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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

Chapter Text

A/N: Oh my god! I didn't think that there would be so much support for this fic! Well, then, I hope that I do not disappoint :D

Disclaimer, blah blah blah, I don't own Overlord -w- Cover Image not mine unless stated!

To answer one of my reviewer's question:

The romance stuff is not significant, really. I'll occasionally add Albedo and Momonga stuff since: Yes, it's hilarious indeed so why not lmao. And as for Momonga and his friend(s) [ the s is intentional :^) ], I intend to do some serious character building towards their 'romances'. But then again, the romance is added for keepsakes and is a subplot :P Momonga's flaws will come into play once he is in the New World, you'll see. The reason why I love him so much is because he acknowledges his flaws and tries to improve himself despite his overlord-ness personality conflicting with his human one! Thanks for reviewing!

Forgive if grammar is somewhat incorrect, I published this in a hurry but I will make sure to update this chapter's grammar for a more precise read! Please leave a comment if you enjoy this! Now proceed!

Also, at a certain moment of this chapter, you might want to pull up the Overlord - Ruler of Death OST on youtube: watch?v=rm5yKO8VDwQ . I'll tell you when you should open it :D

EDIT: I have edited a few things!


Chapter 2: One, Two, Three! My Friends Are With Me!


Momonga's shoulder trembled as his anger quickly consume him.

Let's meet up again somewhere.

See you again.

I'll see you soon.

Catch ya later.

See you tomorrow.

He had heard these words several times before, but they had never come true.

Nobody had ever returned to YGGDRASIL.

Momonga's shoulders shook violently, and the words he could no longer hold back exploded forth.

"Don't fuck with me!"

He pounded the table as he shouted.

The YGGDRASIL system registered this action as an attack, and began the complex calculations of Momonga's barehanded attack strength against the table's defensive strength to determine the final total of damage inflicted. In the end, the area Momonga had struck emitted a simple [0].

"This is the Great Tomb of Nazarick that we built together! How could you abandon it just like that?!"

There was no reply to his queries spoken with rage. Moments of silence passed by as the only other sound in the room was Momonga's ragged breathing.

"..."

"..."

"..." He sighs. That's not how it is.

He was just being irrational right now. It felt... oppressing. All these years, with all of this emotion bottling up, eventually somehow, someplace, it was going to erupt like one of Japan's volcano. And today, in a moment of weakness...

After he shouted the words in his heart, the only thing left in there was emptiness.

"...No, that's not right. They didn't abandon it lightly, they simply made the choice between reality and fantasy. It couldn't be helped. Nobody would betray the guild. Everyone who made that decision must have found it painful…" He muttered. Of course, Momonga was only trying to convince himself of his own statements. And he let out a sigh of defeat as he then stood up... He was contemplating on what he should do now. Should he continue to wait for his other teammates? Since a few showed up already, perhaps others might too. But after letting all of his feelings out, he just wasn't so sure anymore.

"Oh, my. Painful? Did someone hurt you? Dear friend?"

Was that Ulbert's voice? Momonga's head perked up for a moment before shaking his head and looking down again.

Wow.

He was so lonely that his brain is starting to make up voices inside his head. Could fate be any crueler to him?

"Nice. Now i'm hearing Ulbert's voice..." He got everything down perfectly too, even the gentle, little tone of delight that Ulbert would apply to the word 'dear' when he speaks.

"Ah? You hear correct! 'Tis I!" Ulbert's voice replied to the skeleton's statement that was purely rhetorical and was not directed at anyone. "Your friend! Ulbert Alain Odle!"

Momonga grumbled as the voice would not leave him alone. Clutching his head in his hands, he gritted his teeth together and attempted to stop the voice from communicating to him, despite knowing that he didn't even have ears nor eardrums, and his effort will be for naught since the voice was coming from inside of his head.

"Agh... Stop... messing around with me... Don't use his voice to torment me!" Momonga hissed.

Ulbert's paused as his inner self hesitated with this approach. At that moment, the urge to drop to his knees so that he can beg his friend for forgiveness intensified greatly. But guilt would do him no good here.

The charming but wicked demon will continue his pursuit.

"Voice? Now now, my dear. I—" Ulbert's voice was... closer now. How...?! Conjured up voices shouldn't sound like they came from a distance?! Momonga looked up once again and look frantically from right to left to identify the source of which the voice was coming from. He could have sworn that it came from the direction of the entrance way. But no one else was around saves for himself... so it must be his imagination... right?

"—am no mere voice." The sound was now directly behind him. Momonga stumbled out of his chair as fast as he could and turned around. He let out a shocked gasp and took a step back. His posture was stunned, with one of his arm seemingly placed near his face, as if he was about to cover his mouth due to the shock.

"I love tormenting others, yes. But never you, my dear friend."

"U-Ulbert!" The skeleton exclaimed without even trying to contain the surprise in his voice. "You... you are here!" Ulbert has a sheepish, smiling emoticon floating above his head as he then dipped a bow, taking his hat off with his left hand. He then placed that arm behind him as his right arm positioned itself at the center of his abdomen. After finishing his gesture, he put his hat back on his head and slowly approached Momonga. When the demon was only an arm's length away from the skeleton, he stopped.

Ulbert chuckled, with his velvety soft and charming voice as he then took Momonga's hand that were frozen in his stunned state.

Momonga simply stared, wondering what Ulbert was up to. He tilted his head to the right a little. If expressions were programmed into the game, and if Momonga had eyelids, he would have blinked twice in curiosity. And though they didn't have character facial expression, Momonga could tell that Ulbert was either smirking or grinning.

And if he did have eyelids or a way to convey facial emotions, Momonga's eyes would have popped out of his head as Ulbert, with his gloved hands, brought Momonga's bony ones up to his snout and placed a gentle kiss upon his knuckles.

"Hello, Momonga."

If it wasn't for the half-mask that covered the other side of Ulbert's face, and the fact that they cannot convey facial expressions , Momonga could have sworn that the demon was winking at him. Momonga was speechless, unable to utter a word. He was having a hard time believing his eyes that Ulbert, in the flesh, is standing right in front of him. Was this a trick of the mind or reality?

He was exactly the same from when Momonga last saw him. Nothing had changed except for the fact that the demon was really here, and not just some images conjured up by his lonely brain. The sense of touch was limited, but the gentle hold on his hand and the small kiss of a greeting token were definitely real.

Upon not receiving a reaction out of the guild master, Ulbert interprets it as a negative sign and began to withdraw his hold on the other's hand. He was frowning deeply, but of course, the skeleton could not see that. The second he releases his grip, Momonga reaches out and grabbed the hand that was holding his own just a few seconds ago. Ulbert blinked, surprised at his friend's sudden response. Then, much to his surprise, Momonga tighten his hold and drew him into an embrace.

"Mo... Momonga?"

"I'm so glad to see you again..." Murmured the skeleton in a soft voice. A tone of relief was clearly evident as he drew Ulbert even closer, deepening their embrace. Ulbert was, once again, shocked. He came in, fully prepared for any confrontational situations. He was prepared for the guild leader's wrath. For the frustration, the anger, the disdain, the resentment, the sorrows, the hatred. But he received none of that.

Instead, he was responded by a strong embrace, with his friend's skull situating at the side of his neck and his arms weaving itself around Ulbert's waist.

Well, he was certainly not prepared for this.

Compared to all of the outbursts of his friend earlier, this was a completely different Momonga. It was as if his presence alone had completely push back or even erase most—if not all—the negative thoughts that clouded his friend's mind.

After recovering from his state of shock, Ulbert had a smile behind his character's expressionless face as he then moved his arms to return the hug and closed his eyes. He felt true warmth and acceptance from the embrace, even though Momonga was a skeleton that gave out no body heat. It might seem out of character for him, but it was not. Bad guys are allowed feelings too. Plus, seeing this side of his friend brought out his soft heart. Maybe he doesn't need Ulbert's facade, after all...

Ulbert's appearance was an iconic western world's depiction of 'Satan', the supreme demon that has sovereignty over all other demons in Christianity. In other words, he is a demon that resembled a goat, with sinister looking horns and eyes. Goats weren't generally scary, mind you. But due to him being a demon, the effects that his equipment has on him, and his garment choices in general, Ulbert appeared as frighteningly wicked-looking in the eyes of players that have a weak heart.

Momonga was a skeleton. No words needed. He is naturally inhumane and ghastly looking just being himself. And when equipped with his god level items, Momonga has an eerie resemblance to the reaper of death.

Both are frighteningly scary people, and both are in each other's arms, embracing one another.

An odd sight for strangers, perhaps. But this was nothing uncommon in their guild. Hugs were a sign that shows trust and connection between friends, so most of their guild mates would sometimes have a random group hug session out of nowhere; it was fun, despite the randomness and slight awkwardness here and there. Plus, who doesn't like hugs?

Once upon a time, these events weren't so rare.

Ding!

Ulbert's mind did not register the sound.

It felt strange to be in Momonga's bony but powerful embrace again. Not because it was unpleasant, no. In fact, they could hug for the remaining time that they have together and he wouldn't mind at all. The main reason why he was feeling that way was the guilt that lies at the pit of his stomach. The skeleton seemed so vulnerable like this. Perhaps even the slightest breeze would cause this powerful individual to crumble.

Ding!

Ulbert felt unworthy and undeserving of the immense trust that is being placed in him.

Ding!

He himself used to confide in Momonga. And he still does. They have so many things in common, and the other would always be a reliable shoulder for him to lean on since he was someone who can empathize and understands him. In exchange for all the kindness, their guild leader would always have his utmost support and trust, even with that failed prototype of his...

Ding! Ding! Ding...

He hasn't done anything to repay that kindness yet, and he has already disappointed his friend by having such a long period of absence.

"I'm so glad you're here, Ulbert." Momonga's voice interrupted his thoughts and he blinked as if snapped out of a trance. His hand that is placed at the skeleton's back moved to pat him a few times in a comforting gesture. Momonga seems to like that, as he relaxes in his hold. If Ulbert had a facial expression, it would be a small grin with a hint of sadness in his golden eyes.

"I'm here, Momonga. Don't worry." He replied with a genuine, soft, voice. Perhaps there was no need to use his alter persona, it seems. Ulbert thought as he dropped the charismatic and suave guy act.

Momonga then stepped away, releasing him from the embrace. The demon frowned at the loss of contact for a moment before wondering what his friend is up to now.

"When did you arrive?! How long have you been here?!" Momonga then said with vivid excitement. "How was everything? I hope you've been well! Did you know that Herohero was her—" And once again, the demon was surprised at how quick his friend's attitude had changed in just a snap of a finger. Perhaps after the skeleton overlord has vented all of his own feelings out, his mind is clear off of troublesome thoughts and he could now solely focus on Ulbert...? "—And he was so tired—."

"—I just got here, actually." Ulbert chuckled as he interrupted Momonga's little rambling. "Yeah, I saw Herohero...'s logout status. Too bad he didn't stay. Would have liked to see him." He sighed. "Did something happened? You said something about pain and whatnot. Did someone or something hurt you? Shall we take care of them?" Obviously, Ulbert knew the reason. But he was completely serious with his response.

"A-Ah, no. Nothing like that. Thank you, Ulbert. And yes, Herohero came for a little bit. But then he has to leave so that he can sleep. He sounded really fatigued, so I understand."

"Sleep is for the weeeak." Ulbert groaned dramatically, drawing out an actual, full blown laughter from the skeleton overlord. Though, in his head, the sentence held a little hint of malice in them that is not intended for the undead...

"Pfft. Hahaha! Then that means I am the Overlord of no-sleep land! The strongest person in the world!" Momonga exclaimed with hysterical laughter.

Ulbert snickered at him in amusement. There he was, the Momonga that they all knew and love! Though he can't help but notice the context of that statement and how it sounded to him...

"So, how have you been? It's been so long since the last time that I was around. Everything is still intact I see! Thanks to you!" Ulbert said with a nostalgic and appreciative voice. For emphasis, he looked around the room and stared up at the ceiling, admiring the grand decor. Their friends were always keen with the designs, making sure that even the smallest detail would be up to perfection.

"Eheheh, you flatter me, Ulbert." Momonga said sheepishly, hand moving behind his head in a flattered manner. "It's not as fun without you guys. But as I mentioned in the email, life has been going well enough. As for Yggdrasil, somehow, I managed the guild pretty decently! Well... at least I think so. Hehe. For the most part, everything around here should be in pretty good shape."

"That's our guild leader! You're simply divine, Momonga. If you ask me, I'd say you did a really good job."

"T-thanks, Ulbert."

"No need for that, just speaking the truth."

"Awww. Thank you!"

"What were you doing up until now? Momonga? I can't possibly imagine you just sitting here, waiting for us?" Herohero showed up and all that, but he didn't know what could have happened before.

"U-um... Well..." Oh dear.

"Y-you can't be serious? Momongaaaaa!" Ulbert said exasperatedly as if a dad was about to scold his son for taking a potty in the girl's bathroom.

"I-I-I was excited, ok? B-but it's not like I was waiting the entire time I was here, th-though. I took a walk around the building before that, so I can remember everything, you know? It's the place where we all forged our friendships, after all. I want to remember every single thing that belongs here." Momonga said in a wistful voice.

The demon nodded, understanding where his friend was coming from. It's one of the other reasons why Ulbert had come back, too. Seeing Momonga was the first priority, but taking one last stroll around the building was second. Though, with the little time that they have left, Ulbert doubted that they could tour the whole place.

"Say... Momonga..."

"Yeah?"

"You know what I have in mind right now?" Ulbert said, his gaze were directed at the hovering guild weapon being displayed on the wall. It stood there majestically like a thousand years old relic. That description, though, was actually more accurate than anything. Despite it being the guild weapon that is on par with any world level item, it has never seen use, not even once. And Ulbert has an idea in mind when he settled his gaze back onto Momonga.

"What is it?" Now it was the time for Momonga to get curious.

"Look at it, our guild weapon." The demon said. "Beautiful thing, isn't it?"

Momonga trailed his eyes—or eye-holes—up to the said artifact as he sighed in appreciation. "Yeah, it is... What do you have in mind? Ulbert?"

"The strongest guild item that we all built together... It's a damn shame that it never left its position. It's the last day, isn't it? Guild leader, let's use it."

"EHHHHH?! W-we can't do that! I-it's not... not right for it to leave that spot...!" The skeleton couldn't believe his ears at such an unbelievable suggestion.

"'We' aren't going to use it, old friend. You are."

"W-wh-what?!" Momonga was baffled. Though the weapon was designed specifically for him, the guild leader, he has never once laid a hand on it. That was because there was nothing else which represented the guild quite like this. It didn't just belong to him, it belonged to his friends of Ainz Ooal Gown as well. Additionally, guild weapons were typically kept hidden away in safe places and not used for their tremendous powers because a guild would be disbanded if its associated guild weapon was destroyed. Even Ainz Ooal Gown, a guild which existed at the peak of YGGDRASIL, was no exception to this. Was Ulbert really serious when suggesting this crazy idea?

"Ulbert! The weapon doesn't belong to me, it belonged to all of us! I can't just use it—."

"—In our guild, decisions has been and always will be decided based on a majority vote, right?" Ulbert interrupted. Momonga looked hesitant for a moment before nodding. "Well then! I cast my vote on letting you use our guild weapon! Aaaaany objections?" For emphasis, Ulbert looked around the room with his arms spreading wide open. Momonga sighed out in defeat. "Aaaaaand there are no objections I take it?! Good! It is decided then, isn't it?" The demon snickers as his friends resigned himself to the idea with a shake of his head.

"It appears that there are no objections..."

A chuckle escaped Ulbert as he crossed his arms in front of his chest, smirking triumphantly. At these moments, he truly wished facial expressions were a thing. Because Momonga would definitely groan at his wiggling eyebrows face that he was making right now.

"Fine... Are you s-sure you have no problem with this...?"

"Of course I don't! Today is our last day, Momonga. Let's take advantage of this and have as much fun as we possibly can!" Momonga seems to relax at that, and Ulbert went behind Momonga as he then took the skeleton's shoulder into his hands and push him towards where the guild weapon was. "And besides, you are our guild leader. As our leader, you should at least take advantage of your privileges at least once, right? So here, guild leader."

"Yeah... You're right... " When Momonga stood directly in front of the majestic artifact, a new resolve entered him as he then brings his head up to look at the golden staff. "Ok then! Come, the testament of our guild!" Said Momonga as he reaches his hand out to grasp the weapon. The moment his fingers closed itself around the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown, it radiated a nimbus of reddish-black light. Tormented faces occasionally coalesced out of the roiling light, and then they crumbled and vanished again. They looked so realistic one could almost imagine them wailing in agony.

"Wow... I think that our friends might have gone overboard with the details..." The skeleton mumbled.

"You look great, O' mighty and noble guild leader," Ulbert said, sounding pleased as he bowed his head to the overlord.

"T-thank you, Ulbert... It still feels weird with me holding this... But you're right. It's the last day, so what the heck." Momonga chuckled, moving the staff back and forth a little. "Care to walk with me? Ulbert?"

"Your wish is my command, guild leader," Ulbert said, teasing the other with his position title as he exaggerates his bow even further.

"Awww, come on now..." Momonga replied, feeling flustered at his friend's teasing words.


Meanwhile...


"What is this place..."

"WHERE THE FUCK AM I?!"

"Huh?"

"Whoa! I didn't know somebody else was here."

"...Wait. Peroroncino...?"

"Tabula?! That you? TABULA! Long time no see!"

"Nice to meet you, Peroroncino. Forgive me, though, for we can't have a more proper rendezvous at the moment..."

"Yeah, I know. That's fine. I got here in a hurry too."

"It appears that we... spawned in the same place. What are you doing here?"

"I don't know... But where the fuck are we?! This isn't Nazarick!"

"Did you happen to select 'Last Visited' in the location select box as well...?"

"Huh? Yeah! How did you know? Momonga sent that email so suddenly, I just have to come no matter what! I even contained myself from playing that new H-game that I just got... I assumed that I was in the guild base when I logged off last time so I just went ahead and select that instead because I was in a hurry!"

"Yes, correct. I assume the same thing. And here we are... What a mess."

"Oh fuc—. I remember now, the last time that we were here, everyone who remained in the game had come together to do a material collecting conquest! We were here the last time that we went online, Tabula!"

"That... makes a lot more sense."

"Ugh... Should have just select 'Guild Base' instead... We can't be here wasting time. Let's go, Tabula. We can't afford to miss this!"

"Yes. I agree. Let's go, then. Before the time runs out."


"These NPCs' were placed here in case someone made it to the ninth floor, right?" Ulbert said as he inspected the array of NPCs dressed in maid uniforms. Though, at the end, there was a male NPC, dressed in expensive butler garments. If his memory were correct, this guy was programmed to be the overseer of the combat maids.

"That's right. But as we all know, that is impossible."

"Ahaha, yes. I remember. Should we move them around one last time? Momonga?"

"Yeah, that's a good idea. Master Source, Open."

"Ah, it's Touch Me's Sebas Tian. Wow... the resemblance is uncanny..." It was the exact replica of the man in real life, actually... He wasn't sure whether he thought that it was either extremely cool or unsettling...

After a brief check up on the butler's information, the skeleton, with a waved of his hand, closed down the information menu as he then turned to the array of NPCs. "The command was... 'Follow', right?" At Momonga's specified command, the NPCs begin to line up after one another and they all were turned at the direction of the skeleton. Then they bowed their heads in acknowledgment as they wait for Momonga to lead the way. After stating his command and destination, the group began to move. "Let's go to the throne room, yeah?"

"As you wish, milord."

"Ulbert! Stop doing that!"

"Pfft, hahaha. Sorry, it's waaaay to much fun to stop."

Momonga pouted—or at least he was in person—at his friend's constant teasing. Ah. He was thinking that if Ulbert hadn't left by his own volition, Momonga would probably make him leave himself...

Of course, he didn't mean it in a literal way... It was actually pretty endearing. Opening up the emoticon menu, Momonga proceeds to select the pouting face emoticon.

"Alright, alright. Sorry, Momonga. I'll stop if you want me to~ Buuuuut you love me, right? So of course you wouldn't want me to stop~!"

"Riiiiiiiiiight." The skeleton said, drawing the word out with sarcasm. If Momonga had eyes, he'd roll it so hard that he'd see his own brain. There was a smile on his face, though. Even if one can't see it. "I'd sell you to Satan for a corn chip." Said the undead with a fake, dead serious tone. Ulbert then gasped dramatically and clutched a hand to his heart, pretending to be hurt. Momonga snorted at his friend's dramatic act.

"Gah! My heart! Geez, Momonga. You got meaner over the years, huh? Who would've thought that our little Momo would finally grow up!" As said undead shook his head exasperatedly, Ulbert snickers and elbowed Momonga playfully in the rib. "Jokes on you, I'm Satan's grandfather."

"Bwahaha!" Momonga couldn't help but laugh at that, and the two of them ended up laughing all the way to the throne room.

On the way, they sometimes encountered some maid NPCs who would bow to them, as their programming set them to do. Instinctively, they raise their hands in acknowledgment.

"Their uniforms are so detailed! Hmmm. Wasn't Whitebrim the guy who was in charge of designing all the maid's clothing?" Asked Ulbert as they halt their advances in front of one of the maid NPCs that have stopped to bow her head to them.

She was a sensual beauty, whose lush, golden hair grazed her shoulders. The woman was dressed in a long, elegant maid's outfit, with a large apron. She was roughly 170 cm tall, with a slender build. Her ample bosom looked like it would burst out of her bodice at any time. Her overall appearance was attractive and gave the impression of being graceful and kind. Aside from her obvious beauty, the details of her uniform was a sight to behold as well. The intricacy of the design, especially the fine embroidery that speckled her apron, was enough to make people gasp in awe.

"Yup, that's him. 'Maid uniforms are justice!' he said. Come to think of it, I think the manga he's drawing now has a maid as the heroine." Their design had been exceptionally detailed because of the declaration, 'Maid uniforms are their secret weapons!' Momonga couldn't help but feel nostalgic as he remembered the complaints from the other guild members who had helped with the design.

Also, the maids' AI routines had been programmed by Herohero himself and five others. This maid was the personification of his past friends' hard work and dedication... Momonga paused for a moment before speaking directly to her.

"Thanks for all your hard work." It might have been strange, speaking to an NPC, since he obviously knows that there will be no reply to his statement. But today was the last day of Yggdrasil, and he felt that it has to be said at some point.

"...Thank you." Ulbert said also. Tipping his hat slightly to the beautiful maid as the two of them then slipped past her, continuing on their way to the throne room.

"Hah... Sorry Ulbert. I made everything sounds depressing again, didn't I?" Momonga sighed as his shoulders slumped down in slight defeat. Way to go to ruin a nice mood...

Ulbert frowns at his friend's words as he then placed a reassuring hand on the undead's shoulder. "Not at all. It's more sappy than anything... really." He joked, hoping to lighten his friend's mood up.

Momonga chuckled weakly as he then waved his thoughts away. "I hope that it's ok for me to lead them around like this, though..." The skeleton said when he turned around and his eyes landed on the group of combat maids once again. Ainz Ooal Gown was a guild that respected the will of the majority. It was forbidden for an individual to selfishly manipulate the NPCs that everyone had made together.

"I have no problem with it. They're weren't supposed to be leaving their spots, but nobody every made it that far. So these guys were left in that position for quite a while. Right?" Momonga nodded. "I think that everyone will let us indulge ourselves, just for today, at least. They'll understand."

Eventually, the group arrived at a vast hemispherical dome-shaped hall. Four-colored crystal lamps glittered from the ceiling, and there were 72 niches in the walls. Most of them were filled with statues.

Each statue was modeled after a demon's appearance, and there were 67 of them.

This room was called "The Lemegeton". It was named after the Lesser Key of Solomon, which was a magical grimoire.

The statues in the niches were designed to resemble the 72 demons mentioned in that book, and in truth, they were golems, made out of extremely rare magical alloys. There should have been 72 of them, but there were only 67 because their creator got bored of the project and quit halfway.

The four-colored crystal lamps on the ceiling were a type of monster, and the moment an enemy entered their range, they would summon high-ranking elementals of earth, water, wind, and fire, in addition to bombarding them with area-of-effect attack magic.

If these crystal lamps all attacked at once, the firepower they unleashed could easily defeat two parties of level 100 players, which would be roughly 12 people.

This room could be said to be the final defensive line of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick.

The group then finally arrived at the entrance. Momonga stopped and laid his eyes at the set of giant doors.

The majestic set of double doors were over five meters in height and covered in intricate carvings. The left side was shaped into a beautiful goddess, while the right was made to resemble a cruel demon. So realistic was their design that even from across the room, Momonga felt like they would attack him.

The atmosphere was oddly quiet, despite the banter that the two players just had a few seconds ago. In fact, no one had spoken a word since they have arrived at the door that separated them from the throne room. Not because anything was wrong, no. While Momonga was busy observing the carvings on the door, Ulbert was occupied by nostalgia as the sight in front of him stirs up something from the past.

"Since they made it all the way here, we should gather in glory and welcome these brave heroes. Let others slander us as they will, but we shall welcome them proudly and openly, like the magnanimous lords that we are."

"Ulbert..." Momonga sighed, causing Ulbert to snap out of his trance.

"Hmmm?"

"Ah, nothing... I was just thinking about something you once said..."

"Are you having the same thoughts as me?" The demon said, feeling amused at the possibility that Momonga also remembered the silly statement that he has suggested to the guild a long time ago.

"What? About how we all should wait in the throne room like 'epic final bosses'? Yeah, I do." Momonga snickered. Ulbert was solely focused on the word 'evil' back then out of everyone in the guild. Some of them, including Momonga himself, thought that Ulbert never got through his adolescence.

"Good times... good times..." He sighs out fondly.

"I wonder if these two statues will attack us..." Even Momonga did not fully grasp the secrets of all the mechanisms in this dungeon. It would not be strange if one of the retired guild members had left a twisted 'parting gift' for him. And the one who had designed this set of doors was definitely the type to do something like this.

In the past, he had designed a very powerful golem. But shortly after activation, a flaw in the combat AI made itself known and it had attacked everyone around it.

To this day, Momonga still had his doubts about whether that 'accident' had been on purpose.

"You know... considering the one who made these golems was Luci Fer, they just might..." Ulbert said with suspicion. Magic began to surge through his hands as if he was anticipating a fight. Just to be safe, he pulled up his abilities shortcut bar and let them sit idly on the screen.

Luci Fer... That guy had always been a troublemaker...

"Hey, Luci. If you attack me today of all days, I'll be seriously angry!" Momonga said. The statement was supposed to be a joke at first, but then Momonga was dead serious and he meant what he had said.

"Here, let me," Ulbert said, offering to open the door himself.

Momonga nodded and took a few steps back to make way for his friend, but also to give him a range advantage in case something do happen.

It was a high risk for Ulbert, considering how low his armor and defense was. But he trusts that Momonga will have his back if a fight broke out. Despite him being more than efficient in firepower, he has a lower magical resistance and defense than the undead player. Though, to compensate for that, his physical defense is higher than that of the skeleton. So it makes more sense for him to go first. But also, because he doesn't want to see Momonga getting hurt any more than he already was...

Damn you, Luci Fer...

Ulbert carefully approaches the door. He placed a hand on it with caution, but his and Momonga's worries had been for nothing; it opened automatically but slowly, with appropriate gravity.

At that instance, the mood changed.

The previous room had already been as tranquil and solemn as a shrine, but the scene here surpassed even that. The new atmosphere exerted a physical pressure; the exquisite workmanship could be felt weighing on one's entire body.

The room was huge—a hundred people could come in and there would still be space left over—and the ceilings were so high. The walls were primarily white with ornamentation done mainly in gold. The magnificent chandeliers that hung from the ceiling were made of jewels in a rainbow of colors and cast a dreamy sparkling light. On the walls, hanging from the ceilings to the floor, were large flags, each with different crest—forty-one in all.

Emblems, to put it in simpler, shorter, terms.

In the center of this room that was tinted gold and silver, there was a flight of stairs about ten steps high. Atop these stairs was a gigantic throne, carved out of a single piece of crystal, whose back was high enough to touch the ceiling above it. A huge red banner hung down behind it, proudly displaying the symbol of the guild.

This was the most important location in the entire Great Tomb of Nazarick, the Throne Room.

"Wow." Both of them said in unison as they marveled at the sight in front of them.

"This... is the perfect place for us to spend the last few minutes of the game at. Don't you think?"

"Yeah..." Ulbert let out a breath he didn't realize that he was holding. It's been so long since he had stepped foot in this place, he had almost forgotten how it feels like to be near the glory and majesty that was the Throne Room. It felt very overwhelming, and after such long period of absence, even more so.

Breathtaking wasn't even close to an accurate description. There just wasn't any good phrase to simply describe it. Mere words would be pale in comparison to the real thing.

"Ah, Ulbert. Look! It's Albedo!"

Ulbert directs his gaze to where Momonga was pointing at.

It was the Throne itself. But since he said a name, he was probably talking about the NPC that stood next to it.

She was a beautiful woman who wore a pure white dress, and the faint smile on her face was that of a goddess. In stark contrast to her dress, her hair was a flowing, lustrous jet-black that reached down to her waist. Although her golden irises and vertically-slitted pupils were somewhat odd, apart from those she could easily be considered a world-class beauty. However, a pair of curled horns sprouted from the sides of her head. In addition, a pair of black-feathered wings emerged from her waist. Perhaps it was because of the horns, but her divine smile seemed like a mask that concealed her true feelings. She wore a golden necklace that was patterned after a spiderweb, which extended from her shoulders down to the tops of her breasts. Her slender wrists were covered in a pair of lustrous silk gloves, and in her hand, she held a strange weapon that looked like a wand of some sort. It was roughly eighteen inches long, and a black orb hovered at its end, floating lightly in the air but holding its position at the end of the wand.

She was Tabula Smaragdina's personal creation.

Of course, Momonga hadn't forgotten her name. How could he? She was Albedo, captain of the Great Tomb of Nazarick's floor guardian. She was the character at the top of the NPC hierarchy in the Great Tomb of Nazarick. Which is why she was permitted to be situated in that innermost room.

"The command was... 'Stand By', right?" The NPCs that were trailing behind him bowed their heads in acknowledgment of the order and took their place, standing at the sides of the path that led to the short flights of stairs. After issuing the order, the attention of the two players returned to the Throne of Kings.

"Huh...?" Ulbert suddenly said, squinting his eyes at the imp character.

Momonga looked at the demon with great curiosity when his friend's words were contained with evident shock. "What's the matter?"

"Hnnn..." Ulbert sounded like he was disturbed and irritated as he advanced towards the throne, with Momonga following right after. When they reached the throne, Ulbert turned around to face their guild leader. "Take a look at this." Said the demon, thumb pointing behind him at Albedo's direction. He was standing with one of his hands positioned at his hip, his posture suggested that he was high-key ticked off and annoyed.

Momonga trailed his eyes to Albedo, the NPC that Ulbert was pointing to, and he gasped as his eyes landed on one particular detail.

It wasn't who Ulbert was pointing to, it was what.

"Ginnungagap," Momoga said incredulously. "I didn't know there was two world item here..."

Precisely because there wasn't. Somebody had moved that there.

"Now, why the hell is it out here? What the fuck?" Once again, Ainz Ooal Gown valued majority rule. It was unacceptable to move the treasure everyone collected together around on one's own. "It's definitely Tabula... Tch. Momonga, shouldn't we put this back where it belonged? Isn't placing this world item here a little bit too risky?"

Momonga stayed silent for a few moments. It is like he said. The skeleton was somewhat offended and felt the same way. But today was the last day... "Hmmm. You know what, it's the last day, anyway. Nobody's attacking us, so it shouldn't really matter, right? And I think that Tabula put it there for a reason!" He then decided to take his guildmate's feelings into account and leave the item where it was.

Ulbert was quiet as he crossed his arms in front of his chest, contemplating if it was either a good idea or not. After a brief moment, he let out a sigh of acceptance as his posture begins to relax. "I guess you're right. No one is getting hurt... but the next time I see him, I'm gonna have some serious talk with the guy." Of course, he was speaking figuratively. The reality of that statement was very far-fetched; they are most like never going to see each other again.

Deciding to put his agitation aside for now, Ulbert turned his attention to Momonga as he then smiled an unseen smile. "Momonga?" He said. His voice was filled with fondness and contentment compared to the malice and agitation that were evident earlier.

"Ye-yes? What is it?" Momonga said, surprised at his friend's change of tone. Did Ulbert have something in mind again? He will probably never know what goes on inside of the demon's head; Ulbert was always an eccentric one, and Momonga could never really figure him out.

The goat demon then took a few steps to get behind Momonga as he then held the skeleton's shoulder, slowly leading him to stand in front of the Throne of Kings.

"Come now. You should be sitting, guild leader. It is inappropriate for the head of the guild to stand while his throne lays idle and empty."


"W-what?! Where is he? D-did we just missed him?" Peroroncino said as he begins to panic.

Tabula Smaragdina and Peroroncino immediately used their teleport scroll to return to their guild base when they have realized that the last location they have visited wasn't the Great Tomb of Nazarick. The instance that they have reached their destination, they wasted no time to get to the meeting room—where Momonga was undoubtedly waiting for them.

However, they arrived to the sight of empty chairs and were greeted by the sound of silence.

"No. We couldn't have. I recall seeing his online status when I logged in. And—" Tabula opened up his console and pulled up his friend list. "—See? Momonga is definitely online." There was over a handful of names that appeared on the list, indicating that there are more online players who have also logged in. Though, the two of them have yet to encounter more of their guildmates for some reason...

"There's a lot of players that went online too! But where are they—! Wowowowowow! Hey Tabula, look! Even Ulbert is here!"

"Indeed..." Tabula said. A hand was placed under his chin (?) as confusion filled his brain. "Where could everyone be if not here? Perhaps some of our friends are in the same situation as we are."

"Then they should have been here by now!"

"Hmmm... Maybe we got lucky and didn't encounter any last minute PK-ers today. Some might not be as fortunate?" Tabula said, giving some of his insights into their current situation. Peroroncino took a few moment to think of the possibilities that Tabula had said and nodded, agreeing with his friend's insinuations.

"Alright, that makes sense. But that doesn't explain why Momonga isn't around here!"

"Master Source, open," Tabula said, bringing up the menu that displayed a more complex array of options and selections. After a few seconds of him frantically clicking through things, the more detailed friend list opened up; next to each name where a small text that displayed the current location that the player was at. When Tabula begins to scroll through the names, Peroroncino stood next to the alchemist and leaned in to get a closer look at the list as well.

"Wow, they're all scattered everywhere—HEY, THERE HE IS!" At Peroroncino's exclamation, Tabula abruptly stopped and highlighted Momonga's name with a tap of his finger.

"Throne... room...? Now, why would he be there if he said he was going to greet us here...?" At his own query, Tabula Smaragdina navigated through the list and filtered everyone by categorizing their names by the locations that each player was currently at. And...

"To be fair, we have... ah, fuck. fourteen minutes remaining. He must be tired of waiting and went on ahead..."

"It appears that Ulbert is with him," Tabula said, sounding pleasantly surprised at his own discovery. But also, it was due to how relieved he felt, knowing that their guild leader didn't have to spend his last few moments alone... He couldn't imagine how awful that would be if that scenario was to occur.

"Ah... so that's how it is."

"That's how what is? Tabula?" Peroroncino asked, not really sure what his comrade meant.

"If you ask me, I'd say that Ulbert was the only person in Nazarick at the time. Probably the last one to drop in, too. Your statement contains some truth in there, Peroroncino. Perhaps the two of them got tired of waiting for more people to show up, so they just went ahead on their own... Ulbert probably suggested it. But I might be wrong..."

"Damn it... Poor Momo-chan! He probably sat there the entire time until 'Berto showed up!"

"We don't have much time, Peroroncino. We must go, now." Tabula said with urgency. Peroroncino nodded and pulled out his guild ring as Tabula also did the same.

"Teleportation: Throne Room!" Said the pair in unison as a white light filled their vision completely.

After the blinding flash of light subsided, the avian and the brain eater's vision came in clear as they stood directly in front of the throne room's door.

It was opened.

They would have like to have the chance to walk through the halls of the Great Tomb of Nazarick once more, but with the amount of time that they have left, that option was no longer negotiable. That's why they didn't feel too overly guilty when they have to skip through all of Nazarick's beautiful sights to get to where they needed to go; they just simply didn't have the time to be feeling guilty.

At the entrance, they heard distant sounds of idle chattering as the two of them could see Ulbert escorting to Momonga to the Throne of Kings.

Despite saying that they don't have time to go sightseeing, both players couldn't help but exhale a breath of awe as they laid their eyes upon the glory that is the Great Tomb of Nazarick's Throne Room.

Their trance was broken when the conversation between the two presence that was there before them grew louder.

Peroroncino squinted his eyes, trying to make out what was happening in front of him. Ulbert went behind Momonga and took a hold of the undead's shoulder, making Peroroncino gawk in surprise and shock. Has Ulbert always been that... touchy?

"Come now. You should be sitting, guild leader. It is inappropriate for the head of the guild to stand while his throne lays idle and empty." Ulbert said in a coaxing voice as he slowly eased Momonga to sit on the throne.

The archer and the alchemist decided not to come in at that instance yet. Ulbert and Momonga didn't see them due to their back being turned. And they just wanted to observe the interactions between the demon and the undead for now. It brought a smile on their faces as they watched the two animatedly conversing with one another.

"He has a point." Tabula said to Peroroncino, using the 'Message' skill. Tabula have never doubted Momonga's capabilities as a leader. And after all these times, his opinion did not change, only becoming even stronger. He himself believed that if anyone other than the overlord had become the leader, the guild would certainly tear itself apart. So he has cast his vote on letting the skeleton being in charge of this ragtag group of non-human players. Momonga has dedicated himself to maintain this beautiful and magnificent place, even when he didn't have to. And they all must respect him for that.

The skeleton did not oblige.

"No way! Ulberttttttttttttttt. You convinced me to wield the staff, and I did. But only because... you were pretty convincing and because it was the guild leader's weapon anyway! So I didn't feel weird holding it... But the throne?! Come on now."

"What the f—. Tabula, he wasn't like this before!" Peroroncino whispered inside of the brain eater's head.

"...Time changes everything around it." He knew exactly the reason why the undead was acting like he was. After they have conquered the Tomb of Nazarick together, Momonga didn't protest to the idea of letting himself sit upon that spot mainly because he was confident in himself, and he knew that the guild as a whole supported him fully. This behavior was because of their absence that has changed the skeleton's outlook on insignificant matters like this. This fact saddens and disturbed Tabula Smaragdina greatly as a heavy weight settled itself in his chest.

"What's wrong with the guild leader sitting on his throne?" Ulbert said incredulously. Momonga was very hesitant, despite it being the last day. A day that they can use to do whatever they wished. Perhaps now that one of the guild members was with him, he felt that he should act like a responsible guild leader instead of indulging himself?

Ulbert frowned at that. There was no need for formality and senseless sentiments for responsibilities... But perhaps it was partly his fault that Momonga was acting like this anyway.

"That's the problem! Ulbert. It's our throne. Ainz Ooal Gown's throne. It's not just my throne... it's your throne, Touch Me's throne, Bellriver's throne, Pero's throne, Nishiki's throne, our throne. Why should I be the one who gets to sit on it? This world item is the effort of all forty-one of us combined, Ulbert. I... I..."

"Is that how you really think?!" Ulbert gasped in shock. Was Momonga really felt that he is unworthy or that he doesn't deserve to sit upon the throne? Ulbert was about to give the skeleton a piece of his mind when he was interrupted by a voice coming from the throne room's entrance.

"MomoooOONNNNGAAAAAAA!" Peroroncino shouted at the top of his lung. "Stop that sulking shit and get your bony ass on the throne, nooOOWWW!"

"Hah?!" Both Ulbert and Momonga exclaimed with confusion at the sudden voice and at a yellow figure that was heading straight towards them with the speed of light.

Tabula blinked as he then turned his head to the side, setting his eyes where Peroroncino once stood. "...?!" He was gone! "Oh for fu—" The alchemist then let out a great sigh as he then followed right after the flying blob of yellow bird that, apparently, crashed straight into Momonga, sending the skeleton tumbling backward and into the golden throne. Well, that's one way to get him to sit on it... He has no choice now but to present himself to the pair that stood near the Throne of Kings. Damned bird... He wasn't ready!

"Oof!" Momonga's breath got knocked right out of him as the figure flew at him with speed so fast that even Ulbert couldn't comprehend what have just happened. The Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown floated at the side of the throne since Momonga let it go at the time of the impact. He felt dizzy for a full eight seconds. After recovering from the force of the crash, he tries to move his body but to no avail. Something was preventing him from moving, and it was undoubtedly the person that assaulted him and is currently on top of him.

Momonga opened his eyes.

A golden bird mask was the first thing that entered his vision. And he blinked, taking a few seconds to get his thoughts together before coming to a sudden realization.

The voice, the nickname, the... yellowness, the wings that he just saw spanning out behind the person's back just now, the bird mask,...

No way.

"WHA—! Pero?!" He exclaimed, surprised at the sudden appearance and assault of the archer.

"It me~!" The birdman replied, delighted at his friend's reaction, his wings flapped playfully behind him.

"You, on top of me... What!? G-get off!" Momonga was too annoyed at the feeling of the avian putting too much of his own weight onto Momonga's bony body to actually feel happy and overjoyed that his best friend had just returned.

It seems to strengthened Peroroncino's resolve even more, though, as the birdman persistently refuses to leave the spot that he was planted in, perched atop of Momonga's skeletal frame. His wings flapped a few times to emphasize his protest.

"No!" Peroroncino said with his energetic voice. It looked funny, if someone happen to pass by and saw the scene of a giant avian planting himself atop of a skeleton like a child. "Although this might have turned out to be a completely different scenario in regular days,... today isn't a regular day! I have no ulterior motives at all! I think...! So sit!"

"Grrr. Pero!" Momonga flailed wildly, refusing to be bound in this position. The birdman was known for stamina and persistence, though. So it was to no avail.

"...What...? Just... happened?" Ulbert was still confused as to what have just occurred in front of him. The demon stood there, dumbfounded.

"For an evil mastermind, you're awfully slow, Ulbert." Tabula calmly said as he slowly ascended on the stairwell. "Peroroncino, could you please kindly remove yourself? I think that he will not be going anywhere."

"Tabula, Smaragdina." Ulbert said the alchemist's name slowly with an amused voice, crossing his arms in front of his chest. "How am I not surprised. Speak of the devil."

Tabula wasn't really sure what the demon meant by that, but he put that aside for now as Peroroncino hesitantly unlatched himself from the skeleton and tentatively made his way to stand beside the brain eater. "Momonga." He closed his eyes and bowed his head to the overlord. Peroroncino followed suit as he also did the same, wings folding in humility and submission.

"Tabula... Pero..." Momonga said in a hushed whisper. He was elated to see more of his friends. But after the commotion that just occurred, his excitement was calmed down to a silent happiness and mild annoyance at being suddenly surprised. "What... the hell, Peroroncino? You almost gave me a heart attack!" In fact, his human heart was still trying to calm itself down. Though, his tone was light and contains a hint of mischievousness in them.

That was the cue for things to get casual again, and Peroroncino excitedly made his way to Momonga, wings flapping animatedly along the way. "Momo-chaaan~ I missed you so much!"

"I m-missed you too, Pero." Momonga stuttered when Peroroncino once again latched himself onto Momonga, though this time, it was in a form of a hug. The birdman looked odd, leaning his body down to wrap his arms around Momonga. But the skeleton didn't mind, moving his arms to return the warm and affectionate gesture.

"Didn't think you two would show up." Ulbert chuckled at Peroroncino's antics. In all honestly, he really did not expect for those two of all people to come. They were among those who went MIA earlier than he did.

"Ah, 'Berto. So little faith in your friends?" Tabula's smooth voice said with a fake hint of sadness. "Awww. Do you perhaps not missed me as well?" He said in a whine as he selected a sad, crying emoticon.

"What are you talking about? Of course I do!" Momonga quickly added. "I would hug you too, Tabu... But I'm... stuck."

"Hey now hey now, 'Berto, Tabula, come here! Let's group hug! It's been so long!"

"That's actually a pretty good idea." The skeleton said, obviously hyped up about the suggestion. "But... you gotta let me leave first..."

"Alright, let's do that. But Momoga, will you guarantee us that you will situate yourself on that throne once we are done?" Tabula asked with a cock of his head. "It would please us all if you would be a true guild leader and take your positions upon the throne. Do not refuse, Momonga. No one would have a problem with you situating yourself at the dais. Despite it being a world item, it is still only a chair." He said, voice as placid as he always was, though, it sounded more like a very calm scolding session to Momonga.

Classic Tabula. He could be very commanding when he chooses to be. And no one has actually seen him being anything other than calm and composed.

His scoldings and disapproval usually have the strongest effect and impact. And the undead felt like a dog that has just been told 'Bad boy!'.

"But I—... Ok. I promise." Momonga sighed, reluctantly agreeing to the request. He wasn't about to get into an argument with his friends. And even if he did, it wouldn't last very long and he would end up getting lectured by three people instead of one. He sighs internally. The perks of majority votes...

"Good." Tabula relaxes, sounding pleased at Momonga's acceptance. "Now then!" He said, moving towards Ulbert and the other two. "Shall we? 'Berto?"

"Sure, 'Tabby." Ulbert smirked. He hasn't forgotten about the world item ordeal. But Tabula's voice was issuing a challenge, and who was he to refuse? This will be interesting! A hug-out! He'll definitely win, being fluffy and covered with fur and all that. So Ulbert thought.


It was one of the most awkward, heartwarming group hug they have ever had.

Mainly because after Ulbert joined in with Peroroncino, crushing the poor skeleton in between them, Tabula then made it even better—or was it worse?—as he wrapped all of his slimy tentacles around the trio, effectively trapping the three players in the 'embrace'.

"U-ugh. OK! I give up, Tabula! You win! You win! You're a better hugger than me!" Ulbert wheezed. Friendly fire wasn't allowed, that's a known fact, but this definitely feels like one!

Peroroncino, though, has a completely different reaction as he wailed loudly. "Waaaa! I miss this so much! You guys are awesome, I love all of youuuuoo!" The birdman sobbed, reveling in the warm presence of his comrades.

Momonga smiled fondly at Peroroncino's sentiment. The archer—despite his ridiculous passion with H-game—was a very physical and affectionate person when it comes to expressing his feelings. He has always been like that. And seeing him today, the very last day, still being his same old self, has brought an unseen and content grin on his skeletal features.

Of course, that didn't mean that he didn't feel the literal bone crushing embrace of Tabula Smaragdina's tentacles. He just decided not to comment on it. After all, this will likely be the very last time that they can do silly things like this together. So he, like Peroroncino, chooses to cherish the moment.

"I know I am, Ulbert. But, I simply wanted to hug my friends in our last few moments together! What's wrong? You can't handle the love?" Tabula teased and challenged the struggling demon. "Did the inactivity turned you into an old man, 'Berto?"

"Like hell! I am Ulbert Alain Odle, I can h-handle anything! A-and you know what, forget what I said. I am a better hugger than you!"

"U-Um, guys? It's getting a little too hot in here." Peroroncino said as he was now starting to feel the full effect of his friends' 'competition' coming into play. "U-usually I w-wouldn't mind this getting a little more steamy... B-but this is a litttttlleeeeeeee bit different that what I have in mind..."

"I'M A BETTER HUGGER!" Ulbert exclaimed, effectively ignoring the archer's words.

"I am the legendary hug master! You fool!" Tabula challenged the demon.

"No, I am! I've been hugging Momonga longer than you have!" Ulbert stated with pride at the fact that he arrived before the alchemist did and have personally shared a moment with their guild leader.

That seems to faze Tabula for a bit before he retaliates. "But do you have this many arms to hug him with?!"

"HAH?! Those aren't even arms, they're tentacles! That doesn't even count! You're a squid! An octopus! It's not fair!"

"IT'S CALLED BRAIN EATER, YOU IDIOT! LIFE ISN'T FAIR."

"AAaaaaAA...!" Squeaked the undead. He was starting to get lightheaded now... "Is that a Holy Smite I see...?"

"WAA!? STOP IT YOU TWO. MOMONGA IS DYING!" The archer said, desperately hoping that the two would let go before he and Momonga would literally die of this display of aggressive love.

That certainly got their attention, and the alchemist immediately lets go of the three of them as Momonga and Peroroncino dropped down onto the floor, panting and inhaling a lungful of fresh air after what felt like an eternity to them.

"...Whoops." The goat and the brain eater said in unison. Sounding sheepish and low-key embarrassed when they went a little bit overboard. Normally, Tabula and Ulbert was on friendly terms. They don't usually compete against each other—since Ulbert himself already have a rivalry with Touch Me—, but sometimes, they would have a small, friendly showdown. It can potentially can get out of hand. But no pride was crushed and no feelings were hurt; their competitions was always on silly matters, and never something that would lead to disagreement among themselves. Like this one, perhaps.

"Phewwww." Momonga sighed with relief. "Well, that was... nice. Despite me almost dying, that is."

"I apologize... Ulbert couldn't admit that he is not as good as I." Tabula couldn't help but added the tease in the end.

"Tch. You wait until this is over." Ulbert chuckled.

"Lol. I knew it was a good idea to come back. You guys are hilarious." Peroroncino laughed after he regained his breath.

"Hey, Tabu?" Momonga ask. He was looking at Albedo once again with curiosity. He, like Ulbert, haven't forgotten about Ginnungagap being in the imp's possession. But his queries was not going to be about that, he has decided to let it go already. He has something else in mind as the alchemist cocked his head at him.

"Yes?"

"Can I read Albedo's settings? I'm curious. We were just talking about her before you showed up." All Momonga knew about her character was that she was the Overseer of the Guardians, as well as the highest-ranked NPC in Nazarick.

"Ah! Momonga! Are you interested in my writings? Of course, please do!" The brain eater said with glee, though he wasn't exactly sure why she was a topic of conversation among the two, he completely ignored the little suspicious thought and put it at the back of his mind. Momonga wasn't usually curious as to what business others has involving the creation of their NPCs' backgrounds and lore. Having the guild leader's interest filled his heart with joy as it made him feel like his work was validated, by a very important person, too. "I don't think you can read it all, though. But please, go on ahead." He liked details. Albedo was his personal favorite, so he made sure to be as descriptive as possible.

Momonga nodded happily. He then reached to grab the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown, taking it into his hands once again as he then pulled up Albedo's settings menu.

The undead felt like he had stepped on a land mine. If he could move, he would be trembling now.

Wow, so long! Momonga sweated. He didn't want to make his comrade sad, though, so he glanced briefly over her lore as he then skimmed through the novel-like descriptions.

...

Seriously! How much information did he put in for only one character?!

If Albedo was like this, he felt faint to even think of how Nigredo and Rubedo might end up like.

Hah?

"What's this?"

Tabula smirked quietly at Momonga's revelation. He knew exactly where the overlord was. It's his favorite part of Albedo's personality, after all.

"What what what? Lemme see!" Peroroncino exclaimed curiously, bouncing up and down as he peered over Momonga's shoulder. "Wow, bro! That's a lo—" The archer stopped dead in his tracks.

"It must be very juicy if you two are acting like that." Ulbert himself was also curious as to what was entailed in the description. He wasn't really fancy when it came to creating Demiurge. The humanoid demon's characteristic only screams out one word: evil, with a side of sadistic. Of course, he has some paragraphs that were used to describe the demon's tendencies and behaviors, but nothing too deep like where he come from or what was his favorite color.

It was red, though. Obviously.

At Peroroncino's pause, he went to Momonga's other unoccupied side and leaned in to get a glimpse of what was the big deal. He braced himself, preparing to be greeted with a giant chunk of text. Tabula was called by everyone 'The Settings Maniac', so it wouldn't be surprising if the contents were over ten pages worth of paper.

It was.

"This is so like you, Tabula. So much inform—"

"..."

Tabula cackled internally.

"So, what do you think? I believe that she is my best creation among all three!" Tabula proclaimed with pride. He had put so much thoughts into his work, and he made sure that there was always a little surprise at the end for those who are interested. His teammates were stunned upon reading his work, that was a good sign to him indeed. After that, they were speechless, and that was even better!

"T-Tabula. May I ask you something?" Momonga squeaked as he sweated internally.

"Questions? Of course! What are your queries, guild leader?"

The skeleton chuckled nervously.

The moment that he saw it, his nonexistent eyes were glued to that one phrase. He looked the words over several more times, eyes filled with suspicion, but in the end, he could not find any other meaning to them; the word simply means what it said. And he felt compelled to ask. "Ah, w-well, I was just wondering. Um... Why did you make her out to be a sl-slut?" Oh god. He was so uncomfortable with saying that term. Despite not having any family anymore, he was raised in a decent enough environment to not use words that might insult or degrade someone.

All the players that were in the room turned their head simultaneously to look at the alchemist.

Tabula's blinked. Huh... Good question. Taking his chin (?) into his hand, the brain eater took a few moments to think of a proper response.

Did I do that for the sake of appearance and personality confliction? Or was that because I thought that it was funny to see the reactions of those that bothered to read it?

He honestly has forgotten and was disappointed at himself a little for that. But he can't help it. Even if he did remember the reason why there would be no time left to explain it. He glanced at the digital clock.

Six minutes remaining.

"Hmmm. You know what, I don't have an answer for that. I guess it was a good idea at the time." He responded truthfully and casually.

If the faces of the readers can move, their jaws would certainly drop right there and then.

"T-that's horrible!" Peroroncino said, surprising both the demon and the overlord. Of all the people, one would have never thought that the avian would be the first one to protest to the idea, considering what his obsession was...

Tabula just shrugged and snorted at the birdman. "You obviously haven't read the stuff about the other two yet then, I take it."

No comments.

"Ahem. Well then!" Ulbert cleared his throat, his voice cheery in an attempt to steer the conversation away before it gets out of hand. "I thi—"

"Tabulaaaa, can you please remove that setting?" Peroroncino interrupted just as Ulbert was about to say something, and the demon's eyebrow twitched, feeling slightly annoyed at being cut off before he could even speak.

Tabula cocked his head to the left as he stared blankly at the birdman.

"Remove?"

"Beautiful females are supposed to be treasures to cherish and worship! How can you be so crueeeeel?" Peroroncino sobbed as his wings flapped animatedly. It wasn't hard to read Peroroncino, due to his wings acting like an emotion satellite. It was similar to how a dog would wag its tail when it was happy and how said tail would drop down when it was sad. The same goes for the archer's wings. He was probably the only one who didn't need to use emoticons very often because of that.

"Hm. No can do. I like my settings." Tabula said with a tone of disinterest, tearing his gaze away from the avian.

Momonga could tell that Tabula Smaragdina was partly offended that Peroroncino was even suggesting something like that to him. Despite Tabula's eccentricity, he was a very proud and passionate person when it comes to doing what he loves. Even if it turned out to be quite... unexpected. It was his own work, and he loves each and every one of it no matter what critiques it might have received.

Peroroncino, again, was a very expressive person. If he has something to say, he would definitely not hold his words back. It is one of the reasons why the avian was so well liked amongst the guild. Straightforwardness was a trait that was well perceived by many. Although, sometimes, that backfired on Peroroncino. And he was often scolded by his sister, Bukubukuchagama.

Ulbert wonders what she would do if she was here right now.

"Peroroncino... Just leave it be... I mean it's a little bit... much, but Tabula probably worked really hard to come up with that idea. Don't diminish his efforts like that." Momonga said, placing a hand behind the birdman's back as he spoke his words gently but with a bit of harshness in them.

"B-but, M- Momo-chan..." Peroroncino whined.

Tabula, in return, chuckled with pleasure and admiration at their guild leader's thoughtfulness. He did not reply to that remark but instead, bows his head in silent appreciation for being so understanding. His irritation for Peroroncino has faded as he then sighs out softly at his companion.

The idea baffles him at first, and it still does. But after getting through the initial phase of being annoyed and offended, his logical mind has returned to him and he was starting to be less put off by the idea.

It is the last day, after all. In approximately five minutes and forty seconds, they would likely never have a chance to see each other again. Tabula was thinking that maybe, just this once, he could set his pride aside to spoil his friend in these last few moments.

Yet, he couldn't actually see himself doing that without something compelling him to do so... Some vital force or factor that could persuade him...

"Momonga, do you... find that setting to be somewhat... disconcerting?" The brain eater asked tentatively. He wanted to hear Momonga's feelings himself.

The overlord might not have realized it, but to Tabula, his opinion held more value than anything else. If Momonga has a problem with it, then...

"H-huh? Me? W-well..." Momonga scratched the side of his skull, feeling flustered at the direct question. He didn't want to make Tabula felt as if there was something wrong with his own creations. Who would want their friends to feel like that? It was just an asshole move in general. But since Tabula has asked, the alchemist is expecting an honest answer. And Momonga chuckled nervously at the stare of his friend.

"Ah... Well, there's really nothing wrong with it... But... that's a little harsh on her, don't you think?" Momonga said. Most of what he stated were his own true thoughts upon this matter. And he will leave it at that before he hurt his friend's feelings.

"Maybe not... remove it. But tweak it so that it might sound a little bit better?" He suggested, trying not to sound offensive to the alchemist.

"Ha! I like you, I really like you, Momonga." Tabula proclaimed with glee, effectively confusing the hell out of his comrades and successfully made the skeleton blush—but of course, Tabula didn't know that—as he then gawks at him.

"H-huh? Ah... thank... yo u ? ? ?"

"I do indeed dislike making changes to finished projects. However, since our kind leader here has gone through the trouble of appealing to my personal preference himself, I'll allow it. Just this once." At this point, there was nothing to lose but friendship. And he certainly didn't want that. Even though he knows that nontrivial matters like this would not affect their relations, he would indulge his friends as much as possible in these last few moments.

Five minutes remaining.

Peroroncino whooped loudly at that, and Ulbert shook his head as he sighs out in resignment.

"Hah. You are one lucky bastard, you know that?"

"Yay! Tabba-san is such a nice person!"

"A-ah, thank you, Tabula. You didn't have to do that..."

"Ah, dear Momonga, no need to thank me. Fulfilling a request from the guild leader is a great honor." The brain eater chuckled. "So, if it is what you wish, just speak the words... Milord." He added,—remembering that Momonga gets hilariously worked up when being referred to by fancy titles—drawing a deep groan of agony out of the undead player.

"Aargh, I wish you guys would just stop doing that..." Momonga whine as Ulbert laughed at his misery.

"Ho! Even he's doing it. There's no escape from this now, Sire."

"Oh my godddddd!" The skeleton groaned, hands covering his face in embarrassment. His face was beet red from his friend's tease. Since he can't technically and literally blushed, he chose a red flushing face to express his torment. However, he couldn't help but laughed tenderly at and with his friends as Ulbert chuckled with his smooth voice and patted him a few times on the back.

"Heheheh. Alright then! Now, say 'Thank you, Momo-chan'." Tabula said, snorting a little at Peroroncino's antics as he opened up Albedo's settings menu. He was her creator, so he didn't need the use of items or guild administrator's tool—aka the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown—in order to modify these settings.

"Thank you, Momo-chan~!" Peroroncino said, a kissy face emoticon appeared above his head as Momonga then replied to that with a sweat-dropped emoticon.

"Let's see... What shall I fix?" Tabula hummed to himself. He usually hates changing or revising something after he felt that it was one hundred percent complete. Mainly because of the fact that he was good at creating things, not change things, and he would usually not have any idea as of what to change.

Ah. Alright, this should be either really funny or really depressing. He snickered to himself as his thin fingers tapped vigorously on the virtual keyboard.

[ She is_ _ _ ]

[ She is a low key slut for Momonga. ]

"Pfft." Even he couldn't help the snort that escaped him. After all, Momonga did say to only tweak it, not remove it or change it completely. He patted himself on the back at his observation. And Peroroncino hopped excitedly over to Tabula as he then peered into the changelog, wondering what the alchemist was so amused about.

"Sooo, what did you change—" Peroroncino scans over the eight words sentence a few times just to make sure what he saw was legit before bursting into hysterical laughter. "BWAHAHAHAHA—!"

He didn't know what was better, the description itself or the fact that Tabula himself have personally altered it.

"—Shhh." The alchemist whispered, putting an index finger up where his lips were supposed to be. "Let's not make a commotion, shall we~?"

Peroroncino seems to catch the drift as he then lowered his volume down to a softer giggle. "My god. I don't know if that is better or worse, but it's definitely improved in my book!" The avian said, struggling to contain himself.

"Everything alright?" The skeleton asked upon hearing the archer's laughter.

Ulbert was talking to Momonga while Tabula was fixing the settings, and his attention was now fixed to the birdman as well. "What did you change, 'Tabby?"

"D-don't worry, guys. It's definitely better than it was before." Peroroncino reassured the two with a shaky voice. It sounded like he was going to burst anytime soon now. And Tabula stepped in before the birdman might explode in a fit of laughter like a mad man.

"All is well, Ulbert, Momonga. Pero just really appreciate my alterations."

"This really is the best day ever!" Peroroncino cheered, eliciting a chuckle out of his friends as he turned to look at the throne room in all of its glory.

Four minutes remaining.

That statement died early, though, as silence suddenly stretched across the vicinity.

Was it really?

Peroroncino stared wistfully at the sights in front of him.

Forty-one flags hang idly upon the wall. It looked like a still-life painting, with everything so suspended in motion. The NPCs only added to the stillness of the picture, permanently set in their current posture and position unless commanded to be otherwise. They stood like marble statues, and some might mistake them for actual stone if it weren't for the coding that was programmed into their clothing's animation.

Forty-one flags. Four people standing in the room.

Reality was sad.

"Look." Momonga broke the silence as he points his index finger towards the flags.

All eyes followed his fingers as the trio of demon, brain eater, and avian stared up at the forty-one flags that represented the forty-one people who belonged to the guild.

"Me." Said the skeleton, pointing to his own flags.

"Touch Me." He continued, pointing to a nearby flag. He was the one who had started the guild, and the one who had gathered the 'Original Nine'. One of the strongest players in Ainz Ooal Gown... No, in all of Yggdrasil.

His nimble finger then pointed to the flag that belonged to the oldest member of Ainz Ooal Gown, who was a professor in a university in real life.

"Shijuuten Suzaku."

His finger moved faster than before as he shifted to the flag which belonged to one of the four female members of Ainz Ooal Gown.

"Ankoro Mochimochi."

"Ah... LinoRE." Ulbert said upon spotting the flag of said banshee. "Fantôme Blanc." He pointed to the flag that were situated right next to the healer's own. Ulbert missed the wolf and his witty banters, and he missed seeing the whiteness of the banshee's hair when she chased the wolf around the complex.

His eyes were then glued to the flag with his own crest. "Me..." The demon said in a hushed whisper.

"Sister..." Peroroncino said with sorrow upon seeing Bububukuchagama's flag. Despite them having a sibling rivalry, he misses her constant criticism and scoldings. They didn't live together nor near each other, as for each have their own different life to live. "Herohero, Genjiro, Variable Talisman, Suratan," He continued with the name recital.

"Me."

Tabula gazed upon the array of flags as he picked up from where Peroroncino was. The symbol of the next flag had belonged to one of their rogue.

"Nishikienrai." He said upon registering whom the next flag had belonged to. He was a golem, and he is a deadly opponent in dealing physical damage. Not their best scouting-type player, though.

"Warrior Takemikazuchi, Yamaiko." Both of those two were Nephilim, and cannot hide their ugliness no matter what disguise they might take. However, in a guild of nonhuman characters, that fact matters little.

"Tabula Smaragdina." He said his own name upon seeing his own flag. That might have been... extremely odd when someone other than his teammates might have overheard him. But they all knew Tabula's personality, so instead of being weirded out, they remained silent as the alchemist continued to recite through the remaining flags, occasionally someone would pick up when one would pause.

When Tabula have spoken his own name, he was thinking about what will happen when this game shuts down. He will never be Tabula Smaragdina the alchemist ever again. And all the things that associated with this character will also vanish.

When all of the servers shuts down, Tabula Smaragdina's friends will also be erased along with him.

He didn't want to see that.


"Hey! Get out of the way!" A kind but firm voice that belonged to a female exclaimed with extreme annoyance and hatred, two ginormous gauntlets of crimson steel glinted brilliantly in the light as it pounded into the enemy's flanks.

But for each enemy it pummeled down, two more would appear to replace the fallen ones before it.

"Don't you guys ever get tired?" A softer, much higher pitched voice that obviously belonged to a female groaned in respond to some fireball passing harmlessly through her.

"Come on! No one have time for this, move!" The female said. The horde of player paused for a few seconds when she pounded her gauntlets in the ground with extreme prejudice as it made a loud 'crack' noise upon impact, shattering the ground beneath it. That seemed to intimidate the players greatly. "We don't have to do this! Make way!"

"Yeah! Listen to the cute lady with the giant fist!" The female threatened with her voice suddenly becoming icy, readying herself for the continuing onslaught of foolish, mindless people that thought it was a good idea to ambush the two of them in a wide open area. Numbers did not mean anything if they are all weak.

"On second thought... I don't want to fight them!"

"Aren't they with... that guild?"

"Guild leader, we can't just expect to beat them like this!"

"Listen all! The first one to defeat these two gets a world item!" Someone among the crowd commanded, it was probably the leader. "We have numbers, overwhelm them with everything you got! Let's go all out in glory! Archers, pierce through their defense! Warriors, cut through their bowels! Mages, throw your spells at them with extreme prejudice! We can beat these seemingly 'unbeatable' forces, because no one is unbeatable! They have two in numbers, we have legions! Come! Let's raise our swords together!"

This effectively stirred everyone into action as roars emitted from the crowd of players as they continued to thrust themselves at the other two players that are currently standing back to back.

"Yama-chan, you will cover me, right?"

"Of-course!"

"Alright, bitches. Here comes the train!"

Besides her, the other female giggled with excitement as she readied herself to defend her friend.

"Get them! Now! Before they—"

"Skill: [ Sacrifice ] !"

"Skill: [ Judgement of Osiris ] , [ Field of Force ] !"

Momonga, wait for us.


It did not take long for the four of them to name all forty-one of their former comrades.

Their names were still branded deeply in Momonga's brain. When he was alone, he would often think about his past adventures and his friends of Ainz Ooal Gown. Time will affect everything that it touched, especially memories. He often thought about his teammates so that he wouldn't forget about any of his comrades.

Being lonely is scary, but to Momonga, nothing was more frightening than the thought of him forgetting about his friends. He don't want to forget about any of them, each of his guildmates and their names had each contained different memories that he never wanted to let go of.

Of course, that was just his inner fear coming onto surface. He would never forget about any of them, even if none of them had come back today.

Good thing that many did, though.

Tabula was having some different thoughts as the four of them went through all the names of their comrades.

Where are all of you? I recall seeing some more being online. But why aren't you all here, then? I wonder if something happened... Will they really miss these last few moments of the guild being together one final time?

Three minutes and twenty-six seconds remaining.

"It was fun, wasn't it?" Momonga asked, voice sounding tired but content as he sprawled himself on the throne, no longer caring about the nagging voice inside of his head that tells him he should act more reserved and humble. It was too fucking late for that, plus, he was reminded by every single one in the room that he have every fucking right to be seated here. So ignoring that voice he did.

"Indeed."

"Extremely!"

"Yes."

Came the voices of his friends. Momonga closed his eyes as a calmness washed over him. He was not alone.

"Momonga?" That was Peroroncino. He sounded unusually serious, his child-like behavior was nowhere to be seen.

"Yeah?" The overlord replied, his eyes still closing but his ears were pique with interest.

"I have a suggestion."

"Yes?" Momonga opened his eyes as he sat up, feeling curious.

"This is our very last moment right? Why not make it more grandeur and cinematic?"

The skeleton tilts his head slightly to the right. "Cinematic? What do you mean?"

Peroroncino chuckled as he spanned his arms wide open, whipping his body around and facing the vast expanse of the throne room. "Look at this place! At this magnificent chamber that used to be where the strongest of men and women alike gathered under a common name: Ainz Ooal Gown!" The avian boomed, his voice echoed off of the wall as it repeated what he said a few more times. "Gown!... gown... own... wn... n..." Sounded the echoes.

"Why not make our last ever memory to be an extravagant one that would make even the American Hollywood producers green with envy? This is a perfect setting, and we are the perfect performers for this last grand masterpiece that took place in a throne room worthy of the Gods."

"Let us all turn this place into a true throne room! If this is a video game that is going to end, let's turn this last moment into an epic final cutscene that we will always remember it by!" At his statement, the birdman gracefully turned around once more to face the undead on the throne.

Peroroncino has to admit one thing: he looked damn good being in that position.

The Ruler of Death, the Overlord.

Momonga might be unaware of this, but Peroroncino has always looked up to him. Especially now. His regal frame—staff in hand, head propped up against his other hand, tilting at a slight angle—was aesthetically majestic. It looks as if he was born to sit there.

Ulbert was the first one to respond. The demon laughed out loud as he then adjusted the golden mask on his face. "That's the first time that something you suggested sounds good! I agree, let's do it. Let's end this in style."

Tabula have no objection to the idea. But before he voiced his opinion, he turned his head to look at the undead player.

Momonga didn't know what to think of the idea. His brain was having conflicting ideas and stances. He didn't know how to respond to that...

( A/N: Ok guys go ahead and open that music now! watch?v=rm5yKO8VDwQ . And remember to read slowly to match music! )

Two minutes and fifty seconds remaining.

Fuck it.

Yggdrasil was a place where everyone can enjoy themselves, let go, have fun. How could he have forgotten that?

Stop with all the emo shit, Momonga. He told himself. Now is your time. Now is our time!

If this was a movie or one of those classic console games, how would he want it to end?

Nothing was more accurate than the term that Ulbert have used: In style. He nodded his head to Tabula Smaragdina as the alchemist returned it with his own.

"I have no objections." Said the brain eater. "Take it away, Guild Leader."

"Trust your own instinct and heart. Let your feelings guide you, friend." Tabula discreetly communicated to the skeleton with his 'message' skill. Momonga said nothing, but he nodded firmly as he then raised his head high.

What was the command again?

"Kneel, loyal subjects of Nazarick!" As one, Albedo, Sebas, and the six maids fell to one knee in obedience. At this point, all the skeleton could feel now is excitement. He never felt like a true leader before. And now given this chance, a sense of fulfillment began to settle itself inside him. Ulbert Alain Odle, Peroroncino, and Tabula Smaragdina have placed themselves near the throne as they also got down to their knees, their arms crossing over their heart with their heads hang low. The scene was something that you'd see in a classic medieval film, where the knights and the lords would pledge their allegiance to the king. All that was missing are the triumphant music.

Two minutes remaining.

"My friends of Ainz Ooal Gown, you may stand as you pledge your absolute fidelity to me!" Momonga spoke loudly with his deeper voice that belonged to his alter persona. The confident leader that he always wanted to be.

Peroroncino rises from his spot, though his head still hangs low in a bow. "Let us yield to our great leader. I swore this: I give myself wholly to him, I shall shed blood if he requires it of me. May his reign be eternal! Before the sun his name shall be disseminated, and all his vassals shall be blessed in him, and they shall call him blessed."

One minute and fifty seconds remaining.

"Let those who have disrespected you be condemned to the deepest layer of Niflheim. Let your frame be forever adorned by the riches of the world. Your name shall be written in the stars, and your greatness shall reach to the end of the earth. Angels will tremble in fear upon hearing your name, demons will compose songs about your fame, and weaker lifeforms will bow their head in wait of your commands. May your reign be eternal." Tabula Smaragdina said gently. But his words were absolute and with conviction.

"I pledge myself to you, O' ruler of Death! Let the blood of ye enemies spilt upon me as I obliterate them be my token of loyalty! May all your foes live in fear and despair! May the empires that opposed thee crumble to ashes and dust! May those who dared thought of disgracing thy name suffer in eternal agony! And may ye's reign be unending like the sky!" Ulbert proclaimed loudly with pride.

One minute and thirty.

"Excellent! I have hear and acknowledges your oath to me. Now—!" With a hit of the hilt of his staff to the ground, Momonga rises from his seat as he then gazed at his 'subjects'. "Now, I shall also pledge my fidelity. As you are absolutely loyal to me, I will also be absolutely loyal to you and to Nazarick. We will share all of our moments together. Whether it be in life, in death, in victory, or in defeat. Let us be forever bound together, as long as Nazarick still stands, our bonds will be forever strong. Rejoice, my friends of Ainz Ooal Gown. Do not hang down your heads like lowly peasants. You are my equals, and you shall join me in this moment of glory. Come, come to my side! Let us celebrate this last minute of glory together! Not as ruler and his subjects, but as comrades!"

"Hail Ainz Ooal Gown!" Momonga shouted.

"Hail Ainz Ooal Gown!" The three people arose their as they said in unison, their voices joined together as it traveled throughout Nazarick. After the trio made their way to stand next to Momonga, a brief silence stretched across the room.

"..."

"..."

"..."

"..."

"Bwahahahaha!" The four of them erupted in laughter.

"Oh my god, did you hear what I said? That was so dramatic!" Momonga's shoulder trembled as he laughed, clutching his face in embarrassment. How the heck did he thought of something like that? Today is truly a wild day!

"I know right? I can't believe I said stuff like 'disseminated'. Like who even speaks like that anymore?!" Peroroncino said, unable to control his laughter at himself.

"That was flawless. We should all meet up and make a movie together." Ulbert said, stroking his beard in appreciation for his own acting skill.

"Yes. And we can let Ulbert be the villain again." Tabula chuckled.

"Ooooh! That sounds good! I can be the hero, Momo-chan can be the princess and Tabula can be my sidekick~!" Cooed Peroroncino, already in love with the idea. Tabula rolled his eyes at the avian.

"Of course I would be the villa— Whaaaat? Why do you get to be the hero if Momonga is the princess?" Ulbert said in a whine.

"So I can rescue the princess, marry 'er and defeat the evil villaaaaain!" Peroroncino said as he grabbed Ulbert, putting his fist onto the goat's head and gave him a rough nuggie.

"No! I refuse to let you be the hero!" Ulbert said as he struggled to escape from the avian making a mess of his head fur. Not that it mattered, but he'd like to look as fresh and fashionable as possible! "And stop messing up my... hair...? My hair!"

"Honestly, I think that Tabula makes a better villain." Momonga said, snickering at his friends' antics.

"I was about to say that myself. Villains get the privileges of stealing the princess." Tabula challenged Ulbert once again. "It appears that our villain will be defeated soon, though! The hero has attacked the villain's most sensitive spot! His fashion!" Momonga laughed out loud at that.

"Shut up! It's not like tha—NO! NOT THE BEAU! NOT THE BEAU! Fine! Fine! Ok! I surrender!"

"Huzzah! The evil is finally defeated! Heeeeeey, Momo-chan, does that mean you're my wife now?"

Momonga laughed even harder as his stomach was beginning to hurt, a great feat considering that his character did not have a stomach. "I—pfft. I guess so!"

"Yay! A real waifu that's not computer generated images!"

"WHA—Hold on! You fiend! I DIDN'T AGREE TO THIS—!"

"Sssshhhh. You lost, 'Berto. Losers don't get to speak." Tabula snickers with his back turned to the pair.

"T-this is cruel and inhumane treatment!"

"Yer a demon, Ulbert my bro. No offense, but... you're nonhuman."

"Whaaaat? This is prejudice! You're, a bird! The same as me!"

"At least I have hair." Peroroncino said as a smug emoticon appeared above his head with a 'ding!'.

Ulbert gasped as he moved his hand to cover the top of his head, his face was blushing profusely—but no one would have saw it, duh—. Instead he sent Peroroncino an angry face emoticon. "How dare you?!"

"L'Oreal Nazarick." Peroroncino said cockily, flipping his hair over his shoulder with flair.

One minute remaining.

Momonga sighed out fondly as he silently made his way back to the throne and sit down upon it with Tabula accompanying him. This is it. This is what he had always wanted. He didn't want to be the top player in all of Yggdrasil, he didn't want to be the person with the most wealth nor the most fame. All he wanted was to have moments like this once more, with his friends of Ainz Ooal Gown by his side.

"Are you sad, guild leader?" The alchemist said, his gaze settled upon the avian and the demon while they're engaging in their lively banter.

"...Hah. Of course. But I don't feel as empty anymore." The overlord said, his voice was calm and light. In fact, he felt more relaxed now than he has in a very long time.

"Heh. I might not look it, but I feel even more melancholy than you at the moment, Momonga."

"Ah? Really now?"

"Yes... I... I'm sorry for abandoning you. For abandoning our guild." He said. Tabula was unable to bring himself to look at Momonga. "You were probably really disappointed in us all these years, weren't you? Momonga?" Tabula said, his face steely but his voice was not as cool as his emotionless facade.

"I..."

Fifty seconds remaining.

"Be honest with me."

"..." Momonga hesitated and took a few seconds to think. But his respond came out as clear as day. "Yes. Yes I was." He said with a heavy sigh. He could never hide anything from Tabula. The alchemist could read him like a book. Even if he lied, the brain eater would no doubt figure him out soon enough.

"I... I see. Thank you... for your honesty. I do hope that we didn't disappoint you today, guild leader." Tabula's voice was brought to a slight whisper as he lowered his head down in shame. But his feelings were quickly diminished at what Momonga said next.

"No. No you did not." Momonga said nonchalantly. A small smile was hidden behind his expressionless skeleton face. "Not at all."

Indeed they did not.

"I see." Tabula said. His voice remained the same, but a smile had creeped itself upon his face as a surge of relief flooded him. "That is good to know." The alchemist brought his head up as he then turned to look at Momonga, sending the skeleton a peaceful smiling face.

The skeleton gently smiled back with his own emoticon.

Thirty five seconds remaining.

"Tch. I'll see you in the sixth floor's coliseum, you winged bastard." Ulbert smirked as he successfully tousle up the avian's hair, making the birdman fumed playfully.

"Oh yeah? It's on, big guy!" Peroroncino laughed as he threw an arm over the demon's shoulder, the two of them then walk to where Momonga and Tabula was quietly watching them. "Hey, you're the witness of this, ok? Momo-chan? If he loses to me, he can't complain about you becoming my wife. I'm gonna whoop your ass, you flashy demon."

"The day that I lose to you is the day that Touch Me spouts wings and become a butterfly, meaning never!"

"Pfft. Hahaha! Sure, I'll be your witness. Though, even if you did win, you think i'd let myself become the wife? Naw. You're the wife, Pero." Ulbert cheered loudly at Peroroncino's sad emoticon face. "You too, Ulbert. I am an independent man that needs no... man!" Peroroncino laughed at the demon's emoticon of agony.

The undead player snickered at his friends. "Haha. All jokes aside... I'm going to seriously miss you guys." Momonga sighed, taking one last good look at what lays in front of his eyes.

The flags of forty-one, the NPCs, the chandeliers, the walls, the corinthium columns, the carpet of crimson that stretches all the way from the entrance up to the throne,... What a sight to behold indeed!

Ulbert, Tabula, and Peroroncino...

His comrades that aren't here at the moment...

What a good time that they have.

Too bad their other friends will not be able to join them. But that's alright. Part of them are still here, in Nazarick. Their memories remains, along with their creations. They are not gone, just... elsewhere.

Twenty two seconds remaining.

"Hey. Momo-chan? 'Berto? Tabba-san?"

"Hmm?"

"We all are going to be friends forever, right?"

"Always."

"Of course."

"Yes."

"..."

"..."

"..."

"..."

Fifteen seconds remaining.

Peroroncino's frame begins to tremble. "...I... I don't want this to end. I'm going to miss you guys s-so much." A small sob escaped Peroroncino as he grabs one of Momonga's hand. Peroroncino almost didn't showed up today. Mainly because... he knew this moment was coming. When he have to say goodbye. But how could he refuse a personal request from his best friend?

Right now, he was coming close to wailing out loud.

Upon hearing his friend's shaky voice, Momonga felt a little bit choked up as he gulped silently. "Pero..."

"...I can't believe the time is... already up."

"Ah... I guess the more fun we have, the less we pay attention to... to time..."

Ten seconds.

"Hey, now. This is not the end." Ulbert said, his voice full of resolve as he placed his hand atop of Peroroncino's own.

Nine.

"It's going to be ok, Pero. Don't cry..." Whispered Momonga, squeezing the avian's talon tipped claw tightly.

Eight.

"I'll never forget this moment. And I'll never forget any of us. Peroroncino, hold your head up high." The brain eater said, placing a hand on top of Ulbert's hand. The overlord had let go of the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown, with said weapon floating harmlessly next to him, and he used his now free hand to place it atop of the alchemist's own. The avian sniffles tearfully, then he shook his head as he bring his face up to look at his friends.

Seven.

"Yeah... Yeah. This isn't farewell, just... a see you again. Right?" Peroroncino asked with a small voice, his sniffling had come down to a minimum at his friend's consolation.

Six.

"Right. Like our oath, we'll be bound together forever, Pero. No matter where we are." Momonga said, his voice contains no doubt as the weight of his friends' joined hands began to made itself known.

Five.

"In victory." Ulbert Alain Odle said. An evil, smirking emoticon appeared above his head.

Four.

"In defeat." Peroroncino added. A content, smiling emoticon popping up with a 'ding!'.

Three.

"In life." Tabula Smaragdina continued. He selected an emoticon with its eyes closing but face smiling happily.

Two.

Momonga nodded firmly as he then chose a grinning emoticon as it then appeared above his skull.

"And in death." All of their voices joined in together as the four closes their eyes, readying themselves for the forced logout that is surely to come.

One.

Beep beep!

Huh? Momonga thought upon hearing the small beep of the system notification. What was that?

[ You have four new incoming messages! ]


23:59:59


Zero


0:00:00


Beep

00:00:00

Beep

00:00:01

Beep

00:00:02

Beep

00:00:03

Beep

00:00:04


"...?"

"...!?"

"...!"

"..."

"W... what... the fuck?!"


A/N: THE END! Omg. This chapter was so long, I hope it didn't bore you guys out. I'm just a person for excessive details :P There is a poll up right now, please check and answer it as soon as possible!

Please leave a comment / opinion / suggestion if you would like! It makes my heart sing with happiness when I see a review! :D

Chapter Text

This will be a shorter chapter! A preview for one of the upcoming teammates. Guess who~?


Intermission


Ah. The perks of eating a full meal again was certainly a delight.

After busting his ass to get a promotion, he finally has what he deserves. Being able to afford nutritious food was much preferred over the trash and junks that he was forced to consume in the past. It was barely food. Was it for eating? Yes. But was it enough to sustain the body? Barely.

This was a fresh change of pace. And it was greatly appreciated.

He thanked the waiter for bringing him his meal and left his payment along with some tips on the table as he made his way out of the door. A cool blast of wind brushed against him as the familiar aroma of the restaurant disappeared when he was greeted with the sight of the busy streets. His nose mourned the loss of the heavenly scent for a moment before he adjusted his bag and began making his way back home.

The crowded streets, so lively. But he knew that hidden underneath the facade, the wheels of society continues to grind and move on like autonomous, soulless machines. Someone could have died right in front of him right now and no one would even bother to help. It was bad like that.

If he had to be honest, depending on how complicated the situation is, he probably wouldn't step in to help either.

He sighs. How sad.

Ah. A grocery store. Maybe he should have a quick visit for this week's supplies. That sounds good.

The automatic sliding door opened up upon the motion detector registering his movements. He proceeds inside.

Wow.

It was even more dead than those olden times graveyards.

Everyone else was so engrossed in clicking and scrolling through some form of holographic screens, it appears as if their eyes were glued to the electronic tablets that were used for easier purchases and transactions. There were some people that lined up at the aisle to check out things, but they all ignored each other and tried to move on as fast as possible, their priorities was: get in, grab things, and get out.

Aside from the tapping and beeping noises coming from different varieties of machines and the occasional voices of the store's employees asking the customer about their payments, there was no other sound from any other living human being.

If he didn't know any better, he would have thought that he was surrounded by programmed robots with flesh.

He shook his head and ignored his surroundings as he then made his way to isle four to pick up a couple packs of instant noodles. He smirked a little. One would have thought that with the many changes and innovation of technology and everything else in their current world, the old companies would have stopped manufacturing stuff like these altogether. But they didn't, and different types and brands of ramen were still stocked and stacked neatly upon the shelves.

He was always a fan of the classics. Especially fairy tale-ish and fantasy themed things, olden times works just as well. Like the age of the shogun and the daimyo, where samurais and ninjas existed. Or like the times of the knights and kings, those were awesome times, according to the television shows and anime that he have seen.

After grabbing the packs of shrimp flavored ramen, he went to the vegetable section to pick up a couple of leeks, cabbages, and green onions. He has to spice up his meals somehow, right? And finally, he went to grab a cartridge of a dozen of eggs and stopped by the bread section for some french loafs. This should be enough for this week. And if he doesn't eat excessively, it might even last for two weeks.

He glances around him.

There were so many people with their eyes sole focussed on the holographic screens of their tablets that the whiteness of the grocery store could almost not be seen due to the bluish glow of the electronic devices. He might have considered that alternative some other time, but he didn't bring his tablet with him today, so the option is closed. The self-checkout station was occupied as well, but the checkout lane was not. So he proceeds there with his groceries in tow as he placed them on the sliding mat.

The employee, like a machine, took each item in their hands and mindlessly scanned it over the scanner, then dropped it into the plastic bags with such precision that he thought that some sort of device must be implanted in their hands. The only implication that told him that they were human were when it comes to the egg, they took careful measures to isolate it in a different bag.

"That will be 2525.13 yen. Electronic credit, cash, or checks?" Said the cashier worker in a pseudo cheery voice, attempting to sound as friendly as possible.

"Electronic credit, please." He said, taking out a small transparent card and handing it to the person. Upon receiving it, the employee then swiftly inserted the card into a slot of some machine and vigorously tapped a bunch of buttons on their monitor. After a few seconds, the transactions was complete at the machine's 'ding!' noise.

Handing him back his card, the person nodded at him with a tired smile as he then nodded back in thanks and in farewell. Must be a rough day for them...

Ah. It's quite dark now. September was the time of the season when the sun have already set at six. It was currently seven forty-five. Time to go home.

With his groceries bag in tow, he begins his walk back home.

Another perk of having his current job was the location. He lived in an apartment that was only six blocks away. Close enough for a daily healthy walk and not so far that it would make his feet hurt after. He liked conveniency. The faster that he can accomplish something the better. He dislikes being slow. If he has something to do, he wanted to get it done as quick and effective as possible.

His apartment was a very clean and simple looking place. The building wasn't flashy, but it doesn't look like a place that the lower class people would be living in.

After taking the elevator to his floor, he fumbles slightly to get his keys as he then inserted it into the keyhole. With a turn and a subtle click, his door opened and a cold breeze rushed to greet him. He breathes in and exhales out softly.

"I'm home!" He said to no one in particular as he immediately made his way to the kitchen. Spreading the array of groceries atop of his counter, he then, one by one, placed each item in its respective position.

Eggs and vegetables in the fridge, bread in the food closet, and the ramen noodle packages followed suit.

By the time he finished arranging all of his items, it was eight-sixteen. He has just eaten, so, of course, he didn't feel the need to consume food for the time being. That means more time for him to finally catch a break and have some fun! Today is Friday, too. No work for him tomorrow since it's one of his off days. Meaning he can do whatever he want today. He can stay up late, watch some of his favorite television shows, or even sleep in and no one would have a problem with that.

"Oh! Right! First, I should probably send my boss a thank you note before doing anything."

He was a quiet and reserved person, and he didn't have many friends outside and inside his workplace. Because of his limited connections, there was no one to refer him for a raise and no friends he could ask to say a few nice things about him to his boss. He has to start everything from scratch to get where he was now. Despite the process being a little bit difficult, it paid off in the end.

A holographic computer monitor appeared when he powered his station up. And he begins to navigate to the email section and clicked the 'Compose Email' button near the upper left corner of the screen. After typing in the recipient, which is his boss, he began to type in his thanks, trying to make it as brief and genuine as possible. After making sure that his letter was good to go, he proceeds to click the 'send' button as a 'pop' sound followed, indicating that the email is sent.

"Ah... So tiring. I should really get back to that anime. But I guess I'll check my emails too since the screen is still up."

There was over a dozen of emails. Mostly promotional stuff and some weird advertisement. He snickers when he saw a promotional email for another seemingly 'updated' line of tablet that are going to be released soon. There was never any major 'updates'. The product was either released with different varieties of colors, a change in size, or just a change in name. It was such a joke that he felt compelled to laugh every single time one of these things popped up in his mailbox.

Good 'ole Apple and their corporate shit.

Sighing nonchalantly, he selected the unimportant emails as he then sends it straight to the trash.

"Ooook. Now that all the spams are out of the way..." He released a sigh of relief. Only about six or so emails left to read.

He took a brief look at the first one. The heading titled: "Your yearly anime network subscription will soon expire!". Ah. Shit. He needs to take care of that soon. How else will he be able to watch Naruto or Samurai Champloo? Those are some of those super old classics with amazing concepts that he could get behind and be immersed in. People don't appreciate contents like this as much anymore! It was baffling to him.

Setting that aside, for now, he flagged the email with a star as he then moved on to the others.

The next heading was titled "Please renew your electronic credits!". He grumbled to himself a little as he then also flagged that email as important. He didn't really like checking emails solely for these reasons. But he knows that he will have to eventually, so he would like to get that out of the way as quickly as possible. Waste no time.

He raised an eyebrow as a chuckle escaped him. "Oh wow, that game is still sending me messages?"

Said game was Aberage, one of the mecha combat games title that was fairly popular awhile ago. It's been a few moon since he had gotten his hands on that thing. He wondered if anything major has changed. Probably, probably not. He wouldn't know. It was just an email about some purchasable expansion packs that he can buy to upgrade his machine. No thanks.

Well... maybe not now, anyway.

With a click, he deleted the message and proceeds to the next one.

...

Huh?

Notices...?

"Wha..."

He clicked the email to open its content when the title of said email looked slightly suspicious.

"Oh. Psch. Just an announcement from my boss. When was that? Let's see... Last week? Ha. I really need to clear out my inbox at least twice a week..." He sighed after scanning his eyes over the already known announcement. And once again, he deleted the email as a paper crumbling sound popped up to indicate that it was permanently erased from existence. Of course, he could recover it. But why would he do that?

"Two more! Alright, let's see here." He then started muttering to himself as he read the email's title out loud. "Mhmm. Uhuh. Wait, what?"

"What is this?"

"Yggdra...sil... Email... Notices?"

[ Yggdrasil Guild Notices - Email Notice ]

No... freaking way.

Yeah. It's for real. That was unmistakably the official trademark of Yggdrasil.

But... why now? What is it doing here?

And from it was from Momonga himself, too.

What happened? It's been a while since he has laid his hands on that game. In all honestly, with the busy life that he has and with many other things occupying his mind, gaming wasn't a priority anymore. He has completely forgotten about it, to be honest, even though he know that he shouldn't be. He was slightly upset about that. But what could he do? It just happens.

That takes him back a little... Back then, he was so devoted to this game. As soon as he was free from work, he would come online as soon as possible. He wouldn't want to miss making plans with his friend. Everyone was assigned something to do, either solo or in a separate party or with the guild as a whole. Everyone's job was equally important, no one would feel like they are not contributing enough to the guild. Which is why he loved playing so much. In real life, he was just a regular employee, he didn't feel what he do would be too significant to the company's survival. Ainz Ooal Gown made him feel important, like what he does matters.

It reminded him of the many hilarious encounters that he has experienced along with his guildmates. He remembers this one time when he was in a party of twelve people to hunt for this one regional boss. On the way, Fang got stuck in a hole because he was dicking around with Peroroncino around Lin and he didn't see the fifteen feet deep trench just below his feet; obviously, everyone else noticed and had avoided it. The avian followed suit, tumbling inside of the hole and landed directly on said wolf. But he had wings... so he flew out of it with ease. Fang? Not so much. He tried to parkour his way out, but the monk class player was too big to have a proper leverage for a repeated somersault on the narrow walls.

In the end, the wolf, thanks to the combined effort of Tabula, Peroroncino, Bukubukuchagama, and Momonga's Blessing of Flight Amulet, Fang made it out with his pride somewhat damaged. Teamwork was the best. And in those amusing times, even better. It ensures a story to tell and to remember for quite awhile as the event would be recorded and spread around the guild in no time. The best thing to remember about that event was the fact that Tabula has to use his 'tentacles' to help lift the wolf out of the pit. Momonga's amulet helped to levitate the weight of Fang somewhat, but since the White Ghost didn't know how to use it, physical help was still needed if they want him to make it out without using some form of teleportation devices.

What good times... He sighed dreamily.

Snapping out of his day-dream, he brought his attention back to the email on the screen.

What is this about? He wondered. His heart skipped a beat the moment the name of the game appeared in the email heading. He hasn't seen any emails coming from Yggdrasil in ages. When he signed up to play it, he didn't subscribe to the newsletter because he didn't want them and because his guildmates would certainly update everyone on new things anyway. The only time that he receives an email from Yggdrasil is when a trade has been initiated, a friend request has been sent, or updates notices and emails from the guild or other players.

This must belong to one of those three categories.

[ Sender: Guild Leader Momonga ]

[ Subject: ]

[ Dear my friends of the First Nine... ]

He paused.

The Original Nine... It's been some time since anyone in the guild had referred to them like that.

Momonga, what's happening... Why... why are you...?

Including him, eight others, which belonged to the original nine, were also sent this email. Something is wrong. It felt... off. Momonga never sends them emails. He would just tell everyone things in person when they all regrouped. But, obviously, he couldn't have that luxury now because he have left the game due to his busy life.

This must be something important, then.

He stops himself once more.

What if... Nazarick were destroyed in a raid? And Momonga was here to break the news? No way. That is not possible. It... it can't be, can it?

But then again, he wasn't there to defend it if it indeed got surrounded and attacked. He wouldn't know.

He realized that he knows nothing. Their current status, the guild's ranking, Nazarick's defensive ratings, the guildmember's state of welfare... He is beginning to feel worried.

"Alright, Momonga-san. What's is going on?"

[ Hello, my friends of Nine's Own Goal and Ainz Ooal Gown alike... ]


Why does patch updates takes so long? It has been thirty minutes. Despite his lack of playing Yggdrasil for awhile, the system still should have been able to keep itself updated automatically. He starts to get annoyed as he took a look at the screen. Eight forty-five. Nice. Thirty, fucking, minutes.

Ting!

He staggered a little at the sudden sound.

"YES! FINALLY."

Patch 12.41.09; the last ever patch that he would have to ever download. He celebrated that fact with joy that was layered with heavy sorrow. He can't believe that the game would end soon. Considering how popular it was a few years back, he never would have thought that a day would come when it would be shut down.

Theme music... theme music... theme music... Ah. Theme music. He reveled with delight upon Yggdrasil's theme music startup.

It was so nostalgic... hearing this once more. One of his favorite part of the game was the soundtracks, how well-made and beautifully composed it was. In different location of the game, the music would varied and differ. The PVP music and the PVE music was also different from each other when it intercepted the BGM. When they were in Niflheimr, the music was ominous and it brings chills down to your spine, giving you that coldness that was the Norse equivalent of hell. And in Asgard, the music brought the air of triumph, glory, and conquest. He always liked to visit that place when he wasn't constantly targeted with humanoid players in the earlier stages of the game.

He could stay here and listen to this soundtrack day. Da da daaaa! Da da da dum! Sounded the music.

But he have other priorities.

Alright. Username... Password...

Ugh. User Terms and Agreements. He dreaded that text box that popped up every single time an update has arrived. He can't understand why and how in the world did they thought of this many things to make up, and with this many texts and paragraphs, it was as if Tabula Smaragdina was working for those shitty devs.

It didn't take long for him to get into the game where the location select screen was right in front of him. And he took a moment to ponder on what to do.

"Should I immediately go to the guild's headquarters?"

He wasn't really sure. Usually the time that Momonga and friends would log on is at about nine fifteen or so, since they need to rest a little and eat after getting home from work. It was only eight fifty, so chances of seeing any of them would be quite low.

But then again, again, he don't know what could have happened from all those times that he have went on a hiatus. Momonga could have gotten a promotion or a raise, like him, and his schedule would have changed and he would not have known anything about it.

"I probably should get him a gift..." He pondered, hand stroking his chin. He did have an ample amount of money on him, hence his visit to the restaurant today. He could transfer an appropriate amount of money to the game and get the guild and guild leader a little something something as a token of appreciation and apology from him.

He noticed that the 'Guild Base' option still existed, meaning that Nazarick was ok. A huge burden was lifted from his shoulder upon seeing that little, two worded line. He don't know how the skeleton player could have done it, but at that moment, he was worshiping Momonga a little.

A minute later, he made up his mind and went to the 'World Map' option. He will visit one of the major city of Miðgarðr and its Black Market to get something a little bit rarer than usual. A common gift would not suffice for the greatness of Nazarick and its inhabitants. He must at least get his hands on an item that are the equivalent or lesser equivalent to Tsukuyomi and Amaterasu, Houyi's Bow, or Shooting Star; meaning it has to be at least legendary class and above. He would never settle for less, because less is not worthy of Ainz Ooal Gown.

Nothing will beat the guild weapon that they created together, though.

After a few moments of delay, he was materialized at the city's gate.

He waited a little to see if the game system's notification of online people will pop up, but so far, Nobody had shown up, just like he have predicted earlier. He started heading into the city.

But before that...

He pulled up his inventory and located two consumable objects. Upon seeing what he was looking for, he clicked on the icons as it disappeared, indicating that it has been used. " 'False Cover' , 'Status of Invisibility'. "

He wanted his appearance to be a true surprise for his friend(s). Status of Invisibility does not make him invisible. But instead, his online status would be displayed as 'Offline' for about two and a half hour, or less, the chance was totally random; damned devs. But this was also because he doesn't want to attract annoying PK'er that are undoubtedly lurking somewhere, waiting for a chance to strike him. He has made many enemies when Ainz Ooal Gown became one of the top nine guilds. And some of them can definitely hold a grudge.

As he walked around the city, he noticed of how oddly quiet and dead it was. He have encountered no other living players so far. And aside from the conversations of NPCs that would sometimes popped up, he could hear no other banters other than theirs. This was definitely odd. Even though if it is indeed the last day, he couldn't imagine that everyone would just not show up to meet up with friends? And this was a human world's major city too. How could no one be here?

His suspicion arose as he slowly walked to the backstreet, where the Black Merchant was. He kept his senses on high alert in case someone tries something funny. He could be wrong, though. Perhaps nobody was here because they have decided to fight a world level boss together in the last day. That he could understand.

"From the forges of the old, and through the Gods' personal hand themselves, I have things that might interest you." Said the merchant upon initiating an interaction with them. He didn't reply, only nodded in acknowledgement as a screen that contains about ten items appeared in front of him.

The Black Merchant sells extremely rare items or items in a large quantity that would cost cheaper than when buying the same amount in regular stores. However, the cost was unimaginable. He would have visited Vanaheimr for better quality products and slightly better bargainable prices. But it has been a while since he have set his foot in human's land. So he decided to come here instead.

Wand of Resurrection, Aegis of Athena, 200 Teleportation Scroll, Heaven's Feather, Loki's Bane, Blessing of Titania, 150 Master Class Health Potion, Pandora's Box, Fenrir's Moon...

He was baffled at the amount of extremely rare item that were being sold here. Blessing of Titania, Loki's Bane, and Pandora's Box was extremely hard to get items that only appeared if you logged in on a certain day and time of the year that are very, very, inconvenient, or fighting a dungeon consists of eight divine bosses that appeared one after the other upon the prior one's defeat. Their worth could easily surpassed Legendary Class items.

And what was more baffling was the final item in that list.

It was The Mirror of Revealing Demons. Its other name was known as the Bagua Mirror, Eight Trigrams Jingzi, or The Eight Trigrams Reflector of Truth.*

It was a fucking world class item.

Why the fuck is it here? In broad daylight?

The Eight Trigrams Reflector of Truth contains a frightening power of destruction upon nonhuman types players and monsters. In addition to its destructive properties, it has the special power to obliterate all demon type characters. Whether if it was players, standard enemy creatures, or even world level bosses, they were all killed upon one reflection of the mirror upon themselves. In the earlier years of the game, the rumor of this item was spread around, thus, effectively mobilizing humanoid players to go search for this item to use it against nonhuman, demon types. Aside from its advantages against 'monster players', it also grant its wielder bonus MP and an active status of Protection From Negative Energy as long as its user was wielding it in one of their inventory slots. Plus, due to its 'holy' and celestial nature, it can also negate mind control of all forms and sometimes, even deflect them onto the opponent. Hence its name, The Eight Trigrams Reflector of Truth.

This thing was thought to be a myth, a legend that was made up by the devs to stir up players to go and meaninglessly try to search for it. The item was not one of the Twenty, but that didn't decrease the interest of others. In fact, it made people want it even more since they can use it as much as they want and it will never disappear. Some say that it only appears when the final boss of Yggdrasil was defeated, or that it could be find hidden beneath a complex series of underground dungeon that was inaccessible until this certain day of the year, and it would only be available for about an hour in that day; if one were not able to complete the dungeon in said time, they would be ejected out and the prize would be unclaimed and transferred to some other dungeons instead.

Why is it fucking here? Along with all these over the top items?

"Shitty, fucking, devs." He said breathlessly as he glanced over the item display several more times to make sure what he saw was legit. And when the sight in front of him did not change, he let out a silent shout of glee as he did a dance right where he stood.

The devs probably didn't care anymore today and just placed random items in random places. Today of all days... The one and only in the world, too. What the fuck. Damned devs were purposely messing with their minds.

This is a perfect gift for Momonga and Ainz Ooal Gown.

He still have a shit ton of leftover in game premium currency. And after selecting all the items minus the world item that he wanted, he instantly bought it all with a press of a button.

Bree bree breet! Sounded the system as it confirmed and registered his purchase. It scared him a little, how fast that number on his screen was quickly decreasing. That almost took all of his money out of his account. But it matters not. After he have added over 5918.00 worth of Yen, equaling to 45,000 unit of Premium Gold—plus a bonus 10,000,000 unit of regular gold currency—, he wasted no time to purchase The Mirror of Revealing Demons.

He cursed himself for not looking at the price first before buying it impulsively.

"Once again, damn you! You shitty devs!"

The item was unexpectedly cheap. His three other items that he have just bought exceeded the world item's price by about threefold! Blessing of Titania costed about 5,000 PG ( premium gold ) or 1,560,000 in game gold. Loki's Bane's purchase price was 3,850 PG or 2,100,050 G. Pandora's Box could only be purchased with regular in game money at the ridiculous price of 5,555,555 G.—thank god he had just enough.

The world item costed him 2,706 PG.

"Fuck you, you shitty devs!" He wasn't sure whether if that statement was of anger of gladness. He let out a shaky breath as he then took another glance at the Black Market's array of items. There was still six left.

"Ahhhh what the heck. Since I just wasted my money, I'll buy all of this!" He said as he then proceeds to spend 10,203 more PG and 1,329,478 G more gold to buy the remaining items.

After impulsively purchasing everything in the Black Merchant's shop, the NPC then turned to him with glee as they then said: "Oh my my my! It appears that I have ran out of items! Please come back in three hours for more unique supplies!". He smirked and nodded at the person cloaked in a shady black outfit as he then left the place, feeling oddly satisfied with himself. The perks and disadvantages of Black Markets was that once somebody have bought an item, that slot would be left empty for them and for other players, too. Meaning that if anyone else have returned here after him, hoping to buy something rare, they would probably be really disappointed when everything was completely ransacked by him.

Ding!

User [ Momonga ] is online!

"Momonga-san! Niiiiiiice." It was nine fifty. Just at the right time, too. He glanced at the active status effects that he has on the screen. The Status of Invisibility scroll would be active for about two more hours. He could cancel it, but he decided against it for now. Perhaps with the many time that he have left, he could now visit Asgard or taking a quick stroll through the scorching heat of Múspellsheimr.

"I'll see you in about an hour, Momonga-san. I hope you don't mind if I go sightseeing a little!"


"My god... don't you people ever quii i i itt ? ? ? " He shouted with irritation as he began to run as fast as his feet could take him. There was a horde of people chasing him at the moment, and all of them were tossing arrows and random spells as it missed and flew past him.

Why did he think that sightseeing was a good idea in the first place if he knew of possible PK'ers that are lurking around?! He have walked straight into a large legion of players that have just finished killing the boss in this region and are collecting item drops from it. Many eyes and faces were turned his way before everything starts to go to hell.

"GET HIM! HE HAS ONE OF THOSE ITEMS!"

" 'Slipstream'! " Hah?! Come on now! Slow debuffs?!

" 'Summon Item: Iron Maiden'! " Wait wha

" 'Mercury's Hammer'! " Oh shi—

" 'Righteous Fury'! " What the fuck!? Those are all level seven and above spells and skills! These guys are seriously trying to massacre him!

What the hell?! This was where they all were the entire time? He just wanted to take a fucking stroll through the scenery of Múspellsheimr. Who could have knew that they were all gathered here to defeat the Fire Giant Boss?! Not fucking him, that's who!

He could stop running to fight them. But that would waste too much time! He have already spent an hour and a half visiting Asgard. And since then, it's been thirty minutes since they discovered him and started to automatically attack him on sight. He was confused in the first minute before remembering one of Yggdrasil's functions: The World Class Item Holder list.

Since each of them have only one in quantity, once a world class items have found an owner, the name of said person or organization would be registered on the list and is displayed for the world to see. That was one of the shitty functions of the game that no one but showoffs liked. Though, the upside of this was the fact that the list would only display the name of the users and not the item itself. So nobody would have known who has which item.

He didn't give the item to Momonga yet, so it wasn't registered with the guild's name instead of his. No matter if his Status of Invisibility was active or not, his name would still be registered on the damned list. Everyone in this goddamn place has recognized him because of that and because of his affiliation to Ainz Ooal Gown. And thus, they have all attacked him relentlessly and without mercy.

Fuck you! You cursed devs ! ! !

"Alright, buy me time, Fenrir!" He said as he then used the item 'Fenrir's Moon'. Upon blowing the horn that was intricated with a breathtaking design, a majestic wolf standing at six feet tall appeared on the battlefield. It's beauty and majesty have halted the advances of the players for a few moments. Using that small time advantage, he then issued his command to the beast.

"Fenrir, use Ragnarok! And—" Upon the wolf's ear shattering howl that shook the very earth, he then issued his next command. "—Odin's Devourer! Kill anyone who tries to run past you!" At the instance of him uttering out those words, the wolf quickly morphed into a ginormous beast that stood over twenty-five feet tall, its red eyes gleamed dangerously as its maw contorted into a snarl. With another howl, the moon of Múspellsheimr itself shook as a red aura of rage and bloodlust swirled around the creature. Some were visibly frightened while others shook off their hesitation as they then charged at the raging giant.

With a snap of its teeth, the few that dared to go in first died immediately as their body was bitten clean off. Their character then vanished in a blurry of pixels as they then returned to the character selection screen to take on the EXP penalty or to revive themselves using an item.

"Thanks, Fenrir! See you on the flip side!" He shouted as he then walked through the teleportation portal. Since others had attacked him, he couldn't use any items that would transport him somewhere else. This portal would lead him to Niflheimr. A little bit farther than where he wanted to go... but he didn't have the luxury to complain.

When he went through the portal, a purple blotch of space and gravity wrapped itself around him. He felt a lightness in his body as the portal activated its teleporting function. At the instance of his arrival, he felt the coldness of Niflheimr greeting him as an active status then appeared on his screen. "True Frost". A status effect that would affect anyone, even those who have resistances to cold. He have decent gears that covers most of his body, so he didn't feel too much of the physical effect of the frost. However, his movements was definitely impaired. He feel himself slowing down. And he sighs out tiredly.

22:48:24

Alright. He still have time to get back.

"Better use that teleport scroll now."


"AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!"

"There he is!"

"GET HIM!"

What? Here too!?

"Oh for fuc—" The voices came from the opposite direction of the portal that he just walked through, meaning that Fenrir was still holding out. This was a different group. He groaned as he took out his weapons. He was tired of running. At his current state of being chilled and slowed, he couldn't keep running; he wouldn't get very far at all. Hopefully he can deal with this problem before time ran out.

Wait for me, guild leader. I have a present for you.

"All right you motherfuckers, come at me then!"


A/N: As I said, really short and quick chapter detailing one of the guildmember's 'adventure' before the game shuts down. Who is this person? Can you guess? :3

*The Mirror of Revealing Demons, in my language, were known as Kính Chiếu Yêu. The directly translated phrase would be the Mirror of Reflecting Demons. It was an item in the Chinese Mythology that was wielded by one of the gods, Li Jing. In Journey to The West, Li Jing, also known as Pagoda-Bearing Heavenly King Li have a mirror that were used to reveal the true identity of demons that masquerade as a different form of disguise.

Thanks for reading this and all of your support! I will apologize for not posting so much. There are more chapters on fanfiction because I go there more often. But I will try to update on here more! 

Chapter Text

 Chapter 3 - A New World! Dream No Longer!


"Bukubuku-chan, we're not going to make it!"

"No! Don't quit now! There's still over two minutes left."

"But... Do you think we can do it?"

"Hell yeah! We can do this! Let's show these losers why our guild used to be in the top ten! Come now, I'll protect you, Yama-chan."

"Alright! I'm counting on you then, Chagama-san."

"Then let's finish this! They only have about a dozen or so people left. Here I come! [ Knight's Challenge ]!"

"Ok! [ Greater Lethal ]!"

"Die you motherfuckers! This is what you get for standing in Ainz Ooal Gown's way!"

"Haaaah... At instances like these, I wished that I'd built a little bit into my magical damage..."

"That's alright, Yamaiko! Your super tier spell is still in effect! As long as it keeps up, we're going to be fine!"

"Alright! I'll do my best, Bukubuku-chan!"

"That's the Yama-chan that I know and love! Now come on! He's waiting for us!"

"Alright! Let's go!"


"Is anyone else seeing this? Anyone still here?" Momonga asked, not sure what was happening at the moment.

"I'm here."

"I'm here."

"Here."

A few voices—which all belonged to his friend—called out in response to Momonga's inquiry. Their joined hands have been separated, and they all looked around, confused about why they have not been ejected out of the game yet.

"What's going on?"

The time was right. They all should have been forcibly logged out by the server shutdown.

00:00:38

It was definitely past midnight. The clock could not have gone wrong because of a system error.

A confused Momonga looked around him, searching for any clues in the vicinity. But none was founded. He was still in the company of his guildmates. Nothing else has occurred. Nothing looked out of place, everything remains the same. Nazarick was still Nazarick. Ulbert still has his horns. Peroroncino still has his wings. Tabula's tentacles could not look any healthier. And Momonga was still all bones.

"Perhaps they have delayed the server shutdown?" That was Tabula. The alchemist stroked his chin as he then ponders over a few possibilities of the current situation that they are in.

Or had the developers extended play time as a form of compensation?

Although numerous reasons appeared in his mind, they were all far from the truth. However, the most likely reason was that an irresistible force had cropped up, and extended the server shutdown time.

"If that was the case, the GMs would have made an announcement," Ulbert said, his voice contained the same confusion that Momonga and Tabula have. His eyebrows scrunched up as he then stroked his beard, wondering why they can still see and communicate with one another.

Huh. I didn't realize how smooth and soft my fur was.

Momonga hurriedly worked to reopen the message panel he had closed—and then he stopped halfway.

There was no command console.

"What is going on? Guys...?"

His guildmates' heads turned at the skeleton's direction.

"I... can't access the console menu."

"What!?" Came the incredulous voices of his comrades. Some of them had also tried to bring up the game panels, but it was to no avail, they have yielded the same results that Momonga had.

"What's the meaning of this, you shitty devs?!" Peroroncino said in frustration as he tries once more to contact the game's moderators for help.

Momonga was filled with panic, frustration, and suspicion, but he was also surprised by how calm he was considering the circumstances. He decided to call on other means. Forced connections that did not require a console, the chat function, a GM call, a forced logout—

None of them responded. It was as though they had been deleted from the system.

"What the fuck is going on!"

Momonga's angry voice echoes through the Throne Room then vanished.

Today was the last day of YGGDRASIL, yet all these things were happening on a day that should have marked an end to the game. Was this some kind of prank they were pulling on the players? Momonga was quite unhappy that they could not meet the end of the game in style like Ulbert have said, and the words he muttered clearly illustrated the anger inside him.

"Tch. Shitty devs. What is the meaning of this...?!" Peroroncino mumbled with extreme confusion, his wings stiffened nervously.

"Is there something the matter? Dear Supreme Ones?"

What was that? It was a woman's voice. And she sounded lovely as well. He was hearing this voice for the first time, since he did not recognize it at all. The other three have the same reaction as they all raised their eyebrows in surprise.

"Ulbert, was that you?" Momonga said, partly joking but partly serious at the same time.

"My dear, sweet, sweet, Momonga. Forgive me for saying this, but are you demented?" Ulbert replied with sarcasm and a roll of his eyes. "Do I sound like a female to you?" The demon snorted at Momonga's silly question.

"Who was that, then?" Momonga was startled, but he still kept searching for the source of the voice.

"That's reaaaaally creepy! Whoever it is, speak up!" Peroroncino said with slight agitation and anxiousness. This was weird. Momonga said that today was the final day of the game. And he is absolutely confused as to what is happening right now. Not only have they not gotten forcibly logged out of the game, they can't even access any of the game's functions at all.

"Lord Momonga? Lord Peroroncino? My Lords? Is something wrong?" There was that voice again.

"What?"

When they found the one who had spoken the words from just now, the four of them was speechless. The person who had answered Peroroncino was the NPC raising her head — Albedo.

"Is something wrong, Lord Momonga? Lord Peroroncino? My Lords...?"

Albedo kept asking them the same question over and over again. Momonga did not know how to respond. As it was, there were far too many things he did not understand, so his thought processes short-circuited.

Tabula Smaragdina would have responded to his creation's queries. But his mind was in the same state as that of the overlord, so he couldn't find anything appropriate to say to the imp. Ulbert has been oddly quiet. And Peroroncino was still in his stunned state upon knowing that the female voice they were hearing had belonged to Albedo.

"P-please excuse me," Albedo said hesitantly as she made her way past the other three to stand next to Momonga. He could only stare at her absentmindedly as she then invaded his personal space by leaning her beautiful face closer to his skull face. A faint but wonderful scent tickled Momonga's nostrils. Perhaps kick-started by the fragrance, his thoughts began to return to him.

"Is there something wrong? Lord Momonga?"

"No, I'm alright. Thank y— It's nothing." He lacked the particular naivete required to speak too terribly politely toward a mannequin, but as soon as she had spoken to him, he felt compelled to answer. There was something undeniably human about the way she spoke and moved.

Momonga was not the only one who have noticed the fragrance.

Peroroncino was the first one to notice that sweet and feminine scent. But he was having a hard time believing in his sense of smell. When was that a function in Yggdrasil? He looked to Tabula Smaragdina and Ulbert Alain Odle to search for some possible clues to answer his questions. But they have none to give. For they did not know much about the changes of Yggdrasil either. The only person in the vicinity that might have a proper explanation for this was Momonga. And he was currently occupied by his own train of thoughts and by the female imp.

Momonga still had the feeling that something was terribly wrong about Albedo and himself, but he had no way of understanding exactly what the problem was. All he could do in this ignorant state was to suppress his fear, shock, and other unnecessary emotions. However, Momonga was a common person, and could not do that. Right as he was about to scream, he remembered the words of one of his guildmates: "Panic breeds failure. One must always have a composed, rational state of mind. Calm your heart and broaden your outlook. Don't let your thoughts take you prisoner. Keep your mind quick, Momonga."

With that remembrance, his calm came flooding back to him. He mentally gave his thanks to the man known as the guild's Kongming, Punitto Moe.

"Are you all right?" She asked, her head tilted adorably as their faces were only inches away from each other. He could felt her breath overlapping his. And with such a beautiful female being so close to him, whatever calmness that he regained threatened to fly itself out of the window again.

Sensing his friend's distress and nervousness, Tabula snapped out of his trance as he walked towards where the pair of imp and skeleton were. "Albedo. That's enough." He said calmly as he stopped in front of the two of them with an appropriate distance. Upon hearing her creator's words, Albedo immediately withdrew herself from Momonga's personal space as she whipped herself around to bow down to her creator.

"Y-Yes, my Creator. I apologize for my imprudence." The imp said nervously, fearing that she have somehow displeased the one who has created her. Though she wasn't sure what she did that was wrong, she did not want to upset the man that she has come to revered as her God and father.

"Hmm. Do not worry, child. The GM call function isn't working, that's all." Tabula surprised everyone in the room by speaking so casually to the female imp like he has known Albedo for his entire life, and this was one of those regular conversations that he would have before heading to bed. But little do they know, he has no idea what was going on and why his NPC was moving on their own volition. He didn't program that into her settings. He was only trying to help his flustered friend out by telling Albedo to back off.

Meanwhile, Momonga was somehow still as calm as ever. He noticed that those conflicting feelings inside of him have already settled down as if they were being held back. The lack of wider emotional fluctuation, however, gave him a touch of anxiety. He had thought it was due to his former comrade's words, but is that really it? Momonga shook his head. Now wasn't the time.

Albedo tilted her head a little, confused as to what her creator was speaking about. Then, she bowed her head once again as she speaks. "...Please forgive me. I am so ignorant I fear I am unable to answer your question regarding this 'GM Call' you speak of. Nothing would make me happier than a chance to clear myself of the disgrace of failing your expectations."

...The two of them were conversing. There was no doubt about that. Learning this fact shocked Momonga so greatly that he could not speak. Impossible. This should have been impossible. An NPC was talking. Well, there were macros that allowed them to do that. Players had been passing around data for battle cries and cheers, etc. Still, a conversation was impossible. Even just a minute ago, Sebas and the maids wouldn't respond to anything that wasn't simple command phrase.

How is this happening? Did Tabula modified Albedo and implemented some special functions within her? Was that even possible?

He has to test this. If his thinking was correct, and this was some sort of dysfunctional error, then the rest of the NPCs should not have been able to speak if he stated unspecified orders that aren't coded into the game. When Albedo moved back upon the command of Tabula Smaragdina, Momonga looked to where Sebas and the Pleiades were, with their heads still bowed and their frames frozen in that kneeling position.

"Sebas, Pleiades!"

"My lord!" They replied in magnificent unison, raising their heads in a slick motion.

"Come to the foot of the throne."

"Yes, sir!" They answered simultaneously as they sprang to their feet. The group walked together with beautiful posture to the bottom of the steps leading to the throne before each dropping again to one knee and bowing.

From this exchange, Momonga and his friends have learned and taken notice of two things. First, although he had purposely avoided using command phrases, they could understand his intentions and carry them out just fine. Second, Albedo was not the only one who could talk. At the very least, something weird was going on with all the NPCs in the Throne Room instead of just Albedo alone.

He still has that lingering feeling in him that told him that there was something else that was off about this entire situation. Something was definitely not right about him, Ulbert, Tabula, Peroroncino, and Albedo. Wanting to understand their current predicament, he took his chin in his hands and observed all the NPCs in silence as he waits for something to happen. Even though he wasn't sure what.

Peroroncino, without a word, took large strides to get to Albedo as he then kneels down on one knee in front of said imp. Then he leaned in and peered at her face as the remaining three in the room watched on with curiosity.

The winged female was a little bit nervous under the scrutiny of one of the supreme beings. She felt slightly flustered at the attention that she was receiving, and she lowered her gaze down to the ground to avoid meeting eye to eye with The Archer Lord Peroroncino.

With his claw-tipped talons, he took a hold of Albedo's chin as he then tilted her face up, then turned her head side to side in a form of inspection.

Momonga has an idea in mind as of what the avian was doing or is planning to do, and he sighed internally in exasperation. Really? Now? But then, after a little while, much to his surprise, the archer let out a small breath as he then stared intently into the face of the imp, eyes solely focused on her lips.

"Speak," Peroroncino stated bluntly and plainly. But the command was simple and easy to understand.

Albedo gulps a little as she then opened her mouth tentatively. "Your wish... is... is my command. My Lord."

The archer froze immediately upon recognizing what the root of their incongruity was. He lets go of Albedo's face as a small gasp escaped him as he then staggered back a little in shock.

Ulbert, the man that has been quiet this entire time went behind the avian to catch him. Then, the demon took a hold of Peroroncino's shoulder as he then shook him firmly, giving the birdman some ways of staying grounded. Peroroncino nodded to Ulbert in thanks as he then let out a shaky breath. With a clear of his throat, he began to approach the throne to deliver his newfound discovery with his guildmates.

"Tabula, 'Berto, Momong—"

Before he could finish, Momonga stood up abruptly, surprising the shit out of the avian as he halted his advances. He was about three strides away from the skeleton, and being this close, he could see and feel the shock that was evident in his friend's body language and facial movements—

"Peroroncino!" Momonga said hurriedly.

"W-What?! Is something wrong!?" Peroroncino said, feeling alarmed at his friend's sudden exclamation. Excluding one very confused Albedo, everyone's shoulder was tense as they braced themselves for some sort of upsetting revelation.

"You three, come here, right, now." Said the undead slowly and deliberately drawing each word out, emphasizing the importance of his demand. Without questions, the three players gathered themselves around Momonga as the skeleton then grabbed a hold of the archer's face, holding his head in place as he leaned his skull in closer.

"Wawawa—M-Momonga?! What are you doing? Don't~! I'm not ready~!" Peroroncino said in a soft whine, his eyes squeezing itself tight shut, wings flapping excitedly (?), mouth slightly agape as he then squirmed in the skeleton's hold. Though the more the avian was struggling, the firmer the grip on the sides of his head. Momonga's red irises dimmed with irritation at his friend's inability to understand his intentions and at the archer's perverted thoughts at such an inconvenient time.

"Peroroncino! Stop struggling! I'm not trying to do anything funny!" After a few firm pat to the birdman's cheeks, Peroroncino's... strange thoughts subsided as he stayed put, allowing Momonga to do whatever it is that he was planning to do. "You all, take a look. Peroroncino, say something."

"Uhhh... U-um. For-foreplay? Tentacles? Yiff?" He stammered as he struggled to find something to say. He's not good at making stuff up, so he just says whatever it is that was on his mind at the moment.

The trio had an unamused look on their faces upon Peroroncino's nonsensical response. Momonga shook his head as Tabula and Ulbert decided to ignore the words itself and instead, they stared intently at the avian's face. Ulbert let out a small gasp as Tabula stroked his own chin in thoughts. They understood and have seen what Momonga was trying to show them. Stunned they were upon seeing the archer's mouth opening and closing as he speaks. How was that even possible?

Momonga brought his skeletal hand and fingers up to his own lips and spoke experimentally. "Is this for real...?"

What the hell... My jaw is moving, too.

This should have been impossible, going by what he knew about DMMORPGs. Mouths moving and words forming out?! Expression graphics were fixed; they didn't move, they never move. Otherwise, why would the developers have made emoticons?

In addition, Momonga's face was a skull, without a tongue or a throat. He looked down to his hands, and they were the same fleshless pair that he was used to seeing. He could also see that he had no lungs or any other internal organs. But then, how was he speaking?

"This is impossible..." Whatever logic that he have formed since the start of this whole entire mess was starting to crumble away—and an equivalent panic replaced it. Right now, he wanted to scream his lung out—despite not having one—but he held it in. His friends were undoubtedly even more confused than he was. If he starts to panic now, how would they react? And, as expected, the heat in his chest was abruptly soothed by a wave of calm. What was this phenomenon? Why was it occurring every single time that he felt like some sort of extreme negative emotions was coming close to surfacing? It was extremely unsettling.

How can everything just disappear like that? Why are their mouths moving? What happened to all the functions? Is there anything that was normal around here?

Momonga lets go of the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown.

The staff did not fall onto the ground but floated in the air as though someone was still holding it. This was in complete defiance of physics, but it was a common sight in the game. There were quite a few items in YGGDRASIL which would continue floating in the air when left unattended.

The aura of tormented spirits seemed to cling to Momonga's hand as he let the staff go, but Momonga paid it no heed. He was long since used to that sight...or not, but that sort of macro wasn't so strange. Momonga deactivated the aura with a wave of his fingers. Well, at least some things remain the same...

"I see... So. I am speaking now. Albedo, my lips...? I think? Yes. My lips. They're moving, right?" Ulbert asked with fascination.

The imp was observing the four Supreme Ones for quite a while now. And she felt a sense of incompetence filling her, for she did not understand one bit of what they were talking about. If a creation does not respond to their creator's expectations, then what is the meaning of their existence?

At Ulbert's question and with his unspoken permission, she brought her head up to look at one of the creator's face. His lips indeed move. Was that such a strange occurrence? Everyone's lips moved when they speak, that was common knowledge to Albedo. But she was in no place to question the Supreme One's motives and intentions. He must have asked for a reason that her small brain cannot understand. After finish observing Ulbert, the female bowed her head once again.

"Yes, Lord Ulbert. They are." She replied, head hanging low with respect.

"Hmmm. Alright. Thank you, Albedo."

"Your thanks are wasted on me, my Lord. If you need something done, you only need to speak the words." The winged female smiled radiantly.

That will take some getting used to. The demon thought at Albedo's submissive gestures and unquestionable obedience. "Guys, this is quite... troubling." Ulbert said, stroking his beard as he turned to face his friends once more. Now that they have discovered that expression can indeed be conveyed, everyone's emotions were being evidently shown on their faces.

Except for Momonga, of course. Aside from the skeleton's occasional opening and closing of his jaws when he talks.

"Tell me about it... Our first priority should be looking for clues." Momonga said, staring at his hands once more as he clenched and unclenched it. "Do you think the damage values would appear if I hit something?"

"I don't know. Perhaps. Should we test it?" Tabula Smaragdina's voice was filled with curiosity as he ponders on the appropriate course of action that they should take from here on out. His brain was analyzing the information that he has accumulated so far.

First, all of the game's functions were inaccessible, making it impossible to contact any outside sources for help. Second, NPCs can talk. Third, their mouths can move. Fourth, every single possible human's senses, including touch and smell, were implemented and are completely functional. And lastly, they themselves can move their facial parts to express emotions.

There might be a chance that some serious error has occurred within the Yggdrasil's coding protocol. But then, an error shouldn't have been able to do all of this. So what could this be?

"Not in here." Ulbert sighed, crossing his arms in front of his chest as his posture become tense. "I don't know if structural damage will be recovered if we made a mess in here. So let's not. And furthermore, by doing so, we would soil the tranquility and beauty of this place."

Everyone nodded at that. It was true. With a normally functioned Yggdrasil, structural damage took a long time to recover. One can spend additional money to speed up the process, but it usually takes about up to five hours, depending on how big the destruction was. Deforming any components of Nazarick was also an unfavorable opinion. No one could bear the thought of something that could potentially happen to their beloved base.

They could make some plans together to figure out a way to deal with their predicament. But first thing first...

"—Sebas." Momonga said, his eyes traveling to the gray-haired butler that were still kneeling on the floor. He could see an earnest, sincere expression on Sebas' face. He looked like a real person.

I can give him orders, right? Since Albedo had unquestioningly responded to Ulbert, Tabula, and Peroroncino, perhaps I can issue orders to other NPCs as well? I'm not sure what's going on, but I can assume the NPCs in the Tomb are loyal to me and those who are in the guild, right? Actually, I don't even know if these are our NPCs... The only one that I knew well enough was Sebas, him being Touch Me's creation and all of that...

Numerous questions rose up in his mind, floating on a sea of uneasiness, but Momonga forced aside all these emotions. In the end, the only choice he had for reconnaissance was Sebas. He glanced briefly to Albedo, but then Momonga steeled himself and decided to order Sebas out.

He imagined what executives at work were like when directing regular employees and tried to act like he was one of them. "Sebas. Leave the Tomb, and confirm our surroundings within a half-mile radius. If there are any intelligent life-forms, negotiate to bring them here on amicable terms. You can give them practically whatever they request in return. Avoid combat to the extent possible."

"Understood, Lord Momonga. I will leave without delay."

In YGGDRASIL, NPCs made to protect a guild base could not leave it under any circumstances. However, it would seem this ironclad restriction had been overturned. He wouldn't know for sure until Sebas actually makes it outside, but...

"...Select one of the Pleiades to accompany you. If a battle broke out, tell her to retreat immediately to bring back any information you have."

"Yes, Lord Momonga." Said Sebas. The rest of the Pleiades simply remained in their current position, standing by as they wait for Momonga's commands.

Momonga sighed out softly as he then glanced at his friends. "Alright. I think that you all are just as confused as I am, so I'm going contact the game company. If it's possible." The game company would know the most about Momonga's present situation. The problem was actually contacting them. Normally, simply using the /shout command or a GM call would put him in touch with a GM instantly, but if these methods did not work either, then...

"Yes. Please enlighten us." Tabula said as he sighs out a little. Not of irritation or anything like that. He was just feeling tired of not knowing what situation their group was dragged into. He was thankful for how calm Momonga was. The guild leader's composure eased his unsettling feelings a little. If Momonga didn't panic, so shouldn't they. "Maybe that communication spell will work."

"[Message]?"

"Mmhmm. Though, I'm not sure if it will work. Not in here, at least."

This was a spell used to communicate in the game.

Normally, its use was restricted to certain places and conditions, but perhaps he might be able to make good use of this spell in this current situation. The problem was that this spell was originally designed to communicate with other players, so it might not be able to reach a GM. Just like what the alchemist had said.

And in this extraordinary situation, there was no guarantee that the spell would work either. But he has to give it a try. It was him who have summoned and led his friends into this mess. He has to fix this somehow. Momonga was a max-level spellcaster, so are two other individuals standing right beside him. If they could not cast spells, then their mobility, their ability to gather information, and of course, their fighting power would plummet drastically. In these unknown circumstances, he had to verify that at least he could use magic, and quickly.

Will my teammates be able to access their powers as well? We should go somewhere to test that out...

"Perhaps." He said, agreeing to Tabula's speculations.

In addition to his own abilities, he wanted to confirm one more thing.

He wanted to make sure of his and his friend's authority. But most importantly, he had to know whether his powers and privileges as the guild master of Ainz Ooal Gown still existed.

Until now, all the NPCs he had met were loyal to him and the members of Ainz Ooal Gown. An example being Albedo to Ulbert and Peroroncino. She has obeyed their orders without question, despite the fact that were not her creator. However, in the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick, there were several NPCs on par with him and his friends alike. He had to make sure they were still loyal.

Momonga glanced at the kneeling Sebas and the maids, and then at Albedo prostrating herself in front of them.

Albedo was smiling. It was a beautiful smile, but it seemed to be concealing something else behind it. As he wondered what that "something else" might be, unease crept through Momonga. The smile seemed to be directed straight at him. But he put that thought aside for now.

The NPCs were loyal to him and his guildmates, but would they stay that way? Albedo wouldn't really count at this instance. Since her creator was right front of her, she would undoubtedly obey his orders without question. And since Momonga was the guild leader and Tabula's friend, his position and status commanded total obedience and respect. Same goes for the rest of the group.

But if this were in the real world, subordinates would no longer be loyal to superiors who constantly screwed up. Would the NPCs be that way as well? Or was it that once they were programmed to be loyal, they would stay that way forever?

In addition, was he superior to others by virtue of being higher-ranked? But what criteria could he use to quantify his superiority? In all honesty, despite him being guild leader for... how long he doesn't even remember, he was always humble and kind to his teammates. He didn't nag or shove them around too much because he'd felt bad doing so... And because they all were all the best of comrades; their guild was like a big, dysfunctional, and messed up family that all loved each one another—with the exception of Ulbert and Touch Me. But even so, Momonga believed that it was just a competitive streak, nothing more.

He'd occasionally asked the guild a favor or two, and they would comply happily since he rarely asks for favors. He never has to try to be authoritative or be a tyrant and get all dictatorial over what others can and cannot do. Why should he do that? Yggdrasil was a place of letting go, of doing crazy things and break the boundaries of restrictions. Placing rules on this and that just takes away the freedom that Momonga loved about the game.

That makes him wonder. Was the authority in Nazarick based on power level? Prestige? Would that place him at a disadvantage compared to his guildmates? He was not clear about that yet. He had the feeling that as long as he kept this dungeon going, he would eventually come to understand these things.

He opened his left hand and gripped the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown that sailed into his grasp. The seven gems set into the staff gleamed brightly, as though imploring their master to use their colossal might.

...Forget it, I'll take my time to think about that later.

Momonga released the staff he held, and the wavering staff fell to the ground as though it were angry at him.

In any case, as long as he acted the part of the leader, they would probably not raise their hands against him or his friends right away. Be it among animals or humans, enemies would probably not attack if their intended prey did not reveal any weaknesses. Hopefully, his teammates will catch the drift and wouldn't question his actions nor commands to the NPCs.

"Alright, I think I know what to do." He said with a hushed tone. Then turning his attention to the maids, he spoke in a powerful commanding voice. "Pleiades! Apart from the maid selected to accompany Sebas, the rest of you will head to the ninth floor and repel any invaders from the eight floor."

"Understood, Lord Momonga." The maids behind Sebas acknowledged his orders respectfully.

"Begin immediately."

"Understood, my master!"

Once more the chorus of voices rang out. Sebas and the maids bowed once more to their lord who stood at the foot of the throne, then got up and left simultaneously. The group then vanished behind the door upon their leave.

When the room was cleared of all NPCs but one, Momonga sighed in relief. They didn't disobey his commands or say no. That was a good sign. He felt a great weight being lifted off of his chest as his posture relaxes visibly.

Meanwhile, the quartet has been observing his interactions with the group of combat maids. They have caught on to Momonga's leader-like and authoritative behaviors. And they were learning many things from this exchange as well. Their brains were starting to piece clues and information together while Momonga was using his authority to issue orders.

Ulbert learned that the NPCs were extremely respectful towards them, but especially the overlord. From that hypothesis, he drew out the conclusion that title and ranking probably have significant influence with the NPCs' behaviors towards the skeleton and others in their guild. But then, that inference has a slight falseness to them. The NPCs had obeyed all of those who were a member of the guild regardless of their positions or status. So another theory that he could form from that statement was: All members of Ainz Ooal Gown are seen as monarchs or even gods in the eyes of these NPCs that have come to life. Perhaps it was because of the coding in their settings? Though, the demon was starting to wonder if this was part of Yggdrasil at all.

Tabula have already figured out the mechanics of the NPCs by now. And saying that this situation could not get any more complicated was... a huge understatement. All he could do now was to wait for their guild leader to instruct them on what to do.

Peroroncino, on the other hand, couldn't grasp his mind on the reality of the current situation. He was utterly baffled and speechless. The archer already has a hard time believing in his eyes when he sees that Albedo's lips had moved when she speaks. And now, to find out that he himself can do the same was simply too much. His mind was racing with questions that were left unspoken, and the only thing left in his mind was to seek answers from the overlord as the avian turn to the skeleton.

"What are we supposed to do now?" Anxiety filled Peroroncino's voice as he spoke to Momonga. His wings stiffened with distress as he frowned, his eyes fixating on the ground covered with the lush and beautiful carpeting.

With a soft sigh, Momonga's bony hands found Peroroncino's own as he then held it and pat it a few times reassuringly. "Don't panic, Pero. Just trust me, ok?"

"...Ok." The archer said. He took in a lungful of breath as he then exhales out heavily. When he have regained his composure, the avian returned Momonga's hold on his hand with his own as he wrapped his claws around the skeleton's wrist, careful as to not scratch them in any ways.

Though, the moment that the avian has regained his calmness to return the comforting gesture, he felt a slight pain from where their hands were joined as he then winced.

"Ahh..."

Upon seeing the pained expression that flickered across Peroroncino's face, Momonga drew his hand away as if he had received an electric shock.

"Huh?" Did he make Peroroncino uncomfortable somehow? Was his grip too tight? Did he scratch him?

Several bad memories ran through his mind—like being hit by a loose change that fell from the sky—but in the end, Momonga found his answer.

Overlords required levels in the Elder Lich racial class, and among the abilities Elder Liches possessed was the ability to inflict negative energy damage on anything they touched. Was that the reason?

Although, even if it really was the reason, he still had some questions to ask.

In YGGDRASIL, the monsters and NPCs that appeared in the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick would be recognized as belonging to the Ainz Ooal Gown faction. Since every member of the guild was also flagged as belonging to Ainz Ooal Gown, there should be no problems even if they attacked each other. Could it be that the avian had no longer belongs to their guild? Or has friendly fire been enabled?

The latter possibility was more likely. With that conclusion, Momonga has an apologetic look in his eyes as he then apologized to his friend.

"Ah. Forgive my imprudence, Peroroncino... I forgot to deactivate my negative touch skill..." The overlord said guiltily as he scolded himself for being so careless.

Peroroncino shook his head vigorously with a gentle smile shown on his avian features. "No. Don't worry about it. I just didn't see it coming, that's all. I barely noticed the damage." The archer said in a reassuring voice.

Then, with a strange smirk that Momonga can't really understand, the avian's wings flapped twice excitedly as he then smirked.

"And besides, any touches coming from Momo-chan can't possibly be bad~! For you, I'll endure anything! Aaahh~"

Momonga blinked as his jaws then dropped, hanging wide open. The skeleton was sweating internally at the birdman's voice that was drawn out in the slightest of moan. He wasn't even trying to be subtle. He really has no shame... Peroroncino's sudden enthusiasm totally caught him off guard, and his reply ended up being less dignified than he had hoped for.

"Ah… Ahem. Is... that so… No, no, I must still apologize." So it was indeed the effect of negative touch. Momonga turned his eyes from Peroroncino, who was going on and on about how this was nothing compared to the pain of losing his... innocence—which the skeleton doubts that he still even had—, and began thinking about how to temporarily deactivate the passive active skill. Suddenly, it dawned on him: Using any of an Overlord's various powers was now as natural an act as breathing.

He could not help but laugh at the strange situation he found himself in. After all the shocks and surprises he had received so far, this was hardly worth panicking about. It was frightening how well he had adapted to his condition.

"Alright, Peroroncino. I'm going to touch you now—and before you say anything, please do me a favor and stay as quiet as you can. Just... don't talk. Please."

"Aa—," The archer started, but he was stopped as soon as he began. "—...awwww. Ok! I understand!" Serious Momonga was no Momonga to mess with! Peroroncino thought as his excitement calmed down to a minimum.

Ulbert decided then was the right time to spoke up.

"My dear Momonga? If I may have a word." Upon the skeleton's nod of his head, he continued. "Why exactly are you doing this? What are your intentions? What do you have in mind? Why not do it to Albedo? Or to m—Tabula? Why that deviant?"

At the sideline, Albedo's face lit up brightly as she did a silent 'Yes' motion while her creator, Tabula, had a dead unamused expression on his face.

"Hey! Don't compliment me so aggressively!"

"That was indeed not a compliment."

"Are you... Wait, are you jealous~? You cheeky little piece of goat~?"

"No...? No! It's just... I can't trust Momonga being in the hands of a pervert like you."

"It's the other way around, you idiot!"

"Are you saying he's a pervert?"

"What!? No! Don't twist my—."

"You two are being utterly ridiculous at such an inconvenient time..." The alchemist sighed as his webbed hand stroked his temple tiredly. "Behave yourself! He knows what he's doing. And unlike you or you, Momonga has a pure heart."

"This conversation is getting off track!" Momonga said hurriedly, directing the conversation back where it was supposed to. This was exactly what he meant by 'don't talk'. Good grief. What a lively bunch of adorable idiots... Thought the overlord with fondness and mild irritation.

"We apologize, guild leader." They all said in unison with a tinge of embarrassment in their words.

"It's fine. There's nothing to apologize about." The skeleton said, putting his hands up in reassurance. Sighing, he turned his attention back to the birdman as he spoke with a low but powerful voice. "Give me your hand, Peroroncino."

"Alright, here." Peroroncino replied shortly and straight to the point. The avian removed his gauntlet as he then offered his outstretched hand to the overlord. They can't be messing around in this state. He has to get serious, or else Momonga will be disappointed in him!

After deactivating the skill, Momonga touched Peroroncino's hand. There was a pleasant fragrance of cinnamon and sunshine... Strange thoughts had entered his mind like: "Wow, his hand is soft...,", "So warm...,","How in the world can someone smell like sunshine?", and so on raced through his head, but he cast aside these strange feelings and solely focused on one thing—the pulse at the archer's wrist.

It was undoubtedly there. The pulses of his hidden veins thrummed like guitar strings around his fingers. It was a steady rhythm, ba-dum, ba-dum. Peroroncino was a living being, so it was only natural that he can have a pulse.

He was alive.

Momonga himself won't have a pulse. With him being a skeleton, that was obvious. He released Peroroncino's hand and looked at his own arms. All he saw was an expanse of polished white bone, bereft of skin or flesh. Because he had no blood vessels, he could not feel a heartbeat. Indeed, an Overlord was an undead creature, a being that had transcended mortality itself, so obviously they would not have a heartbeat.

"Pulse." Said Momonga.

"What?" The avian asked, confused as to what the simple one worded sentence meant.

"Pulse. You have a pulse. Ulbert, Tabula, I believe that you two would also have one as well. Check."

Despite the other three having characters with flesh and blood, pulses are an impossible element to programmed into a game. Blood circulations were too physical and too complicated a component to be inputted in a game's coding. A wound inflicted would cause HP to decrease and blood to spill visually, yes. But they wouldn't feel the physical drain of blood lost, only the pain of being injured.

"Wow... I can actually feel it." Ulbert mused as his slim fingers trailed around his wrist where his pulse was supposed to be.

"Fascinating..." Tabula was, once again, very intrigued. The more they discovered, the more he wanted to know about this predicament. With one of his tentacles, he directs it to wrap itself tightly around one of his hands. After a few seconds, he could feel the numb feeling of his blood not being able to circulate properly through his hands. He then released his tentacles' hold on his hand as the feeling of numbness slowly fades away. Just like how a real living being would function.

"Thank you for your cooperation, Peroroncino. I appreciate it."

"It's my p-pleasure to help, Momonga. You needn't thank me." Peroroncino said, feeling flustered at Momonga's gratitude as he could feel his cheeks heating up a little.

"Hmmm. I also wanted to try something else, but you're an avian. A species with feathers... So I doubt it will work as effectively..."

He wanted to confirm this suspicious thought that's been nagging him since he has discovered that they all can move their mouths and change their facial expression. Was this reality or not? There were only a few ways to confirm this. The first one was the something else that he has in mind. If the rules of the game still apply, then he would probably be ejected out of the game immediately upon committing those actions. And if not... Then...

He wanted to see physical changes in an individual's body like one's temperature and how it would affect the coloration of their skin; it was an obvious trait to confirm what was a living creature. He needs to know for sure that his hunch was right. That would be a little bit difficult if Peroroncino was the said subject for his experiment... His feathers would probably prevent Momonga from seeing the changes in his skin color.

Plus, this something else was extremely embarrassing. He could imagine exactly how the archer would react to what he wanted to do if that scenario occurs. And he shudders at the thought of Peroroncino being... Peroroncino.

"Ah. Really?" The birdman said dejectedly, his wings were 'frowning' as if he was a puppy that has just been told 'Down, boy!'.

"Perhaps my assistance would be of help?" Ulbert said with enthusiasm, a hand placed on his chest as he stared at the skeleton overlord with a happy and enthusiastic expression.

"Ah? Ulbert? You... want to assist me?" The demon nodded vigorously with a joyous smile. Does he know what he's getting into and what I'm even talking about? "Well... Thank you for volunteering. However, he has feathers, and you have fur. Basically the same thing, Ulbert. The problem still remains..."

Beep beep!

"What do you have in mind?" A voice entered Momonga's head. He staggered a little and blinked, feeling like a doe in a headlight. "Can I help?" The voice said again.

This was Tabula's voice.

It was just like in Yggdrasil. This is the 'Message' skill.

So, Tabula can use his spells. That was good to know. It was nothing strange or surprising to Momonga, though. Eventually, sooner or later, the brain eater would figure it out soon enough, considering how fast his brain seems to function. Momonga then reached a hand to the side of his temple as he then tries to respond to the hidden communication. If he just focuses on responding to the alchemist's voice alone...

"Tabula? Is that you?" It worked!

"Correct. It is I. What's troubling you, Momonga?"

"I... Hah. I have this theory that I want to test out. But... I fear it is quite inappropriate to just experiment it on the two of them..."

"Hmmm? What do you mean?"

"Remember the R-18 rule?" Momonga asked in a tentative voice. It was so embarrassing... He silently thanked Tabula's natural calm and collected demeanor. If there's anyone that he can trust to not react strongly to this sort of situation, it was probably him.

"The R-1Ah." Of course he remembers it. Peroroncino almost got himself in trouble countless times due to that rule; the guy was a living reminder that the rule itself exists. "Yes."

"Well... I... You know. I... I wanted to... to..." Momonga couldn't even bring himself to finish the sentence. He was screaming internally right now. But of course, a hidden factor had calmed him down like always.

"I understand." Tabula chuckled inside of Momonga's head. "Clever." He said out loud. That would probably one of the most effective ways to see if Yggdrasil was still the same. R-18 actions were strictly forbidden in these games. Who knew, perhaps even R-15 actions might be seriously criticized as well. Violators would be publicly listed on the game's official website, and their accounts would be deleted, or worse.

Once the records of these R-18 actions were publicly released, they might be punished for damaging moral culture and thus violating the Social Order Maintenance Act. As such, most people would consider these acts off-limits. If they were still in the game world of Yggdrasil, the company should have made it impossible for players to do such things.

"Hmm? Who?" Ulbert asked, confused at the brain eater's sudden compliment. He noticed that both the alchemist and Momonga suddenly got quiet, and he wondered what going on before Tabula has made that remark.

"Nothing. Alright then. Come. Touch me."

"Touch Me? That guy's here!? Where!?" Peroroncino exclaimed as he turned his head frantically from left to right.

"Wha—" Tabula smacked himself on the forehead and groaned mentally at that. "He's not here you idiot. I'm speaking to Momonga."

"Oh... Huh? Wait. Hey—!"

"Are you sure...? This is such an... awkward thing for me to ask you..."

Ulbert then began to speak. "Momo—!"

Tabula shook his head with a small smile. "It's an 'experiment', right? Just think of it as what it is. I don't mind."

"Alright."

"Albedo, child. If you are uncomfortable, feel free to leave the vicinity."

"—monga—!" They were ignoring him!

"Ah! My Lord and father~! I do not mind at all! If you permit me, I w-would like to stay." The imp replied shyly but with obvious excitement as she placed her hands on her blushing cheeks, swaying from side to side.

"Tabu—"

"If you're really sure..." Momonga said as he shuddered internally at that. Tabula... what kind of other settings did you input into her? "Alright. Where should I start?"

"While I am not sure where my species' erogenous zones are... Let's see... Ah. Here."

"Alright—."

"WAIT!" Peroroncino and Ulbert said in unison, drawing the attention of the other three people standing in the room.

"My Lords? Is something wrong?" Albedo asked with concern at the pair's hurried and rushed voice.

"What is it?" The alchemist asked, cocking his head to the right in the most Tabula Smaragdina way possible. Meaning that the brain eater was very irritated to the point that the cock of his head looks like he was questioning their intelligence.

"Yes?" Momonga blinked at his guildmates' revelation. "What is the matter?"

"Wh-what are you planning to do? Why aren't we included?" Peroroncino whined, his wings drops down in sadness.

"Why...? What?"

"Here we go again..." Tabula sighed, his webbed hand rubbed a large circle on his temple. This is giving him a big headache.

"Momonga, why don't you ever include your best friend in anything? Come on. You can tell good ole Ulbert." The demon said with his charming and cheerful voice.

"Nooo. Don't tell it to 'good ole Ulbert'. He's onto something. The guy's a villain, remember? You can tell your bestest friend, Peroroncino, though~!"

"I will fight you, you flying pile of feathers!"

"Oh yeah? Try me, baldy!"

"I, am not, bald!"

"For fuck's sakes... you two are like kindergartners!"

Momonga sighed. He knew that this would happen. These two idiots... If he knew that the two of them combined were such a hassle...

The overlord's mind wasn't filled with irritation, though. He was oddly relaxed upon seeing this slightly comedic scene unrolling in front of his eyes. It always takes him back to two years ago. They were like this all the time. And they haven't changed much at all. Momonga then decided to just spill the beans. Hiding this stuff wouldn't help anyone, no matter how embarrassing it might be. If he wants his teammates to understand his intentions, then he will have to explain to them lest they go around assuming and thinking the wrong thing...

Before the conversation could escalate, the skeleton interjected with a clear of his throat. "Ahem." Once he has got the arguing duo's undivided attention, he then proceeds to speak. "I'm planning to test a theory out using the R-18 rule. There. Can I go back to touching Tabula now?" That sentence came out weirder than he intended it to...

"Alright. Come." Tabula said, extending a tentacle out for Momonga.

"..."

"..."

"Wait." Ulbert said, effectively halting the overlord and the alchemist in what they were about to do. "Tabula—And don't worry, I just have a question." The demon spoke up once again, putting his hands up in a defensive manner as he averted his gaze elsewhere.

" Y e s ? " Tabula Smaragdina said, his eyes narrowed dangerously.

"Are those tentacles, like, part of you now or something? Are they like extra arms now? Or they're just... facial stuff or even... hair? I can never get your species' functionalities."

"..." Tabula paused. He actually took a few moment to think of an answer for that interesting question. But then the realization hits him as he apprehended that Ulbert was just stalling him. "I... Huh... Tch! It's too early for these types of subjects!" In some other circumstances, he might actually answer that seriously. But not today.

Ulbert just chuckled as he then shrugged nonchalantly. He figured getting jealous was going to get him nowhere. So he put aside his devious thoughts as he go with the flow. Right now, his priority was to help Momonga to figure out their current situation. Other stuff will have to be put away for now. Peroroncino was probably thinking the same thing because the archer then laughed at Tabula fumbling with his response.

Deciding that then was a good time, Momonga took the outstretched tentacle near the end of the tip as he gave it a slight squeeze.

"!"

Tabula froze visibly as Momonga also paused.

"Gh..." He shudders. Yggdrasil's sense of touch was very limited. He never felt anything other than pain from a fight or the effects of the various weathers in Yggdrasil's worlds. This was a completely new kind of feeling for him. And he wasn't sure if this first time experience was pleasant or painful...

"Are you alright?" Momonga asked with concern. He was starting to feel that whatever he is doing was getting a reaction way too far from what he was expecting. What if Tabula gets seriously hurt?

At the sideline, Albedo frowned when she heard her creator's moan of pain—or was it pleasure...—and she put her hands on her chest with worry. She will never raise her voice to someone that she adores so greatly. But if he was hurting the person that she considers a father to her...

"My lord father, are you hurt?"

"No... No. Albedo, Momonga. It's... ok. I'm just not used to the feeling of something other than pain or change in temperature." Tabula said, sighing out shakily as he reassured the worried skeleton and his 'daughter'. Albedo relaxes at that as she nodded.

"Please, proceed." Said the alchemist as he gave a slight tug on the tentacle that Momonga was holding.

"Ah. Should I go higher?"

"Perhaps. I don't think this would count as something R-18 yet. So go a little bit higher—"

The remaining individuals that weren't included in this... session, was watching this unfolding intently.

A little bit of touching here, a little bit of groping there, voices follows along with instructions, and then some other types of voices.

Ulbert was having a hard time thinking straight with this new strange feeling inside of him as he observes the event unfolding in front of him. It felt like something was going to spiral out of his body... An urge to fulfill his desires and greed... He was a bit startled at these unusual thoughts that he was having. Why was he feeling this way? He didn't use to have these... dark images in his head. It was so sinister that it scared him a little. Something has changed about him. And he has noticed that the longer that they were stuck in this strange situation, the more his way of thinking seems to change. The strangest part was that these images had come so naturally, it didn't even bother him one bit.

What the fuck... Am I some sort of villain now? I keep having the urge to do something mischievous or pompous... And he was starting to notice that he was talking in a very peculiar manner. He speaks as if he was some sort of Lord or Gentleman in the eighteenth century. That bit, though, wasn't very surprising. He would occasionally act the part when he was playing his character's role of being a 'villain' in the old days of Yggdrasil. An evil enigma with a charming attitude just speaks to him. And now, he finds himself doing that a lot more often.

Peroroncino, on the other hand, was oddly engrossed in the interaction. He had put his gauntlet back onto his claw tipped talon, and with that hand, he placed it under his chin in deep thought.

Usually, Peroroncino would try to have as much fun as he can out of any situation. He admits that he have a certain... tendencies that weren't viewed very favorably by any sane person. But he was just trying to have fun! And if his friends didn't mind and liked him as he is, why should he stop being himself?

Right now, though, was a completely different circumstance. If they weren't in this unknown situation, the avian wouldn't even bother trying to think too much about it. But he understood that this was nothing to joke about. Everything that they do from this point on will have to serve a common purpose: Figure this mess out. Peroroncino might not be the type of person to over analyzes something. But he wasn't stupid, either. When he sets his sights solely on his priorities, he often surprises himself by how quick he was able to get things done.

The archer has already figured out the reason why Momonga had rejected his cooperation. Like what the overlord said, Peroroncino was an avian. His feathers probably made it slightly more difficult to read the changes of his body. Tabula was all flesh and no hair, so if something extra happened and the mood gets... heavy, it might be easier to spot obvious changes like the coloration of his skin pigments and the temperature of the alchemist's body heat. Peroroncino is naturally warm, due to the feathers covering his body. So he understands Momonga's reasoning for not wanting to experiment with him. Though... it would be better if he did...

Albedo's train of thoughts was simple.

Ah... How I wish it was me that he is fondling... But... Kya~! My lord father and the supreme one is doing the—Ah~! Kukuku~ This is like a dream come true!

"A-ah..." The alchemist shudders as he can feel his skin crawling with goosebumps. Was that even possible for his species? "I... I think that might be it. Do it again. But firmer. Bolder. Let's see if the GM will respond to that." Tabula instructed as a surge of electricity coursed through him as the skeleton trailed his bony fingers behind the back of his neck.

"Geez. I think I'm learning a little bit more about you, Tabbu." Momonga said with a snort. He knows he should be feeling really awkward right now. But instead, he felt more amused than anything as he joked to his guildmate. "Kinky."

"Heh. I'll show you more if you have time. Just caress me right now." Tabula snorted right back at Momonga and laughed at his own words. "Pfft. Damn, I sounded like a lovestruck female teenager." He shouldn't have joked. Because whatever arousing feelings or thoughts that he had had previously flew out of the door as he couldn't help but giggled silently at Momonga's small laugh.

"Are you sure you're not just a girl in disguise?"

"I'm absolutely positive. Unless girls prefer having tentacles instead of receiving tentacles."

"My... god...! Tabula!"

"Heheheh..." He chuckled and sighed out softly. "Momonga. I don't think I might be of much help to you anymore... that joke just took the libido out of me." He said sheepishly. He didn't mind letting Momonga explore the means necessary to figure out this situation. But he doesn't want to waste his and Momonga's time if he can no longer feel the intended effect of the undead's touch. What a shame... He was looking forward to getting in touch with that pleasant feeling some more...

"Ah... Alright. Well, I guess that did confirm it somewhat, though. Thank you." Momonga said as he withdrawn his hand away from the alchemist. Tabula did have a darker hue that was evident on his face. It was interesting how the alchemist's blush was blueish... Momonga was beginning to suspect that Tabula was actually an octopus like what Ulbert had said earlier.

"Hmmm... I still feel that we should have an absolute answer, though... Albedo. Come here."

"Yes, my lord father." The imp replied with glee. Albedo appears as if she was gliding on air, with how her wings had twitched so much and how suddenly enthusiastic she was when she made her way over to her creator.

"How may I be of assistance? Lord father? Supreme one?" Albedo said with a subtle grin.

"Touch her."

Momonga took a few moment to comprehend his friend's words. "Eh?"

"EH!?" Peroroncino exclaimed. "What?! No fairrrrrr, I want in!" He said, partly joking.

Momonga snapped out of his confusion as he then scolded the avian. "Pero! This is not one of your H-Game!"

"But you didn't let me have fun with you! Tabu! Can I~?"

"Fine. Albedo, do you want Momonga or Peroroncino to touch you?"

"I would be honored to have the supreme beings made use of my body, my lord father. B-but I would like for Lord Momonga to... Teehee~" Albedo said with excitement. But then she remembered who she was standing in front of and she quickly lowered her head apologetically. "I hope I didn't offend you, Lord Archer Peroroncino."

The skeleton sweated internally at that statement. Just what did Tabula change about her settings?! The idea was even weirder than when he had reluctantly accepted the alchemist's help. But... If he was thinking about it in a more logical way, this would probably work better, with her being a woman and all that...

"Awww~! That's no fun..." Peroroncino sighed in defeat. Then he shrugs with a playful smirk. "Eh. Don't worry about it, just Peroroncino is fine. I'll have Momonga make it up to me later."

"Thank you for your kindness, Lord Peroroncino!"

"Do I even have any say in this?" Momonga said exasperatedly. How can Albedo just agree to that? Wasn't this some form of sexual harassment? She consented and all that... but still... It felt so fucking weird.

"You did start it first... you know..." Ulbert chuckled as he stroked his beard, feeling amused at this situation as a whole.

"You owe me, Momo-chan!"

Tabula Smaragdina sighed. "Will he seriously ever change?"

"Nope." Replied Ulbert.

Momonga has made up his mind. And before he could change it, he called upon Albedo. "Alright. Come here then."

"Yes, Lord Momonga~!"

"Not. A word. From you three." Momonga warned beforehand at his teammate's immature giggles.

He turned his attention back onto the beautiful imp. Not knowing whether it was because of excitement or embarrassment, Momonga steadied his hands with the sheer force of will, steeled his resolve, and reached out.

The first thing Momonga felt was something hard under the dress, followed by a soft, yielding sensation.

"Aahh~! H-hah..."

Her moans had confirmed his theory.

If the GMs and the game companies were watching everything that they were doing up until now, then they would have prevented Momonga from performing lewd actions upon Tabula and Albedo. However, there was no sign of any resistance or opposition so far. His initial guess was that because what he did to Tabula wasn't really considered 'lewd' just yet. However, it was definitely inappropriate with what he was doing to Albedo. There was no excuse for the game company to not eject him. If his brain was functioning normally, then there were two possible explanations for his present situation.

The first was that this was a new DMMORPG. That was to say, the moment YGGDRASIL had shut down, a new game, "YGGDRASIL II", had immediately taken its place.

However, in light of this experiment, the probability of that being the case was astonishingly small, since R-18 actions didn't immediately result in anyone's departure out of the game.

In addition, one of the fundamental rulings which pertained to DMMORPGS was that forcing a player to participate in a game without permission could be treated as a form of cyber-kidnapping.

As such, forcing a player to test out a game in this manner was a prosecutable offense, especially if there was no way to force-quit the game. It would not be unexpected for a company to receive fines or jail time for such things. If a situation arose where a player was not able to log out of the game, up to a week's worth of game activity could be stored in a legally-mandated record, which would make it easy to prosecute the company for their violations of the law.

Therefore, if Momonga did not report to work for a week, someone would have found it strange and come to his house to check on him. Then all the police would need to do was to access the records with a specialized console and the problem would be solved.

Which company would risk arrest or worse to commit a corporate crime like this? Of course, they could try to muddy the waters by saying "this was a closed beta test for YGGDRASIL II", or "there were third-party programs used here". But in truth, such a risky matter would have no benefits at all for the game company.

That being the case, the only answer for his present circumstances would be that a third party was doing something here, and it had nothing to do with the game company. If that was the case, he would need to throw out all his previous theories and think in other directions, otherwise, he would never find the answer.

The problem was that he had no idea where to start. And there was another possibility, one that he have suspected for a while now...

...The possibility that the virtual world had become reality.

Momonga promptly rejected that idea. How could such an illogical, foolish thing happen?

But on the flip side, the more he thought about it, the more strongly he felt that it was the right answer. Every single one of his theories was tested, and it all yielded undeniable results.

And then—he remembers the various scents that he has encountered today: Peroroncino's scent of cinnamon and sunshine, and Albedo's sweet floral scent.

In accordance with the software legislation for virtual reality games, such games were not allowed to provide sensory data for smell and taste. Although YGGDRASIL had food and drink items, consuming them was little more than changing a value in the game system. In addition, the sense of touch was heavily limited, in order to prevent confusion with the real world. These limitations meant that VR systems were not very useful for the sex industry.

However, none of these limitations were in effect now.

Realizing these facts shocked Momonga. Countless questions like "What about tomorrow's work?" , "What'll happen if this keeps up?" flashed through his mind, but then he cast them all to the back of his brain. Momonga swallowed with a nonexistent throat. Though his mind could not comprehend the situation, his heart could.

"Stop touching yourself, Peroroncino!"

"W-waaa! I can't help it! I-It's so erotic!"

"Contain yourself, you imbecile!"

"Hey, don't—Don't touch the wing, Ulbert."

"There is a respectable female here! Stop this behavior!"

"I'm so tired..."

Upon realizing that he have been groping Albedo for a while now and as he noticed a commotion was going on, Momonga snapped back to reality as he then immediately let go of the imp's chest. He realized that he had been groping her for a long time, but Momonga justified it to himself by saying that he had no choice but to grope her for that long, and it was definitely not because squeezing her supple flesh felt so good that he reluctantly let go of her… or something.

"Sorry, Albedo." Momonga said with embarrassment. Albedo just shook her head as her cheeks redden, her eyes gleaming in an odd way that Momonga can't really explain.

"Fwua... Hah... Please do not apologize! You can touch me as much as you want! Just speak the words~!" She squealed, her hands clutching tightly at the front of her dress as she squirmed with... pleasure?

For like the fifth time in the day, Momonga sweat-dropped internally.

"Alright... I'll do that... some... other times..." He said awkwardly as Albedo giggled happily. "Ok, now, what the hell is—W...what? Wh-wha-what is going on?"

He turned his eyes away from Albedo, expecting to see the familiar sight of his teammates engaging in their usual bickering. But what he saw made his jaws dropped immediately.

"I..." He began, his shoulders trembled a little as he then burst out laughing. "Bwahahaha! What the heck are you three doing?!"

It was like a chicken fest, with said chicken being Peroroncino. For some reason, he was being held back by the other two in an extremely funny looking position. Ulbert's face was smushed against the avian's feet as he seems to be pulling on the birdman's wings and tunic, his face was with extreme annoyance and irritation; probably pain, too. Tabula has wrapped all of his tentacles around the archer's torso and arms, with him being extremely quiet and still. The one that was moving the most was Peroroncino. He seriously looked like a chicken, struggling against his 'captors'.

If Peroroncino squawked or made any type of bird noises, Momonga was positive that he was going to die laughing.

"Owowow! Let gooo!"

"You fucki—Then stop struggling, you damn rooster! You shouldn't have behaved like this in the first place!"

"Fuck you, ya damn pile of mobile goat cheese! I'm an eagle!" The archer screeched with a bird-like vocal. This is it. Momonga was one hundred percent sure that he could feel his soul leaving his body.

"Mobile goa... You did not just—! Alright. Momonga, my dear? There's going to be one less guildmember today." Ulbert said with clenched teeth as he forcefully yanks the avian's soft wings, effectively pulling a few strands of feathers out.

"Damn right there will be. And it ain't gonna be me!" Peroroncino then proceeds to kick Ulbert in the face.

"Ooh... That gotta hurt." Albedo and Momonga winced at that. Momonga could almost feel the impact of that kick just based on look alone.

Albedo was concerned for the demon.

She, after all, was just an NPC. Her knowledge was only as what they input into her settings. She could not separate what was considered to be 'rough playing' from actual physical harm.

Although she revered all the supreme beings as above her, and she would obey them all without question, the imp couldn't help but be worried. If something escalated or get out of hand, and if she has the permission, she would not hesitate to be disrespectful and intervene to prevent them from hurting each other. Each of them was too precious to have a hair on their body to be harmed!

"My Lord, if a lowly servant like me might have the permission to ask. Is this a common occurrence between the other supreme beings?"

Momonga sighed as he looked on. "Yes. That's correct... But that was a little bit out of hand, even for Peroroncino. Don't worry, I'll intervene." The skeleton, like Albedo, was also a little bit concerned for Ulbert's fluffy face. Why did I have to add the fluffy part...? Whatever. I hope he's ok.

When Ulbert was kicked, he staggered backward as he winced a little. The demon would have fallen on the ground, but Momonga was there to catch him as he caught Ulbert by his arms with said goat's back against his bony ribs. The demon looked up at his face with a smile of gratitude as Momonga then helped him to stand up.

"Are you alright? Peroroncino's kick can hurt real bad... you know, like when an ostrich... pfft. My apologies. Anyway, are you hurt?"

"Thank you, my dear. Hmm? Hurt? Who, me? It stung a little, yes. But oh! My heart sings with joy at your concern for me, Momonga! Don't worry. He couldn't have hurt me. After all, er ist ein kleiner Sperling."

"What." Momonga said with wide eyes, feeling dumbfounded at Ulbert's last statement.

"What." Ulbert replied, also a little bit confused himself as to why he had said that.

"Is that... German!?" And how the hell did he understood what Ulbert had said?

"I... Ja. Damn it, I mean yes. Yes!" Ulbert had no idea why or how he could speak German, or why he kept doing it unconsciously. "Sorry, I don't know where the hell that came from... Mein lieber Momonga, vergib mir."

Momonga narrowed his eyes and sweat-dropped internally at that. "I... ugh. It's fine. It's fine. I can understand you, so that's fine... No need to apologize." As long as it was Ulbert, Momonga guessed that it's nothing to feel weird about. The demon was already eccentric enough. This was just like a small portion of whipped cream added to an already huge frosted cake.

Meanwhile, the one who was drawn into the middle of this stalemate, Tabula, was feeling more fatigued than he has ever been in his entire life. After the archer had kicked the world disaster caster, the alchemist proceeds to extend his tentacles to constrict the avian's wings as well. "...I'm going to kill myself." Tabula mumbled with despair. "Or you first. Doesn't matter." Said the alchemist, his voice was devoid of emotions as he tightened his tentacles around Peroroncino's lean frame.

"W-w-wait wait wait wait wait! Tabba-san! O-ok ok. I swear, I'll stop." Peroroncino sweated. Tabula was completely serious, and a shudder ran through his spine as Tabula waited for a good five seconds before releasing him.

"Next time, watch yourself and behave if you valued one of your wings. Pero."

"O-ok, Tabba-san." Waa! Scary Tabula is so... scary!

"Ulbert, are you sure you're ok?" Momonga asked with concern. He turns his face to stare and frown at the archer as Peroroncino looked to the ground in shame.

The demon chuckled lowly as he shook his head and took one of Momonga's hand, squeezing it reassuringly. "I'm fine. My... face, has seen worse days." In fact, it didn't hurt at all anymore. That was... new. Was it some sort of passive skill, or was it a mechanic of his race, he wondered.

"A-ah. Alright. Well, then. Albedo, I have an order for you."

"Please give me any command you desire."

"Tell the Guardians of each Floor, with the exception of the fourth and the eighth Floors, to meet at the Colosseum on the sixth Floor in an hour's time. I will contact Aura and Mare myself with Peroroncino, Ulbert, and Tabula. So there is no need to inform them."

"Understood. Allow me to repeat the order, aside from Aura and Mare of the sixth Floor, I am to inform all the Floor Guardians to meet one hour later at the Colosseum."

"Correct. Go."

"Yes, my lord. I shall go with haste." Albedo swiftly departed the Throne Room.

As he watched the retreating Albedo, Momonga let himself sigh, in a way that suggested he was thoroughly exhausted.

"Alright. Since she left, we can speak more freely among each other now." Momonga let out a huge breath of relief.

"This is perhaps the craziest shit that I've ever been involved in." Peroroncino exhales out loud.

"Yggdrasil... It's not a game anymore. Everything had come to life, you guys. How is this possible?" Tabula mused, stroking his chin in deep thought. "There's just no way that a special type of coding can do all of this. Even I can't do it. And even if there is someone that can, and it applies to this situation, they can't just force this on us without a warning. It is definitely illegal."

"Exactly." Ulbert nodded at the alchemist's words. "I don't know why, but regardless of the reasons, we are stuck here now. So if we are staying here for a while, we need to be prepared." The demon then crossed his arms in front of his chest. "I am having many suspicions relating to these NPCs. This is just too... off. How can the NPCs just obey us like that? I understand Albedo. But Sebas and the Pleiades? None of us here have created them."

"If I remember correctly, earlier, Albedo had called us 'Supreme Ones'. Like we are Gods or something. Perhaps it is because we are the guild member of Ainz Ooal Gown? Perhaps the game mechanics and functionalities has been implemented into this reality. Since the guild and guild members was in charge of Nazarick, the NPCs will be loyal to those who are in command of it. Plus, each of us standing here has created someone. So that is perhaps the reason why we are revered as Gods. We basically created all of them with the exception of Nazarick's own monsters." Momonga said as he stated his confirmed speculations. His teammates nodded, agreeing with his insights.

"That makes sense. Still. We should be careful. Ignorance is a seed of dissonance that could be our downfall. Even though they're loyal to us, they have a mind of their own now. What if one day they decided to turn against us because we're viewed as incompetent?" Ulbert spoke with a dark and grim voice.

"Do you think that they will actually do that? So far they've had these glorious views about us." Peroroncino asked with a skeptical voice. The avian was a person with a good and kind heart. He can't really ever suspected his comrades of any committing any atrocious thing. The same applies to his allies, although he wouldn't trust them as much as he trusted the players of Ainz Ooal Gown.

"If this is indeed reality, we should be especially wary of that. How many nations have fallen because its rulers turn a blind eye to possible traitors? Julius Ceasar wouldn't have fallen if he has had a solid network of spies and communication to back him up and if he was more careful with who he chooses to accompany him. He was too careless to not suspected the one closest to him, Marcus. That carelessness cost him his life. We should start to prepare ourselves against a possible mutiny." The demon cloaked in red and gold said with his calculating voice. Ulbert was probably the one in their guild with the most pessimistic and cynical mind in their guild. But that just makes him a person who keeps things real.

"While that insight is much appreciated and should be taken into serious consideration, aren't you perhaps too hasty to assume that our creations and the creations of our teammates will turn themselves against us? Isn't it too early to insinuate things?" The brain eater said as he slightly tilts his head at the demon. "I can assure you that Albedo is absolutely loyal to me, based on what I have seen so far. She will not rebel. And for some reason, somehow, and in any case that she does, I will destroy her myself without mercy. I indeed agree with you on the subject of betrayal, Ulbert. I do not look kindly upon traitors either. But still, we shouldn't be too quick to draw to a conclusion when we don't have any solid evidence to prove it."

"Our comrades, like Herohero, for example, designed the codings for various parts of Nazarick, right? Everything was still in order. Temperature was still regulated in the throne room. And the NPCs seems to function according to their programming as well. Like Albedo. She behaves exactly the same from the description that Tabula bestowed upon her. So, I think that if an NPC betrays us, it is probably because someone had decided for them to do so. But I don't think that any of our friends would do that on purpose! That's just plain messed up and mean." Peroroncino voiced out his own interpretation.

"Yeah. No sane person would probably do that. Well... I don't know about Luci Fer though. He's a tricky bastard." Momonga said in a lighter mood, hoping to clear his friend's troubling thoughts away, even if temporarily. This was all taking a toll on them, Momonga could tell. And they need something to distract themselves with, lest these thoughts wears them out to the point of constant exhaustion.

"Ha. Yeah. No doubt. Good thing we didn't let him involve himself in creating too much NPCs. Saying that things would get a little bit unpredictable when he does is quite an understatement." Tabula chuckled.

"Thank god that the only major thing he had created is the door." Ulbert snorted as he uncrossed his arms from his chest, his stance becoming more visibly relaxed.

"Yeesh. Tell me about it. I can't imagine how awful it would be if Momo-chan got attacked by his golems again! That was a disaster!" Peroroncino said with agony as he remembered that particular event. They had all been so afraid for the skeleton's life, despite knowing that said undead would respawn anyway if something were to happen. Still, the thought of leaving their friend and guild leader to suffer through that alone would be unbearable.

"Ah. Yeah... that was quite an unpleasant event." The alchemist sighs out upon remembering that 'incident'.

Ulbert was skeptical as always. And he frowns slightly as the event refreshed the memory in his mind. He, like Momonga, still had doubts whether if it was an 'accident' or not. "Damned trickster... I always knew that he would prank us somehow. But I just never imagined it would be something like that."

"Well, you guys were there to help me, remember? None of us got majorly injured. And that's all that matters in the end." Momonga sighed, feeling content at his own statement. Yes. He was indeed not alone. His friends are with him. Then, and now. He was extremely thankful for that.

His guildmates chuckled as they then nodded in unison.

Indeed. Even though it was more trouble than it's worth, that experience had strengthened the bonds between comrades as they helped each other out of that sticky situation. Nishikienrai had encountered a struggling Momonga facing the golem alone, and the ninja immediately went to report the event to Warrior Takemikazuchi as the Nephilim then gathered as much manpower as he can to help dissolve the situation. Nishiki's timing couldn't have been better. As soon as he has let the samurai warrior know of Momonga's predicament, the half-golem wasted no time to help Momonga while Takemikazuchi was gathering their comrades.

After a minute or two, their main squad showed up with the following individuals excluding Momonga and Nishikienrai: Touch Me, Tabula Smaragdina, Peroroncino, Warrior Takemikazuchi, Ulbert Alain Odle, Bukubukuchagama, LinoRE, Fantôme Blanc, Yamaiko, Punitto Moe, Herohero, Bellriver, Genjiro, Blue Planet, and Luci Fer himself.

The tanks like Bukubukuchagama and Fantôme Blanc took their respective place as they swapped Momonga and Nishikienrai out of the line of fire. The magic casters and healers stood further in the back as they readied their combat spells. The skeleton and the half-golem didn't take too much damage, so Lin had used a quick healing spell to get them back into shape as they joined in with the group. Those that can use extremely powerful combat magic, like Ulbert and Tabula, has their focus set on lowering the rogue golem's HP as quick as possible after the attackers like Warrior Takemikazuchi and Touch Me had lowered the monster's defense down to a minimum. Momonga, though he wasn't as efficient like his other friends in their current group when it comes to firepower, had also contributed to the golem's defeat by the use of his spells and utility skills for buffing and debuffing in the right place and time.

It was one of those unexpected fond memories that have been accidentally created by accident. But that's fine. They wouldn't have it any other way either. The surprise factor and the thrill were why it was so memorable.

"Alright then. Everyone. Let's get back to topic." The skeleton said as the chuckles around him ceased. The faces of his comrades then turned to him, giving the overlord undivided attention as they wait for him to continue. "While I do agree with Tabula, I also think that we should at least have some form of defensive mechanism prepared for ourselves if something unexpected were to happen. So, I'm going to activate the Lemegeton Golems. Who wants to accompany me out the halls?"

"Me! I want in!"

"Sign me up, Momo-chan!"

"I volunteer myself as tribute."

Momonga chuckled fondly at his comrades, his eyes were filled with joy and endearment. The overlord then reaches for the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown as it then glides into his awaiting hand. After the usual nimbus cloud with faces screaming with agony spiralling out of the staff, Momonga then began walking towards the door. Then, the skeleton paused and look behind him as he had an unseen smirk on his face.

"Then, shall we go? My friends of Ainz Ooal Gown?"

The three people then spoke in a cheerful unison. "Fuck yeah!"


"..."

"Where. The fuck. Am I?!" 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 4: Lost and Found


"MOMO-CHI!"

"Where are youuuu!?"

"Momo-chi! Where am I!? What's going on!? Momo-chiiiiiiii!"

"Why aren't I logged out!? Why am I still here!?"

"What the fuck. Where is this? Where is anyone? Oh my god, Momo-chi! Anyone?!"

"Agh... That weapon is still here. I thought I sent it to him as a last minute parting gift?"

"Why did I have to fall asleep... Ugh. Elves! Fucking SOBs, wouldn't leave me alone! Now I'm lost and confused and is still logged in!"

"...I DON'T UNDERSTAAAAAAAAND! WHERE IS THIS!? IT'S CREEPY HEREEEE!"

"WHAT THE HELL, YOU DAMNED DEVS! WHERE'S THE SYSTEM MENU!?"

"WHERE'S THE FRIENDLIST!?"

" [ Force Quit ] ?! [ Help ] ?! [ Settings ] ?! Where are all of the functions!?"

"Take me baaaaaack! Momo-chi! Nishiki! Touch Meeeeee! 'Tabbyyyyyyyy! IS ANYONE HERE!?"

"Whats with this place? This ain't Yggdrasil! This place does not exists! Where is Álfheimr?!"

"Arrrrgggghhhh!"

"Fuck my luck."

"All right then. If the devs decides to fuck me up today, then I'll just figure stuff out on my own."

"I have to find Nazarick, now!"

"Where is Nazarick...?! ASDFGHJKL;'DSMBAPWI ! ! ! ! ! !"


"What..."

"It's past forced logout time..."

"There's no glacial covered ground... I-It's not Niflheim. But it's still damn cold..."

"Snow...?"

"The shit...?"

"Where's the damn menu...?!"

"What."

" [ Message ] ."

"No one."

"What. The. Fuck."

"Wh-where is this."

"Is this a new unexplored area of Yggdrasil?"

"C-cool. Am I th-the first one to find this place?"

"N-no. This is definitely not Yggdrasil. There was no place like this."

"Why would they make a new location in the very last day of the game? What the fuck..."

"Is this a prank?"

"Ghhhhh... So c-cold."

"I'm regretting my choice of facial equipment... This mask is not protecting me at all..."

"WHAT THEMY MOUTH IS MOV—."

"Forget it. My buttocks are freezing... Is this the damn mountain?"

"OK. Ok. Ok. Cave. I need to find a cave. Now."

"What... was that sound? Was that... a beast? a chimera? A dragon?! Shit, I'm alone... Alright. Ok. Cave, now. Cave cave cave cave cave..."


Monsters are lying about, waiting for people to swoop in, kill them, and then collect item drops or data crystals from them. Nilfheim was still a tundra hell. Soloing a dragon is still a bad idea. Shit was brown. The sky was blue. Seraphs are still assholes. And Ulbert was still a goat.

It was just fine. Until he was ambushed by a fucking humanoid bastard.

He could have killed the scoundrel easily. But no. His friends had to show up as well.

He has no more life sustaining resources. He has to run!

He was cornered.

Ulbert puts up a good fight. He has to compliment himself for that. But it wasn't enough. The group of humanoids was too persistent. He has fallen on the ground. His MP is depleted, and he has nowhere to run.

The demon closes his eyes as he awaits his impending doom. It's a fucking shame, really. He honestly thought that today would be a day where things finally would be a little calmer and more peaceful. But he guessed that with him being him, he should have seen it coming.

He was waiting for that moment when he would die and his EXP bar would be shown with a rapidly decreasing number right in front of him. But it didn't come. He was still alive.

Someone else's face replaced the faces of his enemies. Ulbert's vision was greeted with the colors of gleaming white and silver.

"My friend! Are you alright?" Said the person.

The demon looked up with confusion and slight agitation. Not at the new person's presence, no. But at the sore feeling on his butt from sitting on the ground for too long.

"Who the hell are you?" A frustrated, beaten up, and exhausted magic caster said as he dusted the dirt off of his tattered cape.

A hand was extended out for him to grab. The demon was sitting on the ground grumpily. And at the outstretched hand, he looked up with narrowed eyes, feeling suspicious for a few moments before reluctantly accepting the helping hands.

"Who... who are you? Why are you helping me?"

"I am your friend! And helping those who are defenseless and are in need is common sense! It is unjust and cowardly to pick on one person with a group of three!" The Paladin person said with a cheerful tone as he stood triumphantly, his scarf flowing in the wind.

The demon sweat-dropped at the show of flair and extravagance. "..."

"Haha. In all honesty, though, I am serious. Us grotesques need to stick together, you know. Humanoids are so intolerable lately! You are probably the third person that we have helped today." The paladin said as he sheathed his sword back onto the side of his waist.

"Huh? Really?" He blinked, his eyes widens slightly. "We...? Ok. But first, answer my initial question, please. Who, are you?" Third? So he was the third person that was 'rescued' today? That's... interesting. And why does this guy look so familiar...

"Yes, we! My team is helping the others to clean up and escort them to safety. Some of them should be back soon!" The insectoid player said as he strapped his shield to his back and secured it in place.

Ulbert wasn't weak. In fact, he was working towards to gaining the World Disaster class type. Just a few more level milestone and his dream will be accomplished. He was just going around to gather some materials to upgrade his cloak for extra durability and physical defense. But then a dumb elf had decided to engage in combat with him when they thought that he was alone and 'vulnerable' enough for a quick kill. He could've dealt with the root of his predicament quickly if he was in a fair 1V1. However, he was ambushed by two other humanoids with a high enough defensive ratings that could stall him long enough to allow their assassin player to kill him. So he has no choice but to retreat before his equipment got damaged or before he dies and loses experience points.

Just when he thought he would really die, out of nowhere, three shimmering strokes of light that looked like a part of space has been cut appeared on his three attacker's body. Their HP instantly went down as their characters then vanished within a cloud of pixels. Honestly, he was more frightened than relieved at that moment. Who could have been so strong as to take down three upper sixties' level players in just three strikes?

"And to answer your earlier question! Hya!" Touch Me said as he then struck a pose as a few three dimension words that spelled 'JUSTICE HAS ARRIVED' floated around the man. "Defender of Justice, a villain's worst nightmare! I am... Touch Me!"

"...You, are Touch Me?" Ulbert said with a deadpanned face, despite knowing that the other wouldn't be able to see it. "Aren't you...?"

"HAI!? AM I THE WORLD CHAMPION? HAI! Ohoho, you flatter me, my friend."

Ulbert selected a sweat-dropped emoticon. "I was about to... Never mind. So, World Champion. In the flesh too, huh?" The demon smirked and chuckled at the insectoid player. "Well then, isn't that a little bit overkill? You didn't have to kill them so brutally." He joked.

"Ah! You must forgive me because of that. I couldn't contain myself from helping the helpless! It looks like you could handle yourself, but still, there was three of them! So I couldn't just leave you there. My heart tells me I must act with haste!"

"Does it now? Well. Thanks for helping me... Agh." The demon winced a little as a streak of red blood spilled out of his shoulder.

"FRIEND!? Are you alright?"

Ulbert waved his hands and shook his head. "I'm fine. Just took some bleeding status effect, that's all." He was still suspicious as to why this World Champion Class player was just helping him out of nowhere. But, he guessed that the insectoid was trustworthy enough. The man didn't seem to have any other motives, and he didn't seem like the type of people who would, anyway. His personality just appears to radiate out of him in waves.

"I see! Well. Would you like to join us? We can escort you back to a major city! If you don't mind, we'll just have to wait a while for my comrades to arrive." The paladin offered with a cheerful voice.

Ulbert took a few moments to think.

' ' Should I trust this man? I'm not hurt really bad... but I ran out of potions. So if I am ambushed again, I probably will die... He is a World Champion, after all. Perhaps his presence and name alone would steer away incoming PK'ers. Plus, if he gets me to a city, I can replenish my potions, and avoid unnecessary annoyances along the way... The only con of this offer would probably be the waiting for his friends to show up. ' '

He stares up at the sky. Asgard's sky was getting really dark, the sun was going down... It's not midnight yet IRL. But every single location in Yggdrasil was made with its own set of time and environment. Right now, it was already 22:13 AST ( Asgard Time ). Ulbert then made up his mind. If someone was being nice to him, he should probably not act like an asshole. He didn't have any friends in the game... So if someone was being genuine, he should probably take them up on their offer. Plus, it was more convenient anyway. And furthermore, not many humanoid players are active in the dark.

"...Alright. If you guys wouldn't mind me tagging along, that is."

"Sweet! Ok, follow me. We're gonna wait for them at this campfire site that I set up not far from here."

Ulbert nodded. "Please, lead the way, then."


Touch Me tossed another log into the fire, and it disintegrated in a flurry of pixels as the system registered that the campfire was being refueled. "Sooo, you're a magic caster?" The paladin asked with a tilt of his head as he sat up straight on the log that he was sitting on and leaned in with interest.

"Yeah. I specialize in combat magic. As you can see, I don't have a lot of spells for mobility. So I'm pretty much dead if I don't destroy my opponent before they could reach me."

"It must be tough! I can't imagine humanoid users have been going easy on you?"

"No. Tch. So far, I haven't died too much. But it's annoying when I do. I'm trying to keep my engagement with those people down to a minimum so I don't expend too much of my resources." Ulbert then brought up his spare inventory screen and share the information with Touch Me.

"See? I don't have any potions left. Those people that assassinated me, which you took down, have cost me my last potion."

"Oh, wow! That would have been really ugly if I don't turn up then, huh?"

"Yeah. Thanks again. I would prefer not to die on this particular day..."

"Ooooh, yeah, it's double EXP and Material Drops day, right?"

"Yup. That's why I risked myself going out there. I need the resources to upgrade my cape."

Yggdrasil would occasionally have these days where the EXP gain is doubled for twenty-four hours. And materials with a better grade, rarity, and quality would also drop out more from local monsters in those twenty-four hours. However, the developers have also made it so that if they do die from any form of PK, their EXP lost would also be doubled. Ulbert wouldn't have really cared too much in regular days. But he can't afford to die today.

"Shitty devs..." Touch Me groaned as he slumped back to a tree that was right behind him.

"Tell me about it." Ulbert sighs as he closed down his inventory screen. "Hey, sorry if I'm poking into you guys' business. But if I may ask, how many others are coming back here?"

At the question, Touch Me's face turn to set his gaze on the demon as a smiling emoticon popped up above the insectoid's head. "Ah. Don't worry about it! Of course you may! There's... hmmm, let's see... We used to have eight more players, excluding me. Our numbers increased with time! But today, only five of us are online!" Replied the paladin after he opened up his friend list.

IRL, Ulbert's eyebrows went up a little in surprise. Nine? And there were more? That's quite a sizable group. "Ah. So will all of those five come back here after they have finished escorting others to safety?"

"I dunno! But there's one thing I'm certain of, Momonga will definitely appear since I'm here." Touch Me said with a chuckle of delight and excitement.

"Momonga? Who's that? Are you two good friends?" The demon asked with curiosity. The way that the paladin spoke of this 'Momonga' was with fondness and amusement. "What's so funny?" The demon asked at the insectoid's increasing volume of laughter. He opened his menu and selected a smirking face.

"Nothing. Haha! Sorry. It's just funny how you two are kinda in a similar situation when we first met." Touch Me said, his laughter calmed down to a light chuckle.

"Huh? Really?" Now he was curious. Who was this person? And how are they similar? What kind of person are they? Now he wanted to meet this 'Momonga' also, just to see how alike the two of them really are. Perhaps it was the race? Appearance? Physique? Class?

"Yeaaaaaaaah. Momonga was being beaten up by these five punks while he was defenseless! How outrageous! I went in and killed those sons of bitches the same way that I did with your assassins. We've been friends ever since. And guess what?" The insectoid snorted.

"What?" Ulbert said, feeling genuinely curious.

"He's also a magic caster."

The demon's eyes almost popped out of his head as he staggered from his seat in awe and shock. "What!? Really!? No way!"

"Yeees way. He's a necromancer, though. Momonga took those classes because wanted to rank himself up to become an Overlord."

"Overlord? So, he's a skeleton?" Ulbert asked, stroking his chin as he became even more interested. He was feeling that way because he rarely came across a skeleton player. Grotesque characters like him have already had a hard time evading bloodthirsty humanoids from hunting him. He couldn't imagine how difficult it must be for a character that was even more inhumane than him to wander around by himself in these time of hardship.

"Yup yup! You guessed it! It was so tough for him, you know! He almost quitted the game if I didn't intervene and helped him back then! Good thing that I did. He's one of the bestest friends that I've ever had." Touch Me concluded with a fond chuckle. "I'm kinda like his protector. But from that day on, after he joined up with me, he's acting like my mother or something, hahaha. The guy's always worried about the welfare of our ragtag group of inhuman players."

Ulbert was silent as he listened to the paladin's reminiscence of his past encounter with the other. Ulbert didn't have any friends here... It was hard being a heteromorphic character. You are assured to have enemies as soon as you arrived into the game. And it was even harder to make a long-lasting friendship if your heteromorphic friends quitted because they can't handle the relentless assault of humanoid players. Ulbert was a little bit jealous as he listens to the insectoid's words. Momonga sounded like a great person to be friends with. Ulbert wished he'd had a friend like that...

"Wow. He sounds like a kind person. I can't wait to meet him." The demon said truthfully. A content, smiling emoticon then appeared above him.

"You will! Trust me, he's the best. You'll like him."

"I'm sure I will."

Touch Me laughed softly, feeling satisfied at the demon's answer as he then tossed another log into the fire.

Beep beep!

The paladin brought a hand up to his temple at the sound of his incoming message notification. "Oh! Hold on. I gotta take this."

"Sure." Ulbert shrugged.

"Hello?" The paladin began as he raised a hand to the side of his temple. "Uhuh. We're done over here. How did it go? Niceee. That's good. I had no doubts since the beginning! So. Where are yo —."

Before the insectoid could finish, a shadowy figured appeared behind Ulbert as a cool, soft, but icy voice then spoke up.

"Who's this."

"WHAT THE FU—!" Ulbert exclaimed, startled at the sudden noise. He jumped a good meter away as he then landed right next to the laughing Touch Me. The one who had sneaked up behind the demon stood with his arms crossed in front of his chest as he tilts his head to the side a little in curiosity.

"Heeey, Nishiki! You're back!" Touch Me said as he waved a hand to the player cloaked in a suspicious ninja-lookalike outfit. The masked male nodded his head to the paladin as he then uncrossed his arms, looking directly at Ulbert.

"Who's this?" He asked once again.

Ulbert was having a heart attack. He clutched his chest in an attempt to calm himself down as Touch Me continues to laugh at his misery. How did he not hear the person coming up behind him? How was that possible? He was like a shadow, and Ulbert was feeling extremely alarmed at how stealthy this particular player was. But then he calmed down as he remembers that Touch Me knew this person.

Or perhaps should he be even warier at that fact?

Regardless, Ulbert cleared his throat as he then tries to speak as calmly as possible.

"Ahem. Sorry. My name is Ulbert Alain Odle. Your associate, Touch Me, has helped me in my time of need and has offered to escort me back to the capital." Ulbert said with a nonchalant tone. The demon then bowed his head to the masked player. "It is a pleasure to meet one of Touch Me's comrades."

"Nishikienrai." Said the ninja as he then bends his upper body in a bow to return Ulbert's greetings. "Pleasure." He said with a more carefree and relaxed tone as his posture become less tense. "So, I guess that Touch Me got himself involved again, huh?" Nishikienrai said with a soft sigh.

"Yes." Ulbert snorted.

"Well, glad to see that you're safe." The ninja said, sounding pleased. Then, turning to the paladin, Nishikienrai took a seat in one of the other empty logs as he crossed his arms in front of his chest once again. "It was a bit tough getting back here. But once it got dark, the humanoids didn't really bother to follow me." Nishikienrai said with a sigh, reporting back his 'mission' process.

"Alright! I knew they couldn't have given you too much trouble. We were lucky. After I picked up Ulbert, there were really no one else around these parts."

"Hmmm. I see. Well, Ulbert-san. I don't know where you are planning to go from here. But regardless of your answer, it was nice to see you, nonetheless." The masked player said with a small nod directed at Ulbert.

' ' Regardless of my answer...? ' '

"What do you mean?" The demon asked, feeling quite intrigued at the ninja's words that probably means something.

Touch Me groaned a little at the ninja as he then slumped back completely from where he was sitting. "Nishiki!"

"What?" The ninja replied with an innocent voice.

"Blegh. You sneaky bastard." The insectoid sighed as he placed a hand on his face exasperatedly. Turning to Ulbert, Touch Me sent him a smiling face as he then waves his hand in front of his face. "Nah. Don't worry about it."

Now Ulbert was even more curious. "No really, what is it? Tell me."

"...You sure you want to kno —"

" Every time that we do these little 'search and rescue' mission, Touch Me and Momonga always wanted for the people that we encountered along the way to join our group." Nishikienrai said with a smirking emoticon face. "I assume you have heard of Momonga from him?"

"Yeah. Told me a lot about him." Ulbert was starting to get it. Apparently, these guys have been making friends across the realms as they traveled. That... was actually pretty damn smart and clever. Adventuring safely while making allies along the way.

Nishikienrai nodded at him as he then continued. "After we have helped others like you, we usually escorted them for awhile to where they wanted to go. When we reached the destination or while we are on the way, if we like them enough, we'll ask those individuals to join our team if they want to. The two that I encountered today refused. Though, I added them to my friend list. They said once they are strong enough, they'll join up."

"You mean those two that I met with you earlier?" The ninja nodded at the paladin's question. "I really thought that they would join up! They didn't really need our help in the first place at all. That's too bad! Those two are strong. I can't imagine how strong they wanted to become to be able to join us."

"Would you look at that. Perhaps they want to beat you, World Champion." Ulbert joked. The insectoid laughed with his manly voice as he slapped his hand violently against his legs.

"If they keep going where they are with their current strength, I'm sure they will." Touch Me chuckled. "Well, anyway. I was waiting for Momonga to show up so that he could ask you about that instead... But well, there it is." The paladin said sheepishly.

"You... want me to join you guys?" Ulbert was stunned. No one has wanted him to become a part of their team before. Those that did have quitted due to the frustration of being constantly PK'ed. Was this for real?

"You seems nice. And strong." The ninja said. No one could have seen it, but they can tell that he had a smile as he was speaking. "Sure. If Touch Me personally vouches for you, then you must be quite something."

"I..." Ulbert began. He couldn't really quite wrap his head around this just yet. And he wasn't really sure whether he wanted to be a part of their group or not. He has only been with these people for a few hours. Even if he wanted to, he can't tell. "...I don't know."

Touch Me then patted the demon's back firmly a few times as he sends him a grinning emoticon. "No worries! You can give us your answer once you have arrived at your destination!" The paladin laughed cheerfully.

Ulbert didn't reply to that. He only gave out a small nod with a smiling emoticon.

Beep beep!

Nishikienrai placed a hand to the side of his temple. After a few seconds, he turned to the two people in his company as he bowed his head. "Ah. Excuse me. I'll be with you in a moment."

"That's fine."

"Is that Takemikazuchi?" Asked the silver paladin.

"Yeah." The ninja then turned around as he then responds to the incoming message.

"That you, Take-yan? Yeah? Yeah." The ninja replied to whatever message that was being exchanged with him. He could have communicated discreetly by whispering back using his mind. But he trusts his comrades enough as to not mind that they would hear what he was saying. "Yeah. Uh huh. RighWait. What?"

Ulbert and Touch Me paused, body tensing at the ninja's voice that was filled with anxiousness. Ulbert didn't know any of these people. But for some strange reason, he felt compelled to care and be concerned at his new comrades' voice filled with distress.

"Wait wait wait. Hold on hold on, Take-yan. You mean... right now? What!? Where?" The ninja stood up as he then paced back and forth. "Fucking pieces of fucking shitting fuck!" The masked player cursed as he pinches the bridge of where his nose was supposed to be. After his outburst, which surprises the shit out of Ulbert and the paladin, the ninja then stopped pacing about as he then spoke with a grim voice. "Alright. I'm coming, Take-yan. Don't worry, I'll bring Touch Me and anyone else that I can get. Hang on."

Nishikienrai pulled up a small screen as he then quickly tapped a few buttons.

Ding! Sounded the system notification on Ulbert's game interface.

[ You have a new friend request from Nishikienrai ]

Ulbert blinked as he then accepted the request with a confused and anxious mind. Something is definitely out of place. Because even Touch Me had become twitchy as he was unable to sit still in his seat.

"All right, Touch Me, Ulbert-san. I'm sending you all the TP coordinates. We have to go, now." The ninja then paused as he turns his gaze to the demon. "If you don't want to come, please feel free to stay here. We will have someone come here and escort you if you don't go with us. It's fine."

Ulbert shook his head as he stood up. "No. I'll go. Can you explain what is going on, though?"

"What's up, Nishiki?" The silver paladin asked with an uneasy voice. His armor clanked and squeaked against each other when he stood up to prepare himself for departure.

"Momonga. Take-yan. Escort. City. Leaving. Encountered PK'ers. The Seraphs. Six. Weak. However, Momonga hurt. HP 50%. Potion supply low. Trying to conserve." Nishikienrai said as he tapped his fingers vigorously on a holographic interface menu. After acquiring the correct locations, he immediately sends them to the insectoid and demon players. Then, with another tap of a button, he transferred a few items to Ulbert as a Ding! went off in his system notifications.

"Seraphim!?" The two players exclaimed with disbelief and shock.

"Those cocky, angel bastards?" Ulbert sneered with hatred and resentment. The ninja nodded at him.

"There's no time to waste. I sent you a TP scroll and some Upper-Class Potions, Ulbert-san. In case you need it." Nishikienrai nodded at the demon as he then turned his eyes back onto his own screen, finger hovering over the 'Teleport' button. "Touch Me, Ulbert, I will immediately assist Momonga and Take-yan. Please prepare yourselves and join us as soon as you can." With that, the ninja vanished in a flash of yellow light, indicating that he has teleported to somewhere else.

Touch Me wasted no time to open up his inventory as he then arranges his equipment for combat. He brought an appropriate amount of HP Potions with him along with his favorite choice of weapon: Sword and Shield.

Ulbert, meanwhile, was also preparing himself for a drawn out fight. His cloak might be in a slightly bad shape at the moment, but that's fine. He didn't get a chance to equip his recently enchanted armor since he was in a fight and he can't swap out his equipment in the middle of combat unless he had a cash shop item. Which he will probably never have. Ulbert disliked the idea of not earning power and prestige through hard work.

The demon was genuinely and fully concerned for the skeleton and his friends that he have never met . Why was he so worried about a bunch of people that he don't even know? Ulbert didn't really understand. But there was something that compels him to stay; to care. He didn't know what, but Ulbert has decided that he will stay with these kind people that have helped him even though they could have just left him to fend for himself.

"Hey. World Champion." Ulbert stopped T ouch Me before he could teleport himself to their meet up location.

The insectoid tilts his head a little as he turns his gaze to the demon. "Do you need something, friend?"

Ulbert shook his head. Touch Me have an inquisitive look on his emotionless face as the tilt of his head exaggerates a bit more. Then, with a smirking emoticon, Ulbert brought up the map menu as he then entered the coordinates that were shared with him.

"I'm staying."

The paladin stared at him for a few moments before sending a smirking emoticon right back at the magic caster.

"I see. Then, let's go help our comrades, yes?"

"Of course. After you."


"MOMO-CHIIIIIIIII!" Warrior Takemikazuchi yelled as he jumped right in front of Momonga just a split second before the undead could be hit by a Sixth Tier Fireball. The force of impact exploded the moment that it touches the Nephilim's body. Despite the explosion, the Nephilim was still alive and looks like he could handle about a thousand more of the same spell.

"Takem ! Get out of the way, you idiot!" Momonga exclaimed with panic as the smoke cleared, leaving behind a slightly singed Nephilim. "Your defense might be higher than mine, but you're not a tank!"

"Don't be stupid, you baka skeleton! I have higher sustain against the fire element, you don't. If you're exposed to heat for too long, you'll die!" The giant man said as he readied his katana, turning around with his back to Momonga and his front to their enemies. Momonga's armor, which was a simple robe, was designed to be resistant to Holy Magic, not Fire.

"But your —"

"Those attacks are like candy pellets anyway, don't worry about me. Worry about yourself, you baka! You lost over half of your HP already!" Takemikazuchi said in a slight scolding voice as he held his katana in his hands, gripping it tightly, readying to deflect any incoming physical projectiles.

"Takemi..." Momonga said with a worried tone.

The Nephilim sent the skeleton a smirking emoticon as he then points his swords towards the group of angels in a challenge. "Heh. I'm Warrior Takemikazuchi, the muscle of the group, aren't I? I'm not gonna die that easily, baka. Just stand behind me and try to take down their barriers before our teammates arrive."

Momonga nodded firmly. He trusts Takemikazuchi and his abilities. If the warrior was going to put his body on the front line for him, the least he can do is to help stall those Seraphim bastards for as long as he can. "Alright. Then, please take care of me!"

"You got it, skelly! You take care of me too." Turning his attention back to the group of six, Takemikazuchi then spread his arms wide open and hits his chest repeatedly. "Come at me, you flashy chickens! What are those things called, fireball? Oh, sorry. It was so tiny and insignificant that I thought it was called matchsticks!" The Nephilim taunted with a sneering voice, the sound of him hitting his chest armor rang throughout the field like a ripple of waves in the ocean.

All attention from the angels were turned upon the screaming warrior.

"What did you say? You ugly piece of shit?!" Someone in the back line yelled.

"That's it. Kill the ugly one first. Deal with the skeleton later!"

They took the bait.

"I'm gonna cast Ultimate Disturb." Said the skeleton.

It was a spell that increases one's ally magical defense rapidly. However, in exchange for the resistance against all type of magic, the one who received it will not be able to use any ability to cast spells. This magic would only be used as a desperate measure in normal circumstances. However, in this situation, it could prove to be quite useful. Warrior Takemikazuchi was... a warrior. Most of his combat power solely relied on the skills that he could use. Since he has a very limited amount of spells —maybe he even has none at all —, it doesn't really make a difference if Ultimate Disturb were casts on him. He doesn't use spells, anyway. That was one of the best ideas that Momonga have ever had! Thank god that he still remembers this particular ability.

"Do it." Takemikazuchi sent Momonga a grinning emoticon as two bolt of dragon lightning could be seen quickly heading towards him.

" [ Ultimate Disturb ] !"

The moment that Momonga casts the spell on him, the two dragon lightning bolt that collides with the warrior's body bounced off of him harmlessly as he made a come hither motion, sneering at the enemy with an emoticon.

"What!?" One of the angel players exclaimed.

"Surprise, motherfuckers!" Warrior Takemikazuchi laughed as he then took his stance, readying to deflect more spells. "What, did you clowns not know what that spell was? Ha! Come at me with everything you've got! You feathered sons of bitches!"

"AAAAAAGGHH! Take him down, now! If magic attacks won't work, use physical attacks!"

"O-ok. [ Fire Volley ] , [ Poison Arrow ] !"

" [ Absorption ] , [ Widen Magic: Wall of Protection From Arrows ] , [ Infinity Wall ] !" Momonga then cast said spells simultaneously on Takemikazuchi as he prepares the both of them for a drawn out battle. Their teammates might arrive soon, but that doesn't mean he should just get cocky and not take measures to protect himself and his friend. Although Takemikazuchi wasn't a tank, he has high enough sustain to last him for a bit without backup or support. And with Momonga's protection spells and buffs, the Nephilim could become a decent off-tank player.

"Agh! Stop with the defense magic! How annoying!" The rogue from the enemy team said with annoyance as his barrage of arrows were absorbed into the barrier that surrounded the two of them.

"This is annoying for us, you shitheads!" Takemikazuchi shouted as he flipped them off. Then, he turned to Momonga and sent a grinning emoticon at the skeleton player. "Hah! I said I'd take care of you, but it seems that you're taking care of me instead!" The Nephilim laughed at the puny arrows that were sucked into the barrier.

Momonga chuckled at his friend's words of gratitude. This was the right course of action, after all. Now all Momonga will have to focus on is lowering the enemies' defense as well. "Hehehe. Well, Take, now it's up to you to hold the line. Here come their melees!" The angels probably gave up on trying to attack them from a distance, since it yielded no result. Now, their front liners that have been sitting idle sprang up to action as they then closed in on the Nephilim with their swords and daggers out.

" [ Meteor Fall ] !" Momonga said as his palm lit up with a glowing crimson light.

"WHAT!?" The mages exclaimed with slight panic.

"Do you guys not know this spell? That's funny." The skeleton laughed a little at the enemy's incompetence. The only reason that Momonga couldn't use the full potential of his magic was because they were focusing on attacking him. In reality, they were too easy a match-up for the undead player. Now, with Takemikazuchi's protection, he can finally unleash some upper seventh tier spells. From the sky, a barrage of hot, fiery orbs of comets began to rain down upon the group of three angels standing at a far distance. A blue barrier activated as it tried to repel the incoming sizable projectiles. However, Momonga kept up the barrage of meteors. And soon, layers after layers, their barriers shatters with a loud noise as Momonga smirked triumphantly.

"Yes! OK. I'm gonna give you shitheads back what you gave us. [ Dragon Lightning ] !" Momonga could have used some stronger spells, but he needs to reserve his MP. At the instance of the spell activation, three gigantic dragons composed of electricity coursed out of the skeleton's fingers as it swiftly flies through the air, smiting the three bewildered figures with a blinding flash of light.

"AHHH! Get the barriers on, you guys!" The electrified rogue said as the two mages fumbled, struggling to move after being electrocuted.

"Agh, be quiet! You know that barrier takes over six minutes to be raised again!" One magic caster replied, voice hint with worry.

"All right! Finally, some real action around here. Nice work, Momo-chi. Now, come at me you sons of bitches, you won't go any farther than this!"

"Shut up, you monster! Everyone, focus on attacking the loudmouthed, ugly one! While the big one is distracted, one of you go and obliterate the undead!" A Seraphim's mage said as three people then charged at Takemikazuchi.

Momonga scoffed at the group of angels as he readied himself to cast more offensive spells. "I'm not just gonna sit here doing nothing, you idiots! [ Call Greater Thunder ] !"

Their warriors weren't really worthy of being praised for their strength. Their agility is noteworthy at best, though. For each two blows that were delivered, Takemikazuchi would deflect it with two of his own. The more skills that they used to try to bring him down, the more he relent by holding his ground, refusing to be moved by such feeble attempts at getting past him. The sword fighter's attack was barely registered on his system. The one with the heavy axe, however... The girl was slow, and her attacks weren't that strong in compared to the one with the sword, either. However, each time her axe collides with his katana, he staggered a little at the force of the blow. It was probably one of the effects embedded into its functions. What an annoying weapon.

" [ Weapon Enchantment: Holy Aura ] !" Someone in the backline said. Takemikazuchi's eyes widen as he realizes what they were planning to do.

' ' Shit, how could I have forgotten about the third one?! ' '

Suddenly, a figure appeared in front of Momonga as they drew out their daggers gleaming with a golden light, indicating that it was recently enchanted by a spell. The skeleton didn't have the time to react, and the assassin brought down their blades as they then activate their skill. " [ Cutthroat — ] ?!"

" NOT SO FAST YOU FUCKTARD! [ Block ] and [ Counter ] !" Just before the assassin's dagger could break through Momonga's defense, the Nephilim warrior, with a skill of his own, shook off his attackers temporarily as he then swings the back of his katana at the rogue, sending them flying backward and colliding on the ground with a loud crash.

"That, was a warning shot. Who said I'm letting you get past me?!" Takemikazuchi said angrily as he drew out his katana with a threatening stance. "Next time, I'll cleave you into half, you bastard! How dare you try to harm Momo-chi while I'm defending him!?" Roared the Nephilim. A purple-ish red aura surrounded the warrior as he activates one of his skills.

" [ Berserk ] ." The warrior said, activating said skill. His body was engulfed in the red-violet aura turned flames as he stood there menacingly, his katana blazing hot with a hellish-looking fire. The warriors that Takemikazuchi shook off earlier had taken a few steps back to get out of the Nephilim's katana's range.

"Takemi! That skill can only be activated again after thirty minutes!" Momonga exclaimed exasperatedly. The giant warrior shook his head as he held his katana out with one hand, his stance provoking a challenge from the enemy.

"I don't care. If they're gonna try something like that again, I'm going to make sure that I massacre the fuck outta them." The Nephilim then turned his head at Momonga's direction. "Are you ok? Momonga?"

"I'm fine. You didn't take too much damage, though, did you?"

"Nah. I think the candy pellets description are waaaay off. It's more like a breeze of wind brushing against me, to be honest. Thanks to your buffs, Momo-chi, I took little to almost no damage at all!" The warrior laughed, reassuring his friend. Then, he turned his gaze back onto the three melee attackers as he then points his sword at them provocatively. "Who wants a piece of me?"

"Definitely not me." A familiar voice responded. " [ Shadow's Edge ] ."

All of a sudden, one of the angel warrior was gone in a flurry of pixels as they disappeared within a streak of light.

The angel was dead.

"...What happened? Where's T.?!"

"I-I-I don't know! He was just here, how can he be dead?!"

"The skeleton couldn't have done that, nor did the warrior! What the hell happened, you two? You guys were the closest ones to him!"

Voices of confusion filled the vicinity as the two members of Nine's Own Goal smirked in silent. The Seraphims might not know what was going on, but the two of them did. He has arrived.

"Momo-kun, Take-yan. You two OK?"

"Nishi!" Momonga exclaimed with joy and relief at his friend's arrival. " Nishi~! I'm fine. My HP is still a little bit over 45%. Oh my god, how glad I am to see you!" Momonga let out a breath that he didn't realize he was holding as he chuckled.

The quiet ninja chuckled back at him as he sends Momonga a smiling emoticon. "Same to you, Momo-kun."

The ninja quickly materialized out of nowhere as he then stood next to Takemikazuchi. He stood in that particular position so that he can also shield Momonga from possible incoming assassination attempts. Nishikienrai has used one of his invisibility skills to enter the battleground unnoticed, and while the enemies were too busy trying to disengage the Nephilim, he took his chance to swoop in for a quick kill. Too easy. What kind of idiots doesn't have some kind of surveillance or clairvoyance skill as a backup in case this sort of situation happened? Whoever was the rogue type of that team will obviously be their downfall. How careless.

"Nishikiiiiiiii!" The tall warrior said with a booming laughter as his posture relaxes, the grip on his sword tightens. "Brooo! Finally! What took you so long?"

"Apologies, Take-yan. Was getting backup. Touch Me and one more is coming."

"Heh. If that insect guy is coming, then I'm gonna make sure I don't fall behind!" Takemikazuchi said, feeling pumped up at the knowledge that his rival was coming.

"Who is the other one?" The skeleton asked with interest. The ninja didn't answer, only smirked silently as he took out his twin daggers.

"New friend. You'll see." His smile drops as he stared at the stunned angels that couldn't get their heads wrapped around their friend's death. "You shitheads better have not given them any trouble. Or I'm going to be not veeery happyyy." The half-golem said with a sarcastic, drawn out voice.

"Naahhh, we could handle them, really. But they're just giant bullies and kept trying to pick us off one by one. I have to protect Momo-chi, you know! If I don't, then I could have soloed them with Momo-chi's help!"

"I'm sure you can. Oh, by the way." Nishikienrai began speaking to the group of angels, snapping his fingers together like he has just remembered something. "You guys should get a new rogue or whoever it is that's your assassin. Man, no 'clairvoyance' or even 'sense enemy'? What kind of rogue doesn't have a skill that detects hidden foes? That's just some really bad call. Are you all a bunch of casuals? Please don't PK ever again."

"Ooh. Yeah, you tell 'em, Nishi! Hey, you jerks, don't forget to apply cold water to burned area!" Momonga laughed gleefully at Nishikienrai's taunts. Naturally, the ninja was always quiet and speaks with short statements and responses. However, when it comes to his teammates, the half-golem could get super defensive and he usually was the one to mock the enemy if he spots even the slightest mistake. The man is simply a savage. ' ' How merciless! ' ' Momonga thought.

"They were too cocky, thinking that they can afford to take us lightly. You don't mess with Nine's Own Goal, ya hear? ? ?" Takemikazuchi yelled to the angels on the other side.

The mage, the leader of the current group was trembling with anger at the provocations and the taunting of their enemies. With clenched teeth, the magic caster points his finger towards the three players of Nine's Own Goal as he then spoke with rage. "Fuck you! In case you have forgotten, we still outnumbered you five to three. You're going to pay for killing one of ours! Everyone, forget about defense. No matter what it takes, take the trash-talking rogue down, then kill the skeleton. After that, we'll get rid of the big one." The angels' formation was no longer in a state of confusion, everyone then began to stir into action at their leader's command.

"That's not a very good course of action." An elegant, smooth voice spoke up. It was coming from a few meters behind the two clashing teams. Everyone then looked around for a while to try to identify the source of said voice. "Look at all these burned trees... Apparently, you guys like to use fire. Very well, then. I'll relent with my own. [ Unholy Inferno ] ."

"Holy shit!" Warrior Takemikazuchi said, feeling bewildered and surprised when he himself could feel a violent wave of heat coursing through the air.

"Whoa! That's an upper seventh tier magic!" Momonga exclaimed with awe as a fire so hot that its color was blue descends down upon the enemies. It was so unexpectedly unexpected that they didn't react at all in the first two second of the collision. When they have come to, though, the group of angels screams in pain and agony as they registered the amount of damage done to them. Although Light and Holy Magic is a deadly element against the undead and the unholy, Unholy and Dark Magic is also a fatality against its counterpart. Yeah, the game system was weird like that. Basically, whoever gets the first hit wins.

' ' Who was that?! ' ' The skeleton didn't recognize the voice or the person that have used the spell. So far, in Nine's Own Goal, there was no one that could cast eight tier magic that he knew of yet. And this spell belonged to a player that would specialize in destruction magic of the Demon race, which their team doesn't have yet either. So who was this? Were that person even an ally, he wondered.

"I can do more than seventh tier magic, my dears." The voice of the magic caster said as he slowly made his way out of the trees surrounding the group and into the clearing, where everyone could see him.

' ' Wooooow! That's some getup! ' ' Thought the skeleton upon seeing the complete visage of the person.

Their cloak was tattered, but their choice of outfit made up for that poor excuse of a cape. Momonga didn't know what he was expecting when he has heard the person's voice for the first time, but somehow, this was exactly what he would have had in mind; the voice matches the look one hundred percent.

He looked like one of those bartenders or gentlemen that would get all the ladies' attentions in those fancy clubs and restaurants; despite him having a goat head and all that. It was super cool to Momonga, though. The person was dressed up in a simple black suit and vest, his lower torso was dressed with a simple jet black pants. Momonga wasn't sure where the garment ended and where his real legs began. Ulbert had long legs that curved near the end —like that of a real goat where his hooves were, and his fur was darker there, so Momonga wasn't really sure. It didn't matter, though, he looked wickedly awesome and charming!

If he didn't know any better, he would have thought that the guy walked straight out of a ballroom or something like that and into the game. Or perhaps he has just finished some executive business meeting with his CEO. Or was he the CEO? The skeleton player doesn't really know. But regardless, the magic caster looked awesome! Very menacing too. Business people was intimidating, to say the least. Momonga has experience with that, so he knows.

"So cool!" He stated his opinion out loud. Then, as he realized what he has just said when his friends snickers at his words, the skeleton mage put up his hands to where his lips were supposed to be as he then sends out a sheepish, grinning emoticon at the fancy looking demon.

The demon snickers as well as he used Fly magic to quickly get to where the skeleton Momonga was standing. "Why, thank you so much! You don't get compliments like this every day when you're a grotesque!" Ulbert chuckled at the skeleton's fluster. "Ulbert Alain Odle, pleasure to meet you, Momonga. I assume. And... Warrior Takemikazuchi?"

"Yup! You got it! Nishiki here must have told you, didn't he?" The Nephilim chuckled heartily as the ninja gave out a half-hearted shrug.

Ulbert nodded at the taller player with a grinning emoticon.

"Ulbert! That's awesome! I didn't know you were that strong!" Touch Me laughed as he announced his arrival.

"Well, you never asked." The demon scoffed jokingly as he looked over to the group of angels. The storm of inferno was settling down as the magic casters were trying to raise their fire resistant with a couple of spells. "Hmmm. Futile." He snorted. Unholy Inferno wasn't just a destruction spell, it was also a DPS spell that has a long lasting effect over time. Unless their team has something like 'Clarity' or some form of delay magic, then nothing would really help with their predicament.

"Huh? Burning effect? Wow! That's some super cool spell, Ulbert Alain Odle!" Momonga said in admiration. If he had eyes that worked in the game, it would probably be sparkling with awe right now.

The demon chuckled coolly at the skeleton's words of praise as if he have heard those compliments a thousand times before. But in reality, this is probably the third time that he has received such praise. He was feeling pretty damn flattered right now. "Impressed? And just Ulbert is fine, Momonga. We're on the same team now." The undead's words were so pure and honest that Ulbert felt as if he was being viewed as some form of an idol. Touch Me was right, he was starting to like Momonga and his genuity.

"Yeah! That was so awesome. Though... were you aiming for a dramatic entrance?" Near the end of the sentence, the skeleton had a voice that suggested that he was raising one of his eyebrows at Ulbert. The goat demon laughed at the skeleton's playful and questioning tone.

"Pfft. How did you know?"

"Bro, that was obvious, even for me." Warrior Takemikazuchi said as he laughed uncontrollably, enticing a chuckle out of the ninja as well as the paladin.

"Well. I don't have your World Champion's landing effect. So I try to come and go as fashionably as possible."

That was a wake-up call for the angels, as they turned their head in the demon's direction in panic. "What!? World Champion?!"

It was the cue for Touch Me to start getting into his role of being the vigilante of justice as the insectoid's armor shone brightly through the night, his sword a gleaming majestic glow of silver, and his visage was screaming the word 'HERO'. "T'is I! You fiends! How dare you pick on my comrade!? And Momonga too, no less!"

"Now we're evenly matched. Or if it can even be considered that way." The ninja said as he readied his daggers, preparing for a sneak attack combo stance. His eyes gleaming dangerously under the moonless night.

"It's five on five now, baby!" The purple fire has yet to subsided from Takemikazuchi's body, and he moved up a pace with his katana drawn out, ready to slash through anything that it touches. The angels, like them, couldn't convey their expressions, either. But any could tell that they were starting to regret all of their life choices at that instance.

"As punishment for hurting my new friends, you will pay this debt with your lives, you pathetic excuses for Seraphs." Ulbert said dramatically as he readied himself to deliver one of his most devastating magic spells as of late. He was liking this! He felt evil, and it was an exhilarating feeling!

"All right, you Seraphim bastards. Remember this, we're the Nine's Own Goal! Next time, if you mess with one of us, you're messing with all of us!"

At Momonga's words, his teammates stepped up one by one in a line formation. With Momonga at the center, Warrior Takemikazuchi at the front, Nishikienrai situating himself at the Nephilim's right, Touch Me stood with his sword and shield drawn at Momonga's left, and Ulbert standing right beside the skeleton's unoccupied side. Momonga looked around for a moment at his teammates. They all looked back at him as they nodded, each of them sending him an evil smirking emoticon face as Momonga then also gave out one of his own. His head turned to the group of fumbling, disarrayed angels as he then opened up his menu and selected one of his best destruction spells in his current level.

The skeleton nodded to his leader.

"Everyone, let's go!" Touch Me initiated as he casts a self-buff on himself.

"Yes!" Everyone replied. Momonga's hand raised to the sky as a black orb formed around his hand. With a shout of his spell, he then released the gathering mass of energy.

" [ Gravity Maelstrom ] !"

When Momonga released his spell at the two magic casters with the rogue, the spell exploded as it collided with the counter defense barrier that went up after six minutes have passed, thus, destroying it once again. The ninja took that as his cue to turn invisible in a cloud of smoke as he then sprinted as fast as he could through the enemy's defense line. After getting past the warrior, the assassin, and the rogue —my god, have they not learned their lesson at all? , he sneaked up from the shadows and pounced upon one of the unsuspecting magic casters. With an icy voice and a blade to his opponent's throat, he silently whispered.

" [ Cutthroat ] , you son of a bitch."

The Nephilim that was engulfed in his aura of Berserk moved up to clash his katana with the two front-liners as he then swung his sword down with all his might, using pure strength alone to overwhelm his two opponents. The two of them barely caught his katana with their axes and short swords, however, before they could react, the samurai warrior activates his skill.

" [ Yawata no Kami's Divine Judgment ] !"

Suddenly, a phantom of a figure of a monk with his eyes closed, sitting on a Lotus Throne, holding a golden staff, was projected out like a ghost behind Takemikazuchi. After a brief delay, the monk's eyes then opened wide along with his arms as a thousand bolts of arrows spawned in a circular formation around his figure glowing in a divine light. However, just as the angels was about to fled, the thousand bolts of arrows turned into a thousand katanas. And with a battle shout from the Nephilim, the monk figure clapped his hands together with a loud 'smack!'. The katanas that were floating around him then circled the three figures in a flurry, and after an uncomfortable moment of silent, the barrage of blades have then chosen its targets as it then locked onto the two angels that were being suppressed by the samurai.

"AHHHHHHHH!"

"Don't just stand there, we are Seraphim! We cannot lose to the likes of nameless people! Target their magic casters too, you fools! [ Penetrate Up ] , [ Draconic Power ] , [ Absorption ] , [ Greater Magic Shield ] !" The mage leader said as he then casts said buffs and defense magic on their teammates and the two melees that are being crushed by Takemikazuchi. One of their mages was gone, courtesy of Nishikienrai. And as they noticed that, the leader then began to cast defensive buffs upon himself and his teammates to prevent being instantly killed by a sneak attack.

"Tchh. I guess better late than never..." The ninja mumbled from the shadows as he temporarily withdrawn himself.

"Alright! [ Enhanced Iron Bolt ] , [ Volley of Chained Lightning ] !" The angel rogue said as they point their bow towards the sky. And with a clicking noise, signifying that a skill has been activated, countless arrows then rained down from the sky.

" [ Holy Smite ] !" Said the leader.

Ulbert paused with slight worry for a moment before Momonga spoke up.

"Not so fast! [ Extend Magic: Greater Hardening ] , [ Widen Magic: Wall of Protection From Arrows ] , [ Extend Magic - Magic Ward: Holy ] ." After casting said spells and AOE spell around Ulbert, himself, and Touch Me, Momonga then prepares another set of buffs as he points both of his hands at the demon and the insectoid. The Holy Smite has struck both the undead and the demon, but since Momonga has warded the two of them against holy magic combining with his holy magic resistant robe, it did little to damage his and Ulbert's HP.

" [ Bless of Magic Caster ] , [ Focus Magic ] ." Said the skeleton as he applies the buffs to Ulbert. Then he turned to the silver paladin. " [ Indomitability ] , [ Greater Full Potential ] ." After finishing casting the spells, Momonga looked up and saw that the barriers that he set up were coming close to crumbling underneath the unrelenting volleys of arrows.

"Ulbert, Touch Me! Whatever it is that you want to do, do it now!" Momonga shouted. Upon the command, the two players nodded as they wasted no time to get moving. The insectoid moved out of the skeleton's barrier's range to line up his attacks, but not so far as to him not being able to defend the two magic casters. With his silver sword aiming at the enemy, it glowed brilliantly in his hand as the paladin began to activate his skill. Touch Me slashed at the empty space with all of his might as a glowing silver light could be seen forming at the space the silver paladin has swung his sword.

" [ World Break ] !"

Something that looked akin to a gap of an endless void appeared on the body of the angel assassin player that was holding off Takemikazuchi's attack with their warrior. With Touch Me's superior skill and Warrior Takemikazuchi's overwhelming katanas striking at the feeble dual wielding rogue, the player soon ran out of HP as they then dissipated into tiny pixels like their previous comrades, leaving the lone female warrior behind to fend off the giant Nephilim. Meanwhile, Ulbert selected one of his favorite spells on his menu as he then locked onto his targets: The remaining mage and rogue.

"My turn. Scream in despair! [ Gehenna's Flame ] !"

Like its name suggested, Gehenna's Flame was extremely hot. Normally, the regular person's eyes could only see as far as a flame's blue color, since it was the hottest part of a flame and it was the highest color spectrum that their eyes could detect. However, Ulbert's flame was different. It wasn't red, nor orange, nor blue. It was a sinister violet, the color of despair. This fire was hotter than all else, exceeding beyond the extent of regular blue flames. And as the ring of dark flames closes in around the rogue and the mage, the demon could feel a wave of regret and despair coming from the cornered pair.

"What is this magic!? AhhhHHHH!" The leader said screaming as his HP steadily drops with each second that comes by. Ulbert held back a little bit, though. It wouldn't be fun to just finish them off in one hit. He made sure to make the pain dragged on for as long and as drawn out as humanly possible. The dark flames didn't blaze or disperse like the usual flame attacks that you would see, instead, it lingers around, moving in a circular motion like a death halo.

" [ Protection From Negative Energy ] !" The magic caster said as his staff glowed, a soft green glow then spreads throughout his body. He didn't include his friend, apparently.

"N-no! Shield me too! My HP!"

"You're not even going to protect your teammate? Are you sure you're 'angels'?" Ulbert frowned a little bit at that. Such cowardice... This is what Seraphim was truly like? And they're the guild that is steadily climbing to the top? "Well, it won't work anyway. The name might be cool, but it's just a fire type spell, to be honest." The demon said. The response to that was two anguish screams of pain.

"I swear, if I don't know any better, I would've thought that this game never went past the Alpha Testing phase." Momonga laughed at Ulbert's words as he joked.

"Shitty devs." Ulbert agreed.

"Tell me about it." Nishikienrai revealed himself from his invisibility as he stood with his arms crossed next to Momonga.

Ulbert jumped slightly at the sudden appearance of the half-golem. He wasn't quite used to those kinds of things yet. But Momonga was probably all too familiar with the ninja's surprises. "Took care of them? Nishi?" Said the skeleton without a hint of doubt.

"Done." The ninja chuckled as he pulled out a glowing object. "And guess what else I got?"

"Pfft! Is that... a feather? From those guys?" Ulbert laughed out loud upon seeing what said object was.

"Yeah. 'Heaven's Feather'. What a useless item." It was used for switching one's race to become an angel. Why would he have any use for something so meaningless?

"True. It's not like we're ever gonna use it! But... how about keeping it as a trophy?" The skeleton player suggested with enthusiasm.

"Hmmm. You know what. That's a good idea. This marks the first defeat of one of 'Seraphim's', the great and mighty guild on the rising fifties."

Meanwhile, with the Nephilim...

"How are you not dead yet, you mobile sack of feathers?" Takemikazuchi groaned tiredly at the female warrior's resistance. After the barrage of katanas stabbing at her one after the other, some would have thought that she would have dropped dead in a pile of pixels by now. In reality, though, the only thing that was keeping her standing was her pride and her refusal to acknowledge that she was going to lose. And also, the flimsy defense magic that was cast on her a few minutes ago.

"I-I'm not going to lose to a monster!"

"Well, shucks! In case you have forgotten, your race belonged to the heteromorphic category too, you stupid shit."

"I am an a-angel! Beautiful and divine! I'm n-nothing like you. Humanoids would never pick on us." The female snarled with what bit of pride and shield that she has left.

"Well, 'Angel-that-humanoids-will-never-pick-on'-sama, it was nice chatting with you and all of that. But I kinda lost my interest now. Yawata no Kami, Disengage, and Disperse!" With a swipe of his katana, Takemikazuchi broke the axe-wielding angel as she staggered backward. The phantom monk situating behind the warrior clapped his hands together as he closes his eyes once more. And with that, his endless waves of flying katana then vanished in a glimmer of light as the monk also disappeared. Takemikazuchi returns to his comrade's side, his Berserk aura ceased.

"Take! That was awesome!" Momonga cheered for his friend.

"Heh, this is nothing, Momo-chi. You just wait until I'm in my upper 70s level."

"Friends!" Touch Me said as he stood in the center. Everyone turned in his direction as the paladin points his swords towards the remaining three angels. "Come. We will finish what they have started. Remember this, and remember this well. No one picks on the members of Nine's Own Goal and gets way with it."

One by one, the group of five players positioned themselves besides their leader. Momonga stood to the insectoid's right. Ulbert to his left. Warrior Takemikazuchi standing right beside the demon, and Nishikienrai right besides the skeleton.

"I think I can get used to this." The goat demon chuckled, feeling surprisingly good at today's events and outcomes. The paladin took notice of his statement as he chuckled and nodded.

"Welcome to the team, Ulbert." Touch Me said with a welcoming and warm tone.

"I can't wait to work with you more!" Momonga said cheerily.

"There will be danger on the horizon when you're with us, Ulbert-san. Welcome to this weird group of heteromorphic friends and players." Nishikienrai chuckled.

"Show us what you've got, 'Berto!" Warrior Takemikazuchi exclaimed with glee.

At his new comrade's welcoming and encouraging words, Ulbert's heart swelled up with pride and vigor as he sends his teammates an evil grinning emoticon once more. "Hell yeah."

Touch Me felt a sense of fulfillment, seeing his comrades getting along so well. But he quickly brushed away his sentimentality. They have other priorities right now. His gaze then turns hard as he stared at their enemies. "Here we come, cowards! Although not all of us are here, this is the strength of Nine's Own Goal!"

"ALL RIGHT!"

Chapter Text

Chapter 5: Questions and Answers! Clarity and Confusion!


"To me, Demons of the Legemeton!"

The golems made of rare metals heeded Momonga's command and moved before him with an agility that belied their heavy bodies, then took the ready stance they had assumed earlier.

Now that Momonga had decided to go with his theory that virtual reality had become reality, his first concern was to guarantee his own safety along with his friends'. Although the NPCs he had met so far had readily obeyed him and the others that were with him, there was no guarantee that the others he met would react in the same way. Also, even if they were all friendly, he did not know when danger would next appear.

Momonga's life and death hinged on whether or not he could use such things as Nazarick's facilities, the golems, his items, his magic and so on. The same applies to the three that are currently in his company and are inspecting the array of golems.

"Well, that's one problem solved," Momonga muttered to himself in relief as he looked at the golems. He then ordered them only to listen to him and the guild members of Ainz Ooal Gown. That way, even in the worst-case scenario—if one or more NPCs revolted—they all would have an ace in the hole.

"Mmmm. These guys would definitely come in handy." Ulbert mused, feeling pleased as he stroke his beard.

"Wow, scaryyy... I kinda forgot how big these guys actually were." Peroroncino said with awe and slight wariness at how intimidating the golems were. The person that have made these really went all out with the designs that served a purpose: To intimidate.

"Ah, right. We didn't get to stop to look at them on the way." The alchemist said, marveling at the size and details of these sentinels. Their creators did have a knack for details. The look matches the power. "They are quite beautifully made."

"All right guys. Let's go to the amphitheater. Pero, your ring functioned normally, right?"

"Well, yeah. But that was before all of..." The archer waved his arms around in a circular motion. "...this."

"Good point. Let's see if they work now." Tabula nodded at the avian's words.

Each of the guild's member was still equipped with the Ring of Ainz Ooal Gown. No matter what happens, they must always have it on their body. It was a symbol of their creation, their own unique token that signifies the bond of comrades, old and new.

Also, the power of the Ring of Ainz Ooal Gown was unlimited teleportation between named rooms of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick, and it would even allow one to teleport into the Tomb from the outside. Since Nazarick was warded to block teleportation into or within itself (except for a few specific areas), this ring was very handy.

The only places where this ring could not teleport its wearer was to the Throne Room and the various guild members' personal rooms. This ring was also required to enter the Treasury, which was why they could not do without it.

"Alright. See you guys there." Momonga said. Taking a deep breath, he activates the ring's power with his destination in mind. And instantly, the world before him turned into black.

Right after that, the scenery in front of him changed, and his surroundings were now a dark tunnel. At the end of the tunnel, he could see what looked like a giant lowered portcullis. Within the tunnel were artificial lights.

"—Ho boy. That is one unpleasant feeling." A voice that belonged to Peroroncino said with a shaky breath.

"So... this is how it felt like to teleport places?" The demon mused as he shivers a little.

"...I think it might take us some time to get used to that." The brain eater agreed as he pulls his black cloak closer to his body.

The skeleton looked at his teammates with curiosity. Momonga then looks at his fingers as he clenched and unclenched them, blinking twice. "Huh... I didn't really feel that weird..."

"Huh? Really?" Peroroncino asked, looking at the skeleton curiously.

"Yeah. There was a tingling sensation, but then it quickly faded. Perhaps it's because I'm a skeleton. I don't really have skin... so I guess that it doesn't affect me that much." The overlord shrugged.

"...Hmmm. Interesting... If you would allow me, I would like to study your race's characteristics some other time, Momonga." Tabula said, his voice suggested that he was smiling as he speaks.

That question sparked up a different variety of opinions and feelings among the group of four. But Momonga, on the other hand, didn't feel weird about that. He actually thinks that it was a good idea. In their current situation, the functionalities and how things operate must have differed greatly. Tabula was smart and observant. And Momonga wants to learn about the limitations of his physiques. If anyone could figure it out, it would be the alchemist.

"Sure, no problem. But one thing at a time first, yes?"

There was no other reply to that statement except for the ones of the individual who have asked said question to the statement. "Of course. Thank you, guild leader."

The four pla—no, the four people began walking down the wide and high passage, toward the portcullis ahead of them. The stone floor amplified the sound of Momonga and his comrades' footsteps, and at times he could hear echoes down the sizable path. The torches that lined the tunnel flickered constantly, and as a result, the shadows they made seemed to dance. Bathed in the light of several torches, they cast several shadows at once, and it seemed as though there were multiple copies of each one of them.

What passed for Momonga's nose should have been little more than an empty hole in his skull, but yet he smelled something as he drew near the portcullis. Momonga stopped and took a deep breath. It was a strong scent of earth and grass—the smell of the jungle.

Much like his encounter with Albedo and Peroroncino just now, the intensely realistic scent, in a world that should not have possessed such things, only convinced Momonga of the reality of the world he was in. But how did his body breathe, without lungs or a windpipe? Momonga felt that thinking too much about such things was foolish, and put it aside.

As though it sensed Momonga and the few presence behind him approaching, the portcullis swiftly raised itself into the ceiling at just the right moment to let the group through. Past the barrier, what Momonga saw was a circular arena, surrounded on all sides by many tiers of audience seats.

"Waaa~! This place is huge!" Peroroncino gawks with awe and excitement. He knew that this place hasn't changed. But it has been a while since he last stepped foot in here. So it was understandable that he reacted the way he did.

That's right. This was a Colosseum, one hundred eighty meters on its long axis and one hundred fifty meters on the short axis. It was forty meters tall and modeled after the arenas of the Roman Empire. Its sight would entice and provoke most people with a sense of challenge and restless battle spirit.

[ Continual Light ] spells were cast everywhere, illuminating the grounds in white illuminations, so one could observe the entire Colosseum like it was in the middle of the day. The audience was composed of many clay dolls—golems, in other words—, which showed no sign of activity.

Ulbert chuckled as he moved his eyes around, sights fixating on the immobilize golems. "What I wouldn't give to see someone stupid enough to come here by themselves to do their 'reconnaissance' for their team once again." Said the demon with an evil grin that showed his sharp teeth. Momonga snorted at that as the other two laughed in agreement.

In this Colosseum, the intruders would be the stars of the show, while the ones watching from the VIP box would be members of Ainz Ooal Gown. The main event, of course, would be a brutal melee. Apart from the one thousand five hundred-man invasions, every single outsider had met their end here.

"Yeah. What a live show that would be, huh?" The archer snickers, crossing his arms in front of his chest.

"Of course. This place, after all. Was designed for a massacre. Not as amusing as watching gladiators battling each other to the death, but it's still amusing to watch, nonetheless."

"Gladiators...? As in those ancient Greece or Roman guys, right?" Momonga asked as he stroked his chin in thought. Tabula used to tell him something about how successful gladiators could become major stars of the Roman world, and those who were slaves could sometimes be freed after winning a certain number of matches. The Colosseum would be the place where either fame or freedom would be sought, or where men would be lead to complete a suicide mission. People back then really do have a sick sense of entertainment.

"Correct! So you do remember what I said. My heart soars with joy, dear Momonga!" The alchemist said gleefully.

"Well, you did constantly feed him those useless trivia, you know. Some sticks and some don't." Ulbert snorted and rolled his eyes at the overjoyed brain eater, inciting the overlord to gave out a small giggle.

"It is not 'useless', for your information. Those are priceless history that are thousands of years old. Only a true individual of intelligence would have known of these 'useless trivia'." Tabula crossed his arms and spoke sarcastically, his eyes narrowed dangerously at Ulbert. "Obviously, you're not one that fits into such category." Tabula chuckled as he shrugged with his arms wide open and his eyes closed, his tone spoken provocatively.

"Ohoho? Am I not? Pero! Tell me. Who would win between Tabula and I?" The demon laughed, feeling amused as his eyes glinted with mischievousness in his golden slitted orbs.

"Uhhh..." The avian hummed as he placed his hand underneath his beak, contemplating on how he should answer the particular query. After a few moments of indecision, he snickers and shrugged his shoulders. "You know that no one can beat you in terms of firepower, 'Berto—."

The demon brought his face up, smirking with pride as the alchemist looked away in slight indignant. But Peroroncino wasn't finished. "—But. I think that Tabula is smarter in term of wits. No offense." Peroroncino raised his hands up defensively.

"Whaaaat!? Come on now, Peroroncino!" Ulbert said in disbelief. "Traitorrrr!" The goat then turned to the snickering skeleton with a pleading look. "Momonga!?"

"Sorry, dear Ulbert. I can't help you there. It's true." The skeleton chuckled teasingly at his friend. Ulbert dropped down to the floor in despair as a purple cloud of gloom was visible over his slumped form.

"Truer words were never spoken, Pero. Wise choice, eagle one." Tabula said, feeling pleased with how this conversation has turned out.

"Does that make Momo-chan eagle two?"

"What—?" The alchemist begin with confusion, but was cut off by Ulbert, whom was no longer on the ground.

"No, he's eagle one because he's our leader, idiot. I'm eagle two." The demon interjected as he stood up.

"Trueee... Wait. No! I'm eagle two because I'm... an eagle!"

"—Are you guys seriously referring to the twenty-one century's 'eagle one 'meme''?!" Tabula exclaimed with irritation, smacking his hand against his face exasperatedly. "Oh, my god...! How did I not realize it sooner... I didn't refer it to that, you numbnuts!"

"Oh!" The avian and the demon exclaimed.

Tabula would definitely be 'Been there, Done That', though. The overlord chuckled at his teammates' antics and shook his head. Even in these times, their habits would never change. And that was a comforting thought to have in this reality, to know that at least some things stay the same. Quietly, Momonga walked into the center of the arena and looked into the vast space above him. What he saw was a black expanse of night sky. Perhaps he might have been able to see the stars if there were no light around him.

However, this place was the 6th floor of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick, so the sky there was merely a virtual imitation. Even that imitation required a massive amount of data, but as a result, the sky here could change with the time of day, even showing an actual sun with appropriate daylight effects. Momonga could relax in this virtual landscape because his heart remained that of a human, as opposed to his skeletal appearance. It was also because he felt a sense of appreciation for his comrades' hard work in building this place.

Part of him wanted to just wait and space out here, but the present situation denied him that luxury.

His teammates took notice of his silence as they stopped chattering among themselves and make their way to stand next to him, bringing their eyes up to the black sky above, where he was also looking as well.

"Ah... Blue Planet made the sky here, didn't he?" The avian asked with a slight tilt of his head

"Yeah... shame we can't see it right now, with all these active lights from the spells." Momonga sighed wistfully, wishing that he could see the beauty and splendor of his friend's hard work and dedication.

"Why not deactivate it? Just for a moment?" Tabula suggested with a slight tilt of his head. Momonga sighed and considered it for a moment. But then he shook his head.

"...Hah... As much as I would have liked to see it, we didn't come here for sightseeing. Plus, we can return anytime. This is our home, after all. Heh." Home... huh? What a strange way to phrase it. But in a way, it was true. Even in real life, Momonga wouldn't really care much for the place where his human body dwell in. This was where he have made many friends and memory, and this was also the place where those memories were kept. This was closer to home than anything else. So yes. Home would be the word to describe the Tomb of Nazarick.

Peroroncino giggled at Momonga's sentimentality. "You're such a softie, Momo-chan."

Momonga chuckled softly. "Perhaps I am."

"WUOOOO!?" Exclaimed a childish, squeaky voice from afar. After the shout, a figure leaped from the VIP box.

The figure jumped down from a height of about six stories, somersaulted in mid-air, and landed as though it were a butterfly descending on a flower. There was no magic involved, only pure physical prowess. It negated the force of the impact with a simple flexing of the knees, and it smiled broadly.

"V!" It made a V-sign of victory.

A child of about 11 had descended from above. Her face bore a smile that was as bright as the sun. She was adorable, with the androgynous appeal of both a boy and a girl. Aura was the name of said child. She was a Dark Elf, a species related to Forest Elves; a humanoid.

"Meh... It's Aura." Peroroncino rolled his eyes and crossed his arms when he saw the blurry of red and white coming towards them. She was the embodiment of things that he disliked. Bossy attitude, tom-boy, a total dictator to her own brother. And furthermore, she was created to resemble over fifty percent of his own sister. The only thing that he finds appealing about this NPC was the fact that she was... partly loli. He guessed.

He was addressing the Guardian of the 6th Floor of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick, Aura Bella Fiora. She was a skirmisher who was also able to summon and tame beasts.

"Bukubukuchagama's creation, eh?" Ulbert smirked at the avian's pouting face. The archer was complaining on the outside, but Ulbert can tell that he missed his sister, too. Despite their constant bickering with each other.

Aura jogged over to Momonga. Well, to her, it was a jogging pace, but she was traveling as fast as one of her beasts at full speed, rapidly closing the distance between them. Aura screeched to a halt. Her running shoes had hihiirokane metal plates on the soles, and they threw up clouds of dust as they ground against the floor of the arena. The clouds did not touch Momonga's body nor his teammates; if she had planned that, then her skills must have been impressive indeed.

"Huu~" Aura was not sweating, but yet she wiped her forehead theatrically. Then, with a puppy-like smile, she greeted Momonga and his comrades. "Hello, Lord Momonga, Lord Peroroncino, Lord Tabula Smaragdina, Lord Ulbert Alain Odle. Welcome to the level which I guard!" The elf said with obvious enthusiasm and joy. "It's an honor to have so many Supreme Beings presented at one time to a small servant of yours!"

Momonga smiled a hidden smile. The greeting was filled with the same respect that Albedo, Sebas, and the maids had for him, but for some reason, it felt more intimate. To Momonga, this intimacy allowed him to loosen up. Being too uptight and scary was quite troublesome for Momonga, who was not experienced with this sort of thing.

"Mmm. We'll be intruding for a while, Aura." The overlord said.

"What're you saying, You are the master of Nazarick, the Supreme Overlord, right, Lord Momonga?"

"So that is how it is." Whispered Tabula to the three of them. So the guild title still applies, and it held obvious authority and power to all of these NPCs.

"Yeah, so it seems." Momonga whispered back.

"Aura. Where's your brother?" Asked Peroroncino with a slight frown. Upon hearing the archer's question, Aura blinked in surprise, as though she had realized some great truth and turned around, shouting loudly upward.

"Lord Momonga and the Supreme Ones has graced us with their presence! How rude are you going to be by not showing your face to him?!"

There was movement in the shadows of the VIP seats.

"Mare? Was that him? Why hasn't he come down yet?" Peroroncino raised an eyebrow as his eyes caught the slight movement in the rows of chairs. If Aura's personality was really like that of his sister's, then he could have guessed why the kid didn't show himself just yet.

"Yes, that's right, my Lord! He's really timid… Oi, jump down here now!"

An almost inaudible reply came from the VIP box. Judging by the distance between there and here, it was a miracle the other party could even hear Aura. However, that miracle was the result of the magic on Aura's necklace.

"I-I can't, sister..."

Aura took a deep breath and grabbed her head.

"He… he… Lord Momonga, my Lords, he's just scared, he's definitely not trying to insult you."

As a member of society, one had to know when to speak one's heart and when to say things that were appropriate for the occasion. Momonga nodded and answered in a gentle way to put Aura at ease.

"Of course, Aura. I have never doubted your loyalty."

Peroroncino shrugged as he let out a small breath. "The kid's timid. I understand. No biggie." What was left unsaid were among the line of 'He's probably that way because you're such a pushover.'. The archer knew that he could have said that without any sort of protest or backlash from the elf after. But something has kept him from speaking what was on his mind.

"I do want to take a quick look at him, though. Aura, get Mare down. He doesn't have to be so shy." Ulbert said with a small waving down motion of his hand. The blonde haired child nodded vigorously as her face contorts in a frown.

"The Supreme Beings has come to visit us, but you as a Floor Guardian aren't even here to meet them! You should know how disrespectful that is! If you're too scared to jump down, maybe a quick kick will substitute for courage!" She yelled, arms flailing wildly.

"A-ahh… I'll take the stairs down…"

"How long do you want our Lords to wait?! Get over here, now!"

"I-I got it… e-eiii!" Mare had gathered up his courage, but his voice still seemed unsteady. After that, a figure jumped out of the VIP box. Mare immediately began running over as quickly as he could. However, his top speed was still much slower than Aura. She must have thought so too, because she frowned and shouted:

"Hurry up, slowpoke!"

"A-alright already... Coming!"

He looked nervous, as though he was afraid of being scolded. Momonga was surprised by the stark difference between the two. However, from what Momonga knew, Mare should not have been like this. Even if one wrote a long character description for their NPCs, it would not be reflected in their personalities. Yet, these two Dark Elf children were displaying animated emotions in front of Momonga.

"—They must be the Aura and Mare that Bukubukuchagama wanted to see." Momonga said in a hushed whisper. If only she could have been here for this...

"Yeah. That's her creations alright. It's just like her to do this." Peroroncino said with a sigh and slight nostalgia. He wonders where she is right now, how she's doing... Did she come online too? He wouldn't know. He was too busy getting himself to Nazarick to check on the one and a half second popup notifications nor the friend list.

"I-I'm sorry I kept you waiting, my Lords…"

This was Mare Bello Fiore. Like Aura, he was a Guardian of the Sixth Floor of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick.

Momonga squinted—though his eyes were merely empty sockets—and looked at them. Aura thrust her chest forward proudly, while Mare simply cowered under Momonga's gaze. He nodded several times, thinking that the two of them were indeed the incarnation of his comrade's hard work.

"I'm glad to see that the two of you are in good spirits."

"I'm positively overflowing with energy! Although, it's been a bit boring recently. It would be nice if we had an intruder or two."

"I-I would rather not have to meet intruders… they, they're scary…" Mare squeaked, clutching his staff to his chest timidly.

"...Haa. My Lords, please excuse me for a while. Mare, come with me."

After hearing Mare's words, Aura's expression changed as she then pinched his ears, dragging him over to a small distance.

"O-oww… sis, that hurts…"

'...Intruders, huh. Well, much like Mare, I don't want to meet them either. At least, I'd rather meet them after having the chance to make all the preparations that we need.' Momonga thought as he watched the twin Guardians from afar. After he snapped back to reality, Momonga realized that Mare was on his knees in front of Aura, who was hurling a torrent of abuse at him. Momonga smiled at the sight as it reminded him of two particular individuals that behaved exactly like this. Momonga's socket-less eyes trailed over to Peroroncino.

'Little brothers should listen to their big sisters' was Bukubukuchagama's opinion. And that statement was reflected in these two's personalities.

Tabula cocked his head to the side slightly as he let out a chuckle of amusement. "Hah. Your sister used to be like this with you all the time, didn't she?"

"Yeah... Brrr. I still have shivers thinking about the things that she has done to me." The archer shudders at the old resurfacing memories.

"To be fair, you did deserve most of it." Ulbert said with a nonchalant smirk, shrugging his cloaked shoulders.

"Heyheyhey. I didn't deserve that thing that happened that time with Linnie, though. It was an accident!" Peroroncino said defensively, pointing a talon tipped claw at the demon as Ulbert snickers.

"Oooh, yeah. It was. That... that must have hurt." Momonga winced as he remembers the particular event from long ago. Long story short: Accidental 'body contact', bickering happened, fighting ensued, and some certain body parts were definitely injured during the process.

"Awww, man... Why do I have to remind myself about that? Now it hurts just thinking about... brrr." The avian's body trembled as his wings wrapped itself around his feathered body, his hands moved to protect where his crotch was located at.

The more he observed the two elves, though, the more questions were forming in the skeleton's head. Questions that he have never bothered of thinking about before. "Hey, come to think of it, Aura and Mare should have died once... How should we address that?" Momonga said quietly to his three friends as they all observed the exchange between Aura and Mare. "The invasion of the one thousand five hundred people had made it down all the way to the 8th floor. Which was to say, Aura and Mare should have died then. Did they remember anything about it?"

"I guess that we never have to think about that stuff before because they were NPCs..." Peroroncino mused as he looks up in thought.

"Perhaps. With the little interaction and information that we have, though, we can't be really sure about it." Tabula Smaragdina shrugged.

"Well, in case that they don't remember, let's not remind them about it. People's feelings can change quickly after they have known too much." Ulbert said with a grim voice.

"Always the pessimist, eh? 'Berto?" Tabula chuckled at the goat's musings.

"Gotta keep it real, Tabby." The demon chuckled. "Although, there is something else that I am thinking about..."

Momonga hummed as he loses himself in his train of thoughts.

What meaning did the concept of "death" have in this reality, anyway?

According to Yggdrasil's rules, death would cost a character five levels and force him to drop one of his equipped items. In other words, characters below level five would immediately disappear. Players, though, were specially exempt from this and would not vanish, but they would be reduced to the minimum of level one. Therefore, it must be an issue with the game rules. Shitty devs...

Using spells like [ Resurrection ] or [ Raise Dead ] would mitigate this level loss. In addition, with the use of cash items, one would only lose a bit of experience.

It was simpler for NPCs. As long as the guild paid the requisite fees to resurrect them, they would be recalled to life without any ill effects.

While the loss of even a single level was a harsh punishment in a game where each level required a lot of experience points, losing levels was not such a frightening prospect in Yggdrasil. This was because the game company wanted its players to explore previously undiscovered regions and find new things, instead of hunkering down in familiar territory because they were afraid of losing levels.

With all this in mind, were the two people who perished in the wake of the one thousand five hundred-man invasion the same after their resurrection?

Momonga wanted to verify this, but at the same time, he did not want to disturb them unduly. For all he knew, that large invasion might have been a traumatic experience for Aura. Momonga felt it would be unwise to question her in that manner when she had shown no overt signs of hostility. The important thing was that they were lovingly crafted NPCs of his friends in Ainz Ooal Gown.

In addition, the concept of death in-game might be different from outside it. Of course, if one died in reality, that was the end of everything, However, that might not be the case right now. He wanted to perform experiments on this, but first, he needed to collect information and establish his priorities. Thus, putting this matter aside would be a wise decision.

After all, Momonga still had many doubts about how the Yggdrasil he knew had changed.

"—What do you mean? Do you actually want to try that out?" The archer said with a hint of worry.

"Eventually, someone will fall and be the first sacrifice, sooner or later. Why not sooner? They're like us, living beings now. If they can die like normal living creatures, we need to know so that we can prevent our own demise. And the rest of them as well." Ulbert said with a small smirk, his eyes glints with mischievousness and evil.

"You intend to see their deaths to satisfy your curiosity and theory...? That's quite sinister, Ulbert." Tabula Smaragdina chuckled darkly at the demon's toothy grin. "It is a logically good idea..." Tabula mused for a moment before his avian comrade interjected.

"No! I won't allow it! They're my sister's creations!" Peroroncino said defensively, but he didn't spoke with anger nor disdain. Just agitation and hesitation. "I don't object to the idea... I think... But if anyone has a say in deciding their fate, it's her. Not me or you, Ulbert."

"Hmmm. She's not here... but you have a good point. I wouldn't want to incite Bukubukuchagama's wrath..." The demon sighed in resignation as he shrugged.

"..." Momonga has listened in at the last bit of the conversation. Despite not knowing what the former part was about, he has a pretty good guess what they are discussing. And the skeleton overlord is having conflicting feelings about the different methods and opinion of his teammates.

On one hand, he agreed with Ulbert that they should test out their theories at some point. Killing random monsters wouldn't be as effective. The same one would spawn somewhere one way or another, and naturally: monsters dies no matter of what cause. Then, on the other hand, he also understands Peroroncino's hesitation. If they respawn like in the game after a specified amount of time, then there would be nothing to worry about. However, what if they die and disappears indefinitely? Each of them was the result of his guildmates' hard work and efforts, he couldn't bear the thought of seeing the embodiment of that dedication be harmed or something akin to that.

"Yeah... Let's put that thought aside for now, alright? We're here for something else, after all. When this is over, we can come to my chamber to discuss this."

"Yes, guild leader." His teammates replied in unison, sounded all too enthusiastic at the suggestion for some reason. But he also put that at the back of his mind, ignoring the weird suspicion that he have.

Meanwhile, Aura was still scolding Mare as Momonga stood in contemplation. Momonga pitied Mare a little. After all, he had not said anything that warranted such wrathful castigation. In the past, when brother and sister argued, all Momonga could do was watch. But now, things were different. However, before he could intervene, Peroroncino have already gone a step ahead of him.

"Aura, that's enough for now. Leave him be." The archer said with haste and a roll of his eyes. Peroroncino himself reaAAAAAly wants to get this over with so that they can get to that... other business that Momonga was talking about! Plus, Mare looks so pitiful, he actually felt a little bit bad for the poor kid.

"B-but my Lord! As a guardian, we should—"

"It's fine. Aura, I understand how you feel. It is only natural that you would feel unhappy if Mare, as a Floor Guardian, said such a cowardly thing, especially if it were in my presence. However, I believe that if anyone invaded the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick, you and Mare would fearlessly step forward to engage them. There is no need for scoldings as long as one does what is required of them when the time comes." Momonga quickly added, then he went over to the young boy's side to help him up. "And Mare, you should be grateful to your kind sister. Even if I were angry, I could not remain so after seeing how your sister scolded you."

"Eh? No, no, it's not like that. I wasn't scolding him to show off in front of Lord Momonga."

"Aura, it's fine. It doesn't matter what you had in mind. I understand your kind intentions. However, I must tell you that I am not dissatisfied with Mare's performance as a Guardian."

"Um, ah, yes, yes! Thank you, Lord Momonga!" Aura said cheerfully.

"Th-thank you very much…" Mare replied shyly, his cheeks tinted with a hue of red.

"Also, we are here for other business, Aura. We are not here to witness you disciplining your brother. Do not waste our time scolding him when he did nothing wrong." Ulbert grinned wickedly at the pair of dark elves, making them fidget nervously under the scrutiny of the demon.

"We're sorry, Lord Ulbert, my Lords!" The two of them quickly said as they then bowed their heads to them.

Momonga felt uncomfortable as he watched the two of them bow. He felt particularly ill at ease as he saw them look at him with their shining eyes. In order to camouflage the embarrassment he felt at being looked at that way, Momonga coughed.

"Hm, that's right. Aura, I think you said something about being bored because there were no intruders?"

"—Ah, no, that, about that…"

After seeing Aura's fearful reaction, Momonga felt bad about asking his question.

"I do not intend to reproach you for your answer, so feel free to speak your mind."

"...Yes, a little. There's nobody around here who can spar with me for more than five minutes."

"Would you spar with me then, little one?" Asked Ulbert with a sinister smile as his beau casts a small shadow on the demon's face. Aura looked positively frightened at that as she shook her head vigorously, and Momonga sighed internally. Ulbert... must you always approach people with that smile of yours?

"N-No, my Lord! I didn't mean it that way. I'm sure you would massacre me within minutes, Lord Ulbert!"

"At ease, Aura. The guy's just teasing you." Peroroncino chuckled with crossed arms. Well, Aura might be irritating at most times. But when she was acting timid, she happens to be actually quite cute. But of course, if he says that out loud if his sister was here, she would probably kick him to death. Though, the avian can't help but frowns slightly at Ulbert's words. He was completely serious when he was suggesting that idea... wasn't he...

"Oh! Haha! I see! Still, I will never turn a hand on you, my Lords! Not even if I was placed in a life and death situation!" Aura said with absolute resolution, her face grinning widely.

"Good girl." Tabula said with a small smile. "You too, Mare."

The pair of dark elf grinned widely at the brain eater's praise. Aura puffed her chest out with pride as Mare fidgeted with his staff, cheeks blushing profusely at the compliment.

"Ehehe~!"

"T-thank you, my Lord..."

"Why don't you spar with your brother, then? He should be a worthy enough rival." Tabula suggested with a slight raise of his eyebrows. But then when the group turned their gaze to Mare, the boy cowered and trembled at the idea and at the many eyes on him. The alchemist sweat dropped and shook his head. "Nevermind."

Mare's body trembled as he shrank away. He shook his head with moist eyes, and he looked very afraid. Aura sighed as she saw the way he looked.

As the older one of the siblings sighed, a sweet scent filled the surrounding air.

Unlike the fragrance Albedo radiated, this scent seemed somewhat persistent. As he remembered Aura's ability, Momonga took a step away from the scent. His teammates took a moment to notice it, but then they, too, reacted in their own ways. Ulbert covered up his snout with his cape as Peroroncino covered his beak with his wings.

The alchemist... shrugged, simply choosing to stop breathing. He could hold his breath for a long time, since his classes did involve in creating many dangerous and mysterious concoctions that might be fatal to inhale—the brain eater knew that Yggdrasil doesn't have a function that let you smell things, but hey, Tabula was Tabula. Absurd things from the past could make sense or prove useful in the future.

Aura was confused for a moment when the Supreme Ones withdrew themselves from her presence. But the something clicks as a light bulb went up inside her head. How could she be so careless?

"Ah—! I'm sorry, my Lords!" Aura quickly dispersed the scent with a wave of her hands. Among Aura's skills as a Beast Tamer, there were certain passive skills that had buffing and debuffing effects. These abilities acted through her breath and had a radius of several meters, some even up to ten meters. With the effect of certain skills, that radius could be enlarged to unbelievable proportions. In Yggdrasil, icons representing buffs and debuffs appeared in one's field of vision, so one could see if they were under the effect of an ability. However, no indication of these changes appeared to him, which made things quite troublesome.

"Ah, it should be fine now, I canceled it!"

"Is that so…"

"...However, you're undead, so mind-affecting effects shouldn't work on you, right, Lord Momonga?"

That was true in Yggdrasil. The undead was immune to mind-affecting effects, whether positive or negative. "...Were we within the effective radius?" Aura lowered her head in fear, and so did Mare beside her. Momonga blinked. What...? He then quickly added a few more things before he would have to see their eyes faces filled with fright.

"...I"m not angry, Aura," Momonga said in as gentle a voice as he could manage. "Aura… You don't have to be so afraid. Do you think such a simple skill would inconvenience me? I was simply asking if I and my comrades were within the effective range of your skill."

"Yes! Just now, you and the other Supreme Beings were within range of my skill."

"What was the effect supposed to be? I shielded myself from it, but I don't think that I feel any change..." Peroroncino said with curiosity, hands moving up and down his feathered chest in a form of inspection.

"I'd recognize that aura anywhere, no matter how insignificant." Ulbert snorted with crossed arms. "It's 'Aura of Fear'. My encounter with countless humanoids and non-humanoid tamers taught me a thing or two."

They know that friendly fire was in effect, so there was no need to test it out. Peroroncino had suffered from Momonga's negative touch, and that was enough of an indication for them. Apparently, it didn't matter if they belonged to the same guild or whether if they were allies, negative debuffs, passive skill, or active skills that were supposed to cause some kind of negative effect will affect just about anyone.

The demon tilts his head with interest and curiosity, looking directly at the female dark elf. "Effective for beasts. Perhaps you wished to tame us living beings? How brave." Ulbert cooed, his eyes playful and his grin toothy.

"A-ah, no, my Lord—." At Aura's quick apology, Ulbert shook his head and patted the girl on her hair.

"Like that deviant said. I was merely teasing. At ease, child of the woods." When the goat demon did so, everyone had a small smile on their faces when the girl closes her eyes in bliss, like how a puppy would lean into its owner's touch.

Ok, I still don't like Aura. But that's just so cute! The archer thought. And for once, his way of thinking was completely innocent. She reminds him too much of his sister... Playful, dangerous at times, and adorable in others. Ah... I miss you, sister...

"Ma-may I b-be petted a-as well?" Mare tentatively asked with a meek voice, as if he was afraid that he will stumble into a hole filled with acid. Momonga chuckled at the small elf's shyness. He then beckoned the dark elf to his side as he then ruffles the boy's golden hair with his bony hand.

"Here, Mare." Said elf closed his eyes in appreciation at the overlord's touches. They really are like small animals. So cute! His internal human voice thought. After an appropriate amount of time, the demon and the skeleton hesitantly stopped petting the two golden-haired elves. Now that touching sensation was incorporated into this reality, they can't help but revel in how soft the two's hair texture was.

"Alright then. Let's get back to the point. We would like to do a little bit of training here." Said the skeleton with a small clear of his throat.

"Training?! You and the Supreme Ones?"

"Indeed." Momonga said, clicking his staff to the ground once.

After seeing Momonga's swift reply and hearing the light impact of his staff on the ground, realization dawned on Aura's face. Momonga was quite pleased with himself, as this reaction had fallen within his scope of prediction.

"Is, is that the legendary weapon of the highest order which only you may wield, Lord Momonga?"

Legendary weapon? What did he mean by that? Momonga had his doubts, but after seeing Mare's shining eyes, he knew the question was not asked with ill intent. "Indeed, this is the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown, which we have created together." Momonga started with a proud voice.

Momonga raised the Staff, and it immediately radiated a beautiful glow which lit up its surroundings. The glow was as blinding as the Staff itself. However, the surroundings were filled with inauspicious, flickering shadows, which emitted an aura of menace.

"The seven gems in the Staff's snake mouths are all divine-class artifacts. Since they all belong to a set, having them together unlocks even greater power beyond their base abilities. Gathering them all required an incalculable amount of time and effort, and many of our members stated they wanted to quit during the process. I can't remember how many monsters we farmed for their drops… Anyway, in addition, the Staff's power is beyond that of a divine class item. In fact, it almost approaches that of a World-Class Item. Its most potent feature is its automatic engagement system… Ahem, or... something like that."

...It would seem he had gotten carried away. Momonga blushed a nonexistent blush as he held back his excitement. Ho, boy... I got way too excited there.

Momonga's teammates stared at him with fondness in their eyes and slight amusement.

Peroroncino had paused for a moment when the elf said 'only Momonga can wield', but then he realized that he didn't have any problem with that. Because it's true, plus, who was more worthy to wield it but his friend? After the skeleton's rambling, all he could think of was the fact that Momonga remembered so much, even the smaller details. Awww, Momo-chan~! You still remember all of that? Thought the archer as his wings flapped twice in adoration. To Peroroncino, power was to be sought at any cost. So he didn't mind wasting his time, effort, and money, in order to help his friends create this relic of unity and friendship. And for Momonga to remember so much of the process brought a sense of pride and validation to the avian.

The demon have a small smile on his face as he watched his friend rambled on about the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown. That's right. That was the combined effort of all forty-one of them. He sighed nostalgically. That takes him back a little bit. Everyone has busted their ass over getting the resources. And the hardcore people like him, Peroroncino, and Momonga, even stayed up really late to collect more materials. Ah... The good old days. I wish we can turn back time...

Momonga... You must be really, really lonely and sad all those years, weren't you. I'm so sorry, my dear friend... Thought the alchemist with a deep frown. Tabula couldn't help but feel a sense of bitterness and sadness crawling upon his frame. Momonga probably didn't intend his words to have any effect on others, but it was how it is to him. The guild weapon was never wielded before, however, it was their symbol of union. And its body was a container of Ainz Ooal Gown's member's memories, joy, pain, sweat, blood, and hard work.

The overlord has spoken with such pride, fondness, and adoration when he was entailing the difficult processes of creating the weapon. And that adoration and how highly he have thought of that made Tabula feel extremely guilty. Though his feelings were troubled, Tabula did not show it on his features as he then went back to his nonchalant self with a mental shake of his head. There will be time for this later. Right now, what I can do is helping Momonga figuring the mechanics of this reality out. This, is the priority. Focus yourself, Tabula Smaragdina.

"Tha-that's amazing…" Mare said breathlessly.

"That's totally awesome, Lord Momonga!"

"Heh. You bet!" The archer said with the enthusiasm that matched with the twin's own excitement. His eyes seem to glitter along with Mare and Aura, and the scene almost looked like one of those moments where 'anime' characters would say 'SUGOI' and an instant glitter effect would follow.

Momonga almost laughed as he saw their eyes. He tried his best to suppress the delighted expression on his face—although skeletons had no expressions—and continued with his statements.

"Which was why I wanted to run some experiments with this Staff. I hope that you can help us."

"Yes! Understood! We'll go prepare right away! Then… could we see the power of the Staff as you wield it?"

"Mm, that's fine. Then, I shall show you a fraction of the power of this mighty weapon that is the effort of me and my teammates combined."

"Ooh. This will be one heck of a display, I can assure you that." Ulbert chuckled as he winked playfully at the pair of elves.

"Awesome~!" Aura exclaimed as she jumped up and down adorably. Mare was hard-pressed to hide his delight, as could be seen from the twitching tips of his ears.

Ah, this is bad, I can't let my stern facade slip because of this. Momonga tried to regain his dignity as he reminded himself thusly. "...And there is one more thing, Aura. I have already ordered the other Guardians here. They will arrive within the hour."

"Eh? Then, then we need to get ready for—"

"No, there is no need. All you need to do is stay here and wait for them."

"Is that so? Hm… all the Guardians—that means Shalltear's coming too?" Aura said with a slight pout.

"All the Guardians."

"...Haa." Aura's long ears suddenly drooped tiredly. However, Mare's reaction was not as exaggerated as Aura's. According to her backstory, Aura was designed to have a poor relationship with Shalltear, but that was probably not the case for Mare.

Peroroncino frowned at the elf's attitude towards his creation. Sister... you really went all out with their personalities, huh? But then another thought replaced his disappointment with excitement. He suddenly remembered that Shalltear is coming, here, to meet him. He can't contain himself at the thought of seeing his product of fantasy and perversion being at his complete whim and mercy. If her personality really was like how he programmed it to be... Oh my god, this is even better than having an H-game.

Momonga sweatdropped when he see his friend's frame trembling with excitement. The skeleton knew exactly what he was thinking about, too. And sighed out exasperatedly. Oh, Pero...


"Preparations are complete! We're gonna go off to the side now, my Lords!" Aura said with a grin as she quickly stepped out of the way with Mare in two to give Momonga and his teammates' space.

The skeleton nodded in confirmation and appreciation as he then fixed his sights on the straw figures a few meters in front of him.

"Alright, guys. Here comes the moment of truth. Let's do this. After me, you all go ahead and try out your own abilities, alright?"

"Roger!" Replied the three voices of his friends.

Raising a bony finger towards the direction of the straw figure, Momonga prepares himself to unleash a combat spell.

Momonga did not know many pure damage spells. Instead, he focused on instant-death spells with additional effects. As a result, he was less effective against non-living entities. He should have selected a simple damaging spell against a target like the one before him, but Momonga's levels were largely in necromancy-type classes, which strengthened his necromancy spells. However, the effectiveness of these spells was several notches below a character whose class levels enhanced combat spells.

He glanced curiously at the children to the side, whose eyes were glittering in anticipation. He felt uneasy as he wondered whether he could live up to their expectations. But he shook the thought out of his mind. His objective, this time, was to verify that he could use magic, anyway. Even if he didn't impress them, his teammates surely will. They, after all, are all individuals that focused on combat power, whether magic or physical. Their spells, when unleashed, was both aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and with the power to match their unleashed form.

The reason for allowing Aura and Mare to witness this experiment was to impress his and his—unawared—friends' power upon them before the other Guardians arrived. In this way, they would learn that opposing the members of Ainz Ooal Gown was a foolish course of action. The two children did not seem like they would betray him, nor did he feel that they would. However, if he lost the ability to use his magic, Momonga was not confident that they would stay loyal to him. If they don't, that... would be a problem, yes. But what he was more concerned about are whether or not they would be loyal to his comrades as well, if they, too, have lost their abilities to use their powers.

Aura treated Momonga like an old friend, but to Momonga, it was the first time they had met. He could tell that the twins were the lovingly crafted embodiment of his guild members' hard work. However, there was no guarantee that their design and programming was perfect. In the face of countless situations and stimuli, a gap or weakness might appear somewhere.

They were intelligent beings who could think on their own, so flaws in their reasoning must exist somewhere. If they were not programmed to be loyal to weaklings, what would that mean for him? In all likelihood, they were not written to be slavishly loyal. That would mean that whether or not they obeyed the order would depend on who the giver was. And it would be bad enough if they did not listen to him, but what if they betrayed their guild leader after finding out that he was powerless...? His teammates will undoubtedly resolve the situation on his behalf, however, there are a few NPCs that are very powerful in the Tomb of Nazarick. And if they too revolted... Momonga feared for his friends' welfare. He dragged them into this mess, and if anything happens to them...

It was not good to have too many doubts, but blind trust was not a wise move either. He would cross that bridge when he came to it. Momonga turned his mind to the present. Another reason for coming here was that if he found that he could not use magic, he could discuss the situation with Aura and Mare. The twins thought he had come to test the power of the Staff, so now that its power had been proven, he could cover up any ineffectiveness of his own magic.

He cast aside the doubts in his mind and focused on using the magic that the world of Yggdrasil has granted to him. Let's not get off task. He reminded himself.

Since the restriction on friendly fire had been lifted, he needed to know how the effective radius of a spell would show itself. Therefore, he decided against a single-target spell, instead, he picked an area of effect spell. Next, considering his target was a strawman, he should—.

In Yggdrasil, he could cast a spell by tapping its respective icon. However, there were no icons for him to touch. Therefore, there had to be some other way. He was not sure, but he had a faint idea of how to use his magic. It was a power hidden within him. Just like how he had deactivated his negative touch, Momonga focused within himself. An icon appeared, as though floating in mid-air—.

Bingo.

He was fully aware of information like the spell's effective radius, its recast delay, and so on. Knowing this information, being sure of his power filled him with a surging excitement and warm satisfaction. Unlike in Yggdrasil, he felt that the magic was part of him.

Momonga channeled the jubilation in his heart—although his mood calmed quickly, he could still feel joy and excitement—into his fingertip and exclaimed out the spell that he desired to use.

" [ Fireball ] ."

An expanding globe of flame shot out from the finger pointing at the strawman. Momonga smiled with satisfaction and glee. It worked marvelously. The strawman has gone up in a blaze as it disintegrated down to nothing but a pile of ashes. [ Fireball ] has worked! All this happened in an instant. Then, besides the blackened strawman, there was nothing left.

Momonga turned to the other strawmen, before casting a spell on it:

" [ Napalm ] ."

A column of flame appeared beside the strawman, engulfing it in fire. Momonga paused a beat, then cast another spell on the remnants of the strawman:

" [ Fireball ] ."

The fireball struck the remains of the strawman, scattering its ashes in a puff of smoke.

The recast time between spells was the same as in Yggdrasil. The actual process of casting was faster than in Yggdrasil. Previously, in order to cast an area-effect spell, he would need to choose the spell, then move the area-effect cursor over the desired area. The process now was quicker than that.

"Huehuehue…"

Aura and Mare watched Momonga snicker, clueless as to what was going on. Aura still did not understand. She was already aware that Momonga was a mighty magic caster, so she did not feel the show before her was anything special.

However, that was the impression Momonga wanted to give them, and from the look on the twins' faces, it would seem he had succeeded.

Perhaps his teammates have figured out how to do so as well, because the moment that the straw figure in front of him turned into a gray ash pile, they lined themselves up beside him as if this was one of those police's practice shooting range.

Peroroncino took out Houyi's Bow as he then drew back the bowstring. This was completely different than how it was in Yggdrasil! Back then, all he has to do was stood back in a distance and click on one of his targets in order for the auto attacks to kick in. Now, he have to feel every single factor in motion. Like his strength, the depth perception, the distance of the target, etc,. Still, this was wickedly cool in his opinion. Peroroncino liked H-games, sure. But that's not all that he know. He also knew about and adored the legendary rogue figures like Robin Hood and Legolas. After all, a bow is not an easy weapon to handle. It takes real skill to be able to put an arrow in between someone's eyes, and courage, too.

Momonga's distance was just right for Peroroncino to do an experimental test of his favorite weapon. And as he stood by his friend, with his bow raised, he lined up his vision to solely focus on the straw figure. For some reason, he could see really well, despite standing so far away. Perhaps it is because of his species' characteristic; after all, he is an eagle, so 'Bird of Prey's Eyesight' must have been in effect.

He had both of his eyes opened—because he knew that the one eye closed thing was just a myth unless you have an eye dominance issue—and his claw tipped fingers squeezed themselves around the string. At the instance that he have gripped the string, a circular wave of raging hot fire appeared at the arrow rest instead of where a regular bolt of arrow was supposed to be, and this felt so natural that the archer didn't even have any question as to why it reacted the way it did. All he was focusing on now is to see the standing figure of straw crumbling down into nothingness.

" [ Sunbreaker ] ." Upon his words, a glowing hot orb of orange and red appeared right behind the straw figure, inside it appeared a figure of a phoenix. A solid looking stream of fire appeared where his arrow was supposed to be located at, and it connected with the small circulating wave of flames, making it look like a fiery bolt of arrow. With a frightening accuracy and force of release, the bolt of fire whizzed past the field in a raging hot chase as it pierced straight through the strawman and pinned itself at the flaming sun behind it, thus, breaking it into a million tiny pieces as it dissolved into a hot wave of dust and heat.

Supposedly, everything in the sun's two-meter radius should have been obliterated due to how violently it exploded and due to the temperature, but since the straw figures were sets up slightly far apart from each other, the effect didn't have the chance to be triggered. He silently applauds the blonde elf for her careful arrangement. The strawman was thoroughly destroyed the moment that the arrow went past it, and there was nothing left behind at all, except for the wooden pole that supported it. But half of that, too, has gone up in a blaze, breaking off piece by piece as well.

"Holy shit." He whispered breathlessly. "That, was, awesome!"

"It was actually quite... beautiful to behold." Momonga chuckled appreciatively at how extravagant the skill has looked.

"Th-thank you! It's my favorite skill, and using it here was just... right, you know? The feel of it was completely different from Yggdrasil! It has more thrill to it!" Peroroncino said with excitement and fluster at the skeleton's compliment.

"Show off." Chuckled the demon as he stepped up to stand right next to the archer. Ulbert, too, has no idea how magic works in this world. But now that his friends were able to use their own abilities, the demon should have no trouble doing the same.

"Pfft. If it's awesome, it's awesome. Come on, 'Berto. I know you think so too!" The archer laughed happily as he lowered his bow, placing a hand on his hip in a sassy way as he smirked.

The demon shrugged and raised his hands up defensively. "Sure, sure. Now, be quiet and step aside, you wee, little bird. Watch how a real professional works."

The brain eater scoffed teasingly at that statement. "Do more and talk less, Ulbert. After you. Oh, professional magic caster one." Tabula's facial structure didn't allow others to see whether if he was smiling or not. But everyone can tell that the alchemist is grinning provocatively at the demon by the sound of his voice and the challenging glint in his eyes.

"Hah. Watch me, you oversized squid." Ulbert laughed heartily as he then prepared to pull out his trademark cane-staff that are the image of who Ulbert Alain Odle was. His staff should be in his inventory somewhere. But... how can he access his inventory if he doesn't know where it is or how to get to it? Ulbert sighed a little. It might sound difficult, but he has a hunch that if he just thinks really hard about what he have and focuses on getting it... From a void in space, the world disaster magic caster reached his hand inside of the pocket dimension as he then thought about the different items that he has. Then, his mind was set on the image of his weapon. And, just like he thought, it was not at all difficult to find what he was looking for.

With his clawed gauntlet, Ulbert took a hold of the cane and slowly pulled it out for a dramatic effect. Momonga was watching him, no doubt. Ulbert was aware that his friend knew what his power was and have seen most of them in play. However, it still didn't stop him from wanting to impress the skeleton. He rarely has the chance or the need to show off, but for some reason, Ulbert insists himself on applying dramatic effects to everything that he is doing. When half of the staff was drawn out, he then quickly pulls it out completely as the sheen, black color of the cane glistens slightly under the artificial lights of the colosseum.

His staff was made out of the bark of a Yew tree, its core was imbued with a Dragon Heartstring—which was extremely difficult to get, since it involves killing a dragon—, its coat was a simply onyx black, and the top of his cane was adorned with nothing more than a crimson orb and silver placeholder locating at the beginning of the sceptre. It was over three and a half feet long. And despite it looking very light and compact, it actually has a pretty considerable weight that sits just perfectly in his palms. Naturally, like Momonga, Ulbert could cast his spells just fine without the need of a magical weapon. However, he felt that this was the appropriate occasion for it. So out it goes. It makes him stronger. Plus, it fits his overall appearance and his incredibly high standard of acceptable fashion. How quaint!

"Now who's a showoff." Momonga laughed gently at the sheepishly grinning demon.

Ulbert closed his eyes, his grin widens as he turns his face to the skeleton. "I can't help it. You know me."

"Yeah, we know you alright... mobile goat cheese." Peroroncino scoffed and crossed his arms with amusement and slight jealousy. Ulbert's staff was very simple, that's true. But when it was in the hand of the demon, it made him looked astonishingly powerful and dashing. Even Peroroncino have to admit that fact.

"You're just jealous of my handsomeness, hen." Ulbert teased, snickering at the pouting avian.

"Am not!" Peroroncino exclaimed with denial, making Momonga roll his eyes at their antics. "J-just get on with it, you big pile of fluff and fur."

Aura and Mare watched intently with curiosity and amazement. This is what the Supreme Beings was like when they weren't behaving like leaders? It was very warm and heartfelt to watch the scene unfold. Not many will be gifted to see their rulers like this. Aura giggled at her Lords' teasing of each other and began to whisper to Mare.

"Psst. I bet everyone will be so jealous when they found out that we get to witness this."

"Y-yeah. We're really l-lucky, huh? I just hope that Shalltear and Albedo won't overreact..."

"Hmph. Knowing Shalltear, she might." Aura said with a slight pout. That girl has always been trouble and unpredictableness. Who knows, maybe she would act reasonable for once when facing so many of the Supreme Ones at the same time. A noise then drew her thoughts away as she brought her attention back onto Lord Ulbert. "Huh? Anyway! Shh. He's starting!"

"Scream, tormented souls of Gehenna! Cry, Banshees of the Styx River! Lend me your hatred and anger! Let those who opposes me suffer! Darkness shall embrace as ye's soul burn and wither! Come forth, [ Hellfire ] !" Ulbert exclaimed his—unnecessary and unneeded?—incantation as he points his staff towards the straw figures' direction. The staff vibrated as he spoke his incantations, and upon the moment that his chant has finished, the staff emanated out an eery black aura as he channels his power through its nimble form.

A tiny flame that looked like it was about to be blown off by the wind any moment now flickered out from his staff, it slowlyand comically—made its way towards to its target. One would have laughed at how absurd it has looked, floating like a small butterfly in mid-air. However, it was no laughable feat. Once the fire had made contact with its victim, it expanded and engulfed its target with a hellish black flame, spiraling out like a big death blossom of infernal heat. The radius of the spell was wide, though, it was supposedly a single-target spell. In Yggdrasil, single target spells will only damage its targets, no matter what the particle or animation effects looked like. However, in this colosseum, the raging hot fire was so violent that it destroyed everything near it, spreading out onto the other remaining strawman, incinerating them to dust and ashes.

"Amazing...!" Momonga said breathlessly as the burst of black fire subsided, leaving the field slight charred and the strawmen to disappear from existence. He can do the same, but when Ulbert used it, the flame looked more powerful and vicious. The demon, with a twirl of his staff, clicks it on the ground as he then took his hat off and bowed exaggeratedly to the skeleton.

"Thank you, my dear! I know it is a common spell, but I do find the occasion appropriate to use it!" Ulbert chuckled with delight.

"You simpleton." Tabula sighed as he crossed his arms in front of his chest, shaking his head a few times at the demon. "Peroroncino was right. You flashy creature. Look at what you have done. My straw figure is gone now, you fool."

"It's called 'fun', dear Tabby. You should try it sometimes." Ulbert chuckled, placing his hat back on his head, hand holding his staff like a walking cane.

"My Lords! If I may?" Aura spoke up hesitantly with a small voice. At the nod off the four, she smiled and continued. "If you would like, I'll just get more strawmen ready for you!"

Tabula was about to agree to the offer, however, Ulbert interjected before he had a chance to say something. It irked him a little bit, however, upon hearing the suggestion of the demon, that thought quickly subsided.

"No no. It's alright. I have a better idea." Ulbert started, holding a hand up to indicate for Aura to pause her speech.

"As you wish! Please, if you need anything, just say the word and we'll get it done in a jiffy!" Aura smiled, bobbing her head up and down as she nods. Ulbert then continued with his suggestion.

"I will summon my lesser creatures. They are more efficient as a test subject. In addition to that, they are simple minded beings that are alive. Experimenting on them would yield better data and results."

"Why, for the first time, something you said sounds sensible!" Tabula laughed heartily as he began to focus on channeling his power, like what he have done earlier to communicate with Momonga via the 'Message' skill. "Place them where my straw figure was located at earlier." The alchemist instructed. Ulbert grinned and nodded as he raised his staff up once again to summon his creatures.

" [ Summon: Lesser Demons ] !"

Upon his words, a mass of goopy, dark, looking substance appeared in the middle of the field. And as it clears out, it revealed the forms of twelve feeble looking creatures, looking towards the gentleman demon as they wait for orders from their master.

"Stand by. Do not move at any cost, do you all understand?" Ulbert said with a cold voice and a sinister gleam in his eyes that sends a chill to Aura and Mare's spine. The group of small creatures nodded as they held their positions. "No matter what happens, Wiedersetzt meinem Befehl nicht. Is that clear?"

"Understood, master!"

Lesser demons were creatures that can be summoned when one reaches level forty. A group of about twelve would be summoned upon activation of the skill. However, they were only at the level of twenty and are relatively weak. If there was a word to describe them, it would be canon fodder. Since their level was so low, they can be summoned up to eighteen times a day. In this circumstances, they were the perfect test subjects for what they were planning to do. It doesn't cost him any mana, and he cooldown rate are only three minutes, anyway.

"Take it away, Tabula."

"Please don't do flashy stuff like this bum over here. Just do you, Tabba-san!" Peroroncino giggled, putting his bow aside and crossing his arms together. Momonga chuckled and nodded in response to the archer's encouragement.

"Then allow me." The brain eater nodded affirmatively.

As an alchemist, Tabula's special combat characteristic was to deal DPS with lingering effects like poison, radiation, burn, toxic, shock, etc, His skill sets and equipment was especially geared up to perform area of effect damages as well. And in this situation, with a large crowd of enemies, that will definitely come in handy. If he manipulate the battlefield well, and if his mana supply is still ample, he could unleash his own super tier spell, [ Atomic Annihilation - V ] , or, double AV in his own terms and words. The V signifies the level of that spell, with V being the max rank, it was capable of destroying everything in its path up to twenty miles and leave behind a nasty radiation that will persist until a certain amount of time. There was no need for that right now, though. So he will have to do with some other minor form of DPS. Plus, since each of them can purposely and accidentally harm each other, he doesn't want to risk seeing his comrades injured in any way.

Raising his nimble index finger towards his targets, Tabula focused himself on drawing out his power. " [ Acid Splash ] ." The alchemist spoke with a quiet and cool voice. Upon his words, an eerily green stream of liquid spurts out from his fingertips as it splashed in a circular zone on the twelve demons standing by. Supposedly, they were to immediately attack Tabula since he has inflicted damage upon them. However, Ulbert ordered them to stand down and stand still. So the only thing that was occurring are the screams of pain from the group of lesser demon flailing around, and the sizzling sound of their skins melting away.

"Creatures of flesh are vulnerable to toxins. That's a confirmed fact." The alchemist mumbled to himself as he watches each demon dropped dead, one by one. Unlike the game, when the demons died, they didn't evaporate nor disappear immediately. Their corpses were left behind in a gory, deformed mess so distastefully. Ulbert was starting to take notice of the smell, so, with a wave of his hands, the pile of corpses dissipated and dispersed in an ominous green light—the color of Tabula's acid.

In regular days, he knew that he would vomit upon seeing this sight—Tabula was used to seeing gore, mind you, but not like this. However, he didn't feel anything when he witnesses the creatures died in such a sinister way. Tabula didn't question it, though. He knew that everything will change from this point on out. So it was useless to keep asking questions when he could use his time to do something else more productive. There will be time for Q and A later, when he can be alone or with his comrades.

"That wasn't a lethal dose, however. Perhaps that spell was too much for them to handle?" The brain eater asked himself rhetorically. Acid Splash was a sixth tier spell. In Yggdrasil, creatures under level forty could not handle such spells. He thought that since this reality was now a real world, the monsters will have some sort of natural defense mechanism to shield themselves with, or at least have some means of resistance to protect themselves. Maybe it is because the monsters were too weak, or his spells were too strong. He wonders if the same would happen to a creature with a higher level. Nevertheless, it appears that the level mechanic still applies here, in this reality.

"Geez. They don't disappear right after... That means you gotta clean them up yourselves if you don't want to experience the immediate aftermath, huh? That's so inconvenient." Peroroncino said with disgust and irritation. Now that smelling was a function, the archer could tell one of the reasons why the alchemist class wasn't very popular among the humanoids and demihumans. The smell of melted flesh, blood, and toxins were strong. And it overwhelmed his nose as he flapped his wings in an attempt to steer the smell in a different direction.

That, however, went straight to where Ulbert stood. The demon made a face as he gritted his teeth. "Right." Ulbert said, pinching his nose together as he waved his hands in front of his face. Being part animal himself, his sense of smell was heightened and intensified. So he has to get rid of the stench quickly before he disgraces himself by sneezing. "That was... unpleasant. Ha. Don't just randomly pass gas around, Tabula. It's very impolite." The goat demon added, snickering at Momonga and Peroroncino snorting as Tabula smacking his hand against his forehead at the joke.

"Be—Ugh. Be quiet, you imbecile." The alchemist sighed as he shook his head. "...Thank you for letting me use your minions as a test subject, though. This was a very productive experiment. [ Purify Poison ] ." Tabula said. With a swipe of his hand, the air was clear of the unpleasant stench and the cloud of green vapors.

"Entschuldige! I am offended!" Ulbert gasped. Then, with a toothy grin, he waved his hand in front of his face and shook his head. "Don't thank me. We are friends, after all. It is natural that we help each other out. Thank you for the clearance. My nose cannot handle the intensity of that stench."

"Yeah, thank you! I guess that it's because we're animals, so our senses are waaaay sharper than they're used to be, you know? Plus, we're still kinda new to this stuff!" The avian said gratefully.

"Obviously, I have immunity to poison and have no need for breathing." Momonga laughed at his friend's various expressions and sigh of relief as the air cleared up.

"Yes, I did not forget. However, our... fragile teammates cannot handle the after effects of my abilities. I must help them out." The alchemist said with sarcasm and snark. "Perhaps you should be by my side more often, Momonga. We are, after all, compatible." Tabula chuckled, sneakily sliding himself over to stand at Momonga's right side.

"Perhaps I should. We have been partners for many moons before." Momonga chuckled. Well, many of Yggdrasil's moon anyway.

"I thought I was your partner." Ulbert whined with a fake, sad voice. "We are compatible, are we not?"

The archer snorted at the demon's fake sadness. "Naw. Your boom boom hell fire shit is fatal to him, you idiot. I agree. Tabula is a better match up for Momo-chan." Peroroncino giggled as he then glomps Momonga's left side, wings flapping wildly behind his back. "However, I'm the perfect partner!" If he has a tail, it would definitely be wagging.

"Ich bin anderer Ansicht!" Ulbert gasped dramatically. "You all are evil. Leaving me out of everything. My dear Momonga and friends, how can you be so cruel?" The goat sighed with exaggerated sadness, his frame slumped gloomily.

"Ha. Evil. Me? That's a first. I guess I'm reaaaaaally villainous then if you yourself are calling me that." Peroroncino scoffed, sticking his tongue out at the gentleman devil.

"You know, your affinity is aligned with the fire element too, right? Pero?" The overlord laughed softly at his friends' antics.

"That's right. It's hands off for you as well, my friend." Tabula chuckled, directing his smirk at the baffled avian.

Ulbert smirked and narrowed his eyes right back at the archer, showing his sharp fangs as he smirked. "Get off. Vogel."

"Shut up, goat." Peroroncino replied, refusing to be swayed by the demon as he clung even tighter onto Momonga's frame.

"Make me, Hähnchen."

"Baldy."

"Abweichend."

"Fromage de chèvre."

"Stop calling me that!"

Momonga sighed at the barrage of name callings back and forth. "I'm tired,Tabbu..."

"Just roll with it. I'll fashion up a drink for you later, my dear skele...to...o...n..." The alchemist realized what he had just said, and his words slowly trailed to a stop. The other two's bickering has also ceased, and there were a few moments of awkwardness in the air.

"..."

A brief silence stretched across the vicinity.

"What the shit are we doing?" Ulbert asked, feeling silly at their own actions and words.

"I do not know. You tell me." Tabula said, his voice hinted that he was trying to contain his laughter so that his facade wouldn't be broken. "I can't believe I was dragged into this by you two. You are contagious, in a bad way... Haaah..."

"You guys are weird..." Momonga sighed, but his face has an unseen smile on it.

"Well, you love us anyway, right?" Peroroncino asked, eyes gleaming with hope and expectancy as his wings animatedly flapped behind him. He looked like a dog that is waiting for his owner to pet and say 'Good boy' to him.

"Riiight..."

"Woo!" The three cheered.

The skeleton sighed out fondly and rubbed a skeletal hand to his skull's forehead. What a lively bunch. Too lively for his own current taste, anyway. It's not necessarily a bad thing, though. It was very endearing and comforting, actually, to have their presence here with him. They made him feel more grounded to reality. If it wasn't for them, Momonga feels that his mentality might crumble anytime soon. Even though he knows that something else will forcefully calm him down, their presence strengthened his resolve and give him a sense of security that he know that he will lack if he has to went through all of this alone.

For those minutes of their 'experiments', Momonga had almost completely forgot that there were two smaller, more excitable, and cheerful presence that are among them. And Momonga paused as he brought his eyes back to gaze at them. He worries that they will judge him if his serious demeanor was broken. How careless of me... However, what he sees in their eyes are adoration, love, and utmost loyalty. Momonga almost took a step back, as he was completely caught off guard by the sincerity of the looks on the two elves' face. What was going on in their mind? Must each and every one of his teammates designed every single one of their creations with some sort of 'surprise' factor lies within their personalities?

The reality, though, was simpler than what the skeleton's skeptical mind was conjuring up.

Aura and Mare appreciate this softer side of their rulers greatly.

The female elf finds all the Supreme Ones very intimidating. Although, she tries her best to keep her nervousness at bay so that she can get the job done. When her Lords have begun to act more casually and carefree with the two of them, Aura felt a weight lifted from her chest. She was still young, after all. Coming across people with real authority was overwhelming. However, it was not the case at all today, they were very kind and nice to her and her brother! That was much better than the seriousness and grim that she was expecting when she met them for the first time. Although... Lord Ulbert still scares me a little. Aura thought.

Mare now looked upon the Supreme Ones with a completely new view. The vibe and atmosphere that his rulers brought with them were very pleasant and comfortable! He knew that he was by far much too inferior to be within the presence of so many of them at the same time! However, they didn't treat him the way that he has expected for them to do. Instead, they were fun, kind, and gentle with him and his sister both. Mare blushes at the closeness of the Supreme Beings to each other. It was very unexpected and oddly nice to see them interacting so casually. At those moments, they wasn't the all high and mighty people like his fanatical mind were set to believe. They were just people, and have feelings, too, like Mare and Aura!

Momonga did not felt uncomfortable anymore when their gazes of adoration were being placed upon him. He has realized that these two are sincere in their actions. They held no ill intent, and it appears that it will remain that way. The two of them caught him staring at them, they then sheepishly scratched their heads shyly, as if they were children being caught dead stealing cookies at midnight by their parents.

"Aura, Mare. My apologies if we bore you. But it was necessary to do."

"Nonono! Not at all! It is an honor to witness the Supreme Beings' small fraction of power! I enjoyed watching, really!"

"I-I enjoyed watching my Lords, p-please don't apologize..."

"Perhaps I sounded like I was jesting earlier, or something like that, and that was right. However, the offer still stands. To spar, or not to spar? What do you two think?" The demon suggested with a genuine tone of voice, tilting his head slightly to the right.

"Oh. Thank you, Lord Ulbert! But still. It would be immensely disrespectful! Right now, you're our guests! We can't just spar with you. Plus, we wouldn't be much of a fight for all of your greatness, anyway!"

"Perhaps I can come up with something for you two to do." Momonga hummed, fingers unconsciously gripping his staff tighter. Then, realization struck him. He didn't use the staff at all. Sure, it was out, he was holding it. But, he didn't even manipulate the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown's power one bit. That was partly why he was here, was it not?

Let's see if our greatest pride and treasure functions properly.

" [ Summon Primal Fire Elemental ] ."

In accordance with Momonga's will, the Orb of Fire grasped within one of the Staff's snake mouths pulsed with puissance. Momonga could feel the movement of a mighty, invisible power and thrust the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown forth. A vast ball of light bloomed from the tip of the Staff, and a vortex of roaring flame spilled forth from that globe of radiance.

The fires spun faster and faster until the tornado of flame reached a width of four meters and a height of six meters. The crimson inferno threw off gusts of scorching air in all directions. From the corner of his eye, he could see the Dragonkin protecting Aura and Mare with their vast bodies. The searing winds made his cape flap violently. So intense was the heat that it would not have been unusual for a normal person to be burned by them, but Momonga had acquired a complete immunity to fire damage in order to negate one of the weaknesses of the undead, so it had no effect on him at all.

His teammates stood their ground as the wave of heat brushed harshly against their clothes and armors. And, like Momonga, each of them has a special trait of their own that either negated the damage output that would have been done to them or completely blocks it because they have items or passives that gave them immunity to fire damage. Ulbert and Peroroncino's affinity naturally aligned themselves with the fire element; with the demon having so many fire-based spells, and the archer's compatibility with fire damage weapon plus his class skills.

Tabula's species and race should have been vulnerable to the heat, with him having little hair, fur, or feathers to protect his body. His skin was exposed to all the elements of nature. However, the cape that he was wearing, a divine equipment, negated fire, ice, electric, toxic, radiation, and other DPS types of incoming damage coming from weaker monsters. As for players, it would negate incoming status effects for a straight five minutes before he would be vulnerable once more to his weaknesses; the refresh rate of that passive was thirty minutes, how outrageous.

Soon, the vast cyclone of fire, swallowing the surrounding air as it burned hot enough to melt metal, began to flicker and shudder as it took a bestial form. Primal Fire Elementals could be said to be among the highest-ranking among all elemental monsters. They were over level eighty-five. Momonga felt a mysterious connection to the Primal Fire Elemental, signifying that he was 'bonded' with his summons.

"Uwah..." Aura was watching it intently as she made noises of surprise. As she looked upon the top-tier elemental, something that even her summoning powers would not be able to bring forth, Aura's face bore a look of excited admiration, like a child who had just received a dearly beloved present.

"Go ahead. Fight it."

"Can we!?" Aura exclaimed gleefully. If she wasn't already so hyped up, Momonga would have thought that the little girl would explode at any given moment now.

"Don't worry. It'll be fine even if you defeat it."

Momonga shrugged to indicate that it was alright. The Staff could summon one Primal Fire Elemental a day. In other words, the Staff could summon another such being after one day had passed. As such, defeating it would not be a great loss.

"Eh? A-Ah, I suddenly remembered that I had something urgent to do…"

A hand reached out and firmly grasped Mare's arm, not allowing him to escape. His sister had no intention of fleeing. Aura's smile stopped Mare in his tracks. Perhaps to Momonga, it might have been a cute girl's smile, but to the other person present, who looked almost the same as Aura, it was anything but cute, and Mare's face froze solid as he looked on it.

"Mare! Come on, let's have some fun! This is our only chance!"

"Be careful. Do your best." Momonga said nonchalantly.

Aura responded energetically, in contrast with Mare's nearly inaudible and despondent reply. Momonga felt that as long as Mare was around, neither of them would get hurt. Thus, by the power of the connection between himself and his summoned creature, he ordered the Primal Fire Elemental to attack the twins. As the conflagration that was the Primal Fire Elemental approached them, the twins met its attack with Aura as the front-liner while Mare was the rear guard. Aura slashed at the Primal Fire Elemental, holding her whip in both her hands, while Mare used magic to deal damage.

"Well, it seems it'll be an easy fight."

"Of course. Though, if we were fighting it, it would probably be gone by now." Ulbert chuckled with amusement.

"Duh. Though, without my sis, it might take a bit longer..." Peroroncino said with a small nonchalant sigh.

"Yes. A tank like her would definitely allow us powerhouses to unleash our greatest potential." Tabula nodded, agreeing with the archer's sentiment.

"I think if Fang was here, he'd definitely join in with those two by now." The goat demon chuckled, the image of his furry comrade and his grinning face began to appear in his mind.

"Fuwa! I missed seeing him! And that sexy ass of his too, if you know what I mean." Peroroncino said, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively at his teammates.

Tabula sighed, but he had a small unseen smirk on his face. "Yeah, we know exactly what you mean. No need to elaborate."

"Why must you make everything sound sexual?" Ulbert snickers. Despite it being inappropriate and immature, the demon had to admit that the inappropriateness was always funny.

Momonga smiled at his friends' chatter. But then his eyes left the one-sided battle which was taking place and began to ponder the other things he needed to investigate. They can hang out and relax a little. He'll take care of this. They shouldn't have to do it. After all, it was his fault that they were stuck here like this, after all. Well, mostly the shitty dev's fault, but that doesn't excuse him out of the involvement.

He had already finished verifying that he could use and activate his spells and equipped magic items. Thus, the next things he had to check on were his other items. Scrolls, wands, and rods were particularly important. All of them were magic items that could produce a spell-like effect. Scrolls were one-use expendables, while rods and wands had charges, which they consumed to produce Their effects.

Momonga possessed many magic items. He was a hoarder by nature and did not like using expendable items because he felt it was a waste, to the point where he did not even feel like using high-end recovery items when he encountered a boss. This went beyond mere prudence to miserliness, which was why his stock of items was so great. In Yggdrasil, all of these were stored in his personal inventory. Then, in this world, where had his inventory and all its contents gone?

Momonga recalled how he had opened his inventory in the past and reached his hand into the air as though searching for something. It felt as though he was reaching his hand past the surface of a lake, and an observer would think that Momonga's hand and part of his arm had vanished into nothingness. Then, like he was opening a window, Momonga swept his hand to one side. A hole appeared out of nowhere, and within it were many beautifully-crafted magic staves. It was exactly like the inventory in Yggdrasil.

He moved his hand in a scrolling motion. In the space revealed, one could see all manner of scrolls, wands, weapons, armor, cosmetic items, gems, potions, other consumables… the sheer number of magic items in there was awe-inspiring. The relieved Momonga could not help but laugh.

If this were the case, Momonga felt that he could guarantee his own safety even if everyone in the Tomb set themselves against him. As he absently watched Aura and Mare's intense battle, Momonga considered the things he had learned so far.

Were the NPCs he met programs?

No, their sapience was such that they were indistinguishable from human beings. Programs could not show such complex emotions. He could assume that for some mysterious reason, they had ended up like human beings.

And what was this world?

He had no idea. Since he could use Yggdrasil's magic here, it made sense to think of this place as being in Yggdrasil, but after observing various discrepancies, it did not seem like he was in a game. Was he in a game or a new world? The answer was probably one of those.

How should I deal with future events?

Momonga had already verified that he could use his abilities from Yggdrasil. That being the case, if the data for the monsters and NPCs of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick had carried over as well, he could be reasonably sure that they were not his enemies. The thing was, if they were not data programs, but some other kind of being, then he would have to treat them differently. For the time being, it would be best to display the attitude of a superior being and put on an act of stern majesty—provided he could pull it off. His teammates' presence was a major lift to his morale, and he thinks that perhaps, it will not be so hard.

In what direction should I proceed in the future?

He should search hard for clues. Although he was not sure what was going on with this world, for the time being, Momonga was simply a clueless wayfarer; the same could definitely be said for his friends. He had to take small steps and carefully gather information. Ignorance could end up hurting both him and them. He will not make that mistake.

If this is another world, should I try to return to the real world?

There were doubts in his heart. If he had friends in the real world, then he should go back to it. If his parents were still alive, he would desperately find a way back to them. If he had family members to care for, or a girlfriend...

But he did not have anyone like that.

His life was an endless cycle of going to the office to work and returning home to log onto Yggdrasil, where he would prepare for his comrades to come back. But now, none of that waited for him. Then, was there any point at all in going back?

After all, he wasn't alone. His real friends are with him now. If one asked him, the current situation was more appealing than anything else on the outside world. The thought might seem selfish and obsessive, but it is what it is. Momonga can be very self-indulgent. Though, he knew that his friends will have opinions differ from him regarding their current circumstances. They might have things left behind in real life.

Like Peroroncino, he has his sister that will worry for him if she did not hear from him in a long time. What about Tabula and his work? Will he find this situation bizarre and annoying? Would he want to leave so that he can get back to his career? The only one that Momonga could think of that might not want to leave was Ulbert. The demon, like him, has no family left. Ulbert was a lonely person. He told Momonga that himself. Perhaps he would not want to leave this world, since he hated reality and how twisted today's society have become.

Still, it was mere speculation. Momonga was not a mind reader nor have any abilities to do so. He cannot allow his selfish thoughts to assume that everyone would be fine being stuck with this reality. If not for himself, he has to at least find a way for his friends. There must be a way to leave. If he could go back, then he should think of a method to get back. It was better to have more options because the world outside might be a hellish one. It might seem fine now, but Momonga doesn't know how long that particular thought of his will last.

Beep Beep.

Huh? A sudden sound interrupted his train of thoughts.

"Yes?" Unconsciously, Momonga replied automatically to the incoming message from whoever it is. As he turned away, his movements caught the attention of his teammates as they watched him with curiosity.

"My Lord Momonga." It's Sebas. Ah. He must have reports for me.

"I hope everything has went peacefully?" Momonga said out loud. With Aura and Mare distracted, and with only his friends around, he could trust that whatever information he conveyed and received will not be used against him and his comrades.

"Yes, my Lord. I have peacefully and quietly surveyed the area."

"How are the surroundings like?"

"My Lord. It... appears that we have a small problem..."

Momonga paused, body tensing visibly. "What is it?" He asked anxiously.

Uh oh. The archer thought, crossing his arms in front of his chest nervously. He was about to say something to his other teammates, however, that would probably distract or interrupt Momonga's important conversation. The others didn't say anything, but they, too, watched and listens with undivided attention.

"We are surrounded by plains, with no intelligent creatures in sight."

"A plain… not a swamp?" The Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick should have been bordered by a swamp that was inhabited by frog-like demihumans called Tuvegs. The swamp was shrouded in mist, and it was poisonous.

"What...?" Ulbert breathed out with shock. How? Why? What... But before his mind could set into full anxiety and confused mode, Momonga's continuation of his conversation drew back Ulbert's attention as the demon stole a worried glance at his two other teammates. They, too, were also very tensed up with their body visibly becoming stiff.

"Yes. There are only the sights of plains encompassing us."

Momonga could not help but smile humorlessly. All of this was too much... "In other words, the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick has been wholly transported to a different place? …Sebas, is there anything floating in the sky, or did anything like a message appear?"

"No, there is nothing like that. The heavens are as boundless as the sixth floor's night sky."

"What! Did you say night sky?...Is there anything suspicious around you?"

"No… I have not seen anything unusual. Besides the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick, there are no other man-made structures in sight."

"Is that so… is that so…" What should he say? All Momonga could do was grab his head and try to think. But in his heart, he knew that this was most likely the case. Sebas' silence was a subtle hint that he was awaiting orders. Momonga glanced at the strap on his left wrist. In another twenty minutes, the other Guardians would arrive. If that was the case, there was only one order he could give.

"Return in twenty minutes. When you come back to Nazarick, head to the Colosseum. All the Guardians will be coming, so when you arrive, I hope you will tell them about what you saw.

"Understood."

"Then, gather as much information as you can before you return." After hearing Sebas' acknowledgment, Momonga terminated the 'Message' spell.

"What... the fuck."

Chapter Text

Chapter 6 - The Floor Guardians


 

"What the fuck..." Momonga said incredulously and with shock.

"What... was that all about?" Ulbert said with concern. Upon Momonga's unresponsiveness, the demon took a few steps to stand right next to the skeleton as he then placed a hand on the skeleton's backbone, giving him a firm squeeze and a few shake of comfort. "My dear? Is everything alright?"

"Momo-chan?"

"...Momonga?"

Tabula and Peroroncino said nervously, also moving closer to surround the overlord with their presence.

Momonga was slightly panicking on the inside, though that strange sensation came up again to calm down his troubled mind, he was stunned and speechless for a few moments. His friend's calling woke him up from his daze as he then shook his head.

"I'm fine. I'm fine." There were sighs of relief coming from his teammates. Though, Ulbert's hand refused to leave its spot on Momonga's back, even though he said that everything was fine. That's alright, he guessed. It was a very comforting gesture. "Everything is fine." That was an exaggerated truth. There was nothing wrong with Momonga now. But, he has no shitting idea what was going on and why did the situation turned out to be what it is. "However..."

"That situation with the grasslands and plains. What was that about?" Tabula started, helping the skeleton to form his words together. Knowing where to start, the overlord calmed himself down as he began to assess the situation with his comrades. "Is there something unusual going on with those things?"

With a small sigh, Momonga then began to lay out what intel he have gathered from Sebas and conveyed it to his friends. "We are no longer surrounded by a swamp. And the sky is clear with stars. There is nothing surrounding us except for grass."

"Holy shit, really?" The avian exclaimed.

"Really."

"Does that mean we are no longer in Yggdrasil?" Ulbert frowned with confusion. This is getting even more complicated than it already was. What a pain in the ass...

"That appears to be the case. This is a completely unfamiliar place, it seems."

"No way..." Peroroncino gasps, eyes widening with shock.

"This... is a lot to take in. How? Why? Where?" The barrage of question could no longer be contained as Tabula let it all spill out of him.

"Tabbu—?"

"This could not be the doing of the Devs. What is going on? How could this be? Is this even possible?"

"Tabbu—."

"What influenced this change? Why is this occurring? They can't just—."

"Tabula Smaragdina!" Momonga said in a small shout, taking his friend's shoulder into his hands as he squeezed them tightly. "Focus!"

"..." Tabula became quiet as his senses returned to him. Out of all the people standing before him, he never would have thought that he was the first one to crumble underneath the pressure and the fact that they were in the realm of ignorance of the unknown. Tabula are obsessed with, and at the same time, feared the unknown.

It intrigues and compels him to understand it, to find out the answer that it has hidden away from him. He wants to conquer the unknown, to make it bend to his will and have the knowledge of it at his disposal. On the other hand, he fears what may lies within the answer that he so desperately searches for. Will the knowledge be worth it? Will he regret uncovering this mystery? He dislikes not knowing something. Ignorance is his greatest enemy. And when an anomaly proves to be potentially dangerous, he is afraid that what he do not know will be his downfall. He knows everything. He always knows everything. So when it comes to facing with an unknown factor, Tabula will likely to resort to doing two things: Dig deeper, or shy away with panic. There are no in between; at least not yet.

With a shaky breath, the alchemist closes his eyes as he focuses on the hands on his shoulder. Solid. Firm. Close. Reassuring. Comfort. Real. Friend. I know this feeling. Familiar. Not anomaly. Momonga. Snapping out of the abyssal depths of his own mind, Tabula blinked and opened his eyes. It blurred a little bit, trying to adjust itself to the lights. Once the blurriness was gone, his vision was focussed on a familiar skeleton face.

"...Momonga?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm sorry." He said with a shaky voice. Sighing, the alchemist's fingers pressed itself to his forehead in frustration. "For... everything... That was... foolish of me." Tabula said with a voice that suggested that he was scolding himself. The overlord might not have realized it, but he meant what he said. He was sorry. For everything. For all of those years, all of the loneliness, all of the burdens and responsibilities, and for... this moment of weakness. How can he be so weak and foolish? He was always the calm one, the one that others relied on. He never had to confide in anybody before. And now, he was the first one to show weakness in this plane of unknown reality. Unacceptable.

Why is he like this? How can he be weak while his leader still stands strong? Why must he break down now of all time?

But before he can continue his self-criticism, Momonga's grip on his shoulder relaxed, bringing his attention back onto the skeleton's face.

"Just relax, you numbskull... Don't stress yourselves too hard. We'll all figure this out somehow."

"But I can't just... let you do everything on your own—."

"Who said he's doing this alone? You wound me, Mein Freund." Ulbert gasped with a slight amount of hurt.

"Hello? Earth to Tabula? We're not Nishiki, you know. We're here? And not invisible?" The avian waved his hand in front of his friend's eyes as he frowned a little. Classic Tabula, already stressed out about some nonexistent problem.

"Sorry. Sorry. I... I just need a second." Shaking his head, the alchemist spoke slowly, rubbing his large temple with his webbed fingers.

"You don't have to keep this facade up, you know? You can sit down or something like that. It's alright." Momonga suggested, tilting his head slightly as he peered into the brain eater's face.

"It is not." Tabula scolded himself, looking away from his friend's stare.

"Is too!" Peroroncino protested.

"It is not."

"Is too!" Ulbert joined in with the archer.

"It is not!"

"Is not." The two of them then said, hoping that reverse psychology might do the trick.

"Is is still not. You cannot fool me, my friends. You know that that trick doesn't work on me."

"Tabula." Momonga said firmly, forcing his friends to take note of his authoritative voice as they gave him their undivided attention. "Please. This is all taking a toll on us. But you, most of all." The overlord frowned, his hand on his friend's cloaked shoulder closed itself in a comforting grip once more before the alchemist could protest. "You think too much. Please, don't stress yourself so hard. I would like if the wisest person among us to not have a troubled mind for now. We will need your counsel very soon, dear friend. So take a break now so that you can advise us later when you feel better." The skeleton said slowly and deliberately to his friend, his hand gave out one pat on the alchemist's shoulder with each three words spoken.

Ulbert would have protested to that 'wisest man on board' statement if situations weren't so tense. But it is. So he kept his mouth shut as he nodded, agreeing with Momonga's words of wisdom and comfort to the brain eater. The demon believed that his intelligent matched and rivaled that of Tabula's. However, he also agreed with Momonga on that opinion. Ulbert knew that he was a pessimist and that he can be a cynical person. His speculations and inferences, although effective and placed their security above all else, can be too biased, subjective, and negative.

Tabula can be just as pessimistic and cynical as him, however, he always leaves room for things outside of the box, no matter how the situation turns out. His mind was a counterpart to Ulbert's gloomy one. Instead of thinking of all the possible negative outcome of a situation, Tabula would think of the benefits and the plus side if a course of action were taken; the brighter side of things, some might say.

In other words, Ulbert was the one you turn to if you want the insights into any possible types of sabotage, threats, dangers, and how to deal with said problems; he's your go-to person when you want somebody or something taken care of—wiped off, erased, dead, killed, whatever you called it—in the most efficient and quick way as possible. Tabula is the man you want for insights concerning what might possibly occur in the future, for predictions and for how to turn the situation around in their own favor.

There were only a handful of people that are capable of giving counsel and strategies to everyone in Ainz Ooal Gown.

Punitto Moe, Ulbert Alain Odle, and Tabula Smaragdina was the brains of their guild.

Said Death Vine player are considered their Kongming, their Sleeping Dragon. He was their Chief Strategist and the smartest man in their team. However, despite his craftiness and how intelligent he was, his opinion are very objective. So when it comes to getting insights and intelligence from him, he only speculates the situation based on facts that he was one hundred percent sure that was accurate and drew conclusions from said source of intel.

He wasn't one to let personal feelings get in the way of strategizing, and that was a very good quality to the man. However, that would prove disadvantageous at many instances because he doesn't allow his own feelings and instinct to guide him. And sometimes, not listening to your hunch could be a bad thing. Punitto Moe was always careful when approaching any type of situation, believing that one must take things slow if it means that they will be safe in the long run; he dislikes risks, it means that failure will make things complicated for everyone if they did not succeed.

Ulbert, on the other hand, was their Hero of Chaos and the Herald of Disaster. He believes that in order for their team to rise to power, they must do everything necessary to achieve that goal. Ulbert was also in it for the long haul, like their chief strategist. However, he is not afraid of taking risks that gave them more gain than loss. He believed that the end justifies the means, so it shouldn't matter what method were used, as long as it gets the job done and gets them what they needed.

However, Ulbert's opinion, in contrary to their chief strategist's, was most of the time subjective. And the risks that he wanted to take sometimes proves too risky, even for his own liking. Punitto Moe dislikes taking risks, yes. But only if it means that what they did would backfire on them somehow in the foreseeable future; if they can set other people up to turn against each other, then won't others be able to do the same? The risks of taking risks were that they might accidentally leak information valuable to their enemies, information that can destroy them. Sometimes, Ulbert forgets that they were not the top guild in all of Yggdrasil. And his brutal methods, although extremely effective, draws too much attention to their guild.

Tabula Smaragdina was the two of them combined. He was the Fledgling Phoenix, the one who can give insights and speculations based on what was given without being subjective. And at the same time, he could input a piece of his opinion so that he can provide a solution to any possible situations. Like earlier, perhaps. Tabula believed that they should be wary of the NPCs in the Tomb of Nazarick, but at the same time, they should not be too hasty and they should spend more time investigating before making assumptions without any evidence or support; he didn't have too much doubts in his creations, however, he still did not discard the possibilities that are evident.

Although Tabula wasn't as efficient as Ulbert nor Punitto Moe in their own area, his mind was the combination of both of their thought processes, making him quick to come to a conclusion. Plus, he knew a great many deal of things, things that Ulbert thought never even existed. Thus, everyone would turn to him for his opinion when a consensus cannot be reached or when they could not figure out a problem. Always leave it up to the alchemist if they want something done as fast as possible.

"I'll come with you, Tabba-san. Come on! I need a moment to relax, anyway." Peroroncino said, encouraging the brain eater to take a few minutes off for himself.

"...Alright. Fine. But once every single guardian has arrived, I will immediately join you once again, Momonga."

"That is fine with me." The skeleton nodded without hesitation.

"Let's go! My feet is killing me." The archer said impatiently, bouncing up and down in one spot as he tugged on Tabula's onyx cloak.

"Who's an old man now, Peroroncino." Ulbert snickers amusingly.

"Whatever, 'Berto. Now come on, come on! Tabula! Let's gooo."

"Mulţumesc... Hey, Peroroncino? You don't... have to hold my hand..."

"Awww, why not? Pleasseeeee~?"

"...Fine. But no hand! Tentacle only." The alchemist rolled his eyes, extending out a tentacle for the avian to hold onto.

"Yay!" Peroroncino said cheerfully as he then grabbed the outstretched tentacle with both of his hands. Then he gave it an experimental squeeze, feeling... odd, after touching the texture of the slimy appendage. "...It's... squishy. Momonga? Was this how it felt like when you were touching him?"

Tabula's nonexistent eyebrows twitched twice when the avian had touched him, and he narrowed his eyes dangerously. "Do not, get off, topic. Just go over there, please. Let's just get this over with."

"Okaaaaay!"

And, like a parent leading their children away, Tabula headed towards the direction of the VIP seats with Peroroncino in tow, dragging the avian along with him. His tentacle acted like a rope that connected him with Peroroncino.

Like how you would have a rope to tie a dog to its owner, you know? So said dog wouldn't get lost?

At the same time, Mare and Aura had defeated the Primal Fire Elemental. The gigantic Primal Fire Elemental vanished slowly, as though melting away into the air. The blazing heat that it left in its wake began to cool off. As the Fire Elemental disappeared, Momonga could feel the link he had to it fading away, like smoke on the wind.

The Primal Fire Elemental possessed extraordinary attack power and stamina, but to Aura, who could ignore the damage of its area-effect flames and could nimbly evade its blows, it was little more than a giant target.

Although Aura would still lose HP if she were attacked, Mare the druid would not permit that to occur. In fact, he had cast all sorts of buffs and debuffs to great effect during the battle. The two of them played their roles as frontliner and rear guard perfectly, with flawless teamwork. At the same time, Momonga could feel the reality of this battle, completely unlike those he had fought in the game.

"Yippee!"

"W-whew, it's d-done..."

"Lord Momonga! Did you see that!? How did we do?"

"You did marvelous, Aura and Mare. I am proud of you two."

The twins smiled happily as they heard Momonga's sincere praise.

"Thank you, Lord Momonga! It's been some time since we had to work so hard!"

"Thank you! Your p-praises are wasted on us, L-Lord Momonga!"

The two of them tried to wipe off their sweat, but right after they did, more of it beaded on their skin, rolling down their dark skin.

Momonga silently opened his inventory and withdrew a magic item—a Pitcher of Endless Water.

In Yggdrasil, there were statuses like hunger and thirst, but neither of those applied to the undead Momonga, so he had no use for items like those. At most, he used them on his glass pitcher was filled with water. Droplets of condensation immediately formed on the surface of the glass; probably because the water inside was very cold.

Momonga then took out a pair of beautiful glasses, filled them with water from the Pitcher, and gave them to the twins.

"Aura, Mare, have a drink."

"Eh? But that's not good, right, Lord Momonga…"

"Y-yes, I can make water with my magic too…"

Momonga smiled bitterly as he saw Aura waving her hand and Mare shaking his head.

"Think nothing of it. The two of you have always done well. Think of this as my thanks to you."

"Fuwa~"

"Fuee~"

Aura and Mare's ears turned red, and they shyly, nervously reached out to take the glasses.

"Th-thank you, Lord Momonga!"

"To... to think that you yourself would pour water for us, Lord Momonga!"

"I happen to have it with me, and you two deserved some." Momonga chuckled. But at the same time, he was wondering if such a thing was so delightful? It is only common sense to offer people a drink after an exhausting event, no?

Aura, who had ceased her protests, took the glass in both hands and downed it in one gulp. Droplets of water escaped the corner of her mouth, down the smooth curves of her pulsing throat and into the jerkin covering her chest. Mare held his cup with both hands and slowly sipped from it. The differences between them were obvious even in the way they drank water.

Momonga touched his throat as he saw the two of them. It felt like there was a thin layer of skin around his neck bones. To date, this body of his had not felt thirst, so it did not bother him. "Ulbert. Would you like some?" Momonga said, already filling another glass half way full as he speaks.

"Hmm? For me?" The demon blinked at the sudden statement directed at him. He was thinking about a great deal of many things. However, Momonga's words snapped him out of his head and into reality as his eyes focused on the offered glass of water. "I am not fatigued nor thirsty... But how can I refuse an offer from my dearest!" Chuckling, the demon gingerly took the cup as if he was handed a World Item as he then took an experimental sip.

Mein Gott! Ulbert thought internally, eyes widening at how refreshed he felt after drinking said water. Food and consumable items IRL that were replicated onto Yggdrasil was practically tasteless, for taste was not incorporated. The demon's body felt better than ever after consuming the clear stream of cold liquid, and each blood cell in his body sings with joy at the pampered treatment that it has just received. He felt like he drank water from the fountain of life itself! It might seem like he is making things sounding exaggerated because it's just... water. However, there was something about this particular substance that was so delightful and sweet; like nectar.

"...Not thirsty, huh?"

"Was kann ich sagen? It is simply divine. Plus, every gift bestows by you are not to be wasted."

"Does any of you three want anymore?" Momonga asked upon seeing the pair of twin elves finishing up their glasses of water.

"No, thank you very much! But I've drunk enough, I think."

"T-thank you, my Lord. B-but I do not need more water."

"Ulbert?" Momonga asked, turning his head to the direction of the demon with his pitcher raised.

Said demon shrugged his shoulders. Though, a toothy smirk was shown on his face as he raised his glass towards Momonga. "Why, by all means. If you want, then fill it up, my dear. I'm not complaining."

Aura suddenly whispered, "I thought Momonga-sama would be scarier than this."

"Oh? Really? Well, if you prefer me not to be that way, then…"

"Nonono! Now is good! It's definitely the best!"

"We'll leave it at that, then. Shall we?" Momonga was taken somewhat aback by Aura's passionate answer.

"L-Lord Mo-Momonga, are we the only ones that you're nice to…?"

Momonga was unsure how to answer Aura's muttered question. Instead, he patted her lightly on the head.

"Ehehehe."

Aura looked like a puppy that had just seen something she liked, while Mare had a jealous look on his face. But then, her contentment was short-lived as she had a nervous look in her eyes when she stole a glance at the nonchalant demon, drinking his water slowly.

Ulbert immediately noticed the pair of eyes looking at him as he raised his eyebrows, pulling the crystalline glass of water away from his face as he looked down at the fidgeting elf that turned away from him the moment that he caught her staring. With an amused chuckle, Ulbert gave the empty glass back to Momonga as he then approached Aura and peered into the girl's eyes.

"Is there something wrong with my face? Little one?" Ulbert asked innocently, his sharp fangs and teeth showed in the smile that he had on his face as his eyes glint with playfulness and mischievousness. Aura gulped at that, shaking her head vigorously in disagreement as she bowed her upper body to the demon.

"N-no! There is nothing wrong with your majestic visage, my Lord!"

"Do you find him scary? Aura?" Momonga asked, like how a parent would ask if their children are afraid of the boogie man.

"N-no! Please! I—."

"Do not worry. I understand if you do not say it out loud. Just nod or shake your head, Aura. This is not a professional query. Feel free to state your opinion."

After a few moments of hesitation, Aura nodded her head tentatively as she then squeezed her eyes shut, preparing to be scolded by the two Supreme Beings for indirectly insulting their greatness. However, relief filled her when she was not reproached nor being criticized for what she did. Lord Ulbert truly scares her. And she was afraid that stating her opinion would be a great insult to their majesty!

"Ulbert, please stop scaring the poor creature..."

"I'm just being myself, my dear. I'm afraid that I can't control my 'scariness' level. My deepest and sincere apologies." The demon chuckled nonchalantly, taking his beau off in a pseudo-apologetic gesture, bowing his body to the overlord as his eyes gleams with delight of playfulness and mischievousness. "And if I frighten you, little ones, I will try to be less... threatening. I will not and do not apologize, however. It is part of my... personality. I cannot change that. Please try to understand."

"Yes! I understand. Please don't explain your greatness to the likes of us, my Lord! Your presence are simply overwhelming because of your greatness! So it is only natural that I feel like I did. Please do not worry about me!"

"Good girl. And if it makes you feel any better, I'll try not to smile too much while you're around."

"A-ah... N-no..."

"I know that my... happy face makes other anxious sometimes. Oh! How sad life can be! At ease, Aura. Even if it weren't for you, I'll do that anyway." Looking to Momonga, he closed his eyes with a wide smile.

Was he trying to wink? With that thing on his face? Momonga thought with a silent snicker.

"And besides. I wouldn't want to scare my dearest away from me." Sending a wink to the silently laughing overlord, the demon placed his beau on his head once again. "If you push me away because of my smile, my heart of stone might melt!" Ulbert said with a fake melancholy as he sighs dramatically.

"You don't have a heart, Ulbert." Momonga said with a deadpanned face.

"How cruel. Why are you so cruel?"

"Hmmm? Am I?"

"Ja! How can you two think that he's nice, Aura and Mare? Look how he's treating me."

"I think that Lord M-Momonga is doing that j-just to you..."

"Mare!" Ulbert said, surprised at the boy's boldness.

"I'm so s-sorry! I won't do it aga—."

Before the small elf could finish his sentence, Ulbert chuckled, feeling pleased as he stroke his beard. "Well, at least you're honest. I like you, Mare. Good boy." With a gloved hand, Ulbert then patted the boy a few times on his head with a toothy grin that wasn't as menacing as his other ones.

"E-eh? Um... ah... T-thank you!" Mare stammered, surprised at their reaction but at the same time reveling in their affectionate gestures. He liked the feeling a lot! And he missed the contact of the hand when his Lord had pulled it away. Although, he did appreciate it nonetheless!

"See, he's not so scary now, right? Aura?" Momonga chuckled along with his teammates, placing his bony hands on the girl's hair as he ruffled it up a little.

"I guess so...! Hehehe!" Aura squeaked with delight, ears twitching a few times in excitement at the attention she was receiving.

"How kind of you to speak well of me, my dear. I'm touched. Please accept this token of my gratitude." Like a gentleman, Ulbert took off his beau as he procured a crimson red rose out of thin air—or was he using the one that was on his shoulder?—, bowing his body to the overlord as he offered him said rose.

Momonga snorted, hand reaching out to take the pretty flower. But before his bony fingers could close itself around the petite thing...

"ALRIGHT ULBERT, YOU CAN STOP FLIRTING NOW!" Peroroncino yelled from across the Colosseum as Tabula silently smacked a hand to his forehead in exasperation.

"SHUT THE FUCK UP, PERORONCINO!" Yelled back the demon with an enraged expression, whipping his body around at the archer's direction. There was a visible tint of red on his cheeks, however.

"Ulbert!" Exclaimed Momonga. "There's children here!" The skeleton scolded as he used a 'Silence' spell on the two elves to muffle out the demon's profanities. The pair of elves didn't hear anything, but they giggled nonetheless at their two Lords'—well, just Ulbert, really—vivid expression and animated motions of their hands and body.

"You tell him to shut his fucking mouth first!"

"Ulbert! This is highly immature of you..."

"Hehe." Peroroncino snickers, leaning back in his seat and crossing his arms together. Mission accomplished.

The alchemist rolled his eyes at his avian teammates as he shook his head. The two of them were just taking their time to observe the lively group in the center of the building. Tabula don't want to draw attention to himself. He only wished to watch his friend converse; it calms him down, somewhat. To see his guild leader content and without trouble.

"How can you not be quiet for only a few minutes while you are a rogue type archer?"

"I dunno. And even if I'm a rogue, have you ever seen me taking reconnaissance or undercover mission?"

"Hmmm..."

"Ever?"

"I guess not..."

"Look at them, though. Isn't it fun? Seeing our flustered teammate trying his best to maintain his suave guy act?"

"Heh. When you put it that way... Yes."

When Ulbert has finally calmed down, a tall and slender figure approached the pair of demon and overlord from the entrance way. Then, the figure made themselves known as they spoke up. "My my. I am the first one? How peculiar."

The voice was a smooth and formal, and the tone was of pleasure and delight. It belonged to a male. Upon emerging out of the dark tunnel, one can confirm the appearance of the male and whom they were.

He was about 180 centimeters tall, and his skin was darkened from the sun. His facial features looked to be Oriental, while his jet-black hair was neatly combed back. The eyes under his pince-nez glasses could not even be said to be narrowed. It was doubtful whether they were actually open at all.

He was dressed in a Western suit, with a matching tie. He gave the impression of being a professional businessman, or a skilled lawyer. Like Ulbert, perhaps. In fact, the demon probably created the man to embody all of his dreams and expectations into his body. But it was not the same, of course. Ulbert has more authority to his presence, so he was more like the CEO or the chief of said businessman and lawyer.

However, this male's gentlemanly appearance was hard-pressed to hide the evil air about him. A tail sheathed in silver metal extended behind him, tipped by six sharp spikes. He was limned by flickering black flames.

This man was the "Creator of Blazing Inferno", Demiurge. He was the Guardian of the 7th Floor of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick. This demon was designed to be the defense commander of the NPCs.

"How lucky! I am the first one to be in the presence of the Supreme Ones and my Master!" Demiurge said, his tails twitching in accordance to his words expressed happily. His face was still set in his permanent smirk, however, it feels more sincere than the initial phase of them meeting him.

"Well, we were here first. But you know! Welcome, anyway!" Aura giggled at the demon, eliciting a chuckle out of the tall male as well.

"Hello, Aura." With a chuckle, he looked to the other elf as he then nods his head in acknowledgment of the male's presence. "Hello, Mare!"

"H-hi, Demiurge! Welcome!" Mare said with a blush, bowing his head to the demon in greetings.

"And my Lords! I am honored to be within the greatness that is your visages!" Demiurge said humbly, bowing himself to the amused Ulbert and Momonga. Taking a few steps forward, Demiurge kneels before Momonga as he then looked up with a sincere smile. "My Lord, if I may?"

Momonga blinked, confused as to what the lesser demon was about to do. He looks to his friend Ulbert to be provided some sort of information. But the demon said nothing. He only smiled with his eyes and grinned toothily as he nodded. The overlord shrugged as he then turned his face back to the kneeling gentleman. Ok... If you say so...

"Yes." Momonga agreed, permitting Demiurge to do whatever it is that he was going to do.

"Woawoawoawoawoa! Look at that! He takes right after the cheeky bastard." Peroroncino exclaimed, eyes popping out of his head as he rose up from his seat, almost falling over the edge of the VIP section and onto the ground below.

"...I could say that I did not see that coming. But I did. I figured that he would code his creations to do something like that." The alchemist shrugged nonchalantly, propping his head on his webbed hands as a sense of jealousy arose within him. In all honesty, Tabula really did expects for Demiurge to behave partially like Ulbert himself. However, he didn't think that part of Ulbert would also be transferred to him as well.

When Momonga had voiced his permission, Demiurge smiled charmingly as he took one of Momonga's bony hands while he was still kneeling. And after taking a second to prepare himself for doing what he was about to do, Demiurge then placed a kiss upon the overlord's knuckles in a gesture of respect. Momonga's jaws dropped for a few seconds as he stared at the male with shock.

"Ulbert!?" Momonga screeched inside of the demon's head as he discreetly used the 'Message' skill.

"What~? Aren't my son slash creation adorable?" Ulbert chuckled sheepishly with crossed arms as he watched his 'son' enacting out the part of his personality that he have input into the settings.

"Hah... Like father like son, huh..." Momonga sighed internally.

"It's a pleasure to be in your presence, my Lord! I am truly honored to stand before you as your subordinate." Demiurge grinned his grin that showed his pristine white teeth as he withdrew himself, standing up tall once more with another bow of his head to his Lords. "My Lord Creator and the man that have complete authority over me! I prostrate myself before you!" Demiurge then said, exaggerating his bow even further to Ulbert.

Momonga was starting to become worried that Demiurge will fall over at some point, with how low his body was bending forward.

"Rise, my creation." Ulbert chuckled, hand patting the demon on his shoulder once. "You don't have to be so formal. You're not calling me 'daddy' or anything like that. But still."

"May I?" Demiurge said with a surprising amount of enthusiasm.

"Hah?" Ulbert blinked twice in confusion.

"May one as inferior as myself have the pleasure to call you 'dad'?"

Demiurge was a lot more direct than Ulbert had anticipated... and he was shocked for a few moments before actually getting out of his stunned state to give an answer to his new 'son'. Ulbert meant it as a joke earlier, but... well... this was unexpected. How sudden. And he's not even married yet. "...Er... Ye...yes. Either dad or father, would be fine... Son."

"Thank you! Father! I am at your service!"

Ulbert chuckled embarrassingly as he placed a hand on his forehead, his cheeks became flustered as he then looked away from the skeleton.

"Walked yourself straight into that one, eh? Mr. Ulbert?"

"Please, please, do not call me that. I am a virgin, untouched, yet to be married. Please. You can call me anything. Just... not Mr., please. I am not old." Ulbert sighed, holding his rose out like a damsel in distress as he placed the hand with the rose on his forehead dramatically. "Besides. I will have no other lover. My loyalty belongs to you and you only!" Ulbert sighed out dreamily, holding out the rose for Momonga once again.

"Alright. That makes me feel immensely guilty since I am the source of why you don't have a girl or boyfriend. But thank you for the flower." Momonga said with a hidden smile, his voice sad as he took the flower in his hand. The sadness was fake, of course.

"I—I didn't intend to make you feel guilty..." It felt like Ulbert was hit with a train as his body turned into a statue, stunned by Momonga's playful words. He felt that he was a slab of rock, and he will crumble if someone touches him.

"How you feel now, Mr. Ulbert? Pfft. Bwahaha!" Peroroncino laughed uncontrollably at the demon's failed attempt at—was it seduction?—being smooth. "Nice try! Hahahahahaha!"

Ulbert's ears twitched at the sound of laughter coming from afar. With a sense of intuition, he turned his head in the direction of where the avian was. And with a glare that could send the undead back to their graves, Peroroncino's laugh died down as he shudders visibly, hands rubbing his feathered body.

"Peroroncino? Are you ok?" Tabula asked with a raised eyebrows. The temperature did not get colder, so why was the archer shivering so much?

"I-I'm fine. Things just got colder for some reason..."

"...If you're really sure?" The alchemist cocked his head to the right a little, eyebrows furrowing in confusion. But then he shrugged and leaned back in his seat. Whatever... He's naturally weird like that, anyway. The brain eater chuckled in his own mind.

When Demiurge took notice of his father's gaze off at a specific direction, he also brought his attention to where that direction was. And immediately, he saw two very important figures that haven't shown themselves to him when he arrived. "Ah? Oh! The other Supreme Ones are here as well? How rude of me! I shall go and pay them my respe—." Demiurge said with a sudden realization. But then, he was interrupted by his father as he raised up a hand, pausing Demiurge in his speech.

"No need. They're taking a rest for now. It would be preferred if you don't interrupt them."

"Ah, is that so? My apologies, father."

Once again, Ulbert could tell that Momonga was looking at him with an amused expression. And the demon shied away from the skeleton's gaze, refusing to look at Momonga and his smug eyes that are definitely there, waiting for him to look at them. If Ulbert caught Momonga's teasing look again, he might die of embarrassment. "Don't worry about it... So..n."

"Hey! Demiurge! Have you come across anyone on your way here?" Aura said, tilting her head to the left slightly, her face was of curiosity and wondering.

"Hmmm? Aura? Ah... Let me see... No. Indeed I did not."

"Really?"

"Not even Cocytus?" Momonga asked, feeling curious as to why no one else has been seen besides the demon himself. Cocytus should be the guardian closest to them. Then, how come he hasn't arrived yet? Some sort of delay, maybe?

"No. Don't worry, my Lords. I came by earlier. Cocytus was just cleaning up his weapons. He'll join us shortly." Demiurge said, reassuring the Supreme Beings as he bows his head to the pair.

"Oh! Am I late?" A voice rang out.

The tone was archaic and formal, but the voice itself sounded like it belonged to a young person. A shadow formed over the ground, and then the shadow turned into what looked like a door, from which a person emerged.

She wore a black ballgown which looked soft to the touch. Her skirt was puffed up into a voluminous bell shape. On top of that was a bolero edged with frills, lace and ribbons, as well as a pair of long silk gloves. Together, they covered up most of her skin.

Her skin was as pale as wax, and her looks could only be described as stunningly beautiful. Her long silver hair was tied up into a ponytail that descended from one side of her head, exposing her face. Her deep red pupils were filled with a seductive look of delight.

She looked to be 14 years old, or younger, and her innocent, youthful appearance combined the qualities of cuteness and beauty into a single whole. However, her breasts bulged proudly forward in a decidedly unchildlike manner.

"Hello, Shalltear. You're not late." Demiurge said with a smile, however, that smile wasn't as warm and welcoming as it was previously to Aura, Mare, and the other guild mates of Ainz Ooal Gown. "However, I must question to why you are using 'Gate'. Is there any particular reason?"

"Yeah! Weren't you told not to frivolously use 'Gate' in Nazarick? We are teleportation-warded, after all. You should be able to walk here, so shouldn't you have come on foot, Shalltear?" The annoyed voice came from beside Momonga. There was no trace of its previous puppy-like obedience in those cold words, only a burning hostility.

Mare was trembling by the side, and he slowly edged himself away from his sister. In truth, the speed at which the leopard called Aura had changed its spots startled Momonga as well. The girl who had come here via the highest tier of teleportation magic was called Shalltear. She did not even bother looking at Aura nor Demiurge, who was scowling at her. Instead, she swiftly advanced to where Momonga was and stopped a few paces before she could reach him.

"My most sincere greetings to you, my Lord Momonga and Lord Ulbert~!" Shalltear said with joy, dipping her skirts to the two as she bowed her head to them with submission and respect.

The bewitching scent of some kind of perfume hung around her. It was kinda strong... He saw Ulbert's nose twitched a little, as if he was about to sneeze. But it seems that the demon held back the irritating feelings as he looked at the newcomer with a smile that held no feelings in it.

"Something stinks." Aura spat. Then, she followed up with, "Don't tell me you started rotting because you're undead?" Perhaps she saw Momonga reflexively raising his hand to sniff himself, but Shalltear furrowed her brows unhappily and replied to that statement with a face filled with disdain.

"...Is that not quite distasteful? Lord Momonga is undead as well."

"He's no mere undead! You idiot! He's a super tier undead! Godly undead!"

"But... but sister, maybe you shouldn't have said that…"

"Is-is that so? All right. Then, ah, take two, then. Ahem… Don't tell me you started rotting because you're a walking corpse."

"That… er, well, that seems okay, sort of."

"Would you two stop this nonsense? It's very childish." Demiurge sighed and shrugged his shoulders. Sis smile yet to dissipate from his face, however, his voice has a hint of defeat in them.

"She started it!" Shalltear whined, baring her fanged teeth at Aura for a brief second before clearing her throat, turning her complete and undivided attention back to the silent overlord. "Ah! My beloved master! The only one whom I cannot rule over…" Shalltear said with a delighted whisper, letting go of her umbrella as she smoothly glides herself over to where Momonga stood.

When she began to wrap her arms around Momonga's neck, Shalltear placed her slender hands on the sides of Momonga's head, as though to embrace it. The pose looked very odd, with how tall Momonga was and how small the vampire was. And before either of them could proceed to react or do anything else, a voice rang out from the VIP section.

"Shalltear!" Peroroncino exclaimed, immediately leaving his position as he jumped off from where he was, leaving Tabula Smaragdina alone to fly to where his creation and his other comrades were.

The alchemist shrugged and rolled his eyes at his comrade's antics. A smile of knowing was there, and he tilts his head to the left, watching with interest and amusement.

"Ah! My Lord!" Shalltear said happily as she releases Momonga, her facade of elegance and grace were nowhere to be seen. But instead, she looked like how someone of her age would behave, hopping up and down in anticipation as her Lord Creator made his way over to her. She looked as if a child was excited to see their parents after a very long amount of time.

"Oh ya. Lord Peroroncino and Lord Tabula went off to watch us battle! No wonder she didn't saw him right away." Aura said with realization as she sighed out a little, a small smile shown on her lips as she placed her hands on her hips, watching the vampire coming to her Creator's side.

"Oh?" Demiurge said, voice piqued with interest. "You two were training?"

"M-More like the S-Supreme Ones, a-actually. B-but then they let us b-battle one of their summons when they were d-done." Mare replied with a shy smile. "I-it was big and s-scary! But we did it!"

"Ah! Well done. I expected no less from you two." Demiurge nodded with a satisfied grin.

"Lord Pe-ro-ron-ci-no~!" Shalltear said in a sing-song voice, eyes sparkling with adoration and joy.

Some unknown feeling arose within the archer's chest, and Peroroncino had to interrupt whatever it was that Shalltear was trying to do to Momonga. Calling out to her was a desperate measure. However, aside from that, the excitement was real. And he flapped his wings with enthusiasm as he descended down onto the ground beneath him, a few meters away from where the group has gathered.

Shalltear had a wide smile on her upon his impact on the ground. And with a laughter of delight, she made her way to ran to where the avian was.

Upon seeing his product of perversion and fantasy coming at him with such enthusiasm, Peroroncino opened his arms wide, ready to receive her. She was beautiful. Just like everything he envisioned and could ever ask for. And to think that she is a living being, and are right within his grasp—.

"Father!" Shalltear giggled, flying straight into the archer's open arms, wrapping her small and slender arms around his feathered body as she buried her face in his fluffy chest with bliss.

Peroroncino's jaws dropped as he froze with shock.

F-father...?!

"Congratulations. You're a dad." Ulbert snickers at Peroroncino's stunned face as he sighed in relief. The scent coming from Shalltear was still strong, but it is gone from his vicinity now. He thought that he couldn't take it anymore and that he will sneeze in the most ungraceful way ever. When the vampire left to be at her 'dad's' side, it was a huge relief for him! He can finally breathe!

"F-father? S-so that's who I am to you?" Peroroncino stuttered, his arms trembled as he tentatively wraps them around the female's small form.

"Yes! Father! I missed you so much!" Shalltear giggled, nuzzling her cheeks on his feathered chest affectionately.

Peroroncino wanted to die.

Father!?

Whatever twisted thoughts and libido that he previously had were completely discarded into the trash as his small creation embraced him with unadulterated affection. Why father!? Uncle would've been a better alternative! Now no matter what he tries to do, he could not think of Shalltear as anything else but his daughter. And with that said, nothing else he does will make any erotic images or actions appear in his mind when he gazes upon this tiny creature!

The complete opposite effect of what he intends her character to do!

It appears that her necrophilia was in effect. And that was a slightly comforting thought, that at least a part of her personality was working properly. . . But a sense of remorse filled him as he patted the female's back a few times. If he was in an anime, he would be doing the comical tears streaming down his face thing.

"I missed you too... child." Peroroncino said, his eyes was devoid of emotions as he smiled emptily.

"Everyone is moving on forward but me. Each having your own family. How sad." Momonga sighed jokingly as he stared wistfully at the rose that Ulbert gave him. He knew what Peroroncino was thinking, and he was hoping that with his joke, the archer would have some sort of reaction that would take his mind out of the 'depressing' thoughts.

"Not to worry, my Lord. I'm sure that you will undoubtedly be pursued by countless suitors if they learned that you are without a partner!" Demiurge suggested cheerfully, his tail twitched with amusement at his own suggestion.

"What are you saying, Demiurge. I am his partner!" Ulbert said with pride in his eyes when he noticed that Momonga was still holding onto his offered rose.

"...in crime." Momonga finished with a teasing look in his eyes, his fingers stopped fiddling with the rose as he brought it near his face. Where his eyes were supposed to be had two glowing red lights, and one of them dimmed for a moment, indicating that Momonga was winking. "Pero!"

"Hah!? Fuck—." The archer snapped out of his stunned trance as he looked frantically from left to right. "What!? What is it!?"

"Catch!" Momonga said, swinging his arm at the avian's direction as a bright red object flew from his grasp.

"Oh shi—Shalltear, move!"

"Ah? Ok, father!"

With a hurried pace, the two of them detached themselves from each other as the smaller vampire got out of the way of the avian. Peroroncino jumped up to catch the thrown object that was thrown by Momonga like a professional baseball catcher player. Using his wings as leverage, the archer landed on his feet with grace as he descended down from the sky like a messenger of the Gods or an angel.

"A rose...? For me!?" Peroroncino said with glee and delight as he held the rose to his chest with care. It was as if he was afraid that the rose would break off into a million pieces if he did not handle it carefully. "A-ah~!" The archer squeaked, his cheeks heating up as he cradled the rose in his palms.

"Lord Momonga gave you flowers, father?! I'm so jealous~!" Shalltear giggled enthusiastically along with her 'dad's' own glee, and the two of them looked like teenagers that have just found a secret love letter being slid into their locker hole.

Unbeknownst to him, Ulbert had a look of despair on his face as a cloud of darkness hung over his tall frame, his jaws hanging down slightly, and he had one of his hand outstretched to the flower with a look of longing.

M-my flower!

"Yes. It is for you. But it's not from me, fortunately."

"Eheheh—Wait, h-huh?"

"It's from Ulbert. Don't you recognize it?"

After a few seconds of silence, Peroroncino pulled the rose away from his chest as his face contorts in disgust.

"WHAT!? EWWW EWWW EWWW!" The archer cried, holding the rose away from him as if he was avoiding some sort of poisonous snake. "Why!? Ewww! I don't want this!"

"Give it back, then!" Ulbert said, feeling slightly hurt at seeing the token of his affection being discarded in such a... distasteful way. But then, he was also a little bit glad. That rose might have looked like a mere decoration piece that was randomly put on his shoulder. But in reality, it was actually an item that increased a certain perk and status of its wearer. He would be fine with giving it away to Momonga, but then again, having it back would be more gain for him.

"Ewww, here!" Peroroncino said hurriedly, tossing back the—sad—rose. When he let go of it, the petite thing was enveloped in a purple aura. And slowly, the now hovering rose floated back onto Ulbert's shoulder, with the demon adjusting it to his liking. "Why would you give me this, Momonga!? Do you like to watch the world burn?"

"Yes." Momonga replied deadpanned.

"!" Everyone else—that are Ainz Ooal Gown's members—knew that it was a joke, except for the Guardians that stood there in a shocking silence, contemplating on the Supreme One's words said with extreme seriousness.

"Bah. Never in a million years would I give something so beautiful to the likes of you." Ulbert said with a huff, crossing his arms and looking away from the avian indignantly. "Obviously, you have no appreciation of true beauty."

"Excusez-moi? I do have an appreciation for the finer things. Just not from—."

"...Dumnezeule. Would you two get a room already."

"AAAHH! Putain de merde!"

"Was zum Teufel?!"

Peroroncino and Ulbert yelled out in surprise at a tired but smooth voice rang out from behind them. Clutching the spot where their heart was in the hands, the two of them panted out a few times as their heart beats rapidly within their chest.

Tabula was feeling well now. And upon seeing his friends chatting among themselves so animatedly, he felt a little bit left out. So he left from his spot and quietly made his way to them while they are still arguing. He wasn't especially stealthy. But once he has decided to stay silent, even the sound of a leaf dropping onto the ground could be louder.

Momonga has noticed him since he stood right in the clearing of Momonga's line of vision. But these two did not.

"Announce yourself next time, Tabula! Dear god!" Ulbert breathes heavily, glaring at the alchemist with a small amused smile.

"Hah...hah... I almost died! Warn us next time, will ya?" The archer said with a slightly shaky voice, his chest heaving up and down as he tries to calm himself. Shalltear giggled at his antics as she placed a hand on her mouth to try to preserve some of her lady-like behavior. Though, it didn't really matter at this point. Her character was breaking either way.

"Hmmm. No. I'm sure you'll manage." Tabula shrugged, smirking right back at the smiling demon and avian.

"Are you feeling alright now?" Momonga said, placing a hand on his friend's shoulder in concern and care.

The alchemist chuckled and patted his friend's hand reassuringly, nodding his head in confirm. "Yes. Thank you, dear friend. And hello, Cocytus."

"My greetings. To you. My Lords." A deep and gruff voice announced themselves upon Tabula Smaragdina's statement. And the group turned their heads to look at the voice's origin. What they saw was a heteromorphic being shrouded in the chilled air.

The person—or thing—stood two and a half meters tall, and resembled a bipedal insect. It looked like some fiend had melded a praying mantis and an ant together. It had a tail that was twice as long as its body, and it was covered in sharp spikes which resembled icicles. Its powerful-looking mandibles looked like they could sever a man's arm in a single bite.

It grasped a platinum halberd in two of its hands, and in its other two hands were a masterfully-made mace wreathed in a black aura and a gnarled-looking broadsword which did not look like it could be sheathed.

It was surrounded by a frightening aura of cold. Its exoskeleton was a dull blue color and sparkled like diamond dust. Protrusions which looked like icebergs bulged up from its back and shoulders.

He was the Guardian of the Fifth Floor, the 'Ruler of Glaciers', Cocytus.

"Hi, Cocytus." Shalltear greeted the man with a nod of her head.

"Hello. Shalltear. Forgive. Me. For my. Tardiness."

"Took you long enough. Welcome, Cocytus." Demiurge chuckled, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose and bowing his head to the man.

"You aren't tardy. Do not worry about it. Demiurge and Shalltear were just early." Tabula Smaragdina nodded in acknowledgment to the insect's greetings as he holds a hand up to return Cocytus' greetings.

"That's a good thing, right? Father?" Shalltear asked cutely, clinging herself to the archer's arms as she stayed close to him.

I wished she could just stop calling me father! Peroroncino screamed internally.

Despite that, he was feeling slightly elated. For once, he felt responsible for this tiny creature that was hanging onto him. There was a true sense of paternity establishing within his feathered chest. And for once, he actually has no other perverted thoughts inside of his head when gazing upon this little girl of his. "Yes, Shalltear. Yes it is. The early bird catches the worm, right?"

"Yes!" Even though I don't know what that means! I'm sure he is right! Shalltear thought, smiling a child-like innocent smile.

"Hiya! Cocytus!"

"H-hello!"

The twin said with a cheerful expression on their faces. Coming out to greet the giant of a man with flailing arms and legs. The scene reminded one of how an uncle would come to visit his nieces and nephews, and said niece and nephew would pour out of the house like the great flood with excitement to greet their beloved uncle. Upon seeing the two small children, Cocytus's cold facade drops a little bit as he then chuckled and leaned down to pat the two elves' head with his large hands.

"Hello there. Aura and Mare."

"Hi hi! Nice to have you here, Cocytus-u~!"

"Thank. You." Cocytus said, smiling with his eyes as he continued to pat the two children's head. After a few seconds, the insect ceased his motions as he then turned to address the most important personnel in the room. "I hope. I have. Not kept you all waiting? My. Lords?" The Ruler of Glacier said with humbleness in his voice as he got down on one knee, bowing his head to the group of four Ainz Ooal Gown's members.

"No. I am glad to see you, Cocytus. You've come." Momonga smiled. The insect reminded him of Takemikazuchi. His demeanor and how he spoke with such dignity was almost the same. However, Cocytus was more of a serious warrior type, whence Takemikazuchi was more carefree and free-spirited.

"I. Came immediately. Upon. Receiving. Your summons. Lord Momonga." The water in the air froze with a crackling sound as it made contact with the white vapor puffing out of Cocytus' mouth as he spoke. This cold was every bit as frigid as the Primal Fire Elemental was hot. Anyone standing near him would suffer the effects of the lowered temperature, and they might even sustain frostbite. However, Momonga did not feel anything. The fact was that everyone here was resistant to fire, cold and acid attacks, or had some way to deal with them.

"You must have been very free with no intruders around, no?"

"Indeed." The clacking from his lower mandibles sounded like the threatening noises of a wasp. However, Momonga had the feeling that he was laughing.

"Even. So. There are. Still. Things. Which must be. Done. So. I. Was not. Free. At all."

"Oh? Things that had to be done? What things were these, may I ask?"

"Training. In. Order. To. Be. Ready. To. Deploy. At. Any time." Although it was not too obvious from his appearance, Cocytus was designed to be the quintessential warrior, be it in personality or body. Therefore, from the perspective of a weapon user, his attacks were the strongest in the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick.

"You've done all this for me. You've worked very diligently and hard. My thanks."

"After. Hearing. Your. Praise. The. Task. Is. Not. As. Tiring." Cocytus said, feeling flattered and proud as he stood up, puffing his chest out with pride.

"We'll gladly do anything for you~! My Lord Momonga~!" Shalltear swooned as she placed her hands on her cheeks like a shy schoolgirl, squirming in her spot and swaying from side to side.

"Shut up, fake tits. Like that needed to be said in the first place. It's common sense." Aura rolled her eyes. And upon hearing that statement, Shalltear's innocent was nowhere to be seen as her face darkens with anger.

"W-what the hell did you say?! You shitty brat!?" Shalltear screeched indignantly as she jumped out of Peroroncino's vicinity to stand before Aura. "Who are you calling f-fake tits!? Who asked for your opinion in the first place!?"

"Fake tits! Fake tits~!" Aura stuck her tongue out at the vampire, intentionally provoking Shalltear with her words. A roiling black mist boiled off Shalltear's hands, and Aura readied her whip in anticipation. Momonga, Ulbert, Peroroncino, Demiurge, and Mare, who were watching from the side, were at a loss for words.

Cocytus, though, wasn't having any of it. After getting such a praise from the leader of the Supreme Ones, they can't be messing around and let those praises gone to waste with this silliness and foolishness. The giant clicks his weapon to the ground in agitation and slight anger. The moment that the hilt of his halberd slammed into the arena floor, the ground around it began to freeze.

"You. Stand. Before. The. Supreme. Beings. Contain. Yourself."

"This brat started it!" Shalltear snarled, eyes locking onto Aura's face.

"Actually—." Aura began to protest.

"I. Don't. Care. Just. Cease. This. Foolishness."

"Tell this brat to grow up! She has nothing either so she is in no position to question my femininity!"

"Hah!? I'm still young and have time to grow, a corpse like you will never have a chance to develop ever again!"

"You shitty brat—! It's too late to regret your words now—!"

"I. Cannot. Believe. You. Two. Ah. Here. Comes. Albedo."

Momonga turned in the direction Cocytus was looking, at the entrance of the Colosseum, where he saw a figure entering their vicinity. The one in question was Albedo, and she smiled to Momonga and bowed deeply.

"Forgive my tardiness, my Lords! My Lord father!" Albedo said with a bow of her head and a dip of her skirt to her creator. The guild members of Ainz Ooal Gown each nodded their heads in acknowledgment of the imp's greetings.

"Albedo." Tabula chuckled at the curtsy imp.

"Greetings to you, L-Lord Momonga~!" Albedo squealed with excitement, her cheeks blushing profusely as she revels in the presence of the overlord.

"H-hello, Albedo. It's fine, you are not late—." Momonga said, but then his statement was drowned out by the voices of Shalltear and Aura. Momonga sighed exasperatedly as he shook his head. "Ulbert..." The undead said, taking his temple into his forehead as he rubs it a few times to try to lessen his headache. It was figuratively speaking, of course. But he really wanted for this meaningless conflict to cease.

"Yes? May I be of any assistance?" Ulbert turned to Momonga with a smile as he waits for his friend to speak. He was still slightly hurt for that little thing that Momonga did earlier. But it wasn't the skeleton's fault. He was just taking things way too seriously while Momonga was doing it as a joke that meant no harm.

With a tired sigh, Momonga tilts his head at the direction of the quarreling pair, hoping that Ulbert would understand what he wanted for the demon to do. Taking a moment to contemplate on Momonga's silence, Ulbert wonders what it is that Momonga wanted for him to do. But then, after a few seconds, a realization struck him as he let out a small laughter. Ah. That.

"I understand." The demon nodded, placing a hand on his chest and bowing his head once to the overlord in acknowledgment of the request. After doing so, his charming visage and his face that always seems to smile vanished. With a sneer and an expression full of rage, the World Disaster class demon's frame was quickly consumed by a wicked looking violet-red flame.

Demiurge, Cocytus, Albedo, and Mare immediately noticed a chilling sensation in their surroundings. The longer they stood there, the more intense it was; soon, it felt as if there was an unseen force of pressure compressing down on their bodies, squeezing the air away from their lungs. When their Lord Ulbert was seen being enveloped in the aura, they all dropped down to their knees with fear and utmost attention.

"Shalltear! Aura! Cease your bickering this instant!" Albedo scolded the two females with a sweat drop rolling down her beautiful skin, her voiced filled with anxiety and nervousness. Unlike Aura and Mare, Albedo has never seen the demon's playful nor mischievous side. This was a first-hand experience for all of them, and the imp silently gulps with worry.

"Ruhe! Ihr verschwendest die Zeit meines Anführers! Unterlasst diesen Unsinn sofort!"

Holy shit Ulbert. You don't have to be so harsh! Momonga's jaws dropped once more as he stared at the enraged demon with his aura of despair and fury. Ulbert has a more commanding presence than him; at least he himself think so. Thus, he was thinking that Ulbert would dispel this situation quicker than he could. He... did not expect that coming at all. But maybe he should.

Aura and Shalltear's commotion quickly dissipated as they scurried away from each other, kneeling down on the ground like the rest of the Guardians with shame and fear evident on their faces. Ulbert's eyes were filled with an alarming amount of fury; if one looked close enough, there was a small crimson flame lying beneath those eyes, and they dared not looked upon the demon's face due to their shame and fright.

Peroroncino sweatdropped and frowns at Ulbert scolding the two small females. Perhaps their argument was really uncalled for and unnecessary, but he didn't like seeing Shalltear nor the creation of his sister being converse to in such a harsh tone. Well, I can't blame him. He's just doing his job. Being intimidating? Is that his job? Can I do that too? Hmmm... Instead of feeling bad about seeing Shalltear's frightened face, Peroroncino's brain began to shift into other priorities as he placed a claw under his beak in thought.

"Momonga has called you all here, wishing to discuss important matters with you. Und das ist wie ihr euch verhaltet?!" Ulbert boomed, his voice carried itself throughout the large Colosseum as the echoes reflected back his words.

"We are sorry! My Lord! Please punish us for our foolishness." Aura and Shalltear said, their face glued to the ground beneath them as they hung their heads down dishonorably and with extreme embarrassment.

Before Ulbert's rampage of harsh words could continue, Tabula and Peroroncino placed a hand on each of Ulbert's shoulder, stopping him in his track. Without a word, they pulled him aside to make way for Momonga as Ulbert's fire dispelled itself, his aura no longer surrounding his elegant visage as he calms himself down and adjusting the collar of his coat with a nonchalant expression on his face.

"Ulbert, you didn't have to be so threatening! Just talking regularly is fine, because even then you're really freaky too!" Peroroncino whispered to the goat, his frown evident on his face as he pushed the demon lightly on his shoulder.

"...That could have been potentially a bad move, Ulbert. What if they became warier and grew distrustful of you? What would happen then? Are you thinking straight?" Tabula said quietly, perking up an eyebrow at Ulbert. The demon was usually more calculating and careful than this. What could have gone on in his mind when he did that, Tabula wonders.

"I don't care. And I do not mind if such things were to happen to me. Nichts zählt solange sein Wunsch erfüllt wird."

"...Idiot." Peroroncino sighed, shaking his head with a small smile shown upon his face. Ulbert oh Ulbert, you're hopeless, you know that?

"Raise your heads, Aura and Shalltear. It is fine. I forgive you all completely. Do not be so afraid. Ulbert's intentions are good, I can assure you that. He was just very... passionate when it comes to matters that involves me. There will be no punishments. You two did not do anything that harmed us, did you not? So do not worry and raise your heads. You are forgiven."

"Thank you, Lord Momonga!" Aura and Shalltear said with relief and hope as they brought their faces up to gaze at their ruler. Perhaps they might have caught Ulbert's gentle smile directing their ways as he stood behind Momonga, perhaps they did not. But they felt a huge weight being lifted off of their shoulders as they bowed their head down once gratefully before bringing their undivided attention back to the group of Ainz Ooal Gown's members.

"Everyone, please stand up."

They did as they were asked. Rising up from their spot simultaneously.

"It seems everyone is here. Finally." Tabula Smaragdina said, changing the subject as he focused on what the other priority that they had was. This was getting too tense for his liking. Tabula already have a headache before this, and he would prefer if that did not occur again. For some reason, the thrumming of his brain intensifies greatly to the extent of feeling painful. He would have to investigate into this later.

"—Lord Tabula, there are two more people who have not yet arrived." Said Demiurge, finding that now was the appropriate time for him to speak up.

"No. Those two Guardians are only to be moved under special circumstances. Therefore, there is no need to call them over at the moment." Momonga said, answering Demiurge's unspoken queries.

"...My. Allies. Have. Not. Arrived. Yet." Cocytus said, looking right and left to emphasize his words as he searches for his missing comrades.

Aura and Shalltear froze as they heard those words, and the smile froze on Albedo's face.

"...Tha-that fellow is just an Area Guardian in one of the floors which I… which we are in charge of."

"Y-yes…"

Shalltear and Aura smiled stiffly, while Albedo nodded vigorously in agreement.

"...Kyouhukou, is it. Indeed, it would be good to inform the various Area Guardians. Then, let the Area Guardians like Guren and Grant know about it as well. I will leave that task to the various Floor Guardians."

After the various Floor Guardians showed that they understood Momonga's orders, Albedo then spoke in a commanding voice.

"Then, everyone, let us pledge our loyalty to the Supreme One."

All the Guardians nodded as one, and before Momonga could interrupt, they had lined up before him. Albedo stood at their head, while the other Guardians formed a line behind her. All the Guardians had solemn, respectful expressions. They showed no sign of playing around.

Shalltear, who stood on one end of the line, stepped forward. Although she was still feeling slightly ashamed, her seriousness triumph over her nervousness and fear as she bowed her head with utmost respect to those who stood before her. "Shalltear Bloodfallen, Guardian of the First, Second and Third Floors, presents herself to the Masters of The Great Tomb of Nazarick." She went to one knee, one hand pressed against her chest, and bowed deeply. After that, Cocytus stepped forward.

"Cocytus. Guardian. Of. The. Fifth. Floor. Presents. Himself. To. Our. Masters." Much like Shalltear, he knelt before Momonga like a vassal before a lord. Then, it was the twin dark elves' turn.

Much like Shalltear, Aura felt shameful for her childishness behavior that she has shown earlier. However, Momonga's words put ease into her heart. And the female elf presented herself to her Lords with pride and respect.

"The Guardian of the Sixth Floor, Aura Bella Fiora, presents herself to our Masters."

"Al-also a Guardian of the Sixth Floor, Mare Bello Fiore, presents himself to our Masters."

They knelt respectfully and lowered their heads to Momonga. Shalltear, Cocytus, Aura and Mare all had different bodies and thus they should have each taken their steps forward differently. Yet, the way with which they knelt was identical, and they lined up neatly.

After that, Demiurge advanced in a dignified manner. "The Guardian of the Seventh Floor, Demiurge, presents himself to our Masters." Following his crisp words, Demiurge went to one knee in a graceful descent, as though expressing his heart through his actions. Finally, Albedo stepped forward as well.

"The Guardian Overseer Albedo presents herself to our Masters." She smiled to Momonga and knelt like the other Guardians. However, Albedo continued speaking in a high and clear voice as she delivered her report to Momonga.

"With the exception of the Fourth Floor Guardian Gargantua and the Eighth Floor Guardian Victim, all the Floor Guardians are gathered before you. Thus do we offer up our utmost loyalty to the Supreme Masters of the Great Tomb of Nazarick."

Momonga could not speak as he looked at the six lowered heads before him. A strange pressure veiled the entire area, and perhaps only Momonga could bear the painful, crushing air.

—He did not know how to proceed.

He had never seen anything like this before in his life. In his confusion, Momonga accidentally activated a skill. A dreadful aura rolled out over the surroundings, and a halo of black radiance formed behind him. Momonga had no time to cancel the skill as he frantically racked his brains to recall a scene from movies or television which would tell him how to respond appropriately here.

Like Momonga, the rest of his teammates were stunned and shocked at this revelation. Unlike the earlier atmosphere of carefree and playfulness, where they are acquainting themselves with their creations, this was something else entirely. All of these individuals bowing themselves to them are deadly serious. And none of the nervousness, the anxiety, nor any other attitudes were shown except for utmost respect, humility, and submission.

Ulbert wonders what are going on through their minds. Was that display of him feeling displeased eliciting this reaction out of them? Was this because he lashed out angrily? Were they afraid of him? Would this make them began to plot things against him and the rest of their group? More importantly, would their opinion about Momonga and Ainz Ooal Gown deviate onto a negative path? Ulbert's anxiety and anticipation slowly arose within him, and unknowingly, he also activates a skill that had a close resemblance to the aura that he emanated out earlier; although not to such extend.

Unlike Ulbert and Momonga, Peroroncino did not take this information in with shock. Instead, he crossed his arms with a smirk that seems cocky and smug. The archer was thinking about how this was somewhat a reenactment of their earlier event in the Throne Room. The atmosphere was there, the feeling was there, this was a pledge of loyalty to Momonga, and the three of them, too. But it lacked something that made Peroroncino cannot help but have a smug look on his face as a golden aura of glory emanated out from his avian form. This would have been epic, too. But they are in no way comparable to us.

The alchemist himself didn't think too much about what unfolded in front of his eyes because his brain went blank the moment that he has heard his creation saying 'pledge of loyalty'. His reaction was very simple: Shock. Tabula understood everything else. The NPC's behavior, their personalities, and what they could have a tendency to do based on what he have seen so far. But this was completely out of his thinking range. Pledge of fidelity? What was this? A television series sets in the 1600's? But no. He knows that this was real. Everything was real. This was no dream nor a joke, even though he was having a slightly hard time accepting it. When he take one more look at the scene in front of him, he noticed a tingly feeling crawling upon his spine.

Tabula sweatdropped at his teammates' reactions.

Violet, red, black, gold... It looked like a festival had thrown up on the three of them. And Tabula sighed internally. After his outburst earlier, Tabula has calmed down. And this situation, although shocking, could not conjure up any extreme emotions out of the alchemist. This situation was just like what they did together two hours earlier, and it was slightly underwhelming if he really has to think about it. He was flattered, though. And a bit of pride has crept itself in there, too.

Loyalty and authority; having absolute sovereign over these powerful individuals that are peerless in power and unmatched in strength. What a comforting thought to have, isn't it? And to think that this all occurred in one day. It was slightly comical and ironic.

They all came together, hoping to spend their last few moments with their beloved leader, did they not?

But they didn't get logged out. Yggdrasil has ended, but something else was coming to a new beginning.

And to think that they wound up like this, stuck together and with one another inside of their video game's avatar. And to have these NPCs that have became real people, pledging their loyalty to them with utmost submission and abandon...

It was amazing how fast the situation could change.

They wanted to spend more time with Momonga, and their wish was fulfilled.

It appears that now, they have all the time in the world that they can spend with their beloved friend. And Tabula was having mixed feelings about this current situation.

Was he elated?

Yes! This could be the chance to make up for all those missing times! Yes! He was more than elated.

Was he feeling that he was unworthy to be in the company of their guild leader?

Yes! What right does he have to be within this benevolent and loyal individual's presence? How can one be so forgiving and Does his friend even want him around?

Will he miss his career life in his other life?

Yes! It took him quite a while to get to where he was today. And he held quite important an important position at the company. Though, he was not really that crucial a factor or anything. The absent of his presence would only slow down most of the progress of his division, not the entire company as a whole; indirectly, perhaps, but the impact would not happen right away.

Will there be people waiting for him on the other side?

Yes. But his mother has his brother. They don't need him. They never did.

Will he regret leaving?

No!

No.

At least for now, he thinks so. What use is it worrying about something that you have no idea will turn out? Sure, he likes to get insights into the future. But this wasn't a regular thing. This was friendship and trust. You can't calculate something like that. Only time would tell him the answer. And he would like to keep it that way.

Tabula activates his aura of silence and dominance. A jade-ish blue mist surrounds his body as he can feel the effects of his friends' aura lessen a little bit.

His teammates were reacting so strongly, Tabula must have some sort of defense mechanism against these different types of skills. But to be fair, it only gave him a tingly feeling. He wasn't necessarily affected too badly, even by Ulbert's power or Momonga's skill amplified by their Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown. Because Peroroncino's aura was a buff that increased his and his allies'—in this case, people who were within a two-meter radius of him—base stats, and can sometimes have an intimidating effect; chances of triggering it was based on mere luck. And that have minimized the other negative effect coming from Momonga and Ulbert.

But if he was the only one standing there plainly, looking like an idiot, that will not do at all.

"Raise your heads." Momonga spoke out, bringing their attention back onto his skeleton visage. Without delay, everyone raised their heads. Their coordination was so immaculate that Momonga wondered if they had practiced that movement together.

"Then… first, I thank all of you for coming here."

"There is no need for thanks. We are all Lord Momonga and the Supreme Ones' loyal subordinates. To us, Lord Momonga is our supreme overlord! And the Supreme Ones such as our Lords standing before us are our Masters, and we will die for you if need be."

None of the Guardians opposed her statement. As expected of the Guardian Overseer.

Momonga looked on the Guardians with a stern face, and he felt a choking sensation in his non-existent throat. It was the weight of being a leader bearing down on him.

Any orders he gave now would affect his relationship with them in the future. He could not help but hesitate as he contemplated the possibilities. Would he lead the Great Tomb of Nazarick to destruction because of his decisions—the unease generated by that thought flooded his heart and mind? What if he messed up? And his friends will be harmed during the process because of his foolish decisions? Momonga's heart drops at the thought as he grew silent for a brief moment, being troubled by his own mind.

"...Lord Momonga, my Lords, it is only natural that you should have doubts about us. After all, our abilities must be minuscule in your reckoning." Albedo removed the smile from her face, and continue in a respectful tone that was laced with a stern strength.

"However, if Lord Momonga wishes something to be done and gives us the order, we—all the Guardians—will accomplish any task set to us, no matter how difficult or arduous, with every fiber of our beings. We hereby swear that we will never allow the Forty-One Supreme Beings of Ainz Ooal Gown, our creators, to be disgraced by our actions."

"This we swear!"

The Floor Guardians chimed in right after Albedo. Their voices were filled with power, and that adamant loyalty and determination would not be diminished by any number of foes. It was as though they were mocking Momonga's previous worries that the NPCs might betray him.

The darkness in his heart vanished like shadows in the morning sun. Momonga was moved to the bottom of his heart that the NPCs designed by the members of Ainz Ooal Gown were possessed of such excellence. Perhaps the doubt in his heart was for naught, after all. How could he be suspicious of his comrades' own creations?

Everything right now felt so surreal.

Momonga is being revered as some sort of great leader, and it placed a responsibility on him that he never thought he would have to experience once more, and to an even greater extent than before.

He doesn't have any doubt that these creations of his friends will betray them, however, he is now more worried and stressed than ever before. Of what this means for him and the expectations that he must fulfill in the upcoming future.

Will he be competent enough?

Will he disappoint these individuals?

Will he meet up with their expectations?

Will he disappoint his comrades of Ainz Ooal Gown? Will he meet up with their expectations?

It has been a long time since he ever did something that was leader-like. And he has doubts whether or not he will meet up with what they might be expecting of him.

As if sensing his doubts and unvoiced question, his teammates then advanced up to place each of their hands on his shoulders.

"Momonga." Tabula said, using the [ Message ] skill. His voice absolute and with determination. "We might have disappointed you before, and you have to shoulder all of those responsibilities alone . But that is not the case anymore. You have us, have me now. Please trust in us, and we will help you."

"You're not alone, Momonga." Ulbert said gently and tenderly, gripping Momonga's bony shoulder tightly as if to confirm the truth of his words. "This is not 'Momonga and himself' any longer. This is Momonga and the Guild of Ainz Ooal Gown. Give us your burdens, Momonga. Give me your burdens."

"Momo-chan! Don't be stressed, ok? Because your bestie, Peroroncino, will help you go through this time of weirdness and chaos! If we go down, we go down together!" The archer said, wings flapping excitedly, then spanning out behind him majestically like an angel. "I'm gonna miss my H-games, but who cares!? Bros before hoes!" Peroroncino added jokingly in an attempt to give Momonga a boost of morale and lessen down his tension.

Momonga smiled, although his skeletal face could not display any emotions. The points of crimson light in his eye sockets seemed to shine exceptionally bright. His prior unease had was no longer existent. His friends' reassurance and comforting words resonated in his heart, and he felt a warm sense of security and absolute safety, being surrounded by the presences of his friends. Even if the world turns against them, and even though he would like for that to not happen, he knows that they will all be together until the end. All for one and one for all. What a cheesy sentiment. But right now, he needs it.

Thank you, you guys.

With a final grip of confirmation, the three people gave Momonga a tight squeeze to his shoulders, then, they let go.

That strengthens his mentality greatly, and he thanked them once more for their support. Now, without the doubt that Momonga had earlier, he could easily speak the words expected of a guild master to those that kneels before him.

"Excellent. Guardians, I know that you will understand my aims and successfully carry out my commands. There may be some things which are difficult to understand, but I hope you will pay attention and listen. I believe the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick has been caught up in some kind of unknown situation."

The Guardians' faces were still stern, and there was no trace of surprise on them.

"Although I do not know what has caused this incident, the Great Tomb of Nazarick has been transported from its place in the swamps to a vast plain. Did anyone foresee the occurrence of this strange event?"

Albedo looked back at the Guardians, and after seeing the reply written on their face, she answered Momonga's query. "Regretfully, none of us have any idea of what is going on."

"Then, I have a question for the Floor Guardians. Have any of you discovered anything strange in your floors?"

After hearing this, each Floor Guardian responded in their own ways.

"There are no abnormalities in the Seventh Floor."

"Same with the Sixth Floor."

"I-it's as sister says."

"The. Fifth. Floor. Is. The. Same."

"Nothing strange has been sighted in the First to Third Floors."

"—Lord Momonga, I shall investigate the Fourth and Eighth Floors right away."

"Then I will leave that matter to Albedo. However, you must be careful on the Eighth Floor. If an emergency situation occurs there, a situation may emerge that you might not be able to deal with."

Albedo bowed her head deeply to indicate she understood.

"Then, I shall handle matters on the surface." Shalltear said, volunteering herself for the work. After the disgrace that she has shown earlier, there must be some ways to make up for that mistake!

"There is no need. Sebas is currently reconnoitering the surface."

Surprise flashed across the faces of Albedo and the other Guardians.

In the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick, there were four NPCs who were exponents of melee combat. Cocytus had the strongest attack power when using a weapon, Albedo had an impregnable defense when in her heavy armor, while Sebas in his true form was stronger than either of them two in melee combat. And then was one more, who was superior to all of them.

There could be no other reason for the Guardians' surprise. Sebas, who could sweep away anyone before him in hand-to-hand combat, had been assigned to the simple task of reconnaissance. They could tell how seriously Momonga was taking this strange occurrence, and everyone was on their guard as a result.

"It's about time for him to return."

Just then, Momonga saw Sebas jogging over to them until he reached the Guardians genuflecting before Momonga and went to one knee as well.

"My Lord Momonga, Lord Peroroncino, Lord Ulbert, and Lord Tabula, forgive me for my lateness."

"Nah. You came right in the perfect time." Peroroncino smiled, feeling satisfied and joyous at Momonga's confidence in his speech.

"Well then. Report. What is the condition of our surroundings?" Ulbert chuckled, crossing his arms together as he fixated his gaze at the grey-haired butler. He was still skeptical about the NPCs' loyalty as a whole, but he has decided to put that at the back of his mind for now. They have other priorities at the moment.

"...The situation is critical, so obviously the Floor Guardians would need to know as well." Momonga added.

"Yes. To begin with, the terrain surrounding us for a kilometer in each direction is a plain. There are no signs of man-made structures. I spotted some small animals, but there were no humanoid or large creatures."

"Were those small animals monsters or dangerous creatures? Are they threatening in any way?" Tabula asked, hand stroking his chin as he began to analyze the information being given to them.

"No, they were life-forms which had no combat power."

"...Oui, je vois. OK. Then, were the fields you spoke of covered in frozen grass which would cut you as you passed them?" Peroroncino asked, intrigued about the major changes and differences of their current predicament. This does not sound like anywhere in Yggdrasil at all. There were towns and stuff, but nothing like what Sebas was describing. This was confirming the fact stated earlier, that his was no longer the world of Yggdrasil.

"No, it was simple grass. There was nothing special about it."

"You did not happen to see any sky castles or similar buildings, did you?" The skeleton asked with a frown.

"No, I did not. There was no sign of man-made illumination in the sky or on the land."

"I see, so there was only a starry sky… Thank you for your hard work, Sebas." As he praised Sebas for his efforts, Momonga was somewhat disappointed because he had not obtained any useful information.

However, he was can now confirm that he and his friends were no longer in the game world of Yggdrasil, but then, he did not understand why he could use Yggdrasil's equipment and use its spells. He did not know why they had come here, but it would be wise to heighten Nazarick's combat readiness just in case. For all he knew, this might be someone else's territory, and he might be censured for having come here without permission. No, he would be lucky if that was all that happened.

"Guardians, increase the readiness of each floor by one level. We are unsure of what has happened, so do not act incautiously. If you encounter an intruder, do not slay them, but capture them alive at all costs. When you capture them, do as little harm to them as possible. I apologize for imposing such demands on all of you at a time like this."

"But you must understand that it is crucial to Nazarick's security and survival. We cannot afford to make light of this situation, understood?" Ulbert said, adding to Momonga's statement and commands as his smirk faded, leaving behind a serious face and tone of voice.

The Guardians voiced their acknowledgment and nodded in unison.

"Next, I would like to understand the administrative operations of the Tomb. Albedo, how is the exchange of security information between the Guardians of the various floors?"

"Each Floor is administered by its respective Floor Guardian, but Demiurge is the overall defense commander, and everyone can share information with him."

Momonga was a bit surprised, but then he nodded in satisfaction. "Excellent. Nazarick's defense commander, Demiurge. Guardian Overseer, Albedo. The two of you will be in charge of drawing up a more comprehensive administrative system for Nazarick."

"Understood. Will the plans for the management system include the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth floors?"

"The Eighth Floor is managed by Victim, so it'll be fine. No, entry to the Eighth Floor is forbidden. I rescind the order I just gave to Albedo as well. In short, entry to the 8th Floor will only be effected with my permission. I will undo the seal and permit direct access from the Seventh Floor to the Ninth Floor. After that, plan for the Ninth and Tenth Floor as one whole."

"Is—is that your will? My Lord?" Albedo seemed quite surprised.

Behind her, Demiurge's eyes went wide, revealing his thoughts on the matter. "Will the underlings be allowed to tramp through the domain of the Supreme Beings? Must they be given that much freedom?"

The underlings in question were not the NPCs and monsters designed by the members of Ainz Ooal Gown, but the automatically spawned (pop) monsters from the dungeon. The fact was that the Ninth and Tenth Floor lacked such monsters, barring very rare exceptions. Momonga muttered to himself.

Albedo seemed to regard that place as a holy sanctuary, but that was not the case.

The reason why there were no pop monsters on the Ninth Floor was simply because if any intruders could overcome the NPC defenders of the Eighth Floor, the most powerful beings in the Tomb, then Ainz Ooal Gown's chances of victory would be slim. Thus, it would be better to play the role of a villain to the hilt and meet the invaders in the throne room for a final showdown.

Oh, Ulbert. Momonga could not help but snickers internally at that, despite this being a very tense time.

"...It will be fine. Because it's an emergency, so we need extra hands for security."

"Understood. I shall select only the finest and most potent troops for this duty."

"Ulbert."

"Yes? Mein lieber?"

"What can we do to conceal the Tomb of Nazarick?"

"Conceal? What do you have in mind, exactly?"

"Right now, Nazarick is in an unknown location. A place that has nothing surrounding it, everything is plain and are displayed to the outside world. If someone happens to come by, this would be the first thing that they will see, correct?"

"Correct. The Great Tomb of Nazarick isn't a very discreet building that can just be ignored. It is enormous; an eyesore, if I may dared to say so."

"Exactly. So, can you think of any way to conceal the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick? Simple illusions don't seem very reliable, and thinking about the cost of illusions gives me a headache."

"I see. In that case, I would like for Aura and Mare to help us with this."

"Of course. You can use anyone as you see fit." Nodded the skeleton.

"E-eh? M-me? I will try my b-best, my Lord! Wh-what do you need?"

"Yes, it would be an honor, my Lord! What do you require of us?"

"Since you are a very potent magic caster, I would like for you to conceal our base in a way that will make us blend in with our surroundings. Alright, Mare, let me ask you a question. What can we use to camouflage ourselves amidst this plain area?"

"If it is barren, and are on the surface... then p-perhaps dirt or mud?"

"Good boy! Yes. Like dirt! We cannot afford to use illusions twenty-four-seven. The drain and cost are too great. Natural and nature resources for camouflage would prove more effective and efficient to sustain. Plus, we are surrounded by dirt. There will never be a shortage of that."

"And... then... maybe add v-vegetation so that it will blend in more with all the grasses that surround us?"

"Well thought! Mud and dirt were enough, honestly. But to have plants and natural means added would be a bonus, good thinking."

"But... Wouldn't that soil the glorious walls of Nazarick? Aren't base dirt too crude a method?" With her back turned to Mare and her front to Ulbert, Albedo spoke with hesitation and slight discomfort; her voice was as sweet as ever, though.

"Hmm? You question my solutions, Overseer of the Guardians?" Ulbert asked, raising an eyebrow in question as his smile fades.

"Albedo… don't speak out of turn. Ulbert is addressing Mare." Said the overlord. His voice was so deep that it surprised Momonga himself.

"Ah, n-no. Forgive me for my imprudence! My deepest apologies, my Lords!"

Albedo's head was as low as it could go, and her face was frozen in fear. The Guardians and Sebas stiffened up as well. Perhaps they thought that scolding was directed at them as well. A twinge of remorse struck Momonga as he observed the quick change in the Guardians' facial expression.

Ulbert's authoritative attitude is starting to rub off on him. And Momonga wasn't quite sure if it was either a good or bad thing.

"Mare, if you can, I would like you to get started on that right away. I trust that you will be the most efficient person for the task."

"Thank you, my Lord! I-I will try to live up to your expectations! T-though..."

"Yes. I understand what you are thinking. An observer from a distance would think the ground was bulging up unnaturally, right?" Mare nodded with a bashful smile at Ulbert's observation. "Sebas, are there any nearby hills or the like?"

"There are none. Regretfully, we are surrounded by flatlands. However, since there are nights here, we should be able to perform some sort of eye-deceiving camouflage while the sun is down."

"Dirt and mud should be enough, then. To add in, we can make dummy hills nearby. That would make us blend in more, yes?"

"Yes, my Lord." Sebas agreed with a bow of his head.

"Very well. I shall assign Aura and Mare to carry out this task together. While doing so, you may draw the necessary supplies from each Floor. Since we cannot camouflage the view from the air, we shall use illusions after finishing the earthworks, so nobody will be able to detect Nazarick from the outside."

"Roger, my Lord!"

"Y-yes, my Lord. I w-will try my best!"

"I would also like to contribute to strengthening our defenses as well. After covering up our walls and creating the dummy hills, notify me immediately. I will deploy terrestrial life forms and creatures and spread them around. This will make these hills appears as if they were and have their own ecosystems and habitats with its own inhabitants."

"Then... there would be nothing suspicious to notice at all! It would just be regular hills with creatures living in them!" Tabula said, eyes widening with a grin of knowing and realization of the ingenious plan. "This is a good plan. I will help you accomplish this task. Filling up these mounds with inhabitants would be quite an arduous task for you to handle alone since we need quite an amount of them to make it believable."

"Thank you, Tabula. For once, you are awfully cooperative."

"I know when I hear a good plan, Ulbert. Ignorance is not an attractive quality."

"Then, you are dismissed for today. Everyone, take a break before beginning your duties. There are many things we do not know, so do not push yourselves too hard." Momonga said after Ulbert and Tabula have concluded the steps needed to carry out their idea.

There were probably a lot of holes left in the plan, but that could be dealt with slowly, later on. After all, it had only been a few hours since all this had happened.

The Guardians nodded as one to show that they understood.

Now, Momonga was finally beginning to do what he had intended to do since the start, why he had summoned and gathered all the Floor Guardians here.

"Finally, I have a question for the Guardians. To begin with, Shalltear—what kind of person am I to you? What is your opinion of my comrades?"

He must know. This will determine how he and his friends must behave and react accordingly in the future in the presence of their creations. His comrades looked at him with raised eyebrows of surprise, but then they held their tongue be as they understood his motives.

But still, they stood with tense shoulders, feeling like this was some sort of personal evaluations. Hopefully, they don't receive bad 'grades'.

"An incarnation of beauty. You are the most beautiful person in the world. Even jewels pale in comparison to your snow-white body. My father is the embodiment of grace and elegance, his greatness shone brighter than the sun. Lord Ulbert are a peerless man of majesty, his beauty surpassed even those of the Gods! And Lord Tabula's loveliness are unquestionable; a man of pure class, above all else in style and charms!"

Shalltear did not pause to think about her answer before she gave it. From the lack of delay in her reply, she must have been speaking from the heart.

"...Cocytus?"

"One. Who. Is. Mightier. Than. All. The. Guardians. That is my. Lord. Momonga. Swifter than. Lightning. Faster than. Thunder. Lord Peroroncino are. Peerless. In power. And. Agility. God of the. Gods of demons. Unmatched in power of destruction. Are my. Lord Ulbert. Wiser than all. Else. His knowledge. Are beyond. Our. Level. Of understanding. Calculating and sharp. Minded. Are. My. Lord Tabula."

"—Aura."

"Lord Momonga are a merciful leader with great foresight! Lord Peroroncino are loved by all with his benevolence. Lord Ulbert are a man with great leadership that we can all depend on and respect. And Lord Tabula are a kind and sympathetic leader!"

"—Mare."

"My Lords are all very nice, gentle, and understanding p-people."

"—Demiurge."

"My Lord father are a wise leader who makes decisions and acts on them quickly. Truly, a man worthy of the title 'inscrutable.'. None other can surpass Lord Tabula in terms of wits and strategy, as well as power and might on the battlefield. Lord Peroroncino's abilities and prowess are unquestionable along with his charms and elegance. And you, My Lord Momonga, are a man that are unmatched when it comes to thinking outside of the box, and your mere presence is a blessing upon us."

"—Sebas."

"My Lord Momonga are the one responsible for assembling all the Supreme Beings. And in addition, all of my Lords are merciful leaders who did not abandon us, but stayed by our side until the very end."

"And finally, Albedo."

"The man who rules over the Supreme Beings, and our highest, most exalted master: my Lord Momonga. You are the man I adore! And I need not speak more of my Lord Father's greatness, nor the majesty that is Lord Ulbert or the grace of Lord Peroroncino's visage and person. No words big enough can be used to describe all of your glory and magnanimity!"

"...I see. I have heard and understand your opinions..." Momonga was speechless at this revelation, and he could not find any other words to say aside from what was already spoken. His teammates then decided to come in and help him out a little.

"D'accord. Then, carry out the tasks that were given to you. Obey us faithfully, and you will be met with rewards for your loyalty."

"Să mergem." Tabula said, nodding to his teammates as they all simultaneously reached for their Rings of Ainz Ooal Gown.

After seeing the Guardians genuflect once more, Momonga teleported away with his friends in tow.


The scenery before his eyes changed in an instant, from the Colosseum to the chamber of the Golems of Lemegeton. After looking around to make sure nobody was looking, Momonga sighed deeply.

"I'm so tired. These guys, why do they think so highly of me and of you guys?"

"WHAT THE SHIT IS WITH THEIR GLORIOUS VIEW OF US!?" Peroroncino screamed, clutching his hair in his claws as he leaned his body backward in agony.

"I am extremely flattered and scared shitless at the same time." Ulbert sighed out, putting a hand on his forehead in exasperation.

"But you like compliments, don't you, Ulbert? I can't imagine you complaining about this situation as a whole." Tabula chuckled, tilting his head curiously at his friend. Ulbert had maintained such a strong front in front of their creations, it was a miracle how he could have kept it up for such a long time. But then again, it wasn't like Ulbert was stressed or anything. It just appears that he is not quite used to receiving so much of it at the same time.

"Well, yeah. But have you hear such exaggerated praises before? I sure as hell haven't."

"IDGAF ANYMORE. THIS IS MAKING ME GO NUTS!"

"W-what is it, Pero? Are you alright?" Momonga asked tentatively, reaching out a hand to the panicking avian.

"NO I'M NOT ALRIGHT. SHALLTEAR CALLED ME 'DAD'!" Peroroncino proceeds to cling his entire body to Momonga, wrapping his feathered arms around the skeleton's midsection as his avian body slumped down onto the floor. His eyes teary as he then sobbed.

"..." The three of them grew silent as they listened to their friend's 'troubles'.

This, was what he was bothered about!? This, out of all the shit that was happening?!

"Do you know how sad that is!? That's not what I want at all! You see a hot girl and instead of calling you 'daddy' she calls you 'dad' in a literal father way. Wouldn't that break your soul?! That completely kills my libido! There is no god in this world!"

"Peroroncino . . . ! ! ! "


Bonk!


Peroroncino has been defeated!

Chapter Text

Chapter 6.5: A Fluffy Feeling! And It's Not The Feathers!


His back hurts.

Peroroncino groaned at the heavy feeling behind his back as he buried his face into his pillow. For some reason, his back felt stiffer than normal. And he could feel something moving from behind him. What...? Is someone there? His heart began to beat faster with anxiety and paranoia. With that thought in mind, his eyes snapped open as he abruptly sat up from his bed.

Looking from left to right, his eyes frantically searches for some possible figures or suspicious shapes that he should be wary of and his hand automatically reaches for some form of weapon. But then, he was greeted with nothing else but the sound of silence. What. There's... nothing there. He sighed in relief as his thumping heart calms itself down. He tries to lay back onto the bed, but he finds it difficult and painful to do so.

What...? Why? After a few moments of struggling, he decided to give up as he sat himself up to stretch his body. Each joint in his body popped and crack as he stretched out his arms. There's that feeling again! What is that?! Peroroncino was irritated and awake now instead of his initial fear and anxiety. There was something... excessive about him. He cannot place a finger on it, but he could feel more... things than usual.

Two arms, two hands, two legs, two feet, one face, two eyes, and one mouth. He was perfectly normal.

However, he could feel something else. Behind him, it felt like he had grown two extra arms right there. And it freaked him out when he realized that he can move those appendages. He began to panic. What has he become? What disaster had befall him now? Is he some sort of a freak show? Did the alien invasion finally happened and he was a test subject!? And this deformation was the result of them defiling his body!? Shit! He's normally into a lot of stuff, but this was not one of them!

Peroroncino's eyes darted around the room and landed on an object across from where his bed was. It was a mirror. With his beating heart, he stared at the mirror on the wall, right above his black laurel wooden dresser and braced himself.

It's still him. His hair disheveled and his face was groggy from waking up so suddenly. He looked grumpy, and not at all attractive.

Good.

The archer sighed with relief once more.

Wait.

Wait just a second. What...?

He had a bird face. An actual, functional, bird face.

And that feeling behind him... He now understood why such a bizarre occurrence was happening to him and why he kept feeling it. When he gazed at the mirror, he saw it. That... thing, the thing that was giving him so many questions and anxiety. This is the reason why he felt an extra weight settling upon his back, why that weight was moving, and why he knew it belonged to him.

He had wings.

It was an extension of his body.

That is why he could move it, and why he could feel himself moving it.

The odd part was that it had felt just like another part of him, like an extra limb. He has no difficulty directing his wings to do what he wanted. Fold, unfold, flap, arch, he could do all of that. It felt natural, like breathing. A sudden realization then came to him.

He was referring to himself as 'The Archer'.

And—

—This wasn't his usual bed. The ceiling was high and the walls were decorated with beautiful designs and art. His bed was expensive looking, one fit for an emperor or a king; a god, even. The pillows were fluffy and filled with feathers. His blanket was softer than fleece and warmer than wool, and it flowed from the beginning of the bed, spilling out onto the floor and to the sides of the bed like a graceful waterfall.

Peroroncino looked to the side.

There was a solid, old, but magical looking counter with a spiraling wood design next to him at the left, and on top of it lays his golden mask. On the right, there was a small, snow-white pillow, and atop of that pillow was his two golden gauntlets designed for his talon-tipped fingers. His copper-golden bow stood beautifully and majestically in the air next to his armoire, which his tunic and chest plates were hung upon.

The avian sighed out softly and combed his hand through his long hair in resignation.

"So. This really is happening, huh?" He mumbled, closing his eyes. He needs a few moments to take this all in. He couldn't really wrap this around his head at all. Everything felt so surreal, he was having a hard time accepting that this was now the reality. Everything that he has ever known since childhood was going to change. He can't tell if this was for the better or for the worse. After all, this reality doesn't have H-games...

He sighs out dejectedly. He's horny all—well, most of—the time! What is he supposed to refer to for fap materials now? Shalltear was the product of his fantasy, and he was planning to use her visage as something to masturbate to. However, the moment that she called him 'father' has permanently erased that thought away from his mind and driven away all his libido towards her. Sure, he didn't mind incestuous contents when it came to hentai or H-games, but real life incest? Fuck no. He is indecent when it comes to many things, but this was not a border that he would want to cross.

"Hah." He sighs out with disappointment. "Well, at least I'm not stuck here alone. If I am, I think my fucking mind will go nuts!" The archer said to himself with a small laugh. This world probably has all the women and men that he could possibly bed any time that he wants. But, pleasure and real company are two completely different things. No matter how much—real—sex he would have out of this world, he will never actually stop feeling lonely. Sex partners and... real partners, there is a whole line of boundary separating one thing from another.

He'd prefer being stuck here with these guys, rather than being out there in real life alone or in this fantasy world by himself.

His sister... Will she worry for him? He wonders? Heh. She probably doesn't miss him at all. It was probably for the best, him being here, that is. He's just a waste of space, anyway. He felt like his presence means something here. He was surrounded by people who cared for him, people who actually wants him around them. He wasn't a bother or a burden, his antics wasn't considered annoying, and he wasn't viewed as a lunatic or demented among these wonderful individuals. He was loved. And he loved them all, truly. That is all he need, all he wants.

With such a comforting thought in his mind, Peroroncino chuckled as he stretched out once more, body and wings and all of that. Smacking his tongue together a few times, he stepped away from his bed, planting his feet on the soft, carpeted floor. He felt at ease and comfortable here. And that was partly because he designed his own room.

His eyes then darted to the mirror once again as he let out a sudden laugh.

"Bwahaha!"

He was naked. And his barrage of laughter continues, even though he wasn't sure why it was so funny! It just is!

Well, he never liked to sleep being clothed. Sleeping naked feels great. And it's more convenient that way! How does one sleep with clothes on? It must be hot as hell with all of those layers on top of oneself! No wonder why people have such problem getting a proper rest! Half of that process must have gone into trying to adjust the temperature to one's liking!

His nude visage was a little bit strange to stare at, at first, but then after a while, he shrugged as he got used to it. Aside from the fact that he was a bird, many of his body parts still resemble that of a human's. He still has arms, shoulders, legs, and other functional appendages. His butt, ass, and his dick was still where it was supposed to be. As long as none of his body parts is missing, everything was fine.

After putting on a sand-colored robe that he grabbed from his armoire, he then proceeds to wear a pair of pants. For some miraculous reason, his robe has two holes behind his back to slide his wings into. And he fit inside it without a complaint. Going to his own personal bathroom, he washed his own mouth—with a strange looking liquid that was already there, right next to the sink, prepared and ready at his disposal—and combed his hair, making sure he was looking fresh and ready. After completing everything that he sets out to do, Peroroncino left his own room as he stepped out to the—surprisingly—dark halls.

He glanced at his wrist, to where his digital watch was and was surprised. Was it only four twenty-seven in the morning? No wonder why everything was so dark. Now that the sky was real and the sun can exist, environmental changes should be in effect. But he figured at this hour, the sun will yet to come out.

As he makes his way down the hall—though he was not sure where his destination was, yet—a few maids here and there saw him and bowed their heads with respect and fear as he waved them off. That was kinda awkward, and he was not quite used to everything here yet. He sighs once more. Peroroncino knew that he should at least wore his armor on, have a backup weapon, and be more wary of their surroundings and their situation. However, for some reason, he can't bring himself to suspect that anything unusual was going on underneath his nose. Nazarick is, like what Momonga said, their home now. How can he suspect the beloved inhabitants that reside inside this abode that he loves? The thought has never crossed his mind, even though he knew that it should...

The archer was lost in the majestic and beautiful sights of the halls of Nazarick. He merely goes where his feet allows him to. And absentmindedly, he traverses the quiet and dark hallways, unaware of where his feet was taking him. By the time that he came to, snapping out of his trance, he finds himself in front of a large, royal-looking door.

"This must be the Guild Leader's room..." Momonga's room! How the hell did he end up going this deep? Feeling a bit nervous, Peroroncino adjusted his clothes and cleared his throat as he then moved his hand to knock on the door. But before his hand could even make contact with the smooth surface of the wood, it automatically opened, making him jumped back a few pace in surprise.

"Lord Momonga beckons you to come in, Lord Peroroncino." Sebas. The butler said with a warm but weary voice as he stood at the door, holding it open for the archer. The butler moved his arms in a welcoming gesture, standing to the side, allowing the avian the access to the inside of the chamber.

Peroroncino blinked, feeling dazed for a few seconds before composing himself, nodding to the older gentleman as he invited himself in. How did Momonga know that I was out here? But then again, there must be some sort of surveillance spell set up outside of the door to protect him. So that must be why he knew. The moment that he was inside, the door was gently closed by the gray-haired butler; despite that, it still shuts in a little bit loudly, making him and the butler both wince at the noise.

"Peroroncino?" The voice that belonged to his skeletal friend spoke up, and he looked frantically from left to right, trying to identify where the bony form of his friend was.

"Momonga?" Peroroncino asked, still trying to figure out where the skeleton was. His voice sounded like he was inside this room, but then, where was he? This was starting to confuse and startle the avian.

"What are you doing up so early? Pero?" Momonga asked warmly and softly as he then appeared out of a doorway at the inner right of the room. Ah! That must be his study room! That was probably why I didn't saw him right away. The archer thought, and his wings flapped with happiness as the sight of his friend entered his vision. He wasn't wearing his usual Divine Class armor, either.

It must've been because he felt that since he was confined to his room, some sort of safe sanctuary, he could relax a little bit. It was understandable that he would want to feel comfortable within his own room, despite how foreign and strange it might've been. Momonga too was probably trying to adapt to this situation like him. So the first place that he would want to get acquainted with was his own room; a smart and wise choice.

"Wha—I should be the one asking you that, Momo-chan! What are you doing up!?" Peroroncino said incredulously. It appears that no one else was awake, aside for the maids and NPCs that are patrolling the area. "What's that term? Ah, yeah, I'm an 'early bird'. Don't worry! I slept fine. You, though, should be in bed, sleeping! It's not good being up so early!"

"Same could be said for you." The skeleton chuckled at his friend's motherly tone. The overlord turned his head to the silent butler as he then dismissed him. "Sebas, you can depart and return to your own personal quarters now."

"My Lord, I cannot—." The butler quickly protested to the command, however, Momonga raised a hand to stop him before he could continue.

"Peroroncino is here, he can take care of me. Do not worry. Be dismissed and have a good rest, Sebas. Rest so you can be by my side later today."

At Momonga's assurance, combined with his logical, sensical, and perfect statements, Sebas found no room in between to argue as he then bowed his head, excusing himself from his Lords' presence. "Alright. Then, please excuse me. I will return at a later time. And if you require my assistance right away, please do not hesitate to beckon me. I shall immediately cease all my activities to heed your orders. I shall now withdraw myself from your greatness. Lord Peroroncino, Lord Momonga." With that, the butler bowed his head once again as he then turned on his heel to leave the room, leaving its other two occupants alone.

"...Hah. He's been awake and with me for the entire night. And he won't leave me alone at all! Thank you for being here. I was starting to get concerned for him. He simply refuses to leave! If I didn't know any better, I thought Touch Me was here mothering me around."

After the 'awake and with me for the entire night' part, the avian's brain refuses to register any other words that came after. And Peroroncino gawks at Momonga as he then took a hold of the skeleton's shoulder, shaking his frame a few times. "WHAAAATT?! YOU WERE AWAKE THE ENTIRE NIGHT!? MOMONGAAAAA!" He cannot believe his ears! Momonga was awake for the entire night!? Could he not sleep? Was it the stress? The anxiety? The strangeness of his surroundings? Momonga himself was awake the entire time while he was sleeping his ass out!? What kind of friend is he!?

"WHYYYYY!?"

"What? P-Pero!" Momonga stuttered as his frame sway along with the archer's movements. "W-what's gotten into you?"

"What's gotten into me? What's gotten into you?! Why didn't you call for me!? I could've kept you company!" By the time he said that statement, Peroroncino has stopped shaking the skeleton's body. Instead, his grip tightens as his talon dug itself into Momonga's purple robe.

The skeleton, though without flesh, could felt the sharp tips digging into his shoulders. It didn't hurt, but he could definitely feel it poking at him. "Pero... It's ok. I'm fine. See? My voice is normal, right?"

"I don't care! Your voice is fine but your body isn't! I don't buy that! You need to take care of yourself more, stupid! Why don't you just tell me that you're awake? I could've stayed with you! I don't mind!"

Momonga just laughs fondly as he shook his head gently, placing his hands on top of the ones holding his shoulders, patting it a few times. "I really am fine. And besides, I don't want to wake you guys up. You all deserves some good rest."

"M-Momonga! You think that we deserve some rest? I mean yeah, sure, I'm pretty pooped from yesterday's events... But you are the one who needed comfort the most! What the hell, Momo-chan!? In fact, why are we still standing here? Let's get you to bed, now!" Before the skeleton could say anything further, the archer quickly went behind him as he then pushed him towards the bedroom's direction, with him then flailing his arms around a little in surprise. The avian was definitely strong. And right now, with him being this determined to—ha—get him into bed, Momonga could do nothing but wait until he has reached the birdman's desired destination. Though, he didn't go without a small form of protest.

His feet was firmly planted on the floor, hoping to slow the determined avian down somewhat. Alas, it did not work. That little show of resistance that he displayed proved futile as the archer already have a backup plan in case that happens.

"WHA—!" Momonga exclaimed indignantly as he was lifted off his feet and carried across the room in a bridal style. What has gotten into him? Momonga thought as he squirmed in the avian's—comfortable and soft—arms. He didn't want to fall onto the floor, though. So he wrapped his arms around the archer's neck and shoulder as he clung on tightly.

When they reached his bedside, Peroroncino stopped suddenly, pausing in his actions. Momonga blinked twice and peered into the archer's—hey, he wasn't wearing any mask!—bare face. There were many different emotions that were shown in the avian's eyes. Momonga could see the concern, guilt, anxiety, and hesitation in those mesmerizing orbs. And he opened his mouth to say something. Before he could utter out the words that he wanted to speak, the archer then began to move again.

With a surprising gentleness and carefulness, Peroroncino softly lowered Momonga onto the bed. The archer leaned his body down, his knees planting on the mattress, using it as leverage to place the skeleton's body upon the bed as he then grunted a little.

"There. Isn't that better?" Peroroncino said with a small smile, looking pleased with his handiwork as he placed his hands on the side of his hips, knees still kneeling on the soft mattress.

So he was concerned for him. That was a comforting and pleasant thought to have. And Momonga was touched by how much the archer cared for his well-being. However, no matter how sweet he was—and no matter how soft the feathers on his body was—, Peroroncino needs to be informed of his body state.

"Pero. Can I tell you something?"

"Uh, yeah! Do you even have to ask?"

"Do not freak out, please. Promise me that, OK?"

"Yeah. I'll... i'll try not to."

"Alright... It... appears that I cannot sleep. At all. No matter what I do."

"...What?! Why?!" That was definitely not at all comforting to hear! Why would he tell him that if he doesn't want him to freak out!?

"Tabula have helped me figuring out a few things at three A.M. while you were asleep, Pero. He left about an hour ago. So I wasn't exactly alone. Don't worry. Anyway, I'm an undead. I do not require sleep. Does it look like I have any eyelids for that?" The skeleton laughed with amusement. Perhaps that thought has never crossed his mind, and that was understandable. Even with the alchemists' help, there were things still unexplainable by terms of science. And it was useless to try to figure those specific elements out. "And besides, I don't want to bother you guys. Since I cannot sleep, I should let those that can be."

"Oh..." Peroroncino said with realization and slight shock. Part of him was glad that Momonga wasn't up all by himself. But another part of him was slightly jealous that the brain eater didn't inform him of their 'experiment' session. Still, even with that knowledge, the guilt was definitely still there, no matter what the overlord could have said as an excuse. A sense of determination have suddenly filled him, and he, with his lean but muscular body, climb atop of Momonga, wrapping his feathered arms around the skeleton's body.

"What...?" Momonga stammered. "Pero? Get off! What has gotten into you today?!" Said the skeleton with a nonexistent blush and embarrassment. He hit his hands on the avian's back—softly, mind you—as another form of protest, and he was replied with the avian wrapping his arms tighter around him, wings spanning and enveloping the form of the two of them like a barrier. What? Momonga paused in his protests as he lowered his arms to the side.

"Peroroncino?"

The avian's frame trembled as he buried his face into the chest cloth of Momonga's robe, pulling the skeleton's body closer to him.

"What is it, Peroroncino." It was then that he realized something about Peroroncino. And with that something in his mind, Momonga said softly to the avian, his skeletal hands moving to the archer's head as he then stroked it in a gesture of comfort. This was... surprising. At first, he thought that the birdman was going to try something funny. But then this happened. And upon another look, the archer shows sign of... fear, and he looked like a frightened animal, seeking comfort from a familiar place. "You can tell me, Pero. I'm here."

"...Momonga." The archer mumbled, his voice muffled inside of the skeleton's robe. "Momonga... You stupid, stupid, idiot..."

Why. Why must Momonga be the one who has to endure everything all by himself? Two years spent in isolation, isn't it enough, already? What could have been so interesting as to keep him up all night? He must have been doing something. If he didn't, then he would have been around the complex or having one of them by his side or something like that. But none of those were seen. Momonga was in his room, alone, and nobody else was within the skeleton's company.

Why? Did he not trust them enough to call for them? Did he feel as if they were a burden on him? That, he could understand and accept. But what he couldn't was the possibility that Momonga was feeling that he was a burden on them. That was unacceptable.

"Why... alone...? I could've kept you company..." Peroroncino mumbled, relaxing his body in the skeleton's gentle touch. "Why do you like to be alone, Momonga? Is it because of us?" At that question spoken with a guilty voice, the archer perks his face up to stare into Momonga's red irises.

Momonga was once again taken aback by the emotions rolling through the archer's eyes. It wasn't hard to read him. However, now, with his bare face to the world, his eyes held so much more unspoken things that they can't normally see when his golden mask was put on his face. His eyes... they were so sad, and Momonga doesn't know why. It hurts to see his friend like this. Why is he so shaken up? What could possibly be going on inside that bird head of his?

At the question, Momonga became silent as he took a few moments to contemplate on an answer. Perhaps. He is used to being alone, after those two years. When all of his friends went away, there was no one else to rely on but himself to take care of everything. He either has forgotten that his friends are here now, or that his instinct must have kept the thought of calling for support away from his mind. Either way, Momonga could not bring himself to tell his friends that. After all, wasn't that the sole purpose why he wanted for his friends to take a rest? So that they wouldn't have to think about this stuff? He did not want them to feel guilty. But right now, he did not want to lie to his best friend, either...

"Is it because... we're not very good friends? Do you hate us?"

"Pero..."

"Do you hate all of us? Hate them?"

"Pero."

"Do you... hate me? Do you not trust me?"

"Pero!"

"Why won't you talk to me? Am I bothering you? Is it because I'm a horrible person—."

"Peroroncino! Stop!" Momonga said, sitting up abruptly, startling the archer as he slid away from Momonga's body. Sighing exasperatedly, the overlord moved away from the archer as he situated himself at the corner of the bed, crossing his arms together with slight irritation and sadness. This was a side of Peroroncino that Momonga doesn't see very often. It has been a long time since the last time that Peroroncino has shown him his less playful and more vulnerable side.

He wasn't quite sure what to think of nor know how to handle this situation; the circumstance from the last time must have changed, so using that same method to deal with this would not be the wise way to go. He feels that the archer will break if he did something wrong, and he doesn't know what was the wrong or right way to approach this.

Peroroncino became quiet, feeling embarrassed at himself for not allowing his friend a room to state out his thoughts and for his uncontrollable outbursts. Hesitantly and silently, the archer sat up and slowly crawled himself over to where the overlord was sitting at. "Momo-chan?" Peroroncino asked with a small voice, peeking at Momonga's face behind his hood.

"..."

"Moooomoooo-chaaaaaan?" He asks once more. This time, he said with a drawn out voice and a few jab of his finger to the skeleton's hip bone. "Momongaaaaa, Mooooomoooongaaaa?"

"..." A sigh. "Pero." Momonga said, his tensed shoulders relaxed and slumping down in defeat.

Finally! The archer thought with relief. He was starting to think that Momonga was annoyed or mad at him, and he doesn't want that. With a sheepish scratch of his head and an apologetic tone, he began to apologize to his friend, preparing to stand up and leave. "Hah. I'm sorry, I'll leav—."

"Don't. Just, listen to me. Ok? You want to talk, right? I'll talk." Momonga interrupted the archer before he could finish.

Blinking a few times, the avian then nodded as he then moved his body to the edge of the bed, head situating on the skeleton's lap, wings spanning out behind him like a sheet, staring up into the skeleton's expressionless face. "...Ok."

"..." Momonga stayed quiet for a bit when Peroroncino squirmed a little in his spot, looking as if he was holding back something and are itching to get it out.

"Ah... um..." The archer began.

"Did you want to say something first?"

"...Yeah. Are... are you...?"

"No, I am not mad at you. And no, you're not bothering me."

"Ah! Ok! Then I have nothing else to say. Please, continue." The archer's hand unknowingly moved itself to grab the skeleton's hand as he then placed it in his hair. With a nudge, he silently told Momonga to resumed doing what he was previously doing.

For some reason, Momonga's hand also unconsciously moved on its own, petting and stroking the curly brown strands without thinking too much about it.

It was nice. Peroroncino liked that feeling. The sense of touch was one of the few things that he appreciated that were brought to this world.

"First of all, to answer your previous question: yes. It is because of you guys. And before you say something, no, not specifically anyone." The skeleton sighed, looking up at the ceiling with a nonchalant voice and face.

"Just our guild in general. When you all left, I need to adapt to my surroundings, because I have to do everything on my own, you know? So now, being alone is just... a natural part of my instincts. I guess the thought just escaped my mind. Part of me is still having a hard time believing in my own eyes, that you guys aren't a part of my imagination. It's all happening so quickly in just a day, you know? I can't quite wrap my head around that."

"...Yeah."

The skeleton sighed, feeling a great weight being lifted off of his chest as he let out his inner feelings. "You guys are my best of friends, Pero. Do not ever think otherwise. If I hated or resent you all, why would I invite you to join me in our seemingly last day together? Aren't you being a silly goose, oh great, mighty, and handsome Eagle?"

"...Pfft. When you put it that way... Yeah! I guess I'm just talking nonsense."

"It's fine. And, also, you kept saying that I will not talk to you guys. But isn't it actually the other way around?"

"What do you mean?"

"You guys don't have to act tough in front of me, you know. It's not that I won't talk to you, you guys just won't talk to me. Don't you trust me?"

"What!? Of course I do! What kind of a question is that?" Peroroncino said, baffled that Momonga could even suggest such a thing. He almost sat straight up indignantly, but then he realized that doing so would cause his head to bump into Momonga's jaws. That would be foolish. And it would probably hurt him more than it will hurt Momonga. The archer silently fumed as he puffs up his cheeks in a pout.

At his outburst, Momonga paused his hand that was stroking the archer's hair. "...See? That's exactly what I mean. Don't ask me such absurd questions, Pero. I trust you, OK? I trust all of you with my life. How did you think I felt when you asked me that question?"

"...I... I'm sorry, Momonga. I didn't think about that. It's just... I was having so many doubts and questions, you know? I've been thinking. About this reality, the fact that I'm now a bird... and... about you. It's all so messy and confusing. Everything sorta... spilled out all at once."

Momonga chuckled and shook his head, hands resuming to caress Peroroncino's hair. "Just don't ever ask me that ever again. The answer might be no, then. And it's alright, Pero. You can talk to me, I'll be here for you. Just come knocking and I'll open my doors to you with open arms."

The metaphor wasn't missed by Peroroncino, and the archer blushed as he leaned into Momonga's touch with closed eyes. He was embarrassed at himself, of his impulsiveness, and of his shameful thoughts and actions. Of him discarding his self-worth in front of Momonga, someone who cares for him greatly.

After all the years of trying to get back into a healthier living lifestyle after that ordeal before Yggdrasil was released, he almost succeeded wholly. His physical state was healthy and are stabilized; he could go to work. Yggdrasil and H-games gave him a new focus in life, and through there, he was happy and healthy and has many friends. However, his sister then moved away. And without her or a stable emotional support, Peroroncino sometimes cannot control himself when all of his inner turmoil come onto the surface.

Sure, he was playful, and carefree, and a pervert. All of that extroverted shit, right? But deep inside, he has to admit that he always needed someone to make him feel grounded to reality; someone to comfort him. And that makes him a clingy person, sometimes. It is one of the few reasons why he could not find a girlfriend or a boyfriend... They couldn't deal with him when that happens. Hence, his obsession with H-games!

Momonga knew about his conditions in the past, and he had accepted it and helped him moved on with it. In fact, he was one of the factors that led Peroroncino to not come back to that addiction. Since he was so busy trying to help Ainz Ooal Gown rise to power, he didn't really pay attention to any other stuff; excluding H-games. Momonga hasn't forgotten, and it was why Peroroncino understood and knew that he was subtly hinting it through the metaphor laying underneath the statement.

If he had to be honest... the true reason that he came back was because he wanted to see Momonga one last time. He didn't come back for the game, nor he was hoping that they could have any of their last 'grande' adventures, either. He came back because he misses the person that made him attached to this little fantasy world, the one who he knew that—besides his sister—truly cares and were always there for him, even though he was not always there for the skeleton in return.

Peroroncino came here, to the skeleton's chamber, with no specific purpose in mind, however, that changed when he learned that Momonga cannot sleep. His goal was to help Momonga relieve himself of all his stress and troubled thoughts. He was hoping to lend his friend his company. You know? To be there for him and all that sentimental shit? But then, in the end, the one who needed company and reassurance was none other than Peroroncino himself.

It was funny to him, how the tides have turned. Though, it wasn't necessarily a bad thing. There was something in his best friend's words that gave him a calming sense of peace and comfort like always. His words were truthful, and Peroroncino believed him. He always did and always will. Hearing Momonga's firm but gentle voice soothed Peroroncino's conflicting feelings, and all that the archer could think of at the moment was the pleasant feeling of his hair being petted. Now that he think about it... it was so relaxing that he was feeling his eyes droop down, slowly closing itself.

Wait. He can't be falling asleep! Not when... not when Momonga was still awake.

"Mhnnng... Momonga?"

"Yeah?"

"You aren't... you aren't mad at us anymore, right?"

"...No. Not anymore."

"Really?"

"Really. How can I? My best friend is right here... underneath me." The skeleton rolled his eyes for a moment before smiling at the archer. "How could I be possibly mad at him?" Momonga chuckled, fingers massaging the archer's scalp, making him groan with pleasure and enjoyment. "Does that feel good?"

"Y-yeah. Don't stop, please."

"Of course."

"Mgnwfpbqqesm...Sorry..."

"Hmm? Why?"

"I w... was supposed to be the one comforting you... But then I have got to ruin everything and now you're doing all of this for me... What kind of friend am I?"

"...Is it a problem? That I am doing this for you? Shall I... stop?" Momonga said teasingly, pausing his movements for a second before the archer squawks and held the overlord's hand on his hand, indicating that he should not stop. And so, the skeleton continued his motion with an amused chuckle.

"N-no! Of course not! It's just... it's just that... You've been having these unwanted responsibilities on you for the past few years while nobody was around helping you... And now... I just feel like I'm adding more to that burden, you know?"

"Unwanted? Why would you say that?" Momonga said, his voice filled with a slight confusion and understanding. He was starting to understand what his friend was talking about now. All the pieces fit together, and it all lead to him understanding why the archer was having a small mental breakdown earlier.

"We just... left you there. Forcing you to do this all by yourself. None of us then has even thought about that, I bet. We never thought of how all the responsibilities will automatically go to you, of how if everyone left, the person that remains holding everything together would be you."

"Ah, really now?" Momonga was surprised at how deep his friends was thinking about this. In all honestly, it wasn't as grim as the archer makes it out to be... but he wanted to listen to his friend, nonetheless.

"Yeah! You didn't asked for it."

"Your feelings are not wrong, Peroroncino. However, I must correct you on one thing: I don't treat my duties as a burden, just to let you know. You guys placed me in this position for a reason, you know that, right? I can't let everyone down by not fulfilling my expectations."

"But you're not!"

"Settle down, Pero. I know. I understand that now. And I do not treat it as a burden because I believed that some of us would one day return. I kept doing what I do with the thought that my beloved friends will come back to me someday. So I don't view it as a burden because I don't think my comrades are a burden. You understand?" Said the skeleton, his voiced filled with absolute conviction and clarity.

Peroroncino felt as if someone had took a torch and lit up a room that he was in, a room that was filled with nothing but complete darkness until said savior had come.

Once again.

"...I adore you, Momo-chan. I don't know what we did to deserve you."

"Chi." Momonga snickered delightfully at the archer's compliment. "I might not be what you deserves, but I am what you need."

"Damn right. Ah. Momonga, I—." Peroroncino wanted to say something, but he stopped himself short before he could complete his query as he then shook his head. All of this talking probably have made Momonga tired by now. And Peroroncino didn't want to bother him even more than he already did. "... Nevermind."

"...Was there something else on your mind?"

"...I don't want to bother you more than I already am."

"Didn't I said earlier that you are not bothering me? Spit it out, Peroroncino."

"Are you sure that I'm not bothering you?"

"Absolutely not. Now talk, you idiotic bird." Momonga said with a teasing voice, tapping his skeletal index finger a few times on the avian's beak.

"A-ah..." Peroroncino closed his eyes and blushed at the feeling of his beak being tapped. He felt like Momonga was treating him like some sort of small animal right now. But that's fine, really. He felt oddly comforting and good when the skeleton then trailed his finger down, scratching him gently at the spot where his jaws and neck meets.

Unbeknownst to Peroroncino, Momonga used to have a pet bird in real life. He know exactly where to touch and how to make a bird melts in his hands. Not literally, of course. Unless he has forgotten something about an overlord's racial characteristic or skill... Then, that would be a bad case...

Of course, the bird—Shin, he named it—died a long time ago. What a horrible thought to have in mind! He doesn't know why it suddenly came up to him, it just did. And it was so horrible that it was almost funny to the overlord.

"Hah... Alright..." Peroroncino sighed in defeat. "You know, I didn't really want to leave you or the game behind..." The archer began.

Momonga closed his eyes, withdrawing the hand at the archer's neck as he absentmindedly massages Peroroncino's scalp, preparing himself to receive a long and personal rant. Although he closed his eyes, his ears were open and are listening intently to what Peroroncino was saying. "Mhmm. But?"

"But then my old condition's leftover side effect suddenly surfaced up again, even after such a long time. It forced me to receive medical attention, you know? And then... I just didn't find the motivation to get back. I really tried, you know? But then I wanted to start fresh, I wanted to see how well I will do without your or our friends' help. I didn't know that they all left, you know? If I did, I'd come back before you could even say 'Hentai'."

"Is that so?" Momonga would have said more, but then he realized that Peroroncino was just letting all of his feelings out. He doesn't need for Momonga to say anything. He just wanted Momonga to simply listen to him. And so he sat there, petting and combing his fingers through the avian's hair as he mindlessly listens to the male's rambling.

"Yeah. I really would. You remember, right? How my sister stopped playing before me because she moved away?"

"Yeah... That was a sad day..."

"After she moved away, I've gotten busier than usual, even though my new job and the job's workload wasn't that much. 'Cause I have to learn how to support myself and how to cope with my problems, you know? H-games were fun and it helps takes my mind off of things, but it doesn't work all the time. And when I stopped playing Yggdrasil was when I was sent to that medical center for a week. After the evaluation and stuff, the doctor said it wasn't too bad. It's just some leftover stuff, and it probably will not occur ever again. But I was held there for the remaining duration, still, just to be safe. Sister was there for me and to pick me up, like always. But then she has her own life to live, you know? She couldn't be there for me all the time. After she left again, I wasn't feeling myself for a few days after."

Momonga nodded, indicating that he was listening. Peroroncino smiled gratefully at the overlord as he continued.

"I... hate to admit it, but because of all the chaos that is my life, I have completely forgotten about this game for a long period of time... I remembered it again because I realized how much I miss you and our friends. And I wanted to see how you all were doing. But then I stopped myself when I realized how long ago it was since I have quitted. A year and a half. I really was tempted to come back, but then the rumors of Yggdrasil's drastic decline in popularity gave me many doubts. And then those shitty people said that Ainz Ooal Gown was nowhere to be seen on the top ten, and some said that it disappeared altogether."

Peroroncino's breath became shaky as he closes his eyes, focusing himself on the pleasant feeling on his head instead of the troublesome thoughts that were preparing to take over his mind.

"I was scared when I heard that, but relieved at the same time. Because I thought that meant that no one was left behind, you know? At least we all went down together. But then... after a few months, just yesterday's night, I... I saw your email. And I abandoned everything to get here. I was in the middle of an H-game too..."

"...Why were you checking your emails in the middle of playing an H-game...?" Momonga's eyes snapped open and he looked down at the avian's face, sounding incredulous as he peered into the avian's nonchalant face.

"I dunno... Wait, I remember it now. The plot was reaaaaaally bad. Blegh. I shudder to think about that cursed thing. Did you know it costed me over two thousand yen? I wasn't interested in it at all, no matter how cute the main character was... That's saying a lot, considering how low my standards are for H-games."

"Psch. I know. Though, honestly, I didn't expect that coming out of you. The great Peroroncino, disliking an H-game!? What is this miracle?! Will global warming finally be no longer an issue? Has cancer been cured? What a blessed day!" Momonga laughed with delight, feeling refreshed at how good their conversation had turned out to be.

"Shaddap... It's not that uncommon..." Peroroncino giggled—how unmanly, but he really couldn't give a shit at the moment—at the skeleton's tease. "Ah...! right there, that spot feels nice." He sighed in bliss, feeling so very good.

"Here?"

"Yeah! I swear you have magic fingers, Momonga."

"I am a magic caster... you know?"

"Fuck, you're even worse than Ulbert! You know what I mean."

"Hahaha. Yeah. I was just kidding."

"...I know. Hey, Momo-chan?"

"Yes?"

"Thank you."

"For?"

"For... for doing this. Thanks for listening to me talk. I feel a lot better now."

"Anytime, you silly fool. Don't ever hesitate to come if you wanted to spend time with me, alright? You're my friend. Never feel like you're bothering me, is that clear?"

Peroroncino paused for a few moments before nodding his head firmly.

"Promise me that if you feel like you ever need to vent or if you just want to have some company, you will come to me without feeling like you're wasting my time, ok? If I feel that it was an inappropriate time, or during our talk, if I feel that you are bothering me, I will tell you myself. You know me, Pero. I speak my mind when the situation calls for it."

"...Ok. I promise."

"Good."

"But, you gotta promise me something too: If you ever feel troubled or lonely, don't hesitate to beckon us to come to you, please! It is not fair! You are always here for us when we need you. So please, let us be here for you when you need us. Ok?"

"Alright. I promise. Is that good?"

The archer nodded contently, eyes closing in satisfaction as he then snuggled himself closer to the skeleton's body. When he turned to the side so that his back was turned away from the bedside and to where the skeleton's stomach was supposed to be, he was laying on one of his wings in a slightly uncomfortable position. But he ignored that insignificant feeling as he could feel himself falling asleep. Momonga's hand was still massaging his scalp, and before he knew it, his consciousness was fading away as he then mumbled a few things before his vision went dark.

"Y...yeah... Better. M...monga... How are you so kind... Thank you. Th...ank... yo...u. Mmngh... I l... you..."

"Shh... Don't speak. Sleep." Momonga said in a soothing voice, putting both of his hands in the archer's hair as he stroke and comb his fingers through the brown, silky strands.

"Mmmm..." With the lull of Momonga's voice and the sensation on his scalp, Peroroncino's eyes shut itself tightly. "OK."

The archer had fell asleep, his eyes closed and his breathing even.

That was fast...


Have a good rest, Pero...

...

!

Hey, wait a minute... I'm stuck!


Peroroncino was probably still tired. He slept soundly and contently.

Momonga has no idea how or why his bony legs are even considered something appealing to fall asleep on; it was not soft, nor fleshy enough to serve as a. appropriate padding. However, it did to Peroroncino, for some miraculous reason. And the archer has been asleep for over fifteen minutes now. His chest rose and fall with each inhales and exhales of breath, and there was a small chirping sound coming out from his vocal, resembling that of a snore.

The skeleton has to contain himself from laughing out loud. Not because he felt funny or wanted to make fun of his friend, no. But it was just very adorable! Peroroncino was a pervert. He was also a loud, obnoxious, but energetic, hyperactive, affectionate, and an extremely determined and headstrong person. Very ambitious, too, seeking power at any cost. However, at moments like these, none of that was shown in the avian's sleeping form. All Momonga could see were a small bird seeking familiarity and attention from someone or something that it is familiar with.

He would feel horrible if he were to wake this serene, sleeping face up from its owner's slumber. However, he would be stuck in this position for a few more hours if he did not do something. Now, Momonga was a skeleton. Yes. However, he could tell that if he sits still, suspended in the same position for too long, his joints will get stiff and he will probably feel real fatigue for the first time.

But... how will he remove this sleeping form from his body?

Just as that thought entered his mind, the archer mumbled something, making his body freeze as he sat still. Was he awake? Already?

He wasn't. But his arms then wrapped itself around Momonga's bony midsection as he nuzzled him face at Momonga's nonexistent stomach. He sighed in relief. As much as he wanted to leave, he could not bear to stir his tired friend awoke from his peaceful slumber.

Still, I have to get out of here at some point. I don't want anyone to come in here to see this and... be having the wrong idea. He smirked in amusement as he then imagines his teammates' reaction to it. Ulbert would probably be outrageous while Tabula would shrug but forcefully removes the avian from his body.

All right then. He never thought that he will have to use his items and magic for these type of situations. But he was glad that it was an alternative.

"Hah... 'Sleep Powder'." He withdrew one of his hands away from the avian's hair as he reached into his dimensional pocket space, pulling out said item. Upon the impact of a purple colored cloud of dust, the archer was knocked out cold as he lolled his head out to the side along with his arms. His form deflated and his beak wide open, snoring loudly, his voice not as graceful as the one that he previously made.

"...Oops." He didn't mean for that to happen. How could low-class sleep powder do that? Unless... He took a glance at the pouch that contained the substance, and his eyes popped out of his head as he read what it has said on the label.

"Sleep Powder Grade A?!"

Sorry, Peroroncino! You're gonna be here for about another four hours... Well, more sleep for you.


Four hours later...


Once again, his back hurts.

Goddamn wings... Can't he be on his back normally without feeling like he was lying on a bed of sticks?

Peroroncino mumbled grumpily as he turned to lay on his stomach instead, arms reaching for Momonga's bony frame or the cloth of his robe. His hand and arms were met with empty air. He flailed around a little bit more, frantically searching for that familiar texture of the skeleton's robe.

What?

Was that... was that all a dream?

No, it can't be.

He felt his wings on his back, moving and twitching behind him with energy. This was real, this place, this new plane of existence was real. But was the event that happened before just a dream?

His heart breaks a little at that.

Has everything that his vulnerable soul uttered out to the skeleton a fragment of his imagination? Have no bonds been shared between them? Has everything he says went unheard and forever buried inside of his feathered chest?

He opens his eyes.

This bedsheet. It wasn't his. This bed was snow white, instead of the golden sand color of his own. The room's color was in different shades of purple and fuchsia, accompanied by other cooler shades and color. The frame of the bed was grand and magnificent, designed to be occupied by the likes of kings and gods. In other words, this wasn't his bed.

This was Momonga's bed.

The archer blushed, feeling wide awake as he buried his face into the soft mattress, attempting to inhale a nonexistent scent that might be left behind by the overlord. There was none, of course. But the bed smells nice, nonetheless.

He was right. Everything was real. Their moments together was real, their talk was real, and Momonga was real.

Speaking of which? Where was Momonga?

Peroroncino might be a heavy sleeper, but he always knew when his bed partner has left his vicinity. His one night stands was often like that. And he always woke up in the middle of the night alone, knowing that they have left and that he will never see any of their faces ever again.

This was not one of those nights. He knew that Momonga was around here somewhere. Perhaps he left so that Peroroncino can sleep peacefully. His heart sings with admiration for how caring the skeleton was and how discreet he could be! If Momonga wasn't a magic caster, he could've sworn that the male was sneakier than Nishikienrai himself.

Grunting and stretching his body, the archer got up and out of the bed as he yawned loudly. His joints weren't as stiff as it was the first time that he woke up, and he felt well rested and filled with energy.

Momonga also has a mirror in his room. And on the way out, Peroroncino stole a glance at himself.

His hair was a mess, so disheveled and wild. It looked as if he went through the Edo era with nothing but what he was currently wearing. Though, in his own mind, he would say that if this was him in real life and he has long hair, it would look as if he just went through some of the most intense sex in his entire life.

"Pfft... Bwahaha! I wish!" He laughed at his own thoughts as he shook his head in amusement. Despite how his life seems to only revolve around sex, Peroroncino doesn't regularly do it. Maybe once every two or three months. Sounds crazy, right?! He masturbates, yeah. To H-games. But real sex? Nah. He was an intimate person. Having a fling once in a while was alright, but he doesn't like to do that often. Only when he's reaaaaally pent up inside. Because then, he doesn't really care if they got up and leave in the middle of the night or at five in the morning because he himself would probably be the first one to pack up and leave.

The thought of doing the do with... "Heh." The archer snickers, his cheeks growing hot as he placed a hand on his hip, tilting his head to the side as he inspects his own form. He liked this look. His hair in disarray and wild like a lion's mane. Mainly because he knew what the cause of that was. He sighed in bliss, remembering the pleasant feeling that lulled him into his deep state of slumber. Magic fingers, I tell ya!

"...fine."

Hmmm? There were voices! Momonga was out there!

"...please me if... alright?"

That wasn't Momonga's voice... Was someone else in the room with him? Perhaps Sebas has returned to the overlord's side to accompany and help him?

"Alright... I wil... Haha... worry too much."

Who was in the room with him? What business do they have with Momonga? If it is something important, why didn't the skeleton wake him up for it? Deciding that he had enough of being in the unknown, Peroroncino made his presence apparent to everyone in the room as he stepped out with a huge yawn, pretending that he had just woke up. The front of his robe was partly opened, and it hangs down from one of his shoulders in disarray.

"HAAAaaahhhhhh. Morning, Momo-chan." Peroroncino said with his eyes closed, now he was yawning for real.

"...?"

"Good morning, Peroroncino. Did you sleep well?" Momonga asked, his voice suggested that he was smiling. The other person in the room stared at the two of them with curiosity and confusion for a moment before speaking directly to the avian.

"Good morning, my Lord." Sebas said with his gentlemanly and gruff voice, sounding less fatigued than he was earlier.

"Good morning, little bird. What are you doing here?"

Ulbert.

"Aaaahhhhh. Ow, my back." Peroroncino winced as he popped the joints and muscles behind him. When he heard the question directed at him, Peroroncino turned his face to the—very well dressed—demon and responded to the question with his own. "Mornin'! Hmmm? Me? What am I doing here? What are you doing here?"

Ulbert, although not in his full magnanimous dark lord equipment, was wearing a casual suit with his collar opened and his tie undone. Why was he wearing such clothes this early in the morning? It was as if someone has undone his tie for him and left it hanging around his neck, and he was just too carefree to completely discard it. His face was also unmasked, and Peroroncino could see both of his golden, slitted eyes unobscured by any object. His beau was gone, no longer on his head, giving everyone a clear vision of the horns protruding out from behind the goat's head.

"Visiting Momonga." Ulbert replied shortly and straight to the point. There was nothing to hide, so he did not avoid answering the avian's queries. "I was about to invite him to breakfast with me and Demiurge. I didn't know you were already here..."

"Yup! This morning, I came in here and slept with Momonga."

"You... came here, early in the morning?" The avian bobbed his head up and down vigorously with a cheeky grin. "And you slept with...?" Ulbert then slowly turned his head and eyes towards the skeleton's direction as he pointed a claw-tipped finger at Momonga.

The skeleton shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly while Peroroncino crossed his arms in front of his chest as if he was celebrating some sort of unknown victory.

Before Ulbert's temper and his barrage of questions could explode forth, what Momonga said next quelled his dark thoughts away as he began to explain the archer's words.

"As you know, I didn't and couldn't sleep. Pero can, but he couldn't get back to it after he woke up. So he came to talk to me and he ended up falling asleep on my bed while I was there."

"Ah! I see...You two were on the bed?"

"Well, yeah. It's my bed. It's natural for me to be on it, no?"

"True... Why were you on the bed, though? If not sleeping?" Or the other type of sleeping, Ulbert wanted to ask.

"It's a long story. Sebas, could you get Ulbert another cup of tea?"

"Yes, Lord Momonga." The butler bowed his head, moving around to fulfill his Lord's request.

"Stop standing there like a moron and close your mouth, Peroroncino. Sit." Ulbert said, picking up the glass of tea that the butler has just poured as he took a small whiff of the aroma, sighing in appreciation. After feeling content and pleased with what he would be drinking, the demon brought the cup to his mouth as he slowly sipped on it.

"...Boo. Momo-chan, you have no sense of imagination." Peroroncino sighed dejectedly, but with a smile as he plopped down to sit right next to Momonga.

"Nope." Momonga chuckled, personally pouring out a cup of tea as he then offered it to the avian. "How was your sleep?"

"Fine~! Your bed was so soft! Can I sleep there from now on?" Peroroncino said with enthusiasm, taking Momonga's offered cup of tea as he then blows on the steam rising out from the cup, slowly and carefully sipping at the fresh and hot content.

Ulbert was about to interject, however, he then remembered a little fun fact about Momonga as he then stopped himself. Smirking silently and wickedly, the demon took a long sip on his cup as he waits for Momonga to say what he knew that the skeleton would say out loud.

"Of course. Go ahead." Before Peroroncino could celebrate, Momonga continued his sentence with a silent smirk. "I'm a skeleton. I can't sleep, and I don't need to sleep. So I won't be using the bed, anyway."

There it is. Ulbert smiled triumphantly, sipping on his tea with delight.

"It's all yours." Momonga snorted.

"Y-you're so cruel!"

"I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about."

"You wanted to sleep on his bed right? There it is. Why aren't you happy, dear friend? It should be an honor!" Ulbert snickers at the gloomy avian as he sets his empty cup down on the glass coffee table with a light click.

"Hnnnnn... I hate you two so much... You two are smartasses and are so mean." Peroroncino mumbled, sipping on his tea as he hid his smiling face behind the petite and cute little cup.

"Ah. And there I thought you said you 'adored' me a few hours ago."

"I do! Just not now because you're an ass..."

"Liar. He contradicts himself too much! How unreliable. You can't trust him at all! Forget about him, my dear. I am honest. Come into my arms instead!"

"Heyheyhey now, I didn't say anything about that—."

"Hmmm... Since his feelings for me have diminished..." The overlord said jokingly, placing his hand under his chin as he looked up with fake contemplation. "I'll take you up on that offer, Ulbert." The skeleton nodded with closed eyes at Ulbert.

"Alright! Let's get out of here, then." Suddenly, with an amazing amount of speed and accuracy, the demon swooped in, picked up the skeleton, and flew himself with the skeleton in tow out of the door.

"Eh?" The overlord said with shock and amusement. Why do people like to pick him up so much? Is it because his skeletal body is light and compact...? "EH?!"

"Goodbye, Peroroncino. See you at breakfast?" Momonga said with a confused voice, but his glowing pupils suggests that he was grinning as he waved awkwardly to the avian before they can no longer be seen through the door.

"SEBAS, CLOSE THE DOOR, NOW!" Ulbert yelled, disappearing behind the wide open doors with the speed of light.

"H-huh? Wai—." Peroroncino stuttered, not sure as of what just happened. He reached out a hand in an attempt to reach for the already gone pair of goat and skeleton—he wasn't sure how that would work, but he did it anyway—as he then stood up.

"Your wish is my command." Sebas said with a bow as he did as he was told, the door then slammed shut with a loud 'bang!' before Peroroncino could fully react to everything that had just occurred.

"SEBAS!?" The archer said with disbelief.

"My apologies. Lord Ulbert's orders were of urgency and utmost importance." The gray-haired man said with a fake smile of innocence, bowing his body to the avian politely and—slightly—apologetically.

"You—! Hah... Your resemblance to Touch Me is baffling." Peroroncino chuckled, clutching and shaking his head as his shoulders trembled in laughter. He can't believe his eyes. The man has some actual humor! It was as if Touch Me himself were here, trolling him. In fact, if Peroroncino didn't already know, he would've thought that the human behind Touch Me's avatar was conversing with him.

"Thank you, my Lord. I strive to be as amazing as my creator." The butler said cheerfully with a content smile, feeling extremely flattered as he placed a hand on his chest and bowed himself to the avian.

"Pfft. Nevermind. Sebas, clean this up, will you?"

"Of course, Lord Peroroncino."

"I should go now. Hmmm, where was it again? He said he'd be in the...?"

"The dining room, my Lord. That would be right next to the bar, on the ninth floor."

"Alright then. Thank you. I'll head off now if you don't mind."

"Of course not! Have a nice meal, my Lord."


Huit minutes plus tard... ( Eight Minutes Later... )


"Greetings. Lord Tabula Smaragdina!"

"Hello, Sebas." Tabula said, smiling with his eyes as he then leaned his head into the doorway, expecting to see the skeleton somewhere in the room. "Momo—." Strange. There was no sight of the skeleton. And Tabula could not sense the overlord's unique presence and aura either.

"Why are you the only one here? Where's Momonga and or the other two?" Tabula said, head peering inside the room as he searches for any occupants other than the butler and one of the Pleiades. The alchemist was hoping to spend some times discussing a few things with Momonga over breakfast or a stroll around The Great Tomb of Nazarick. However, he arrived at the sights of the gray-haired butler and a Pleiades preparing to clean up their surroundings.

"They all departed, my Lord. Lord Peroroncino have just left. Though, before that, Lord Ulbert came by to pick up Lord Momonga, and he has also spoken about eating some 'certain things' out on the ninth—."

Slam. The alchemist said no more and slammed the door shut, leaving Sebas alone with Naberal Gamma inside of Momonga's personal quarters.

"—floor..." Sebas scratched his hair in confusion and slight nervousness. Perhaps what he said displeased the Supreme One somehow? But then he shook his head. He only did as he was instructed. There was no way he could have offended Lord Alchemist Tabula Smaragdina.

Perhaps Lord Ulbert was going to enjoy... exotic delicacy. Perhaps it was some alive person or human flesh. And perhaps that is why Lord Tabula was upset. And Sebas felt a little bit relieved with that thought in mind. It did not matter much, though. Even if it was slightly disturbing... there is no way an inferior being like him can question what his lords had for supper.

"All right then. Naberal Gamma, come in to adjust the Supreme One's bed. I will clean up our Lords' drinking utensils myself."

"Yes! Master Sebas!"

I wonder... what did Lord Ulbert mean by saying that, though... Oh! The tea are all out!


Earlier...


Beep beep!

"Sebas?"

"My Lord? May I be of assistance?"

"Sebas! If the squidTabulahappens to drop by, do tell him 'Lord Ulbert came by to pick Lord Momonga up, then he said he'd be eating some 'certain things' out on the ninth floor,' recite every single exact word to him. Got it?"

"Understood!"

Chapter Text

Chapter 7 - Battle of Carne Village


"Tch. Aut viam inveniam aut faciam... This cannot be impossible to create!" Tabula muttered, holding up a beaker filled with a strange, crimson glow that is slowly fading into a black color. It was supposed to glow in a blood red color. However, at the moment, the liquid inside of the flask was blacker than ink.

Crafting failed.

This was Experiment #6. And this was also the sixth experiment to fail.

The hour was two fifty-seven in the morning. Three days has passed since the event that had occurred. Said event being the malfunction of the MMORPG Yggdrasil, transporting the group of Ainz Ooal Gown's players into a different plane of existence and into a strange, foreign world. Some Sword Art Online shit was occurring, yes. But instead of being in the game themselves, this, was reality. Something that was entirely different. This was a foreign land.

Tabula have just left from Momonga's chamber after learning more about the characteristics and traits of the 'Skeleton Undead' race about an hour or so ago. The result has yielded very interesting data. And after conducting researches and some mild form of experiment, he can conclude two things:

From yesterday's results, he can conclude that: One, skeletons do not need sleep. And fatigue does not affect them. Nor does any other status effect that would apply to a living being such as himself and his avian and goat friend.

Two, skeletons do not consume food, and they have no need to. They also have no appetite nor any feel of wanting nutrition. Calcium sources like milk would probably intrigue them more. But he was speaking from the point of IRL's theory. Ha. Calcium...

Those were facts that can be supported by terms of science and the supernatural alike. It was common sense, really. But testing it out for himself proved to be very productive and entertaining.

Tabula chuckled when he thinks back about Momonga's reactions to the many tests that he had conducted.


"Tabula. Must I eat? I don't feel hungry." The overlord said with a pouting voice, crossing his arms together in a slightly child-like manner.

"Yes." Tabula said without hesitation, a serious look crossed his face as he held up the spoon with the steaming contents to Momonga's face.

"...It looks so unappetizing..." Momonga grumbled, leaning his head back to avoid being stuffed unwanted contents into his mouth.

"Now now, Momonga. Albedo made that herself upon my request. Would you want to make my little girl sad?" Tabula said, with a sing-song voice, waving the spoon intentionally in front of the skeleton's face with a tilt of his head. The alchemist wanted to laugh a little, with how stubborn Momonga was acting.

"...No... Fine. I know you're lying, Tabula. But ok. And I bet it's just gonna went through me and fall onto the floor, though." With defeat, the overlord leaned his body back to its starting point as Tabula closed his eyes together in a satisfied grin.

"In that case, I will clean it up. Now eat. Say 'Aah'."

"...Haaaah... Fine. 'Aah'."


With a hidden smile, the alchemist absentmindedly tossed the failed concoction into the trash as he looked up the ingredient shelf. With his tentacles, he reached his appendages up high, taking a few different variety of herbs and powder out from the shelf and placed them onto the black, wooden table next to an alchemy station.

As an alchemist, Tabula has no problem with creating things like Health Potion, Mana Potion, Toxic Chemicals, and every single possible concoction that existed in the world of Yggdrasil. In fact, the room that he was in, was filled with his successes from the game.

This was the alchemy room.

Unlike other second-rate alchemy room, The Great Tomb of Nazarick was equipped with the most efficient and fancy of alchemy stations. There were many test tubes, flasks, and beakers of all sizes and shapes hanging upon each station's racks. Many were filled with all varieties of colors; some looked very bizarre and surreal, like something you'd only see out of a sci-fi movie.

Surrounding the room were many bookshelves with different tomes for all types of recipes, and storage spaces for herbs and alchemy ingredients. The walls were adorned with intricate designs of different things: Flower spirals designs, wooden carvings, marble statuettes, spots for holding torches—but Tabula knew that only idiots would put flammable objects near unknown liquids, so none of those torches were lit, but instead the top of those torches were cast with the light spells that was used and scattered throughout the Colosseum—, a few floating gardens here and there for material collecting and convenience, and et cetera et cetera.

Tabula was a little bit shocked and bewildered when he sees that Momonga had also maintained the garden in a top and perfect condition. None of the plants had died. Even Tabula's helichrysum arenarium plant.

Of course, real life plants were used in Yggdrasil, too. But they never have the same name. This plant happens to exist in real life as well, and in both worlds, they were often used for crafting all types of healing potions or remedies. Tabula thought that it'd be useful to keep its seed and grow a garden of their own since it was expensive to constantly purchase them from the merchant's guild or the market. And he was glad that the group has agreed.

Looks like there's one more thing to thank Momonga for, the alchemist thought.

But then, his gratuity was put in the back of his mind as the trashed contents of the failed mixtures emanated out an unpleasant stench, immediately entering his sharp smelling range.

Well, he doesn't have a nose. But his body's anatomy allowed him to sense and smell things. He could make out what the exact smell was, but they did not affect him too badly if it was something unpleasant. Still, despite that, he does breath with his face if he wanted to.

"Did I mixed up something? It wasn't usually this hard... Perhaps I forgot to add some ingredient?" Tabula frowned, his webbed hand moved to stroke his chin as he began to contemplate on the possibilities. Of course, in Yggdrasil, all one has to do was to just gather the necessary components. And when finish, one would bring all the required parts to the alchemy table and click the 'Craft' button on the bottom of the alchemy interface.

This was the reality, however. Tabula would have to make this concoction from scratch, and the only way to do this was to remember what the exact recipe was. There was a tome, a book for that somewhere around here. But Tabula was too prideful to require the use of such feeble things. As a result, he began to desperately searches somewhere in his brain for something that he could have possibly remembered from all of those years ago.

He was frustrated with himself.

Before, he has no trouble remembering all the necessary ingredients by heart. And it took him under five seconds to whipped up even the highest of quality and class of health potions. He cannot believe that it has come to this. How disappointing.

After his experiments with their guild leader, Tabula has excused himself to go and tried out what other things that he can do. The skeleton had insisted that he should take a rest, but Tabula reassured the worried skeleton and told him that he wanted to do something productive for now. The response to that was Momonga's suggestion to make some health potions. Momonga had suggested going to the alchemy room and whipped up something, anything. Simple health potion was a good start. Since they're simple components that just about anyone can make.

Though, just because everyone can make it, doesn't mean that it is of high quality, no. In fact, only those who are proficient in these type of crafting classes can make potions of Grade S or above, while those who did not take said classes would only be able to make Grade A- potions and below. In capable hands that are able to achieve the maximum rank of these masteries, these small flasks of pure crimson can be used to save one's life; the higher the level of the creator, the better the capability and quality of their creations.

That also means that the higher the quality, the more efficient the effects of the potions will be.

Tabula himself can make potions even above grade S+. Before a PVP, the guild would come to him to take the HP Potion to battle. Of course, many resources and materials had to be used in order for him to craft it. But the resources were easy to get and crafting the potions would be ninety-five percent cheaper than buying the potions itself.

However, that was in the past.

Right now, he can't do jack shit.

Even a noob would know how to do this—

Beep beep!

Tabula sighed a little before picking up the incoming message. "Hello?" Said the alchemist, trying to sound as nonchalant as possible.

"Hey, Tabula. How's your experiment coming along?"

"Ah. Momonga." The alchemist said, his voice trailing off and had a slight undertone of uncomfortableness and surprise. Tabula really did not want the skeleton to talk to him right now. The skeleton would definitely be able to hear the defeat in his voice and tone. "...It's coming along fine." He lied.

"...You're lying." Momonga said, his voice dropped to a deeper vocal as Tabula shuddered a little bit at the tone. This is at those instances where Momonga's authoritative side come onto the surface. They don't see this usually. So when the skeleton's vocal dropped down to a low and grim tone, they can't ever ignore it. "Tabbu, you're being too hard on yourself. Why don't you use the books? You're looking like a lost... squid right now, to be honest."

Huh?

Was he checking up on him?

At the tone of the voice, Tabula can imagine the skeleton narrowing his eyes in a scolding manner at him. Now, skeletons can't generally convey expressions, either. But for some reason, Tabula could just see it happening. And that would probably be what the skeleton would do if he found him in this current predicament, looking all frustrated and perplexed. Tabula let out a small humorless laugh at the extent of his imagination.

"Momonga? You... can see me?"

"Yes. I can see you, Tabula."

" [ Clairvoyance ] ?"

" [ Clairvoyance ] . And [ Mirror of Remote Viewing ] , too."

"Hah. How embarrassing. Leave me be, Momonga. I still remember... some of it. Just... give me some time." Tabula replied to the voice in his head, pacing around the room as he wracked his brain in search of some possible memory that might still linger behind. He wasn't at all weirded out or offended by the fact that Momonga was observing him. It's just Momonga and not anyone else. He was probably just worried about him.

It's not like there's anything wrong with Tabula himself. But the thought of having someone caring for him was nice. Though, he would like a warning next time... Tabula liked surprises, but he doesn't like it to a certain extent.

"If you're really sure, then by all means. I'll juts leave you alone." Momonga snickers with amusement. Tabula can imagine the shrug of the skeleton's shoulder with that statement.

"Wait." The alchemist said, hoping to halt the skeleton before he could disconnect their message link. Despite his embarrassment, Tabula just wanted someone to talk to him. Right now, he was just stalling, really. But then, a question came to his mind. "...Do you remember?" The alchemist said, his brows furrowing as he added water into a large cauldron located in the middle of the room.

It wasn't a very big start. But at least he is getting somewhere rather than doing nothing...

Tabula was seriously disappointed in himself.

He hates it. Hate the feeling of incompetence and cluelessness. He knew these things—well, he used to. But, he should have been able to do this with ease and no difficulty at all, still. It is impossible to completely forget everything in only the span of two years. But no matter how much he tries, his mind was filled with a white and blank space of emptiness.

"Hmmm? Me? Remember what?"

"The recipe. The health potion recipe..." Tabula said, moving around the room to grab a couple of things. He groaned a little when he had to reach up a little bit higher to gain access to some herbs and chemicals that are located on the higher shelves.

"Oh, finally admitting that you need help, now?" The skeleton said. His voice didn't contain any specific emotions. But Tabula could tell that Momonga was amused with Tabula's current behavior.

"No..." Tabula then can visualize Momonga crossing his arms, looking at him with an amusing look. "...Maybe."

"Look at the books. The answers are around you, in front of you, behind you, everywhere."

"No. I refuse." To admit the use of such instruments were to admit that he no longer knew these things. His pride would not allow it. So, Tabula rolled his eyes and turned around, grunting a little when he had to reach up to a high shelf to access one of the random chemicals on top. After extending his tentacles to grab it, Tabula placed a small container that held a volatile, purple-ish looking liquid down atop his workstation.

"...Just look, you numbskull. Take a look. It won't kill you. From the doorway in, to the cauldron, and then straight forward. Look at it. You're standing right there, I can see you, you know that, right?"

"..." With a sigh, Tabula ceased his motions as he then closed his eyes in defeat. "Fine." The alchemist then opens his eyes as he looked at the many things that were within his eyesight.

"...?"

Two branches of helichrysum arenarium, a head of garlic with the roots removed, a pint of Demon's Tears—Tabula was greatly amused at the thought that it had belonged to a certain gentleman demon—, and a patch of pine needles that are deprived of its original toxins.

"Wasn't... wasn't this what the recipe was?" A sudden revelation and recognition kicked its way into Tabula's brain.

"Told you to look, didn't I?" Momonga snickers. "I tried to make one a few weeks ago out of boredom. But then I was too discouraged to continue on with the process, so I just left the ingredients on the table and gave up halfway. Have fun. And good luck, Tabula. Don't push yourself too much, OK?"

"...I'll try not to."

With a chuckle, the skeleton's voice then vanished and fades away from his head. The message link between them has been disconnected. And Tabula then focused his vision solely on the cauldron sitting idly and plainly in sight. The alchemist said no more as he then gathered all of the components together, holding each of the ingredients in each of his tentacles and moving at a fast pace towards the center of the room.

A hot steam blasted itself against his face as the water inside of it boiled violently, and he waved it off as a harmless breeze as he then quickly but carefully added each ingredient into the pot of water. Plop, plop, plop! Went the components into the bubbling water. And just like a fantasy movie, all the pieces merged and synthesized together as the water have a swirling pattern atop of its surface.

This has never happened before in his previous six experiments.

Could this be? Tabula's heart was filled with anticipation and excitement as he watches the water glowed in a soft white light.

The glow was brilliant, slowly morphing into a shade of light pink. It looked as if he was crafting a love potion... with how pink the water was... But then it was no longer an issue. The water slowly, but surely, turned into a darker shade of pink until it was almost purple.

It's... it's fading.

"No!" Tabula exclaimed, his webbed hand slammed itself against the edge of the cauldron as he squeezed his hand together into a fist. "No no no no no no! Inutilis! What good is an alchemist that can't even craft the simplest of potions!?" Tabula screamed, his voice echoing within the large space as it reflected itself back.

Tabula's frame trembled as his breathing grew heavy, his eyes closing as he grinds his teeth together in frustration and outrage. That was the last pint of Demon's Tears that he have. What could possibly have gone wrong!?

"Fuck it all to Gehenna. Why is it not working?! Is there something wrong with the ingredients!? Is something wrong with me!?" He screamed with outrage as he paced around the room, grabbing his head with frustration and irritation. When he sat down abruptly on a chair, he squeezed his hand together even tighter and gritted his teeth.

Slam!

"La dracu!" Tabula hissed, pounding his fist on the table. The contents that were atop of the wooden surface shook and wiggled a little at the heavy impact. The alchemist then brought his head down, feeling a little bit defeated and filled with a sense of hopelessness. Now that he's stuck in this world with his friend, he has to do everything he can to maintain this place and its inhabitants' safety.

Of course, knowing that he can use magic was a great relief off of his shoulders, but then, there are more than enough capable people for that. Momonga was more than competent in utilizing his abilities together, and Ulbert was stronger than him in term of destructive power.

...You are unique in your own ways, though. Are you not? You are stronger than them in other areas. A very familiar voice whispered to him.

No. It doesn't matter, anyway. If he wasn't here, his lack of presence would not make any difference. Tabula thought.

But how can you be so sure? You can't read the future.

...The only thing that he was above others at is his talent in alchemy. One of his unique skills.

Exactly, one of it. You can do so much more.

If he can't even do something as simple as a small potion, then what good is he? This is his job, his duty. No one else is going to do this but him; no one else is going to help him but himself. This is what others need him for. They don't require him for anything else.

Says who? Just ask and ye shall receive. It is not shameful to ask for help. Just speak the words. And they need you, Tabula. Not just for your class uniqueness. Have you any idea how high they regarded you for? Have you ever think of how much your opinion is valued and needed among this team, this strange family?

"Shut up! Shut, up!" Tabula hissed, slamming his hand on the table once more with frustration and outrage. He doesn't want to hear this. He doesn't need any consolation, especially not from the voice inside of his head. This lack of knowledge sickens him, and he was disgusted by the mere thought of pity and sympathy that seems to come from this voice.

...These are not queries of sympathy nor pity, Tabula... These are simply questions for you to think about... Do you know what everyone would say if they find you like this? What would they think?

Tabula was not fazed by the question. He answered it with absolute conviction and sureness. "They will think that I am useless. Pathetic. Pitiful. Worthless. Disappointing. There are so much more synonyms. Should I go on? Would you like to hear more?" He replied with a fake smile and a voice filled with extreme sarcasm and snark.

...What would your leader say if he is hearing you saying all of these things about yourself? Imagine it.

At this particular question, the alchemist hesitated for a moment before voicing out his response. "...I don't know. I can't." The thought of Momonga's disapproval was too much for him, so he could not bear to imagine that possible scenario if it were to occur. And, he simply cannot see it because Momonga was not someone who would do something like that. He knew Momonga, he knows what goes on inside of the skeleton's mind. Or... he used to. Now, he's not so sure.

I think you do. I know you do. You can, can't you? You just can't bring yourself to do it.

"..." Tabula did not like the tone of that sentence and the way that it was phrased. Because he knew that it was true.

Would you like to find out?

"No!" With slight anxiousness and panic, he perks his head up for a moment, his body lurched forward from his seat to accompany the motions of his head. He does not want to know, he does not want to see, and he does not want to hear his friend's reaction to him in this pathetic state of mind.

Wouldn't like to see that, now, would you? Then snap out of your brooding bullshit. There must be another way.

"...There has to be. There always is."

The book will help. It will tell you what you missed, and what else needed to be done. Admit it, you need to see the book.

"..."

Again, perhaps there is something else missing among those ingredients. That is why it is not yet to work properly. Earlier, it looked like it almost worked, right? Then perhaps it is a lack of some other components, or there was some incantation needed or something.

"Ah? That might be. But which one? There are over five thousand different crafting materials..." Tabula's memories of all the alchemy stuff are still hazy. But he was definitely positive that there was no incantation needed for anything in Yggdrasil.

Only Ulbert's flashy and villainous bravado self had done something like that when he casts a spell. Just to have a little class and style in the game.

Well... You'll have to use the book for that.

"Hnn."

...Don't be stubborn. You are smarter than this. Get your stupid pride out of the way and accept help. There's nothing wrong with that.

"...Alright. Fine. Hmm. You know what, I don't have time for these petty feelings anyway..."

That's right. Don't give up, and don't blame yourself. It's not like you to brood over these insignificant and irrelevant matters and thoughts. Use your brain. Think logically. You'll figure it out, like always. Like how it used to be.

"Right... I'll just have to try harder... And... read the... book."

Your successes are imminent, Tabula. Think of what you can do to improve your chance of success instead of dwelling on your failures. May your efforts be fruitful this time... me. The voice then disappeared from his head, leaving Tabula alone to contemplate on his actions. But there was not much contemplating to do. Tabula knew exactly what must be done.

" [ Fly ]. " After having a pep-talk with himself, Tabula's gloom was no longer apparent as he focused solely on his priorities. These emotions are petty, and should never interfere with work and business; his experiences with his own company has reminded him of that. And as he used the spell, Tabula levitated himself off of the ground as he then grabbed an old, worn out book with a leather cover that is rough to the touch from the shelves.

Holding the slightly heavy and thick object in his hands, Tabula turned it back and forth a few times in a form of inspection. He can't read these words. However, the characters were slightly familiar. And upon another look, Tabula realized that he can now make out what the first letter was.

This was in the Romanian language. How convenient.

The longer Tabula stared at the title, the more he was able to decipher what the name of the book was. After a minute, everything was now cleared up. And the block letters that was once completely foreign to recognize was now understandable, and it was no more difficult to understand than reading the American alphabet.

Tabula sweatdropped, his face dumbfounded and his eyes narrowed with bemusement.

Alchemy For Dummies! - Vol. 1

"...They are definitely fucking with me right now." With a heavy sigh of exasperation, the alchemist flipped the front cover open as his eyes scanned over the texts of the first few pages.

Welcome, New Players of Yggdrasil—fuck you, shitting fucking developers—. This is a quick guide for all information relating to alchemy! So you want to be an alchemist? Do potions and crafting mystical things intrigue you? Do you like combining things, mixing components up to create a new discovery? Well, then the 'Alchemist' class would be the one for you! After this page, the index will take you to some of the basic things that you would need to know. Although this book is not a book of information about the alchemy crafting materials, it will tell you some of the basic ones that you'll see every day! This first volume will also contain the most basic of potions and crafts. May you be successful! And happy alchemy-ing!

Tabula sighed. "Deus meus..." This was like reading books for a kindergartner. Tabula was glad that nobody was seeing him right now. Ulbert would never leave him alone if he knew of this... interesting activity that he is currently engaged in. And Peroroncino would never stop laughing.

Onto the index.

What is Alchemy... The benefits of being an Alchemist... Basic alchemy crafting components... Ah. Here it is.

"Starter Potions... for... starters..."

Tabula wanted to dump this entire tome into an acid pool. Even a book is mocking him! This is outrageous!

"What... the fucking ever. Tch. Anyway. Here it is. 'Health Potion - Grade D'..."

After reading through the list of ingredients, the alchemist's eyes narrowed as he then furrowed his eyebrows together. Tabula had stared for a long time at that one specific line, and his gaze was transfixed to that one phrase as he placed his hand under his chin in contemplation.

Everything else, he has. Except this one component.

"Anemone Hupehensis?"

Now where have I heard that before? It was ringing a bell in his head. But he can't just quite wrap his webbed fingers around it. It sounded very familiar, yet, foreign at the same time. What was it? A plant? A herb? a special component? What the shit was it?

"This... is not helping at all." Tabula groaned exasperatedly, pinching his temple in frustration. His head hurts, once again. And Tabula grits his teeth as he bore through the brief but intense pain.

This book was his last hope. But now he can't even recognize what the ingredients even are. Should he just give up altogether?

No. This must be a real thing. It's just that Tabula did not recognize the name.

"Think, Tabula. Think!"

Anemone Hupehensis... Anemone... Hupehensis...?

?

Wait.

The image of a certain white wolf appeared in his head. Tabula then reminisce about their first encounter, how it happened, and why...


A long time ago. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. . ... .


"You're Tabula Smaragdina, right?" A cheerful and strange voice sounded behind Tabula. And perking up his eyebrows in real life, Tabula slowly turned around.

The first thing that entered his vision was a stark white color. And then comes two twitching ears, two azure blue pairs of eyes, then a snout, fangs, a bunch of fluff and fur, and then the rest of the body parts came.

A wolfman.

There was a pleasant air around the male. And Tabula immediately felt comfortable being near this person. He doesn't know why, but perhaps his tone, his voice, and the male's natural charm had put him at ease. There was a happy and tingly feeling coming from the wolf, and Tabula struggled to contain a smile from appearing on his face, even he knew that the wolf can't see it.

"Yes. And may I know who you are?"

"Hiya, Tabby! I'm Fantôme Blanc. But you can call me Fang." Fang said, popping out a grinning emoticon at him with a small laugh.

Yup. Definitely a charmer.

"Oh?" One of the big shots of their team. What a pleasant surprise. "My apologies for not greeting you earlier. It's a pleasure to meet you, finally."

"The pleasure is all mine, Tabby, to meet such a powerful magic caster such as yourself!" Fang exclaimed, his tail twitching to and fro in a fast pace to accompany his excited voice. "Now, a certain someone said that you needed a few bunches of 'Windflower' ? I'm here to deliver!" The wolf said, sending Tabula a grinning emoticon as a trade request notice pops up on his interface.

With a polite and smiling emoticon, Tabula gratefully accepted the trade request as a 'Ding!' noise appeared, confirming their transactions and notifying him that the contents are now in his inventory. "Yes. That would be Momonga. I asked him if he could get some for me. Where is he?"

"Unfortunately, he was injured in the process of gathering them with Venom and Leviathan. A regional boss spawned in that location, so it took them a little bit to get back. He's in town to buy some potion and to cure the status effects that were inflicted on him in battle." The wolf sighed a little, shrugging his shoulder, his voice sounding nonchalant and collected.

"Really...?" That was quite unfortunate. But Tabula's ears were drawn to the other part of that statement coming from the wolf. And with his curiosity, Tabula voiced out his queries. "Who's Venom and Leviathan? I have never heard of that name in our team before." Tabula knew everyone in their team, even if he has never interact or met with some of them before. These names were completely foreign to him.

"Oh, them? Don't worry about it. They belonged to a different team, but they're our friends, nonetheless... Well, mine and Momonga's friends, anyway."

"Ah? Should we be aware of them? Are their team our rival?"

"Hehe. I like the way you think, Tabby. But no. Rest assured. As I said, I know them myself. Very nice folks. Their team is our ally, being a grotesque team themselves. Ask Touch Me about them. I wanted them to come over here to us, but they're too loyal to switch team just yet. They said they'd think about it. Plus, they're pretty tough to be replaced if they leave."

"Is that so?" How curious. Just who are those two?

"Yeah. Venom is a Rogue Minstrel, and Leviathan is a Knight Enchanter. As of now, there aren't many of them around. So those two's presence are very valuable assets to their own team. Plus, they're rising players in the Ranked Chart of Twenties, and they're also two of the few people on the list of Platinum Players."

Platinum? Already? Are they that strong? He knew that only Touch Me held the position of World Champion; the Challenger Tier. And Platinum was only two level below that. Tabula's previous concern was for nothing, then. A regional boss shouldn't have been able to stop them at all. "If they're helping Momonga, I'd like to meet them one day. Thank you for the trouble, by the way."

" They didn't plan to join any team, like me. But if asked, they will agree. The others got to them first. Our Touch Me got to Momonga, and later, me. Small world, right? Momonga is your friend, Momonga's friends are my friends, and now Momonga is my friend and the friends of me and Momonga is now our friends. Which makes you my friend. What a shitload of words." The wolf let our a hearty laugh as he clutched his stomach together.

Tabula could no longer contain his grin. And the alchemist finds himself laughing along with the white wolf.

After his laughter died down, Fang looked to Tabula as he tilts his head to the side a little, sending the alchemist a sheepish smiling emoticon. " You know what, meet me here tomorrow and I'll arrange a dungeon conquering party for just the five of us! And you're welcome! Anytime."

"Will do. And... they're ok, right?" The alchemist asked, just to have some assurance and so that he wouldn't need to worry more.

"Don't worry. Just some minor injuries. Nothing that can't be cured with a good healer and some health potions. Could've asked Lin to treat them. But they said they needed to get some items anyway."

"...Alright. Thank you, Fang. Then, I'll be going."

"Where is ya heading?" The wolf said, his voice curious as he followed Tabula when the alchemist began to move.

"A town. To make some potions."

At that, Fang stopped in his tracks as he then crossed his arms in front of his chest with a small tilt of his head. "...Want me to come with ya?"

"No. Let's not attract unwanted attention." Tabula politely declined. Even though their team hasn't reached the mark of twenty members yet, they are still growing strong. And they already made some enemies in the past year. This was a small compound used as a base, they don't want any trouble coming to a peaceful place.

"I'm starting to like you more, Tabby. Alright. Still, if you're not back after ten minutes, I'm going after you."

"Thank you. I'll be at Asgard. In the town that lies at the edge of the map."

"Roger that."

"I do hope that we won't have to see each other, though..."

"I hope so too. Be safe, and good luck! I hope you won't need it, and I hope you won't need me! Byeeeeee~!"


...Something was clicking. Tabula furrows his brows together as his brain began to play the game of 'clues'. It was starting to all come together, but Tabula can't connect all the pieces in place just yet.

Anemone Hupehensis.

Tabula's brain then suddenly was reminded of a certain Wikipedia article that he have saw a few years ago.

...Anemone hupehensis, Anemone hupehensis var. japonica, and Anemone × hybrida ( commonly known as the Chinese anemone or Japanese anemone, thimbleweed, or windflower )...

That's it! Anemone Hupehensis, that long ass name was just a scientific identity for one of earth's plants!

Despite his breakthrough and his revelation, Tabula can't help the slight feeling of defeat and despair. Out of all the possible information that he has forgotten, this useless piece of knowledge was what was left behind?

"The windflower." The alchemist wasn't quite sure why this was phrased differently in the old-looking book... Ah. He remembers now. The devs said that they'd change and removed a few things in the 2.07.11 patch. This was probably what they were talking about. This book was outdated. This was an older version of the exact same copy of the ones that he was supposed to use.

Tabula frowned as he randomly wondered: What in the blazing hell? Who has the time for things like this? Who were desperate enough to be willing to get paid for writing up all this shit? Who the hell did they hire? Tabula Smaragdina himself?

Sighing, he shook his head as memories resurfaced one by one. The more important ones then came along as well.

He remembers now. There was even a goddamn poem for it. Once again, the alchemist can't believe his own idiocy. How could he have forgotten one of the hellish things that made him suffered so much in the glory days of Yggdrasil?

Here is the recipe for our ancient remedy~

Two branches of helichrysum arenarium, to make the taste bold!
A pint of Demon's Tears, for their remorse are worth more than gold!
A head of garlic, to purify one's soul!
Three windflower petals, to cure even wounds that are most foul!
Pine needles for health and fortune, but don't forget to remove toxins, or else you're dead!
Then all that's left is any body parts of mystical creatures, and you're all set!
Have fun and good luck! Hopefully, you won't forget!

Too fucking cheesy.

Tabula shuddered, remembering that cursed poem that was forced on players like him for the first ten level of being in Yggdrasil. It was catchy at first, but after hearing it for the five-hundred times before crafting a potion, he treated it like cancer; Tabula had avoided each syllable like the black plague. This was one of the reason why players had chose to buy a house and their own alchemy station instead of going to one's local alchemist. Thank god they removed it in the 3.21.05 patch.

Tabula was filled with a mixed feeling.

While he was both relieved and joyous that he have remembered, he was also feeling very incompetent and... stupid. How can something so simple be forgotten so easily? It was slightly sad, now that he think about it. Their guild leader even remembers smaller things like these, so why can't he?

He felt very bitter right now.

He sighs, pinching the bridge of where his nose was supposed to be with frustration. He can feel another goddamn headache coming.

"Argh... What... whatever. I have to stay focus."

Ignoring the pain, and his irritating and confusing feeling, Tabula turned his head slowly towards the direction of the small hanging garden. There were a few pots planted with a frail looking flower with many varieties of color like white, pink, red, and purple.

"Come." Tabula said, moving his index finger up and down as it glowed in a blueish light. The blue glow warped itself around a few of the plants in the pots as it then hovered in the air, making its way to where he stood. Tabula had quietly activated 'Force of Levitation'. Supposedly, it was a damage type spell that was used to lift enemies up in the air and crash them onto the ground or to send them flying back. It was a feeble level twenty spell and doesn't do anything to enemies stronger than level thirty. But he can tell if he activates it carefully and with precision, he can use it to do small chores like this.

Now, most of the ingredients were gathered together. All that was left to do is to add any body parts of any magical creatures...

Perhaps Mandrake's Fingers? Hydra's Tongue? Medusa's Hair? Dragon's Scales? Those were ingredients that one would need for a higher grade and quality of potion. But Tabula wanted to start small first. Perhaps a simple Cobra's Fangs would be enough.

But then, there was the issue of Demon's Tears... Where the hell was he supposed to get more of that?

"..."

Ah.

He knew exactly where to get them from.

"Ulbert."


Momonga sighed and shook his head after he disconnected his message link to Tabula. He had also ceased observing the alchemist as well. He could not really hear too much of what was happening, but he could tell that some wild things were going inside of that big head of Tabula.

"Is he done yet?" Ulbert called out, shifting in his seat as he sprawled himself out on Momonga's comfortable lounge seats.

"No. Not yet." Momonga wanted to say: "He's struggling, actually." But he knew that his friend would not appreciate him announcing that information out to others. So Momonga kept that to himself as he inspects the surroundings of the room that he just walked in.

The dressing room which adjoined Momonga's suite was a chaotic mess of items, with hardly any place to put one's feet. There were items like capes, with which Momonga could equip himself, and suits of full plate armor, which he could not use at all. In addition to armor and other protective items, there were weapons ranging from magic staves to greatswords. This was truly an assortment of gear.

Players could produce a nearly infinite variety of original magic items in Yggdrasil. Defeated monsters dropped data crystals, which formed a magic item when they were set into an item skin.

Therefore, people would immediately buy item skins that they liked.

That was the reason for this room's state.

Momonga picked out a greatsword from the weapons in the room. Freed from its sheath, the silvery blade sparkled in the light. The runes carved into the blade's body sparkled as well, etching themselves into any onlookers' eyes.

"Tabula is struggling with something, now? And his own specialization too? Well, I did not expect that at all." Ulbert chuckled.

"Hey now, I didn't say that." Momonga snorted. He then swung the greatsword around. It was as light as a feather, and the weight did not match its heavy looking appearance. Of course, this was not because the blade was light, but because Momonga was very strong.

Momonga was a mage and his magical power stats were very high, but his physical stats were lower in comparison. Still, the strength he had gained from reaching level one hundred was not an inconsiderable figure. If he encountered weak monsters, he could easily pulverize them with his staff.

"Heheheh. You don't have to say it, I just knew."

"Go to sleep, Ulbert." Momonga rolled his eyes for a moment slowly taking a fighting stance. But then before anything could happen, a loud sound of metallic clanging ran through the room. The sword he had been holding a moment ago was now on the ground

"Is everything alright in there?" Ulbert said, sitting up a little from his spot as he prepares himself to stand up. Something was going on in there, and Ulbert wanted to know what out of curiosity and slight concern.

"...Hmm. Clean this up." Commanded Momonga. The maid standing by in the room immediately picked up the greatsword and presented it to the undead skeleton. However, he did not pick it up, but instead, looked at his empty hands. "Charming."

"Momonga? Are you alright?" The demon asked gently, peeking his head into the doorway with a look of curiosity.

"Yeah... But something isn't quite right with our current situation." Momonga sighed. He waved the maid away as she nodded, standing off to the side to allow Ulbert to come in and stand next to him.

"Care to elaborate?"

The overlord sighed once more. Although the realistic NPCs made him think he was no longer in a game, the annoying sensation that bound his body made him feel otherwise.

In Yggdrasil, Momonga had no levels in warrior classes, and so he should not have been able to use a greatsword. However, if this new world was the reality, it only made sense that he should have been able to wield it, no matter what the class restriction is.

Momonga shook his head and decided not to think about it. After all, he would not be able to find the answer no matter how much he pondered. "As real as our surroundings might be, some things still cannot be explained. But I'll just leave it aside, it doesn't matter now anyway."

"Is that all? You think too much." Ulbert chuckled, crossing his arms together as he spoke in a teasing voice.

"You think too little." The skeleton said right back, returning Ulbert's tease with his own.

"I am offended."

"Psch. Get over it, you big baby."

"Oh my. I am now extra offended." Ulbert grinned toothily, punching Momonga playfully on his shoulder as the overlord feigned hurt.

"Ouch."

"Oh, don't be dramatic now."

"Me? Dramatic? Ulbert please."

With a pleased chuckle, the demon stood with his arms crossed as he turned his head to look around the room. The place was a mess. But if one put enough effort into arranging things, this place could pass as presentable. Tabula would have liked to do these types of chores. The man was a perfectionist, and could not stand a messy room. What would he say if he saw the sorry state of this place, Ulbert wondered.

"What were you doing? I heard some clanging noise."

"I didn't really want to talk about it when you asked earlier. It's just too confusing. See it for yourself, you'll understand better that way. Naberal Gamma, hand Ulbert that greatsword. When you are done, step outside for a moment. I will summon you back in when I need you."

"Yes, my Lord." Without question, the maid then moved to place the big weapon into the clawed hands of Ulbert. And as she finished the task given to her, the beautiful woman then made her way out of the dressing room to stand outside of the door, waiting for the moment when she would be beckoned in once again.

"A gift? How generous of you! Thank you, even if it is wasted on me." Ulbert chuckled once more, moving the sword back and forth in a form of inspection. It is a beautiful sword, and what a damn shame. He cannot wield it since he was a magic user. Ulbert sighed with slight melancholy.

"Well, think about it. If this was real life, would class boundary gets in the way of us being able to use whatever we want?"

"...Hmm. No...! That, is a very good point." Ulbert stopped as he took a closer look at the large weapon. True. The weapon class penalty only applied to things in a game. But since this was no longer a game, that logic and theory should have been voided.

"Exactly." Momonga paused with his back turned before he proceeds with his words. And when he was absolutely certain of what he wanted to do, the skeleton then turned around as he faced the gentleman demon. "Ulbert, try attacking me with it."

"What!?" The demon exclaimed out incredulously, baffled by the suggestion that seemingly came out of nowhere. How can the skeleton just asked him that question so nonchalantly and with so much carefree? Ulbert's eyes were popping out of his head as he protested to the idea very strongly. "No! Was zum Teufel, Momonga!? What is going on in that skull head of yours!?"

Momonga raised his hands up as he then made his move to reassure the shocked demon. "It's alright, it's alright, don't worry. Just try it. It won't work anyway. Trust me."

"...And you are absolutely certain?"

"Absolutely."

"One hundred percent?"

"One hundred percent."

"...Alright. If you're hurt by this, even just the slightest, I'm going to murder something."

"Ok. I'll be alright, Ulbert. Such a worrywart you are."

"Of course I'm worried! How can I just watch my li—, er, watch my dearest friend be harmed by my own hands?"

"I am happy that you are concerned for me. But you're stalling, Ulbert. Stop that. Just do it. I'm going to be fine. I promise."

"...Alright." Gripping the large sword in his hands, Ulbert slowly and hesitantly raised it up in front of him in an attacking manner. And after a second of hesitation, the demon swung it with all the force that he could muster at the direction of his friend. Ulbert knew that he was the devil himself. And the concept of Gods and such fanatical deities were a mere lie and things that were made by humans as a silly illusion. Despite knowing that, he was praying to whatever God that was listening to him that his friend's words were true, and that as he swung this giant object, there would be no noise of the sword colliding with Momonga's skeletal body.

He knew that Momonga was strong and that the composition that made up the skeleton overlord were as hard as steel itself. But if this thing were to actually collide with Momonga's skeletal self, Ulbert fears that his friend's body would collapse in a heap of bones.

My fingers are crossed, Momonga. I hope that you are being honest. Here I come! Ulbert grunted, gritting his fangs and teeth together as the sword descended down upon his motionless guild leader.

Before the sword could make an impact or even reach the undead skeleton, the sword then fell lifelessly onto the floor with a loud 'Clang' upon impact.

Ulbert stared blankly at his empty hands that are frozen in the position that it previously has been in. His heart was thumping loudly with anticipation and the earlier rush of adrenaline, with relief, with an odd sense of satisfaction, and with fear, too.

He did not know which emotion was dominating over him. "...Huh." That was all the demon could have uttered out at the moment.

"Believe me now?" Momonga said, placing a hand on Ulbert's shoulder as he peers into the demon's golden eyes.

"...Don't... ask me to do that ever again." The demon said with a slightly shaky voice, letting out a breath that he didn't even realize he was holding as he had a small smile of contentment on his face. "...Please?" Ulbert added at the end playfully.

"No. I'm abusing my guild leader privilege. You'll have to listen to me no matter what." Momonga chuckled, tapping his skeletal index fingers on Ulbert's nose teasingly. And the nose twitched a little at his touch.

"Damn..." Ulbert grumbled, his cheeks heating up a little at Momonga suddenly 'booping' his nose. Feeling somewhat indignant—but mostly embarrassed—at his friend's tease, Ulbert raised a hand to cover the part of his face that was unmasked as he looked away from the skeleton, drawing out a chuckle from the amused overlord. "I... Geh. You... can't abuse it that much..."

"I believe that I can. And I will."

"Damn... Is this payback for my mischievousness two days ago?"

"Maybe. Maybe not."

"Damn you, Momonga... Who elected you to be Guild Leader?"

"You did, Ulbert."

"Fuck."

"Geheheh." Momonga laughed heartily at his friend's embarrassment as he then patted Ulbert a few times on his back. No matter what interesting things that might have happened before in Momonga's life, nothing compares to seeing a flustered Ulbert. "What? Are you regretting that decision now?"

"...Never." Ulbert said with absolute sincerity and conviction. There was a discreet smile crept upon his face while he was turned away from the overlord's gaze.

"...Heh. Alright then. I hope we stay with each other until the end. See my reign through all the way, yes?"

"...Geh. Of course. Everything else can go burn in hell for all I care of. But, if this is to end in fire, then we will all burn together. I will never leave you behind, never again. If the world turns against you and our friends, then I will make sure it will be eternally consumed in hellfire."

"Geez, Ulbert. You're just full of sunshine, aren't ya?"

"I-I am being serious!"

"I know. You're a good friend, Ulbert."

The demon paused for a moment, standing still in silence and brief contemplation. Feh. I doubt it. Ulbert thought with a bitter smile. "I hope that I am." He said in response to Momonga's sincere words. It was an honest statement, but also a very broad one. Momonga can interpret it any way that he wished. Ulbert will leave it at that.

With a chuckle, the skeleton then summoned Naberal back into the room. The maid nodded respectfully and stood to the side in silence, waiting for further commands or instructions. Momonga gave none yet, but instead, he had a different plan in mind.

" [ Create Greater Item ] ." Once Momonga cast the spell, his body was sheathed in a suit of engraved full plate armor. It glowed darkly, and its surface was covered with gold and silver patterns. It looked very expensive.

He moved around in it to see how it felt. Although it was somewhat restrictive, he was not immobilized. In addition, the armor fit his body very well, which was quite unexpected considering the gaps between his bare-boned body and the armor.

It would seem that he could use magic-generated items, just like in Yggdrasil.

As Momonga silently applauded the wonders of magic, he peeked at himself in the mirror from between the gaps of his closed helm. A dashing warrior looked back at him, nothing at all like a magician. Momonga nodded in satisfaction.

Ulbert had a pleased look to him as he strokes his beard in appreciation of the sights in front of him. Though he wasn't quite sure what Momonga was planning to do, he liked what he was seeing, nonetheless. The overlord honestly looked good wearing anything. Preferably darker colors, though.

"Like what you're seeing?" Momonga snorted when he saw that Ulbert was checking out his new set of armor.

"Yes... Indeed I am. What are you planning?"

"I'll be stepping out for a little bit. You should head back."

"May I accompany you?"

"No. It's fine. It'll just be for a little bit."

"My lord, if you wish to leave the compound, then the guards are ready outside for you." Naberal Gamma said, bowing her head respectfully to the two of them as she listed out the resources ready at Momonga's disposal.

Momonga had an uncomfortable look crossing his face as he frowned a little.

The truth was: he disliked them. On the first day when the guards followed him around, he felt twitchy accompanied with an uncomfortable amount of pressure being put on him. On the second he was used to it, and then he felt like showing them off to Nazarick's inhabitants.

Momonga suppressed the urge to sigh.

It was all too stiff and formal for him. The guards followed him everywhere he went, and whenever he met someone, they bowed to him.

Maybe, if he could have walked around nonchalantly with his guards in tow, it would have been tolerable. But he could not do that because he had to maintain the gravitas of the ruler of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick at all times. He could not allow a moment of laxity to ruin his image, so his nerves were constantly on edge. This caused a lot of stress to the formerly-human Momonga.

Luckily, he was not as mentally fatigued as he thought he could be. Because there was always someone there to talk to him; his friends, the people that he did not have to force himself to be extremely authoritative with when he was in their company.

On the second day, his teammates had caught onto the drift and the source Momonga's discomfort. And the guards were no longer needed, as for Momonga was then often seen with one of Ainz Ooal Gown's guild members in tow. Ulbert was with Momonga today, while Peroroncino was with the skeleton the day before.

Though Momonga was comforted by the presence of his friend, he still needs to take a breather; to step outside for a moment.

"No. I don't want anyone accompanying me."

"Please wait and reconsider. If something happens to Lord Momonga, we must become your shields. We cannot allow any harm to come to your body. Please let the guards be by your side."

The maids and the other vassals wanted nothing more than to protect their master even at the cost of their own lives. In that sense, Momonga's request to go walking by himself—which completely disregarded their feelings—was a cruel one.

However, it had been over three days since this abnormality occurred, roughly seventy-three hours. In this time, Momonga had been desperately trying to maintain the stern facade of the ruler of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick in front of these NPCs, but now he needed a rest.

Momonga opened his mouth as his brain began to come up with some bluff so that he could just leave peacefully. But before he could speak, the demon standing next to him waved a hand to dismiss Naberal's statements as he crossed his arms together.

"I will escort him to his desired destination. Is that a problem?" Ulbert smiled his sinister smile as his fangs and teeth showed with his grin. His voice was velvety and his tone was very soft and kind. However, anyone in the vicinity could tell that Ulbert has no intention of being gentle and benevolent.

Apparently, the female maid did not pick up the hint in Ulbert's nonchalant voice. "But lord Ulbert, lord Momonga said that—"

"Is that a problem?" Ulbert said once more with a tone that was all too happy to be natural. His one visible eye gleamed with danger, its golden color fades away as it flickered and changed into a menacing shade of crimson.

"N-no, my lord. My deepest apologies! Please be safe then, l-lord Momonga, lord U-Ulbert."

"...Then we will now leave. Come, Ulbert." Momonga said calmly, extending a hand for the demon.

With a chilling smile that made the maid shudder visibly, Ulbert took the offered hand with a surprising amount of gentleness. "Thank you, my dear. Let us go. Ja?"

"Yes." Momonga did not utter out any other words, his glowing eyes were devoid of any emotions, betraying what he truly feels like inside. He then proceeds to activate the ring of Ainz Ooal Gown as he held onto Ulbert's hand. With that, a brief darkness then consumed him as he felt himself being warped in a strange feeling...


His destination was a large hall. There were rows of narrow mortuary slabs on both sides of him, but there were no corpses on them now. The floor was polished limestone. Behind Momonga was a flight of stairs leading down, and at their end was a set of double doors, through which one could access the First Floor of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick. The sconces in the walls had no torches; the only light came from the bluish-white moonlight streaming in from the outside.

This was the closest location to the surface that the Ring of Ainz Ooal Gown could take him, the central mausoleum on the surface of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick.

Momonga stood in silence as he contemplates on what to say next.

In all honestly, Momonga knew why Ulbert have done what he did. But at the same time, he wonders why.

"...Ulbert. Why?"

"I disliked the way that... girl spoke to you. You have announced your wishes. Someone of her rank should not dare to question your desire." Ulbert said with a small sneer that showed his sharp teeth. His irritated look was, of course, not directed at Momonga. The grip of his hand holding Momonga's own tightened as he felt a sense of anger consuming him.

Inferior beings with her status are not worthy to be telling them to do anything, lest outright refusing a request. Ulbert fumed at the audacity of that particular NPC, and was surprised at himself from what he was feeling. Why was he so angry? And why did his brain phrased it like that? It sounded so... heavy. Technically, the female did not refuse to let Momonga be at first, she was just trying to be helpful. But Ulbert's mind did not think of it that way. It was slightly disconcerting. But it was so oddly natural that Ulbert could not help but just take it as it comes.

Momonga sighed a little at Ulbert's statement. Classic Ulbert. "Don't be too harsh on them. They're just doing what a loyal vassal was supposed to do. It's not bothering me too much, but I'd like it if they'd just let me have my privacy for a while, though."

"Why not just tell them to leave?"

"They refused to let me be! And I'm just too tired to argue with them, really." Momonga said sheepishly as his shoulders slumped in tiredness.

"Too nice for your own good, eh?" Ulbert chuckled, still holding onto Momonga's hand as Momonga chuckled along with him.

"Maybe."

"Alright then. Since my only purpose of coming here with you was just to shut that girl up, I will now take my leave. My job here is done. Tread lightly and be safe, alright?" Ulbert said softly as his claw-tipped hand patted Momonga's hand that was holding his a few times.

"Ah? Is that so? And I thought you really wanted to come along." At Ulbert's revelation earlier, Momonga thought that the demon insists that he tag along with Momonga. He didn't think that his charming friend would have something like this in mind. He was grateful to his friend, but at the same time, Momonga felt slight embarrassment. The demon knew exactly what to do, and he was so confident and authoritative in his actions. And to think that such a person would do so much for him, Momonga can't help but admire Ulbert for his strong personality and kindness—well, to him and his friends, at least.

"...Would it please you if I were to follow? Would you mind?"

"Not at all. I... just wanted to go outside to take a breather. That's why I didn't want anyone to tag along. But... it'd be nice if you come, yes. I don't mind." Momonga said with a nonchalant voice. By the tone of his speech, one could tell that the skeleton was smiling as he spoke.

To be honest, Momonga had wanted some company lately, but he had brushed it off when his friends asked him about it since he didn't want them to worry too much. At this hour, Momonga doesn't really have the strength to keep up his facade. He was kinda glad that he didn't have to ask Ulbert himself. And with the goat demon taking the initiative and asking him personally, it made Momonga's life easier.

Although, with Ulbert's presence around, it might make him look more noticeable. Even though the NPCs might not have recognized him in this form, they would definitely recognize the demon. Whatever. Momonga thought. He couldn't honestly care less. All that matters now is getting outside

"If so, then let us go, yes?" The demon grinned, patting Momonga's hand holding his own once more as he tilts his head in the direction of the pathway leading to the surface.

"Yeah. Let's go. And thanks for coming with me, Ulbert. You're the best."

"Don't I know it, darling." Ulbert chuckled delightfully at Momonga's half-tease half-genuine words as the two of them began to make their way to the surface. Like a true gentleman, Ulbert lead the way as he still has yet to separate their joined hands.

Momonga opened his mouth to say something, but before he could utter out a word, Ulbert suddenly halted in his stride and abruptly lets go of their connected hands. Leading to Momonga himself stopping in his tracks with a skid.

"What is it—."

The silhouettes of heteromorphic beings loomed before them. There were three monsters in total.

One of them looked like a fearsome demon. Fangs protruded from its mouth and its body was covered in scales. It had stout arms and sharp claws, as well as flaming wings and a snake-like tail.

Another was a feminine-looking monster with a crow's head, dressed in a tight-fitting bondage outfit.

The final one wore full plate armor that was open at the chest, proudly revealing its abdominal muscles. If not for the black bat wings and the two horns protruding from its temples, it might have been mistaken for a beautiful young man. However, its eyes held a desire that knew no limit.

They were the Evil Lords of Wrath, Jealousy, and Avarice, respectively.

Upon spotting them, they had also stopped in their tracks as they looked on at the two people in front of them with curiosity and scrutiny when their eyes landed on Momonga. To them, there was something not right about that figure, even though they didn't really know what. But then, before they could even come to a conclusion, the sight of the Lord Arch Demon Ulbert himself have put them into submission as they gotten onto their knees with respect.

"My lord! Us lower minions offer thee our humblest greetings!"

"..." Ulbert and Momonga exchanged gazes with each other as the two of them wondered why these particular individuals were here and not with their respective master that they were supposed to guard. Said person being Demiurge.

"Where is your owner." Asked Ulbert, looking down at the Demon Lords with a tilt of his head.

Speak of the devil.

"My father and lord, I present myself to your greatness!" Demiurge said with his smooth and velvety voice as he, like his underlings, got onto one knee as he prostrates himself before his lord. Upon spotting another figure clad in full armor, Demiurge's eyebrows raised itself slightly before he opened his mouth to ask his lord father an inquiry.

"My lord. May I inquire as to who is by your side?"

Of course. Momonga and Ulbert each had a unique aura that others could sense and immediately tell that it's them. Given that the individuals are given the chance to get close enough to sense it. Their appearance is also unmistakable, so, of course, Demiurge would immediately recognize Ulbert in his full gear; and of course, how could the Arch Devil not be able to recognize his own 'father'?

Same could not be said for Momonga. Judging by look alone, Momonga was a complete stranger. And he was not standing at a close enough distance for Demiurge to recognize his aura yet. Ulbert's own aura itself was quite overwhelming alone, so even if he was standing close enough, it might take a little bit for the demon to sense it right away.

Momonga was not sure whether if he should say something or not. And he stood there in awkward silence as he clenches and unclenches his hands out of pure instinct. What should he even say? He didn't really think that anyone else would be here, lest Demiurge. He doesn't want to get his cover blown!

Ulbert, like the quick-witted person he was, immediately responded to his creation's question with a slightly rushed but calm voice. "This is an underling granted to me by my dearest Momonga to serve as my... bodyguard. This is..." Ulbert then paused a little as he smiled awkwardly. What should he say? He can't just make up some names in the blink of an eye!

"Momonga, what's your alibi?!" Whispered Ulbert in his mind, using the 'Message' skill.

"Uhhh... I... J-just use 'Dark Warrior'?! I don't know!"

"...'Dark Warrior'! Yes. This is 'Dark Warrior'. My bodyguard." Ulbert said with a smile. But in reality, he was laughing his ass off internally as he has yet to disconnect their secret 'Message' link. He knew Momonga could hear him, and he struggled to contain the growing smirk on his face as he heard the overlord sighing deeply inside of his head.

"Ah! Is that so? Where are you going, my father. If I may ask?" Demiurge said with a smile as his tail swayed back and forth. The demon sounded glad that his lord was not going somewhere by himself. But he was curious as to where his lord was planning to go. Perhaps he was just strolling around casually, but Demiurge felt compelled to know.

"...I have some business I must take care of at the surface." Ulbert said. Technically, it was true, but then, it was technically a lie at the same time. And Momonga said nothing as he let Ulbert do all the talking. If he spoke up now, his identity will be blown, and all of Ulbert's effort to conjure up all of those blatant bluffs was for nothing.

"I see! My lord father is indeed a careful and inscrutable man. However, I cannot let you travel up there alone with such little escort. I am aware that it may inconvenience you, but I hope that in your boundless mercy, you will permit one of us to escort you."

"Do you lack faith in my leader's creation?" Ulbert asked, eyes narrowing and eyebrows perking at Demiurge's insistence. "Does Momonga's mean of security dissatisfy you? My my!" Ulbert said with a sarcastic laugh as he spreads his arms wide open.

The calm before the storm, it seems.

Demiurge, however, was a smart man. He understood his lord's words the moment he had uttered it out. And with slight anxiousness, the demon lowered his gaze to the floor as he cleared his throat. "My lord and father, I am only speaking out of concern for your person. I dared not have any doubt in the Supreme One nor his creation's capability. I only wish for your safety, my lord..."

"...Why are you here, Demiurge? You are not in charge of the security of this floor." Ulbert said as his smile faded and he sighed out a little with crossed arms. He did not want to continue this conversation any further. The demon now shared Momonga's tiredness as he too wished to be outside and away from all of this. But Ulbert did not like the look of a scolded pet on Demiurge's expression. So he was hoping that steering this conversation away would wipe that kicked puppy look away from the devil's face.

"Ah. I am waiting for Albedo, she told me to meet her here so we can discuss a few things regarding raising Nazarick's defense, but she has yet to arrive." Demiurge said, bringing his face up as he looked upon his lord's visage. It would be immensely disrespectful if he were to report something to someone so important and not look at their majestic frame.

"If so, you should stay here and wait for her." Ulbert said, uncrossing his arms as he motioned for the other demon to rise up from his spot.

"My lord father, are you certain that you do not need me by your side?" Demiurge said with an expectant voice as he got on his feet, tail twitching with anticipation. "I understand that I might not be of much help, but I would like to have a chance to assist you, even if just for a little while!"

"Ulbert, the man probably just want to spend some quality time with his father. Let him come." Momonga chuckled in Ulbert's head as he shifted his weight onto his other leg.

"Fuck you, Momonga." Ulbert replied as he let out an audible chuckle, intriguing Demiurge as the humanoid demon tilts his head a little with curiosity. "Even if I wanted to spend some... quality time with my 'son', we must learn how to say no to them. It won't kill you to decline, Momonga. Such a softie." Ulbert would have shook his own head teasingly, but that would make him look like a lunatic.

"My lord?" Demiurge said, the tilt of his head exaggerated even further as his tail swayed from left to right.

It might sound ridiculous, because Demiurge was a grown man—and because he was demon—, but if Ulbert didn't already know, he would have mistaken the arch devil for an oversize puppy. Ulbert then sighed with defeat as he looked at his son's expectant face. "...Alright. You may. But keep your distance until I say otherwise, and you will depart after I arrived at my desired destination."

At that, Demiurge's visage brightened up like the sun as he bowed his head to his father with sincere gratefulness and happiness. "My deepest thanks for humoring my selfish request, father!"

"Alright, son. Lead the way." Ulbert said with a small smile that showed some of his teeth as he made a 'Go ahead' motion with his arms.

"Yes! I will now lead the way. You three! Stay here in case Albedo shows up, alright? Inform her that I will return shortly if she arrives." Demiurge commanded his underlings as they bowed their heads affirmatively.

"Yes, master!"


"My lord, that... 'Dark Warrior' doesn't talk much, does he?" Demiurge stated out his inquiry, glancing back at the mysterious dark figure with slightly narrowed eyes. There was something clicking inside of his head, but he could never actually quite put his finger on it. Demiurge wondered what this nagging feeling was about as he observes the full plated warrior for a brief moment before bringing his attention back to his lord creator.

"Oh, he talks alright. Just not now, for reasons I cannot understand." It was a harmless lie. And Ulbert giggled internally because he knew exactly why the overlord had to stay back a little and remain silent as he walked behind them. It was slightly awkward, just walking next to a strangely hyped up Demiurge, and he missed the skeleton's lack of familiar presence, but Ulbert was being as nonchalant as always.

Now that he think about it, he should probably 'bond' with his 'son', like Momonga had suggested earlier. Perhaps given this chance, he could now be up close and personal to the other demon. Of course, Ulbert knew all of this male's personality. But writing and coding something and seeing the results for yourself are two very different things.

"Ah, yes, that's right. He's quite... shy around new individuals. Forgive his lack of speech." Ulbert chuckled delightfully as Momonga narrowed his eyes at the casually laughing demon.

"I see. I hope we will become good acquaintances, 'Dark Warrior'. You are lord Momonga's personal subordinate that has been granted so much trust as to protect my lord father himself. I would like to get to know you better if you will continue to be within lord Ulbert's presence."

Momonga did not say anything. He gave out a half-hearted thumbs up with a vigorous nod of his head. It seems to satisfy Demiurge, so he said no more as he continued to walk behind the two with slight embarrassment.

'Damn you Ulbert, you devil.'

"...Is he that... bashful? Father? Why is he standing so far away from us?"

'Shit.' Momonga thought.

"Well... Ah. You see, son. He is keeping his distance because he does not want to disturb... our f... father and son intimacy." Ulbert said, purposely brushing the conversation off. "I have you and I feel perfectly safe. Perhaps he went out of his way to watch my back instead because he trusts you, my son, to guard my front."

Momonga was amazed and at the same time scared of Ulbert's capability to bluff. He knew Ulbert was quick-witted and crafty, and at these instances, he is seeing it coming into play with maximum capacity. He sighed exasperatedly, trying his best to not groan out loud at the demon's teases that went unnoticed by Demiurge.

If only he knew.

"Is that so!? Well then, thank you for your thoughtfulness, Dark Warrior. This makes me believe that we will become very good comrades indeed!" Demiurge said with enthusiasm, sounding flattered and proud at his 'father's' words. His silver tail swayed with excitement and obvious happiness.

Yup. oversized puppy.

After leaving the mausoleum, Ulbert and Demiurge were greeted by a beautiful sight. The surface area of the Great Tomb of Nazarick was two-hundred meters square, protected by six-meter thick walls, with an entrance and an exit at the front and back.

The Tomb's grass was trimmed short and felt refreshing. On the other hand, the Tomb's trees had leafy branches that shrouded much of the grounds in shade, and the extensive shadows gave the place a gloomy air. There were also alabaster tombstones scattered about.

The juxtaposition of the neat grass and the messy tombstones was quite incongruous. In addition, there were exquisite carvings of angels and goddesses all over the place, each of which was easily a work of art, but the chaotic tomb design was frustrating, to say the least.

Apart from the large central mausoleum, there were four smaller mausoleums in the north, south, east and west, each defended by statues of armored warriors, each six meters tall.

The central mausoleum was the gateway to the Great Tomb of Nazarick, and it was from this place that the group had emerged into the outside world.

Ulbert stood at the top of the stairs and quietly surveyed the landscape before him.

The Great Tomb of Nazarick had originally been located in the icy world of Helheim, which was perpetually shrouded in darkness. The atmosphere was grim and dark, and the sky was constantly overcast. Yet, what he saw now was vastly different from that.

He was looking at a beautiful night sky.

At this point, the demon stopped his advance as he stared up at the sights before him.

Absolutely beautiful. And this was nowhere far; it was right within their reach, just outside of their home.

Momonga, Tabula, Peroroncino, you all need to see this right now. Thought the demon with wide eyes of wonder.

"Demiurge. This is my destination. Turn back now, and meet with the Guardian Overseer."

"Ah. Father, could I not stay with you until you are done?"

"There is no need to. Go, before Albedo comes here to find us. I want some moment of peace, and then I have other matters to attend to. I do not want any potential distraction."

"Understood. Then, I will return now. Please call me if you need anything else!" Demiurge said with a bow of his body. At Ulbert's nod of his head, the demon then turned around, preparing to head back to his original destination. There was no doubt that Albedo has already arrived and is waiting for him.

"Come, 'Dark Warrior'. We have many things to do." Ulbert said with a chuckle, wiggling his claw-tipped index finger in a beckoning manner.

Momonga sighed internally once again and nodded, slowly making his way to stand next to Ulbert as he then crossed path with Demiurge.

When they meet each other half-way, Demiurge paused in his track as a drop of sweat rolled down his tanned skin. He feels it. Feel that undeniable and unmistakable power and grace hidden underneath that suit, and he hadn't even noticed because the person was standing so far away from him. He now knows why. But he dared not look back behind him because he knew that the nagging thought in his mind was true. This 'Dark Warrior' wasn't who he thought they were. But he dared not look back. He must move forward.

"Please be safe, my lord..." Demiurge said with a quick turn and bow of his body without looking at either one of them. He almost felt compelled to add a 's' when he said 'lord', but then he knew that he probably shouldn't. There must be a reason as to why they are doing this. And with that, he let sleeping dogs lie as his feet clad in fancy dress shoes took him to his original destination.

"He's so adorable." Ulbert chuckled as he placed a gloved hand behind Momonga's back when Demiurge was no longer in sight.

Momonga did not reply to that. He huffs and crossed his arms together in a pouting manner as he turned his head away from the demon's gaze. "I hate you." Said Momonga, shrugging his shoulders in an attempt to shake Ulbert's hand off of him.

"You don't mean that." Ulbert said with a grin, patting Momonga's back a few times teasingly.

"...No. But I still hate you." Momonga sighed, bringing his eyes up to stare at the sky full of stars. "...Breathtaking." He exhales softly, looking up with wide eyes at the scenery stretched out before him. Blue Planet's sky on the sixth floor was impressive already, but this natural beauty was even more so. "I wish Blue Planet was here to see this."

"Our friends should see this too, since we are already here. Should I invite them?"

"Yeah..." Momonga said breathlessly. Stargazing together with his best of friends? Hell yeah. Now that this world was real, Momonga realized that he could just do whatever he wants. He can read books, make food, have a jog around the complex, or some regular things like that. Just because this is somewhere else different does not prevent them from doing things that they want.

"Alright." Activating the 'Message' skill, Ulbert's first person on the list was Peroroncino. After a few clicks, the message link connected as he then spoke up. "Hey Peroroncino, do you want to—."

"Hah, hah, hah... A-ah! Fuck. Yes, oh god, yes! Fuck. M—."

Nope. Ulbert immediately disconnected the link as his cheeks heat up, a red hue appearing on his face as he clutched his head in his hands out of embarrassment. He should have known. He really should have. This was Peroroncino, for god's sake. What a lewd and shameless bastard. Doing such things in the midst of night and without anyone else noticing him. The winged SOB even have the audacity to do such things while thinking of...

"...Ulbert, you look unwell... Are you alright?"

"I'm... fine. But my mentality just broke down a little."

"...What happened?"

"You. Do not. Want to know. Trust me."

"...Alright? Is Peroroncino coming?"

Mein Gott. Momonga, you are not making this any better. "NO! No. He's... busy."

"That's unlike him... But alright. I'll take your words for it."

"Hah... Thank you. Anyway. Should I invite Tabula? I bet he's real busy."

"...I think he can set things aside to spend some time with us, don't you think?"

"Perhaps. Alright, I'll call—."

Beep beep!

"Hello? Well well, speak of the devil."

"Is that him?"

"Yup. Hello, Tabula. We were about to—. Wait. Hold on. Wh-wha what? Say that one more time? ...NEIN!"

"...What is it now?" Momonga frowned, tilting his head to the side as he stared at his flustered friend.

"Tabula, can you put that aside? Momonga and I are stargazing. Do you want to joi—. I'LL COME SEE YOU WHEN I'M DONE. FUCK, TABULA. ALRIGHT. Just say no. I promise I'll come help you when we're finished." Ulbert screeched a little when the alchemist insists that he assist him with a certain... thing. Ulbert was baffled at the request, but he can't not help his friend. However, that has to wait. He rather have pleasure before business.

"Are you two having a date? I shouldn't interrupt then, should I? On second thought, maybe I should." Tabula said with a pleasant chuckle as Ulbert could hear the sounds coming from pages of a book being flipped. Ulbert blushed and coughed a little as Tabula then laughed.

"Just teasing you. And it's fine. I wanted to come, but you two can go ahead and enjoy yourselves. I'm reading right now, anyway. It's some very crucial things, too. Goodbye, Ulbert. Take care of Momonga for me. And don't forget to come by later." With that, the alchemist disconnected their link as Ulbert stood in silence with a silly smile on his face.

"What was that about, 'Berto?" Momonga asked, using the nickname that was permanently designated on Ulbert as he spoke with a teasing voice.

The demon chuckled delightfully. "You're right. He is busy. Too bad, eh? But then, I have to thank him. I'm getting you all to myself today."

"Don't push your luck, Ulbert." Momonga said with a shake of his head as he rolled his eyes. There was a smile on his face as he continued to stare up at the starry sky. It felt nice. Having his friend here next to him to share this beautiful view. Momonga wondered how it would be like if they weren't here with him today. What would he become? He shook his head, not wanting to think about it.

"Hey, Guild Leader." Ulbert said with a soft voice, compelling Momonga to not reply with any amount of sarcasm or snark.

"...Yeah?"

"Let's go up there." Said the demon. There was something in the demon's voice that was quite an anomaly to Momonga. But he can tell that the offer was sincere. Who was he to deny his friend? Plus, Momonga was thinking about doing something like that, anyway.

"Sure."

"Come. I can show you the world~." Ulbert said with a grin. He can't help but add that as he extended out a hand for his guild leader.

Momonga sighed exasperatedly, but he couldn't help the laugh that escaped him as he quipped up a witty reply of his own. "I don't want to see it."

"Nooo. You're lying! I can tell. Now, come on!"

"Hehe. OK. Just so we're clear, this isn't a date, right?"

"No. Well, maaaybe."

"...Shameless bastard."

"Hey hey hey. Don't lump me in with that deviant. You should be glad you didn't have to pick up the 'phone' earlier..."

"Psch. Whatever. Let's go, Casanova for men." Momonga said sarcastically, placing his gauntlet covered hand in Ulbert's as the demon then grinned toothily at him.

Before the two of them take off, the gentleman then teasingly sang. "...Shining, shimmering spleeeeeendid~!"

"SHUT UP, ULBERT."


Somewhere else...


"...Buku-chan, I'm scared." Yamaiko said as the two of them gathered around a campfire that the slime had made. The Nephilim glanced around nervously when she heard the slightest of noises, like the rustling of leaves or the sound of the wind.

"Ah, Yama-chan. Don't worry. I'll protect you." Bukubukuchagama said without hesitation as she held her friend's hands with her slimy ones. She can't feel very well, due to her species' physical characteristic. But she could feel the heat and the solidness of her friend's hands, and it comforted her a little.

A dark and strange place it was. It's been three days since they were dragged into this strange turn of event. They have no idea where they are and what was happening to them. Why have they not been logged out of Yggdrasil? Where is this place? There was nothing familiar about this forest, and there wasn't a location like this in Yggdrasil at all.

How can they feel so much? How can they feel anything at all? Everything was so real. They couldn't help but be thinking that this was now the reality that they are forced to be stuck with. There was no way to escape it. They have tried everything, but to no avail. And there was nothing to do but to accept the fact that this was now their reality, a physical world that exists.

With her friend's assurance, Yamaiko calmed down a bit as she then nodded. Her stomach then grumbled a little as she rubbed it a few times. "...I'm hungry. God. How can I be hungry? We can't feel these things in a game!" She said, sounding frustrated and slightly nervous as she fixed her gaze on the ground.

"...Well, like it or not, we're here now. We have to find a way to get back to Momonga and the Tomb of Nazarick somehow. But let's leave that for tomorrow. You said you were hungry, right? Do you have anything in your inventory that might serve as a nutrition source?"

"Yes. Ah. Let me check..." The Nephilim agreed as she then put her anxieties and nervousness at the back of her mind. Right now, Yamaiko couldn't really think of anything else but how hungry was. And with the game logic, she simply reached into a black void in space as she searches for her desired contents. She could make out what each space in her inventory held, and instinctively, she swipes and scrolled through the storage spaces as she then found what she was looking for. "I have some. Wildebeest's Legs."

"Excellent! You wouldn't happen to have some spices with you, would you?" Bukubukuchagama asked, snapping some twigs as she makes two makeshift kebab sticks. Setting them off to the side, the slime then propped to sturdier and stronger tree branches at each side of the fire. As a finishing touch, the pink slime made a roasting station by using a few more sticks to prop atop the two at the side.

"I do have some, actually. Here."

"Thanks! This will definitely add some flavor to our stomach. We don't want to end up like those Americans now, do we?" Bukubukuchagama joked as she sprinkled said spices atop of the wildebeest legs, a pleasant aroma then permeated through the air as she then sighed with bliss.

"Hehehe. No. How do you know to do all of this stuff? Buku-chan? Oh god. That smells really good." Yamaiko giggled, then breathe in the rich smell of thyme and garlic along with other herbs as she exhaled with pleasure.

"Hmm? What stuff? Ah, you mean the cooking site?"

"Yes! You seem to know a lot."

"I do! Fun fact: I used to take Peroroncino out to do a little bit of camping! We got to go out of the country for a little as a vacation when our parents were still alive. Me and Peroroncino didn't know what to do, so we did just that. That's how I know these things. It's a good thing that we had a chance to get out of Japan. The air wasn't as fresh there as it was here, you know? So that and this is a nice change of pace, for once." The pink slime said, her words nostalgic and her voice a bit wistful as she skewered the meat with the two makeshift sticks that she found. "I haven't seen him in awhile. I hope he's OK."

"I'm sure he is. He's grown now, isn't he? And now that you've mentioned it, the air here really is fresh!"

"Yeah. Smells nice, doesn't it? It'll be ten minutes before the legs are thoroughly cooked, Yama-chan."

"Thanks! I can't wait." Yamaiko giggled, leaning back so that her back could be propped up against a tree's thick trunk. She then stared up at the sky, and her eyes widen as she felt herself becoming speechless. "Wow..." Said Yamaiko breathlessly.

"...Yeah? See something you liked, Yama-chan?" Bukubukuchagama chuckled as she tilts her head at her friend's voice filled with wonder.

"Have you ever seen the sky before, Buku-chan?"

"Well, yeah. But it's all cloudy and foggy. 'Cause the air's full of pollution, ya know? So not really." Bukubukuchagama sighed as she reflected back at the sad state of their old world. If she didn't have Peroroncino to worry about, then she wouldn't want to come back there at all. Every time she went out to the street, she needed some form of artificial lung or facial gear in order to breath and not die within minutes.

"I have never seen stars before. Have you?"

"Nope. The only way that we'll be able to see it if we go to really isolated place. Like Greenland or Antarctica. But as you know, I have no money for that kinda stuff! I barely even have money to buy some decent makeup!"

"I know. But look at what's above us!" Yamaiko said with enthusiasm as she pointed towards the sky.

"Wuoh!?" The pink slime exclaimed, taken aback as she dropped down onto her butt when she brought her eyes up to the sky.

Milky Way indeed! She now understands why the scientists have called it so, despite not being able to see anything at all when she was in the other world. The sky here has so many stars that it looked like a clear white stream of milk was splashed across the vast expanse above their heads. And among that, there were so many varieties of color stretched across the sky. It was very beautiful and breathtaking. They don't have things like this back in their home. She was mesmerized by how many colors that she was seeing. This... was no illusion. This was even more real than the 2016's America Presidential Election.

"Wow... Hehe. This is kinda romantic, don't you think?" Bukubukuchagama giggled as she focused back onto the two sizzling kebabs, rotating them occasionally and flipping them back and forth.

"Pfft. Yeaaah. We're sharing dinner under the stars alongside a campfire. Pretty romantic if you asked me."

"Are you gonna kiss me?" The pink slime asked teasingly as the part of what would have been her eyebrows wiggled suggestively.

"No." Yamaiko said deadpanned.

"Awww..." Sighed Bukubukuchagama with fake sadness.

"Don't be sad, Buku-chan. Maybe I'll give you a chance some other time. For now, say 'Saranghae', Buku-chan."

"Hehe, ok. Saranghae!"

"I have a boyfriend."

"Aaaah! You're so mean!"

"Teehee. Just kidding, I don't! Well, not anymore, anyway... We broke up a month ago."

"Awww. I'm sorry."

"Feh. It's fine. He was an ass, anyway. I'm glad I got rid of him. Bastard cheated on me."

"Wuoh!? Really!? Fucking son of a bitch! How dare he hurt Yama-chan's feelings!?"

"Don't worry, Buku-chan. He didn't get away unscathed. I managed to put a hurt on him. Twice. In the balls, too."

"Yahoo! That's my Yama-chan!"

"To make it better, I told the girl that's he's been with that he's cheating on her two. So, thrice."

"You're so evil, Yama-chan! But bastard got what's coming to him."

"Hehehe."

Klopp Klopp Klopp.

"...Hey... did you hear something?"

Bukubukuchagama said, holding a hand out in front of her friend, indicating for the other to become quiet as she strained her ears to listen to that strange noise that she have just heard. The moment that she did so, the noise then faded away and disappeared, as if it was never there in the first place.

"Huh? Hear what?"

"I thought I heard a few noises or people conversing in the distance, but maybe I'm wrong..."

She could have sworn that she heard distance sounds of galloping horses or even men talking among themselves, but perhaps her ears were just deceiving her. There was no one in sight, and no lights around them save for the flickering flames of the campfire.

"Perhaps you're just hearing things. Oh! I know! You're probably hungry too, yeah? Is the meat done? Let's eat!"

"Oh, yeah! It is! Ok then. Here you go! Itadakimasu!"

"Itadakimasu!"


"Aren't you guys tired? It's still pretty early... You all should probably just go back to sleep."

"Hell no. Do you know what time it is right now?" Peroroncino squawked.

Momonga could not help but feel a laugh escaping his throat at Peroroncino's exaggerated voice. Even though it is a fact now, Momonga could not help but be reminded that Peroroncino was a bird. He held it in, though. Wouldn't want Peroroncino to be embarrassed.

"It's seven in the damn morning! What do you mean by 'early'? When the hell do you usually wake up? Back then, I mean."

"...Uh... Nine? I think? I don't eat breakfast, so I could afford to sleep in."

"That is a bad habit, Momo-chan. But well, I'd prefer sleeping over eating, too."

"Nonsense. If you do not consume nutrition, your body will not be able to function properly and your brain's capability will be reduced. I suggest we all dine together before getting to business every day." Tabula Smaragdina said with a professional-like tone as he shook his head with disapproval.

"The squid's right. You're already bone thin, guild leader. We need to be strong so we can support you, ja?" Ulbert chuckled, pouring himself more coffee as he drank the dark contents, feeling invigorating energy filling him. His coffee was black. No cream, no sugar, no milk, nothing. He was that hardcore.

"Right...! Good point, 'Berto!"

"Well... when you put it that way, I guess I should eat more... But that's no longer relevant. I have no appetite for eating, and I don't need to eat to stay alive."

"But you can eat, can't you?" Ulbert retorted, pointing a spoon with some unidentifiable substance in it at Momonga's direction.

"Well... yeah. But everything fell through me and went straight onto the floor! That's nasty. I don't want people to see that!"

"...Point taken. But it's funny, nonetheless."

"Go to hell, Ulbert."

"I'm the ruler of it, darling."

"I can't believe the only thing that won't go straight through your bones are milk, Momo-chan!"

"...Pfft. Calcium." Tabula Smaragdina snickered along with the archer as the two of them looked like silly school girls giggling at some random, pointless things. "Well, his body needs it. So it probably just gotten absorbed into him as he drank it. Nothing strange there."

"It's just so... stereotypical!" The avian laughed, wings flapping twice with amusement.

"Anyway! You're all distracting me!" Momonga said with a small laugh, fisting his hands together and waving them in the air comically as if he wanted to hit one of them. He was supposed to be surveying the areas, not getting sidetracked by... very pleasant conversations that seem to lead to nowhere!

"It's not like anyone's paying us to do this. Relax a little, dear Momonga."

"Haaah. Just let me have a quick look, see if we can find anything new. If not, I'll take a break. Ok? Sounds good?"

"Sounds good to me."

"That is a fine plan."

"Yup!"

Momonga then looked at the mirror before him. The roughly one-meter wide mirror did not reflect Momonga's face, but a patch of grass. The mirror was like a television set, showing images of a distant plain. The grass of the plains swayed in the wind, proving it was not a still image.

As time passed, the sun slowly rose, its light banishing the darkness that covered the plains. This pastoral scene, almost poetic in its beauty, was a stark difference from the former location of the Great Tomb of Nazarick, the desolate world of Helheim.

Momonga reached out to the mirror and swiped his hand right. The mirror's image changed. He enjoyed the movie-like quality of the grass within the mirror as the image changed. The scenery and the angles with which it was viewed changed within the floating mirror. Although he had made several mistakes so far, Momonga kept changing his gestures to alter the landscape within the mirror, hoping that he would find someone. However, up until now, he had not found any intelligent beings—for instance, humans.

To be honest, Momonga was quite bored, if not for the excited chattering and banter right in front of him.

Sebas has just arrived to be Momonga's personal assistant. But at the moment, he didn't need any help. Instead, the gray-haired butler then gave a short greeting to his lords as he then accommodated each of Ainz Ooal Gown's guild mates to their personal wants and needs.

"Thank you, Sebas. That'll be it for me. I'm glad that you remembered to not put cream or any sweet addition to my coffee."

"Of course, lord Ulbert. As a servant, my duty is to remember what your preference are! I hope you are satisfied with your drink."

"Do you have any snacks, Sebas?" Peroroncino asked, feeling slightly hungry as he rubbed his stomach covered with feathers.

"Ah! I do! Do you have any specific order? My lord?"

"...You have anything sweet and soft? Like... I dunno. Sponge cake or pound cake?"

"...My deepest apologies. I do not know what 'Sponge cake' or 'pound cake' is, but I will immediately acquire it for you if it is your desire! The chefs should be able to make it!"

"It's pretty simple! But you don't have to go out there yourself, it's fine. Just... get me some of that tea from the other day. And some biscuits."

"As you wish! My lord!" After pouring Peroroncino his desired contents, Sebas then quietly excused himself to go off to a corner for a few moments as he then contacted the available Pleiades. Sebas looked around him, making sure that the Supreme Beings cannot hear him, as he then began the 'Message' spell. The butler was acting very hush-hush and secretive as he crouches down on the ground.

"If any of you can hear me, then immediately go tell the chef to make lord Peroroncino some 'pound cake' and 'sponge cake' this instance! This is an urgent request!"

"Roger! Master Sebas!"

"Biscuits? Really? Peroroncino?" Ulbert said, raising an eyebrow at the archer as he chuckled a little.

"Mmffatt? 'Sssit psswwood!"

"What?"

"He's saying 'What? It's good.'" Replied Tabula, slowly munching on one of the biscuits that were offered to Peroroncino. His eyes then widen a little in surprise. Wow, this stuff really is good. Did Sebas make this himself?

"How can you understand him?"

"I used to have siblings living with me. He always eats and talks at the same time. Eventually, I got used to hearing these type of speech patterns. Yes, I know. I am extraordinary."

"Ah... Feh. Speaking about things out of the norm... I can't believe you made me cry you a literal damn river yesterday's night."

"I didn't even think you would agree, and I didn't think that it would work. I was able to replicate the component, so no worries. I won't be needing you anymore."

"You guys did what!? Ohohohohohoho! Ulbert? The Ulbert Alain Odle? Cry? No way! Bruhhh."

"TECHNICALLY, I didn't actually cry. Tabula found a huge bowl of onion and told me to sat down right next to it while he collected my tears..."

"Onions exists here?"

"If garlic can exist, so can onions. Gândi, Peroroncino." Tabula chuckled delightfully. "I couldn't think of anything else that might 'move him to tears'. So that's the best thing that I could come up with a the moment."

"Anyway, I have a pint of that stuff myself. But he wouldn't take it! He said—." Ulbert then clears his throat as he then gave everyone an impersonation of the alchemist. "—He said: "Tears of the arch-demon would be more effective and twice as powerful and bla bla bla bla"."

"That is not what I said. And I—. Pwah." Tabula then scoffed indignantly. "—I do not sound like that."

"Yes, you do!"

Momonga chuckled quietly at his friend's liveliness as he brought his attention back to the mirror. He has to sigh a little. This was all too monotonous. Every time that Momonga scrolled past one area, the next one looked exactly the same. There was nothing new, and no intelligent lifeforms to speak of, either. He did not know how long it had been since he has started to do this arduous task.

It might have only been a while, but so far his work had not borne fruit, and he could not help but feel like this was all a waste of time. His friends were right. Maybe he should just stop doing this and move on instead.

Momonga casually waved his hand with a vacant expression, and his field of vision suddenly expanded.

"Oh...!"

Surprise, delight, pride, Momonga's exclamation was filled with all of these. At his wits' end, he made a random gesture and the screen suddenly did as he wanted. This was a cry of joy one would expect out of a programmer who had pulled eight hours' worth of overtime.

Cheering and clapping answered him. The source of these two sounds was Sebas.

"Congratulations, lord Momonga. Your servant Sebas stands in awe of your prowess."

"Oh, did he finally figured it out?" Peroroncino said, perking his head up with excitement.

"Yes, my lord. Lord Momonga had made very tremendous progress!"

And that was true. Momonga tried to use the mirror yesterday, but he quickly grew bored of it and decided that he would figure out how to use it today. If he knew that it was that simple...

He sighed internally and thanked the butler and his teammates for congratulating him as he then began to search for populated areas. Finally, an image of something like a village appeared in the mirror.

It was located roughly ten kilometers or six miles south of The Great Tomb of Nazarick. There was a forest nearby, and wheat fields surrounded the city. It appeared to be a rustic farming village. By the looks of things, the village itself was not very developed.

As Momonga zoomed in on the village, he felt that something was amiss.

"What is even going on right now? A festival?"

"What is it? Did you find something? Let us see!" The avian exclaimed, quickly gulping down the contents in his mouth as he then hopped his way over to Momonga's side, peering over the skeleton's shoulder and into the mirror. "Ah, I don't think that's a festival, Momo-chan! It looked more like a riot to me." Peroroncino said, tilting his head to the side in a curious manner as he watches the inhabitants of the town scrambling to their feet to get away from something.

At his friend's words, Momonga had to agree that something looked extremely off. As he expanded the image, the other two also got up and out of their seats as they stood behind him, observing the very detailed graphics that the mirror had conveyed.

It was a massacre.

A villager fell with every swing of a knight's sword. The villagers could not resist them, and could only run away. The knights pursued and killed the fleeing villagers. There were horses eating the grain in the field. Those horses must have belonged to the knights.

"...What's this? How interesting." Ulbert chuckled as his eyes fixated at the bloody scene unfolding in front of him. It did not faze him one bit. In fact, Ulbert was intrigued and curious as to why these people were massacring each other. What are their motives? What gain could there possibly be by pointlessly destroying such a tiny village?

Momonga scoffed, intending to change the image. This village had no value to him. If he could extract more information from it, perhaps he might have a reason to save them. But as things stood, there was no reason to save this village.

I should abandon them. Thought Momonga.

Momonga was taken aback by how he could make such a heartless decision. A cruel slaughter was occurring before his eyes, but the only thing he could think of was the good of Nazarick. There was nothing like pity, anger or worry, basic human emotions anyone should have.

This world, this reality was changing him. And he could feel it happening. He cares not for other insignificant matters. If Momonga decides to do something, and if his friends of Ainz Ooal Gown and The Great Tomb of Nazarick was guaranteed to be safe and are gaining something, then that is the course of action that he will take. Right now, this situation appears to be neither.

He waved his hand again, showing a scene from another part of the village.

It seemed like two knights were trying to pull a violently struggling villager off another knight. The man was pulled away, his arms were held, and he was rendered motionless where he stood. Before Momonga's eyes, the man was stabbed with a sword. The blade entered his body and exited from the other side of him. It should have been a fatal blow, but the longsword did not stop. One, two, three strikes—the knight seemed to be taking out his anger on the villager as he hacked at the man's body.

In the end, the knight kicked away the villager, who collapsed to the ground while spurting his blood into the air. Frothy blood leaked from the villager's mouth as he tried to open his lips. His eyes were unfocused, and Momonga could not tell where he was looking. Even so, with what may have been his dying breaths, he gasped his last words to some nonexistent god or beings from above that might have been watching him.

Please save my daughter.

"Tch tch tch. How distasteful. These people have no skill nor appreciation for the art of execution. They have no style!"

"Pfft. I think that's the least of our concerns right now, Ulbert. But I gotta admit, that is some pretty nasty way to go."

"...They are reaching total annihilation. I don't think there's anything we can do at this point." Tabula said, placing a hand under his chin in contemplation as he observes the knights slaughtering the villagers with extreme calmness and ease.

"Did you want to save them, Tabula?" Momonga asked, with curiosity.

"The problem is that: Even if I do want to save them, how many of them are even left? If we came out there ourselves, then wouldn't it all be in vain if we only managed to save one or two people? What if all the important authorities are all dead? Then it would just be a complete waste of time." The alchemist sighed.

"...Yeah. I see no point in saving them, either." Momonga said, agreeing with the brain eater's words. He did not want to save them in the first place. And with Tabula's insights, he was even more convinced that he shouldn't interfere. "There's not a lot of benefit for us. And I don't really have a reason for us to put ourselves in action, either."

"I mean, we should still go, though, shouldn't we? We don't know who's in charge. What if they're still alive? If we save them, then we could be getting some valuable information!" Peroroncino said, hoping that Momonga wouldn't just leave these people to die.

He couldn't honestly care less if they all got wiped out. The only thing that compelled him to want to save these people were the small part of his humanity, telling him that they shouldn't just ignore what's happening right in front of them. But then again, he wouldn't really care if they all died. He didn't know them, so he feels no remorse nor sadness at their passing. It was a pity, though. They went down without a fight.

"You're right, Pero. But... I don't know. We don't know who these people are and what are their motives. What if we upset some important individuals in this world?" Momonga said, frowning as he placed a hand under his chin.

"...For once, I agreed with both sides." Ulbert said, sounding conflicted as he stroked his beard in thought. He took a few seconds to think up of what he should say next. But then, a thought clicked in his head as he then made up his mind. "You know what, I think we should go. Eventually, we have to get out there at some point. Maybe this is the time for us to do a little reconnaissance of our own."

Momonga was unsure of what to do. He took a glance at the screen and then moved his gaze back to his friends. But then, his eyes trailed towards the face of a silent butler quietly observing their group chattering among themselves. Momonga could see a bit of sadness in the butler's eyes. And his gaze was so steely that Momonga couldn't help but remember something from a while ago.

Saving someone in trouble is common sense. Touch Me said.

If not for those words, Momonga would not be here. Momonga sighed softly, and then he smiled. Now that he had recalled that memory, he had no choice but to go save them. I will repay that debt… besides, sooner or later, I'll have to test my fighting strength in this world.

"Ulbert and Peroroncino is right. We should go. Let's just save them first. I'd rather save them now. I don't want us to regret not saving them in the future."

Ulbert nodded at his friend's wise words as he then looks to the alchemist. "What's wrong, you're even more pessimistic than I am! Come on, Tabby. I know you hate being in the dark. Don't let this chance slip away."

"I do... Fine. We can go. But I don't think we all should leave at the same time. That's a very bad idea. It will leave Nazarick unprotected. If we do this, someone has to stay to record information and observe things from afar."

"I don't wanna be here if Momo-chan's gonna be out there in the great unknown! I'm his eyes and ears, I gotta be there for him!"

"That's nice. But I am Momonga's right-hand man. I refuse to be left behind. He needs my power."

"...You guys have some very active imagination." Snorted Momonga when his friends proclaimed out their rightful 'titles'. "How about this. I'll head over there first to take a look. And while I'm doing that, you guys can sort this out on your own. Is that good?"

"..." The group then grew silent as they contemplate on who should be the one to stay behind. With their silence, Momonga then took the first step as he gave Sebas his orders.

"Sebas, put Nazarick on maximum alert. I will go first, and after my teammates have sorted this out among themselves, tell them to come meet me, fully armed. After that, prepare support units. Something might happen which results in my inability to retreat. Therefore the units sent to the village should be adept at stealth or have the ability to go invisible."

The butler nodded, indicating that he have understood and have heeded all of Momonga's instructions. However, the grey-haired man then spoke up to present a suggestion to the skeleton overlord. "My lord, I strongly suggest that you should not go without a personal escort. May I volunteer myself to accompany you?"

"You can. But I'd prefer that you stay here to help one of them relaying my orders if something were to happen. These knights are currently ransacking the village, which means there might be knights near Nazarick who might try to attack us."

With that said, Momonga then saw the image before him change. Right now, it showed a girl sending a knight flying with a punch. The girl was leading an even younger girl as they ran away. They were probably sisters. Momonga immediately opened his inventory and withdrew the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown.

Just as the girl planned to flee, she was slashed in the back. Since time was tight, Momonga swiftly conjured up a spell.

" [ Gate ] ."


"...Well. Who is going to stay back? Do not argue among yourselves like moody teenagers. Discuss this calmly and thoroughly." Tabula Smaragdina said after the skeleton had disappeared from sight. The only way that they could have any idea of what was happening was through the mirror that Momonga has left behind. The gate has appeared, and after a brief moment, comes forth the overlord.

"Why don't you stay back, Tabby? Recording information and observing the enemy's formation is your specialty, isn't it?"

"You always get to do things with Momonga, Ulbert. Why don't you stay back instead?" Peroroncino said with a whine as he huffs.

"It's not my fault that you didn't come to watch the stars with us yesterday. You were too busy doing shameless things."

At that, the avian scoffed with a slight smirk. "Don't get me started, baldy. It's not like you don't do it too. And I have to be there. I can fly, plus, I'm perfect for scouting type missions! I can snipe people from afar if I spot threats to our guild leader."

"...But you have never participated in a reconnaissance before, Peroroncino." Tabula Smaragdina said, sighing as he then rubbed his forehead in slight frustration and impatience. They can't waste time like this. Momonga cannot be left out there alone in this unknown circumstance.

"I can try! This is serious stuff, I will not be messing around if Momonga's life is at risk!"

"You are equipped with one of the squishiest class out there, Peroroncino. You may have high physical and elemental damage, but your defense is weak. You have little spells or means of protecting yourself." The demon interjected, crossing his arms together as his brows furrows.

"Says the guy that solely focused himself on building firepower. I know you're strong, 'Berto. But I have mobility and means of escape if the enemy managed to get to me. If you didn't kill your enemies before they get to you, you're dead meat."

"But—."

"Enough! No more arguing! We are wasting time doing pointless things!" Tabula Smaragdina said with a harsh voice as his eyes widen with slight anger. "I will decide how things go. No more pointless arguing. Is that clear?" The alchemist said, ending his statement with a voice that didn't leave room for argument.

"...Fine. Do what you want. But make it quick. You're right, we are wasting time." Ulbert sighed, feeling particularly guilty at his friend's scolding as he then behaves himself. This wasn't a competition. No matter who goes, it will be fine, since Momonga will have somebody backing him up.

"Alright. Then let's hear it, Tabula." Peroroncino said, sounding serious as he too crossed his arms in front of his chest with anticipation.

"Here is the plan. Ulbert, you stay with Sebas to observe things from the mirror since you're very good with retaliation. I trust that you will know what to do if something unfortunate occurs, so I will leave this matter to you. Peroroncino will come with me to meet up with Momonga. I will be with our guild leader while Peroroncino quietly scouts for potential threats and enemies from afar. He will eliminate any dangers that he might have spotted if it comes to that. But if he doesn't find anything, then he will join up with us. We could always use an extra hand."

"...Sounds good to me. Then I will immediate make preparations. Don't wait for me, I will leave as soon as I am finished." Said the avian, waving his arm as he dismissed himself to go and wear on his trademark battle armor.

Ulbert was silent for a moment before sighing and nodding in confirmation. "...Alright. Then, Sebas. I hope that you are willing to help me."

"Of course, my lord! You needn't ask. I will do so willingly."

"...Take care of him, alright?" The demon said with a small smile that wasn't like one of his usual grin. It was hard to describe the emotion that the demon was conveying, but one could tell that it was sincere.

"Of course. Is that needed to be said in the first place? Thank you, for cooperating with me. It's just like the old days, huh? Ulbert?"

"Heh. Just like the old days. Now go. Don't procrastinate."

"Alright. If anything happens, please take care of us."

"You got it."


"Master Sebas. I have brought 'sponge cake' and 'pound cake' as urgently requested by the Supreme Ones. This is courtesy... of mistress Albedo and... Shalltear themselves...?" Naberal Gamma's speech pattern slowed itself down in confusion when there was no one else in the room except for Sebas the butler.

"...Ah. Thank you. And Naberal Gamma?"

"Yes? Master Sebas?"

"Why was this not made by the chefs?"

"Since it was an urgent order, I have to make sure to be as swift as I can in carrying it out. Mistress Albedo and lady Shalltear caught me on the way as they then question me as to why I was in such a hurry. After hearing my reason, they said nothing as they told me to wait outside the kitchen for them."

"Ah." Sebas said noncommittally, understanding why the two pieces looked so... off. It looked edible, yes. But there was some questionable choice of topping for both as Sebas wonders if it's even edible. But then, on a closer look, it appears that the thing on top was just... chocolate. With a very interesting color.

"Master Sebas? Where are the Supreme Ones?"

"Lord Ulbert will return shortly after he is done with adorning his full armor. The other lords have gone off to do some important business."

"M-Master, you let them go off alone?"

"Of course not. Lord Momonga had some troops standing by with him if he needs them. I am not so foolish as to let the Supreme Beings be at some unknown place without protection."

"Ah... My a-apologies, Master Sebas. Then I will excuse myself—."

"Something smells good." A voice of delight announced themselves as a horned figure stepped through the door.

"My l-lord Ulbert! I humbly present myself before your great presence."

"What are those? Is that... pound cake?"

"Yes, my lord."

"Sponge cake too?"

"Yes, my lord!"

Peroroncino must've requested for these. Thought Ulbert. Well then, since I didn't get to go, I should do something to get him back for it. Ulbert grinned mischievously as he stared at the two delicious looking treats laid out before him.

"I can eat this, right?"

"Lord Peroroncino have requested them... But I don't think the chefs will be having any problem to make these! Please help yourself, my lord." Sebas said with a smile as he bowed his head to his lord.

Don't mind if I do. Nyehehe, I'm going to eat all of your food, Peroroncino. This is what you get for leaving me behind!

Chapter Text

 Chapter 8 - Rendezvous?


"W-what?" A few voices full of confusion greeted Momonga as he stepped through the dark portal.

The scene before his eyes was the same of what he had seen earlier.

Two terrified girls were in front of him.

The one who looked like the elder sister had a braid of straw-blonde hair that reached down to her breasts. Her skin, healthily tanned from working in the sun, was now deathly pale from fear, and her dark eyes were wet with tears.

Momonga gazed coldly at the knight standing before the two girls.

Perhaps he was shocked by Momonga's sudden appearance, but the knight simply stared at Momonga, having apparently forgotten to swing the sword he was holding.

Momonga had grown up without knowing the touch of violence on his life. He did not think that the world in which he currently resided was a simulation, but the real thing, Even so, he did not feel the slightest bit of fear at the knight before him who held a sword.

This calmness allowed him to make a cold, cruel decision.

" [ Grasp Heart ]. "

Momonga reached out an empty hand and cast his spell.

A feeling of something soft crushing beneath Momonga's fingers traveled up his arm, and the knight collapsed silently to the ground.

Momonga looked down upon the fallen knight and then back onto his bony hands that are dripping with bright, crimson blood.

How terrifying.

He had just executed someone in the most inhumane way possible, and it did not faze him one bit. It would seem that even killing someone did not stir any emotions within him. There was no guilt, fear, or confusion in his heart. His state of mind was like the surface of a calm lake. How could this be?

It appears that in both body and mind, he was no longer human.

Momonga huffed once at the irony as he then walked past the two trembling girls. They were afraid, frightened by the horrible fate that has befallen their enemy. And Momonga has to raise his nonexistent eyebrows at that. He had come to rescue them. However, they were very confused by Momonga's sudden appearance and actions. What could they be thinking?

Although he had his doubts, Momonga did not have time to worry about them. After verifying the wounds on the elder sister's back through her tattered old clothes, Momonga put the girls behind him and glared at a knight who had just emerged from a nearby house.

The knight saw Momonga as well and took a step back in fear.

Momonga scoffed as he took a step forward.

"What's wrong? You're all in it when it comes to chasing women and people with no weapons. But you can't even raise your hands to someone who could fight back? Raise your swords, you coward. Fight." Momonga said in an attempt to intimidate or provoke the trembling knight.

Apparently, it does both. A wonder what fear could do to people's resolve. When a person is afraid to die, they will do anything to stay alive, it seems. The knight took a moment to move, but when he does, he raised his sword and charged towards Momonga with a battle cry, despite it still sounding like he was going to pee his pants at any given moment.

Momonga did not know what other spells to use next, for his first spell was one of his favorites. So he raised his golden Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown as he then prepares for a direct confrontation. Perhaps when the knight was within a decent range and radius of him, Momonga could test out his debuffing spells that impair movements or have a stun effect. Or he could use one of his lower tiered spells. He wanted to test out how strong the inhabitants of this world are. And since his attack spells aren't as destructive, he could verify his own power.

However, before he could even do anything, a sound of something whizzed past the air. It flew right from behind him and past his ear, and Momonga raised his eyebrows as he began to feel a little bit cautious and alarmed. The object had struck something or someone, and the sound upon impact thundered out like a striking hammer, intensifying his worries. It was followed by two more of the same noise. However, upon seeing what exactly happened, a sense of ease then settled into Momonga's heart.

The knight has a bolt of arrow surrounded by a surge of electricity lodged in his throat as he gurgled, choking on his own blood. It was a very precise shot that went straight through the center of the man's throat. It was almost perfect, worthy of being captured and recorded in the world's record book. The one exception that made it imperfect was the part where the man dies and the sound of him slowly dying spread throughout the vicinity, accompanied by the crackling sound of lightning.

Another arrow was embedded in the knight's chest armor, blood was leaking from that spot as well as it drips onto the ground beneath him. And one other arrow were seen stuck in between the man's abdomen. The arrows shot has formed a line pattern going across the man's body, pinning him to a trunk of a tree. It was a beautiful and seemingly well-planned execution.

"...Don't touch him, salope." A voice spatted out venomously.

Momonga smiled as the owner of the voice stepped through the portal.

In his full glory, Peroroncino majestically and gracefully made his appearance known as he proudly spans his wings out in a display of his power. His golden mask glowed brightly under the sun as he carries himself through the field like a war general. And he held his golden-copper bow by his side like a symbol of his greatness with pride.

"...That's too close for comfort! Don't scare me like that!"

"I could've handled myself, you mother hen."

"I know. But still! He can't just come at you like that. The great Peroroncino is here, rest assured! No harm will ever befall your lovely body, mon chéri!"

"...Hah. So I take it you three have sorted it out among yourselves?"

"Yup. The goat's staying back."

Momonga chuckled with amusement, raising his nonexistent eyebrows at that statement. "Him? Staying back? That doesn't sound like him. He must've protested to it strongly?"

"Mon Dieu, yes! He kept nagging and nagging and nagging. But then our beloved alchemist, being the mature person he was, sorted it out for us." Peroroncino said, shaking his head with a chuckle of his own. Then, he crossed his arms together in front of his chest as he then stared amusingly at the skeleton. "Besides, he always gets to do things with you. I can't believe you two went on a date together yesterday and didn't invite me."

"...Well, he said you were 'busy'. He didn't tell me what you were doing, though." Momonga said, rolling his eyes at the avian with a smile. "What kept you away from stargazing with us? Are you that busy?"

"O-oh, yeah! I-I was busy. I was so busy that I didn't get to hear what he was saying."

"What were you doing?"

"T-things."

Momonga snorted, shaking his head as he then decides to drop the subject. They came here to save people, not to have a casual chit chat. A metallic smell permeated the air as Momonga brought his gaze down onto the fallen knight who was pierced by Peroroncino's three bolts of arrows.

From the looks of it, Peroroncino had shot the man in his stomach first, then slowly making his way up. The man shouldn't have died just by an arrow to the stomach. It was probably penetrated really deep in to cause an instant death, or it is because of the second bolt of arrow connected to the middle of the man's chest. By the looks of it, that one has gone in deep enough to make a mortal wound, but if the man's armor was really impressive, then he couldn't have possibly died by that. Or could he?

The arrow to the throat was an instant death factor, yes. But Momonga wondered, did the man actually come close to dying or have already died before that?

"Earlier, what skill did you use?" Asked Momonga as he inspects the fallen form of the knight.

" [ Arrow of Electricity ]. It's tier three, by the way."

"Hah. So weak. He died by a mere tier three skill?"

"I didn't know how strong the people of this world was. So I decided to be cautious and use low-tiered skills as much as possible. I was starting to worry that it might not be enough. But apparently, my worries was for nothing." Peroroncino said, letting out a short laugh of disbelief and relief at the same time. "He actually comes close to dying the moment I shot my first arrow. But I don't want to risk it. So I went ahead with the other two arrows."

Momonga nodded, pleased at the discovery of this new information. Now that he knew the knights were weak enough to be finished off by third-tier skills, Momonga's tension vanished in an instant. Of course, it could be that these two knights were especially weak among their kind, but still, it was a great relief. However, the plan to retreat with magic had not changed.

These knights might be focused on offense. In Yggdrasil, a blow to the neck counted as a critical hit and dealt extra damage, but in the real world, it might well be fatal. And it is. Instead of relaxing, Momonga raised his guard. It would be too foolish to die because he was careless. Plus, his carelessness might cause his friend his life as well. So, he ought to continue testing his powers.

"—[ Create Mid-Tier Undead, Death Knight ]."

"Awww! Death Knight-chan is going to be summoned? Yay!" Peroroncino said with a small laugh. That particular summon has managed to save his own life a couple of times before. And at this unknown place, the monster could prove to be quite useful, since it has two special abilities.

One of them was the ability to draw away enemy attacks. The other was that just once, they could survive any attack with 1 HP. Momonga told him that he liked using Death Knights as shields because of these two skills.

This time round, the skeleton was also looking forward to using the Death Knight in a similar way.

A cloud of black fog appeared. The cloud headed straight for the body of the knight whose heart had been crushed and then enveloped it. The mist slowly expanded, and melded with the knight's body. After that, the knight wobbled before slowly rising to its feet like a zombie.

"Eeeeek!" Screeched the two girls. But Momonga and Peroroncino paid no attention to them, as they both were surprised by what they were currently seeing.

"...This is... bizarre." Peroroncino said, cringing a little at the metamorphosis occurring right in front of him.

With a wet, dripping sound, several rills of black ichor oozed out from between the gaps in the knight's helmet. It must have come from the knight's mouth.

The black fluid flowed out without end, until it covered the knight's entire body. It looked like a human being that had been swallowed by a slime. Completely surrounded by the black liquid, the knight's body began to twist and change. After several seconds, the black liquid fell off the body of what was now a Death Knight.

"Interesting." Momonga voiced his thoughts out loud. Much like he had with the Primal Fire Elemental and Moonlight Wolves he had summoned, Momonga used the mental bond with his summoned monster and pointed to the corpse of the knight who had been slain by Peroroncino's lightning arrows. "Exterminate the knights who are attacking the village."

"OOOOOOOAAAAHHHHHHH!" it roared. So mighty was its cry that it shook the air, and it was so filled with bloodlust that everyone who heard it broke out in goosebumps.

The Death Knight ran, fast as lightning. The way it charged forward without hesitation was like a hunting hound that had scented its quarry. The undead's hatred for the living made it sensitive to the prey that it would soon slaughter.

As the Death Knight's silhouette shrank into the distance, Momonga was keenly aware of a difference between this new world and Yggdrasil.

The stark difference was... the concept of "independence".

Originally, the Death Knight should have stayed by its summoner's side to await his orders and attack any enemies which approached. Yet, it had disregarded that order and launched an attack of its own accord. This difference might be a fatal vulnerability in an unknown situation like this one.

At a loss for words, Momonga scratched his head and sighed.

"...Well, that kinda defeats the purpose of a defensive monster, isn't it? But whatever, I guess. I told it to do that, after all."

Although he could make quite a few more Death Knights, it was best to conserve limited-use abilities while he was not sure of the enemy and the situation. Still, Momonga was a back-line mage. Without a front-liner to run interference for him, he was practically naked.

"Hahaha! Look at him go!" Peroroncino laughed as the creature disappeared from sight, running off to the village's direction. "You should've seen your face when he ran off. It was hilarious!" The archer said gleefully.

"It was?" Momonga said, feeling suddenly insecure. He thought skeletons couldn't convey expressions or emotions! What has his face been doing this entire time?!

"Yeah. It was certainly 'jaw dropping'." Peroroncino said, shoulders trembling as he felt a laughing coming up.

"Ohhhh." Momonga said blankly, feeling like someone had slapped him across the face. He loved Peroroncino and his antics that never fail to make him smile, but that pun was just... He sighed internally. But he can't help the chuckle that escaped him despite it not being funny. Good ole Pero.

"Yeah, 'ohhhhh'." Peroroncino snickered, crossing his arms in front of his chest with amusement.

"Psch. Whatever. I'm glad I tickled your 'funny bones'." Momonga said deadpanned.

"I-Is that a skeleton joke? Bwahaha!"

"Hehehe. Alright, Pero. Since you're here, would you mind surveying around the perimeter? Since you're still a rogue, you should have [ Sense Enemy ], right?" Momonga asked, hoping that the avian would cooperate for the time being.

The archer must have wanted to stay by his side, but better safe than sorry, right? If the enemy was around, and they only happen to see Momonga, then his friend wouldn't be put in immediate danger. Plus, if something happens, then Peroroncino would be able to help out or report the situation to Ulbert since he's quick on his feet.

"...Yes. You'll be ok, right?"

"Mhmm. Don't worry about me. If something happens, even to me, report it back immediately. If you can handle it, then try to keep noises down to a minimum. We don't want to alert our enemies."

"...Got it. Then, be safe, alright? It ain't a request."

Without another word, the avian stretched and spans his wings out widely. And with a few flaps of his wings, Peroroncino then took to the sky with a whoosh. The avian's armor and equipment that was covered by a metallic surface gleamed brightly as he flew up high, and it looked very beautiful. Like an angel soaring at the heavens above.

"I-Is that an angel?" Asked the smaller one of the two sisters, voice shaky but full of curiosity and wonder.

Momonga had a silent smirk as he contemplates on whether or not to reply to that query with: "No, it's a really big bird" in a sarcastic voice.

"I d-don't know, Nemu." Said the elder sister, eyes not leaving the sky, even though the form of the archer is already gone.

Momonga trusts that Peroroncino will have his back. Now, he might be half-listening and half-not when he was using the mirror earlier, but Peroroncino was right when he called himself Momonga's eyes and ears. Nothing escapes his vision once he's in his natural habitat: The sky. Even before Yggdrasil turned into this reality, Peroroncino was already like a true bird of prey. His hawk-like eyesight made him a great sniper, and he could see things even kilometers away.

Still, it'd be nice if there was someone here acting as his shield. He wished that tanky individual like Fang, Leviathan, and Bukubukuchagama was here. Their presence would make him feel more at ease and make his life easier.

"Apologies for the delay, guild leader." A smooth and familiar voice said.

Momonga smiled and turned around as the figure cloaked in a lustrous looking cape and clad in complicated looking high-heels stepped through the portal with a bow of his head. Momonga waved his hand in front of his face, dismissing the statement as he moved past the two small girls, closing the distance between himself and the figure that are now fully visible.

"You made it."

"I always make time for you, guild leader. And besides, I suggested the idea. So it made more sense if I myself came, doesn't it?"

"Yes. Ha. So he really did stay behind, eh?"

"Yes. Yes he did. He would not stop complaining. So I came as quick as I could. He's watching us right now, but I don't care." Tabula chuckled. He really wanted to flip the bird at the person who is currently watching them. But doing so at the air would seem quite... idiotic. So he held himself back as he then looked around him, noticing that a certain someone was not with Momonga at the moment. "Where's our 'beloved' archer? I thought he came here before I did."

"He was here. But he went off to do a bit of reconnaissance."

Tabula 'hmmed' for a moment as he took his chin in his hand. "Reconnaissance? By himself? Are you sure he'll be alright? Why didn't he wait until I arrived?" The alchemist asked with a bit of concern. Sure, that was what Tabula has planned out for him in the first place. There are plenty of things that Peroroncino can do in order to defend himself or to avoid a direct confrontation, and his strength and power are unquestionable. But he doesn't know this world or what lurks behind every corner or shadow, and why couldn't he waited for him?

Momonga laughed for a moment before nodding his head. "Don't worry, Tabula. I know it's his first time, but I trust him. Besides, what a better way to learn than this? He spent enough time with Nishiki. So I'm pretty sure that nothing will escape his eyes. And he definitely won't be discovered if things went South."

"...That's true. He's still a rogue, isn't he? Yes. Wonderful. Then, what is the situation like here?"

"I'm not sure yet..." Momonga said, stroking his chin for a moment before remembering the pair of sisters that were attacked by the knights. He looked down, and was greeted by faces that were filled with immediate fear upon realizing that he was now looking at them. What the shit? Why are they still so scared? Momonga thought. If he wanted to kill them, he would have done so ages ago. Why are they so frightened? Did he eat their parents or something?

Tabula followed Momonga's gaze as he then let out a small 'Ah' of acknowledgment. The girl with blond hair was that one girl that got slashed in the back earlier. Speaking of which, Tabula now saw the streak of crimson that is forming on the ground behind the girl. "Girl. State your name."

"Ah! A-Ah, m-my name is Enri E-Emmott. Please don't kill us!"

"If you keep talking to us like that, maybe we will." Tabula said coldly and without hesitation as he glares at the girl named Enri.

"I-I'm so sorry!" She squeaked, hugging her sister close to her.

"Alright. Settle down." Said Tabula with another sigh. "You are wounded. Turn around. Let me see your back. Does it hurt?" The alchemist then said with a doctor-like tone as he then swirled his index finger in a circular motion, indicating that the girl should follow his instructions.

"O-Ok." The girl, Enri, said in a meek voice as she quickly complied with the command. "I-It hurts."

Momonga cringed a little at the looks of the wound. It was not a cut deep enough to cause intense blood loss, but it was deep enough to severe muscle tissues. Judging by looks alone, he could say that the cut was about three centimeters deep.

"If you do not get this treated, the wound will be infected and you will probably die of infection." Tabula said after examining the wound. If his hunch was right, this wound is minor and are extremely easy to cure with a Minor Healing Potion. He happened to have some with him, and it was personally crafted by Tabula himself.

Reaching into that inventory place in a space of void, Tabula grabbed his finished concoction as he then told the girl to turn around. "Here, drink this." Said Tabula with a calm voice like how one would sound like when trying to pacify a frightened animal.

The reason for Tabula being so nice was because he wanted to test the effect of his potions. Did he get everything right? Will it actually heal people? Or would it have the opposite effect? If he ended up succeeding in creating his potion, but they are poisonous, then he will have to do something to fix that.

He didn't have any test subjects that would give him the best results and data in the Tomb of Nazarick, since every single being in there is all inhuman. And creatures summoned by him or Ulbert or anyone else will just be monsters or grotesque species. So, no. Not a very wide range of audience or experimentation subjects for him to... test his potions on. And of course, he would never ask his friends to try it for him. Momonga will be very mad if Peroroncino or Ulbert dies of—was it alcohol or food?—poisoning.

This girl will be the first one to test out his concoction.

"Drink. It's not poison." Tabula said, urging the girl to drink it when she hesitates a little. The little sister was looking at him with very curious eyes, despite it having a bit of fear in him. Perhaps Tabula's appearance wasn't as scary as Momonga's. The alchemist chuckled internally at that.

"...O-Ok." Enri said, gingerly taking the potion away from Tabula's grasp as she uncorks the cap, taking an immediate gulp of the red liquid down her throat. Her eyes went wide and she gulped the potion down. After that, a look of surprise filled her face. "No way…" She touched her back, then wiggled her body in disbelief and patted the spot where the wound was in wonder.

"See, is that so hard?" Tabula said with a small chuckle of delight. Success! Tabula cheered silently in his mind.

Though, he found if slightly amusing to imagine the scenario when his concoction failed. What would happen then? Would they die? Or some other side effect, he wondered. But that's an experiment for another day.

"You made that, didn't you?" Momonga said with an amused voice as he watches his friend's inner emotions being expressed through his eyes.

"Mhmm. How did you know?" Tabula said, chuckling at the overlord's tone of voice.

"Only a perfectionist like you would put the lowest class of health potion in such a fancy bottle." Said Momonga, staring at the stark difference between a regular low-class health potion versus Tabula's own creation.

"Hahaha. You know me so well, guild leader." Tabula replied, eyes smiling as he has to agree with that statement.

"T-thank you f-for your kindness!" Enri said, as she and her sister bowed their heads to the alchemist.

Tabula raised an eyebrow at the elder sister as he scoffed for a moment, before shaking his head. "Do not thank me. Thank my leader. If not for him, I wouldn't be here." The brain eater said, voice filled with disinterest as he fiddles with another small bottle of health potion in his webbed hand.

The two girls then scrambled in their spots as they turned their attention to Momonga. They had a look of fear on their faces as they redirect their gazes at the ground instead of looking at the skeleton. They must be afraid of Momonga's ghastly appearance.

Tabula frowned deeply at that.

"Girl. Look at someone when you are speaking to them." He said in a reprimanding voice, feeling very disapproving of their disrespectful behavior. "That is proper etiquette, is it not?"

"I-I'm sorry! I'm really s-sorry! And t-thank you so much, for s-saving us!" Enri said, finally looking directly at Momonga for a few seconds before bowing her head down to him, her sister following suit.

Tabula seemed pleased at that, and he nodded his head in temporary approval.

"Do not be afraid. We only wished to help..." Said the skeleton, holding his hand up. Help ourselves. Momonga internally added. "Well then, it is dangerous to go back there right now. So stay here."

"I-is it alright if we do?" Enri tentatively asked with an unsure look on her face.

Momonga chuckled a little. "It will be fine... Do you know what magic is?"

Enri nodded. "Yes, yes I do. The alchemist who comes by our village… my friend, knows how to use magic."

"...Is that so. Well, that makes things easy to explain. I am a magic caster." Momonga then looked to Tabula, then he pointed a finger towards his direction. "And so is my friend. Do not worry, I have a plan in mind. [ Anti-Life Cocoon ] , [ Wall of Protection From Arrows ]. " Said Momonga as he casts his spells.

Tabula stared curiously at Momonga.

These spells... though it was effective as a defense mechanism against assassins, unseen threats, or direct confrontations, it will prove useless if the enemy, by any chance, was over level sixty. But then again, Momonga didn't really want to save them in the first place. So this must be enough in the skeleton's own opinion.

But if he was going to save them, why not go all the way?

"I have cast a defensive spell that keeps living creatures from coming near you, as well as a spell that weakens the effectiveness of shooting attacks. As long as you stay here, you should be safe. Ah, just in case, I will give you these as well." Momonga said.

Tabula then internally went 'Ah' when Momonga has drawn out an item with the shape of a horn, tossing them to the pair of sisters. He has to snicker a little, though, at the very particular choice of the item that Momonga have granted to the girls.

"These are called the Horns of the Goblin General. If you blow them, Goblins—in other words, small monsters—will appear. Order them to protect you."

Those items are trash. Tabula knew that was the very reason why he has tossed them away. The girls were just an excuse for Momonga to say that he didn't discard them for no reason. The skeleton was a hoarder, and he didn't like using things very much. However, if he didn't need something, he will either throw it away or just stash it at some place, forever untouched.

Tabula almost laughed at Momonga's sneakiness. The girls are unaware of that, but he knew. And the knowledge couldn't keep itself away from his mind, and he had a hidden smile on his face.

Momonga smiled, feeling quite smart for being able to put this unneeded item to good use. A good point about this item was that the summoned Goblins would linger until they were killed instead of vanishing after a while. That could at least buy the girls some time. So his efforts won't be wasted.

"Shall we inspect the village now?" Tabula asked, tilting his head in the direction of the village.

"Yes. Let's go."

"W-Wait!" Enri spoke out as the pair of magic caster turned to leave the scene. "Thank you, truly, for saving us!"

"Thank you!" The little sister then said with a small blush.

Those words stopped Momonga and Tabula in their tracks, and when they turned around, they saw the two girls, their eyes brimming with tears as they thanked Momonga and the alchemist.

"Think nothing of it. We are on the way to your village, and you happen to be in the way and in need of help." Momonga said, nodding affirmatively at the two girls.

"And, and this may be thick-skinned of us, b-but you are the only one we can count on. Please! Please save our parents!"

Tabula sighed internally. He knew it. This is what happened when you come out and save someone. They're going to start relying on you like you're some kind of freelance savior. It was such a bother. But, oh well. What can they do? They have already come out all this way. And saving whoever they can was the purpose of this trip, was it not?

"Assuming they're alive, then we might." Tabula said, reassuring the two girls as their faces lit up. The sisters' eyes went wide as they heard Tabula's words. Their faces reflected the disbelief in their hearts, but soon they came to their senses and lowered their heads in thanks.

"Th-thank you! Thank you very much! And, and, may we know…" The girl's voice trailed off, and then she asked in a mumble. "May we know your names...? The names of our saviors?"

Tabula paused as he glanced at his friend.

What will happen if they gave out their names so publicly? If some hidden enemies were around, listening to them, speaking out their names would be a huge mistake. What will Momonga say? The truth? Of course, he could just lie. But Tabula will leave this up to their guild leader. He trusts his decisions and will stay with it until the end, even if their names were given out.

Momonga almost responded to the question by reflex, but in the end, he did not state his name nor the name of his friend. There were a few reasons why he did not do so. But then... what should he say?

His name was Momonga. The guild leader of the great guild of Ainz Ooal Gown.

The skeleton glanced at the person standing next to him, and said person tilts his head as he looked at Momonga curiously.

His name was Tabula Smaragdina. He is also a part of Ainz Ooal Gown. The perfectionist who refuses to use a damn tome because of his pride.

Ulbert Alain Odle. Forever one of their most powerful and loyal member. A secret tsundere, but of course, he wouldn't admit that.

Peroroncino. A show off... but dependable and faithful to his own guild. The guy's a damn pervert, but he has a sincere heart of gold.

And his other friends... They might not be here today. But their spirits and memories are, aren't they? The very relic that he held in his hands is the reminder of that, isn't it? This is what makes the guild of Ainz Ooal Gown itself, isn't it?

They're all a part of Ainz Ooal Gown, are they not? And they're not ashamed to call themselves that, either. Even when they go down dying, the name of their beloved guild will never falter from their lips.

Not all of them are together, but some of them are here right now, in the new world.

He was not alone. They are here, as one with him.

...Perhaps...

Perhaps... Just maybe...

"...We are Ainz Ooal Gown. You shall remember who we are, and make sure you do not forget our name."


Peroroncino clutched his chest and heaved out a heavy sigh as the winds above brushed past his hair and wings.

"Damn it, Momonga."

He still feels his heart pounding from when he got to the Gate and saw his guild leader stood there as a dude with a sword charged at him. In pure reflex and with a bit of anger, he sniped down the bastard where he stood. And he doesn't want to admit it, but it felt good seeing the man choke in his own blood. There was a sense of satisfaction and pride that surged within him at that moment. And though he doesn't quite understand why, it didn't scare him as much as he thought it would.

His heart was still pounding, for some reason. It was especially stronger when he was in the other's presence. And he beat his chest a couple of times, attempting to quiet it down as he then sighed out with a shaky breath. This was not the first time that he has encounter his friend, so why does it feel so... different? He cannot explain it. And he frowned, feeling agitated.

"Be still, my beating heart." Peroroncino said softly, but still scolding himself a little bit as he then looked around and under him. His passive was activated as he scoped out his vicinity. There was no one in the sky, of course. Unless they know how to fly like him. But he should still look, nonetheless. This was his first time going out to do a scouting mission, and Momonga and his friends' safety depended whether or not he is doing good in his job. So he can't goof or slack around. Not today.

The sky was... refreshing to see. He can't believe that this was real, sometimes. He has left his life from the other side behind, and with that, a whole new world has opened up to him. Peroroncino is seeing a lot of new things that he would never have seen IRL if he was never stuck in this situation. There were clouds, birds flying, and the sky itself with the sun shining so brightly from above. You can't see that over there. All these is gray sky and clouds of pollution.

Ah.

The wind smells good. Fresh and pure.

He can't help but feel a little bit wistful and sad, as the memory of his old life brought back the face of a particular person into his mind.

"Sister..."

He wonders where she is. Would she miss him? Or is she still continuing on with her new career? Did she have a boyfriend or a girlfriend yet? It's been a while since he's been updated with her whereabouts.

He snickers a little.

Well, now that she had changed her job, he would never have to hear her voice in an H-game ever again. But then... He let out a mournful sob at that. No more H-games for him, now that he's staying in this life. How horrible!

But that's that. Peroroncino shook his head as his wings took him forward. This is not the time to get distracted.

His eyes scanned the forest below, and he has confirmed that this was quite a sizable place. It was big. An ambush could happen just about anywhere. And who knows what type of enemy could be hidden within these gigantic trees? He has to be careful. And using his class spell that would make him invisible, he flew himself closer to the top of the trees.

This would let him see more what could be underneath, and at the same time, if someone tries to shoot him down, given that they could see past his camouflage, then he could still get a big enough distance and time to dodge the incoming projectiles.

There was a different smell permeating the air. It was very old and faint, but he could still sense it. Peroroncino followed the trail of the scent, and it resulted in him stopping above a patch of great trees. It was below. He would have to descend down from the sky in order to inspect what was going on.

There was no enemy below him. He could tell. And plus, [ Detect Enemy ] was on.

He thinks that it is safe for now, to come down just for a few moments. He must know what this scent of smoke and ashes are. The forest did not burn, that was for sure. So why was those particular scent lingering around?

Peroroncino withdrew his bow as his feet landed on the ground, and swiftly, he rolled himself to duck behind a bush, just in case somebody heard him.

The archer waited for ten seconds for a sign of some lifeforms. Anything. Even the briefest rustling of the leaves, or the sound of someone else's breathing other than his own. But there was none. So with that, he rose from behind the bush as he then inspects his surroundings.

He widens his eyes in surprise.

There was a patch of rocks shaped in a circle to resemble a campfire. It didn't look too bad, either. Whoever did this must have had some experience beforehand. Peroroncino kneels down on the ground as he then took a closer look at the campfire. This was probably what the smell of the smoke and ashes were. There was still the slightest trace of ember left behind, so the fire was extinguished not too long ago. But that was probably not true. His sense of smell was sharper than usual, so he couldn't really rely on that fact just yet.

Peroroncino looked at the rest of the place, and he has just now noticed that two small wooden logs were placed on the sides of the campfire, standing up straight, like it was a support for something. And upon looking at another place, he found two discarded wooden sticks and stood up to pick them up.

Somewhere in his mind, a voice screamed to him that this was disgusting. But he ignored it as he took a whiff of them. This was... not really necessary, but it is at the same time. The two feelings canceled each other out as he continued on with his inspection.

Thyme. Garlic. Pepper. Salt.

Sniff sniff.

A little bit of basil. Onions.

Whoever made this sure knows their stuff.

He took another whiff, feeling slightly hungry. Maybe he could identify what the food was. Upon looking at the instruments used, it should be some kind of steak. And it was definitely beef or pork, he was sure of it.

Sniff sniff.

...Well, that was kind of a useless thought. How the fuck was he supposed to be able to identify a piece of food based on just scent alone? He laughed at himself for his silliness and discarded the two sticks aside.

Just then, a sight caught his eyes as he turned his body around so that he could walk towards it.

Two very odd looking white sticks.

Upon a closer inspection, it reminded him of Momonga for some reason...

"AH! Bones!" Peroroncino said in a realization. He then picked the two up as well and inspects the two leftover bones. Picked clean. Those who ate these were probably really hungry. Probably two dudes, but if the person who ate this have his sister's appetite, then girls are a possibility too. Heh. The thoughts of beautiful girls ravenously consuming food sent a shock of excitement to his spine. But then he waved the thoughts away.

"Heheheheh. Momo-chan will scold me if I slack off on my job!"

Back to the bones.

It looked so familiar, he swears. But this doesn't tell him anything either. He wasn't a bone expert, unlike Fang and Tabula. Why, he doesn't know. But one thing for sure, he cannot waste any more time lingering here. Whoever stopped here last probably didn't go too far yet. And something tells him that he should find out who they are.

Activating his camouflage again, he took off to the sky.

Peroroncino once again scanned his surrounding. Again, nothing but the clouds and the sky here. Feeling that it was safe to proceed, Peroroncino continued on forward. Until he saw a big trail of smoke in the distance.

That wasn't where Momonga was. And with slight caution and curiosity, he flew closer to where the smoke was coming from. And as he flew, the forest ended, and it took him to a clearing with a destroyed and burned down village.

"Wow. That's rough!" Peroroncino said, feeling pity at the sorry state of this village. No one was here anymore. Its only inhabitants were the cinder and ashes, accompanied by the partial remains of what was supposed to be houses. It's such a pity. This could have been a good place to live.

But then, probably not. There were monsters and creatures alike residing in the forest near them, wasn't there? Or if the enemy managed to make a good site in the confines of the trees, then that would be just as bad. It's better if you were completely exposed. It means you're more likely to see the enemies coming. So even if you can't fight back, you have time to run. Having part of the forest in front or behind you will guarantee a potential ambush from humans and monsters alike.

Whoever decided that this was a good place to place a village in, they were really dumb.

Peroroncino sighed, landing atop of a roof of a house that somehow survived through the catastrophe. Barely. His wings flapped a few times, appreciating the small break from the constant activity. And he looked around him as the scent of ash and dust filled his nose.

"...Haa... I thought I'd find something new. Turns out just an abandoned place." Peroroncino said, feeling slightly disappointed at his discovery.

Well, it's something new alright. But it seems that he came a bit too late to find out who could have inhabited this place. This happened not too long ago. By the trail of the smoke and the faint touch of burning ember, this was... say, no longer than two or three hours prior. How suspicious. And it happened not too far away from the place where Momonga was at. It took him about thirteen minutes on wings to make it here. Though it might take longer on foot, whatever wreck havoc here were definitely making its way to that village his friends was in judging by the trails of the wreckage. He must go back and warn them. Something, or someone, came through here, and they did this.

His ears then picked up something. And with a hurried pace, he did a somersault and back-flipped himself off of the building, landing gracefully on the ground as he then hid behind the wreckage.

There was someone.

He listens closer. There were sounds of multiple footsteps, but one sounds... sloppy. It almost made him cringe a little bit. Like when you hear someone say the word 'moist'. The sound accompanying whoever it was sounded exactly like that word; 'moist'.

He readies his bow. And with his invisibility still on, Peroroncino carefully moved out from behind an open window, quickly drawing back the strings of his bow as he then held his breath. His heart pounded in his ears as his eyes moved itself to find his targets. His fingers tighten itself, ready to give his enemies their rightful judgment if they prove to be threatening.

It was terrifying, yet exhilarating at the same time.

Two figures entered his radius of vision.

Peroroncino activated his lightning arrows.

If these two were stronger than the previous knights, or if they have resistances to lightning attacks, then they'll be fine. But it will definitely stun them. And that's good. He wanted to see who they are before he either captures or kills them.

His enemies drew closer, and he could make out the shapes of the two figures.

His grip on the arrow tightens.

These two looked very strong and dangerous. Judging by the shape of their figure alone. One was large and bulky looking, due to their armor, probably. Peroroncino think that it might take some effort to finish off that one. And the other was... unidentifiable. He couldn't find any words to describe that other figure at all. And this leads him to be a little bit more cautious and careful in his approach. He could just attack them on sight, but there's no guarantee that he would come out the victor. Or perhaps he might. He has his full armor and items equipped, and if he planned his moves right, nothing can survive his sniping skills.

His avian sense of hearing was tickled as his ears picked up a few sounds.

"...so sad!"

"...I don't think there's anything we could have done, we slept in."

"Hahaha. You're right. But... I wished we could have done something. It was so close!"

Female voices.

It's faint. But he could tell that they belonged to two beautiful ladies.

Now, Peroroncino usually would have immediately dropped his guard upon hearing such lovely voices. But his survival instinct and his duty to keep his friends safe activate itself, and he was feeling more alarmed than ever. He is now ready to kill, now that he has confirmed that there are indeed people here.

Peroroncino decided to not act just yet, though, and listens more into the very faint conversation of the two females.

"I'm hungry..."

"Unless you want coals for breakfast, I don't think we can find anything here..."

"Uwa..."

"Yama-chan! It's going to be alright! Don't cry! I promise I will find you some food! Just hold my hands and walk into the sunset?"

"...No."

"Awww!"

The avian couldn't really make out most of the words they were saying, but as they got closer, his ears picked up a certain phrase.

Yama-chan? Peroroncino thought with a frown and narrowed eyes. That sounded way too familiar for his comfort. What irks him is that it while it really was familiar to him, but he could not tell when or where he had heard such a name before. Or was that just a nickname?

Peroroncino's eyes could now scope out the general appearance of the two females.

He could make out a small bit of what appears to be... something bulky. The first female was seemed to be covered from head to toe with armor.

Ready for combat, it seems.

Tch.

He's prepared, too. His bow is ready and his arrow just on the verge of releasing itself out of his death-like grip. The bolt of arrow sizzled with lightning, ready to char its opponents and fry their innards. And he let out a small exhale before inhaling a deep gulp of air and holding his breath once more.

If that female was by any chance a tank, she will meet her death in his hands. His weapon and gears were optimized for armor penetration. And, he has a ninety-five percent chance of a critical strike. If she thinks that armor can protect her, she is deadly wrong. He will shred through that armor like a hot knife cutting through a piece of paper.

The only thing that he was concerned about was whether or not the second person was a mage. Because for some reason, no matter how hard he tries, he could not make out what the other female was supposed to look like. It was as if the second person was just a blob of something. It's blurry, and he can't make out the shape of any other types of heavy armor used for warriors.

Though he loved mages—nyehehe, Peroroncino giggled delightfully at that thought—, those who are not his allies were just simply annoying. There were too many stunning abilities, too many buffs and debuffs, too much DPS, too much crowd control, and too much et cetera et cetera. He especially dislikes enemy mages with similar abilities to Tabula. Poisoning and lingering attack effects are very annoying to deal with, especially when his class was not built for longer magic damage sustain.

But he'll just have to wait and see. He'll cross that bridge when he gets to it.

"...Do you think we might find them here in this world? Nothing seems to be the same anymore. And we can't contact any of Ainz Ooal Gown's members... or Momonga..."

Momonga? Ainz Ooal Gown? Once again, he couldn't hear completely every part of the conversation. But his ears are good at picking up on the important pieces. Who are these people? Why do they know of their guild?! And most importantly, why do they know Momonga?!

His grip on his arrow tightens, and he could tell that his next attack would be a critical strike.

Aim for the head, Peroroncino. Aim for the head, go for the eye. He reminded himself.

"I think we might. He said that he waited for us, didn't he? If... If he was still the same old guy we know and love, then he would probably stay until the server shuts itself down. And... I know that this might be far-fetched, but perhaps he is somewhere in this world. I might be having a little bit too much hope in me, but I really think that he might be here. I can feel it. You believe me right? Yama-chan?"

...The more he heard of the conversation, the stronger this suspicion inside of his chest rose. There are two possibilities that popped up in his head. And if the first one was true, then he will have to exterminate these two. There will be no time to come back to report this to his teammates. He must act on his own and do what's best.

But if the second one was true... then he wonders. Could it be?

But who?

Peroroncino smiled humorlessly. No wonder why only people like Nishikienrai and Venom do reconnaissance. This is some stressful shit, and they have to decide what to do on their own, believing that what they do is the right course of action to take. If they messed up, then all the blame would go to them.

"...Yeah... I believe you, Buku-chan! Then, let's get out of here. There's no food left to loot."

"Alright! Then, we should probably head in that direction over there. The trail of wreckage should lead us somewhere."

"Yeah. I don't want to see the sad state of this poor, unfortunate place any longer."

B...Buku...chan...?

As the two figure drew nearer, about less than two kilometers away, Peroroncino's eyes widen with shock.

Pink.

Girly, feminine pink.

Translucent.

Chubby, gelatinous, translucent, and pink.

These are all synonymous with only one thing. Or to be more precise: One person.

He could see the other female figure too. But right now, his eyes were fixated on the person next to the female instead.

Sis...sister?

Peroroncino was shocked. In fact, he was so shocked that he accidentally releases his arrow. The bolt then went with a frightening speed, as fast as lightning, sailing straight for the head of the taller one standing next to his sister.

"Fuck!" Peroroncino cursed when he realizes what he has done. Rising up from his hiding spot, he then shouted with all the air in his lung. "GET AWAY!"


"Yeah. Who could have done this though? What a horrible thing to do." Bukubukuchagama shook her head with disappointment. Perhaps the human society of now wasn't a loving one. But everybody is too absorbed in their own things to do arduous business like this. Technology was the peak of humanity. Crime rates were really low due to the pollution outside. So they rarely see things like this. Perhaps not at all.

Humanity is slowly dying. But at least not by their own kin any longer. That was kind of a relief. She guessed.

"Are you sure you don't want to hold my hand, Yama-chan? It's gonna be just like the old days!"

"Buku-chan..."

"Don't be shy! This is a scary time for you, I can tell. Hold my hand! I'll protect ya!" Bukubukuchagama said. Then she gave her friend a grin, even though she can tell that Yamaiko won't be able to see. "I'll jump through fire any time for you, princess. All that this noble female knight requires is that you give her your hand." She said with a fake male voice as she bowed her upper body, extending out a hand for the healer.

"...Hehe, ok then. But if something happens, you gotta promise not to let go, ok?" Yamaiko giggled, shaking her head at her friend's antics.

"Of course! Duh! I'm the one who suggested it after all!" Bukubukuchagama giggled as Yamaiko tentatively placed her un-gloved hand in Bukubukuchagama's slimy ones. The hand has a weight and a noticeable heat, and she smiled as she gripped her friend's hand, appreciating the warmth that it radiated out.

"You can be so shameless, Buku-chan..." Yamaiko said, sounding oddly shy and embarrassed. "Like sister like brother, perhaps?"

"Ha! Don't lump me in with that little shit, Yama-chan. I don't have any ulterior motives. Trust meee." Bukubukuchagama giggled, swinging their arms back and forth childishly as her friend laughed delightfully.

"...GET AWAY!"

The two of them halted in their steps as a voice called out to them with panic.

They didn't have time to reflect upon those words or react. But thankfully, their reflexes kicked in at just the right time. They did as the voice told and they were glad that they did so. An arrow whizzed past Yamaiko's head as the two of them stared wide-eye, feeling shocked and a bit scared at what had just happened.

If Yamaiko moved even a second later, the arrow would have gone through the innards of her brain. She has her god-level gear on, and that includes the little helmet-hat-thing on her head. It should be able to protect her, but this was no longer a game. They cannot apply Yggdrasil's logic into this other dimension or wherever the hell they're at. The accident that occurred not too long ago had confirmed that they can be harmed.

"Wh-what the hell was that?" Yamaiko said with a shaky voice as she squeezed the slime of Bukubukuchagama's hand tightly.

"I don't know. But whoever warned us had saved your life, Yamaiko." Said the pink slime, frowning deeply as her body shook with fright. She wasn't sure why, but she wasn't as scared as she thought she would be. Well, not for herself, at least. She was more worried for Yamaiko's safety than her own, so maybe that is why she wasn't as scared as she should be. For some reason, she could tell that if the arrow hit her, it would just go right through. Perhaps that is why she was so nonchalant.

"Who was that? Please come out! Thank you for saving us!" Yamaiko said as she looked around, searching for the figure of the voice that had saved them.

"...Hey! Thanks for saving my friend! Now show yourself!" Said the slime, joining with her friend in the effort of looking for their savior. "Come ou—"

"...Don't thank me." Said a soft and quiet voice, sounding sad, relieved, and... guilty?

"Hey, what's that supposed to mean? You saved our lives, haven't you?" The nephilim said, feeling confused as she looked around once more. There were only debris and fallen houses, and no sight of any living being. "Where are you!?"

"..." The pink slime frowned as she scratched the back of her slimy head in confusion. What was that supposed to mean? And where the hell is the person? Where was the voice coming from? Sighing a little, she brought her head up to look at the clear blue sky. "Huh."

"What is it, Buku-chan?"

"That's a funny looking bird."

"...Huh? Wow! It is!"

"It's... big?"

"Yeah...! It is! Cool!"

"It's... getting bigger...!?"

"It... it is!?"

"...Hey, that's not a bird."

"It's not?"

"I think we're about to go to heaven, Yama-chan."

"W—What!? W-why?! Don't say scary things like that!"

"It's an angel. It's coming to take us to the after life. The arrow actually hit its target, and we're already dead. Now an angel is coming here to escort us."

"O-Oh... Is that so?"

"..."

"..."

"Pfft, you sounded oddly nonchalant. Did you actually believe that?"

"N-No! Of course not! I knew y-you were bluffing since the start... I'm just... humoring you!"

"Hehe. Ok. Still, I'm not entirely sure what that is—. It... disappeared!"

"The bird? Or the angel?"

"The—Pfft. The bird, Yama-chan. There is no angel."

"O-Oh!"

Bukubukuchagama laughed at her friend's cuteness. Too good, too pure for this world. She then looked back up at the sky, finding nothing. Whatever that has been up there had disappeared. And she sighs with disappointment. Bummer. I thought we'd get a meal out of that bird if it decides to land down. Apparently not.

"Hey Buku-chan, look! Something dropped from the sky!" Yamaiko said, holding a golden arrow that had something wrapped around it.

"What is it, let me see." Bukubukuchagama said, gently taking the shiny object away from her friend's hands as she then inspects it.

The arrow was beautiful. Truly a work of a master-level of craftsmanship. There were small intricate patterns of floral swirls and designs trailing near the tip and the end of the arrow, and the arrow head itself was so sharp that it hurts just by looking at it. On the arrow's body, there was a small emblem engraved near the top. And trailing under it, was four letters:

P

E

R

O

"..." Bukubukuchagama opens her mouth, feeling speechless as she stared at these four letters and the familiar emblem. "...No way." She said breathlessly, taking a sharp intake of breath as she then breathes out shakily.

"What is it?"

"He's here. He's really here, Yama-chan! It's Peroroncino! He's in this world!" Bukubukuchagama let out a laugh filled with joy as she could feel herself getting teared up when her friend cheered along with her. So, he's here. He's really here. She was worried that she'll never see him again. But what are the odds! Now she won't ever have to worry if he was lonely or is healthy in the human world.

But then... why was he here? Did he answer Momonga's summons as well?

She shook her head, feeling a surge of excitement filling her. It's been a long time since they have last seen each other. She was excited to see him again, to see how he's doing. Taking the scroll of paper that was previously wrapped around the arrow, she then opened it up to see writings within.

...She sweats nervously.

What is this!?

Per ardua ad astra
Altiora Petamus
Volente Deo, Lucete Stellae...

...What!? There was a bunch more of these texts in this language, and she doesn't understand a shit. What the fuck, you little punk!?

"There's some other stuff on the back, Buku-chan."

"Ugh. Probably more of this chicken scratch letters." She groaned. But out of curiosity, she flipped the rough looking scroll paper on the back as she then examines the writings...

For some reason, this was fully comprehensible letters! She recognizes this writing. It belonged to him, her brother. Though it improved, it still looked like his writings back then from high school.

"Huh."

On the back, it writes:

Use the scroll. Follow the arrow.

"Use the scroll?" The pink slime said with confusion.

"Oh! Like when you use those consumable items in Yggdrasil. I think that's what he's talking about."

"Is that so? Ok then... You better not be messing with us, you little shit." Bukubukuchagama said. But there was no malice in her words, only a fond and wistful tone as she then proceeds to toss the scroll into the sky along with the arrow. "Get ready! Something's going to happen."

And something indeed happened.

The scroll was consumed and disappeared in a glimmer of glittery dust. And when the arrow was covered with that dust, the golden object slowly levitated and moved in a particular direction.

"...I think that's the 'Locate Owner', Buku-chan."

"Apparently! Come on, let's follow it then. We don't want it to leave us behind!"

The arrow was moving fast, and it forced them to move fast as well in order to catch up to it.

"Where are we going!?" The nephilim asked as the two of them moved with a fast pace, close to be running, but not quite. She was a little thankful that she didn't really have to run too much. If the road was long and they have a long way to go, then she wouldn't want to exert too much of her energy. Or else she wouldn't be able to catch up. The armor was a little bit heavy. Though she could handle it, she could tell that if this went on for too long, she will be left behind.

"We follow the arrow." The pink slime said. Pausing for a moment, she then chuckled a little as the part of what must have been her head turned around as she looked at her friend, Yamaiko. "Are you thinking that you might be left behind if you're tired?"

"...Kinda... Are you going to leave me behind, Buku-chan...?"

Yamaiko sounded a little bit sad when she said that. The slime then thought back about what she said about her boyfriend that cheated on her. Despite saying that she's over him, she was probably still feeling hurt at that.

"Don't worry, you're still holding onto my hand right? I promised not to let go, remember? If we can't catch up, then that bird brain will just have to come and find us himself. I don't give a shit."

"...Awww, really?"

"Really! Now let's keep going! He's waiting for us!"

"Ok!"

Chapter Text

Chapter 9 - Confrontation... In Both Sense


There's nothing more satisfying than witnessing the look of terror on the faces of the intruders of this village. Each time that the Death Knight's sword cleaved through one of the knights' body, Momonga could feel a dark sense of enjoyment at seeing these cocky bastard being maimed to death. And he finds himself not as disturbed by what he was feeling. Perhaps Momonga had accepted the fact that he was no longer human, both inside and outside. And he is simply going with the flow.

Though, he was still human inside, wasn't he? Maybe he should be wary of his current state of mind, and he should be telling himself that it's not right to think this way. But for now, Momonga left that issue aside as another scream tore through the vicinity, shattering the brief silence in the air due to the fear of the Death Knight's victims.

"It's their fault for being cocky. They were never even prepared for a confrontation against possible enemies that are stronger." Tabula said, snorting amusingly at his own sense of humor as he watches the pathetic scene going on below him. "They assumed that there was no possible force to be reckoned with in this small and frail looking place. So they went in, thinking that no one would put up a resistance."

"To be fair, nobody actually did." Momonga said with a small chuckle.

"Point taken." Tabula chuckled, a smile evident in his tone of voice. "Should we stop your 'little boy's' rampage? We might need one or two people alive for possible intelligence gathering. Given that they have any information to 'share', that is."

Momonga took a moment to ponder on that thought, then he nodded in confirmation. "You're right. We need to know the state of this world, its factions, and why exactly are these people attacking this village. It does not look like it held much values."

The two magic casters nodded at each other as they both use the power of 'Fly' to lower themselves to a height that could let the villagers be able to see them.

Momonga donned a mask that would hide his skeletal appearance. The front of his robe was closed so that his ribs wouldn't show itself to the naked eye. His skeletal hands were covered with two plain looking gauntlets, masking everything that was 'unnatural' about him. Since the skeleton did not wear anything too revealing anyway, it was easy to be able to equip as little garment as possible that could conceal himself.

He didn't really want to, but his appearance had scared the two sisters. For the time being, he would use magic items to change his appearance from a "dreadful monster" to "evil magic caster". That ought to reduce how frightening he appeared. Then he thought about the Staff that he held in his hand. In the end, he decided to keep it with him. Besides, it was not a problem to carry around. In fact, it felt quite natural.

Tabula found no point in wearing disguises, but for the sake of his friend's safety, he himself had to use illusion to cover up his appearance. When someone other than Momonga laid their eyes upon him, they wouldn't see his usual brain eater head. Instead, they will find a smaller, human looking head that is obscured by a silver mask that would look like his usual face. His body was still wrapped in his onyx cape, but it was worn in a way that it would completely wrap itself around his frame; like a cloak. He didn't want to use illusions on his body, so this was the best way to conceal it.

It has served its purpose well.

They are just two ordinary people. Dressed in a not at all suspicious manner. They're not at all ominous! And they're definitely not grotesques, either. Just two regular people, destroying this town's invaders. You know. Just Ainz Ooal Gown things.

Before doing anything else, however, they took a quick glance at the corpses on the ground underneath them.

"Ah, yes. They died." Tabula quickly muttered as he remembered that the parents of the two siblings that he promised to save were dead. "Oh well. Less work for us." He shrugged. Truly, he did not want more work. But a promise was a promise. Still, this means nothing to him. Only a minor convenience.

"God! Save us!" , "Oh please, God, no!" , "AHHH!" , was the sounds that came out from below them as the Death Knight paid no mind to their fear, slaughtering the invading knights with ease and... enjoyment.

Momonga smiled humorlessly. "Rather than beg your god for aid, you should not have massacred these people in the first place." With that line only an atheist could conjure up, Momonga looked away from the corpse, whose fingers were folded into a gesture of prayer, and descended down with a chuckling Tabula in his tow.

Apparently, all his friends are heathens too.

"Death Knight, if there are any surviving knights, leave them alive. They are useful to me." The Death Knight sent its acknowledgment of Momonga's will back through the mental link they shared. It was difficult to put the distant Death Knight's thoughts into words.

Momonga counted the panting knights, who were too tired even to move. There were four of them in total. Though there were more than he expected, a few extra would not be a problem. In case one of them lied, he could always verify the information with the others; he doubted that they will do that, anyway. They looked too cowardly to even attempt it. Cowards like them only had one goal in their mind: To preserve their life.

"Death Knight, that is enough for now."

His words seemed strangely incongruous with the surroundings like he was buying something at a store. But to Momonga, this situation was as casual as going shopping.

He slowly descended to the ground, accompanied by Tabula Smaragdina.

The false knights stared at Momonga with mouths agape. They had been hoping for someone to rescue them. But what had come was the man responsible for everything, and his arrival shattered their hopes of a possible Messiah; a savior.

"Greetings, gentleman." Momonga said in a nonchalant voice. "We, are an organization called Ainz Ooal Gown. I am here with my partner."

But no one answered him. Stunned in a momentary shock by their appearance.

"If you throw down your arms, I can guarantee your lives. Of course, if you would rather fight—"

One sword was cast to the ground. It was shortly followed by the other swords being thrown down until there were four blades on the ground.

Again, no one spoke up. There was only the sound of silence.

"...You seem quite tired. My condolences. Although, don't you think your heads are held a bit too high before the master of the Death Knight?" Tabula spoke up with a quiet and soft tone, sounding like a judge in front of his guilty convicts as he gestured a hand politely to the skeleton. Like when a person shows off their girl or boyfriend to their inner circle. But in that sense, it was more like he is presenting his boss to these sniveling worms. Signifying the importance of the person cloaked in royal purple.

Kinda accurate, actually. But not in a way that would say that Momonga had complete authority over him. No. Not like that. It was more in the sense of someone you respected greatly, and that you valued their thoughts and opinions enough to listen to their words and requests, but not without leaving a spot for your own input.

The knights immediately prostrated themselves before the skeleton and the brain eater without a single sound.

Like convicts waiting for their execution verdict.

" [ Ethereal Chains ] ." Tabula said, activating one of his spells as a projection of a ghastly, sinister looking chains appeared on his awaiting hands. "I shall take in two of these people for... intelligence gathering. Is that alright with you?"

"Absolutely."

"Very well. Then..." Without further ado, the alchemist thrust out the chain. Due to magical properties, it duplicated itself into two by his will as it wrapped itself around two of the fear-stricken knights, rooting them to the spot as they struggled against the confines of the ethereal chains around them. There was a bit of confusion on their faces as well. That was understandable, of course. How could they be contained by translucent objects?

"You will stay where you are. Unless you would risk death by the hands of this lovely being right here?" Tabula asked with a delighted voice, chuckling at his captives' pale faces and vigorously shaking heads when they understood that he was talking about the Death Knight. "What shall we do about the other two?" He asked Momonga, tilting his head in a very Tabula Smaragdina way as his friend paused, pondering on what he should do.

After a moment, Momonga glared at the two unchained knights and they flinched under his gaze. "Do not make trouble around here. If you create problems here once again, I will slay you with the rest of your country."

The trembling knight nodded as hard as he could. His frantic gesture looked quite comical.

"Begone. And make sure to relay this to your masters and superiors."

He said, jerking his chin to the side. The knights fled immediately like lambs scattered by a hungry wolf.

Momonga felt a little bit weary, to keep up the facade of a dignified person. He wanted to stretch out and sag his shoulders or something like that, but he couldn't afford that luxury right now. He started this act on his own, so he must keep his mask on until this situation comes to an end.

He sighed internally as he ordered the Death Knight to clean up the mess that it has created. Momonga then drew closer to the villagers but stopped halfway as he saw the look on their faces. Unease swept throughout the faces of these frightened civilians, and it was definitely understandable. They have been through some... traumatic events. However, don't they understand that he only wished to help?

It would appear that if he went too close to them, the outcome would be the opposite of what he was hoping for. Therefore, Momonga decided to stop at a distance from them and spoke in a kindly tone.

"You have been saved. Be at ease."

"You, you are..." One of the villagers was beginning to say. But even in the middle of speaking to Momonga, his eyes never left the Death Knight.

Momonga sighed internally. But he spoke with as much sincerity as he can. "I see that this place was in need of help, so I and my partner came here to rescue you all."

"Ohh…!" As the noises spilled out, looks of relief dawned on the faces of the villagers. Even so, they could not be completely at ease. Momonga noticed. He took in a small breath, feeling tense all of a sudden. What would it take for these simple minded people to understand that he was being a good guy here?

"We were on our way to find a place to rest. But then, we heard strange noises coming from the woods, so we followed it." Tabula began. "It led us to a pair of sisters, one with golden hair and one with reddish-brown. They were in danger, so we saved them. Perhaps you all may know whom I am speaking of?"

"...Ah... um... Yes! It a-appears that you are describing the E-Emmot sisters, from the Emmot family." Someone replied, their face filled with recognition at the alchemist's description as their frame visibly relaxed. A few other followed suit.

"Are they ok? Where are they?" A voice said, sounding less intimidated and more comfortable now than they were before.

"Safe. I assured you. Enri, she told me her name, is tending to her sister. They are safe." Tabula said, his eyes smiling as he spoke with a kind voice, following Momonga's act of kindness. If they want any potentially useful information at all from these people, then they will have to appease them somehow. He didn't really like to make small talk with strangers, but it was working.

"W-Who are you?" A meek voice asked tentatively.

There was still some suspicion in the vicinity. But that can be dealt with. Tabula is good at that. Being the witty bastard he is. Momonga snickered quietly as he remained silent. It would be best to leave this to the alchemist. He knows what he is doing. Momonga thought. This takes the stress off of him a little bit. He felt good as he could allow himself to relax a little.

Tabula wondered why Momonga was so quiet during this conversation. But upon their eyes catching each other's own, it appears that Momonga is letting him take the lead. The skeleton said nothing as he let him pacify these doubtful people. FoverósThank you, Momonga. I will not fail you, dearest friend.

"We are travelers from a land very far away from here. We are weary and tired from our journey. Even so, we did not hesitate to help people that are in need; people like you folks. Now, would you please show us to a place that has a chair or some sort of seating arrangement? That would be greatly appreciated." Tabula said, adding a bit of fatigue in his speech. For dramatic effect, he puts a hand on his forehead as he made motions that suggest that he felt dizzy, swaying to and fro in his spot.

These people, although still wary of them a little, was very kind folks. When Tabula told them that the two of them was tired from their 'journey', these people immediately came to action as their Village Chief offered for them to come with him to his house for a quick drink and a rest.

Perhaps they have finally acknowledged that Momonga and Tabula came here with good intentions.

Despite what they have gone through, their hospitality and their kindness are almost admirable. Almost.

"...Can you wait for a few moments? I shall bring those two sisters back here, and will return shortly." Momonga said. Tabula nodded as the Chief of the village then enthusiastically voiced his approval.

Those two girls must be well known around here... Then, Momonga had to absolutely make sure those sisters did not open their mouths and give away the true identity of him and his friends.

Hopefully, those memory wiping magic will work.

"You can go ahead. I'll catch up as soon as I return the sisters back into the safety of their home."

"Then, Village Chief. I wish to discuss a few things with you if you don't mind." The alchemist said as he turned to the shorter male, speaking with a calm and collected voice.

"A-Ah, yes! Of course! Anything for our saviors! Please, follow me!"


The road that is his life in the past few years were rough. But it is done, and it is in the past.

Right now, he lives in the present. He is no longer the man plagued by that dangerous addiction. That man is long gone. He's been gone for over two years now, in fact. But it was different then than it was now.

Now, he is free. Truly free. Nothing held him back any longer. No earthly responsibilities or hindrances, no guilt of leaving anyone precious behind, and he have got no strings on him. Right now, he is a man that have casts his old life away, making way for a new one.

One that is much better. Because he has everything.

Right now, he has his friends.

Right now, he has his sister.

What more could he ask for...?

At the moment, he is guiding his sister that he thought will be forever lost to him and his old friend back to the spot where he and Momonga have first landed on in the forest. He was hoping that at least one of the guild members would be there so that they could celebrate the arrival of his sister and Yamaiko. But if no one is present, then that is alright too. It means they can party all night in Nazarick instead!

Alcohol, wine, food, music, dancing! They could do all of that, and get fucking wasted like there's no tomorrow! Wouldn't that make one heck of a story to tell? If any of them still have the brain to remember it, that is. Ulbert would probably be the first one to drop. And Tabula would be the guy least likely to embarrass himself in a situation like that.

But who knows. He never saw any of them drunk before. The only clue that he was able to gather was from their testimonies from a long time ago.

He knew that Momonga wanted to maintain his dignified leader act. But just for a day, perhaps the inhabitants of the Great Tomb of Nazarick will understand. It is a joyful day! No one would care if one acts out of character for a bit!

Although...

Momonga can't fucking drink anyway. Well, he can. But it'll just go straight through his body...

I wonder... can skeletons get drunk on milk? Hmmm. Maybe not. But who knows! Maybe they can. I wonder... if water can go straight through his body, would... other forms of liquid...

...Hiieee! How embarrassing! Snap out of it, Peroroncino! Sis is not even there yet and I'm already thinking about potential events that might not even happen!

Speaking of his sister...

She'll probably kill me if she found out that I'm being clingy to Momo-chan... Or worse, she'll cut my dick off!

Peroroncino snapped out of his daydream as he then pales visibly. Ok brain, you don't need to go that far... With a shudder and a shake of his head, the archer inspects and scanned the ground beneath him. There was no sign of the pair of females nearby. Was he too fast? After all, he was flying while they are traveling via feet and legs... He should probably stop somewhere to allow them to catch up. After all, girls hate it when they have to exert physical energy for things like this.

Knowing his sister, she would probably want him to come and find her instead.

Peroroncino sighed. Landing here would probably be a good idea. Perhaps he could use this chance to catch up with her. Find out how she's been doing. Does she have any girlfriend? Boyfriend? Has she been happy? Was she satisfied with her change of career?

The sun was blinding, standing at its highest peak.

It was probably noon, or soon, it will be. He was torn between getting to Momonga first so that he could report the potential threat coming, and waiting for his sister to be able to catch up to him.

"Agh. Is this what it felt like when ya have to pick a side? Merde!"

What should he do? Family was the obvious choice here, isn't it? But then... all of his friend's life could be at risk. They could be in danger. If something happens to them, he is not doing his job properly and it will be his fault because he allowed it to happen. Peroroncino will never forgive himself for that. He loathes the thought of seeing his friends getting hurt.

He loathes the thought of Momonga getting hurt. Like this morning, perhaps.

"Putain de merde!"

Maybe his sister can catch up to him, can she not? She has legs—nevermind, scratch that. Well, she can... walk! Can't she? But that wouldn't be a very nice thing to do! This will be the first time that they see each other in a long time. It would be common courtesy to greet her in a proper way, wouldn't it? He can't make his sister jog for... what? Thirty minutes? That's just not a very gentlemanly thing to do. Especially since Yamaiko was here! As a man, he can't make a girl do such arduous task!

"Why not both? But... I can't do both. Arghhh."

He sighs.

...Maybe he could use the 'Message' skill to report this back to Momonga?

But I want to meet him in person! He whines in his own mind.

Well, he could do that.

Actually, he should do that instead.

B-B-But—. His mind starts protesting.

"Shut up, brain! Better this than nothin'." He said exasperatedly. "Well, at least I'll get to hear his voice! Fififi! Ulbert must be frustrated to death right now." He giggled a little as he then starts up the message skill. It was not too far away from Momonga, so he was pretty sure that the skeleton would be able to pick up the call.

"...Peroroncino?" Momonga responded in a whisper with a slightly confused voice. "What is it? Is everything alright?"

"Momo-chaaaaaaaaan! I miss you so much already!"

There was a sigh on the other line. But the owner sounded pleased instead of tired. A chuckle followed as the skeleton then replied to the avian. It sounded like he was smiling.

"How was... reconnaissance, 'Eagle Two'?" Momonga said with a hint of tease in his voice.

"Heehee, it was kinda awesome! But scary at the same time... I wish Nishiki or Venom was here..." Peroroncino said, leaning and sitting with his back against a tree as he relaxed a little.

"So you won't have to?" The skeleton said, sounding amused as he snorted, which drew out a giggle from Peroroncino himself. "You did volunteer yourself for it, you know? Are you complaining? If so, then maybe I should leave you home next time..."

"Nononononono! I was just kidding! Don't leave me home, pleaseeeeee. I don't want to be stuck with broody goat cheese."

"My... B-broody goat cheese!? Bwahaha!" The overlord let out a sudden laugh, unable to contain himself as Peroroncino smirked at the sound of his friend's delightful sound. "If he found out you're talking behind his back, he's going to kill you, you know that?"

"Blah. He doesn't scare me! Um... You're not gonna snitch on me, right? Momo-chan?"

"...I don't know, 'Eagle Two'. I think that our little archer does deserve to get beefed up a bit... Plus, he's watching me at the moment..."

"You break my heart, Momonga. I'm not talking to you anymore." Peroroncino said with a huff, pouting as he crossed his arms together. It served to bring another laughter out of the skeleton as the sound of his voice rang in his ears.

"Alright. Then does that mean you won't be coming to my room anymore? That's fine then. I'll ask 'broody goat cheese' to substitute for you instead. No big deal."

"Wuoh!? No way! Nooooooooooooo. Doooooon't!" The avian said with a whine as he drags out his word exaggeratedly. There was a smile on his face, though.

"Hehe. Alright then, what is it that you really called me for? I need to get back to the Village Chief." Momonga said, suddenly sounding serious as his voice warped into that professional businessman tone. The immediate change forced Peroroncino out of his playful mood as he then sits up straight as he then placed his hands atop his knees.

"About less than an hour ago, I discovered something while scouting. I think there might be possible enemy forces that might cross through the small village that you are situated at." He began. "About thirty or so minutes Northwest from the village, there was another village that was destroyed just recently. The trail of wreckage leads to the direction of your village."

"Hmm... Is that so?" Momonga queried, sounding intrigued and a bit alarmed.

"Yes. Though I am not for certain if there is only one faction. I see no flags or symbols left behind that are akin to the armor of that knight that I killed. Chances are, it might not even be from the same group. Please, stay alert and be careful, mon cheri. I'll join you as soon as I can."

"Interesting. You should report that to Ulbert as well. I'll make sure Tabula know of this. Thank you, Pero. Truly. You did well."

"Merci. And you're welcome, Momo-chan. Anything for you. Oh, by the way..."

"Yes? Is there anything else?"

"...Sister and Yamaiko are coming."

Before he could hear Momonga's response, Peroroncino disconnected the line with a sigh as he slumped his body back against the tree. After a short moment of silent, he began twirling his hair in his clawed fingers as he let out an amused chuckle.

"Heh. I'm such an ass."


"...I'm very sorry about this," the chief said and nodded in apology when someone knocks on the door, interrupting the conversation between the two Ainz Ooal Gown members and the Village Chief.

It has been a while now. About a few hours after the raid on this very small part of this world.

They have learned many things, but that doesn't really help. Because the more they know about this world, the more questions they have to ask. Like why does everyone understood each other, when the other does not appear to be speaking the same language as they do.

What is this world? How does each country operate? What are their motives?

There are too many questions to ask. So they have agreed upon each other that it is best to send someone out there to investigate instead of asking the chief himself. It'll make matters less complicated that way. And if they ask too many questions, suspicion might arise.

It has taken them a while to sort out the matters regarding materials rewards for their good deeds at first. There were many misunderstanding, but with
Momonga's experience in the business field and Tabula's charisma, it was agreed that the compensation for their generous deed was the exchange of information. Even though if it did take some persuasion, it worked out in the end.

The Re-Estize Kingdom... Baharuth Empire... Slane Theocracy...

And apparently, there was a conspiracy going on, too.

There was so much new information to take in. It left the two Ainz Ooal Gown members dazed for a bit before fatigue settles itself in Momonga and one of Tabula's famous headache coming back at him in full force. But they couldn't afford to waste time, any information given were greatly appreciated, even if it didn't make any sense.

Tabula have asked for a copy of this map. This will be taken back to Nazarick for further analyzation and discussion with its inhabitants. And, they can cross-examine the chief's statement with the two prisoners that they have captured and interrogate them for further information. He was thinking of doing it himself... but his hands aren't supposed to be doing such dirty work. His hands exist to only assist his guild leader and their beloved guild of Ainz Ooal Gown.

Well... he technically can do whatever the hell he wants. No one is going to say anything about it. He has... learned a few things. Through different means. But of course, reading, researching about and doing something yourself are two different things. And he is tempted. Very. Blame his choice of outfit for that.

But perhaps some other times. Not today.

"Chief, I'm sorry to interrupt you when you're talking to our guests, but they're ready for the burial…"

"Oh…" The chief looked to Momonga, his eyes begging for his approval.

"It's fine. There's no need to worry about us."

"Thank you. Then, tell the others that I will be there soon." The chief then left with one of the villagers, leaving Tabula and Momonga alone to their thoughts.

The two sat together in the empty room as silence surrounded their figures. It wasn't quite an 'awkward' type of silence, no. The two of them weren't speaking to each other because of only one reason:

They have absolutely no idea where to begin after the intake of new information.

They all knew that they were no longer in the world of Yggdrasil. But this... this just sealed it up. Even if any of them would want to argue, they can't. There is no room left for argument because the fact is simply what it is. Saying that this place has connections to Yggdrasil is just about as true as saying that Peroroncino doesn't like H-Games.

"...I think that I might have to live a city soon..." Momonga said with a sigh. "We don't know anything about this world. I think that I'll talk to the others about living in the city for a while. Gather as much information about this place as we can. We can't have a blind man lead another blind man around."

"Hmm..." The alchemist hummed, half-agreed and half-protesting to the idea. Being the careful man that he is, Tabula is considering most of the perks and the downside of Momonga's plan. On one side, Tabula supports the idea completely. He dislikes being in the unknown, so it was natural that he would want to gather more intelligence. In fact, he'd offer himself to accompany Momonga on his trip.

But then... Momonga putting himself out there? While they have no idea what possible danger could await them outside the confines of their home? No. He was not Ulbert. He does not like to take risks with a mere fifty percent rate of success. Especially when their guild leader is involved. He'll take nothing less than seventy-five percent.

"Do you not like that idea?" Momonga asks with a tilt of his head.

"...Not really." Tabula chuckled. "If I have to be completely honest with you, dear friend, I'd say that what I think doesn't really matter. You're the guild leader, right? You can do absolutely anything and anything you want." Then, with a wink, the alchemist then let out a small laugh. "You have the veto power, remember?"

"Ah. Come on, Tabu. You know I'm not a dictator..."

"I know." He said with a small chuckle as his eyes crinkled with his smile. Then, his gaze then shifted to the table in front of them as he then frowned. "Do you actually want to hear what I think, Momonga? You might find it... unpleasant at some parts." Tabula said with mild uncertainty, but his voice remains like that of a scientist that is about to invalidate someone else's theory with two hundred percent preparedness and three hundred percent proof.

"Yes. We are a team, right? We should consider each other's suggestions like proper adults."

"...Of course. Then... I should first let you know that I support your decisions, no matter what it is." He began. Momonga nodded at him, indicating that he was listening. "...But, I dislike your decision. I think that you shouldn't be the one to take that risk. And I specifically said decision because I feel that you have already made up your mind, did you not?"

"I have. And I'm going." Momonga stated with a low chuckle. "You've read my mind, Tabu. You know me so well." The skeleton said with a mild amount of tease in his voice.

"Heh. I wish." The brain eater snorted. "...Will you not reconsider?"

"No. It has to be me, Tabula. I must."

"We do not have enough information for you to go out there."

"And that is precisely why I must go: To gather information."

"There are risks."

"There have always been risks since the first moment that we arrived in this world."

"That's true. But it doesn't have to be that way. I'll go with Albedo myself if that will put ease into your mind. I know how she works, and she'll listen to everything I say. Her sustain with my power would definitely create a nuisance for potential enemies. And with my intelligence gathering skills, it won't take long at all for the two of us to return." In all honesty, Tabula dislikes arguing with Momonga. But this was for his own good.

Momonga is the life and the core of Ainz Ooal Gown, they cannot, in absolutely any circumstances, lose him or put him in danger.

"...Tabula, I'm tired of being the person in the background." Momonga said with a sigh as he frowned, his hands squeezing itself together unconsciously. "Your suggestions are almost flawless. The only flaw that I have lies within me. I guess I'm just very selfish, but I wanted to do things for once, you know? Do you remember back then? In the few years after the discovery of our base?"

Tabula paused for a moment, stunned momentarily by the sound of Momonga's voice and the words that he has spoken. But then he comes to, as he then nodded. "Of course, those were... some of the best times of our lives. The Golden Age of Yggdrasil."

"Mhmm. Do you remember what I did as guild leader?"

"Of course I remember. You lead our guild to be among the top ten in all of the charts." Tabula said with a scoff, wondering why Momonga was asking what he was asking. Momonga, what are you trying to say?

"...That was partly true. But no, that wasn't what I did. And I'll stop you there before you protest." Momonga raised up a finger, indicating that he has yet to finish speaking just as a syllable escaped from Tabula's mouth. "...That was what I did before our guild became what it is. After leading us to glory... all I did was finance and other matters that don't have any correlation to what I truly wanted to do. I never feel like I am doing something important, do you understand? I'm finally doing something for our guild, for once. Let me have this chance."

"...Please." Momonga said after a small pause.

Tabula stared at his friends with wide eyes as he was glued to his seat, stunned at Momonga's words that came out from the depths of his heart.

"...That's what you've been feeling like for the past few years? No, even way before that. Then... Why didn't you tell us?" Said the alchemist, his hands clenching itself together as he could hear his own voice rising in volume.

Anger.

Tabula was angry. Both at Momonga and himself.

Why did he conceal his feelings? This isn't that one annoying film from a long time ago, for fuck's sakes. Conceal, don't feel? His ass. He knew Momonga. So he wasn't as surprised as he thought he would be. Actually, he shouldn't be surprised at all. The skeleton was often known for holding himself back from speaking what he wanted to say. It was one of the most frustrating qualities to the skeleton. So having him talking about it... was a nice change, he guessed. But the timing was not right; it was too late.

How come Tabula only know this just now? What kind of friend is he? What kind of friend are they? It's astounding how one particular individual could bring out so many emotions in him. And as of lately, guilt was something that frequently shows up.

Momonga hesitates for a moment before speaking.

"I... I couldn't. Because..." The skeleton trailed off.

Tabula sighs deeply as he then nodded at the unfinished sentence as his clenched hands released itself in defeat. He felt like Momonga has tied an anchor to his heart, and he could feel it sink to the bottom of the sea. The void in Momonga's heart might have been filled, but the aftermath of it is affecting him instead. It's like... dodging a bullet. Momonga had evaded it just in time for the bullet to put a hole in him. He is now feeling the pain that his friend had suffered for a long time.

It was agonizing.

"I don't blame you, though. Please, don't—. Don't feel like you're responsible for anything. Just... let me do this. Ok?" Momonga said, leaning in closer to the alchemist as he spoke in a soft and reassuring voice. "The past is behind us. Right now, we do what we must. But... more importantly, this is what I want. Ok?"

His friend's words did little to remove the guilt from the depths of his heart. But it did put one thought into his mind:

I will make it up to you, Momonga.

He is a man of his words, and a man of action. Rather than just begging his friend to forgive him and 'I'm so sorry Momonga' and blah blah blah, he'd just prove it to his friend that he is indeed sorry for what happened and is doing everything he can to make up for all of those lost times. Starting now. Words never cut it for him. Never.

If you don't show it, how will they believe you?

He'll prove it to him that even if the others have already forgotten about it, he hasn't. And no matter what, Tabula will not disappoint his guild leader any longer. He'll be that someone that Momonga can lean on. He wants to be that person that Momonga can come to tell him his darkest thoughts and secrets at night or share with him his joys and misery at the light of dawn.

With a nod and a new resolution, Tabula then abruptly clasps Momonga's hand that was placed on the table as the overlord then flinched out of surprise.

"You can do whatever you want, remember?" He said in a light and joking voice. "But I want someone accompanying you." Preferably me. He mentally added as he then gave the skeleton a squeeze of his hand.

"Of course. We will talk about this when we return home. That is the first thing on my to-do list."

"...Alright. Then, I shall not speak of this any further." With a newfound resolve and an aching heart, Tabula patted Momonga's hands a few times before he pulled his own away. With much hesitation, of course.

"Heh. And here I am thinking that you had more fight in you." Momonga joked, drawing out a laugh from the alchemist. "We should probably head out. It's only proper if we at least see the funeral of those deceased." Momonga said. They probably shouldn't even care in the first place, but trust and respect go together. They must gain the trust of these people, by showing the dead the respect that they 'deserved'.

"Then, let us go."

"Ah, one more thing." Momonga said, suddenly remembering that Peroroncino had said to him a while ago. "We should be expecting company."

"From whom?" Asked the alchemist, voice piqued with interest and curiosity.

"A friend. Two, actually. Our archer has some pretty interesting reports..."


Meanwhile, at Nazarick...


"LORD ULBERT!? Naberal, what is the mean of this?! Why i-is Lord Ulbert like that?!" The butler said with panic and concern at the figure sprawled out on the floor.

"I-I-I don't know, Master Sebas." Narberal Gamma said, fidgeting nervously with the hem of her skirt.

"Father!" Cried a voice belonged to Demiurge.

"Oh shit! Somebody, do something!"

"L-Lord Momonga is g-gonna kill us..." Mare whimpered.

"This is your fault, you fucking lamprey!" Albedo began to scream.

"O ya!? Mine wasn't the only one, you bitch! This is your fault!"

"Stop stop stop! We must get a medic! Right now!" Aura said, intervening before the exchange got heated.

"BUT WE DON'T HAVE ONE!" For the first time, Demiurge screamed at the top of his lung as he desperately held onto the front of his father's shirt.

"O-OK, do we know anyone in Nazarick that k-knows how to cure poison?"

"...Lord Tabula Smaragdina can cure any poison." Aura voiced her speculation with a darkened face.

"Oh shit." Many faces paled at the thought as they all spoke in unison.

"...Lord Father will be displeased about this... It's all this bitch's fault."

"Shut the fuck up already, you ogre! Yours were done first!"

"It's brought to the Lords at the same time, expired whore!"

"Quiet!" Demiurge shouted, effectively silencing the bickering females as they huffed and glared at each other. "Just... someone, go retrieve Lord Tabula Smaragdina immediately! Do you want Lord Momonga to be even more disappointed in us!?"

"...A-alright. I'll come to fetch father. N-not because I wanted to see Lord Momonga or anything." Albedo said, volunteering herself with a blush on her face.

"Tch. Leave already, then. Then again, I doubted that Lord Momonga will be happy to see trash like you hovering around him." Shalltear said with a smirk, shrugging her shoulders nonchalantly.

Albedo glared at the vampire, a dark and dangerous aura surrounded the two females as they are about to get into a heated argument again, but then...

Beep Beep!

"Shalltear! Hello?"

"Ah! Father~!?" Shalltear said with glee, drawing the surrounding people's attention to her as she hovered up and down in her spot, excitement was obviously evident on her face.

"Ah, yes yes. Hello, sweet darling. Where's—"

"Father! How are you! I missed you so muuuch~!" Shalltear said with a sing-song voice, blushing as she placed a hand on her cheeks then swaying her body side to side.

"Ah—"

"I wish I could've come with you, being here with this gorilla are simply horrendous."

Albedo sneered at Shalltear, but refrain herself from commenting because the vampire was talking to Lord Peroroncino.

"OK...? But I—"

"Oh, father! I wish you were here right now! I even made food for you."

"Food? Tch. If you can even call it that." Albedo said with a smirk, snorting at Shalltear's comment.

"Shut up. bitch! It's obviously your fault!"

"Shalltear!" Peroroncino shouted, effectively stopping Shalltear as she turned away from the group with an apologetic face. "Sorry for yelling at you, darling sweetheart. But I needed to ask you something."

"N-no. It's my fault, father. I deserved to be yelled at for bickering with that... vulgar woman while conversing with you! And I am ready to answer any of your question, father!"

"Where is Ulbert. I have important information to convey to him, but he did not answer my call. Is he like... busy? Or something? Where is he?"

"A-ah, just a second, father." Shalltear said, temporarily disconnecting the message link as she then slowly turned around to face the other guardians within the room. "Everyone, my father is looking for Lord Ulbert."

"..." An eerie silence then stretches across the room.

"Well!? What the hell should I do!?"

"I'll go fetch Lord Father immediately." Albedo said, standing up and quickly making her way out of the room to make preparations for heading out in the field.

"I'll stay with father..." Demiurge said, his usual swaying tail drooped sadly on the floor, unmoving.

"If you would excuse me, I'll go and retrieve some water when Lord Ulbert wakes up."

"I-I'll help you, Sebas!" Mare said timidly as he then followed after the gray-haired butler.

"Well, I'm gonna stay here and keep an eye on Shalltear." Aura said with a sigh.

"What's that supposed to mean, you washboard—? Ah, right." Shalltear took in a deep breath as she then resumed the disconnected message link. "Hello? Ah, father, Lord Ulbert is... away for now. If there is anything important, you can tell me instead! I'll report it back to him when he wak—when he returns."

"Alright then... Furry bastard not doing his job..." Peroroncino mumbled the last part with a snort as Shalltear shamefully giggled at him.

She felt bad for doing it. Firstly, because the statement was directed at another Supreme Being. And second, because said person was now lying flat cold on the floor, passed out. But really, can you blame her?

"Now, listen carefully."


This man... Gazef. A bold one, he is. Rather a man with dignity and honor, Momonga thought when the man has gotten down from his horse to personally thanked Momonga and Tabula for saving this small village.

At that time, he has asked for their names.

They have given none. But it would be impolite to do so. Hence, what they did was giving him... the abbreviation of their names instead. However, by mistake, the head warrior of the Re-Estize Kingdom now refers to Momonga as Sir Gown, since he thought that Ainz Ooal Gown was Momonga's name. He didn't bother to correct him, even though he felt that he should have said something. He did, however, say that Ainz Ooal Gown was also the name of their organization. Tabula then proceeds to introduce himself as Sir... Em. Short for Emerald.

Momonga has no idea why Tabula would tell Gazef to call him Emerald. But then he remembered something that Tabula has told him a long time ago, during one of those times that the alchemist just fed him countless trivia about different myths and mythology. Momonga asked once what the meaning of his name was, and Tabula has gone on for fifteen minutes about the origin of the Emerald Tablet, which explains why he held the name he has today.

Cheesy bastard.

Momonga was thinking that it might be strange, for somebody's name to be Emerald. But then he thought of a really old cartoon show that he used to watch. In an episode, one of the characters disguised themselves using the name 'Sapphire Fire'. And it worked. So, why not?

What if Tabula did say that his name was 'Emerald Tablet'? Momonga was amused at the thought that these people would just roll with it and accept it without any doubt.

After the casual chit chat, Momonga was thinking of retreating back to Nazarick with Tabula. But before they could do that, however, someone from Gazef's troops came over, face filled with panic, and spoken out these following words:

"Captain Stronoff! We've sighted a lot of people around the village! They've surrounded the vicinity and are quickly closing in!"

Tabula and Momonga exchanged looks at each other and nodded. It was just like Peroroncino's reports. Someone is heading this way, with quite a large force, too. And whoever it was have found what they are looking for, apparently. Even though Tabula and Momonga weren't sure of what, exactly, they knew that this is it. This is the place.

Piqued with interest and curiosity, the two Ainz Ooal Gown members decided to stay with this 'Gazef Stronoff' character. Does this man seek something as well? Or was he merely going out of his way, acting as one's hero of chaos? Ones that aren't needed until some sort of disaster befalls a place.

If they were being honest with themselves, they would usually associate those types as the ones that tend to die before or right at the end of a story, by some means of noble sacrifice.

But then, the 'good' types always die. Because of their honor and pride and values.

That's just how life is. Naivete and heroism are often very closely associated. Stupidity can be mistaken for bravery, and recklessness can be mistaken for courage and being courageous.

The heavens darken slightly, and beautiful spectrum of lights above signifies the coming of the afternoon.

Inside, they talked as the warrior Gazef took a glance outside with slight worry. Outside is where the enemy has surrounded them. But they weren't cornered, no. Never in a million years. These people are. But they, are not.

"Angels." Muttered Gazef as he peeked out from a window.

"Who are these people? What do they want? I don't think there should be anything that valuable in this village..." Momonga began, stating the obvious and getting straight to the point. The warrior seems to know what they are facing with, but after a glance, Momonga himself too recognized the creatures dubbed 'Angels'.

Now, why exactly are they here, he wondered. Wasn't this not Yggdrasil?

"Sir Gown, do you not know either? Since material conquest is not what they're after, then there could only be one reason..."

Momonga exchanged looks with Tabula then back to Gazef. The alchemist then began to laugh.

"Ahaha. Quite the popular one, aren't you? Tell me, Sir Gazef, I must know why these men and or women outside detest you so much."

The warrior sighed as he shook his head. "For unfavourable political reasons, I assure you. I'm quite troubled by this, too. And I'm quite sure that it's from certain neighboring countries. Judging by the way the other side has so many people who can summon angels, they must be from the Slane Theocracy... and it's clear that the people carrying out this operation must be a special operations unit, the legendary Six Scriptures. It would seem that both in numbers or ability, the opposition is superior to us."

Tabula could sense the unease and wariness in the warrior's heart. And he chuckled at the burly man putting on a tough facade. Men. Never showing one's true emotions, for much pride and dignity were at stake. But then again, Tabula could understand. He too, is prideful.

"Sir Em., why are you laughing?"

"Ah, no reason~" The alchemist said, eyes closing in a smile. "Just amused at the particular situation that you found yourself in."

"Heh. I supposed it is humorous at a certain point. But in any case, they've certainly gone to a lot of trouble, using the Noble faction to strip me of my gear. However, it's troublesome for that snake of a man to remain in the courts, so I guess it should be my good fortune to be able to recognize his villainy here. Still, I didn't expect the Slane Theocracy to have their eyes on me..." Gazef turned to look at Momonga and Tabula, a hopeful gleam in his eyes.

"Sir Gown, Sir Em., if it's possible and if it's alright with you, I'd like to acquire your services through payment."

"I refuse. I am not a sword-for-hire." Momonga said, raising a hand up in refusal.

"Then so will I. I must respectfully decline." Tabula said with a nod. He could have helped them. Momonga would be fine with it. They are two separate individuals. And if Tabula wanted to do something differently, then he could and Momonga can't really stop him. Technically he could, but Tabula knows that he wouldn't if they discussed it through. But he doesn't want to. Momonga was right. They're magic casters, not mercenaries.

"I understand that. However, I am only asking for assistance with appropriate payment in exchange. Please name your price. We will do our best to meet up with your requirements."

"As I have said before, I refuse."

"Why must you push us, oh Head Warrior? Are you that desperate?" Tabula said, squinting his eyes with great amusement. There was a provoking and challenging undertone lying beneath his words. Tabula doesn't do it often, but given the chance, he'd like to provoke people. Often more than not.

Gazef seems to pause for a moment at this, his face contains a bit of confusion and slight shock before he shook his head and frowned. "Call it what you may. I am politely asking for assistance. It will be alright if you do not help me. But I hope that I will be able to hire the service of the knight under you?"

"No means no, Mister Gazef." Tabula said, voice rising as he looked directly at the man before him. His eyes were silently asking the warrior if he dared to continue with his approach, and as a shadow casts itself on his face, there was a bit of threat in them as well.

"I see. Then what if I conscripted you, in accordance with the Kingdom's laws?"

"Then... we might... put up a bit of a resistance." Momonga replied with a dark glare, holding his stare with the warrior's own. "Heed my words. It will be your fatal mistake if you were to force us into conscription. Forgive my harsh words. But this will be the one decision in your life you cannot have the luxury to regret."

The two of them looked wordlessly at each other. The first to avert his eyes was Gazef.

"I understand. We would be wiped out before even crossing swords with the Slane Theocracy."

"Hmm. That's funny. It is fortunate that we have come to an understanding." Tabula said with a pleased voice, chuckling at the playful twinkle in Momonga's eyes obscured by the mask he wore.

Before they could proceed with anything, a loud noise appeared outside of the chamber as it appears that a commotion was going on.

"LET ME IN YOU LOWER LIFEFORMS!"

"S-Stop! Who are you!?"

"You're not allowed in there!"

"Calm down, lady!"

"I WILL SLAUGHTER YOU ALL IF YOU DON'T LET ME INNNNNNNNNNNNNN!"

"Ahhhh! S-scary!"

Gazef frowned and rise up from his seat, hand moving to place atop of his sword in caution. "What is going on out there? Men! Report!"

"A-ah, there is a woman in full armor, making a commotion outside! She is trying to g-gain access in here."

"Why!?"

"She is s-searching for someone—."

"LET. ME. IN!" Screamed the woman, banging furiously on the wooden door. "NOOOOW!"

Gazef stood up to his full height and began to draw out his sword. But before that, Tabula put up a hand to stop him. Gazef stared at Tabula with confusion as he voiced out his queries.

"What's the matter? If there is a possible sabotage, I must intervene."

"If there was a sabotage or an attempt at assassination, wouldn't she have done so already? And if she was an enemy, why hasn't she harmed any of the villagers or your soldiers yet?" The alchemist said, voicing out his speculations.

In reality, he has recognized the voice instantly. And have spoken out in defense of her and to pacify the nervous warrior.

Gazef blinked twice, then drew back his sword as he nodded. "You make a fine point. Alright. Let her in then, if you would please."

A soldier nodded as he hesitantly comes to the door, gingerly unlocked it. The moment that the lock was gone, the door was slammed open as it made a loud 'Bang' against the wall. The figure stood at the door was indeed clad in full armor, panting heavily as she stood there menacingly, daring anyone to come and approach her.

"Albedo." Momonga and Tabula said in unison.

The second that her name escaped from their mouths, Albedo melted into a squealing mess as she glides—yes, glide—her way to stand near Momonga and Tabula's seating, hovering up and down excitedly. "My lord~! Forgive my tardiness! I meant to come earlier, but we have a little bit of a problem~!"

"I-it's ok, Albedo. I didn't request for you to come, so there was no need to apologize."

"Always a delight to see your presence, beloved child." Tabula chuckled when Albedo crouched down to bring her head to their sitting level. Then with his free hand, he reached out to ruffled the imp's hair affectionately.

"Waah~! R-really!? Kyaaa! Thank you!"

"Ah, Sir Em. Is this your daughter?" Gazef huffed for a moment before chuckling, sitting down at the table once more and folding his arms in front of his chest. He looked amused and a little bit curious at the new arrival.

"Sir... Em.—?" Albedo began, but was interrupted by Tabula waving a hand in front of his face.

"Yes. My daughter. Do not make a commotion next time, Albedo. You spooked these gentlemen out for a bit there."

"I w-wouldn't say spooked... but please knock gently next time!" The village chief said with a smile, waving his arms at his spot.

"Do you hear them, child? And why have you come?" Tabula asked with a voice filled with delight. But also with a bit of curiosity and suspicion.

Albedo blinked, confused at what was going on. But she finally wrapped her mind around the situation as she then stood up straight and calmly replies to her father. If this is what our Lords have planned, then I will not mess it up. I will have the chance to ask Lord father about it later. "Yes, father. And I come with a message and a recall summon."

Tabula frowned. "A recall summon? Why? From whom?"

Gazef shifted in his seat a little uncomfortably at the alchemist's voice filled with worry, but tilted his head slightly in curiosity. "If I may, Sir Em. What is a recall summon?"

"You may. It's a magic caster thing, really." He said, partly lying but partly telling the truth. Well, at least that's what he had invented, anyway. It was a thing he liked to do. Of course, nobody in this room knew what he was talking about, not even Momonga. He coded each of his creations to know certain code-words that he made up.

Tabula wasn't exactly sure for what reason nor remembered why he has done so, but he shrugged mentally. It was a Tabula Smaragdina thing, no questions needed to ask there.

"But in general, it means that we have to return to our home for urgent business." The brain eater explained.

"Yes! Father, I couldn't have said it any better! You're simply magnificent~!" Albedo squealed with adoration, sounding like a five years old that have just discovered the existence of pancake. Her adorable behavior drew a laugh out of Tabula as he shook his head.

Gazef nodded but frowned a little at the explanation. "Forgive me for my rudeness, but didn't you say that you come from a land far away? How is your daughter able to get here in such little time?"

Momonga took in a deep breath at the question, and had to shake his head mentally. This man wasn't just all muscle and no brain, it seems. But that made Momonga like him even more than he did initially. Momonga has no shitting idea what crazy thing Tabula have conjured up with his vivid and broad range of imagination, but from what he had heard so far, he could come up with some bluff to cover for his friend.

"If she came with a... a recall summon, then necessary means of transportation must have been provided. Where we come from, magic is a regular factor that you see on a daily basis. We have... ways to get around."

The warrior seemed satisfied with that answer as he nodded, his posture was a bit more relaxed now than it has been when Albedo arrived.

"I see, your country sounds very interesting. Perhaps if we have a chance in the future, you could tell me more about it?"

"Given that we will meet again, yes." Momonga nodded, his words, for once, was actually sincere. The more he converses with this man, the more Momonga seems to like and admire his spirit.

Gazef smiled at that as he returns the skeleton's nod with his own.

"Alright. Lovely, now, let's get back to the main topic. What is the message, Albedo? Why have I been asked to be recalled?" Tabula asked, turning his face in the direction of the female imp.

Momonga hummed in agreement, turning his attention back at the full armored female as well. "Ah, yes. I forgot about that. Then, mind telling us the purpose of you coming here? Albedo?"

"A-ah, my Lords! I would tell you both, but this is for my father only! My deepest apologies!" After a moment of briefly fangirling at the skeleton, Albedo then turned back into her silent, mysterious, and dangerous self as she turned her attention back to her creator. "Lord Father, may we speak outside? If that is alright with you all?"

"Sir Gown?" Gazef Stronoff asked, unsure and a bit worried about what Momonga will do at this point.

"Since this is for my comrade only, I will remain here for a bit. Not to worry. Go, Albedo. Your presence will be missed."

"Kyuuu~! Yes, my Lord! Then, father, I will meet you outside. P-please, take care!" With that, Albedo went outside with a hum and a happy step in her stride. People parted like the Red Sea as she makes her way through, as they were afraid of inciting the wrath earlier if they were to hinder her in any way.

With a soft sigh, the alchemist then rose from his seat as stood up, preparing himself to leave. "I will see you later then... La revedere." He said, bowing his head first to Momonga then to the warrior in respect.

"Goodbye, Sir Em. I hope we will meet again one day?" Gazef said, holding out a hand with an expectant look on his face.

Tabla let out the slightest of snort as he grabbed the outstretched hands. "If my friend here allowed me to come with him to the cities, then you might be seeing me around more often. But we'll see. I do bid you farewell and a good day."

"Same to you, Sir Em. May your journey be safe."

"Try not to miss me too much." Momonga said with a chuckle.

Tabula smirked silently, letting out a playful chuckle. "Heh. I'll undoubtedly fail." With that, he disappeared through the door as it closed behind him.

When the alchemist was gone from sight, the skeleton and the warrior stared at each other for a moment before Momonga placed his arms on the table, intertwining his fingers together as he gazed at Gazef's face. "Now, Head Warrior Gazef Stronoff, what are your plans to deal with the Slane Theocracy outside?"


Tabula sighed, feeling a bit disappointed and slight agitation when his time spent with Momonga being forcefully cut off. But apparently, this was some urgent business. He could not dwell in his annoyance for too long.

"Now, we may speak."

Albedo nodded, removing her helmet to reveal her horns and her beautiful hair. "Father. I have a message from... uh, Lord Ulbert?" She said with a hesitant voice as she sheepishly scratched her hair with a slight blush on her face.

"Ulbert? What could be so important that he sent you to me?" Said the alchemist, tilting his head curiously at the imp.

That seems to only fluster the female even more, her cheeks heating up substantially, blushing red all the way up to ears.

"A-ah, there was... Um... an accident?"

"An accident...?" It was at this moment that Tabula sounded uncertain and a bit alarmed. "What, accident?" Tabula said a little bit impatiently. "If something has happened in the base, why do you not report this to Momonga? Why must we do this so privately?"

With another sheepish scratch of her head, Albedo looked down at the ground and laughed nervously, avoiding Tabula's gaze at her face. "Ah, you see, Lord Ulbert didn't want for Lord Momonga to worry..."

"...And?"

"W-well, your presence is explicitly needed. It's urgent... Since Lord Ulbert didn't want for Lord Momonga to worry... I come to report to only you... And... the thing is..."

"Speak up, foolish child. If it's urgent, then we don't have all day. What is it?" Tabula said with a slight growl and a deep frown, sounding very much impatient at his creation's hesitation. He would have tapped his finger on a surface of a table if he were sitting at one.

Albedo bowed her head a few times with an apologetic look on her face. "Forgive me for my foolishness, Lord father!"

The alchemist shook his head and sigh. "Just say it, child."

"Your presence is needed back in the base because... Lord Ulbert was accidentally poisoned!"

"What!?" The alchemist snapped, eyes bulging out of his head at the exclamation. "How!? Why!? Why did you not tell me sooner? What happened to him!?" He said with a rushed and panic tone as he paced back and forth. There was anger within his features, too. His eyes darkened when he directed his gaze at his creation. "This is a dire situation, why have you failed to report as soon and as quick as possible!?"

Instead of just dawdling around, they could have been back at Nazarick by now! Tabula was a patient man. But there is a certain boundary that must not be pushed. Albedo has deliberately wasted time, that is not acceptable.

"I-I apologize for my imprudence, my Lord..." Albedo said, bowing her head down even deeper, making herself smaller before the presence of her angry creator. "But i-it appears that you are going u-undercover, since that filthy man called you Sir Em. I-I did not want to risk revealing your... true identity..." She said hurriedly, keeping her bowing posture and her her gaze to the ground.

Tabula sighed and brought his face up to stare at the sky.

Well, not everyone is perfect. I used to believe that all of my creations are flawless... but perhaps it is time to stop thinking that way. The alchemist thought solemnly and shook his head. They are no longer non-sentient being. They are real now. I should treat them as such. Besides... Tabula smiled. Despite her flaws, she is still perfect in my eyes.

"Do not fret, Albedo. I was a bit displeased, but I appreciate your thoughtful thinking. It was the wise thing to do." Tabula said, petting the female on her hair a few times as she brought her face up to stare at him.

"It... was?"

"It was. Will you quickly sum up the chain of events that led to Ulbert's... food poisoning?"

At the question, the imp looked even more flustered as her cheeks heated up even more, looking at the ground bashfully. "It... might have something to do with me and Shalltear..."

Tabula stared at Albedo deadpanned. "You and Shalltear poisoned him? With food?" He could feel himself starting to become angry, but the thought was quickly canceled out by the great amount of amusement that came from this comedic situation. If he didn't know any better, he could've mistaken all of this for one of Nishiki's mundane 'anime' that he liked to watch.

He was not sure if he should laugh, or feel disappointed.

The first was not easy to contain.

"Yes! No! A-Ah, something like that!"

"Elaborate. Despite us not having much time, I would love to know what could have possibly poisoned the devil himself." Tabula said with a chuckle. He knows he should probably be more concerned for the demon, but Ulbert won't die. He has resistances to DPS damage since he was equipped with one of the squishiest class just behind Assassin. Damage reduction was an active-passive skill from the demon race that Ulbert has chosen to favor instead of 'Echoes of Pestilence', which would grant Ulbert a significant increase of damage dealt, but also increases the amount of damage that he would take.

Now, this was real life now... And Ulbert has ingested the poison. So the same logic wouldn't be appropriate to apply to this situation. But then again... He could afford to wait a couple more minutes. It's not gonna... kill him.

"I-I suggest for us to head back, Lord Ulbert needs you..." Albedo said, looking extremely flustered as she twiddles her fingers together. She knew it was not her fault, but the situation as a whole was just plain embarrassing as it is. She did not want her creator to think that she was a participant of this disgraceful deed!

"No no, you must tell me. The quicker you get this done and over with, the sooner we can return home."

Clearing her throat, Albedo nodded quickly as she looks at the ground, not being able to look at the eyes of her creator. Was he amused? Was he disappointed? Angry? "Ah... Me and Shalltear baked a few confectioneries when Sebas ordered one of the Pleiades to bring some to the Supreme Ones from the chef." The ground was so interesting lately, she can't seem to quite take her eyes off of it. "W-well, I thought I'd made some for you, Lord Momonga, and Lord Ulbert. Shalltear wanted to impress Lord Peroroncino, so she made some for him... And one thing leads to another. S-so..."

"Let me guess, the glutton ate it."

"Y-yes, father."

"All of it."

"Y-yes... father..."

"..." There was a moment of silence from the alchemist as he went over the information given to him one more time in his head before he let out a roaring laughter. "Bwahahahahaha! Well now, what are the odds!" Who would have thought that there is something that a goat can't fucking eat!

"I-Is everything alright, father? Please forgive me for my mistakes, father!" Even if it wasn't her fault, she was involved! This is unacceptable! He was laughing at how disgraceful this all sound! And she deserved his wrath! She has indirectly violated one of the Supreme Being's body, simply unforgivable!

Tabula shook his head and raised up a hand, his frame shook as he continued to laugh. "No, I understand what happened now. There can be no way that it is your doing. It's that deviant's fault for not raising his creation right." The alchemist said with a smirk and shook his head. "I did implement a few level of cooking into your being, so there can be no way that your creations are inedible. Which leaves us all only one conclusion, doesn't it?"

"H-huh? ...Ah. Yes... Yes! As always, you are the wisest of men and gods alike, father! I bow before your wise speculations!" Said Albedo, her face lit up as she came to a realization from her creator's words.

"Heh." Tabula smirked, feeling a surge of pride from his creation's praise. "Now, let us go back, before the devil literally goes to hell. Do not withdraw the hidden troops, tell them to stand by. Momonga might need them later. And collect the prisoner I have captured, we will need to have a little 'talk' with them."

Albedo nodded, acknowledging the orders that were given to her.

"I can't wait to see the look on Peroroncino's face when I told him what his beloved 'daughter' has done to his friend. Come now, I don't think the poor man will last for much longer."

"Yes, father!"


The sky was getting a bit of an orange glow, indicating that it was near the end of after-noon.

They shouldn't really be out when it's almost night time, because they don't know what creatures inhabit this place. But, there was no time to waste. It is not yet dusk, they have plenty of time left to rendezvous with their leader.

"Come on! If we keep this up, we're going to arrive in less than fifteen minutes!" The archer shouted to the group of two pacing just a few feet behind him.

"I can't fucking believe that you're all here!" Bukubukuchagama yelled, panting as she ran alongside her brother and her friend. "Well, not all of you. But still, that's some crazy shit! Where is our base? Are we going there right now?"

"Not at the moment. We're gonna meet up with Momo-chan first." Peroroncino said with a small laugh. "He's gonna be so proud of me when he finally gets to see you two!" The avian said with delight as he flew near the ground by his sister's side.

"Wait, if we're gonna go meet Momonga, why aren't we going to the base? What's happening?" Yamaiko asked inquisitively.

"Well, let's just say that a little bird told him to go on an adventure." Grinned the archer. "We saved some people, and now, we're getting some information."

"Then what are you doing out here?" Bkubukuchagama asked, sounding amused at her brother's answer. "Are you being a lazy s.o.b? Oooooh, I'm totally telling Momonga on you then."

Peroroncino scoffed indignantly. "ExcuuUUUUUuusee me, I have been assigned with one of the most important and dangerous missions of all, sooo. Jokes on you." He replied with sass in his voice. He then laughed and shook his head as his sister laughed along with him.

"Really though, what are you doing out here? What were you supposed to be doing?"

"I have been assigned to do some reconnaissance. I just checked in with Momonga a few hours ago, now, I'm taking you two to see him."

Yamaiko raised an eyebrow and let out a chuckle. "You? Reconnaissance? Now that's something you don't see every day."

"Agreed. I'm surprised that the whole entire forest didn't hear you by now." The pink slime giggled at her friend's words as her head wiggled with her laughing and her movements.

"H-hey..."

"Alright alright. Just kidding. Anyway, what are we gonna do once we get back?"

"I wanna party!" Peroroncino giggled, feeling excited at the thought of getting wasted with his friends.

"You're still the same you, huh? Pero-dongsaeng." Yamaiko giggled.

"Awww! You see, this is what a good sister is supposed to be like. You never called me brother unless you're using it in some form of insult or to complain about me to other people."

"You're a just a bitch, you stupid brother." Bukubukuchagama said with a snicker. "Yama-chan is a Saint, ok? Don't expect me to be like her."

"B-Buku-chan..." Yamaiko muttered with a blush.

"Bitch? Now you're just insulting Fang." Smirked Peroroncino. "What will he do when he heard you say this? His feelings will be hurt for sure! Oh! The tragedy!"

"What—. Oh, you sneaky bastard." Laughed the pink slime with amusement. "But I think the only reason he will be insulted is because I'm comparing the likes of trash like you to his beautiful, beautiful self. He'll be flattered if I called him a bitch. He's lewd too, but he has more class than you."

"What!? Come on, he's even more inappropriate than me. See! This is exactly what I'm talking about. How can you stand her? Yamaiko?"

"Well, Pero, maybe if you're nicer to your sister?" The healer offered with a small laugh.

"W-what? I am nice to her! You're being unfair. This is favoritism, I demand justice!"

The three of them laughed together as their feet, wings, and... slime(?) carried them through the forest, a few gust of wind weaved through the trees as it brushed through their bodies.

"Ah, this is nice. I love the feeling of wind so much!" Yamaiko said, sighing peacefully at the scent of fresh air. "I can't believe that this is really happening. We have a sky above us and the sun is setting. If I didn't know any better, I'd think I was dreaming!"

"Quite the poet there, aren't ya?"

Yamaiko nodded. She was appreciating and enjoying all the aspect that she currently has surrounding her right now. Because, what if this all goes away one day? Like what happened in the outside world? What if this was all a dream? She would wake up, not remembering what air without smog smells like, nor what the sun would look like when it wasn't hindered by the clouds.

"You know, despite accepting everything that has happened so far, I still have a small part of me that is telling me that I'm dreaming."

"Heh. Believe me, this is very real. Even with our imagination, you think we could have come up with something like this? No sir, not me!" Peroroncino snickered. "Besides, if all of this didn't happen, I'm gonna get really pissed off!"

"Why is that?" His sister asked, sounding curious as she moved closer to him. "Something good happened while you guys were here or something?"

"Well. I don't know about the rest of them, but something good happened to me!"

"Lemme guess, you finally found a dude or dudettes who are willing to sleep with your ugly ass. That's amazing, given that you're a bird."

"HEY!" Peroroncino squawked indignantly. "For your information, this 'ugly bird' have hair way more beautiful than Chris Hemsworth when he was playing Thor. And no, that didn't happen... Stupid moron sister..."

"What was that? Did ya say something?"

"N-nothing!"

"I thought so."

"Don't bully him too much, Buku-chan! He didn't tell us what happened yet!" Yamaiko said, shaking her head at the comedic scene unrolling before her. This was so nostalgic. Nothing really did change, after all. Even if it was so long ago that she had last heard a conversation similar to this. Their pace has also slowed down to a jog as they converse animatedly, what a wild bunch! One second they were talking about one subject, a second later they are talking about something else.

"Fine, but only because ya asked so nicely." The pink slime said with a dramatic sigh. "Well then. Shoot, ya wee bird. We ain't got all day."

"Technically we do, but alright. Did you know that a certain bird got lucky with the dude of his dream? Wow, that sounded way more embarrassing when said out loud..."

At this, the pink slime gasped and slapped her brother a few times on his back as she howled out her encouragement. "Wow! For real! Y'all had sex and fellatio and all that good stuff? Found a lover in this new world, huh. What a player."

"Buku-chan!" Yamaiko blushed at how explicit this conversation was getting. But she couldn't help but ran to move in closer as well. Blame her personality as a woman, she was naturally curious about relationship stuff. "W-well, did you? Pero-dongsaeng?"

"A-ah... No... It's a little bit difficult if we were to do that... because... he ain't exactly human, ya know? But I wish!"

"Oh my god. No way, it's one of the guild members!?" Bukubukuchagama exclaimed with delight and glee at her brother's hesitant nod. "Oh my god, I knew it all along, who is it?" Despite their conflicting love-hate relationship, she was truly concerned for her brother. If something bad happened to him, she'll be there to go through it with him, like what happened a long time ago. And if something good has happened to him, she has the right to know and to pry into his private life as his sister.

"Is it Ulbert? Pero? You guys always have that love-hate relationship thing going on with you, given how much you two seems to argue and make up." Yamaiko suggested. "I mean, I'm not a furry or anything, but he's not bad looking. So I can see the appeal!" Grinned the healer.

"Fuck no. Just... no. No. Not him. He'll be really offended if you say that to his face. I'm offended right now. NoNo."

"Pfft. We get it, you little shit. Don't be so dramatic."

"I can't believe you even dared think of suggesting something like that. Brrr. Now I'm traumatized."

"Ok, Pero. So... Tabula? I didn't know you liked the mysterious and eccentric type." The nephilim said, voicing out her second suggestion. "He's... an odd person to like, but he's nice. Super smart. And he really does know some stuff. Never mind. I can see why now. Luckyyyy~!"

"Not just that, you know how this deviant is. I bet he's into tentacle sex. And I bet five hundred yen our alchemist friend has delivered. Must be some good sex, eh?"

"Oh, my, god. Can you two stop!?" Peroroncino said, blushing outright at his sister's bed-talk with her best friend. "It's not like that! Oh my god, stop! No! It's not him either! Why would you think that!? A-and there was no t-tentacle sex!"

"I dunno, you guys seem to be on really good terms. You know? You guys seem to have the typical senpai-kohai relationship thing. Like you're that person who always fails at some stuff at times and Tabula seems to be that savior figure who helped you. So that's what I thought."

"So there wasn't tentacle sex?"

"NO! ...Well, I mean something like that, but it wasn't sex, and we almost died. almost died."

"Wait, how can it be 'something like that' but it's not sex? Did he tried to eat you!?" Yamaiko gasped, remembering about the time when she has to teach her students about octopuses and their mating rituals.

"WHAT!? He's not an octopus! Despite the... evidence!"

"Ok then. So... You've been pretty not-so-subtle towards Fang, either. Uh, did you two...?" Bukubukuchagama narrowed her eyes as she points a finger at him accusingly. "If he did, that's quite... scandalous of him."

"What? No! Besides, he's not even here..." Peroroncino sighed wistfully. "I wish he was, though. I miss him too..."

Yamaiko and Bukubukuchagama stared at each other amusingly before snickering at the slumped form of the avian. "Jesus. How many people are on your 'I wanna bang them' list?" The pink slime said teasingly. "You know what, don't answer. I don't want to know."

"You sure~? Yamaiko cherie, would you like to know~?"

"No."

"Oh... Oh well! I know one person that wouldn't like the thought of me going out with you, Yamaiko cherie, so I won't intrude on your lovely self." Peroroncino said, raising up his hands defensively as he wiggled his eyebrows at his sister.

"Shaddap." Snickered the pink slime as she punches her brother in the shoulder playfully when her friend giggled at his words. "Anyway... that leaves only one other person that's here then, huh?" Smirked Bukubukuchamaga, even though she knows that with her current appearance, he wouldn't be able to see it. "Still? I thought you gave up on that years ago."

"I did!" Peroroncino said, suddenly feeling insecure. He doesn't talk about his feelings with a lot of people, lest his sister that he hadn't seen in a year or so. "But after seeing someone in a long time, you think these feelings wouldn't resurface? Old stuff came up, new things were done, and everything just spiraled out of control from there, you know? I can't help it."

"...Awww... Pero-dongsaeng..." Yamaiko said fondly. She always loved these things, and hearing a guy talking about it just made all those times of reading doujinshi much better, because it's real.

"I see. Well, so I take it that you confessed?"

"No..."

"What the fuck? You said you got 'lucky'!"

"I did! B-but it's a bonding thing, more like..." Said Peroroncino, feeling embarrassed at the scrutiny from his sister. "Give me a break! This stuff is hard! For once, I ain't trying to get into somebody's pants."

"Ughhhh, you idiot of a brother." Bukubukuchagama sighed out exasperatedly, a 'smack!' sound was heard as she facepalmed. "You know what, good ole Kazemi Kumi will do her little brother a big favor, oke? Big sister will help her little brother actually getting lucky with the guy of his dreams."

"D-don't phrase it like that! So embarrassing..." The avian muttered.

"Hah, you're embarrassing. Chickening out on the one thing that actually mattered the most to ya. Fucking moron."

"Is that a bird pun...?"

"Oooh, I love it when you play matchmaker, Buku-chan!"

"Right!? I'm friend with Lin. So I knew that she got married. And guess to who?"

"Who?" Said Yamaiko and Peroroncino in unison.

"Who else? Our good friend Fang!" Snickered the pink slime. "I told everyone that they're gonna get together sooner if not later, didn't I? It helped that I kinda set them up constantly, too. I'm such a great person."

"Oh wow! I did not know that." Peroroncino said, sounding genuinely interested and amazed.

"How? They visited Momonga before the game shut down. I told them to get on. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it with them... So, you mean he didn't tell you?"

"No! Well, I guess we all got caught up in our nostalgia, so we didn't really pay any attention to other stuff."

"Awww, look at you, defending him and stuff. I didn't think it would be so cute!" Laughed Bukubukuchagama at the pinkish tint on her brother's feathers. "Welp, I guess now I really have to step in, huh? Not to worry. I gotcha, little idiotic brother of mine."

"Ugh. I never asked you to."

"I don't care. I'm gonna meddle in, anyway. You can do nothin' about it! Mwuahahaha!"

"...Sometimes I swear you're eviler than Ulbert."

"He can't hold a shoe to me, darling."

"Whatever... Oh, look! I can see the outskirt of the village! We're almost there!" Exclaimed Peroroncino when he saw the familiar visage of the houses in the village. "I bet he will be so happy to see you guys."

"I can't wait to see him, too. I bet a lot must have happened in his life."

"Actually..." The archer began but was interrupted by Yamaiko.

"Hey, who are all of those men surrounding this one guy?"

"What?"

At Yamaiko's words, the three of them effectively halted in their stride as they all crouched down and knelt behind a large bush.

There was approximately... over twenty Archangel Flames surrounding this one man, and for each Archangel Flames on the field, there was a person controlling them further out. A man stood further away from the event that was happening—their commander, probably—, and alongside with him was a creature—another angel—that looked like it has a higher status and power than the rest.

"Why are there so many Archangel Flames? And why are they here?" The pink slime said with confusion evident in her voice.

"Wow, cowards! Outnumbering him from one to ten!"

"That's just battle tactics, Yamaiko. They're just achieving victory through any means. Nothing strange to see there." Peroroncino said, surprising himself at how heartless he sounded. Yamaiko and his sister looked at him with their eyes wide as they too were surprised at what he said.

"Well... Still, it's not fair." The healer said slowly, blinking a few times as she shook herself out of the small shock she received from hearing Peroroncino's words.

"We have to go help him."

The man was on the ground now. And many of the Archangel Flames surrounded him as it looked like they were about to finish him off, only for him to stand up heaving out a battle cry. The man stood his ground, sword in hand, as he continued to provoke the enemy.

"Someone should just kill him already, I bet he's in a lot of pain right now, and this is the last bit of his strength that he is using just to stand himself up." Peroroncino muttered, shaking his head at the scene unfolding before his eyes. "Yeah, you're right. They really are cowards. Taunting a dying man, torturing him."

Bukubukuchagama grunted. "He's not dying yet! We should go help him! Let's go—."

"No!" Said Peroroncino harshly. Once again surprising his sister and the healer at his harsh tone. "No. We do not go out there, for we don't know who these people are. We don't know why they're attacking this man, and we don't know where they came from. We can't risk letting ourselves be discovered just so we could save one dying man. We will put Ainz Ooal Gown in danger. I will not allow that to happen." Said the archer with a deadly serious voice and look in his eyes.

His sister was stunned and feeling baffled for a moment before frowning deeply at him. "Well, do you know what will happen after they killed that man?" She began patiently as Peroroncino's body stilled. "After they're finished with that guy, they're going to target that village. And who's in the village right now?"

"...Tabula and Momonga."

"Exactly. We don't know the strength of these people, right? And what will happen if an unknown force were to come face to face with our friends? Even though they're strong, they're outnumbered. What if the enemy was stronger? Well, we wouldn't know! Because we haven't faced them yet. Idiotic brother, think of this as an experimental showdown. If they're strong, then we'll call for backup. If they're not, then we have nothing to worry about. Right?"

"Wise speculation, Buku-chan!"

"Heh, you flatter me, Yama-chan. I do have gaming experience combined with TV-shows, you know? Besides, it's just plain logic." After chuckling at her friend's compliment, she has a serious look on her nonexistent face once again as she turned to look at her brother and tilts her head. "Well?"

"We go."

Yamaiko did a yes motion as Bukubukuchagama nodded her head approvingly. "Yama-chan! Protect that man with your spells and stay behind me, I'm charging in."

"...Careful, we do not have any information on these people. Do not underestimate the enemy." Peroroncino said with a sigh. He doesn't like this. He doesn't like this at all. But who was he to deny his sister when she retaliates with her trump card; the 'Momonga and Ainz Ooal Gown will be put in danger' card.

"We know, bird brain. Despite me not being involved with the gaming community for a long time, I actually have some common sense, you know?"

Snorting, the archer took out his favorite bow and drew the strings back as the bow's passive activates itself. A fiery bolt of searing flames appeared at the bow's arrow rest, illuminating the surrounding slightly as the sky continues to get darker. "Well? Lead the way. You're a tank, right? Although it shames me to say this, Yamaiko cherie, but alas! You two will have to protect me. Ah! How shameful!"

The healer giggled at Peroroncino's words and nodded. "It's ok, Pero-dongsaeng. We'll protect you, and that man."

"It scars my manly pride, I assure you, Yamaiko cherie! I want to protect you with all my heart and soul, but I can't do that today, ah—!"

"Shut the fuck up and let's go." Bukubukuchagama said with a hidden smile and a roll of her nonexistent eyes. "You're a sissy. You ain't got no manly pride."

"What did you say!? Bitch!?"

"What did you say!? Come again!?"

"I said, that you're a b—."

"Ok, since you two are going to keep arguing, I'll just enter the battlefield, helpless and all." Yamaiko said with a teasing sigh as she began to walk away with slumped shoulders and her Female Sensei's Iron Fist of Wrath on her hands.

"This ain't over, you little shit." Bukubukuchagama growled as she glared at Peroroncino, face to face.

"Yeah it ain't. Chienne." Smirked Peroroncino, crossing his arms as he looked down at his sister, who is much shorter than him. Now that this is reality, he can use every resource available to his advantage. And in this case: his height. His sister always hated when he commented about her heights in real life. And with her gelatinous body, she is like a little troll while he's a towering titan.

Bukubukuchagama blushed as Peroroncino raised an eyebrow at her. She knows he is secretly saying: "What'cha gonna do about it? Shorty." But she shook her head and stomp(?) through the field, face fuming as she mumbled a few things as she go. "Fucking idiot..."

"What wuz that, shorty? Have something to say?" Smirked the archer, shrugging his shoulders and popped his back as a form of stretching.

"I—You know what, nothing. Wait for me, Yama-chan~!" Said the pink slime, completely ignoring her brother as she ran past him to catch up to her healer friend.

The archer shook his head and sighed with a small smile on his face. "Women."


Gazef could feel his strength failing him.

Each muscle on his body burned. It burned and aches and it hurts so bad. He doesn't even know where he have gotten the strength from to be standing right now. But he held his ground and stared at the Slane Theocracy's cocky commander, smirking at him like he was some lowly peasant. If he was going to die, he wasn't going to die with someone looking down at him.

Gazef was not afraid of death. He had taken many lives in the past, so he was prepared to meet his end on the battlefield.

Like he had told Ainz, he was hated by people. That hatred became a sword that would one day pierce his body.

But he could not accept an end like this.

They had attacked several villages and murdered defenseless, innocent villagers, all to lure Gazef into a trap. He could not allow himself to die at the hands of honorless dogs like this, and he could not bear his powerlessness.

"Gaaaaaaah! Don't look down on me—!"

He shouted with all the strength in his body.

Blood dribbled out the side of his mouth as Gazef rose to his feet.

A man who should have been powerless to stand now stood proudly, the mighty force of his presence forcing back the angels that surrounded him.

"Haaa—! Haaa—!"

Just getting to his feet made it made him breathe hard. His mind was a blur and his body felt like it had turned to mud. But he could not lie down. If he lay down, all would be lost.

This little bit of pain he felt could not compare to the suffering of the dead villagers.

If he has to die today, he'll die fighting, sword swinging, cursing his enemy's name until he took his last breath.

"I am the Warrior-Captain of the Re-Estize Kingdom! I am a man who loves and defends his country! How can I lose to bastards like you who stain my country with your filthy presence—!"

"You are a fool, Gazef Stronoff. You should have just kept your mouth shut and stay on the ground. Your death would have been much less painful. You will die here because all you can do is babble that nonsense, oh great Warrior Captain."

Gazef glared at the enemy commander as his cruel mockery reached his ears.

"If only you had abandoned these villagers on the border, you would not be dying here. You probably don't know, but your life is far more valuable than even a thousand of these peasants. If you truly love your country, you should have abandoned them to die." Sneered the man.

"You and I… will never see eye to eye… let's finish this!"

"What can that body of yours do? Cease your pointless struggles and lie down quietly. As a final act of mercy, I will kill you without drawing out your suffering."

"If you think… I'm helpless… then why don't you come... take my head? It should be easy… if I'm like this, right?"

"...Hmph. You're all talk. It looks like you still want to fight. Do you think you can win?"

Gazef simply stared straight ahead, his hands trembling as he gripped his sword. He focused on the enemy in front of him, ignoring the angels surrounding him.

"...What a pointless effort. Truly, you are an idiot. After we kill you, we will then massacre the villagers you saved. All you have done is bought them a fear-filled stay of execution."

At that, Gazef couldn't help but let out a bitter laugh.

"Heh..."

"What is so funny?"

"You fool. In that village… is a man who is stronger than me. Trying to kill… the villagers he protects… is impossible for you. You will undoubtedly fail."

"...Someone stronger than the Kingdom's greatest warrior? Do you think boasting like that will do you any good? You truly are an idiot."

Gazef was still smiling. What kind of look would Nigun have on his face when he met that inscrutable man called Ainz Ooal Gown? Seeing that would probably be the best gift Gazef could receive before heading off to the afterlife.

What if Sir Em. finished his business, and he too returned to the village to join Sir. Gown? Now that man, was dangerous. He was dangerous to his core. Gazef could tell from the first moment that he had met him.

When he had uttered his first word to Gazef, he had felt a shiver crawling up his spine. His voice... it was almost ghastly and way too calm to be not unsettling. There was something about that man that was... almost untouchable. If one thinks that the man known as Ainz Ooal Gown was someone you shouldn't cross, then this one was the one that you should be wary of the most.

He wonders what will happen to this cocky bastard if he were to cross path with Sir Em.

Wouldn't that be a sight to see? The blond man would probably be spooked to death just be hearing his voice.

"...Angels, kill Gazef Stronoff."

There it is. The final command. Gazef closed his eyes and steeled himself, preparing to swing his sword one last time.

He waited.

And waited.

But... there was no pain.

It never came.

He dared to open his eyes to see what has happened. And he was shocked to see a strange, pink creature standing in front of him, blocking the angelic blades that were meant to pierce through his body. His mouth opened as he was about to uttered out words of concern—ha, how strange, being concerned for something that's not even human—but he couldn't find the strength speak when the pink creature effortlessly removes the creatures attached to her with absolute and complete ease.

He thought it would have already died. But it didn't.

Now, the strangest part was when it began to speak.

"Oya oya oya! What do we have here? Want to try that again, ya bastards?!"

At the female's(?) angry voice, the creatures backed off, their owners looking unsure of what to do next. One could tell that they were startled and very much afraid to anger the female.

"...That was unwise and cowardly."

Spoke a kinder voice. Gazef now realized that there was another figure standing behind the pink creature. She was clad in bulky clothing, and he couldn't see her face properly. But she looked ready for combat as well, and this made him wondered:

Who are these two? Why are they helping him?

"Who are you? Why have you intervened in matters that are not your concerns?" The leader of the magic casters said with a frown and uncertainty in his voice. Gazef allowed a smile on his face as their facade began to falter.

The pink creature did not die, rather, it sounded like it wanted to kill someone. It was a miracle how the enemy leader could still remain so calm. Who knows what the creature was, and what it was capable of. If it didn't die from a stab wound that would have killed Gazef by now, then he was pretty sure that nothing could've managed to put a scratch on it.

Although, Gazef began to wonder if he should address it as a 'she' instead, judging by the sound of 'her' voice.

"None of my concern? Look here, straw hair, it is very much my concern."

"And why is that?"

"You wanna attack this man, who is trying to protect that village, right? Well, there is someone important to us that is currently in there. I suggest you back off before I take your fucking head off." Growled the—he was pretty sure that this is a she now—female, sounding very much not at all friendly.

Someone important to these two ladies that are currently residing in the village?

Gazef doesn't really believe it. This village really was not at all exceptional, he doubted anyone important could have lived here.

Unless...

"If you would leave this man alone, I assure you there would be no trouble. We wish you absolutely no harm, we don't want any trouble." Spoke the gentler of the two females. Her tone was warm and kind, but one could tell that she meant anything but. Underneath her kind exterior was ice and daggers, and her calm tone had secretly conveyed: "If you mess with my friends, you will suffer."

He wonders who their 'friends' are, but something in him already knew the answer to that question.

Gazef knew that he hadn't much strength, but with everything that he could muster up, Gazef cleared his throat as his lips began to form words.

"W-Who... who are..."

"Shh. Be quiet and stay behind. You're injured. Sit down, please." The female with the kind voice said, ushering him to sit on the ground as she gently patted the surface beneath her.

He didn't really know how to react, but he dumbly and blindly complied as the sound of her voice lulled him to do whatever it is she wished. Perhaps he was tired, perhaps it was something else, but right now, he didn't really care. He really is weary, and being eased into doing such easy activity by such a lovely voice... is extremely tempting.

And so he sits down.

The pink, gelatinous-like female stood her ground, glaring at the enemy, daring them to move. So far, either side has made any indication of movements.

It was then that he realized that the three of them was placed inside some sort of... shield; globe, more like. It felt like he was encased inside a sanctuary that allowed him to see other things from the outside. He felt safe...

Strange, how the mind of one dying man could conjure up such odd images. But he knew that this was no dream. It all felt too real, even this strange tingling sensation that was crawling up his... skin...

The female with the kind voice was doing things to him.

He knew he should panic or violently react to this. But... he couldn't find the will nor the strength.

What she did was oddly calming, soothing, and peaceful. He felt rejuvenated, bits and tiny bits of energy slowly filling him.

He was hoping that the ecstatic sensation would never end. But his wish went unfulfilled. The female had ceased doing what she was doing, and he frowned, silently missing how pleasant the feeling was.

"I am a healer. I have healed most of your external injuries, but only enough so that you will be able to remain conscious." She explained.

He could only nod dumbfoundedly at her, not knowing what would be the appropriate thing to say.

"If you don't want trouble, then cease your interruptions. You are meddling in our business. Leave the man. Then, we will have nothing to say to each other." The enemy commander began when he has noticed Gazef being tended to.

"Your 'angels' just stabbed me and you expected for us to be all buddy-buddy with you?" The pink female creature said with an annoyed tone. Despite what she said, she was unharmed. Gazef realized that she was only provoking the enemy with no intentions of becoming 'friends' or negotiate with them.

The pink female creature did not initiate any form of attack to the enemy, however. Gazef wonders if she is stalling. If so, what for? She seems to be waiting for something. But what?

"...It is your fault for intervening. If you hadn't, then no harm would have befallen you in the first place."

"Hey! You should be apologizing to both me and this man."

"And the reason for that is...?"

"You have no right to harm innocent people! And your whimsy little shits stabbed me!"

The man scoffed before continued talking to the pink female with a tone of disinterest. "He is hardly innocent, I can assure you that. After all, you have killed people before, haven't you? Honored Warrior Captain?"

Gazef didn't say anything, only looked down at the ground with a frown on his face. That's true. Despite his status as a captain, he was still a soldier. It would be shameful to say that his hands were clean. But he has no regrets. He only does what he must to defend and protect his country.

"It doesn't matter, you stupid fuck. He's outnumbered, it's a cowardly thing to do. And I wasn't talking about him. I was talking about the many villages in ruins because of your stupid conquest." She said with evident anger in her voice. "How many people have you killed!? Just leave the man alone, before you regret all your life choices!"

"It appears that we will not come to an understanding. Then, Angels, kill the ones who are meddling with my business. After that, kill Gazef Stronoff as well."

The enemy commander has made the first move. And as if on cue, the form of the pink female creature twitched, like she has been waiting for the man to uttered out those specific words. He would've missed what she said if he hadn't been so close to her, but before the angels begin to surround them, she whispered:

"About time."

The Angels overwhelmed the barrier that covered them, and within a few minutes, the barrier shattered. With it gone, Gazef could feel a sense of impending doom when the cluster of Angels flooded inside the sanctuary that was conjured up by the kind female.

The pink creature then stretched her arms out as she shouted:

" [ Body Shield ]!"

The sky turned pink as his vision was blocked by the female's gelatinous form that stretched out above them, intercepting the blades that would have went through them all by now.

What is this female creature?

How can she do what she does?

But then again, he couldn't really find the motivation to ask. Right now, he's just grateful that he's still alive. Though, he was feeling a bit concerned for her. Was she alright? Didn't those blades hurt? Blame him for being a gentleman, even if she wasn't human, she was still female. And she has saved his ass, that's for sure.

"Is..." He coughed. "Is your friend alright?" He asked the kind female that stood and watched her friend in silence.

"She's fine. If nothing happened to her by now, then there's nothing to worry about. But I do wonder when he's going to make a move..."

"Who's... who's he?"

"You'll see."

She said, her voice light and her eyes squinted in a smile.

"What's going on?! Why isn't that thing dead!?" The enemy commander said in an agitated and annoyed voice.

"We don't know! I-It just won't die!"

"Then send more angels! We're wasting too much time here!"

"...Master Nigun, do you... feel that?" Someone said.

"Feel what, you idiots? Get moving!" Nigun said, feeling annoyed

"...No... like... is it just me, or is the weather getting much hotter?" Said one of the magic casters.

The people of the Slane Theocracy paused, taking a moment to feel the changes that the person has talked about.

"...It is getting much hotter..."

Taking that as a cue, the pink creature that used its own body to protect the two of them began shouting.

"Now, Yama-chan!"

"OK! [ Greater Sanctuary ] , [ Gaia's Protection ]. "

The pink gelatinous female has receded, returning to her slimy form as the female known as 'Yama-chan' casts said spells around them. Another barrier was raised, and Gazef felt a tingly sensation on his skin when a gentle green glow covered his body.

"If the idiot knows what he's doing, he wouldn't burn through the barrier..." Muttered the pink female.

"I hope so... I trust him!" Yama-chan said.

Whoever this 'he' is, Gazef was slightly worried and a lot more hopeful now that more people are arriving to come to these two female's aid. Today was not his day to die, it seems. But he must wonder, why are these two so concerned when their allies are coming? What could this mean?

The sky was getting brighter. Perhaps the ray of hope and justice has unveiled and brightened the day.

He knew that it was just his poetic side coming out, however. The sky really is getting brighter for some reason. Wasn't it supposed to be the afternoon?

Before he could even think of anything else, he never would have believed what he saw if it didn't just occur in front of him. His jaw went slack and his eyes widened with fear and wonder.

In the sky, a giant, majestic bird of flame soared through the air, screeching and howling as it incinerates all the angels outside of the barrier. Within seconds, nothing was left except for the barrier surrounding them and the beautiful creature itself.

He'd never thought he'd live to see a legendary creature, lest see one up close. He was breathless, all the air was taken out of his lung as he exhales in amazement.

Gazef could feel the scorching heat, even within this protective barrier. There was no doubt that he would have burned to death if not for the sanctuary that he was currently sitting in and for the green glow that surrounds him.

"Fucking moron... using that of all the skills..." Mumbled the pink female, wiping the sweat(?) off of her forehead(?).

It was gone just as quick as it came. A few moments after obliterating the enemy's legion of Angels, the firebird itself vanished into thin air, its scorch and heat were no longer felt as its presence disappeared after one last majestic screech.

The sky returned to its purple-ish shade that is slowly darkening.

It was astonishing how silence it was, given what had just happened earlier.

"...What... was that?" He said in a quiet voice.

"That." Sighed the pink female. "Was my idiotic brother. Come out, you moron!"

"—ey!" Said a faint voice from afar. "I did save your ass, you know?"

"I could've done it myself, you dumbass!" Now even Gazef could tell that the female creature was rolling her eyes, if she had it. "Get over here."

"—Fine."

Gazef would have shouted in surprise, but he doesn't have enough energy to do so, and he still has enough left to retain his dignity as his body jumped a little from the voice coming out of nowhere. It was that earlier voice, the voice of the pink gelatin's brother. It was here, right behind him. How did he do that?

"...So, you're still alive."

"...Bare... Barely. But... thanks to your kind friend, I... feel like I can manage." It hurt a little, just by talking. But his body did not feel like it was about to break at the slightest touch of the wind.

"...Hn." Replied the man.

Now that his senses have returned to him, Gazef had realized what an odd group these people are.

The kind healer were covered from head to toe, he couldn't even see most of her face except for her eyes. She had... unusual eyes. But it would be rude if he was to judge her for that. After all, she saved him.

The male was strange as well. He donned a golden bird-like mask and have two wings sprouted behind him. He was also covered with sandy colored feathers, giving him a soft yet fierce and majestic look. Was that a getup? If this group of people was Ainz Ooal Gown's countrymen, then he guessed that he could understand the... eccentricity. Sir Gown and Sir Em. themselves was also dressed in strange gears.

"W-Who are you people!? There is no way that a legion of Angels could be wiped out in one single strike!"

There was a small scoff coming from the winged man, and Gazef could feel the similarity between countrymen. The pink gelatinous female's brother was just as sarcastic as her. He could tell that the man was rolling his eyes as he began to speak.

"You're astonished by that? Well then. I'd tell you, but first thing first—." The man then turned to him, in his hand held a small pouch. Gazef wondered what it was. But his question soon disappeared as the male opened the pouch up and blew a cloud of dust at him, causing him to cough and waved a hand in front of his face.

"W-What was that abou—."

"It's about time for me to switch in now."

The scenery before Gazef changed, and he was no longer on that blood-soaked plain. Instead, he was in the corner of what looked like a simple village hut. There were worried-looking villagers all around him.

"This, this is..."

"This is a warehouse that Mister Ainz has protected with his magic."

"So you're the chief... Gown... Sir Gown does not seem to be here."

"No, he was here just a moment ago, but he seems to have vanished without a trace. And in his place, you appeared, Warrior Captain."

I see, so the voice in my head was...

Gazef allowed himself to relax. He would have no part to play in what would come next. Gazef collapsed to the ground, and the villagers hurriedly drew closer.

The Six Scriptures. An enemy that even Gazef Stronoff, the strongest warrior in the region, could not hope to defeat.

Yet, he could not even begin to imagine that Sir Gown would lose. No. It was impossible. And with his comrades out there with him, Gazef knew that there was nothing to worry about. He could rest assured. Knowing the humiliation that his enemies will be facing.

A sense of great fatigue settled within him, and he closed his eyes, surrendering to the feeling as sleep then claim him.

Give them hell, all of you.

Chapter Text

Hey all! 

Oh god, thank you for all of these supportive comments and love. You guys are awesome!

I'm sorry I haven't been updating. Everything with college is very hectic and busy. But, I am going to be back very shortly with the next chapter, and I have some updates for you all!

I have set up a patreon and Ko-fi, as an income source for me and a motivator for my future updates. They're not required, but it would definitely help me pump out more content! Patreon supporters that want to support me will have tier perks and extra access to other stuff that I have planned out. Come check it out! 

Also, more awesome news: I have published a preview of the next chapter for everyone regardless of being a patreon or not! Check it out! 

Thank you for being here for and with me, and I'll see you guys again very soon! I'll delete this chapter before my official next chapter's publish.

--Love,

Vivienne / Yue Sama

Edit: here is the link for those who just want to see the post. Again, i’m not trying to pressure anyone into feeling they have to support me. Have a nice read and see you all soon!

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