Overlord Light Novel Volume 14 Chapter 2 Part 4

Overlord Light Novel Volume 14 Chapter 2 Part 4

Why were those who were well-spoken also smart? How were they able to spew out the words and phrases they had learnt nonstop? Usually, even if someone were to forget what they were about to say, they wouldn’t stop there, would they?

There was only one probable conclusion, their brains were built differently.

“…Haaah…No matter if we were to destroy the Kingdom’s cities or massacre its citizens, it is not too much of a hassle given the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick’s power. But, our focus should be on cumulating experience. If we were to face a much more difficult situation, the lessons you have learnt from this war could be of help.”

Ainz had experience launching attacks on enemy bases and sieging cities during past guild wars and other similar events. However, that was back in Yggdrasil. The knowledge that he had gained from the game must be implemented in reality properly.

In that context, the experience they had gained from the different methods they had employed to destroy different types of cities will undoubtedly be of use in the future.

The Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick had to strengthen itself. The belief that Ainz Ooal Gown and the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick were the only guild and guild base in this world was a naive one. Ainz exists in this world, therefore there must be other players and guilds in this world too, perhaps due to arrive in the future.

To prepare for that future, it was a necessity for this organization to bolster its own strength.

Indeed, it was imperative for all of them to have personal experiences in these matters.

Ainz continued on to the guardians who were intently listening to him,

“Speaking of our current situation, I could feel that the burden of responsibility has been growing ever so heavier on every Floor Guardian. At the same time, the number of people like you who I could entrust these jobs to are far and few between.”

The Floor Guardians — excluding Victim — were all strong level 100 beings that could give Ainz a run for his money. The Area Guardians were weaker than the Floor Guardians so Ainz felt uneasy at the suggestion of bringing them outside, where there could be strong enemies. This was why the number of tasks given to the Floor Guardians had been increasing.

“However, if we were to keep up the status quo, multiple issues will begin to surface. When the Sorcerous Kingdom of Ainz Ooal Gown has come to subjugate a vast enough territory, the Area Guardians will take up responsibility for a wide range of tasks. Perhaps a day will come when even the management of warfare will have to be delegated to someone.”

“—that is to say that our master wishes those who are without experience to have a personal history of their own, correct?”

Demiurge started spouting unintelligible things again. But, what he said about forming a history of their own more or less hit the mark. It sounded pretty cool too.

“—That’s correct. It is just as you have surmised, Demiurge.”

Though he did not feel as though it could be conveyed properly, Ainz still smiled while using his practised ‘What a No-Nonsense Ruler Would Sound Like!’ voice.

Speaking of which, normally if he were to hear himself using that voice through a recording he would not be able to stand the amount of cringe he felt, but he didn’t really think too much about it now. After all, he felt that his emotions would get suppressed quickly if he had imagined the voice that he was using.

Anyways, Demiurge’s ‘history’ idea was a good one.

They had gained the knowledge of various types of methods to siege cities during this invasion against the Kingdom, and they should record all of it down in a book or something. With the Area Guardians as their focus, the denizens of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick should be able to gain some knowledge through these shared experiences, right?

Of course, as the saying goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, those who had experienced something first hand could learn more from it than those who had only heard about it afterwards. However, he felt that they would not be able to have many more opportunities like this one.

“Now then Floor Guardians, from this day onwards, try to come up with as many unique strategies to siege cities. Demiurge and Albedo, both of you are far too brilliant for this, so just listen and note down the others’ proposals. From my perspective, up till now Shalltear has been the most creative in her strategies.”

“I-is Ainz-sama talking about how I used the frost dragons to drop soldiers in from the sky-arinsu?”

“That is correct. I believe that it was because I had entrusted Shalltear with all the transportation-related tasks that she was able to come up with that idea. With this tactic as the basis, we could organize – what was it called again? Paratroop? To be able to organize something like that isn’t bad at all.”

She had not just used dragon breaths for hit-and-run tactics, but to drop soul eaters from 500 meters above into the city. The soul eaters would heal themselves, then rampage through the city killing masses with their aura.

Even if it was soul eaters, to drop them from 500 meters up would inevitably incur some damage. In this world, acceleration due to gravity did not seem to be affected by air resistance so one’s free-fall velocity could increase infinitely. That may or may not have been the case, but Ainz did not want to spend the time and effort on that kind of experiment, so he did not have detailed information.

Soul eaters were able to activate an aura that consumed souls to convert them to HP, which meant that this strategy included a way to negate the fall damage taken by the units almost immediately.

“Though that plan was a failure in some aspects — but it was a good lesson to learn from for the future. Long story short, they were smashing through rooftops.”

Aura laughed as she read through the report and Ainz did the same in his mind. Of course, they were not laughing at Shalltear’s strategy, it was just something that they had not expected, but was so obvious in hindsight.

Of the soul eaters who were dropped from above, an individual bounced off some pointed rooftops, flew off at an odd angle, and took more damage than they had expected. That was still better compared to the one who smashed through the roof, tried to ram down the doors, and ended up getting stuck.

Of the four that were dropped, only one of them wound up immobilized. The sample size was small, but the rate of failure ended up quite high nonetheless.

“It would be best to conduct this experiment a few more times, we may be able to gain valuable data from these dropped troops.”

“Yes!”

“I will leave it to you then, choose a few cities to experiment on.”

“As Ainz-sama wills it, I will draw up and execute those plans immediately.”

The other details that caught Ainz’s eye included how 300 elder liches were used to carpet bomb a city by synchronizing their [Fireball] spells and how assassins were sent to assassinate the head of a city, whereupon the invasion would commence whilst the city was plunged into chaos.

These records on the methods they had used to destroy the cities were not just useful to educate the Area Guardians, but they were also useful as a study of what strategies an enemy could employ to invade Nazarick.

Ainz sighed internally.

Perhaps the guardians thought that he was being too paranoid.

If Nazarick was truly invincible, there would be no need to do these things, but that could not be possible.

Absolutely impossible.

“—This is to prepare for our inevitable fight against a guild that is as strong if not stronger than us.”

After Ainz had finished speaking, the guardians responded that they would obey in unison.

“Now then — it is about time that we begin our next siege.”

Ainz glanced at Albedo — because Ainz did not have eyeballs, most people could not notice that his gaze was on them. He had had to turn his head to face them most of the time but Albedo was perceptive enough to notice without him doing so — Albedo nodded in a manner that seemed to convey the message, “It is just as Ainz-sama has said.”

“Speaking. Of. Which, Ainz. Sama.
The. Amount. Of. Troops. We. Have. Deployed. For. This. War. Seemed. To. Be. Scant, What. Was. The. Reason. For. That?”

Ainz immediately froze up.

He could not think up an answer to such a logical question. To be honest, he thought he would be able to hold the stage much better than he was right now. Demiurge and Albedo had not been raising any questions, he had hoped that Cocytus and the rest would do the same too—

—so that’s why. Because Cocytus had experienced defeat during the battle with the lizardmen, I had instructed him back then to think for himself.

No matter how you look at it, the source of his misery was always what he had said in the past. Why? No, what he had said back then was correct. From the perspective of him wanting to strengthen Nazarick, his statements were fine. It was because of what he had said back then that Cocytus could have the growth that he had today.

Why did Ainz arrange for an amount of troops that could not guarantee them victory? The explanation was not that complicated, but it wasn’t one that he could just tell the Floor Guardians about.

Why was that? It was because the explanation could bring about Nazarick’s downfall.

Ainz gulped down his (nonexistent) saliva.

He had remained silent for too long. He had to say something, something that would seem to make sense.

“Speaking of which, it was the same when we were storming the neighbouring towns and cities. A small portion of the people were allowed to escape, right? What was the reason for that?”

“Cocytus and Aura’s questions were to be expected, perhaps there are others amongst you who have had the same questions in mind.” Ainz surveyed those in front of him to be met with every Floor Guardian nodding their heads. “…I see. Well, let us observe how our first battle will unfold. Afterwards, I will tell you the reason why.”

Ainz was just dragging things out, leaving these bothersome problems for his future self.

—-

Situated at the North end of the Kingdom facing the Rhynd sea was the city of E-Naüru.

It was the largest city within Earl Naüa’s demesne, a city that was blessed by the sea.

Even though it was the largest city within the domain, if you were to head east across the demesne’s border, you would not be too far off from the city famous for its naval port, Re-Urovua. That city had more landmass and ships docked within its ports, the only advantage E-Naüru had over that city was probably that it had better fish hauls. That is to say, E-Naüru was of no strategic purposes whatsoever.

It was safe to say that gourmets were the ones who accentuated the true value of E-Naüru. Earl Naüa’s lineage had been researching seafood for generations in order to secure the bragging rights that they had the best seafood in the entire Kingdom. Said research produced a sauce, made by mixing soy sauce and honey, used to glaze over other ingredients. Heat had to be controlled precisely during the grilling process to prevent the sauce from burning. All of this cumulated into the creation of E-Naüru style grilled fish, a story that was quite widespread.

The atmosphere of such a city remained the same regardless of the declaration of war up till a few days ago. Fishermen still sailed out to fish and the markets were still packed with people shopping for fresh fish and shellfish. Other than the decrease in the number of travelling merchants on the streets, life went on as usual in the city.

It was inevitable that no one took any special actions.

They had received the news of the Sorcerous Kingdom declaring war on the Kingdom from a messenger sent from the capital around a month ago, but they did not believe that the Sorcerous Kingdom would attack the northernmost reaches of the Kingdom. By conventional logic, before that happened, the capital would have fallen and ended the war.

There were also other major cities neighbouring them that belonged to other demesnes, nevermind the numerous villages within their own demesne. The Sorcerous Kingdom would have to go through them before they got to this city.

If and when the war reached them, they should receive requests for aid from those towns first. That was why they did not attempt to bolster defences, the most they did was make preparations to send their levies.

However — things did not turn out the way they had expected.

The neighbouring Baron, a few of his subordinates, and the rest of his family had hurriedly escaped to E-Naüru.

The Baron’s explanation was simple, “some undead suddenly showed up and slaughtered every single civilian in my domain.”

The undead could spawn naturally and ones that could destroy entire villages were not unheard of.

But, for such a strong undead to naturally spawn took time. Excluding the Katze plains, numerous weaker undead would have to occupy a place before there was even a chance for stronger undead to show up.

If his domain was well managed, it would be easy to have the undead stifled in their cradle before they could even contend, so to speak.

Which was why strong undead normally did not appear close to human civilization. There were only two exceptions to this rule.

Either there was an evil magic caster who could control the undead close by, or that undead had travelled there from some faraway land.

If that was the case, there was only one person that came to mind.

Ainz Ooal Gown, the Sorcerer King.

They must have also received the intel that the war was declared. If they were to treat that undead as part of the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army, everything made sense. Except, questions kept arising one after another.

What about the other neighbouring cities?

How numerous are the enemy’s forces? What kind of an undead army is it?

What happened to the capital?

Questions other than those kept on surfacing, but there were more important matters to tend to before they could deduce the answers to those questions.

After they had listened to the Baron’s retelling in detail and analyzed the intel they had on hand, they predicted that E-Naüru was on the path that the undead would march through to invade the Kingdom.

They immediately send messengers on fast horses to every village and town within their demesne, ordering them to evacuate.

With the information they had, they could not tell for what purpose was the Sorcerous Kingdom’s army marching towards such a remote port. Perhaps it was because the Sorcerous Kingdom was a landlocked nation and wanted to get their hands on a port city immediately so they chose to attack such an unfortified place. Perhaps they were hoping to use E-Naüru as a staging ground for their future war efforts.

Though it was still dangerous for people to evacuate to the city, there weren’t many who could outrun the ever-encroaching army of the Sorcerous Kingdom and make it to the other demesnes.

In the end, the vast majority of people chose to stay within the somewhat defended walls of E-Naüru.

Five days after the evacuation of the citizens within the demesne had ended, they sighted the silhouette of the undead from atop the watchtowers of E-Naüru.

——–
Mini-FAQ:
Q: Where are we at?
A: As of this part: page 205/568

Overlord Light Novel Volume 14 Chapter 2 Part 3

Overlord Light Novel Volume 14 Chapter 2 Part 3

 

In a room on the ninth floor of Nazarick, approximately a month after the war was declared.

In one of the rooms that was reserved for potential new guild members were Ainz and the Floor Guardians. They sat around a C-shaped desk, reading through the documents prepared for this meeting.

As a side note, it wasn’t just the Floor Guardians who were there, behind each of them stood an equal number of Ordinary Maids and behind Ainz stood Pestonia. They were there to take care of the occasional odd job and thus stood silently behind them all.

Ainz could not grasp the reasoning behind why they were silent, apparently it was to symbolize that they were tools, ready to be used. For that reason, Ainz paid them no attention at all to satisfy their wishes.

“Umu…”

Ainz read the documents in earnest but felt as though his focus was being sapped away by Pestonia’s presence behind him. Still, he tried to focus his attention on the task as best as he could.

Since they had to exchange their opinions on the subject matter later on, it was natural for Ainz to have anxious thoughts such as, how embarrassing it would be if I were to say something crazy later on.

In any case, this was different from the documents that Albedo usually sent from Nazarick regarding topics such as politics, economics, and law; this was something that even someone like Ainz could understand.

Even with the utmost amount of kindness, Ainz’s intelligence could only be judged as average at best. To ask someone to find the qualities within him that would qualify him to rule over a country would be to impose unto them the impossible. That was not to say that he was lazy, in fact he was the diligent type to try his best at everything that was thrown at him. This was further exacerbated by the misunderstandings held by the NPCs of Nazarick, whose intelligence was incomparably higher than his. In order to meet their expectations, Ainz could not afford to be lazy.

At first, he was doing so out of his desire to keep the NPCs loyal, but now it was more out of his desire as a father figure to not disappoint his children.

It had come to a point where he was reading books on self-development and business. He had also been trying his best to improve himself in combat tactics, one of the only subjects he could claim expertise in.

Though it was safe to leave everything up to Albedo and the rest, there were still a lot of things that they found to be necessary to consult with Ainz. If he were to say anything stupid when that time comes and they were to respond with, “As Ainz-sama wills, it shall be done,” and take immediate action, it could cause serious collateral damage. To avoid that outcome, Ainz’s personal growth was imperative.

Because of this, Ainz had taken a particular interest in this document and was even more focused on it than he would have usually been.

Ainz, upon finishing most of it and confirming that the appointed time had come, said,

“Now then. Has everybody finished reading?”

“Yes, Ainz-sama.”

As their representative, Albedo took a glance at everybody and replied.

“Excellent. Now — wait, before that. Though it has been a month since we declared war against the Kingdom, they have not noticed our invasion at all. They must still think that our forces are still holed up in E-Rantel. Demiurge, good job. Your ability to deftly manage everything so that not a single piece of intel was leaked was seriously impressive.”

“I’m grateful to receive my master’s compliments.”

“On the same note, to have threatened a portion of the Kingdom’s nobility into rebelling was also a splendid accomplishment, Albedo.”

“Thank you very much, Ainz-sama.”

Albedo, like Demiurge, lowered her head.

“—Umu. This current matter is of greater importance, so report to me in detail about what you have done after this.”

Ainz knocked on one of the pages in the document with the back of his finger and confirmed that the both of them had understood what he had meant. He nodded in a fashion that suited his status as overlord and scanned the guardians before him. Though the maids who were within his sightline were looking towards him with serious eyes, he resisted the urge to pay attention to them.

“Very well then, let us exchange our opinions on this matter. First of all, the fact that we were able to conquer cities even when this tactic was employed pleases me greatly. Cocytus, you’ve done well.”

“I. Am. Grateful. For. My. Master’s. Praise. But. This. Was. Only. Possible. Because. Of. The. Undead. Army. Ainz. Sama. Had. Lent. Me.
That. Is. To. Say. That. This. Was. Ainz. Sama’s. Accomplishment.
It. Would. Not. Be. Incorrect. To. Say. That. I. Did. Nothing.”

“It is just as Cocytus has said—”

Ainz extended out his hand to stop Albedo before she could finish her sentence.

“—there is no need to flatter me. Cocytus, just candidly accept my appreciation. I have said as much, you’ve done a great job this time.”

“Yes! Thank. You. Very. Much!”

“Excellent. Now then, we have been able to subjugate the Kingdom’s cities without any trouble at all.”

At the onset of the war between the Sorcerous Kingdom of Ainz Ooal Gown and the Kingdom, they had adopted the tactic to attack the eastern part first and then march towards the north. The western side of the Kingdom — where the capital resides — was not marched upon at all.

The main purpose of this tactic was to prevent reinforcements from other nations from interfering with the war, and to encircle the Kingdom by gaining control over the border with the Council State and others.

This was Cocytus’ strategy, a move that Ainz himself also considered to be exceptional.

“I have found this result to be more than satisfactory — Now then, Demiurge and Albedo, regarding the information lockdown, the report indicates that it is highly likely that that plan will succeed. My question is, under what condition will it fail? Demiurge, answer me as their representative.”

“Yes! We have fully established surveillance on every street, we have also sent shadow demons to scout out the neighbouring cities. But, if there are hermits or druids, people who live outside of civilization, we would not be able to keep an eye out for them. If information were to leak, it would be from them.”

“Then discuss the matter with Albedo, strengthen the surveillance net until those you have mentioned can also be found.”

“Yes!”

“Now then, next is—” Ainz switched documents and continued flipping, “umu…a few cities have perished already, huh?”

Within these pages were exhaustive documentations on who used what strategy to completely destroy which city. The most recent entry was about a city that was destroyed by Cocytus.

“…To fearlessly attack a city with a small force, flawlessly destroy the city, and butcher all of its inhabitants. Just like Cocytus had done, the rest of you have also thought up various kinds of ways to conquer city after city and village after village. I am truly impressed.”

The Sorcerous Kingdom had initiated a brutal war in which their policy was to completely destroy every city and village in their way and massacre all of its inhabitants. All that was left behind after the Sorcerous Kingdom army’s unanticipated attack was lifeless piles of ash and rubble.

Speaking of which, Ainz had suddenly become more conscious of someone’s gaze, which should have been fixated on him.

He wasn’t doing these horrendous and ruthless acts because he wanted to, there was a purpose behind them. Hopefully she could come to understand it, Ainz thought to himself.

“Thank you very much, Ainz-sama.” Albedo lowered her head, prompting the other Floor Guardians to follow suit. “To meet Ainz-sama’s expectations from this day forward, we will devote ourselves wholeheartedly to making improvements.”

“—Ah, umu. I gratefully accept every Floor Guardians’ determination and loyalty. Next is—”

That’s about it, right?

Ainz faked a cough and continued,

“—but, I am concerned that none of you have failed.”

Before the guardians could react with their baffled expressions, Ainz added,

“Cocytus, you tasted defeat during the battle with the lizardmen. I assume that you learnt a lot from that experience?”

“It. Is. Just. As. Ainz. Sama. Has. Surmised.
I. Learnt. A. Lot. From. That. Experience.”

“That was what I was talking about, you learn more from your failures. No, I’d argue that there are some lessons that could only be learnt from failures.”

This was true back in Yggdrasil, one would only think of how they could improve if they were to lose.

Job resets, different equipment, and new tactics. If one were to always win, they would become complacent, numb and careless. They would have lost their drive to self-improve.

Though there were exceptions to this rule like Touch Me-san.

He had not experienced defeat all that often yet continually strived to become stronger. A man who sought out the best job synergies to min-max his performance to the point of obsession, should be considered an outlier when thinking of the average player.

Putting those exceptions aside, Ainz believed that there existed some things that you could only learn through defeat.

That was why he was hoping for some failures in their city-conquering efforts.

This was a part of the plan where failures would not have mattered much, they could retry as many times as they wanted. They had to be prepared for a future battle that was bound to happen, one in which if they were to lose, it would amount to a complete defeat. They had to fail now to build up enough experience in order to avoid failing when that time comes.

Since they were incurring a massive loss of life, it had to result in Nazarick gaining some form of a benefit. That’s right, the lives lost should be used in the most beneficial way possible.

There was one other thing — Ainz decided that he should make preparations for this after he had heard the wishes of those two.

Let’s go, this next thing will determine whether I’ve won or lost.

“Those who are wise—” He couldn’t think of what to say after that, he had forgotten the script he had prepared. “Forget about that. Those who are stupid, learn through their experiences. Now I’m not saying that you all are stupid, but I am pointing out the fact that even idiots could understand the necessity of collecting experiences.”

Ainz was disappointed in himself.

Why did he forget what he wanted to say during this crucial moment? Why was he this useless?

——–
Mini-FAQ:
Q: Where are we at?
A: As of this part: page 196/568

I made a mistake in the last part but since it was a single phrase I didn’t really feel like re-doing the paste. Brain’s interpretation of what the silent swordsman mumbled should be “I’ll be under your care” instead of “please take good care of him”.

Burnt out from the amount of work I had this week, next week should be a bit better. Tomorrow’s update will be usual length