After the War Chapter 7
The office he was given by his new subordinates was on par with the best Earth could offer. By sheer size, it rivaled ones the Supreme Beings were using. It was filled with natural wood furnishings and various pieces of classical art. From what Pandora had gathered, the price of wood on earth was close to that of gold and thus even a simple chair made out of pure wood was as expensive as a luxury car.
Pandora however had opted to use an office chair without handrails. In front of him, on the massive oak table were six computer screens and three keyboards. Behind him on the wall was an artificial window depicting a calm scenery with a river surrounded by trees and grass.
Despite now knowing the truth, his opinion about his creator had not changed. If anything he now held Ainz in even higher regard. He, as the sole NPC with access to the original Yggdrasil data and Earth's archives, could see both the efforts of the guild that ruled over Nazarick and the man who was his Creator. Seeing what Suzuki Satoru had gone through during his human life and still being able to keep the Great Tomb in one piece was astonishing.
All his existence he had considered humans a lesser species, and in a strange twist of irony, was unaware that he was created by one. The entirety of Yggdrasil was a creation of regular humans.
At this moment, Pandora was using Lord Tabula's form, as it not only boosted his intelligence but also gave a few extra tentacle-like appendages, allowing him to multitask. His main attention was on making a list of everyone who had ever crossed Nazarick, and then double checking it with the government data to find their locations.
However, this task wasn't what he was most enthusiastic about. Sure, getting rid of enemies was important but most joy he received was from chronicling the guilds efforts in an exaggerated manner. After the servers are deleted, he could present his father with the Chronicles of Ainz Ooal Gown: a collection of volumes painting him and other Supreme Beings in a deservingly glorious light.
While he worked, a woman entered his office. She was dressed in a short business suit with plenty of cleavage to show off. Her blonde hair was tied in a bun and although the official data said she was thirty-four, she looked no older than twenty. It surrey was an interesting revelation to see how much humans had learned to alter bodies without any magic.
His new assistant was one of the cult members. With steep competition for the extremely advantageous position of assisting someone who directly served their new Gods, she had come out on top and earned the honor of being his secretary. The cult, of course, tried to hide the fact that she was chosen to be a honeytrap, but her inner thoughts betrayed her rather fast. As a very opportunistic and calculating person, she was ready to do pretty much everything to get ahead in life.
Pandora glanced up as he saw her entering with a tray in her hands. To her credit, she didn't even flinch seeing the form he was now using and walked towards the table with a professional smile. Her thoughts, however, betrayed her nervousness. 'How curious. She is more afraid of showing any negative reaction to Lord Tabula's form than having an actual fear or repulsion that my research into humans would indicate. I will have to reevaluate my findings in human behavior to eliminate such blindspots.'
"Lord Pandora's Actor, your dinner is ready." The woman said as she walked around the table and put the tray on the table while leaning in a bit too close.
'Her efforts are admirable but pointless. Despite the modifications, she can barely compete with the homunculus maids in the looks department. If I would ever go in my father's footsteps and choose a wife, I would choose one native to Nazarick.' Pandora mused.
"Thank you, miss Carlile." Pandora said, grabbing the cup of coffee from the tray with one of his tentacles. "Are the lists of candidates ready?"
"I have not received them yet, but all parties are inquiring about how many can be put on the lists and please, my Lord, call me Isabella." She said in a voice that gave a hint of nervousness.
"There isn't a set amount, as each apostle is ready to convert thousands, but if any candidate proves to be untrustworthy their superiors will be held responsible." Pandora casually responded as he typed on all three keyboards with dizzying speeds.
"I will relay that information to the directors of each branch. Is there anything else I can provide?" She asked while leaning in even more.
"That will be all, miss Isabella." Pandora said dismissively and waved her off.
Isabella bowed and walked out of Pandora's office while holding back any derogatory thoughts as best as she could.
'Interesting. She clearly suspects her mind could be read.' Pandora remarked to himself as he continued the work.
Considering that dealing with Yggdrasill was not his only priority he preferred not to waste any time. The moment the past of the Supreme Beings were erased he needed to put all his attention on gathering all the scientific data that existed on earth and send it right to Lord Tabula.
His current information network provided what was, by all means, state secrets of various nations, but it still needed to be organized and packed for easy use.
Then there was the issue with acquiring a low yield nuclear bomb. His new subordinates had promised to organize a Broken Arrow event to cover the tracks and deliver one right to their common masters, but it would take some time as, according to one of the generals, moving a nuclear bomb around was tricky business and hard to cover up. Of course, it would be easy to just infiltrate a military installation and take one but the plan was to not give any noticeable presence of Nazarick's forces until the full invasion plan was ready.
Being called to Ulbert's office was not something Rigrit was looking forward to. 'The goat always has some trick up his sleeve. One wrong move and I will be tricked into doing something I don't want to.' Rigrit mused as she walked towards Ulbert's office at a snail's pace.
Truth be told, Ulbert was more of a pragmatist who just used all resources available and rarely did anything out of malice, but it still didn't change her opinion of him. The less interaction they had, the better.
In the end, no matter how long she dragged it out the destination was reached. One of the two demons guarding the door recognized her and opened the door with a bow. "Lady Rigrit, Lord Ulbert is already waiting for you."
'Kissing up to me. That's a new one. What's Ulbert up to if he felt the need to instruct his subordinates to treat me like I'm one of the guild members?' Instead of retorting, she just smiled and said. "Thank you." as she walked inside.
"Finally! I started to think you would not come. Please take a seat." Ulbert said as he looked up from a stack of documents and waved at the chair in front of his table.
"What is this about?" Rigrit asked as she took the offered seat.
"No pleasant chit chat beforehand? And here I thought we were friends." Ulbert said flatly. But his face was twisted in his usual grin.
"Friends? Really now?" Rigrit said with an equally deadpan tone. "I need to prepare for whatever trickery you have prepared this time."
"Oh, don't be so paranoid. I just need you to sign a magical contract so you can't speak about a particularly sensitive topic." Ulbert said and pushed the document in her direction.
"And what topic would that be?" She asked with a raised eyebrow trying to figure out what kind of sensitive information could have been leaked to her by accident.
"Yggdrasil and its true nature."
"Are you afraid that NPCs will rebel if they know the truth? I have kept that secret for centuries. I can keep my mouth shut."
Ulbert's smirk disappeared from his face as he spoke. "No, they would not rebel. In fact, it was suggested by a NPC that we destroy all traces of Yggdrasil from both memory and physical servers."
Rigrit looked at him confused. "Wait, what do you mean physical servers?"
"Pandora is extracting all the information we need from the company databases. After that, we are not only deleting everything concerning Yggdrasil but also altering memories on a global scale."
"W-we, I mean you've found a way to return to earth?" Rigrit jumped to her feet.
"Yes, but for now most of the plans concerning Earth are classified."
Rigrit sat back down lost in thought. "Which year?" She asked.
"August of twenty one thirty nine."
"I had a family…" She slumped down in chair.
"Oh, that is not that big of a problem. we will put them on the list of those who need to be protected." Ulbert said. "If you just give me details, I will sort out everything.
"I don't even remember their faces… It has been so long…" She muttered.
"Not a big problem. Was your game avatar called Rigrit as well?"
"Yes… wait a minute, just how deep this is going?" She snapped out of her confusion.
"You are not in a position to know any details yet." Ulbert said in a matter of fact tone as he sent Pandora a message to add Rigrit's closest relatives to the protected people list as well.
"So this is your carrot this time? You shove a contract under my nose and don't tell me anything until I sign it?" Rigrit hissed, as she grabbed the paper.
"Not exactly. You can refuse of course, but then you'll forget where you came from because of the memory alteration ritual. I will not reveal any particular details about our plans regarding Earth, only the guild members and high level Nazarick personnel can access that information." Ulbert said as the smirk returned to his face.
"Fine!" Rigrit said with a snarl and angrily signed the agreement.
Ulbert took the document and rolled it up saying. "Well, that's done! From now on you can't disclose any details about the true nature of Yggdrasil and players. You still can give details from the game, but they need to sound like real events."
"What about my family on earth? Do I need to join the guild to get any details? Is that it?" Rigrit asked. She was not about to let go of a chance of knowing how her parents and siblings are doing. At this point her life was so ingrained in the Empire of Nazarick that taking upon an official role besides Tsar's advisor was not that outrageous of an idea.
"Only heteromorphs can join the guild. That was the number one rule."
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't about two thirds of the guild humans?"
Ulbert tilted his head, widening his eyes in a realization caused by his careless remark. To not give the impression that he hadn't thought about this particular problem he quickly resumed a natural expression. "Ainz is the one dealing with guild membership. If you want to join or get details about Earth, send an official request to him."
"Right. If there is nothing else I'll be off then." Rigrit said, standing up. It may have been a clever way for Ulbert to get rid of her since rarely anyone could get a direct audience with Ainz, but unfortunately for Ulbert, she knew someone who could easily arrange it, and that someone was Ainz' summon, and her partner, Tsar.
The moment she left Ulbert's office, Tsar was already talking with the Emperor and got her a brief audience. Two hours later she and Tsar were sitting in front of Ainz in the guest area of his quarters.
"Let me get this straight, you are asking to join the guild because Ulbert didn't give you any details about Earth?" Ainz asked.
"If that is what is required of me, then yes."
'Why did Ulbert think he would just get rid of her?' Of course Ainz already knew the details of what went down, and wasn't particularly thrilled with how dismissive Ulbert was of Rigrit's plea to know more. Same as for them, Earth was her former home.
"I am informed that your family will be taken to a safe location if they are in danger and there are no records of any of your immediate family dying. They do consider you dead, since your old body expired the moment you were transported to this world. If you want to request something you can do so without joining the guild." Ainz said. Not that he was that much against her joining the guild, but it was too much of a hassle to organize such an event to purely grant someone access to restricted information and nothing else.
"If it is possible, I want to meet my family." Rigrit said with a somber tone.
"I think it can be arranged with proper precautions."
The meeting would not come that soon, but until now she never dreamed of ever seeing her parents or siblings ever again. Back then she was only a teen, and now… 'For them, it has been only three years. I don't even remember how I was back then. Maybe asking for a reunion wasn't such a good idea.' It was too late to back out either way. All she could hope for was that they would accept her for who she was now.
Proofreading by I AM THE STRING CUTTER, Sad_Smiles, and Startail
AN: Thank you for reading the story, and if you have caught up to the latest chapter, you can check out my other work or join my discord server (Link is in my profile) where additional chapters are available.