Authors note: You are all insane. Seriously, I did not expect such a massive response to this story or the first chapter. Or so fast. This is probably the biggest review burst for a chapter I have ever had as we went past 24 reviews in as many hours. It is staggering.

Now to be slightly serious. While basically all the reviews from everyone have been very positive and hopeful, there have been some questions and wonderings that I can explain without spoiling the future plot of what I have planned.

First, in regards to Ainz and my 'Crippling' of him. What I mean is that he has no nazerick, no inventory, no items aside from his base robe and the two items he found and only has access to his spells and abilities. This was done for story purposes and to not make him extra Op. because let us be honest, Ainz is a good and strong character not because of his items, but because of his knowledge and mind, so I want him to have to rely on that more than items.

And no, Nazarick is not making an appearance.

Next, the fact this is a crossover with Kuroinu and is M rated, that is to say, Sex, drugs and rape and roll. Yes, there will be sexual themes and, as this is Kuroinu, some may be nonconsensual, However, Ainz will not be taking part in any nonconsensual acts, and if he does take part in any kind of sexual act in the story's future, it will be a natural development with sensible reasoning and plot relations, not just for him to bone something.

Okay, I think those were the most prominent explanations about Ainz that I needed to get out of the way for now. Other things can be explained as they come up.

So now please enjoy the chapter!

Ps- it only came out this quickly as it was like 80-90% done when I posted the first. Please do not expect the third even close to this fast.

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Celestine Lucross, the Goddess reborn and leader of the seven shields alliance awoke with a jolt, going from deep asleep to awake in an instant and straight up into to a sitting position. Her heart was trying to beat out of her chest, and her body was soaked in a cold sweat that turned her bed sheets into a disgusting clammy mess.

As the goddess reborn she often had visions of the future. They were often vague and difficult to interpret when asleep, and when awake they were so quick they were difficult to pinpoint in their focus.

This time though her vision was utterly incomprehensible, yet startlingly clear. Chaos, death and devastation like nothing the last centuries of war had brought. Yet none of the beasts or monsters in her vision had been familiar. There were no orcs or imps slaughtering humans, no Dark-elves leading the charge, just new and unknown monsters slaughtering all in their path. Some looked like masses of ooze eating people alive, while others looked like people with drastic alterations to them, such as tails, insect body parts and even more strange looks. There even appeared to be subhuman creatures and many rare Demi-human creatures as well. What was truly startling was that a few had pale skin and appeared to be leading armies of what, at first glance look like knights and soldiers in black armor.

There had been no images of those she knew in any form, making it nigh impossible to ascertain a time frame for her vision. Was in his same decade, or many decades in the future? She just could not tell, and as she got up off of her bed sheets she noticed that it was still the dead of night. Stepping out onto her balcony she shivered as a wind cooled her soaked garments and let out a worried sigh. "Does this mean a new enemy is coming to our lands? Or was that perhaps a far flung future of some sort?"

What answered her question was a gust of wind that made her turn her head, where her eyes caught sight of something out of place. Far to the North West, almost at the horizon, was a ball of blackness, a perfect sphere of darkness that sucked in the very light around it and seemed to pull the grasslands of the horizon up towards it like a hungry beast.

It then disappeared as she blinked. It was simply gone with no proof that it had even existed in the first place.

She stood there and stared out at the horizon for long enough that she lost track of time, and was only brought out of her staring when an own flew by at a distance in front of her vision. Turning back into her room she walked up to a small table and picked a hand mirror, looking over her face and marveling at her own eyes.

Eyes that were filled with apprehension and fear for the future.

It was at that moment her vision exploded forwards. She saw a scene from the past that she had only heard of, a young human girl being dragged into Ansur by chains. Her vision then shifted to show Ansur itself, a huge army of demons outside of it and being decimated. Her vision shifted slightly, giving her a distant view of a person in black robes standing atop the walls of Ansur, and then just as abruptly as it had come, her vision ended.

When she managed to control her breathing she found herself collapsed onto the floor, and the mirror she had been holding on the ground in dozens of pieces. Starign at the pieces for a moment she then shook her head and awkwardly got up off of the floor with a heavy sigh. "Perhaps, it would be best to have Claudia return to Ansur for a time."

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Ainz stared up at the night sky, enjoying the wonder of how clear and bright it was. In his time, world, whatever his situation was, one could not see the night sky due to gross quantities of pollution in the air. Even during the day the sky was less blue and more a hazy grey or yellow. But here the sky was like a blanket of glittering lights he had never seen before. It could have taken his breath away if he had breath to take, and it made it very easy to just let his mind wander and consider the information he had learned.

It seemed looking into the village had been a surprisingly good thing, allowing him to both test out if many of his spells worked the way he expected them to, and allowed him to learn much from the two female knights about the world he was now in and how it worked.

They both were able to tell him much about their lands and the current political situation the land was in. A land called Eos, in which constant fights with demons, that were simply things like imps and orcs, little different from the Orcs in Yggdrasil, attacked the lands every few decades, raping and pillaging as they went. That changed when a citadel formed in the north, tainting the land and unifying the monsters under a Dark-elf who was, unimaginatively, called the Dark Queen. In response a High-elf who was supposedly some kind of reborn Goddess, unified many nations in Southern Eos, forming the seven shields alliance and building seven fortresses south of the demons lands to halt the Dark Queens forces and protect the fertile southlands of Eos where many races, including elves, lived.

That all happened over two hundred years as the knights Melodie and Hara told it, and the war had been going on for that long as well with no end in sight. Both women seemed intent on telling him more, but both of their exhaustion from nearly a whole day of walking, and from wounds, took their toll and they had been forced to stop just before twilight and rest. Which of course led to both women falling into deep slumber in mere moments and leaving Ainz to watch over them.

"I doubt they would be sleeping so calmly if they knew what I looked like behind this mask," Ainz mused to himself as he glanced around at the surroundings again.

They had followed the road south the entire time, coming across dropped luggage and empty wagons but little else before they had been forced to stop and rest. They were by a section of road that was winding across the river; no less than three bridges going over it when the road could simply have went around far easier. The gentle trickle of the river was a nice sound though, and the clear night sky was so brilliant he doubted he would ever get tired looking at it.

A brilliantly deep blue sky with wisps of light and color. Glistening stars that twinkled all over, brighter than he thought possible. A bright almost oranges colored moon that covers the nighttime landscape with dull yet warm light. A swarm of red skinned wings and cackling that-.

"Hmm, more or those imps. Likely a scouting force I would guess," Ainz said as he quickly counted them up in the sky, stopping to sigh when he hit three dozen. "Let's see if this works. Black hole!"

In response to his words a black sphere appeared in the air amid the approaching imps and immediately pulled at them with more force than their wings could counter. The air around him was also sucked toward it, causing grass and dirt to fly up into the air and follow the imps into the nothingness he had created. Once the imps were gone it lasted merely a second more before disappearing, leaving no trace it, or the imps, had ever been there.

"So that spell works as well. My spells work, and my other abilities that are not dependent on a UI seem to work as well. Is this truly some sort of, reincarnation I wonder?" Ainz said to himself. The more he thought about it the less he seemed to know. And the lore of the world that he had learned thus far did nothing to simplify matters.

Looking over he saw that the two knights were still sound asleep and looked unlikely to awake easily. He wanted to reach that city they spoke of in the hopes of getting answers, but he would have little chance of gaining entry to a fortress city without the girls help, so leaving them behind was-.

"Haaaa, my thoughts are a mess. Leaving a pair of young girls out in the wilderness all alone. I'm no Saint, but even I would not go that far. It seems my racial traits affect me to some extent more than I perhaps realized," Ainz grumbled as he turned to both women and waved a hand toward them. "Levitate."

The two women's bodies lifted up off the ground, their bodies curling up into balls, then wrapping around each other as they touched on reflex.

"Hmm, it seems it will work on people instead of just items or the environment, curious," Ainz said as he began walking down the road, the two girls floating just behind him unaware to their newfound flight.

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Both Melodie and Hara awoke just past dawn and were both visibly and vocally shocked to see the great walls of Ansur on the horizon. They also seemed just as surprised to floating but did not panic about it nearly as much as Ainz had figured they would. It seemed magic was rather varied in this world, and simply explaining that he had ben levitating them was accepted with no issue.

Both women looked better after much needed rest, and possibly the morale boost of seeing their home come into view. They returned to the previous arrangement of Ainz carrying Hara as she was still crippled and, despite her words to the contrary, Melodie was not in good shape either. She had no open wounds, but a number of shallow cuts could be seen, as well as a number of bruises that were forming on her arms and stomach. Her exhaustion, while better after some rest, was still clearly evident in the way she walked as well. Lopsided and with a noticeable stagger and uneven steps.

Perhaps because of this both girls were surprisingly quiet as they walked, Melodie only killing the silence as they approached a hill that seemed to dominate the road right before the fortress city.

"The wall sentries will have already seen us, and some will come out to meet us probably so do not, act aggressively, and I will explain our situation," she said with a forced smile, leaning in pain from some injury not noticeable to the eye. "You will likely, have to explain to our commander your presence as well, before you are given any kind of access, to the city though."

"That is fine. There is likely little that can wound me here," Ainz said with a soft chuckle just as the three of them crested the hill and saw all of Ansur.

Calling it a fortress city did not do it justice. The cities walls were made of gigantic blocks of white stone, each the size of cars and stacked up to form the wall itself which was easily seventeen meters tall. They were covered in softly glowing pale blue runes of some sort, and large catapults lined the crenelated walls at regular intervals. Below there was an expansive moat, and above the towers and parapets a grand castle attempted to pierce the sky. It was beyond what Ainz had expected out a fortress city, for by the way the walls curved they must have encircled quiet a huge area if the whole city was indeed within its walls.

"Rather impressive walls. I assume those are protective runes upon it?" Ainz asked as he looked at the walls and could see some kind of movement upon them, though not exactly what at the current distance. His eyes in his current form had perfect vision, but even still distance would pose some issue.

"Yes, it is said that Lady Celestine herself, cast the protective spells on the walls of each of the seven Fortress cities, when they were first built," Melodie said in a proud tone, though her exhaustion made it a little less impressive with her almost broken sentence.

Ainz let out a hum as he slowly walked down the hill, eyes stuck on the walls. Something about them, or more accurately about the runes upon them, made him feel odd. Not nervous, but wary, as if his whole being was telling him to be careful of them.

Or perhaps of the one who cast them.

Which, as he was an overlord, and the walls supposedly reinforced by the magic of one who was called a reborn goddess, made considerable sense. He would need to be sure to absolutely not remove his mask or gloves, or let anyone see within his robes under any circumstance until he knew what these lands and peoples thought of the undead!

"There," Melodie suddenly said, brining Ainz's attention forward to a number of people on horses coming out of the gates toward them.

"I suppose we should stand still to greet them?" Ainz asked.

"They are probably just nervous about you, that is all. It will be fine," Melodie said, doing the exact opposite and worrying Ainz greatly and making him look again at the approaching riders. All of them appeared even at a distance to be wearing the same style of skimpy armor that Hara and Melodie were. And they had weapons drawn.

In a bare minute the horse women had arrived and surrounded them, spears and swords trained on Ainz and no one else as one of the women, who was wearing a silver armor and looked very similar to Melodie in both body and face, dismounted and then proceeded to step up to her.

And then hug her.

"Goodness Melodie, I Thought I lost you!"

"Well, as you can see I'm, mostly okay, Aria," Melodie replied as she returned the hug, and then parted. "Though I admit that if sir Gown had not arrived when he did, neither Hara nor I, would be here. He arrived at the village just before we were to be, overrun and saved us with an extremely potent display of magic!"

The elf named Aria turned and looked at Ainz, her eyes narrowing with disdain as she spoke. "Who are you and why are you carrying a grayed knight like that?"

"Lady Hara injured both of her legs in combat, so I felt it prudent to carry her to mitigate additional injury. She still requires medical attention however," Ainz said, hoping that shifting the attention to those that needed it would help him lay low.

"Yes, can I get, some proper healing already?" Hara spoke up while still sounding rather disconnected about her whole situation. She also appeared to be deliberately avoiding the gazes of every knight around them, whose armor was just as golden as Melodie's and unlike her own. In fact her armor now appeared to be highly irregular in how dull it was.

"Very well, you three," Aria spoke up with a slight scowl as she pointed to three of the knights. "Get that one to a priest for healing."

The three knights worked quickly, creating a gurney out of magic in front of Ainz who, getting the hint, gently placed Hara on it. They then ran off with her without a word.

"You look like you need some healing as well, Melodie," Aria said suddenly.

"Well, I have been better, as I said," Melodie said, trying hard but ultimately failing to not wobble on her feet a bit.

"Right get on my horse, were getting you to a healer too," Aria stated as she almost threw Melodie up onto her horse before climbing on herself.

"Wait, I promised sir gown-"

"Yes he's coming with us, so shut up and try to rest," Aria interrupted Melodie as she turned her horse and looked at Ainz, gesturing to him to head to the gate. He nodded and began walking, but was surprised when Aria kept her horse to his own speed. And continued to glare at him for a few moments before speaking up. "You still have not introduced yourself."

"No, I apologize for that but I felt it most prudent that their injuries be tended to," Ainz said in response, finding the way that Aria looked at him to be rather unnerving. As if he was somehow lesser or beneath him.

"Well, Hara will be dealt with, and Melodie is not in immediate danger, so why don't you take off that mask and introduce yourself," Aria said seriously as she glared at Ainz.

"Of course," Ainz said with a slight bow. "I am Ainz Ooal Gown, a Magic caster of the land of Yyg, though as I understand it you may instead refer to me as a magician or mage."

"I have never heard of this land of, Yyg," Aria said as she continued to stare.

"I am not surprised. Before being here I had never heard of this land of Eostia before either. I was brought here by a teleportation spell that had malfunctioned and had gone awry," Ainz explained, hoping nothing about his words was too outlandish.

"That sounds absurd! I have never heard of anyone not knowing of our land, the only one in which a deity was reborn to live among the people!" Aria scoffed loudly. "However I will admit I am no scholar, and in appreciation for saving my sister, I will not let my own feelings judge you. That will be the job of the Shield Princess of Ansur herself when she returns, and the Head Scholar until then."

"I thank you for that," Ainz said as the group was nearing the walls and gate.

"I am not done," Aria said sternly. "Take off that mask."

"I cannot," Ainz said on reflex before then realizing how problematic his tone could be. He needed to give a believable reason and fast!

"That was not a request," Aria said grimly as she reached for her sword, only to be stopped by Melodie getting in the way.

"Wait Aria, he had it on when we met, he-" Melodie began to say.

"No," Aria cut her off. "That makes him all the more dangerous if you have not seen his face," aria declared a she looked back at Ainz. "Take it off."

"I did not say that I will not, but I cannot," Ainz said as he quickly thought up a hopefully believable reason. Religion. "My people wear these masks for important cultural and religious reasons. The only ones to see beneath them are our betrothed and no others."

"This is not your land," Aria said seriously.

"That is true, but I refuse to disregard the rules of my culture. I do not mean to insult your own, but by the laws of my land, if I remove my mask and you see my face, well, I am sure you can connect the dots, yes?"

"What are you meaning?" Aria asked, seeming to not quiet understand.

"Only our betrothed may see our faces. If you see my face, then by the rules of my culture and religion, you would be required to become my betrothed," Ainz explained as they began to cross the drawbridge toward the cities open gate and an awaiting group of knights.

Aria looked visibly startled and went red in the face before composing herself. "I, I do not follow your beliefs, I am a follower in the goddess reborn lady Celestine!"

"You would disregard another's beliefs then? As if they held less importance than your own?" Ainz asked while inwardly grinning at his obvious victory. There was no way she could continue to argue against his words without coming off in the wrong.

Aria looked conflicted before finally letting out a resigned sigh. "Very well. I do not believe such absurd rules could exist, but I will let the lord scholar decide the truth to your words until lady Laeventin returns," Aria said as the group passed under the wall to a large stone courtyard that looked to double as a training ground. All around them were military personnel and buildings with a large fortress castle surprisingly close, as if the castle was placed to defend the city, not the other way around.

Most of the buildings appeared to be made of wood with stone foundations and tile roofs. They looked sturdy enough, but were clearly military in nature by how Spartan they were built and maintained. The castle, in comparison was a grand building that looked as if it had been carved out of a single block of stone. He could see no seams in the stone anywhere, and the way its towers and balconies came away from the main buildings told him that magic had to have been used to build it.

"I thank you for that well thought out decision," Ainz said after a second, leaving out what he could have done, knowing that while doing it would be enjoyable it would not help his situation in the least.

Aria scoffed as she turned her horse away from him "We will see. You two, escort our, guest, to meet the lord scholar!"

"YES!" two knights, one elf and a human, said as they both dismounted their horses instantly, leaving them for others to deal with, and came to either side of Ainz. "This way sir Gown."

"Hmm, thank you, lead the way," Ainz said with a polite nod.

The two knights then began leading him down the street to the edge of the military district and to an entryway into the fortress itself. It was rather impressive with carpets over the ornate floor, regular carved statues lining the halls and bright lamps lining them as well. Those they met in the halls, mostly maids, butlers and other servants, made room as they approached and bowed to the knights. Some did it willingly and proudly, but Ainz noticed the stances of some, especially the guards they passed, were rigid with a variety of mixed emotions. The big question was whether their response was due to his presence, or that of the knights themselves.

He still did not know enough to make an educated guess.

Eventually, after ascending numerous sets of stairs and traveling down many more dozens of hallways than were likely necessary, they arrived at an open door that led to what appeared to be an excessively large and ornate throne room, only to pass it and head further down the hall to another door, smaller but covered in symbols and runes of the stars and books.

The human girl then knocked on the door before partly opening and speaking through the gap. "Lord Scholar, captain Aria has sent you a guest who she wishes to be determined if he is truthful and trustworthy."

Ainz sighed at the blunt words of the knights but said nothing as a reply came a second later.

"Yes of course, thank you. Please send him in," came a mans voice from within.

The human girl then opened the door and stepped to the side, staring at Ainz.

"Thank you for the escort," Ainz said as he passed, entering the room and finding it to be somewhat what he expected. The walls were covered in bookshelves from the wall to the ceiling with a rolling ladder providing access to the higher shelves. Books and piles of scrolls covered every shelf, and at the far back of the room was a large stained glass window and a doorway onto a small balcony, in front of which was a desk covered in books and papers. Other than the window, a large chandelier hung from the ceiling to provide light and underneath it was a short rectangular table covered in scrolls and maps with a half dozen chairs surrounding it, and standing between the desk and table was the rooms only occupant.

He was a man of decent height and moderate age, likely in his late twenties or thirties, garbed in well made and tailored robes that marked him obviously as a mage or scholar of some kind. He looked intelligent, but to Ainz he looked a little, meek somehow. As if he gave up before even being able to speak his mind.

Ainz suddenly felt someone poke him in the back and looked to see the elf woman poking him with a sheathed sword, as if telling him to step further into the room. He did so, and the two knights then stepped into the room and closed the door, taking positions on either side of it.

It seemed they did not trust him to be with their Lord Scholar on his own.

"Greetings sir, I am Klaus Curtis, the head Scholar of Ansur, may I ask why you have been brought to me?" Klaus asked politely.

Ainz opened his mouth to reply, only for the elven knight to speak up before he could, her tone serious and untrusting. "This man supposedly saved knights Melodie and Hara yesterday when the village they were at was attacked. He is said to have helped them return, but when asked refused to take off his mask to the captain. She wishes to know how trustworthy his tale is before lady Levantine returns to the city."

Klaus nodded, but did not look at the knight and instead smiled and gestured to the table as he looked at Ainz. "Would you like to sit sir? Once comfortable we can do proper introductions and you may tell me of what has transpired to you, yes?"

It was not a suggestion, but an insistent order. But it was also much more polite than anyone in this land had yet been, so Ainz took a step forward as he spoke. "I Am Ainz Ooal Gown, and I thank you for your politeness sir. I would prefer to sit if that is alright."

"Of course, please sit wherever you like, though I do apologize by how much of a mess this place is. I do not have many chances to tidy up," Klaus admitted as he took a seat at the tables end closest to the desk, while Ainz took a seat on the longer right side of the table. "Would I be correct in assuming you do not require any refreshments?"

"You would be, yes."

"I understand. To start again, I am Klaus Curtis, head scholar of Ansur, as well as a mage of some moderate skill, though nothing compared to Lady Celestine or the Dark queen. My skills lie more in gathering information and making some simple plans for my wife on occasion."

Ainz inwardly smiled. This man was smart, using a more in depth introduction of himself to bait him out to tell more about himself to be properly polite. It was a good tactic that would keep them talking. And as there was little reason to not respond in kind, Ainz did. "I am called Ainz Ooal Gown, a Magic caster from the land of Yyg."

"Would magic caster be a term from your land for what we call a mage or magician perhaps," Klaus asked first.

"I have been led to believe that, yes. If a mage is one who casts magic and researches it, then that is indeed what I am."

"I see; then we hold similar positions it seems," Klaus said with an honest smile. "I am not aware of any land called Yyg however. Do you know where it is in relation to Eostia?"

"I do not. In fact before being here, I had never heard of this land of Eostia," Ainz admitted, fishing for information. "That is something that, the lady knight Melodie had promised me. That is, access to maps, to see if I perhaps could find a point I recognize upon it to triangulate my location."

"Well that seems easily doable," Klaus said as he stood up and glanced around for a few moments before picking up a very large scroll and handing it across the table to Ainz. "This is the most detailed map we have of the continent and countries of and around Eos."

"Thank you," Ainz relied as he took the map and unrolled it across the table, quickly noting that he did not recognize the name of a single location. Stating such a thing instantly would likely be bad however, so he spent a few moments going over the map, trying to memorize as many locations as he could.

"Do any locations sound familiar to you?" Klaus asked after a few more moments of silence, his curiosity obvious in his tone.

"Unfortunately not, all of these locations are utterly foreign to me it seems,"

"That is unfortunate. May I ask how you came to our lands without knowing where you were?"

"A teleportation spell went awry when I was testing it. I found myself at the edge of forest and grasslands instead of where I had expected to be, which was to be outside of my own home."

"That is impressive; teleportation is quiet powerful magic to use on ones own. I assume you were using runes and a circle of some form?"

"No, just my own spellpower," Ainz said, before realizing that perhaps stating such a thing was not in his best interest. It had been a long time since he had spoken with someone who was genuinely curious.

"I, I see," Klaus said, seeming a bit put off and worried. "May I ask what you did when you found yourself in an unknown place?"

"I noticed a village of some kind was near so I approached only to then notice smoke. When I arrived I found it under siege by monsters led by a Dark-elf. I gave them a chance to retreat and, when she refused I killed her and then proceeded to kill the other monsters, saving Miss Hara and Melodie in the process. We spoke, allowing me to gain an inkling of my situation. Then I assisted them in treating Hara and in returning here."

"I See; I expect they are very thankful for that. May I ask why captain Aria does not believe you to be trustworthy?" Klaus asked directly, causing the human knight to speak up.

"He refused the captains order to remove his mask and show his face. He then said something absurd about keeping it on being part of his religion or something else as ridiculous."

"Miss Knight, while I respect your rank and opinion, I asked our guest sir Gown, not yourself. Please refrain from interrupting him again," Klaus almost said calmly, making the knight gasp, but say nothing else.

"Thank you for that," Ainz said as he leaned back a bit in the chair as he noticed that Klaus seemed nervous from his own words. "She ordered me to remove my mask, and I told her I could not. She pressed, and I explained that in the culture and religion of my people we all wear masks and only ones betrothed is allowed to see under their mask. I also explained that if I showed her my face that, by my cultures rules, she would need to become my betrothed."

"Ah, I see. And she believed such a culture to be impossible in all likelihood," Klaus mused for a moment. "May I ask you a few questions about your land?"

Ainz felt the worry flow through his body. He could not get anything wrong now; otherwise his only protection would be gone as would any chance to ingratiate himself to help attain information. "You may."

"Do all people in your culture wear such masks?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

"There are monsters that can hunt down people by simply having seen their faces. Without seeing such they are weak and easily dealt with, but if they see someone's face that person cannot harm them, and the beast will relentlessly pursue them. The more they kill the stronger they become. The masks protect us, and overtime they became an intrinsic part of our culture."

"That . . . does not sound so impossible considering some forms of demons that exist. What was it called?"

"Facestealers, for the fact they consume the face of the ones they see first before moving onto the rest of the body," Ainz responded instantly as his mind continued working, turning out as much information about this fake culture that he could while inwardly doing his best to make sure none of it was counterintuitive to what he said.

"Gruesome," Klaus said with a visible shiver. "Do children where these masks as well?"

"Once they are old enough to walk and speak, yes. It is an important coming of age moment," Ainz replied.

"Ah, that does make sense. What are they made of?"

"The masks for children are often made of soft wood, while adults are often simple metal such as brass. Nobility wear masks of pyrite or platinum, while magicians and warriors wear masks of steel like my own."

"I see, that is very curious indeed. What are your people called? Are you human, or another race of some form?" Klaus asked carefully, though his voice still wavered and made it clear that race could become a sticking point.

Ainz thought for a second, realizing he hadn't thought of race name, and then quickly chose one from European myth to keep in line with Yyg being just a short form of Yggdrasil. Then he realized pausing looked bad, and smirked at how easy it was to subvert. "Hmm, ah I apologize; I suddenly found myself thinking of my own childhood. What was your question?"

"Are your people human, and what do they call themselves?" Klaus reiterated calmly.

"Ah, my people are called the Tuatha, and some are human, but many races live among our people and follow our culture."

"Fascinating!"

"Lord Scholar, you cannot believe this man's drivel!" The elf woman said, almost spitting the word man as if it was disgusting to even say. "He must be lying!"

"I agree, an entire culture of wearing masks is silly," the human knight added as she glared at Ainz.

"No it is perfectly plausible. Human, elven and Dwarven cultures all are very different from each other when their races do not intermingle. And do not forget that the lands that Lady Kaguya hails from to the east has a vastly different culture than any other in Eostia," Klaus said professionally before he leaned forward, planting both hands on the table. "I also recall that I asked you to not interrupt our conversation. I am the one deciding if his words are true, not either of you ladies."

"But he-" the human knight began to say, up until the elven one poked her in the side and shook her head. "Yes . . . ,I apologize lord scholar."

"Thank you. Please go and tell the captain that, until my wife returns, Sir Gown is to be considered trustworthy, and shall be here as my guest for saving the lives of two of your fellow knights. Please also have a servant prepare a room for him and come here to report when it is ready."

"Understood," the elven knight said before she opened the door and left, followed quickly by the human knight leaving the two men alone in the study.

"I am sorry you had to see that sir Gown," Klaus said with a slight bow. "They do mean well, but many of the knights here in Ansur can be a bit. . . ."

"Intense?" Ainz offered, feeling it would be both correct, and not too insulting.

"That is a good word for it, yes," Klaus said as he sat back down and leaned back. "Are there orders of Knights in your land Sir Gown?"

"There are many knightly orders in my land, though not all are well received depending upon their rules and where they hail from.

"Ah, I take it that such orders are not sanctioned by a central organization such as a church in your land?" Klaus asked curiously.

"Some in other lands are, but they tend to be fanatical. Most of the respected orders are unaffiliated but usually attached to a local city or region to protect it and the people therein"

"Ah, so very much unlike our own orders then and more similar to, noble mercenaries I suppose?"

"That is not wrong. Many orders were started by nobility or merchants and are well respected," Ainz said, enjoying how much world building the conversation was helping him with, and how much he was learning. "I take it that the orders of knights here are connected to the local churches then?"

"The local church, yes. In the past there were multiple religions, but with Lady Celestine being the Goddess reborn, all other religions in Eoastia, petered out," Klaus said carefully, as if the wrong word could bring downfall upon him. "Lady Kaguya's land to the far east of our own has its own religion, but only her followers and handmaidens as well as herself follow those beliefs."

"So there is only one order or knights in these lands then?"

"Two, actually. There are the city knights, the order that train knights to protect the cities and the lands around them, and the Dawn Templars. The Dawn Templars are easily noticeable by their armor being silver in color with bright yellow cloth, instead of golden metal with white cloth like the city knights. The Dawn Templars are based here in Ansur to train, while the best of them stay in the Fortress city of Thorn to directly guard and protect Lady Celestine herself, a very important and renowned duty."

"I see, then is Miss Hara some sort of apprentice then with her different and dull colored armor?" Ainz asked, expecting to learn a bit about how the knights were ranked. Instead Klaus looked sullen and uncomfortable.

"Hara, is a girl who lost a lot years ago and made a bad choice, and is still paying the price for her choice," Klaus said Sourly. "It is not my, or anyone's place to tell the story, but she is required to serve as a knight to repent for deeds done."

"It sounds as if there is quiet the story there."

"Yes, but speaking of the reasons someone is a Grayed knight is Taboo, so please do not look into it." Klaus requested sternly

"Very well," Ainz said silently annoyed that he could not get more information in that vein. He would of course still look into it, he would just have to do it carefully. "You had mentioned a room and that I would be your guest. I take it I do not heed to worry about my presence for a time then?"

"Yes, though ultimately it is my wife's choice and my words will only hold until she return to Ansur. Until then you may use the fortresses facilities, but I ask you do not leave the fortress or military district."

"Ah, I see. So I am a guest in name, but am being treated more as a respected hostage then," Ainz said in a very matter of fact tone that made Klaus look rather hurt.

"No, that is not my intention. Some of the citizens may find your mask, unnerving, and even as my guest my word only holds so much power until my wife has her say. It is simply safest that you not leave here until she can make her own opinion on you," Klaus tried to explain.

"That does not change what it sounds like at all," Ainz said as he leaned back and crossed his arms. "I do not require much sleep. If I was to read through all the books that are here and could be of use to me, could I leave to search elsewhere for a way back to my lands? Or would I be respectfully asked to stay, against my will?"

Klaus looked visibly uncomfortable and did not meet Ainz's gaze. "I . . . would ask that you at least stay to meet my wife."

Ainz shook his head slowly. "Goodness, I understand respecting opinions and rules, but I would have thought that, as this cities highest ranked Scholar, you would be capable of making your own decisions," Ainz said before a thought came into his mind and made him realize something he somehow had not realized till then. "These lands, they do not believe in equality, do they?"

"Of course we do! All races have equal opportunities to-"

"Ah, my apologies, that is not what I meant," Ainz said as he raised a hand, interrupting Klaus from continuing. "I meant equality between men and women. I should have realized it sooner from the results in the village and the distinct lack of men in that military district down below. Your culture is Matriarchal, as in women are oft considered superior or more worthy of certain jobs and right, is that not correct?

"It . . . was not originally," Klaus admitted with a nod after a long period of silence. "In the past it was equal, but when Lady Lucross revealed herself to be the Goddess Reborn the Elven churches began pushing various beliefs, and over time our lands have become more Matriarchal, focusing on Women proving themselves as strong as possible and with Men supporting them."

"I see. Does such inequality not often cause unneeded friction?" Ainz asked, recalling how long it took in many countries on earth for even some quality between genders to be realized. Knowing how it worked here would extremely beneficial to him, and would likely allow him to avoid some more difficult situations if he knew what to look for.

"It, can sometimes, but I don't believe it causes too much difficulty in day to day life," Klaus said, clearly uncomfortable about the subject and trying to paint a positive view of it.

"I see, then may i-" Ainz began to say until the door was knocked and a young looking girl, much shorter than Ainz had expected to see, came into the room and bowed.

"Your guest's room has been prepared Lord Scholar."

"Ah excellent!" Klaus said with a sigh of relief as he stood up and then looked over the table before gathering a few books while speaking. "I am sure you are tired from your journey, yes?"

Ainz could tell that Klaus was asking in the hopes that he was. "I do not need much rest, but I suppose some would not do me any harm."

"Good. Mel here will lead you to your room and attend to any needs you may have," Klaus said as he walked around the table and held out the four books he had picked up out to Ainz. "These volumes should give you a good understanding of Eostia's history and culture. If you would like to read up on them I mean of course."

"Hmm, that will be useful," Ainz answered half honestly. He didn't doubt the information in the books, but rather the honesty of the ones writing them. History was, after all, written by the victors to be in their favor. He took the books as he got up from the chair and then turned to the short maid, only to pause and turn back to look at Klaus. "I have three questions before I go to rest, if I may?"

"Of course, what is it?"

"My first is I would like to confirm the veracity of the information within these volumes. It is accurate and not written to the benefit of just one side, correct?

"Uh, no, as far as I know it is accurate. I have never found anything in them to be inaccurate," Klaus said after an uncertain pause, not answering the important part of Ainz's question.

'So I must take what is in these volumes with a quantity of salt then,' Ainz thought to himself as he let out a light sigh. "Very well. My second question is in regards to you wife. It has been said that I must wait until she returns, but you have failed to mention how long that will be."

"Oh, uh, well. . . I do not know. She acts as the head of the Dawn Templars, as well as Lady Lucross's own personal Bodyguard on a regular basis. She spends weeks at a time in the fortress of thorn and working from there. When she returns here to Ansur she stays for just as long, but I truly have no way to be sure when she will return as she has been there for over a month already."

"So she leads the knights of this city, without really being here?" Ainz found himself asking.

"Well, Yes. As a Princess Knight she runs Ansur, but manages both here and the defenses of Thorn for Lady Lucross's protection. She is considered the strongest and most skilled of the Princess Knights after all," Klaus said proudly.

Ainz wanted to slap him, as he clearly was missing the point. How was someone supposed to run a knightly order, and now a city as well apparently, without being there to oversee it and those within? It was beyond foolish to think it could be done intelligently. "I see. Then my final question is in regards to the army to the north. This Dark Queens forces. How large are the armies normally?"

"When encountered in the field they are often many hundreds of demons in size. The largest battle of recent years had nearly four thousand demons comprising the army, and was beaten back at the fortress city of Ur.

"Hmm, I see. The force that was at that village was barely a hundred strong if I counted it correctly. It may have been a simple vanguard force, so I would suggest that scouts be made to make sure the forces in this city are not taken off guard if there is indeed an army coming."

"I . . . believe that captain Aria would be the one to deal with such a thing and likely would be taking such precautions if she believed them needed," Klaus said and then swallowed as he noticed Ainz seemingly staring right at him. "But I will pass on your suggestion nonetheless."

"Thank you, that is all I ask," Ainz said as he turned to the door and walked up to it, the small maid opening the door and passing through before expectantly waiting for him to follow.

He stopped in the doorway and looked back to Klaus. "I thank you for offering me a room to stay in. please keep me notified to the return of this, Princess Knight, and anything else of note."

"Ah, yes of course," Klaus said as he took a slight step back and bowed slightly. "Rest well, Sir Gown."

"Yes, of course. Thank you," Ainz said as he nodded and turned following the small maid, called Mel if he had hear Klaus correctly, Down the halls as a slow pace. It seemed he had much reading to do to confirm his worries about a number of things in this strange land.