Clementine Fazia Quintia.

It was her name.

She always liked her name.

She especially liked to hear her name called out by her toys.

She used to have a lot of them, but things got too irritating so she had to switch things up.

Clementine was a high-ranking member of the Slane Theocracy—part of the Black Scripture; the strongest Scripture—but not anymore. She was the 9th Seat in the Black Scripture, only a handful of seats below her brother.

She was a skilled warrior with a particular penchant for brutally playing with her opponents. It earned her a fearsome and foul reputation among her peers, something not to be mistaken for with respect.

Oh no.

Clementine was strong, but she was not—ever—respected.

Why would she be?

Did it matter that she was strong? Did it matter that she was quick? Clever? Completed all of her missions?

No. What did it matter, when her darling beloved older brother existed and he did all of that, and also had the pleasure of being born with a dick? His ability to produce more (potentially powerful) offspring made him a high-valued ally among the higher-ups in comparison to Clementine who would have to take an entire year off duty to produce maybe one at a time.

Quaiesse Hazia Quintia could impregnate a dozen women in the same year.

The Slane Theocracy highly valued pure bloodlines for their strongest warriors, and because men could reproduce with a higher quantity, they received slight preferential treatment.

Slight being the normal word.

Not for Clementine. Not for the Quintia family.

It didn't bother her at all until one day it did. Nothing she ever did was good enough, and so she went in the opposite direction. If she couldn't be good enough for respect, maybe she could be bad enough for it?

It wasn't a difficult change. Clementine was already cruel and felt sick pleasure whenever she hurt her opponents.

She was already the insane sibling between the two.

Might as well go all the way.

So she stabbed one of the Miko Princesses and stole her artifact, the Crown of Wisdom. The stabbing wasn't enough to kill the princess. It was especially cruel considering what removing the Crown of Wisdom did to Miko Princesses.

Oh well.

Not that she cared.

The princess wasn't born with a dick, like Clementine, so she'd get the worst luck, like Clementine.

That was how the world worked.

Clementine slipped into the giant graveyard of E-Rantel. She was silent as she moved quickly between the stone graves. Her jet-black cape fluttered in the wind and she ran.

In the main tomb of the graveyard, there were numerous detection and illusionary spells in place. Clementine deftly avoided each one, a coy smile on her face as she moved. She wasn't a member of the Black Scripture for nothing.

"I'm here~" Clementine sang playfully. She ran her fingers through her short blonde hair and then pushed open the stone doors to the mausoleum. The noises of clattering metal came from under her cloak, like the sound of chain mail.

Inside the mausoleum, she noticed all the slabs for corpses were empty. The grave goods for the deceased had already been taken away.

Her smile curled even further, pleased her information had been right.

She ventured further into the tomb, activating the hidden trap door and slipping inside.

"I'm coming in~"

With those sing-song words, the girl descended the staircase. It curved halfway, and led to an open space beneath the earth. Although the walls and floor were made of mud, they had been reinforced with magic so they would not collapse easily. Menacing tapestries hung on the walls, with several crimson candles made from fresh blood below them. They gave off a pale radiance, and reeked of burning blood.

The flickering flames generated countless shadows, and there were several holes there, big enough for people to pass through. The unique corpse stench of low-tier undead wafted out from those holes.

Clementine glanced around until she found a man huddled in a corner.

"Ah," she cooed, "Creepy guy who's hiding in a corner, you've got a guest."

The man flinched, whirling around to face her in surprise.

"Hi. I'm here to meet Khazi who's supposed to be here… is he?"

The man trembled but did not respond. He was joined by someone else.

"It's fine. You may leave now." The voice belonged to the newcomer. He was a skinny man. His eyes were sunken in, and his face was a corpse-like pale white. His scalp was bereft of any hair, nor were there any eyebrows, eyelashes, or any body hair at all. Given that, there was no way to tell his age at all, but since there were no wrinkles on his skin, Clementine would guess he was not that old.

There you are.

Clementine's smile had a predatory edge to it. "Hello there, Khazi."

The man frowned as he heard the girl's playful greeting. "Can you not address me like that? It'll damage the reputation of Zurrernorn."


They were a powerful and evil secret society, counting several veteran magic casters among their number, and led by a "wise" leader. After orchestrating several tragedies, they had been declared one of the most dangerous enemies of the Kingdom, Empire, and Theocracy.

"Reeeeally…?" Clementine drawled out mockingly.

Khazi frowned. "Why did you come here? You know I'm infusing energy into the Orb of Death, right? If you're here to make trouble, I have ways to deal with that too."

"Nooooo, Khazi. I just came here to bring you this~" The girl flashed him a coquettish smile and reached under her cape. There was the sound of clattering, and then the girl triumphantly produced the item she had been looking for.

It was a circlet.

Countless small gems adorned thin, metallic threads, looking for all the world like a spiderweb covered in water droplets. The item was exquisitely made, and in the middle of the circlet—where the wearer's forehead would go—was a large black crystal.

"This is—!"

Although he had only seen it from a distance, there was no mistake here. It was the crown he had seen once before.

"The symbol of a Miko Princess, the Crown of Wisdom. That's one of the treasures of the Slane Theocracy!"

Clementine cackled. "Yes. Plucked it right off her head. Oh you should have seen her reaction. She started wailing."

Understandably so. The Crown of Wisdom always cursed its bearer into insanity when removed. It was part of the Black Scripture's duties to euthanize the old Miko Princess when it was time to pick a new bearer for the crown.

Clementine was especially cruel when maiming the princess after taking the crown.

"Hmph, to think you'd betray the Black Scripture for such trash. Why not steal one of the divine artifacts of the Six Gods?"

Clementine mocking puffed out her cheeks. "Calling it trash is too mean."

The man laughed. "Nothing wrong with calling it trash, right? Girls who can wear an item like this are one in a million. Finding a wearer for this would probably be impossible, even in the Slane Theocracy."

The Slane Theocracy was the only one in the surrounding countries that kept detailed registers and genealogies of its citizens. Therefore, by consulting those registers, one could easily find a wearer for the item—in other words, a sacrifice.

Without that, it would be hard for even Zurrernorn to find such a person.

"But really now, it's impossible to get those artifacts~ After all, that antique show is guarded by the strongest monster of the Black Scripture, that ancient beast with the blood of the Six Gods that's beyond the realm of humanity."

"A God-Kin, huh… are they really that strong? I've only heard about it from you."

"It's stronger than the idea of strength. The relevant information has been sealed up, which is why you don't know. If someone who knew about it was interrogated with mind-affecting magic, it would be terrible. I've heard that if the secret got out, it'd lead to total war with the surviving true Dragon Lords, which means the Slane Theocracy would get destroyed in the crossfire, so I hope you'll pretend you never heard any of it."

He snorted derisively. "I find that hard to believe."

"Well, anyone who hasn't seen that power would think so."

"...Clementine, why are you here?"

She had a wicked grin on her face. "There's a pretty outstanding talent holder in this town, no? That alchemist boy…"

The necromancer smiled evilly.


Momonga stood at the edge of the camp.

Shortly after agreeing to team up with the Swords of Darkness, none other than Nfirea specifically requested Momonga (Erebus) for an escort quest. Momonga tried to get out of it, but given Nfirea's reputation and the public reaction around him, he ended up giving in.

It was obvious to Momonga that Nfirea was interested in Momonga's alchemist "friend." The undead was still uncertain about why though.

After a day of traveling with the Swords of Darkness and escorting Nfirea, Momonga stood at the edge of the camp to try and bait Nfirea into approaching him.

He felt uneasy to not know the reason, especially since his blustering screw-up might have endangered his companions.

It was a good bait.

Nfirea hesitantly approached Momonga. "Good evening, Mr. Erebus."

"Good evening, Mr. Nfirea."

"Ah, there's no need for Mr—"

Momonga glanced down at the boy. The alchemist was fidgeting nervously, his expression oddly abashed. What Momonga wouldn't give for an easy mind-reading spell. What a shame all mind-reading spells were difficult, arduous, and costly to use. Not something he could casually cast.

"Adding the honorific is only polite. We are strangers, and furthermore you are my client."

"We don't have to be strangers. I—"

"Let's be clear," Momonga cut him off, his tone dry, "You only invited me because you were curious about my friend. Why?"

Nfirea fiddled with his fingers, bashfully looking away. "Yes. In truth, I want to meet with your friend who created that potion."


Nfirea produced a blue vial. "Because no recent alchemist has been able to produce blood-red health potions for centuries. The recipe was lost to the ages. We only know about its existence in history books, or as a legend passed down."


His initial shock was immediately repressed. He was still surprised, but it was intermingled with annoyance and not nearly as overwhelming as before.

Blue health potions? Blue health potions?! Argh!

He never would have guessed there'd be such a difference. And exactly how different were they—was it only in color?

Momonga wasn't an alchemist, so he couldn't give a detailed examination. If the color was the only change then he didn't foresee much of an issue, but if the standard potions of that world were drastically downgraded…

Momonga assessed the alchemist before him.

Lumière and Cheshire both wanted an alchemist of that world to study and compare recipes with. However—

"My friend is very precious to me," said Momonga. "And I do not know you. If what you say is true, it could cause a lot of trouble for my friend. How could I trust you with my friend's life?"

Not that Momonga thought for a second a single human could defeat the Tower's Floor Guardian, but he couldn't dismiss the possibility that Nfirea worked for some greater enemy.

While there were a variety of ways to magically guarantee Nfirea's sincerity, the majority of them required Momonga to take the alchemist back to Nazarick, or use magic which would be a dead give-away that he wasn't a warrior.

"You're not wrong to doubt me," Nfirea admitted quietly. "But I hope you'll give me a chance. Please."

"Very well," said Momonga. "If you can prove to me that you will not bring harm to my friend, I will introduce you two."

The teenager beamed. "Thank you, Mr. Erebus! I'll do my best."


As Nfirea left, Momonga nodded CZ over. CZ had been keeping her distance while assisting with setting up the camp.

"Keep an eye on him," Momonga quietly ordered. "If you feel he's being deceptive at any time or might be in secret communications with someone else, alert me immediately."

"Understood," CZ said quietly.

We'll see, thought Momonga. He wasn't a clever kind of person, so he hoped his gambit would work.


As the sun dipped down, the camp was finished being set up and it was time for dinner.

Which presented a small problem.

Momonga could eat thanks to the role-playing ring Lumière gave him. It allowed the undead to consume food similar to drinking potions, only the food was directly transmitted into mana. He was able to taste, although he could not chew since the food was instantly dissolved. As a result, every meal was one big swallow fest.

He knew it looked weird. Lumière laughed when he practiced trying to eat "normally." She said it was like watching a cartoon character eat—outlandishly weird.

Thankfully, he was able to play off not eating by citing religion. He casually mentioned being a part of the Silverlight, and excused himself that he had to fast for a while. No one pressed him or CZ for more answers and their journey continued without fuss.

They made it to Carne Village the next day.

To Momonga's surprise, they were greeted by goblins and reinforced walls. It had been an open village when he and Lumière first arrived, and yet in the weeks since a massive wooden wall had been built around the main village.

The goblins, Momonga recognized, were from the Horn of the Goblin General. He could tell they were from YGGDRASIL almost immediately after fighting dozens of goblins from the New World. There was a striking difference in strength.

Interesting, Momonga thought as he and the other adventurers entered the village. That girl must have used it.

Nfirea apparently regularly visited the village and was welcomed right away. The villages and the goblins, however, warily watched the adventurers.

Momonga did not mind. Considering what they want through, their suspicious nature could be excused.

The undead was pleased to see none of the villages had perished or turned to ash. According to Jack, some humans who were resurrected would turn to ash shortly after their resurrection. It was unclear yet what determined that factor. Was it based on the skill level of the caster, or how strong the individual soul was?

It was interesting to ponder. Momonga had not performed any resurrections himself, although he was tempted to try it out.

"CZ," Momonga quietly whispered to the maid, "assess the village."

Better safe than sorry. CZ had the skill set to be a cautious scout, whereas Momonga would have to summon an undead or cast spells. Not something he could do as Erebus.


Nfirea took over an hour to talk to his village friend—a girl with honey-blonde hair and a familiar face—before he was ready to move out to the forest to collect herbs. The Swords of Darkness refreshed their supplies at the village and he and Momonga stood off to the side to wait.

"Mr. Erebus, you said you were part of the Silverlight?" Nfirea asked.


"Do you know the High Priestess?" Nfirea asked, his eyes shining under his bangs.

Momonga wanted to groan. "... Yes."

"Would it be possible for you to introduce us? She—she saved someone I care about. I want to thank her."

Okay, this is clearly not my forte, Momonga thought.

"I'll pass the message on," said Momonga, feeling exhausted from his constant blunders. If Nfirea figured out he was Momonga and not Erebus, Momonga was killing the kid, consequences be damned. He kept connecting information Momonga did not want so easily publicized.

It was a humbling experience.

He had to be better.

Yes, eventually he wanted to bring Lumière along with him on his adventures so he didn't want to refute their connection.

But damn it.

He would be even more cautious going forward. He had to be.

He was tempted to take a vow of silence as Erebus. If he didn't speak no one could gain information from him, right? Ah, but then he'd have to rely on CZ to communicate, and the maid wasn't well suited to that task.

Before he could ponder further, he had to take care of the immediate issue.

Nfirea already wanted to meet with Cheshire over the potions, and now Lumière?

Momonga needed to assess his threat level now.

And who better than Nazarick's up-and-coming spymaster?

So he sent a message to Lumière.


Lumière squeezed Cheshire in her arms as she paced up and down the library.

The fairy was nonplussed by this, calmly sitting in her arms as he was designed to do. He was always meant to stay calm and soothe her when she was stressed.

And at that moment she was stressed.

Momonga sent her a message earlier. He told her about a boy—potentially dangerous, potentially not—-who wanted to meet with Cheshire and her. Momonga apologized for letting so much information slip, and Lumière waved him off. Neither of them could have guessed that a potion's color would be worthy enough to draw attention. If Lumière hadn't asked Momonga to look for an alchemist for Cheshire, the whole situation would be moot.

Furthermore, it was Lumière's compulsion to resurrect the villages that allowed the boy to connect the dots. If she had been more cautious, the High Priestess wouldn't have caught his attention.

The fault was more so on her than Momonga, she believed.

Momonga didn't feel Nfirea was enough of a threat to eliminate, but he ultimately wanted it to be Lumière's choice. Cheshire was hers.

So Lumière was left with a dilemma.

Did she let the boy meet with Cheshire, or not?

Cheshire was a utilitarian combatant. He wasn't meant for straight combat, rather designed to strategically take advantage of his surroundings and abilities. A spontaneous one-on-one would be difficult for him, and he had very little skills to survive heavy attacks.

He was an illusionist and trapper. Neither of those skill sets worked well against spontaneous assassinations from a potentially dangerous human. If Lumière let the human meet with him–befriend him–would Cheshire survive a potentially lethal encounter? Even if Lumière set up all sorts of defenses in their first meeting, what about later on? What if the human gained Cheshire's trust, only to hurt her companion later on?

If the situation were a campaign or game, Lumière would have gambled without thought.

But she was in reality.

Lumière could resurrect humans, but could she do the same for the members of Ainz Ooal Gown? Could she take that risk? Would it be worth it?

The benefit of meeting an alchemist of that world—of getting solid information that could help them—

She couldn't ignore it.

The angel's stress made her forehead creased with concern.

Cheshire, sensing her distress, started to purr. It made her pause in her pacing. The deep, rumbling sensation he vibrated soothed her.

If I don't know what to do, she thought, then I should find out.

That's what being a spymaster was all about, right?

She didn't have her network, yet, but she had access to someone with those skills and at the ready.

"Jack," Lumière called out.

At once, the undead stepped out from the shadows and bowed. "Yes, my lady?"

"Look into this alchemist—Nfirea—and determine if he is a threat to us," she said.

If he's a threat to Cheshire then—then—

A warring surge of emotions made her still.

I need to see if I can take a life as easily as Momonga, Lumière thought. I can use him to test it if he's a threat.

She and Momonga needed to determine if her race would impair her combat abilities, or if her title as High Priestess would have any effect on her cognitive decisions regarding human life. She, inherently, did not like the idea of directly taking a life but she couldn't be certain her disdain for it was due to her race, previous life as a human, class as a healer, or–

A shiver of disgust ran down her spine.

She'd have to find out eventually.

Jack demurred, "As you order, my lady."


Jack had already done reconnaissance on E-Rantel by Albedo's orders prior to Momonga heading into the city. It was only a cursory inspection to ensure there would be no immediate threats to Momonga, and to provide the Supreme Being with a map of the city. As such, Jack knew exactly where to find Nfirea's potion shop.

Jack knew that the alchemist worked with his grandmother, a well-established alchemist and widely considered the best alchemist in E-Rantel (and some would argue in the entire Kingdom).

The first step to evaluating someone's threat level was to assess their history. Due to Nfirea's popularity, he was well-recognized by the majority of citizens in E-Rantel. Jack brought out a dozen of his summoned shades and doused them with illusionary potions Cheshire created. The potions gave each shade the appearance of a nondescript human. He also doused them in a subtle cologne to help hide their uniquely undead smell.

To a seasoned adventurer, the stench would still be noticeable, but the cologne coupled with the illusions would help them ignore the smell.

Humans were inclined to draw their own conclusions, and most of the time they went with the simplest and least-dangerous explanation. Only paranoid or overly cautious humans would immediately guess they were illusioned undead.

He sent them into E-Rantel to casually ask about Nfirea. Shades weren't naturally charismatic, but Jack had asked Albedo to place alluring charms overtop them. Low-level enough to not draw attention, but powerful enough to assist.

There were potions of charisma Jack could have likely used, however, Cheshire warned him it might have a contradicting effect when used in conjunction with an illusion potion, hence why he had to go to Albedo. As a succubus, she had access to a plethora of compulsion charms that would aptly suit their needs.

He had intended to only ask one of her summoned succubi, but on his way he ran into Albedo herself. He politely asked to borrow one of her summons and she kindly offered to cast the enchantments herself.

Albedo was a Guardian inclined to personally handle requests by the Supreme Beings, something Jack wholeheartedly agreed.

The shades would gather basic information for Jack to use as a groundwork: routine, frequent contacts, anything out of the ordinary in the past couple of months.

Meanwhile, Jack would personally investigate Nfirea's home. He'd use a powerful stealth spell that would keep the humans oblivious to him while he worked.

Jack meticulously went through the potion shop first. The elderly lady–Nfirea's grandmother–was unaware of his presence and continued her work. He watched her make a few potions, unimpressed by her skill.

Cheshire could have brewed a dozen powerful and complex potions by the time the old lady finished a single abysmally weak potion. It disgusted Jack how someone so weak was lauded as so powerful and reputable.

The potions their shops produced weren't fit to be used as shoe polish, let alone to be considered highly valuable.

He'd pity how ignorant humanity was if he didn't find them so revolting.

By nightfall, Jack had obtained all the information he needed to make an assessment.

Nfirea was a (relatively) harmless human. The only potential in danger was his talent, which could be used to a devastating effect by someone resourceful. The boy was kind to a fault, and massively in love with another woman (Jack determined that by uncovering a box filled with letters from her, and an assortment of odd trinkets he inferred belonged to her). He was a dedicated grandson and was mildly obsessed with the art of alchemy.

He saw no reason to protest a meeting between Nfirea and Cheshire.

Although he had a strong feeling Lumière would want to present for that meeting as well. She was protective of the members of Nazarick, particularly her's and Bukubukuchagma's creations. Jack had a personal temptation to refuse out of principle, however, he knew that would be difficult.

There were too many other Guardians involved. Jack couldn't lie without risk of getting caught, unlike his mission in the Slane Theocracy.

By the time Jack made a decision, it was already dark. The grandmother had retired, leaving the shop dark and quiet.

Until the soft tinkling of a bell could be heard.

The front door had opened. Jack was certain he had seen the elderly woman lock the door, which meant either someone picked the lock or had a key.

While Momonga and his team were meant to return that night, Jack thought it was an hour too early.

A woman entered the room, a coy smile on her face as she moved.

"Ara?" the woman cooed. "No one home…? What oh what should I do…?"

Jack didn't need to read her mind to understand her intentions. From her expression, to the bloodlust in her gaze, every inch of that woman screamed of ill intent.

Did she want the alchemist? Or is the alchemist in league with someone else and she's come ahead to prepare a trap…?

Jack had to find out, and so out from the shadows he stepped as his hand gripped at her throat.

"Hello," he said as he choked her with one hand and lifted her into the air. "Let's talk."


Nfirea entered the alchemist shop he shared with his grandmother. He was tired from the journey home, but he had a smile on his face. He was happy he got to see Eri, and optimistic about his chances of getting Erebus' approval. He didn't know yet how to go about it, but he would think about it.

He desperately wanted to meet both the priestess who saved the love of his life, and the genius alchemist who brewed the ruby red potion.

Nfirea yawned.

"Take care now," said Peter Mauk, the leader of the Swords of Darkness.

"Sleep well," echoed Dyne Woodwonder.

Nifrea smiled. "Yes, same to you. Thank you all for escorting me home.

The hunter, Lukrut Volve, gave him a thumbs up. "Feel free to call on us again."

The group and the alchemist parted ways, and Nfirea closed the shop door behind him. He'd have to go through the shop and open up the back gate to let his horse and carriage in. It was too late to unpack everything, so he'd get his horse settled and then go to bed.

Or at least that was the plan.

Nfirea tried to turn on the lights, but an odd sizzling sound was heard instead.


Nfirea frowned in the darkness. It was a good thing he kept a candle on the shop counter. He moved to it–

The candle flickered to life before Nfirea had a chance to reach it. He gasped when he noticed a strange man was sitting on the counter by the candle. Nfirea let out a startled shout, scrambling backwards.

The man was dressed in rich clothes that screamed aristocrat and wore an eerie mask with a dark smile painted on it. "Good evening."

"G-Good evening," Nfirea stumbled. "Th-The shop's closed…?"

"I am aware," said the man. "I was waiting for you."

"For me?"

"Of course," said the man, hopping off the counter. He offered Nfirea a dramatic bow. "I come on behalf of my lady, the High Priestess of Silverlight."

"Oh!" Nfirea's face brightened. "Are you friends with Mr. Erebus, then?"

The man shook his head. "I am but a humble servant."

"What may I call you? I'm Nfirea Bareare."

"Jack Ripper," introduced the man.

"Mr. Ripper," said Nfirea, "please come further in. Would you like some tea?"

"That is not necessary," he said. "Rather, I came to see if you would be available tomorrow morning to meet with my lady."

"Of course!" said Nfirea, excited. "I would be honored. Where would she like to meet?"

"I'll return here at dawn to escort you," Jack said. "I won't keep you any longer."

Nfirea smiled brightly.

He watched Jack leave and then went to take the candle and use it to guide his way through the shop.

He never looked up.

A good thing, too.

Else he would have found the gore smeared to his ceilings, bits, and pieces of a woman smashed into the light fixtures.

But Jack would have that cleaned up long before dawn.


Momonga and Lumière were seated in the tower library. Jack had forwarded a semi-urgent report to both of them.

Apparently, when Jack had been waiting for Nfirea, a woman came into the shop. She had been targeting Nfirea for his talent, and in the process of torturing her, Jack uncovered interesting information.

"They were going to raise an undead army under the cemetery…?" Lumière wanted to laugh at how silly she felt saying that out loud… outside an RP campaign.

Momonga leaned back into the couch. "If we let them, and I defeat them as Erebus in the cemetery before they breach the city, I'll gain instant fame. I might even be able to skip ranks."

"But then…" Lumière trailed off, hesitating in what she was about to say next.

"Go ahead Lue," Momonga encouraged.

"Isn't it more impactful to save them?" she asked. "Who makes the more memorable impression–the hero who stops the horde from ever reaching the city, or the hero who arrives halfway through and saves the survivors while also avenging the fallen?"

Momonga let out a chuckle. "It's more dramatic for the ladder, definitely." Momonga shifted. "But would it be a demerit against Erebus?"

Lumière hesitated. "It would make him seem fallible, at least. Are you wanting the character to be faultless?"

"It would leave a better impression, no?"

"Yes," she agreed slowly, chewing over the situation.

She felt like it would be a wasted opportunity to summon the undead army right away and have it immediately vanquished before it did… well… anything. While war strategy games weren't her favorite, she played enough of them to get the feeling that when something this special happened it was never a good idea to use it on the first turn.

They had an established, and well-known necromancer who was universally hated. They couldn't ask for a better "enemy."


Lumière gasped.

"Your summons!" she squeaked. "Mix your summons with the army and send them out. There's no way for a warrior and ranger to stop an entire army flawlessly–that's too godly–so let out a handful of your summons to pretend to escape. We can then use your summons to test the defenses of other cities or countries."

Momonga sat up straight, his skeletal hand clenching into a fist. "That's a great idea. A perfect excuse to test the waters. I'll use a variety of ranges."

"Each group that isn't defeated by a city can then be defeated by Erebus, which will–"

"—indebt that city to Erebus!"

"Yes!" Lumière cheered. "Blame it all on the necromancer, and it'll give you a good excuse to visit a wide variety of cities."

Momonga and Lumière high-fived.

She still felt that something more could be done, but she wasn't clever enough to think of anything. She supposed in the worst case they could resurrect the necromancer as a lich and use him again.


"Now which summons should I use, hmm? They should be fast, so no death knights. Preferably something that can fly so it's not restricted to terrain, hmm… Valkyries are too strong, but wisps would likely be too weak," Momonga mused. Although his face was permanently stoic, Lumière could hear the delight in his tone. She knew her companion was proud of his vast summoning options. He had worked hard to collect a variety, even obtaining some that weren't restricted to undead.

Although given the circumstances they had to use an undead-variant. It wouldn't make sense for the necromancer to summon fairies or angels.

Momonga said, "Ah! Specters."

Specters were ghost-type undead. They were immune to all attacks except holy-based, which made them tricky to deal with if someone encountered it unprepared. Summoned specters were usually around level thirty so it should be a decent challenge.

"How many?" she asked.

"Thirteen?" he suggested. "Or do you think that's too much?"

"Thirteen seems fine to me," she said. "I can create some sentinels to watch them."

"Great," said Momonga cheerfully. "Ah, how did it go with Nfirea?"

"Promising, I think," said Lumière. She glanced at the report Jack had written for her. He and Albedo had such tidy penmanship. Since Lumière's hospitalization, she hadn't used writing utensils. Technology was advanced enough that she could use speech-to-text, or if she had energy that day manually type things out.

Her notes were hideous, truly atrocious. A toddler could write better than she, really.

Cheshire saw her notes once and asked why she felt the need to write things in code.

In. Code.

The angel was properly mortified and had since refused to let anyone see her handwriting until she could at least make it legible.

"I plan to meet with him tomorrow," she said. "Given Jack's cursory report, I don't think he's enough of a threat to go out of our way to eliminate him. How about you? How was your first mission?"

"Fine," he said. "I'll likely stay with the Swords of Darkness for a few more missions. They're trusting, and inclined to give explanation with little prompting."

"Lucky find."



Jack dragged Clementine's body back to Nazarick.

By Lord Momonga and Lady Lumière's orders, he was to trigger the undead army in E-Rantel so Momonga could defeat it as Erebus.

A simple enough task, although not a choice Jack would have made. It didn't matter. He could not begin to fathom the wisdom behind Lord Momonga's actions.

Jack borrowed one of Demiurge's cells, tossing the corpse of Clementine carelessly onto the floor. She had died from blood loss a scarce few minutes earlier, her body still warm. How fortunate for her. If she had still been alive when he reached Demiurge's floor, he would have offered the demon to choose her death. It was only a polite courtesy, since Demiurge so kindly shared his dungeons.

"[Raise Undead]"

She was stronger than the average meatsack, so he was curious about what type of undead she would become.

The [Raise Undead] skill was a general resurrection spell that always raised the target as an undead variant. The type of undead they became was dependent on their level, skills, and karma.

Due to Jack's lich class, all undead he raised using that skill received bonuses in their level and skills. It allowed him to turn even pathetic humans into decent servants.

Clementine was no exception.

Jack coolly assessed the woman, squirming beneath him. Her skin turned chalky, her eye color blood-red.

"Get up," he ordered, his voice like icicles.

Clementine struggled to move her body. Her broken bones snapped as she forced herself to stand up. Blood gurgled from her throat, spilling out of her mouth like an oozing leak. She was a fresh undead, so that was to be expected.

His eyes narrowed behind his mask as he watched her sway side to side. Negative energy permeated from her very core, as her body continued to change. After a minute, she stopped trembling.

A wight.

A type of undead that fed off life essence, similar to that of a vampire.

Useful enough. Wights, like vampires, could pass as a normal human with the right amount of deception. Both could suffer from frenzies, however, which made them ill-suited for the battleground unless a true massacre was desired.

Wights retained their appearance off of life essence. If Clementine consumed enough of it, all of her decay would be reversed and she would appear—for all intents and purposes—like a regular human. Albeit one with an ashy complexion, blood-red eyes, and a barely restrained bloodlust. Wights were undead filled with hatred and a penchant for violence. From what he gleamed of her memories, it aptly suited her.

As she was a fresh wight who had not yet fed, she looked half-decayed with her partially mangled body.

He produced a thin black stone tablet with a rune of power carved into it. He channeled a small portion of his negative energy into it. He held it out to Clementine who shakily accepted it, her expression dazed.

"Sharpen up," he said. "Take this to that necromancer so he may start his ritual. When Lord Momonga arrives, return to me."

"Yes, Master," she croaked, her senses returning to her by his command.


Answer: Bukubukuchagma!

Question: If you were resurrected as an undead, what kind of undead would you want to be?

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