Raynare opened her eyes, feeling her consciousness, which had escaped her several times from what she had seen in the past, remotely and even peacefully noting her current surroundings.
Raynare was covered by a warm and, with just one touch, she could determine to be high-quality blankets and that she was laying on a soft bed… That is, she was practically frozen to the bed, that is also frozen to the floor, which in turn was encased in a thick crust of bluish transparent ice.
The walls around Raynare were a similar picture. It was difficult to make out what they were made of and what they really looked like, given that they were completely frozen over, along with the pictures and flags hung on the walls.
The windows to Raynare's room were the same picture, but there was no way to look through them, given that they were at a height at which Raynare could not look through them. In theory, Raynare could have used her wings, but it was hardly worth it at the moment.
Other than the fact that the room was spacious and comfortable enough, though frozen through, and filled with various furniture and pleasing to the eye interior, the door leading outside were made of thick steel. And seeing that there's no door knob, or any way to open the door that she can spot, Raynare was, at the moment, in nothing less than in a strange dungeon.
It was cold in the room, but lying under the blanket, Raynare did not feel much discomfort, rather even enjoying the strange pleasure of warmth and coolness at the same time. But if she climbed out from under the blanket, or worse gotten off her bed completely, she had no doubt that she would have been frozen to the bone moments later. It was a very interesting way to make a dungeon to keep prisoners, and as a Fallen Angel, that really meant something.
So, with nothing else to do, she chose to remain silently in her place, keeping warm even in the current conditions, against all common sense. She really needed to start finding ways to escape, but the revelations she had just come to made such a thing a far second in her list of priorities.
"So, I'm imprisoned in some icy place… Ha, I don't remember any such place in Heaven, so let's take as a working assumption for now that I wasn't going to be taken to the executioners. Wait, am I in Cocytus? Am I in the Underworld right now? Ha, I don't know, at least I'm still alive – which in the current conditions, is not half-bad." Raynare almost smiled at how little the Fallen Angels really needed to be happy, it turned out.
Or maybe the previous near-death experiences have just fried her brains, she couldn't really tell – if nothing else, she's definitely in shock. But considering what she has just learned, could anyone blame her?
"Father is back." Raynare remarked emotionlessly as she slowly exhaled. "What to do about it now?"
The Father of almost all angels, and most of the fallen ones, excluding those born naturally, and the ancestor of all demons who descended from Lilith and Lucifer. The one whom others have called the Biblical God. A legendary figure – in the sense that he was indeed the hero of legends and mythologies, and in the sense that in the past, Father stood out even from other legends.
By many, Father was considered one of, if not the most powerful of all the Gods in the world, and they're right. He's one of the most powerful beings in the world, capable of warding off even the Great Red and Ophis from his domain. Wise, loving, especially of humanity, He's the Great Creator, it was He who created [Heaven's System] with His powers, which became His main trump card against the other pantheons.
Where the other gods had to perform miracles using proxies by sending their heroes, powers or artifacts, Father created a self-sustaining system that allowed humans themselves to take his power to create miracles. His Graces made humans, which were the weakest of creatures with no actual powers, into nightmares to the unprepared – which Rayanre had to admit she's one.
It's hard for her to treat humans, who most Supernatural faction treats almost like cattle, as dangerous. But they undeniably are dangerous, if only for some exception – Dulio Gesualdo could kill her just by upturning his palms, for example.
With the miracles, exorcism, [Holy Swords] and the magic system given to humans, albeit disclosed officially without his permission by some Angels, for which they fell. And the fact that he personally destroyed many creatures that threatened mankind and created the [Sacred Gears] that enabled humans to use powers beyond their understanding – and Father's victory against the other world pantheons was virtually assured.
But, as is usually the case, the blow came to Father not from without but from within. Lucifer, or Helel as he was known then, the Morning Star, betrayed Father and fled from him to the Underworld, capturing Lilith and creating the original Demons. While Azazel, another of the greatest Angel, broke Father's main prohibition and lounged… Well, had sex, in less Biblical terms, with a mortal woman.
As Azazel himself described what happened to a disappointed God, 'you should have seen that figure!' His fall, along with many others before him, caused a rift among the Angels, unexpectedly forced to choose between loyalty to the Father and loyalty to the Governor General.
A considerable number of angels followed the latter, weakening Heaven even further after Lucifer's fall and his war against Heaven soon after.
Father, as expected, did not find the situation to be preferable. Kind and loving, wise and just, He was nevertheless not one to hide from hard choices or to forgive treachery and defiance of His commands. And so, the faith that was moving swiftly, victoriously through the world, which had just destroyed the entire Roman pantheon so that the shards of the slain gods had to blend fully into the Greek, almost completely erasing the difference in their perception, stalled, beginning the fratricidal Three-Sided War.
To this it was worth adding that Father, after a long deliberation and giving in to the entreaties of his then pre-Fallen, Azazel, agreed to send his Son to Earth. Only for Azazel to betray Him and ending with His Son sacrificing himself, giving up salvation, and when resurrected and ascended to Heaven, refused and gave His life for again.
It was a very sad day for Heaven – weakening it even further.
And all this time Lucifer, who had finished building his army of what were then not yet known as 'demons', announced publicly his desire to begin the conquest of the world. An announcement that other pantheons and long-lived races had still not forgiven the current generation of demons. Doesn't help matters that they really, really suck at diplomacy.
It was the perfect storm, Heaven was at its weakest, and then God was dead, and the great secret was born. At the climax of the war, after the short armistice to deal with the Heavenly Dragons, God and Lucifer killed each other, finally ending the long Great War, not that the demons knew. With the death of the main instigators, and the four original Satans, and God's seeming waning interest in the War, it ended, not because of any conclusion, but because there was no one else willing to fight it.
The Demon's Civil War soon after, only made continuing the War a fool's errand.
Lord Azazel had left the war a little earlier. The Fallen were the smallest, weakest, and most affected faction of the war, so they had not participated in the last battle of Father and the Morning Star. So Father's death was always in question – no one was stupid enough to fully believe the news from the Father of Lies' subordinates after all, and therefore could not judge truthfully from their own words what had happened. But the general belief was that Father, weakened from His costly miracles in the past, and Lucifer had, in fact, killed Father in a sudden and underhanded trick, even though he paid for it with his life.
Raynare did not participate in the last battle either, so she hadn't known for sure. She was one of the last angels He created, and before her fall had only managed to take part in a couple of skirmishes. She was one of the many, many angels created during and for the Three-Sided War, having not had time to experience but war.
And so Raynare, who by then was no more than a couple of months from creation, suddenly learned that the war was over. That Father had fallen, that she had no more purpose.
When Father fell, the armies of the angels retreated back behind the Gates of Heaven, licking their wounds for decades, mourning His demise. But [Heaven's System], Father's trump card with which He triumphed over the others, turned on their enemy. While the Father sat on His throne, [Heaven's System] obeyed its Creator humbly, but when it found itself without His guiding hand, it simply continued to do His last orders.
It upheld the miracles, protected the faithful, and punished those whose deeds were unpleasant in God's eyes.
But how would it do it? Whose standards would it follow, what pleases God when God was no longer with them? [Heaven's System] was the most powerful machine, the greatest artifact of this world, but it was also just a machine blindly obeying orders without a single thought or doubt in its judgment.
Words to the effect that God, the Creator, the Creator died, killed by the Morning Star? Blasphemy, heresy, slander! And the punishment for each of these, for the angels, was to Fall.
To Fall is the punishment for everything. For doubting the Father, for blasphemy, for thinking of making peace with demons. [Heaven's System] simply did its duty, duly crossing out the white wings of the angels and banishing them forever from Heaven for their 'betrayals' of the Father that were no longer with them.
Raynare also fell, though she didn't know why. Maybe she had allowed blasphemous curses in her mind, or did something contrary to the last instruction of the machine, or something else. Raynare did not remember those times, she did not want to, immersed in sorrow and rage like the other angels who had Fallen, not because of their own fault.
But when she finally awoke from her madness, she was already fallen, with blackened wings and Heaven, her home, forever barred from her.
Raynare was more surprised, not that she had Fallen at the same time as so many others, but that there was anyone left in Heaven at all. Perhaps even [Heaven's System] knew how to play favorites. Or perhaps Raynare had really attributed to the machine things that were not its fault, and Raynare's fall was more than just the mistake of a soulless machine, and she really deserved to Fall.
But as her situation changed, Raynare, deprived of Heaven, found a society of Fallen to replace it, created by Azazel and his fellow high-ranking Fallen Angels, the Grigori. They were the one to teach her their ways instead of the ways of the Angels, which Raynare never learned. Given that at the time of her Fall, Raynare was essentially a child, an empty slate, devoid of any knowledge of the world around her – Raynare easily accepted the ways of the fallen, making them the only way she knew. Something which in turn made even the other Fallen look at her with doubt, if not squeamishness, after a while. They were once Angels, after all.
But if Raynare knew only war, blasphemy, anger, and despair – could she really be judged for her actions? The burned altars and destroyed crucifixes were nothing more than senseless childish resentment of a departed Parent, rather than meaningful blasphemy. And sadism or the contempt that became her way of interacting with anyone were not so much to her liking as they became her only understanding of 'normal'.
Or, Raynare was already trying to make excuses in her head for everything that had happened in the past, so that her Father could at least kill her painlessly. Raynare knew, the Fallen rarely died quickly.
Father was dead, the Three Factions that had been prophesied to conquer the world greatly weakened. And even the remnants of the other pantheons that had not yet been completely exterminated, even if they had lost a good portion of their followers and thus their power, breathed a little easier.
But a question hung in the air – for gods, unlike all other creatures of this world, could return.
Not quite so easily, but possible, especially if their powers included abilities to revive the dead. Dead gods could return to reality perhaps after a centuries or more later, but only if those who believed in them still existed in this world. Presenting this as an analogy, each believer gave out a small amount of something to be called [Faith] each day, while a god could be reborn when he accumulated the necessary supply of that. The stronger the god was – the more [Faith] he needed.
It was a race against time – a dead god could not perform miracles. And without the miracles of the god they believed in, the faith of the followers would weaken, and the god risked losing his faith until he was reborn. This, in turn, meant that a god could indeed die. If a god stalled one step from his rebirth, he was not left hanging in the void forever, waiting if, centuries later, someone decided to revive faith in him again and break free. No, there was a general limit, differentiated by the power level of the god himself, a final timer, how long a god could accumulate a suitable supply of [Faith] – the rebirth of a god was really a race against time.
At least that was what Raynare learned from Azazel, who, after Father died, began vociferously researching it. Secretly, of course, no one else outside the Three Faction knows that Father had died, barring a few exceptions, or else they would be under siege right now.
Anyway, Raynare had learned that few actually won this race. Only a smattering of gods from living religions were known reliably to do so, these gods being very difficult to exterminate even centuries later. And many gods of old, dead religions did not count on such random possibilities at all. Preferring to retain the crumbs of their powers, to retire as far from the world as possible, or perhaps some small enclave of their believers, hoping that they would extend their life.
Raynare knew of such Pantheons, like the Phoenicians, that had done so.
But in any case, Raynare as well as all the Angels knew that a god could still be reborn – it just took time and followers. So what would happen with Father?
Where other gods were bound to lose many of their followers, no longer possessing the ability to perform miracles – [Heaven's System] made such risk moot. The machine would serve as a 'living' confirmation of the power of the One God, allowing believers to accumulate [Faith] in Him, believing that He exists. This, in turn, led the world into a game of masquerade. The Angels, wiping away their angry tears, decided on the desperate step of hiding information about His demise, hoping that if they could convince humanity long enough, He would return again.
The angels, for being beings that do not lie, are very, very good at acting.
That was one of the two main reasons, God's possible revival, with the other being a way to stop more Angels from falling, why Michael took His throne and took control, however imperfect, of the [Heaven's System]. And maybe he didn't do it very well, but he was trying to fill shoes that were too big for anyone.
It was still enough of a threat for anyone that found out about the secret, to not push their luck. No one dares to become a target of Michael's ire, armed as he is with [Heaven's System], at least as far as Raynare know.
And so, the Angels believed that if they prayed long enough and pretended that all was well, He would come back… And, as much as the Angels had despaired, and Heaven's glow to dim, it seems to have worked!
He came back!
And, judging by the fact that the Ddraig was killed so easily before her eyes – was stronger than He was before. So, here she was, captured by that same God, the proof of her betrayal of His will written on her blackened wings. Her Father was not well known for forgiving sins, not for anyone that is not human, anyway.
At least she was not being tortured or was there any plan to kill her… Yet.
And that raised so many possible theories and assumptions in Raynare's mind that she wasn't even ready to start voicing them at the moment.
So lost in her thoughts, it took Rayanare a moment, for her sensitive hearing picked up the light clatter of footsteps on the icy planks approaching her cell. Then with the sound of seemingly rusty hinges, the door to her cell opened.
Raynare in turn, realized that just lying under the blanket did not look at all presentable, especially in case the Father had come to judge her for her sins. But if she did get out from under it, she would instantly freeze to death in the cold in ten seconds, so she preferred to lie still, looking carefully at the door that opened.
The figure that appeared behind the door, confirmed in her mind that she was indeed currently in the Underworld. There was no way that the sharply dressed man was anything but a Demon.
Dressed in an expensive and perfectly fitting suit, the man of medium height with black slicked and standing short hair, on whose face rested round glasses in immaculate frames, concealing his calculating eyes. The red tie around his neck, black gloves on his hands, and expensive dress shoes on his feet – all his appearance, made an impression of a high-class gentleman. He wouldn't look out of place in the most expensive yacht club in the world, or at the highest level of business meetings.
Without even speaking, the man exudes the aura of competence.
However, what drew Raynare's attention more was his long pointy ears, reminding Raynare of the dark elf, Aura, making her doubt her first impression that he was a demon. It took a while for Raynare to notice that one of his ears were decorated with piercings, her attention instantly taken by the metallic blue-silver tail trailing behind him.
It looked like a brutal implement, its ends ending looking like some kind of small spiked mace. The thought that he was anything close to an elf, was shut off, there's no way that this man was not a demon.
'Would it be a wise decision to try to find that out? At least to feel out how strong he is?' Raynare thought about it for a moment, before deciding not to. The last time she'd tried to understand Aura's power, she'd nearly been crushed, as if she'd crashed full speed into a standing wall. 'Huh, well, there can't be that many of those creatures around…'
As it turned out a moment later, there could be.
Raynare felt her eyes involuntarily climbing to her forehead, prevented from coming out of her eye-sockets only because of her lost consciousness causing her to close her eyes.
'Ha-ha, perfect, just perfect! It's a demon! It's a fucking demon with… I don't know what to compare it to anymore – this guy can play the Satans as fucking pins! What the hell went wrong in my life and where did Father find this one?! Ha ha, great, so not only do we have a reanimated Biblical God here, but we also have super-powered elves and now new super-powered demons. Don't tell me that this guy had killed Father!? If so, that would be the most murderous and stupid plot twist in history! The Angels waited centuries for Father to resurrect, only so that the Demons could finish him off again, before he could appear to the angels again! What was the purpose of me being saved?'
Raynare felt her head slowly begin to spin, her mind cracking from seeing something that she should have not. 'Was it because of me? Because I was near Father? Do they want to know something from me? Ha, that's the trouble when it turns out that I know about Father and his new appearance about as much as they do. And where have the demons been hiding this guy all this time anyway?! Did one of the original Satans survive? Or is this Lucifer instead!? God is back, so couldn't the original Demon? Ha, my head is spinning…'
"Good afternoon." The man spoke, his voice just as sonorous as Raynare expected, not that she's in the state of mind to appreciate its qualities. The man paused as he made his way to Raynare's bed, hovering over her, causing the Fallen Angel to involuntarily cringe away under his gaze, even if this action seemed ridiculous in the current situation. "My name is… Yaldabaoth."
Raynare wondered for a moment if the phrase spoken could be interpreted in any way as a threat, before she recognized the name had been spoken. "Yaldabaoth?"
"Indeed," Yaldabaoth smiled, "Or rather, it is one of the names given to me by my Creator…
And I suppose I don't have to explain at length the nature of my Creator, do I?"
Slowly, Raynare nodded, feeling for the first time in her life her regret that she had not studied religious and occult texts in the past. Then again, an Angel reading the occultic texts of humans reaching blindly about the truth about God when she knew Him personally? Ludicrous… though, perhaps, not so much now.
'Yaldabaoth… It's something from… Gnosticism? The Demiurge, huh? An imperfect deity fighting the Father and bringing suffering to this world because of his own attempts to implement perfect plans in imperfect execution, or something like that. Hah! Even Gnosticism ended up being true, and I thought I've run out of things to be surprised about… Although, did I really think that before I even started talking to my, I guess, captor?'
Yaldabaoth, or as he actually is, the Demiurge, though Raynare would not be addressing him as such – paused. He was clearly waiting for something, but all that came to Raynare's mind was that he was clearly waiting for her to get out from under her blanket after all. And, reasoning that death from the Demiurge's displeasure would come to her faster than death from the cold, she did throw that away. Almost immediately, her body's temperature plunged deeply into one where even a fallen Angel like her would find it dangerous.
Still, as befit her nature, or maybe as a desperate measure to entice the extremely strong Demon, even when rubbing her body for warmth, Raynare tried to do it as sensuously as possible. But either he has an excellent poker face, which Raynare could not read, or he felt absolutely no emotion at all at the sight of her body… Which was to be expected.
Raynare was not bad looking, but she was hardly anything more than dirt underfoot for a demon above Satan's class.
Feeling the cold wind rush through her body, Raynare restrained the impulse to shudder and instantly rose before the Demiurge – Yaldabaoth… Whichever name he wants her to call himself.
Seeing no other way to survive, she immediately dropped to her knee, staring down at the floor. "I hear and obey, my lord!"
"Hm?" The Demiurge didn't even seem to change his expression as he gazed on her prostrated form. Though, with his glasses covering his eyes from view, casting glints as if they were glossy, it was hard to tell. "As far as I know, my Lord has not bestowed you as my servant at the moment… Not to mention the fact that you just tried to seduce me."
Raynare bit her tongue in anger, at herself that is, for thinking that someone like Yaldabaoth wouldn't notice her little stunt. Before she could think about her impending death any further though, something that the Demiurge said caught her attention. "'Lord'?!"
"Certainly," Yaldabaoth replied, his tone of voice brokering no doubt that if Rayanare would raise her head, she would die. Attempting to determine his mood from his movements and facial expression, was pointless, "At the moment, the Lord has instructed us to take care of your safety by giving you suitable quarters… Raynare."
The information that Yaldabaoth knew her name did not frighten Raynare – unlike something else that she had just realized.
'He's with Father?!' The very idea that a demon of any kind was working with the Father was laughable. And yet the Demiurge, as the Gnostic books told, was a being spawned by the Allfather, and Allfather and Father sounded close enough to be the same person.
'Father, my brain… it hurts. Ha, the theology of the modern world will spin so fast you could build an electric generator on the site of St. Peter's Basilica and power the entire world with how many people would spin in their graves.'
Raynare flinched slightly as an icy gust of wind swept through her body once again, causing Yaldabaoth to speak again. "I apologize for the effects of this place. I took the liberty of stopping the most powerful abilities from… ending your stay in this world before we spoke, but some effects of this place cannot be completely disabled."
Raynare only silently continued to glare at Yaldabaoth's boots, unable to tell whether the speaker was sincere in his apology or was sneering as he insulted Raynare's weakness.
'Ha, at least I haven't been killed yet, which is good… But I still don't understand where this conversation is going.'
"Raynare, I grant you permission to rise from your knees and look up." After a few more moments, perhaps no longer willing to watch the squirming Raynare, Yaldabaoth spoke, and some unseen weight lifted from her shoulder.
"You may sit on your bed and use the blanket – it is a low-rank magic object, but I suppose in the current circumstances it is quite enough to keep your body warm."
She inwardly thanked Yaldabaoth, simultaneously allowing her to relax a little, that her execution was not on the agenda for now, and also by explaining why the blanket provided her with such comfort even in such a freezing environment.
Moving with previously unknown deftness to herself, she ensconced herself in the warmth behind the blankets once again. While the nakedness doesn't really bother her, being bone-chillingly cold certainly does – her nipples hurt like hell. The previously sexy figure were replaced by a bundled, shivering mess – perhaps a little cute, but definitely not arousing to the observer.
"First, I suppose I should ask you what exactly you know about me. It seems that my name has elicited some sense of familiarity." Yaldabaoth said calmly, then instantly added, catching something in Raynare's gaze as she looked up at him.
"No need to be shy, but you shouldn't hide information either. You're easy enough to read – not to mention that I should have no trouble getting information from you in a much simpler and cruder method. But the answers to the questions I asked will most likely help me determine my Lord's plan and determine your future in this world. Know that without such information, you're very easily replaced."
Raynare hesitated for a second, torn between two kinds of fear. What would happen if she told the truth and what would happen if she lied… nothing good, certainly. Quickly deciding that in this case, honesty was the best policy – even if it was foolish to expect honesty from a Fallen Angel. "Your name is Demiurge, and, um, you have many other names that I don't know or have forgotten, and you… You seem to serve my Father…"
"Hmm, is that so?" Raynare's words didn't seem to elicit any reaction from the Demiurge, so he didn't even say anything back. Before suddenly a strange expression appeared on his face. "Father? In that case…"
"I'm not Father's direct daughter, I mean I was an Angel and was created from his power and was ordered to fight in the Three-Sided War, but then Father was killed…" Raynare didn't have time to continue on before a wave of power literally pressed her into place – she shuddered, realizing that she was already dead.
She had already been turned into the thinnest slightly pinkish layer of paste that must have grown under the action of the icy frost into the pale blue crust of the ice of this place. And the fact that she now felt as if she were alive was only the result of the fact that she had died so quickly that she had not yet realized it.
"[Speak all you know]," Demiurge's words crashed into her brain with an iron hook, seemingly opening her skull in an instant, pulling out all her thoughts and memories.
Reflexively, Raynare tried to clench her teeth, to keep her mouth shut. But as if to a rabid dog, something forcibly opened her jaws before Raynare felt the Demiurge begin to speak again, each word like a battering ram to her psyche. "[Don't resist. Don't lie. Don't withhold information. Stay where you are.]"
And Raynare, instantly, felt all strength disappear from her body and all thoughts of resistance and pleading disappeared from her mind. She began to speak, and if she were capable of it, would die from the frightful look the Demiurge face had taken with each word she spoke.
Oh, right, that was wrong. She was already dead.
Momonga put the last bold dot on the last sheet of paper before stretching a little, feeling some relief as another sheet of reports is completed.
A great positive quality Momonga found, being an Undead now, was the ability to give up sleep. Well, maybe not completely – he still needed to lie down sometimes, resting his overworked mind from everything that had happened in the day for a couple dozen minutes. Even more so, if something especially stressful happens during the day… Which is almost every day now that he had found himself in the New World, but the point still stands,
But other than that short rest, he could continue working practically a full day without even interrupting for rest, food, or toilet breaks, thanks to his endless stamina and lack of need for sustenance or need to dispose of waste.
Momonga even conducted an experiment for the latter, more out of mere curiosity than really figuring out how he could use the knowledge, and found that although he had no natural need, he could leave waste. Waste from what exactly Momonga could not imagine, given that he had not drank or eaten anything the entire time, but a practical examination of his new body physiology yielded just these strange results.
"In the saddest of cases, I could potentially produce fertilizer for money, but this is one of those options that I would really rather not think about and experiment on." Brushing that thought aside, Momonga tried to go back to the notes he had written in his notebook.
"Hmm, I think I may have forgotten some information, but I put most of what I have already learned about this world and how YGGDRASIL's abilities have changed in it here. I'll have to pass this information on to Nazarick soon and start making preparations to infiltrate this world… But should I? Hah… Nigredo has scanned maybe a thousand kilometers around Nazarick, finding nothing but black emptiness around, so I'm pretty sure there's nothing else around Nazarick. And the only world I've been to so far seems like a familiar Earth, even if sent back in time for over a hundred years, only very weak humans exist here openly…
But it still doesn't mean that there might not be hidden dangers here.
There are various legends and stories about the mystical side of this world, but nothing meaningful in the public domain – except for the fact that religion and mysticism are far more prevalent in this world than in my past. Or is that normal, and related not to the uniqueness of this world, but only to its condition? Being undestroyed that is.
In my past world, religion was all but eliminated, and science has dispelled most of the myths and misconceptions. So the current state of this world may not be due to real magical beings, but to the lower technical level of this world and the lack of control by mega-corporations?"
"I don't know, but it's not that important at this point. I've already contacted Nigredo, and she said that she has scouted out and researched at least a dozen different worlds. Each containing different inhabitants, and she's recording the information to the best of her abilities, but that will take a long time, after which it will still take a long time to analyze, double-check, and correlate them with each other…"
Momonga felt something begin to twist in his stomach and pressed his hand against it. No, he was not hungry, though he might be developing an ulcer with the amount of stress he's in.
"Thank God, I don't actually have a stomach! Ha, okay, enough joking around, when the time comes – I'll think about it… Hmm, maybe assign it to someone, who though…? No, dumping unnecessary work on my subordinates is a sign of a bad boss. But if it's entrusted to me, I'll probably screw up. And that could mean anything, in a world where there are hundred-level creatures with powers unknown to me, that may work on a completely different principle than I have seen before… Information gathering has never really been my forte, where's Nishikienrai when you need him… Ha, now I not only have a stomachache, but also a headache."
Unable to endure the flow of his thoughts, Momonga decided to look away from his notebook before, after some brief deliberation, summoned a [Magic Box] and placed the notebook in that one. At the moment, the notebook with his experiments represented the most important information to him, the loss of which could lead to many problems, along with giving away too much information about Nazarick to the enemy. So, such precautions were absolutely necessary.
Putting the notebook with the results of his experiments into the [Magic Box], and that one into the [Item Box], or, as Players more often and more simply called it, the 'Inventory', Momonga exhaled. Now, to address something that is potentially very time-sensitive.
Pandora's Actor never showed up back at home, Miki's house, that is.
After a while, Momonga's paranoia almost reached a fever pitch, but a quick check with [Message] dulled his bout of paranoia and informed him that Pandora's Actor was currently in a sleepover at one of Issei's friends. Ha, Momonga never thought about it before, but by having Pandora's Actor acting as Issei, he had placed him in the same conditions as Issei himself, along with his friends and family.
And while it was difficult for Pandora's Actor to consider Miki as his mother, especially considering that he considered Momonga his father, it did not preclude the possibility that Pandora's Actor himself could find friends in the outside world. Even if his circumstances were somewhat unusual and strange – considering the fact that Pandora's Actor had to pretend to be another person and the like…
But on the other hand, Momonga might have felt second-hand shame from Pandora's Actor doing all those salutes and speaking German, but Momonga had created him that way and blaming him for being that way was stupid. If Momonga has to blame anyone for it, it should be himself – and even though Momonga was ashamed of his shameful past, which had resulted in Pandora's Actor, if all the NPC's were children of Ainz Ooal Gown… Then Pandora's Actor was his son.
And Momonga, while still feeling uncomfortable, is yet strangely happy that his son had found friends outside Nazarick.
So, after wishing Pandora's Actor a good rest and to have fun, Momonga returned to reality… In which Miki Hyoudou, completely oblivious to Momonga himself, did as he told her, washing and changing clothes, then went off to bed. Such behavior on the part of his 'mother' was unusual for Momonga. But on the other hand, who knew what was going on in her mind and how the copious alcohol she drank had affected her.
Even if Momonga had sort of got rid of the effects of that with the [Cure Poison] scroll.
So, after making sure that she was just asleep and hadn't done anything weird, or were planning to, Momonga left her alone for a while.
With Miki out of the way, Momonga finally started cleaning the living room. Admittedly, Momonga was a little squeamish of cleaning vomit, but he'd look like a trash boss and a fool if he sent a message to Nazarick about how he needed help from the maids just for cleaning.
So he did what was necessary, cleaning up the vomit, fixing the pillows, airing the room, washing the containers… and collecting all the empty bottles of alcohol into his Inventory. Momonga was such a compulsive collector, and Miki wanted to throw them away anyway, so, he reasoned, that even the useless junk in his Inventory wouldn't weigh on his pocket if at some random moment he suddenly required it.
He could at least recycle it for some change. He could at least bring it as samples to Nazarick and have the crafters from there forge it to maybe capitalize on the recycling business.
"Ha, counterfeiting money essentially… " Momonga shook his head at the thought of making bottles only to recycle them – it should be much easier than entering the glassmaking industry, at least?
"On the other hand, should I worry about that if I've already committed document forgery and ruined someone else's family?"
In any case, by the time Momonga had sorted out all of his business for the day, except for long-term projects like increasing Nazarick's power, he was done for the day. The long-term projects required intellectual effort from his subordinates, not just Momonga.
He did decide to take up a case he had put off for too long, though. So, with the pilfered, borrowed, computer he had found that had once belonged to Gorou, Momonga used the Internet for the first time in the new World.
Computers of this time were archaic, but Momonga had managed to catch a glimpse of how the local people used them, and while the UI was different some things remained the same.
Momonga turned it on, then checked the Internet connection, opened up a web browser, typed into the search bar the word he was very interested in with practiced fingers.
A moment later, numerous search results blanketed the screen, and Momonga immersed himself in reading what he had found. Information about Scandinavia, mythology, all the things Tabula had said before – some of it matched the information from the game, some of it was different.
After checking the first ten pages of the search, Momonga found no mention of the existence of a DMMORPG with that name, not even the company that developed it, or DMMORPG itself, existed.
Which was almost expected, considering he'd been thrown back more than a hundred years.
After another moment, without much hope, Momonga punched in a new search criterion:
'Ainz Ooal Gown.'
Not a single mention. Nothing, nothing at all – Momonga went through the various links and results, mostly relating about dresses, but without much hope. The word combination itself appeared nowhere.
That didn't completely negate the chances that any of his friends or anyone with information about them were in this world, though. After all, the world of the paranormal was hidden from ordinary people, which meant members of Ainz Ooal Gown could just be hiding, being Heteromorphic Races, they would stick out like a sore thumb.
But, the hope inside Momonga was slowly beginning to fade.
"Ha, I feel sad, and at the same time, it's exactly as I expected, so should it be disappointing instead…?" Momonga sighed, closing the search result page about an evening gown.
"If they were in this world – there would have been scraps, signs, and information about them, their appearances were very eye-catching after all… But there's none of that."
Momonga's emotions vanished the moment they crossed some invisible line, which simultaneously brought relief to Momonga, pulled from the abyss into which he had begun to sink. Alongside a considerable amount of annoyance that he could not even allow himself to feel sadness quietly before sighing and getting back to work.
"Okay, even if I find myself alone in this world, it doesn't mean that my friends won't find themselves in it later, or, um, be born in it later. I think the oldest member of Ainz Ooal Gown won't be born in this world for decades to come… My mission is unchanged – my friends, even if you are not in this world, I swear I will carry your legacy through this world and not allow the Great Tomb of Nazarick to fall. Or to allow the name of Ainz Ooal Gown to be forgotten!"
Momonga smiled, feeling a new surge of strength. Then, afterward, more for self-satisfaction, typed in more search terms into the search engine. The names of other guilds, items, classes, and abilities – but, as he had expected, found nothing of significance, then, after spending a few more seconds, deleted his search history.
Using such archaic technology was uncomfortable and unfamiliar to Momonga, but he generally handled any problem that appeared easily enough. A glance at the clock in the corner of Gorou's computer screen, forced Momonga to turn it off.
"Four o'clock in the morning…!" Momonga sighed, not from tiredness, but from boredom.
"Judging from the previous night – Miki will wake up in a couple of hours at the earliest, if her routine stays the same that is. She probably went to bed much earlier today than usual, but so far, I don't hear her even start to toss in her sleep or any sign of sleep ending. Hmm, what would I spend my time on now…?"
As if as an answer to this question, Momonga's mind sensed a connection of a [Message] forming between him and someone else, something that he opened immediately.
'My Lord!' Demiurge's voice sounded hurried, clearly full of emotion, but Momonga couldn't determine what kind. From his voice it seemed to him that Demiurge was now experiencing a mixture of fear, admiration, anger, and joy – and maybe a dozen other lesser emotions mixed into a single expression.
"Umu, Demiurge," Momonga nodded slightly, not that Demiurge could see him, looking around to see if he detected any potential spies around him. "Is it something urgent?"
'No, my Lord, but at the risk of sounding like a useless apprentice and disturbing the harmony of your great plan – I humbly ask that you allow me to perceive a modicum of your wisdom!' Momonga could practically see Demiurge kneeling in a 'dogeza', jamming his head into the ground in such a way as if to spread his face completely over it.
Momonga sighed at these words, then shook his head. Well, here's something for him to do this time, so he won't get bored. "Well, I was planning on visiting Nazarick at the moment anyway, so I'll be arriving shortly."
After which, interrupting the flow of happy words of gratitude, Momonga looked at his watch again and sighed. "Hopefully I'll get whatever Demiurge wants, sorted quickly… I still have to go to school today."
Yes, this fanfiction HAS 18+ scenes and even lemon chapters... On my Pat reon. That's right, on my Pat reon. I would post limes here, and I will post all of the plot-relevant chapters on this site, for free, eventually. But no lemons. No. Not at all. If you want lemons - feel free to look into my Pat reon. It also contains 18 chapters ahead of the schedule there - so, I just posted the current chapter - and also 18 of the next chapters, which is roughly 18 * 8 = 136 pages worth of reading on my Pat reon for 3$! And yes, my Pat Reon HAS lemon chapters on it too.
Could ainz use 1 charge of the "wish upon a star" ring to wish for a wish-ring with 3 charges? - No
And what would happen if someone got hit by reality slash? Idk I tought, I would be something like: if as example your arm gets cut of by reality slash, it will become so that it always was cut of(as reality was cut for it to be like this) idk. - Nope. would not happen... Probably. At the current time.
Great another chapter where nothing happened and words were wasted on detailing about what the characters are thinking and feeling. - Yup, that's how I write.
I didn't see any p atreon links. - The word itself is censored on this site, not to mention any external links.
So, the Pat reon\rure is your way to go. 18 chapters ahead of the schedule for 3$. Also lemons.