Overlord Light Novel Gaiden Chapter 1

Meeting in the Lost Country


Now then, Suzuki Satoru mused.

He had no idea what kind of person this Keno girl was. However, she was definitely an important
source of information. He would need to get her to lower her guard so she would be more willing to
talk.

For starters, judging by her reaction, she was not a player, but a resident of this world. While he
would have liked to verify that, he had no idea how to achieve that goal.

Also, he could not tell if she was trustworthy. For all he knew, he might wind up learning fake
information. Right now, he ought to be taking steps to gain her trust.

With those thoughts in mind, Suzuki Satoru began by putting on a businessman’s smile, but then he
realized that he could not do so in his present state. Therefore, he tried to soften his tone. While his
voice was hardly saccharine sweet, he tried to speak in as gentle a way as possible.

“Ah… I… while I gave you my name just now, let’s start again. I am Suzuki Satoru.”

“Satoru…sama?”

Suzuki Satoru could not help but widen his eyes — though in this body, it looked as though fires had
ignited in his eye sockets. He had not expected her to immediately go to addressing him by name.
She’s being very familiar, Suzuki Satoru mused. And she gave her name too. I’d better remember
that. She must have done what she did to highlight that point.

“-San will do. Now then… you’re Keno-san, am I right?”

Now it was the girl’s turn to goggle her eyes. Suzuki Satoru wondered if he had said something
inappropriate.

Keno Fasris Invern.

Keno ought to be her given name and Invern was probably her surname. Or was it Fasris-Invern?
While he was not sure which was which, the surprised look on her face was probably because she
had addressed him by his name, but Suzuki Satoru had used her surname instead. Perhaps she had
thought it was a rejection of her good intentions.

Or was it because he had appended the honorific of -san to her name, despite her being a child?

“Ah, y-yes…”

“In that case, please stand up. And then — speaking here is a little… what do you call it. Well, yes. I
could create a tower with magic… but that would be taller than the surrounding buildings. While I
also have items with similar abilities… you don’t want to stand out too much, do you?”

Keno had barely managed to get to her feet after Suzuki Satoru had pulled her up, and she timidly
nodded.

I see — Suzuki Satoru did the mental equivalent of narrowing his eyes.

That would mean Keno knew about magic items. Was this common knowledge for this world’s
residents, or was it professional knowledge that only she had? Or was she someone connected to
YGGDRASIL after all?

Still, he felt that there was something wrong in trying to look for some kind of commonplace trait in
an undead girl that he had found in a city crawling with Zombies.

And as for why she wanted to avoid attention — was it because there were other intelligent undead
in this city apart from the Zombies, or was it because there were hostile beings around and this
place was not safe? That sounded more like it.

“In that case, if you know of a safe place, could you take me there?”

Keno’s body trembled.

He could understand how she felt.

In Suzuki Satoru’s case, he would not want to lead someone who might be a PK — in this case, a
suspicious-looking skeleton — to his secure shelter. Therefore, he ought to take a step back and
settle for going to a place where they could talk in peace. Could it be that Keno did not have a
backup hideout?

It would be easy to say “You’re not being careful enough,” but since he did not know what Keno had
gone through, he did not have the right to say something like that. Even Suzuki Satoru would not
have continued playing YGGDRASIL if he had not met other friends. In other words, a person’s
actions were based on their experiences and past. Perhaps Keno had no need to be that cautious in
her daily life.

Suzuki spoke to her as a YGGDRASIL player addressing an inexperienced newbie.

“I don’t need you to take me to your main base. Do you know of any other places that you consider
safe? Like say, nearby houses or something?”

Truth to be told, he did want to know where her base of operations was. But Suzuki Satoru was filled
with the moral obligation of a hoary veteran giving advice to a rookie, and so he suggested a sincere
alternative.

Also, Keno might not be the only one in that base. Or was that place as important to her as Satoru’s
friends were to him? Suzuki Satoru could fully understand the feeling of not wanting to endanger his
friends.

“If you can’t decide by yourself, then I don’t mind you coming back after you talk to your supervisor.
In that case, I’ll wait nearby… where there aren’t any undead.”

While he did not want to let her escape, neither did he want to stalk her and pump her for
information. Letting her trust him was not a bad thing, Suzuki Satoru magnanimously declared in his
heart as his sense of duty as a high-level player came to the fore again.

Keno walked off in a timid, retiring fashion.

“Thank you very much, Keno-san.”

Keno’s shoulders twitched as she heard Suzuki Satoru say those words from behind her. Then, she
hurriedly turned to look at him.

“Hm? What, what’s the matter?”

“Ah, no, it’s n-nothing…”

Keno muttered quietly and walked off.

What’s going on? Suzuki Satoru wondered. Was she just being cautious, or was it because he really
was that frightening?

In fact, Keno had been spying on the Zombies from a narrow alley, even though she was undead
herself. Should he assume that they had been enemies once?

In that case, what kind of undead being was she?

There were many kinds of undead creatures — even Suzuki Satoru, to some extent — who had red
eyes. However, very few of them looked as presentable as Keno. While the words Vampire Bride
came to mind, she did not feel like she was one of them.

It was at this moment that Suzuki Satoru was struck dumb by his sheer ignorance.

If this really was another world, then it was entirely possible that it might contain undead which were
unique to it. However, he could not say that it was completely unconnected to YGGDRASIL.
Otherwise, there would be no way to explain why Momonga could use his skills and YGGDRASIL’s
spells.

Suzuki Satoru abandoned further thought into the matter. After all, given how little he knew right now,
no amount of thinking would give him an answer.

Fortunately, the two of them did not encounter any Zombies as they walked in silence for several
minutes. Keno stopped as she reached the vicinity of the city walls. There was a small single-story
building there, with stairs leading downwards. The arch along the way had a cross-hatched grating
set into it.

What’s this? If it leads to an underground cellar then shouldn’t it be located inside the building? Is it
an underground aqueduct? Or no, should I call it a sewer?

Keno turned her head.

“Ah, this is, the place.”

Her eyes were downcast, as though she was ashamed of how shabby her living quarters were.

It was true that it was hardly a place where a girl ought to be staying. However, it would seem
runaway kids in Suzuki Satoru’s world also lived in similar places.

“I see. I hear temperature changes underground are much less extreme than on the surface. You
picked a good spot.”

Most undead had very high resistance to the cold, and temperature drops should not have
inconvenienced them. Therefore, Suzuki Satoru had agonized for a while before finally delivering a
clumsy acknowledgement of her words.

“Does anyone else live here besides you?”

Keno gently nodded in response to Suzuki Satoru’s question.

“I see… please lead the way, then.”

Keno pushed the metal grate aside. She did not seem to have used undead strength or any
particular ability or spell; it had simply been unlocked. And the fact that she knew it would be
unlocked was also proof that she treated this place as her base of operations.

Keno continued down the stairs ahead of her.

Although the moonlight swiftly faded away, it did not cause any impairment to the two of them. After
all, the undead all possessed the ability of darkvision.

They reached the foot of the stairs, and it would seem this really was a sewer. However, Suzuki
Satoru realized along the way that there was no stench of sewage here. In fact, there was no
running water at all, only a slightly damp feeling in the air.

Perhaps this was because a long time had passed since the residents of this city had become
undead. While rainwater occasionally entered here, fresh sewage had not passed through this place.

That was probably why Keno did not smell of sewage despite her lair being located in the sewers.

A twinge of emotion suddenly ran through Suzuki Satoru.

The rain was acidic and foul-smelling in the era where he lived. However, Keno’s body did not carry
an acidic stench, which implied that the rainwater of this world was still as pure and clean as it was
in the past.

“Perhaps Blue Planet-san would feel sentimental if he were here.”

Keno turned around as she heard Suzuki Satoru talking to himself, and she looked at him with a
timid expression on her face.

“I’m sorry, I was just talking to myself.”

“Ah, oh, I, understand.”

As Keno’s words gradually became easier to make out, Suzuki Satoru could hear the fear she held
for him in them.

And I’ve been so nice to her all this while, Suzuki Satoru could not help but gripe. Of course, he had
not forgotten the effects of his skeletal appearance. After all, first impressions were hard to change.

Just as he was considering whether or not to cover up his face, the two of them reached their
destination. However, it was not because he had been thinking for a long time, but because it was
not far from where they had entered the sewers.

After entering the sewers, they had travelled roughly 20 meters, turned left, and then gone another
20 meters before arriving at a door off to the side, She opened the door that looked like it was made
of metal, and it creaked.

“This is, the place.”

Suzuki Satoru followed Keno into the room.

It was not very spacious. This room had probably been used to store tools needed to conduct sewer
repairs, and there was a pile of pickaxes and other tools in the corner.

Facing it was a somewhat dirty piece of cloth — not from stains, but from age — which had been laid
on the ground.

There was also an old and plain table and chair here.

That was all this room had in the way of furniture. It did not seem suitable to living at all. One could
say it was a room which lacked any form of entertainment or household items.

Although he could understand how she might be thinking, given that she was undead, Suzuki Satoru
would never want to stay in such a lonely and desolate place for any length of time. Wait a minute—

A sudden surge of kinship suddenly rose up within him. When he thought about it, his home in real
life was pretty much the same as this.

However, the thing in this room that drew his attention was a pile of books and scrolls. The books
had characters which Suzuki Satoru had never seen before written on their spines, but the fact was
that he basically knew no other languages besides Japanese.

“Do you need a light or chair?”

He took out a western-style lamp from his inventory and opened the shutters, allowing white light to
pour out into the surroundings.

This was a magic item which had been imbued with 「Continual Light」.

Of course, he had higher-grade magic items for illumination on hand. However, Suzuki Satoru
decided that there was no need to show off anything more powerful. Now was not the time to reveal
his hand. Also, one of them could radiate light that was like the sun, which would apply negative
status effects to Vampires. If Keno was a Vampire, then she might judge that as a hostile action.
Therefore, he could not bring that out under any circumstances.

The lamplight lit up Keno’s face, but she did not seem unduly surprised. However, he could not tell if
it was because she had seen a magic item like this before, or if it was because she understood the
「Continual Light」 spell.

After that, Suzuki Satoru cast a Twinned 「Create Greater Item」 spell.

This spell had originally been intended to produce weapons, but Suzuki Satoru had a sneaking
suspicion that in this world — assuming it was different from the one in which he had previously lived
— this spell would have broader applications. The results of the spell matched his predictions for it.

As he expected, a pair of black metal chairs appeared.

Keno’s eyes widened like saucers as she witnessed this miraculous occurrence. Her expression was
one of surprise. Suzuki Satoru addressed the girl in his most caring tone.

“Ah — these are simply a couple of petty items I created with my magic. Please sit on them as you
wish.”

Keno tried her best to refuse in a roundabout way, but she sat down on them in the end. It was only
after she did that Suzuki Satoru took a seat, because the business etiquette of letting his client take
a seat first had been thoroughly ingrained into him.

However, he realized he had made a mistake right after sitting down.

The metallic sensation under his butt was very uncomfortable for something that was supposed to
be a chair, but he had not learned any spells that would let him conjure cushions.

Earlier, he had thought that taking a seat by himself was terribly rude, which was why he had
conjured two chairs. As he thought about how he had coaxed her into sitting down on that cold hard
chair, he felt so ashamed that he wanted to find a hole and crawl into it.

The sole saving grace now was that he had not begun by saying the chairs in the room looked pretty
good or some other kind of hollow pleasantries. If he had really said that, it probably would have
ruined any kind of relationship he wanted to build between himself and Keno.

Suzuki Satoru hurriedly produced a robe from his inventory, one that felt soft enough, and began
folding it up as he spoke.

“I’m terribly sorry. This chair really is too hard. Please use this as a cushion”

Keno stared in dumb surprise at the robe which Suzuki Satoru had offered her, and then she
vigorously shook her head.

“Eh, but, how could I, such fine clothes like these, there’s no need. I, I have a, blanket that I,
normally use.”

“No no, no need to stand on ceremony, it’s a small thing.”

The robe might have looked fancy, but that was all. It was an item that did not contain any rare data
crystals.

And so, another intense exchange of Suzuki Satoru and Keno giving way to each other unfolded. In
the end, Keno gingerly accepted Suzuki Satoru’s good intentions and planted her petite posterior on
the folded robe.

“Now then, please excuse me for getting straight to the point. I’d like you to tell me what happened to
this city to the best of your ability, Keno-san. Of course, I have no intention of making this a one-
sided interaction. I will show you proof of my own sincerity as well. That said, while I would normally
be exchanging information of equal value with you, I regret to say that I know very little about the
situation, so I intend to pay you with magic items or hard currency instead. May I know how you feel
about that arrangement?”

Keno bit her lip, and then glared at Suzuki Satoru with what looked to be hatred in her eyes.

Suzuki Satoru could not help his surprise.

He had not expected such a response from her.

However, before he could ask her for the reason why, Keno looked to the ground and began
speaking in a weak and trembling voice.

2

Behind her tightly-closed eyelids — through the double barrier of the curtains and the thin silks which
served as her bed’s canopy — she could feel the rays of the sun shining down on her. “Good
morning, time to get up,” and “Let me sleep a while longer,” — these two parts of her shouted back
and forth in their struggle to seize control of her body.

Just as she was drifting in and out of slumber, the room door opened quietly and someone entered.
While the thick carpet covering the floor muffled their footsteps, she could still sense someone
moving through the room.

This person walked over to the side of her bed, and stopped.

“Good morning, Keno-sama. Today’s weather is good too.”

“Uuu, mmm, mhm…”

Her eyes opened ever so reluctantly, and the familiar smile of the maid Nastasha came into view.

The fact that she had been permitted to address Keno, the princess of this country, by her given
name was because she was Keno’s handmaiden.

Nastasha was one of the more highly-placed servants in the castle, and in her youth there had been
rumors that she would become the next head maid. Her abilities were exceptional and she even had
in-depth magical training; one could say that it had been smooth sailing all the way to her present
station.

It was precisely because Keno was her father’s only daughter that she was permitted to stand by
Keno’s side — such was a sign of the favor she had received. However, Keno felt that she would
probably not wind up as the head maid, because she would probably end up becoming the first wife
of some noble and then resign her position.

Seeing that Keno had already risen, Nastasha went over to the window and forcefully opened it. Just
as she had described earlier, the room was filled with blinding sunlight.

Having just departed sweet dreamland, her eyes were painfully seared by the light and she could not
help squeezing them shut again. Only after her eyes had gradually gotten used to the sunlight
through her eyelids did Keno slowly open them once again.

The warm sunlight poured into the room, as if to tell her that today would be a peaceful, wonderful
day filled with warmth.

“Alright, Keno-sama. I shall prepare water for you right away.”

There was an empty silver basin on the small round table. After Nastasha cast a spell on it, the basin
was promptly filled with clean water.

Nastasha had just cast a first-tier lifestyle spell — also known as the lifestyle spell tradition — known
as 「Create Water」. While zero-tier spells could also create drinkable water, the water created by
this spell tasted better.

Since they both used the same amount of mana, popular opinion held that better-tasting water was
superior, even if it had not been created for drinking purposes. It would seem Nastasha felt the same
way too.

As a first-tier spell, the water generated by 「Create Water」 was not limited to just filling a single
basin. While there was a time limit to it, the overall volume of water created — which would increase
along with the caster’s skills — could be parcelled out over multiple occasions. Therefore, there
would be no spillage and waste even if she cast the spell on the basin.

Incidentally, Nastasha was a magic caster who had attained the second tier. On cold days, she could
use the second-tier lifestyle spell 「Temperature Change」 to alter the temperature of the water until
it was comfortable, or to directly heat the room.

Keno had read from a book that there was a third-tier lifestyle spell called 「Hot Spring」.
Apparently it was an imitation of the druid spell 「Geyser」. The book’s author had written, “It feels
really good,” and so Keno wanted to personally try it once.

Unfortunately, none of the maids in the castle could cast such a high-tier lifestyle spell. Therefore
Keno could only read about the effects of 「Hot Spring」 from her books.

While there were magic casters in the castle who could cast third-tier spells, those people typically
studied battle spells and did not have the time to learn lifestyle magic on top of that.

“In that case, I’ll just learn it myself!” Keno had once told the people around her — specifically her
magic instructors. Back then, Keno had been younger than she was now, at an age where she could
barely cast first-tier spells. It would not be unusual for someone hearing a young girl like that saying
that she wanted to cast a third-tier spell — which was typically the province of the naturally gifted —
to regard it as the naive declarations of a child.

That is, if that child was not Keno.

Keno’s parents — her father could cast fourth-tier spells, while her mother could go even further and
cast fifth-tier spells — were genius magic casters of extraordinary talent. Thus, as the scion of both
their bloodlines, everyone believed that it was very likely that she could make good on her words.

Therefore, two hours after making that statement, she had been summoned before her father and
sternly rebuked. There was a limit to how many spells everyone could learn, and as royalty, she
ought to learn more useful spells.

The young Keno had retorted that it was precisely because she was royalty that she should not learn
offensive, defensive, or divinatory spells, and instead learn spells that would make everyone happy.

However, her father had said this: “Our country is not a peaceful one. There’s no telling when these
quiet, peaceful days will come to an end and a king must personally go to the battlefield. Therefore,
anyone with the potential to become an exceptional magic caster should learn battle-effective
spells.”

After hearing her father’s answer, Keno abandoned her plans to learn 「Hot Spring」.

Her father’s words had been well-reasoned, and she was not yet old enough to fully understand
what he meant by them. On the one hand, she lacked the courage to resist her stern father, and on
the other, she was not particularly obsessed in her pursuit of hot springs.

Rather, it was because her father spoke in a kingly way, which reminded her of the stories of heroic
adventure that Nastasha had once read to her. He sounded just like them, and it left a deep
impression in her heart.

From that day on, Keno made a wish that she kept secret from everyone else, that she would
become strong one day, like the heroes in the storybooks — or like her father — and fight gallantly
for the people.

The girl who held that dream in her heart got off the bed, walked to Nastasha’s side, and began
washing her face. The splashing water spattered her surroundings, but she did not mind it.

The temperature-adjusted water — made by 「Create Water」, which could be freely deposited
within a certain radius according to the caster’s will — washed away Keno’s sleepiness.

Keno used the towel Nastasha handed her to wipe her face clean and began brushing her teeth.
Then she gargled the water in her glass, rinsed her mouth, and spat it out into the basin.

After seeing Keno do all this, Nastasha cast 「Destruction Water」.

The water in the basin, as well as the water that had splashed out of it, vanished as though they had
been an illusion.

This first-tier spell was not lifestyle magic, but belonged to one of the four great traditions — also
known as the elemental traditions — and could be used for offensive purposes.

It did less damage when used against living beings than other spells of the same tier. However, it
could do significant damage to Water Elementals and other creatures closely aligned with the
element of water. Higher-level versions of the third tier could also affect Slimes to some extent. The
fourth-tier spell 「Dehydration」 could do great damage to all living beings.

The lower-tier versions of these spells were typically used to eliminate water in this fashion.

After rinsing her mouth, Keno walked over to the changing mirror which was roughly as tall as she
was and quickly changed into the clothes Nastasha handed her.

While certain nobles would even let their vassals handle dressing them, Keno’s family insisted on
them changing on their own. It was a family rule to help them prepare for battle, so they could put on
armor by themselves — never mind that full plate armor needed the help of squires to don.

However, it was perfectly acceptable to let others help comb her hair while she was changing. After
wetting her curled hair with 「Create Water」, Nastasha pressed it down with a moistened towel.
Once Nastasha let go, the hair was straightened out.

And so, Keno Fasris Invern — the sole daughter of King Fasris — took shape.

The familiar image of herself she saw reflected in the mirror was a girl with eyes that reflected all the
colors of the rainbow.

These rainbow eyes were not unique to Keno. The maid who was staring at Keno while carrying out
the final checks, Nastasha, also possessed them. They were called the Rainbow Eyes, and there
were a common sight in the country of the Rainbow-Eyed People. Rather, it was the people who did
not possess them that were a rarity.

“Now then, please proceed to the dining room, Keno-sama.”

“…Are both of them there today?”

“Yes. Both of them are waiting for you, Keno-sama.”

To Keno, mealtimes were joyful occasions, but also ones which weighed on her.

—Because she could see her father then.

Her father was frequently out on business — both in the Royal Capital and other cities — due to his
eagerness to work. Even his daughter Keno would have many days when she would not get to see
him at all. Therefore, she was very happy to meet her father. However, Keno’s father was very harsh
on her, so he usually scolded her whenever they met, which made her uneasy.

That said, she could not run away from it.

Trailing Nastasha in her wake, Keno walked to the dining room.

Just as Nastasha had said, her parents were waiting for her within the dining room. Naturally, their
maids were also present. In particular, the head maid and assistant head maid were standing behind
her father and mother.

Keno’s mother had a warm, gentle look on her face — truth be told, her personality was much the
same, and Keno had few memories of ever being scolded by her — and she was also a top-class
magic caster of this nation, even though one could not tell just by her looks.

Her father, on the other hand, was the opposite.

Rainbow-Eyed people tended to be slender of frame and gifted in the four elemental traditions,
which would lead them to enter the appropriate magic-using professions. Therefore, they were
focused on spellcasting ability rather than physical abilities, and tended to lack muscular bodies.
However, Keno’s father was a notable exception. Not only was he a powerful Fire Elementalist, he
also possessed a brawny physique that embodied the word “powerhouse”, and his brow was deeply
furrowed to go with his stern countenance.

Whether he was eating or not, he always wore a gauntlet on his left arm that was shaped to
resemble a Griffin’s talons.

It was the national treasure known as the Gauntlet of the Griffin Lord. It was a magic item that could
summon a Griffin Lord for a total of 24 hours in the span of a week. Since the summoned Griffin Lord
could be resummoned in a week’s time even if it were killed, generations of kings had historically
used it to call up a vanguard for them. However, Keno’s father was the only one who did not use it in
that way.

“Good morning, Father, Mother.”

“Good morning, Keno.”

In contrast to her mother’s gentle greeting, her father simply furrowed his brow and nodded curtly,
but that was how he usually was. Rather, if he had smiled like her mother had, Keno would be
confused instead.

Nastasha pulled the chair back to let Keno take a seat, after which breakfast was served.

This country had a thriving dairy industry, and so the royal capital did not want for fresh cheese. Of
particular note was the fact that it was to be expected that the dining tables of the royal household
would have at least three different kinds of cheese on them. In addition, there was sour cream,
drinks made from blending milk and the freshly-squeezed juices of four different fruits, and so on.
Also, there were thick slices of evenly-roasted ham. The plates laden with white bread were
accompanied by intoxicatingly beautiful pats of golden butter.

Keno — along with her father and mother, who were dining — looked at the ring on her right hand,
but the sapphire-blue gemstone set into it did not change color.

They began to eat.

Eating was a place for etiquette. Since it had been inculcated into her ever since she had come of
age, it had long since become a part of her.

As they ate in silence, her father placed his fork on the table with a quiet clink. She glanced over and
saw that her father had picked up his napkin to wipe his mouth.

“Now then, Annie. To what degree have her magical abilities improved?”

Annie was the name of Keno’s mother. She was called Annie Fasris Invern.

Annie put down her fork and wiped her mouth as well.

“My husband, currently this child seems to have gotten a feel for the second tier. Who knows, she
might soon become capable of wielding its rudiments.”

“I heard that a fortnight ago. In other words, there’s been no improvement, am I wrong? Keno, what
do you think? Do you feel stronger than before?”

Keno swallowed her food, then put down her fork and wiped her mouth like her mother had. During
that time, she thought about how to answer her father, but the truth was that she did not feel much
different between now and two weeks ago. It was like how nobody could sense how much they were
growing every day without measuring it.

It was true that she had felt something strange when she had first become capable of casting first-
tier spells. It was like gears meshing within her body. However, there had been no signs before that.

Therefore, she could only answer honestly.

“I’m not sure.”

“I see. Honesty is a good policy, but that alone cannot be all. You are my first child. In the future,
your younger brothers and sisters will be born, and you will have to be an example for them.”

“My King… she is still young—”

“—Shut up.”

Her father coldly interrupted her mother’s impending criticism.

“However young she is, she is still royalty.”

The King’s gaze was cutting as it turned to her. Frightened, Keno glanced pleadingly to her mother.

“She is a girl—”

“—She is more than a girl, she is a princess, she is royalty. While there is no need to outdo everyone
else, being overshadowed will be troublesome. After all, you are a better magic caster than I am.”

Her father turned to look at a place without anyone and he coughed. “Which is why we got married,
didn’t we,” he muttered. Then, he looked at Keno again with his steely eyes.

“For that reason, I gave this child to you so you could teach her, but you have been too lax with her
education, I think. Live combat is the best form of training. While she is a child and not yet fully
grown, surely she ought to start weapons training too, no? It’s important to see if she’s gifted in that
field too.”

It was true that Keno’s father was inferior to her mother as a magic caster. However, given that her
father was able to fight with a spear, he was the better combatant.

“I am opposed to that. According to what I have seen, I don’t think this child is like you — gifted with
weapons. Until she awakens an affinity for one of the four great powers, we ought to keep on
training her as a magic caster. More importantly, I forbid her to take part in anything as dangerous as
live combat.”

“Back then—”

“—Things were different. Rather than learning to write with both hands—”

“—It’s faster to learn to do it with just one, I know that’s what you want to say. However, we don’t
know where her talents lie. Don’t you think it would be better to let her try everything? I feel that
would be better to help this child prepare for her future.”

“I agree on that point. However, I feel that it should wait until she’s at least reached the second tier
first. If you want her to take part in martial instruction, then it should at least wait until her body is
fully developed first.”

The two of them locked gazes, neither of them letting up.

A while later, her father looked away.

“I understand. I’ll continue leaving it in your care.”

“I am deeply grateful, my King.”

“—Keno.”

Keno jumped as she heard her father’s steely voice. Her father noticed it, but ignored it and began
speaking.

“As the royal family of this country, we enjoy luxurious lives, and the loyalty of many people. And all
that is because we have done our duty as the nation’s royalty. Therefore you must learn and absorb
everything and make good use of it. It is true that our country is peaceful now. But who knows, we
might be invaded some day. Therefore we need a wealthy nation and a strong army.”

“…I don’t want to invade other people.”

Her father’s face twisted slightly.

Was he angry, or was he laughing, or perhaps sad? It was a nuanced expression that was hard to
make out. However, there was no severity in what he said next.

“There is no need to invade others. A strong army is a deterrent force. However, thoughtless
intimidation will lead to conflict. It is the duty of a leader to gain information on other nations, strike a
balance, and seek the growth of his country’s strength. Do you think military might is unnecessary?”

“No.”

Keno shook her head.

Among the many races — the Rainbow-Eyes making up 90% of this comparison — a nation of five
million people was not too big. However, it was only because the surrounding countries were roughly
the same size that a balance could be achieved. In the recent half century, there had not been any
large-scale wars in the nearby nations either. However, that simply meant that there were no wars of
conquest. When a monster with great individual power showed itself, that was when the fate of a
nation would be decided — and depending on the circumstances, an alliance might need to be
formed.

For example, there had been over 50,000 casualties when a Behemoth appeared, and the memory
of it was still fresh in the hearts of many. Keno knew very well how important it was to gather the
mighty together to deal with such opponents.

“You do not need to do everything by yourself. Gather the people you trust and borrow their strength.
I am not unique in strength among the many kings of history, but even I have people that I trust.”

Even if one looked through the history of the royal family, one would probably only be able to find
people comparable to her father — who had been hailed as stepping into the realm of heroes —
within its first generation.

“Therefore, gathering the strong and seeking strength that lies in a different direction from your own
might be the right way. But what does that mean? Perhaps learning spells that make everyone
happy might be one way to do it. However, this is a suggestion from your father. You cannot neglect
your own strength. People feel at ease under the protection of the strong. Being a member of the
royal family, is a form of strength that draws the masses to you. Naturally, such strength implies
possessing charm, wealth, and authority. But if you take it to an extreme, then the king’s personal
power is the most easily understood strength of all — and it can better ensure your safety. After all,
charm, wealth and authority can sometimes fail to ensure everyone’s safety.”

“Yes, Father,” Keno replied.

“Good”, the King replied as he picked up his fork again. In other words, it meant that he was going to
continue eating. Her mother also hastened to follow and Keno began eating again as well.

After they had finished, the maids served up three light purple drinks. This was purple tea with a hint
of milk added to it. It was accompanied by lightly sugared biscuits.

The three of them looked at their rings and then helped themselves.

Keno — who had a sensitive tongue — sipped the tea that had cooled down. It was only then that
she realized two people were looking at her.

Had she breached some form of etiquette? Keno had no idea what was going on. However, this sort
of thing happened from time to time. Keno would eat in silence but they would stare at her. It
happened more often with her father, whom she rarely got to meet.

She tried glancing upward to take a look, but he did not look angry. So what on earth was going on?
Keno tilted her head — or at least she did so in her heart — and drank her purple tea. She let the tea
wash away the sweet biscuity taste which lingered in her mouth. However, drinking too much would
be greedy. She could not misjudge the balance between tea and biscuits.

Keno focused on feeding the biscuits and tea into her mouth in sequence, and her father’s gaze left
her.

“—So what else do you have planned for Keno today?”

“After this meal, we will be learning about magic in my room until lunchtime. After that, Balen-sensei
will instruct her as usual.”

“I see. In that case, let me sit in on the lesson today. I’m quite interested in how Keno takes her
lessons.”

Keno could not help her surprise.

This was probably the first time her father actually wanted to watch her learning.

“…Hehe.”

Her mother smiled, and the wrinkles between her father’s brows deepened.

“What’s so funny about that?”

“I was wondering why you’d say something like that all of a sudden. Heh…”

“It just occurred to me. There’s no other reason.”

“Alright, alright. Hehe… then I shall quietly await your arrival, my King.”

“There’s no need to wait for me. I don’t want to disturb Keno’s education.”

“I know. However, I still think that it’s best to select a suitor for Keno first. It’s somewhat late for a
princess… even for a noble heiress. I remember I was eight back then.”

“No. You were nine.”

“Oh, is that so? I can’t believe you still remember.”

Her mother smiled, while her father frowned.

“Ahem! I know what you’re trying to say. However, Keno is the only child of our bloodline. We cannot
be sloppy about this. Should we not wait longer?”

“If we do not start thinking about this early on, all the good candidates will have found spouses by
then. Our child will then become a leftover woman that nobody’s willing to buy.”

“Don’t talk about buying and leftovers… Being a few years younger shouldn’t be a problem, no? I will
carefully consider that matter. Understand? That’s all for this topic.”

“Yes, yes, yes…”

You need to work hard on this, she heard her mother whisper. Her father wrinkled his brow, looked
around at the maids, and then reached for the desserts.

After dessert was over, Keno returned to her own room, where she took various textbooks before
heading over to her mother’s room.

She knocked on the door of her mother’s room, and the person who answered was her mother’s
personal maid, who was both the assistant head maid and the number two maid in the castle.

She entered the room and began her lesson with her mother.

Regardless of which tradition of magic one was studying, the important thing when one was starting
out was to get a feel for it. Most of the people who had learned to use magic had done so through
the feeling of making contact with the world. Anyone without that experience would be unable to cast
spells. However, there were no teachers who could teach this part to their students in sufficient
detail, and so many people stumbled here.

However, Keno had already crossed that hurdle.Therefore, she was learning about what she would
need to know for future professions.

Keno’s mother was a wizard, and so she focused on improving her arcane magic casting ability,
while Keno had talent as a sorcerer, so the lessons she received were focused on improving her
sorcerous ability.

Compared to wizards, sorcerers relied much more on feeling. Therefore, Keno’s training focused on
closing her eyes and using her heart to sense the waves her mother emanated when casting spells.

She did not know how much time had passed since the lesson had started.

—Suddenly, Keno felt something.

It was difficult to describe that sensation in words. However, it was more powerful than her mother,
like a great wave, something that defied description.

This was a sensation she had never experienced before, and Keno could not help opening her eyes.

She saw her mother, who was surprised by her daughter suddenly opening her eyes. And at that
moment—

Pain stabbed into Keno.

It was an agony she had never experienced before, which made no sense to her.

Keno collapsed to the ground amidst the pain, as though something had been ripped out of her.

It hurt so much that she could not speak. Keno could not believe anything could hurt this much in the
world.

She wept tears of pain. In her tear-dimmed vision, she could see the two maids collapsed on the
ground as well, their faces distorted from pain and agony. Beside her, her mother was going through
the same thing as well.

Her mother’s face was twisted in agony and her forehead was slick with sweat. But even so—

“「Reinforce Armor」”

Her mother cast a spell on Keno.

However, it did nothing for the pain she was feeling. It did not decrease in the slightest. Her mother
should have noticed that from the expression on Keno’s face.

“「Anti-Evil Protection」“

Keno grit her teeth against the pain and tried not to moan, and as she did she felt her mother cast a
spell on her again. However, it did nothing for the agony racking her.

“Spi…rit? Or flesh? 「Undead Form」”

As an advanced version of 「Mind of Undeath」, this spell could briefly grant its target various
properties of the undead, both beneficial and baneful. This spell now took effect on Keno, but even
so, it did not help with her pain.

“Ooog! Just, this… girl!”

Her mother bit her lip — bright red blood immediately spurted out — and grabbed Keno’s arm.
Surely Keno would have moaned from the pain since her mother had used too much force. But the
full-body agonies she was experiencing were too strong and Keno did not feel the pain in her arm at
all.

Her mother walked as though she were dragging Keno — no, she was dragging Keno — over to the
door. No. It would be wrong to say that she was walking. Her mother was on all fours, desperately
crawling forward.

“Uwaaaaahhhhh!”

She heard a howl of pain. The source of this deep sound that she had never heard before was
Nastasha. It was completely different from her usual subdued and elegant voice. Nastasha was
rolling on the ground and had reached the door.

“Uuuooooohhh!”

She roared in a thick, coarse tone, then stood up to lean against the door, grabbing the handle and
pushing it open slightly. However, after just that much, Nastasha whimpered quietly and collapsed.

She did not move after that, as though she had passed out from the pain, or as though she were
dead.

Her mother advanced toward the tiny gap that Nastasha had sacrificed herself to make. The pain
coursing through Keno was enough to make a man faint or even die, and it was so powerful it even
stole the strength to scream or cry. However her mother was enduring that pain while still working to
take her and run.

Although it had taken who knew how many minutes just to travel a few meters, her mother showed
no signs of giving up.

The door opened slowly from the other side, and then stopped when it hit Nastasha’s head.

Her mother grabbed Keno’s hand and tightened.

Perhaps her mother believed that the culprit behind this incomprehensible deed was about to show
themselves, but it was not to be.

The person who appeared before her was her father.

He looked like he had aged decades in an instant. He used his spear as a crutch as he moved in
front of the two of them.

“My… king…”

“Ke — alright…?”

Her father looked like he was suffering too. Even so, he had managed to come all this way here
because he was strong beyond the realms of man.

“Throughout… the city. Use… teleportation…”

“Under… stood…”

Her father’s speech was broken as he withstood the tremendous pain. But Keno’s mother seemed to
have fully understood her father’s meaning.

The desperation on her mother’s face turned to terror. It was not just because of the pain afflicting
her. Higher-tier spells demanded greater focus. Naturally, a spellcaster who could cast said high-
level spells would typically have developed similarly potent powers of concentration. It would not be
a problem under normal circumstances. But there were times where they would need to focus even
in special circumstances like this.

Perhaps it was because of the pain or because she needed to focus herself for a spell, but more
sweat beaded on her mother’s forehead. And then—

The spell did not go off.

“Ooogh. Not… failure. This is — interference!”

“What—”

In Keno’s blurred vision, she saw her father’s face shift into puzzlement as he forgot his pain. After
that, the two of them moved over Keno as though they were trying to squash her flat.

It was heavy.

But Keno understood the feelings of the couple.

Keno could feel how strongly they loved her, and the tears flowing from her eyes were not because
of pain.

But the agony did not change. It seemed to ignore their love, tormenting Keno with the same
suffering it had from before.

It hurt so much that she lost her sense of time.

She could not even feel the weight of their bodies on her. She had lost all sensation in her body. All
that remained was the ever-intensifying pain.

She should have died.

Why—

Why would—

What—

Who—

Would do such a terrible thing—

Questions kept bubbling up in her mind, but like bubbles — they burst. At the same time, her
consciousness also — just at that moment, Keno suddenly sensed herself making contact with
something huge. It felt a lot like the moment when she cast a spell, but it was not the same.

That sensation was also impossible to describe in words. However, Keno could feel her father, her
mother, Nastasha, and all the people working in the castle.

That was all.

And with that, Keno passed out.

By the time she came to, she did not know how much time had passed.

The pain from before had vanished, as though it had all been a lie. It even made her wonder if she
had been dreaming.

Keno suddenly wondered about her parents.

She shifted her vision and instantly spotted them.

Her mother and father were there. Both of them were standing in the room.

“Mo—”

Keno only managed to utter half of the word. The other half stuck in her throat and refused to be
said.

That was because she saw the strangeness of her father, her mother, and the two maids. But the
terror welling up in her was promptly extinguished.

Keno bit back the deeply unpleasant shift in her mood and looked at the faces of the four of them.

It was not dementia. The four of them were wobbling as they moved, as though they had lost their
senses. The way they did it strongly resembled a certain kind of undead being Keno had learned
about during her monster lore classes.

Keno touched her face.

—It was cold.

She checked her pulse.

—There was none.

She suspected that she might have felt at the wrong place and shifted the finger on her wrist, but no
matter where she checked, she could not find a pulse.

Panicked, Keno looked around the room and found a dressing mirror. She looked at herself. At a
glance it seemed as though nothing had changed. Yet there was one area which was completely
different.

It was her crimson eyes.

3

“This is my — no, the story of the Red-Eyed Undead, Keno Fasris Invern. Or at least, the day when
it began.”

Keno had started speaking clearly at some point, and that was her summation. Her garbled speech
when they had just met was probably because she had not spoken for too long. That said, as one of
the undead, her body would not age, and so she would recover quickly once she started speaking.

“I see,” Suzuki Satoru replied, and then Keno continued narrating her tale of what happened since
that day.

After realizing that it was not just the people in the room, but the castle, and the entire city who had
become mindless undead — Zombies, in other words — Keno had two paths available to her.

One was to leave this city and ask someone else for help in saving her people.

The other was to stay here and wait for help from other cities to arrive.

Evidently, Keno had chosen to stay.

While Keno did not hate the living, the undead were fundamentally beings who hated the living. How
could a being like that ask the living for help? If they saw Keno, there was no doubt that they would
attack with the intent of destroying her. Then, there was the fact that even after becoming undead,
Keno could not simply abandon her family and leave.

More importantly, Keno was weak and could not withstand the attacks of monsters and beasts, so
the chances of her reaching a nearby city were low. In addition, she held on to a faint thread of hope
that the other cities would come to investigate, given that this was the royal capital.

However — nobody came.

After one, after two years, she had not seen anyone around the city gate.

Perhaps this strange undead conversion phenomenon had spread to the nearby cities and even
affected the entire country. When that thought came to mind, Keno began working in earnest, and as
she waited for rescue, she studied the undead residents of her country in order to understand the
undead conversion phenomenon, so that she might help everyone recover.

She had also thought “What can I do? I’m just a child,” once, but Keno had no choice.

Keno occasionally ventured out of the castle to bring back various books, which she would study. At
the same time, she trained herself to use more potent spells. As one of the undead, who did not
need to rest, Keno could literally work through the night in her endeavors.

Years passed, or possibly decades — it had been long enough that even her sense of time had been
thrown off. It would seem Keno had lived all by herself, looking for a way to restore everyone to their
original selves.

During this time, Keno had seen migratory birds which had not yet been converted to Zombies,
which made her certain that there were still living beings in the outside world. However, when she
observed the city gates, all she saw were the occasional corpses of animals which had been
attacked by Zombies, and in the end she had not encountered any live human visitors.

After hearing Keno’s story, Suzuki Satoru finally realized why there was such a huge difference
between the solemn way in which Keno spoke and her youthful appearance.

When he thought about it calmly, it was a perfectly understandable situation. Since she was undead,
it was only natural that there would be a disconnect between her apparent age and her actual time
spent alive (leaving aside the matter of whether that was accurate for now). In other words, her body
might not have changed, but her mind had grown. It was impossible to completely erase fear and
other emotions from one’s heart, and so, in the fullness of time, her mind had gradually changed as
well.

That being the case, would it not be rude to treat her as a child? Suzuki Satoru thought. I’ll just wait
until she makes her preference known, he concluded. All of his life experience to date had told him
that it was better to treat women as younger rather than older.

And then, her story came to an end.

Keno, who had been conducting her research in the castle, now lived in the sewers.

That was because — she had fled.

At that time, she had felt a powerful undead being appear outside the city, one that was more
powerful than herself or even her parents, and it had then entered the castle. She had no faith
whatsoever in her ability to triumph in battle, and so she took everything she could carry and ran
from the castle to here.

And then, the events of today had taken place.

Just as she was planning to head out to retrieve some magic-related literature from the castle, she
suddenly saw an incomparably powerful undead being in the air — Suzuki Satoru — and this had
led to the present circumstances.

“I see…”

He now understood her current condition and the state of the city. However, he had no idea why he
had appeared here, or why she and the city had ended up this way.

However, it did not seem like this world had been generated in response to Suzuki Satoru’s arrival.
As expected, it would be better to think that there was probably some reason — though it was
unclear — that Suzuki Satoru had been brought to another world.

Speaking of which…

Suzuki Satoru stared at Keno, that undead being in the shape of a little girl.

I’m really lucky that I managed to meet someone who knew how this world worked. Doubly so that
she’s undead.

She had mentioned it in her story, but it was only after he had asked her about it in detail that he
learned that the undead were universally reviled by the living, and it would not be unusual for them
to be exterminated if found. Therefore, it would be very difficult for him to gain assistance. That
would mean that Keno was a very important person.

It was true that Suzuki Satoru most wanted to know about his former friends and the Great
Underground Tomb of Nazarick. However, Keno knew nothing about them. That said, it did not make
her worthless. After all, it was only to be expected that she would not know about them. It made
more sense to think that Suzuki Satoru alone had come here and that everything else had vanished
with the game.

I’d like to gain her trust and learn more about this world, if possible. At the very least, I’d like to fill in
the gaps between what I know and how this world works… that might take a long time. Taking her
out into the world of man would shorten that time, and I’d be able to gain experience and knowledge
too… but how could I indebt her to me to such an extent?

Just as Suzuki Satoru was agonizing over that problem—

“—Everyone, everyone is important to me.”

Keno went to her knees in front of Suzuki Satoru and then bowed her head low, her palms flat on the
ground.

“Please, I beg you. Please change everyone back to how they used to be.”

“—Eh?”

What exactly did she mean by that?

No, even if you say so — that was Suzuki Satoru’s first reaction.

In the game YGGDRASIL, Momonga was an undead arcane magic caster. He ought to possess the
same power in this incomprehensible otherworld.

However, he did not have the ability to restore the undead.

If the city’s people had become Zombies because of some negative status, then perhaps killing and
then resurrecting them with magic might work.

While it could not be used that way in the game, such a tactic apparently existed in other games;
namely, killing someone who had gained an incurable status affliction — strictly speaking, they would
be beaten into a near-death state and then resurrected, which would eliminate the negative status
effect.

However, in the absence of such circumstances, none of the spells in Suzuki Satoru’s repertoire
included the ability to restore people who had become undead. It might sound strange, but even
resurrective items and spells which could be used on undead creatures who had been reduced to 0
HP some time ago could not restore them to their state before they had become undead.

That said, race-change items might have a chance here. Unfortunately, once one became an
undead creature, most race-change items would not be able to change one’s undead status. If it was
possible, the only things which could do that would be on the level of World-Class Items.

If one was a player, it would be quicker to delete one’s character and start a new one.

While I don’t have any and wouldn’t use them even if I did, perhaps the “Seeds of the World Tree”
could allow even the undead to freely change their race — assuming, of course, that World-Class
Items had the same effect here as they did in the game. Or would using 「Wish Upon A Star」 allow
me to change back some of them, even if it wasn’t all of them?

In any case, Suzuki Satoru had no intention of expending any of his limited-use trump cards.

As Suzuki Satoru continued thinking, Keno also continued her spiel, as though she was weeping
tears of blood.

“Why, why did you do this to us? I have no idea. Maybe it was my fault. I’ll pay for my sins, so please
spare everyone!”

“—Hm?” He had heard something he could not pretend to ignore. “I did this to you?”

Had Suzuki Satoru turned everyone in the city into undead beings without realizing it? No, he had
never done such a thing before, not even in YGGDRASIL.

Confused, Suzuki Satoru stewed in silent shock. Keno raised her head a little and peeked at Suzuki
Satoru.

“…Excuse me. In truth, I don’t quite understand what you’re saying. Did I do something like this?”

“—Huh?”

Much like Suzuki Satoru had done just now, Keno made a baffled sound.

“Huh?”

“Huh?”

Both of them looked at each other.

The girl froze, as though the power to her had been cut off. He waited a while, but she did not look
like she planned to answer him. That being the case, Suzuki Satoru began to talk about his own side
of things. Still, he could not say he was a resident of another world or whatnot, of course. Therefore,
he altered his story into one where he was conducting a magical experiment and had suddenly been
teleported into the air above the city.

“So, if you’ve lived in this city for a long time, I trust that means it has nothing whatsoever to do with
me?”

“Ah, uh, so it wasn’t because of your power then, Satoru-sama?”

“By power, do you mean turning everyone in this city into undead creatures? No, I don’t know
anything about it — ah, I really don’t, you know? Now then, can it be my turn to ask you a question?
Do you have any proof or basis that I am the cause for all this?”

In truth, Suzuki Satoru’s memories had only just been awakened. If his body had been
unconsciously brutalizing its surroundings until then, he would truly have nothing to say in his
defense.

“…”

Her expression slowly changed, from shock to hurt.

Like a child, she could not hide the changing of her face. Even though she had lived so long —
Suzuki Satoru’s words had still — despite the emotional suppression of the undead — had a great
impact on her.

“A-Ah, when I was alone in the city, a powerful undead creature appeared… I was scared and so I
ran.”

It was the undead creature that Keno had mentioned just now, the reason why she had shifted her
base from the castle to this place. He had not yet heard the details about this undead being—

“—Ahhh, I see, so that undead being was very similar to me… and that’s all, is that it?”

“Yes.”

Keno’s voice, so faint it seemed to be on the verge of disappearing, combined with the look of
understanding on her face and lifted a great weight from Suzuki Satoru’s heart.

It was not Momonga — without Suzuki Satoru’s mind — who had done this. That made him even
more certain that he had only appeared in this world at that moment. At the same time, Suzuki
Satoru could not help but be surprised at the extent to which Keno believed what he said.

Of course, Suzuki Satoru had been very frank and honest with her in the hopes of gaining her
acceptance. However, she was the one who would make the final decision of trusting him. In other
words, she had believed the words of an undead being she had met for the first time.

If she had placed so much trust in him, then he ought to do the same for her. That was necessary for
building a healthy relationship between two people.

”A-Ah, are you angry? I’m sorry — I’m so sorry I got it wrong, Satoru-sama!”

“Ahh, no need for that. Don’t worry about it. Speaking of which — are you sure that undead creature
is the mastermind behind the transformation of this city’s people into Zombies?”

“No, I’m not sure. But I think there should be a connection, otherwise it would not have appeared at
this city of the undead.”

“I see, it does make a certain degree of sense.”

While he had verbally agreed with her, Suzuki Satoru still had doubts in his heart.

That conjecture was full of holes.

It might have been more likely if that undead creature had appeared right away. But Keno had
almost lost her sense of time by the time it had shown up — on the order of years, at the very least.
Would that not mean it was very likely to be unrelated to the incident?

Also, regarding its reason for coming, surely the most likely reason would be because it wanted to
take up residence here, no? As an undead being itself, it would not be attacked by low-level undead,
and the living would avoid this region. If one set aside the problem of the living attacking it, would a
place like this not be the most comfortable living environment for one of the undead?

However, he did not intend to tell Keno about those theories.

There was no way she could not have noticed something which even Suzuki Satoru had surmised
right away.

It was very likely that she was still wanted to believe that said undead creature was the mastermind
behind all this. That was why she had apologized to Suzuki Satoru for mistaking him for that entity.

She still wanted to believe that there was a way to save everyone.

Suzuki Satoru looked through the stacks of books in the room. All of them were stained, which was a
sign of her hard work. However, she had probably clung to such a belief because she understood
that she could not save them, or because her research had not shown her a way to do so.

Her narration of what happened that day was very detailed.

The first half of her story, her description of the day’s events, was very specific and she had clearly
illustrated the situation, even going so far as to include her own feelings at the time. In contrast, the
latter half of her story — after she had become undead — seemed to blend together. Perhaps to her,
there had been little change in the days after that, so there was little for her to talk about.

But of course they would be different.

The last time she was human was during breakfast.

Those were the most brilliant memories she had, which was why she could speak of them at such
length and in such detail.

Suzuki Satoru stroked the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown. He heard Keno gasp in surprise, but he did not
mind.

He felt a hard coldness.

Yes, that’s how it is.

He could understand how Keno felt.

Keno felt the same way about the city which contained her parents and which had helped raise her
as Suzuki Satoru did about the guild Ainz Ooal Gown. If there was someone who could help Suzuki
Satoru return to those brilliant days, he would gladly prostrate himself before them and beg for their
help.

The feeling which rose up in him was called guilt.

It was simple enough to say that she was wrong for expecting so much out of Suzuki Satoru.

However—

“Ahh, yes,” Suzuki Satoru said as he squeezed his staff. “—Keno-san.”

He saw Keno’s shoulders twitch, but Suzuki Satoru ignored it and continued speaking.

“If destroying that undead creature will reverse the transformation of the people in the city, then I will
gladly assist you.”

Suzuki Satoru’s earlier theory had been based purely in his knowledge of YGGDRASIL. If that
undead being really was the culprit, then it might be possible to restore the people by defeating him
or using some other means.

If every living thing in a city had turned undead, then one could not conclude “Who could have done
this?”

“If it is as you believe, Keno-san, and the opposition is someone who can turn an entire city of
people undead, then surely they will not be easy enemies. For that reason, I feel that capturing them
in one piece will be difficult, but annihilating them might still be possible.”

As Suzuki Satoru told Keno that, he mentally chided himself, Are you a moron?

At best, an undead being similar to Suzuki Satoru would be an Overlord™. If all of his YGGDRASIL
knowledge was applicable, he might be able to think of a way to deal with them. However, in this
world it was entirely possible that the local equivalent of an Overlord was a Level 1000+ opponent.

That said, it would seem it was not likely that this opponent would surpass Suzuki Satoru’s
expectations.

The reason for that was because of the way Keno described her parents. Her father, heralded in
song and story, was able to cast fourth-tier spells, while her mother, who could cast fifth-tier spells,
was considered a genius. From that point of view, there was little change with YGGDRASIL, or
rather, there were more weaklings here than in YGGDRASIL.

That said, whether he could beat them remained to be seen.

His self-mockery had been directed at the foolish words he said after he had equated experience at
a game to real-life combat experience, in addition to his lack of knowledge.

If possible, he would like to take Keno away from this city for a while and contact people in this world
who were familiar with the undead, in order to gain as much information on his foe as possible
before preparing a flawless strategy with which to challenge his adversary.

For starters, he did not know the power of his opposition. Perhaps Keno had only seen the one
undead creature, but it might have continued improving its fighting strength within the city after that.

In that case, his first priority was to collect information, and then — he would need to spend a lot of
time and effort on preparations.

However, he did not think Keno would accept that idea. Surely a girl who refused to leave a city full
of the terrifying undead would not accept a simple “Let’s get out of here,” from a third party that
easily. Still, it was worth a try.

“However, I would like you to think carefully about this. Is it really alright to destroy it? It’s possible
that even if you destroy that undead creature, the townsfolk might not return to normal, no?”

Keno shook her head and pulled out a book from the piles of literature.

The books stacked on top of it collapsed and fell, but she brought it back without a second glance
and opened a page to show Suzuki Satoru.

His first thought was — it’s not Japanese after all.

As Suzuki Satoru fumbled for a magic item, Keno pointed to a passage in the book and read it out.

“This part says that resurrecting a slain undead creature requires extremely powerful resurrection
spells, and even after resurrection they will still be undead. But if the master undead is wiped out,
the possibility exists that his victims may be restored, if they are lucky. That’s what’s written here.”

For the most part, this was the same as YGGDRASIL. However, in order for a YGGDRASIL
character who had become undead to become a human again, they would need a World-Class Item,
while it was not so in this world. The more he realized the differences between both worlds, the more
Keno’s importance grew.

Dammit, Suzuki Satoru thought.

If Keno had answered, “Maybe they might not turn back,” Suzuki Satoru could have guided the
conversation to “Then let’s not destroy it first and find another way. Since we don’t know enough,
why don’t we leave this city for a while and head outside to gather information?” That was how he
had planned it.

That plan had gone awry. Still, it could not be helped.

In that case, he would just have to destroy it.

Destroy that undead being.

Of course—

—Only if I can manage it.

“I understand. In that case — ahhh, yes, there has to be payment.”

“Yes.”

“And the payment shall be — I want to know all sorts of things. I want to know everything you know.”

The look on Keno’s face seemed to say “Huh?”

“Will you be satisfied with that?”

“Yes. I feel that the knowledge you have stored up until now is very valuable.”

Suzuki Satoru turned his eyes from the book Keno was holding to the stacks of other books in this
room. What he wanted was basic information about the world, but Keno would probably be disturbed
if he said as much. Therefore, he had feigned an attitude which would make her mistakenly believe
he was looking for magical knowledge. Given Keno’s reaction, she had completely bought it.

“A-Alright, but all that knowledge couldn’t save everyone, you know?”
“It’s fine. Even if that’s the case, it’s still valuable to me.”

“Nk you”, Keno muttered, and bowed to him.

“Also — any money or magic items you could spare would also be very good,” Suzuki Satoru said as
he nonchalantly produced a YGGDRASIL gold coin. “Can I spend these in this country?”

Keno took the coin and spun it round and round in her hands before returning it to Suzuki Satoru.

“Yes, you can. Or at least, you could. While I don’t know exactly how much it’s worth without
checking its gold content…”

“I see. Then, I’d be happy to obtain more gold coins like these which are usable in the surrounding
region.”

“I, Keno Fasris Invern, do hereby swear to you that I shall pay you whatever you desire, Satoru-
sama.”

Suzuki Satoru quietly sucked in a breath.

Such was Keno’s regal, princess-like demeanor that it established her as superior even to the most
successful salesman that Suzuki Satoru knew.

“Then, I am very grateful. Thus our compact is formed. In that case—”

In order to learn how to use his might, he would need to learn how YGGDRASIL’s magic interacted
with the magic of this world.

“By the way, Keno-san. I should mention that I can cast spells of the tenth tier.”

“—I see.”

Keno smiled in a way that seemed mildly distressed.

Why, why is she smiling like that? …Aren’t you considered a genius if you can cast fifth-tier spells?
I’ve gone and doubled that, you know! Why are you so calm — is it because she’s undead?

After becoming undead, Suzuki Satoru had experienced how his emotions would be suppressed
once they reached a certain threshold. Did the same thing apply to Keno as well?

Don’t tell me tenth-tier spells are nothing much? What if the tiers start at ten and get more powerful
as the numbers grow smaller? Wait, wouldn’t that make me a first-tier caster?

“Ah… is there a third-tier spell called 「Fireball」?”

“Huh? Yes. there is such a spell, although I don’t know how to use it.”

“Your parents were able to cast fourth and fifth-tier spells, so they shouldn’t have problems casting it,
right?”

“Mother might not have learned it, but my father could cast it.”

“I see. Incidentally, the spell 「Lightning」 is also of the third tier, right?”

Keno indicated that this was so.

So it would seem spells in this world occupied the same tiers as YGGDRASIL. In other words,
Suzuki Satoru’s knowledge of magic could be directly applied.

This was excellent news, but he had to verify it.

“In that case, Keno-san, could you cast one of your spells — how about this, could you cast a first-
tier spell on me? An attack spell would be best.”

“Ehhhh!?”

It was only when he saw Keno’s wide eyes that he realised he had not explained in sufficient detail.

“Ahhh. I would like to see if my powers are functioning as normal. I would like to use your attack
spells as an indicator, Keno-san.”

After all, it would be troublesome they were only similar in name and tier but completely different in
effects and destructive power.

“Eh, ah, I see. I understand.”

Keno gathered up her determination and stood up, then faced Suzuki Satoru.

Her lack of hesitation gave Suzuki Satoru the chills. Surely most people would waver for a moment
or be disturbed, would they not?

Was that an undead trait too? As he was contemplating that question, Keno cast her spell. A brace
of 「Magic Arrows」 lanced out at him with the same special effects as in YGGDRASIL. And then —
they vanished in the instant they touched Suzuki Satoru’s body.

“Ehhhh!?” Keno exclaimed in surprise.

Suzuki Satoru — no, Momonga possessed an ability known as High-Tier Magic Immunity. It was a
power that nullified all spells of the sixth-tier and below. While it was in effect, a mere first-tier spell
was completely useless.

“It seems the power that protects me is functioning without any problems. Now then, try again. This
time, I will lower my defenses.”

He deactivated the passive skill. For some reason he felt like he was naked under the barrel of a
gun.

A guild member had once said that he felt afraid to have a gun pointed at him even when he had
implanted subdermal bulletproof fibers. He could understand how they felt now. While the powerful
emotions of the undead would be suppressed, it would seem emotions that did not reach that
threshold would be left untouched.

“I understand,” Keno said, and once again, she cast her spell at him without a moment’s hesitation.

“「Magic Arrow」.”

The bolts of light lanced out again and struck Satoru dead center.

It did not hurt. No, there was something that might have been pain, but actually calling it pain would
have disgraced the word.

Were his senses dulled because he was undead? But when he thought about it, he wanted to scoff
at how a body made solely of bones without flesh, nerves, or even skin, could feel pain in the first
place. On that note, how the hell did a body without vocal cords or lungs even manage to speak?

It was the same way for Keno, who did not breathe. That was just how things worked, and he had no
choice but to accept them.

He peeked at her, and in the end, Keno’s face — even after attacking Suzuki Satoru twice — was
calm. Rather, her expression seemed to say that she had expected this all along.

What’s with her…

How could she attack her helper, Suzuki Satoru, with no hesitation whatsoever? Was it because she
was a psychopath, or because she was undead, or was this just the way this world worked?
Countless possibilities swept through his mind.

Don’t tell me… she felt that it was a chance to kill me? Or no, was it because she was thinking, if you
die, that’s all there is to you, something ruthless like that?

The matter of whether he was strong enough to be her collaborator must have been very important
to Keno. That was why she could attack him with no hesitation whatsoever.

Still, I am an ally of hers… so I figured a bit of hesitation ought to be expected… oh well.

No amount of thinking would give him an answer. He would just have to regard her as a creepy little
girl for now. He could not allow himself to be taken in by her youthful appearance and pretty face.
She was a girl who had something dangerous inside her.

In any case, he now knew that engaging in combat without performing more experiments was a very
dangerous thing. If this world was different from YGGDRASIL and death was a final ending, then he
needed to know what it felt like to take damage — to be in pain. A fear of pain in battle might lead to
him losing a fight that he could have won.

“Keno-san, you said you could use second-tier spells in the past, but what about now? Is the second
tier still your best?”

“Yes… I focused on broadening my knowledge rather than improving my spellcasting abilities, so…”

“I see. That means…”

While Keno’s level and ability scores were unknown, no matter how she tried to attack with the
second-tier spells that she knew, she would not be able to cause him any pain compared to the
attack spells employed by his foe — estimated to be on the level of an Overlord. She was completely
useless for that purpose.

“In that case, I apologize, but I still wish to continue my tests. I need to use attack spells centered on
myself. Therefore, can you tell me if there are any open areas where doing so will be relatively
safe?”

Suzuki Satoru’s own spells ought to be able to do some degree of damage to him. In addition, there
was one thing he had to clarify.

That was to see if friendly fire was in effect. His fighting style would change depending on whether
the answer was yes or no. Things like how to use area-effect spells and so on.

“An open space, you say? How big does it have to be? The biggest space I know of in the sewers
is… yes, around 50 meters across.”

“50 meters, huh…”

He would have to avoid spells with area-effect knockback and spells which were exceptionally
effective against walls and other objects. Only then would such a size be considered adequate.

It would have been wiser to teleport outside the city and carry out his tests. However, he had not
expected the situation to end up like this, so he had not memorized any teleport destinations outside
the city.

In YGGDRASIL, one would leave a marker, but in this world it would seem one memorized the
location instead.

What was the state of the inside of his head after knowing this? Speaking of which, did he even have
a brain in this body? As he began contemplating this digression, Satoru shook his head and
banished this useless topic from his mind before answering Keno.

“Hmm. I see. Could you take me there?”

The place he had been taken to was indeed quite spacious. It was probably a central collection tank
for sewage flowing through the main trunk and branch sewer lines. However, it was empty now, save
for marks left over from decades ago.

He activated his ability to check for the presence of Zombies.

It would be troublesome if there were zombie rats or the like around. If they got killed during the
experiment, he might end up aggroing all the Zombies in the city.

Incidentally, there were no such things as slime Zombies. While every race could be turned into
Zombies or skeletons, there were certain exceptions. Races without a skeletal system could not be
zombified or skeletonized. That was how it worked in YGGDRASIL, and after checking with Keno,
that was how it worked in this world too.

After finishing his checks, he stole a glance at Keno, who had remained in a higher place.

She showed no signs of fleeing. Was it because she trusted him, or because she felt she was useful,
or because she felt that there was no point in escaping?

—Let’s begin, then.

“「Call Greater Thunder」!”

This ninth-tier spell was the highest-tiered single-target lightning spell. While a flame-type spell
would have worked just as well, he was mildly afraid of fire — it was one of his weaknesses, after all
— which was why he had chosen this spell instead. Of course, he could have used something
weaker, like a fifth-tier spell or something, but he had chosen a high-tier spell because he wanted to
know how much damage a ninth-tier spell would do to him, as well as how much it would hurt.

Also, this was one of the spells that an Overlord would commonly use, and he also wanted to see if
he could direct single-target spells against himself.

A thick pillar of lightning coursed down, illuminating the interior of the sewer with a dazzling light.

And then — while he felt pain, Suzuki Satoru also realised that this pain was not unendurable.

His sense of pain seemed to be suppressed as well. Was that an effect of being converted into an
undead being too?

Suzuki Satoru could not help but laugh.

While gaining an undead body had shocked Suzuki Satoru a little, it was because he had such a
body that he could bring forth his full abilities.

If he still had his fleshy body that could feel pain normally, surely Suzuki Satoru would have feared
battle more, and he might even have chosen to avoid fighting.

Following that, Suzuki Satoru took out a scroll from his inventory. He had to check if he could use
scrolls normally.

He unleashed the power contained within the scroll, and scorching flames charged skywards.

It was 「Napalm」.

There was a heaven-splitting stroke of thunder.

It was followed by a sky-scorching blaze.

A wave of excitement and fear washed over Keno Fasris Invern.

The words “magic caster” or “undead” were no longer sufficient to describe this. This was a power
that only a being superior to both of them could employ. In other words, this magic was of the gods,
or similar beings, Keno fervently believed.

The Invern royal family followed the Na Bel faith that had believers in the surrounding countries. It
was a pantheon headed by the sun god Bei Niala who held a gem in his hand, and the moon
goddess Lu Kinis, who wielded a jewelled staff.

Ultimately, however, it was not a belief born of an inner devotion but because it was the state
religion. People other than the Rainbow-Eyed lived in this country too, and the Na Bel faith, as the
state religion, was used to strengthen the bonds between the various ethnicities. One could even go
further and say that they were using religion to establish ties to the surrounding nations.

Back then, Keno had been young and did not know these things, so she had believed in the gods
with all her heart.

However, on that day, and every day that followed, the gods had not reached out to save them.
Therefore, Keno no longer believed in the gods. However, the power of the gods was a different
matter.

The existence of divine magic casters proved the existence of the gods’ powers. Therefore, Keno
had done research to borrow, seize, or steal the power of the gods, in order to try and restore
everyone to normal. However, nothing she tried had any effect — perhaps she was not talented in
that field — and so she had halted her research into the topic.

After abandoning that research and years of work, as she was returning the books she had
borrowed from a temple, Keno witnessed an undead being entering the city.

It was a skeletal undead, without so much as a scrap of flesh on its body, and both the robe it wore
and the magic staff it held looked like powerful magic items. It radiated an aura of might found only
among the strong, and it seemed to be more powerful than Keno’s father.

Keno immediately fled with several books in hand.

After reaching a safe place, she began to regret what she had done. Should she not have tried to
negotiate and seek salvation for her people?

Her regret had not faded since that day. Surely it wouldn’t be too late to try now, wouldn’t it?
More than once, that thought had made her chest feel like it was going to burst.

But then, today had come.

In that moment, when she saw the figure floating in the night sky, Keno had fled once again.
Even from a distance, she could tell his stately robes were brimming with magical power. And then,
those clothes that could not possibly have been made by human hands were dwarfed by that golden
staff. Its sheer presence blew away the bitter regret and determination in her heart, until nothing
remained.

Keno believed that he — Suzuki Satoru — commanded overwhelming might. Therefore, when he
had asked her to cast a spell, she had done so without any hesitation. She believed that her puny
spells could not possibly harm him in the slightest — and indeed, that had been the case.

“Father, Mother, Nastasha. There might be a way to save everyone after all.”

Keno’s time until now had been wasted.

She had studied all manner of magical grimoires and conducted research, making full use of her
unsleeping body to further her learning. While it had been self-taught, she ought to have possessed
more knowledge than the average magic caster.

Perhaps Keno Fasris Invern would not have been able to save everyone by herself, no matter how
hard she worked in this city.

But if that great man could save everyone, then as the sole surviving member of this kingdom’s
royalty, she would accede to any request he made, even if it meant destroying herself.

Still, I don’t think I have anything worthy of offering to him… did he ask for knowledge because he
pitied me? I don’t understand. All I can do is believe.

Keno Fasris Invern bet everything she had on that powerful undead being.

She did not know if this would end in triumph or tragedy, or if this would become a heroic saga never
before seen in the world.

In any case, a new chapter began in Keno’s story.

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