his friends began to exhibit free will. From their every move he could feel the remnants of his former companions. No, to be honest, the shock he had experienced at the beginning confused him so much that he was constantly worried about their betrayal. Looking back, that was moronic of him. Nowadays, he just did not question their loyalty at all.

Yet, it did not seem like Ainz was the only one who was transported to this world. He could see the footprints left behind by other players.

Perhaps it was only natural then for him to think that his companions, the people who shared those good times with him, could have come to this world as well. It was only natural for him to wish for this. Of course, Ainz knew that he was transported here during the final moments of the game’s operation, which made his friends’ appearance in this world unlikely.

Actually, through the use of multiple spells and intel sources, he could faintly feel the lack of their presence. However, since he did not have concrete proof of that belief, the possibility of it happening still remained.

One might call him an idiot for holding on to such vain hopes, one might also call him a futile loser too.

But to the Ainz of yesteryear, that was all his life had amounted to.

And now that dream was gradually fading away.

Sure his friends were important to him, but now, the NPCs were important to him too.

They were essentially children that had been left behind by his companions.

Ainz, as the only one to have stayed behind, had the duty to protect them at all costs.

Because of this, Ainz was willing to sacrifice his all to ensure no harm ever came to the NPCs. In order to ensure that Nazarick would never fall to outside forces, he had to prioritize the empowerment of the organization’s every aspect.

Shalltear was dominated by some unknown entity in the past. Though he had succeeded in regaining control over her, if things had turned out any worse back then, important intel on Nazarick could have been made known to outsiders; consequently, it could have led to the destruction of the guild.

He could not allow something like that to ever happen again.

“What is my goal, you ask? I seek something that is difficult yet also easy to obtain. All I wish for… is a single thing. That is, happiness.”

“Happiness?”

Zanac repeatedly blinked in surprise.

Ainz laughed a little in response. He did not find what he had said to be so outrageous.

“No matter if you’re human or whatever, the pursuit of happiness is the ultimate goal, is it not?”

Ainz threw away his act and began to converse with Zanac as if he was a close friend of his.

“And you would step over others’ happiness to achieve your own?”

“Isn’t that obvious? If the happiness of those I hold dear could be guaranteed, those of others do not matter to me at all. If you could secure the happiness of your subjects by inflicting suffering on the citizenry of another country, what would you do? Would you say, abandon their happiness altogether?”

“Those are the extremes!” Zanac calmed down as the sentence trailed, he lowered his head and said, “That was out of line of me. My apologies, Your Majesty.”

Ainz went back to his ruler persona.

“It is fine, there is no need to worry at all.”

“Even with the intellect and power of Your Majesty the Sorcerer King, there are no other possible methods to guarantee happiness?”

“…Perhaps, but, I could only say ‘perhaps’. If you had a guaranteed method to obtain happiness, what would be the better option? To seek a perhap nonexistent secondary method or sticking with what has been tried-and-true? ‘The Goddess of Luck is bald at the back of her head’ after all, was that how the saying went?”

(TL’s note: Roman proverb, see Disticha Catonis II, 26. The English equivalent is “Take Time By the Forelock” but that cuts out the ‘Goddess’ part)

Zanac was absolutely incredulous.

“What a strange Goddess. Sorry, I did not mean to belittle the Goddess you believe in. Please do forgive me.”

“Haha, I don’t mind at all. That wasn’t something I believed in, just a proverb I remembered. Very well then, that is the extent of it all. For the happiness of my subjects, I must sacrifice your people. This is the basis for this war, do you get it?”

“I guess so. I do relate to Your Majesty’s desire. The pursuit of the betterment of one’s own country and a guarantee to one’s own countrymen’s happiness, that could be said to be the only responsibility of a ruler. If the destruction of our people guaranteed the people of the Sorcerous Kingdom their happiness, I do understand why you did not accept our surrender. I suppose it couldn’t be helped.”

“Right? You get it. Now then, it’s my turn for a question, but I don’t really have one…”

Ainz looked around while he pondered, “Ah, right. The armour you’re wearing reminded me of it, so I’ll ask about that sword. The sword that Gazef Stronoff wielded, who’s currently in possession of it?”

“It is currently under the safekeeping of a man named Brain Unglaus.”

“Brain Unglaus? Ahh, that man.”

When he dueled Gazef, there was someone by that name between the two men who had witnessed said duel. However, given how long ago that was, he could barely remember his appearance.

Although he planned to turn the capital into ashes, he still planned to recover a few items, one of which being Gazef’s sword.

“That man, has he come here too?”

“No, he has not, Your Majesty. He should still be in the capital.”

“Is that so? Then you wouldn’t have any issue with what kind of magic I use to destroy you all, right?”

The one in charge of sieging the capital was Cocytus so he would have to order him to watch out for the sword later.

“While I have no intention to forfeit in this battle, I would be eternally grateful if Your Majesty was to use magic that would inflict the least amount of suffering on my people.”

“…Hmm. You do have a point. I understand. After all, pleasant conversations like this one are hard to come by. For you especially, I shall try my best to kill you as gently as I could.”

“Thank you very much.”

Zanac had on him a brilliant smile to which Ainz could not help but feel amazed.

This man’s courage was quite sizable. If Ainz was in his shoes, would he have been able to do the same?

{—I don’t think so. As expected of someone of royal blood. This has been very educational.}

Zanac took the glass cup in front of him and downed the water in a single gulp, as if he was not worried about poisons at all.

“Delicious, Your Majesty. Say, I do hope you could answer one last question of mine — was Your Majesty the one who killed my brother, or was it one of Your Majesty’s subordinates?”

“Your brother?”

Ainz tilted his head and after a short while, remembered the prince of the Kingdom they had already disposed of. He could not recall his name, but did remember that it was super long.

“It was probably one of my subordinates.”

“Is that true…so he was dead after all…I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders…Your Majesty, thank you for telling me. I suppose it is time for us to bid farewell.”

After saying that, Zanac began walking towards his horse.

Ainz walked towards the Soul Eater after he had tidied up everything, only to find that Zanac was still waiting by his horse.

Ainz questioned in his mind why he had not already gotten onto his horse as he climbed onto the Soul Eater. Only after he had done so, did Zanac mount his horse.

Between a prince and a king, it was easy to tell who held the higher status, so he had probably done so to avoid looking down on Ainz from his high horse. To Ainz, someone who had not studied equestrian etiquette, this was the proper protocol that the aristocracy should strive to follow. Zanac’s standing in his mind rose by a bit.

{Looks like studying the etiquette of the upper-class has become mandatory…what isn’t at this point? Will the amount of things I have to learn ever decrease…?}

—-

“Your Highness!”

The noblemen all came out to welcome Zanac back, almost every noble that had answered his call was there.

No one halted his exit from the front, yet now it felt like he could not get back in if he tried. That meant that everybody was anticipating for good news, the best of which would be if the Sorcerer King had agreed to handic—

Zanac answered their question with a curt reply.

“I couldn’t do it. His Majesty the Sorcerer King plans to kill us all, that was non-negotiable to him.”

What he found to be surprising was the fact that there were still nobles who turned pale at this news. Were they still hoping that everything would turn out fine even with the current situation?

Zanac got off his horse and left those nobles, who were all biting down on their lower lip and were deep in contemplation, behind to walk towards his own tent.

After he entered the tent, the minister of military affairs welcomed him, only for a sarcastic smile to surface on his face.

“That does not look like good news.”

“In other words, just as we had expected, but, well, one thing did surprise a bit.”

“Really? Speaking of which, I have never met with the Sorcerer King, just what kind of an evil monster was he?”

Zanac smiled.

“He was more human than I thought.”

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 3 -(Part 3)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 3 -(Part 3)

Volume 14: Chapter 3 – The Last King (Part 3)

Changes:

-Semantics (minor)

-One missed paragraph near the center (major)

2

The Sorcerous Kingdom had finally begun their westward invasion. City after city and village after village fell in their wake. They were beelining towards the capital, albeit at a painfully slow rate.

The larger an army was, the slower it would march. However, according to her companion, Evileye, this should not apply to the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army, which was completely comprised of the undead. She believed that this was done to stress out the Kingdom’s inhabitants.

The stress of an invading army had already caused chaos to break out within the capital and many had died as a result. After that had happened, the people of the capital had two options.

The first was to flee the capital and move towards the opposite direction of E-Rantel — the west.

The other option was to remain in the capital, shut their doors, and never come out of hiding.

As to which option was more popular, the overwhelming majority of people chose the latter. Those who chose the former were all people with the capital, connections, or skills to guarantee their survival even in faraway lands.

That was why more than 95% of the capital’s population chose to stay.

But, that was only true till yesterday.

The royalty had put up a decree.

The decree was that due to the ever-encroaching army of the Sorcerous Kingdom, the city required more manpower to defend it. All able-bodied men had to join the battle. It was essentially a draft.

Of course, there were those who feared the battlefield and so still chose to hole themselves up, but the amount of people who believed that if they were to not contribute to the war effort, their loved ones would die, held the majority.

The fiery passion of the people began to spread within the capital, those affected by it started to descend into madness. The streets bustled with men preparing for war. Fathers and their sons alike were soldiers. Those who wished for better rations while they were away made the culinary industry boom. This was all exacerbated by the people’s knowledge that the royalty had ordered every merchant within the city to keep food prices low.

The members of Blue Roses shuffled through the crowd.

Lakyus had a suggestion for her companions behind her.

“I said, guys, I can handle it on my own. The request did not specify who should go, but that doesn’t mean that all of us have to move out at once. I bet everybody is busy, right? How about we go our separate ways here?”

“…What is up with you, Lakyus? Is there a reason why you don’t want us to tag along?”

Lakyus forcefully adopted a smile upon hearing what Evileye had said. Though in her mind she had thought, “how keen of you!” she did not give voice to that thought. Evileye was fine in that regard, Tina and Tia were much keener than she was. Thank God she wasn’t facing them instead.

“I understand what Lakyus is feeling right now. I heard that Azuth-danna was coming too, right?”

Lakyus’ felt her heart drop for a moment.

That was correct. Lakyus’ uncle, the leader of the Adamantite-ranked adventurer group Red Drop, Azuth Aindra was invited alongside them.

“Oh, you’re family. There must be a lot you two want to discuss in private, right? We understand.”

Nice, their confusion led them away from the real reason. Lakyus concurred with what Gagaran had said,

“That’s right. Could you guys just do this for me? He didn’t even look for me after he came to the capital. So—”

“How perplexing.”

“Unbelievable.”

“Eh?”

Lakyus looked towards the twins.

“You two are related and both are leaders of Adamantite-ranked adventurer groups. Given the current situation he still did not tell you about his return to the capital, so how did our requestor find out about it?”

“If he was related to Red Drop, he should have said so. But, that requestor said nothing at all.”

Last night, a man of insignificant stature showed up at the inn the Blue Roses were staying at, told them that they had a job request, and to head to this location. To have directly approached them rather than go through the Adventurer’s Guild was an act suspicious enough that it made Lakyus want to reject his offer. However, upon learning that Azuth of Red Drop would be there too, she had to show up as well.

“That’s right. This is beyond suspicious, this could be called a conspiracy even. It could be a lie to bait us in or something.”

“Yeah. Given the possibility that this could be a trap — even though you are strong, there are still some things you can’t handle alone. If this other party is trying to harm us, we should try not to get picked off one-by-one.”

“Guys…”

Lakyus was happy that everybody was so worried over her. But—

“Also, we also want to meet with that hero-senpai.”

“I’ve only heard of his name but have never met with him in the past. If you’re related to him, it should be easy for us to meet with him, right?”

Lakyus felt her stomach collapse in on itself.

While her uncle wasn’t exactly a bad guy, he couldn’t be called a good person either. Overall, what she was certain of was the fact that he was someone who could only be a bad influence on children.

When Lakyus had met with him back when she was still a child, he appeared to be normal but that might have been him just hiding his true nature. Perhaps his screw came loose during his adventures?

She only had one solution to things that she could not understand — though this wasn’t exactly something God would bother with — and that was to pray. Other than that, there was nothing she could do about it.

Her uncle was the type to act all honest and upstanding when meeting someone for the first time. He was also the type to spout corny lines like, “if you long for a hero, then it is that hero’s duty to grant your wish.”

She could only hope that he would do the same this time.

Lakyus and company arrived at the inn they were told to go to.

The business around here seemed to be quite run down and the place was just dirty in general.

The doors to the inn were built well and surprisingly heavy.

Right after Lakyus had pushed open the door, Tia and Tina tapped her twice on her waist.

It was a signal for her to be on alert. They must have noticed something.

Opposite the door was the counter yet they could not see any evidence of tavern-like business was being conducted here.

That meant that this place was remote enough that this establishment could not operate as a tavern, but only as an inn.

Lakyus felt that everybody had switched modes due to the eeriness of this place. They were prepared for combat to break out at any second.

Lakyus spoke to the aloof man behind the counter.

“…We are the Blue Roses, here to meet with our client.”

“Go to room 301. Mister Azuth of Red Drop is already there.”

Was he really here? It was time to find out.

Lakyus thanked him and immediately ascended the stairs to the side.

The inn was incredibly silent. They did not cross paths with another person the whole way there, nor did they hear any sounds at all. Was it because the walls had great sound-isolation properties or was it because the inn was actually empty?

The group reached the third floor and found the amount of rooms on the floor to be surprisingly low. The rooms on this floor were probably huge.

Lakyus knocked on the door that had a sign marked with the number 301.

“Uncle, I’m Lakyus!”

After focusing her ears, she faintly heard a man’s voice on the other side of the door saying, “come in.” The volume of the voice was so low that she could not tell if it was her uncle’s or not.

After blocking Tia and Tina, Lakyus pushed open the doors herself.

The interior of the room was vastly different from its exterior.

The room was filled with exquisite and heavy furniture, much more luxurious than Lakyus’ inn. To be honest, that creeped her out. This inn was terribly suspicious after all.

They had not even finished surveying the entire room when a voice was directed towards Lakyus.

“Aw, Lakyu! Long time no see!”

“Unc…”

That was indeed her uncle’s voice.

Lakyus forcefully slammed the doors shut towards the direction her uncle’s voice had come from.

“W-what’s going on, Lakyus?”

Gagaran was the first to speak.

Everybody must have heard her uncle’s voice already. It was hard for her to say that nothing was wrong after that display.

“Guys, I feel like I should meet with my uncle alone after all.”

“This girl…Are you seriously saying such things even after we came all the way here.”

Evileye’s dumbfounded voice was to be expected.

Lakyus looked at everybody’s expressions. Evileye had spoken as their representative, she could tell that the rest of them had the same thought from their expressions alone.

Then—

“Sigh, guys. Let me make it clear. My uncle is an odd individual.”

“…The leader of Red Drop?”

Lakyus put on the stern expression as expected of a leader and nodded upon hearing what Tina had said, she then looked towards the others. They were confused, but having known Lakyus for a long time, they knew her to be honest. After she had parsed that from their expressions, Lakyus opened the door again.

There was a shiny velvet chaise longue in the room.

On it sat a man, a man she knew well — it was Azuth Aindra in the flesh.

His upper torso was completely exposed, one could clearly make out his well-defined abs and puffed-up pecs. This wasn’t exactly how one should present themselves in front of their client yet it was not the reason why Lakyus stopped her companions from advancing forward.

On top of Azuth’s body, to his left and right, were two half-naked women snuggling up to him.

No, they could not be called half-naked. Their voluptuous chests were fully exposed and though they were wearing undergarments, they were just strings that barely covered up anything at all.

From their appearances, they appeared to be high-class escorts.

Erotic outfits that were likely taken off recently were strewn across the ground. Azuth held both women in each of his arms, his hands were latched on their breasts, rubbing them.

“Uncle…your niece was summoned here by the same client. Can’t you welcome me in a more appropriate manner?” Lakyus said.

However, Azuth’s hands did not leave the breasts of those women as he continued to knead them without giving it much thought. The women did not seem to mind Lakyus’ group at all but just uncaringly continued on with their soft moans.

This attitude honestly enraged Lakyus a little. If these women had been procured by their client, Lakyus would like to have a word with them.

“Naaah, I thought that you guys would come a bit later. Uhh, I’m not actually doing it on the bed anyway, so why should it matter?”

“Of course it should!” Lakyus did not bother to turn around to check her companions’ expressions.

“…Really?” Azuth’s had a confused expression, yet he did not stop rubbing the women. “You’re just too inflexible in your ways of thought! It is in every man’s nature to want to fuck beautiful women. My children would probably be born with the same gift too. Don’t you know that it’s important to ensure that our bloodline continues on?

“Hmmm, even though you’re high-born, this kind of mentality is still so deeply ingrained in your heart?”

Upon hearing what Evileye had said, Azuth put on a displeased expression and stared at her. Though they could feel a sense of pressure from his gaze alone, none of Blue Roses backed down. To Evileye especially, it felt just like a soft breeze. She continued,

“…Sigh. From your expression alone I can tell that was bullseye. They call your hero but you’re no different than a child. Actually, could it be that the reason why you abandoned your status as a noble and chose the life of an adventurer was precisely because of you being the type of person that you are…? Anyways, this is no attitude to receive your clients. Ladies, begone.”

“—What’s with this child?”

The woman laying on the right glared at Evileye.

“Sigh, what a bother. Hey, Aindra…Is the room on that side still vacant?”

Evileye pointed towards a door that wasn’t the one to the corridor.

“Ahhh. That’s a bedroom, I’ve checked it already.”

“Is that so? Then send them there.”

“What’s with this child? What is she trying to do?” The woman to the left glared at Evileye with an angry expression. “Don’t you act all high and mighty now, you’re just a brat who won’t even dare to show their face.”

“…sigh. [Charm Person]. Go.”

“Ah, yes. Understood.”

The woman on the left stood up immediately, prompting the woman on the right to take on a shocked expression with her mouth wide-open—

“You too. Don’t forget the clothes on the floor.”

Before the woman could respond, her [Charm Person] had already been cast. The women obediently walked into the adjacent room.

Azuth pouted and raised his shoulders. From an adventurer’s perspective, what Evileye had done was no different than someone drawing their blade, yet he did not appear to fault her for it. Though she did not want to admit it, Evileye saw him as pretty lenient in that regard.

“Evileye…Good Job!” Tina raised a thumb to Evileye, “to be brave enough to let women who could have been assassins get this close to you, as expected of an Adamantite-ranked adventurer.”

“Were they?”

“We were trained to do those things back then as well. Women who were not gifted in raw power or arcane talents could only resort to weaponizing their femininity. Though Gagaran cannot relate at all, I’ll still explain their methods. First—”

Evileye tuned out of Tia’s explanation and spoke to Lakyus instead.

“It would be troublesome if that wasn’t done. Well, I won’t interrupt you with this topic anymore. Speak of whatever you want I guess.”

“Thank you, Evileye. Now then…haaaah…” she was already exhausted before she had spoken a single word, “Now then, uncle, our client this time around is extremely suspicious. Who are they?”

“Hmm? Oy oy, you came here without knowing about them? Hmm, they’re someone with a massive organization behind them, probably.”

“Probably? Speaking of which, are they someone you are familiar with?”

“I haven’t met them in person. If they knew their manners, they would have given me their name. Hmmm, if they intend to hide their identity, then—” Azuth smiled, “they must be someone shady. So, what are you planning to do?”

“What do you mean what do I plan to do?”

“If you guys want to fle— leave this place, you can use the path I planned out.”

“We do not intend to leave.”

Lakyus felt everybody’s gaze on her.

“…Pfff. Think over it. The Sorcerer King’s army has killed every civilian along its way towards here and razed the cities too. To think that the capital would be any different, aren’t you being a little too naive?”

“Then, uncle, let us fight side by side!”

“It’s impossible. Because I did not confirm his power directly, I could not say for sure. But if the rumours are all real, I— we can’t win against that guy. Only a monster could fight that monster, it would be unwise for humans to intervene.”

Azuth sighed tiredly. Lakyus had never seen her uncle like this.

“…I knew this was a waste of time, that was why I did not bring the rest of the team along. I also told my brother to run away.”

“But…none of them did, right?”

“Haaah. What a bunch of…idiots. But, he did put his child under my care. They were taken by my companions to the Council-State and are probably there already.”

Just as complicated emotions arose in Lakyus’ heart, Tia nervously said, “boss”. At the same time, a man’s voice came from the corridor, “You’re all on-time!”

The three who had been standing by the door, Tia, Tina, and Gagaran, appeared to be pushed along by an unseen power into the room. A man and a woman followed after them.

The one who walked in front was a young man.

All ten of his fingers had rings adorning them. A gentle smile shone from his face.

Behind him was a tired woman. Her clothes were loose and she walked in a way that said she did not want to walk at all. An unusually giant hat sat on her dome, covering most of her face.

Lakyus raised her guard.

Her companions were being suppressed on a biological level — that is to say, from raw power alone. Both of the visitors were capable of giving the world-famous Adamantite-ranked adventurer Lakyus a fright she could not put into words.

Yet, once the person behind them showed up, the atmosphere changed more so than ever.

That man’s giant body slowly inched its way into the room. His appearance was that of an axe-wielding barbarian. An intense, overwhelming pressure emanated from him that made them feel as though the space around them was being distorted.

The two in front of them were indeed strong.

But, that man is far more powerful than them both.

Lakyus could not move, as if she was being suffocated.

As an Adamantite-ranked adventurer, she had defeated numerous powerful monsters and demi-humans yet they all paled in comparison to this man. He might even be stronger than the skull-wearing demon that appeared during Jaldabaoth’s disturbance.

That man was probably the bodyguard of those two.

People as strong as them, if they did not belong to any organization, would inevitably cause rumours about them to spread. If that was the case, what was behind them must be an enormous, national-level organization to be capable of hiding information about them completely.

“…We were right to bring our equipment along.”

“…every single one of them is stronger than us.”

“Haaah. I don’t remember hearing about people like them within the Kingdom.”

“Oy oy oy, you’re late already so don’t go around spreading that dangerous aura. Did management mandate that you do? Do something this boring?”

The woman Azuth was mocking objected,

“To bring whores along, how impressive, old man. This is not a love hotel though~”

Azuth responded in kind to her,

“Hmph, this place was the exact reason why I called them over, I wanted you all to be as disgusted as I was.”

“Tsk-” The woman snapped her mouth shut as she adopted an expression that was hard to look at.

She did not object to what Azuth had said, meaning that this inn was indeed connected to them. There were only two countries that had the capability to set up national-level organizations. One was the Council-State, the other was the Theocracy.

The latter was far more likely.

“Well well, if you all will just end this right now, I would be very happy.”

“Quie-chan…sigh, Quie-chan is the lead this time so I’ll just listen to you.”

(TL’s Note: Quiesce, Clementine’s brother)

After being scolded by the gentleman, the woman forced herself to shrug and nod along.

“Azuth-sama is absolutely correct. You took time out of your busy schedule to meet with us yet we were the last to arrive. I do apologize to your esteemed person.”

“Hmph.”

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 3 -(Part 2)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 3 -(Part 2)

Volume 14: Chapter 3 – The Last King (Part 2)

Zanac rejected that notion immediately, even though his finger had been resting on E-Libera.

“Do you really believe that to be impossible? Marquis Raeven is one to dote over his son. What if, someone was to kidnap his son and hold him hostage?”

“…Is that how they coerced Marquis Raeven? Absolutely despicable!”

“Though, I’m of the opinion that he may have betrayed us simply because he thought that ‘the crown is doomed for’”

Although he was unwilling to believe in Marquis Raeven’s betrayal, there was no other nobleman who was as powerful as him. He would only need to call in a few favours with other nobles close to him before he could completely cut off the flow of intel to and from the city of his choice. The survivors would have also chosen to seek shelter and protection from the larger cities, E-Libera would have been an excellent choice in that regard.

Was it because of those factors that the Sorcerous Kingdom had set their sights on him?

“…What kind of person do you believe the Sorcerer King to be?”

“Abnormally flexible in his ways of thought, someone who possesses an entire nation’s worth of intellect and guile. What is most terrifying about him is the fact that he does not simply rely on his overwhelming power, but meticulously plans his every move out. One could say that he is a monster to whom the concept of arrogance is completely foreign.”

{Hoh?} Zanac looked at Renner, something felt off about her. Her expression was the same as usual, but her voice carried an unusual emotion, that of awe and reverence.

“The web of plots unfolding in front of our eyes were perhaps weaved into the Kingdom many years ago. We are but stuck moths.”

“I would prefer to say butterflies.”

“In any case, we are at their mercy, it does not matter if onii-sama prefers to use butterflies in that metaphor or not. Even if we slipped through these webs unharmed, there would just be another layer underneath…it is frankly terrifying. I did not believe that someone like him could exist in this world. What if our actions were all well within his calculations?”

“So you are saying that he is better than you?”

Renner laughed and did not respond.

“Let’s go back to our previous topic, onii-sama is probably thinking about searching through Marquis Raeven’s residence, right? I do not think that you could find anything substantial there.”

“That is true, but surely we cannot just remain idle, right?”

Given how likely it was that Marquis Raeven had betrayed them, they had to do something about it. He was still hopeful that they could find even the slightest trace of a clue to all of this.

“Before we do that, I have a question for onii-sama. If the current situation progresses on, the Sorcerous Kingdom would surely initiate the final battle near the capital. Would onii-sama order the soldiers to defend the city or send them out to receive the attack? How will we be raising our forces?”

“I have already received satisfactory responses from our neighbouring nobles.”

Those who were more distant had not replied yet. It wasn’t because they had not received his message yet, but because they wished to watch from the sidelines. They probably wished to see the royalty wiped out so that they could bow to the Sorcerer King as his new subjects. Or perhaps it was because they did not want to get on the Sorcerous Kingdom’s bad side by defending the Kingdom.

Either train of thought was naive to say the least.

Their belief that they could distance themselves away from this was proof enough on its own of their utter stupidity.

No, he shouldn’t be mocking their idiocy. If they knew of how ruthless the Sorcerous Kingdom had been, they would not have done so. They were simply all victims to the information lock that was placed on them all.

Once the capital fell, there was no doubt in his mind that the Sorcerous Kingdom would extend its brutality to the other cities. The nobles who wished to abstain from this battle would end up in defeat anyways.

“Do you believe that…we could win?”

Zanac gave a wry smile and responded calmly to this convoluted question.

“It is not a matter of whether we win or lose, we simply have no option but to face them in battle. The Sorcerous Kingdom will scorch every inch of this country and slaughter all of our citizens. This is our last stake at survival.”

“…Onii-sama…is already king, eh?”

“What? What do you mean? Are you saying that I am being too full of myself?”

“…Umm, if we were to be defeated in this battle, wouldn’t the Kingdom be destroyed? If that is the case then the citizens of the Kingdom would not be safe no matter where they escape to. While I do not believe onii-sama’s choice to stake it all on this battle to be incorrect, Marquis Raeven may have betrayed us for this reason too, to save the citizens.”

“I see…so that his city could become a sanctuary for the refugees, hmmm,”

“But I doubt the Sorcerer King would allow that to happen. Perhaps he had also ordered Marquis Raeven to kill the people seeking refuge in his city to test his loyalty.”

Why would Marquis Raeven betray them? No, has he betrayed them at all? Perhaps this too was another ploy of the Sorcerer King, to sow the seeds of doubt amongst them to bait him and Renner in.

Zanac recalled the Marquis Raeven who only wanted a better future for the Kingdom.

Maybe he should write him a letter and have an honest conversation with him, but that could be a dangerous move.

A traitor who continues to receive their former letters. That would certainly cause the Sorcerer King to cast doubts on him.

That could be a ploy that he could use against them, but it was better saved for a situation in which Marquis Raeven would be marching along with the Sorcerer King’s army. This wasn’t the best time to do something like this. If Marquis Raeven really was being coerced by threats against his family’s wellbeing, he could not fault him.

Zanac recalled the Marquis Raeven who excessively doted over his son.

He reminisced so hard his eyes almost squinted into a line until he was knocked back to reality by the sight of his sister.

“Refugees…? Speaking of which, father wanted you to…well, he wanted us to seek refuge in the City-State Alliance as the Kingdom’s representatives. That was way before I placed father under surveillance. If you still want to do so, you better get away from the capital soon.”

Soon enough he will have to draft everybody he could and face a decisive battle against the Sorcerous Kingdom. If he was being honest, they had no chance at all. Defeat meant that the capital and the other cities would be razed to ashes.

That meant that nowhere within the Kingdom was safe. Perhaps they should follow their father’s suggestion and abandon the country.

In normal circumstances, there were two ways a victor would have dealt with a kingdom’s former royalty.

One was to mix their lineage through political marriages, the other was to wipe out everyone with royal blood to leave no loose ends behind.

The Sorcerous Kingdom would definitely choose the latter.

“That is an excellent idea, would onii-sama come too?”

“At this point, how could I…If our elder brother was still here I would have chosen to run too. Don’t mind me, what are you going to do? The Sorcerer King is undead so he probably wouldn’t take {that} kind of interest in women, so they would undoubtedly be killed too.”

“If the Sorcerous Kingdom attacked us, I could be violated by one of our own who’s desperate enough to do so.”

Zanac showed his disgust on his face upon hearing how calmly his sister had said such words. But, he had to admit that she was also being realistic.

Renner’s beauty was renowned, it wouldn’t be out of the question for those kinds of people to exist.

“Then remember to not leave Climb and Unglaus’s side for now.”

“Mmm, okay, I won’t let Climb leave my side.”

“There’s no one but the two of us here and I won’t speak of it given the current situation, but you have to answer me with ‘those two’.”

Why would Brain Unglaus choose to serve under this woman?

Though he had heard rumours that Brain was interested in Climb, he did not appear to be gay in the slightest. However, after some investigations, it did appear that he had not had a woman at all — it couldn’t possibly be because he’s only interested in children, right?

He did not give voice to those thoughts given how scary his sister is. If those two were to find out about it, it would be troublesome.

“Anyways, I do not intend to flee. As a princess, I will face death with grace and dignity.”

That was unexpected.

He had thought about this in the past, about how she would be fine with any kind of life as long as she was with Climb. Perhaps she was only putting up a front and had already prepared to escape.

{She would be the type to do that…}

“But even a corpse could still be exploited by the Sorcerer King.”

“Perhaps, will onii-sama be leading the army against the Sorcerer King?”

“Ah, yeah. Even though my presence would not make a difference at all, the army needs a royal to lead them — I have to take a stand.”

Zanac looked towards the ceiling.

“You have said something to the effect that I am the king-to-be in the past, that is why this responsibility falls on me…father will hopefully take care of my funeral arrangements…you can choose to run away at any time.”

Though he found his sister to be annoying most of the time, they still shared the same blood. To do what a brother should was the least he could do. Perhaps he could receive God’s pity after his death.

“I understand. I’ll do so when the time comes.”

As Zanac retracted his gaze on her, he saw that Renner had replied with her usual smile.

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 3 -(Part 1)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 3 -(Part 1)

Volume 14: Chapter 3 – The Last King (Part 1)

A large number of documents were gathered in this office along with several officials of internal affairs. Their expressions were hard to look at, the reason being their increased workload had taken its toll. Another reason for this would be the stress they felt from their knowledge of the Kingdom’s perilous status.

Zanac shook his right hand which had been signing so many documents that it started to ache and moved his shoulders around in circles. He could hear his body creak as he did so.

It seemed that his body, just like the others, desperately yearned for some rest.

Though he wanted to take a break right now, the amount of work that was being transferred to this office was unfortunately ever increasing.

Given that was the case, he should either fetch more hands to deal with this or distribute his work to the others. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anyone there that Zanac could delegate his work to. If anyone was to take over Zanac’s workload, it would have to be another member of the royal family.

Zanac had his own reasons for not requesting help from his father or Renner.

The truth was, he had access to aid but just couldn’t call upon it.

Zanac lifted up his pen again, scanned through the document that was placed in front of him, and signed and stamped it.

After repeating the same routine for the eighth time, a knock on the door was heard.

Sighs could be heard from multiple officials. Perhaps this was another delivery of even more documents.

One of the officials, whose heavy breathing sounded unnaturally like a sow screeching, stood up and walked towards the door at a snail’s pace. His movements were so sluggish that it was as though he believed that the slower he moved, the less he would have to work.

A knight stood outside the door.

“I’m terribly sorry for bothering you in these busy times, but Renner-sama wishes to speak with Your Highness.”

It wasn’t what he had expected, but it was still an equally troublesome matter.

“I am busy, so no. Tell her to talk to me during dinner if she has something to say.”

Ever since his brother went missing, Zanac and his family had tried to dine together as much as possible. These past few days were the exception, Renner had probably been dining alone for a while.

She couldn’t possibly be feeling lonely though. In these times when there was a shortage of maids, she would have dined with Climb and Brain instead. She was probably happier now than ever, perhaps happier than either Zanac or their father.

“Yes, Your Highness.”

The knight shut the doors and left, but Zanac knew that Renner would not accept that excuse at all.

Zanac stopped writing and ordered the official who was about to walk back to his post to stay in place.

After about a minute had passed, the door was knocked on again and the same knight was behind it with the exact same message as before.

“I’m very sorry, Your Highness. The princess, she said…If you don’t want her to spread some rumours which may or may not be true, go meet with her at once.”

Is she seriously resorting to threat? Zanac gave a wry smile. Though he did not believe that his sister would actually do as she claimed, if she was willing to threaten him, he should probably listen to what she had to say. If rumours were actually spread around, no doubt his workload would increase even further.

He just had to act as though he was being forced against his will.

“Got it, let her in but no one other than Renner. Those two, just let them wait in the adjacent room.”

“Yes, Your Highness.”

From the knight’s immediate response Zanac could tell that his predictions were correct, those two had tagged along.

Brain was the Kingdom’s best warrior, unparalleled in his strength. Climb was also much stronger than a regular warrior. To have those two stay inside the palace all day and be Renner’s bodyguards felt like a waste of talent.

Those two were not under the palace’s direct employ but were instead paid through Renner’s privy purse and thus were her direct subordinates. Zanac had no say about their assignment.

After the knight had closed the doors, Zanac turned to the officials still toiling away in the room and said,

“You all, my sister is due to arrive soon, what will I ever do with her? Rejoice, for a break is upon you all. Three hours starting from now. Rest up and return rejuvenated.”

The officials gave their tired smiles and shambled out with heavy steps as if they were zombies.

Princess Renner entered soon after. Unlike the officials who had just left, she had on her a radiant smile.

“Onii-sama, forgive me for speaking out of turn, but those officials of internal affairs could be much more efficient if you let them rest well. People tend to make more mistakes when they are tired. Speaking of which, is onii-sama alright?”

Zanac rubbed his stubble-covered chin. He had worked an equal amount of time as those officials so he naturally appeared as tired as they were. He did want to take a rest, but as a superior, way too many things depended on him.

“I honestly think we should hire someone who could forge my signature.”

“There was a person who could forge father’s signature, should I fetch him?”

Renner stared silently at Zanac. He knew what her question meant, but it was better to check to be sure.

“—what do you mean?”

“Is our father still well?”

Zanac had a wry smile.

“Oy oy…you think I would plot to kill our father? In this current situation…? Father was not feeling too well, he’s resting in his room. I doubt he could rest well if he was reminded of his duties as king. Which is why you, as the princess, should not meet him for now. Sorry~” Renner’s smile matched his. Upon seeing that, he knew she understood it all.

“Onii-sama, between us, there is no need to lie. Onii-sama, without Marquis Raeven’s soldiers, has enough manpower to place our father under surveillance. The ministers of the interior and military affairs must have already joined onii-sama’s side…What does father plan to do?”

“He still wants to talk it out with the Sorcerous Kingdom.”

Because of that, Zanac had to step in as the King’s regent and take care of everything else the best he could.

Since he had locked his father up, he had to take all of these matters into his own hands. If he still requested help from his father given these circumstances, he would truly be the most pathetic man ever.

“Mmmm…Still, I understand father’s line of thought. After all, he had witnessed 200,000 men being instantly wiped out on the battlefield…”

Plus he had lost Gazef Stronoff and his own son. Zanac did not give voice to those thoughts but just grumbled in his heart.

“It is not that I cannot relate to his desire to settle this through diplomacy, to reduce the number of casualties to the lowest possible, but things have already progressed to a stage where a resolution through diplomacy is no longer possible.”

Zanac took out a huge sheet of paper and spread it on the table.

It wasn’t regular scrap paper, but a lavish piece of thin and white paper. On it was the full map of the Kingdom made through [Copy].

“Look. These are the cities in the Kingdom that had already fallen to the Sorcerer King’s conquest.”

Numerous ‘X’ marks dotted the northern and eastern sides of the Kingdom, more than half of the cities were marked. Someone well versed in cartography would know from the size of those cities alone, they were home to a large number of people. Those who were intelligent enough should have already realised that if this map had included villages, the number of ‘X’s would be multitudes higher.

Zanac traced a path on the map with his fingers.

“Though the Sorcerous Kingdom appeared to have not been making any moves since the war had begun, they had actually been invading the north.”

Renner looked at the country Zanac’s finger stopped at.

“To put pressure on our neighbours like the Council State, to prevent any reinforcement from being sent here, right?”

“That’s correct. We had thought that they had not been moving at all and that the declaration of war was just an empty threat. While our naive father was attempting to negotiate with them, things have already developed to this stage. Cities were destroyed and our people were massacred en masse.”

Zanac gnashed his teeth and made an audible sound.

“…Such barbarity. Absolutely unforgivable.”

Those who could tolerate this kind of treatment were not fit to be called royalty.

“So the Sorcerous Kingdom has no intention of communicating with us. Surely they’re planning something unprecedented? Right?”

“You’re right, what will happen next — perhaps a more open act of aggression.”

Zanac nodded his head.

That was why he had been busy formulating a call to arms to send to every noble within the country.

“Tell me, o sister of mine, please use that brilliant mind of yours. Why did we not notice the Sorcerous Kingdom’s invasion? Why did we not receive any intel of the invasion before the northern city of E-Naüru had repelled the enemy’s attack?”

When the Sorcerous Kingdom besieged a city, it was said that not a single soul was spared from the resulting massacre. However, to have made sure that no leaks had occurred was a feat that was pretty much impossible. After all, merchants and travellers still strutted around even during wartimes.

What had they done to seal everybody’s mouths?

Was it some sort of spell by the Sorcerer King?

“Onii-sama could smell a whiff of it too right? The Sorcerous Kingdom had placed all of our sources of intel on lockdown.”

“Ah…so you think so too. So if that was the case, these ‘X’ marks might not be true either.”

“If this wasn’t something the Sorcerous Kingdom had done, things would be much easier to explain. We may have a traitor amongst us.”

The primary possibility was that some official of internal affairs had betrayed them and were reporting false intel. The other possibility was that some of the Kingdom’s nobles had swung over to the Sorcerous Kingdom’s side and were submitting false reports.

Zanac’s finger continued to trace lines upon the map. He pondered, which noble could be corrupted to manipulate such a massive amount of intel.

Zanac’s finger stopped on a city and he moved it aside to not block it.

“…Oh sister of mine, surely you have figured it out already, which noble had betrayed us?”

“Can’t it be that other possibility?”

She could see through him completely. Though in the past he had found his sister’s intelligence to be annoying, she felt more reliable now than anything else.

“…I could count on one hand the number of people who would have this much control over the intel that flows into the capital. The minister of military affairs for example, but not even he could control the flow of merchants and travellers in and out of the capital. It is impossible for anyone within the capital to have the ability to lock down our intel like that.”

“If you understood this much, surely onii-sama already has the answer in mind…It’s Marquis Raeven.”

“—How? Impossible.”

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 2 -(part 9)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 2 -(part 9)

Volume 14: Chapter 2 – Countdown to Extinction (Part 9)

Though this was completely unexpected, it was true that the vast majority of the city’s population had survived. As long as he allowed them to escape, he would have fulfilled his promise to those two. That said, it wouldn’t count as the survivors escaping through great tribulations.

Should he send stronger undead to try again?

No, there was something he had to confirm before then.

“Ahem! Now then, Albedo. Though you have said that this was Red Drop, how trustworthy is our intel source on this one?”

“I am terribly sorry, Ainz-sama. Indeed, we do not have concrete proof of that claim. This was only a surface-level deduction based on the Adamantite plate on the armour as well as its colour.”

Albedo stood up and bowed deeply.

“At ease. I just wanted to check if you had access to intel that I did not. I am not too bothered by it.”

While he was happy that she was this loyal, being treated like that usually made him quite uncomfortable. To Ainz, the manifestation of the concept of failure, this wasn’t that big of a deal. However, it wasn’t as though what she had just described could be categorized as a failure anyways.

“You have my eternal gratitude, Ainz-sama.”

“Umu…So was that Red Drop, or a plot by someone who wants us to believe that they are Red Drop? Floor Guardians, speak your mind.”

From their brief opinions, most of them supported the former. Ainz thought it was the former too.

“Now, then — I must ask something of everyone once again. Does anyone know of the specs of a Powered Suit? If you are all not too sure of it, I will explain.”

Ainz confirmed that the guardians knew not of the Powered Suit and began to exposit what he remembered of the Powered Suit’s abilities.

Back in the game of Yggdrasil, the Powered Suit did not exist initially but was added in later on as an item for newly registered players to power-level with.

Also, mecha fighting games were popular back then, so it must have also been an attempt to draw in players from that player-base as well.

Though he couldn’t tell whether that contributed to this fact or not, the Powered Suit’s capabilities were quite high.

First of all, just as they had seen, the suit had the ability to fly through the air at a greater speed than [Fly]. It could maintain operations for over an hour underwater without any detriments and was essentially immune to almost all environmental damage.

It could even apply and activate with its shoulders, torso — and depending on the type, even the wrists and feet — different kinds of offensive spells.

Though this might seem obvious, it does have human finger-like appendages that could — if the hand had not been transformed into a weapon itself — hold weapons.

The magical armaments could be freely customized within the Powered Suit’s settings, but half were microtransaction exclusives while the other half required grinding.

Though those customizations could be performed pretty much anywhere outside of combat, there were still some restrictions on them.

The highest tier of spells that could be stored on the armour was tenth tier and the use of said spell was subjected to a limit of an hour per use. Stronger spells had even more limited uses. Though the number of times a spell could be used recovered over time, it appeared to have a restriction by which the spell stored on it could not be swapped out for a duration even if it was only expended by a little.

The armour’s physical and magic damage were high-tier, independent of the user’s abilities. The same was true for its defensive and evasive capabilities.

You could call it an armour that instantly closed the gap between the weak and the strong.

Speaking of weakness, it did have two minor ones.

One of which was the fact that because it counted as Full-Body Armour, it could not be combined with other pieces of armour. Still, necklaces and other decorative equipment could still be worn with it.

Another was the fact that the magic stored in the armour could not have metamagic applied to it. But, since those spells could still be enhanced through equipment, this couldn’t really be considered a weakness at all.

However, if a weakling was to use it, it did have a major weakness.

HP and MP

Though the damage output of the suit could compensate for the wearer’s low stats, the HP and MP values of the wearer remained unaltered by the armour.

That is to say, a weakling in the armour would have high defensive capabilities but also a frail health pool. Of course, if their opponent could not break through the armour’s relatively high defences, it’s not a weakness at all.

In Nazarick’s terms, a Floor Guardian shouldn’t have an issue fighting it at all.

The threat it posed was to NPCs like the Pleiades, who weren’t that strong. If they crossed paths with the suit, they should choose to retreat.

Ainz concluded his explanation and started taking questions.

The first to ask a question was Albedo.

“So as long as we are the ones handling it, it should be fine, correct?”

“Correct. Even the strongest Powered Suits could only have the offensive capabilities equivalent to level eighty characters. However, that hinges on my knowledge on the Powered Suits being perfect. Hypothetically, if there were rarer or Artifact grade Powered Suits, it would be a completely different situation. If that was the case, there could be Powered Suits much more powerful than the ones I have described.”

“Can you not tell from its appearance alone?”

“Umu, I apologize, Aura. Because I am not too familiar with Powered Suits in the first place, I cannot tell its capabilities just from appearances alone. Also, though one would not be allowed to alter its appearances by too much, there were still slight alterations the wearer could make to it.”

While the Powered Suit might be useful to weaker players, it was completely useless to a stronger player.

Nevermind Divine grade gear, even Legendary grade equipment matching a player’s strengths could outperform the Powered Suit. That was why when Powered Suit was introduced to Yggdrasil, Ainz and his friends, who were already at max level, were not interested.

The greater issue to Ainz back then was that he could barely cast spells with it equipped.

“Were there two or three? There should be a few sets of Powered Suits in Nazarick, I will head to the Treasury later for them. Maybe everyone should get a feel of what it is like to wear one.”

He remembered that the thing should still be there, something that Amanomahitotsu had procured after learning that even those with manufacturing-based job levels could enter combat with them. Apparently he was secretly quite confident because he also played aerial combat games, but then he got easily wrecked by Peroroncino in a mock battle. The thing was never seen again after that.

He also remembered how Nishikienrai had said, “Just play Aberage instead lmao.”

Ainz was journeying through his memories when he realised.

If Red Drop had a Powered Suit from Yggdrasil — the black sword of the leader of the other Adamantite-ranked team, Blue Roses, could be of a similar power level.

According to the intel they had gathered from their aides in the capital, the weapon she wielded was said to be powerful enough to level an entire city. Though that aide found the intel to be preposterous, it did originate from a member of the team itself.

Ainz always thought that she was either lying to her teammates, or just making things up.

But given what he knew now — perhaps, that intel was true.

He had heard that the leaders of Blue Roses and Red Drop were relatives.

If they were related, then having the same level of equipment shouldn’t be weird at all.

Of course, Ainz wasn’t paranoid enough to believe that the Floor Guardians could be one-shotted by anything, but he also had no proof that that was a complete impossibility. Perhaps the guardians’ defences could be easily breached by some strong weapon from this world.

Ainz did not want to suffer any severe consequences for forcing his opponent to the stage where she would be suicidal enough to use that sword’s power. If it came down to a battle with Blue Roses, he should probably use summoned monsters to bait out that ability and then defeat them.

However, that would be the last resort.

He remembers a saying about how ‘The better part of valour, is discretion’, he should follow that advice.

After all, the primary purpose of the Kingdom’s destruction wasn’t for the termination of Blue Roses, but if they were to get in his way he wouldn’t mind killing them off. That said, it was best not to make any rash movements before they knew the full capabilities of that woman’s sword. {I should say sorry to Entoma and hope she understands.}

Ainz mentally sighed to himself as he shook his head in an attempt to get his train of thought back on track.

This wasn’t the time to be thinking about these sorts of things.

“Any other questions?”

Ainz looked around, it appeared that none of the guardians had any other questions.

“If that is the case, we will pause the discussion on the Powered Suit for now. Now then, Demiurge, how shall we deal with this city? In my opinion, to have baited that thing out was more than satisfactory.”

“It would be bad for them to mistake that they had defeated the Sorcerous Kingdom. We should send a stronger entity and unto dust they shall return.”

“Hmmm, that is fine too…”

No, that wasn’t fine at all.

If they did that, he would have to try extra hard to save some other city to keep the promise he had made to those two. Though he made it through this time, to accomplish it again would be extremely difficult.

For Pestonia’s sake, who had been standing behind him and listening in, he had to save the people of this city to fulfill their promise.

“No, Demiurge. Let us not do that for now. This will prepare us for similar situations should they occur again. In any case, it is about time that we siege the capital. Let us close the curtains on this battle. We will be fine as long as we systematically scorched-earth the rest of the cities. What do you think?”

He was giving this city’s inhabitants the chance and time to run away. If they get killed afterwards because they didn’t escape, those two shouldn’t have a problem with it, right?

“If Ainz-sama deems it so, so be it.”

Though it might seem as though Demiurge was being sarcastic, he wasn’t one to do such a thing to Ainz.

Some people could always hear all sorts of undertones in other people’s words, those who usually have something to hide themselves, Ainz being one of them.

“Don’t say that, Demiurge. If you have a better idea then that should be the one that we should implement.”

“As expected of Ainz-sama. I am truly in awe of how humble you are.”

Ainz’s opinions of the bowing Demiurge became muddled.

First of all, what he had said was common sense, it was nothing worth praising.

Though he was flattered, he felt as though he was being treated more like a child if even the most trivial of the things he had said and done was cheered.

Perhaps that was just out of his low self-esteem.

“…Do any of the other guardians have different opinions?” Ainz turned to Shalltear upon confirming that there were no objections, “Bring back the undead we had sent using [Gate]. Then, gather our forces in E-Rantel and initiate the siege on the capital.”

“Yes, my lord. I will get on with that immediately-arinsu.”

“Will the main army include people from Nazarick?”

“Send out the Master Guarders of Nazarick and the other elite guards. They are not too strong individually but are quite a sight to behold as a unit.”

“Roger.”

“Excellent. We will conquer the cities one by one and stage the final battle at the capital as planned. Afterwards, though it might be out of order now, we will finish massacring the inhabitants of all the useless cities. Through this show of force, the world will come to understand the consequences of not bowing to the rule of Nazarick.”

The Floor Guardians all responded with confidence. Ainz nodded deeply.

“Very well then, Floor Guardians—” Ainz thought about the future for a while and opened his mouth again to say, “no, a portion of the guardians should stay behind. Everybody else, demonstrate to me your true power.” Intermission

—-

Intermission

—-

In the city that was formed a part of the Karnassus City-State Alliance, Bebad.

The city’s female mayor’s residence was lit up as usual.

The owner of the residence, Ri Kista Kaberia, took the accumulated documents and started reading.

The City State Alliance was comprised of—

Karnassus.

Beppo Allo.

East Gaith.

West Gaith.

Veneria.

Greater Listaran.

Orcneas.

New Orcneas.

Grand Wythes.

Ris.

Franklin.

And finally, Bebad.

This city was part of the twelve mentioned that had formed an alliance. Each city — including the other territories they own — held on average, a population of 400,000. The largest city was home to 600,000.

Amongst these cities, Bebad was an exception in that the other cities never had a single race hold majority over 40% of the population. The City-State Alliance was a union of multiple races and cities. If one were to rewind time back a few centuries, they would find the huge nation that was the origin of the City-State Alliance.

Due to that enormous county’s collapse, fourteen city-states popped up with each metropolis at its center. After that happened, there was much bloodshed between the city-states — or rather, small countries. This situation continued on with the states uniting and splitting ad nauseam until the event they called the Great Debate, at which the current alliance between the twelve city-states were formed.

Even so, it was still difficult for everybody to abandon their predispositions towards each other. Though a century ago was the past for the races with shorter lifespans, to some of the longer-lived races it was still a recent memory.

For this reason, a quinquennial tournament was held as an outlet for those who still held a grudge from the past and it was about to begin soon.

The city on the roster to host the next tourney was Bebad.

While it was true that there were four years’ worth of time to prepare for it, they only had four years’ worth of time left.

The tournament had sixteen events, one of which garnered more attention than the rest.

The Connelier — or mock combat. It was also known colloquially as the Mutual Wallop.

Every city-state sent ten of its strongest fighters who would then fight the other combatants under the protection of the magic item known as the Standard of Peace.

This was the most entertaining and flashy of the events and was quite popular among the populace. It had come to the point where the majority of the people felt that it was fine to miss out on all of the events except for this one. That was why they could not allow even the slightest of errors to occur during this event.

That wasn’t a metaphor, a riot with massive casualties had been incited in the past when the city-state of Orcneas had not been fully prepared for the event. Even though forty years had passed from then to now, the phrase “The Organizer of Orcneas” remained a derogatory title for an incompetent person.

Though a screw-up on any of the events could incite anger, the Connelier was the single event where not even half a mistake was permitted.

However, the top-level government of each city knew that the Orcneas’ organizer wasn’t too bad, their problem laid in their lax of alertness against Vanquished Spectres.

There wasn’t any direct evidence to support the existence of Vanquished Spectres. Even if that was the first time they had appeared, the mistake they caused was fatal.

Kista rubbed her eye ridges after she had finished reading the documents.

The last time Bebad had hosted the tournament was, about fifty years ago. The members of the core team in charge of organizing the affair had long since passed away.

Though she had steeled herself to learn the ropes from scratch, she still felt as though she could collapse from the stress and pressure of this entire ordeal.

She had lost sleep every time the thought that the tournament could end in failure came to mind.

Kista couldn’t help but titter.

She still had four years to go yet was already in this state. What would she be like when it was close to the opening ceremony?

She was already annoyed by it.

But, as she read through the documents left behind by her predecessors and wrote down all of her thoughts and ideas, there was a brief moment of solace.

Just as Kista was about to grab another handful of documents, someone knocked on her door.

She stood up from her chair and walked towards the door. On the other side of it was the familiar face she was expecting. It was her grandfather, the former mayor of the city, Ri Berun Kaberia.

Not only was he the great-person responsible for Bebad’s lasting peace, he was also the mayor when the tournament was last held in Bebad.

“Grandfather-sama,” Kista greeted him with a smile, “Did you come here on purpose or were you just around? I would have gone straight to you if you told me to.”

“It’s fine, it’s fine, I’m just exercising for my spine’s sake. Even if my legs don’t work like they used to, if I was to be cooped up in the house forever, it would atrophy even faster. That aside, Kista, sorry for interrupting your work but are you alright?”

“Mmmm, of course I’m fine, grandfather-sama. Please, come in.”

Kista led her grandfather towards the sofa, where they sat opposite of each other.

Berun poured hot tea into the two teacups Kista had prepared for them. The pale green liquid gave off a mild and refreshing aroma that permeated the entire room.

“So, Kista. I heard from one of the maids that you haven’t been sleeping well these past few days?”

Though she did not want her grandfather to worry, she couldn’t hide it any longer.

“Yes, grandfather-sama. It’s hard for me to fall asleep every time I’m reminded of what could happen in another four years…”

Most people would laugh at the notion that someone would be worried over what would happen four years down the line, perhaps they would even say that she was being too anxious. Berun however, wasn’t laughing. The weight of the burdens shouldered by a mayor was a feeling he naturally knew all too well from his long years serving as this city’s mayor.

“Kista. If you’re already in this state, you’ll ruin yourself. This is an herbal tea that will help calm you down. Drink it and go to sleep early. An exceptional leader isn’t one who could accomplish the most in the shortest amount of time, but one who understands how to properly delegate their responsibilities to the appropriate subordinates. Nevermind you or me, how much can we truly achieve all by ourselves, right?”

“Thank you so much. But…I still have some work that needs to be completed soon.”

“Is it something to do with the neighbouring cities? But I don’t remember hearing about the Equestrian King making any movements?”

The enemy of the City-State Alliance would be the one who occupied the vast plains of the east, the Equestrian King. Since Bebad was nowhere near the plains, whenever the country was under attack, they just had to send their levies.

“…The news of the Empire recently becoming a vassal state, surely you have heard of that already. The issue of exactly how much we should be on our guards against the Sorcerous Kingdom is something that must be resolved as soon as possible.”

“Ah, the Sorcerous Kingdom…”

Berun’s expression turned apprehensive.

The country that vassalized the Empire yet only had a single city of its own. There were also rumours floating around that they had assimilated that assassin organization into their own ranks.

There were all kinds of rumours and gossip floating around, whether they were true or false was hard to tell.

Kista was reminded of someone.

The Emperor of the Empire, Jircniv Rune Farlord El Nix.

The young emperor who had been given the title of the Bloody Emperor, she had met him once as part of a diplomatic mission — as a top-level official of the envoy to the Empire. They had conversed with each other at the reception gala that was held afterwards.

He was one who was rich in intelligence, wealth, and charm as expected of a country’s leader. How did someone like him become the vassal of another state?

There had to be a reason why — he must be coveting something.

“In regards to the intelligence-gathering process on the Sorcerous Kingdom, could I trouble grandfather-sama to pull some strings?”

Berun, as a long-reigning mayor of the city, had quite a lot of connections, far beyond what Kista had. Of course, she had met with most of his connections when she had inherited his post, but if Berun was the one to ask for that kind of information instead of her, it would be much more effective.

“Of course, Kista. Although this isn’t exactly through my connections, I have heard of some brilliant adventurers who had just immigrated from the Empire to here, should I ask them about it?”

“Yes please, sorry to trouble you — grandfather-sama, thank you so much.”

Kista deeply lowered her head. Even if they were of kin, he was someone who was nearly eighty years of age yet could still assume the role of mayor with no issues at all. He was even reverently referred to as the ‘Eagle of Bebad’ in the surrounding area. This was something that she had kept in mind since youth.

“Thanking me would be too — nevermind, I accept your gratitude, Kista. Starting from today, even just temporarily, go to sleep early. Am I understood?”

“—Yes, grandfather-sama. Thank you for all the care you have provided me thus far.”

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 2 -(part 8)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 2 -(part 8)

Volume 14: Chapter 2 – Countdown to Extinction (Part 8)

Ainz pushed open the fairy-tale-esque, chateau-style layered frozen doors. Just as before, a chilly breeze flowed out from within, but Ainz, as an undead with complete immunity to freezing temperatures, was not bothered by it anyway.

Ainz walked alone through the gloomy corridors. Other than checking for holes in the ceiling as he walked, he strode non-stop to a door that stood as the centerpiece of a giant mural which spanned the entirety of the wall.

Just as before, the plaster on select spots of the mural had already fallen off. It looked quite miserable.

The door took a single push and silently slid open, the three occupants of the room stood up to greet Ainz.

The owner of the room, Nigredo.

The dog-headed maid, Pestonia.

And the last of the trio, Sebas.

“Welcome, Ainz-sama.”

With the room’s owner, Nigredo’s invitation, Ainz approached the table at which they sat.

The last time he had been in this room, all it had was a cradle. This time the cradle was nowhere to be seen, just a table and four chairs.

Those were probably appropriated from other rooms within the Frozen Prison. As a side note, Nigredo was only the Area Guardian of the above-ground portion of the Frozen Prison, Neuronist was the Area Guardian of the underground portion.

After Ainz had taken his seat, Pestonia immediately began to prepare some tea. The steam emanating from the teacup in front him carried with it the aroma of the black tea held within. Sebas brought out some biscuits at the same time.

Of course, Ainz could not consume anything with his body, but he gladly accepted their hospitality anyways. After that, Ainz ordered the still-standing three of them to sit down.

The biscuits that were delivered to Ainz were not sophisticated at all, they were just plain squares. That could be said to be a rare sight in Nazarick.

Was this someone’s experiment? Ainz looked towards Sebas and asked about them through his gaze alone, prompting Sebas to reply,

“Those are not from Nazarick, but goods I had brought back from E-Rantel. Due to the current abundance of cheap and fresh ingredients being brought into the city, a food culture is slowly developing there. This biscuit is among the foods being developed. It was said to be harder previously, but is now quite soft.”

“I’ve tried some already, it’s at an acceptable level of quality for a snack, woof.”

“Hmmm.”

Ainz took a biscuit and bit down on it. Indeed, it wasn’t as tough as he had expected.

The biscuit snapped in half as Ainz caught the crumbs from the inside of his jaw cavity and placed the pieces next to the cup of black tea.

He could tell the texture of the biscuit, but not its taste. What a disappointment of a body.

However, from Ainz’s perspective it wasn’t so at all. It was specifically because of the fact that this body had no libido, appetite, and somnolence that he could succeed in his role as the ruler of Nazarick.

If one of those aspects were to apply to him, surely he would have been in an endless fall from grace since the beginning.

“If Ainz-sama was to rent out more of his undead for agricultural purposes, then there would certainly be developments in the improvements of breeds of food. The food culture would surely blossom and perhaps they could even produce food of an equal quality compared to Nazarick’s offering.”

“That would be great. Because of my body, I couldn’t investigate the buffs incurred by different food items before. If we were to invest more resources into this, it could help strengthen Nazarick. But — if that was the case, I assume those without [Cook] levels can’t cook at all then?”

“We were concerned about that too, so it would be best to save as many purebreds as we possibly could.”

Ainz nodded in approval in response to Nigredo’s suggestion.

Suddenly, Ainz was reminded of the European biodomes of the past and the conflicts that arose surrounding the seed banks. Though he wasn’t too interested in the topic back then, Blue Planet was riled up all over it.

“Ah, yes. It would be best. A task force should be formed to handle this matter.” He should probably propose this idea to Albedo. “Now then — it’s about time that we address the main topic at hand. Tell me. Why was I summoned here?”

Nigredo, as their representative, spoke,

“Yes. Given the current situation, isn’t it about time that we stop massacring the citizens of the Kingdom?”

“Negative. Anyways, shouldn’t this be something that you should ask of your direct superiors, the Floor Guardians, rather than me?”

Ainz replied immediately.

The denizens of Nazarick — especially the Area Guardians — had been informed, in writing, the actions of Floor Guardians and the goals behind them.

If they had any suggestions, they should be reporting to their superiors, the Floor Guardians. This was to unify the various denizens of Nazarick, to gain the opinions of those with different points of view and to pique the interest and curiosity of them all.

However, though Nigredo was stating her opinions just as he had hoped they would, she should have done so to her direct superior, the Floor Guardian of the fifth floor, Cocytus. If Ainz was to accept her suggestion directly, it would be detrimental to Cocytus’ authority.

As a social conformist, he absolutely could not do that.

If some of you don’t understand, do try skipping your own superior and petitioning a higher-up from another department if you will. Do you understand now? Nothing good would come of that.

From that perspective, Ainz, as the head of the board of directors — the company hierarchy analogue to Guildmaster — should be able to do so, but to rouse discord among his subordinates could ultimately lead the company into a difficult situation and thus should be avoided at all costs. If it was in the stead of the Floor Guardian of the fourth floor, Gargantua, instead, Ainz would be willing to do so.

“Ainz-sama is correct. So, do permit me to raise this suggestion too, woof.”

In a sense, Pestonia’s direct superior would be Sebas.

If a Floor Guardian was to be assigned to the ninth and tenth floors, Sebas would be the Floor Guardian of the ninth and Albedo would be the one for the tenth.

Because Sebas had been the one to have invited Ainz, there shouldn’t be an issue with indignity at all.

“—I see, I understand your feelings now, but I do want to ask one question. This war is a massive experiment for the greater good of strengthening the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick, our home. It wouldn’t halt just by the grace of mercy alone. So, was your suggestion built upon this premise?”

Make no mistake, the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick — the Sorcerous Kingdom of Ainz Ooal Gown is not unique, nor is it invincible. If they were to encounter another guild that was also transported to this world, they could lose.

To assume that they were the only ones to have transported here…would be far too optimistic.

To be honest, he had already felt the presence of other World Class Items so it wasn’t a far stretch of the imagination to assume that some other guild existed elsewhere.

This was why, to guarantee victory for an inevitable guild war, it was his duty as the Guildmaster to strengthen Nazarick as much as he could.

“By what grace may they be spared if it is not by mercy alone? Woof.”

“…uh. What do you mean? If there are any benefits to be reaped from your suggestion, do tell. That said, if it’s something along the lines of ‘if we spare as many people as possible, a strong being may be born in the future’ I will not entertain it. Throughout the Kingdom’s history, it has produced nothing stronger than Adamantite-ranked adventurers. In terms of pure power alone, perhaps this was humanity’s limit. If that was the case, it’s better to give preference to Dragons or other stronger races.”

“All infants have potential, Ainz-sama.”

Pestonia gave Nigredo a cold-eyed — at least he thought it was — glare.

“Not just the infants, woof.”

Nigredo had a soft spot for babies, perhaps even surpassing that of Pestonia’s. However, her compassion is limited to only that of infants. Once they live past the age of two, she sees them as nothing but sacks of meat to be disposed of.

For that reason, the toddlers that had been saved during the assault on the capital had left Nigredo’s care and were placed under Pestonia once they were two years old.

They were probably transferred to Yuri’s orphanage by now

“I see, that is true. But, isn’t the same true for dragonlings too?”

“What we had just talked about, improving the breeds of food, doesn’t that apply to humans too? If we were to apply the different techniques we have in Nazarick to strengthen them, surely stronger varieties of humans could be made. Plus, a race’s value isn’t just in their strength, humanity’s propensity for creativity in their creations… you could call it the ability of cultural development, I believe they do have that ability. If we were to reduce their population to nothing, isn’t that a great opportunity cost to Nazarick?”

Was that why they had given Ainz the biscuits? If that was the case, everything had been playing out the way they had intended for it to. No, that did not matter much. As long as they could convince Ainz, it would be their victory.

“Indeed, that is worth considering. However, I do not wish for the inhabitants of this world to become too strong, even to the extent that I believe their development of civilization to be a threat.” Ainz curled his hand into a fist. “Those who are strong but could not get stronger and those who are weak but still have room for growth, a turn of tides must be avoided at all costs. Once we discover the slightest possibility of that happening, we must prevent it at all costs. This is all for Nazarick’s good…isn’t it?”

The two of them fell silent. Ainz shifted his gaze onto Sebas.

Sebas hadn’t spoken since then.

“I’m grateful that Ainz-sama was willing to come down here and lend an ear to their thoughts. That is why I will not be making any further requests.”

“Hmmm…”

Ainz cupped his chin and turned his gaze back on to the two of them.

“Mmmm, it is true that it would be disadvantageous for us to push humanity to the brink of extinction. When push comes to shove, they would do anything to become stronger out of desperation. For that reason, it is best for us to wipe out all who have had that kind of experience. If you want to nurture them, nurture the ones who have not gone through those kinds of experiences — those without the drive to strengthen themselves.” Ainz alternated his gaze between the two of them. “Are we done here? Shall I return to my room?”

“Not yet, woof!”

Pestonia’s voice was a bit too loud. She lowered her head in shame and said, “I’m very sorry.”

“It’s fine. Rather than apologizing, do speak your mind.”

“Yes — Ainz-sama. I heard that your strategy this time around was called Candy and Whip, to let the countries around us know the difference in outcome between the Empire who chose to become our vassal and the Kingdom who chose to oppose us as enemies. Was that the reason for the current massacre, woof?” Pestonia continued after Ainz had nodded, “As more and more people manage to escape through great tribulations, wouldn’t the perception of how foolish it is to disobey Ainz-sama, or rather the Sorcerous Kingdom, become more widespread? Uh, woof.”

“You’re suggesting that I should intentionally let more of them go because of that?”

“Yes, woof.”

If that was the case, there was some value in allowing them to escape.

But.

He did not believe that Albedo and Demiurge had not given consideration to this already. Both of them were the type to not execute a plan until they had thought of even these kinds of possibilities. If Ainz were to allow that, he would be executing a plan that Albedo and Demiurge had abandoned for some reason.

How would those two, who always mistook Ainz’s actions to be that of a genius’, react to this?

Ainz’s non-existent stomach cramped up the moment he thought about this.

Wait no, he had told them that, “I will be making mistakes intentionally,” so even if something out of the ordinary happened, it could still work out fine at the end. However, the real issue lay in what would happen afterwards, specifically the actions of those who would call the color white as black and vice versa if he did it first.

{If they gave up on the plan due to a fatal flaw and I ordered them to carry it out anyways, it could lead to massive losses on our side.}

It would be the same as a company that experienced massive losses due to the CEO’s incompetence while the employees were helpless to stop it from happening.

{Even if they were to recover the loss, someone like me would be too meek and powerless to do anything about it. Someone who couldn’t even shoulder the responsibilities and consequences of their actions shouldn’t be doing something like this.}

But even if he wanted to reject it, he couldn’t put his finger on exactly what was wrong with Pestonia’s suggestion.

Even though a simple “no” would have probably sufficed.

{…So I should have forcefully brought Albedo and Demiurge along, huh? But…}

He had not done so because he had more or less figured out what this meeting would be about after learning that it was with Nigredo and Pestonia.

This was why it had turned into a difficult situation.

Because, those two had been imprisoned before. Back then, Albedo had already suggested executing them. He was afraid that if the same thing was to occur again that Albedo would strongly request execution. He was also afraid of a future irreconcilable division.

An organization that seemed formidable to outsiders could still crumble down from the inside.

That was why they had to avoid anything that could pose a threat to them.

So then, what should he do now?

His common sense told him to reject their suggestion but something still troubled him: the future.

Though the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick would only accept one set of outsiders into their ranks, the Sorcerous Kingdom of Ainz Ooal Gown had already absorbed a large number of outsiders. Though they may not hold any important posts within the organization, that was probably only a temporary measure.

If those outsiders were to become high-ranked officials, they would certainly hold quite a lot of different opinions. Perhaps there would also be suggestions for benevolence that would make Albedo and the rest call them “weak-willed” or something similar.

Would it be possible to task Nigredo and Pestonia with integrating those kinds of opinions?

If that was the case, ignoring their suggestions now could lead to problems later on.

If people with similar opinions as them were the exception in Nazarick, then he should divert even more attention towards this issue.

Also—

{I have already repaid the kindness Touch Me-san had shown to me, so if I was to consider this as repaying Mochi-chan and Tabula-san’s kindness, this should be fine.}

“…though I believe that all of you should know this by now, I’ll repeat it again. I never intended to wipe out every single human from the Kingdom. The truth is, we have already convinced multiple nobles to join our side…at most, only around 90% of them will be killed.”

“So some people chosen to be spared will live under the Nazarick’s rule, woof. I don’t believe that would advertise the message louder than if we were to let the unchosen ones escape.”

He could understand Pestonia’s will to help those who had not been chosen by them.

“I completely understand what you’re trying to say. If it is not out of mercy, but rather for the greater good of Nazarick, there is room for consideration…I’ll consider letting a few of them go.”

“We’re eternally grateful.”

“We’re eternally grateful, woof.”

Sebas silently lowered his head as well.

Still, though he had said that, he did not know exactly how he should go about this. Ainz’s heart grew heavy.

He had to think up a solution. Perhaps he only needed to let a few hundred people go to appease them.

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 2 -(part 7)

overlord volume 14

Overlord Light Novel, Volume 14: Chapter 2 -(part 7)

Volume 14: Chapter 2 – Countdown to Extinction (Part 7)

If the “Dual-Wielder” was on the same level as the Shield-Bearer, there would be no way Skama and the rest could handle both of them at the same time. No, perhaps they would be dead the moment they came into contact with the enemy.

“Skama, what do we do!?”

“…Let’s take care of this guy first.”

Skama spoke with determination after her companion’s panicked voice calmed her down somewhat. If they couldn’t even take this thing down, they wouldn’t even have a chance at an escape. They could only hope that this thing’s health had already been whittled down to a wick’s length by those spell attacks.

After she stopped retreating, Skama turned to face the Shield-Bearer and darted towards it.

Her tomahawk was easily blocked by the shield and so was the ethereal copy. Skama’s attacks were not enough to break down the Shield-Bearer’s defences.

She had expected her attack to be thwarted, that was all she had to do.

The real attack was the [Magic Arrow] and [Shockwave] that followed.

The spell attacks were followed up by the rogue, who tossed a bottle towards the sides of the undead’s leg.

The liquid that oozed out of her comrade’s shattered bottle was common glue that any alchemist or the like could manufacture. This was a strategy that could only work if the enemy was standing on polished stone.

No matter how high of a defence the Shield-Bearer might have, its ability to dodge didn’t matter against a bottle thrown at it.

The undead was bound to the ground by glue.

Even if it only was for a brief moment, their opponent was immobilized. This was a common tactic they used when engaging a foe who was much more powerful than them.

Skama circled around to the Shield-Bearer’s hand that did not hold the shield, the hand that held the wave-bladed sword, and began attacking.

The Shield-Bearer swung its greatsword around, expertly parrying every hit that came its way. Even though its two legs were completely stuck on the ground and she had used martial arts to chain her attacks, Skama couldn’t land a single hit.

{This thing, is like a metal wall!}

Skama saw from the corner of her vision the scene of the undead using brute strength to tear its foot away from the stone-tiled ground. Two more offensive spells were cast yet they still failed to bring it down.

{—an undying ability? Or something that could heal it over time?}

There were monsters like Hydras or Trolls who had the ability to regenerate. For those, you couldn’t just deal incremental damage but would have to land a single fatal hit that could reduce the monster’s health to zero.

It was futile to continue on their panicked attacks.

Skama couldn’t even land a single hit on it.

{God damn it!}

“—incoming!”

Skama couldn’t help but shift her gaze upon hearing the rogue’s cry. Standing at the gate was the silhouette of the other undead being.

The Dual-Wielder.

Skama felt her stomach churning, the combined pressure of them all made her want to puke.

{Is this where I’ll die!?}

The rogue who had been executing combos with Skama couldn’t handle the pressure and retreated to her side. The Dual-Wielder responded in kind and moved to the Shield-Bearer’s side.

“…They’re not attacking. Which means…shit. These things are highly sapient.”

Skama felt as though she could perceive a smile on the Dual-Wielder’s rotten face. The Shield-Bearer had shown them attacks that were not on the same level as its defence capabilities, but perhaps that was just to instill despair in them to buy time for the Dual-Wielder to come.

Both enemies were there, this was a good opportunity to use AOE spell attacks. Yet, those spells were never cast. No, it might have been better to say that they couldn’t start casting.

The reason why should have been obvious. Though attack spells had been proven to be effective, it would also provoke them to initiate their attacks.

Their fate would have been set in stone then.

Even if their side held off on attacking, their enemy would do so sooner or later. But, they simply could not build up the courage to hold their fates in their own hands.

After she agonized over this, Skama made her decision.

“You two, run away!” She knocked on the rogue’s waist, “we’ll buy you some time.”

“Hah? For real!? Me too!? Wait, you want me to do that!?”

The rogue wailed but Skama ignored him.

There were two opponents, if they did not at last have two people to hold them off, they could only— a ‘boom’ rung in their ears.

“…hah?”

The undead in front of them, the Shield-Bearer’s head had been pierced by what looked like a long needle.

Wait, no.

What pierced through the Shield-Bearer’s head was not a needle; the thing that penetrated through its skull and was now embedded into the stone tile below was something about the size of an index finger.

That meant that that thing was so fast that Skama’s kinetic vision could not see it flying through the air at all but could only pick up its afterimage, which looked like a needle.

The Shield-Bearer shook, its feet trembled as they stomped on the tiles below, barely allowing it to stand up. Perhaps it was only because it was undead that it could remain standing even after its head had been pierced.

Skama and the others couldn’t help but shift their vision away from the enemy in front of them and look towards where that attack originated from. The undead did not attempt to attack them during this time as they were also looking towards the same direction.

Another attack pierced the Shield-Bearer’s head again and with that, the giant frame of the Shield-Bearer crumbled.

It only took two shots. No, perhaps it was because it had already taken so many spell attacks and was already weakened. But, who could accomplish such a thing—

The silhouette of a man could be seen in the air—

“W-What?”

—Whose voice was that?

Was it Skama herself’s or was it her companions’? She was so shocked that she could no longer tell such a simple thing.

In front of them was an armoured giant. An approximately three meters tall being clad in an odd, blood-red armour flew in the air. In his hands was a pipe-shaped object which he held like a crossbow, perhaps that was what those index finger sized things came out of.

Because it had attacked the Shield-Bearer, they could conclude that it was not their enemy, even if it wasn’t their ally either.

Skama and the others slowly moved away from the Dual-Wielder. If they were to be caught up in their battle, she knew for sure that they would meet their ends right there.

Perhaps the Dual-Wielder had already lost interest in Skama’s group or perhaps it was because the armoured giant in the air was the only threat worthy of its attention, whatever the reason was, it did not attempt to halt their retreat.

And then, the battle began.

It was the Dual-Wielder’s turn.

It threw one of its swords.

It threw the sword with such strength that there was no way that Skama could avoid it. If she tried to block it, it would still inflict a fatal amount of damage.

The armour did not try to avoid it but tanked the hit with its own body. Perhaps it could not avoid it, or maybe it did not feel the need to avoid the attack at all?

The ear-piercing sound of metal clashing against metal rang as the thrown sword bounced off the armour. It then disappeared as if it had evaporated into the air, only to show up back in the Dual-Wielder’s hands.

It did not return to its hand. Rather, another one had appeared.

The armour in the air pointed the pipe at the Dual-Wielder in one smooth motion, as though that sword toss did not do damage to him at all.

The pipe found its target and then — it spat out something after a brief flash of fire and lightning.

What used to be single-shot attacks turned into an uncountable amount of projectiles. ‘Grakatatata’, the sound of apathetic violence could be heard everywhere.

Faced with the unknown projectiles, the Dual-Wielder swung its swords. The sharp ‘ting’ sounds of whatever was flying towards it being sliced into pieces could be heard. But there was a limit to it.

Two swords could not have dealt with the dozens or even hundreds of projectiles. The tiny projectiles flew at shocking speeds as it penetrated the enemy. The Dual-Wielder started twitching as though it had muscle spasms and like the Shield-Bearer before it, it disappeared.

The two undead beings had vanished in a blink of an eye.

Skama was truly, from the bottom of her heart, speechless.

To be honest, she had no idea what had just happened.

But Skama understood one thing, that armour was mind-bogglingly strong, stronger than everyone she knew.

She couldn’t stop blinking.

Nothing about this felt real. It was hard for her to accept that they had been saved. Their despair and readiness for self-sacrifice were shattered so easily, her mind could not keep up at all.

“W-What the hell is that?”

“…Hey, isn’t that a plate from the Adventurer’s Guild?”

“Hah?”

She squinted her eyes to focus on the details after the rogue had said that and saw that on the neck of the armour — though she could barely make out its shape — was a necklace that held a metal plate. Though it was about the same size as Skama’s, it looked minuscule on that giant figure. As expected of a rogue to notice something that she would have missed.

The metal plate on the necklace was of a colour that she did not recognize.

She had seen the colour of Orichalcum before, so by the process of elimination this was,

“An Adamantite-ranked adventurer?”

There were three Adamantite-ranked groups in the Kingdom and the colour of the armour made her realize which team it was a part of.

“Perhaps this is someone from Red Drop…?”

Upon hearing Lilynette’s question, Skama replied, “should be.” If this was someone from Blue Rose or Darkness, she would be ranting about why they would choose this hue for their armour.

The floating armour turned its back to Skama.

“W-wait!”

The armour responded to her voice and turned around slowly.

It raised up its left hand, straightened its index and middle finger, and pointed them towards its forehead. As if it was bidding farewell, the armour gestured at them gently.

Then, it just flew away.

Skama stared vacantly at the empty sky and asked the rogue,

“…What was that?”

“Who knows…”

She couldn’t understand at all, but someone from Red Drop came over to assist them, that was probably it.

“But, umm, I understood one thing. If we have someone this strong — perhaps the Sorcerous Kingdom’s invasion will come to an end right here. Of course, this is under the pretext that it would still be willing to break the Adventurer’s Code and will continue participating in battles from this point onwards.”

3

He felt as though he had just heard an, “eh?” sound. Ainz thought it sort of sounded like it was from himself.

A Death Knight and a Death Warrior, two undead beings had suddenly died. The one to defeat them was also wearing an item from Yggdrasil, the Power Suit.

Ainz had felt that he had lost two contacts — though the feeling wasn’t too strong given how many connections he had at once — which was how he had come to learn that it wasn’t an illusion.

Silence filled the room.

He felt the gaze of every Floor Guardian — perhaps the maids’ too — on him.

Ainz was the mastermind of this siege, so it would not have been wrong to view this as Ainz’s defeat.

Though something unexpected had occurred, the puny force they had lost was sent there precisely because losing them would not have been a big deal. So Ainz wished that they wouldn’t act so tight and careful.

However, given the current situation, if he was to tell them that it was fine to lose a battle, it would sound more like a sore loser’s excuse. Hindsight is always perfect.

His belief that he does not belong here would surely intensify.

Ainz decided to use his long-practised acting skills, which of course, he had obtained by practising in front of the mirror while the ordinary maids were absent.

“Hmmm…as I expected, mmm.”

The situation was under control.

Ainz displayed the same air of arrogance a mob boss quietly talking to themselves would have as they enjoyed the fragrance of the red wine from their wine glass.

The important part of this act was to not speak in a loud voice. A loud voice would be quite lame right now. The trick was to act as if he was just mumbling to himself.

His acting, the result of hard research, led to a ripple of commotion that reverberated around the room.

Ainz swallowed his non-existent saliva.

Whether he had succeeded or not depended on Demiurge’s response.

“I. See. So. That. Was. Why…”

{—What!? Cocytus!?}

While Ainz was panicking, Shalltear responded, “Yes yes yes!” as both of her hands shot up. Though it appeared that she was hailing him, she was simply calling attention to herself. Shalltear smiled with pride as everyone’s gazes fell upon her.

“I understood it too-arinsu! Ainz-sama predicted that something like that would appear-arinsu! That was why we sent such a weak force, am I correct-arinsu!?”

This felt different from usual.

Was this a success or a failure? Ainz stole a glance at Demiurge, but he was just smiling mysteriously while nodding his head.

“As expected of the both of you.”

The two of them held their heads high upon receiving Demiurge’s praise. Perhaps Demiurge had already arrived at this conclusion but left it up to those two to answer first.

Ainz breathed a sigh of relief.

This appeared to be a success.

Albedo continued on,

“Intel from Sebas, Demiurge and also our corroborators in the capital mentioned how Red Drop was operating in the northern end of the Kingdom. Because of that, Ainz-sama decided to deploy insufficient troops to lure them out. The amount of troops struck the sweet spot of being easily defeatable by that guy, but at the same time enough to conquer the city without their help. Sasuga Ainz-sama.”

“Like. A. Hooked. Fish…”

{Eh? That was Red Drop? Could we trust that intel? What are the possibilities that it was a player?}

If he was in a Power Suit from Yggdrasil, isn’t the possibility that he was a player quite high?

Could they be sure that that was Red Drop? If so, shouldn’t that intel have reached him at some point or another?

No, wait— It was absolutely more likely that Ainz had simply missed that piece of intel while he read through the documents. For that reason, Ainz pretended that all was according to plan with a burst of gentle laughter.

Needless to say, he had practised this laugh quite a few times too.

“—hehe. Mmm, I did not think that he would actually show up. I was quite shocked too…I thought that perhaps they were conserving their forces for the showdown at the capital.”

“Ainz-sama can always think of situations we couldn’t!”

Said Aura as Mare mumbled, “amazing,” to himself.

The unadulterated gazes of reverence from those two dealt a massive blow to Ainz’s now fragile-as-glass superego.

{It’s not like that at all.}

But, he could never say those words.

Ainz had never considered such a thing could happen. Though he was of the mindset that losing was fine and winning was good, it was for different reasons than what they were now thinking of.

Ainz reminisced about the meeting between him, Sebas, and the others, the meeting that made Ainz take charge of this battle.

—-

“What is it, Sebas? Is something wrong?”

Ainz had just returned to Nazarick and in front of him was Sebas, who was supposed to be on standby in E-Rantel, so it was natural for him to ask.

Ainz had no recollection of the contents of his last order to him, let alone of an order for him to come forth. Perhaps he was here of his own will, Ainz was fine with that too.

Though Sebas was stationed at E-Rantel, he was still given considerable amounts of freedom. The right to return to Nazarick at any time was a given.

However, if his goal was to meet with Ainz, he could have done so in E-Rantel. This must have been about something important and urgent.

“I’m terribly sorry, Ainz-sama. Would you be so kind as to spare some of your precious time— or rather, could I bother you for a while?”

Ainz felt as though there was something ominous hidden in Sebas’ muddled choice of words. He ordered the ordinary maid closest to him — the one assigned to Ainz for the day — to leave them be. The maid, along with the other maid who was assigned to this room, gently lowered their heads and left the room.

Ainz looked towards the Eight-Edge Assassins on the ceiling.

“All of you, leave us be.”

The Eight-Edge Assassins fell from the ceiling as if they were completely weightless and silently exited the room.

If Ainz had ordered them to never speak of what was said in this room, they would probably follow that order to their deaths, but magic existed in this world that could lead someone to dominate their minds and extract information through those means. Needless to say, even though Ainz would never allow that to happen, it was still best to stay on their toes.

“Ainz-sama, I am eternally grateful.”

If Sebas was the one to order them to leave, it would be akin to him saying that he did not trust his colleagues, the ordinary maids.

So, his gratitude was probably directed at Ainz’s consideration to not start any tensions between them.

Ainz gently shook his head in response to what Sebas had said. To obtain the answer to the question he had in mind, Ainz asked again,

“So, what’s the matter? It doesn’t seem like an ordinary matter. An emergency perhaps?”

“Yes- ahem, no. I’m not too sure if this counts as out of the ordinary or not… Someone wishes to converse with Ainz-sama in private… I was requested to ask for Ainz-sama’s presence at their behest.”

“So they wish for me to go to them? They couldn’t come to my room?” Given that Ainz was the Supreme Overlord of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick, this was an uncommon request. “…This is not about that human, is it?”

“No, it was not Tsuare. It was a guardian who had not received permission to leave their area. They knew that this would be disrespectful, but they still wish to trouble Ainz-sama for a while…”

Sebas looked towards Ainz with an apologetic expression.

“Ahhh, I see.” Ainz understood.

If it was an Area Guardian, then it all made sense.

Of course, if he ordered them to come over they would most likely do so. Some NPCs might respond in the negative due to a previous order from Ainz’s allies, who were their creators and whom they referred to as the Forty-One Supreme Beings. Still, most would obey Ainz’s order.

There were also those who simply couldn’t be allowed to leave.

A good example of which would be one of the Area Guardians on the seventh floor, Guren.

Because of its passive aura, it would surely cause a lot of collateral damage just by moving to the ninth floor. Things like wool carpets catching fire would be fine, but if it were to cross paths with beings like the ordinary maids, they would surely take a lot of damage.

If that was the case, it was better for Ainz to go to it than the other way around. Ainz had never liked putting on airs anyway. In addition, he did not have any tasks on hand that must be dealt with immediately. At least that was what Ainz thought.

“Understood. I’ll go to them. So, who am I looking for?”

“It was Nigredo-sama and Pestonia”

Sebas was one to refer to everybody else with the honorific “-sama” yet he did not do so with Pestonia, was it because they were colleagues? “It was those two…”

Ainz’s expression became dejected and he tried his best to hide that fact. Though Ainz’s skeletal face could not show any expressions, it appeared as though a select few of the guardians could actually cold-read him. Albedo was one of them. As a side note, Demiurge would apparently always interpret his expression in weird ways.

Was it on purpose?

Ainz had thought that he had hidden his emotions well enough but it seemed like Sebas could still pick up on a few hints that slipped out of his vocal mannerisms. Sebas’ expression had become more and more apologetic as a result.

{Though I feel sorry for Sebas…but honestly, I don’t want to go~}

Nothing good will come of this.

He could confidently state that.

Imagine if you were in an office and someone told you, “the people from that other department are looking for you. They don’t want to call you but want you to go to them directly.” Eight or nine times out of ten it would be about a hassle.

That said, it wasn’t as though Ainz had a choice in this matter. If a larger issue rose up because he had neglected the smaller issues, the responsibility for the consequences would ultimately fall upon him.

While it was true that Ainz was the absolute overlord of Nazarick, for him to rest on his laurels would be moronic.

Ainz wanted none of the NPCs to dislike him, but rather, he desired that they would adore him just as he doted on them as if they were his children.

“…Let’s go. As for my schedule…” Ainz pulled out a notebook to check what he had scheduled for today. He was someone who would put off tasks that he found to be annoying yet was also someone who would wish that said annoying affairs would be resolved as soon as possible. “This time slot is fine, it’s empty. Can we go there right now?”

Nigredo and Pestonia. Though both of them were Area Guardians, with what Sebas had just stated, Ainz knew exactly where they were going. That was why he could still convey his intentions to Sebas even with these half-questions.

“If we were to allow Pestonia to arrive there first, how about an hour later?”

“…That’s fine. Looks like — it would be inappropriate to bring Albedo and Demiurge along.”

“Yes. Though it pains me to say this, they hoped that Ainz-sama would be going there alone.”

Ainz nodded his head.

“What about that doll?”

“I will ask Pestonia to take care of that matter, there should not be any problems.”

“Good. An hour later then…hmm? Sebas, will you be going too?”

“Yes. I had hoped that you would grant me permission to. Am I allowed to?”

Sebas’ lowered his head of white upon receiving Ainz’s approval.

An hour later, Ainz used the power of the ring to teleport to the Frozen Prison on the fifth floor.

No one was accompanying him. He had told the ordinary maid assigned to him that he had important matters to attend to and had ordered her to keep the secret and stay behind.

At first she had protested by saying, “I will pretend that I saw nothing at all. You could just ignore my presence entirely, so please take me along with you.” While Ainz did find her suggestion to be trustworthy, she did appear to derive some form of fulfilment from being ignored.

He had talked this over with her in the past and her response was that for him to objectify them, would have meant that they had accomplished their duty as maids to the utmost. They were apparently also actively seeking that kind of interaction. Then again, he had only asked one of them so perhaps she was the only one — no, she had to be the only one with such a fetish.

Even if it was an ordinary maid like her, to guarantee that he did not leave even the 1% of a probability that this could snowball into something bigger, Ainz steeled himself.

{I should do something that’ll make her happier when I get back…maybe assign her to some bothersome and menial task…so that she’ll be happy or whatever. Yeah, I don’t get it at all…}

There were just too many people in Nazarick who behaved like this maid, that was why none of his long-term vacation and paid-leave policies ever took off. If this persisted, Ainz’s hopes and dreams were all doomed to fail.