AN: MINOR ANNOUNCEMENT: There's a poll for a future Naruto story on my profile for any that are interested. That is all, enjoy.
"An Angel?" Demiurge theorized with a scrunched eyebrow.
"Not unlikely," Grim admitted, glancing to Aura with a raised eyebrow as she held a hand firmly over the hound-summon's wound.
The elf shook her head. "He's a goner, Milord," she acknowledged without much sorrow. It wasn't one of her pets of the Sixth Floor, but an average summon.
The Overlord of Death merely came closer, leaning down to place his hand on the head of the canine. It whined, weak and apologetic. "Head off now, you've done enough," Grim stated as the creature slumped over, dissolving away into mana and ash.
"Hmm? Lord Momonga? What's that?" Aura asked in confusion, seeing a black, misty mass covering the palm of the Lich's skeletal hand.
"Answers," Grim answered simply as he held it up to his face, the substance condensing into a small floating ball.
Demiurge watched intently as his master merely looked in the direction of the dead humans, similar black mist emerging from them to collect more orbs in Momonga's hand. "A way to view the memories of the dead, My Lord?" Demiurge guessed in approval.
"The recent ones, yes. At minimum, we shall know how these humans died, and a better idea of who we have crossed paths with," Grim explained as he studied the orbs briefly.
"And here I thought humans were only good for food. Apparently, even in death, they make good witnesses," Shalltear opined before turning serious. "My Lord, would you like myself to deal with whatever pest dared to annoy you?"
"As horrible as the joke is, try not to be too bloodthirsty, Shalltear, until we have all the facts," Grim retorted, glancing to the one living human. After a moment's consideration, he levitated the orbs over the golden staff before reaching his hand into a rift, rummaging through his inventory. From it, he pulled out a Wand of Resurrection, tossing it to Demiurge. "Use that to revive the villager and the other two after I've collected his memories as well."
"As you command, Lord Momonga," Demiurge accepted as he walked to the unconscious human in question, understanding his master's desire to be thorough. And while he was dismayed to waste an item of the Supreme One on a human-
"I have literally hundreds of those, Demiurge," Grim stated flatly, already guessing the demon's line of thought. 'Notta mention dey be useless ta me when I get me ressurection powas back in propa work,' Grim added on in annoyance.
The demon looked at him in surprise before smirking again, a hint of awe behind it. "Apologies, My Lord," Demiurge accepted, ever amazed by the wisdom of his master.
"...Aura, be a dear and kill the human with minimal damage to the body? I just realized that, for a human this weak, I might have a [True Death] affect with any attack I use," Momonga instructed, obviously annoyed with his loosened control of his powers.
"I can do it, Milord!" Shalltear volunteered eagerly.
"Shut it, I need this!" Aura hissed, eager to be useful after this mission having gone less than perfect.
"Shalltear, again, bloodthirsty. There is a time and place," Grim instructed with a bit of scolding, the vampire deflating comically as Aura rushed over enthusiastically, humming a little bit as she reached up and snapped the sleeping human's neck.
"You are aware this isn't always instantly lethal, Aura?" Demiurge informed idly as the dark mass floated from the human.
"Give me a break. I didn't bring up any poisons and anything else would be more than "minimal" damage," Aura grumbled.
"Demiurge," Grim prompted, the demon nodding and raising the wand. It briefly glowed with a holy light before dissolving as the human corpses were enveloped in the light. As it faded, the only sign of change was the slightest sounds of breathing. "Aura, take them down to Neuronist while I-" Grim paused in midsentence, looking at the bodies strangely.
"Is something wrong, Lord Momonga?" Shalltear asked in concern.
"One of the bodies is still dead," Demiurge pointed out knowingly, looking to the armor-robed body. A mage, if he were to guess.
"Did the wand give out after the second body?" Aura asked curiously, knowing enough about them to know there was a limited number of times a ressurection wand could be used.
"No, I felt it take effect on all three bodies," Demiurge countered. "Which means that body is either too damaged, or..."
"Or the soul refused the ressurection," Grim finished speculatively. "Aura, take the other two, like I said."
"Yes, My Lord!" Aura agreed as she led the wolf summons into Nazarick, keeping to herself how she'd rather not have to go to Neuronist and risk getting "lady-lessons" from her again.
"A human, refusing to be brought back?" Shalltear questioned idly.
"Unless their killer used anti-ressurection skills on him and all his comrades. But if so, why not the other soldiers?" Grim pointed out before shaking his head. "Enough questions. Let us see what these memories have to tell us.
The Vampire and Demon watched curiously as the red light of Grim's eyes flashed black for an instant as he crushed one of the orbs in his hand.
Grim hummed as the black void filled itself with a grey-coated remembrance of the world. He was clearly in the village; the scream of defenseless locals being cut down without mercy by the armored knights was a clear giveaway. Two figures glowed, the past-selves of the villager and the knight whose memories he was witnessing. The villager was in a circle where many other still-living villagers were being rounded up; the knight was cutting down some man as two young girls fled from the scene.
Nothing about this seemed to be amiss to him. It was the slaughter he had been expecting to happen, grim as that might be. So what had happened?
With a wave of his hands, the images sped forward, the massacre continuing until, ultimately, it stopped.
Or rather, it was turned around.
It started simple, yet suddenly. Grim turned as he heard a blood curdling scream, seeing a knight had lost his hand, the appendage having fallen to the ground with the sword with still in its grasp. The man screamed in agony and shock, clutching his bloody stump with his other hand.
And then he heard the laughter…that of a young woman, touched with insanity and bloodlust.
Another knight fell from a great purple battle-axe impaling into his torso, a figure already leaping to the pole, swinging around it to pull it out with one great pull. In that instant, she was still enough for Grim to see: a black haired girl, a teenage at best, wearing a black and red Lolita outfit.
Grim narrowed his eyes as he watched her effortlessly slaughter the armored knights, licking her lips as blood drops sprayed onto her face. Her red eyes were gleaming with something else than madness and bloodlust. There was something strange about this girl...
She halted in midstrike, her next target struck down by a golden trident.
The memory froze, for that had been owner of the memories he had taken. Grim hummed as he stroked his chin. 'Ye're not of dis worl, girl,' Grim noted suspiciously, feeling that her existence was very out of place with this world, much like how Nazarick itself felt compared to anything native to the New World. It was like a welding patch job. It worked, it functioned, but one could clearly see where the new piece had been added in. 'Now are ya a Playa like me? If not, dat means ya be an NPC,' he deduced, glancing off to where the trident had been thrown. 'An if ye're not de playa, who is?'
With that question in mind, he held up his hand, the next orb forming, that of the villager. He crushed it, prompting the scene to continue.
Into the memory came more figures, cutting down the soldiers. They were all a blur, but Grim could make some out: a blonde female throwing fireballs, a dark haired one retrieving the harpoon, a black armor figure wielding two swords, but no angel or nun.
A soldier behind Grim fell, making the reaper turn to see another member of the party. This one was as clear as day; the villager had noticed her intently, it seemed.
A woman clearly, wielding a katana and wearing some kind of grey military uniform, complete with a hat. She looked up, revealing her face and-
Grim's eyes brightened in shock.
Grim stared for a moment, the image of his wife overlapping the sight before him. 'Could she...?' he suspected briefly.
Then the woman smiled, shattering Grim's surprise.
'Definitely not,' he decided. Mandy smirked, sometimes, but she didn't smile openly. And when she did smile, it didn't look like that. Still, the resemblance was uncanny in many ways. The same long hair, but it was blue…the same sharp and cold eyes…the same smile with just a touch of sadism behind the bloodlust.
If not Mandy herself, this design had to have been based on her. The similarities just seemed a bit much, for Grim to run into her, even just a memory of her. Even the body proportions were very similar...granted, with Mandy's wardrobe, those measurements wouldn't hard to figure out. All of this just supported Grim's theory:
He might not be the only immortal that was transported to this New World. Perhaps even others from the Underworld.
Grim scowled as he saw the memory starting to dim around him. 'Dis technique really jus be me lookin at me own memories, in a way: I can only getta clear look at memories jus before deir death or, in dis case, when dey were aroun a lota death,' Grim mused, glancing around at the corpses around the villagers. 'An dere be no more knights ta kill. Won't be seeing much more here.'
"T-thank you for saving us, Sir!" one of the villagers, their leader if Grim was right, spoke up tentatively as their saviors sheathed and holstered their weapons.
"It's quite alright," the trident wielder gave with a truly benign and somewhat sheepish smile. "Honestly, we were just passing through when we saw what was happening."
"Still, if you're feeling generous, we could use some assistance," the axe-wielding Lolita informed with a playful tone, casually wiping blood from her face.
"How could we possibly assist mighty warriors such as yourselves?" the villager asked in concern, his fellows looking worried.
"It's rather embarrassing to be honest," the blue haired Not-Mandy answered with a smile that was deciding not cruel, polite even, and completely un-Mandy-like.
"We're lost and not entirely sure where we are anymore," the blonde spellcaster informed with a smile that bordered on smug.
'Almost definitely from YYDRASSIL. No way dis be a coincidence,' Grim thought to himself.
The voices grew muddled after that, as the vision faded away. Grim watched intently as it did, eyeing the strange group. Especially the dark armored warrior, who silently stood by with arms crossed. 'Assumin dese aren't guys playing as women, there are four females wida a fifd unknown,' Grim mused mentally. Perhap that character was a mute? Or a golem of some sort?
Still, a lot of what he saw concerned him, if only a bit.
'Okay, rough guessin dis, bu assumin dese humans in dis world be of de average stock, all in dis party be at leas Leva Fifty ta due all of dat an be too fas fer a human ta track. Dey have one magic usa, an de res have a lotta levas in warrior-based classes. I'd say de armored one an goth-lita are de all-physical types. Blue migh have some arcane in dat knight, an I know in me gut dat trident girl has more ta her,' he concluded, and yet still found one missing piece that troubled him. 'Dere is no Loli-Nun here, unless dey really dought axe-girl's gothic outfit counted as a nun...on de oder bone, I'm assumin dog-summons even know the difference. If she's got wings, she's hidden dem for now.'
Grim paused as he looked towards the next orb floating in his grasp, of the final human…the one that refused to be revived.
'Dis shall be interestin,' Grim thought simply before crushing the orb.
The scene reset. It was on a field outside the village, the twilight hours waning as the final rays of sun descended past the horizon; on one side stood a small army, a couple dozen human spellcasters, led by a man with blonde hair that was so short, it was almost bald. Grim assumed he was the leader at least, given his demeanor and being the only one with a lack of headgear. 'So, dis is de man dat refused to be resurrected,' Grim noted with great interest.
Surrounding them was a sizable force of Archangel Flames and one angel of a higher tier. A Principality, if Grim recalled correctly. The names of angel-summons was never something Grim was particularly fond of, as they made no sense to him. 'Who's fookin brillian idea was it ta name the mooks Archangels? More importantly, how are dey here? Dis lot don't seem ta be Playas, an dey don't feel like NPCs.'
Putting that aside, Grim looked across the field and saw the Black Armored figure. And oh, was this image clear. The form was not tall or built, but lithe with armor that did not add much bulk to the frame. Every inch of the metal was black with dragon motifs: the head was vaguely draconic in shape, the bottom half even having the look of a dragon's teeth engraved on it, while the shoulders had the artistic impression of folded dragon wings and the gauntlets were almost like claws. On the hips were two longswords with yellow-green colored pommels.
A clear image meant one thing in this situation to Grim: This would be the one to kill everyone here.
"Well, you're certainly not the one we expected," the blond man addressed with a cool tone of superiority. "Who are you? Where is Gazef Stronoff? Did he send you to bargain for his life?"
"My name is not your concern," the figure answered, the voice clearly male and aloof. "Slane Theocracy, what is your intent here?"
'Deocracy?' Grim thought with distaste. 'Dat means holy warriors, which almos always means de undead be unwelcome. Lovely.'
"Our intent?" the blonde asked in amusement, letting out a cruel laugh. "Our intent is to kill the Chief Warrior, along with every soul in this village. It seems you had the misfortune of wandering into an ordeal that did not concern you."
"I see. Unfortunately, I'm currently under contract with Mr. Stronoff, to prevent exactly that," the warrior informed casually.
"A mercenary?' the human muttered in surprise, eyeing him curiously before smirking. "Then you're in luck. Bring me Stronoff here and I'll pay you with your life."
'Dat man is way too confiden wid jus a buncha trash summons,' Grim decided with a hum. 'Which means eider dey don dink dey'd run inta somedin stronga den wha dey have...or dey don't know how much stronga dings dere can be.'
"You should never offer something you can't possibly deliver on," the warrior remarked crisply.
"Big talk from a lone warrior," the man rebuked with annoyance, waving to his underlings. "Do away with this pathetic dog."
Grim watched with utter boredom as two Archangel Flames were sent to attack their enemy, with their blades of light.
The two summons dissolved into flickers of light before their blades could even scratch his armor.
"What was that?!" the man asked in alarm, blinking as he noticed something amiss. "When did he...draw his sword?"
Grim snorted at the human's alarm. Quick Draw was a common ability that almost every blade user in YGGDRASSIL possessed, allowing them to rapidly equip and attack with a predetermined item. Great for both inflicting and countering sneak attacks. 'Still, mon's showin off by refusin ta use both swords.'
"You can try and run, if you wish. I might even let some of you get away," the warrior offered, idly tossing his blade up and down in his hand. "Otherwise, this shall be over in an instant.
The human growled at the arrogant remark. "Don't be so full of yourself. Send them all in! Slaughter him!"
The warrior remained unphased as the rest of the many angelic summons rushed him all at once. "Very well."
In an instant, every angel was cleaved down the middle, falling like burning flies. The human could only stare in disbelief at the overwhelming display of power.
"Captain Nigun, what do-AHHHHH!" one of the magic casters called in alarm, only to fall to his knees with a deep stab in his side.
The now named Nigun could only back away in terror as blood sprayed from his shocked subordinates, who cried out in pain as their brains finally registered the wounds they did not recalling receiving.
The man startled, turning around to see the warrior...and the Principality of Observation falling, its head removed from its dissipating body.
Grim was now surprised. Death Strike was a skill that could only be used by certain builds with high stats in damage and physical offense, like his old guild mates, Nishikienrai. 'Bu dat's definitely not him. Too serious an he'd neva give up de ninja look.'
"How can this be?! Are you...are you some sort of demon?!" the man cried out, despair creeping into his voice as he backed away on instinct.
"Me? A demon? I'm almost insulted," the warrior remarked, his blade resting on his shoulders.
"W-wait! I can see now my words were poor before!" the man tried to negotiate, hands raised in surrender. "A warrior like you should not need to stoop among a weak and blasphemous country like Re-Estize. They have nothing to offer you. Imagine what the Theocracy could do for you!"
"Unfortunately, I take my word rather seriously. I agreed to deal with you for Gazef Stronoff, and so I shall," the warrior informed.
'If he's not human unda dat helme, dat's a good choice. I'm bettin dere's some kinda surpremacy mindset in dis theocracy,' Grim thought with a hum.
"Wa-wait, I have something! Something to offer in exchange for my life! Something Gazef Stronoff would want more than my death!" the human pleaded, rummaging through his clothes.
"And I suppose you want me to bring you to him?" the warrior asked expectantly.
"No, I just need you to give him THSI!" the man declared with a maddened, vicious smirk as he pulled out a crystal. "DOMINION AUTHORITY!"
'Hmm? A sealin crysta?' Grim looked up as a blinding holy light generated from the crystal. 'Dis coul be trou- Wai, did he say Dominion Authority?'
A gigantic, many winged angel filled the sky, permeating the area with its light. "Behold the glory of the mightiest of angels! Tremble in regret for your folly!" Nigun declared with an almost manic laugh.
Grim could practically feel the disappointment and pity radiating off the warrior. 'If dats wha dis worl sees as de peak of powa...,' Grim thought with a sweat-drop.
"This is just sad," the warrior stated, shocking Nigun to his core. "Still, it's not bad for someone of your level. I think I'll take it."
With that, Nigun died, his heart impaled. The last things he knew was a green glow...and the screams of an angel.
The scene froze and Grim just stared at the eyes of the dead man and understood why this Nigun refused to return.
More than anything, the reaper recalled those last words: I think I'll take it.
That did not bode well in its implication.
Grim looked to the final orb, the memory of the hound Aura had summoned; Time to see if this warrior and his group were connected to this loli-nun.
With a clench of his hands, the world once more changed. It was deep into the night now, and he was not stationary this time. For this memory followed as the hound raced across the field with its two packmates as they searched for any trace of their quarry. And judging by the ground, they had found it: a trail of hoof prints. Many hoof prints, enough to be the other force he had originally sent these creatures after.
The beasts came to a halt over a small hill, spying a faint series of fires in the distance. A camp site, no doubt, but the one they were after?
Grim glanced back as he heard a howl of another hound, calling for all to return and retreat. 'Well, at leas dey're not blindly obedian when de situation says dat somedin migh be wrong. Dis coulda been a-'
Grim snapped his gaze forward as a howl was cut short with a pain yelped.
'An fook, dat shade wasn wrong,' Grim concluded as he saw the hound being held off the ground by a metallic limb, stabbing through the beast. The limb was purple and bizarre, looking like metal yet shifting almost amorphously. It was one of many, all leading to a little girl. Very little and appearing completely human without the wings, her long blonde hair and the cloth of her nun outfit flowing as she floated effortlessly a foot off the ground. Her deep, purple eyes held a disturbing, warped form of innocence. Behind her were six circles, each with three blades for "wings" sprouting from them.
And last but not least, there was a thick metal collar on her neck with a broken chain hanging from its front.
"Do you wanna play, wanna play?" she asked with a wide, wide grin as the blade ripped out of the hound, his comrades leaping to attack the nun. She only giggled as more of her wings blocked their attack, leaving not even a scratch in them. "I can play this game!" she declared happily as her wings cleaved the legs from the hounds, leaving them defenseless stumps rolling on the ground. "I win! I win! Master will be so happy!"
'Okay...definitely an NPC,' Grim thought with a grimace, being vaguely reminded of a certain resident of Nazarick. He watched with a scowl as shadow demons arrived with more hounds to investigate.
"Oh, do you want to play too?!" the loli-nun called in childish excitement, her wings bristling eagerly as they lengthened and turned at odd angles to stab at the summons. Be it into hounds or into shadows, both fell equally to this little girl as her laughter filled the night.
"Chaos, that's enough!"
Grim turned to see the blue haired woman approaching with an admittedly Mandy-like glare. 'Ya I'd be less certain on bein an NPC,' Grim thought with a hum as he watched the little girl retract her wings, even vanishing them entirely to appear as a normal girl and brought her little feet down to the grass.
"What's wrong, Essy?" Chaos asked curiously, tilting her head in confusion. "I can't play anymore?"
"You weren't supposed to wander off to begin with," she informed sternly. "Now head back to camp."
"Am I in trouble?" the confused child asked softly. "Is Master mad?"
The blue haired "Essy" softened her look, patting her on the head. "No, he just doesn't want you causing any more trouble."
"Oh. Okay. Bye doggies! Bye Shadies! That was fun!" the little girl cheered as she ran off.
Grim was honestly surprised she wasn't skipping as she went.
The summons stared at the new comer cautiously, who smiled a tad viciously. "You're in luck; We've had our fill of weaklings today. So you're free to leave," she informed, making a line in the dirt with her shoe. "Or you can cross that line and die."
The summons all shared looks and words in their own, odd tongue. Slowly, warily, the hounds collected the one injured hound that still breathed before most of the summons departed. A handful remained as the vision grew faint, making sure they were not followed...
End of Flashback
Grim's red eyes flashed as he returned to the present, waking world with Demiurge and Shalltear sharing troubled looks. "We were not the only ones to come to this world," Grim summarized bluntly.
"It would appear so, Lord Momonga," Demiurge concluded with a scowl. "Should we prepare a force to deal with this?"
"Not in the manner you mean, Demiurge," Grim answered with a head shake. "Whoever the master of this Chaos is, their attack on the summons was neither planned nor is it likely they knew who they belonged to. We must prepare for if these are enemies of Nazarick, not turn them into enemies. For now, we will need to figure out just who and what we are dealing with."
"Of course, My Lord," Demiurge accepted.
"I'm still confused, Master?" Shalltear spoke up. "Why did the human refuse to be resurrected?"
"His world was shattered, coming face to face with something mightier than even the greatest force he was aware of. The idea of returning to face that again keeps him from returning out of fear and despair," Grim answered sagely. "I'm more concerned with just where this Chaos came from."
"From his words and the timing, it would appear as though he obtained her in some way through usurping control of the Dominion Authority," Demiurge mused. "Granted, I am at a loss for how."
"There were many secrets undiscovered in the Old World, Demiurge," Grim retorted vaguely. 'Granted, turnin an enemy inta NPC be pretty rare. Dat was how we got Gargantua,'
"What now, My Lord?" Shalltear asked curiously.
"For now, nothing. Our fellow Old Worlder has some interest in saving the humans of this world. Altruism or Opportunism, best to leave things be. Besides, we have plenty of work to do, extracting information from our new guests," Grim reminded with a hum. "Still, even if this world has minimal threats to us in power, we must be wary of other Old Worlder making an appearance. If the whole of Nazarick and this party arrived, there is no reason why others wouldn't as well. But that is neither here nor there. Neuronist will need some time to collect what we need from the humans. In the meantime, return to your duties. I need to go make sure Albedo hasn't torn the lower levels apart while I was away."
"I understand, Lord Momonga," Demiurge stated with a chuckle.
"You ever consider keeping her on a leash, My Lord?" Shalltear asked with a smirk.
"Yes, but then you'd want one too," Grim counter teased before vanishing, leaving a blushing vampire and amused demon.
End of Chapter
And another one done. Hope you all enjoyed this peak into the unknown group. And yes, there are Xovers here. Enjoy figuring out who is who. If they are enemies or friends, only time will tell. This is mainly a flashback to show a remix of canon events with different characters, but with important differences, such as the Dark Warrior's words implying that he took up Gazef's request for help from the start, rather than tagging in at the last second like Ainz did.
Anyway, have fun enjoying the future ripples of this.
Shoutout to KazamiYuukaDesu for correctly guessing that the Loli-nun was Chaos from Heaven's Lost Property.
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