Overlord Light Novel Volume 12 Chapter 1 Part 2
Overlord Light Novel Volume 12 Chapter 1 Part 2
Although he had broken all of Orlando’s weapons, the Grand King withdrew after seeing the reinforcements sent from the fortress. In a sense, being able to hold out until help arrived was a win for Orlando, and many people praised him for it. To Orlando, however, it simply meant that the Grand King did not see him as an enemy who was worth taking risks to defeat, and so all he felt was a hollow sense of defeat.
“I do want to fight him again, but… I guess I can’t beat him now. You’d probably need one of those people they call heroes to defeat him, otherwise it would be very difficult. Therefore… ah, you’ve also heard of it, right boss? How that great warrior, Gazef Stronoff, died in battle.”
“Ah, yes, I did. The higher-ups are debating hotly about how that’s going to affect the surrounding countries, after all.”
The death of Gazef Stronoff, known as the mightiest warrior of the Re-Estize Kingdom, was a matter of great interest to the soldiers of the Holy Kingdom — particularly the skilled ones.
“Do you know the details?”
“Some of them. Apparently, he duelled a magic caster known as the Sorcerer King and was struck down. Frankly speaking, the fact that he would actually challenge a magic caster to a duel is quite hard to take in.”
Orlando nodded his agreement.
That said, the term “magic casters” was quite broad. Divine magic caster could, after using spells which enhanced their physical abilities, end up stronger than a half-baked warrior. In addition, the paladins who were the pride of this nation could use magic too, so to some extent, one could not say they were not magic casters. In that case, he could understand the reasons for the duel.
“…In addition, others say that the Sorcerer King massacred an entire army. Apparently he summoned gigantic goats, or sheep, rather.”
“Well, this is new. Still, gigantic goats? What a queer magic caster.”
The mention of goats brought unhappy memories of that defeat to Orlando. That said, while the rumors said he had summoned goats, they were clearly not ordinary goats.
“Well, it’s also because of that weird magic caster. That’s why I need to do this.”
“…That’s why? I don’t quite get your meaning.”
“This hasn’t changed from when I lost to you, but I’m the sort of person who disregards items that grant flight, spells, and the like. I’ve always thought that all you need to do is beat them with your sword. However, after the Kingdom’s Warrior-Captain-dono — who was stronger than me — lost to those, I began to think that maybe I shouldn’t look down on them.”
“Which means I need to go on a warrior’s pilgrimage.”
“…Aren’t you going to say you’re going to challenge those people in our country that you can’t beat?”
Orlando could not win against the other members of the Nine Colors.
The vice-captain of the marines, Enrikai Belusai, known as “the Blue”.
The leader of the paladin order, Remedios Custodio, known as “the White”.
Babel Baraja, known as “the Black”.
Ran Ji An Rin, one of the Mermen who lived in the sea, known as “the Green”.
And then, outside of the Nine Colors, there was the most powerful priest in the nation, Kylardo Custodio.
In other words, they were some of the most highly-placed people in the nation, and challenging them would surely cause great ructions in the country. If it was just a mock battle, then it ought to be alright, so long as it was against a fellow member of the Nine Colors, but an all-out duel would never be allowed.
A true clash of blades was completely different from a mock battle. Sometimes, the winner and loser could be completely reversed between them. Many people became much stronger — or weaker — when going from a training to a live combat environment. Naturally, the strong were recognized as such because they showed their power in actual combat. Therefore, one could not consider a warrior pilgrimage complete without fighting a real battle.
“Alright… still, where do you plan to train yourself?”
“I was thinking of visiting the Sorcerous Kingdom you mentioned earlier. It seems there’s powerful undead there.”
The Sorcerous Kingdom of Ainz Ooal Gown.
Few people would be drunk enough on their own egotism to actually name a country after themselves, but it was not that such people did not exist. More to the point, the person who had done so had the power to back it up.
“Indeed, I’ve heard of it from the merchants who travel between the Kingdom and the Holy Kingdom.”
The teachings of the churches were deeply ingrained into their hearts, so the people of the Holy Kingdom had a shared hatred and revulsion of the undead. Even Babel was no exception. No, Orlando thought. Babel did not hate them because they were the enemies of the Holy Kingdom, but because they were his wife’s enemies.
However, he could not bring that up. While he did not lose himself in chatting about his wife as he did with his daughter, he still spoke far too much.
“The Holy Kingdom’s stance is to tacitly acknowledge the existence of the Sorcerous Kingdom, right? They say it’s okay for people of the Holy Kingdom to go over there… right?”
There was no way to hide the fact that the Sorcerous Kingdom, with its armies of the undead, was an intolerable foe of the Holy Kingdom. Many people had urged them to send out troops when they thought of how the people in the Sorcerous Kingdom’s Capital of E-Rantel must be suffering. However, the Holy Kingdom presently faced the threat of the demihumans, and they would not be able to conduct military operations in other countries without first pacifying the hills.
The feelings of the people aside, the country’s leadership could only express their deep disapproval of the Sorcerous Kingdom.
“…The Sorcerous Kingdom, hm. Well, if you apply to the brass, you ought to be able to go over there as a member of the army. They view the Sorcerous Kingdom as a threat second only to the demihumans. It seems they want to ally with the Theocracy against them.”
“Really now. Seems there’ll be a lot of problems due to religious differences, then.”
“Yes, precisely. Well, that aside, if your allegiance doesn’t change, you can receive the country’s aid and you can skip those annoying immigration checks… I think. If you go over, you’ll be a godsend to the people who want to know more about the Sorcerous Kingdom.”
“Well, wouldn’t that be nice. Still, if I did that, I couldn’t just go around picking fights.”
“You… the way you say that so seriously is really headache-inducing.”
“I guess it’ll be hard on you if it became an international incident, huh.”
The cold wind blew past them. For a while, Babel went silent, his expression unchanged, but after that, he began muttering unhappily (as usual).
“I’m going to miss that ugly face of yours.”
Orlando smiled wickedly. It was a savage, bestial grin, but he was being uncharacteristically shy. Babel had not said, “don’t go”, but neither had he said, “go”. He decided to make sure that he would have somewhere to return to.
“Sorry about that… Well, I’ll come back after I become stronger. Want me to train you up at that time?”
“Fancy you saying that.”
As Orlando smiled, Babel smiled back to him in turn. Their smiles were every bit as ferocious as two wild beasts growling at each other.
Just then, the bell rang. It would seem that it was time to change over to the night shift. They had spoken at great length, so they would wrap it up with one more thing. Just as Orlando thought that, that notion evaporated from his mind as the bell continued to ring.
Babel, followed closely by Orlando, looked to the hills.
Those bells meant, “Demihumans sighted.”
Their visibility extended to over four hundred meters, and there were no obstacles to their line of sight. While there had once been forests and trees here, the country had conducted a massive landscaping project as part of the wall’s construction to flatten it out. However, at the furthest reaches of the expansive plains — where there were hills and other obstructions — they saw sparkles in the darkness and moving black shadows.
It was impossible for Orlando to discern the true identities of those demihumans at this distance while in the dark. Therefore, he called on the man with the keenest eyesight.
“Yes, they’re demihumans… Snakemen,” Babel immediately answered.
Snakemen had heads like a cobra and scaly, humanoid bodies, as well as tails. They were considered close relatives to Lizardmen. Their serpentine heads had venomous bites and their spears were coated in powerful toxins. Close combat with them was to be avoided as much as possible.
That said, Orlando and his lads were seasoned veterans, and they possessed very high resistance to poisons. While their scales provided some protection, they were not hard enough to deflect metal weapons. They might be skilled with their tails, but one could simply consider them another weapon. In addition, they had the advantage at night due to their ophidian sensory organs, but that was not a problem.
Is leading the charge on them going to be our job? No, by the time they reach here, Boss’ unit will have feathered them all.
Snakemen despised cold objects, so they would not use metal armor and other such items. As a result, it was a simple task for first-rate archers like Babel and his men to fill them full of arrows.
“So how many of them are there, Boss?”
Usually, there would be less than twenty of them.
Orlando was briefly puzzled by the lack of a response. He looked at Babel, and saw a look of clear vexation on that typically blank face of his.
“What’s wrong, Boss?”
“…There’s more of them? Could this be — this is bad! I’ve spotted members of other species! Pangolinmen, Ogres, and are those Morlocks?”
“What did you say?”
There were all kinds of demihumans in the hill region, but they did not have good relationships with each other. Rather, they often fought over territory, and apart from cases where Ogres took Goblins as slaves and cruelly used them, these races very rarely worked with each other.
There had even been cases where some of them had been driven out of their land and forced to attack the Holy Kingdom.
Then this ought to be the same thing. Because if it was not—
He did not know who had said that. Perhaps the person saying so might have thought he was speaking to himself, but it sounded clear enough to his ears.
“Orlando, I’ve got something to ask you.”
There was tension in Babel’s voice. No, that was only to be expected.
Ethnicity, culture and religion. Just as how there could be many nations composed of members of the same species, creating a cohesive nation was a very difficult task. It was even more difficult when the races of the members were different. Therefore, uniting the demihuman tribes in the hills was a nigh-impossible task.
If that was what had happened, that would mean the beginning of a battle for the Holy Kingdom’s survival.
After that — Orlando’s body trembled uncontrollably.
Uniting all these races would require obvious power. Among mankind, wisdom and wealth would qualify as a form of strength, but the demihuman races prized power. In other words—
That means there might be a frighteningly powerful enemy out there, is that it?
“Tell me with your warrior’s instincts. Why do you think these guys chose to reveal themselves at a fortress like this — at such a well defended place? One — they’re serving as bait to draw out our forces to thin out our defences. Two—”
“They’re confident of breaking through in a head-on attack. Twenty percent of the Holy Kingdom’s fighting strength is stationed here, and they’re going to crush us like cockroaches.”
Despite feeling Babel’s keen gaze from beside him, Orlando did not stop talking.
“At the same time, they’re going to use this fortress as a bridgehead. Then, they’re going to crush the morale of the Holy Kingdom and boost their own morale. Is that it?”
“…They might issue a mass mobilization order.”
“Haha! A war like this has only occurred once before in the history of the Holy Kingdom, and now there’s going to be another one like it in our time! What can we say to that!?”
“I’m going to report to the higher-ups. You come with me too.”
“Got it, boss! Oi, you lot! This party’s going to get really cuhrayzee! Keep the backup weapons coming!”
If the enemy was an army, they would have to spend a lot of time forming their troops up. This was especially true if they counted numerous races among their number. However, the same applied to the defenders as well. Since they were an army, they would need time to prepare themselves. This held true even on the frontline. There were a shocking amount of things which needed to be done. There was no more time to idle around.
Orlando ran after Babel.
♦ ♦ ♦
As the enemy forces slowly took their formation, Babel felt a sharp pain in his throat.
The slower the enemy attack, the more forces they could concentrate to this fortress, and the more time they would have to give the mobilization order. This was the perfect scenario for their commanding officers, but Babel did not share their opinion.
There were demihumans with intellect that surpassed humanity. Surely the commander of such a vast army was no fool. In that case, he would know that giving their opponent time to prepare was a disadvantageous thing.
In addition, it was late at night now, and the coming battle would be to the demihumans’ advantage. It would be the same even if they lit bonfires.
Babel looked at the enemy formation, four hundred meters away.
While they were organized in tribes, they did not seem to have considered things like the weapons they wielded, their respective tactics, their various racial characteristics, among other things.
In all likelihood, the demihumans were not marching under the same flag. Otherwise they would have fielded a more cohesive battle line. Or was this something like an oligarchy, an alliance of demihumans led by a council of equals?
“Can’t quite make it out, Boss. Can you see the enemy commander?”
“…No, I haven’t spotted their leader yet.”
His men had not reported sighting anything like that so far.
However, there had to be a commander. Otherwise even forming up into units would be very difficult.
“He can’t keep hiding forever. He’ll surely show up on the battlefield.”
Among demihumans, their powerful leaders would show up to flaunt their strength.
That would be when Babel went to work.
Babel clutched his bow.
It was a magical composite longbow, infused with enchantments specialized for use against demihumans. In addition, he also had a Mantle of Shadow, suitable for blending into shadows and conducting ambushes, Boots of Silence which eliminated the sound of his footsteps, a Vest of Resistance to improve his resilience against various attacks, a Ring of Deflection to protect him from ranged weapons and many other such accoutrements. These were a sign of how much the country valued Babel.
这是注入了对亚人特化用魔法的复合长弓。不只如此，还有融入影子、利于潜伏的影子披风(Mantle of Shadow)，消除脚步声的无音靴(Boots ofSilence)，提高抵抗力的抵抗上衣(Vest of Resistance)，从射击武器下保护自己的偏移戒指(Ring of Deflection)等等如此多的配给，这也代表国家有多重视帕贝尔。
“You all prepare to shoot at any time,” he ordered his subordinates, who were hidden beside him as though they had vanished into the night.
Humans would exchange envoys to read out declarations and pronouncements; a characteristic of wars between nobles. However, nobody from the Holy Kingdom who was quartered in this fortress, the generals included, wanted to parley with the demihumans of the hills. At the very most, they would hold talks as part of a scheme or to deceive them, and once they spotted the enemy commander they would shoot him dead on the spot.
“You should head back to your unit too.”
“I’ll do that. Take care, Boss.”
“Ahh, you too.”
A wisp of unease wound through Babel’s heart as he watched Orlando leave.
Some demihumans possessed lethal special attacks.
For instance, the Mystic Eyes of the Giant Biclops.
These demihumans had a pair of disproportionately massive eyes. One of these Mystic Eyes contained the ability to 「Charm」their foes. Its victims would unconsciously approach the opposition. Indeed, even defenders on the walls would take the shortest possible path to the demihumans before them.
Usually, they would be equipped with magic items to resist such special abilities, but Orlando had not been furnished with such items. If his luck was bad, he might be taken out in one shot.
He closed his eyes to clear away his unease, and a woman’s figure appeared in Babel’s mind.
She was one of the Nine Colors, the woman known as the White.
She worries me too, but in a different way. She’s clueless and often gets the people around her in trouble. That’s why Peach has it so hard… why does my daughter want to stand by her side? Wouldn’t it be good enough for her to just meet a good man, fall in love with him and then marry him— no!
He shook away the worry for his daughter that swelled in his heart.
At the same time, he looked back at the demihuman array, to change his mood.
He did not know how many demihumans stood at the foothills, but there were many flags waving there. Those flags were not camouflage; the sole third-tier magic caster in this fortress had already verified it from the sky.
In other words, there really were that many combat units gathered here today. Things would not end with a simple staring match.
Babel began his usual ritual.
He took out a carved wooden doll from his breast pocket, and then kissed it.
This was a figurine his daughter had made when she was six. It was a grotesque doll with four sticks coming out of a ball, made to look like her father. He still clearly remembered the day when he had praised her by saying “this is a really cool monster”, and how she had burst into tears, and how his wife had kicked him.
The doll was worn out because he had touched it countless times, and the carved eyes and mouth were faded away. She had grown much older since that time, so he wanted her to make a figurine that looked more like him. But perhaps she did not know his heart, because she showed no signs of wanting to remake it.
It was probably because of his long tours of duty stationed here, but he rarely had the chance to see his wife and daughter. He felt himself drawing further and further away from her every day. In the past she would have hugged him immediately, but at some point, she no longer hugged him after he returned home.
She’s grown independent of her father, his wife had smiled, but this was a big thing to Babel.
If I could take two months’ leave, I’d like to go camping as a family, like we used to.
His daughter would listen with rapt attention whenever he taught her his ranger knowledge. That was what he was aiming for. That said, he knew it would probably not work out.
He put the doll back into his pocket.
His daughter was rarely home due to her aim of becoming a paladin. When Babel returned to his home after a long absence, his daughter was often gone too.
It would be best if she married someone who lived close to our home… no, it would be good, or maybe just a little bit.
A paladin’s way of life was the least suitable for his daughter. He had been observing her all this time, so he was sure of it.
His daughter had chosen this path because she admired how her mother looked as a paladin herself. However, that was not enough to be a paladin. Only a knight who physically expressed the justice they believed in could be called a paladin.
Therefore — it was largely because his wife was very scary — he did not say it, but to him, paladins were essentially madmen.
I wonder if my girl knows that… While I don’t want her to know…
“—That really is a ridiculous number out there.”
The words of his adjutant as he muttered to himself with bated breath brought Babel to his senses.
“Ahhh, that’s right. Still, there’s no need to be scared. Just back me up.”
In addition to his adjutant, the mood from the men around him relaxed somewhat.
That’s right, that’s it. Tension is the archenemy of sniping.
And just as Babel broke his own blank face — although he did not know he had — with a thin smile, there was a shift in the enemy lines.
A lone demihuman slowly stepped forward.
Despite the many demihumans around him, he was unescorted. Did he not need an escort, or was he full of arrogance, or was he a messenger whose death would not be missed?
“Should we shoot him?”
“Not for now. But move to a place where it’ll be easy to shoot and then wait for my order.”
After quietly giving his orders, his men sped away in droves, like lengthening shadows.
Was he the enemy general, or was he just a regular messenger? Babel studied him carefully to find out.
That demihuman… what species does he belong to? Doesn’t feel like anything I’ve seen before… and what’s with those clothes? Is it a tribal outfit? Is that mask something like that too?
He was definitely not human, judging by the tail coming from behind his waist.
The problem was that demihuman’s clothes. One could think of it as a tribal costume, and indeed, it felt like it might have been something like that. However, even at this distance, one could tell that the clothing was of excellent make, even when compared to those of humans.
Highly civilized demihumans are very troublesome…
It was not just Babel, but all the soldiers waiting on the walls who gulped as they watched every move the demihuman made. Amidst the mounting tension in the air, the demihuman approached to within fifty meters of his location.
“That’s far enough! Any further and you’ll be encroaching on the Holy Kingdom’s territory! This is no place for you demihumans! Leave at once!”
The voice was loud enough that even Babel, who was some distance away, felt it was loud. It came from the man in command of the fortress, one of just five generals in the Holy Kingdom. He imagined could feel the voice of the man in battered, unpolished armor resonating in his gut.
The reason why he only had one staff officer by his side was probably because he did not intend to get the others caught up in it if the enemy launched an attack. At the same time, there were many troops with tower shields hidden behind them, who were ready to rush out if anything happened.
In contrast, the demihuman’s voice was gentle and pleasing to the ear, nuanced and subtle enough to settle into every man’s heart. Even at this distance, it still reached Babel’s ears.
“That we already know. Now then — may I know who you are?”
“I’m — I’m the general in charge of this fortress! Who are you!?”
There was no need to tell the opposition that, Babel frowned, but he already knew that the general was not a shrewd man. Therefore, all he could do was think of this as something inevitable.
“I see, I see. Since you have given your name, I fear it might be rude not to respond in kind. Greetings, gentlemen of the Holy Kingdom. My name is Jaldabaoth.”
“Could it be!”
The man who shouted was the staff officer near the general.
“The archfiend Jaldabaoth! Are you the demon who led an army of demons in that disturbance in the Royal Capital!”
“Ohh! I am honored that you know my name. Indeed, I was the architect of that magnificent feast in the Re-Estize Kingdom. However… the title of Archfiend is quite saddening… yes, I was wondering if you could address me as the Demon Emperor Jaldabaoth.”
Babel tasted that phrase, “Demon Emperor Jaldabaoth,”
It was a truly arrogant title, but given the many demihumans it led, and after thinking back on what he had heard about the disturbance in the Royal Capital, that title might be well-deserved.
“Damn you! Are you laying your designs on us after what you did to the Kingdom!?”
“No, that is not quite right. It is because I met a fearsome warrior in the Kingdom–”
Jaldabaoth shrugged boredly. There was an indescribable sense of style to that movement, and it gave Babel the false impression that he was dealing with a human noble for a moment.
“–Well, do permit me to keep that knowledge to myself.”
“Then what business do you have here? Why did you lead these demihumans to this place?”
“I have come here to turn this country into a living hell. I wish to make this country one which echoes with cries, curses, and screams everlasting. However, making sport of millions of human beings individually is impossible, and so I have brought them along. In my place, they will plunge you pitiful humans shoulder-deep into a morass of despair, in order to draw shouts of regret and suffering from you all.”
Jaldabaoth said so very happily.
Babel knew his evil scheme, and that what the holy men shouted about the “wicked demihumans” was nothing more than propaganda to raise fighting spirit. From the perspective of the gods, this demihuman invasion was nothing more than a trip to the farm; a very natural action.
Terror filled Babel’s body, as did a powerful determination.
He would not allow that demon to set foot on the land of the Holy Kingdom, where his wife and daughter were.
He tightened his grip on the bow in his hand.
If Jaldabaoth’s words were intended to intimidate them, then they had been a complete failure. Humans were not cowardly and weak creatures. They would let him taste the foolishness of underestimating humanity with their vicious counterattack.
The people here possessed the iron will to defend the Holy Kingdom, and even if it had rusted a little in the past few years, they were still fiercely devoted to their home nation.
“–Do you think we’d let you do something like that!? Listen now, Jaldabaoth the fool!”
The general was roaring.
Indeed, it was a roar.
“This is the first line of the Holy Kingdom’s defense! It is also the last line of its defense! Beyond us lies the peace of the Holy Kingdom’s people! Did you think we would let you trample it as you wish!”
The nearby soldier shouted, “Ohhh!” in response to the general’s bellowing. In that moment, their fighting spirit soared. Babel would have cried out as well if he were not hiding himself, and perhaps his faintly-trembling subordinates felt the same way.
However, the entirely out-of-place applause threw a damper on that. After clapping for a whole, the demon spoke up.
“Watchdogs which guard the cradle, hm? I cannot say I disapprove. It is very important to protect things. –Yes, I approve very much. That being the case, I shall give the people I capture here the finest possible reception.”
The way he laughed as he spoke made him sound like he was enjoying himself.
Jaldabaoth did not raise his voice to speak. Therefore, it would have been understandable if his voice did not carry over to where Babel was. Even so, the words reached him with a mysterious clarity, as though they were coming from behind himself.
–Don’t worry about it, that might be the work of magic.
Spells and magic items which amplified sound existed, and it was very likely that Jaldabaoth was using those. However, he could not escape the displeasure which seemed to adhere to his back.
“I will accept no surrenders. Therefore, do your best to entertain me. Now then — let us begin.”
Babel gave the order to shoot.
There was no need to wait for the General’s commands. They were permitted a degree of independence, because chances to snipe the enemy commander were not readily available. Waiting for approval from their superior might result in them missing their opportunity.
The men around him imitated his movements.
It took only a moment to lock onto his target. A distance of fifty meters was essentially point blank range to Babel. He drew his bow, filled with the intent to kill — and Babel felt Jaldabaoth’s eyes meet his through the mask.
We won’t give you the time to flee or defend yourself. If you want to blame anything, blame your own arrogance for coming out onto the frontlines alone!
Fifty-one arrows flew out in time with Babel’s voice.
They were magical arrows launched from enchanted bows. The flaming arrows left red arcs hanging in the air, blue trails lingered behind the ice arrows, the lightning arrows’ path was marked in yellow, the green streaks followed in the wake of the acid arrows, and Babel’s own holy arrow traced a white trajectory as they all soared through the void.
The arrows loosed from the fully-drawn bows travelled flat paths as they streaked through the air, each one striking Jaldabaoth’s body without deviating in the slightest.
Babel’s shots were especially potent, and after being enhanced with his martial arts and his skills, each of them possessed power comparable to a mighty downward slash from a heavy trooper. If he were hit by this, even a man in full plate would be knocked back and sent rolling over the ground.
However — Jaldabaoth did not budge even after being hit by fifty-one arrows.
And then, something happened which made him doubt his eyes.
The arrows which should have punched through his body fell limply to the ground.
What!? Is he defended against projectiles!?
Babel quickly nocked another arrow as he thought about how Jaldabaoth had defended against those arrow shots.
Some monsters were able to nullify attacks through their special qualities. For instance, werebeasts and the like were nigh-invulnerable if one did not use silver weapons on them.
Therefore, he felt that Jaldabaoth might have a similar ability. In that case, what sort of attack could breach Jaldabaoth’s defenses?
The arrow he had launched just now was made of steel, enchanted with holy power which was especially effective against those of evil alignment. While it was said that demons could not defend against it, there was no denying that Jaldabaoth had proven immune to it. In that case, it would be best to use other arrows to learn more about the opposition, tearing down his veil of mystery to chart a course for victory.
Babel readied a silver arrow next. It too was imbued with goodly power.
“…Now then, do permit me to make a move of my own. It is a trifling gift, but I would be delighted if you would accept it. This is a tenth-tier spell; 「Meteor Strike」”
Babel sensed something from above him, approaching with unavoidable speed. Looking up, he saw a mass of light.
It was a heated rock — no, it was something bigger than that.
Light gradually filled his vision, and for a moment he glimpsed the forms of his wife and daughter amidst the light.
He knew it was an illusion. His daughter was old enough that she could choose the way she wanted to live. Even so, the daughter he saw was still young, and his wife who held her still looked very young.
No, if I don’t say she’s still young now, she’ll probably kill me–
The falling meteor that ripped through the air and hit the wall burst into an explosion. A thunderous roar echoed all around. The massive explosion flattened everything it touched and pulverized the wall.
As the sand and dirt thrown up by the shockwave of the explosion begin falling back to earth, the dust slowly began to settle.
What it revealed was a scene of the shattered wall, blasted to smithereens and drifting smoke.
After looking at the devastated fortifications, there was no need to think about what had happened to the soldiers stationed there.
Humans could not possibly survive such conditions.
Of course, some humans could endure such things. Demiurge knew that very well. For instance, there were the XXX who had stepped into the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick, the holy land created by the Supreme Beings. However, he had done thorough research beforehand, and he had verified that no such humans existed here.
“Now then, this ought to be enough for preparations.”
Demiurge smoothed out his suit with his hands. He had not been showered with sand or dirt, but the dust from the blast had reached him, so there was a slight earthy scent clinging to him. No — he would have done so even if that had not been the case. After all, this was a valuable item from the great being who had made him.
Of course, Demiurge had many other clothes beside this set, but that did not mean that he could treat it carelessly because of that.
As he thought of his mighty creator, he smiled behind his mask, and then looked out at the cowering humans.
If he followed up with an attack, the enemy’s confusion would become that much more apparent, and at that point, the demihuman assault would cause a complete rout. However, he had not used that spell just now for that purpose.
Demiurge could only cast a very small number of spells; there was only one other tenth-tier spell available to him. His true power lay in his skills, and while he had used that spell just now to conserve his strength, the scene before his eyes was sufficiently tragic as it was.
There was no sign of a counteroffensive. It would seem they were desperately trying to collect information and regroup.
Their commander is not dead… and their confusion doesn’t seem because they’re suspicious of us… is this really alright?
Demiurge turned his back to the humans, walking back to the formation of his slaves.
He was not even on guard against the possibility of being attacked from behind.
He could afford to be this lax because of all the information he had gathered.
Demiurge was very strong.
Indeed, he might be lowly-ranked among the Floor Guardians, but he was confident of victory in battle. That was because he knew that battles were fought because one was confident of winning them. That was to say, one should not choose to fight if one was unable to win, unless otherwise ordered.
There was only one person that Demiurge could not defeat — in other words, there was only one opponent against whom Demiurge could not prepare enough to assure his own victory.
That person possessed intellect which surpassed his, schemes which beggared the imagination, a view of the world which seemed to extend out unto eternity, the absolute apex who held everything in the palm of his hand.
He was the supreme ruler of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick — Ainz Ooal Gown.
That Supreme Being was the one to whom Demiurge owed his loyalty.
Producing a great deal of undead was part of his plan. Once that scheme takes effect, nobody will be able to harm Ainz-sama. How fearsome he is. It seems the others do not yet realise how joyful it is to be ruled by such a Supreme Being–
A don rang out. This was the first time something had happened which Demiurge had not expected. He turned to look at the source of the sound.
It would seem someone had jumped down from the wall. The man in question slowly rose to his feet.
“The, the boss is dead. He, he was the man I wanted to defeat!”
The man drew his swords with both hands as he said so.
Demiurge evaluated the man from his appearance. He received his answer immediately.
Threat Level — E.
Error Rate — E.
Importance — E.
In other words, he was nothing but trash. Still, he was one of the Nine Colors — while not all of them were impressive, he thought that it would be good to capture him and run all sorts of experiments on him.
The screaming man ran over to him.
Slow. So slow. If this is the extent of his speed, should he not have used his brain more? For instance using 「Silence」to approach quietly and close the gap between us…
This was a distance his comrades would have been able to close in an instant. The man — slowly — ran over to him.
According to the information Demiurge had collected, this man of inferior ability could apparently use a special attack that was several times more powerful than normal in exchange for breaking his weapons. Therefore, he had a sword in each hand, and several more swords like it at his waist.
How should I kill him? If I finish him off thoroughly, then when I take him back I can — ah, he’s finally arrived.
After ensuring that he would not be splashed by the man’s spraying blood, Demiurge gave an order.
“『…Stab yourself in the throat with your swords.』”
There was a hoarse cry.
A look of bafflement appeared in the eyes of the man who had just cut his own throat with the blades he held. His eyes clouded over like marbles in the time it took him to collapse to the ground.
Pained cries rose from the wall.
Demiurge turned, walked over to the man’s side, and picked him up by the collar with a single hooked index finger before returning to his formation.
After he turned to his lines, the representatives of the various tribes — not all of whom held power — gathered before him.
In Demiurge’s mind, there were two kinds of demihumans.
One kind craved fresh blood and viewed humans as food. They would obey the strong, and they gladly obeyed Demiurge’s commands. The other kind were those who had been made to kneel before the terror of Demiurge, and they obeyed him out of fear.
Demiurge had selected a group of the latter kind.
“You took your time in assembling.”
Saying so, he seized the shoulder of a random demihuman he had selected from the group. Its species was known as Blue Maggots. After doing so, he ripped the skin from its shoulder.
While Demiurge was among the weaker Floor Guardians, he could still do that much.
The demihuman whose skin — and some of its flesh — had been ripped off collapsed to the ground in intense agony, shrieking wordlessly.
“Now then, begin the attack. Take care not to sustain too many losses. The main course begins after we get past this wall,” Demiurge said in a gentle tone.
His kindness was genuine when it was directed to his fellow denizens of Nazarick. He was a very gentle person when it came to his friends. However, to everyone else, his kindness was merely the care he gave to his tools.
After receiving his orders, the demihumans ran back to their various tribes. The fallen demihuman was no exception.
The message they bore was that those who obeyed Demiurge’s orders and achieved good results would meet a happy fate. Naturally, they also carried the message that achieving the opposite results meant that their future would be anything but happy.
Demiurge smiled gently as he watched the receding backs of the beastmen.
“–Then, let us begin the next step of our plan. –Demons.”
Demiurge activated one of his skills and summoned a vast quantity of the demons he intended to use as sacrificial pawns.
While these demons were extremely weak compared to Demiurge, summoning stronger demons would mean he could not summon as many. The important thing in this operation was to spread the word that the Holy Kingdom’s army had been assaulted by demons, which meant that quantity was the priority here.
“Listen carefully now. Support the demihumans in their efforts. Also, limit your pursuit of the humans. Do not do something as foolish as not allowing a single one to flee the fortress.”
The low-ranked demons nodded, and soared into the sky as one.
While summoned monsters shared a certain degree of knowledge with their summoners, said information was quite random and disorganized. It would be best to regard it as the ability to tell friend from foe. Therefore, it was important to give verbal commands to summoned creatures.
Now then… it would be good if the ball would land on target.
Demiurge’s perspicacious mind pondered all manner of situations, and after computing dozens of eventualities, he made the appropriate corrections to achieve his aim. Slight deviations were within his predictions. However, there were times when utter fools would lead to situations developing beyond his expectations.
Surely someone with Ainz-sama’s intellect could even predict the actions of fools… I’m still a long way off. Come to think of it, it would be good I could share this with Ainz-sama…
As he thought that, Demiurge’s heart raced unbidden. He had spent a great deal of time preparing this stage; if he could not even share it with his supreme master, what would Demiurge do?
Ladies and gentlemen of the Holy Kingdom, I have a sincere wish. Please allow Ainz-sama to enjoy himself with your suffering forms. … Although, how will Ainz-sama adjust my plans for a better outcome?
Demiurge smiled, his heart filled with anticipation and excitement, like a student waiting for a respected teacher to dispense instruction.
Oh, to learn from Ainz-sama’s actions, progress towards a better self, and further deepen my loyalty. How wonderful it is!
To Demiurge, who had been born to serve the Supreme Beings, nothing was more delightful than loyalty to his master.
“Ahhh, I do look forward to this…”
The news of the demihuman coalition — a massive army, at that — crushing the central fortress and its vast quantities of soldiers and subsequently passing the wall, had already begun spreading throughout the Holy Kingdom.
The leader of the demihuman coalition was called the Demon Emperor Jaldabaoth.