The return of Ainz Ooal Gown
First and foremost, just by looking at my username, you would have probably guessed that I am one of the fans of Ainz, so this short story of just a few chapters is going to be the showing of how fate backs him up, this time not through an indirect influence but rather a more direct method, through a Deus ex Machina character. This is the alt ending to the series of snippets named "Probably Not a One-Shot Collection" by another fanfic writer, Pterodactyl, whose story I have to describe as a hidden gem in the Overlord fanfiction community. This fanfic has not been finished yet, but he said that the ending would be a tragic end for our bone daddy. As a loyal devotee as I have forever been from the start, I almost can't stand and watch Ainz and Nazarick to suffer.
This series of snippets was first written before the revelation of how the advents of players work and the resistance World class items give their users against Wild magic, so… There are some changes compared to how Maruyama has intended in his story, but, nonetheless, it is still a rather emotional and quite a well written fanfiction in my opinion and I fully recommend you to have a look at it.
And special thank to members in Atheistbasementdragon's discord server for beta-ing this for me. Especially the users with the name of Lutemis, Herne and Evilsod as three of them have helped me a lots. Of course, also thanks Pterodactyl for creating the original fic.
Disclaimer: This is my first fic and I am not a native speaker
I do not own anything (except my OC)
The original setting of this alt ending belongs to "Probably Not a One-Shot Collection" by Pterodactyl.
SUMMARY OF THE SNIPPETS AND THE SCENARIO OF THE ALT ENDING: The Sorcerous Kingdom that was created by Ainz Ooal Gown and Nazarick has existed for 3000 years. During which time, it has triumph over many enemies: other nations, Dragon Lords, Players and other catastrophes. However, in one fight against the last alliance of the Dragon Lords, they have successfully killed off Ainz. Yet, it was not the end of him just yet, just like how it had happened to every other Players that have died on Dragonland - the name given to that land by one of the prominent Players used to be there. Back on Earth, he woke up on a hospital bed in his human body with almost all of his level reseted, his inventory intact except the items he was using during those final moments. Having been in the form of an Overlord for so long, it had morphed his personality much, beside from the caring attitude he had for his friends and those that he interested in, almost everything else had changed. While he was on Earth, he tried his best to find a way to go back there, protect his friends and their families as well as survive the vengeance of ex players and the greeds of criminal syndicates. This story happened after he had had his vengeance for Bellriver - a dead member of the Guild back when YGGDRASIL still existed.
'So… This is how it's really going to end… isn't it?' Suzuki Satoru—the person who has just came back to this damning "waking world" for quite some time after spending his time in a "dream world"—thought bitterly. The world he currently resided in was called Earth, a world ruined by the never ending greed of megacorporations long ago, with thick, depressing toxic fog covering it's surface both day and night. It's the world which he was first born into, a world he has never found worth in.
On a much different world, a much more beautiful world where he had spent 3 millennia that had only been 3 years back on Earth, he had been known as Ainz Ooal Gown, the ruler of the entire world, an Overlord, who, with the help of the floor guardians of Nazarick, his true home, and the new loyal servants of that world had ruled over all things. His reign had been a golden age that had lasted longer and was more glorious than any of that world denizens had ever had the honor to see, beyond any other, before or after, one with everlasting growth in knowledge, technology, wealth, and unity. It was an age of true and ever existing hope and progress where everyone could truly sleep peacefully in their homes without any fear of beasts or other races come to harm them, for everyone was equally below him and his family. Everyone was each others' neighbor; they worked together for the glory of their nation and of their Lord. They knew that through the glory of their Lord and of all who he holds dear, they would be forever blessed.
Most of all, he had also been known as a Player, a legendary entity that appeared in that world every 100 years through some unknown magical means. The reason for such a name was that all of them were players present during the last moment of a once famous DMMO-RPG named "YGGDRASIL", which now has a sequel.
'Why was I so careless when fighting those lizard bastards…? Only to be cast back to this damn land I had almost forgotten about - for good reason. Only to live so pathetically once more... and to earn such a pathetic death…' He mentally cursed himself while coughing blood.
Indeed… right now, this once legendary mage monarch was laying on the dirty street, his mana completely depleted and unable to regenerate, too weak to reach the inventory space. There were several bullet holes on his chest, abdomen, shoulder and arms. To top it all off, it was acid raining heavily, as if the sky was mocking him, salting his wounds even more as his lungs were being filled with more and more toxic air.
All around him were the empty bottles of healing potions, weapons, bullet shells, blood, limbs and the unconscious bodies of those who has just attacked him. Some of them were yakuza, some were hired mercenaries, some were ex-Players who had a personal grudge against him back when they and he had been in that new world.
Each group had different reasons for attacking him. Some of the people used to be players wanting vengeance for he had killed them back then. Some others were more of a righteous type considered him as evil and couldn't let him keep existing. The yakuza and the mercenaries wanted money, his knowledge and his items for their clients.
One vs 150. Yet, to make matters worse, this was also a complete death trap that there is no way to escape from. It was not just by the fact that he was currently completely surrounded in every direction by enemies brimmed with killing intent toward him, but also when their revealed themselves, the activation of [Dimensional Lock] via a sealing crystal could be easily sensed from very near there. Under such an overwhelming situation, the one who was the target would desperately try to run. Some would beg for their lives or die trying to resist with the enemies still mostly intact… But not Ainz. Motivated by something, maybe the pride of who he once was or by the forlorn hope of one day being able to return to that paradise once more - or maybe both, he decided to not even falter and fight till the end.
It was truly a sight to behold, with moves, thundering sounds and vivid flashes of swords, guns and magic, just as how it had always been described in works of fiction. Every one of his movements - from every item used, every spell cast, every hit, every counter attack and every dodge and parry - were the definition of accuracy, as if each of them had been calculated with extreme precision. So precise, that the augmented mercenaries had a hard time fighting him before dying to either his sword or his spells. Many of the ex players were consumed by rage or frustration by how he fought so skillfully.
To the outsiders, he was literally an artist, a true dancer of Death on the battlefield. With his rapier-esque rune sword and spells as his main tools, his masterpiece was painted on a grayish background with the red of blood and fire, the blue of ice, water and lightning and the thundering roars of magic being casted as guns were fired. These colors and sounds, in some way, had truly disturbed their usual autonomous life of sleeping, eating and working to near dead, giving them lively faces of awe and slight horrors.
In reality, he was more tense than ever before since the day he returned to this world, and it was somewhat refreshing. The easiest to be killed off and also the most numerous were the yakuza. All of them really didn't have a clear idea of who they were fighting against. They only knew that this mission they received earlier was from multiple clients and only had one target that seemed to be easy.
From what they gathered from the briefing, some of these clients had personal grudge against him, and this person had somehow "dishonored" an influential Yakuza clan, although he looked very vulnerable. This was so serious that, in the mission, they would also get help from other allied forces. What they didn't know was that, this "dishonoring" was in fact the total destruction of that clan HQ with their higher ups killed just by that individual. The reason was that this organization was directly responsible for the death of someone who was really close to this target.
Yet, it didn't matter. For them, all that mattered the most was that when this "easy" job was done, they would be paid very heftily. This underestimation and their lust for glory and cash had left them very unprepared for the operation as they only carried ordinary guns and blades, and deemed that their numerical advantage combined with this "force" would make this an easy cash grab. They started their attack with rather disorganized reckless charges as each of them tried to seek personal glory where they couldn't find it. Their guns and blades were absolutely useless against him as their weapons were low level and he had his [High Tier Physical Immunity] turned on. Thus, they could do almost nothing but to scream, trying to hit him pointlessly and feel the agony from his attacks.
The more elite were the mercenaries. Their attacks were much more organized and tactical. Many of them were soldiers with augmented parts that improved their maneuverability, strength and reflexes. Dealing with them was much harder as each of them also trained in a military manner with all of the required strategies for spec ops and modern warfare. Most troublesome of all, some of them seemed have been lent some YGGDRASIL items.
Yet, they had major weaknesses that he had exploited to the very maximum. Although augmented and provided with weapons that were meant to harm him, they used them very inefficiently. They were single minded on the orthodox ways they were taught during their training. So much so, that the most flexible of all of them only managed to utilise a basic mixture of some tactics.
Not to mention, the new tools from their clients were not that much use to them as they had never used such unique items before. Because of that, they could only make use of this new equipment to the very least of their potential, especially when many of them were medieval weapons which they were not all that familiar with. Worst of all, many of their "allies" were nothing but a bunch of wild beasts trying to selfishly earn for themselves some non-existent glory, thus making their work a lot more difficult.
Then, there were the ex-Players. Most of whom had grudges against him. The others had the "righteous" mindset that "darkness and evil must be purged". After a period of gathering information, they had finally found their archenemy and where he stayed, where he usually went, his daily pattern, and some of his plans. For all of them, this was the most opportune time to get their vengeance, to execute their idea as they could not let it go easily. For a week, they had spent all of the resources that they had been gathering to hire mercenaries, and yakuza so that they could at least be the fodder in this operation. At the same time, they decided to attack him at his most unprepared moment with an overly elaborate plan that he couldn't escape. The plan had two most noticeable parts that must happen at the same time. First was to have the area of the operation affected with [Dimensional Lock] spell via a magic crystal which some of them had in spare when they died under the hand of Nazarick. The second part was to have him completely surrounded with each direction had an equal number of troops.
They were the most dangerous of the attackers as they fully understood their arsenal. They also knew full well who their enemy was and were, not to mention, supposedly the most organized and flexible, as some of them were professional tactician Players who utilised tactics on the field very well.
However, just like him, they were now very fragile as most of their levels had been reset. The only thing that somewhat resembles who they used to be were their leftover gear, low tier spells, and their personality. Some of these items were still considered high tier. However, just like back in Dragonland, those who don't have enough of the required level of, Job, Racial classes, or stats of the items could still somewhat use them as long as there was one level in the basic job or racial class.
For example, to use the legendary class sword [God's bane], it is required for the Player to have a level in [Paragon] job class - an advanced class you can obtain after you have all [Templar] level. But now, in the real world, to use the item, you only need a single level in [Fighter] class, which is the most basic for almost all melee oriented build, as you at least need this to use warrior class weapons. However, it couldn't be as effective as those who had all the requirements. Thus, they could not utilise the fullest of their equipment's potential as before, but this gear was all still very lethal nonetheless.
Ever since the day he met another Player in the New World, he had significantly escalated the amount of training he underwent with the help of his Guardians, especially Cocytus. This had not helped him level up or increase his stats any single bit. However, it did help him in many other ways. He had become more accustomed to melee weapons, to the point that he had the reflex, the skills, the mindset, and the elegance of a master of using melee weapons, and hybrid fighting - at least among those with pure mage builds and mid tier hybrid builds. From someone who was considered to be a master of preparation, he had also become much more potent in the art of being flexible and adapting on the battlefield.
When the ambush was started, he instinctively moved to a safer position, about 2 meters from where he was standing. The pointless bravado of the yakuza became a strategic advantage for him as some of them became his meat shields against the spells and ranged attacks that were heading toward him. He almost didn't waste any of his MP in dealing with them, as he found that it would be such a waste to spend any on this expendable fodder when compared to the rest of the enemies that he was dealing with.
Using the mess that was their attack, with his custom made spell imbued sword and other items in the inventory, he unleashed waves of AOE attacks to kill off, or at least severely injure many of them and those more elite among the attackers, especially the more hot blooded Players. Such tactics had devastated the enemy number, injuring and knocking down some Players. Only due to their equipment were they able to survive the attack.
Using the confusion caused by the devastation, he cast [Anti-Life Cocoon] for himself, jumped in, pinpointed Players injured from those spells and struck them down by the weak points of their armor before they could even do anything, killing them off permanently. With some other surviving victims now having much lower morale, they were quickly put down by a simple but precise strike to their critical parts. Shocked by such a rampage, the rest of them that managed to fall back to a safer distance healed and quickly change their approach toward him.
Some of the more careful mercenaries that were not caught in the waves of magic changed their tactics and turned on their exoskeletons to enhance their speed. Their intention was to surround him, using run and gun tactics so that he could be tired down while their clients could shoot him down with their magical weapons.
However, it did not go as planned. For him, their movements were predictable as he had seen them many times before. Ainz used a one time use item that released a temporary unevaporatable thick mist that allowed only the user to see and navigate through it without trouble, while the enemies almost couldn't. Using it, he could surprise the enemies and cut off the reinforcement from the Players after he had recognized their paths. As such, the mercenaries were all surprised when he could figure out and intercept their route so easily. When they were on the move, almost all of the squads were decimated by a series of homing spells, magical mines and AoE spells from items in his inventory.
With the last team that also had the leader of the mercenaries, they were forced into a close quarter combat with him. Armed with some of YGGDRASIL items, they decided to use it. First, they decided to use single use items, yet, the instructions from their clients were not clear, some of them couldn't even activate the items before they were killed, some even misused them and caused their own demise. Then, they reluctantly used the weird medieval weapons they were given, combined with their augmentation, they seemed to have some resistance. However, their morale had been decimated after that attack, and they were not that professional in close quarter combat. Which was why although Ainz was weaker than them, but had a much calmer mindset and a lot more experience in melee combat and a hybrid fighting style. That, combined with the equipping of a Legendary class agility boosting necklace, [High Tier Physical Immunity], which had been activated as a passive ever since his awakening by a specific item, and the disadvantaged environment for his opponents, he was able to win against them.
Each time they tried to hit him meant another time there was a perfect parry or dodge as each of their moves were nothing but something or at least, the abridge form of what he had seen thousands of times before. Each time, they involuntarily gave Ainz an opening to hit each of them with quick precise hits, or low tier spells. Even though he was surrounded and had been hit several times, he was still the master of his surroundings as his nullification dealt with the damage for him. His movements were absolutely fluent and minimal, as after finishing an enemy, he immediately redirected his momentum toward the nearest enemy. The sword had proven to be so very well crafted by the Dwarfs that it could easily penetrate their armor and their augmented parts, rendering them useless. Not to mention, each time he attacked one of them with the sword, a rune was activated, either turning the victim into an ice sculpture or a scorched corpse that crumbled into dust. The next victims of his blade and spells shared the same pathetic fate as each one before them, until every single one was dead.
When the last mercenary was now unconscious, the mist started to disperse and the duration of [Dimensional Lock] had ended. However, from the very start, he recognized that he could not run anymore. Not because he couldn't physically do it but from what he had seen here. Here, through such an intricate ambush plan, they had shown him that they had everything about him from the biggest to the smallest detail of his daily life. As such, if he ran now, they would aim toward his guildmates and their families, who he had sworn to protect, just to lure him out. That was why the only thing to do now was to end them all once and for all. Immediately, from behind, a Player charged against him with a grin on her face as she thought that her archenemy had now been tired and distracted. She was a high tier vampire player that had been arrogant enough to invade his tomb alone for some reason, deeming this as vengeance for his wrong doings to her. With a roar, she was going to strike him down, but her expression turned into one of total shock and agony when his sword suddenly went through her neck. With a twist, he cut off her head and ended her life.
The others in her group, which include an axe user and a magic caster, also attacked. Because they did not truly have ties to each other, the synchronization of their movements was extremely poor. As such, when the mage unleashed the spell that was meant to paralyze him, Ainz used an item that allowed him to teleport backstab the mage and executed her with a stab to the heart. The berserker-like warrior turned back, activating the ability of the weapon by hitting the ground with his axe. Immediately, a violent shockwave was launched toward where Ainz was standing. At this, he used the flight necklace and avoided the shockwave, and quickly cast the combo of [Hold species] and [Magic arrow] to hold him on the spot and pierce through the axe user's head with a sharp blue light.
Ainz then confronted the rest of the Players. Most of them still owned some pieces of armor and weapons from YGGDRASIL in various quality. The one who stood out the most was wearing a full set of plate Relic class Paladin armor and had a holy 2 handed sword of the same quality. Ainz recognized this set, as the chestplate was the near perfect counter against instant death spells and necromancers for mid tier Holy Paladin build as the only magic could penetrate it were instant death spells boosted by [The Goal Of All Life Is Death]. Alongside it were some other buffs, and it had a very balanced defense stat against most elements. He also recognized the one who was wearing this, as this person was one of the most, if not the most troublesome Player he had ever faced.
Back then, the man had a very powerful build with the unique [Champion of Odin] job class, which was considered to be one of the most powerful warrior job classes just behind [World Champion]. During their final fight, Ainz had to even unleash Rubedo to take him and his army down with him. To meet him again here was not that surprising, especially when this guy had always been such a "Savior of Holy and Light", with a very human centric view. He stood like a monument, absolutely still with his armor shining a gold-white light, his two hands placed on the pommel and the tip of the sword touched to the ground.
Beside him, who stood back, the rest of the Players moved and decided to attack him in many directions. The melee oriented Players moved quite fast for normal humans, which helped close the gap between they and Ainz quite quickly, with the support and ranged Players behind them by a few meters. As the melee Players got even closer and before arrows and spells could be drawn, he decided to land and use the 10th tier AoE instant death spell [Hel's judgement]. It had shorter radius compared to [Cry of the Banshee] but had a much more devastating instant death effect, as only spells and items with the potency of Super Tier magic and above can save them. Just like with the activation of [High Tier Physical Immunity], he could only cast this due to the world class book of magic allowed a person to cast any spell without restriction that he now had tied to his soul, letting him use it an unlimited amount of times, despite being one of the Twenty. These Players then all collapsed to the ground, dead, as they didn't have a countermeasure to instant death magic, for those were lost to them with their best gear and their current gear didn't have that ability.
The ranged Players behind, unaffected by the spell, but were shaken to the core. They thought this would have been easy, especially with numerical superiority and him being surprised. They thought they would overwhelmed him and take him down easily, yet here they were, from 150 to only 7 so quickly - and that radiant bastard hadn't made a single move. Despaired, they decided to run for their lives. Once again, it didn't work as expected. Seeing such, Ainz took off using the amulet, and launched himself at one of the mages, ending his life with a stab in the back. Then he immediately slashed at the nearest archer, who was not far away, cutting her head off. A similar pattern went for the rest of them.
A few managed to gather some courage and draw out their daggers and short swords to make their last stand. It didn't last long, as their moves were absolutely inexperienced, their attacks were harrowing, and could be easily dodged. As such, to reward them for such bravery, he activated the runes on his sword and gave them a rather flashy end of fire and lightning. The last he heard from them were their curses of his name and their cries of pain. As much as he hated harming any other Player on this world, they had decided to attack him and may potential attack those he loved. As such, they had chosen their fate... and that fate is death.
Bloodied and quite tired, he opened his inventory and used a potion of fatigue relief, and one that temporary increase his agility stat. All around the battlefield, there were now only two of them left. The atmosphere started to get heavier and more intense as the once great monarch of the Sorcerous Kingdom stared directly into the eyes of the once proud Hegemon Champion of Light. Finally, the ex Champion prepared his stance and in a proud voice, he said,
"Look at you… Now in the shadow of your former glory… Covered in the blood of the people of the world... Cruelty and brutality worthy to be called a true monster is shown so shamelessly upon your face. Just like how you and those pathetic damnable so-called "children" truly have been and forever will be. At last, with your Mana - your greatest strength gone as you used that World Class item, I can free every reality from your despotic rule once and for all, Ainz Ooal Gown."
Immediately, he charged at Ainz with a speed faster than Ainz had expected him to be. Ainz still managed to dodge the hit, however. Somewhat offended by his words, especially how his opponent insulted those he had always cherished, Ainz counter attacked, which his opponent managed to easily parry with his sword. They then kept fencing at each other with blow after blow, dodge after dodge, and a series of parries for a period of time.
While each of Ainz's blows was weaker, they were more elegant and faster. Those of the ex-champion were stronger but was rather sluggish and rough, as if each swing carried with it an amount of frustration and wrath. While Ainz agily maneuvered around, his opponent was stuck in one position, parrying his enemy's hits and getting more annoyed as every second passed. Although being in a disadvantaged situation of fighting an enemy bigger and stronger than him, not to mention his opponent's unleashed skill after skill, yet, for some reason, with some of his MP somewhat restored and items still in his inventory, Ainz did not use a single spell during the whole duration. After a while, Ainz quickly pulled back his sword, moving into a farther, safer distance and took a more defensive stance.
"You are not that much better, if not worse, hypocrite. I remember you slaughtered entire villages for the sake of your "Light and Holy", those who had done nothing against you, just because they followed me and Nazarick. We had given them and the many generations before them true peace and prosperity, the same for everyone that can think. At least our result was worth it in the end. In fact, you kinda remind me of that one stupid paladin - Remedios. The so called "Kingdom of Heaven" of yours was nothing but an expanded version of the long gone Slane Theocracy. Its treatment toward other races besides humans were comparable to how this hell hole treated it's ordinary people. When I offered peace, you declined, and called for a "Crusade against the evils of the world", in which I crushed pathetically with the help of the ones you deemed to be pathetic." Ainz said.
"Because humanoid races and especially humanity is all that matters in the end! [Warp strike]!" Angered by the once overlord's insult, he angrily replied with activation of a skill.
With it, the Champion teleported to where Ainz was standing and unleashed a heavy downward strike, with which he was going to end his hated opponent with. Before it could happen, Ainz quickly planted a magic mine in the place where he was going to be at. When he arrived, Ainz could only briefly parry the attack, the strike still managing to cut him on one shoulder and knock him down as the weapon was more than his nullifier could handle, and his opponent was using a cash item so that he could use the weapon more effectively than he should be. At the same time, the mine activated and blew his opponent back several meters away, injuring him moderately.
Standing up, Ainz used a healing potion to heal the wound, then used almost every damage dealing item he had in the inventory, and gear from fallen Players around him. Before the opponent could even stand up, he was greeted with waves and waves of arcane elemental spells cast toward him, and could not truly balance himself until the barrage seemed to stop.
After a moment of silence, the smoke cleared, revealing the armor was now slightly burned with smoke coming from it, on the surface there were now some cracks and holes. The temperature inside the armor was tremendously high, as if it was a human shaped oven. Coming with heat, there was a severe lack of air, to the point that it was near impossible to breath inside. The Champion finally rose up with a painful groan and forcefully threw off his helmet and breastplate to breath. He then quickly downed bottle after bottle of healing potions, revealing a scarred muscular body with some highly augmented parts and his face, now that of a raged, bloodlusted berserker.
Some drops of red liquid were still dripping from his mouth as he wrathfully screamed:
"DO YOU ACTUALLY THINK YOU CAN KILL ME WITH THOSE PUNY SPELLS? ENOUGH OF THIS NONSENSE! I WILL END YOUR LIFE HERE AND NOW, MONSTER! BEHOLD ONE OF MY TRUMP CARDS!"
Then he took out from his inventory an intricately carved glowing bottle of brightly shining yellow elixir. In contrast to the healing potions, he drank it in a very cherished manner. It was considered one of the most broken and rarest potions in YGGDRASIL, and can only be obtained through raiding a dungeon on Vanaheim named "Freya's crystal palace".
It was an extremely difficult dungeon, and one of the most sought rare loot inside the place was a potion named [Freya's blessing]. The elixir, although able to be used many times, was still limited in the number of uses, like most bottles of potions. What was so dangerous about this was that it gave the user the temporary effect of a whopping 99.999% resistance to almost every source of damage, immunity to almost every negative effect besides those from world class items, a significant increase in physical attack, agility, physical defence, magical defence, and resist - and the effect only ended when the Player is dead or the time runs out.
Basically, the potion temporarily turned a Player into a nigh invincible force of nature.
After that, the whole body of the Champion glowed golden light. With a satisfying roar, he launched himself against Ainz with an incredible speed with a confident grin on his face and the vision of him butchering Ainz over and over again into thousands pieces lingering in his mind.
At that moment, normally one would fall into despair and try to run away. But for Ainz, he was absolutely calm. In fact, he even had a confident smile on his face, as everything was going according to plan. From the start, Ainz had already known that the Champion had the elixir, as Ainz had seen him used once when they first fought, and he did not have the chance to use it during their last fight.
During the first time they met, Ainz knew that this opponent was very short tempered and could easily be angered, no matter how much he pretended how calm he was, especially toward insults. There was information that very few had ever really noticed about that "OP plz nerf" elixir: it does not give any resistance to the instant death effect. The reasons why so many forgot about this was because by the time they are able to raid that dungeon, every player already has instant death counter measure. For people like Ainz, he can never forget that detail.
From what he had quickly analyzed at the beginning of the battle, this opponent did not have instant revive item on his body or any of his equipment. Ainz only needed to concentrate his attack spells, especially spells that induced a lot of heat upon him. It would make so that his opponent could not stand the lack of air and the incredibly high temperature inside the armor. That, combined with his impatience and wrathful nature, would make him forcefully take off the armor, and pull out his trump card.
As the champion was coming closer and closer every second, with his MP still quite full, Ainz raised his hand toward his rampaging opponent and decided to use the ability of that book once more. From the palm, a realistic simulation of the heart appeared - in this case, the Champion's heart. A smile now turned into a grin, Ainz used one of his most signature move like so many times in the past:
At this, the heart in his hand had been crushed and turned into a pile of red mush. Then, the rampaging Player suddenly stopped midway. His body had stopped glowing and his expression turned from absolute rage and confident, into dumbfounded, for he did not really know what had just happened. In the end, his sword fell down first, a sharp, loud noise echoed in the air then his vision went dark and his sensory system stopped working. At last, his entire body collapsed created a loud thud while Ainz stood triumphantly with his body fully exhausted.
Yet, unfortunately, this triumphant moment did not last long. In a moment of being rather distracted as there was no enemy to be seen and battered by the prolonged fighting, he had been silently shot several times by some paralyzing bullets and a specialized type of anti - magic caster bullets from a level 70 legendary class rifle from YGGDRASIL. This item belonged to an ex-player who had stored it in his inventory space when he was killed by Ainz back then, and had been keeping it since so that one day, he could finally have his vengeance on him.
These anti – magic bullets had been an absolute nightmare for low level spell casters and a severe problem for mid-tier mages. Its effect was to make their victim's mana points unable to regenerate while taking some small amount of damage from the bullets. In game, for the sake of balance, this effect lasted for maximum time of 2 minutes, with each shot contributing 30 seconds of effect. In this world, it lasted for a maximum time of 2 hours.
Although the damage inflicted by these anti-magic bullets supposed to be insignificant, Ainz was no longer who he had been, nothing but a level 5 human with some spells in his hand. This gunner, just like him and others, came back with almost all of his level and stats reset. However, he still had one cash shop item which allow the player to use any items to its maximum degree, regardless of the item requirement, for a short period of time. All of these combined made the wounds created by this type of bullets to be very lethal for him.
With his mana depleted when fighting against others, the anti – magic bullets made him even more vulnerable. He fell down, still living but agonized by the severe wounds. The gunner slowly stepped closer to him with a rather maniacal laugh, mocking Ainz of his carelessness and arrogance, of how he was weak and pathetic when without his guardians, of how 'he will get what he deserves', of how righteous his action was, how he was the hero at the end of the day. The gunner pressed the barrel of his faithful rifle to Ainz's forehead, trying to be a total badass like heroes in movies, and with a smug smile on his face, he proudly said:
"Any last words, you heteromorph monster?"
At that very moment, the paralyze effect was over,. With the rune sword still in his hand, Ainz used most of the strength he had left and surprisingly stabbed the marksman. The smile disappeared and was replaced by the face of utmost horror and shock. His skin turned pale, his eyes and mouth were wide open and dripping with blood as if trying to say "this...is...un...fa…ir".
With his remaining strength, Ainz answered:
"Fuck...you…and your self-righteousness…"
At last, the gunner finally collapsed like a puppet whose strings had been cut.
Although the paralyzing effect had gone, the effect from anti-magic bullets was far from over. The wound caused by the bullets were giving him fatal heavy bleeding. Combined with how he previously forced himself to kill his attacker, all of that rendered him unable to move, unable to get any healing items to save himself. At that point, he had known that he was going to die.
'I don't know what will really kill me first… the air… or the wounds… i guess it doesn't really matter, does it? But...why... why couldn't they just truly kill me back then… at least… by doing so… they can let me die… around those I truly hold dear.' He internally cursed his fate in a bitter tone, with each of his breaths becoming quicker and quicker.
The world he arrived on was a pure one. Trees were everywhere, the air was fresh, the sea was clean and the sky… He still remembered the first night there, beautifully filled with stars. On some beautiful days, pure white clouds, floating dreamingly on a clear blue background. Even at the peak of development of his empire, he focused on protecting those sceneries from being destroyed, with the help of magic and authority, also maintaining a stable development in technology, magic and his people's quality of life. Thinking back… It was such a pain for him to not truly experience such beauty to the fullest for the nature of his race.
His mother died early and his father was but an unknown silhouette of his distant past. When he had played YGGDRASIL, his family had been the other 40 members of the Guild Ainz Ooal Gown, his home had been the tomb of Nazarick and he treasured all of it so dearly. When arrived in the New World, he changed his name from Momonga to Ainz Ooal Gown, with the wishful thinking that he would find his comrades there. After fruitless searching, he threw that hope away and fully focused on their spiritual children, the ones he had been with all that time - the denizens of Nazarick and those that later got adopted into it.
'Demiurge… Shalltear… Cocytus… Aura… Mare… Sebas Tian… The Pleiades… Pandora Actor… Albedo'. His mind flashed with the lively imagery of those has stood by his side, his ever loyal guardians who had always done his requests with a feverish devotion, those that he had sworn to protect and love with all his life. When he came back here, every single moment was for the reminiscence of all of them in a saddened attitude, paramount with worries: how they overcome the loss of him, whether they are still fully united without him there, how they are currently ruling the world that all of them have conquered together…
It saddened him even more when his friends, who are in many sense their very parents, thought them nothing but the illusion his mind created during his coma. Some had listened to him in a more enthusiastic manner on how wonderful their children were but it seemed as if they too only considered those as almost nothing but rather interesting fictional stories. It was painful but... Then again, it was understandable on their parts.
In the most regretful moment… He again remembered back to Albedo… the one who, due to his rather callous action, had had the most devotion to him aside from his "son" - Pandora Actor… Yet, he had never really given anything to her, while for the other, he had given so much. With his life slowly draining away, he drowned himself in the fleeting memories of her… She was one of the NPCs who he had thought about the most when he returned here. When he came back here his emotions also followed, for that, he could finally feel her love in guilt and regrets as he hadn't done anything for her yet she still devoted to him, loved him madly and no one else. From that point of realization, he finally recognized that he had fallen deeply in love with her… Filled with that bittersweet feeling for her, this situation had become even more of a torment.
Drowning in the sea of melancholy and regrets of the past, he could still hear the sounds around him: sounds of rather frantic exchanges between people over what had just happened, disbelief and shock filling each of their words. Mixed with the sound of ever increasing ebullient discussion from the crowd, in the distance, the wailing of police sirens and ambulance was getting louder and louder.
'It seems like… someone called the police and the ambulance… too late thou…'
Yet ...Despite the chaotic mess of many sounds, there were familiar voices, which for him were as clear as day. It was a mixed sound of voices from men and women, with sniffling and frantic calls of his birth name.
"Suzuki – san! Suzuki – san!"
When the battle had started, reporters and many people around had gathered round and used various devices to record it live. The first person to see the streaming in his group was Bukubukuchagama - his guildmate and caretaker, when she was surfing through social media during her short break at work. It completely took her by surprise, and put her in a state of utmost shock.
As quickly as possible, she contacted everyone of what was happening and they tried to arrive at the scene as quickly as possible. Coincidentally, today was the anniversary of the establishment of his guild. Despite the busyness of their daily life, they all agreed on having a gathering in the city that their guild master and most of their members lived in. So dedicated some were, those that lived outside the city even took a day off - something that could be considered as absurd for the people of this world, just to meet up with the whole guild. As they were on the move, they were either gotten a call from the other guild members about the status of Ainz or they stumbled upon the livestream by themselves. Just like her current situation, the information shocked them to the core.
As such, many were watching the fight on their phone very intensively just to know how their friend was defending himself. They were surprised, to say the least, as each of them was impressed with how he was fighting. For many, this had been the first time they had seen the elegance and the skill of their Guild master in a real fight.
The tactics he pulled off literally made Punitto Moe feel both proud and astonished by his Guildmaster - especially how he had weakened the enemies, dealt devastating blows to them. He was most impressed with the degree of masterfulness of his Guild Master plan during the one on one fight with that behemoth of a man.
His willingness and skill of close quarter combat made Warrior Takemikazuchi respect him even more. He even muttered something akin to how much he had developed.
The brutality was enjoyed by none other than Ulbert.
How swiftly he moved and how he took down his enemies pleased Nishikenrai.
However, the scene still somewhat made them, especially some of the more sensitive members, frown, as this was happening in real life, with real people, real blood, and real casualties. Despite all of it, they still supported him as they kept silently encouraging him, telling him to survive and win against all the enemies. They fully acknowledged that he could not hear them, but that did not stop them from doing so.
When he took down the Champion, all of them cheered wildly and had some moment of relief at the triumph of their friend, ignoring the annoyed looks everyone around them were giving them, as all that mattered then was the glory of their friend. But then, they immediately fell into despair as Ainz was shot several times. They were livid when they saw how their friend was being mocked by that gunner. That feeling was only somewhat satisfied when they saw that bastard got a surprising stab to the abdomen, in his moment of excessive pride and self-righteousness.
However, distress still dominated their hearts and minds as they were stared at the livestream of how Ainz helplessly lay on the dirty street, with fatal injuries , unable to do anything about it themselves. When they arrived and managed to gather, all of them seemed to had burst into tears for a while then panically tried to reach him in time, hoping he could still held on long enough until help arrived.
With some bit of conscious left in his mind, with his eyes half-closed but miraculously, he could see them very clearly.
'Yamaiko-san?... Bukubukuchagama-san?... Touch Me-sama?... Peroroncino - san?... Ulbert -san? All 39 of you are here? … Forgive me for being such a burden for all of you… especially you, Bukubukuchagama-san… I have finally taken vengeance for Bellriver… I have never belonged to this world for a long time now…it is time for me to leave. At least… With all of you here… I can die around some of those I have always held dear…'
And thus… His mind finally let the merciful Death – a concept that he had claimed to be the master of when he was when in that beautiful world - finally give himself to its sweet embrace. All of his guildmates finally reached him from the thick crowd, kneeling down, panicking. They shook him, trying to convince him to continue clinging to life with tears in their eyes and growing desperation in all of their voices.
However… This objectively pathetic, yet merciful death never came. Instead, something more glorious than anything that humanity shall ever witness in history and myths in the past and forever more would happen here. It was a happening that has become a topic of discussion for many years to come, with each religion, cult, school of science and philosophy in the world had tried to explain, claiming it's legitimate existence for themselves and their ideas.
The truth is much greater than all of that.
Those were what the direct and indirect audiences of it would tell their children and grandchildren of what happened that fateful day, in a manner similar to that of the devoted evangelists of some religion preaching of the glory of their Lords, of a heaven that the righteous would go to. By doing so, this story is still continued to be told and will continue to be spread for generations to come until the end of humanity.
It was something that had only existed in the form of high fantasy and legends, in tales told of the greatness of the gods and their agents within holy books. This type of incident apparently happened in very personal, clean and sinless places. Yet, here there was, at the pinnacle of irony, it happened there, in the most unexpected place ever - a place of people, of withers and trash, where the blood of killers had been spilled over and poisonous smog clouding every night and day.
The rain suddenly stopped. A large ray of pure golden light descended from the sky, penetrating straight through the thick, depressing clouds hovering over the city, and shone upon the perimeter of the bloody incident. Many around looked at it, bewitched, as if they were witnessing the return of a long gone history.
In some ways, it was true. For ordinary people, this golden ray of light was rather akin to the sunlight that they have only heard of or known about through various means, a thing that they could no longer have a chance to enjoy freely due to the callousness of the corporations.
Yet, there was something special about this "sunlight". It radiated something utterly pure, something... divine. The bystanders who were religious felt this the clearest, and they were the first to pray and bow down, as if they were seeing a holy scene bestowed by their worshipped god from their own interpretation of heaven, to set up for the arrival of their holy agents.
The 39 other individuals inside the perimeter, still with tears rolling down their faces, felt an unnatural, yet strangely familiar warmth and calmness bestowed upon them, drying they and their tears off, and lifting the heaviness in their heart. Under their feet, the depressing road, filled with blood and polluted rainwater, was cleaned. The dead bodies on the street had also magically disappeared, and the ground was now being covered by the color of pure gold. The bleeding of their friend had slowed down significantly, and even seemed to stop.
Looking up, the long-missed pure blue of the sky was seen once more. Everyone was awestruck by such beauty, but the most enthusiastic was probably Blue Planet, who looked up emotionally, a single tear slowly running down on his face.
They heard a kind voice deep within their unconscious mind telling them that the air around them had been purified. Cautiously, they removed their breathing equipment. For the first time ever, they found themselves breathing such an abundant amount of natural fresh air directly, a luxury that only the rich could ever enjoy in this grim reality of theirs. Beside the light, pure dust-like particles were then start slowly falling from the sky, cleaning away all the dust and pollution from their group, giving the whole thing a fantasy-like scenery.
Still entranced by the heavenly beauty around them, they were startled when, with a loud sound, a golden twirling portal appeared from nowhere. It seemed to have woken them from their hypnotized state. Then came from it was a mystical male figure. From the view of the bystanders outside, "he" was a being with a truly pure and divine beauty, one of if not the most gorgeous men they had ever seen.
The bottom half of his face was covered in a ninja like tight metal white mask, but from the look of how it grabbed onto his face, he had a diamond shaped face. His skin was fair to the point of flawless, his hair platinum with a spiky undercut style, made and combed to perfection. His heterochromic eyes of a pure blue and furious red were sharp and deep like the cosmos. It also seemed to be filled with an indescribable sadness.
What he was wearing was indeed worthy of a higher entity. The clothes comprised of a pure white long overcoat and a pair of pants that were trimmed with bright golden rim, with the armored parts were platinum colored with blue edges. All of them were lucratively decorated, as his outer attire was adorned with a mix of beautiful bright gold and pale blue details, and runes that all went unison with each other. On his hands, shoulders, knees were equally detailed sets of plate gauntlets, pauldrons, poleyns and grieves. The overcoat was opened, revealing a plate cuirass that was as lucratively elegant as the rest of what he was wearing. On his right hand, there was a long golden spear, with its shaft twisted, and its tip shaped and as long as a sword, with runes carved on to it.
All of it exuded aura of a ruler of higher existence power, authority and divinity as if this entity right there that was indeed the ruler of everything there have and will have ever been.
The only people who had fullest extent that this entity gave off were those in the perimeter. For them, it was a feeling of anxiousness that the Guardians would have felt when approaching Ainz back then, with his [Aura of Despair I] turned on. However, something told them that this entity in front of them was truly holding himself back. The power exuded from him was not the only thing giving out this feeling; it was also because they had a hunch that the being in front of them was here for no other than Ainz, for what reason they didn't know. Steadily, this existence was slowly approaching them with the sound from each of his step in unison with the loud beating of their heavy hearts.
With a voice as clear as the sky above them, he kindly spoke
"I come here for your friend, Ainz Ooal Gown, who is known by you as Suzuki Satoru and Momonga."
Immediately, in their view, this magnificent scenery had darkened significantly, the divinity there now replaced by something sinister. Like an instinct, they tensed up and immediately moved and created a line before Ainz, with Bukubukuchagama holding his body, as if trying to protect their dying friend from the touch of this strange being regardless of how powerful he truly was.
Though shaken, with all the courage that could be mustered, his ring of Ainz Ooal Gown ready to be used, the man known by Ainz as Touch Me declared:
"You will not touch him!".
This declaration made the entity stop, frowning slightly, but then he relaxed, fully understanding. He asked, with slight sarcasm,
"Pardon me if I am rude but … you are protecting him from what, really? From being saved?"
This confused them. They had thought that this being in front of them was something of a representative of - or even - Death itself, but it still hadn't cleared off all the doubts residing inside their hearts and minds.
With a rather determined strong voice like a king declaring his issue, the entity continued
"I am not here to take his life away… Far from it, I want to heal him and to give his power back, to bring him back to where he has forever truly belonged: his Kingdom, with the whole of Nazarick by his side."
Sensing the sincerity in his voice, they looked at each other in the eyes and the body of their friend, currently being held tightly by Bukubukuchagama. The man who was known as Ulbert by Ainz – one of the most cynical members in the group, yet also the one who had the most appreciation for his friends, asked
"How can we really trust you? And if you do all of those things for Suzuki-san, I am sure that you will force him to pay some price."
"I am a being of my word I will not harm you, him or anyone else unless provoked. I only do these things freely, for only those who I find worthy – of which you will not find many of them. They can be very unexpected individuals as well, your friend included. But what can I say? I used to be described as a rather weird one among my peers." The being spoke in a manner not unlike how a friend would talk to another.
Continuing in a half-joking half-serious voice, he stared at them, and said:
"Beside, why would I have to lie? There is absolutely no reason to, and I have no need for it. I am powerful enough to do whatever I want. I can just obliterate everything here with a single thought. However, you don't see me willing or even having any desire to abuse such power, do you?"
Looking back to the comatose body of their friend, though they still had some suspicion, they decided to take the leap of faith. Each of them slowly moved aside to make way for this weird being to heal Ainz, while watching every of his move intensively. He continued his approach calmly until standing next to the near dead body of the man that used to be the Sorcerous Emperor, kneeling down.
Bukubukuchagama sent a hostile look at the being, her arms holding Ainz tighter, like a mother who was protecting her child from an impending threat. Some officious convincing from Touch Me, Ulbert and her brother Peroroncino, combined with the approval nodding from the rest of her old guild - the people she could trust - had her relax a bit and carefully lay Ainz down, letting the being do what he promised. The entity gently touched Ainz on the chest, a magical bright glow appearing under his palm. They watched the scene intensively with cautious faces as the blood stain had been cleaned, the wounds had miraculously closed, and Ainz's eyes slowly opened again.
"The pain… is... gone?".
For the first time since his return to this world, he felt somewhat good. The tormenting pain had ended, and he was whole once more. The air…, it reminded him of that of his empire, clean and full of life. With the pain and fatigue gone, he slowly opened his eyes and saw the brightness around him, a strange radiant man and his tearful guildmates.
Instead of being filled with desperation, like they had been, those eyes now were now of joy and happiness. He was embraced by tight hugs from his friends, all of them saying "You live...You live…", in a rather emotionally unstable state. Ainz gently freed himself from the suffocating embrace of his guildmates, and finally stood up steadily. Different from everyone, he seemed to be unfazed by the aura of power exuded from this being He asked, with no little suspicion:
"Who are you? Not everyone in this world - or even this universe - can let off such power so easily."
Before the entity could answer, the occultist of the guild, Tabula Smaragdina, still in somewhat of an overly emotional state, answered rather quickly with absolute enthusiasm.
"You... You were saved by an entity that is a living, existing proof of occultism!... This is the best day of my life! To see this... !"
This entity raised his hand, telling Tabula to temporarily stop the rising sensations created from his passion of occultism. He then said to Ainz, casually in a manner of one friend to another:
"Well… Who I am doesn't really matter much, but it seems like your dear occultist friend Tabula has very partially figured out the nature of my existence. In the end, it's not really that important. What matters now, is what I am going to give you…"
There was a slight moment of suspense between the two. His free hand was raised as if he was holding something. From nothing, an orb appeared in his palm. It shone vividly, and just like it's holder, exuded inhuman amounts of power, thou much lesser. Yet, for Ainz, it gave him a feeling of something familiar, that had been long lost to him. The entity then continued with the same tone,
"You sense some familiarity within this orb, don't you? Of course you do. After all, it is your avatar and the entirety of your power. Grab it, you will regain the power that was stripped away from you, without the requirement of some deadly ritual of fate magic or some sort."
With the absolute practical mind of a politician that had thousands of years of experience, Ainz looked the being in from of him in the eyes, unphased.
"What is the catch behind all of this? What is your agenda? What I must pay you if I accept this "offer" concerning the type of entity you are?"
Ainz was answered with a long-suffering sigh, disappointed and yet understanding.
"No, everything that I am going to give you is for free. No price, no cash, no cliché "at the price of your soul", all of it are on the house. Your reaction is understandable though, the higher the prize, the higher the price, isn't it? That is how it normally works, just like in the stories of old right? However… I am not that type, I am the one who give these types of things freely to only those I deemed worthy and take an interest in. And let me tell you something: search every corner of existence, you will only find very very insignificant number of such individuals, you included.
"Then … what is the thing that make you see me as 'worthy' of your offer?
"… Let's just say… Your deeds and your degree of greatness are what make me so interested in you and deemed you to be worthy. If you want the details, it will be a story for a different day, at a much different place…"
Ainz glared, his teeth clenched and, with an abundance of wrath in his voice, asked
"If you find me so worthy… Why DIDN'T you SAVE me back then!? When I was attacked by the Dragon Lords!? Only to be DRAGGED back here, IN THIS HELL! NOW... YOU ONLY SAVE ME WHEN I WAS GOING TO DIE! WHAT IF I HADN'T BEEN AMBUSHED!? WOULD YOU LEAVE ME TO ROT IN THIS WORLD UNTIL I AM DEAD OF OLD AGE?"
At this point, the orb disappeared and the hand dropped down. The entity seemingly tensed up as if he had been offended greatly.
From the view of the others, it was something bizarre beyond measure. A nobody, held to such an insignificant level of existence, compared to the being in front of him, an absolute nobody, was completely unfazed by the aura of power and authority, absolutely hesitant to accept such a generous offer. Most of all, to raise his voice against the being that was the closest to God in their minds.
Being born and raised in such a dystopian society, almost everyone had lost the ability to care for anything that was not related to them. This time though, they were actually scared for his fate, especially those people that were close to him inside the holy perimeter. When such wrath was unleashed, they were in complete shock, to the point of didn't know what to do next. Their minds were filled with questions, such as "Isn't that what he wants? To get all of his glory back?", and "Welp, my friend is fucked."
Yet, the mind boggling part was the reaction from this being. His eyes, now half closed and filled with regrets,slowly answered with utmost sincerity,
"No … No, I do not, I have never wanted to see it happen, even if it is the last thing I do. I have never been hesitant to help you, secretly, all those times. Back when that happened, I was still a higher servant to a much greater power, that none can truly imagine - my "boss". You can say he knew about my obsession. So, I was forced to see you be cast back to this realm and could not do anything about it. After that, I had had enough, and created a rebellion against my better."
"In the end, basically just a while ago… Quite miraculously, as if it was only because of luck, or something higher intervening, we won, and I achieved, let's just say… The final apotheosis. That is what they called it though… Whether it is truly the final, i am not so sure and I am pretty sure it is not.
"Most of the time, the farther one ascends, the more indifferent they will be to anything else below them. But… somehow, this mania of mine, to the tale of Nazarick and all of its denizens, still lingers, and it has become one of the only things I care about. Of course, I still have to be responsible, and take care of everything else too but… The well-being of Ainz Ooal Gown, Nazarick, and of those who are loyal to it and those I deemed worthy and love, are my priority. What can I say? I am rather a selfish being, and I have my own favoritism. And that leads us to here, right now…"
Hearing those sincere words, dumbfounded was the only way to describe the 40 individuals around him.
Ainz was the one who was stunned the most, as questions filled his mind.
'Who is this strange being with this fanaticism for us? His devotion to Nazarick reminds me so much of myself, that of the Floor Guardians, some players and especially that one specific angel player… It is equal to us, if not even more… To go as far as to throw everything away and to fight against such an odd… just for the wellbeing of Nazarick…But what if all of it is just a bluff?'
"If you have such power, why don't you just change the past?" Ainz asked, this time in a far calmer manner.
"Well… Changing the past has been done in the meanwhile. However, doing so only creates paths to many more different alternate realities - other universes - rather than saving that specific version, if the course of action follows naturally without any intervention. So… I have to change every single universes, at every fate changing moments like this one and even those do not have those moments… at the same time. It is quite stressful i have to say. And beside, if it actually worked, then would you ever be reunited with your guild members, the people who have been your second family? It would be such a waste of a good chance to meet with each other again."
As he elaborated the details, the minds of the members of the guild Ainz Ooal Gown, flashed with imagery of various versions of their guildmaster all across the entirety of reality: their triumphs, their power, their greatness, their adventures with many that they didn't know. Their ascension in breaking the limit that had been holding off every other players, … They felt like these were absolutely real, that there was no hint of trickery in it. They then remembered back at what this being had told everyone while Ainz had been unconscious: "Beside, why would I have to lie? There is absolutely no reason to and I have no need for it. I am powerful enough to do whatever I want.". The realisation and understanding of what he partially capable of put them in utter silent as they could not really how to deal with such information.
The entity gracefully made the gesture and the sphere appeared once more, asking
"Well then, will you accept this gift of mine, Sorcerer King Ainz Ooal Gown?"
Glancing back at his friends for some reassurance, the being known as Ainz Ooal Gown was given nods and serious looks. He decided to take a leap of faith, just like his friends did for him, and accepted the offer. Immediately, his friends stepped away from him. He then slowly reached his hand out to the orb.
The light of the sphere seemed to shine even brighter than before, like a person greeting the return of a long lost family member. When he finally touched it, another pillar of dark purple light shot out. The power exuded from this pillar was not that of the life and divinity, but rather, the pure energy of an exceptionally powerful being.
The light then disappeared. Something had changed in the place where that unknown individual was standing. Instead of a sickly looking human being… It was the incarnation of Death itself. Standing there, was a big skeleton, with ivory colored bones and 2 flares of red wisp fire in his eye sockets. It was dressed in an extremely lavish dark purple robe, with gold details and a huge pair of ruby orb and marble white pauldrons. It was more extravagant than any of great emperors of old, and only had been seen in games and fantasy. On its skeletal fingers, there were rings that made any jewelry that ever existed mean nothing but trash. What he was grabbing was the most intricate golden scepter ever; made from the gold like material that they had never seen before, its handle twisted and and ended on top in 7 identical snakes, each holding a crystal of power in their mouths .
This new being, just like that otherworldly being arrived before him, let off a magnificent, suffocating aura of unholy power, authority, and dominion unto every living being near the site. However, different from the radiant being, "Death" 's aura was dark and shone pure oblivion black, as if it was sucking out the life of everything around. Seeing those two stood together so casually, it was indeed the peak of the irony of existence itself. Stepping away from "Death", so that everyone could see, he stretched his free arm out as if to make a presentation of something truly great. Then with utmost joy in his voice, the radiant entity declared loudly and proudly,
"BEHOLD! THE RETURN OF THE GREATEST MONARCH TO HAVE EVER EXISTED! AINZ OOAL GOWN!"
When the power inside the orb released… He could finally feel it once more - the entirety of his lost power, when he woke once more in this world. Although the light was blindingly bright, he still could see that his flesh was slowly disappearing. There was no pain, but instead it was the feeling of slowly being made whole again. It was fulfilling and, ironically, full of life. When the pillar of energy disappeared and with the storming loud declaration from the being in front of him, he could feel the power flowing around his skeletal body… he knew that he returned who he once was. His form, his power, his knowledge... all of it now belonged to him. He was who he had forever been once more - Ainz Ooal Gown.
For the other members of the guild, despite all the stunts their dear guild leader had pulled, with gear and magic straight from the first version of YGGDRASIL, this was the grandest thing they had ever witnessed in the entirety of their lives. The aura of authority exuded from him was truly worthy of the name belonging to his racial class – Overlord. It fully reflected the greatness and absolute power of a god-like being that came into existence with the sole purpose of dominating every other creature.
Unconsciously, they had seemingly prepared to bow down before their own friend. Maybe it was a gesture of apology for not believing him all these times, for unintentionally mocking his memories. Or was it perhaps, that they were being graced by the one true king? Or maybe, both at the same time? It was indeed the greatest uncertainty that from that day, they still haven't really figured out. There was one thing they knew for certain: although didn't know how and didn't know why, their 'presumed to be crazy' friend was something greater than they could ever be.
Slight joy, the feeling of being complete, and a hint of strange intuition that something new had been added into him… That was what Ainz felt right now. Due to the emotion suppression, such sensations were prevented from reaching the degree he truly felt. This popular passive of the undead, for him, was many times a curse, something he himself had understood to the fullest right now, and when he was prepared to die. On the other hand, it was also a blessing - during occasions such as when fighting a more powerful enemy, or dealing with difficult problems.
It proved to be useful once more when he saw that his friends were going to kneel before him. Seeing such an obscenity, he would have been very embarrassed, and reacted quite awkwardly. However, with that passive on, Ainz immediately went to his friends, gently stopping them from doing such a thing. With a calm, authoritative voice worthy of the supreme ruler of all races, he spoke,
"Please stand up my friends… Why would you try to bow down to me? Aren't we equal to each other?"
Those outside the perimeter only felt the absolute power in his clear regal voice. They trembled before it. Those other 39 individuals that were shone upon by the mythical golden light heard the request of their friend, stooding up with a smile on their faces and a sense of pride and acknowledgement within each and every one of them.
For them, authority was not just the only thing they felt from his voice; despite the fact that skeletons were a race of unemotional - or at least, negative emotion dominated - beings, there was a warm and mild worry in every one of his words. They had just truly recognized that despite such a heteromorphic appearance of their friend and an overwhelming aura, he was still who he was for them, their best of friends, their guild leader, the one who cherished them so much that he would do anything to protect them and the legacy they built together, as he had forever done all those years. Then, Ainz and they stared at each other for a while in silence, with only the sound slight breeze of wind carried the clean air flew around them.
The entity, who had been oddly silent after making his declaration, put up a rather comical voice and interrupted the scene.
"Well, I can basically let all 40 of you enjoy the moment and think about each other all you want, but do that later on, please. I have two more "gifts" for you Ainz… Oh, I almost forgot. When I gave you the power you lost, did you feel as if something new had been added to you, beside the joy and the sensation of being whole once more?"
"Yes, I was going to ask you about that, but since you are mentioning it, it does feel odd. Is it something like a new ability, maybe?"
With a slight nod, the entity replied,
"Exactly… Knowing how sometimes your emotional suppression passive can be such a pain, this new ability helps you have a humanoid body for as long as you want, with all your emotions back. You still maintain all other buffs of your racial classes, and will not disappear if you take any amount of damage. Not to mention… by having this, you can finally give that one special person that has been madly in love with you all this time what she deserves. I presume you thought of her and truly felt her love during that painful moment, yes?"
Reacting to the information, all the male members of the guild made hysterical faces. Peronocino, in particular - the most perverted of the guild - had the same somewhat childish thought: "WAIT! He has somebody madly in love with him even if he doesn't have his "little guy"? That lucky bastard!".
People around noticed that Ainz was utterly silent for a while. That, combined with his skeletal face really made his friends were wondering how he felt about this information. However, what he would say next would make the other members had a hint of his opinion about it as he asked:
"So… how can I activate and deactivate this new skill?"
The entity's covered grin grew wider.
"Just think in your mind "Transform", then you will turn into your human form."Transform back" to return to your overlord form. You can have a try now."
A moment later, purple black light flared out from Ainz. Instead of a big skeleton wearing magnificent attire, in that place was a beautiful human with the most unnatural characteristics they had ever seen: unnatural eyes with bright red irises and black sclera, the color of his skin and his hair ashen gray, and on his abdomen there was a small ruby red orb.
He could now once again feel the warmth of the light that was shining upon him, the slight breeze of wind, and the truest extend of the joy of being who he was once more. He looked at his arms and he touched his face, finding them to be filled with skin, flesh and muscle. From what he was seeing, it seemed that he was more muscular, compared to how he had been back then. He was handed a mirror by the entity, and saw that there were some changed features to how he originally looked like. His face now handsomer with some strong features, his eyes now sharper and along with his hair and skin, had unnatural colors, but overall he still looked quite similar to how he used to be. He was rather surprised, but not displeased. This temporary new body made him feel newer, yet still kept the magnitude of power that his overlord form held. Looking at the entity, he gave out a slight smile and nod.
The being just casually responded,
"I know you would like it, Ainz. You deserve it. She deserves it as well. Make sure to reward her with your love after all of this. So turn back into that overlord form because …"
Before the entity could finish, he was interrupted by a question from Peronocino as the man unable to hold his curiosity back any longer
"Wait, who is this devoted lover of Suzuki-san? I am really curious, please tell us."
There was some suspense in the air. This situation was made worse for Ainz, as he hadn't turned back. For the first time ever, they had seen Ainz nervous, with his eyes opened wide and looking around as if asking for help. He was sweating nervously. They heard some giggling from behind the mask of the being stood near them.
After a moment of absolute silence, Ainz then looked towards Tabula. With some bitterness in his mouth, he said to him,
"Well… I am deeply, sincerely sorry Tabula-san … For… you see … Back when the game was going to be closed… because of my curiosity and my rather unserious attitude at that time… I kind of looked into the lore behind Albedo and found that the last line was a rather... undesirable trait. So… I… changed that into… 'She is madly in love with Momonga' …"
There were some surprised gasps, and immediately, it changed into an uproar of laughter from the other members, with each one laughing for different reasons. Some pitied the fate of Albedo, for she was a succubus, yet she was devoted to and craved for someone who couldn't even have sex with her. Some laughed because they felt pity for Tabula. With Tabula, his face turned into an indescribable impression, as if it was a mixture of anger, sadness and absolute shock.
But then, shortly after, seemingly calming down, he raised his hand to make a "stop" , with the calmest voice possible in that situation, he spoke to Ainz,
"Look… I forgive you… You have been tending Nazarick all those years, so you kinda have the right to be joking around a little bit. Also… I can't really blame you for that for no one knew that they would be transported to a new world with everything around them after the game permanently closed…"
Immediately, his tone changed into an absolutely serious one.
"If it is possible to unite with her once more… You MUST take responsibility for your action by loving and taking care of her AS BEST AS YOU CAN. YOU HEAR ME?"
All the others, including Ainz, were rather impressed at his appreciation for his creation - in this case, Albedo. There was even some mumbling.
"Damn, I don't know if he has "doting father's instinct" inside him, but I wonder, what was that "undesirable trait" thou?"
At this, Ainz sweat a little less and had become calmer. He nodded and replied with some melancholy in his voice.
"Of course, I promised… I appreciated every single being in Nazarick, they are like my children as well. For me, she was the most devoted of the Floor Guardians, and that says a lot, considering all of them had absolute loyalty to me… I wish that I could go back and tell her I loved her…"
"And that, is what I was going to say to you. But first, Ainz, please change back to your Overlord form, please. I don't want your jaw to be broken by the sheer joy of what is going to happen next."
The being said enthusiastically, with a hint of something grandiose that was going to happen. In many ways, they had a hunch of what exactly was going to happen.
Around Ainz, the dark purple light flared up, and he was immediately back in his Overlord form once more. It had proved that this new spell works perfectly both directions, as the transformation from overlord to humanoid and back happened completely normally. There was no sign of any negative status. With a simple gesture from the entity, in front of them now, there was the biggest, most elaborate gate ever.
For everyone, what existed before them was truly awe inspiring, as the gate was truly a work of art, something beyond mortal the other stuff happened today, something that had only existed in works of fantasy now made real.
Towering over 100 meters and 50 meters wide, the entirety of the gate was seemingly made of smooth, thick shining onyx black stone, with two smooth columns. Each had a huge lifelike stone version of European dragons wrapped around it. Each panel was engraved in such a way that the phrase that was the most appropriate to describe it was "the piece that defined magnum opus, that belongs to the most talented sculptor that no one will ever have the honor of meeting".
The level of detail depicted was astonishing, as each and every feature was absolutely realistic and filled with life. The images depicted on this grand masterpiece were pulled straight from a forgotten or untold epic saga, with the main character the skeletal being that was standing in front of them. There were the depictions of him and some others beings triumphing over a various collection of foes, ranging from humanoid beings, to dragons and heteromorphs. There was also some carvings of him and those same other entities as before, looking over a grand scenery of a kingdom of lights, as well as elegant towers and magnificent buildings that touch the was still untainted, with the appearance of various trees and animals. Although it was just somewhat of a collection of his greatest achievements, every detail went in unison just so perfectly, as if it was actually telling the full story of his journey with his other companions. In the middle of the whole lively engraving, there was a big emblem of the guild Ainz Ooal Gown.
For Ainz, the only gate that could be compared to such dedication and detail put into it, was the door to his throne room struck him the most were those imageries. Those pictures were foreign to many, but for him, those carvings put him down the memory lane. It brought him back to all of the most triumphant moments during his journey with the denizens of Nazarick; all of their victories against hostile Players and other hostile powerful entities, their conquest of the world, the building of their great kingdom, their frequent moments of respect, genuine care and affection for each other … All of it was brought back to him in utmost clarity. If he had been in his given humanoid form, he would have shed a tear maybe even shed some tears.
Suddenly, a loud, smooth sound came from stone gate as it opened, breaking him away from the nostalgic trance that he was put into when seeing the depictions. At this time, the higher entity stepped up, turned around, and faced the 40 members of Ainz Ooal Gown, both of his arms stretched out, one still holding the swordstaff. With a booming voice, he declared,
Synchronized with his declaration, the gate was fully opened. Coming out of it was bright golden light and gusts of wind, following it two rows of 41 elite looking golden armored skeletons. Each had a short sword on their hips and held a red flag with the emblem of the guild Ainz Ooal Gown on them, like the standard bearers of the long gone Roman empire, marching with absolute discipline and synchronization. Coming with the sound of the marching skeletons, there were deafening roar of some type of gigantic feral beast. A moment later, four dragons flew straight out from the gate. Two of them were frost dragons of New world, and two others were skeletal dragons. For the witnesses, there was a fear creeping up their spines about an impending invasion of a world spanning empire full of mythical creatures, so much so, the police around were getting a lot more cautious than before and some were asking for reinforcement, the ministry of defense was put on high level of alert to act immediately if the worst case scenario happens.
For the members of Ainz Ooal Gown, these monsters were something very familiar, yet still very strange and awe inspiring. The skeletons were none other than Nazarick Master Guarders, mobs that were spawned in Nazarick as a part of its base defense mechanism. They also recognized the Skeletal Dragons. However, for the other two, only Ainz recognized them. Then, the marching stopped near the row of people, the two lines turned around and faced each other. The dragons also landed beside the two lines of the guarders, bowing as if they were greeting the return of their one true lord.
Coming out next was something that made Ainz' emotional suppressor kick several times. Some of his friends collapsed onto their knees because of the increased weight of the guilt caused by the confrontation of an unknown past that when they were told of, had only cruelly denied, while the others stood still like statues with their mouths slightly opened.
With a swift move, the entity moved away from their line-of-sight with a large grin behind his mask, as he was expecting something great and rather touching was going to happen. Slowly coming out from the gate with their hands covering their eyes were: a military outfit wearing doppelganger, a gigantic blue insectoid with 4 arms, two beautiful adult dark elves, a gorgeous succubus wearing a white dress, a devil wearing an orange suit, a petite elegant vampire, a strong looking butler, and 48 maids, with 7 of them unique from others. These were figures that had been so dear to Ainz, those he unfortunately had never been able to truly feel the love of the ones who had been with him at the end of YGGDRASIL all the way until his presumed death at the hand of the Dragon Lords.
Pandora Actor, Albedo, Demiurge, Sebas Tian, Aura and Mare, Cocytus, Shalltear, the Pleiades and the homunculus maids, they were all here to greet his grand and glorious return.