His name was Suzuki Satoru, and two hours ago he tried to kill himself. He stared at the cracked ceiling stained with water marks and sat up on his bed. Cobwebs covered the walls. Litters of trash layered with dust spread across the floor. An oversized rat grabbed a pizza and scurried down a hole where the wall met the floor.
This was his humble abode, and he couldn't pay the rent.
The landlord's going to kill me, he thought. And he meant it literally. The landlord was affiliated with Lung, a metahuman who could turn into a dragon. Brockton Bay was the hotbed of supervillains the same way New York was the melting pot of cultures. Once upon a time twenty years ago there were several gangs fighting for dominance of the bay, that was until Superman made his presence known. Ever since then the Brockton Bay Supervillain Coalition was born.
Suzuki groaned and felt his head throb. He rubbed his forehead and winced as flashes of a bony skeleton with glowing red eyes seared into his mind.
"Ainz Ooal Gown?" The words were meaningless gibber.
"Yes, my potentate," a soothing voice answered in a deep baritone. A shadow manifested two meters from his bed. It congealed into a shape of a skeleton adorned with a jet-black gown. Red orbs were attached to his shoulders like pauldrons. A red glow emanated from within his ribs. He held a staff entwined with seven serpents with jewels in their mouths. It spewed a dark red aura superseded solely by the fiery glow from Ainz' empty eye sockets.
Suzuki felt like he should panic at the mere sight of the skeleton man.
But he didn't. He felt a connection to this supreme being that told him Ainz existed solely to help him.
'I have superpowers.'
Just then there was a knock on the door. The landlord.
"Hide," Suzuki said. Ainz vanished, completely coating his presence as he did so. An intrinsic part of Suzuki told him it was more than mere invisibility. Sight, hearing and touch were effectively neutered one-hundred percent. If not for the bond he felt with Ainz, Suzuki wouldn't have noticed him at all.
The door was smashed open. The landlord came in. He was a balding man with a beer belly his tank top couldn't completely hide. He wore jeans and slippers and a cigarette between his lips. There was a tattoo that read, 'BBSC' on his left cheek, short for the Brockton Bay Supervillain Coalition. He glared at Suzuki and said, "Rent, asshole."
Suzuki yawned. "I'll pay you tonight, I promise."
The landlord sneered. "It ain't gonna cut it, kid. You give me the money right now or I'll kick you out." The landlord retrieved an object from his pocket. It was a silver revolver. He aimed it at Suzuki. "Now give me the money."
Suzuki felt a moment of fear, before it was dulled and ceased to exist. 'Huh. That's new.' So engrossed was he in his lack of fear that he failed to notice the landlord pull the safety off and slide his forefinger in the trigger.
"Tell you what." The landlord sneered. "I'll shoot your shoulder and let you off the hook for twenty-four hours."
"I'd bleed to death," Suzuki said. "Please don't."
The landlord pulled the trigger.
"That wasn't very nice." Ainz reappeared and loomed over the landlord. The landlord gaped, the cigar falling from his lips, and looked up the skeletal creature to the empty eye sockets looking at him like a man might look at a particularly disgusting bug. "You're annoying. Just die already. Grasp Heart."
The landlord gasped and held his chest. He fell on his back with his hand falling on rat droppings. His face was stuck on the expression of horror. The scent of urine and feces marked his death.
Suzuki stared at the body. And then at Ainz, who despite having a skeleton head for a face managed to look sheepish. It must be the telepathic connection, or bond, or whatever they had that told Suzuki Ainz' feelings, however small they were.
And Suzuki felt there was more power inside his body. That he was now a vessel for the majestic creatures of the Great Tomb of Nazarick.
Whatever that was.
"You just killed him," Suzuki noted with dull interest.
"That I did," Ainz said. Again he managed to look sheepish. "Do you want me to bring him back?"
Suzuki shook his head. "What did you do to me? I'm…" Empty.
Ainz shrugged. "I am an extension of yourself, I think. I'm not really sure."
"That's interesting." Suzuki stared at the landlord's corpse. "We should go."
"Can I try something?" Ainz asked. Suzuki found it strange that despite being the more powerful of the two, Ainz was deferring to him.
And odder still that he felt a kindred spirit in the skeletal man. 'Atavistic.'
"Sure," Suzuki said.
"It's called Greater Teleportation. It's a spell that allows me to teleport anywhere. Normally I could only carry myself, but I believe my bond with you allows me to affect you with my spell."
'I wonder who you are…' Did Suzuki pluck Ainz and this Tomb from another world and enslave them to his will? The horrifying emotion was instantly dulled.
"Sure," Suzuki said.
Ainz didn't do anything spectacular. He just mumbled something and nodded. The world blurred. The shitty apartment vanished, replaced by a lush green park. There was no one around. Suzuki recognized the place as Dullsville, a town twenty miles north of Brockton Bay.
It was the town he was born in.
"You can read my mind," he guessed.
Ainz shrugged. For a skeletal creature he managed to be so emotive.
"Sorry," he said.
Suzuki shook his head. He found himself forgiving Ainz Ooal Gown almost instantly. It was like he prioritized this magnificent creature more than he did the shitty landlord dead at the apartment. "Before you arrived, I was going to kill myself with bleach. But I fucked it up and drank water instead. I forgot I replaced the container with water four months ago." He laughed.
Ainz, did not.
Without hesitation, Ainz grabbed his hands and knelt before him. "Suzuki, my potentate, don't ever kill yourself. You're far more valuable than anyone else in this reality. Am I understood?"
He felt like his chest was going to burst with an inferno of happiness it was dulled, leaving only a small matchfire in its wake. He felt frustrated. And then that too was dulled.
'Fuck,' he thought.
"Can you come with me?" He didn't bother looking back. Ainz vanished his presence with Perfect Unknowable and followed Suzuki out the park. They passed buildings and malls and pedestrians ranging from students in uniforms to adults in suits. They walked for two kilometers in silence until they reached Dullsville cemetery. Suzuki took another thirty feet to the tombstones of his parents, buried together.
"Can you bring them back?" he asked.
"I'm sorry," Ainz said. Despite being invisible, Suzuki heard him as clear as day.
He shrugged and looked at the blazing sun. "I was a lonely person, Ainz. I was born with nothing and I thought I was going to die with nothing."
"Not anymore," Ainz said, sounding both frustrated and determined. A billow of wind rustled brown leaves off the ground and swept them beyond the graveyard. Birds chirped overhead. Images of creatures frightening and beautiful in equal measure flashed with every beat of his heart.
Suzuki sighed, nodded and smiled. He offered a hand. "I don't know you, but I'd like to."
Ainz shook it. "Likewise."
He's heard of a saying. 'The saying some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.' He was born with nothing, and he achieved nothing. He thought he was going to die with nothing when God or fate or the world or sheer coincidence decided otherwise.
Maybe, just maybe, he could adjourn death's door just a little bit longer.