There was a desert slightly to the southwest of the continent’s center.
It was called the Dolor Desert, or perhaps the Di Gavorsa Desert, according to the great empire that
had once stood here.
While it was quite an expansive desert, for certain reasons it received rainfall, and so various races
— and monsters — lived here. There was the Great Kingdom of the Pabilsag scorpionmen, the
small Genie nation of Slutarn, and the religious group which venerated the Clear Light Dragon as
their chief deity — whose faith was widespread among nomads — had its main shrine in this place.
And at the edge of this desert was a gigantic tornado that came once every thirty years. It was
thousands of meters across and immeasurably high.
While there were some differences in the exact timing of its appearance, the tornado occurred in
exactly the same place at almost exactly the same time.
It was a remnant from a failed magical ritual by the great empire which had once existed here. The
capital of this former empire protruded from beneath the sands. This phenomenon had been
triggered by an incredibly powerful magic item known as the Scepter of the Sands. It had taken
place after the Mushussu had been born and took to the skies. It was a gate leading to another
world, and sucking everything out. There were many explanations along those lines, but everyone
who had entered the tornado to try and unravel the mystery had never come back.
Many people had gone to explore the location before the tornado had come, but they had found a
perfectly normal location, with no sign that anything existed there. Since one could predict the day of
the tornado’s occurrence, many people planned to wait in the spot where the eye of the storm would
be when it appeared. But as expected, they never came back. Others tried to enter it from the air,
and they had disappeared too.
Therefore, nobody had any idea why that tornado had appeared, or what was in its center.
And then, at some point, watching that gigantic tornado from a distance had become an event that
all the residents of the surrounding area participated in every 30 years.
The storm lashed at his body.
In places where walking was difficult like the desert, it was very difficult to resist strong winds, that
threw one off balance. A person could easily fall down if they got careless.
If only I could use 「The Creation」; who knows how much easier my path ahead could be?
If he suppressed this desert tornado with 「The Creation」, and there was some reason that the
origin of this tornado was doing it, it was possible that things might end without the mystery being
solved. The reason why Suzuki Satoru had come up with a dumb idea like that — which had been
immediately rejected for the above reason — was because his current conditions were really that
taxing for him.
Suzuki Satoru shouted so he could be heard over the gales.
He was joined to his two companions behind him by a mithril chain.
He started by shouting to the one that he was most concerned for.
“Keno, are you alright!?”
A voice that matched Suzuki Satoru’s in volume came back at him.
It belonged to the New Ainz Ooal Gown’s Second Seat, Keno Fasris Invern.
Although the girl’s voice was strong, he could not help but think there would be problems.
Take Keno and Satoru, for instance. Although Suzuki Satoru was nothing but bones, he was heavier
compared to her. Therefore, it was more likely that Keno would get blown away.
Of course, he had had Keno carry various things, as if to weigh her down. However, she would sink
into the desert sands if she carried too much.
“Keno! You should have waited in the inn after all! I’ll send you back with a teleportation spell once
we reach the objective!”
“Are you still saying that even after coming all this way, Satoru!?” Keno replied, as though she had
nothing to say. “You know you want to complete the journey with your own two feet, right?”
Suzuki Satoru smiled bitterly.
This was an incident from when they were climbing a peak said to be one of the highest on this
While they had not managed to see the so-called “golden summit,” the memory of the conversation
they had as they stood atop the apex of creation and looked down on everything was still clear in his
“Yes. Back then, we had a conversation like this too! I still remember we were saying that while
caught up in an avalanche!”
“Yeah! Pretty amazing, right?”
That incident had taken place halfway up the mountain.
While using 「Fly」 would have made things simple enough, it would have made things too boring,
and so the two of them decided to use their superhuman strength to climb the rock face.
Then, an avalanche which blanked out their vision had occurred.
While cold damage did not harm either of them, the bludgeoning damage from the avalanche was
still effective. Of course, they had expected something like that and cast defensive spells on
themselves, but it had still left a deep impression.
Even after being buried by the avalanche, their immunity to movement impediments meant that they
had popped out of the snow at the same time, whereupon they had a good laugh.
Powerful emotions were immediately suppressed due to the special qualities of the undead. As it
turned to gentle good humor, Suzuki Satoru made that suggestion, and Keno had refused in a
Just as he was narrowing his eyes in nostalgia a voice came from behind them.
“Ifsssh only thatssh weressh me. I’msssh envioussssh. I’dsssh likesssh to sssshe thatsssh too.”
The androgynous and very distinctive voice — though somewhat garbled — came from further
Although Suzuki Satoru could not see it through the severe sandstorm, there ought to have been a
heteromorph that looked like a lump of sand over there.
He was the Fourth Seat of the New Ainz Ooal Gown, Nurunuru.
He was a mutant offshoot of the Roper race, a Herdroper. Herdropers had a hive mind, but some
were occasionally born that were not part of it. And he was one of them. When Suzuki Satoru, Keno,
and Scraea had found the Herdroper, it had indicated its desire to travel with them.
Incidentally, it had no personal name, so Suzuki Satoru had named him Nurunuru. It was supposed
to be a temporary name at first, but it had decided to use it.
His — although he could have been a her — voice was made by two tentacles that were open at the
end, called voice strands. Therefore, a lot of excess noise got into his voice in places like this.
However, he had the special ability of being able to cast spells without verbal or somatic
components, and to instantly cast them while standing stock still. It was truly mysterious.
“Haha! Nu, I have no idea what you’re saying!”
That voice had come from inside Suzuki Satoru’s cloak.
“Me too — gweh!”
The voice cut off halfway, probably because sand had gotten into its mouth.
This was the Fifth Seat of the New Ainz Ooal Gown, Crystal of the Gnator race.
It was a race that was less than 20 centimeters long, with translucent wings that resembled those of
Fairies, but they looked more like insects. Their similarity to fairies was used to deceive and prey on
Fairies, because they were a carnivorous race.
Although he did not think they were related to Fairies, spells which only affected humanoids and
demihumans had no effect on them, and so he was considered a heteromorph and allowed to join.
However, he was also immune to spells that should have been effective on heteromorphs, so Suzuki
Satoru had always had his doubts about whether this was actually the case.
Nurunuru was a psychic magic caster, while Crystal held a thief-type profession — namely that of
assassin. He and Crystal had once clashed during a certain incident, but they became friends after
yet another incident.
“Crystal, you’d be better off not talking. Still, has it been so long that you’re feeling nostalgic for that
“It was about 40 years ago, right!?”
“Has it? It’s been so long…”
Suzuki Satoru muttered to himself, and looked ahead.
The tornado lashed at the sands and completely obscured his vision, Suzuki Satoru’s undead body
could see through darkness, but not through sandstorms. Keno was the same in that respect.
Nurunuru had no eyes, but he could obtain information about his surroundings through sensing the
vibrations around him.
“—When you put it that way, we really have been to all kinds of places!”
“Yes! We’ve been to—” Keno’s happy voice was suddenly cut off. “Bleh! The sand got into my
Of course, Keno had put a mask on before entering this sandstorm. It was Suzuki Satoru’s beloved
Mask of Jealousy. Lending Keno a mask that she considered to be in bad taste was largely because
he wanted to prank her.
The reason why sand had gotten into Keno’s mouth even with the mask on was probably because of
the gap created when she spoke.
Suzuki Satoru snickered to himself in a way that nobody could hear. However, she had still heard
Suzuki Satoru laugh quietly amidst the savage sandstorm. Keno retorted in an unhappy tone.
“It’s not fair, Satoru! It’s not like sand gets into your mouth!”
“Indeed — gweh!”
Crystal smiled bitterly to Keno as he answered her.
“No, there’s still a strange feeling of something getting in there. Still, I should say it’s hardly
unpleasant, or should I say I don’t mind at all?”
“…Nu, I have no idea what you’re saying!”
“It’s still unfair! If only I had a body like yours, Satoru!”
“Isn’t it fine like this? If you ask me, a body like yours is better, Keno. That way you don’t get caught
up in annoying things!”
“That’s because a fight breaks out the moment you show your face, Satoru…”
That was how things went when the undead were hated everywhere.
“Still, you draw a lot of trouble on your own too, Keno!”
Sometimes, Keno got into sticky situations when collecting information. This tended to be especially
true in unsafe areas. That said, while she was the weakest member of the New Ainz Ooal Gown,
she was still much stronger than the average person, and she could easily take care of the average
punk who thought he had some skills.
The problem came in places with good security, because of the people who tried to take her in out of
If they had ill intentions she could have settled it with violence, but it was very hard to deal with their
Heteromorphs who wanted to travel in peace occasionally faced such problems.
“It seems humanoids are always troublesome… and if we hide our true forms, people look at us with
Humanoids’ position in the big scheme of things was very low. It was because they were weak that
they caused problems easily.
As the two of them sighed, there was a dosu sound by his feet. Or rather, it was a zdun.
Suzuki Satoru bent down and investigated the vicinity of the sound. He fished a rock out of the sand.
No, it was a tapered stone that looked tougher than ordinary rock. It must have been blown here by
the strong wind.
Suzuki Satoru pricked up his ears.
“What are you say — koff koff!”
“Look out! It’s not just one or two of them! There’s a whole lot of stones headed our way!”
He could hear the sounds of countless objects cutting through the winds amidst the sound of the
It was very difficult to avoid those stones flying at them in a place with poor visibility like this.
Perhaps they might have been safe if they were encased in extremely hard armor, but it was
impossible to wear that sort of thing and walk around in the desert.
This was definitely an attack which could annihilate any expedition.
“Everyone! Defend yourselves as you advance! Keno, are you alright!?”
There was no telling how long it would be before they would be able to pass through this, but since
this was flying debris thrown up by the tornado, stopping here or making a shelter would be
“I’m fine! Keep going!”
Keno replied in the affirmative. So did Nurunuru — or at least, that was what he thought.
Nurunuru cast a defense spell on himself, while Keno used the power of the ultimate Vampire, The
After plundering all the research of “Corpus of the Abyss,” she had researched it and gained this
power. However, it was a realm that was only supposed to be reachable by more powerful entities.
Since she had attained it with a weak body, its potency was greatly reduced. In that case, she ought
to be called a Lesser One.
If there were any difficulties, he was planning to lend her a magic item which rendered her immune
to normal missiles — that is, ones that were not enchanted — but it would seem that was not
Suzuki Satoru’s long robe protected Crystal’s body, and it kept him safe from everything except sand
Suzuki Satoru himself was immune to all attacks below level 60.
“What’s wrong, Keno!”
“It’s getting pretty interesting now, isn’t it!”
She was not being ironic or making fun of her circumstances. She sounded like she was
wholeheartedly enjoying this.
“That’s right, Keno!”
Suzuki Satoru felt the same way.
It was this difficulty which made the two of them — no, the members of the New Ainz Ooal Gown —
Making friends and wandering the length and breadth of the world with them. Witnessing all manner
of mysteries and going where no man had gone before. That was why they knew that overcoming
these trials would only make their joy all the sweeter.
“Here we go! Don’t get blown away!”
“Yeah — ggubfff!”
The flying debris struck them over and over again, but none of them seemed to mind as they forged
“Satoru! Hold on! The spell seems like it’s about to wear off!”
“Keno! I’m counting on you!”
Keno took hold of a scroll in her bag and took it out, taking care not to let it get blown away.
This second tier spell was a multi-target version of the first tier spell 「Compass」. This was the
reason why these people could unerringly hone in on their destination — the eye of the tornado.
“Mm, you’re welcome, Satoru, Nu! From what I can tell, we’re not far from our destination!”
“Ahhh! Got it!”
Each member of the New Ainz Ooal Gown had their own share of responsibility.
Among them, the Second Seat (Keno), the Sixth Seat (Brandona), and the Seventh Seat (Muki)
were responsible for collecting information. Naturally, the others had their own responsibilities as
This had not been decided after discussion, and neither had they been forced into their role. Rather,
they had ended up that way before they knew it. Also, the three of them further divided the work
Incidentally, the First Seat, Suzuki Satoru, was responsible for coordinating them and for combat.
They ignored the steadily-increasing number of flying stones and their growing force, instead
advancing without hesitation.
“Just a little more!”
And at last—
—Their vision cleared up.
Keeno cried out in joy.
The wind suddenly vanished. When they looked behind them, what looked like black walls extended
forever up and down, left and right.
Looking around, it seemed as though they had entered a gigantic tube.
What they saw after that was a vast, yet silent expanse of pure white sand. While it was marred by
the occasional ripple, it did not grow overly large, and all they could see everywhere was white.
“Hey! Look! The sky!”
As though drawn by Keno’s voice, Suzuki Satoru, Crystal — who had poked his head out of Suzuki
Satoru’s robe — and probably Nurunuru as well, all looked up to the heavens.
The night sky came into view, but this was not like an ordinary night sky. The stars seemed very
close to them.
It was just like in childrens’ fairy tales — the big, bright shining stars looked as if they could just
reach out and touch them.
It made him think of the past — when they had stood on the summit of the highest mountain on the
continent — no, the distance to the sky made him feel like the peak he had ascended had been even
“But why? Why do the stars look like they’re so close to us?”
“Perhaps it’s due to atmospheric diffraction?”
Nurunuru’s voice-strands vibrated as he explained. Suzuki Satoru simply nodded.
“My guess is that the atmosphere has been warped, forming what seems to be a gigantic lens.
Perhaps it was caused by the tornado? That might be the case.”
“Nu, what was all that just now?”
“In other words, there’s something like a telescope above our heads?”
“A… telescope? Is it one of those things invented by that weird technology called science?”
“Science is dumb, the stuff it makes can’t compare to magic items.”
Crystal was not the least bit shy about saying that. In truth, the fact that magic could create
something out of nothing meant that there was nothing wrong with saying it was better than science.
This was just a hypothesis, but Suzuki Satoru felt that all the technology that he understood could be
reproduced through magic. However, learning magic required talent and everyone’s aptitude was
different. Some people could learn magic and others could not.
Crystal’s words indicated that he belonged to the former group.
Suzuki Satoru clapped his hands.
“Now then, let’s go investigate the source of this phenomenon before the tornado vanishes.”
“Alright, but it doesn’t look like there’s anything. The cause of this phenomenon is still a mystery.”
“Mhm, I can’t sense any turbulence in the elements around here either. Leader, what about the
magical end of things?”
Suzuki Satoru cast a spell and looked out into the distance.
“Nothing there either. It wasn’t caused by a spell, I think.”
Keno flew to a certain height, and then descended to the ground.
“I don’t see anything that looks like a building around here… what on earth is this?”
“A natural phenomenon? That’s the only way we can explain it, right?”
After hearing Suzuki Satoru say that, the others responded in agreement. Much like how reverse
waterfalls that flowed up existed, there were many bizarre sights in this world that were natural
“In any case, let’s go to the center of the tornado and take a look. After that, we’ll explore a little and
if we don’t find anything — we’ll go stargazing.”
Nobody objected to this, and the group flew towards the center of the tornado with Crystal leading
the way. And then—
“There’s nothing here.”
“There shouldn’t be anything, right?”
“What a shame.”
That was the result of a rough search.
“What should we do now, Leader? Keep looking?”
Suzuki Satoru shrugged at Nurunuru’s question.
“There’s no need, I guess. If we can’t find it, then we can’t find it. It doesn’t matter. Besides, our aim
was to go where nobody else had set foot before, and since we’ve done that — everyone’s free to
do whatever they want until the tornado vanishes.”
“Then I’ll go take a walk around the area with Nu.”
“Ah? Well, that’s fine too. I understand. Let’s go, then.”
“You’re really going? Then take care not to stray too far.”
The two of them voiced their acknowledgement as they left together.
Despite what Suzuki Satoru had said, he was not worried about their safety. In YGGDRASIL terms,
they were easily above level 40. They were among the most powerful beings in the world, and the
two of them had excellent sensory abilities. Even if ambushed, they were skilled enough to return
“Satoru, then what should we do?”
“Want to go take a walk around here too?”
Keno began to run.
Her footprints marked the pure white sand. Suzuki Satoru followed her footprints, his strides slightly
larger than when he usually went walking with Keno. Still, this was just fine for Suzuki Satoru.
In the end, Keno sat on the sand and slowly lay down. Suzuki Satoru sat down beside her, and then
lay down beside her.
“The stars are so big.”
“Yeah, they’re really big.”
If only his companions — his friends from Ainz Ooal Gown could see this marvellous sight.
Those were memories from roughly 200 years ago, and after each adventure with Keno and the
others, they had gradually faded away.
But as he remembered the faces of the only friends he ever had, Suzuki Satoru looked on the
mysterious vistas with nostalgia in his heart.
“Still, this really is amazing.”
“Yeah, seeing this means our trip wasn’t in vain.”
The two of them lay on the sand in silence, watching this wonder of the world, a marvel whose veil of
mystery nobody else had managed to pull back until now.
And then — the stars gradually shrank, or perhaps they were slowly returning to normal. Suzuki
Satoru propped himself up, and saw that the walls of the tornado surrounding them were slowly
“It’s over, huh.”
“Yeah, it’s going to end. It’ll be another 30 years before we can see something like this. Now then…
want to tell the others about what we saw here?”
Suzuki Satoru asked Keno, who stood up and shook her head.
“How can you see the rainbow if you don’t go through the storm?”
“That makes sense, you’ve got that right. See, I managed to get the better of you just now.”
Suzuki Satoru smiled.
“Oh my, the two of you seem pretty happy! Did anything special happen?”
“Nothing special, no.”
The other two had probably seen the tornado start to fade, and so they had returned. They did not
seem to be holding any finds. Perhaps they really had been strolling around for a while.
“Let’s head back to the inn, then.”
“Yup. Do the honors, Satoru. But before that, let’s shake off the sand on ourselves. It’s only a little,
but I don’t want to bring it back to our room.”
Everyone patted down their clothes and shook off the sand. Nurunuru was wearing an item that
Suzuki Satoru had lent him, and he helped the others pat their clothes clean.
After that, Suzuki Satoru cast 「Gate」, and the group returned to their room in the inn.
“We’ll be off, then.”
“Thank you, thank you.”
“Thanks for your hard work, everyone. Hope you all have a good night.”
Nurunuru and Crystal — who was sitting on his head — left the room.
“I’m soooo tired,” Keno said. That made no sense, however. Both of them were undead, and they
would not accumulate exhaustion. However, Suzuki Satoru understood her meaning. Her fatigue
was not of the body, but of the mind.
“You’re tired too, huh, Keno?”
Suzuki Satoru shed the robe on his body and changed into something else in an instant. That was
because the robe he had been wearing earlier had a quick-change effect on it. Keno changed in a
Suzuki Satoru flopped down on the sofa in the room and took pen and paper out of his
This was his diary.
He did not write in it every day, but only when something special happened. Thus, he was only on
his fourth volume after 200 years.
He opened a new page, planning to write down what he had seen today, but then he felt a familiar
weight pressing down on him.
“…Keno, why don’t you go take a bath? I was planning to make an entry in my diary…”
“Yeah, go ahead and write.”
“…That’s not what I mean. How am I supposed to write my diary with you clinging to my back?”
“Hm, then you can write it on the way back.”
In his heart, Suzuki Satoru shook his head and sighed.
“—Fine fine fine, as my Princess commands.”
“Mm, well done, my knight.”
I was her court wizard last time, Suzuki Satoru thought as he closed his diary. While he could have
just ignored her and continued writing in his diary, it would cause problems in the future. While the
intense emotions of the undead would be quickly suppressed, letting subtle grudges build only made
“What do you plan to do next? Where shall we go?”
“I was thinking… in the past, the big nations in the center were just places we passed through.
Perhaps we ought to establish a base for ourselves so we can tour the surroundings. Maybe we
could look into an abandoned city.”
There were many nations in the center of the continent where the humanoid species were on the
bottom of the totem pole. They were all troublesome countries for people like Keno with humanoid
appearances. While they allowed travellers certain rights, they were by no means safe places.
For instance, she had once been treated as an escaped meal in the market of an Orc nation.
And in the land of the Minotaurs, someone had said, “Let’s see who treats their slaves better,” and
she had “experienced” the so-called slave life too. Troublesome things like that had happened to her
In the case of the former, she had covered it up by breaking a pair of arms and part of their ribs. As
for the latter, she had let them experience the slave life themselves and then asked them how it felt.
“An abandoned city… so you mean the one where they say a lot of people died because Soul Eaters
showed up? It seems the entire city was preserved intact…”
“Exactly. Entry’s forbidden, but we can go if we want, right?”
“Yes, going there sounds pretty good.”
Suzuki Satoru laughed.
For many years, they had been to places where normal people could not set foot. Or rather, if they
heard of some sanctuary or divine place, they would take it upon themselves to go there. As for why,
well, it was because they had once found a World-Class Item there once.
That was how Keno had obtained her item — the Two-World Mandala.
They had seen other World-Class Items during their journey.
However, they had owners, so they did not seize them. Suzuki Satoru originally wanted to take them,
but he did not, because he had Keno by his side. After all, he did not want to do anything awkward
like mugging people in front of Keno.
The Two-World Mandala had once been a national treasure, but the country that had served as its
sanctuary had been destroyed, and then a new country had sprung up in its place. Thus, they
pretended that it was ownerless. In compensation, they left behind many items and huge gems and
such, and so the two of them managed to get around that particular pitfall.
“But I want to head west.”
“The west? What’s over there?”
He looked through his memories, but he could not recall anything worth noting on the west.
“Well, it’s information from Mu-chan. He said that three countries had fallen in the north of the
continent. Therefore, I wanted to head west and see what’s going on.”
Since it was information from the Seventh Seat, it ought to be true.
He looked completely unlike what the cute nickname of Mu-chan would suggest, but perhaps it was
different in the eyes of his mother — or perhaps his sister. Suzuki Satoru discarded the question of
his appearance for a moment and began recalling the world map.
“The northwest… borders…”
He recalled that 200 years ago, there had been a few human nations up there, but since it was in the
hinterlands, he had not thought much about it.
“Well, it’s true that nations being destroyed isn’t exactly uncommon, but for three to go down at
There were incredibly powerful monsters in the world, and sometimes they would show up,
annihilate a nation or two, and then new countries would take their place. Granted, some large
nations might not be destroyed so easily, but it was not rare for such things to serve as the spark for
internal unrest or invasion, eventually leading to the nation’s destruction. But to his recollection, he
had not heard of several countries being destroyed at the same time.
“What on earth happened?”
Just as Suzuki Satoru was about to turn around and look at Keno — who was lying on his back, he
heard her exclaim “Ack!” in a cute way before she fell off.
“Meanie! Don’t move around!”
“…After you, after you.”
Suzuki flopped down on the table again and Keno mounted him once more.
“Well, I think he said something about a nest of really powerful demons showing up.”
“A nest? Of powerful demons?”
“Mm. What was it called? — The Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick?”
That name sounded somewhat familiar.