Three Wise Men
To an outside observer, the sight would look as though a demon, eldritch horror, and lich were all staring at a black winged angel, contemplating who would kill her-or worse.
To Albedo, she wasn't sure what to make of the silent staring her masters gave her.
In reality, each was a bit worried they were hallucinating that an NPC was talking to them, and thus worried about being labeled insane by the other two players in the throne room.
Of course, this feeling lasted least in Ulbert, who cleared his throat. "I'm fine, Albedo. I'm just learning that while one CAN keep refilling their MP with potions, there is a reason one should not do so to repeatedly cast a spell that eats up most of your mana in one shot," he explained offhandedly.
"Oh! You are fatigued, My Lord, I understand. Would you like me to summon a maid to escort you to your room?" Albedo asked curiously.
Tabula had a notable hitch to his gargling voice, which his comrades picked up on as him not being able to cover his shock as well as he'd like. "Pay the goat little mind, Albedo. He needs to learn more restraint about amusing himself with mass destruction," he waved off to his creation.
Albedo took only one more look at a chuckling Ulbert before accepting the words. "As you say, My Lord-Maker," she said, dipping her head respectfully to her maker, missing how he stiffened at the new title.
Drawing strength from watching his friends, Momonga took a deep mental breath before speaking to the succubus. "Albedo," he addressed in a firm, commanding voice. Or he tried, to make it befitting of an Overlord.
The skeleton and horror almost jumped at how Albedo reacted to his voice while Ulbert just stared owlishly. She immediately snapped her back and neck perfectly straight, puffing her chest out against the white dress's golden lines. Her eyes were shimmering and her smile radiant, black wings slightly spread and flustered, but kept dipped to show submission. The World Catastrophe eyed said wings, swearing he saw some shift in the color.
"Yes, Master Momonga?" she asked in a voice that could only be described as adoring and hopeful.
Feeling a blush that wasn't there, followed by a foreign wave of calm, the guild-master pressed on. "Please leave the throne room for now. I need to have a word with Ulbert and Tabula," he requested, preparing for a hurt or disappointed expression that would no doubt make him cringe in guilt.
But it didn't come. Instead Albedo placed a hand over her heart and bowed at the waist. "As you desire, Supreme Ones. I shall remain near for when and if this one's services are needed," she answered dutifully, gracefully turning to depart.
The trio silently watched her leave, all of them drinking her in for different reasons. Tabula simply because he was seeing his creation alive and already taking notes on her quirks. Ulbert, while having no intention to seduce her, if that was even remotely possible, still shamelessly eyed the very sexy form of the she-demon. And Momonga? It was hard for a hot blooded straight male to NOT stare at a rear that he knew was swaying because of him.
The silence stretched on for five seconds after the large doors closed with a thud.
"What the fuck just happened?!" Tabula exclaimed into the halls.
"I think she wanted me to...do something to her," Momonga stated awkwardly, glancing down at his robes. "Which I'm pretty sure I can't do."
"No, before that! I'm sorry, yes, but before that!" Tabula clarified, his webbed hands running over his amphibious scalp.
"Umm, Momonga's voice got badass? Cause, seriously Leader? You now have an Epic Deep Leader voice to sell the package," Ulbert said with a grin and a thumbs up.
"Oh, ah, thanks?" Momonga returned uncertainly.
"No, BEFORE that!" Tabula almost screamed, his tentacles twisting all about.
"Well shit, his paranoid-OCD just got set off," Ulbert deduced, sounding just a bit worried. He winced, trying to get up for a moment before relenting with a sigh. "Leader, I can't really stand yet, so you might be on your own here."
Momonga winced but raised his hands to placate the perfectionist. "Tabula, Tabula! Calm down! I know you're alarmed, but breath! No! Don't talk, just breath," Momonga instructed, having recalled this rare event with his friend. Despite himself, the octopus-headed player did as he was told, his breathes sounding akin to water rushing through a pipe. His tentacles only twitched about at their tips now. "Now just mentally recite the recipe from the Book of Flames," Momonga instructed carefully.
"Huh?" Momonga asked eloquently, tilting his skull as Tabula stared back with his normal calm.
"It's the Book of Fire, and I already did," Tabula explained, nodding to the undead. "Thank you."
"I-it wasn't much," Momonga assured humbly.
"Yes, it was. I would have been throthing for at least another twenty-three minutes, thirty-eight seconds of an unproductive mental-spasms of all the possible implications of this situation," Tabula assured, completely factual. Momonga sweat-dropped over the very specific time span. "Now, shall we address the fact that we've just been isekai'd?"
"Well, it's not necessarily that," Ulbert offered with a wave of his hand.
"And just what else would YOU suggest?" Tabula asked evenly to the demon.
"We could all be dead and just enjoying our mutual version of an afterlife as our avatars and base," Ulbert suggested with a shrug. "I could live with that."
"By definition, you could not," Tabula refuted, his brow and the base of his tentacles shifting in a manner that made his friends believe he was scowling. "And wouldn't it be more likely that one of us is hallucinating this whole thing while being dead or dying?"
"No," Ulbert answered flatly.
"...Why not?" Tabula prompted, rolling his eyes at the goat's antics.
"Well, Momonga has too much rose tinting on his memories to imagine us acting like this, and I know my dream-versions of you would either be doing something funny or epic right about now, and you are too self aware of that idea for it to apply to you," Ulbert listed off casually, grinning as Tabula looked tempted to do something unpleasant.
"How about a test: I'll launch an attack at you and we'll know if we've been isekai'd or gone to VR-heaven," Tabula offered, sounding completely serious.
"No friendly fire, remember?" Ulbert reminded.
"Albedo just talked," Tabula reminded.
"Oh...oh, right, fuck," Ulbert realized with a grimace. "You wouldn't hurt a poor goat that can't even stand up, right?" he asked cheekily.
"Look at it this way. If you get hurt, it's Isekai. If not, it's a personalized afterlife," Tabula offered with a deadpan.
"Umm, guys?" Momonga spoke up, having grown nervous over the conversation. Both creatures looked to him as he asked one burning question. "What is...Isekai?"
Dead silence filled the room. For two seconds.
"How Do You Not Know?!"
Momonga sunk into his throne as both figures were now staring down at him in disbelief, their shock enough to make Ulbert forget how tired he was.
"How do you not know about Isekai? Everyone knows about that genre!" Tabula pointed out.
"Shield Hero, Reincarnated as a Slime, UnderKing, Smartphone-" Ulbert listed off passionately.
"Smartphone was trash," Tabula interrupted, getting a growl and glare from the demon.
"Smartphone was a treasure, you over sized piece of Takoyaki!" Ulbert retorted as Tabula matched his glared.
"Of course you'd like a bland and easy piece of wish fulfillment, Edgelord!" Tabula shot back, lighting dancing between their eyes.
"You want to go, hentai-reject?!"
"Like Bobobo, you nuke loving shizno!"
"THAT'S ENOUGH!" Momonga yelled as he stood up, his dark aura flaring.
If he had been angry or annoyed, the foreign calmness would have likely enforced itself again. However, he was merely trying to get their attention.
Both stared at him in shock, slowly blinking. "I really should have got more cosmetics," Ulbert murmured.
The Overlord of Nazarick took a deep breath as he pinched his eyebrows. "I know what those series are. I just don't know why you're calling them Isekai when their genre is Hen'i."
"..." Both stared in total silence. "Oh, right...they banned the use of Isekai in any more titles and everyone has been calling them Displacements instead of Another Worlds..." Ulbert recalled awkwardly.
"How long has that been going on for?" Tabula asked idly.
"I don't know, five years?" Ulbert answered with a shrug.
"Eight," Momonga confirmed patiently.
"Great, now I feel old," Ulbert muttered with a sigh. "So...can we agree this is WAY too advanced for our current rigs for this to be some kind of super patch or surprise sequel?" he asked idly.
"Those were my first thoughts, but..." Momonga answered uncomfortably as he poked a skeletal hand in the empty area where his gut should be. "I can...feel that, in a sense, and it is very strange."
"Not to mention I can smell whatever horrible depths Squids' race swam out of and I find it oddly not that unpleasant to my nose," Ulbert commented, touching his snout briefly.
"The smell of your brimstone doesn't exactly appeal to the aquatic, I'm afraid," Tabula responded flatly.
Momonga stared oddly at the alchemist. "Do you smell with your nose, tentacle, or gills?" he asked, truly curious.
Tabula stared at him like he was stupid before slowly blinking. "I...have no idea," he admitted in bewilderment, before shaking his head. "Getting back on topic, either all of Yggdrasil is real, or at least our base is."
"Probably, yes," Ulbert admitted with a shrug before groaning, brushing a hand over his horns. "Oh fuck, Nazarick is real. Demiurge is real. My whole fucking floor is real," he realized with growing dread and amusement.
"More importantly, the eighth floor is real," Tabula reminded with a shiver. "Along with Rubedo...This could be such a clusterfuck."
Momonga looked between the two. "Okay, so, if this is somehow real now...what should we do?" he asked curiously.
The two share a look. Momonga wasn't sure if he was jealous of them in this instance for having flesh. On one hand, they both had some very distinct tells now. On the other, the were very cool tells! Tabula's curling tentacles and the overt movement of Ulbert's nostrils really did make it seem like they were have a conversa- "Are you guys using the messaging spell?" Momonga asked flatly as his sense of wonder half died.
"Heh?" Ulbert asked, looking at the lich curiously.
"Hm, would that even work with just our minds?" Tabula wondered, lifting his fingers to press against his skull. "You guys hear me? I'm reciting Rubedo's back story."
"No, message is audio only apparently," Ulbert summarized before turning back to Momonga. "We were just wondering what you think we should do?"
"Me?" Momonga asked in surprise.
"I'm not calling you Leader just because it's fun," Ulbert pointed out.
"We settled everything democratically," Momonga countered, rubbing his arm a bit nervously. "Besides, I'm not exactly Real Leader material."
"Yes you are," Tabula and Ulbert answered bluntly.
"And before you deny it: Dragnarok," Ulbert reminded with a cheeky grin.
Momonga stiffened at THAT particular memory as Tabula nodded. "Repelling a literal army of players and NPCs may have been our greatest achievement, but THAT was the greatest moment for most of us in the guild."
"Not to mention your initiative is why you got this badass power chair," Ulbert pointed out, tapping his cloven hoof against the Throne of Kings.
"On the more practical side, perhaps it's best if you take point around the NPCs," Tabula elaborated, glancing back at the throne room door. "If they are real, but based on their settings and Nazarick's, then all we know for sure that they know about us as a group is that you are our leader."
"That...is a good point," Momonga acknowledged before perking up. "Actually, that was what I thought we should do."
"Explain?/Elaborate?" Ulbert and Tabula asked, tilting their heads in sync.
Momonga rose an invisible eyebrow at their moment of chance-syncing before continuing. "We should probably summon the guardians to get an idea of what they are all like, and get someone to check outside Nazaick to see if anything else has changed."
"That's...a good start, really," Ulbert admitted, stroking his chin. "That would also be a good point for me to check on some...things."
"Things?" Momonga questioned uncertainly.
"Hey, if the laws of physics suddenly take over without magic to keep everything working-" Ulbert started, looking a bit worried about something.
"You're a demon-goat that obvious just suffered from mana exhaustion, and Momonga is a literal skeleton with a floating orb in his gut," Tabula reminded bluntly.
Ulbert continued, ignoring the valid but unimportant points. "-then I really don't want to think about how quickly the seventh floor might go up."
"...Okay, I DO have to make sure Rubedo isn't going to explode or anything, I'll admit," Tabula relented begrudgingly, Ulbert trying to look smug but still too concerned to do so.
"I thought I was supposed to be the overly worried one?" Momonga asked a bit amused.
"I don't know if friendly fire is on or off," Ulbert stated evasively.
"I just always thought Rubedo would blow up if she were made real," Tabula explained with a shrug.
Momonga just shook his head at his unusually worried friends. If the Great Tomb of Nazarick and their avatars were all real, then why wouldn't the intricate details work fine? Besides, he was mildly sure Albedo, as the overseer, probably would have been alerted by now if anything had gone wrong IN the tomb. "Come on, we won't get anything done just by staying here," he stated as he walked by them.
"Right behind you, Leader," Ulbert answered as he followed and pulled a mana-replenishing potion out of his inventory. "And thank the World Tree, we have hammerspaces," he commented in amusement before chugging the emerald concoction without a second thought.
"Feel better?/How's it taste?" Momonga and Tabula asked at the same time while walking to the door.
"Tastes like some vegetable covered in salt," Ulbert answered idly, putting the flask back in his inventory. "And I feel sore but rested, like I napped after running a marathon."
"Well, that's good I suppose," Momonga mused as the giant, artistic doors opened upon their approach.
They were almost expecting it when they found Albedo awaiting them on one knee, just outside the door. "My Lords and Masters," she greeted reverently, head still bowed.
Momonga, for various reasons, glanced to Tabula. "Rise, Albedo. We have a task for you," Tabula ordered in his usual tone. If he had to act, he'd keep it as genuine as possible.
The angelic succubus rose, lifting her head slightly to look upon them with a look they could only describe as determined and resolved. "What is your will, Supreme Ones?
Momonga shifted, taking the lead from here. "We need you to gather the guardians to the sixth floor arena in one hour, except for Victim of the eighth and Gargantua of the fourth," Momonga instructed before putting his long fingers to his chin in a thoughtful manner. "Additionally, Sebas should still be standing guards with the Pleiades over the meeting entrance, correct?" he inquired out loud.
"Unless one of you directed him elsewhere, yes, My Lords," Albedo confirmed. She and Momonga both glanced to other two supreme beings. Tabula shook his head, but Ulbert hesitated.
"Hmm...no, that was someone else. Yes, he should still be there," Ulbert answered confidently after a moment's thought.
The Mindflayer and Overlord stared at him for a second longer before turning back to Albedo, who only rose a delicate eyebrow at the answer. "In any case, before you set out for the guardians, instruct Sebas to head to the surface and inspect the surroundings to assure nothing is amiss," Momonga ordered.
"It shall be so, Lord Momonga," she vowed with another bow, a small smile gracing her face.
"Ahem, yes," Momonga started uncertainly before gathering himself. "If any issue arises, we shall be in the Colosseum," he informed, lifting his hand slightly to tap his guild ring. At the subtle prompt, the trio vanished in an instant before appearing in a dark stone hallway.
"Well, she's smart and aware enough to know I did something, if that raised eyebrow was any indicator," Ulbert noted idly, folding his arms as he leaned against the wall.
"What DID you do?" Momonga questioned curiously.
"Nothing, really. I just remembered telling a couple of maids to take the day off for a job well done," he answered dismissively. "I'm just not sure if they'd remember that."
"I'm not even sure they'd take you up on that," Tabula mused suspiciously.
"What's eating ya, Squids?" Ulbert asked with a head tilt.
"Nothing I can say for certain until we meet more of the NPCs," he gave as a non-answer.
"Cryptic much?" Ulbert jabbed with a chuckle before he looked back to the skeleton. "So, why here?"
"Besides being about the half way point of the tomb and the large area to meet? I thought this would be a good idea to see if we can use our magic properly," Momonga explained, tapping the golden staff to make a point.
"Hence the hour," Tabula remarked, getting a nod.
"Before either of you say anything, I promise, no Grand Catastrophe in the Tomb," Ulbert stated upfront, waving his arms in front of him.
"Thank you. I know that must be so difficult for you," Tabula deadpanned.
"Settle down, both of you," Momonga requested. "We only have one hour to test our abilities. If we mess up now, we can probably explain it away to Mare and Aura, considering how mentally young they are."
"I think they're all technically less than ten years old, if we go by when we created them," Ulbert pointed out in amusement. "Guess that means even Albedo is jail bait, eh, Tabs?...Tabs?"
Said bipedal cephalopod shook his head in surprise, staring at Momonga. "I'm sorry, did you say you chose this floor intentionally, planning it out as a way to test our capabilities in these bodies, with the only real audience being the guardians most likely to be gullible?" he asked for clarification.
Ulbert looked taken back as he turned to Momonga in surprise, who nodded uncertainly. "I guess you could put it like that...?"
"Why am I supposed to stop calling you Leader, again?" Ulbert asked in mock-seriousness. "Cause you taking point seems to be the smart thing at this point."
Momonga just shook his head over what he felt was needless praise. "Let's go, we are on the clock after all," he insisted, heading to the entrance, leaving amused and impressed guild mates in his wake.
The trio walked into the Colosseum of the sixth floor, and gazed up at the artificial night sky that decorated the ceiling of the floor. "Blue Planet truly out did himself with this," Momonga commented nostalgically.
"No argument here," Ulbert remarked with a head tilt. "Hey, Squids, you're the cult-guy; Did he actually get all those constellations right?" he inquired idly.
"My research in the occult was primarily a hobby due to its tangent relationship to my main interest of Alchemy and Horror," Tabula retorted matter-of-factly, getting a patient hum from Ulbert. Tabula sighed in resignation. "But, yes, he did correctly depict the stars, with only one amusing issue," Tabula explained with a tinge of mirth to his watery voice.
"Oh?" Momonga turned to the humanoid cephalopod with interest, Ulbert's eyes literally brightening in devious amusement.
"It's nothing important, just that this sky is not Japan's," Tabula explained with a snort.
"That's it?" Ulbert questioned, a bit let down, but he was nothing if not capable of salvaging his fun. "Why not and where is it then?"
"The why is easy: this point of view had the most complete set of images for him to reference. As for where, we believed the Sandwich Islands," Tabula explained bluntly.
"That was a thing?" Momonga asked in surprise.
"Please tell me you're not shitting me!" Ulbert barked in laughter.
"No, I am not shitting you," Tabula answered evenly. "It was one of the last places to see the sky before the smog took over, somewhere off the southern coasts of South America."
Ulbert immediately sobered at that. "Yeeeeah, that's like, at least twenty reasons not to go back to our world," Ulbert commented dryly.
"And yet, you designed a hellscape for your floor," Tabula remarked with a small smirk beneath his tentacles.
"I have a theme," Ulbert defended with a shrug before looking around curiously. "So, where are the twins? Do we need to summon them or something?"
"Could they be asleep?" Momonga wondered thoughtfully. "They are, technically-"
The three spellcasters turned and saw a small, humanoid figure doing flips and spins after jumping off a balcony, landing with a small kick up of dust. "Nicked it!" Aura exclaimed, pumping her fist in victory.
"Aura," Momonga greeted as she literally blitzed up to the lords of the tomb almost instantly.
"We're 'onored ter 'av yer 'ere, me lords!" Aura greeted in a thick Irish accent. The trio contained their surprise as she cleared her voice with a minor blush at her slip. "Sorry, my lords. Welcome to the sixth floor amphitheater!" she finished her greeting with her eager to please smile.
"We'll only intrude for a bit," Momonga assured in a manner that sounded more magnanimous than he intended.
Ulbert and Tabula mentally facepalmed at the humbleness of their leader as Aura voiced their thoughts perfectly: "You must be having me on, Lord Momonga! No one would ever considered the Supreme Beings as intruding in the Great Tomb you rule, let alone my brother and I," Aura assured.
"The Leader just means we'll be doing some target practice, little one," Ulbert supplied in his more serious "Demon Lord voice" as he liked to call it, having sent the skeleton a look of fond, mock-exasperation when Aura wasn't looking. "Speaking of which, where is the Elf Boy?"
Aura perked up in surprise at that, suddenly realizing someone was missing, before turning to the balcony in frustration. "Mare! Stop bein' a rude tosser an' git yisser strides over 'ere! You're beamerin' us in front av de Lords av Nazarick!" Aura yelled out to another figure still up in the stands.
"B-but Sis, I'm scared!" an effeminate voice called back with a stutter.
Aura growled, pausing only to get her accent under control again. "Move it or I'll kick you over here!" she warned.
"Okay, okay, I'm coming!" Mare gave in quickly, jumping off the ledge less gracefully than Aura had, but he landed without issue.
While they ultimately decided to leave Bukuchagama's creations as a trap and a bifauxen, they were suddenly very happy they made Mare's skirt a few inches longer.
"That boy is max level, what exactly does he have to be afraid of?" Tabula murmured, partially to himself. Aura obviously heard him, as she sighed and nodded her head in agreement as her twin arrived with a much slower run than her own.
"Sorry for making you wait Lord Momonga, Lord Ulbert, Lord Tabula," Mare said with an apologetic smile, bowing his head to each of them.
"It is of no concern, Mare," Momonga assured quickly. "As Ulbert said, we'd like you to help us with something," he stated, tapping the golden staff on the ground to draw attention to it.
The mismatched eyes of the elf twins went bright with excited awe, as if just now noticing it. "Amazing!" Mare breathed reverently. "Is that the legendary item that will only bend to your whim, Lord Momonga? The fabled weapon of the tomb?"
Tabula and Ulbert shared a look at how thick Mare put that on, but stopped once their friend responded. "Indeed. It was created through the combined efforts of the guild's past members, a testament to our dedication: The Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown! Each stone in the mouths of the seven crowning snakes is a god-level artifact. On top of that, the power in the staff itself transcends God-Level. It is truly legendary, it's base stats are on par with any World-Level Item. In fact, the DPS of its auto-attack alone could one-shot a-" Momonga rambled before stopped with an embarrassed cough. He could FEEL the looks his guild mates were giving him as the co-guardians stared with stars in their eyes. "Anyway, that's how it is."
"We'll doing some practice of our own as well, so bring plenty of targets," Tabula instructed, getting a nod from the submissive brother of the two.
"Yes, Lord Tabula!" Mare answered instantly as they turned to fulfill the orders.
Momonga waited until they were out of ear shot before sighing in resigned dread. "Should we give you and the staff some alone time?" Ulbert teased with a wry smirk.
"A shame Turn-Into-Weapon Type NPCs never became an update in YGGDRASIL," Tabula remarked with a touch of amusement as well.
"Yes, I know, I went a little overboard," Momonga admitted as he turned to face them fully. "So, what do you think?"
"Huh? About what?" Ulbert asked in confusion, very sure he made it clear in the past that he thought the staff was awesome.
"Aura's accent," Momonga clarified, as if it was obvious.
Tabula looked taken back as Ulbert slowly blinked, twice. "I'm...sorry, what? You did that?" Ulbert asked in surprise.
"I thought for sure that was your doing," Tabula admitted glancing to Ulbert.
"I'm occasionally innocent," Ulbert responded distracted as he stared at the skeleton. "I'm...confused though. Why?"
"I remembered that Bukuchagama thought about giving them accents in their backstories, but couldn't decide what. I kind of thought Aura would be the kind to slip back into her accent while Mare probably beat it into his own skull not to," Momonga elaborated.
"So you went with the leprechaun joke?" Ulbert questioned, clearly amused if not surprised.
"Leprechaun? Wasn't that Scottish?" Momonga wondered to himself before shaking his head. "No, I just thought it seemed right. Didn't the original myths of elves come from the Irish?" Momonga asked curiously.
"...You're not right, but you're not wrong," Tabula state slowly as he wracked his brains for knowledge. "I know the original creatures to be called elves came from the Germanic myths, but they weren't like fantasy elves. The Irish had some form of elves or fairies, but I don't recall the specifics enough to say if its a better comparison," he explained, scratching the base of some of his tentacles.
"Ohh..." Momonga said in disappointment, feeling like he screwed up now.
"No, no, it's fine. Great actually," Ulbert assured with a grin. "Spunky little tomboy lapsing into Irish slang?"
"And it is somewhat charming, watching her get embarrassed when it slips," Tabula admitted before looking unamused. "But if she turns into an alcoholic, I blame you, Momonga."
"If she does, I'll THANK you," Ulbert countered with a brief laugh at their leader's expense.
"Noted," Momonga accepted plainly. Though he doubted the alcohol would influence her that much or towards such a stereotype, there was concern in the back of his mind for how to handle the growth of those two.
After a short wait, a group of dragonkin had brought out a couple dozen posts of wood and straw to use as test targets. Aura and Mare stood a good distance from the trio as to not intrude on any conversations.
"Age before beauty, Architect," Ulbert said to Tabula in an over the top manner, complete with a dramatic hand wave.
Tabula resisted the urge to roll his eyes again in front of the NPCs as he focused his attention on the dummies. His tentacles moved in an eerie synchronization, each of the six curving up to point at a different target as mana flowed potently through him. "Dimensional Shatter," he called, deathly calm.
The instant he said those words, all six targets began to twist and warp unnaturally as bright lines formed in the air around them, the air now resembling broken planes of glass. The breaking lasted for all of three seconds before they fell to pieces, with fractures unnaturally smooth and sharp.
"Hmm, not bad," Ulbert remarked while Momonga stroked his chin in thought. "Let's see if I can't measure up," the world disaster remarked as he leaned forward slightly in a theatrical pose with his hand over his heart. "Lamentation of the Foul!" With a wave of his hand, he breathed the words rather than proclaimed them. From his claws shot what, if one could perceive their speed, would appear to be five black teardrops. Each struck a dummy, igniting it on fire...and then another, and another. Each struck three targets for a total of fifteen, setting a small glow around the arena.
"Greedy much, Ulbert?" Tabula questioned dryly, noting that only a few targets remained.
"Yes, I may have overdone that," Ulbert admitted, hiding his sheepishness. "I suppose we need some more targets for Momonga."
"That won't be necessary," the overlord assured with the barest hint of smugness, causing the two to look at him as he raised the Staff of Ainz Oal Gown and declared his spell. "Summon: Primal Fire Elemental!"
All at once, new and greater flames emerged in the arena, swallowing all of the dummies and their remains as the fires raised into a burning twister. Waves of wind and heat swept across the area, the dragonkin standing protectively over the elven children. The three supreme beings all stood perfectly still. Momonga was shielded by a sphere of negative energy, while the wind and debris bent unnaturally around Tabula, phasing out normally behind him. Ulbert, being a demon, merely withstood the low-scale inferno.
"Oh, so now we're flexing," Ulbert remarked dryly.
"If you wanted a brawl between summons, all you had to do was say so, Momonga," Tabula commented casually.
"Perhaps another time," Momonga retorted, pausing as the elemental emerged with a roar, a giant of flames ready to unleash its great heat upon whoever its master targeted. "Aura, Mare!" he called now that the commotion had calmed down, the two elves obviously in awe at the display. "Would you like to fight it?" he called when he saw he had their attention.
"Can we?!" Aura exclaimed in excitement.
"A-actually, I-I've got somethings I n-need to do..." Mare whimpered as he tried to sneak away.
"Ahh, cum on, brah'der! This'll be craic!" Aura insisted as she pulled her scared brother along.
"...Seriously, he's over ten levels above this thing," Tabula remarked with some confusion as the floor guardians went out into the arena to stare down the summons.
"Maybe its a fire thing? Boy's a druid after all," Ulbert theorized
"Primal Fire Elemental, attack the Dark Elf twins!" Momonga called out in order, causing the battle to begin. "Well, that should distract them for a bit."
"Summoning a Primal Elemental as a distraction?" Tabula questioned idly. "How very Ulbert of you, Momonga."
"I know, I'm so proud," Ulbert commented with a smug grin.
Momonga chose to ignore them this time around, too curious to rise to the bait. "So, how does magic feel to you both?" he questioned.
"Well, I'm keenly aware of all my spells, cooldowns, and everything else I usually need a HUD for," Ulbert answered offhandedly.
"Likewise," Tabula agreed.
"That said, this is fucking awesome!" Ulbert said in a harsh whisper, suddenly very giddy with a fist pump. "We're badass, Fuck-you-that's-how-powerful Wizards!" he declared with relish.
"I can't deny, I enjoyed using even that low of a spell," Tabula remarked with a chortle that sounded almost like bubbles.
"Hmm, I did feel a rush before it died off and I came back into focus," Momonga mused, missing their confused and concerned looks. "Still, so do either of you believe you'll have issue using your spells or abilities?"
"Not really. When I said keenly, I mean I remember spells I forgot I had," Ulbert assured as Tabula nodded in agreement. "In other news, the twins seem very loyal despite not being created by us three, so I think that's a good sign for the rest. Right?"
"Yes, the loyalty seems genuine across the board, but we'll have to observe the others to be sure," Tabula remarked reasonably.
"You know?," Momonga started as he looked out on the twins while they finished up the fire elemental, basking in their own victory for a second. "I feel a lot less guilty about messing with their settings than I thought I would, given the situation."
"Well, it's not like we rewrote them, just added in some flavor-fluff," Ulbert mused, glancing at the skeleton shrewdly. "Unless you want to elaborate on what you did to Shalltear, Leader?"
"Not even to get you to stop calling me leader," Momonga retorted in amusement.
"We're not going back to our world," Tabula stated bluntly, knowing it was a fact. "So once we have a proper stock of things, we'll need to think about just what we will do."
"I know, Tabula, I know," Momonga acknowledged with a heavy tone, wondering just what the future would bring. But...
Where as the future might seem a black void of despair for this world, for the three lords of Nazarick, it never seemed more bright and promising.
End of Chapter
AN Here we go, next chapter of this little gem. And, yes, I gave Aura an Irish accent. Given that Bukuchagama was a voice actor, I imagine that was something she at least considered. Originally this chapter was going to have Ulbert and Tabula fight a Primal Elemental instead of the twins, but I figured Momonga would use the canon fight as a chance to talk those two on their first use of magic.
In any case, the changes to the plot are slow for now, but they're building. Next up will be the pledge of loyalty. After that, who knows.
PS Anyone may suggest interesting/funny little additions to the NPCs for consideration. No one else has an accent though, so Sebas won't be british, unfortunately. This will be lamented though by Ulbert.