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A New World

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A/N: Hi! I will be making a fanfic for Overlord! You all should read the light novel! It's simply sublime and has so much more than the anime. But I guess that once you have watched the anime, then read the book, it helps to visualize things better. Anyway, this will be a slight AU but every other event should be canon.

DISCLAIMER: Some dialogues and lines will be extracted from the book. I didn't create Overlord, nor earn any profit from this piece of work! I'll add some OC in but it's going to only be briefly mentioned, don't worry!

In this AU, more than a handful of Momonga's teammates stayed, but they still haven't played the game for the last two years. Many of them will stick around with him and join him. It's an overused idea, yes. But I want to give it a try on my own interpretation! This work was inspired by some of my favorite fanfic of this fandom as well! Now enjoy! Please leave a comment and a like!

Also, most of everyone is basically in love with Momonga lmao I'm sorry I don't make the rules. THIS WILL DEFINITELY BE A SLASH STORY, even though it is not significant or excessive. If you don't like slash, I appologize beforehand. But I think it will be an interesting read nonetheless :)

( Pixiv have been feeding me a lot of ideas. A fangirl can't help but be a fangirl, you know? Anyway, moving on! )


Chapter 1: Welcome Back To Yggdrasil!


In a few hours, all servers of Yggdrasil will be shut down. Permanently.

How sad... it was fun, really fun. Thought Momonga.

Yggdrasil is a DMMORPG. Short for Dive Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. It was among the best that ever existed in the world of virtual reality gaming. In fact, one would immediately associate the word DMMORPG with Yggdrasil's name. Due to how much freedom a player could have, like character customization, classes, skill sets, world building, crafting system, story-line, etc,., Yggdrasil exploded in the gaming chart and took first place in ranking for many years.

Well, that was before the game took an unexpected turn, and the decline of new players started. It was also then that old players began to drop out as well. After a certain amount of years, the contents weren't as interesting to participate in. There was no major update, no dungeons fun enough or hard enough to partake. And the daily missions are too boring and repetitive.

Especially if you have no comrades left to join you in those boring old mission.

Ainz Ooal Gown. One of the top guilds in Yggdrasil. Forty-one players, forty-one guild-members; many were among the top players across all worlds. Some were even of champion class. And has unparalleled power and prestige. They started out as nothing, a bunch of idiots and reckless group of non-human players that would traverse the worlds of Yggdrasil, unable to accept being hindered by the hostility of humanoids in the home-worlds other than their own. They were stupid, and have feed countless of humanoid players, leveling them up thus making them stronger. They were kinda despite for that fact, but they had fun, and friendships were forged as others decided to join them along the way. After officially forming a guild, which Momonga became the leader, and conquering the Tomb of Nazarick in the first try, they have grown even stronger and their guild was among the top ten. However, that was in the past. Among forty-one guild-members, almost over eighty-five percent of them quitted the game. The ones that do remained... the last time they went online was about two years ago. Two.

Why is he still here? One might ask. The reason was simple, really. His life outside of game was very normal and plain. He has no other family to take care of nor a lover he could spend time with. No close friends to speak of either. He was never attached to anything in real life. Yggdrasil was one of the good things that had happened to him. He would never give it up, even though he was alone. So after work, he devoted all his time to Yggdrasil and to maintaining their guild; mostly economics and keeping their stronghold standing against possible PK-ers that might want to raid their base. But that have not happened since that one event that marked their guild as legendary and impregnable.

A legion of one thousand and five hundred players including hired NPCs had made a move to attempt to conquer their base. They had managed to make it to the eighth floor, an impressive feat that no lone party can do. Momonga and his friends had waited at the last floor to greet the incoming players like epic final bosses in the final level; it was the suggestion of Ulbert Alain Odle, the guy that fixated himself on the word 'evil' the most. Since others had regarded their group as 'monsters'—due to how they were a guild that only consists of heteromorphic characters, how often they PK'ed other guilds and players, and how ruthless their methods can be—they might as well go all out with the idea and act like their given names. To put it simply: role-playing. That's why it was called DMMORPG, after-all. And hence, it became the reason why they are often targeted by other guilds and players.

However, the horde of one thousand five hundred was stopped at the eight level; never to make it past that point. And thus, they have been known as the base that no force could conquer. What good times. They were prepared for a confrontation, though, but it appears that the enemy was no problem for the guardians of the eigth floor, after all. It was a tad bit disappointing, but relieving at the same time. The resources consumption would probably be doubled from their regular use if the battle were to happen. So it was a huge weight lifted off their shoulders when they didn't require to use the power of any of their relics. They are the guild with the most world item, after all. If they were in a dire situation, maybe then they will be forced to use some of the world items of unimaginable power, but have only a few uses. Although, that was if and only if. They never have the intention of using up any of the items that took so much real life money and time to be able to find or bought.

Momonga sighed, and slowly walked around their bases to do his regular routine. As a guild leader, he was supposed to be doing awesome things like leading his comrades to conquer a new, unexplored dungeon, or initiate a raid against other guilds, or even monster hunting expedition for fun! But since the dropout of players and the inactivity of those that remained, all Momonga does now is to take care of finances.

In other words, he constantly would add money to the guild's treasury in order to maintain the guild. Also, he was to make sure that if any of his friends were to come back, this place would still be standing. Ready to receive their presence once more. Ready to be their tool for conquest and glory. A place where they can have real fun again. Momonga had kept his hope that when he logged in, he would see some names with online statuses. For two years, his hopes hadn't diminished. But he knows that he would not be seeing any of them anytime soon; everyday, when he logged in, he would turned up to a completely grey list.

And here they are, a few hours away from the complete shutdown of the game.

He was spawned in the meeting room, the default place that all guild members would spawn in unless specified to be otherwise. That was kind of inaccurate since the actual place they would spawn in was the corridor that would then take them to the meeting room...

But it doesn't matter. Knowing that today was the last day, Momonga left the room temporarily to walk around their beloved base that was the reminiscence of their glory days as a whole guild one last time. He will probably return again, just to make sure he have everything engraved deep into his brain. He doesn't want to forget any of it. Each and every aspect of the Tomb of Nazarick held a fond memory. Memories of struggles, of victories, of hard work, of all those time, recklessly playing to create their guild weapon...

Of wonderful times spent together, going through both good and bad experiences with his friends.

He misses those days so much.

But he can't really blame any of them for quitting. They have many things in real life to come back to, so he can understand why they would choose reality over imaginary. They didn't have a choice. He was sure that if they can, they would have stayed with him. Right? They will, right? All of them are his most precious, best of friends. They would stay if they can.

Right..?

He wasn't so sure anymore.

The concept of time and reality was so blurred. It felt like it was only yesterday since they last conquered the Tomb of Nazarick and made it their guild headquarter. But in fact, many many years had already passed by.

Ainz Ooal Gown... Their beloved memento of the past. But if he were to put it correctly: His beloved memento of the past. The fact that he had just accepted it was baffling and horrifying. By the time he was done with his train of thoughts, Momonga's feet took him to the meeting room.

Forty-one chairs. Forty-one empty seats.

Momonga took his place sitting where the chair with his own emblem was, and silence filled the atmosphere as time slowly passed by. Guild leader... Right now, saying the title felt empty and hollow. What's a guild leader without his guild? Momonga solemnly glanced at the empty chairs and imagined the figures of his friends sitting around him.

Images began to appear before his eyes as he saw all of his friends idly chatting about current events, planning and strategizing, boasting about their own accomplished feats, and casually talking to one another. He had a smile behind his skeleton face as he simply just want to watch the event unfolding in front of him. Peroroncino then turned to Momonga, pleading him for help as Bukubukuchagama became angry after their usual siblings' bickering. Momonga chuckled at his friend and began to speak for his friend like always. But the moment a word were about to escape him, those images vanished. Leaving behind empty seats once again.

Momonga's red irises dimmed as he closes his eyes.

He is alone.

They all left. And he had realized that he is and was always alone this entire time. Momonga is the sole living soul among this abandoned ghost town that used to be filled with life, energy, and excitement.

Oh god, he was so lonely.

Momonga clenched his bony fist as he began to tremble with anger, sorrow, and extreme loneliness. He wants his friends back.

He wants to hear Bukubukuchagama and Peroroncino's daily bickering. He wants to see Touch Me and Warrior Takemikazuchi having their competitive showdown. He wants to hear Ulbert Alain Olde's sarcastic comments and how he joked about wanting to conquer the world. It would be most pleasant to have Punitto Moe, his wise counsel, pieces of advice, and helpful tips on battle strategy; his presence is always comforting in situations like this. And having Yamaiko, being the kind and charming person she is like in real life would certainly bring something resembling of a smile onto his skeletal features; although you can't even make expressions in the first place. Heck, he wants to hear Tabula Smaragdina's random, useless trivia about the many mythologies that he was interested in. He wouldn't even mind if Luci Fer was being his old, mischievous, hateable but lovable asshole self. He just wants to see his friends. Even the appearance of one of them would make him immensely elated.

Momonga then paused. Didn't he send an email to all of them? Asking to meet them one last time before the game shut down? He did. He remembers now. He brings his head up as a sense of anticipation and newfound hope sparked within him. Perhaps a few of them would want to rekindle old friendships or reminisce about old times. Or perhaps they would return because of nostalgia. No matter the reason, Momonga was excited about his comrades' return. Though, the dark part of him tells himself that no one might come at all.

So he sits in the meeting room as he waits for the possible appearance of his friends. He was surprised out of his wits when his console pinged, announcing the online statuses of his friends! He expected that nobody would even show up.

Ding! Ding!

User [ LinoRE ] is online.

User [ Fantôme Blanc ] is online.

Oh! Lin and The White Ghost? If his memory serves him correctly, they were the two members that stayed the longest before they took a hiatus like everyone else. Momonga was pleasantly surprised.

Well, he was feeling more pleasant than surprise, really. Fantôme Blanc and LinoRE have always come online together or at the same time. It was such a familiar routine that the guild members would sometimes joked that the two was either married or are a couple. Much to everyone's slight disappointment and great amusement, they were 'just friends', despite living in the same building and right next to each other.

LinoRE was one of the few female members of the guild. Her appearance suggested that her character used to be an elf before she 'died' and became a banshee. LinoRE, or Lin, as she suggested, was a very beautiful female. She have long, lustrous, silver hair that reaches all the way to her hips, and according to Peroroncino, her hair was so soft that it flowed like water when one would comb their hands through the silky strands.

Peroroncino couldn't play for two days straight after proclaiming that to the male members of the guild and got found out by Bukubukuchagama. "What the fuck is wrong with you, you retard?! And Linoooooo~! Don't just let him do that!" Was the pink slime's words. Lin didn't seemed to mind, but then after that her hair was the new target for constant harassment from everyone, including Bukubukuchagama herself.

Lin's face was youthful and elegant. Her character couldn't have been over sixteen years old, but they all knew better than that. Looks can be deceiving. Lin's character, according to her back story, was over thousands of years old. Her features were petite and delicate, but she has an air of wisdom and knowledge that constantly surrounded her. Her skin used to be as white as snow before it turned into lifeless looking ash gray. The color of her skin and the fact that she was a banshee has hidden most of her attractive features, but if one looked close enough, they could make out the beauty that she once was. Lin is very tall, even when being compared to the male members of the guild. And she was taller than all of their female guildmates, standing at six foot eight inches of height. She said the reason that her character was so tall was because she created it to match her real height in real life. Of course everyone was in disbelief, but then after knowing that she was half French and half Japanese, it sounded more convincing. Also, because Fantôme Blanc lived right next to her and he can confirm that fact.

In real life, Lin was a nurse.

Others would often refer to her as the 'mom' friend of the group due to how she would constantly took care of them during and after a battle. She was also a mage that wields the power of tidal waves. And in addition to that, she is also a tank. Lin was an extremely valuable wildcard player that can adjust herself according to the teams and situation that she was placed in. She was a magic user, but her staff was forged to look like a sword and contains its characteristics so that she can adapt with the battle conditions; a staff for magic and a sword for attacking enemies that might have slipped past the tank's defensive line and made it to her.

He learned Cry of The Banshee from her himself, he could never forget that.

Lin could cast that spell more often than he can, since the spell were created specifically for her race; it was still considered a normal spell, though, for some reason. But if one were to put it correctly, when she was the one who uses that ability, it would be considered a skill more than a spell. Usually, skills doesn't required mana to activate an ability. However, the cooldown time was often ridiculous. Lin, being a programmer herself, had modified her skills to consume an appropriate amount of mana in exchange for faster cast time. Many in their guild had praised her for thinking cleverly and for manipulating the elements and variable that not many could have thought of.

The reason why she was a wildcard user that was even more sought out than Momonga was due to how she could use her magic to act as different roles. She can both off-tank and main-tank for the team, she can provide the team with ample healing and buffs, or take on position of battle mage or a melee attacker. She was a very versatile and balanced player. However, that also means that she isn't specialized in any specific field.

Her stats are all at the same amount, the definition of true balance; no stats was higher or lower than one another. So when it comes to people that specializes in their own category, she was inferior to, say, Yamaiko when it comes to pure healing efficiency, Ulbert when it comes to magical prowess—but let's be real, no one can beat him in terms of pure firepower, not even Tabula—, or Bukubukuchagama when it comes to defense.

And there was Fantôme Blanc.

Also a heteromorphic character. He was LinoRE's partner and the two of them would often be placed in the same team. Not because they liked to work together, but because they have perfect synergy when it comes to teamwork—the guild finds dungeon conquering and PK-ing much more easier when there are two less people to worry about whether or not they will know what to do in a party.

The White Ghost was an anthropomorphic wolf character that have a stark white fur, hence his name. He was almost taller than everyone in the guild,—with the exception of Warrior Takemikazuchi—standing at seven foot and three inches tall. A wild mane spans behind his head and down to his lower back, giving him a wild and fierce look. His build was muscular and his muscles looked even more solid than concrete. Peroroncino—being the weirdo that he is—had also confirmed that, yes. It is indeed as firm as a steel block being covered in adamantite. And once again, he was banned from playing the game for another two days when he was coming close to performing an R-18 related action and was—once again—discovered by Bukubukuchagama.

"Oh my god! You disgusting piece of... bird! Stop bothering other people!" The reply to that was somewhere among the line of 'But he didn't mind!'. And the response to that reply was Peroroncino's two days hiatus.

He created his character to be roguishly rugged and tough looking because he have a similar body build in real life, being a firefighter and all that.

His eyes was a mesmerizing shade of crystalline blue. And there was a special ability that came with it: Predator's Gaze. if one was to look into his eyes for too long, they will be rooted at the spot for quite a while. It was a weird ability, since when two forces were battling and opposing one another, nobody really have time to stare into one's eyes. However, Fang—as he suggested for them to call him to save time and skip the complications—was a melee attacker and assassin. When engaged in close combat, that ability proved to be quite useful when Fang would suddenly jumped atop an enemy and stared them down, rooting them for three seconds. It wasn't too long of a stun, but it was long enough to turn the tide of a battle around when Fang would targeted the opposing party's mages and healers.

Aside from how strong Fantôme Blanc looked, he actually have the strength to prove it. Fang was a monk class attacker, tank, and assassin, with a pretty high amount of physical and magical defense. His equipment consists of simple but durable looking materials. He wore a snow colored Shaolin Monk uniform with a large beaded Buddhist prayer necklace, accompanied by several mini ones that he wore on his wrists and ankles. His garment were made of cloth and is lightweight. Though his shoulders and arms were exposed, he wore a black, sheer undershirt to cover up his arms. And for extra protection, he had one of those leather detachable sleeves that could provide decent armor plus mobility for a more quicker and precise attack. His armor choices doesn't seems to scream 'Tank' right away, but he was dressed in that manner because the monk class have an extremely high defense mechanism.

Some of the monk class' specific skillset were solely focused on protecting oneself. And since Fang was max level, he have that and a special skill that allowed him to be completely immune to all incoming damage for a straight twelve seconds; the skill requires no MP but could only be used twice a day and have an unbearably slow cooldown time. Thus, he was a terrifying force of raw combat power and iron defense to be reckoned with in smaller PVP battles like 1V1, 2V2, 3V3 up to 6V6.

He was also a very snark and charismatic person, fun to be around and pleasant to have a conversation with. He was also the sarcastic and clever guy that always have a response to every single thing someone could ever say to or ask him about without offending anyone. Momonga once joked that Fantôme Blanc was too 'sexy' for his own good at one point when he have to take his torn uniform's shirt off briefly to equip a new and improved one. The wolf laughed as he then said "What's this? Want to take me home, sweetheart? I'm not into necrophilia, Momonga. But just for you, I'll make an exception." Fang then clicked his tongue at Momonga—insinuating that he was winking—and patted the flustered skeleton's back a few times.

LinoRE and Fantôme Blanc was the exact opposite of each other. Where Lin would be more gentle, quiet, and reserved, Fang would be hyper, energetic, and expressive in his physical actions. 'Opposites attracts' have never been more accurate. Though, Fang would amuse everyone in the guild by denying his obvious crush at the banshee the instance that it was brought up.

These two—despite Lin being the quieter one—could literally make a cemetary lively with their back and forth banter that can sometimes get out of hand quickly with Lin becoming pissed as she then chased Fang throughout the Tomb of Nazarick.

They seems to bring life to everywhere they goes,—even though Lin was an undead—and even after a year and a half of not meeting them, they still have that energy that would make them unique and set them apart from the other guild members.

"Ah, friends! Good to see you guys again!" Momonga said, greeting the pair of banshee and wolf when they made their presence known as they walked through the meeting room's entrance.

"What's up, guild leader. I see that you're still your good looking skeleton self." The White Ghost said cheerfully as he swooped in, embraced Momonga and lifted him off of the ground.

The skeleton let out a squeal of delight at the sensation of being lifted up so high that he couldn't even feel the ground beneath his feet! He flailed a little and grabbed Fang's shoulder so that he wouldn't fall off. He doubts that he will, though. Fang's embrace was literally bone crushing. And if his character have a lung, he would probably be wheezing right now.

"Heeeey, did you lose weight?!" Fang said, bouncing him up and down in his embrace. Momonga felt giddy and lightheaded when he realized how tall off the ground he was.

"Ma-maybe! Ahahaha! P-put me down, Fantôme!" Momonga giggled, feeling truly happy being in his friend's arms and warm presence. When Fang let him down, Lin took his spot. But instead of lifting him up, she gently but fondly wrapped her arms around his bony frame.

"Hello, Momonga. I hope that we aren't intruding on anything important?" Momonga sighs in contentment as he then returned her hugs.

"No no no! Of course not! Please, have a seat!" Momonga said enthusiastically after the two of them releases each other. His soul was filled with happiness as he exchanges words with his old friends, scolding himself mentally for having so little faith in his comrades.

Deep inside, though, he was really sad to see them. After not meeting for so long, they have finally had a chance to catch up with one another. But this is the last time that they can ever converse with each other.

An hour went by. And they had a very pleasant conversation, but then their meeting was cut short as the two of them have to leave to attend to their one year old daughter.

Apparently, they married. He could imagine how their guildmates would freaked out over this. Some would probably smirked and say 'I told you that it was just a matter of time', while others might be completely surprised and excited for the two. Momonga had congratulated them on their marriage, and wished for them the best of wishes.

"It's a shame... how you two can't stay a little bit longer."

"We're sorry, guild leader. It truly is a shame. But I missed this! I miss you a lot!"

"We'll always be friends, right? Momo-chan?" Fang asked with the nickname that never fails to bring a smile out of him. Momo was a shortcut nickname when someone in their guild would referred to him. But only Fang and another would call him Momo-chan.

"Pfft. Hahaha. Of course...! Take care, and once again, congratulations on the marriage!" The banshee and the wolf chuckled with appreciation before both of them opened up their menu, simultaneously logging out at the same time.

User [ LinoRE ] is offline.

User [ Fantôme Blanc ] is offline.

Momonga was once again left alone as his friends logged out. Where their names were in his friend and guild member list glowed to indicate their online statuses once again become the dull gray color that he loathed. That was it. A pleasant greeting, a pleasant conversation, and then a pleasant farewell. Though for some reason, he felt emptiness now instead of the elation that he had earlier.

It just feels so oddly... cold... so... heartless.

No. I shouldn't be thinking this way. I am glad that they even come at all, plus, they can't help it. They have a child to take care of now. Momonga said to himself, erasing the dark thoughts from his mind as he then slumped back in his chair, waiting to see if more of his friends would arrive.

It was currently 21:35:04. Only less than two hours left from the shutdown. The more the clock ticks, the more he was feeling that no one else is going to appear. A slow sense of despair and agony crawled up his spine, painting over his initial elation as the digital clock's number continues to go up. Tick, tock, tick, tock. As the sound of the clock continues tick, time continues to fly. The screen had shown that it is now 22:12:58. No one else was in the room except for Momonga. At this point, he was beginning to accept that he was going to spend the last few hours remaining being by himself.

Ding!

Huh...?

Once again, the sound of someone going online had reached him. And before he could bring up the list or read the system notification pop-up, a holographic image slowly materialized at the entrance way. Momonga froze with anticipation, wondering who it could be. A few second went by as the image continues to materialize, being clearer and clearer with each second that went by. As the pixels cleared up, Momonga stood up abruptly as the figure of the player was now completely visible.

"Herohero!?" Momonga exclaimed with a happy and warm voice as the elder slime sent him a smiling emoticon, waving his translucent arms at him. Moving out from his chair, Momonga enthusiastically makes his way to his friend, immediately greeting him with a friendly hug. In other situation, if Momonga was not Herohero's ally, doing so would probably cause him a good amount of damage points. However, they are friends. So Momonga did not receive any HP damage nor negative status effects. Friendly fire was not allowed, after all. Unless they have turned it on.

"Momonga!" Herohero replied cheerfully as he returned the embrace. It must have been slightly awkward, with Momonga being a skeleton and all that; he wasn't exactly soft, and he was taller than the other. But the chuckle that the elder slime made indicated that he appreciated the gesture and didn't mind. After releasing Herohero, Momonga then hurriedly escorted him to his respective chair and took a seat in his own. If any other come, he would not hesitate to leave his seat again; even though it was slightly inconvenient. After a brief welcoming back and greeting exchange, Momonga then asked about Herohero and his welfare. They had a lot that they can talk about, and Momonga also curious of how well his friend was doing in the past few years. Apparently, he was having a really rough time in real life. Immediately after saying hello, Herohero's excitement dropped completely and his voice was replaced with a tired and fatigued tone. He completely slumped back in his seat and sighed as he talks. Momonga felt a sense of remorse for his friend. The elder slime sounded so tired that Momonga could almost feel it through his speech.

"Yikes..." The overlord Momonga leaned back to exaggerate his wince - this conversation was kind of killing the lighter mood previously.

"It's seriously awful."

Usually, people preferred not to involve real life issues and talk about them while gaming was still in session. Most if not all people frowned upon it. 'Please keep your reality out of my daydream' was certainly an understandable sentiment. However, they didn't feel that way. After all, what are friends for? Herohero is basically pouring his heart out to Momonga. How could he not listen to his friend's trouble? He was glad that Herohero was talking to him about this stuff. You can't really talk about this to anyone in real life, so Momonga was honored that his friend trusted him enough to talk to him about trivial matters like this. Some time went by as Herohero's muddy flood of grievances had calmed to a clear stream. And the elder slime sighed as he finished his rant.

"Sorry, I don't mean to just whine. But I can't really talk about this stuff IRL, you know?" A part of him that must have been his head wiggled.

"Don't worry about it, Herohero. You accepted my invitation to come tonight even though you're exhausted, so listening to some complaints is the least I can do - I'll take as many as you've got!"

Herohero chuckled weakly as his mood seems to be a little bit better now. "Really, though, thank you, Momonga. I'm glad I was able to log in today and see you after so long."

"It makes me glad to hear you say that!"

"But I should probably get going soon..." Momonga paused as Herohero pulled up his menu, tentacles moving in midair. "Yeah, it's getting late. Sorry, Momonga..."

Before his emotions betrayed him, the Overlord took a silent breath as he responded to his friend's statement. "Ah. That's... too bad. Time really does fly when you're having fun..."

"I really wanted to stay until the end, but I'm just too tired..."

"Yeah, I can imagine." He really can. "Log out and rest up."

"I'm really sorry... Momonga—err, no—Guild Master, what are your plans?"

It was strange, hearing them refer to him as that title again. "I think I'll hang around until the forced logout when the servers shut down. There's still some time left, so there's a chance someone else might show up." Though, he doubts it.

"I see... Honestly, I was surprised that this place still even existed."

Times like this, Momonga was truly grateful that their expressions were fixed. Otherwise, his grimace would have been immediately apparent. In any case, his emotions would have been evident in his voice, so he had to keep his mouth shut to suppress them.

Hearing something like that from a guildmate after having worked so hard to maintain their base precisely because it was a place they had all built together elicited feelings in Momonga too mixed to explain. But those feelings vanished when he heard what Herohero said next.

"As the guild master, you kept it going so we could come back anytime, didn't you? I really appreciated that."

"Well, we all built it together, you know? Making sure members can come back anytime is the guild master's job!"

"I think having you as our guild master was what made this game so fun for us. I hope to see you again... In Yggdrasil II!"

Yggdrasil II...? "I haven't heard anything about a sequel. But yes, I hope so too..." Though, it wouldn't be the same...

"If it happens, let's definitely play together! Anyhow, I'm falling asleep here, so I'm gonna log off. I'm glad I got to see you at the end like this, it's been great playing with you." Herohero said, reaching for the logout button on his menu.

"..." Momonga felt his throat constricted, feeling choked up for a moment. Then he managed to say his final goodbye. "I'm glad I got to see you, too. Nice playing with you!"

A sound that went like 'ba-ding!' popped off as a smiley emoticon appeared over the slime's head. There wasn't any way to convey emotions in Yggdrasil because the character facial expression doesn't change nor move. So the only way to express your emotions were through emoticons. Momonga went to his own menu and also selected a smiling emoticon. Herohero chuckled with, and maybe that's just how it sounded to him, the tiniest hint of sadness before he presses his hand on the logout button.

"See you again somewhere, Momonga."

User [ Herohero ] is offline.

With that, the third player that made it to the farewell gathering had disappeared. Silence returned to the room, a silence so deep it was hard to imagine anyone had been there. No echoes, no vestiges of anyone's presence.

Momonga looked at the place where Herohero had been sitting, and he muttered the words he wanted to say.

"Today's the last day of the game, I know you're tired, but we'll never have a chance like this again, why don't we stay together until the end—"

Of course, there was no response, because Herohero had already returned to reality.

He heaved out a sigh with a heavy heart. There was no way that he could have said that.


Fuck.

Work is so goddamn tiring. He hated this so much. But if he doesn't work, he will not be able to sustain his living conditions. Minimum wage is not enough to maintain all these bills he has. Having multiple jobs lessened that, but it just means that he now has to worry more about his physical health than the state of his economics.

All these goddamn emails. How the hell do they think that he was going to be able to read all of that in a single night? Fucking impossible. He couldn't even catch a break at home. Alright, time to read these. Because if he doesn't do it today, he will probably never do it again for at least another week. It probably piled up real bad right now...

Yup. He sighed tiredly. Alright, let's see here. Work notices... Reading that later... Receipt of recent purchases... Deleted. New employee addition? Trashed. Credit card company announcements? Deleted. Who the hell is Hideyoshi? Trashed. Ah, my boss finally replied to my wage raise request. Going to read that after this... Bills... Bills... Bills and bills...

After scrolling for some time, a specific email caught his eye as he scrolled past it. Taking a few moment to find it again, he immediately froze in his spot as his eyes were glued to the screen upon reading what exactly it had said.

Wh-what is this...? Baffled, he decided to open this specific email as his heart began to thump loudly.

It has been a long time since this name had crossed his path.

He trembled in anticipation and anxiousness as he clicked on the email headline. After a small delay and a white screen, the content began to load.

[ Yggdrasil Guild Notices - Email Notice ]

[ Recipient: Ulbert Alain Odle ; 18 others ]

[ Sender: Guild Leader Momonga ]

[ Subject: ]

[ Yggdrasil will soon shut down permanently... ]

M-Momonga...?

What is this? Why is Yggdrasil still sending him notices? He thought that the inactivity would completely remove him from the receiving messages by now. His eyes stopped at the end of the subject headline. It took him a few moments to comprehend what he had just read. When his brain has finally processed the information, he exclaimed out loud in confusion and panic.

"WHAT?!"

No fucking way. Yggdrasil? The game that took the virtual reality gaming world by storm? The game that stood at the top for a long fucking time? The game that... that he had invested so much of his time and effort into while he was active?

The game where he had made so many friends and memories with? Where he have found people he could call real friends for the first time? Where he can vent all of his frustrations as he socializes and fights alongside his guildmates? Where he could forget all of reality and society's cruel, unforgiving and indifference nature?

He didn't have to read this email's content. But he wants to.

He needs to see this.

The content seems pretty long after the first glance. But he didn't care, he wants to see what his friend has to say.

[ Ah! Hello, everyone! Momonga here. It has been quite... some time now, haven't it?

How have you guys been? I hope your lives went well enough?

I'm fine! Please don't worry about me. Life is still boring without you guys as usual,

but it has been going easy on me. My job and everything is stable,

I don't have difficulty with any aspects in real life like economic, social, nor

physical health. I'm not sick, and my job pays me decently to be able

to support myself with. As the guild's leader, I have been maintaining

and keeping our guild at its best. Our treasury is constantly supplied by me,

so we don't have to worry about stuff life economics. I've got it handled!

And don't worry! No one had dared made a move on our base since,

you know, that time...]

He paused to chuckle at the statement before moving on.

That time indeed...

[...Hey... It's been a while. Hasn't it?...]

He paused again. A heavy feeling tugged at his heart as he gulps silently.

Momonga... Yeah, it really has... I've forgot how long ago it was... What was it, one, two, three years? Agh... I've completely lost track of time...

[...I just wanted you all to know that Yggdrasil will be permanently

closing three days from now on. Yes, it will close down on a Friday. Friday is a

work day for you all, right? Some might have a different schedule,

but most should be following the regular routine, right?

Alright, I am going to get straight to the point.

I know it must have been a long time now, and you all have probably

lost interest in this game. But... it has been so long since we have

seen each other. And the game will be gone soon as well...

You all know me right? I'm an idiot, a selfish idiot at that. Remember

when this selfish idiot asked you all to conquer the Tomb of Nazarick

together without even knowing anything about it?

What a time it has been, right?

I am not asking you guys to play this game again with me.

I only have this one selfish request for you all, please hear me out.

Please come back one last time.

I want to hear your voices again before the game shuts down.

I know it's selfish of me, to just ask this out of nowhere so

suddenly. I know many of you are probably really fatigued after

coming home from work. And I know that some of you are just

plain stressed about life in general. But... please consider coming

back. To our guild. I will always be here to welcome you all

with open arms. I have kept the guild running so that any of you

would be able to return at any given moment. It seems that the option

will not be open for long anymore, though. I'm sorry if this is sudden

and inconvenient for you guys... But please, just please, consider

coming back. I promise I will not ask for much, only a chance to see

you all and have a proper farewell. We never did have that

party now, did we? Let's do it now, yeah? Hahaha...

I miss you all. I hope to rendezvous with you guys on Friday!

And if you can't come, please know that in my heart, you guys

will always be my friends. There will always be a special place for you

in Ainz Ooal Gown. I'll be waiting for you all in the meeting room. ]

[ Signed: Guild Leader ]

[ Momonga ]

[[ Reply ]] [[ Delete ]] [[ Flag ]] [[ ... ]]

He didn't know how much time had passed since he finished reading the email and just stared blankly at the screen. A thick veil of silence covered the room. Even the sound of soft breezes coming through the air conditioner were too loud. He didn't do anything nor say anything because he couldn't find any words to say. It was hard to contain himself right now, his throat burned and his eyes felt hot with tears threatening to spill out. If he were to open his mouth, he would probably give out a sorrowful moan accompanied by hysterical sobs.

Momonga... The bastard. He never actually says what he have in mind. But those that are close and understands him most would probably already caught the hidden undertone in the casual-sounding email by now.

How could he have left his best friend alone all these times? Why did he leave in the first place?

He didn't really remember why. The reasons were washed away with time like the sands that have gotten swept up by the desert's hot winds, forever forgotten.

Fucking... Despite how casual and formal the skeleton tried to sound, he could see the traces of loneliness and hopelessness lying underneath each specific word choices. God... How lonely must he be during all these time? What the fuck happened? Did everyone else quit?

[ "I am not asking you guys to play this game again with me. " ] , [ " Please come back one last time. " ] Those were his words. There were two things that he could interpret, just by a single glance over the context of these two sentences.

One: All these time, though he wasn't really sure how long, Momonga have been playing constantly all by himself. Because he was the one who have composed the email, plus, he said 'again' and 'with me'. Two very specific word choices that many would have overlooked and ignore its significance.

Two: Most if not all that remained had quitted. For a long time too. This email was sent to... let's see... only eighteen other people. He recognized all the names. A majority of the guild had quitted a year or two before he did. And the names on the list were all those who have remained behind for a little bit longer. He wasn't sure who else left and when, but he had a strong suspicion that they didn't remain long after he quitted, either.

'One last time'. That was self-explanatory, wasn't it?

His sadness then slowly began to be replaced by incredulous anger. How dare they?! How dare they just got up and leave?! Did their teamwork and efforts all those years meant nothing to any of them? All those fun times, all those hard work are just going to be tossed away like that? Did any of them value their friendship, did it even meant anything to them?

He was fuming, face slowly becoming beet red with anger.

He was angry at all of them, but mostly, himself.

His rhetorical questions are directed at none other. Not his teammates, not his weak-willed brethren that had given up long ago. But himself.

He felt a sense of bitterness crawling up his spine. He had betrayed his friend, betray all those fond memories that they have created, betrayed what their guild stands for. And yet, here they are. With Momonga's bittersweet email, asking his comrade to see him one last time. He still treasures them and trusts them? Even after this... blasphemy?

Momonga was clever. The email had to entail many things that might not be fully understood unless one truly analyzes it. Some might have seen the deeper meaning underneath, and some might have not. There might be no other deeper meaning at all, and it was fully up to their own interpretation. But there was something else that lies underneath the sorrows and hopelessness that he have seen.

Hope.

He knew that Momonga would not blame any of them for leaving. In fact, Momonga was the most understanding and logical person that he had ever met. The undead player would probably even suggest that they take a break due to how 'stressful' and 'exhausting' their working life must be. And it was true, that things haven't been going easy for him lately...

And that was why it hurts more. The fact that Momonga was so compassionate and understanding. He felt ashamed, of how dedicated, faithful, and loyal their guild leader was. After all these times, Momonga still had hope that they would meet him for one last escapade; to go on one last adventure or just simply having one last gathering. He had faith in his friends. This email was the embodiment of that small hope that they would return to him. Because if he had lost that hope, he would not send them an email at all.

A decision has been made.

If their guild leader still trusts incompetent and unfaithful bastards like him, the least he could do now is to return that faith. He will not let his friend's trust goes in vain.

As he snapped out of his own self-pity and sulk, he stood up and began his stride to the forgotten gaming station. To think that this dark corner used to be his most visited place in his small house...

Ulbert Alain Odle. The World Disaster class character. He smirked as he began to plug in the power cable, starting up the system's console. Yes... that's right. He was the strongest magic caster in their whole entire guild. Though he wasn't without weakness, of course. But his comrade's support made up for that.

His finger twitches as he begins to remember the excitement and anticipation of playing the game. The many things that they have done, the many players they have destroyed, the many dungeons that were completely ransacked by them... The memories, it was as vivid as the starry sky made by Blue Planet on their sixth floor now. And he gave out a small laugh as he then put on his headgear.

The interface started up. First, the military time clock appeared and was displayed near the bottom right corner, accompanied with some other functional icons. Then, it was followed by the array of games that he had in his storage data space lining up one by one at the center of the screen. Before clicking the familiar Yggdrasil icon, he took a glance at the digital clock. Friday 16th of September, 2138...

Oh, fuck...

It's already fucking 23:36:59?!

He didn't have much time left at all! These are the few instances that he truly wished he had read his emails earlier. Hopefully, the system kept itself updated... Because god forbid if he has to go through those seemingly endless patch updates on this particular day.

His prayers have been answered! Upon clicking the Yggdrasil icon, the screen immediately goes black as the game began to start itself up. After a few seconds, the iconic Yggdrasil logo materialized in front of his eyes, accompanied by its starting theme music. How nostalgic...

Then the text boxes appeared, asking for his username and password.

After entering the required fields, another text box popped up with the headline ' New: User Terms and Agreement '. Annoyed, he quickly skipped all the way to the bottom and pressed the 'accept' button. A 'ding' sound effect went off upon clicking that, and the screen went black again as it then initialized the character interface.

Ah... There he is.

He looked god-damned good, he has to admit that.

"It's been so long, my pride and treasure..." He said, to none other but himself as he stared at his creation. All of his god-level gears were still equipped, and he still looks exactly the same. The only words that appeared in his mind that he can use to describe his character upon seeing this memento of the past was: Devilishly Charming and Handsome; well, to his own personal standards anyway.

Ah... so nostalgic. I miss this.

But he didn't have much time left. So he waved his own sentiments away and quickly selected his character Ulbert Alain Odle with the ' Confirm ' button.

Before he was met with the black screen that was supposed to take him to the location select, he saw a small text at the upper right corner, just underneath the character name.

[ Last login: Two years, fifteen days, seventeen hours and twenty-five minutes ago. ]

Damn... So it really has been that long, huh? He was then greeted with the spawn point location select screen.

[ Please Select Your Desired Spawn Location ]

[ World Maps ] [ _ Find Location ] [ Last Visited ] [ Guild Base ] [ Frequently Visited ] [ Bookmark ] [ ... ]

Usually, the [ Guild Base ] option would be inaccessible to those who did not enroll themselves in a guild, or those who were in a guild, but do not have a base. A sense of gladness and relief fills him as their base did not disappear, just like Momonga had said. He did not hesitate to punch in the [ Guild Base ] button as complete darkness enveloped his body.

The feeling when you become your character is... hard to describe. You would feel this... tug, like something was pulling and clutching at you, trying to claw something out of your body. Then there was a moment of lost, it was as if your body is gone, you feel like something ethereal. If one were to put it into words, they would probably say that it felt like you had become a ghost, or that you are now some sort of conscious soul / spirit. You were just... there, floating in one place; again, it is a hard feeling to describe. Then you felt a strong push, like how one individual would shove or push another in order to catch his or her subway that is about to depart in thirty seconds. After that, darkness comes once again.

He felt... power.

An ancient arcane knowledge and wisdom surged through his body as he could feel his own hands closing and moving experimentally. His visage was one of elegance and grace, his body were decorated with beautiful colors of crimson and gold, and magical items adorned his body from head to toe, giving him an aura of majesty and mystery. He holds the power of destruction within his grasps. He can feel it flowing through his fingertips, itching for release.

He sees himself materializing, and his frame twitched slightly in anticipation and nervousness.

How would Momonga react? Would he be sad? Mad? Angry? Would he be happy to see him? Is anyone else going to be there? More questions began to pop into his head as his vision was starting to clear up. As the screen around him began to uncover an array of colors, he became even more nervous. The closer he was to meeting his good old friend, the twitchier he become. He took in a deep breath and slowly let it out. It didn't do much to calm him down, but it did stop his voice from sounding shaky.

[ Welcome back to Yggdrasil! ]

The system message text appeared on the top of his screen.

There it is... Ok. Am I ready...? Yes, yes I am. Alright, then, here it comes...

The sight of the dark corridor greeted him. And he shivers as the silent hall eerily familiar visage entered his vision.

The sense of touch was limited here, meaning you can't really have the full sensation of touching and feeling something. Aspects such as weather and temperature are effective and optimized, though. For example, if one entered a snowy environment, depending on your character's race and equipment, you will feel cold; also, the character's specific race will have a major influence on the different effects that will occur to them. In a lot of cases, one might take a penalty and some negative status effects from the environment; if a player has a character with the reptilian races, they would have an extremely difficult time coping with the cold.

However, in this case, it was not coldness that had made him shiver. Since their guild was build to adjust the temperature to everyone's preference and personal conditions.

It was how different it appeared now, despite the fact that nothing has changed about it.

The hall was unusually quiet and eery. It felt as if he was intruding and disturbing its silence by simply being there within its halls. Before, it was a welcoming sight, the place that serves as a boundary between reality and fantasy. When they stepped through that doorway at the end of this path, they will leave behind their real life and its burdens as they begin their other life; a life with fun and excitement, a life with friends and endless adventures and opportunities.

Now, he felt like he was an outsider. It appears as if even the walls were judging and sneering at him, at this stranger that dared disturb this sacred place. He gulps silently and looked around.

It appears that he was the only one in this hall.

Perhaps others have met up with Momonga, and are waiting for him through that door? He wonders if anyone else has come. If any of them did, wonderful. This is why they are part of Ainz Ooal Gown, for unity and support were what their guild was all about. And if not a single one showed up, he will seriously need to reconsider if they have been their friends at all.

Ding! Went the system user online and offline notification alert. Texts then simultaneously appeared on his screen as his eyes widen.

User [ Herohero ] is offline.

Ah? So somebody did come. It was Herohero too! But... why did he leave? Did something happen?

User [ Momonga ] is online.

His heart began to thump loudly, his anxiousness and nervousness came back to him in full waves as he fixed his collar and tie. Clearing his throat, he then began his walk to the meeting room.

Was my footstep usually this loud...? What the fuck, why is it so fucking loud?! Is it because of my shoes? Do I even look presentable enough? Am I the last one? It's strange that Momonga is the only one here, aside from Herohero, of course. Did everyone else leave? Why would they do that, though?

"Today's the last day of the game, I know you're tired, but we'll never have a chance like this again, why don't we stay together until the end—"

Ulbert stopped in his tracks. It was Momonga. The voice of his friend were like music to his ears, it has been so long, after all. He missed him, truly. Did he know that Ulbert was here? Maybe. But that sentence seems to be directed at someone else... Herohero just left, so perhaps...?

He sounds well, aside from the fact that he also sounds extremely lonely and hesitant.

Momonga... Ulbert frowns with sadness upon hearing his friend's sigh, and his face contorted with irritation at Herohero. He didn't know what happened before, but apparently, the slime player had log out due to his physical conditions. Sure, Ulbert sympathized with him and, understands more than anyone, the reason why he must leave. But is it too much to ask just for a little bit more time?

"Let's meet up again somewhere… huh."

Momonga...? He was talking to himself... Were Momonga not aware of the system notifications? Apparently, he didn't know that Ulbert had logged on. What... happened earlier? What was—

"When and where exactly are we going to meet, huh?!"

Ulbert could not believe what he was hearing, what his friend's train of thought will eventually lead to. Momonga's inner feelings were coming out onto the surface. And he could tell that Momonga was mad from how shaky his voice was.

Slam!

He jumped at the sudden sound of something hitting the table.

"—Don't fuck with me!" Momonga roared, voice filled with rage and bitterness.

Ulbert was speechless.

Momonga has always been the level-headed one out of the group and an excellent leader, making sure everything was good and in proper order. The skeleton overlord did always have a keen and insightful mind. He wasn't as efficient as Punitto Moe when it comes to battle strategizing, but in other matters, Momonga is always ahead with his logical and cunning way of thinking. He never panics when they are in an unknown situation, rather, he would converse with his teammates calmly to keep control of the situation and to keep his teammates from panicking.

And now...

Now, all of his bottled up emotions are spilling out, like a dam has been broken inside of him. Nobody has ever witnessed Momonga losing his friendly and calm demeanor before. It felt very... personal. He shouldn't be standing here, listening to his friend's true feelings and thoughts. He wasn't here for him all this time, so who was he to intrude—

No. What Momonga needs right now is a shoulder to lean on. He shouldn't be left alone. At all. Right now, what he need is a friend.

A real friend.

He didn't have the right to call himself a 'real' friend, either; he was no better than those that have abandoned their beloved guild master. However, he would like to try to be Momonga's real friend. That is the least he could do right now. But... how should he approach this situation? Come in, say an awkward hello, and then console him? No, that wouldn't work... Come in, announce his presence, and pretend that he didn't hear anything? What would be the best way to handle this?

What the hell am I supposed to do? I'm never in a situation like this before... This isn't like one of those roleplay thing where I could just charm my way into—

But it is, isn't it?

Yggdrasil is a roleplaying game, after all. He, Momonga, and all their other friends had each adopted their own in game persona and personality. Ulbert was the embodiment of evil; with a red, black, and gold outfit theme of choice, accompany by a charming and cunning personality, plus: a cape. Though his friends find his antics irritating at times, it was fun as hell, they gotta admit. Especially more satisfying and enjoyable when they crush their opponents as an 'evil' faction.

Perhaps if I act like the persona I created for my character, this would be easier. Alright then... Now... what would Ulbert do? He asked himself, hand stroking his 'beard' as he resumes his walk to the meeting chamber.

I would be as casual as I can. Not without warmth and friendliness, though. Momonga is my closest friend, after all. No need for unnecessary formality. Although, I might need to be careful about how I should address him. He is, and still are, our leader. I cannot afford to upset him if I messed up somehow...

Ah... Momonga, I do hope you still consider us friends, my dear. You are just beyond that door. Our meeting are so close yet so far away! How exciting yet terrifying! Mwahaha!


A/N: That's it, chapter 1! I created this in fanfiction, and many other chapters are out! I just wanted to put this here :> Thanks for reading