The Warrior Captain of the Kingdom
Translators: Frostfire10 and Henet
Ainz watched Enri as she left the village. With that, everything he needed to do here has been completed.
The spoils of armor and swords had been collected and placed inside the Infinity Haversack. Nothing was left behind. Anything that happens after this will be the village’s problem. Only the dead and the injured remained, precaution will not be needed because it is bothersome. But, what should he do about her sister.
The best thing to do would be until she comes back, he should leave some monsters nearby. It will be best if he would contact and discuss this with Demiurge. His underlings are best suited for this type of work.
Ainz decided that he needed to say some parting words to the chief, and so looked for him the the village square.
At one corner of the square, several surviving villages seems to be discussing something with serious expressions. Ainz felt that some of them have decided on several decisions. As Ainz walked closer, he felt the sense of foreboding getting stronger.
The atmosphere changed, and felt tense.
“……Has something happened? Chief-dono.”
“People that seem like warriors are currently approaching on horseback……”
The village chief looked at Ainz with a pleading expression. It was the same from the other villagers.
Ainz understood the meaning behind their actions. He raised his hands gently to calm the villagers.
“Please leave it to me. Please assemble the remaining people in chief-dono’s house. Chief-dono and I will be at the open space.”
The bell sounded and villagers gathered at the chief’s house. Ainz ordered the Death Knight to stand guard nearby.
Ainz tried to smile at the nervous chief. Obviously due to the mask, his smile went unnoticed.
“Do not worry. This time will be special and I will save you for free.”
The chief smiled bitterly. But, his trembling had lessened considerably. He might be hungry too.
Soon, a number of riders appeared at the central road leading towards the square. They fell into formation and moved into the square silently.
Ainz developed a sense of foreboding after looking at the knights’ equipment.
The previous knights bearing the Empire’s emblem have matching sets of equipment. Although the new arrivals were armored, the sets of armor doesn’t match after comparing them to the former. There is a huge difference with some wearing leather armor while others bear metal armor.
Some do not even have helms. The similarity of each helm is that the face of the wearer is exposed.
Each of them held various weapons, a sword with a common design, others carried bows, a one-hand spear, and even maces.
If you say it nicely, they can be considered as a group of veterans. On the other hand, they can be called a group of mismatched mercenary group.
Not long after, all of them reached the village square. A total of 14 riders.
A few of them were wary of the Death Knight. They formed a perfect line in front of Ainz and the chief and one of the riders moved towards them.
There were no phrases to describe his strong physique. His build was like steel. He looks young, approximately 30 years old. With a stone-edge face, he might be older than expected.
The hair was trimmed neatly and he radiated a strong sense of danger.
The man’s gaze swept over the chief and stopped at the Death Knight. After confirming that it was not moving, he switched his sight to Ainz.
The air seems to simmer with a violent tension. But Ainz seemed to ignore him nonchalantly. He displayed the air of an expert.
Of course, this is not because Ainz cannot detect the intense gaze directed at him. I haven’t felt the sense of fear ever since I had this body. Or is it because I can use my abilities in Yggdrasil that I am confident?
“—-I am, from the Re-Estize Kingdom, the Kingdom’s Warrior Captain, Gazef. Receiving orders from the king to repel knights from the Baharuth Empire that are causing trouble here, we have been patrolling the villages.”
The voice that is deeper than what was expected from his looks, reverberated in the square. A commotion seemed to have broken out from the chief’s house.
“The Kingdom’s Warrior Captain……”
Ainz leaned towards the chief and whispered quietly into his ear.
“……What sort of person is he?”
“I have heard from merchants. It is a position obtained from winning the Kingdom’s tournament, the person in command of the best warriors of the king.”
“Hou……Is this true?”
“I do not know. I do not know about him except from stories.”
Ainz observed the group of knights, the Kingdom’s crest was carved on their chest. it is the same as what the chief described. But still, not many were convinced.
“You must be the village chief.” Gazef’s line of sight moved to the chief. “I would like you to tell me who the heck is the person right next to you.”
“Nice to meet you, Kingdom’s Warrior Captain-dono. I am Ainz Ooal Gown. A magic caster that came to save the village when it was attacked by knights.”
Before the chief can reply, Ainz introduced himself ceremoniously. followed with a slight bow towards the Warrior Chief. In reply, Gazef lowered his head.
“I do not have words to express my gratitude for saving this village.”
“No no. Actually I saved this village for a reward, so please do not mind.”
“Then please excuse me but, what sort of people had attacked the village? I would like to hear about this in detail.”
“I do not mind but, what about chief-dono?”
“No, I do not mind as well.”
“Then let’s hear it.”
“I do not mind but, it would be good to explain fully, but it cannot drag on. Shall we take a seat and talk?”
“Fumu……There’s a reason but……”
“Most of the knights were killed. By my simple opinion, it is likely that they will not attack here again. I would like to make this clear.”
As Gazef went into deep thoughts, his gaze once again paused at the Death Knight. Did he smell the faint traces of blood?
“A subordinate that I had created.”
Gazef’s sharp gaze observed every inch of Ainz carefully.
“Then that mask is.”
“Something due to my position as a magic caster.”
“Could you remove it?”
“I will have to refuse. That—-” He pointed to the Death Knight. “Will be bad if it rampages.”
The chief made a worried face as he knew the power of the Death Knight. And then Gazef heard the voices of the villagers inside the chief’s house. He felt their expressions change quickly, and so he nodded.
“I see. It would be best not to remove it then.”
“Thank you very much.”
“Before that. I apologise but the villagers were just attacked by knights from the Baharuth Empire, and so I think that the villagers will recall their fear from the fact that everyone is carrying weapons. And so I believe that it would calm everyone down if you could leave your weapons in the centre of the village?”
“……That is logical. However, this sword was bestowed upon me by the king. I cannot remove it unless it is the king’s order.”
The chief nodded towards Ainz. That is something irrefutable.
“I truly apologise for that. Asking you to remove it.”
“No, Ainz-dono. I believe that your thoughts were extremely correct. Had it not been given to me by the king, I would have happily put it down. Now, let us take a seat and talk about this in detail.”
“Understood. To my house then.”
“Umu. Then all you guys help out around the village.”
The soldiers lining up behind agreed.
After the villagers left, the trio which consisted of the chief, Ainz and Gazef went inside the house to discuss the details of the incident.
The warriors went to work each on their own, time for them to get busy. There are many things that needed to be done. For example, one of families were completely wiped out. Any remaining scenes from that tragedy was not permitted to linger. Hence, alchemical oil will be used.
The dismantling work was necessary. Henceforth, it is required that all the belongings in the house to be remove first. The work required quite some effort.
The warriors had to remove their armor, before using their limited individual strength to remove all the valuables. The job will proceed faster if they just chuck the valuables. But, these belongings is to be shared among the survivors as their owners are deceased. Hence, careful treatment is required.
They worked diligently. Several houses needed to have their valuables transferred.
Fresh graves needed to be dug in order for the funeral to proceed. Demonic presence might infect the corpses if left unattended, allowing for undead to rise.
They were monsters that move although their they had lost their lives. They were quite common at battlefields. However, they may also appear in various tragic scenes from bodies that were left unattended. Zombies, Skeletons and Ghouls are the more famous of them.
The early completion of burials is vital to prevent such a phenomenon from occurring.
The village had its own funeral rites. They first dug a hole, and could do nothing but leave the body inside.
As everyone was busy with work, the Death Knight that was standing guard beside the chief’s house was being examined by three warriors.
“Like, this guy is huge.”
One of the warriors touched the Death Knight. The leather which separates the metal portions of the armor is cold to the touch.
“From the talk of the villagers, this guy killed many of the Empire’s knights.”
“Wow. Really? But, since it’s huge, it’s movements should be slow.”
“But, does it really move? Looks like nothing but a corpse to me.”
“Who knows. Ma~, it looks good enough as a shield.”
Pointing towards the large shield on the left hand, the warriors began to laugh. That the due to their self-confidence.
As a matter of fact, within the Kingdom, the 180 people that formed the corps of the Kingdom’s Elite Knights were the cream of the crop. They were the most trusted group of the king. Their ability enabled them to go one on one with the knights of the Empire and gain an easy victory.
“Warrior-sama, if you anger it you might die.”
A teenager of the village told them from afar. The three knights looked at each and other and laughed again.
“Haha, it’s fine. It’s fine. We are the elite warriors of the Kingdom.”
“Don’t stand so far away and come here. Even if it rampages we will protect you.”
A red fire seemed to appear within the one of the empty eye sockets of the Death Knight, staring at the warriors. The young boy who saw it ran away immediately.
“Oi, what’s wrong bouzo*?”
The youngster pointed towards the Death Knight and the knights followed the child’s finger. There was no red light. Only a sleeping corpse remained.
The knights looked at the direction of the youngster, whom had already ran away. Looking at the youngster that decide the flee and hide at home, the knights laughed.
“It really is scary, this huge thing.”
“It’s appearance really looks scary. And that face.”
“However magic casters that can use necromancy, one was a part of the 13 Heroes.”
“Don’t know. They were amazing heroes from the past. I heard it in class, but I forgot their names.”
“Fu–n. But it’s impossible for that weird mask guy to be a hero.”
Once again, the laughter of those three spread around the square. Still, the Death Knight remained dormant. It was indeed scary.
After taking a gulp from the cup of lukewarm water, Gazef opened his mouth. He remained quiet and nodded occasionally as Ainz and the chief recapped the events.
“I said it earlier but, Ainz-dono. You have my gratitude for saving this village.”
“No, I have said it earlier but I was searching for a reward.”
“If modesty goes too far, it sounds like sarcasm.” Gazef sent a beast-like gaze towards Ainz, and then faced the chief. “Could you let me see the armour that the knights were wearing?”
Noticing the meaningful gaze from the chief, Ainz opened the Infinity Haversack. He took out a piece of armor, one which had the least damage. He placed the section with the emblem closer to Gazef so that he can examine it. Gazef was momentarily taken aback by how such an armor can be taken out from such a small bag, but immediately rectified it.
“Chief-dono, is this the right one?”
“Yes, there is no mistake.”
Nodding grimly, Gazef received the armor with both hands. He examined it closely, flipped it, and also gave it a slight knock. Not long after coming to his conclusion, he placed the armor on the table.
“This really is the Empire’s armour.” Looking closely at the design of the armour, he continued. “But wearing it does not give much protection in the middle.”
The chief did not comprehend the meaning of those words, he looked puzzled.
“There is a chance that the Slane Theocracy acted as the Empire’s knights.”
“Why would they?!”
“To worsen the relationship between the Empire and the Kingdom. Probably. It’s quite obvious.”
Ainz took a sweeping glance at Gazef but remained silent. Based on the body language, he wanted to say something. The village chief was deeply shocked by such a revelation. Then, Gazef began to speak in a serious tone.
“……Any way the Death Knights that sweeped up the knights, that is Ainz-dono, how many do you have?”
“This is the only one.”
“……Could you make another one if you had time?”
After hearing Ainz’s answer, Gazef slowly closed his eyes. It was hard to discern the color of his pupils.
After a few seconds elapsed, he opened his eyes again.
“I did not think much of it in the centre of the village but……It would seem to be my misunderstanding.”
The expression underneath the mask did not change. But even so—-
“If it is from the Kingdom’s strongest, then it is natural.”
Ainz smiled underneath his mask and spoke casually. Gazef looked at Ainz for a moment, then changed his view to the armor after losing his interest.
“……Now, I apologise but I would like to take this back with me.”
“I do not mind if you are simply buying it.”
Ainz and Gazef exchanged sharp glances. Of course, because of the mask the assumption could be flawed.
“……How much is it?”
“This armour feels quite light. Magic was probably casted on it. And so the price increases. It’s like that.”
The atmosphere was heavy. The chief was barely able to handle it and timidly observed both parties.
“Currently, I do not have much, a few days……Yes, Nazarick was it? Do you mind us bringing it there?”
“……That will be troublesome. Even if you come, there is a chance that I am not there.”
“Then what about if we meet at the town?”
“……It is not bad but……” Ainz looked up at the sky, thought and opened his mouth. “I have to return to Nazarick and prepare various things, and so I will have to refuse.”
“Fumu……Then what about payment in a different form?”
“What sort of form?”
“That is why I am asking you.”
The tension was building up.
Between Ainz that wanted to sell it higher and Gazef who wanted the magical armor. There was a conflict of interest, cold wind seems to blow.
“Then……What about this. Have a bout with my Death Knight.”
The chief shouted out in surprise. Gazef was silent as he took another drink of water. No, it was just to the extent of wetting his lips.
“The difference between my subordinate and the one known as the Kingdom’s strongest. I want to know it.”
The chief was anxious but he kept his lips shut however, a voice, that sounded like he was burnt, echoed throughout the room.
This time the one leaking a surprised voice was Ainz. After hearing that, Gazef shows a predatory smile.
“What is wrong, Ainz-dono. Were you just acting? You look surprised?”
“N, no, but, I believe that Gazef-dono will not walk out unscathed.”
“I do not mind. I will properly deliver my own to your subordinate.”
Ainz was surprised by Gazef’s suggestion. Achieving a mutual agreement with this uncouth person was still possible. He might also want to investigate the extent of his strength. Based on this suggestion, Ainz himself might learn more.
Hence, this is a good chance.
The Death Knight was not an important pawn of Ainz. Comparing the time to summon another Death Knight and the price to learn about the strength of the Kingdom’s Strongest, it was cheap.
Under the gaze of both the warriors and the villagers, both combatants, the Death Knight and the Warrior Captain Gazef stood at the middle of the square facing each other.
“Then, as per our promise, no matter which side wins, or if any injuries arise from the fight. Neither side can pursue the matter further.”
Ainz was appointed as the temporary referee. Many warriors voiced their opinion that they should handle it but all of it was silenced by the Warrior Captain.
Ainz took back the flamberge from the Death Knight, and replaced it with a broadsword that was loaned from one of the warriors. Seeing this, Gazef showed an expression that wanted to say something but he kept quiet it the end. Ainz noticed but ignored it. Ma~, whatever I say will just be another excuse.
“Now, both sides, please get ready.”
Is it fine to have this sort of atmosphere before the fight? Ainz seemed to sweat as he spoke to the two combatants.
The Death Knight was armed with a tower shield and a broadsword. While, Gazef was dual wielding a pair of Bastards swords. Gazef was in no way short, there was a difference in height by about 50 centimetres between the two. Just like a child and an adult. Just by looking at that, there seems to be an overwhelming difference in strength. Can Gazef win? That was on the mind in many of the onlookers.
—-Death Knight. Instead of attacking, focus on defending.
“Then please begin.”
The Death Knight slowly advanced while performing a series of stabs with the sword. Gazef dodged the stabs effortlessly. This was the opening signal.
The clash of swords started.
A tempest and a river.
Which was which?
Their fight could be described as that.
The swords gleamed. As they clashed, it was as if two beams of light were crossing each other.
The swords from both sides contained traces of magical power which release magical sparks.
The sound of metal clashing were constantly released from each strike.
Some warriors were getting suspicious, while others were fearful, while others were stunned.
It was that amazing. There was no way they could protect him. The fact that there was no hostility saved them. That sort of voice could be heard from among the warriors.
They had never seen the fight of humanity’s strongest. Now, they can spectate it with their own eyes. The warriors unconsciously clenched their fist. Even during training, they never truly saw the true extent of the Warrior Captain’s strength.
An upward slash. But the deflected sword came back once again at angle that was aiming for the opponent’s head. The Death Knight swung its head backwards and the sword only grazed the helm and the shoulder armor.
The Death Knight possessed a special skill that allows the sword to bend like a whip. It blocked Gazef’s sword and continued to slipping past the sword to swipe at Gazef’s shoulder.
It will be impossible to evade. Anyone would think that way. But—-
—-He let go.
Everyone was shocked. Gazef let go of his own swords.
Before the Death Knight’s sword reached his shoulders, Gazef caught the sword with both his palms.
The scene was just like a sword dance.What will happen next? It was unimaginable.
Gazef swung his sword and the Death Knight evaded. Next, the Death Knight swung its sword and Gazef evaded. Without leaving any room to breathe, the swords clashed again.
If you called it a sword dance, everyone would agree. If it was practised prior this should be possible. He wanted to think that way.
Dozen of strikes were exchanged but none hit the body.
Between the two, who was the stronger one? Many of the warriors were getting alarmed.
What are they doing now? They feinted four times? No, five? The warriors tried to explain what they saw but they could not keep up with the moves. The villagers stopped thinking about anything after witnessing such a fight.
The Death Knight’s sword manage to cut Gazef’s cape. Gazef bent his upper body to evade that strike.
A few strands of hair danced in the air. The already short hair was further shortened. How close was Gazef to being hit?
—-At that moment.
It seemed to be the right time.
Having barely avoiding the sword seemed to be a situation in Gazef’s favour. This was as the sword was now swung too far, so even the Death Knight with its strong arm should not be able to return a sword that had performed an overcut to its original position.
However, his opponent happened to be undead.
If a normal person suddenly did that then several muscles would easily tear. A backhand side-slash. The sword that would have normally bisected a human cut through thin air.
A gale blew past Gazef’s head.
Ducked—-Did he already predict that? Gazef avoided it by squatting.
Like that, Gazef’s sword sort out the legs of the Death Knight, and stabbed—-
The Death Knight leaped. He instantly jumped backwards to avoid the sword.
It was like a cat. It was both graceful and violent. An weightless-like elegance, it slowly landed on the ground.
Gazef slowly stood up, and the Death Knight once again readied its sword. The late cheer echoed in the village square.
Gazef breathed heavily, and dashed with a bullet-like speed.
A sword flashed.
A volume that made you want to cover your ears. That sound occurred at the space between the tower shield and the bastard sword. The Death Knight’s body received that, and lost its balance for just a moment.
Gazef swung his sword at the tower shield with a roar. The Death Knight drew back its tower shield in an irritated manner, and swung at Gazef. Gazef then jumped backwards in retreat.
It was such a light movement that you would think that he was not wearing armour.
The wind born from the impossibly fast movement of the tower shield created a cloud of dust in the surroundings. Matching it, the two broke into a dash.
The sound of metal.
The two figures within the dust cloud came out unharmed. Gazef was the first to retreat backwards. Was he blown back? Or was it his own decision?
At this point in time, the surrounding spectators were simply protecting the silence.
Already, hearts understood when this battle was at human limits. Ainz looked at the the warriors that were about to take a breath and widened their eyes, and looking like they had forgotten something. The villagers had a gaze that showed that they did not understand much, except for the fact that they were watching something amazing.
In the midst of the amazing match, only Ainz was examining it with cold eyes.
His heart was wondering whether the opponent displayed his full strength, it will be perplexing if it is. He maintained his cool in contrast to the boisterous onlookers.
Ignoring Ainz’s inner thoughts, the swords continued clashing.
The warriors and the villagers’ faces reddened, and clenched their hands tightly. If they mistook the timing even slightly they would die, somewhere in their brains could recognise this, and that probably would fail.
There was something that they would never reach, a longing for the highest peak.
The stiff sound of metal clashing rang, rang, rang, rang—-
The speed of sword strikes both from both sides had gone beyond the limit.
The matching sounds sounded completely like one drawn out sound.
—-In the end, Gazef’s sword slid and left a wound on the Death Knight’s face. The thought that it was nothing but a lucky strike was in everyone’s eyes.
With the sword that scored a light hit due to luck.
And then Ainz’s voiced echoed.
“—-Let’s stop there.”
The sounds of loud cheering erupted. It was a beautiful match. The band of warriors were celebrating their captain’s victory.
“……As expected of the Kingdom’s Strongest. Gazef-sama.”
His breathing ragged and his face red, Gazef smiled at Ainz whose back is towards the crowd. Gazef showed a terrifying smile as he walked towards the unsurprised Ainz.
“I wonder if you let me win, Ainz-dono?”
Gazef took out his personal towel to wipe off his sweat. Killing intent leaked out from the gaps of the towel.
“No, it was not that complicated.” Ainz took a another step closer, and in a voice such that no one else could hear. “If I won, a lot of problems would arise.”
The atmosphere tensed. And Ainz took it calmly. Gazef wiped away his sweat, and placed the cloth in his pocket.
“I will remember that.”
“I left a set of armour in the chief-dono’s house. Please feel free to bring it back with you.”
Observing the back of the departing Gazef, Ainz smiled lightly. At least I found out the strength of the strongest warrior in the Kingdom.
It might be known that he had bought the fight. However, it is likely that Gazef will report to the King. He was not the type of human that will prioritise his own emotions over intelligence gathering. He should be deeply loyal to the King. This was determined when Gazef was asked to remove his weapon earlier, he rejected the suggestion to remove the sword granted to him by the king.
No matter how it looked, this transaction did not cost him.
A very satisfied Ainz looked at the Death Knight. When the heck will he disappear? That was the question is his mind.
*TL Note: Bouzo means boy or lad.