I’m not dead yet. Anyway, thank you for your patience in waiting an entire month for this chapter and being loyal servants of Lord Ainz. Anyway my exams are coming in one to two months so this pace will be kept until about August where I can focus on this.
Thanks and Enjoy.
Invaders Part 6
Translators: Frostfire10, Henet, Skythewood.
At the feet of [Foresight] which had just repelled four ghouls. There was a magic circle. The next moment, they were swallowed by an unavoidable pale white light and the scene around them changed.
Hekkeran let out a gasp of surprise, and frantically looked at the surroundings. While understanding the current situation was important, the safety of his comrades was of far greater importance. Looking around, he confirmed the presence of his comrades.
Imina, Arche Roberdyck.
While preserving the formation then stepped on the magic circle, the members of [Foresight] were gathered without a single person missing. Confirming each other’s safety, faster than they heaved sighs of relief, the four looked around at the surroundings immediately.
This place was a wide corridor, dimly lit and with a high ceiling. Even a giant could walk freely through here. The flickering flames of faraway torches provided unsteady illumination and in their light the long shadows seemed to dance. Ahead of them was some kind of crosshatched portcullis, and from the square gaps in its surface, rays of white, magical light shone through. Behind them, the path stretched into darkness, and along the way, several doors opening into the corridor could be seen, lit up by torches.
With everyone remaining quiet, only the crackling of the torches could be heard.
It did not seem like they were in any danger of being attacked immediately. Even if it was such, his gaze looked at the surroundings with caution.
“Although I don’t know where this place is, it has a completely different atmosphere to what we have seen up until now.”
The style of this place was completely different to the tomb they had just left. In fact, signs of civilisation could be seen here. The members of ‘Foresight’ surveyed their surroundings, and whilst they were trying to grasp where this place was, only Arche’s attitude was different from the rest.
“—This place is…”
Keenly perceiving the meaning behind the words, Hekkeran asked Arche.
“Do you know?”
“—I know of a similar place. The Empire’s Grand Arena.”
“Ah… indeed, you are right.”
Roberdyck grunted in agreement. Although Hekkeran and Imina did not say anything, they also shared Roberdyck’s opinion.
Monsters or beasts fought in the Coliseum. If one was a worker it was not a rare job. In order to entertain those who were not satisfied with normal bouts, it was common to hire workers. Yes, at times workers fought fellow workers.
Long ago, the members of Foresight had fought monsters in the Coliseum. The scene from that time—The route from the waiting room to the arena, the road in between, certainly suited their current location.
“Then behind that should be the arena.”
Roberdyck pointed towards the portcullis.
“That should be the case… then being teleported to this place means that… is that what it is?”
“Give me a fight to watch” was probably the intention here. Although, they had no idea who or what might be waiting for them.
“—It’s dangerous. I have not heard of teleportation traps. Either an existence that can use unknown magic is here or one that knows advanced magical skills. No matter which, having any as our enemy in this tomb is dangerous.”
Even those that did not have much knowledge of magic skills, the high level of the magic of teleportation was well known. Using one as a trap, made one imagine the caster having extreme proficiency in magic. If not, teleporting them with magic that even Arche did not know, they would have no idea of the caster’s true strength.
Basically having either an an enemy was an extremely dangerous thing.
However to those people who dragged mud in, people who would treat them warmly was extremely few. No, it would not be strange to say there were none. The moment they stepped into the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick, the lives of Hekkeran and the rest were half decided. At best, the traps in the tomb were not placed by those currently living here. If those traps were placed long ago, there was a chance of leaving alive.
“—It might be a relic from 500 years ago.”
“Ah, there were more advanced magic techniques in the past.”
“Are you referring to the beings that dominated the continent and whose country shattered almost immediately, of which only the capital remains today?”
“—The Eight Greed Kings. They are considered to be the ones who spread the existence of magic further through this world. If this is a relic of that era, then perhaps…”
The members of Foresight looked at each other and sighed. Staying here would bring no good. They had to get a result.
“….Shall we investigate?”
“We have no other choice. I think we are blocked in thought.”
“There is only one path. Shall we pray that the owner gives freedom to the victors.”
Hekkeran’s words decided their objective.
Hekkeran was at the front, followed by Roberdyck, Imina and Arche.
When they got close to the portcullis, it rose upward with impressive speed, as though it had been waiting for them all this time. The first thing they saw as they entered the arena were rows upon rows of audience seats around the arena.
It was a colisuem.
A length of 188 metres, breadth of 156 metres and a height of 48 metres. It was not inferior to the Empire’s Coliseum. No this place might have been better constructed. Various locations had <Continual Light> cast, and the white light lit up the surroundings.
And so they looked at the surroundings as if it were noon.
Seeing the seats, the members of Foresight were suprised and were at a loss for words.
This was because sitting there were innumerable clay figures, the dolls known as golems.
Golems were inorganic creatures created through magical means, who would obediently carry out their master’s commands once they received them. Without the need for food or sleep, and never suffering from fatigue or even the ravages of time, they were treasured as guardians and labourers. Furthermore, because their production took considerable time, effort and cost, even the weakest ones would cost a considerable amount of gold coins.
Even Hekkeran and the others, who were paid well, would find it hard to purchase a golem. Such was their price.
And standing there in the coliseum, were countless of them.To Hekkeran, it spoke of how wealthy the person who owned this arena was, as well as how lonely he felt.
They looked briefly at each other’s faces before silently walking towards the centre of the arena.
Reacting to Imina’s voice, all that could be seen when looking at the sky was darkness. Because the light from the surroundings was too strong, it outshone the light from the stars, but even so, there was no doubt that above the arena was a vast expanse of open night sky.
“Were we transported outside?”
“—Then, we could use flight magic to escape—”
A figure jumped from the balcony of the VIP box.
The figure somersaulted in mid-air as it descended from a height that seemed roughly equivalent to a six story building, making people wonder if it might have wings as it gracefully landed upon the ground. There was no magic at work here, only pure physical ability. Even the rogue Imina had her breath taken away by the perfection of the movement.
The figure who had absorbed the impact with a mere flexing of its knees smiled brightly.
Before them stood a young dark elf girl.
The long ears which emerged from amongst the golden strands of his hair twitched slightly, giving rise to a glorious impression like that of the sun.
She was fully dressed in a suit of tight-fitting, light leather armour, made from jet black and deep crimson dragon scales, over which she wore a white vest embroidered with golden threads. A coat of arms was sewn onto the breast of the jacket.
Seeing her heterochromic eyes, Imina let out a gasp of surprise.
“—The challengers have arrived!”
The arena trembled and shuddered in time with the girl’s bright and cheerful voice.
Looking around, it seemed that the golems which had remained motionless so far were stomping on the ground to make noise.
“The challengers are four reckless fools who have invaded the Great Tomb of Nazarick! And, facing them is the master of the Great Tomb of Nazarick, the Supreme King of Death, Ainz! Ooal! Gown-sama!”
The portcullis on the opposite side of the arena rose upwards at the same time as the dark elf’s voice rang out. From the darkness of the path beyond, a being stepped into the light. In a word, it would be skeletal.
A crimson radiance flickered within the eye sockets of the white skull.
It wore a shining black expensive full plate mail, with gold and purple symbols. A drawn sword was held in its right hand.
The stomps gradually turned into claps.
It was a reception befitting the arrival of a king.
Amidst the thunderous continuous applause of the golems, the skeleton slowly walked in. The weapons in its hands and its armour was enough to tell what would happen.
“—I’m so sorry.”
“—We ended up like this because of me.”
What would follow was probably going to be the most grueling battle Foresight would ever have faced. In all likelihood, one or more of them might die. Arche probably felt that they had been plunged into such a dire circumstance was because of herself. Without her debt, perhaps they might not have accepted this task to go investigate a tomb they so obviously did not know enough about.
Basically everyone might die due to Arche.
“Don’t mind it.”
“Yes. Taking on this work was a group decision. This isn’t your fault.”
“That’s how it is.”
Hekkeran and Roberdyck smiled as they spoke, and Imina patted Arche’s head.
“Now, I think it’s impossible, but let’s talk.”
The skeleton in question, Ainz, waved his hand before them. The movement looked as if he was wiping something.
The sounds disappeared. In an instant, the golems’ movements stopped, and once more they were subjected to the almost deafening silence. Hekkeran faced Ainz and spoke in a serious tone.
“Firstly I would like to apologise—”
“…Ainz Ooal Gown.”
“—Ainz Ooal Gown-dono.”
Ainz stopped, hoisted his sword onto his shoulder, and moved his chin as if to order him to continue.
“We wish to apologize for entering your tomb without permission. If you can find it in your heart to forgive us, we will gladly offer the appropriate compensation to atone for our transgressions.”
Time passed in silence. Then Ainz sighed. Of course, as one of the undead, Ainz had no need to breathe. But he did so in order to get his message across.
“To those who step foot into Nazarick without permission, there has never been a case where we allowed them to return without harm. Even if you had misunderstood, or did not know, it does not matter. Pay for your foolishness with your life.”
With that, Ainz brought down his sword, and made a fighting stance.
“What if we had permission?”
Ainz froze. Apparently, that had gotten through to him.Hekkeran was surprised that a single sentence could have had such a great effect, but of course he did not let it show on his face. Just when all seemed lost, a ray of hope had shone through the darkness. Clearly, he had to seize it.
It was a still, small voice, almost on the verge of fading away.
“What if we had permission?”
“….How stupid….No….The possibility exists? Then why….Here….”
Was he shaking? Ainz shook his head continuously as his flew into his sea of thoughts.
Hekkeran thought furiously as well. What would have the highest possibility of coming out of this alive.
“…Who gave you this permission?”
“Don’t you know him?”
“He didn’t leave his name, but he was a pretty big monster.”
“Big? That is….”
Hekkeran desperately thought on where the safety lines to evade danger were hiding.
It was a question that only a person paralyzed by indecision would ask, because only by asking could a person know what was true or false.
“Tell me what you saw.”
“…He was very very very big…”
As Ainz descended into another round of introspection, Hekkeran reflected that they had avoided danger yet again, and breathed an internal sigh of relief.
“Did he say anything?”
“He said to give his regards to Ainz in the Great Tomb of Nazarick.”
His fidgeting suddenly stopped. Hekkeran noticed, and an “oh crap” expression spread across his face.
“…He said, to give his regards to Ainz?”
Ainz laughed when he heard Hekkeran’s answer. This was not a happy laugh. It was a laugh that could be best described as volcanic.
“….Fool. I am a fool. Being tricked by these idiots, I am the biggest one!”
Ainz’s movements stopped, and he turned to look at Hekkeran. The crimson fires blazing in his eye sockets turned dark, consumed by the black which surrounded them and reducing his pupils to points of red light. Hekkeran and the others took a step back, as though Ainz’s mere line of sight was exerting physical pressure on them.
Within that glare was the purest rage.
The earlier absolute being, the one who placed himself above others, came down to the same level as Hekkeran after being enraged.
There was the phrase “Pouring water on an Ignonick (Igunonikku).”
Ignonick was a magic beast that lived on dry savannahs, and was a quadruped with long and fluffy fur. It had horns on its head, and it was about the same length as a cow. It was known that it’s meat was delicious.
While it was a magic beast, it had a warm personality and did not like fighting, and so it was often hunted for its meat. However, there was a reason why such a magic beast was not domesticated.
That was as it mentally exploded when exposed to water.
It was to the point that it would ferociously attack a magic beast many times its size.
In addition, the wet hair would harden to become harder than iron. And with a will of steel, it would charge with its horns and try to impale its enemy. Such was its fighting method.
Pouring water on an Ignonick. It meant to infuriate an originally calm person, basically an example of a foolish action.
There were no words that were more suitable for Hekkeran’s situation.
“YOU TRAAAAAAAASSHHHH! YOU DARE! YOU DARE TO TREAD YOUR FILTHYYYYYY! YOUR FILTHY BOOTS INTO THE NAZARICK THAT I, THAT WE, MY FRIENDS AND I, CREATED!”
So intense was his fury that Ainz was struck speechless. His shoulder blades moved as though he were breathing, and he continued.
“AND YOU! YOU DARE USE THE NAME OF ME, OF MY FRIENDS! YOU DARE USE IT TO TRICK ME! YOU SHITS! DO YOU THINK THAT CAN EVER, EVER BE FORGIVEN?!”
Ainz was shouting in a furious tone. It would not have been a surprise if his anger had gone on forever.
However, his rancor suddenly vanished, and he returned to his usual calm.
It was a sudden change, as though the emotion had simply been switched off. The abrupt change was enough to make Hekkeran and his team, who were facing off against Ainz, think that something was amiss.
“….So strong emotions are still suppressed.”
Ainz spoke as if it were of another person. To Hekkeran’s group who could not understand the content of his words, Ainz spoke to them in a tone as if he had a light smile on.
“Since I gained this body, pain and emotion have been suppressed if it surpasses a certain threshold. For example, can you fight if you lose your right hand? Being attacked by an intense pain, there is the possibility of being unable to take any action to fight. However I am different. Even if I lose my right hand I can fight with no problem. Since I feel no pain below a certain level. The pain of losing an arm, or even being hit is suppressed. Even emotion. When swallowed by intense anger, I immediately regain my calm. But….As a result a weak anger is maintained.”
Ainz had a behaviour that suggested that the talk was over. Then he strongly gripped the sword he held, and spread his feet—A battle stance.
The girl who was watching quietly until now opened her mouth. In her gaze of Hekkeran was hostility. Basically the girl would attack as well, and so Hekkeran prepared himself to face her as well.
“Now retreat as agreed. Only handle the cleanup.”
Aura moved behind him, with only Ainz facing them.
“Let’s get started.”
As Hekkeran stared down the sword-and-shield-equipped Ainz, Hekkeran’s first thought was that his opponent was not a warrior or a swordsman. If pressed, he would say that he was like a monster, the kind who would use their excellent physical abilities to overwhelm their opponent.
Both his posture and stance looked like those of an amateur. But he radiated a heavy pressure, appearing larger than life.
For a being like this, the deadliest move they could make might be to simply attack.
“Not coming? Then, allow me.”
Ainz rushed over as he replied. He followed it up with a grand slash downwards from above.
The attack had openings all over it, but it had great destructive power. In the hands of a mighty being with incredible physical ability, it was a sword strike that could kill anything it hit.
—Taking it would be very dangerous.
Hekkeran came to this conclusion in an instant, as he sensed the high-speed blade descending on him. A hard block would turn this into a contest of power, and he knew that he would be overwhelmed if he pitted his strength against Ainz.
That being the case, there was only one option—
Ainz’s sword struck down into the ground, the lingering echo and vibration of steel against steel fading into the air.
—Parry the blow and guide it away from his body.
No matter how much power it had, if the blow was guided away it would not be a problem. And after doing so, the posture of the body crumbled. The armour he wore was probably of an amazing quality. It was possible that Hekkeran’s sword could not penetrate it. Then he would aim for the head. He released a martial art—
The two swords inscribed gleaming arcs in the air as they scissored toward Ainz’s head.
Hekkeran’s weapons were short. So it had to be thrust into his opponent’s chest. However, that was if his opponent’s chest could swing a sword.
On the contrary, if an opponent with weapons of normal length fought in Hekkeran’s range, the difficulty to block it skyrocketed.
The twin swords sped toward his opponent’s head.
An average person would have taken it full-on.
A first-rate opponent might have only been scratched. Then—What about an elite opponent?
As Ainz made a strange cry he made a large jump. He raised his left hand to the sword that aimed for his head and shielded it. With a metallic sound, Ainz clicked his tongue but was unharmed.
This showed that his gauntlet and thus his full plate mail, were of the highest quality.
As the shield blocked the two strikes, Arche’s spell sent a white bolt streaking towards Ainz. At the same time, while the sound of clashing metal still rang in the air, Roberdyck cast a spell to augment agility.
Ainz did not look at it. Completely ignoring the ball of light, he charged towards Hekkeran.
While the ball of light seemed to be stopped by a wall before it hit Ainz, and while Arche made a shocked expression, Ainz attacked. The aim of his sword was Hekkeran’s chest.
He thrust his sword out in a flash, and where it would have hit, Hekkeran moved his body. A ripping sound could be heard from his chest and the chains from his chain shirt danced in the air.
An instant of carelessness.
No since Ainz’s attack was too fast, his dodge was late, and became careless for an instant. If he did not have the support of Roberdyck’s magic, it might have been impossible or a coincidence.
Hekkeran endured having his armour ripped off, preserved his posture, and activated his martial art again.
Ainz bent his body in a undignified manner, and tried to move back to take some distance.
“As if I would let you escape!”
As Ainz moved to escape, Hekkeran stepped in. And from right next to Hekkeran’s face, something flew towards Ainz.
That was an arrow.
The arrow Imina released flew towards Ainz.
A high-speed arrow came from behind Hekkeran’s back, hidden by his body. Naturally, a normal person would not have been able to avoid it. However, against Ainz with his superhuman reflexes, it was still not enough.
A brilliant flare of light burst in front of Ainz. Whether he resisted it or not, the spell would blind him for a moment, but it seemed pointless against Ainz. All it did was annoy him.
Ainz clicked his nonexistent tongue at Hekkeran, who had closed the gap thanks to his augmented strength and dexterity.
Arche and Roberdyck’s support spells had solidified Hekkeran’s defense.
Having evaded Hekkeran’s attack and deflected his swords, Ainz was about to riposte once more when another arrow flew into his face.
“Shit! Another bother!”
He blocked the arrow with his gauntlet, but when he stopped his movements, Hekkeran ran in to attack again. Arche and Roberdyck cast magic to gradually make Hekkeran stronger.
Ainz was strong.
His physical abilities were completely untouchable by human beings. Combined with his resistance to magic and the enchanted sword and shield he bore; he was everything a warrior wanted to be.
However, he had weaknesses. That was while he had an amazing physique, he had no skill. Basically a wild beast. All attacks were wide swings, and did not think of his next attack. In addition he did not use feints and only attacked head on like a fool.
It was true that all of his attacks were one-hit-kills that all warriors would admire, and was of a another level compared to humans.
To be fair, he had been hard-pressed to hold his ground. If he had misread the angle of the falling sword and missed his parry, his swords would have been ruined and he would probably have suffered a fatal wound. A small mistake in estimating the speed of the black sword would have resulted in him being sliced neatly in half. The fact that all his coin tosses had come up heads was nothing short of luck.Yet, there was an even more important reason beyond this. That reason was teamwork.It was precisely because they were all working together, and were intimately aware of what each of the others was thinking, that they could move and act like a single organism.
Basically as long as the existence known as Foresight existed, it would never face defeat.
A faint smile lifted the corner of Hekkeran’s mouth.
His sword had begun to reach him. Currently Ainz was without harm. However, on that top class armour, his swords had scratched it. In this manner, if he did not panic, it would be possible to give Ainz a fatal blow.
With this conviction in his heart, he swung his twin swords.
Ainz moved to avoid the flash of light, and deflected the sword straight towards his head with his gauntlet. The arrow flying in was interdicted by the black sword. Arche and Roberdyck made use of this opening to enhance Hekkeran even further.
With a roar, Ainz swung his sword in a large arc. Of course, with a speed that humans could never reach. Hekkeran avoided it but his attacks stopped for an instant, and he ran back to take distance.
After considering whether or not to press the attack, Hekkeran decided to back down and calm his frenzied breathing. The undead Ainz would not get tired no matter how long or how hard he fought, but a human like Hekkeran and the others would become exhausted. Dragging the battle out was a bad idea. He had to rest whenever he got the chance.
“What is wrong?”
Ainz took distance and whispered.
“Why, won’t these guys die?”
Ainz’s words made it seem as if their death was certain. It was true that Ainz’s fighting abilities were high. However, having it being said as if it were natural would make anyone angry.
The VIP seats responded to his words. There, like Aura—but with a completely different shape, dropped down.
It was a mass of platinum. It reflected the countless number of lights from the surroundings, and sparkled.
It’s 2.5 metre tall gigantic body made one think of a bipedal bug. It was like if a demon had mixed a praying mantis and ant. The hard platinum exoskeleton released a frost into the air, and seemed like diamond dust that sparkled in the air.
Cocytus tried to kneel, but was stopped by Ainz.
An existence that seemed to be much stronger than Ainz. At its appearance, the members of Foresight shuddered. Ainz alone was this strong, and when the numbers increased, they could not win.
“….Answer me, Cocytus. Why are these people still alive?”
However, ignoring Foresight, Ainz spoke to the strange being that appeared—Cocytus.
“I should have the strength to rival a level 33 warrior. From that, it should be reasonable that I should be able to easily kill all of them, Cocytus. But I have not. Not even one. Why, Cocytus. Was your estimation of their level wrong? Even though since we are confirming my pure physical abilities, I am not wearing most of my equipment, why is this so?”
“Their abilities have not left the realm of my predictions.”
“Then why. Why can I not kill them.”
“That is the difference in experience. Ainz-sama’s abilities should be easily able to kill them. However, that is if you can use all of it. Since you cannot utilise all of it, you are unable to easily kill them.”
“Because I cannot use all of my strength?”
“I see….Since there is no skill called experience. Hmm….I see, then there are no contradictions in my plan for growth. While the data exists there is no experience. Another way to put it is that I can pile up experience. I see….Experience huh.”
He nodded several times, and seemed satisfied. Ainz then once again faced Foresight.
Feeling the change in atmosphere, Hekkeran had a bad feeling.
His senses that traversed the line between life and death were panicking. That it was dangerous.
“I shall remove my armour.”
Ainz seemed to be speaking to himself.
In response, Foresight went “What is this guy saying”, but just that.
Full plate mail was something that took a lot of time to remove. Even if someone helped him, it would take three minutes. If he did it alone, even more. But was there a merit for a warrior to remove the armour that protected their bodies?
Not able to believe that someone would remove their armour while their opponent’s had their swords drawn, the members of Foresight looked at Ainz in surprise. No, it would be fine to say that they were being made a fool of. The reason why they did not attack was as the instant Hekkeran made even the tiniest movement with his arms, Cocytus would replicate it.
That was a restraint.
If you move, I move. Being shown such an intention, they could not move.
So Ainz began to remove his armour. While silently watching such a foolish scene, the objective of their actions was decided in silence. If you can laugh when an enemy in front of you removes his armour, then do so. However, the scene that happened in front of them overturned this motion.
Ainz casually waved his hand.—At that moment, a black vapour rose from the armour.
Faster than Hekkeran was surprised, Ainz’s armour completely disappeared. Yes, it was as if his armour was made of solidified vapour.
His whole body was exposed.
His black long pants were well made, and silver thread was used to sew symbols on his waist. His top half was naked.
His head and arms were pure bone. His ribs had some fallen flesh, but it was hanging thinly on. Below that, his spine was visible from his stomach. Where his ribs ended, inside—Far below his heart, was a pulsating reddish black ball.
Everytime he moved, the golden symbol on his necklace swung in the air.
“….W, what is going on?”
“Lies. It was made of magic?”
“That isn’t a magic armour with special properties?”
Ignoring Hekkeran and the rest who were making noise, Ainz discarded his sword. The discarded sword fell to the ground and let out a dim glow.
Seeing that, once again, Hekkeran and the rest had their mouths agape.
Discarding one’s arms was the universal sign of giving up the fight. However, Ainz’s attitude did not betray even the slightest hint of capitulation.
And so Hekkeran did not understand was Ainz did and was confused. However, they could not be left simply wondering about his actions. So, he braced himself and asked.
“…What are you going to do?”
He slowly spread his arms. It was an action that resembled an angel reaching out to the faithful, or a mother welcoming her child into her embrace; a loving acceptance of what lay before him.
“You don’t get it? Then let me put it in terms you might be able to understand.”
“I’ll play with you, so give me your best shot, humans—”
The mood had changed—
He had forsaken his weapon and his shield. That should have meant he had been weakened. But Hekkeran had the feeling that the Ainz before him now was more powerful than before. Indeed, it seemed as though his body had physically grown in size before their eyes, so oppressive was his presence.
A being that grew stronger when abandoning the sword.
When you thought about it, only two answers remained. One would be that he was one of those warrior monks who honed their bodies into living weapons. But if that were the case, his fighting style from earlier—the way he evaded attacks—didn’t seem polished enough for him to be one of their number.
Then, the alternative—
That was it. This was the question at hand. The being before them, Ainz Ooal Gown—was he a magic caster?
It was understandable that they had not considered that earlier. Who could have imagined that any magic caster could have fought on even terms with Hekkeran, the party’s strongest and most skilled fighter? Magic casters—especially arcane magic casters—had weaker bodies than warriors. After all, if one had time to train one’s body, one could easily spend that time on learning magic. As such, magic casters who could fight on par with warriors were nonexistent.
That was simple common sense.
A being who could turn that wisdom on its head—who could have imagined such a being would be standing in front of them?
As such, Arche’s voice carried the hope that it was untrue, and the desire that her hypothesis would be rejected. Because if it were true, that would mean that Ainz was far more confident in his skills as a magic caster than he was as a warrior.
What that meant, nobody needed to say out loud.
Even casting a few spells could greatly improve battle performance. As Hekkeran had been demonstrating, several enhancement spells made a dramatic difference.
However, Ainz’s confidence was not that thin. He was far far better than Arche—He had an absolute confidence.
However Arche had a reason to refute it.
“Did you finally realize it? How foolish you lot are. Well, it’s only natural to expect this level of intelligence from you miserable vermin, who track your filth into my—no, our Nazarick.”
“—That’s impossible! I can’t sense any magical power from your body!”
Ainz tilted his head and wondered. And stumbling on something, he shrugged his shoulders.
“You can measure a magic caster’s magic power huh?”
“—Yes! And from you, I can—”
Then, Arche’s face changed colour. Hekkeran and the rest did not understand why Arche stopped, and made strange expressions. At that moment, the only one to understand was the enemy, Ainz.
“Feel—Nothing right? Despite myself saying that I am a magic caster?”
It was so. Arche could not feel the slightest bit of magic power from Ainz. However, if Ainz could use priest type spells, then it was not wrong. But, if that was the case, Ainz’s spellcaster abilities would be completely unknown.
“That is so.”
Ainz, raised both hands to Arche, then Hekkeran and the rest. The hand that was previously covered by a gauntlet, was one that fitted an undead of only bone. On each of his ten fingers was a ring. From one look, one could tell that magic was imbued inside.
“Once I remove this ring, you will understand. I also lent it to my subordinates.”
Saying that, Ainz removed a ring on his right hand. And then—
It was the sound of vomiting. Sticky fluid spilled onto the floor of the arena, and a sour, rancid stench wafted up around ‘Foresight’.
“What did you do?!”
Imina glared at Ainz, from where she had rushed over to assist Arche. Ainz seemed a little uncomfortable, but still answered in a displeased tone.
“What do you mean, what did I do to that girl? There’s a limit to how rude you can be, throwing up when you see someone’s face.”
Arche was shouting, and tears were leaking from the corner of her eyes.
“This guy is a mon—uuuurrrrrggghhh!”
Unable to endure it, Arche threw up again. In that moment, Hekkeran understood why she had vomited.
Ainz had done nothing to her. Rather, she had been unable to withstand the combination of terror and stress caused by seeing the enormous magical power surrounding Ainz, and so she had thrown up.
And that meant—
“—We can’t beat him! His strength is on a totally different level! Even the word monster can’t describe him!”
Arche began wailing as the tears rolled down her cheeks.
“You finally realised.” Ainz laughed. “But, you can’t run.”
“—No way no way no way!”
Imina tightly hugged Arche to her chest. The girl was violently shaking her head as though she had gone mad.
“Calm down! Roberdyck!”
“Got it! <Lion’s Heart>!”
Under the influence of Roberdyck’s magic, Arche managed to recover from the panic which had gripped her. Like a newborn deer, she rose unsteadily on shaky legs, using her staff as a crutch.
“—Everyone, we have to flee now. That’s not a being humans can beat.”
“Yeah, I get it.”
“Yes. That is truly a monster.”
The alertness level of the three of them had gone through the roof.
The stared at Ainz with nerves wound even tighter than before. Theirs was an expression that understood that even an instant’s loss of watchfulness would spell their deaths.
“It looks like they won’t let us run.”
“The moment we show them our backs, we die.”
“We need to buy time or we won’t make it.”
Of course, Hekkeran wouldn’t be baited by Ainz. The enemy’s fighting power vastly exceeded that of any being which had ever existed. It was not a movement for victory, but was one to buy time for escape.
That meant they could only count on one thing.
When Ainz began casting a spell—a magic caster was most vulnerable when reciting an incantation.
Ainz’s strength as a warrior was undeniable, but that was why they had to bet on that. If he used a silent spell, then the game was up, but even so, that was a tiny possibility which existed for them.
As though drawing a bow taut, Hekkeran gathered his strength within himself.
“Then I will go.”
Ainz slowly moved his hands—
The arrow called Hekkeran launched from its bow. His current dash was probably the fastest he had ever done. All his steps seemed to cause the ground to shout beneath him.
In an instant.
Ignoring the sword that seemed to teleport straight in front of his eyes, Ainz cast one spell.
The sword that was several centimetres in front of Ainz, cut thin air. And Hekkeran exploded from the inside.
His flesh and blood splattered on the ground of the Colliseum.
Roberdyck, Imina and Arche could not understand. They could not understand that after he lost his target Ainz, he did not kill his momentum and instead flew to the ground and tumbled.
Even the fact that he was not moving. Even the pink flesh that dropped to the ground soon after. Even the fact that his body had rotated from the impact and his headless body was visible.
Yes, they could not understand how, without a sound, the team leader that they depended on, Hekkeran, had died.
Imina whispered. Roberdyck finally calmed down. Ainz should have been in front of Hekkeran. And where did he disappear to. He turned his head in a panic to capture Ainz’s figure. And became speechless—
Ainz was behind everyone. Right behind Arche. He slowly raised his hand—And in it was a metallic glint.
Faster than Roberdyck could shout, the knife in Ainz’s hand plunged into Arche’s shoulder—
A sudden burst of pain. Arche screamed. Why happened, why am I in pain. Arche could not comprehend this, panicked, and her body bent. She ran. Towards the frozen Roberdyck.
A new pain was born when she ran, but Arche endured.
“….As expected I don’t feel a shred of guilt….Is this a result of me losing any sense of familiarity with humans? Or is my humanity disappearing?….However, that girl ran for help after facing despair. So this either means that she has the ability to be able to ignore me or that I am treated as a third wheel, that I am looking down on her and creating this painful situation she has to endure?”
Ainz did not chase after Arche, but instead ran his finger across the knife, and mumbled to himself.
He did not understand his own words, and it was not anything Ainz thought was important.
Ainz moved his gaze from the knife. He looked at Roberdyck who was using healing magic to heal Arche.
“Well, fine. Anyway exterminating you people takes priority.”
Ainz let the knife go and it dispersed into fog, like the armour from earlier.
“What, did you do?”
Roberdyck asked with a trembling voice.
Using teleportation magic, he moved behind Arche. While Roberdyck and the rest were confused, he prepared a knife. Roberdyck understood that much.
Since he understood that Ainz was a monster that could use even 6th Rank Magic.
Then how did he kill Hekkeran. Did he kill Hekkeran at the same time as he used teleportation magic. There was not enough time for that.
“Is it strange? It is not anything worth mentioning though?”
Ainz made the method clear. With a reply that crushed the hearts of those still alive.
“I first used the 10th Rank Magic <Time Stop>. Then I used the 8th Rank Magic <Explode> on that man.” Ainz pointed at the fallen Hekkeran. “Then I used the 3rd Rank Magic <Dimensional Move> to get behind then used the 7th Rank Magic <Create Greater Item> to make the knife.”
It’s nothing much. Ainz continued.
A silence froze the air. That was as a physical fear assulted Roberdyck and the rest. In their midst, frantically—Frantically, Imina gathered her courage to ask.
“….You stopped time? U, using 10th Rank Magic….?”
“Yes. One needs anti-time measures you know? When you reach level 70 you have to have them.”
The chattering of teeth could be heard. It was not just Imina, but Arche and Roberdyck as well.
Lies. They would feel bliss if they could yell that. It might feel better to refute the words of this monster—No this existence that stood in the realm of gods, cover their ears and kneel.
They understood that he was strong. Especially Arche. However, they did not comprehend to what extent.
10th Rank Magic. A rank even gods could not reach. It’s existence was nothing more than an empty theory. It was said that the 8 Greed Kings used it, but since their existences was not confirmed, it was nothing more, until now.
And that was used to stop time. The world was a joke.
An existence that could stop time. The flow of time that people could neither rule nor control. What should one do when their opponent could command it? It would be simpler to cut down a large forest with a single sword.
Ainz Ooal Gown.
That was an existence that humans could never defeat.
The reason why Roberdyck turned, was to tell his comrades, who were still intending to fight.
“Look at the sky! This is probably outside. There is a chance you can escape if you fly away! Even if it’s just you, run! I will buy you one min….No ten seconds!”
His gripped his mace with both hands—
—When his shoulder was tapped.
Roberdyck’s body stopped moving. This was as he knew who tapped his shoulder even without looking. The existence that should have been in front of him—Ainz Ooal Gown. The existence that was like a god who could control time. He had disappeared from his sight.
A frost flowed out from the hand on his shoulder and Roberdyck became an ice sculpture. His body did not even have the freedom to feel that.
“—Although it’s impossible?”
Roberdyck heard a kind voice—One without any hostility. The mace dropped powerlessly from his grip, and onto the ground—.
“You want to ask what I did right?” While everyone had froze and did not move, Ainz heartily revealed the answer. “I simply chantlessly cast <Time Stop>. It’s nothing much right? However, I think it is impossible to buy ten seconds?”
Now, Ainz whispered. He looked at the three who were losing fighting spirit.
“….Yes. I have thought of something good. I should give someone a chance to escape. If you are running, just run. However, there will be something chasing after them. If they cannot lose it….Well, it will be quite pitiful. —Aura, raise the exit.”
Ainz pointed in the direction where Roberdyck and the rest entered from. Aura jumped up, activated a light on her shoes, and disappeared.
“Now, Aura teleported and opened the door. Feel free to go. Feel free to abandon your comrades. Now who’s running?”
Ainz’s hand faced them. The expression on his face was an evil one. It was a face that held extreme interest in who would run away. He probably wanted to see them fall out.
It was true that different from adventurers, Worker teams were tied together for monetary reasons.
However, Foresight was different.
“Yes, go.” Imina smiled. “While we only have each other, you have sisters right? Then abandon us. That is what you have to do.”
“—That! This is my fault!”
Seeing that Ainz had no intention to immediately attack, Roberdyck walked over to Arche. He then took out a small leather sack from his bosom.
“It will be fine. We will chase after you after defeating this monster called Ainz.”
“I agree. Then you treat us.”
Imina also took out a small sack and passed it to Arche.
What meaning does this have? Ainz who was standing by the side did not understand, but Arche did. Roberdyck walked over to Hekkeran’s corpse, took out a similar sack, and threw it to Arche.
“If you let me say something, but I promise to first kill that piece of dirt.”
While it was being decided that Arche would escape, Ainz pouted in disatisfaction. It was an unhappiness at it being decided without arguing, and beautifully. In contrast to Ainz, the three cast fleeting glances at him. No, only Arche was staring at him.
Imina smiled at Arche. That clear smile caused Cocytus, who was watching from the side, to shake his head several times.
“….Now, go. Use the money in the inn in any way you’d like.”
“Mine as well.”
“…Ghot it. I’ll ve going ahead” (Crying)
Of course, the three of them did not believe it.
Defeating an existence they could not fathom, like Ainz, there was not even a sliver of such thoughts. Knowing that this was the final farewell, Arche could no longer form words, but was instead making noises. She began to cast magic.
“There are monsters in the air so you will be caught even if you fly.”
Ignoring Ainz’s warning, Arche activated her magic. After looking at her comrades one last time, she silently fly away.
“….Ah, I see. It’s faster than running, and one won’t tire.” Ainz seemed to have forgotton this. “However, it was decided without any discord. I thought that you would have showed me disgusting actions suitable for dirt like you.”
“She has the highest chance of escaping after all.”
“Yes. Since we are outside and she can use flight magic, she can run the fastest.”
Ainz looked at the sky of floating stars, and sneered. The two felt a sense of foreboding at it.
“Shall I tell you something g—”
“What is it, Cocytus?”
Ainz felt some displeasure at the interrupting Cocytus, but he asked politely.
“If you kill them now, I believe their screams can reach her.”
“Oh! Cocytus, you think of some terrifying things sometimes. However, the manoeuvrability of flight magic is quite high. So unfortunately it will be difficult. But I thank you for the good idea, Cocytus.”
“….Well, she might hear it if they cry loudly. Now, shall I kill you pieces of dirt. Have you prepared yourself for leaving this world?”
Roberdyck raised his mace and moved closer to Ainz. Ainz smiled lightly at the man charging towards him.
Imina took in a long breath—
—While releasing a shout like a weight had been lifted, Imina pulled back her bow. And—Released. While Roberdyck was right next to him, she would not endanger his life. At this distance, she would hit a hundred out of a hundred times.
However—The arrow bounced off the front of Ainz, as if there was a wall.
“Useless actions. However….Shall I play for a bit. <Triplet Magic Greater Magic Accumulation>”
Three magic circles floated in front of Ainz.
With a loud manly cry that did not suit him, Roberdyck slammed his mace down onto Ainz’s face. It was a hit with all of his power that ignored everything else. It was a hit based on his belief that Ainz would not evade.
However, that was easily repelled. Feeling an intense pain in his wrist, Roberdyck dropped his mace. Ainz did not even look at him. It was an attitude that said that he had no such worth.
“<Triplet Maximise Magic Magic Arrow>”
Ainz filled one of the magic circles in the air with magic.
“<Middle Cure Wounds>!”
Roberdyck cast healing magic on Ainz. This was as undead received the opposite effect of healing magic and would be instead wounded. However, like the magic Arche used, it seemed to hit a wall and did not have an effect.
“<Triplet Maximise Magic Magic Arrow>”
Ignoring the attacks of the two, Ainz filled another magic circle with magic.
When arrows were about to hit Ainz’s face, it was repelled as expected. Seeing that, Imina threw away her bow. She decided that projectiles would have no effect.
“<Triplet Maximise Magic Magic Arrow>”
Pulling out the short sword from her waist, Imina had magic cast on her by Roberdyck. It was at this time where Ainz finally filled in the last magic circle.
And—He simply released it.
While she was surprised, she knew it somewhere deep down. Imina made a lonely face as Ainz pointed his finger at her. Roberdyck tried to get in between them, but Ainz’s magic was far faster.
“Good work— <Triplet Maximise Magic Magic Arrow> And <Release>”
90 from the magic circles, and 30 from Ainz. 120 bullets of light.
The rush of the bullets drew a pair of angel wings. However, it was not such a merciful thing.
Hitting. Hitting. Hitting. Hitting—
Her head, chest, stomach, arms, legs, face, nether region—
120 bullets of light. That was the amount of magic hitting Imina. Like fishing chasing after food, the bullets slammed into Imina’s body. It was not even at the level of her losing consciousness.
While in the midst of pain like being hit by sticks, she did not make a sound. Even when her bones broke or her innards imploded, she did not raise even a moan of pain.
It was just an instant.
There was no one where Imina was. Behind it was a thin but widely spread layer of meat. Her armour was bent, and the things she wore was mixed in with her blood and flesh.
“Dirtying the place my comrades and I built, it is an extravagant death for filthy thieves”.
Roberdyck stared at Ainz, who spoke in a bored manner, with a glare full of anger. They were 70 centimetres away and Roberdyck glared into Ainz’s empty eye sockets with hatred.
While receiving a gaze that would make most humans want to leave, Ainz did not feel such emotions. No, it would be better to say that he had no emotional constructs.
Roberdyck curled his hand into a fist, and punched. He had one aim. The pulsating orb located at the end of Ainz’s spine.
He believe that was his weak point.
His fist hit in a way that it seemed to be pulled in—When a loud metallic cracking sound could be heard.
Receiving a powerful impact, Roberdyck’s fist was repelled. The recoil was astounding, and from it, Roberdyck’s gauntlet was completely broken and fell to the ground.
He stumbled backwards from Ainz, and Roberdyck made a surprised face and looked at his fist. While his gauntlet completely shattered, his hand beneath did not have a scratch. It was a strange situation. However, if he thought about the existence known as Ainz, Roberdyck felt that such a result was fitting.
“Be grateful. You just touched the highest class of magic item. The world item that becomes stronger when I wield it, the world item that has my name engraved on it. In the last war, half of the players died to this. —Shalltear!”
Ainz calmly turned away from Roberdyck, and spoke to the VIP room. His attitude was as if it was telling Roberdyck that he could not harm him.
Well, it was true. No matter how they attacked it was futile. Ainz understood that and acted as such. Roberdyck had no methods of harming the monster Ainz. And so, he had to think calmly. In the worst case he had to buy time for Arche to escape.
While retreating, Roberdyck’s brain was working furiously, but a girl jumped down from the VIP lounge in the same fashion as Aura and Cocytus.
It was a human girl with a shimmering silver beauty. Even though Roberdyck was controlled by anger, she had a beauty capable of stealing his eyes.
With a sigh, Shalltear moved her gaze and looked straight on at Roberdyck. She had beautiful crimson eyes. It felt that they had gripped Roberdyck’s heart. Moving, even breathing, felt difficult underneath her pressure.
Underneath the girl’s gaze, Roberdyck could not move.
“Shalltear. Capture the woman from earlier.”
The girl—Shalltear smiled. However, seeing that shining smile from the side, Roberdyck sent cold shivers down his spine. He directly felt that she was a monster wearing a beauty’s skin.
“Why are you not looking here directly?”
Shalltear was displaying a rather shy expression. Ainz looked upon his own body and shook his head.
“It’s just bones?”
“Ainz-sama is special! Really, please don’t make me say those things again. It is rather embarrassing…”
With both her hands holding her face, Shalltear was fidgeting around with a kyakya expression.
“Shalltear …… You really do not change at all… … Do behave a bit more seriously …. Oh well … go and catch it, but since she could still be of use, you are strictly prohibited from breaking your prey.”
“Understood. I will catch her without damaging her.”
“Do enjoy the hunt.”
“Yes, I intend to do that.”
Shalltear bowed deeply towards Ainz before strolling away. Every single step she took seem was akin to shortening of Arche’s life, Roberdyck understood this yet he did not made a move.
Shalltear walked pass without taking a single look towards them. Although the distance separating her and her prey could be covered just by running, it still looked rather far off.
After Shalltear’s footsteps faded into the distance, Ainz began to speak with Roberdyck.
“Now then, why don’t we make a deal.”
“What sort of deal?”
“If you cooperate with me, I promise that I will not kill this girl, Arche.”
“How do I….. cooperate?”
The suggestion itself may not be an actual cooperation. But Roberdyck understood that it was a good chance for him to preserve the life of his comrade.
“Now, my subordinate who is currently in pursuit belongs to the cleric class. However, the god that she believes in is completely different from yours. In short, I am not familiar with the four gods whom you worship. Hence, I would like to find out from the users of cleric magic, whether they attain their power from their gods.”
“….What are you trying to say?”
“….Have you met the existence that you call god personally?”
“God is by our side!”
“Such an answer. This means that you have never met him in person?”
“No! When I used my magic, I could feel the presence of an immeasurable existence. That is god.”
“…..Then again who were the ones that decide who god is? God himself? Or was it the people that used such power themselves?”
Roberdyck recalled the contents of discussion from the various debates on the subject of the divine. To Ainz’s question, there were no clear conclusion from it. That was why till now, the priests continued to debate about the matter. If it was really like that, then part of the divine debate had their conclusion drawn out for them.
Ainz continued to speak as if trying to stop Roberdyck who opened his mouth.
“….Mah, treating those beings that dwell within a higher existence, let’s assume they are the gods you speak of. Are they something that is totally colorless? Or do they exist like a concentrated mass of power. The droplets of power dripping from them cause the changes? Well, this is a world where magical laws exist. It would not be a joking matter should god exist.”
“My apologies. I am not talking about any of those things. The power of the gods that you believe in. I don’t think we could simply learn something like that….How about some human experimentation?”
The words coming out from Ainz’s mouth were very dangerous.
“That’s right. What happens if I change a part of your memory? Substituting one of the gods that your worshipped with another. What would the outcome be like?”
Utter madness. That was the honest thought that came into Roberdyck’s mind.
No, his opponent was an undead. His level of thinking had reached a different realm of possibility.
Ainz moved one step backwards, looking at Roberdyck with a bemused air. His gaze was akin to a researcher observing his test subject. Roberdyck wanted to vomit at the thought of it.
“If you are willing to cooperate with me, as a reward, I shall guarantee the safety of that girl, Arche.”
“Is there any evidence that I could trust your words…”
“That would be impossible isn’t it? Looks like you are not the trusting type. Mah, since you are unwilling to cooperate, I could force you into participating my experiment. Even that girl would be a useful experiment subject.”
“….Don’t you have a single shred of mercy inside you?”
“Your joke ends here, do you think I would be merciful to those who dirtied Nazarick with their filthy mud prints?”
Roberdyck looked towards the sky, the glistening star filled sky.
Then towards the ground, where the bodies of his friends lay upon the grounds of the arena.
Roberdyck let out a deep sigh. Numerous considerations came into his mind. He considered each and everyone of them before making a final decision.
“One more condition. Please let me bury my dead friend’s body.”
“….No choice. Be thankful then, lesser beings that dared to thread their filthy mud stained shoes into Nazarick and besmirched the names of my friends, to receive an act of mercy from me….. I shall not use their bodies.”
Death itself was an absolute existence. Resurrecting the dead was something in the realm of the impossible. At least let the souls of my comrades rest in piece, and let Arche be spared from death, the cleric, Roberdyc prayed.