It has been far too long since I have updated this fic. My apologies for that. Whilst I do my utmost best to work on the next chapter, please enjoy this omake. For all the support generously provided to me, and as per many of your votes, I now present you some of the NPCs' POVs before they were yeeted to the New World. I do hope this much-anticipated chapter will not prove disappointing.
Please, drop a comment to let me know your thoughts. Happy reading!
Date: The expected closing day for the servers of YGGDRASIL
Time: Half an hour before midnight
POV: First, second, and third Floor Guardian, Shalltear Bloodfallen - The Bloody Valkyrie
Shalltear hummed a soft tune to herself as she brushed her gorgeous silver locks into her customary high ponytail. Her Vampire Brides, all spread languidly on her luxurious king-sized bed, unclothed and spent, gazed at her with contentment in their eyes.
After checking her image on the vanity one the last time and confirming that nothing was out of place, she grabbed her parasol, snapped it open, and rested it delicately on her right shoulder. Not even turning to check on her lush concubines, she left her bed-chamber to begin her routine rounds.
She felt honoured that her Creator, Peroroncino-sama, and the other Supreme Beings, trusted her to be the Great Tomb of Nazarick's first line of defence. For this reason was why she took her patrols with the utmost of seriousness, not daring to skip on her duties.
As she passed by the many lesser Vampires and undead who were likewise patrolling the grounds, she could not help but be reminded of how odd the previous day had been. No matter how much she wanted to guard the three Floors earnestly, she was helpless at the queer feelings squirming inside of her. It made her wary despite her being undead with somewhat muted emotions.
Momonga-sama, no matter how much she longed to be his bedwarmer, has never voluntarily visited her on his own before - until yesterday, that was. Usually, Momonga-sama would only be here to accompany Adalbert Cross-sama as the latter toured her assigned area (she demanded her servants to keep the Floors tidy due to that exact reason).
They would walk leisurely around the catacombs as they conversed, most of the time allowing her to selfishly trail behind them, learning more about their private lives, much to her absolute delight. Those were the days she looked forward to the most - to be in the presence of her Gods.
Sadly, as the years progressed, those weekly walks turned into monthly walks, and monthly walks turned into sparse visitations. Now, she could only see them once every few months if she were lucky.
It made her hope feverishly that Momonga-sama and Adalbert Cross-sama would not abandon Nazarick as her Creator did - as all the other Supreme Beings did... and she felt wretched for even thinking about them in such a fashion. No matter their decisions to leave or stay, she would follow and obey them without fail. Hence, she should not be harbouring such blasphemous thoughts, no matter how she longed to see Peroroncino-sama, to hear his voice once more.
She shook her head to clear her thoughts, her pinkish silver locks whipping gently in the artificial wind and giving her an image of refinement. Shalltear should not be so selfish. To be able to serve and protect Momonga-sama and Adalbert Cross-sama were enough.
She went back to thinking about yesterday.
As she had recalled, the other day was different. It made all her instincts scream out that something was amiss. Momonga-sama, someone who was always busy and had no time for leisure visitations, stayed standing next to her for half an hour. However, he did not remain on her Floor for long after that.
What worried her was his body language. Momonga-sama was the leader of the Supreme Beings - for him to have such a dejected and melancholic air surrounding him, made her anxious. She felt that a calamity would soon be upon them.
With a sigh, she looked at the ceiling, wondering why tonight felt ominous... as if the end of the world was approaching.
It was at this moment, an unknown person had bypassed all her impressive situational awareness and ruffled her hair, causing her headpiece to loosen and move out of place. She turned sharply on her heels; fangs bared as she prepared to show her rage at the fool who had dared cause her to look unpresentable but dropped to one knee immediately when she saw that it was Adalbert Cross-sama.
"Shalltear Bloodfallen greets my Lord, Adalbert Cross-sama, and welcomes the great one to her assigned territory!" She bowed her head subserviently to show her respect, always eager to please one of the Supreme Beings.
She bit her bottom lip, futilely trying to control the completely unsightly and silly grin that was on her face. But she just could not! Adalbert Cross-sama had just patted her! Patted her! One the head! Her! Shalltear! Her!
She was beyond ecstatic!
Hehehe, she inwardly giggled as her mind conjured many impure images.
She could not help but look forward to bragging about this experience to her fellow Floor Guardians. Everyone in Nazarick knew that Demiurge was favoured by Adalbert Cross-sama above all... but now she could tell them that Adalbert Cross-sama was fond of her as well!
Adalbert Cross-sama might not be her Creator, but he was one of the two Supreme Beings remaining. He and Momonga-sama were the only ones who had not thrown them away! And because of that, she would do anything they commanded. Anything.
Her utmost loyalty has always been to the two Supreme Beings... ever since she came into the realization that she had lost the favour of her Creator (the one God she longed for even to this very day).
His monotonous order sent thrills down her spine as she stood up and curtsied, "Please command this lowly one as you deemed fit, my Lord!"
When Adalbert Cross-sama remained silent, she started to fidget, feeling highly embarrassed and self-conscious at her crooked headpiece and dishevelled hair.
Compared to her current self, Adalbert Cross-sama was lovely to look at (not that she dared to stare). His short, silver locks were poufy and appeared soft, whilst his pair of black on blue eyes were half-lidded and gave off an extremely alluring feel to them. His clothes were elegant and stylish as always, with his stiletto boots sharp enough to stab someone to death. She always dreamt of being stepped by him within the privacy of her mind. How could she not, when he wore such dangerously appealing footwear?!
His scent, as usual, smelled divine. Ah, if only he would allow her to feast her eyes on his true form again! Shalltear has only ever seen his true, level 100 form once, and that was by chance. She could never forget his magnificence even to this day.
"Aa, I must have used too much strength," her Lord murmured as he removed her headpiece and started to comb through her hair with his clawed and slender fingers.
Shalltear's whole face was tomato red as her eyes spun round and round. She felt too nervous and flustered to do anything but remain still as a statue.
And then her Lord started to hum melodiously. It was an unknown tune, but it was soothing, nonetheless. Her eyes closed on their own accord as she focused solely on the feeling of his fingers in her hair. They scratched her scalp whilst he gently pulled her silver strands into a high ponytail.
When she felt her headpiece be tied back into place, she sighed in relaxation and loss, selfishly wanting Adalbert Cross-sama to continue styling her hair.
"There we go."
She opened her eyes as he took a step back. She could not see her Lord's expression due to the mask, but she had a feeling he was smiling fondly at her. Shalltear played with the handle of her parasol as she stuttered, a shy smile appearing on her lips, "This servant gives her utmost gratitude to the Supreme Being."
"Shalltear," At her Lord's call, she looked up to his magnificent form and stood in attention, "Thank you for guarding the first three Floors of our home throughout the years. Good work. As the first line of defence, Momonga-ani and I are proud of you."
"I-I-I am undeserving of such praise!" Despite her words, she was beaming with sheer delight.
Before she could say anything else, however, Adalbert Cross-sama patted her on her shoulder and teleported away via the Ring of Ainz Ooal Gown.
Shalltear stood there, a silly grin plastered across her face, stretched from ear to ear, as she held the shoulder that was patted. Without realizing it, she was thoroughly distracted by her Lord's majestic presence and kind gesture that she forgot all about her uneasiness. She would boast about this experience to Aura later! The chibi would undoubtedly boil with jealousy!
POV: Fourth Floor Guardian, Gargantua - Strategic Siege Golem
The thirty-meter colossus monster of a stone golem stood erect as a statue, obediently guarding the Floor its forty-one Lords had deemed it capable enough to protect. It remained submerged at the bottom of the lake, waiting with deadly patience, constantly on guard for any unfortunate trespassers. Until it was of no further use to its Lords, it would remain loyal and conscientious. Silent but deadly, that was Gargantua.
POV: Fifth Floor Guardian, Cocytus - Ruler of the Frozen Glacier
Cocytus marched evenly through the frozen Iceland of the fifth floor. The warrior, as per usual, was currently on patrol, watching the surroundings for suspicious individuals. As he passed by his subordinates, he would stop them to ask if any of them had sensed or heard anything odd about tonight. They would respond negatively.
Cocytus remained doubtful. There was something about tonight's air that made it solemn and unnerving. Hence why he ordered those on his floor to remain vigilant, to look for abnormalities. When a Gate opened not too far from him, Cocytus perked up.
One of the Supreme Beings must have chosen to visit his floor, oh what a joyous occasion. Cocytus hurried over, eager to greet them. Adalbert Cross-sama was the one who stepped out from the Gate, black on blue eyes scouring the surrounding until it reached him.
Cocytus dutifully dropped to one knee and bowed in servitude. "Cocytus. Greets. Adalbert. Cross. Sama. And. Welcome. The. Lord. To. This. Frozen. Iceland."
"Rise," Adalbert Cross-sama commanded in complete monotone. Cocytus obeyed without a word. "Your warrior aura and hardened armour are magnificent as always, Cocytus."
Cocytus would have blushed if he were able to. He made do by ducking his head lower, bashful of such praise. "It. Is. Nothing. When. Compared. To. Warrior. Takemikazuchi. Sama," he responded humbly.
"If only I am not rushed for time… I would have stayed longer to spar with you." Adalbert Cross-sama sighed, flustering Cocytus.
"Your. Presence. Alone. I. Am. Already. Grateful. For. No. Matter. The. Duration."
Adalbert Cross-sama seemed to not have heard him, the Supreme Being having looked away with vacant, far eyes. Cocytus spoke no longer, not wanting to disturb his Lord in his pondering. After a few moments, Adalbert Cross-sama returned to gaze at him.
"You've managed the area well, Cocytus. This frozen Iceland is as beautiful as when I've first seen it." Before he could respond to such high praise, Adalbert Cross-sama's eyes seemed to droop in sadness. "If only… Aa, such a shame…"
"My. Lord? What. Saddens. You. So?"
It pained him to see sadness lurk in those black on blue eyes before they closed. Cocytus has always been a warrior of action, he was not particularly smart, but he was loyal and faithful, never once straying from the path he has set his eyes on. He was proud of himself, of how Warrior Takemikazuchi-sama had created him to be. But at times like this, he wished he were a little smarter, just so he knew how to make his Lord happy again.
If he were smarter, would his Creator have stayed?
A snowflake landed on Adalbert Cross-sama's eyelid, the ice melting when it touched his skin, giving his Lord the appearance of tears in his eye. Cocytus had to push away the urge to wipe it away, for that was blasphemy at its highest level. The Supreme Beings were not meant to be touched, only gazed upon with longing.
When Adalbert Cross-sama's eyelids fluttered open, gaze penetrating his soul, Cocytus wanted to kneel and pledge his eternal loyalty and fidelity all over again.
"Momonga-ani and I are, and have always, been proud of you, Cocytus. May you always remain magnificent and faithful to the warrior ways."
Cocytus could feel the heart in his throat beating a mile a minute by Adalbert Cross-sama's unwavering assertion. He immediately knelt on one knee; head bowed low as he murmured his gratitude. When he looked up, Adalbert Cross-sama was already gone, but the warmth of his words remained.
POV: One half of Sixth floor Guardian, Mare Bella Fiore - Untrustworthy Disciple of Nature
Mare was lounging on an oversized blue beanbag that has overtaken half of the flooring inside one of the Coliseum's 41 VIP booths. If the other Floor Guardians (apart from Aura-oneechan) were to see him sitting leisurely on this beanbag, or even inside any VIP booths, they would have been angered to death by his impudence.
He was, after all, reclining on one of their Supreme Beings' seating accommodations.
But what the others did not know, however, was that Mare had first fretted and thought he had done something wrong when Adalbert Cross-sama had ordered him to follow and led him to this booth a few years back. He dared not enter, of course, but he also dared not disobey one of his Lord's commands.
He was anxious at first, fearing that he had done something to incur the Sloth Demon's wrath. But then, his Lord did something completely out of his expectations by simply pulling out a navy-blue beanbag (that made Mare's eyes bulge comically at its sheer size) and two dozen animal-face pillows from his Dimensional Space.
It baffled him, of course, but what followed made him sweat buckets. He was seated (very rigidly) on the admittingly comfortable beanbag with Adalbert Cross-sama, the latter laying leisurely on his back with his arms wrapped around an adorable rabbit-face pillow as he stargazed silently.
Mare did not know what else to do but gnaw on his bottom lip worriedly, daring not to question his Lord. After half an hour of doing nothing, however, he grew carelessly relaxed and foolishly forgot about the Supreme Being's almighty presence (he did not know how exactly that happened, but he chalked it up to Sloth Demons and their deceptively unassuming attributes).
He had taken out a book that was recently borrowed from Ashurbanipal, one about YGGDRASIL and its many spells. He wanted to be useful to his Lords and the only way for that to happen was to defeat all those that dared to enter the Great Tomb of Nazarick. Knowledge of their enemies' weaknesses was crucial. Thank Bukubukuchagama-sama for her foresight in making him a bookworm.
The soft sounds of flipping must have alerted Adalbert Cross-sama of Mare's actions because after he manages to find his latest bookmark, he heard a shift from his right.
That made him freeze, his complexion immediately blanching as he remembered who exactly was next to him. His mouth opened and closed, trying to get words out, but he was too frightened, too timid to even face his Lord - let alone voice out his sincerest of apologies. He was afraid that he had been rude by acting out of line.
It left Mare in a dazed when all that Adalbert Cross-sama did was let loose a breathy chuckle. It was a strange sound to hear, almost inaudible, and without realizing it, he had turned to face the Supreme Being.
The appealing demon has the lower half of his face masked, so Mare could only see one of the two beautiful black on blue eyes with cross-shaped pupils as his Lord's right eye was covered by fine locks of silver. There was, also, an inverted, gothic black cross inked on the middle of his forehead, a stark contrast against such pale, blueish skin.
His Lord then turned to Mare and spoke, completely in monotone but the words were kind, "Knowledge is power, indeed. We may one day come to need your expertise, so keep up the good work, Mare."
It made his heart beat wildly in his chest, the rush of adrenaline causing him to feel almost dizzy with glee. Mare was unworthy of such words, but he could not help but feel the swell of pride and adoration for this Supreme Being, who was kind enough to visit and allow Mare to remain by his Lord's side as he relaxed.
He stuttered out his gratitude, but he must have been too slow and too soft because his Lord had already teleported away. Mare thought that that was the end of it and could not help but feel disappointed. He knew he was being selfish, but he wished that it would happen again.
... His wish came true.
It became a routine after that day. Not daily, but frequent enough to know that this would mark their sixth year. Though, Mare has (sadly) never once heard his Lord's voice again after that one time, only receiving head pats that made him blush from his head down to his toes as a greeting.
He noticed, after a while of observation, Adalbert Cross-sama would visit the Sixth Floor whenever in the mood to stargaze or drop off pets for Aura-oneechan to assist in training. And for the former, oftentimes, he would allow Mare to follow him into his VIP booth and they would sit silently together, one gazing at the sky whilst the other read.
With a sigh, he settled a cat-face pillow on his thighs for warmth and hugged a dog-face pillow to his chest, a book about weaving illusions lay next to his head as he closed his eyes. It was almost midnight. And truthfully, Mare was worried. If he has permission to leave the Sixth Floor, he would be searching for Adalbert Cross-sama right now.
His Lord had visited yesterday. But it had been... sombre and full of melancholy.
Mare had pulled all his courage (what little he has) to ask for the reason, wanting to help in any way, but his Lord had remained silent, merely gazing into the sky that Blue Planet-sama had amazingly created with eyes so forlorn it made Mare want to cry. Or rage at whoever dared to put such emotion into his Lord's beautiful eyes. Eyes that always reminded Mare of the night sky.
Again, he sighed, the irrational fear of losing the two remaining Supreme Beings disallowing him from falling asleep. Especially after what Adalbert Cross-sama had said before he left.
"Thank you for always accompanying this selfish person, Mare. Change will come at Midnight tomorrow. But do not be frightened by it, remain strong, Mare. Momonga-ani and I will remain within Nazarick, with all of you, I promise."
Just what did his Lord mean by that?
Mare wanted to be strong for his Lord, but he really wanted to cry, too. He has always been cowardly. So, he pushed away the pillows to seek his older sister. Aura-oneechan would lend him a bit of her courage, then they would both brave whatever it was that would happen soon. Together.
He just hopes that tonight would not be the last night they see Adalbert Cross-sama and Momonga-sama.
POV: One half of Sixth floor Guardian, Aura Bella Fiora - Skillful Tamer with High Competitive Spirit
"Hmmmooouuuhh~" Aura stretched her arms towards the night sky, moaning in pleasure when her spine popped satisfyingly.
Finished with her stretching, Aura laid back down on her bed and sighed. She was so bored. Many of her tamed pets were sleeping, long exhausted from her training sessions, and Mare was busy reading inside Adalbert Cross-sama's booth.
Though speaking of the Supreme Being, it has been Twenty days, thirteen hours, fifty-three minutes, and twenty seconds since he last came to laze and stargaze. But who was counting? Not her, pssh!
Groaning, Aura rolled out of bed and decided a walk would keep her mind from fretting too much. Just as she left her bedroom, she bumped into a wall of hard muscles. She held her nose, teary-eyed as she whined about tall people and their lack of consideration for shorter ones… and promptly blanched whilst falling to one knee.
"Adalbert Cross-sama! I'm sorry! I didn't mean what I said! Please punish me for my wrongdoing!"
Rather than punish her for daring to badmouth a Supreme Being, even if it was unintentional, her Lord suddenly chuckled. She peeked at his face, bewildered, and although masked, she could see amusement in his eyes.
"Aa, energetic as always. Rise, Aura." She did as commanded and almost yelped when her hair was ruffled. She blushed furiously as his hand remained in her hair even after he finished. "You truly embody Bukubukuchagama-senpai."
"W-w-w-wha- I am most undeserving of such high praise!" Aura yelped, flustered. And despite her denial, she could not keep the silly grin from appearing on her face. To have a Supreme Being compliment her about being a representation of her Creator… It was the highest form of praise anyone could ever give her! "My Lord is too kind!"
"Aura," at his solemnness, Aura immediately snapped out of her goofy grinning state and became serious. "For the past decade, thank you for helping me train my pets. Your efforts and dedication are heavily appreciated."
"N-No, it's my honour, My Lord!"
"Tonight… Everything ends tonight," Adalbert Cross-sama murmured, eyes sombre. "Stay strong, Aura. Momonga-ani and I will remain in Nazarick till the end."
Adalbert Cross-sama left after voicing those ominous words. Aura removed her gloves and started biting the thumb of her nail, a nervous habit Bukubukuchagama-sama had given her.
"Onee-chan." At Mare's soft voice calling for her, she smoothened her worried expression and turned to face him, brows furrowed when she saw how distressed he appeared.
"What's wrong, Mare?"
"C-Can we sleep t-together for tonight?" He stuttered, bashful.
"Oh, sure! Let's have a sleepover at mine," she agreed easily. Requests from her little brother were rare, so she would try to fulfil them whenever he made them. Besides, she needed a distraction.
"Actually, i-is it alright if we sleep at Adalbert Cross-sama's booth?" Mare fidgeted nervously. "I… Can't help but feel that something is going to happen later."
Aura pulled her brother into a tight hug, ignoring his startled exclamation. "Midnight, right? I feel it too." She did not fully release him, rather, she pulled at his arm until they were laying down on Adalbert Cross-sama's beanbag facing each other. Their hands were linked, and fingers interlocked. "We'll get through this. Together."
POV: Head Butler of the Great Tomb of Nazarick, Sebas Tian - Iron Butler
Sebas stood with his hands clasped elegantly behind him as he supervised the Pleiades outside the Throne Room. They were cleaning, as per usual, as they dutifully guarded the area against intruders.
Sebas was auditing his subordinates' work whilst thinking idle thoughts; like how he longed to see the shining armour of the Supreme Being that created him, like how grateful he was that the two brothers, Momonga-sama and Adalbert Cross-sama, stayed behind, like how pleasant it would be to serve all three simultaneously.
Mid-chat with Yuri and Narberal, they saw Momonga-sama appear with the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown in hand, graceful as he strode confidentially towards their general direction. Sebas and the Pleiades quickly halted whatever they were doing in favour of bowing, then to their surprise and eternal delight, their Lord ordered them to follow. They were led into the throne room, curious but remained quiet, knowing never to question their master's orders.
Sebas perked up at the sight of Adalbert Cross-sama, lounging lazily on the throne's armrest, and greeted the Supreme Being along with the Pleiades, "We greet Adalbert Cross-sama, the Lord of Sloth." They nodded to Albedo after, who nodded back with a look of disdain. She truly was a bitch, Sebas tsk-ed inwards.
Adalbert Cross-sama did not respond and only continued to stare blankly at the walls. Sebas's lips quirked upwards in apparent fondness. It was just like Adalbert Cross-sama to lose himself in thoughts, only snapping alert when he heard Momonga-sama's deep baritone.
Without hesitation and in sync, they got on one knee and bowed low with an arm held across their chest in a show of complete submission and loyalty.
"Aa? Sebas and the Pleiades? Aren't they supposed to stand guard outside?" Adalbert Cross-sama's monotonous voice drifted into their ears, causing them to bend their heads lower in guilt and shame.
Sebas debated inwards if he should beg for pardon and return to their post, but he dared not open his mouth or move without prior instruction. He did not wish to overstep and cause the remaining Supreme Beings to hate him and leave. Momonga-sama had commanded that they kneel, so they shall kneel until he no longer told them to do so, even if Adalbert Cross-sama was disgruntled they left their post, which was understandable.
Invaders came whenever they wanted; for them to leave their post without Sebas arranging for replacements was unacceptable. Sebas should have thought ahead; a butler should be prepared for anything his master desires. Sebas chided himself for his lack of insight and judgement, even if no invaders had reached this far before, it was best to be safe than sorry.
(Sebas never once thought to blame either Supreme Being or feel wronged, for such blasphemous thoughts never existed within him in the first place. He was created for the sole purpose of being the guild leader's faithful butler, and as a butler, his masters were never at fault; all blame would fall towards those under them, never them. And he thought nothing wrong with having such thoughts.)
"It's fine. They should be allowed to stretch their legs before…" Momonga-sama trailed off before he shook his skull.
The two brothers began chatting with the other, their conversation ranging from playful banter to sombre topics. The former, Sebas soaked gleefully, especially when Momonga-sama did something that made the disdain in Albedo's eyes vanish, replaced by admiration and reverence for Mononga-sama. The latter, unfortunately, chilled him to the bone.
They talked about matters that confused and terrify him, and judging by the nervous glances the other NPCs's shared, they felt the same way. The two Supreme Beings talked about Ragnarök with an air of resignation. But that was not the worst Sebas had overheard.
"We're staying until the end, aren't we?"
"Indeed we are, otouto, indeed we are."
"Aa," Adalbert Cross-sama sounded sad, even with the usual monotone present. "At least we'll get to stay with the NPCs until the end and perish together with them."
Almost as one, Sebas, the Pleiades, and even Albedo, snapped their gazes towards Adalbert Cross-sama at his words, horrified shock slowly turning into disbelief. But soon, Sebas felt another emotion different from fear; anger.
He would rather the Supreme Beings leave them; they were not worthy for the two brothers to sacrifice themselves to stay. He would rather they leave and be safe than remain here and experience Ragnarök with them, the NPCs.
Whilst he felt touched to have been granted the pleasure to serve such magnanimous Lords, he felt angst. If he knew he could change his Lords' stubborn mind, he would have tried so without a second thought. He wanted his Lords to live, and prayed hard, to whoever this All-Father was, that their Lords, at least would survive. He did not mind his destruction or even the world's destruction. He wanted nothing but for them to live.
Please, All-Father, whoever you are. Take us NPCs if you must, but do not forsake my masters…!
POV: Area Guardian of the Treasury, Pandora's Actor - Ever-Changing Faceless Phantom
Pandora's Actor was humming happily to himself as he took inventory of the many wonderful magical items within the treasury. This was, without a doubt, the most gratifying occupation to have ever graced the Great Tomb of Nazarick. He could truly not thank his creator, Momonga-sama, enough for granting him this blessed position as Nazarick's Financial Manager.
As he happily sauntered past a shelf full of gems, he suddenly did a doubletake and backtracked, a gasp leaving the hole that acted as his mouth, "Ah, mein armer Schatz...!"
He gently took hold of a ruby red artefact that unfortunately has a slight smudge of dirt on it. He cooed, as if to comfort the item, and rubbed the treasure clean with his golden-embroidered handkerchief. The artefact shined brighter as if it was winking at him, making Pandora's Actor even more enthusiastic with his polishing.
When he was done, he took his time to admire the beauty in all its glorious angles before he returned it to its rightful place. He then pivoted on one heel, twirled thrice, and on his last round, struck out a pose with one spidery, four-digit hand splayed on his chest whilst the other extended towards the now twinkling, ruby red artefact.
"Schön!" Pandora's Actor exclaimed with imaginary tears leaking from his imaginary tear ducts, "A beautiful shine for a beautiful gem such as yourself~!"
However, before he could start weaving poetry for the magic item, his heightened sense of smell caught a whiff of a familiar fragrance - one that could potentially seduce anybody to sleep if caught unaware - coming from the entrance of the Treasure Hall.
He immediately pushed all thoughts of the ruby red artefact to the back of his mind in favour of receiving the unexpected (but very welcomed!) esteemed guest.
The nearer he walked towards the source of the fragrance, the more he could not help but sigh at the pleasant smell. He shifted into one of the Supreme Beings since it was quite customary of him to greet someone in a form not his own (his playfulness sometimes got the better of him).
As soon as Adalbert-sama came into view, Pandora's Actor dropped to one knee and bowed with his hand on his chest in respect and loyalty.
"I welcome you to the Treasure Hall, my Lord!" He greeted with exuberance merriment, his entire body trembling as he fought the urge to sing his admiration.
Adalbert-sama stopped about three steps away from Pandora's Actor, his body language as unreadable as ever. Seeing how rare it was for his God's little brother to make an appearance, he drank in the sight of one of the two he revered most out of the 41 Supreme Beings.
He was only brought back to reality when Adalbert-sama spoke in that monotonous and androgynous voice of his.
"Aa, Pandora's Actor. It is Nishikienrai-sempai this time, huh? How nostalgic. I have not seen him for, hm, give or take 6 years...? Ah, whatever. I am too lazy to count. Anyway, I am here on a tight schedule, so you'll have to forgive me for not following our routine walk around the Treasury."
Whilst Adalbert-sama was putting his hand into his Dimensional Space, Pandora's Actor quickly spoke in a rush, "There's no need for you to apologize, Adalbert-sama! Although, it is with a heavy heart that I confess I had been hoping for our routine walk since we rarely meet. But you need not worry yourself, for I shall, with a light heart, persevere and await your next visit!"
He spoke with exaggerated brightness, wanting to hide his dejected-ness behind a mask of cheerfulness. Momonga-sama did create him to be a brilliant actor, after all.
His Lord, much to his disappointment, did not continue the conversation.
It was expected, of course, but he selfishly wanted to speak more with Adalbert-sama and Momonga-sama. Even though he loved sorting through the data crystals and maintaining the items and gold in the Treasury, he also enjoyed it when there were visitors.
Over the years, the only ones who came to visit the Treasury were Momonga-sama, Adalbert-sama, Demiurge, and Victim. Ulbert-sama used to visit too until he stopped showing up altogether.
All his thoughts came to a screeching halt, however, when Adalbert-sama pulled out a bulky and marvellously yellow (the same shade as his uniform) briefcase with orange cracks and square-like patterns engraved onto it. At the very centre of those cracks lay a skull that looked charmingly alike Momonga-sama's but with horns similar to Adalbert-sama's.
Pandora's Actor was instantly attracted to the item. It heavily radiated Adalbert-sama's aura and magic - a mark that the item was manufactured and crafted by Adalbert-sama. When Adalbert-sama commanded for him to rise, Pandora's Actor obeyed wordlessly.
"Pandora's Actor. Change back."
That... was a first, but he did not hesitate to shift back into his original form. "As you command it, it shall be done!"
"Aa," Albert-sama hummed, those black on blue eyes scanning his figure like a hawk, "I've almost forgotten your true form. Shame that you hide it away all the time, Pandora's Actor. You should stay this way more often."
"My Lord is far too kind!" He blushed, happy to be complimented on his original appearance.
Momonga-sama would always praise his form as well, but to Pandora's Actor, Momonga-sama's and Adalbert-sama's beauty were unmatched. Even the gold, gems, and magic items he cared deeply for held no meaning when compared to his God and Lord, respectively.
"This was a special project of mine. It took me a total of about nine-ish years, countless raids, and far too many GM events to gather all the necessary components, materials, and data crystals," Adalbert-sama's aura suddenly became feral, an insane glint entering his eyes, making Pandora's Actor tremble in veneration. "But I did it. I proved them all wrong. Everyone who said it was impossible... I made it possible! YGGDRASIL is a world of freedom. Anything, literally anything, could be made. Ulbert would've been mad with jealousy since I succeeded where he failed!"
Adalbert-sama cackled for an entire minute before he quietened, a sigh leaving his lips as his shoulders slouched forward as if all his energy were drained.
"I finally managed to complete it this afternoon, Pandora's Actor. And just in the nick of time, too. The last remaining piece - well, I might have cheated a little since I used my secret stash of Caloric Stone, but please keep that titbit a secret, alright?" Adalbert-sama's eyes crinkled as he smiled. But it seemed so bittersweet.
Pandora's Actor felt strangely humbled to have witnessed it... and worried. Very worried about the emotions behind his Lord's gaze. He wanted to reach out and ask what was wrong, but he felt that it would not make a difference. His actions and words have always gone... unnoticed. As if he existed in another plane of existence from the Supreme Beings.
"Pandora's Actor. Receive."
He automatically extended his arms at the command, palms facing upwards, to receive the yellow briefcase. The second the Item was in his hold; he could not help but stare at it with astonishment. It felt incredible. Like a piece of home, somehow. It was a strange but pleasant sensation.
"Good... Very good. It suits you. You look handsome with it, Pandora's Actor. Very handsome indeed," Adalbert-sama suddenly took a step forward and enveloped him in a hug, one which he returned with great enthusiasm. He could not help but lean further into his Lord's (his uncle's) embrace, wishing that time would pause.
After a few more moments, Adalbert-sama released him, much to his sadness.
He wished rather selfishly for it to have been longer. He has never been hugged before (and he liked the way his heart squirmed at the thought of having a family hug with Momonga-sama, Ulbert-sama, Demiurge, and Victim as well) and he so dearly loved it and would cherish this moment for all of eternity.
He immediately thanked Adalbert-sama for the hug even as Adalbert-sama said nothing and turned away. At the very last step, however, just edges away from the door, Adalbert-sama gave an eye-smile over his shoulder and tossed out his final words.
"Take care of Pandora's Box, alright? It must not fall into another's hand, Pandora's Actor."
As soon as the fragrance of Adalbert-sama's Somnolent Miasma was gone along with him, Pandora's Actor's brain rebooted itself and he gasped audibly, his eyeholes comically widened as he stared at the briefcase in his hands, then at the spot Adalbert-sama had been, then at the briefcase again.
"Wait a second! Adalbert-sama?! Was meinen Sie by Pandora's Box?! You personally made and customized this for me?! You wasted so much of your precious time, gone through such dangerous and life-threatening raids, all because you wanted to gift me this powerful weapon?! I am unworthy! How could you be so... so... so benevolent and charitable?! I cannot stop my tears~! Ohhhh, Adalbert-sama~! My heart is bursting with joy...! There is no doubt that I will always treasure whatever you gift me, Adalbert-sama~ No matter if it is but a simple pebble or this incredible weapon!"
He hugged the yellow suitcase to his chest as he twirled and danced around the Treasure Hall, too happy, too touched, too elated, to do anything but cry tears of joy.
After finally managing to calm down, albeit only slightly, he rushed to the sofas and set the weapon, Pandora's Box (again, he burst into tears as he serenades Adalbert-sama), atop the cushion with the utmost care. With eagerness, he placed a hand on the decorative skull and used All Appraisal Magic Item.
He could not contain the sharp intake of breath at what he was seeing, even daring to doubt his senses. He was, for the very first time, struck speechless.
Item bounded to Pandora's Actor.
Description: Pandora's Box is filled with Adalbert Cross's hope for the future. It can transform into 41 different and devastating forms. These forms can only be accessed when certain conditions are met. For those who are not Pandora's Actor, beware of opening Pandora's Box, lest you wish to unleash the hellfire of curses and seven deadly sins unto yourself.]
Pandora's Actor instinctively shifted into Nishikienrai-sama and applied slight pressure onto the skull on Pandora's Box.
The moment he did, the yellow suitcase cracked open, emitting a bright light of blue, and shifted into a pair of dual daggers. The weapon's powers were limited to 80%, just like him, who was also limited to 80% when he shifted into the forms of the Supreme Beings.
For the first time since his creation, Pandora's Actor's voice was but a whisper, "Unglaublich..." He stared, dazed, at the perfect imitation of Amaterasu & Tsukuyomi in his hands. If this was the result of the Unmoving King when he moves, it was no wonder the Players outside Ainz Ooal Gown preferred Adalbert-sama to remain slothful...
When he swung the two daggers, they cut through the air like a hot knife through butter. They fit in his palms as if they were made for him - which they indeed were.
"Astonishing... As expected from a World Item. Or better yet... Adalbert-sama is amazing to have managed to create one."
Not gonna lie, I cringed whenever I am forced to write Pandora's Actor's dialogue.
On the topic of Pandora's Actor... Ever since his introduction in canon, I could not help but imagine him with Pandora (from Devil May Cry 4) as the main weapon. A Greater Doppelgänger with a weapon that could shift to match his forms? Sweet...! And since I can make it happen in my story, it shall happen. And it did happen! MUAHAHAHAHHAHA!
To explain the creation of Pandora's Box. Well, YGGDRASIL was a game that prioritizes the freedom of the players, yes? I thought "Hey, since there's technically no limit to gameplay, why can't Players be able to create their own WCI, too?! Theoretically, they just need a leaf from the World Tree, right!?" ehehehehe...? Besides, in canon, Ulbert did try to create his own WCI as well (though he failed).
German translation by Google-sensei:
mein armer Schatz - my poor darling
Schön - beautiful
Was meinen Sie - what do you mean
Unglaublich - unbelievable (Thank you reader Alyssa Namikaze Uchiha for correcting this! Google-sensei is really unreliable... But don't tell them I said that)