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A Forgotten Vampire

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-Mountain Range somewhere in YGGDRASIL-

Rain poured down on to obsidian and crimson plate armor, his excellent long sleeve shirt and pants. Appeared untouched by the water drops even as they slid off the trench coat. Which shone with golden shoulder guards, well balanced for defense and mobility, draped over his lean muscled shoulders, giving him an air of a kingly warrior. To those insignificant, he appeared to lack of his helmet. Though this was only because it limited his view of his surroundings.

What warranted his opponent's attention was the twin slender yet durable sabers, indomitable in sharpness and strength of their blades. Hilts foraged into frightening bats designs like the sheaths of his swords. The six long, curved daggers on his belt also commanded an aura of death and authority, each one buzzing with its own sinister atmosphere, but they paled in comparison to his own evil aura of deep red and blue, swirling together to create hues of purple.

His red slit eyes burning with hate as his silver and black hair swayed in the wind. His light, almost pale skin of his face twisted into a scowl with fangs bared. Glaring at the dragonoid before his most hated foe had pestered Kyuketsuki for nearly 12 years now, their hatred of each other went deep.

They started as just rivals, which was fine until one went too far by leaking his location to humanoid players. It only got worse from trying to PKing the other at every opportunity. Once they even dragged each other's guilds into the matter. Till at some point, they had gained a deep hatred of each other, which destroyed their friendship beyond just the game of Yggdrasil.

Glaring at each other armored up and ready to fight. Circling each other, Sitabus shifts into his true form. His lamprey mouth opens wide filled with razor-sharp teeth long tongue wiggling about. A long tail whipping wildly behind him. Two skeleton wings stretched wide with amber tar-like substance covering both wings like hot tree sap. Sharp claws long as steel knives. Now standing at eight feet tall instead of his standard six feet in humanoid form.

"You know if you stand there all day, the game will just end and I will win by default!"

The dragonoid ticked even as he grew in size to stand 18.288 meters tall, glaring down at the vampire covered in light blue, almost lavender armor with two great swords on their back. Muscles tense waiting for the other to attack with anticipation.

Yet in spite of the reptile's size and strength, this vampire was not frightened, Sitabus had fought many dragons over the years. Some standing over 500 meters tall and long, which could shoot pure holy energy. This one could only use fire, lava, and smoke. With the gear he had on, it was no trouble for him.

"Ha says the shity vamp too scared to attack, tell you what I won't even use my sword for this."

The cold winds blow by them; these combatants didn't care for the cold weather. Not affected by the area debuffs as the storm raged on. Only wanting to end the other in one last duel to the finish before it was all over.

Flying for word at the first flash of lightning with blinding claws meet sparks flying as they moved with unbelievable speed. Trying to one-up the other, but while the dragon was stronger, he had pure speed. With a regular boost to Agility, his armed boost and even the pre-cast spells silently. Kyuketsuki was far more agile with higher critical hit rates. All he needed was just one good hit; this was not to say he was weak. Only this damn dragon had a naturally higher strength boosted by his gear.

Their clash of claws which appeared to be as fast as the lightning around them. But with both of them being immune to lightning damage it mattered little if they were hit by it

Dropping down to avoid a nasty claw swipe feeling a minor drop in hp, but he was far from done yet.

[subzero touch] [greater time factor] [shadow swarm frenzy] [endless shadow hands]

Out of the darkness, hands reached out to grab this reptile. Holding it still as his claws and spiked tipped tail dug into the beast. Followed by dozens of blurred copies of himself attacking from all sides. Yet some kind of damage resistance was lowering the damage done even as the copies tried to hold the dragon in place.

"I won't fall here!” [legendary dragon breath] [blessed forage fire] [triple hellfire wall]

Molten rock and ash shooting straight out at said vampire cursing as shields were thrown up.

[Triple Maximize magic: Blood shared gates] [bone wall] [ volcano protection] [ Pryor hell] [triple greater reflect evil] [mana absorption]

Instead of molten fiery death by flames, the spells were blocked or diverted away with three returned hell firewalls to the caster. Even if they did little damage, it was better than being hit. With a large wall made of bones taking the brunt of the damage as it melted down.

The dragon yelled out, angry at this trying to stab his most hated enemy. Only to hear a clang as his claw broke off and regrew, forcing him to jump back. This fight continued on for several minutes long, high tire spells being thrown out at each other every two or three clashes. While swords sparked trying to overpower or find an opening in the others guard in the bind with no clear winner, only a deadlock between speed and strength.

Clashing in sync with the storm around them in a dueling frenzy of blades. Each trying to find some flaw in the other's defense. Eyes filled with malice like the raging storm around them.

Tail whipping back six floating daggers cut the dragon scales Deep. As the wounds showed red, not bleeding. Kyuketsuki refused to let him drawback rushing up with his saber claws again, slowing time to prevent any offensive counter. Stabbing deeply into the avatar body as the hp gage dropped sharply. The dragon Smirking in victory as their claws ready to retaliate.

Yet before they could act, a giant arrow came down from above pinning the wings. This had Kyuketsuki beaming in delight at the shocked gaze. With the loss of their mobility in the air, the dragon plummeted to the ground hard, taking fall damage. As the stun effect hampered their ability to stay standing.

"No, I checked where did you get this from? Cheater!" Unretained anger and fear flitting into Dorgaro's voice.

This only made Kyuketsuki’s evil smile grow bigger at this foolish dragon. Finally, this long-awaited moment would come imagining the expression the dragon avatar could not express. Which could only be given away the panicked voice of the person!

"Oh, who says it was here before the match, I had a little help from a former guild member of yours.”

"No, you wouldn't." Dorgaro growling out.

Panic overcame this dragon realizing the problem as his wings froze to the ground, and the last of his mana bar depleted.

“I believe it is my turn to return a favor of my NPC you turned and forced me to end.” Kyuketsuki popped up an evil smiling emoji.

[True death] [forbidden fruits] [Dracula's blessing] [true dead end]

The blades Covered in an ominous glow of the spell effects. With joy in his heart, Kyuketsuki Raises both swords high. This was a critical hit strike combo discovered which raised the death penalty of players [forbidden fruits] doubled it and [true dead end]. Increased it by five times together with true death, not only could a player not avoided the penalty of losing four items, but they also lost 50 levels upon death. Only a world item or super tier magic could stop.

"With this, I win Dorgaro now begone!"

With a flurry of blows raining down at this most hated foe feeling the rush of victory as the dragon's health hit zero. Replenishing a little of his HP as the dragon vanished into particles.

"Noooo, I will be back!" Dorgaro voiced echoed.

With a blip noise, Dorgaro was gone. The vampire beamed at the hard-won battle one wrong move could have ended him. But he was still standing looking over to were the ballista in it sat a maid. Dressed in light armor, two four-bladed claws at her waist. A five-pronged spear on her back, over their spotless maid uniform long blue hair drifting in the wind and glasses over her yellow slit eyes like a cat with cute cat ears and tail.

"Good job Kathrin to think he killed you once, but we showed him."

Turning to the maid Kyuketsuki knew it wouldn't react, but he had grown attached to Kathrin and talked to her like a living person. Personally questing out to rare raid boss areas just to complete her himself. Wielding all divine class gear and items, even her uniform was made out of silk strong enough to be used as ninja wire. Yet soft as spider silk to its user.

Grinding up her levels to match her quick and delicate form. A level 85 support automation maid was a cleric/assassin/runesmith. Being tasked with the job to be summoned on the command. Though it was a pain getting, it was worth the gold, mp, and even using cash shop items.

Now the last few hours were his to spend without the worry Dorago would not be able to level back up fast enough to fight him again before the game shut down. It was funny to think Kyuketsuki almost went for the dragonoid race once. Until Dorgaro the bastard ruined it now, he hated dragons the most in-game.

Kyuketsuki at least found some enjoyment in his ability to alter existing dragons in YGGDRASIL with his [create kin] skill. Like the one the mini-boss, he beat and turned into a vampiric dragon. Which he earned as a special summons mount afterword. 

Teleporting back to Helheim now standing in the swamplands or Grenbera Swamp to be more specific. Seeing the Tuvegs NPCs roaming around, it was a shame that this would be the last time he would see the magnificent Tomb of Nazarick.

Entering the gate to his own personal room, holding the data crystal of Dorgaro's favorite sword along with three other items. Usually, one could only get one item from PvP but with two rare and hard to unlock spells affecting the death penalty. The sword was a crown jewel being a divine weapon created by the dragon. Ha, it would be a grand trophy even if he could not wield it. His total victory over his long-hated rival.

Looking over the spotlessly clean room decorated with weapons and trophies collected over twelve years. Kyuketsuki’s room was large enough to hold all of it Armor, arms, and other assorted items of power and high rarity. There was even a good selection of cash shop items which could only be won by chance.

Yes, real money had been spent; some would even say frivolously. But it was worth it to see the black and red-tiled room glitter and shine with memories of an era which would soon pass. Walking over to a mantle with a pitcher of his Dorgaro a mantle underneath it, he put the data crystal on as green flame torches lit up.

Looking over the loot gotten from the bastard dragon. A particular case to prevent anyone but him from touching it personally encased with the highest anti-theft and divination runes a week's salary could buy with blood runes carved in and around the showcase. Put in by Kathrin, which protected this whole room with the best defensive magic, runes, and items he could get. Already Dorgaro had shown how crafty he was by getting in here once how he would never know.

Kyuketsuki’s blood boiled from the mere thought Still walking to a back door depicted with horrors and great detail carved into it adorned with skulls bones and color remarkably close to dried blood. He opened the creepy door turning a raven skull handle into his personal laboratory. A place he mainly got to enhance his vampire skills and abilities.

Earning special classes form combining blood drinker classes and vampire classes with all the beakers, test, and ritual circles. Which filled the room what would look like a mad scientist room. A bit cliché, but this was part of his charm, which was why he got along so well with most guild members.

He was a warrior like Touch Me though he never had the world champion class. He loved evil and horror things like Ulbert and Tabula, which helped them connect well. His own love was a bit of a mix between nature, horror, evil, creating, and, most of all, his passion for h-game with Bukubukuchamage. Though he was perverted just not to the extent of Peroroncino, still he was up there.

Though he was now one of the last 41 members left with only a few still here. But well, he couldn't go just yet he did make Kathrin a promise.

Rubbing her behind the ears as he looked at this lifeless face of a mobile doll, not without some disappointment at those dead eyes.

"I did make a promise to stay till the end but what to do. Hum, I already beat the stupid dragon any ideas."

Looking around the equipment in the room, an idea popped up. Oh yes, he rarely used any of the data for NPCs, with only Kathrin being his undying maid. Which would just respawn back at Nazarick or close to him in 24 hours upon death.

"What to make? I don't have much time do I well, then let's create one last thing shall we, my darling Kathrin."

Picking up a few data crystals and other vials of varying color. While getting to one fairly clear table as red magic arcana eyes appeared on the table, Glowing.

Then an empty screen appeared in front of him along with a display of a character mold. With the few data crystals on hand, I could only raise their level by so much.

Stopping at level 45 though it was low. They would be mostly for light support. With being a demon (lv25) and only a few defensive classes with one add on(lv20). This was boosted by his creation and magic item creation talent. Which he had earned through experiments in blood magic.

After a few thoughts, he settled on red hair green eyes with four stubby cut horns and a snake tail. Her primary weapon being Two Kusarigama at her side. Finishing up with a cute little backstory of being Kathrin's younger sister lost till now but secretly a reincarnation of velvet and the name Jade Coin After finishing up with added the same auto respawn effect.

Though they wouldn't be too dangerous. They could delay enemies, which is the main reason for Kathrin. Now with so little time left, there would be no time to make anything else before the cooldown time reset.

Maybe Momonga was still on. It would be fun to hang out a few minutes before the shutdown. Growing out his bat wings turning to his NPCs, the younger-looking NPC looked to be about 18 at most. While her older sister was about 36

"Follow."

The orders were fundamental and could not be open-ended; it annoyed him greatly at this fact. Granted, Kathrin had a much longer list of orders which had been set into her programming. Ranging from poses, dancing, singing to actions like firing and reloading a ballista at moving targets with above-average accuracy. She even had a voice put it courtesy of Bukubukuchagama after helping her with a hidden quest. Even then, it took hours to program in, and it was only minor things, and a command or code would have to be given for them to execute the action.

He just didn't have time to program in for Jade unless he really took his time. But there just wasn't a point now only to have it all erased.

Walking down the tall wide hallways decorated with only the most exquisite craftsmanship smooth and pristine as if made yesterday. This particular part lined with suits of armor and statues would act as a defense against any intruders. His personal touch to the halls of the ninth floor.

Looking at the unique pink orb that could control all of these traps. Putting it back in his Hidden pocket, Kyuketsuki had become a bit paranoid like knowing how devious Dorgaro could be; it was a needed precaution.

In the unlikely event, anyone who got to the ninth floor would fall here. Smiling evilly oh Kyuketsuki was a great fighter and blood mage, but even he was not unbeatable. But after proclaiming himself imposed protector of the 9th floor, he gains every possible boost and buff he could when the traps activated. He would also be alerted immediately the moment anyone stepped foot on this floor who wasn't supposed to be here. Then be able to watch or teleport here in seconds to deal with intruders.

"Too bad I'll never get to use it such a shame, right girls!”

Static, unmoving mouths were his answer, but he didn't expect them to answer. Just listening to him was the main reason for having them follow him around.

Granted, it would be nice to go out on one last adventure, but then he would have to leave Jade here. As without accords locket or a unique item, she could not leave Nazarick.

The only reason Kathrin could is Kyuketsuki had won a rare cash shop item allowing her to leave the tomb as a summons creature. With another to auto respawn upon death, the same one used to give the feature to Jade.

Sadly, the cooldown timer on the creator tools meant he could not edit them to add it before the game shut down. Granted, he would need to have her reach level fifty to be able to use it. Though he did have a second cash shop item to do it.

"Hum, you know, maybe it would be better to go to the one place I love going, but then I would miss Momonga."

Contemplating his choices of what to do for now. But deciding against It for now spending the last few minutes of the game with a friend might be better. With this thought in mind, he rushed quickly down the hall to make it in time though looking at his HUD watch, it looked like he wasn't going to make it in time.

"Damn it, just let me make it there."

Grabbing the hands of both his servants NPC's thought just as the door came into sight, he was blinded.


-unknown-

The world was still for a moment. Then he fell forward at the sudden uneven ground tripping through time seemed to move slower on instinct he flapped his giant bat wings bringing himself back upright.

"Few. almost tripped there what happened to my perfect hallway; there are no uneven edges!" Kyuketsuki shouted in outrage.

Looking down to see uneven stone-paved roads, which didn't even come close to Nazarick’s perfectly clean white walls and floors. Then he looked at the buildings next to him to inspect what could only be a more medieval style of stone and wood he had to guess he was in some sort of alleyway.

Looking at his hands to see the nine rings on his fingers, the first was the [Ring of Ainz Ooal Gown], which gave him free passageway to and from Nazarick. Then [ring of infernal protection], which gave him boosted protection to fire damage and higher fire resistance.

Next [Ring of Helheim] giving him a boost to all his ice and cold damage while lowering the cost of cold-based magic and [Ring of Critical Blood] used to help enhance all ritual magic and reduce the cost of materials for any rituals or spells.

Then looking at his left hand with the [Ring of mind flayer] improving his protection against most mind-controlling effects, he usually wouldn't need it, but once Dorgaro got a hold of the downfall of castle and country to try and mind control him. This ring could give him a few seconds to get out of its field of effect but also make it easier to charm or use mind manipulation spells.

Following [ring of concealment] with a passive effect to block any divination spells cast on him below 7th tire and an ability to see the person trying to spy on him if they weren't using a high 9th or 10th tire spell. Thankfully Dorgaro never realized this and thought it was immunity altogether, and he didn't have anything above 8th tire divination spells.

Then there was [Ring of The Crimson Lords], [Ring of Dancing Death], [Ring of Summoning], the first one boosted all his vampire and undead abilities, and spells. The second one had a passive ability to activate his dancing daggers and add buffs and states effects without needing to cast the low-level spells.

The last was the most important as it blocked unauthorized teleportation of his character without his wishes and allowed him to summon his special summons like his NPC's, summoned household, and gave all summoned creatures 50% more powerful stats and with 50% longer duration time.

The only reason he could have all nine, ten in total, rings was from buying the ability as a cash shop. It was pricey, but it was worth it as he needed the help being a frontline fighter. This saved him mana, and time could end a fight early for him. Though he had yet to find the right rings for the last slot. In Yggdrasil, he hunted and grind for days to get the 8 rings, which helped him so much in Yggdrasil.

Now arose a more important question of how had he been teleported here, his ring should have blocked it. Unless this was a new part of the game but seemed unlikely, to say the least.

"Kyūketsuki-sama, I don't think this is the ninth floor.” Purred a soft by regal voice.

Kyuketsuki froze at this looking back, hearing the cute voice of a girl looking over to see both of his NPC's. Observing him with those alive and worried eyes, he was unsure which one spoke up. He tried to process this information a lifelong dream of his had been to make them act and speak as if alive. But no matter how much he programmed them, there just wasn't a way to do it.

"Kyuketsuki-sama is something wrong?!"

The panicked look in those sparkling eyes and, most of all, how they both moved without direct orders or commands. Moving closer, Kathrin's face gazed at his own, trying to discover some great mystery. He could not help the fanged smile come to his face, sure he was worried, but this Could wait first something needed to be confirmed.

"One moment, my dear, I need to try something."

"Of course, Kyuketsuki-sama, we humble servants will await your commands right, sister Jade."

"Right, onee-san!"

That confirmed one thing there was no way to use open-ended commands; any given would be ignored because the game just wasn't designed to deal with them. He had spent days just trying to integrate such controls, but they always glitch or failed to work. Meaning either the game had patched, or this was no longer the game. The developers were just not dumb enough to risk kidnapping laws of a game dive by holding him without his consent.

So, time to test part two already, he noted the interface was not up, and he never took it down unless needed. But reaching out, he could feel his mana spells and hp but could also be a patch, so he needs to try something which could prove it.

Putting up his fingers in an L shape to reach chat but nothing popped up after a few tries. Both Kathrin and Jade cutely trying to imitate the action in confusion. What he was doing, which only further proved something was up. Next, he tried something which never failed to connect because no matter where you were in Yggdrasil, the Devs made the gm call box function work. A problem with this could mean a temporary shutdown of the game for maintenance and auto-logout for players, which was never comfortable to experience.

Which would null this whole theory of still being in the game, not excluding some other bazaar situation? But again, this failed to even show results, which was odd to say the least, yet it only brought up the question of where he was. He had one last trick to try a unique skill he had given to Kathrin, so he never got lost.

"Good girls. Now Kathrin-chan tell me the current location realm, please."

Humming in thought as her golden eyes turning blue as she looked around. Kathrin still seemed confused as to where they are bowing in apology.

"I'm sorry, Kyuketsuki-sama, but I can't seem to get a good read if I had to guess Midgard based on the air temperature, clouds, buildings around us, and the presence of lesser beings nearby. Realizing this oversight might warrant punishment, and I gladly accept any you give!" regret dripping from Kathrin’s voice.

‘What does she mean lesser beings I don't remember reading anything about them in my Game Encyclopedia?’

"It's fine though if you don't know either, then we will have to explore the area to find clues. More importantly, what do you mean lower life forms I don't know which creatures you mean."

"Weak human Kyuketsuki-sama like the ones coming up behind us."

Kyuketsuki could now tell the difference in voice-hearing Jade's light childish voice as compared to Kathrin's more series and calm voice (which if listen carefully to you could till it belonged to his guildmate). Without looking, he could smell them the scents of dirty thugs with could only mean they were of low quality. Joined by the sweet natural fragrance of Kathrin's like a cat just got done playing in flowers, and Jade's brims stone scent was not too much mixed with a sweet smell like cotton candy.

"Heh, lo'key what we got here, boys. Bunch of nobles wondering around our turf with two fine babes!"

Turning to the rough voice was ten or so thugs looked to be muscular and strong. Sitabus' passive ability (true blood sight) to read the blood scent of enemies told him they were low level all below level twenty though it was only an estimate of their level he could always use [discern enemy] to get an exact number, but with them so weak there wasn't a point thinking they were borderline lv11. And all their gear was a low level as well trash really, he smiled as his other ability [Appraising eyes] they didn't even have enchanted weapons.

"Why hello, their good sir I believe we are lost care to give us directions or buzz off."

All ten thugs laughed, the leader scowled with a dangerous glint in his eyes.

"Well, we could, but it will cost yo’ for stepping into eight fingers territory though since you are new here, how's about half of everything you got and a few hours with your girl's pal."

Kyuketsuki laughed as his anger rising at the scums, thinking he would let them touch his perfect creations. Then glared at them, unleashing an [aura of blood lust] as his maid stiffened at the feeling while the thugs backed up. The leader stayed put despite sweat rolling down his skin.

"Funny, hilarious guys, I have not heard of these eight fingers. Why don't you leave, and I might yet spare your worthless lives because-

Grabbing both women’s’ shoulders with his wings and drawing them close as they let out an ep sound.

"These beautiful women are mine alone, even try and touch them, and your blood will flow out of your body so fast you won't even have time to blink before your death."

He smiled fiercely, bearing his fangs feeling excitement bubble up along with a hunger for the blood of those fools. A feeling that didn’t feel like his own.

"Ha, you think you scare me trying to dress up like a vampire let me show you why you don't mess with eight fingers."

Kyuketsuki’s natural ability to perceive time faster meant he didn't even need to activate anything, but ‘let's test something out.’ Reaching out to the mental link of his daggers, it was better than the game as there was no delay in activating them. For as fast as he was charging, this thug might as well have been walking in slow motion.

The daggers floated out of his belt, flying up to the charging enemy with deadly accuracy and a will of its own to defend their master. One stabbed into his head, another slit his throat followed by stabs to his heart and four other vital organs. But his blood didn't just drop to the ground. No, it drained out thanks to an ability like Shalltears, which allowed for full manipulations of the blood of victims. Making it form a ring around the trio just levitating in the air as the others looked on in horror. Their leader appears to be charging one minute, and the next, he was dead blood ignoring gravity completely as now six evil-looking daggers floating around him.

"Oh, abysmal choice indeed how sad. Well, what do you think girls should we spare them or kill them?"

Shaking in fear, they could not move when met with the pure evil look of both girls, and only the head enforcers had Right before they were going to end someone, and now they realized they picked the wrong target for the night.

"I say end them Kyuketsuki-sama, you did offer them a chance, and these worms failed to take it." The venom dripping from Kathrin’s words

"Yeah, I'm with onee-san. These lower lifeforms need to be punished." Joyfully agreed Jade.

"Wait, we don't agh- no, please wait!"

Ignoring the screaming of them as they were slashed to pieces by the bat fang daggers leaving nasty frostbit marks and other low-level spell effects. The blood of these new victims adding to his [bloodpool], making it thicker with each death.

'Interesting, I don't seem to be bothered by their deaths; in fact, I can feel my thirst for combat.'

After some thought, he realized he couldn't leave this area unclear they might come after them later how annoying. If this gang of eight fingers worked like a normal one, they would prove dangerous best to leave a lasting impression.

[create kin:low-level]

A dark aura cloud rushed over the fallen criminals as their bodies were overshadowed by darkness red eyes glowing. Slowly standing back up with pale skin glowing red eyes and silver hair. Great clawed hands and fanged teeth clad in red-tinted armor with spears and shields standing seven feet tall.

Blood knights typically only level 35, but with summoning ring, they had the stats of a level 40, unlike most low-level vampires; these were immune to sunlight. Being classed as a mix between assassins and tanks that could absorb damage like a Death Knight. Along with creating warrior zombies for those, they slew. Though they were stealthier in the fact that they could blend into the shade like a shadow demon.

"Blood knights find the eight-finger base in this part of the city and kill everyone working for them. Make it look like a rival necromantic gang did it and free all their slaves and captives. Then stealthily return to me when you are done now go!"

With a salute, all ten ran off down the dark alleyway. Now what to do with all this left-over blood. It smelled delicious hum should he indulge a little if he doesn't it will make a mess shrugging, kyuketsuki slowly let a few drops hit his mouth. Licking his lips from the sweet, tangy taste allowing the rest of it to flow down his throat.

"Now then, girls, I believe we were interrupted by those lovely snacks though you both have been oddly quiet?"

Looking over at them now realizing his hands were on their firm supple buts, and his wing claws were groping up their soft bosom. When did those get there ugh this is so embarrassing forcing his hands away from such areas? As they moaned from the touch well, they had yet to get upset about this so they can't be mad, right?

"Sorry, girls couldn’t control my hands." Kyuketsuki cursed the strange action of the now undead body.

"It's fine, Kyuketsuki-sama. We don't mind as long as it's you we humble servants exist to serve your every desire!" Kathrin purred with pure lust and desire.

"Uh were we pleasing Kyuketsuki-sama? You didn't have to stop. It felt really nice not to overstep my bounds, but um if you want." Cutely asked Jade with pleading eyes

Beaming well if he had to be stuck anywhere in some strange new place. What better place than with these two?! It was like a dream come true with them behaving like their programming wouldn't allow in Yggdrasil simply do to the constraints of the technology. What to do now, they need information, rapidly closing up his wings as they folded back into his back skin.

Kyuketsuki wondered how to access his inventory; it was a screen in YGGDRASIL. Now, however, he didn’t have a HUD to open it. Deciding to try thinking of what he wanted and reaching his hand out, a void in space opened. His hand sliding in and grasping the rings and winter cap he was looking for.  

"Jade put these rings on one is a Ring of Greater Doppelganger, and the other is an of Ring Ainz Ooal Gown." Kyuketsuki held out the rings.

Jade looked shocked to hear this her greed eyes wind in shock. He didn't understand what the holdup was about one of the rings.

"I can't master only supreme beings are supposed to wear them..." Jade waved her hands about.

"Jade, we are in unknown territory with the great tomb of Nazarick nowhere in sight despite being in it just a few minutes ago! With this ring, I can at least track you or gate to you no matter where you are; the other will be to disguise yourself till we know their thoughts on succubus. If anyone has a problem with it, they may talk to me now put the rings on"

Hastily nodded Jade put on the rings over her black leather gloves changing to look like an average human without the horns or tail. Though Kyuketsuki missed them already.

"Kathrin put this over your head. It should cover your ears as lovely as they are. We need to go undercover until I know more about our situation and hide your tail if possible."

"Yes, Kyuketsuki-sama!"

Putting on his own Ring of Greater Doppelganger, it was used entirely to make him look human, but it could only make a person change to a species of their choosing. It didn't have the actual ability of a greater doppelganger to copy a person’s skills, and gear only change a person's physical form to look like a different race so a human could look like an elf. Frankly speaking, it wasn't the best option, but it was better than wasting mana on long term spells.

"Alright, now that we are all ready. Let us go get some information and remember I don't care if you don't like humans, but treat them nicely until they attack first aright." Kyuketsuki cooed to them both.

"Yes, Kyuuketsuki-sama..um, so where are we going." Asked Jade,

Kyuetsuki smiled time to go exploring with both girls' hands in his own.

 


- Eight fingers brothel-

 Four children all-around age 14, clothed in cheap rags, hurtled down behind the cover of the broken table. Kevlar peaked his head out, taking in the now chaotic and blood-soaked brothel bodies spread out all over the room. As the giant armored undead monsters stomped around the room. Fresh blood dried from the deadly spears as those blood-red eyes scanned over their cover.

Kevlar noticed his friend in the rags called clothes, his green eyes sharp ready to act. Kevlar Pulled back his shoulder, receiving a harsh questioning glare. 

"Are you crazy we can't fight those things will kill us all. plus, Miskes is trembling." Tammy wanted to protest if not for the shadow that fell over them.

Turning, all four of them froze in terror as the undead nightmare towered over them, staring through each of their souls. Its armor and weapon still wet with fresh gore, breathless and unmoving, bringing a shiver to their spines.

"Do you work with eight fingers!" The guttural voice made them All wince watching for any sign to attack. Which would be answered by a swift death. However, kevlar noticed some were not killed. So, he thought up an answer that would save his tight-knit group.

"No, sir, the man upstairs forced us to come here." Shuttering and shakily pointing upstairs.

The undead turned away from them barking orders as five rushed upstairs. While the others broke down the basement door. Screams of pain shortly followed as kevlar waited to hide a smile. Muttering under his breath with disdain, "Nothing personal, sir Bracker."

Turning to the other three with a sly smile. "Come on, let's go. Grab what you can on the way."

Escaping into the night as the chaos and fire, which swiftly consumed the Eight Fingers base.

 


-Streets of E-Rental-

So far, his plan was not going too well; he had intended to blend in. Only to stand out like a sore thump, many strange looks directed his way filled with questioning and suspicious stares. Indeed, it would have been better to just use perfect unknown and fly above the city using his heightened sense to listen in on all below, but one of his major problems was he couldn't seem to read any of the written languages nor could he understand the local customs.

It didn't help; he had two hot women hanging off his arms happy that both Kathrin and jade were behaving quite well in spite of the odd and lustful gazes of the crowd. Seeing as the city guard had not been called in to detain them for a massacre of humans.

The only good part is he had gleaned. This was the fortress city of E-Rental in the kingdom of Re-Esztie. The currency was divided into platinum, gold, silver, and copper, none of which looked like his own coins from Yggdrasil he still had. With 39,467,944,464 Yggdrasil coins, he had more, but including the cost of creating Jade, it was now under 40 billion coins.

Though he sadly lacked any regular currency. As an experiment, he tried to buy a map with a few coins, and it was immediately noticed as they weighed the coins.

Apparently, if the shop keeper wasn't pulling his leg, they were worth 5 times the amount of standard gold and was all too happy to take all five coins though it might have been foolish to show them. He had already been around the whole city five times. With no one in this city so far was even above level twenty with trash gear. Magic weapons were hard to come by even if they were trash items to Kyuketsuki standards.

Overall he stood out. Frankly, he had little care because if he really needed to, this city would become a crater in minutes. He had mostly one person or small group target spells, he did have a collection of large AOE spells. This said he would have to watch out for Jade in case he found anyone high enough to take on level forty enemies.

The worrying thing was there was no diversity in this city after asking around demi-humans were not partially like by the public opinion. Which could only mean revealing his group was all Heteromorphic Race would not end well.

Left the question of how to acquire money for right now, he wanted to save his Yggdrasil coins, seeing as how it would be difficult to replace them. And he felt a need to get out of this annoying sunlight though it couldn't hurt him it did slow his movement speed to a small degree.

Leaning close whispering into Kathrin's ear after thinking up an idea for some quick money.

"Kathrin, would you be a dear and acquirer some currency for us discreetly if possible."

"Of course, Kyuketsuki-sama, what should I do if there is interference."

"Then deal with it accordingly, I believe you're smart enough to know. what to do, just don't be wasteful and meet us near the adventurer's guild."

Nodding in affirmative Kathrin watching her leave into the crowd. It was indeed a dream come true for him for years have had tried to get them to have real sentience and individuality. It was a calming effect to Sitabus panicking mind because frankly, this should not be possible. Nothing he could think of would explain this situation.

Barring some were h game or anime theory, but even This didn't explain how this new world functioned like Yggdrasil only with a far more real element. Like this warrior magic or martial arts which warriors and adventures had something Yggdrasil never had. It helps with most of his emotions seeming to be dulled; some feelings didn't like his anger or blood lust for battle.

Part of why the last few hours were exceedingly necessary was to learn all this and more. Though he could have picked becoming a local noble frankly, he hated politics, and they would question where he had come from. Something he had no way to prove, which brought up another wise question. Was this a mainland or an island, something which could help place the geology of the land, not even talking about his lack of knowledge.

The map would have him believe a continent or at least part of one, yet he couldn't know for sure without spreading out more. Even flying up to look over the land was possible, but it could just make his current predicament worse.

"Moan oh, Kyuketsuki-sama, your hands are so firm and gentle." Purred Jade's voice.

Sighing, this was another issue of restraining himself; apparently, his hands had their own ideas. Luckily both of the NPCs were loyal and perfectly fine doing whatever he wants even if it meant death. Not that he would ever ask them to die for him, without knowing if their auto-respawn worked even then yeah just no.

Walking down the road would generally be far more awkward, but he couldn't care less what these humans did. As long as they keep their hands to themselves otherwise, they would not be around for too long.

Arriving at the guild admissions building now, he just had to…

Glancing into a nearby alley, he sensed the blood knights, and it was an excellent time to test something out.

[message]

With a diel tone till the leader blood knight picked up as a link formed good, this still worked.

{Master the task is done, we await further orders!} Hearing a voice sound like a metal grating metal tone.

{Good, for now, your unit is to just stay hidden and follow from the shadows do alert me if anyone is tailing me.}

{Yes, master!} A deep voice sounding out as the link dropped.

Ending the message, he tried to think of what was going on back in Yggdrasil. They should have vanished by now. Even with the extended time limit, did it mean they were all permanent or just a particular case for low levels? This would need further testing.

Well, if nothing else, he wouldn't need to waste any mana making others. Now there arose a slight problem. Unlike normal undead blood spawn or vampire, spawn had a small blood upkeep cost. While this wasn't a problem in Yggdrasil now, this would mean finding a good source of blood. This could raise his own needs while he could ignore it for now, partly because of being a true vampire elder, around the smell of blood from the dead or dying could activate a passive berserker effect which would have him slaughter anything in his way if he wasn't careful.

Still, he could only imagine Momonga's situation if he were here, or did he get transported here alone? Or how Momonoga's body would be affected by being a skeleton. If his emotions were being dulled, how would his friend be affected, and where would he be?

"Kyuketsuki-sama, I have gotten the required amount. There were some annoyances." Kyuketsuki attention was drawn to Kathrin's gentle yet stern voice.

"Well, tell me, did you gather the red."

This was a bit of a code phrase he had put in as all of the vampires on Kyuketsuki’s floor need some minor upkeep, and his own alchemy used blood or vials of red to gathered from fallen NPC's and enemies. This was vital as vampires in Yggdrasil can draw power, mana, and even active some abilities and spells with. Something only the vampire race could gather on top of regular data crystals and gold.

"Yes, I also to the liberty of putting Preservation of 8th on them.” Kathrin smoothly replied.

"Excellent work keep them hidden for now." Kyuketsuki praised.

"Understood lord Kyuketsuki. What is your next order!" She inquisitively asked.

Kyuketsuki gave a broad smile as they approached the adventures guild building. Leading the way while holding both the warrior maids close to him. Sure that his passive chilling touch was turned off so it wouldn’t hurt them.

"Why to an adventure, of course! Before we go in a few ground rules. one no causing a scene, Second remember to be polite to the people both weak and strong, and three no starting a massacre under any circumstances clear." Kyuketsuki sternly spoke, looking both of them in the eyes.

"Understood Kyuketsuki-sama." Both of them cheered proudly.

Walking into the adventurer guild, first hearing the talking and chatting of many people. Both young and old, the large room was alive with activity, each of them armed with some kind of weapon and potions. Most notably was the bord near the stairs and the reception desk in the back of the room.

He cursed his forgetfulness in his rush to find information and learn about this city he had forgotten to change gear. Pushing down panic squeezing both Kathrin and Jade's hands to find mental support.

Deciding to just walk right up to one desk steeling his nerves.

"Hello, how may I help you." The receptionist asked her hand, pushing some strands of brown hair out of her eyes as she scanned over the group. Clearly annoyed from the long day of work but hiding it under a forced smile.

"Yes, I would like to register as a new adventure in town," Kyuketsuki asked.

Ideally noting the whispers of the room behind him, no doubt, both Jade and Kathrin wanted to cut them down for what was being said. After all, he did look like a noble with his divine grade gear on. But they were obeying his rules even if both hands tightened sharply.

Turning back to her work, she slid over three papers. "Well, then please fill out this form, please."

Kyuketsuki didn’t want to ask, but they might not understand his writing just as he didn’t know how to read these lands written language. He took a deep breath and calmly asked.

"Um, you'll have to excuse me, but I'm from a faraway land, and I don't know how to write your language care to help me, please?"

Signing the recaptions glared, stopping her work. "Fine, thank you for not trying to waste paper here. Let's start with your name?"

This he decided on before arriving her forgoing using his real name. So he went with his avatar's name.

"Kyuketsuki O Wasureta."

The respective just looked at him strangely for clearly not understanding what the words meant. Even if she did, not many would know the true meaning of the name. Unless they had crossed him.

"Right next age?"

Right well, no point in lying there still better to just drop it by two just to throw some players off In case any old rivals came looking for him.

"30."

Humming, she writes it down.

"Next origin or birthplace."

This would be tricky, but he just thought of the first name that came to mind.

"Helheim."

"I don't think I have heard of this place where is it?" The receptionist intensified her glare.

Hiding his nervousness under a forced smile while quickly thinking of an excuse.

"Far away as I have said, let just say there was a mishap with teleportation magic, and I find myself here, so I couldn't tell you how far away it is even if I wanted too."

"Ah, sorry to hear about it. At least it's not as bad as one adventurer who got teleported into a wall." She sarcastically mentioned, or at least he hoped so.

"Yes, well, there is always that."

"Next abilities or skill set."

This was a hard question, not really finding any suitable sources or a magic-user to ask. This might end poorly if he shows off his strength to much, but he didn’t want to lie about it and get flank from the guild later. So, he settled on 5th tier magic, and if the need arose, he could just pull out six-tier should the need arise.

"I would say 5th tier for myself, and I'm pretty good with any kind of blade as for my company 4th for both of them behind me."

The receptionist glared heatedly, not liking that answer at all disbelieving the claim like a bad joke.

"First off, I highly doubt it seeing as how only a hand full of people in this room can even do 4th tire and even less above. Second, your companions will have to be done separately, which they can do themselves."

Relaxing at the information sheds light on just how weak this new world is. Still, Kyuketsuki wouldn’t be called a lier when he was already limiting his magic use so much with fifth-tier magic.

"Well, I could show you, but most of my 5th tier spells would ruin this whole room if not kill half of the people here. And as to the other question I'm afraid they can't either, or I wouldn't have asked you...

-My lovely dear, you don't mind spending a little more time with me, right?" Anyone paying attention would notice a hypnotic tone at the end. It seemed to draw the woman's full focus.

It might be wrong to do, but he just couldn't afford to cause a scene here, so a minor charm spell couldn't hurt pulse if asked it was 5th tire so he would only be showing off his skill. As a sweet smell filled the air around them, he had to control it to keep others from being affected.

"Why, of course, sir Kyuketsuki I would love to." The receptionist's foul mood vanished, replaced by a cheerful and happy one.

"Excellent, then why don't we settle in for this." Kyuketsuki smiled brightly.

 

Opening the door to the tavern, all the occupants looked over at the newcomer walking in. Checking out the handsome youthful face with two hot women on either side. Judging them strange armor and carefully designed gear of the new people. Which looked expensive with an air of danger around them, But their eyes were drawn to the new shiny copper plates around their necks.

The place was a dining area with a bar at the back shelves of alcohol on them, a kitchen at the back. Thanks to his dark vision, the change of light didn't bother him. In fact, he could feel the sunlight restriction of movement disappear.

Looking at the filthy floor and tables scattered around the room most occupied most predominantly men. With an air of violence hung heavily above them. Their health was low and was their level. Even the iron plates failed to impress him wouldn't be surprised if they couldn't even take one hit from him without crumbling to the ground.

The staircase to the side, he remembered the receptionist at the desk of the guild telling him about this place. Honestly, he could see why it was the worst place to stay. This place was dirtier than even some of the areas in Nazarick, like the venom caverns. Granted, Yggdrasil had some murky areas, but here was worse them most places he could name. Which at least had a reason for their dirt and grime.

Looking at the barkeeper with his dirty apparent on and his arms protruding out of the sleeves covered in scars. Most likely from some beast with a bold head and somewhat imposing.

"I'll need a room for me and my lovely companions here though I'm unsure in how long we will be staying."

The innkeeper replied crudely, "Copper plates hum a night is five copper. The food's oatmeal and vegetable meats an extra copper might be getting a day's old bread instead of oatmeal."

Handing over eight silvers who smoothly taking the money. Though he would have liked to take one room for all of them, it would look strange based on. What the receptionist has told him it was an excellent idea to charm her. Learning why they sent him here and apparently Gaila know the innkeeper personally.

Yet with this said, a team would just slow him down with how strong he was. If need be, he could just turn them into vampires or better yet have Kathrin bite them, which would take care of it.

There were endless solutions around this problem, and he even knew, on average, a new team consisted of six adventures sometimes more assuming he had at least half a team. He just needs to handle three maybe five people max, which would be child's play to take out or command.

Even better, Gaila knew how many beds were in a dorm room. Being a dropout adventure, apparently, she just couldn't take the stress.

Each room here could only hold four to six people if you were willing to share a bed. Based on all of this, it didn't matter how many people were in the room. He could literally cover it with a [silence zone] and [crimson force field] both 7th tire spells to trap and ensuring no sounds or message spells could get out or in.

Pulse, he needs to test something because there was still the possibility his created blood knights were temporary. Their presence could always be felt through the link in the back of his mind.

"Here's your key. Just remember to make friends while you can."

"Oh yes, we will need basic adventuring packs as we lost what we had getting here."

"It will be ready by dinner, Just be ready to pay by then."

Walking to the stairs, some fool dare put their foot in front of Kyuketsuki how childish, but he wasn't going to stop. He had no time for such nonsense, so he smirked as his foot went forward but when meet with the arrogant fool. He didn't trip; instead, the clown was knocked clean out of his chair onto the floor. Even spilling his drink on himself.

Both Jade and Kathrin giggled at this, watching some worm trying and pull such a trick.

"Hey, that hurt jackass!"

Kyuketsuki didn’t even turn to look back at him. "My mistake, maybe I was careless to not see such an obvious attempt at a punk trying to look big and tough though I wounding why it didn't go as expected?"A mocking tone clearly showing.

"Your one annoying jerk ...but I'm a generous guy maybe lend me your girls for a night, and I will forget this."

Turning Kyuketsuki glared at him, this fooled dared his buddy's looked ready to help, smirking confidently time to teach an excellent lesson.

"Tell you what I'm in a rather good mood. I give you one free hit. Though I warn you, I return what I'm given tenfold I even let your buddies there help to compensate for your peanut-sized brain and tools. Girls stand back. I think I need to teach some dogs a lesson in manners."

Scrawling with a red face smirked back as his buddy's got up, all three of them had iron plates swaying from their necks. Caring iron gear though to him, it would be the equivalent of trash armor and equipment. Silently keeping his passive daggers from attacking.

"Your funeral pal get him!" The fool yelled out.

They all charged one punching his face, the other two hit the solar plexus and stomach. He didn't even flinch. In fact, Kyuketsuki barely felt a dull thud of impact just looking at them, all of them shocked.

"Ah, you are done, then it's my turn just know I warned you!"

The so-called leader of these punks he slapped across the room as they fell right down on a table breaking it. Next, one couldn’t even blink as the other one flew through the air he punched up knocking their friend right up into the ceiling, making a crack sound. And the last one could not even blink as at the same time he backhanded him into the table behind him breaking that too.

The room went silent as to all the onlookers. The stranger didn't even seem to move before they all went flying. While this stranger in fancy clothes and armor just dusted himself off looking to the innkeeper.

"Here's three gold for the broken tables and ceiling keep the change girls lets go."

Tossing the gold to the barkeep who had a suspicious look in his eyes, watching them go up the stairs. Glancing over to the now moaning three iron plates trying to figure out how they were hit. If he was to be truth full, all he saw was a blur, then they were all sent flying.

"Hey wait a minute you ruined my potion" the barkeep looked over the red-haired girl ran up the stairs to catch up with them, but they were already gone.

"Hum might have to intervene if she gets into trouble." He muttered to himself, watching Ritana run-up after them soon followed by a second cloaked man.

 


-With Kyuketsuki-

"Alright, now hand me what you got before the others arrive."

Closing the door and looking over the darkroom, three of the beds were taken with stuff or gear near them, and it was a small room. It smelled odd; one of them felt like an elf, another smelled like a dwarf and a third human scent. One bed looked to have books near it, most likely a magic caster of some kind.

The second bed had an assortment of enchanted arrows and bows handmade finely decorated by skulls and different woods still low-level gear.

The third taken bed seemed to be the dwarfs if the weapons and armor set nearby were any indications. The last was clean and untaken though it would be a tight fit. Smirking this would be a perfect excuse to try some things with the girls and do some private checking.

"Here Kyuketsuki-sama are the 7000 vials of red in 5.678 milliliters vials along with the rest of the coins 56 copper,41 silver,11 gold." Kathrin listed off quickly and clearly.

Taking the vials in hand, he looked at Kathrin knowing deep down he should care, but he just couldn't find it in himself to ask. Taking into account, the blood needs to fill all these vials 1000 was the total amount of 1.5 gallons, one dead human missing all their blood. So this means at least seven dead humans somewhere. Yet he could not feel any remorse at seeing Kathrin's smiling face.

Putting the vials of red away in his inventory and scrutinizing the currency, they didn't have much even accounting for the eight silver and three gold he gave away not counting the fee for joining the guild he could safely say they had about a week or two worth of coins. But for now, they all had room to breathe as long as the finances were watched carefully.

"Good job Kathrin; with this, we should be able to keep around those blood knights for a while now..."

Kyuketsuki stilled sensing movement outside the room. He could smell them and hear the lock turning. As the door creaked open to reveal a redhead in cheap leather armor, walk in a sword and short sword on her hip. Besides, the young woman was a cloaked figure; all he could gather was that they were an elf by the scent, and they had a bow on their back, with three large quivers of arrows strapped on as well. Both of the adventures had silver plates.

No surprise around level twenty if he had to guess level 10 or 9 for the human. While the elf was higher, maybe 11 at most judging by the trained stance and silently moved around the room.

"You ruined my potion; do you know how expensive they are!" The redhead shouted.

"No, I can't say I do being new in town and all." Kyuketsuki replied.

The girl looked ready to explode on him till the elf put a hand on her shoulder to calm her. Her friend seemed far more level headed and realized he wasn't lying.

"Most potions are at least one gold and ten silver on average why is it different from where you come from." The elf smoothly asked.

Kyuketsuki chuckled at this. There was just no way of getting around the fact he was a foreigner in a strange land.

"Yes, where I came from, they only had one currency, which was gold. platinum if they really hunted for it though to be fair it was that morons' fault for trying to trip me then being a prick about it."

The girl just jumped forward Cleary upset about this whole ordeal though she really needs to learn when to back off or read the mood. Glancing at both Kathrin and Jade with worry.

"Oh yeah will even so you look like you can easily give me a healing potion with such fancy armor right. Or are you just all talk!"

"I could, but I doubt my kind of healing potion will help you, and my coins are worthless here, or do you really think I would be staying here if I could simply pay for somewhere better!"

Her friend seemed to contemplate this for a minute while it at least calmed down the ire of the girl slightly.

"Then how do you plan to make up for it, sir…

Not noticing the murders mood of both his maids creeping around the two. Kyuketsuki tried to think of some way to defuse this quickly.

"Kyuketsuki at your service thought it is quite rude from where I come from to invade someone else's room, I will say without even knocking. Am I to assume you bribed the innkeeper?!"

 


This would not fly if just anyone could get a key to his room, mostly because both his battle maids would be all too happy to slaughter humans. Their bias towards them didn’t help. He would have to send out shadow demons just to not get blamed for a murder. Besides, this was a little rude to just barge in accusing him of something.

"Oh no, no, we didn't bribe him. This is actually our room, as well. My bed is over there. I'm Tarick vine member of green Vultures."

Scrutinizing his words carefully, he compared his sent to the beds along with the bow and arrows on the elf. All handmade and enchanted with minor boosts, he looked taller than the human much of his person was covered either by gloves or a thick cloak, but his gruff voice showed his series nature.

"Still, this does not explain how she got in, and while I can't say anything about you coming in. letting someone so prone to attack me makes me wonder if I can trust you now."

Kyuketsuki needed to get them to leave before Kathrin moved in for the kill. They wouldn’t even be able to react. And he couldn’t calm them down without this escalating quickly. In a terrible direction that wouldn’t look good at all for the trio.

"How does this matter I just came here to get my fair return now give ah-"

Any further variable assaulted was stopped by his bat fangs at her throat. As she looked afraid only to realize, the door clicked closed and locked. As Jade and Kathrin had gotten past them. Already in a position to attack at any moment.

[Continual light]

As light filled the darkroom for their benefit, illuminating all the previously dark corners. Along with the six bat fangs floating in the air pointed at the redhead. Unseen by either of the two, both Jade and Kathrin had hands on their weapons ready to act at a moment's notice.

"No, hold up..."

‘Great guess I better make this look good or they are dead.’

"Where I come from, it is quite rude to invade another person's space without their permission, even for fair compensation. Attacking me when I'm in a private meeting with my dear girls is one of the faster ways to lose my trust and respect. If you are so intent on this path fine, meet me in the shopping district in an hour, after which I will be requesting a different room from either of you. I will buy you ten damn potions, and this will be the end of this good day." Forced venom and disdain dripping from every word.

Bat fangs floating back into his pouch as he put a hand on both girl's shoulders, glaring at the two.

[Group dislocation]

With a flash, they were gone, and Ritana breathed quickly hand brushing over her neck was a hairline cut had formed. Eyes staring at the spot where the man had stood minutes ago, the light still illuminating the room. Tarick himself had a deep frown seeing at least 5th tire magic if not higher, and he had never heard of group teleportation before. Usually, it could only take one person.

It didn't help Taricks hawk eye mask could not even get a reading on this magic the man had used to teleport the three of them away. He might even think the man had no magic before seeing that. But knowing this wasn’t true either that deathly aura just now made it hard to breathe. Only those in the rank of heroes could put such fear in his heart.

"I believe we just messed up big time, Ritana. You said he was strong, not hero rank."

"Well, I didn't see him fight only the guy suddenly hit my table…Do you think he would have killed me just now."

"I think you should have told me he has 5th tire magic and has cursed weapons which can move on their own. I didn't even notice the other two move until the door shut. Ugh such a mess, and now he will be distrustful of the old man too." Retorted Tarick

Ritana looked shocked at this, trying to contemplate what just happened. All she wanted was to get her money back.

"What, but the old man didn't do anything wrong this is our room!" protested Rita.

"Yet you couldn't even introduce yourself or realize he was clearly agitated and holding back. Then proceed to try and get in his face.. sigh he would have greatly helped us out, and now he is pissed" Tarick ranted.

"Well, we can still fix this, maybe if…Bardic can help out you know how strict he is with weapons."

"We don't have much time let's hope we can get him on our side!" Tarick grumbled, rubbing his mask; this would be a long day.

 

"Kyuketsuki-sama, I still fail to see why we didn't just kill them."

Sighing again, he couldn't take back those words, but if he had not acted quickly. Kathrin and Jade would have killed them. It didn't help his own aggravation. This would cost all the gold he had just gotten ten potions, and then he would not even have enough coins to get anything of real value himself. He would have to just write off the gold as a loss for saving them. Even if he did kill them, they seemed just as strapped for coins as he was, so it was a moot point. Maybe he could just stay in the local cemetery and avoided all this. A bit cliché, but it would work for the short term or raiding the eight fingers bases might be fun to mess with them.

"If our goal were to slaughter this town, I would have done so upon arrival, but it is not" Kyuketsuki spoke calmly if not annoyed by the question.

"Now I'm going to be out all of our gold after this. We can't even afford to change rooms without checking out the other places, which is what I have Jade doing. The cheap stack won't refund; frankly, this is a waste of your well-earned coins Kathrin don't worry though, even if I have to make my own place, we will be fine." Rubbing Kathrin’s tense shoulder.

An interruption came for the rock grinding voice of the blood knight. {Master they are approaching three of them!}

Looking through the crowd of the shopping district of the city, which was filled with people. At least here, they were in no danger of Kathrin running them through out of anger. However, he stilled felt flustered about the loss of coins; the blood spilled to get them would be wasted.

Worse, they probably would not leave the matter be putting them in danger of Kathrin's wrath later.

The redhead spoke up first. "Uh hello again, so how's…

"Shut up follow me once we get there, I give you my coins then we're done."

Without giving them time to make any case for him to stay or demand more from him. Swiftly moving through the crowded streets, ignoring the gaze of all those around them. Annoyed by how much he still seemed to stand out, it felt unnerving, to say the least. Halting at the shop of the best alchemist in town or something like that, he forgot their name waiting.

"Here is the shop here is my gold, and now we are even. I'm gone; let's go, Kathrin." Turning to leave into the crowd.

"With pleasure Kyuketsuki-sama.” Purred Kathrin.

"Now wait a minute we came to apologize for the lasses temper no need to get huffy about it."

Directing a glare at the dwarf, Kyuketsuki calmed the inner rage at the situation while maintaining a neutral face.

"In this bag is all my gold I had now. I can't even get potions of my own and will have to save up. What's not to get huffy about or do dwarfs now not care about money anymore!"

Stunned silenced answered this reply as the human looked down in guilt, but he really didn't have time for this.

"Good now, if you excuse me, I need to go take on as many missions as I can to make up for this oversight."

"Wait, what if we offer to help you get a few missions in return would it be a sufficient apology." Rita quickly jumps up.

He turned back to the redhead, thinking it over though they still had zero trusts as far as he was concerned this could allow him to judge their worth as allies.

"Would this not just lower all the rewards I get out of this being split between all of us. You can't tell me your all just going to hand it over." Kyuketsuki reasoned.

"Look, we understand we came on strong, and Ritana can be a bit headstrong at times, but we share our loot equally and fairly. Besides, as a team, you can take on more missions quicker and thus get your money back faster. We all share the same room still, so no point being angry at each other.” The dwarf smoothly commented

Great, he can't turn them down now, or Kathrin will surely murder or turn them in their sleep. Hum thought plan b is always an option if this doesn't work out.

"Fine, but make this quick, and what's your name?"

"You can call me Bardic; the wee lase is Rita, and that grump is Tarick." Joyfully spoke the dwarf.

"so, um would it help if you came in with us, I know I have been a little high strung." Rita timidly asked.

Kyuketsuki had thought about the differences in this world's alchemy and his own. Not to give away his own lack of what was typical for a potion in this world. There was no guarantee; it would be the same ingredients or methods it might be worth looking into.

"Alright, but don't think you can buy back my trust is earned not given, so don't expect me to just drop this!"

With this out of the way, they opened the door and stepped it unseen Kathrin waved off the blood knights. If these fools' worms dared displease her master again, they would beg for death. Though she was still trying to wrap her head around why he was so insistent on blending in. But it was not her place to question such orders unless it threatened her master’s life. Just as master had created her to protect him and support him even if it meant death.

The fumes of the place were apparent to the group as they walked in though already Kyuketsuki could make out smells of healing potions and other such creations of alchemy. From haste potions to resistance ones with how many there were, it was hard to keep track of all the smells.

Then a young man walked out from the back with blond hair covering his face, which really reminded him of some anime-style hair. It was somewhat impractical he kept his attention on the shelves around him, looking at all the potions. But noticed something off about them, these potions didn't seem to last forever, like the ones from Yggdrasil.

On top of this time limit looking at some of the healing potions, they were equal to a first tire healing spell. Bringing up the question of why such low-level drinks would be so much. Kyuketsuki’s spare undead healing potions were at the lowest second tire. Which was even more lackluster then he would have expected for this world's alchemy.

"Hello, Nfirea, we came by to get some more healing potions."

"Oh, what happened to the one you bought earlier." Asked Nfirea?

A thick cloud of unease came over them as Ritana shifted uneasily, trying not to show her lingering fear. Feeling her neck, she was a silver rank, and she could not even say she moved as fast or gracefully as Kyuketsuki. She had no illusion if he wanted to kill her at that moment, she would be dead now.

"Uh not imported, so can we get ten potions to go were kind of in a hurry or put them on backorder if you're busy."

"No, we still  have a fresh batch let me just go get them."

While they chatted, Bardic turned to their unofficial new member, inspecting the exquisitely crafted armor.

"So, did you have this armor forged or find it I can't imagine it was cheap either way."

A warm smiled formed on Kyuketsuki’s faces looking down at the dwarf remembering how he got this armor set one of his favorites. Though not his only armor sets.

"This is something I call the dark lord's armor, and as to how I came by it, I fought a powerful shadow archdemon for its parts. So, I could get the parts necessary to create this armor that way, it could fit over my clothes without hindering my movement speed. I remember taking it on myself with Ain…my guildmates, and Kathrin herself had to find it at just the right area at the twilight hour. It was immune to most magic attacks and could copy itself.”

In Bardic’s eyes, there was a glint of respect at listening to the tale of the epic battle with the great shadow frog archdemon. He had to edit some parts out mostly, it was the whole story. But the dwarf listened only, stopping to comment on some parts.

What he didn't say is that it was a level 70 hidden dungeon boss who dropped the dark lord's core. It had stats far better than an average level 70 monster, and it was immune to all magic under 7th tire, and you need 8th tire magic to really get past its magic absorbing field, or it would just use the mana to heal itself.

"-and this is how I got the killing blow on the demon!" Finishing his story.

"Sounds like a great fight to have been at. I can see why you are so defensive of selling it, this plate mail here I got after my brothers, and I ran into a tribe of minotaur’s trying to steal from my home forge. The brutes couldn't realize when to stop. It was quite a number of them too. They even had the gall to use our own magic armor against us."

Nodding sagely Kyuketsuki could relate to this even if it wasn't an advantageous position to be in. Kyuketsuki wasn't going to say it out loud, it would be insulting.

"Sounds like a tricky fight if you're not careful they could have encircled you."

"Oh, they did. We had them handled pretty good. but they didn't expect elf’y boy here to rain down magic ghost arrows went right through it."

"O, I'm not elf’y boy. It's Tarick, and last time I check, I saved your ass that time remember."

Watching the two argue reminded Kyuketsuki of the old days in the guild. Touch me and Ulbert had fought like this all the time, mainly due to their personal differences and some incident with another friend being forced to leave the game over it.

Unconsciously smiling at the better times and fond memories.

"Can you two not fight for five minutes we have a friend here remember." Scowled Rita.

"Oh, it's not my fault woodman here wants to try and overplay his fame in my tale to tell Kyuketsuki here."

"My fault! all I'm saying is without me, you would be minotaur chow right now."

Kyuketsuki just waved off Ritana's worry noting she had the potions in hand she put them on her belt for now. Good move, he would be angry if she wasted them pointlessly by dropping them.

"So, we ready to go, or do you need more time here?" Kyuketsuki asked.

"Yeah, I got what I need sorry for blowing up like that again I can get a little upset at times." Again Rita apologized.

"Now can we get to questing I got gold to earn back, and I need to meet back up with Jade before we go."

"Uh, who's Jade some nice lasses yo’ know?" Asked Bardic.

"You mean the other woman following you around? I was wondering where she went off to?" Questioned Tarick.

Kyuketsuki stared at the elf who had something he wasn't saying. But he could let it slide for now.

"Let's just say if you find out we won't be working together ever again."

For whatever reason, it didn’t reassure them at all to Kyuketsuki’s confusion. He knew it made him feel better if only because it wouldn't mean the death of three silver plate adventures.

Making their way through the crowd again, Kyuketsuki noted these adventures to be rushing to get to the adventurer's guild. This was considerably different than just an hour ago like they are trying to get him to stay on their team for whatever reason he couldn't understand why. Was his show of teleportation magic earlier it, or were they planning on betraying him to get his gear?

Either way, there was no way to question them on this without drawing every onlooker's eyes. So, for now, he would let them lead as he planned for either conversion or elimination. They were far too persistent for their own good, but he could not deny a team would help him earn some acknowledgment in town.

Once they walked into the adventurer's guild. They walked up to the board, Ritana seemed to note something.

"So, um, you seem to get a lot of strange looks, don't you Kyuketsuki."

Shaking his head at this ugh so annoyed, he doesn't even know why. "Yes, and?"

"No offense, I just noticed I think it is because of how you dress and act like a noble but without a noble's attitude. Which is a bit odd is all. Were you a noble where you came from?"

With an ironclad poker face, he just deadpanned at her though inside he was panicking little. He was walking like usual, it was funny to think he might be able to pull that off. ‘To think I was just a programmer where I came from not even a famous one. Well, if I'm already pulling that off, why not role-play a little.’

"I suppose you could say that if you wanted, but I'm just not into politics, I'd much rather be out there in the field. Then worry over what some other noble thinks don't even get me started on the paperwork they have to do Excitement and mystery are my calling!"

Humbly nodding, Ritana had stars in her eyes. "Yeah, I know what you mean. Though I can't say, I have ever gotten to know what it is like to get gear like yours."

"Well, then how about you guys pick something out." Kyuketsuki points to the job board.

"What?"

They all turned to him with questioning looks. He really wished he had brought his glasses of translation with him. Kyuketsuki wished he knew if Nazarick was around with some free space to gate back to see it if it was. Though he wasn’t even sure if that would work.

Plus, he was scared to see how these three would react to a void of darkness just randomly opening so he could walk through it.

"Well, I can't read your local languages, sorry, so if you don't mind. Finding some good ones and at least six to twelve of them to start, please." Kyuketsuki asked while holding onto Kathrin's hand, afraid of what she might do to the three if he did.

With this, the journey of the forgotten vampire began.

 


-End of chapter-

 

Name Kyūketsuki O Wasureta /real name Sitabus Kargin

Age 32

alignment -500

Race vampire

Racial classes

Lesser vampire lv15

Vampire lv10

True vampire lv10

Elder Crimson king lv5

Job classes

Blood drinker lv10

Blood dancer lv10

Blood knight lv5

Abyss Paladin lv5

Valkyrie: blades lv5

Shadow blade lv5

Cursed Weapon master lv5

Commander lv5

General lv5

Unholy Alchemist lv5

Total level 100

 stats

HP 80

MP 80

Physical Attack 80

Physical Defense 80

Agility 80

Magic Attack 80

Magic Defense 80

Resistance 100 exceed limit

Special ability 100 exceed limit

Total 760+

Name Kathrin Minx

alignment -400 great evil

Race werecat?

Racial classes

pack leader lv10

Automation lv5

Job classes

Maid lv10

Cook lv10

Runesmith lv5

Armored mage lv10

Shield mage lv5

Cleric lv5

Weapon master lv5

Poison maker lv5

Assassin lv10

Master assassin lv5

Total level 85

 

HP 75

MP 75

Physical Attack 65

Physical Defense 65

Agility 55

Magic Attack 65

Magic Defense 65

Resistance 71

Special ability 55

Total 591

 

name Jade Coin

race succubus

Alignment -200 evil

Racial classes

Imp lv15

Succubus lv10

Job classes

Black guard lv5

Talisman master lv10

Bone Shaman lv5

Total level 45

 

HP 32

MP 38

Physical attack 40

Physical defense 32

Agility 32

Magic attack 40

Magic Defense 30

Resistance 31

Special ability 25

Total 300

 

 

Chapter Text


-Nazarick Ninth Floor Ainz’s office-

Momonga scanned over the list of NPCs in Nazarick, comparing them with the report Albedo handed him. Silently watching from his side as he worked to discover what he was looking for.

Finally stopping at two names, one he knew as Kyuketsuki’s personal battle maid with the ability to be summoned out of the tomb. Something Kyuketsuki kept as a tight secret even from Momonga. All he would say is that it was a rare item like the auto respawn one. The other name he had not seen before, so it must have been a newly created one.

This brought up the pressing issue of where they were at right now. Momonga took his time to think of the right course of action. Message spells were not connecting to them nor Kyuketsuki when he tried. Why Momonga couldn’t be sure only that something was either blocking him or a problem with the spell’s range.

He contemplated having Nigredo use her divination spells to find them but was weary of trying that option if failed. Remembering the ruthless skirmish with Dorgaro, his friend now had a ring to help block that, but he forgot which tier it stopped at. 

Not that Momonga would even know where to start looking for his friend or who else might be out there. Only that he had a strong feeling that Kyuketsuki was here somewhere. Glancing at the report again, the traps set by him on the ninth floor were still active, so he was here, or they would have shut down. When albedo or one of the other NPC tried to deactivate them.

"Thank you, Albedo, for bringing this news to me it gives us hope, now we need to find him. He must be out there somewhere, but without any further clues, this only confirms he's in this new world with us." Momonga praised Albedo.

"It was this humble servant's pleasure, Momonga-sama thought, is there truly no way to find him faster?"

He was still annoyed at the particular way of avoiding being tracked in Yggdrasil. Not that he could blame his friend. His build was more combat centered and support with almost no divination spells or counter tracking skills.

"No, I remember his reasoning for this far too well. He carries a divine class item that can only be countered by other rare divine or world items. Unless he disables its effect, we have no way of tracking or reaching him. Outside of finding him in person.” 

Momonga leaned back into his chair, rubs his jaw, recalling a significant drawback of the ring.

"My beloved Momonga-sama, you have a thought?" Albedo chimed as if seeing his thoughts.

"If I remember correctly, this item had one major flaw while he will be hidden from most magic divination. He will stick out like a stranger no matter where he goes, and tracking skills should be more effective on him. So long as he has it equipped."

Albedo, following his train of thought, gave a beaming smile overjoyed to help her love any way she could.

"You are truly wise and ingenious, my love shall I send out a party to search for them."

Momonga shook his head. He didn’t know Kyuketsuki situation, and the last thing he needed was for his friend to go into hiding. Being proactive in the guild even as other guild members left, he hunted small guilds. That Dorgaro tried to get to attack Nazarick, something Kyuketsuki took quite personally.

A primary reason he didn’t meet up with him when Yggdrasil should have ended. Kyuketsuki wanted to finally hunt down and beat the dragon one last time. He didn’t know how this change of world was affecting his friend. As his worry was dampened again.

"No, for now, I need to get ready to try… I mean, to use my mirror of remote viewing, perhaps I will find a clue of where to narrow down my search. please return to your duties and have Sabes come in."

"Of course, Momonga-sama!" Albedo complied quickly.

 


-Sewers Under E-Rental-

Here he was in this dank, dark wet sewer wondering why he accepted this job again. Looking at the slime-filled water smelled horrible for most humans yet to his vampire senses, it was ten if not one hundred times worse. Feeling his boots sink into the dregs of manure, rot, and other smells could make the weak will vomit.

Cramped corridors only made it much harder to move around with filthy knee-high waters. Why had he taken this stupid quest escorting minor nobles was far less smelly. And hunting down nearby monsters rather than sewer crawling. Hearing the splashing of water, he groaned

"More coming! Tarick get ready to nail them down Kathrin, and Jade flank the side to try and thin their numbers!" Barked Kyuketsuki with a fire ignited in him with the rush of battle. As his mind raced with possible battle tactics.

"You got it!” Sharply replied, Tarick taking aim with his bow. Pelting anything came rushing up.

"Yes, Kyuketsuki-sama." Jade herself looking like she was having fun slashing through the monster rats with joy.

Ritana glared up from behind him, clearly upset at this turn of events. This was supposed to be a simple sewer patrol. Paid out 303 silver and an extra 15 silver for every head or part of the giant swear beast killed. Ritana said it would be mildly challenging for a change of pace.

Only to suddenly get swarmed by wave after wave of giant insects and rats were 16 feet long-standing at least half as tall on four legs. If their foul breath wasn't nauseating enough. They had a toxic bite, and while Kyuketsuki was immune to such disease and poisons, the others were not. Well, Kathrin was, but he couldn't explain why without exposing Kathrin's hidden automation features. Or why she had mild yellow glowing eyes in the dark. He just played it off as a ring effect she had on.

It had been two hours ago so far; they must have killed at least 255 of these things with no end in sight. Just when Kyuketsuki thought he had finished with them, more came flooding out. Which is why the group had floating repulsive bodies of giant water bugs and rats alike around them.

The others were getting tired, evident by their panting sweaty sludge stained clothes and bodies. Though kyuketsuki had to conceal his lack of fatigue under a helmet of darkness, usually kept in his inventory. Because it limited his field of vision.

"What about us, hum! Are Bardic and I just supposed to stand here while you just cover the whole front!" Debunked Ritana.

"Lass, I don't know about you, but I have enough trouble just trying not to drown here. Plus, you're paying for any rust damage to my armor after this!" Bardic angrily commented with a highly accented voice.

"Me! Why? Kyuketsuki is the one slashing the gunk everywhere!" Outraged at the accusation.

Tarick sent a pointed glare her way as he let loose a few enchanted arrows at charging rats.

"Because Rita, you were the one who said this one would be easy money. Yet without Kyuketsuki here, one or more of us would be dead from infection alone. Or did you forget, two of us have been bitten by these blasted pests."

Looking away while the human swung her swords out, activating her [ability boost] and [greater ability boost]. Cutting deep into another rat's thick damp furry hide. Trying to ignore the pain from her shoulder, even as Bardic ax cut into the beast's neck.

Yet from the back, the three could only watch while they had trouble just killing a handful that got through. Kyuketsuki just effortlessly cut through one with every swing of his sabers. Infested blood just rolled right off him or vanished into his armor, all while his bat fang daggers zipped around him, cutting down or injuring more for those behind him.

It was frightening for them to watch. They were not the highest level and they knew it, but they weren't weak either. Yet none of the three could say they should be alive now without Kyuketsuki’s kindness to stay with them for the past three days. Any challenge never seemed to tire the warrior out. No task was too hard or simple for him with magic and skill Kyuketsuki just shortened any quest either with teleportation magic or helping cut down any trouble they had with grace and style. They wouldn't say it, but he had become the unofficial leader of their group. This latest task just proved it as he took charge even while Rita panicked unsure what to do.

But the fighting stopped when Kyuketsuki throws up his hands in front of them.

[ice blast wall] [frost breath]

Frosty air shot out in front of him freezing the slug filled water solid as thick ice formed a wall only to shatter moments later. As it was blasted apart by fiery heat shook the walls of the sewer for a minute.

The water level dropped as the water was literally turned to steam and walking in from the lead tunnel. Kathrin with blooded blade claws and Jade’s flaming kusarigama spinning in hand.

"This area is clear Kyuketsuki-sama though we believe we may have found the source of these pests."

Leading the weary group to a caved-in sewer tunnels, which expanded out. Deep gashes in the walls like those of some enormous beast. Green putrid fog filled the air with skeletons lining the walls white ivy bone burn black. As a deep growl reverberated through the tunnels.

Looking at the high walls and ceiling of the passageway was putting the whole group on guard; however, it was the smell of decay and death filling the air with the splashing of foul water and skirting of hundreds of rodent's feet, which had their attention.

"Un guys, what made this tunnel?!" Fear laced Ritana’s voice-hearing the screeches of nearby rats in the surrounding passageways and deathly cries of some fearsome fiend ahead.

"Hey, elf’y boy, I ever tell you how much I hate rats or sewers." Bardic spitting into the water with a distasteful glare.

"No, I don't believe you have, but I'm starting to see why." Deadpanning the horrid atmosphere around them. Tasting his lips as if it would make the area less decrepit.

Turning to the others a much paler, Ritana whisper yelled at Kyuketsuki, hoping in vain, to get them to turn back. As her gut told her to nope right out of these tunnels.

"I think we should head back. We have enough money now, right!"

Shooting a glare at the human warrior Kyuketsuki had his own words for this. "Never leave a job unfinished it’s unprofessional besides. I'm all fired up for a good battle now, right, Bardic!" Not an ounce of fear coming off him.

Turning to the dwarf of the group seeing him run his hands through his thick beard. Before cracking a grin of fierce determination Hefting his ax over his shoulder gazing back.

"Oh, what do you think we dwarfs were made for its only two things, no three things. mining, foraging weapons, and battle are you trying to ask a rhetorical question!"

Tarick just glared from under his dirty cloak but sighed in defeat he had worked with Bardic for five years now. Tarick knew the look too well. There was no changing Bardic’s mind once it was set even if it meant running headfirst into this obvious trap.

"Fine, I'm in too. I can't have you dying while I run away from this suicidal mission. Your brother would kill me for this. Stupid, greedy dwarfs." Tarick grumbled loudly.

"But this is way past us WE. WILL. DIE. if we go in there, I can feel it in my bones." Came Rita's panicked shout.

Sitabus sighing, he would have to point it out first. “[Continual Light]” As light filled the intersection, countless rats all blocked the passageways out. standing there waiting for any sign of weakness but unwilling to get any closer out of fear of whatever carved up the sewer system ahead.

"What… when did they?” Rita paling with fear at the revelation around them!

"While you were busy quivering in fear and talking, they were creeping closer, and if the skeletons lining the walls means anything. Then the leader of this colony of these giant sewer rats is close. Meaning they won't come any closer unless we go forward; in other words, to get out, we have to go deeper."

"As expected of you master Kyuketsuki always seeing the bigger picture!" Awe and praise-filled Kathrin’s tone.

Patting Kathrin on the head, Sitabus would have to reward these two later. He doesn’t have much to give them. With all protest snuffed out, the Green Vultures pushed forward into this vast cavern, into the mist till a massive shape came in to view it must have been at least forty feet long and almost as tall. Glowing red eyes turned to look our way. Four eyes of malice glaring in our direction as Sitabus pulled out his game encyclopedia, it was filled with notes and listed abilities and range of every monster he had ever fought in YGGDRASIL. As a new creature popped up, he read over the basic information he would have to figure out its weakness and hidden tricks himself and put them in later in case he ever encountered another beast like this.

Great pestilence Ogre rat

Lore: Mutated a step below demons but higher than any other rat of its kind, it is said to have evolved past diseases and sickness of its damp infested home. With a fever breath, which can render most unable to fight as they strangle in the toxic air. Any injury inflicted by it is ripe with infections with command over a considerable horde of smaller rats to feed its ravenous hunger. Till in may change into a true demon rodent that can eradicate entire cities.

Domain: Sewers or cave caverns filled with still water and warm environments.

Appearance: They are at least two to three times bigger than the rats under it with six legs, four eyes, and heightened night visions along with the smell of one Kilometer. And a hideous long tail that can whip stone to pebbles.

Base level?

Interesting, though, based on his true sight, he would say easily level forty, but he had a suspicion it was not normal at all. It seems like it should be a higher level though he had never seen anything like this in YGGDRASIL. But it must have disease and poison immunity, not resistance, and if it were an upgraded version of the other ogre rats so far would be autoinfection of wounds. Probably a call reinforcement skill to send swarms of weaker mobs in to weaken prey. Writing in his thoughts, he closed the book and put it away.

"You three stay back and keep the other pests from swarming in Kathrin, you take point. Jade with me, but keep a good distance. There's no telling what this thing can do." Yelling out in command and warning!

"You sure Kyuketsuki, this beasty looks fierce." Gruffly asked Bardic, readying his ax.

"Yes, if I'm right, it will try and surprise me with waves of small pests to get my attention. While it attacks from behind, I need you guys to keep that from happening. I got this trust me!" Sending back a beaming smile of confidence.

“That is what worries me!" Shouted Ritana shaking the sword glowing hot with magic.

Turning to the monster in front, slowly drawing out his swords while silently casting. If the battles with the scumbag Dorgaro had taught sitabus anything, it was to use every second before the fight to prepare. Activating the bat fang dagger spinning a flurry around him in a circle. It had been a while since he could cut loose the monsters of this world were weak too weak for his vampiric blood. Always having to restrain from instantly killing the threats, it would be too strange to the other three if he could just eliminate the fight early.

(spells silently cast) [life essence] [mana essence] [Discern enemy] [fly] [frostbite touch] [magic seeker] [Winterfell field]

Floating above the water as it chilled around kyuketsuki cold mist rising up as the water slowly turned to a frozen lake. Combining both 6th tier cold spells could easily ice over a good chunk of the sewer system through magic seeker would limit the power to around the target. Yet increase its effectiveness while raising the chance to successfully hit. The only reason for fly was to not freak out the team behind rather than just sprouting wings for no reason.

The air was tense as he fixed the monster with a glare as it gazed right back, pulling its clawed feet out of the iced water. Clearly angry about the dissipating smell of its den being replaced by cold frigid air. Snapping its tale wildly, then its maw opened sickly green, and jagged yellow teeth filled its mouth. Letting out an ear-splitting shriek out, Forcing the rest of their party to cover their ears from the high pitch. Thanks to his natural healing, the ringing of his ears only lasted but a few seconds.

The pain was a distant feeling no matter how minor he felt a grin over his lips; indeed, it was strange to think about. Just three days ago, the kind of pain of feeling your ears pop and bleed would be horribly damaging if not debilitating. Yet here they just healed back in seconds completely repairing the inner ears.

"That actually hurt a little. I hope it's not all you got!" Missing both Jades and Kathrin's explosive looks of fury.

Without further prompting, the beast charged spitting out hissing green viscous fluid right at Kyuketsuki and Jade somersaulting up just as a long-barbered tail whipped down, shattering the Icey floor shooting sharp fragments flying out. Shrieking out again as it launched its hulking body up chasing its prey. Kyuketsuki wasn't willing to test the unknown effects of touching anything with the name great pestilence in it would be, if any, but he didn't want to find out.

[heavy hailstorm]

Raining down thick spikes of ice from Kyuketsuki’s palm pelting its skin. It was injured, but It should have done more damage. Jade cutting into the combat swinging the un-naturally long chain. Flaming kusarigama's slashing its tough hide as putrid, vile dark blood hit the ice melting through it down to the stone floor.

Before it could turn back to her Kyuketsuki six bat fangs, cut into its sides, though he forgot the tail. Feeling the pain as the purple limb whipped into his side, careening into the wall. Dust and debris exploded out, but Kyuketsuki had trouble moving. Ticking a stun effect if it was just paralysis would be blocked, but stun effects were not.

[redouble resolution]

Shaking off the sluggishness and shooting forward, stabbing into the spine of this monster. Feeling and seeing the life drain effects of his blood sabers is genuinely one of the best parts about them, they could heal equal to the damage inflicted. Frostbite touch turning the edges of the wound black and hard as ice crystals invaded the cuts.

Hum seems elemental ice attacks are working but to slowly, and the cuts form Jades' weapons are dismissed at best. Jumping back to Jade's side, watching her pull in the kusarigama's and spin them around, ready to be used again. Oh, he could feel the blood pumping toning out the world. It was gl…

right tunnel vision one of the most dangerous double-edged swords to a vampire. Breathing out slowly to drawback in the bloodlust almost took over.

"Alright, let see how tough you are vermin Jade double twist!" Sitabus yelling out the phase for a combo.

[double winters death edge]

Jade [Sticky oven arrows talisman]

The talismans turned into raging flame arrows hitting the ogre rats' side right before it was pushed to the wall. By the x shaped cut off two long waves of blue energy, making it scream out in pain. Beaming at this fight, it wasn't going down like it should. That should have killed it, yet its life force was slowly rising back up.

Taking two big steps forward, its eyes fixated on Kyuketsuki as its fur turned red even as one leg fell off from the deep cut from Jade's sickle-like weapons. Horns growing out, and it's back bulged out right before vile wings burst from its back. Screeching out even louder than before blindingly fast, its tongue shot out. Trying to get both Jade and Kyuketsuki. Kyuketsuki hums, seeing its plan he wasn’t going to allow it, pushing Jade away. Allowing jade to watch as Kyuketsuki was pulled in to its maw.

"Nooo, Kyuketsuki-sama?!" Screaming out in shame and fury.

Jade felt her blood boil steam rising up from her body. As her stubby horns came from under her hair, a long whip-like tail jetting out of her rear and bat-like wings bursting out. And the surrounding ice steamed fresh tears streaming down her face.

"YOU ...you dare hurt master I will end you vermin!" Utter hatred flowing from Jade.

Unending fury filled her sweet voice turning legion layered and gritting as waves of boiling unbearable heat cooked everything around her. Ice melting away into water then steam, even the stone floor was scorched from the unseen astral flames. Tightly grabbing both chains in one hand. It would have been incorrect to say they spun in hand more accurately. They blurred from the sheer speed catching green fire then blue. As the creaking of the strained chains work to hold under there wielders might. Blowing backwater not from heat, but how fast the Kusarigama's rotated.

The rest of the party could only watch unable to even see Jade's weapons move, but hearing the haunting sound. Even the lower rats back off hearing this sinister ring.

With one hand holding the other end, the death disks streaked across the distance faster than anyone thought possible buzzing and blazing with heat. Flames licked at its fur as the weapons cut it side wide open, but the kusarigama's didn't stop cutting through its tail with no effort and stopping only after catapulting hard into the wall embedding its blade deeply. As chunks of the wall fell burning despite not being flammable, they cooked under a raging blue fire sizzling as they hit the ice water.

"Spit master out now-

Jades boiling rage would not stop till this beast was, but ash so overcooked it could be mistaken for charcoal. But anger blinded her to the claw flying her way only feeling the pain. She refused to be stopped digging her clawed feet deep into the rocky ground forming a gash across as her form skidded back. Not even being knocked off her feet, hand gripping the chains of her weapons hard body straining to keep in her own fury.

Any further attack was paused as the demon rat stopped violently shaking in place, looking like it had gone mad (or crazier than it already was). Rolling over and clawing at its chest, smashing into the walls till it started to freeze up. Not just figuratively, but its red fur turned light blue like ice skin cracking loudly. Until It’s shattered pieces were raining down, Icey death shards everywhere, forcing the other five to dodge as the swarming rats were run through by ice shards or just crushed. Leaving only its head to roll on the uneven mirror surface of the pond. And in its place stood Kyuketsuki both sabers holding up its heart an odd light bluish-green. Panting, he dropped the oversized heart. To the ground, looking very upset with a disapproving gaze at Jade.

"Jade, what have I told you about using that appearance in front of others!" The disappointment was evident in the tone.

Anger quickly vanished, replaced by shock, tearful joy, and embarrassment, trying to look small and cute. Slightly softened his rage at the adorable look but refusing to not punish the succubus.

"But Kyuketsuki-sama, you were... and it …sorry master." Timidly admitting defeat on the matter, poking her fingers together with a downcast look.

"Sigh, it's fine. I completely understand. Besides, I could never stay mad at that face as long as you understand what this means." Walking over and lightly patting her head. Ignoring the blood and gore on him.

 


 -Kevlar-

Kevlar glanced around the alleyway watching the people in the crowd move about their daily lives. It was still odd for him to think just days ago. He wondered if he would ever be free of the debt with that man. Now here he was watching from the shadows using all his training to survey the hidden members move about.

Eight fingers had many people who could travel the typical streets. They were well-hidden and impossible to find until you know what to look for. This merchant might seem like he was having a typical day. There was fear in his every move because they still hadn't figured out who attacked the brothel they owned. All of the gang was on alert, and it showed because it was like the attackers just vanished.

No political movement, no rival group, not even a note of address for eight fingers; this was a heavy blow. One that threatened their unopposable rule of the shadows. Which reached all the way up to the nobles in Re-Eztice and beyond if the rumors were true. Now someone new had shown up and vanished just as quickly leaving undead zombies and a burning brothel in their wake.

Kevlar saw an opportunity if he could find this new boss. If for no other reason, then to avoid being targeted by such ruthless undead monsters of death. Only they might as well be a ghost for as much trouble as it was just trying to discover any leads on them.

He had the other three of his little family groups spread out, looking for any clues about this new group. Yet nothing had shown these guys must be genius to escape him and all of eight fingers. He was trained personally by two of six arms, so he knows how to track people, yet these guys they left no trace.

Which is why he was following this merchant hoping to overhear something. Yet so far, he was only pacing around his shop.

Then some hooded guy walked up usually this wouldn’t matter, but his posture and walk were of a trained assassin and message carrier. He knows he had been a message boy a few times. It was all about being fast but not being conspicuous, blending in with the crowds.

"Here is the report. They're not happy about this, you realize there's talk right now." Faintly hearing an edge to the messenger's voice.

"Talk of what fine stranger I don't quite know what you mean." Lied the merchant as he sweated more glancing around

Even with his soft-spoken words, Kev could see the sweat roll down his forehead and hear the hesitation in the man's voice.

The messenger Slammed his hands down on the stall glaring at the merchant, not buying the line.

"Don't play dumb! There is talk about some inside source, and frankly, I'm not going to lie your one of the people who would benefit most from this. Gravis, if someone isn't found, one of us is going to have to answers some very uncomfortable questions. The kind ending up as loose ends! read me?" Deadly tone dripping from his words.

Nodding swiftly at this trying to console his nervousness even as he shook, trying to just play the sense off as a disgruntled buyer.

"Good then find someone I don't care if they did it or not, I'm not dying just to save your hide now! I got to go. Here's your message, be careful. It's rather sharp." Grinning darkly.

Sighing, the merchant looked around before opening the letter. Even with Kev’s inability to read it from this point of view. Pale face and dilated eyes said it all. It was terrible as Gravis was hyperventilating. Yet he got distracted by Someone walking through the street, and they were making way. As awe and gasps were heard, curiously, Kev went over. To see what it was about as general people didn't care what was going on around them like with the messenger just now.

It was a genuine shock to the system watching a man walk by dressing in what could only be nobleman's clothes and armor of the finest craftsmen. Yet he was carrying the head of some ugly beast in one hand like it was a light trophy.

Only it was a head big enough to swallow him whole with a heart easily the size of the man's chest. Perhaps the most notable thing was the smell ugh it was like they took a bath in something which had died and been stuffed in a barrel for weeks.

"Sorry, again Kyuketsuki-sama if I had known it was going to-

They waved it off like it was nothing, what was up with the title, was he a noble or something. Kevlar's mind started to turn, trying to piece these weirdos out though this guy must be incredibly strong if he could carry both the giant heart and head, not even struggling to move or speak.

"It's nothing to fret over, my dear now has Jade explained the rules to them yet without option C?"

Nodding the maid with the strange cap replied, something was up about this. Kev's insight was screaming. There was some kind of code. He just didn't know how to read it. And it was both good and bad.

"One moment, master, and I can verify."

Touching her head, the maid seemed focused on something; then, he sensed it magic. Though not a caster himself, Kev did know how to pick up on it. He never heard of anything like this. What was she doing it was impossible to say without asking?

"Yes, Kyuketsuki-sama. Still would it not be better to-

"Not here, my dear, this talk can wait for later. Besides, if they slip up well, I can just test out some more things like those thugs we met. Till then, we don't touch allies, remember my dear class and respect. We aren't savages."

Even though it sounded like a typical noble, something was off about this, he just didn't know what it was. Kevlar hummed to himself, this might be the leader he was looking for. Smiling to himself, he stealthily ran off into the back alley to see what the others got.


-At the Bathhouse in E-Rental-

Steam rose up in the hot wooden room with ripples of water flowing out. Muscular arms reached out as slowly rising from the warm water. Sitting down on the edge of the pool sighing. Feeling the relaxing hot bath wash away the filth and scum of the sewer.

"It has been far too long since I had a good hot bath." Letting the past tension roll off his shoulders.

Honestly, it had been almost three or four days since he got any alone time. The girls were nice, but this was the first time he didn't have to worry over who would try to betray or track him. Or worry if he was doing an acceptable job at being a master of those two. Or trying to keep his 'team' alive because of how infuriatingly weak they were. If only he could contact Momonga about this…

..

He facepalmed. He was a Baka right message spells. Tapping the water surface. This was his own personal coded message spell system, which could Id anyone who had messaged him in the past seven days. Another precaution if he could say one thing about the lizard breath. Dorgaro was crafty, always coming up with ways to trip him up. Or show off how much better Dorgaro was just because he was stronger.

One name appeared in the water in Japanese symbols. Momonga had messaged him though it didn’t go through strange? He was a bit scatterbrained for forgetting to check Sooner.

Message Momonga

A dial tone came then a link formed; it felt a little off even if he could not say why but it did.

{Hey, Momonge, I was inside this sewer and fought this huge rat demon thing. Then this strange thing happened. It changed. Like a dungeon boss second stage and then I got swallowed it was so gross yet funny ha I wish you were there to see it.}

{You zzz repeat- hello?}

Weird usually, there is never lousy reception, but maybe the sewer still interfering. Apparently, some brilliant idea to stop spies was by keeping magic communication spells from working. After beast-men attacked the city some years ago, sneaking in by the sewer system.

{Ah well. If you can hear me, I'm here at E-Rental to find.}

{Ah, finally, I think I can hear you great. I'm close about a few days away in some small town all alone here.}

Really that was odd though maybe Nazarick didn't follow us here. Food for thought later, it was just nice to hear Momonga's voice.

{Great perhaps we can meet up soon. When I'm not taking a dip.}

{Sounds good I'm just finishing up my own business here. Maybe we can come up with a plan then.}

{Sounds good I'm at this adventure's inn...}

Sighing With the connection broke laying back in the water, Letting himself chill out. Still, not all of the messages made sense, maybe?

Pushing the idea out of mind. Don't get too paranoid now, Sitabus reminded himself. Not even overgrown lizards can fake call id. A necessary spend to keep him from eavesdropping. This rose the question, would he still be on Yggdrasil when... this happened? Maybe now would be an excellent time to see if-

"Yo, Kyuketsuki were coming in!" Shouted Bardic’s voice behind the door.

Hearing the door slide open to reveal, walking in were Bardic, and Tarick into the men's bath. Silently Sitbaus activating his transformation ring, there goes his alone time.

"Hey, guys, glad to see Jade wasn't too hard on you she's a bit sensitive about her looks." Waving them into the steaming bath.

"It's fine." Tarick had a friendly, if not neutral, tone.

The elf stepped into the water letting his rather long hair hang loose. Kyuketsuki had never known he kept long hair. Watching Tarick drape his long locks into the water and comb it.

"I know what you're thinking and trust me he's not a girl though his maidly locks and long mane would have you think otherwise." Came Bardic’s accented voice to the left.

Glancing over at Bardic which was funny to see only his head sticking out of the hot bath curly beard floating around the steaming water surface.

"I will have you know this is traditional for my tribe of elves to grow out their hair into a proud warrior's mane." Pride filtering into Tarick’s voice.

"Right well, then why hide it all the time under your thick hood unless..." Bardic left the question hanging with a smirk.

Sensing a fight coming along with seeing Tarick tense at turning a disgruntled glare Bardic’s way. Sitabus really just wanted to relax is that too much to ask, putting up his hands to stop them from escalating it.

"Guys, we're here to relax, not fight. I don't know about you, but I came here to get some alone time, so can we not do this here?" Playing peacemaker as much as he could.

"Sorry." They spoke in unison.

But looking closer, Sitabus noticed something odd he had never discerned before now, which must be part of this whole Secrecy of why Tarick had never taken down his hood in town even in his room, seeming very shifty as a member of the team.

"Hey, what happened to your ears and eye?" Kyuketsuki asked.

From the sour air, it couldn't be a good reminder for Tarick sole brown eye squinting.

"Tell me how far away are you from if you don't even know about this because otherwise, it's quite insensitive." Tarick’s voice was like tempted steel with a distrusting gaze.

Smirking back, Kyuketsuki answered. "Fair enough, let us just say is far different than here. I know cities were inhabited by many races and not because of slavery or force. But demi-humans and humanoids living together."

Laughing at the claim, he could see the disbelief in their eyes though they quickly stop upon realizing he was serious.

"Really now? Well, I can't say I have ever seen such a city, but as to my ears. I was once a slave in the Slane Theocracy is until some undead army attacked a city in confusion. I slipped away, not without one final wound. Lost my eye just trying to get out before one of the six scripts came in."

Why didn't he just heal it seemed like an easy fix or was strong healing magic rare. Hum well, Sitabus could probably earn their trust with a quick spell. Would it seem so strange was the question already he must seem far stronger than them by taking on the ogre rat. Even if one potent death frost spell could have ended the fight far sooner. They probably didn't even realize it wasn't an elemental ice spell, but a rare skill of being a vampire was an alternative group of magic called death frost and blood magic. Only usable to high-level vampires or at least to vampire or blood drinker classes were required to access them.

But it wouldn't have been as fun with the side effect and seeming questionable as to why he was even with them losing their trust, and he was really trying to avoid antagonizing too many people. If he could either find the time to check if Nazarick had teleported with him? Or gather a big enough army of blood spawn to provide support in case another player showed up maybe.

So, for now, bloodshed should be kept to a minimum; still, this might be beneficial to his goals.

"Well, if you want, I can heal those wounds should be a simple matter." Trying to not overplay his powers.

Silence followed as both teammates looked at him like he was mad and had suggested something too absurd to even describe.

"Hahaha, don't make me laugh, lad, it's a good joke, but his injuries are cursed. Not even our head healer in my hometown couldn’t heal these scars." Bitterness dripped from Bardic’s voice.

At hearing his rude jest, Sitabus found himself annoyed. ‘Alright, fine screw it, is time to show them not to question my power,’ Holding up one hand towards the elf.

[plasma purification]

From the clipped ears and patch-covered eye flowed out inky blackness into his palm into a twisting and shifting orb. Radiating malice forming a sphere of darkness looking at it. Sitabus felt it wasn't done yet though pulling up the sphere, he opened his mouth and ate it, feeling a rush of negative energy.

Watching in morbid amazement as the elf's mutilated ears slowly regrew back to full length. Flipping off the eyepatch, a normal golden iris looked around in shock. While Bardic just looked on in stunned disbelief at what just occurred.

"What, but how? What tire of magic was …tell me!" Tarick shot up with a start.

Kyuketsuki scratched his chin. No, he couldn't tell Tarik it was a kind of mix of skill, and magic had no official ranking. But with enough mana, it could three times a day absorb negative energy and heal any injury. Though he only really used it a few times back in YGGDRASIL because he could pretty much repair any damage thanks to auto-healing of his race and swords boosting it with every cut. So, it was mainly to help other guild members recover in the field.

"Let us just say Jade is not the only one with secrets I can't share unless, of course, you don't mind dying." Trying to intimidate Tarick to back off the issue.

Bardic shivered at the edge in the voice he knew when to back off Tarick had used that tone of voice a few times. Though his friend didn't quite seem to catch it, leaning closer to the leader of their group.

"But why? Your maids, I can understand. But this I have been looking for so long for something to heal those wounds I had given up hope, yet you just treated it!

Tarick stopped in stunned silence.

"If you feel you owe me, then repay it by action and remain my friend, but I must ask you not spread knowledge about that particular trick around. After all, how many people do you know who can eat curses without ill effect, let alone three." Throwing out the question with a deadpan stare.

Somehow the steam appears thicker and more menacing in the public bath while the lights didn't seem as bright. An air of danger hung in above them, which only confirmed something to Tarick. This person before them was far from ordinary! No, they must have never been normal to begin with! If they were even human, his skills in magic and swordplay the way, he just took charge without even flinching in the face of death. Ritana could not even pretend she was in charge of the green Vultures anymore after this. He remembered Ritana words well; it hurt her to speak them out loud, and she had been holding back tears.

"Alright, I assume this has the same deal as what Jade explained?" Carefully asking Kyuketsuki, fearing the answer of this monster.

The broad smile only solidified his theory this person had been holding back even in the last fight. He wouldn't be surprised if they could take on members of the Slane Theocracy’s special forces.

"Why yes it does, and I thank you for your candor in this matter now let's talk about something far less dreary."

 


-Women’s Side of the Bath-

"So, tell me how long have you two been with Kyuketsuki? He seems to be rather protective of you two?"

Both battle maids just giggled at this beaming bright smiles as they washed in the baths. It was a bit strange for them because they had their own personal bathrooms back in Nazarick. The master was very insistent. They keep up appearances saying it would be a waste of resources to use red vials just to have a warm blood bath.

Looking at her sister Jade could not honestly answer the question being rather new before they appeared in this new world as master called it. Jade could clearly recall all her skills and abilities as if she always knew them.

"Well, I have served Kyuketsuki-sama for at least ten years now diligently and without fail. My sister; However, is rather new. I was very proud to see her cut up the vermin in the sewers."

Kathrin boasted proudly, patting Jade's rose-colored silky hair. Jade beaming with pride at the praise for her onee-san. Only there master’s praise was higher and heavier in worth.

"Really that long, he must be strong…I ...m... mean not that he was ever weak just…"

The head maid could smell the uncertainty in her wavering voice. It seems the master’s little show had weakened her resolve. Kathrin didn't really care. No tools of masters could be weak, or it was discarded like velvet, who sadly had become a victim used to torment her master. Which he was forced to put down; she could clearly remember his ranting about for weeks afterward, trying to find the lizard scum.

Already master seemed to have a much bigger plan for this group; he was always so wise and gentle. Yet to his enemy, he was the devil incarnate bring despair and agony which Kathrin was all too happy to help with if it pleased master Kyuketsuki. Which is why she must have been gifted with the foresight to understand any command he gave even if "coded" as he called it. Because of her insight, she could clearly see her master's plans. These three worms would have the pleasure of becoming his servants one way or the other. So, as an extension of her master's will, she would speed this plan along, and this was a perfect opportunity to do so.

As master one said, psychological warfare is the highest form of a true warrior being able to manipulate the minds of your enemies without them even knowing it far before any real battle. And by doing so, control any conflict before it even starts. Indeed, a wise saying and one fitting this situation perfectly sowing seeds of doubt so she might show Ritana lord Kyuketsuki’s glory.

"It’s quite alright, dear I know Kyuketsuki-sama can be an impossible leader to live up to I think you'll find he is very generous and kind truly a man to pursue, am I right?" Purring with a seductive tone.

The blush spread across the redhead's face was very interesting, though she could not blame her attraction. Slyly grinning leaning closer, signaling her sister to get close to Rita’s other side.

"What no! I am not crushing on him I just uh...

"It's quite alright we enjoy the nights sharing the bed it's so nice and warm." A slurry tone as she leaned closer.

Jade looked at her sister strangely unseen by Rita, wondering what she was doing. If she wanted her to play along, she could.

"Yes, Master is rather smooth with his commands, and he's so tender and compassionate he would never lead you wrong." Stonily spoke Jade, unsure about how she felt about sharing.

By now, Rita herself was trying to figure out how she got into this situation. She just wanted to relax not to have dirty thoughts in her head. When did they get so close, and how did they know was her failure as a leader of her adventure group, not enough? Now she was being seen through like paper? Stuttering out a flabby response as words failed her.

Hearing them be so clear yet vague, her mind betrayed her. Just imagining it now in her mind. Wouldn't she have heard it they were in the same room yet rational thought failed to dispel the images wishing it was her? Her head felt dizzy in this hot steam, and they were so close. What just brushed her down there.

"Ho, so wet master must have really left an impression on you but don't feel too bad. He likes to share his passion, just relax and let your imagination run wild, my dear." Hearing words sound like honey rolling down her Burning hot skin.

"What, but this is a public bath … improper and…and." Exhaling sharply, desperately trying to control her breathing.

Jade cut in rubbing her body against Rita’s left side, she could not escape the warm touch; this was so wrong, yet why couldn’t she stop these thoughts. NO, Bad mind no, don’t focus on those soft globes of flesh or him.

"It's fine, sister, and I don't mind sharing just let your pain wash away and enjoy the moment. Though you'll have to ask Master if you can join in." Eyes unfocused as Ritana’s body betrayed her, something building up in her. She couldn’t describe it, but it scared her.

Unseen to Rita's human eyes. Pink dust mixed with the steam expanding it and blocking all sound and view. As a sweet seem filled the air like an aphrodisiac shoot up libido to an absurd degree in fact, if humans smelled this too long, they would die of excitement. As their heart rate speeded, out of control. But in small doses, it was the same as catnip to a feline. But it was only visible by demi-humans or Heteromorphic Races. With a side effect of making a humanoid race more suggestible. A most wonderful skill gifted from master to Jade.

Panting Rita could not think of any rebuttal, her mind was so conflicted about this she was the leader of the green vultures for five years now a seasoned warrior and no slouch in combat. Even if she wasn't top of her class, she wasn't bottom of the barrel either. Yet in the past three days, Rita had lost control of her group. They didn't say if she could see the disappearing glints of her friends' eyes. The way they just followed Kyuketsuki orders like it was natural, but they just respected her too much to say it to her face. She was a failure. She couldn't even stop this clear violation of the public bath rules, yet it felt so good.

Feeling hot, tears rolling down her face trying to ignore the feeling of their hands. For some reason, she couldn’t hold it in any more hearing their sweet whispers in her ear, urging her to just let it out.

"Stop it, I'm not worth this I am a failure as a leader as a warrior please just leave me alone. Your right Kyuketsuki is far better at everything fighting, magic even leading I'm just can't keep up with. He is too handsome, is too graceful, is too kind, they should just say it I'm a failure. I could not even afford to keep us at a better inn, that is why we're staying in the old man's crappy inn. Yet then he just walks in, and now we have so much money I…I"

Kathrin’s evil deviant grin widen. Oh, this was perfect master would be so pleased with this. All she needed was Rita's consent for her plan. Master was obvious on it unless they betrayed them, they would have to beg for it. Kathrin would never fail her master orders even if it meant death; she was her lord Kyuketsuki’s protector and most devoted servant. It's why she was still here and not velvet; she was sure her fallen sister died with a smile on her face knowing how much Kyuketsuki mourned her death.

"There, there it’s alright, let us gentle maidens make it all the better after all master understands your pain, but you need to answer one question to feel better. I promise it will stop hurting." Unseen by the teary and conflicted desire-filled Rita. Kathrin looked ready to devour her whole.

"What sniffle...I just want to do what's best for my friends."

Jade lessoned the misty air at her sisters' orders, lost why they were not just finishing this already. She hated wasting her unique soul mist if it wasn't for Kyuketsuki-sama orders, but big sister seemed to know what master wanted.

"Tell me, do you trust master and me to lead you to a brighter future. One a lowly worm such as your self could never hope to gain on your own. If so, I need to know will you accept my gift." Kathrin's grin had nothing good or pure in mind.

In Ritana state of hysteria and grief, she failed to see the monstrous smile upon Kathrin's face, which seemed much more full than usual with whiskers brushing her face. Something blue swaying behind her, but all this was lost feeling so warm between those two warm bodies she felt like she was melting.

"Yes, can you show me how to be so strong like you two." Gasping out with steamy breaths.

"Of course, though, I just need one more thing. Close your eyes and let lord Kyuketsuki’s visage fill your mind." Golden eyes locking at her pray as the shift in body and size went unnoticed.

Closing her eyes blissfully before feeling pain, a soul-wrecking agonizing pain filled her being like something was infecting her very soul. Unable to move away or escape as an iron grip held her in place, keeping her rooted to the spot, all Rita could do was scream unwilling to even unscrew her eyes shut for fear of what surrounded her.

 


-In the run-down Side of E-Rental-

Sitting around in the back alley, they all regrouped, lowering their hoods as they all looked at each other. The building was rundown filled with dust and dirt broke windows and cobwebs everywhere. This building had long been abandoned after eight fingers came in being an old tavern used for under the table dealings. Kevlar had heard the cautionary tale as Eight Fingers muscled past them only for this other group to get crushed. Now it was just an old building in the old part of E-Rental no one bothered to come to. Perfect for a hideout, his little group could come and go without being disturbed and avoid the eight fingers areas. The peeled wall cracked floorboards and disrepair would make sneaking up on them difficult...

All of them had better clothes though still, dirty they all had a dagger and even leather armor. With cloaks, it wasn't much, but now they weren't under eight fingers anymore. Free to pursue their own paths, yet Kev knew they needed to find someone better to follow, or they might be forced to work with eight fingers again.

"So, what have you guys found out so far, anything?" Looking among the others in the room.

All three of them looked at each other shaking their heads no. Well, This wasn't unexpected. But maybe they were looking for the wrong people. That was how eight fingers kept hidden so long and friends in high places.

"Well, I think I got a lead did any of you guys hear about this one noble-looking guy Kyuketsuki." Bringing up the other topic.

The name got far more response than the previous question as they lit up with understanding.

"The new adventures in town are you kidding me who hasn't at least heard of the guy he slew this huge monster in the sewers. Has two maids near him most of the time, from one story, I wouldn't suggest messing with them."

Miskes looked over at Tammy, trying to recall which story she was talking about, then it hit him. One cringing so did the other two to Kev’s lost gaze. It seems to surprise them how had he not heard of one.

"What happened? I haven't heard of them till now."

"It was bad, so we were asking around the streets like usual, and then his beautiful lady just comes walking by. Like it was normal in the poor part of town when some guy appeared near her trying to flirt. But she wasn't into it, so she walked into this dead-end alley. A couple of minutes later, there is this horrible scream, and we thought she was in trouble, so we went to check, right?" Sounding sickened by what followed.

"Yeah, so sounds about normal thus far still it sad to hear it happens." Said Kevlar like it was normal for people to just disappear.

Shaking their heads at this did Kevlar miss something. It happened on occasion; it was why few people took the poor roads. In E-Rental, they liked to pretend it didn't exist, but it did that is the way eight fingers used for capturing new slaves all the time. Yet the somber looks of the other suggested otherwise.

"You don't get it what we found was the guy looking like he had been attacked by a bear or something. He was shaking like a leaf just muttering no over and over again, and the lady was nowhere to be found. This was the best story in some cases...they just vanish to never be seen again."

That was very interesting indeed, but the question was where they just one part of only three people. Thinking over the best way to introduce themselves or look into this, they must be related to those knights. Listening to her description, it sounds like one of the two he saw earlier.

"What about the other one I didn't see her." Curiosity seeping in out of Kevlar’s voice.

Grank answered next even if he appeared to be uncomfortable about this for a reason beyond him. "I ran into her once she was very nice; she seems to be an unknown. I think her name was Jade, though. No less dangerous once she had this person who insulted Kyuketsuki, and with just a glare, they passed out. On the spot with a terrified look."

Yes, they might be the ones they were looking for, yet there was no solid proof though there was one way to test it. Even if it was risky, they could still make it out in good shape either way.

"Well, I think we know who to check out, then just be careful remember the guy has those monstrous undead knights under him. We still can't quite find them."

They started to put together a plan to watch this Kyuketsuki guy from the shadows. To help find clues about the leader of those knights. Because Kevlar was full of ambition, and the best way to survive was to find the right opportunities. Like new blood in town could threaten eight fingers and hide so well in plain sight, if they didn't work out, they could always be spies for Eight Fingers even if they hated the idea of working for them again.

 


-Re-Antic a small city near E-Rental-

At the burning embers of this once beautiful town now little more than scorched earth as blazing flames still cooked the cracked ground. Even the stone buildings and structures were little more than rubble ruined by the inferno, which now replaced the life which once filled this area. The trees and plants burned to ashes were now blowing away in the face of the harsh winds of these ruins. Filled with broken armor, weapons, and gear.  Which once were some of the most exquisite masterpieces of blacksmiths foraged and enchanted with great magic.

Now merely trash to litter the ground bent and broken beyond repair. With all lingering sparks of magic dead and dulled to nothingness. The dead and dying lay all over hundreds of countless victims; it looked like a great war zone had taken place. Craters and tracks dug into the ground with long fissure cracks where flames flickered up from like geysers shooting toxic fumes up into the bleak sky. Filled with clouds, thunder boomed overhead as lightning arched across the sky. It was the scene of what could only be an apocalyptic event for the residents of this unfortunate city now little more than a ghost town.

Yet life still survived as one lone knight raced across the blacked soil whipping the rains of the horse fast and hard. Glancing back around them looking for survivors but they had to hurry before it came back. The knight had no idea where this monster came from, but it slaughtered the armies with an inferno of flames cooking all who were hit within their very armor. Still hearing the phantom screams of pain yet they could not help the dead. Their only hope was to ride fast while it had gone away, scanning the sky for danger and the ground. Already the Duke of town found out too late this monster could tunnel under the forcefield, which defends their home. Crushing one of the last few lines of defenses of the city bathing the whole area in endless flames.

As sweat dripped down their body under plate armor, the knight could not hope to kill this beast alone, and despair filled them as they looked over all the fallen bodies of friends and acquaintances alike all dead before the monster’s might. He would ensure the next town was warned of this threat. They need to know of this before it got to E-Rental as it ravaged them.

Shuttering at the thought, driving the pain of heart away fighting off the exhaustion of the last three days of fighting. Riding faster as the horse nayed in protest, but this would be the least of these worries if the monster spotted them. It could quickly run-down horseback and crush even Orichalcum armor her captain had. Now was not the time for the pain the knight could Morn later after this vile monster was long cold and dead.

Looking ahead to see the fallen barricade crap looks like this would be difficult, but the knight would not stop. Not as long as their lungs drew breath, drawing up their power and gripping the halberd firmly Focusing. [Tower destroyer slash] silently calling out as their halberd cleaved out, and the barricade shattered to bits.

It was home free as they exited the burning wreckage of their hometown. Yet they felt panic rise as they saw it in the sky flashes of these blasted wings signing death approached time to speed up if they didn't get away now E-Rental was doomed.

Their body and the horse glowed multi-colors as they burned through every martial art skill they had learned. Horse shooting forward with blinding speed pushing both rider and mount to the limit even as both bodies ached to stop and rest. Stopping now meant death swerving to dodge trees and plants as they entered the thick forest. Just a little farther, and they would be safe, feeling the very armor vibrate and shifting wind blowing past them.

Then they heard it the beasts the monster called pets howling out in savage blood lust already they could see the lanterns in the dark forest. Putting away her halberd and drawing out their cursed crossbow, a wicked-looking weapon with an air of dread around it. Just holding it made him feel weak, but it was a desperate situation, and this weapon seems to be one of the few things so far that could kill them reliably.

Shooting out smoking, crossbow bolts whispered arcana words on the wind even as the black smoke encased the targets hit. Making them vanish from sight to where the knight didn't care so long as they never saw them again. Barks of anger filled the forest, but they had to quickly alternate between shooting and riding as more came up.

They were close just a little farther than just as hope seemed within reach the horse stumbled Naing out in pain. The knight had little time to contemplate as they rolled away though coming to a stop something broke, they could feel it as they couldn't stand right looking at the left leg, but there was nothing visible, so maybe it was just sprained.

Yet their eyes were drawn to their horse, crying out as it was unable to get up both of its left legs scorched off. Damn it, resolving themselves to get this done before more beasts came. Raising their throwing dagger. Getting attacked by them was worse than death, something this loyal steed didn't deserve no matter how desperate the situation.

"Sorry old girl, but I'll make it painless." Speaking softly to the horse.

Throwing it out as it jabbed into the horse skull right between the eyes. Silencing the pain beast of burden. Putting the crossbow away, grabbing the sheath and sliding out their sword and tower shield. Staring down, the five creatures came running up. They were shaped like wolves but looked like living blue fire with evil red eyes.

They just circled as if to mock the knights struggle to get away from this monster.

"Well, come on, then I don’t have all night!" motioning the beast to bring it.

One wolf charged in crashing against the tower shields metal surface only to get rammed back and cut in half as it dissipated into nothingness. Thanking the six gods for finding these weapons, the monster left lying around. Without getting them, they would be dead by now. Turning to block another charge yet another beast attack to her right, raising the sword and stabbing it through the head. Bashing another only to have the third beast grab the sword in its mouth trying to rip it away, but they wouldn't end like this.

[ocean wave]

Water blasted out of her body, blasting the beasts back, giving her breathing room, but the spell was a drain. They were no magic caster, but they had learned a few in the three-day war for Re-Antic along with a few other tricks. It was the only way to survive still between the use of their martial arts skills and magic just now they could barely stand. Feeling their legs tremble vision blurry, they need to end this soon if there was any chance of escape before the monster catches back up.

Charging in slashing two beasts into wisps and turning to the last kicking it back even as it went down clawing and biting till finally, a sword cut through it into the ground. Dropping to one knee panting though they saw more coming not good well time to try something suicidal, then try random magic items till they work.

Pulling out some round orb pulsed with the energy, they had no idea what it did, but the monster was raging when it came up missing, so it must do something extraordinary. Yet with no way of knowing how to work it. Trying everything to get this stupid sphere to work even hitting in on their sword as if the six gods blessed her, she found the answer in a simple phrase.

"Please just Return to E-Rental." As more beast came up in a flash of blinding light, they were pushed back as the knight escaped vanishing from view.

Just in time too, as a huge shadow fell over them crashing down, creating a clearing in the trees, red eyes glaring at the cowering blue wolves. Feeling their master's rage whining in apology.

"Where is the thief!"


-End of chapter-

 

Chapter Text


-Back in the Adventurer's Inn-

"Kathrin, I see you have taken action, mind explaining?" Mainly to help him figure out why both of them had jumped the gun doing this. Which was sure to be a headache soon for him.

"Of course, Kyuketsuki-sama, after realizing the intent of your most brilliant plan, I acted accordingly.” Each word fully displayed her happiness proven by her swishing cattail.

This wasn't helpful at all what was his plan? All he did was go to the public bath, relax, and message Momonga. If he was in battle, countless ideas and strategies quickly came up as to how to manipulate the fight to his design, yet off it, he was clueless.

So far, he had just been getting by with roleplaying and a secure job while staying incognito. He didn't have any grand plan past surviving. Right now, he was just racking his brain on what the proper response in this situation was. Since the only way to undo this would be to kill, then revive Rita.

Idly just thinking about how easy it would be to just try opening a [gate] to Nazarick. Though then he would look stupid if it didn't work or worse all the residents saw him as an invader. Maybe he could try to get her to explain the plan she thought he had.

"Then perhaps you can explain it to Rita here so she may better understand." Kyuketsuki felt the suppress of his panic not shown on his face.

"Of course, Lord Kyuketsuki." Turning to the now werecat girl, loyal golden eyes watching her new pack leader and mistress.

"Be content Kyuketsuki-sama has allowed me to explain this to you. Understand little kitten," Watching as Rita's eyes followed both Kathrin and Kyuketsuki full of desire and joy. Great, he would have to get used to her doing it too now.

"Of course, it brings me great joy to have an unworthy servant, such as myself, to be allowed to benefit a supreme being. I simply cannot express my gratitude to feel your wondrous gaze upon me." Rita dreamily sighing with a look both Jade and Kathrin had whenever it was time to 'rest' in their dorm room.

Sleep was elusive, and he only needs a few hours to rest his mind. He no longer needs true sleep. Still letting the others know it would tip them off that he wasn’t human. Which led to some misunderstandings hidden under a silent zone and illusion spell.

Now leading to the key to the problem in moments of weakness, Considerably pleasant moments of weakness. Which left sitabus unable to turn down both Jade’s and Kathrin’s advances. Kyuketsuki already knew after that turning them down after this would disappoint them some or make them think they had displeased him. Now Rita was sure to want to join in on this.

"Good, you took our private lessons to heart. Now the master's plan is clever. I didn't even figure it out till just a day after we met your weak team. You see, your team will help master test out and experiment with these martial art skills. You all seem to have while also being a cover, so master may rebuild his power base here.”

“We may use this cover to find our home again, but the invitation to join will only extend to those he feels are useful like yourself to his supreme lord of blood only equal to the other supreme beings." Was it wrong Sitabus felt great joy at his battle maids praise even if he didn't deserve it?

While calmly nodding along with this but feeling serval bursts of suppressed panic. When did he say he wanted a hidden network to rule from? They had been here for five days! Sitabus wasn't even sure if he wants to roam the land or settle down in one area?

When did he get raised to a supreme being, he was just an average worker dabbled into programming for working and as a hobby? If only he had Momonga’s help on what to do right about now waiting, he could help with this I mean he kept their guild together and being a salaryman for so long he must know how to handle this situation.

"Exceptional, then you understand now, please explain the rules to Ritana. While I try to contact Momonga again." Sitabus Worked to suppress his nervousness from being visible.

Stopping as he opened the door with a thought he had meant to say. "Oh, and I have been waiting to ask this for a while. Please Clean up your area of the room with a full list of everything you have so we might better consolidate the small space." This couldn’t possibly be misunderstood, and it sounds like he knew what he was doing. Good job.

Closing the door and standing to the side. Kyuketsuki calmly messaging Momonga feeling his paranoia come on full blast. Even as a stream of worrying thoughts came to mind, Sitabus had never stopped to consider both of them would start acting beyond their basic programming from Yggdrasil with such complexity.

Kathrin was way smarter than he was right now, having already gathered an ample supply of red vials and spare bodies hidden away in the cemetery with preservation runes implemented. Written up patrol routes and orders for the ten blood knights and now already perfectly picked a time to start turning out the Green vultures into faithful servants.

All without him even realizing this until she told him today. How Kyuketsuki didn't know, but if he didn't get advice for being just as great a leader on the field of battle as off, then Kathrin might turn on him. He just couldn't bring himself to harm her. It would hurt far too much. Maybe one of the others could but not him. Putting virtual blood sweat and tears into making Kathrin she was actually far stronger, then she should be at level 85 than average. At the max level, she would be at Shalltear's strength if not slightly higher. It would be staggering to the others if they found out just how much data made up Kathrin and her gear.

Kathrin is his secret weapon he rarely used in Yggdrasil unless it was for a hard raid, dungeons fight, or crushing enemies of Nazarick.

Point is if she felt he was unworthy a leader and turns on him unless he went all out. He would be dead while she could just respawn later. Paranoia started circling in his mind, what made him worthy of being there master? What if he was already failing them? It would be a nightmare, and the girls worked fast much to his delight and dismay he would only have but a few minutes till they finished the cleaning task he gave Kathrin and Rita, so this needs to be quick.

Message Momonga...

{Hello?}

Sighing thankfully, Momonga picked up good. {Hey Momonga I need your help quick I don't have much time!}

{Oh, Kyuketsuki, it's good to hear from you. Where are you right now.}

{Look old friend I don't have much time for pleasantries I need advice on being a good leader and you're the only one I could think of.}

{I don't see how I can be much help what's this about.} Sitabus didn't even need to see his face to know Momonga must be giving him an odd look from his voice.

{Its Kathrin! She is just too smart for me; she has already solved every issue I have been worrying about in just a day. Worse, she seems to think I'm some mastermind strategist who wants to take over this city! What do I do?}

{...hahaha wow and I thought I was the only one.}

{This isn't funny are you going to help or not.} Glaring at the nearby wall, how could he find this funny.

{Sorry I have been dealing with a similar situation on my end though we wouldn't be in this situation if you just came back early like I suggested.}

-flashback-

'So, they finally did it.'

'Yeah, it's hard to believe it we spent so long on this now it's just going to end. So will you be coming back to join me here and reminisce about old times? I sent an email invite to the others.'

Looking over the cold stormy mountains scattered about the frozen highest looking down at the raging fight below. The Minnie map showing the battle of red and blue dots as some faded off-screen. With another screen showing the chat between players, he was here finally victory would be his

'Sorry, but I have some personal task to take care of, but I would love to afterward.'

A sigh could be heard from Momonga's side of the link of the message spell though he could not blame his friend.

'You don't have to do this you know our guild is already famous this seem-

'I know it seems hard to understand, but we started YGGDRASIL as friends this isn't just about our rivalry, our bond in this. I need to do this. Already most of his guild is being cleared away. Thanks again for the help.'

'No problem. Just try and meet up if you can.'

'Sure, I would like to hold on-

Launching a massive mountain of ice falling down onto the battle. Watching as the left flank of red dots vanished off the map. Clicking other screens around him to have data crystals appear in hand, even forcing him to shapeshift his hand to hold them all.

"Mass Summon blood swarms." The screen appeared.

Watching as countless saved up sealing data crystals pixelized into form battle lines of mob NPC monsters of varying shapes and sizes Wielding weapons to claws pointing at the battle below.

"Charge Enemy, no prisoners."

Turning, they rained down on the battle below with Kathrin looking static as ever nearby.

'Sorry had to cover this front, but if I have the time, it sounds like a wonderful idea.'

'Well, good luck, then see you later, Kyuketsuki.'

'See you on the other side Momonga.' watching as his old nemesis finally arrived in chat, and a red dot appeared on-screen coming to the rescue of his guild though it was too late. Smiling as he waited atop the mountain.

The message spell ended

-end flashback-

{Well I can't go back in time now can I}

{I suppose not. My advice would be to stick to your role; I mean, you always loved playing the malevolent vampire lord. Just do what you think is best befitting the position, and it should be fine.}

{Thanks, but this doesn't really help are you suggesting I take over a city because even I know this attracts the wrong kind of attention}

Laughter answered him back, great Momonga is mocking him now. {No no Kyuketsuki I mean what did you do in one town in Svartalfheim when we were hunting down The Despairs End.}

{Well, I used my charm and wit to get the local NPCs to help us find it with a questline, but I don't see how this will help unless... Actually, this could work. Thanks, I think I can make this work.}

Hearing footsteps coming up, Sitabus knows it would be weird to just be looking at the wall for minutes on end. Time to cut this short.

{Ok now can you please just-}

{Sorry got to go message you later Momonga.} Kyuketsuki forced a smile as he smelled people coming.

{Wait kyuk- breaking the link just in time as Tarick and Bardic came up, but they looked troubled about something. Waving them over, they rushed up though he couldn't read Tarick’s face even under the hood. Bardic, by comparison, seemed much easier eyes glancing around. It had only been a day since the sewer dive mission and all of then getting promoted to gold rank for the beast slain. Could they be looking for Rita?

"Hoy Kyuketsuki, nice to see you. Have you, by any chance, seen the we lass around. We can't seem to find her, and elfy boy here's getting worried seems to think something's happened to her." Air quoting with his fingers playing off his own fears about the matter.

Great ok, Kyuketsuki could do this. He just has to play it cool, right? They don't know. Maybe they won't even notice the changes. These lycanthropy cats are rare here, unlike Yggdrasil, unless there are hunters; they won't figure it out.

"Oh, I think she is in the room, she just went on a training session with Kathrin just got back." Waving them over to the room. Kyuketsuki felt like he was sweating lightly.

He could feel Tarick’s eyes on him clearly suspicious now between yesterday and this it was just sticking out too much. This is precisely why he wanted to get them all at once. There was just too high a possibility these tight-knit groups would notice. "Really, then you don't mind us checking right."

Even from here, he could hear Tarick’s distrust did healing his old wounds mean nothing ugh. Lucky Bardic seemed sympathetic. "Hoy, what's with the tone, elf’y boy. If he says she was just off training, it's fine better than the poor lass moping like she was."

"Really, I didn't know what was she upset about?" Trying to figure out what might have caused Kathrin to act so suddenly.

"Yeah, actually, I don't mean to be rude but well for a long while. Ritan has been a great leader for us, but well in the last few days. She felt she wasn't living up to the position. It is part of why she was so insistent on taking a mission with the vermin. You have been so outshining her, she seems to think we don't trust her as a leader anymore, so if you could tone down a little for a wee bit. While it might put a pep back in her step if you don't mind." Listening to the speech, Sitabus realized one fatal flaw Kathrin didn't like weakness at all. So, this is why she acted.

"Sure, I don't mind, but I'll have to ask Rita first friend or not. I can't let her get herself hurt because she doesn't feel up to the task here. I think they're just about done now." Just as Kyuketsuki was reaching for the door, Tarick’s hand reached it first, making some space between him and the door.

"No! I got the door. I know she gets extremely possessive about the room." Bardic questioned the apparent lie though, why was the ranger of the group so hostile now what did he do.

Slowly opening the door, inside looked completely different than just a few minutes ago. The front of the room had both Tarick's and Bardic’s stuff untouched. But the back had both beds linked together with his own.

The vampire and his girls stuff mainly dominating the back half the shutters on the windows closed. A red carpet leading up to the bed with all of Ritana’s stuff neatly stuffed into a corner. A sleeping bag rolled out on the floor.

"What?" All three of us spoke at once, trying to grasp the sudden change. A cold glare was directed Kyuketsuki’s way. Really this is not what he meant by consolidating the room. "What did you say to her!" Came the gravelly voice, Sitabus was shocked to feel Tarick's grasp on his collar.

"Calm down, and let's just ask Rita." In vain, then Bardic tried to calm the elve down clearly too busy trying to threaten Kyuketsuki. At least till the third party came in, hopefully, they can defuse the situation before something happens.

A white fingerless gloved hand reaches out, grabbing Tarick gaining his attention. Seeing someone dressed in long sleeve shirt with metal shoulder guards and chest plate midriff exposed with a belt two swords hanging from it along with other potions and pouches and armored pants and high heel boots. Red locks of hair swayed from under a head cap suspiciously similar to Kathrin's with piercing yellow eyes glaring at the elf.

"Tarick un-hand lord Kyuketsuki now if you must know. I just reorganized the room according to importance." This gained the disbelieving questioning looks of both her friends. ‘Oh no, this won't help at all! Why? What did Kathrin teach her in one day?’

"Then why is your bed linked together with his and why is all your stuff packed away in the corner!" Much to Tarick’s confusion and ire along with Kyuketsuki’s dread. Rita only beamed all too joyous to explain what would only compound the issue.

"It's not my bed anymore I decided lord Kyuketsuki earned it after all he's done for us, so I will be sleeping here." Pointing to the sleeping bag, it was ratty, old, and looked like it was in bad shape, where did she even keep it. Then laid down on it like it was the most normal thing in the world. "Here is my place to sleep."

Sluggishly Slow, the irate elf's head turned to Kyuketsuki with rage ablaze in his cold eyes. "YOU! What did your maid do to her answer me!" Bardic looked lost, unable to decide what to do about this conflict because Sitabus had his trust, but so did the elf. Looking impassive as he desperately tried to think of an excuse to this, why couldn't Kathrin just ignore Rita’s moment of weakness. Even Kathrin had one weakness to silver and a slight fear of horses as an odd quirk.

"Look Kathrin just…to his shock, Rita kick Tarick hard knocking the elve into the hall walking in front of Kyuketsuki frowning with disapproval in her eyes.

"They did nothing to me only helped me realize I need to be better if I want to lead this team right, and if you can't see it, then go cool off!" Potently standing in front of Kyuketsuki.

Disbelief rolled off Tarick rubbing his hurting cheek. "You can't be serious! You think I'll just let you sleep on the floor! you're not thinking right the Ritana I know would never stand for this you refused to this for years after we could afford rooms here." Venomously protesting this decision.

"And look where I got us stuck between gold and silver rank for years, we could barely survive off. now we can afford much better and are gold rank thanks to him I deserve to-“

Sitabus putting a hand on Ritana shoulders, this couldn't go on, or the team would break. Sitabus needed a solution that would satisfy both of them, so there was only one choice.

"Enough Rita, I know how you feel, but they are just worried about you besides. I agree you can't go sleeping on the floor. It would endanger the team if you couldn't sleep right. So, I refuse to allow this if you must sleep then do so on my beds. Not on some ratty thing like that, in fact, get rid of it!" Sitabus was as compassionate and caring as possible with a charming smile.

"Of course, lord Kyuketsuki I will do so now." Watching in silence as Rita walked up to the old sleeping bag holding out a hand. She had a tiny orb of flame which came to life in her palm. [fireball] shooting out it burned only the ratty bag, and nothing else it looked far weaker than a regular fireball.

"Now, then, I look forward to sharing a bed with you." Whispering master, so the others couldn't hear it. Bardic looked uncomfortable, and Tarick spoke up. "Fine, then you can go out without me today." Getting up and walking away... well, this was a thing.

 


-Kevlar’s group-

Sitting in the alleyway nearby the inn. The four watchers saw Tarick come stomping out but was not followed by any of the others. This confused the four children, but they had to do something, so the leader turned to one tapping his shoulder.

"Alright, Grank, you go follow him. He is one of them, right?!" Harshly asking while looking to Tammy, who nodded, "Yeah, it's one of the Green Vultures alright though usually, they stick together?"

"Maybe they had an argument. It happens from time to time." They all agreed with this statement Kevlar had his own argument from time to time with them. Pulse, the guy was new to their group. The only question was, what is the fight about?

"Wait, someone else is coming out too. It looks like one of the maids!" Quickly whisper shouted Tammy.

Looking, they saw this second person was following stealthily from a distance, not getting too close. With a certain aura about them, one Kevlar knew well it usually ended in blood. So, this guy pissed off their new leader hum time for a change of plans. Grinning under his cloak, this was the perfect time to get to know the hands of their future boss.

"Second thoughts. You guys follow the other see if you can learn anything, I'll meet up with this chick maybe get us a good impression." To his reply, scared looks followed as they all got up to stop him.

"You're kidding right, you did hear the stories of the people vanishing because of her. What if she…" Before she could rant more Kevlar hugged Tammy, she was just too sweet for her line of work. He could remember how her own family sold her to slavery to make ends meet another reason to hate nobles, ‘you don't sell off family.’

"It will be fine, guys. I got this trust me! I know, that look. I know what she needs to do, and if I help, then they will trust us, then we're in." This did little to banish their somber looks, but they at least nodded they trusted him as the head of their small family. Maybe not linked by blood, but they all kept each other safe through thick and thin.

Kevlar slinked off, trying to catch up to the chick, but she was fast; it didn't help. He was so short. The crowd seemed too thick to follow, but he has trained for this moment thanks to his gift. Silently casting his summon spell.

Out appeared a mix between a crow and a hawk squawking at him, his old familiar. Linking field of vision with the bird.

"This will never be not weird." Seeing through both his own eyes and tappers' eyes silently telling the bird to follow the lady. It squawked and flew off high into the sky, scanning the crowd... there she was. Rushing to catch up, she was good this much he would admit having trouble not losing her even with tappers help.

Then she turned a corner into an alleyway grimacing. Had he been spotted couldn't be possible yet following people into alleys was the best place to lay a trap.

Taking the chance, he followed but froze when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Well, he saw this coming. "Hello, miss, I think I got lost?" Her gaze did not change; however, impassively looking at the boy.

"Why are you and your pet following me!" With cold, unflinching eyes boring into his soul.

"Haha…well, you see the humorous story is..." even as he tried to think up a good lie, he could feel those eyes piercing right through him, not good.

"Well, I have time to talk." Raising an eyebrow with a confident smirk, which made Kevlar gulp in fear.

 


-In the back alleys-

Walking through the dirty streets and twisted roads of the city was of little comfort to him, for he now had a mission. One he knew was beyond him. Even if it required their help better the monsters, he knew over this new one! Which had power beyond his comprehension to just eat curses like a snack and manipulate the mind of friends so quickly he had failed to even realize it till now just how dangerous they were.

Tarick ignored it as long as his friends were safe for the world was not a kind place. This he learned well when his home was scorched to the ground, and his friends and family either killed or sold as slaves. He worked with the underworld just to get by even if others died for it. He sold out some just to make things work. He could take much. Yet now this was too much his lifelong friend for all of five years who was stubborn, headstrong, prideful, illogical and petty about some of the stupidest things.

Had burned some handmade sleeping bag, they refused to throw out or get rid of even after they could afford better lodging. Because according to Rita, it was a memento of their time together of their strength. He had a good number of fights with the human girl. Rita was many things, most of them annoying.

But Never one to just bow her head to anyone, not even a troll they once hunted. So, for her to destroy their precious belonging. Like it was trash because someone told them to was not Rita. Tarick’s mind worked to find the answer to undo whatever evil had befallen them. Yet the only clues were they had yellow eyes now, and the same want to serve whatever Kyuketsuki was he was most definitely not human.

Glancing over his shoulder to make sure no one was following. The maid was persistent, but at least she was gone now. Yet what was he dealing with to control a succubus was no easy feat. They were most notably cunning and deadly, knowing just how to charm even the noblest of men. He ran it to someone who had the Gaul to summon one once. The man had died the same night thinking them master only to figure out how treacherous demons could be.

Those other two had no visible sign, but they most definitely weren't human either none of those three were. But without information, there was no clear way to stop them worse all three of them could end him reasonably quickly. Remembering how they fought, all of them had higher tire magic, physically stronger, and apparently could bend even Ritana’s unbending will with ease!

Tarick clenched his fist at the thought.

Right now, the only people to help would be someone strong enough to take them, so he would have to hire THEM. Even if he hated himself for working for scum again, it was better than the alternative. And it would have to be fast before the greedy dwarf fell to their clutches as well.

If he had help Tarick could face this, but would it be enough to stop Kyuketsuki. Before it was too late, was the question? Finally coming to the windowless building sighing. This was going to suck, but at least they could get help. Failing to notice a pair of eyes watching them from the shadows, their eyes tracking his every move as the door closed.

Walking into the place just reminded the elf why he hated humans watching such vulgar acts others paid to see. Angry eyes only looking for one, this woman owed him a favor. From so long ago, they wouldn't even be where they are without his help. Looking around with this disgusting smell in the air of drugs and sex. Something he was reluctantly familiar too being a former slave, but it was just all the more reason to find them and get out of here already.

Finally, he saw the dark-skinned woman lagging about in her own private booth in the back her sensually revealing clothing, and diamond mark on her head may fool some but not the elf. After all, no one was stupid enough to mess with one of Six Arms.

Discreetly walking over and taking a seat. Cold merciless eyes watched Tarick trying to read him. Tarick had gotten used to her ways of working. Edstrom was definitely arrogant and prideful yet good for her word. One of the only reasons the elf had not tried to kill her first meeting Edstrom. Now she was just too strong for him to kill even if he wanted to.

"I thought you never wanted to see me again cliff ears or did you finally realize how good my open position was." The mocking intent was annoying. Another reason why he hated working with her.

"I didn't come here for that! I got a job I need you to help me with personally. No grunts Substitutes or I'm out."

Correcting her posture to accurately look at Tarick interested. "Oh, you know I don't work for cheap. right?" To her surprise, the elf throws a large bag of coins on the table.

Speaking up as Edstrom looked through the contents of the bag. "Literally all I got all the silver and gold, I could make in just the past five days take it or leave it." Edstrom’s eyes sparkled. He knew that look well; this is why she got along so well with these scums they were greedy to the core.

"Will I need something more than this, but it's close enough if." Groaning Tarick hated this so much already. He knows where this was going.

Lowering his hood to glare at the woman, he so wanted to just burn this place down. "If what?"

"If you promise to take five jobs for me, we’ll be business partners again... I'll even share, oh, let's say twenty percent of the earnings."

Contemplating before replying to find the best option here. "Thirty percent no less."

Laughing at this turn of events leaning closer over the table, "Twenty-five, it's my best offer, or I'm not taking the job."

Tarick Sighing bowing his head in agreement. He could not correctly describe how much he hated getting dragged back into this. "Fine. now, can we talk about the target."

"Sure, they will be dead soon anyway. why don’t we relax and get comfortable like old times." Tarick knew denying getting pulled into her snagging would jeopardize the deal, so he would have to put up with this. It didn't mean he would like it, but the thought of protecting his friends drove him on even if it would have been better to just move on.

He couldn't abandon them because they would do the same for him even if he hated his odds this time around.

 


-In the forest near E-Rental-

Alerich…Alerich hurry, they're almost here- a massive explosion blasts out his ears. The shadowy fiery beast jumped through were his friend once stood.

Snapping awake violently thrusting their sword around, looking for threats. Eyes darting around this remote area sweating. Slowly losing their panic as Alerich realized he was safe for now. Yet where was he this seemed like the forest clearing where he first started his mission.

Trying to stand but stopping with a grunt at one knee. Alerich’s leg was still sprained, raising his hand over the armored limb. As a healing glow came fourth, alleviating the pain. He finally stood up from his knees.

To survey the surrounding area while praying for his poor horse gripping the slender yet blocky draconic blade in his hand. It burned out as if trying to make him drop it, but he would not, for it was a weapon. That could injure the monster. Staring at the blade of this strange weapon, it would be his key to victory if he could just get to E-Rental.

Picking a direction with the glowing orb in hand pulsed as if on instinct pointing the way. Thank the six gods for this artifact of power, or he would surely have perished. Even still, he worried would he make it in time. Maybe he could find adventurers in the woods. His mission demanded not to get too close to them; however, this was the direst matter right now. They would have to forgive him because this beast needs to be stopped.

Briskly walking into the woods, it felt like hours passed just trying to get by if only his horse had been spared, he might make it. Now he would have to walk for miles, and he was unsure how much further E-Rental was. But he would have to move quickly rushing through the woodlands with gusto.

-Hours later-

Coming to a clearing in the trees, he stopped at the sound of combat, hearing the clang of swords and roar of some beast creeping closer. To watch in awe as three warrior maidens fought off what looked to be as absurd as it sounded giant warrior squirrel's clad in armor and holding weapons.

"Hold the line till they get back. Rita down!" Spinning around the four-prong spear to whack another squirrel man away. As Rita rolled under her pointing her hand at three behind them [blindness].

The three-charge stopped stumbling around, unable to see swinging wildly, delaying more from charging them. Turning to block another attack from the squirrel man roaring out only to be knocked out by a Kusarigama blunt side to the face. As all three warrior maidens roughly form a line blocking the creepy campfire, lit the way to a tunnel in the ground surrounded by fissures and large fractures in the field where grass refused to grow around.

Further in thanks to Alerick's keen hearing, a gift from the gods he could hear was where the louder roars were originating. Something did confuse him. Why were they not aiming to kill these demi-human scum?

 


-Pov of The Green Vultures-

"Jade, can you please just wrap them with your chains or something!" Came grunts from Rita, who was really annoyed they couldn’t just kill the monster like usual. But as Kyuketsuki had said, this was not an ordinary mission.

In fact, nothing about it made sense to her so far. A village disappearing then ruins standing in its place. Nobodies to be found yet these squirrel people guarding it and an ominous cave. Spreading fissures in the ground, preventing plant growth around them. Yet water flowed out into a nearby pool giving water the enhanced flora growth.

"I would, but they just keep slipping out before I can tighten the chains!" Carefully swinging her long chain weapons around, knocking them back three got wrapped up but quickly jumped out before they could get restrained.

Kathrin herself was quick with clockwork-like motions of expert precision swinging her spear around only hitting with the poll or blunt side of the weapon. Usually, her hit should have been able to knock all of these beast people out, yet they just got right back up. It intrigued her as the automation/werecat analyzed them trying to find a way to keep them down.

"You know if you had just one good spell to disable opponents. we wouldn't be so busy!" Kathrin’s static voice somehow being heard by both of them.

"Well, excuse me for prioritizing defensive and offensive spells of the only eight I needed. I thought hay I want them to fall asleep because let's not kill monsters on the loose." Rita grumbled, then using her sheathed swords to hold two off.

Suddenly a yell rang out as some knight came charging up with some strange sword cutting down a squirrel warrior. "I have come to aid this valiant fight, dear maidens."

"What the hell are you doing, fool! You just killed the poor man." Yelled out Rita trying to fight her way over to stop the fool.

"What?" Looking down indeed instead of the beast before now lying dead in a spreading pool of blood was a man. "Please... help... my... family ...

Dropping dead shame filled the knight too confused to appropriately respond to this threat. Getting knocked off his feet minutes later as one violently attacked him, wrestling Alerick to the ground. Usually, he would be able to fight this off easily, but in his tired and worn out state he could not get it off as it tries to shove an acorn into his mouth much to his befuddlement

"Eat! Eat! Eat!" It screamed out.

Till it was kicked away in a whirlwind of strikes. Rita pulled him upright before slowly backing up to the line. Fighting off ten at once.

"Fool! Don't just rush in. We are professional adventures, and you just killed a poor cursed fool." Rita's chastising voice rang out even as she focused on holding back the numbers of squirrel people.

"Good your improving, then I have not wasted our short time training you." Came praise from Kathrin, making Rita's face heat up at her pack leaders' words. Keeping focused to not lose control of this battle just like she was taught.

It was eye-opening just how much she failed to realize she could more efficiently handle any situation by just knowing her skills. Even if she had no new magic or martial art skill. Rita didn't realize just weeks ago how poorly she was using the skills she had, this fight proves how much she had yet to learn.

Leading around two stubborn enemies in a circle only to get flung back at his ally weaponless. Knowing how to hold and use her skills to accurately hit the unguarded sides were making a significant difference. When Rita’s anger was cooled and focused on flowing instead of just charging in, she didn't tire herself out or waste movement. Only hitting with the necessary force needed. Even showing her a few tricks indeed, mistress Kathrin was wise and sagely.

Raising one sheathed short sword to block than her other sword to break their balance and finally swiping her leg out to knock them down. "Of course, I cannot waste masters or your time by letting myself fail any longer." Using both her [ability boost] and [greater ability boost] to rush up to a few throwing out magic rope tangled together, binding a few of their numbers down.

"Alright, I think I have a solution to this. Jade entrapment play!" Kathrin's hands sparked to life with electricity drawing out her power and punching the ground as a wave of lighting-based magic shot out shocking all the squirrel people. Long enough for the chains to quickly wrap around them into one big group tightening up.

Pulling out ten talismans "[bone circle trap] and [talisman chain binding]," All of the thrown talismans changed into swirling energy mixing into a growing circle under the trapped beast's bones forming a fence as the chains glowed.

Sighing, Rita put away her swords onto her belt, turning furiously to the knight who struggled to stand. "Now, who are you, and why did you come here!"

Looking around him, Alerick noticed all three women's dark aura and felt fear taking a step back, unconsciously sweating with renewed vigor. "Uh, I thought you needed help dealing with demi-humans …scum!"

"Which does not answer either question. nor is this a reason why you are in this restricted area by order of E-Rental!" Presenting a scroll clearly stamped by the mayor of the fortress city with the royal stamp.

This turn of events had Alerick smiling, yet though victory was short-lived by the sound of all three women drawing their weapons. All pointed at him clearly displeased about his inability to answer them in a timely fashion.

"Wait …wait I'm here by this strange orb thing I came-“

Any further explanation was cut off as the leader (Kathrin) stepped forward, snatching the orb out of his hand. Eyes wide at what she was seeing. This was a unique teleportation sphere used in YGGDRASIL. It could once a day return to a location the person had been to before.

This should not have been in some stranger's hands. Her master needed to see this now. Silently messaging Kyuketsuki.

{What is it Kathrin I am enjoying an amusing fight here!}

{Kyuketsuki-sama, you need to see this soon. we found one orbores.}

{Ah, I understand. I will be up shortly, also brace for impact!}

"Everyone brace now!" Kathrin's words barely came in time as the ground shook violently again, deep brown rock-like thing shooting into the air. As earth, dust, and rock debris fell down from the new hole in the ground as the armored man floated up. Silver and black hair flailing in the breeze one hand holding the dwarf the other in a fist pointed up as the enormous brownish thing came racing back down only to hit the fist.

This proved to be a shock for the knight seeing someone just punch something so big without care. Only to realize what this huge rock was accurately a huge acorn vines flailing out around it as its shell began to crack apart. From the impact shrieking out in protest and pain as it whipping erotic vines withered into a dead red color. Large pieces falling off the monstrous beast as it died.

Alerich was left unable to speak, watching this. How did he do that, and where did this monster plant come from. Hearing groaning, they all looked over to see the people returning to ordinary unconsciousness big bruises on their bodies. Slowly healing but stopping after a few minutes. All of this left the knight unsure what he just witnessed.

"Good I see you girls handled the situation as expected... why is one of them dead. I left strict orders not to kill them?!" All three bowed to this strange man putting down the dwarf ignoring the knight's stunned stupor for now.

"Well, we had the situation well in hand, Kyuketsuki-sama. Till this fool rushed in and almost got turned into one sorry for our failure to anticipate!"

Turning to look at Kathrin, who discreetly handed the orb to Kyuketsuki. Quickly putting it into his inventory for now as much as it might be strange for it to vanish. He couldn't let this item fall into the hands of this world till he was sure he knows it poses no danger to him or his group. Quickly turning to the newcomer time to get some answers.

"What are you doing here, you do know this area is listed as a public hazard just a few days ago right." laying in with great displeasure.

This got the knight's attention forgetting about the orb though Kyuketsuki might have to alter his memories later. But he needed to know how he came into possession of an item from the other world. Was he a player or something else?

"Well, you see, I'm a knight from Re-Antic heading to E-Rental with horribly grave news, so if you could point the way." Glancing over them all.

Scanning this man thoroughly, he wasn't going to talk like this, and he wouldn't let this matter rest until he got answers. Luckily, he had leverage. This area was restricted, and anyone in it could be suspected until their identity could be confirmed. Or they could at least verify they didn't cause this whole mess. Smiling it had paid off to have Ritana lend (give) a thoroughly go over the laws and rules of the city.

"I'm afraid we can't do until we know your intention in the city. After all, you just walked into a restricted area. Now here you are claiming that you need to get to a densely populated city for all we know you could have started this whole mess. As a gold-ranked adventure of the city, I can't let someone who intends to harm innocent people to pass unless you can prove who you are." Receiving a glare from the knight.

 


-At the village ruins-

With all the villagers and travelers freed from the curse. It was hectic to set up all the temporary tents. This was handled by Rita and Bardic. Who help calm the much confused and upset people. Apparently, they had lost all memory of whatever the giant acorn monster did to them.

Which was a blessing and a burden, as now they had to explain the situation to one hundred plus people. While they decided the best course of action in the meantime, the leader of the Green Vultures handled the interrogation of the knight.

After setting up camp while Jade and Kathrin when to hunt for food for all the civilians. Sitting around the fire with a supremely disgruntled knight sitting in front of the leader. Though he realized the importance of proper protocol, it annoyed him much as he finished an in-depth explanation of Re-Antic and his role there. For Kyuketsuki, it was a gold mine of new information as he listened. It didn't hurt to throw a 3rd or 4th tier charm spells out to get all the information he could.

"Now, can we please get to the matter at hand! I need to get to E-Rental. This is urgent!" Even from here, Sitabus could tell this knight must have been rushing all the way out here. He was exhausted with bags under his eyes.

"Perhaps we can help. After all, it is our job to protect the city; we call home is it not!" Kyuketsuki asked.

"You won't be enough. You'll get killed in seconds. I will need many adamant plates at least to deal with this!" Alerick’s voice rebottled throughout the clearing.

"We won't know until you tell me. You may not know this, but if we don't return in a day's time. A section of the army will be sent out here to check on us. As people have been vanishing for some time here!" Kyuketsuki shouted back.

This brought many questions to Alerick's mind, why was an adventure group here then. As if sensing his query, Kyuketsuki answered.

"We were sent to investigate the situation as a recon mission, but they realized if we didn't come back, it might be a plot from the Baharuth Empire to sneak up on the city!"

"I see, then I suppose it won't hurt to tell you even if you can't do anything. Sigh.." Gathering his nerves as a cold, almost hopeless vengeful glare.

"About a few days ago a great beast attacked Re-Antic at first we thought it was just a wild monster. So adventures were sent to kill it, but none returned. Then out of nowhere it attacked in one day half the city was turned in to smoking rubble, and the battle for the city began we threw everything we had at it, but nothing worked-

Despair filled the knight's voice as he continued the story.

-The troops and city guard at Re-Antic were scorched alive in their armor, and beasts spawned of this monster killed every straggler not found by the thing it was a fate worse than death. Finally, one of the nobles used their house as a final line of defense, but it just tunneled under the city to get in. My captain was one of the last people I saw alive there before it crashed in. The only reason I survived was that I hid away and waited till its guard was down, then stolen some of its loot this sword, crossbow, shield, and this orb I can't seem to find." Patting himself down while looking around for the object in question.

Kyuketsuki patted his shoulder thankfully for the memory altering spell working. Still, what was this beast from his description it sounds like a dragon or drake of some kind, but the animals he had no clue blue flame wolfs. Could it be some sort of unknown creature it spawned or item effect it had?

"Nothing seemed to work. This monster destroyed a city in three days. The army and adventures working together could do nothing, so do you still think you can take this beast alone?" Alerich’s gaze judging the green vultures with scorn.

Chuckling at this knight’s foolishness, he had a plan forming based on the travel and distance the powers and abilities this might be an enjoyable fight. But he didn't plan to fight this thing alone. He had his team with him, and they could handle the situation while he tanked most of the heavy fighting. He might need to use the ballista again to ground this threat.

Though a gasp draws this attention, great this knight was panicking the people gathered around. All looking at them with fear and dread, this would create panic, and he wasn't sure how best to calm them so time for Momonga's advice.

"Then tell me, do you expect me to fall back in the face of danger to my home." This brought Alerick’s eyes to meet his cold and upset gaze with his own.

"And what can you do? I'm a trained knight whose duty is to defend my country and city, yet I could do nothing but run!" Alerick’s voice trembled and shouting back.

Standing up, looking at all the fearful and hopeless faces. This foolish knight could not see the effect he was having, Kyuketsuki just saved these people. Now he might make Kyuketsuki look weak if he doesn't say something to counter it and calm their fears. He could see Kathrin standing nearby, holding back Jade at the edge of the underbrush.

"Simple. I can command a team, and I will stand and fight any threat that dares attack any city. I call home no matter the danger or possibility of death. You can either stand with me. or help lead these people back to the army like a cowardly weakling!" Kyuketsuki walked past the knight as their shoulder bumped, he stopped near the two battle maids.

"Jade and Kathrin prepare a feast with all you have gathered these people need to move tomorrow."

"At once, Kyuketsuki-sama!"

Turning to the others, he beamed. "Bardic and Ritana, I need you to come with me. We will be planning for this. Most likely, the monster will be flying this way to stop the knight, but we won't let him reach the city got it!"

Watching as the dwarf went to his tent to gather his weapons and gear. As Rita herself beamed brightly, eye sparkling with a heated face. "Of course, Kyuketsuki-sama."

And as they all scrambled off to prepare Alerich could only glare at them, all those hollow words would mean little tomorrow. The whole city needed to unite; maybe he could show them the only way to prevail was for all of humanity to unite. No dwarf or single group would be enough. He would pay his respects to their graves after all this was over. Even if it is foolish for this group of adventures was at least admirable in their commitment.

He had seen others lose their nerve after just hearing about this monster. Even fewer could say with such conviction they would defend the city when they weren't getting paid to. And with such a high possibility of death but courage and the power to actually do something about a threat were two entirely different things.

"May the six gods protect your brave souls." Praying for them even as he sat back down, watching the crowd look so hopeful about an extremely dire situation.

 


-Back in E-Rental, Tarick-

Looking all over the city. Had proven far more annoying then Tarick first thought. Trying to find his way word friends. The difficulty lies with actually finding them as it was like they just vanished, he was hoping to not have to go through with his plan for many reasons.

This was partly due to one fact none of them liked Eight Fingers; they avoided them like the plague for a good reason. Because once you got into them, there was almost no way to stop working for them. Which went against Rita's belief. The human was obsessed with being just and right about everything else. Which is why she made such a big fuss about losing a potion after saving up for so long to buy one.

Even when she failed to see just how ill-advised it was before all this. Then again, if Tarick had known what he did now, he might have tried harder to make the monsters leave their team.

This memory brought a smile to his face thinking about them. It vanished just as quickly. This would hurt their trust in him if not ruin any chance of staying on the team, but he refused to let the bastard manipulate them anymore.

Even if it cost him their trust better, they were alive and hate him, then be bound in magic chains to some evil creatures will. This is why he was looking so frantically to find them in time to maybe get them to understand this needed to happen, and Kyuketsuki had to die. This he was confident of even if he dies doing it. Tarick brought out all his savings and hidden caches.

Originally it was so if the Slane Theocracy ever found him he could better protect them. Yet now, he was armed to the teeth. With many hidden daggers, arrow quivers, and other weapons on him for a drawn-out fight. Even a family heirloom to protect against evil. Still, nothing he could find explained the magic or inhuman strength of those three demons.

Tarick couldn't exactly go looking in the library now loaded down with so many weapons not just because it was a little hard to move around in, but because he would draw the attention of the city watch. His intent to harm another adventurer without proof of their evil would have him locked away. Which would waste the whole point of this?!

Sneaking into the back of the inn they were staying at. Tarick couldn’t risk the old man selling him out. No one understands the danger this person possessed. So, he carefully crept on the broad ledge to work the window open. Then checking to make sure he wasn't spotted before sliding inside and closing the window.

"Alright now, where do you keep your secrets?"

Asking himself as Tarick started to shift through their belongings. In the dresser and desks around the beds. Trying to find some clue to their true form or whatever was controlling Ritana, maybe some book of their magic.

Even after tossing about every inch of their things, nothing not one scrap of useable proof or evidence. Not that Tarick was surprised. It just showed how cunning and meticulous Kyuketsuki was about all this. This left Bardic and Rita’s things; could he risk it. If he went through the whole dorm room, then maybe he would find a clue. Yet this would violate another one of their rules of trust though thinking about it who's to say Rita wasn't forced to do the same.

It was an agonizing decision as he started at the corner of the room, finally making a choice as the elf approached her things. Rita would be mad later, but he could earn back her trust. Slowly and gently going through each piece with care.

Untangling the robe, which kept it in such a neat pile and almost gingerly moving said belongings. Tilting swords, Clothes, and armor around along with other tricks of little interest. It was amazing how well Rita could actually have so much stuff stacked so perfectly into just one corner of the room. Now, if only she could do this without being under mind control would be great.

Looking through all the weapons, books, and junk had been so neatly packed into this corner of the room. In a fashion, Ritana would never do it was strange to say, but he missed her messy part of the room things thrown about with little care for how. Tarick found nothing so far in her organized mess till he found a strange necklace.

[detect magic] [detect enchantment]

Feeling triumphant as he looks at this magic item shaped like a heart but with spikes and an intertwisting design. This didn't fit with Rita at all. So it must be what he was looking for it had to be. Now, what did it do? He would have to test it on the way to his next destination. Tarick finally had proof. Still, he needs to find them before he got back to Edstrom to plan their attack.

It was coming together; he just needs to plan this right, so finally, they could be free. Still, where did they go usually, they always left some kind of note or message so the others could find them? If they got separated or were endangered, no matter what, they were still a team. At least for now.

Looking back over the room again. Tarick finally found a note written about where they went.

Note: Dear Tarick, in case you change your mind. We went out and got some missions, then got called away for recon near the lost village. Make sure to get your head together, and remember we stick together Rita.

Ps. If you don't chill out by the time I get back. I'm kicking your ass till I knock some sense into it. Kyuketsuki left you a gift on your bed. It's totally not a new bow I helped make!

Crumbling up the note and tossing it away as he looked at the bow smirking, 'Nice try, but tricks won't work on me.' Picking up the bow and snapping it in half, seeing the magic fade from the wood. Like he was going to get tricked into using a cursed bow or worse. Still, that place was far out of town. He would need to travel at least a day's ride to get there on time.

Stealthily going back out the window into the side of the building, working out a plan if the others got tired out. Then perhaps in a weakened state, they might be able to take on those three yet was so unlikely it was hardly funny.

Though he failed to notice the bird on the nearby roof watching his every move down the wall. Waiting till the elf was on the ground level. To soar over the city, observing them with keen interest as the paranoia had them looking over their shoulders every few minutes. Sticking to the shadows and alleyways all the way back to the building with no windows.

After looking around for the perfect roosting spot to keep surveillance of the area without raising suspicion. Tapper found it funny how tunnel vision seemed to blind these humanoids at times. Not that it was complaining it could get free food for just sitting around watching this elf. All-day and with its natural magic sight, few places in E-Rental could conceal the humanoid from the summons senses.

 


-Ruined village-

Gazing out at the starry night sky. It was like looking at a treasure box that expanded infinitely something he was sure Blue Planit would have loved to be here to see himself. In fact, all the members of the guild would love to see such a beautiful sight.

Aware of the wind currents breezing by in the night air, the sensation of cold was something Sitabus could not feel. Instead, it was more like a numbed touch than cold. Yet the scent carried by air current was both pleasant and refreshing. Along with hearing the whistling of the wind as the clouds below moved in the stiff breeze.

Indeed a relaxing sight to behold this scene Sitabus could only see depicted in paintings in his old world. Something he longed to see before coming here; but could only be viewed in Nazarick’s 6th floor

At the same time, he would never feel every fiber of his wings stretch and bend to keep himself up to this high as a human. Up here where the moon was bright and bigger above the world, all the people's little problems seemed so small.

Sitabus mind contemplated part of him was excited at the prospect of finally getting a good fight tomorrow, maybe getting to cut loose for once. He was also anxious. If this new threat was genuinely on his level of strength, it would put his team in danger. The problem stemmed mostly from Rita and Bardic. They were below level twenty, which made them the easiest to kill. Then came jade. Anything above level fifty was a danger to her. Least of his worries was Kathrin if he, to be honest, was one of the only people around who had a shot at killing him. And with each passing day, the need to prove his worth as a leader grows even more tremendous.

Which is part of why he flew up here if he kept going, Kyuketsuki might have to choose? He loved both Kathrin and Jade more than his own life, yet they. Their reactional dismissal of humans and all below might lead him to oppose them in time if not ruling over them. It compounds the problem Sitabus himself could not find it in himself to care either if he indeed grew his army, it would consist of demons like a succubus, vampires, and undead, which would need a certain amount of blood meaning sacrificing lives.

As a leader, could he form a country knowing a tribute of blood would need to be given? A meticulous balance would be necessary for this to work without killing the blood donor. Self-control was a vampire's weakness, even in YGGDRASIL. It was written into their very code even as a high elder vampire lord. He had to watch his every step to not want to feel a freshly dead humans blood flow down his gullet.

He supposed the real question was when his truth was exposed. What would he do? Protection of all his servants to Sitabus was the top priority if pushed, he would gladly sacrifice himself for them. Because they were more than NPC's now, they were living breathing people who were under his care as their master to guide and protect them. It is why he bore the responsibility of being called a supreme being without rejecting it because to do so would tarnish their strong feelings.

Oh, he had tried to work up the nerve, but the thought of their heartbroken face broke any resolve he could find. It is why he struggled to return their affection for the last few days. They wanted so much love from him. To feel his cold undead breath, his touch even feels him unite with them in passion.

Love and passion, the one emotion he could still feel aside from cold indifference, the bloodlust of battle, or the inferno of fury at those who dared cross him.

But this distraction could not last as the currents shifted and a scent he knows all too well. Fresh as newly pick roses and natural like rolling around in furled and grass all day. Making his pulse race feeling a need arise.

"Kyuketsuki-sama.” Raising his hand to stop her turning around, seeing gorgeous black hair shine like brilliant blue crystals in the moonlight. Those molten golden eyes sparkling with curiosity and slender framed on a perfect face with juicy lips.

"My dear Kathrin, when we are alone, please call me Sitabus. I think I can trust you enough to tell you my true name, not another one for a vampire. Though it is funny, no one seems to know then again, I am a forgotten one." Leaning closer, feeling the tension in the air as his hand rubbed Kathrin’s chin.

"Of course, lord Sitabus though, why use another name than. Or help these cattle!" Spitting out the words like poison.

Chuckling, oh, yes. Why indeed the one thing Kathrin had yet to truly understand. Pulling Kathrin into a warm embrace while looking at the stars.

"Tell me, do you know. I once started out as a human weak and feeble like those below. But I grew strong first into a lesser vampire. Then all the way up to an elder vampire lord able to manipulate minds and blood like my own body with absolute control over frost and ice. Yet, just as I grow strong, so can others tell me. What do you think is my ultimate goal."

Sitabus stomach trembled. This answer could change the course of future actions. Sitabus had a few different plans, but honestly, he wanted to spend an eternity of life doing something he enjoyed. He wants…no needs, no craves to be a leader deserving of one so devoted and loving as Kathrin. Something he still felt on some level he didn't deserve even if she didn't think so.

"Uh, I can't Sitabus-sama your-“

Kyuketsuki couldn’t let this stand, so he leaned down till their lips met, feeling a massive rush. This was different than before, filled with passion and care letting his hands roam Kathrin’s perfect form. This heat was just too much to contain, grasping her hand filling backside. Under such a clean and spotless maid uniform hid under well-balanced armor.

It felt like the moment lasted for hours till they parted again, still tasting cherry. But in a tight embrace, only clothes and armor separating their full-body contact.

"You may not know this, my dear, but you seem to know my plans almost before me, I could feel it. Now when we kissed so…tell me, my true aim for this world after hearing my heartfelt feeling and everything else you remember."

Kyuketsuki could see her lips tremble, gazing deep into his own eyes like a trance. While her mind worked on decoding some hidden message.

"You want... to build a kingdom were the children of the night may thrive like us. Even if the worms don't deserve it, they shall reach their true potential, and were all dragon scum are banished from?!" Unsettled in her voice though steadfast in her desire to please. Rubbing her body against Kyuketsuki.

Pulling Kathrin close again. "Then you, my dear, shall be the queen of our new kingdom of eternal night." Sitabus let the words just flow out of his heart.

"What about the other two, my love they are so...

Sitabus beamed so considerately and strong. "I can share; after all, there can only be one queen but many wives with you as head of them all!" Teleporting back to the tent for some tension-releasing fun.

 


-End chapter-

Green vulture once silver now gold rank group members. (not including Kyuketsuki, Jade, or Kathrin but assume their gold rank?) all gold rank by this point.

Bardic

Dwarf gold rank adventurer level 15 thick beard standing 3' 5"

Armored warrior lv?

Ax marauder lv?

Armorsmith lv?

Known martial arts skills: rock breaker, iron body, ability boost, greater ability boost

Loyal friends of Rita and Tarick, he loves beer, gold, and adventuring with a blunt personality, has yet to realize the fracturing team dynamic spilt and just wants to have everyone get along.

Ritana

Werecat  gold rank adventure level 18 red hair yellow eyes cat ears

Fighter lv?

Wild caster lv?

Magic sword lv?

Striker lv?

Known martial art skills: heavy strike, twin fold slash, ability boost, greater ability boost

Known spells: 0tier alarm spell, 0tier healing touch, 1st rabbit ears, 1st grasshopper legs, 2nd flame sword, 2nd blindness, 3rd stone skin, 3rd fireball

After mistakenly agreeing to Kathrin gift (and possibly other things hehe), she is now cursed or blessed with lycanthropy depending on how you look at it. A fellow of the pack leader with the ability to give a lesser version of her gift to others through a racial skill. Now devoted follow of the supreme being.

Tarick

Elf gold rank adventurer level 17

Slave lv?

Ranger lv?

Arcana archer lv?

Beast tamer lv?

Forest defender lv?

Known martial arts skills: arrow storm, dead center, drifting seekers, ability boost, greater ability boost

Known spells: 5 1st tire spells, 10 2nd tier spells, 7 3rd tire spells, 3 4th tier spells

The scout and watcher of the team with a keen eye for magic and hidden truths. With a natural night vision and stealth, he can sneak into most places. After much time observing the new members, he has gained the opinion that Kyuketsuki must die because he is evil.

Chapter Text


-Ruined village-

Gathered together were all but one of the green vultures standing in the ruins of the lost village. Making sure all the people were adequately dressed and fed as the smell of the delicious breakfast hung in the air. With the embers of the campfires put out while the sun had yet to rise, but they didn't have the time to waste with the approaching danger to the city.

"I still say you're a fool for doing this." Came Alerick’s gruff voice with a neutral face.

To the knight's surprise, it was Ritana of the group who spoke up. "Then you truly are a coward like Kyuketsuki-sama said. We do this because it's the right thing to do. Not because it's easy!" Glaring daggers at Alerick.

"Well, we don't have all day! you get to lead the civilians away while we set up, I don't need liabilities." Kyuketsuki’s own cold reply. He simply could not stand men like this saying there a warrior, yet they were running.

"Then, I wish your doomed mission well, brave adventures." Sounding remorseful as if they were already dead.

Watching them quickly get underway. All of those the green vultures saved gave him a friendly wave even as they departed. Even the few children in the group he remembered playing with and telling stories. To help the somber mood after Alerick's speech last night.

Which would have only made them more hesitant and fearful of moving. They were now beaming with smiles as they had hope in him and the team even if they didn't know the danger which threatens the city.

Once they were entirely out of sight, Sitabus turned back to the group gathering around a table he created last night. A map on it with serval makeshift fighter pieces for all the sides that looked handcrafted with exceptional detail molded into them.

"So, here's how it should go Bardic you spent time learning to use the ballista right." Sitabus Turns to Bardic.

The dwarf just beamed up at him with a cheeky grin and a glint in his eyes. Sitabus had not seen before. From his far too eager expression, he could tell this was the wrong question. Instead, a more precise one would be did the dwarf sleep last night?

"Oh yes, this darling of engineering is truly a beauty! Where in the world did you find something so perfect! Not even me and my brother could make a more exceptional siege weapon if we tried! With such elegant smooth curves and rune enhanced aim! Oh, even auto-reloading and magic-imbued and formed arrows bolts after every shot! Oh, it’s a dream I'm not even angry. You put me in the back. I can just feel the vib-“

Sitabus held up his hand! Ok, Cleary Bardic likes the weapon way too much for his own good. Maybe he could lend it to Bardic for as long as he can stop talking about it too much. Sitabus could not deny the fun of seeing Bardic’s eyes light up with wonder. What he would say if told this wasn't even the best siege weapon. Back where he came in Yggdrasil, only an ok one. Shuttering at the thought best not to tempt fate on this one.

"Fine, then you can have it, for now, assuming you don't go showing it off, but it's your job to carry it."

" You're not pulling my leg, oh you're a true friend of dwarfs everywhere." Stepping away from Bardic's hug as he shed tears of joy with a weird smile. Ok... that's not just a little weird.

Kyuketsuki Looking over to the others. “Rita and Kathrin, you two will be managing the front line, but more importantly."

Moving the civilian pieces to the north closer to E-Rental away from the ruins, then moving the team Pieces. Chuckling at the funny design of the pieces made on a wimp. It was probably missed the anime style poses of pieces made with [create item]. Like Jades spinning around, Rita jumping up at a fish, and Kathrin's looking static at the world, Bardic was probably the least far off in the dragons Bain.

With both their eyes keenly watching them move across the map. A little away from in front of the siege weapon to block the road.

“This Task well be to ensure none of the beasts get past you at the convoy. Which they may try. Remember, this will be a long battle think about duration, not speed!" Kyuketsuki grimly reminding them all.

"Understood Kyuketsuki-sama, we won't fail." Both of them spoke perfectly in sync with each other, with their bodies stiff and relaxed yet Beaming. Which if Sitabus was to be totally honest was just a little weird. Seeing Ritana act like the head warrior maid, Or at least mirroring Kathrin

Lucky Bardic seemed too enthralled by the dragon's bane (ballista) to care, rubbing his face and hands all over it. Yeah...

"Finally, Jade, your job will be the most important. Yet hardest, I will need you to take command of some Mercenaries. as a precaution because this will not be an easy fight." Taking his time to look over the battle maid.

"I understand master I will not fail." Hearing this conviction in her voice still did little to quell the worry in his gut. Something he had missed or didn't see, but he couldn't worry them needlessly. Still, something was troubling him. What scared Kyuketsuki was he could not tell why. Yet this feeling of dread would not leave him.

Turning away from all of them, Sitabus looked at the clear path in the ground with the ritual candles. Sitabus had been preparing just in case something went wrong; he was planning on waiting to use it. The tight feeling in his gut told Sitabus. He might not have time in the middle of the fight better to test it now rather than later.

Watching as the circle lit up with magic as smoke and the smell of brimstone filled the air gaining everyone's attention. Watching in stunned silence as shapes formed in the smoke clouds. At first, looking like women until they saw the wings and curved Horns around their heads finally visible as an ominous air hung over the ruins.

As the smoke cleared to show 35 succubi came out all clad in seductive sorcerer's dresses armed with potions, books, fiery whips, and crystal staffs lined with bones frozen inside a skull at the top of them. They seemed arrogant and with dark glints in their eyes looking over the group with disapproving eyes. Slowly spreading out like they had a plan forming. Muscles flexing and ready to act, which put the others on guard. Well, this was annoying right; they only respect power if he remembers the lore from Yggdrasil.

"Well, what do we have here who dares summon us, speak up and know we aren't cheap." Called out a sweet and succulent tone.

Their leader who appeared to be the most refined regally dressed of them flowing green hair basking in the sudden breeze. With red eyes looking over the whole group, licking her lips like she was undressing everyone with her eyes. Wings spread wideout as if inviting others to come at her with open arms.

All of them stop their movement as everyone dropped to their knees from the pressure as waves of [blood lost aura] spread out full blast. Kyuketsuki’s air felt like gravity had increased flattening the ominous atmosphere of the demoness like paper. Making them all sweat and bow their heads for the sheer power of this overwhelming surge of negative energy. Walking over to them, glaring into their eyes. Getting ready to speak up in a commanding voice.

"Oh, it's you. We didn't recognize your greatness, forgotten one. I'm am Xennessa leader of this band of dominators. What do you need of us?" Strangely her tone was much more subservient then before.

"What about the cost? you said you need payment, didn't you!" Raising a brow at the sly smile on Xenessa's face with lustful eyes.

"For weak mortals, yes, but if it is a call from you o lord of blood, we will happily help free of charge though we would love to get more alluring if you would allow it!" Husky with lust at Kyuketsuki.

Ok, so if the theory is right, then any negative or neutral karma creatures should follow Kyuketsuki’s commands if they recognize him. Still, he would have to check his gold coins later to make sure there wasn't a base cost like back in YGGDRASIL. Hopefully, to alleviate some of the deep dread lingering in his gut feeling.

"Then you will follow Jade's order for now in the coming fight. Your role will be to report your finds via message spell to either Jade or me and to provide Jade support. In keeping any of the enemies from passing, you understand Xennessa!" Harshly Sitabus glared at the succubus to get this across.

Even after asking, he didn't let up the aura till he was sure she would comply with orders. He could not afford to be lenient here, or he might lose one of them. Jade was one of the lowest levels of the group and the one he felt most worried about. With such a short time for his one part to play in this battle. Watching the quivering demoness nod quickly, fearful of his rage.

"Everyone has your orders remember the plan, and know if we fail E-Rental will pay dearly for it!" Sending one last glare at the fiend leader who looked longingly up as Kyuketsuki took a flight up high into the air. Unfurling his wings once he was high enough, so he couldn't be seen by bardic. Drawing out both weapons as he prepared for the battle to come, he had a suspicion of who this was but with no way to confirm it was hard to say.

Still, it would be a fight he might not have to hold back too much smirking to himself. Adrenaline pumping in his veins. As his blood could feel the energy in the air, the dark clouds overhead and the whipping winds blew by.

 


-Ritana pov-

All of them stood ready in the silent, gloomy day Rita, however, knew it was just another sign of the danger approaching this area would be affected. Much to the villager's displeasure. Even master Kyuketsuki could not change this without showing his real power, and the city wasn't ready for this. As much as it displeased her Kyuketsuki had a reason for everything he did even this.

Focusing her mind on the task at hand, she needed to be ready, and it was the right call. At first, they didn't see them but hear them the howling of hundreds if not thousands of beasts all calling out at once. Filling the ruins with a palpable feeling of dread chilled the air and dead bones around them.

Then they saw it like a wave of lanterns glowing in the forest, but it didn't bring comfort or peace. No, the eerily decrepit feeling of just looking at these blue lights. An omen of the challenge ahead, but this didn't break Rita's nerve. Stilling her shaking body and biting her lips, would her training be enough? Mistress Kathrin had been training her most of the time last night when not cooking or pleasing master.

The thought of just the last two beautiful nights washed away her worries feeling rejuvenated by toe-curling pleasure. Beaming, as the first wave came into sight. Seeing these blue flame wolfs rush up red eyes glaring ahead. Time seemed to slow for Rita gripping the smooth tang of her beautiful new swords which curved lightly with a jagged saw-like edge a red gem at the center of the handguards, glowed with a tiger head shape for a hilt.

Swinging out with her swords at the two closest wolf's vanishing into vapor seconds later. But there was no time to marvel at as more came up slashing and spinning her blades with delicate rhythm and flow to her style. Rita finally felt like she was getting this down even as a horizontal slash cut through three at once.

Yet truly she could not rest for a moment cutting through beast after beast which came flooding out of these woods in droves. Dropping to a knee to let one jump over only to get cut down the middle. Then jumping back up in a spin, cutting through countless more with a flurry of blows left right up down. It all became a blur of the dance of blades.

Glancing around her, ten of the demons, along with Kathrin, were all making quick work of them with their whips and staff weapons, respectively. Still, what worried Rita was there seemed to be no end to them at all. They just keep coming with no fear of death or hesitation. Rita herself was struggling just to keep up with the numbers.

"Haha, come. It just keeps shooting, hahaha!" The mad laughter of Bardic could be heard behind her. As the dragon's bane sting shot and fired off like a rhythm of a clock chiming every few seconds. Shooting up into the sky, then turning to shoot at the beasts as those bolts shot off into the woods. Cleaving a path through the swarms of the creatures coming out.

For them, it didn't feel like any time was passing at all because they couldn't stop to even think, or the beasts would maul them all at once. This quickly became tiring, forcing Rita to use both [ability boost] and [greater ability boost] just to keep up. Feeling sweat run down her head like a river. Muscles burned with energy tense from the hostile air panting out with every strike just trying not to lose balance.

Still, she felt the ground shake, which threw off her center as a beast jumped on her. Still, she remembered to use the momentum to reverse the roll launching the creature into the air but wasn't done yet.

[fireball]

Lashing out her magic, it was much bigger than usual at the beast exploding out, raining down flames on to other wolfs. Silently casting stone skin just as one tried to bite her. But she jumped up, gathering her mana to try another trick she had been working on.

"[widen magic: Rapid fireball barrage]"

While focusing on the spell, Rita worked to cut through several more beast left and right. Even as orbs of fire shot out from above her head, panting heavily from the effort. Still beaming, she would definitely get better after today though her arms would be a bit aching.

"Down now!" Obeying Rita rolled as a sweeping chain came out in a wide arc only to retract back to Jade. Who was leading the back with five other succubi fighting around her as they tried to flank the sides? Rita was starting to get worried as five more were called down to defend Bardic right now. Beasts were coming out from all around them.

Still, Rita fought on sweeping out her blades to cut down more remembering to trust in the supreme being. He would not let them down or leave them, remembering the vow he made last night brought a smile to the warrior's face.

 


-In the Sky above the Ruins-

Sighing as the monster came into sight, Sitabus felt a great relief fill him and disappointment at this turn of events. The enemy looked like a dragon, yet it had no eyes; only an illusion spell to make it appear to have red glowing eyes. Four Wings having three claws in the joints like bats. Obsidian scales covering its body with a wicked-looking tail swayed behind it. Long black human-like hair. With two long curved horns shooting out of its head glowed at the end.

"I see the one who awoken me has finally shown." A booming dark feminine voice spoke out wings beating strong gusts of wind.

"Can't say I remember awakening you, lady! Though I'm sure, I would remember if I did." Disdain dripping from Kyuketsuki’s voice

Tilting its head, the draconian creature seemed to question this. Then giggled. "Then you must be one of the thirteen heroes descendants sent to stop me. But I'm unstoppable now with this!" Holding up a blue, glowing torch made of a skull of some kind of demon wrapped in old bandages.

"So, you have Hel's Torch, so what. You think you can beat me with just one world item." Shaking his head at the depressive display, just having a world item didn't mean total victory, only a higher chance of it.

"Such arrogance young hero. But you can't stop me already. I hunted down one descendant, and I will hunt down the rest! Though I thank you for freeing me from my slumber, did you want a taste of my power." Sitabus grunted in annoyance at the talkative dragoness.

Staring at this creature with narrowed eyes trying to think of what they meant, yet it seemed to know him.  At the same time, it was clearly confused after all Kyuketsuki was no hero. As a player, he was infamous for hunting and wiping out whole guilds back in the glory days.

Even now, the only reason he stopped was that Dorgaro stopped trying; when most of the small guilds he convinced to attack Nazarick refused to try after hearing what happen to the others. Still, it was dangerous and risky work hunting guilds for one or two players to try.

Tense with eagerness feeling to thunder overhead smirking. Oh, this should be fun as this drake like creature dodged an arrow bolt from below scratching it side though it healed quickly. Watching its health and mana fluctuate as wolves were cut down below.

"You dare stand against me! Do you not know who I am! I am one of the demon goddesses Volragin; to me, you are little more than ants!" She shouts out in a fury, but Sitabus just crackled at this claim.

"I'm sorry, but I have to disagree. See, that is just not true. [triple maximize magic: heavy hailstorm]"

From three arcana eyes shot out waves of swirling ice. Raining down upon this demon deity cutting its skin, but the damage was severely weakened. Interesting noting with some kind of healing magic and its infinite well of the beast below, this would be a much harder fight. Grinning darkly at this. Finally, someone who could be a challenge unconsciously activating the [blood lust aura].

"You expect this to hurt me. I have learned from our last encounter heroes and with this new weapon. I can't be beaten." With a yell, the draconic woman charged, her wings slashing out with high speed and force.

Still, this was not yet a challenge to Kyuketsuki bending his long sabers to parry and counter the flurry of blows the came at him, letting the bat fangs stab and slash at the monster hide. Even if it keeps healing all the damage, the ice, acid, and lightning damage seemed to be slowing the process.

Jumping back before smirking much to Volragin’s confusion, thinking he was retreating charging up claws ready only for a very nasty surprise. From Kyuketsuki came fourth heat zapping dark blue energy waves with such force. It actually started to snow a little. While Sitabus bit into the offending wing as a rush of euphoria came from the sweet taste of the tangy flavor. [Triple maximize magic: dark ice waves] [Triple maximize magic: dark draining chill]

"Let go, you pest this wasn't how you fought last time. you don't bite a lady!" Screamed the demoness violently beating her wing arms to get him off, finally hitting him back with her tail.

Without realizing it, Kyuketsuki skin was turning pure white with pitch-black eyes, the red irises hungry locked at the pumping toxicity sweet blood ripe with negative energy. As a tail grew out, whipping the air violently as the wings turned to hot amber bones, Cleary visible. Long tongue licking the lamprey month even as the sabers fused with his hands making five blade-like claws.

"Sorry, I just felt like having a taste of your blood! It is so sweet with a dark after flavor now. Let's keep going." Kyuketsuki’s vision starting to tint red.

Volragin felt a shiver down her spine at this malevolent voice even as the cold tried to zap her strength. It didn't help now; the injuries weren't healing as they should even with all the death of the flames below. Charging again to meet claw to claw yet something was clearly wrong, the hero should have been yelling out in pain, yet they were laughing. Feeling more cuts even as her second set of wings tried to bat away those pesky dagger blades.

Only to feel another bite on one wing unable to pull back with a draining fatigue washing over the demon deity. The tail came spearing up only to be caught by the claw hand fear rising in the demonic Wyvern. This wasn't possible Volragin should be able to knock them back.

"I see you must have been blinded by one of the thirteen heroes, right? But I'm no hero. I'm just a Forgotten Vampire, and you are now my prey, so entertain me!" Kyuketsuki howling out in glee and hunger.

Again, came the demented voice twisted with such glee and blood lust. Volragin had a few tricks up her sleeve, teleporting a safe distance away. Feeling strength leave her as this fight went on trying to desperately fight off this parasite from biting again. Least it would be her end!

Speeding at the strange hero to finish them only to hear a clang and rip as a claw was cut off even as it regrows. They quickly found It was a bad idea to fight in melee range, losing talon after talon.

Even reinforcing it with magic failed to stop this as Kyuketsuki’s blade claws cut all the way through scales, talons even fire spells were cut in twain. Without mercy or relenting, it became a battle of attrition with no clear winner. Also, while inflicting some injuries, the vampire lord didn't even acknowledge the pain. If anything, it only made them beam creepier.  Horrible mouth continually trying to bite the demoness while launching a hand full of cold spells out which blew out any fire sent.

Launching out fire spell after fire spell in hopes of holding off this threat till her mana could refill. The healing was happening but much more slowly than before. Kyuketsuki, for his part, felt utter enjoyment at the rush of battle, feeling every hit yet not the pain. Hearing a calling for more and more blood, his vampiric nature demanded it feeling this high again of sweetness, which could only be handled by draining this fool's life essence. Slowly chipping away at their fast healing.

Unknown to them each bite drained a little more of their life energy away, making it harder and harder for their body to properly heal even dropping their strength and speed as their mana kept being spent faster and faster to keep up. This had a negative effect even back in Yggdrasil to balance out super-fast healing, which uses high MP.

There was a counter, and if it kept filling and dropping too fast by a specific time frame, then you would earn ranks of mana exhaustion get the max of ten levels, and then they would have to wait 6 hours for it to refill. It was a brilliant plan.

One Volragin didn't even seem to notice too panicked by Kyuketsuki trying to suck the demon's blood. Smirking to himself while dodging another wave of fire around in the air with graceful but controlled movement under them, then grabbing their tail with an evil smile with a crushing grip as bladed fingers cut deep into the scales drawing blood.

They screamed out in agony only to suddenly shift in position as a huge magic arrow bolts stabbed into Volragin’s wings. Freezing them up with panic gripping the fiend's heart. When they could not move their wings at all, in fact, the wind howling past them at blinding speeds ground fast approaching. In to a dark hole in the ground with a boom, they impacted sharp pains shot through them both upon impact.

 


-Before the battle-

Flashback

"Alright, listen here's the plan after going over it with Rita. We believe the monster we are facing is coming from the east. After going over the knight's story, this won't be our only problem."

Curiosity and worry filled the faces around Sitabus. He understood why they fail to realize something sooner. It was the knowledge Kathrin brought up very important to this coming fight because he realized what the blue beasts where.

"Why's this lord Kyuketsuki?" Chimed in Rita's voice, bubbly and sweet.

"The beast mentioned are not actually beasts, but a continues effect of a rare and powerful artifact call [Hel's Eternal Torch of Battle] something which spawns an endless number of sentient flames which may take any form. which means we will have two battles, one on the ground and one in the air."

Even as he explained, Bardic looked to question why there would be two fronts to the fight. Sitabus could understand the questioning look even if they didn’t understand the need for this tactic. Sitabus wouldn’t risk the team fighting someone with this world item. Which had a few special requirements to hold, let alone use?

For one, the user needs one maxed fire class of any kind. Then they need one necromancy or undead class to negate the negative energy. Third, they need to be level 60, or the torch would test them continually to keep hold. Finally, the wielder had to have negative karma of 250 or more to fully use its hidden power this of WCI (world-class item).

For these reasons, it was a world item, Sitabus feared Dorgar ever finding. Mainly for the hidden power, which could only be used once. Also, for those sentient flames boosting all fire-based skills and magic while adding burning and heat effects to all non-fire attacks.

Yet, most of all, every sentient flame slain would regain a bit of mana to the wielder of the torch. Which could only be killed with or blocked by magic weapons of Top-Class rank gear or higher? Even with this gear, the mobs would keep respawning in waves without a cool down time till the torch holder was slain or stopped.

"I know this may confuse you, but we need to separate the wielder of this artifact from the beast; otherwise, I will be too busy fighting this thing to protect all of you. I know you can handle them alone. Which is why your job will be keeping the flame wolfs distracted." Sitabus explained quickly.

"And why would we need to do this? Couldn't you just have us fight this monster with you?" Asked Bardic, questioning the logic of this plan.

"No Kyuketsuki-sama and I have been looking for this artifact for a long time. It is highly dangerous because until the holder of the torch is killed, their numbers will not drop or thin. Imagine if you will, for instance, this artifact is an inexhaustible army that has no end. And no cost, which means they can wear us down from overwhelming numbers while they siege the city.” Kathrin gained their attention, taking a breath.

“Worse, they won't stop till their leader is dead with unlimited range. This is why we must isolate and contain the leader, but while this happens, we will be responsible for holding this elemental army back. It will not be an easy task, in fact, both of your current weapons will not even affect the flames, and your armor won't stop them either." Kathrin chimed in, pointing to both their weapons and armor.

The table became deathly silent at this statement. Even the crickets stopped chirping. Both of them paled at this, now realizing the danger of this world item with the potential for disastrous effects. The only good news was few could hold it at least safely; still, this item needs to be acquired.

With a quivering voice, Rita asked. "Then how can we beat them with only us. you must have a plan right lord Kyuketsuki?"

Sitabus smiled a toothy grin at this oh he had a plan alright. Several because everything from Yggdrasil had drawbacks. He just needs to know what the disadvantages of this one were, unfortunately, neither he nor Dorgaro ever found such an artifact in Yggdrasil.

"Simple, I'm going to draw the main leader away, then contain him in this hole I made earlier.” Pointing to the enormous hole created in the battle with the giant acorn monster.

“Once he is contained in an area where they can't fly or depend on their trump card, I should be able to beat them in PvP as they seem overly dependent on these two tricks" Kyuketsuki finished knocking over the dragon piece on the table.

This drew hope back to both their faces though the other to try to fake a smile at this playing along to the mood.

"What's this term, you mean PvP?" Bardic questions him, and Sitabus beamed how to make this out.

"Simply put, its high-level opponents battling it out against one another using skill, magic, gear, cunning, even trickery to try and win a fairly even fight, but where I come from its short for player versus player!" Beaming with pride at the memories.

End flashback

Upon getting up, the pain lessened for Kyuketsuki, tasting the blood on his fingers, licking it off with his long tongue.

'Note to self-find a better way into the hole next time like teleporting.’

This was short-lived, looking over to the sound of Volragin vigorously flapping her wings to get air born again. Glaring daggers at Kyuketsuki trying to understand where they went wrong yet unable to comprehend this situation before them.

"[glaciers imprisonment] and [cursed blood dome]" At the casting of the spells, the tunnel froze over every inch of the cavern covered in slick ice, even the exits. Now covered in thick layers of solid ice. Spikes all over, and a red tint came over the cavern. Symbols circling in bans all over the pitch-black room all semblance of warmth being sucked away replaced by a deep penetrating chill which even had Volragin shivering just trying to keep warm.

"You think this will hold me! Even traped I'm still strong you can't stop my-

A burst of rumbling mocking laughter filled the room with ill intent. Yet the source could not be found even looking around with night vision didn't help. Little more than just two feet in front of them as the confidence faded, Replaced by a primal sense of fear screaming for them to get out.

Whipping their tale, however, didn't even scratch the walls hearing something nearby Volravin searched around the darkness.

Whipping around trying to find their enemy, yet only seeing blurs pass by their peripheral vision as things kept zipping past them, leaving small cuts all over their body. Lashing out at nothing in hopes of finding their attacker only to hit the cold floor or fall on their face followed by insufferable mocking crackling.

Only now realizing this fall had been planned, and they were trapped in a dark, icy prison.

Dread washed over Volragin, they had several abilities to fly and tunnel. Yet now they were trapped and terrified. Volragin tried to fly only to be stopped a few feet off the ground by pain. As something dug into the wound, which had not completely healed. Next thing they knew they were pulled to the ground. In the darkness, as bites were felt all overlooking around in the black and white vision, fierce vicious, hungry eyes looked Volragin’s way. There were many of them even in the air everywhere creeping closer.

"No, stay back I'll hurt you! I know I'm a mighty demon god I'm ah!"

A loud snap reverberated throughout the whole chamber, followed by four more tortures snaps. Misery filled the fiend unable to move their broken wing arms without surges of tormenting pain. With a dulled sense of their blood draining out of their body growing weaker and weaker. Unable to feel their mana at all despite looking for it, nothing came when thrusting out their hands. Rewarded by teeth sinking into their scales.

"You made a mistake by fighting me, Volragin. Do you still think I'm a hero? I'm no hero. Just a simple vampire lord who has been waiting for fools like you to step into my path. Now I don't have to worry about anyone seeing this. My vampire brides feast on this glorious snack let us dig in!"

As this twisted, layered voice sang out. The demoness ears rang with sinister cries of bliss. Much to Volragin’s protest yet unable to even stand as ice froze their legs and broken arms. Feeling despair as they struggled to fight off the attacks from all around them. Too exhausted and unable to move, all they could do was scream out in agony.

In their hell, they failed to notice the torch was taken off of them. Not that it mattered as one of the sealed demon lords was about to meet their end in this cold desolate prison. Without even knowing the name of their killer.

 


-Above ground-

Huffing for breath, Rita ending her spin attack dropping down onto one knee exhaustion radiated off her form, feeling this was getting tiresome. Staring at the lines of beasts, one sword raised to strike out only to halt. As they all came to a stop just standing, their tension filled the air looking around the others had stopped as well. Both sides waiting for the other to act.

Then one wolf vanished to the green vultures' surprise than another and another slowly they all started to disappear. Till they were left alone in the clearing, Rita sheathed both her swords dropping on to her back, looking up at the stormy sky as light snow fell a chill filled the air yet to Rita, she could only feel happy recognizing the supreme being’s energy radiating from this snow.

Maybe it was her imagination, but it felt warm and inviting, laying in the white sheet of wintery weather. Usually, she would be worried, but if Kyuketsuki needed their help, he would message them. Right now, she just wanted to lay down, And let this snow cool her off for a few minutes her job was done for right now.

While this happened, all the succubus gathered around the ice-covered hole watching in fascination. As the ground cracked out more frost growing out of every crevasse in the field with rare powerful magic. Which bent nature to its will something they had only heard about in stories before now.

"So, this is the forgotten one's power."

"So cool and hot."

"Such power do you think he will share his secrets."

"I'm more interested in sharing something else."

The 35-demoness chatted among themselves, looking at the hole in awe and wonder gushing about the might of a forgotten summoner. One which used their summons to infiltrate and bring ruin to large groups. In fact, it was so much fun working for this summon for their mercenary services Xannessa personally pledged their group to the forgotten ones. They could see why now? He rained supercharged winter blasts from the sky and brought a sharp pain to a higher-level demon with ease even while holding back.

For them finding a dominant mate to help raise their young was vital, or they would get trampled over by other demons and devils vying for power. But the mistress of their group was powerful and cunning, so they managed to get around with little trouble at all.

"Enough gabbing gather round! We can admire his work later!" Came Xannessa’s gruff reply over them lining up with dejected sighs.

"I can see why master favors your services. I believe we need to cover some ground rules."

Kathrin looked over the group scanning for any injury or weakness to exploit or get rid of. Slyly beaming when none were found, this was good, though. She would expect no less from any summoned mercenary monsters or not. Only the worthy could service Kyuketsuki-sama.

"Glad you think so, sweetheart, so what are our next orders? " They all bowed to the succubus, hoping to gain the favor of the forgotten ones. Like this one had, it would be a high honor to feel this energy up close and personal.

"For now, hide your demoness nature. You need to appear as a group of mercenary sorcerers. We can't go scaring the locals."

At Kathrin's command, all of them the gathered group shifted their form into human sorcerers though they were quickly distracted by a commotion. Nearby turning to gaze as the noise near Bardic, out of the trees and underbrush came several hooded figures stealthily appeared

Armed with various weapons and armor, those with hoods down had a sinister look on their faces. Yet the most shocking face was one familiar face next to someone they had been avoiding at every possibility. Not just because of a dislike of them or the safety of Rita’s team. Rita had the displeasure of running into this particular member of six arms before ruining a few past missions.

Faster than some would think possible, Ritana was on her feet swords in hand, trying to wipe the sweat from her face. The warrior knew this was bad; the sun was setting, and all of them were worn down from the fight. Which just ended Rita was out of mana. Glancing over their dwarf looked to be held at knifepoint while both Jade and Kathrin looked to be a little shaky yet hiding sluggish movement well.

Ritana tried to think of why they had been so obviously betrayed. Yet could not think of a reason for an answer to this puzzle. Did he not even realize this woman wanted Rita dead if they crossed paths again. Her body trembled with rage and weariness as the realization of this heart-throbbing betrayal.

"Tarick!” Ritana shouted loudly.

“What is the meaning of this, why is she here!" Rita's voice neutral dulled golden eyes, glaring right through the elve.

"Hello, little fly, I believe I told you what would happen. Next, we meet!" Icy tone ringing out across the clearing from the six arms member.

"Hey, her death wasn't part of the deal Remember. Besides, I have something I need to do." Tarick calmly spoke, pulling the woman back.

Stepping forward, Tarick pulling out a locket from his pouch, grinning under the hood. Lighting up his hand with a pink glow, this would fix everything it had to. Even from here, he could see how Rita's body stiffened tensely at seeing the amulet.

"You went through my things! What happened to not prying into other's stuff!" Fury rolling off Ritana gripping her weapons so tight her knuckles turned white.

"I only returned the favor your new master already made you do, but I realize this must be what is controlling you!" Every word filled with triumph.

"If you dare scratch my amulet, I will have your share cut from every mission we get from the adventures guild for a month. You hear me now give me-

Without listening, Tarick grabbed the locket as the magic around his hand worked to destroy the fine metalworking and magic around the trinket. Warping and twisting the metal within minutes, the pendant had been destroyed with a final burst of magic sparks.

Beaming in victory, at least he was until the absolute rage on Ritana’s face came in to view. Body straining not to explode in a fury her blades already glowing with flames.

"You just destroyed my mother’s locket, you complete moron! I'm kicking your ass till you regret everything!" Rita marching up with rage.

Her path was blocked by several people, all armed chuckling as they circled the warrior. Blocking her view as Tarick vanished from sight in all the confusion. Yet Rita could not focus on this as blades met in clash quickly having to counter several attackers at once. Kicking back one slashing to her right side to cut through one as they screamed out from the burning blade.

It was good she remembered to drink a restoration potion before getting up. Turning to counter one to her left and stabbing in front of herself as another fell. Still, they weren't falling back even as another slash made its mark.

Rage was evident in every thrust and harsh slash, yet she could not afford to stop. The stupid elf had a silly idea in Tarick’s head and needed to be stopped. He would regret his brain-dead idea he could destroy the last thing her mother gave her.

 


-Else were in the fight-

Jade could not say how annoying these humans were. All of them were much better fighters than any she had seen before. Especially this woman with the dancing blades around them with no way to stop and coordinate the other succubus. They were watching nearby but fighting off their own attackers.

Lashing out with her Kusarigamas creating some space only to feel a cut in her arm glaring over at the attack. To see the elf drawing out another arrow but it had strange energy around them one she didn't like at all. Yet more of those annoying swords came at Jade blocking her retaliation. This was not the worst thing, just trying to fight all these opponents at once was.

Despite her long chain weapons, she needs room to build up momentum; otherwise, she could not use her flames. And without time to aim her strikes, there was no telling if they would swing wide. Biting her lip, Jade knows this was the worst possible type of battle for her style unless she used the other form; she could not effectively fight these worms off.

She had only a shortlist of spells she could use, having burned through most of the talismans on hand with those damn wolfs.

Hissing as more cuts ripped into her uniform and skin, then something miserable happened. As something rammed into her shoulder, shattering her shoulder guard red hot metal pieces flying out. Swiping her legs out, in vain to try and get some room if she could just get some space. These worms would be dying much faster.

"What's wrong, monster can't get your weapons working tough! That is a problem with those long overbearing chain weapons like yours!" The arrogance in Tarick’s voice truly was starting to tick her off.

Jade felt a rain of blows rain down upon her back. Pain radiating from the impact holy positive magic burned her flesh. This was bad. She was a support role meant to distract and cut down opponents from afar. Yet this stupid elf seemed to catch on to this. Feeling tears, but she would not fail Kyuketsuki-sama.

Racking her brain for a solution to this problem even while holding back more. Then it hit her right the skill.  It was only to be used in a desperate situation. This had to count, right? Besides, she would just respawn later afterward, beaming.

All of them are on guard as the maid started to glow brighter and brighter with each cut the very air shimmered with heat around her, and sweat began to roll down their faces. Till Edstrom backed off, her senses were screaming at her to move. Even as this foolish girl tanked more slashes yet dread hung in the air, they were desperate to fight them off.

"Get back now!"

But too late. "[undying passions gift: heart explosion]"

It appeared the area flashed with a blinding light, then a boom deafened all nearby. Shock waves of the blast and heat knocking everyone close by to the ground. As dark red energy exploded out everyone in the blast zone vanished from view. Never to be seen again.

As the light dimmed down, silence filled the air standing in a crater, only one form was visible. Armored shredded to red hot pieces hissing in the air. Her spotless maid uniform scorched and in tatters. Blood pouring out of her injuries covered in burns and deep cuts, one arm missing with a hole where her left eye should be. Panting her shaking body swaying, both of her weapons were broken beyond repair chain links scattered all over.

"Stupid... worms... you... can't... beat... Me…now prepare for...

Stopping even as she looked at the shock scimitar user. Who was unsure how they were still standing impressively; nonetheless, Jade felt something was wrong; she couldn't move glancing down an arrow penetrating her heart! Watching in disbelief as slowly from the injury, her body started to turn to ash falling cell by cell, still forcing her body to move towards the woman. Agonizingly slow Dragging the bent chain in one arm swinging out even as her eye glossed over a small cut formed on Edstrom's cheek.

Stunned to see this being move even as more arrows pelted her form, but she would not stop limping forward, slowly pulling back her weapon.

"Just die already [arrow storm], [dead center], and [drifting seekers]!"

In rage and fear, Tarick unleashed a hail of arrow powered by martial arts, all turning even after being fired to hit the mark. Yet still, as they fell body disintegrating, they dragged the body forward forever, imprinting this horrible image into the onlooker's eyes. Refusing to quit even as their nerves were burning out.

"Won't... fail... Kyuket- fading into ash, their body was blown away silence reigned over the ruins. All of the criminals were hesitant to attack now clearly terrified by this image. Then the ground shook, and the Icey spot on it began to crack and split apart an eerie light shooting up into the air. For the first time in their lives, they felt fear, which not even eight fingers could protect them from.

 


-Frozen prison hole-

Kyuketsuki froze as the message popped up in his mind.

[Jade coin had died]

Unable to comprehend how the battle above should have been easy. Fear filled his mind did he miss calculate? Was there an unknown factor, so many possibilities filled his mind trying to understand what went wrong. Unconsciously his hands curled into fists drawing blood. His body vibrating with visible fury.

"Finish now. We are moving!" His voice cold and dead, all the vampire brides immediately finished fearful of their master’s rage. Lining up all eighty-eight waiting further orders with shivers down their spines.

Glaring up, the ice prison began to crack apart, red light bleeding out above them. Till it burst up into sharp icy rain. Shooting up into the area above frantically looking around as dread fill Kyuketsuki’s, undead heart. Where is his reincarnation of velvet? Uncaring for the looks of horror or shock these people didn't matter, he needs to find her.

Laying eyes on the crater no. A terrifying realization finally hit. She had used that skill one he had forbidden from using. Because while it was a very powerful skill, she just wasn't high enough to safely use it. In exchange for a percentage of the user’s health, they could create an explosion around them if using more than 50% of their health, they would be weakened to the point which they were vulnerable to all damage types and would need at least a 7th tier healing spell quickly.

'Why did I even give her the damn skill!'

He thought frantically looking around for a body, yet there was no dead body to be found. Not even an arm in an attempt to find an answer, he followed the chain to a revealing dressed woman looking like a dancer.

"Who dares kill my servant speak or feel agony you could only dream of!" An unearthly roar rushed out of Kyuketsuki’s throat.

All her subordinates backed up away from her, pointing to Edstrom, frightened out of their minds dropping their weapons as this aura washed over all of the grunts, Eight fingers be damned, they weren't taking on this monster even if they paid for it later.

"I see, so you're the one." Crazed demented laughter filled the ruins making Edstrom feel small watching this monster float down amber wings dripping acid burning the ground.

"You think you can mess with eight fingers. I'm one of their top enforcers! Part of six arms and I refused to be intimidated by some freak now die!" Screaming out as Edstrom's scimitars flew at the monster.

Only to be shocked to see six daggers fly up, cutting through each and every sword watching as the broken weapons hit the ground. Unmoving sparks of magic leaking out of the now ruined weapons None of them even touching the target. Now weaponless taking a step back. As those cold, hateful eyes pierced through her very soul, unsure what to do about this.

"Fools help me attack or give me a weapon!" Glancing at her underlings only for no movement to happen.

"You seem to misunderstand. your followers know they're going to die here by my helpers as snacks!"

As this malevolent voice called out each and every one of the eight fingers thugs. Now had pure white-skinned women near them in bridle uniforms. Unmoving even as they were drained of their blood much to the shock of the others.

"You, my dear, shall die like my dear lovely Jade did alone and in pain!" Hate bubbling off of Kyuketsuki.

Her mind tried to think of a way out of this. This wasn't what she was paid for. Lying cheat Tarick damn it. Wait, she didn't give the killing blow may be. Hope-filled her quickly speaking in the hopes of surviving this.

"WAIT for I di- gurgling the world seemed to stop as blood sprayed out of her body from ten different cuts. The body literally falling into a blood-soaked gore pile. Kyuketsuki No longer standing in front of her but behind her.

"Lying won't save you; I can smell her blood on your weapons!" Kyuketsuki coldly glared at the mess.

"Uh master your form; it's um…showing?" Softly Kathrin's somber voice spoke.

Stopping, Sitabus realized Indeed, he had not changed back, shit. Sitabus shifting back to normal, his swords unfused with his claws. Purple demon blood stained his body and armor, looking at the shocked party.

"No, stop, he needs to die!" Turning, they all saw the sorcerer's restraining the elf with ropes of magic. All of the party flabbergasted and unsure of what to say. Only the sound of Tarick’s shouting filled the deadly silent area.

One thought was at the forefront of Kyuketsuki’s mind would the auto respawn work. This was his only hope even as his nails drew blood from his hands. He didn't want to lose another person close to him. Not like his family. He couldn't handle being alone again. Suppressing his pain and panic busted to life, but it could not hold back all of his grief biting his lip.

 


-Later at the campsite of the ruins-

After setting up camp, the air was tense. No one spoke up even as the vampire brides and succubus patrolled the area looking for danger. Kathrin was sitting right next to Sitabus trying to console his silent temper, though if not for Rita asking this lesser being would not be in chains but dead. There was no talking about it to her mind. Anyone who made the master feel such cold and emptiness needs to be punished.

He was not even in the mood to feel her up; this only increased her outrage and grief; still, these two were part of the discussion.

"So, uh Kyuketsuki, you’re a vampire." Bardic laminating trying to start the uncomfortable topic rolling.

"Yes, does this change anything between us? I will understand if you can't work with me any longer. I know people's reactions would be negative just like Tarick, though if I’m, to be honest, I don't care either way." The words are hollow and lifeless as Kyuketsuki stared at the fire.

"Uh, don't you need to like drink blood or avoid sunlight?" Asked Rita more wondering about her master who seemed so human right now. Not that she would leave at this point unless asked to.

Hollow laughter answered Sitabus just wasn't in the mood to care for secrets. If it came down to it, they would be dead by morning with over one hundred mercenary NPCs at his beck and call it would be child's play.

"Unlike lesser vampires, I'm a true elder vampire. I am not hurt by the sun or blocked by any other absurd rules of a vampire. As for hunger of blood, it is little more than a rush for me, not a need."

Once again, the tense silence returned between the groups at the crackling of the fire. Indeed a depressing air seemed stuck above them, but Bardic spoke up, drawing their attention much to his surprise.

"Well, frankly, if it's not a problem, I don't see one. You are not like most of the ones I've heard from the stories. So, you're ok in my book. Even if elfy boys gone off his rocker about this. frankly, you could have attacked us by now, but you haven't."

Faintly feeling a smile form on his face at this, even Rita beamed upbeat about this leaning close on the other side.

"I don't either, so I think it's official our new leader Kyuketsuki-kun is staying." Rita cheered will glee.

"Though can I put in a request or two since I will probably be stuck with you after this." Asked Bardic.

Sitabus smirked slightly, it would be suspicious if the dwarf didn't at least ask for something waving Bardic on to continue.

"Do you mind if I could get one of those sorcerers for the night it gets rather cold also, I want free rights to hold on to this beauty of a siege weapon!" Want and need sparkling in the dwarf’s eyes.

Kathrin seemed to raise a brow at this inquiry but looked to Kyuketsuki, who just looked on tossing the thought around.

"Alright, I will let you have one of them just know they are feisty, demanding, and relentless, so don't blame me if they try to kill you. Also, know this if you touch Rita or Kathrin, they have the freedom to neuter you unless you can explain very well." A fleeting spark of life stirred in his words.

Watching the dwarf's eyes light up at this greed through dangerous as a tool to be used. To make sure something like today never happened again. Plus now, these Eight Fingers were on his hit list, silently planning their downfall.

"Before we go to bed, there is one other matter to attend to. This needs to be decided on what to do about Tarick!" Sitabus hissed out the name.

The night air once again grows quiet as they thought about this, considering all the elf had done. He had rummaged through their stuff, lied, led Eight Fingers to them, killed a teammate even destroyed something precious to Rita. With all this in mind, it was hard to say how they would react to this.

"I say we leave elfy boy out here. To think about his actions frankly, I can't say I trust him anymore. Though I still consider him a friend." Softly spoke Bardic.

Sagely nodding both Kathrin and him agreed though Sitabus might just have Tarick killed. When they weren't looking. He could not forgive the death of someone so dear to him like Jade. It was too much like velvets far too painful. Just remembering how it happened brought a rush of vengeance.

"As much as I know it might displease you, lord Kyuketsuki. We were once good friends, so I think it is best if we leave him to his thoughts... For me, and if he really comes back after us, I will kill him myself sound fair?" Testily asked Rita though she didn’t look pleased about it.

With a perfect poker face gazing into tired eyes as much as Sitabus wanted to act on his blood rage, he remembered something Momonga said once. A good leader isn't ruled by their emotion but controls them. Sighing, pulling Ritana close.

"Fine, but if he ever attacks my servants or me again, you will end him before he can threaten us once more. This is an order!" The words felt broken and lost.

Rita beaming with determination leans closer till their lips touched, feeling the sparks of passion in her lips. Even as a tear rolled down the vampire's face. Barring his grief into this moment in hopes of vanishing velvets dyeing face from his mind. Tightening his hold on the girls as if scared, they would disappear as well as everyone important in his life had.

 


-Hidden tomb-

Deep underground hid away beneath the earth in a dark chamber. Candles lit up the room dimly with a dark theme of the room in the stale air, which would soon hold a meeting holographic images of hooded figures appeared.

Each one having a mask over their face looking among the members gathered with the lack of one spot which remained empty. All of those gathered looked among themselves, silently asking the question which hung in the air. None willing to speak up till one cleared their throat with a voice neither female or male sound but a perfect balance of both.

"So, they failed not to be expected, but not surprising." Came one in a zombie bear mask hunched over but standing almost ten feet tall.

"You say it like the fool had a brain hen probably got themselves killed by a fence post or wind main." Scoffed a gruff voice of an owl's mask and a scythe in hand as their cloak moved underneath them.

"Now. Now, it hardly matters that they failed. Rather did those pesky heroes show up?" Called out another loud voice in a bull mask.

The others argued over this matter, adding all manner of insult to their fallen comrade or comments of surprise over the failed plan. Clapping could be heard, stopping the petty bickering. As a slender, the jester masked person spoke up.

"No, the heroes were not present. In fact, I dare say this may bold well for us." Giggling at the lower tones of those gathered.

This had all seven look at the person strangely. How was this good? An artifact of power had been lost to whoever stopped the attack on E-Rental. The test was inconclusive; if anything, this was horrible with how scattered about they were. Sure that the plan wouldn’t fail to at least scar E-Rental, which would have invited the empire in the coming annual war.

Unity was not their strong suit. This was evident by how little they cared about the fallen comrade. Only concerned by the fact that the test had failed all parameters. The one with the wolf mask sitting still watching all of this happen.

"Carnival, I believe you fail to see how this is bad, like always." Annoyed at the Jester masks, answer. The two-sided mask one responded back.

A giggled was there reply tilting the head childishly to the left then right swaying. "No, I'm just saying another monster is always welcome to the table right. You should have seen their face gleefully smiling even as they toyed with batty-chan like a fiddle. Oh, I could only wish to see their face in the hole as it froze over."

Again, they all glanced around, not realizing this one had actually been there to see it. When all others had failed to perceive it with divination magic. But zombie bear mask snarled over this turn of events they could not believe she just let them get away with the item.

"Let me get this straight you were there, and you just let them get away with the artifact you realize this could be seen as a betrayal!” Shouted out the leader of this group in a blank mask.

“~Oh, so scary, but why so angry? When I found someone who might be about to fill the gap, you really should have seen them. Letting batty-chan believe they had the win until they fell right into the trap. ~”

Intrigued, the blank masked harshly shouted. "Explain, or I will see this as a betrayal of The Covenant of Crows."

 


-End of Chapter-

Chapter Text


-A room in Kyuketsuki’s quarters-

Time 10:15 AM

In the pitch-black room, dust swirled about slowly building in speed, twisting and whistling in the air. As the light illuminated the room slowly. Revealing the oddly shaped yet perfectly sculpted floors and walls which shined with a radiance of class and royalty. Stretching across the room was furniture organized to look perfectly set, if not a little dusty. Or did till the dust in the room swirled in the air wildly slowly closing in shrinking in size. As the twister became more focused and powerful, reaching all the way to the high ceiling.

Till it looked like a vortex-shaped into a pillar of barely contained power glowing crimson as runes of the circles glowed to match the runes glowing blue on the ceiling. Yet still, pillar shrank down thinner and thinner until a vaguely humanoid shape began to form from the heat and dust of the room. Slowly developing into a girl as smooth skin and perky, but good-sized breasts took shape. Then formed creating a torso as thin stumps poked out lengthening out to form noodle arms and legs blobs slowly split at the ends, making cute delicate toes and fingers. As the limbs grow faintly muscular, finally, an orb popped out of the top as the blank head shapeshifted.

Making a nose with a thin line below it as lips took shape. Pointed ears growing out of the side of the head with a small blob of sleek red hair extend out the two eyebrows and finally slits form above, making eyes only half-way open. As the twister of heat and dust popped runes vanishing, dropping the somewhat human figure to the ground. Snake Tail sluggishly twitching and whipping back and forth, hazy red eyes unfocused with a hiss. As the tiny imp-like wings failed to move. Till they just sank back into the skin like they were never there yet, the horn nubs elongated curving around the front of the head (like Albedo's).

Black empty eyes fully opening slowly, refocusing into red-eye iris slits took in the room around them. With curious eyes trying to figure out how they arrived in this strange place slowly but firmly standing to their feet naked to the world except for one object alone. A gemmed metal band on their ring finger.

Painfully slow, the memories came back to them flashes of master Kyuketsuki, a fight, then a blank like the last 30 minutes of memories had vanished. Not that they could tell the exact amount of time missing. Widening their eyes as they realized something essential, something outshining all other questions in their brain.

"Kyuketsuki-sama, I need to find him!" Rushing to the door until they realized something secondly important.

"Right need a weapon." Scanning over the room as memories came back to them from the sitting area to the bed at the wall, even the door leading to the private bathroom. Finally, landing on the iron twin doors of the closet rushing over to pull them open.

Inside was a collection of weapons that would put any smaller armory to shame. As all but the floor was lined with racks of things such as little Sanborn (throwing needles) all the way up to greatswords and tower shields even. Going up futuristic firearms powered by alchemy, runes, and infinite magic bullets.

It would have been an insult to call this room a walk-in closet more like a fully stocked armory neatly cleaned and organized. This person was carefully going over the choices of weapons instinctively finding one which fit them best. Though they had a scarce talent hand gifted by their master to be able to use every weapon in the room without restrictions, be they magic or not.

With this said, just being able to use a weapon adequately didn't mean they were a master with it. In truth, they could only expertly use a handful of them better than any others. Expertly trained to know exactly how to use them with devastating efficiency and could disarm a novice with but a twitch of their finger.

Gentle hands brushing over a particular weapon, two flails which had no handles only the vile looking spike balls and chains. Grabbing them, they seemed to come alive wrapping around her wrist, stretching all the way up to her shoulders, finally sinking into her back flesh.

Grinning indeed, these were her favorite weapons. They were said to hold a piece of Kyuketsuki’s essence that powered them. Even if they didn't, they were still living weapons able to help her in battle with infinite lengths of chains. Watching them float in front of her fists brought back such nostalgia of venturing out with master.

Shaking the thoughts away, she didn't have time to waste vermin needed smashing. Quickly closing the armory up as the doors glowed, so only a select few worthy individuals could open it. Glancing at the ring, debating using it. Ultimately decided against the option, the ring was only in her possession for safekeeping.

Even if master Kyuketsuki lied about it being able to track her, it was her duty to safeguard it. Rushing to the door and opening it through the main room and into the hallway Without care for her nudity sprinting down the halls, thinking about how strange it had been. To wake up here but at the same time, missing hours and clothes were a privilege could her pulse race with excitement to join master on the field of battle.

All of the supreme warriors were great in their own right, even if she never got to meet all of them. They were masters of strategy and planning, humble servants could only hope to match. Though few ever got the right to be allowed out of the tomb to fight with them. Though maybe this changed after so long.

Coming to a stop, her path was blocked by some woman in a white dress with black wings and horns, eyes glaring at her With distrust and suspicion, holding a dark metal ax.

"How did you get in here worm daring to so casually roam Nazarick’s halls!" Velvet watched this woman with gritted teeth and aura of malice radiating off her.

Ready to attack till the name came to her right, she was guardian overseer of the magnificent tomb of Nazarick. As much as she wanted to brush past them. Velvet was not above this person as attacking them without a proper case would be a betrayal of the supreme ones will. Standing to attention with conviction and care, just like her knowledge told her.

Remembering the many commands and codes, she was created to understand instinctively like muscle memory even after all this time. Stuck in a place, she could not remember for some reason though vagally some detail was there.

"Second personal battle maid of the supreme being Kyuketsuki-sama Velvet Angel sister of Kathrin. unless it is urgent, I must meet back up with my beloved master!"

"velvet? that person is dead, and for lying, we will just have to meet with Ainz-sama to decide your fate!"

Tilting her head at the overseer, who was Ainz? There was no one among the 41 supreme named that. One called such she would know as any resident of Nazarick engraved each one of their names into memory. Until they could be proven of betraying Nazarick. Velvet could not raise a hand against them without orders from Kyuketsuki.

"Then lead the way guardian overseer, but know my time is short."  Velvet bowed politely.

Observing every action of the overseer uncaring for the hateful gaze or the eight-edged assassins above. Even as she stood there, which confused Velvet, without outranking Albedo, it would be incorrect to try to boss them around. Patiently following them through the halls uncaring of onlookers working. Till they reached the massive doors to the throne room something, she had never been allowed to enter before not even as this new persona Jade.

Unable to stop quivering with joy and awestruck eyes taking in every detail of the immaculate room, few would be hard press to copy. Lavish adored decorations with only the best of design towering ceiling and flags of all of the supreme ones. Her own gaze fixated on Kyuketsuki's own flag of the moon with bat-like symbols around it, a line coming down from the moon into a heart below.

"Ainz-sama, we have found an intruder. Stop stalling and come over here to present yourself!" Albedo yelled out, rage hidden in her eyes.

Obeying much to her annoyance gazing upon Momonga. Ah, so he has changed his name. Cursing her luck if the overseer had been lying. She could have rightly attacked, then she could be off by now.

"Hello supreme being Mo...Ainz-sama I am Velvet Angle's second personal battle maiden of Kyuketsuki-sama sister of Kathrin mix at your services. Though apology for my rudeness. I must hurry back to master he is in danger a-

Stopping when the supreme being raised his hand hard gaze scanning over her fighting off a blush. To have one of the supreme one's attraction upon her. As the wise leader thinking deeply before responding, though, she could keenly pick up the overseers' jealousy.

"I do not recall your name being part of Nazarick. More importantly, why are you naked with only a ring of our guild no less!" Ainz tried to not let his gaze wander her naked body.

Bowing to the supreme being. "It is not the most pressing issue Ainz-sama; however, the ring was given to me by lord Kyuketsuki for safekeeping though I'm unsure why."

This didn't seem to be the response he was looking for as his sharp eye sockets stared right through her.

"I find it to be an issue story aside. Why are you naked? Explain the reason now."

Unable to see why this mattered, but unable to define a supreme being velvet kneeled closer breast jiggling drawing Momongas eyes.

"I awoke here in my master spare room with a chunk of time missing from my memory. Last, I remember he was fighting some sort of drake near E-Rental. Last, I recall we were still fighting the wolves of [Hel's eternal torch of battle]. Thus, it is imperative I rushed back to his side as fast as possible, so I grabbed a weapon from the closet and ran out. Then I ran into lady Albedo."

With a clear and at ease tone which comfited with Momonga as on the one hand, there was the possibility they were lying. No person Momonga knew could lie this comfortably while being stark naked till this rose a fascinating question. If what she was saying was accurate, it could be confirmed by the list of characters from the vault. Still, he could investigate the claim, but he felt causation was needed in this.

"While what you claim could be true, I feel I must confirm this till then you are to stay in the tomb till this can be verified. You will be required to follow orders until then."

Though this velvet did not say if he could see the way her muscles clenched at the order yet unwilling to disobey. Still, where was Jade, then she should be the NPC designated as the second battle maiden under his friend? Though her story sounded like a pop or spawn, NPC had died and revived hours later. But then why had their name changed.

"Very well, Ainz-sama, if you would allow, I will be in my room attending to my duties." Not showing her displeasure about this.

With a wave, he dismissed her though wondering if this was the right choice. Yet without communication from Sitabus, it was impossible to say.


-In the Cemetery of E-Rental-

The suffocating air of this room felt like a prison to Sitabus. As he looked over every paper, book, and notes of respawning options. He kept just in case something like Velvet ever happened again, he would be prepared. Yet nothing could ready him for the crushing guilt filling him if he had just stop playing around or not lost his head, then Jade might still be around it had been 24 hours after getting back to the city. Jade never appeared. He had tried everything he could think of to figure out why.

Slamming his fist down on the desk, cracking it distinctly, barely staying up as the wood groaned. Why the amount of gold had been spent to make Jade Revival had vanished. Yet not one hair. Auto-respawn should have worked, and nothing in these notes explained why. His body shook with disappointment eye squeezed shut, trying to think of anything which would fix this.

Kyuketsuki’s magic focused on offensive and defensive, with the rest spread between minor healing, summoning demons, and vampires. With the last portion being filled by illusion, magic and charm spell simply put. He was a fighter and mage sword, not a cleric or shaman. It didn't help, unlike Momonga. He only had an absolute max of 350 spells trading off expanding for his mastery of the creation of potions, items, and creatures.

Yet even he could not bring back the dead without at least a body to work with rage ran unfiltered through him. He had been a fool to not prepare better. Something he would have to change no more playing around.

"Kathrin, come here!" Unintentionally letting his displeasure seep out.

"Yes, supreme one." The battle maid was more on edge than usual, hearing the fury in his voice.

"I have decided it's been long enough. I want the blood knight stationed here at all times, but mobilize my vampire brides and shadow demons. Out stealthily into the city, I want a safety net up if anything new comes up. I want it brought to me immediately. No mistakes!"

Sitabus voice was much colder than usual thinking up battle plans. This would become his fortress city before anyone knew about it. Still much would have to change if he could not bring Jade back the usual way, Then he would need a new lab Nazarick could wait till he was reunited with Jade.

"Of course, Sitabus-sama, anything else?" Fluttered Kathrin’s loving voice.

Thoughts speed around in his brain, just thinking. If he had been holding off, but he could not wait any longer. For this plan to work, Sitabus needed a new lab and meant a steady supply of red vials for it to work. Plus, he would need to ensure Bardic stayed on his side at this point; he couldn’t risk another mishap.

"Have Xennessa start infiltrating as many places as she can. While the one Bardic likes finish up her project quickly. Then I have my own mission for you, Kathrin I need you to get me a steady supply of red vials, and I need something that can last, then I want you to start setting up a new lab under here."

Sitabus stopped to think if he was missing anything. The boy, what was his name? It started with a k something. Pacing in the lit tomb though it just wouldn't come to him sighing in frustration, maybe doing the daily mission would help.

"Have that street urchin you found working. I want him to get me everything he can on Eight Fingers. For now, they will live, but once I'm done with my own task. They will all bow to us or be taken care of. I want these Eight Fingers to think they have won for now."

"At once, master Sitabus it will be done." Kathrin bowing before teleporting away.

Turning over his own thoughts without his editor tools, he would have to find a suitable substitute for the problem. With enough experimentation, it should be possible after all with his blood magic and alchemy there wasn't a thing he couldn’t alter or recreate given time.

Reaching into his personal inventory until he found one particular book pulling out an ancient-looking one. With yellowed pages and bound by a scaly cover made from the hide of a mighty dragon. Flipping through the pages, which shifted the writing and placement of words every few seconds. To anyone else, this book would appear to be madness, but it was imbued with all the combined knowledge of his time being a cursed blood alchemist. Something no regular manual could hold because it would be huge.

So, he opted to have it all condensed down into one handheld book with an infinite number of pages. This whole book was the equivalent of endless high-level spell scrolls all bound together in one neat package.

Stopping on one page was a significant step towards his goal of reviving his dead servant.

"Humm forced revivification and gradual soul modification should work, but …I will still need to find a prime target to work this on." Sitabus muttering to himself the unfamiliar words he knew which spell this related to.

After finishing up, he put in back into his void it was still interesting to know his inventory was like a kind of vacuum in space or pocket dimension. It was also interesting to note he had yet to meet anyone else who had a personal inventory.

'Does this mean that only players have them or can it be recreated yet both Kathrin and J…her sister had one.'

Sighing, he just could not even think of their name without remembering the pain that came with it. He was familiar to loss outside of Yggdrasil. Every other family member was dead, which is one thing that bonded Ulbert And Momonga together the most on. Yet he had been so enamored by finally achieving a dream of his he forgot something. Which he never imagined would be a problem till now.

No matter how powerful you were in YGGDRASIL, you could always be beaten with enough planning and preparation even he could lose. Which was fine back then, but if for some reason, he or his maiden warriors couldn't be revised like Jade.

Shuttering at the thought of what would happen when he ran out of Yggdrasil coins, they were critical to the process. Even auto spawn was depending on the gold coins needed, or it would fail unless no. He personally tested just hours ago resurrection, and other revival spells still worked. Clenching his fist while walking out of the old tomb seeing his blood knights stealthily stalk the grounds around his private office.

It was a perfect place for his needs, and it was the final resting place of some noble line so forgotten the very nameplates were un-legible. He was respectful of the spirits of whoever was buried here. Angry spirits could be annoying to deal with even if they couldn't actually harm him.

Looking out over the night air as the wind blew by, brought up nostalgic memories of a cute little servant. Followed by painful regret, he would strive to make sure there could be a place where they didn't have to worry about such a thing.

Using [perfect unknown] while jumping up to take flight into the chilly night sky. Looking over the cemetery, something he needs to make a habit of. Depending too much on the others is what led to Jade's death. Xennessa groups were fine infiltrators and offensive sorcerers, but she was only about mid-40s group-wise with Xennessa herself being level 49.

The simple fact was they were not as good at eight-edged assassins or blood knights as spotting hidden enemies. They could deal with them if attack but unless reveal they had one flaw. Thus, why they never saw the attack from Tarick coming. Which is why they were too distracted defending the others to notice the situation jade was in.

He was sure to destroy every one of the holy arrows and other weapons, which despite Tarick's low level, could kill level 50 creatures. Which he didn’t know how he had acquired or kept hidden till now.

Sighing as he touched down near the Inn. Dropping [perfect unknown ] and calmly walking into the dining place. Something he planned to change soon, they were moving spots partly for safety and also because he was tired of being constricted on two beds, which were not designed to hold three people.

As Sitabus turned into their hallway, there was Rita cheerfully bounding into view gaze full of excitement to see him. It was something he was starting to get accustomed to. He had been unable to sleep after they got back into town. Too busy working on the way a bring back Jade.

"Hello, lord Kyuketsuki are we going to do a mission now it has been so boring just sitting around here all day?"

Rita's enthusiasm lifted his mood slightly. Even the silent hug helped though it would not change his plans already in motion.

"Yes, we are, but I thought you would be asleep by now, along with Bardic?"

At this inquiry, Rita just beamed. "Well, I have been busy working on my magic control and understanding to boost my casting endurance so I would be ready to go when you got back. Bardic, though, has been having a blast with the nice succubus all day, so he is kind of tuckered out. I'm actually a little worried he seemed to be overdoing it. Don’t you think?”

Patting the redhead like a cat behind the ears to calm her concern. Though Bardic wouldn't be killed for his loyalty, Sitabus needs to ensure he stayed diligent and make it impossible to betray him. Luckily it would also help strengthen the team to be better prepared for harder fights though this plan would have the dwarf indisposed for a few days while the demoness worked their magic charms.

"Let's just leave him be for now. He's earned it besides I wanted some personal time with you, and Kathrin has her own tasks to do."

Pulling Ritana close, who could only nod, feeling this muscular, firm body as they went off for some in-town jobs for the day.


-At Nazarick with velvet-

After re-adjusting her clothes to ensure they fit properly, looking over to see herself in the mirror. Brushing her short hair. Once, it had been down to her back but had changed after getting hit by that golden dragon. Remembering her travels were coming back slowly, only compounded by this second set of memories of Jade coins Mixing in. Though she was comfortable with confusion being stuck in place even if she could not remember what or where it was.

Instead, it was like a vivid dream of her journey thus far after her death upon master's blades; it had been a place so indescribable by all rights, she should be insane. The location between dimensions had a price while she remembered her travels there and the people she meets. It was like a play, but without actual background, sometimes it was a fever dream setting other times, it was a void of emptiness. In fact, she couldn't even describe the people she met there but rather know their characters.

Forgetfulness was her price to bear, but one Velvet would joyously make a thousand times to see Kyuketsuki. It was unknown what happened to Jade. The girl's consciousness had vanished, leaving only her memories and skill. Yet something was lost for this chance.

This was a hard truth she had come to know being stuck between life and death for so painfully long sacrifice was needed. Or this curse would never be broken even now it tried to denied her what she most genuinely wished for.

Reaching over her chest, placing her hand between her bosom, the artifact allowed for auto-respawn had been destroyed. For the force of her own return to a physical plane, even changing this new body slightly.

Still, irritation showed on her face being stuck, here again, separated from her lord. Even when they were no longer on different realities, fate kept them apart. Truly she hates that dragon if not for his interference; this curse would never have befallen her.

Sighing as she stood still, she was bound by rules like always even in death rules had to be followed. It was a comfort to the warrior maiden because those who didn't follow the rules were subject to punishment. Something which had helped her as she worked to guide the lost souls and uphold the laws set in place.

Smiling softly, maybe it could still work lifting up her hands in front of her. As the air twisted and shimmered slowly, a void opened up. Shifting through images at speeds blurred into an array of colors until slowly, an image took shape. Of that handsome face and unparalleled style of armor and class with black and silver hair swaying in the wind. Watching him fly through the air brought back hope to her anxious mind and body.

It helps she could remember those nights as Jade feeling his touch. Even if envy rose up, it was not her name, he called yet, but it would she just need to be patient.

"Un-miss Velvet, are you sure this is wise?" Came Aveda soft tone.

Startled, her focus shattered as the image vanished from view replaced by a void with numbers counting down. Scowling now, she needed to wait for another day to use it again. Though it could be freely used to watch her Kyuketsuki while in place between planes. In any physical world, there was a cooldown time of one day.

Turning to the green-haired maid with aggravation in her eyes fist clenched. "I believe I told you to knock Aveda."

Bowing back to the warrior. "Apologies, my lady, but it is time for you to go on your rounds. Also, lady Albedo wanted to meet with you afterward."

"Still, are you sure showing off this skill so much is wise?" Concern rolling off Aveda’s kind face.

Worry was in her voice, but velvet wasn't worried; death would just mean waiting for her time again. Being cursed was also a blessing because she could not truly die until the conditions were met to break it.

"It is my only comfort in these dark times, Aveda. If I am killed for, it does not matter as long as I can see my lord's face."

Leading the maid out of the room, velvet went around the rooms, checking all the wards, and going to the next.

Making sure the supplies were still being freshly made from each of the odd devices in his lab, each one had a purpose and need was filled, be it making glass vials or filling said vials with different substances from liquids to powders.

It was all so fascinating to watch even if she didn't understand even half. Of what all of this did, but it was essential to Kyuketsuki’s work both for magic and alchemy alike.

After doing a thorough check of the whole lab velvet sighted now with her primary duty done, she would have to go see albedo. It was not dislike; instead, Albedo had resentment against her for some reason she still could not understand. It wasn't like she was after Ainz-sama. Not to say he wasn't devilishly handsome. But frankly, she just was too in love with Kyuketsuki-sama to care.

Besides, when your body had been torn apart and put back together so many times, she lost count of any act done with it. The leader of Nazarick would be just another drop in the bucket. To be with her true love, no price was too high, and she was closer than ever before. To finally being by his side again.

Time was an interesting thing she had lost track of in the other plane; it naturally didn't flow the same or even react the same way. So, it was impossible to know how long she had been searching for this opportunity. Not just because some events could reset time itself in an area where time flows backward.

Still, maybe she could patch things over with Albedo after all she did know ways to make it work even with nothing but bones.

Opening the door to the overseer's meeting room to see her deceiving smile, one few could genuinely tell. What they were planning was all too apparent to Velvet. She had seen the same kind of obsession in the plane between planes.

"Hello, grand overseer, you wanted to see me?"

Taking a seat across from albedo even as the overseer's eye scanned over her.

"Yes, Ainz-sama has entrusted me to test your loyalty and truthfulness, so we will be spending time doing this until I feel satisfied." Emphasizing the last word greatly.

The overseer's words may have sound sweet as honey, but velvet could see the dangerous undertones lingering in those words. She was more than up to any task given to her.

"Then, I shall strive to meet your expectations, grand overseer." Showing nothing but respect to the overseer.

A malicious smile came over Albedo's face hidden seconds later.

"Why don't you just call me lady Albedo, after all, you are a servant of Nazarick now...

"haven't I always been? She questioned.

 


-On the streets of E-Rental-

Watching from, the shadows of the alleyway Kevlar watched the hooded figures stealthily march down the road. With one in front glazing around them for danger with two behind him holding the merchant from earlier and one looked familiar. Walking at a brisk pace down the road looking friendly enough, even waving to a few.

Yet, for those looking too closely, they would see the hidden truth as the shiny metal glinted in the hands of the two at the back. The nervous twitch of the merchant with an edgy look of a strained smile trying to mask his fear. And the other one kept glancing around though he could not see the face they were clearly looking for a distraction or something to plan their escape.

"Relax, Javis! It's nothing personal, but will the bosses just have a few questions." The messenger sneered under his hood.

Turning to glance at the second one with a dark smile present on his face, Kevlar could feel the hate from here.

"And as for you well, I believe you were the last person to see Edstrom and a few of her personal group, right? We just want some answers?!" partially laughing at the elf.

The second one looked ready to do something till a jab in his back stopped him. Glancing back to see the follower shrugs, urging them forward much to their discomfort.

"Na nu, don't get shifty with us! You don't want to cause a scene, do ya."

Seeing a chance to take Javis spoke up with the best silver tongue they could get.

"Wait…wait we can talk about this I brought someone to you guys we are-

The leader grabbed the merchant's caller, pulling them close, allowing the hood to fall back, showing a gaze full of disappointment and rage. They silenced any further protest as they shook with fright.

"REALLY buddy, I feel for you, but you have to understand the bosses are not happy with your sales and feel…a cut back is needed. Besides, you only cleared up one mess, or are you telling me this guy did too hum?" giving a disbelieving stare of disapproval.

Babbling incoherently as terror froze up all movement for the trembling merchant with a light slap from the leader, making them quite again.

"Yeah, I thought not. Now I'm not saying you two probably don't have an excellent explanation, But save if for when we get there. I would hate for one of you to lose your head over this, And for your sakes. I hope you do because if this whole misunderstanding isn't cleared up, then we will need compensation for our losses!" Darkly hinting at what this entailed.

Watching the doors open to the windowless building as they walked out of earshot. Kevlar cursed his luck. He couldn't risk being spotted, and tapper wouldn’t be allowed in unless he wanted to risk the bird's life.

"Great now. What do I do, the boss lady really wanted this guy dead." Asking tapper who clawed back at him.

Thinking up a good plan as to how to get in gripping the heavy bag of coins on their belt. Maybe this could work though it would be risky, but Kevlar didn't have much time to waste.

Walking up to the door as both bouncers stood in his way, muscular arms crossed, glaring at him.

"No kids allowed and trust me; you don't want to go inside their brat." Harshly grumbled the guard.

With a nervous smile and a bag of coins held up, Kevlar spoke in a weak and sad tone.

"But that awful man ruined the brothel my mother worked at and I I...

Putting up a heartbroken face to the men as they looked at each other before looking back down at the child.

"You're saying you saw him there that night, kid?"

Kevlar Nodded vigorously body trembling with teary eyes.

"Yes, I did with these other guys he hired hiccup... there was so much blood."

The first one shook his head at the other, clearly disagreeing with this plan, but the other one made some hand gestures. With both of them signaling back and forth for a few minutes till one sighed. Both of them turning back to the kid.

"Alright, let me take you in, but remember you didn't see what was inside got it!" leaning closer with a warning stare.

"Of course, mister, you're so nice."

Head faced down with a hidden smile, yes, alright time to do his part of this plan. Though he would have to improvise, lady Kathrin was evident in her order. They need to think this whole thing was wrapped up for now. Which was brilliant really destroy their morale and then after testing the strongest enforcers pullback? Letting them think they have won only to come back later to crush them.

Still, Kev’s group couldn't complain. The lady was nice if not very strict though none of them dared ask what happened to the other maid. They didn't want to lose the fabulous new clothes, food, and even place to stay at all set up for them with room to grow.

It didn't come without a cost; they were now working for the boss man, and as long as they did what was asked. All of their needs would be taken care of though it was odd how kind Kathrin treated all of them like she was a daunting mother. Kathrin, in contrast, wouldn’t even give other humans much thought calling them insects, he would have to ask later on the matter.

Kevlar taking careful notes of the building's layout and setup. Toning out the sounds and smells of this disgusting place soon, it would be gone. But first, these two need to been seen as enemies of eight fingers and not the boss lady.

 


-Near the Gates of E-Rental-

The two masked individuals watched the street from afar thought cloaked by illusions watching the city move about. One of them was a fairly buff man standing six feet tall with a 3d mask of a bull on his face, dressed in armor underneath the cloak.

While the other looked to be a black and red cloak with a jester mask having a big smile on it. Bells hung around them jingling, which kept casting a kind of hypnotic ring that put up an image of two ordinary people, to the onlookers. Though none could see through it not even the shadow demons and other creatures moved about the town without anyone being the wiser

"Interesting, so this is your artifacts power I don't think you ever said what it was called."

Giggling Carnival turned to her coworker “~ It's a secret though I'm interested in testing out this one so much potential. Aren't you Sotoram~.”

Sighing the bull eerily turned to his partner for this, it indeed was a fantasy to ever get them to take anything seriously. Sotoram had his own worries, they were doing ok so far, but after the death of the adventurer Jade, it became evident just how this person had been affected. Which, in turn, might make them more prone to attack later.

"My code name is Bull! Why can't you at least get it right? ugh, how has blank not killed you yet?"

“~Because I'm unique unlike youu~ but don't feel sad bossy boss just needs to relax is all~.

Sotoram didn't buy it for a second though he wouldn't question it too much; each of the covenant of crows had their own reasons for joining. None of them pleasant or courteous still Carnival always gave off a bad vibe even for his tastes.

"I don't suppose you want to just get to the mission already! Some of us need to do more than just enjoy a good show." Sotoram growling in annoyance.

Huffing with crossed arms glaring down at the clown even as they sat around the table in the restaurant.

“~Finee! They are down the road then take two rights and a left, and they should be the third one in the back alley~.”

It was always surprising to see just how dangerous the jester was. When it mattered, but Bull didn't want to test this yet. Besides, he had a mission to get done. To move their own plans forward while the others hunted down the heroes' descendants.

"Fine, then I'm off to do my part. Just remember, blank still wants a test done."

Soloram gruffly replies before marching off while carnival just giggled to herself, watching the world around her. Go by in boredom bells jingling as she stood up, jumping on to the rooftops in a single bound. With inhuman speed dashing across them trailing through the air till she arrived at the inn, eyes tracking one particular person.

“~Oh Sotoram, so foolish you think I'm testing them, but really it's your turned in the spotlight hehe~.” Jester giggled.

 


-Pluton office at the adventure’s guild-

Pluton Ainzach was very interested in meeting this new adventurer in town. It was worth noting they had done far more than most in just the last week. As he looked over the job's reports done by them with at least 187 down in just a weeks' time, however, it was a footnote to the two if not three crowning achievements.

First, their brave action in facing down the monster in the sewer, according to the mage guild, was turning in to if not already a full demon. With its parts worth quite a bit, yet the man had just handed over the body of it, only asking to keep the head and heart. Something a lot of new adventures would never do. It was undoubtedly worth its weight in gold.

Slipping through them to the next two significant findings, some kind of giant acorn. Pluton wasn't going to ask, he had heard and seen a lot of weird monsters in his day, but this was a first. Even for him still, it was certainly around a 127-difficulty rating. It Would only warrant one rank up from their current rank if not for what happened next.

Rereading over this report, he could hardly believe it himself from the tale of poor man Alerick. It was a beast around 148 difficulty rating mostly definitely more with an endless army of hounds at their call. The wholes city was going to be put on alert for this kind of threat. Even then, they were in the process of recalling all Adamantite adventures for this kind of threat. Till they had the kingdom army section sent out returned dragging the corpse of the enormous beast.

Instead of falling, the green vultures stayed fought and won much to his amazement. Even though they lost one member, though, it was regrettable to hear the tale of why. Thinking of it made his blood boil at such an act of betrayal, he wants to publicly kick out the damn fool for such heartless and malicious action. Ruining any chance of a future in E-Rental for them as a whole.

However, again, the man had surprised him by having it done quietly. When he must still be so upset over the loss. Pluton felt the punishment was too lenient, but he would honor the man's request. Which brought him to the reason he called them here even if only two were present.

"I'm impressed you have come far in just a week." Shaking each of their hands.

Turning to meet the man's gaze. Pluton could see the grief still lingering in their eyes. Not that he blamed him, it was always hard losing teammates.

"Thank you for your kind words Ainzach, but I am not in the mood for celebrating. I hope you understand we only did the right thing."

Waving off the worry, "No, I understand, though. where is the rest of your team they should be here for this?"

"be here for what? We just came in to get some easy jobs around town for today. I hardly see why it should matter." Inquisitively looking at the guild leader.

Ah, Kyuketsuki didn't know then or was he just modest pluton couldn't be sure which, but it was another excellent example of what a real adventurer should be.

"I see while normally you need to take a test to go up in rank, but between your first task past exploits and the sudden attack by a dragon, I am promoting all of your team to Orichalcum because frankly, few could handle this situation as well as you did."

Watching surprise rise up on both of their faces, a smile graced his own face to their shock. As he handed over the new metal plates to them. The leader stands to accept them quickly though something seemed to trouble him.

"I know it may be rude, but could you perhaps give me one for J…our fallen member." Scorn and grief radiating from Kyuketsuki.

Gently pluton spoke up. "Of course, I will have to have it made first. I hope you understand."

"I understand, but I would like to place it with her when it is done." Kyuketsuki’s tone was somber though it was a little worrying to the old man he could at least offer some advice to him.

Walking around the desk to put a hand on Kyuketsuki’s shoulder. "I know it is painful now. Just remember, we can never be prepared for everything. I have had many losses over my years as an adventurer, and we can't control what happens on the field. Only move forward and learn from it." Trying to be as comforting as possible.

Scrutinizing the man's reaction as he relaxed, it appeared his words had at least been listened to.

"Thank you for the advice. I will keep it in mind. Now, if you will excuse us, we have a few people to help out still." Kyuketsuki seemed to lack the spark of joy he had when they first met.

Watching them leave his office, the old guild leader could only sigh and hope the grief of loss wouldn’t scar the man too severely. It was simply too hard to find such strong heroes like him; frankly, he would have given  Adamantite rank, but they're just wasn't enough evidence to award it. Though his team at least had a good leader. Ritana was Not a bad one, but she was still too young to be an experienced one like Kyuketsuki.


-With Kyuketsuki and Ritana-

"So which ones are we doing today, Kyuketsuki-sama?" Rita was practically jumping for joy.

This was a good question they were limited on time, and with only two of them present to split the work? Looking over the board or at least looking like it as Rita whispered into his ear, each one available it was a rather short list truthfully. Between the six ones on the board.

The first appeared to be a simple delivery job around town, but there must be more to it. For such high pay plus usually. There were other people for deliveries who didn't charge as much. Picking it up, it could be a distraction if nothing else gripping the Orichalcum plate around his neck.

Whispering to Rita. "Ok next one, please."

The next one appeared to be some kind of missing cat mission, so he just skipped one any fool could do, and they were getting way overpaid for something so basic as that. Then Rita pointed to the next one.

Next up was hilarious Kyuketsuki had to keep in his laughter just listening. "So apparently some apprentice mage miscast a spell, and now they need help cleaning out the slimes before their master gets back from a wizard gathering. Do you want me to take it?"

Struggling to hold in his laughter, turning to Rita. "Yes, it sounds simple enough, then we need one more."

Watching Rita scan over the remaining three tasks on the job board, Sitabus would have to find a better solution for this in the future. As it would be a hindrance to his cause still without any tool or magic to do so even, Kyuketsuki knew how hard it was learning a new language. With ritana’s help, it should at least be easier.

"Oh, this one looks fun. A problem with a gang of local goblins has been harassing the roads in and out of town. Still, why hasn't the city guard taken care of such a problem."

Grabbing it while turning back to Rita. "Because they are not enough of a threat to risk weakening the city defenses, but people traveling the roads still have to deal with it. Mostly these goblins aren't doing it all the time."

With a look of realization passing over Rita's face followed by irritation quickly after. "'This is just lazy; it's the city guards' job to keep the roads clear."

How naïve of Rita if not endearing. While it might seem lazy as long as the goblins didn’t linger too close to the city. The city guard had little reason to go hunt them down. When only a day ago, E-rental was at risk of being wiped out. Besides, like back home, the nobles of this world didn’t see the need to go out of there way to help others.

"Let's get to these missions, shall we."

"Of course!" Came Rita's chipper reply.

-Hours later-

The first two were simple enough to finish up. Rounding up some slimes and intimidating goblins done.

Yet this third task hastily became apparent why it paid so much as they were going back and forth all over town. Because some morons forgot to properly label were to deliver the package. Then arose the second issue of other people asking them to deliver their own packages. While it was decent pay, a lot of time had to be spent just finding the right place.

Rita was panting next to him, pulling up her pillar of boxes weighing her down, making each step that much harder. Body trembling with the effort to not drop any of them. Sitabus not even straying to carry his load of boxes

"Why ...pant did we. gasp... take this job again."

Came the wheezing warrior voice from behind him, glancing back with a sly grin. "To build your muscle, of course, this is a great exercise for us, don't you think."

A silent glare was his answer though Rita was unable to raise her voice to the supreme one. Even if this was torture on her aching arms and legs ugh so heavy, yet she refused to fail her orders, she did not want to see Kathrin angry.

Finally, reaching the rundown place was the address listed as Kyuketsuki knocked no answer came to the door. But a crash was heard inside, moving closer to the door it pushed open, not even locked.

"Stay close!" Whispered Kyuketsuki.

Rita Nodded affirmative to Kyuketsuki, moving in as the wood cracked with every step. The place was dirty, unclean dust and cobwebs all over, then a realization came to him. No one should be living in this house for some time, but he could clearly smell a very familiar scent in the air; it was blood.

Looking to were scarlet drops, led up the stairs putting the packages and boxes down, followed by Rita.

"Check the dining room. I will look upstairs."

"Right."

Creeping up the stairs must have alerted the occupants as the wood creaked with every step. It was a surprise this house was still standing, to be honest, glancing over the long peeled painted walls with scorch marks lining the way up. This long winding stairway to the second floor, but it appears it had been blocked off, so he went up to the third level.

Taking one step on the floor, the wood caved in stopping to carefully examine this level. Holes all over the floor as his wings burst out, Levitating over the floorboards.

Examining the hallway, this place looked to be falling apart doors rotted or caved; there were two smells here. Following the trail to a room with a tall cloaked figure holding gantlets covered hand high over a human so severely beaten, it was hard to make out what they looked like.

"I think that is enough!" Sitabus spoke up, gaining the man's attention with a very complex bull mask on. Not something common around town squinting his eyes.

"Leave, or you are next!" Turning back to the person violently quivering on the ground punching out with explosive force only to feel a hand stop it cold.

"I believe I said enough, sorry, but I won't abide by the death of civilians and innocents so back off."

"That is an awful choice, fool!"

Trying to pull away only to find Soloram's arm stuck fast. Soloram was surprised this person wasn’t rotting to bones holding the [god of death hands]. Due to how much negative energy it was putting out, most others would be dead by now.

"I'm sorry, are you trying to heal me or kill me? Let me show you something."

Sitabus Chuckled Observing as his wings came out, only partly activating his other appearance. As his bat wings changed to amber slime and white ivory bones. Blocking soloram’s other metal fist healing any damage he might have felt. As the wave of negative energy rotted the room around them. Causing the floor to give way making all three fall to the second floor.

Sitabus with his wings gently floated down, letting the slime drop off his wings as he landed. Staring at the masked bull-man as he got back to his feet. Glancing over to the human who was little more than rotten flesh and bones. Sitabus had not expected the wave of negative energy if he had, then the man would still be alive.

"That is a weird trick, but you realize as an undead, those waves don’t affect me, right?" Kyuketsuki stated blandly.

Sitabus smooth tone coming out, gazing at the man.

"And you realize you should still be hurting. This is one of the rarest artifacts around. Maybe you’re just lying!"

Soloram Yelled out with a charge but slipped on an amber-like substance as his cloak burned on contact. Trying to whip it off only for it to spread as waves of rotting energy rolled off his gauntlets. Destroying this floor as well, but again, Sitabus just floated down, watching them struggle to escape.

"You know it’s funny before this trick only worked on low-level opponents, but here my slime seems to work on everything. By the way, I would stop struggling if I were you, the slime acting like my wings will just eat away at you faster." Calmly walking closer.

Sitabus had intended to just slow the monk fighter down, but apparently, they were too weak to break free. This, combined with the WCI, revealed he was around level 50 or 60. While it might have significantly hurt him if this enemy was a higher level.  They clearly didn’t even know how to properly use this world item. Only using its secondary touch effect.

Even as they struggled, they failed to realize these waves of negative energy only healed him. They might actually be a danger too if they were on his level. Kyuketsuki wasn’t even sure if they realized its active power was being wasted like this.

"Enough [minotaur's rage]!"

Blasting out an aura of power out to blowback the slime. Kyuketsuki slyly smirking as the bull-mans cloak fell off. They appeared to be a rather strong demi-human clad in green and blue full body armor. Based on their fist based fighting style, he was clearly a monk fighter. Sadly Kyuketsuki’s build had advantages against monks.

Kyuketsuki recalled his slime back to his wings seeing as they had a martial art that could counter his slime. There would be no point in trying to ensnare them again.

"You're going to pay for this." The minotaur stomping the ground.

With another battle cry, Soloram charged with a flurry of punches, each one blocked by open palms absorbing the impacts. Waiting for a perfect opportunity before they were stabbed in to by both skeleton wings, yellow slime acid dripping down the open wounds hissing in pain.

Before they could even attempt to free themselves, they were thrown through a wall right into Rita burning swords stabbing into Solorams back.

"Good catch, however, even I must warn you not to get hit by these fists!" Teleporting closer to Ritana.

 


-Eight fingers private Bar and Brothel in E-Rental-

Photio Kleito’s one of many who ended up in too much debt for varies reasons. He got lucky in this place where money could buy anything, even another person's life. Despite Renner reform laws out here at the edge of the RE-Estize kingdom, eight fingers still had slaves for all those who could afford it. Under the guise of a bar and brothel, but everyone who came here knew what it really was, or they learn quickly enough. This was a place he watches others slowly die as they sold their flesh to unstable nobles with far too much money and time. 

Hearing the sounds of those forced to sell their flesh just to get by. Followed by the painful screams would either mean Photio would see them again or watch them die. Another horrible day in the kingdom as far as he is concerned with cleaning glasses and serving drinks. So long as eight fingers exist, he doubts anything would change it.

The worst part was he was forced to sit behind the pub of the bar and watch it as men and woman alike work them selfs to a slow unmarked grave. Not that he could do anything about it. Lest he ends up in this poor souls' shoes as they had traces of life sucked away from them in this evil place.

Acting like nothing was wrong, so he didn’t end up looking like the brown-haired man leaving the room. As much as Photio Loathed himself for it, but after his wife’s disappearance, he just couldn’t make the rent. Now here he was tricked in to being a barkeep for Eight Fingers.

Listlessly watching as another room was opened, and a dead woman was dragged out. Free from this cruel life. Unable to look away as the noble of E-Rental looking smug about murdering a young girl for pleasure.

Wishing him death though knowing it wouldn’t come hiding his pure disdain for the regular as he walked up.  Turning without thought to get the regular drink, he always orders. After his ‘fun time.’ Imagining the raven-haired noble as headless and unrecognizable like his last victim.

Only to hear something new. A kind of splat noise like a grape getting crushed. This didn’t stop Photio’s task body working on autopilot.

Halting only at the sight of a daydream to his eyes. Morbidly watching as the nobles’ lifeless and headless body just stood there before dropping. Arms and legs freezing up almost missing it the sound of death.

As a woman came walking out of the shadows dressed in beautiful clothes, licking the blood off her hands. Stepping over the body as it was crushed under her boots like the bones were brittle and old. Golden eyes piercing into his very being as if judging his blackened soul followed by someone else familiar. Dirty blonde hair standing tall with a smile at the dead noble, which should not belong to a young boy.

Laughing at the dead noble numbly, Photio could only watch both of them in shock. As the beautiful woman took a seat at the bar Smirking. As more women casually walked by, shooting off magic at other workers.

As some enormous, hideous monsters in armor followed obediently and with purpose. The undead monsters Stabbing their bloody spears into the bodies. As they started to get up like zombies following into the back rooms. Petrified, in this fever dream as blood-curdling screams, filled the room.

Like his dream coming true as death was delivered unsure what was going on. Till a silkily sweet honey-filled voice drew him into the woman's eyes flanked by two monsters. Both sets of red cold, soulless eyes daring him to even try attacking.

“What…  was all he could say so focused on the woman's molten gold cat eyes practically hypnotizing him. All other noise seemed to filter out of exitance. Unable to move as two visceral, bloody spears now inches from his throat. Still wet and warm from past use.

Gulping but putting the drink down like always wondering, was this a dream. The woman smirked wider as she took the drink chugging It down in one go slamming the glass down, shattering as shards of glass flew past his face.

“It had no taste! still, it is impressive you haven’t stopped working like the others on sight of my…guards.” The women chuckled again as Photio brain struggled to understand what was happening.

Noting the other messengers, workers, and the broken were walked or carried into the room. Making it feel cramped, but it was silent, not screams or pleading just empty noise.

Only the sound of the zombies breathing Photio couldn't feel anything but scorn for the sick beast in human skin. Wondering why he was still alive; he didn’t deserve to live. Yet afraid of the death which stood before him.

“Kevlar has told me much about you, Photio. Still, I must ask, would you rather see the world change.” Even though her words were like silk. It carried a feeling of a predator staring at a lost sheep.

Nothing had prepared him for this at all as sweat ran down his face, yet his face stayed neutral as if showing emotion would get him killed. Turning to see Kevlar come up and take a seat. He was tempted to say he wasn’t old enough, yet a glance of disapproval from the woman trapped any protest deep in his throat.

“Hey, take it easy, boss lady. He is ok, right photio, my man.” Nudging his arm with a wink pleading him to go along with this madness.

Opening his mouth to speak up, yet none of his practiced phases would work. Nervus about what to say, he didn’t want to die here. Glancing at the brutes as the woman waved them to lower their weapons.

“Yeah, I’m good what… The laughter of the woman stopped him meeting her molten eyes, which melted his thoughts no sound coming out.

“No need to speak I know how fragile you humans can be. Rather show me where your loyalty lies. With them?”  Kathrin pointing at the undead wall of flesh, standing listlessly.

“Or with us! All you have to do if you’re with us is step through the portal.” Smoothly speaking with a snap of her fingers as a portal opened up behind him

Ever so slowly turning his head to gaze into the void of darkness and death. Yet glancing back at the madness in this bar, Photio knew to say no would mean death as well.

Taking a breath, Photio turned and stepped through the void of darkness into the unknown, awaiting them on the other side. Wondering when this strange dream would end.

Kathrin turned to the rest of them as the blood knights smashed down the bar in the way. With reckless abandonment till it was nothing but splinters.

“Follow Photio through the gate, and I can promise better treatment then the scum you call humans ever could. All I ask is obedience and loyalty now who wants to live!” Proudly looking at Xanessa casters and the blood knights. As all the humans who are battered and dirty as they were.

They started to follow lifelessly while some were carried to their new home as Kyuketsuki’s personal workers and blood bank. Giggling darkly before turning back to the others behind her.

“Make sure this rat’s nest burns with no questions this time!” Sneering at the blood knights before following her new sheep back to her lord's laboratory. Patting Kevlar on his head as he followed at her side.

“Good job, Kevlar. Now, why don’t we talk about your next task after I deal with our new workers.” Unlike before, there was only a motherly voice for the child.

“Do I get a reward you promised now.” Kevlar Pleading with cute puppy dog eyes.

“Alright, little mouse now come along Kyuketsuki’s sheep need training.” Sighing, but beaming again as they stepped through. Already planning how to gently guide them. Like Kyuketsuki asked.


 -End of Chapter-

velvet angle

Auto respawn disabled {error item not found}

Alignment? true protector

Racial classes

Imp lv15

Succubus lv10

Angel of the fallen level?

Job classes

Blackguard lv5

Talisman master lv10

Bone Shaman lv5

Spirit chain lv?

Soul paladin lv?

Total level 70

stats 

HP 40

MP 50

Physical attack 50

Physical defense 45

Agility 43

Magic attack 49

Magic Defense 40

Resistance 34

Special ability 30

Total 381

Special skills: soul dust, undying passions gift: heart explosion, true desires sight

Back story: after being controlled by the [down fall of kingdom and country] with a powerful cursed item making any revival of this NPC impossible by any means. She was forced to fight her creator to the death and was slain her data spirit has wondered the plain of the afterlife since. Unable to return or find rest until after countless hours of searching. She awoke with all the memories of Jade coin and a few abilities of her own gain from endless traveling in a place between dimensions. Watching over her creator even from across planes of existence through sheer force of will, but cursed to be apart. Till now, as an unknown force has awakened her here yet again separated from her true love working to reunite with him.

 

Chapter Text


-Nazarick Ainz’s office-

Ainz leaned back in his leather chair, pondering on the problem at hand, mainly his lack of information so far. The big question plaguing his mind was his lost friend still in this city of E-Rental. Something which, after much consideration, he had decided Velvet was not lying.

Even the name in the vault had changed with Jade's name crossed out and Velvets in its place. He couldn't figure out how? Back in YGGDRASIL, nothing like this was possible. Or at least it had never popped up before to his knowledge. Velvet’s explanation of where she had been was even more confusing than whatever allowed this to happen. After having Albedo test the maid, she had reported back her complete loyalty. Though it was a lie to say he wasn't worried about how she had tested Velvet, he trusted Albedo to not go too far.

"How about the next report."

"Here, Ainz-sama."

Scanning over Aura’s report of the nearby forest area and foothills of the mountain range. Which had reported back negative on a more significant concern another player. Already he had gotten confirmation Kyuketsuki was here with him. Even if he had appeared somewhere different, which brought its own issues and questions.

It stood to reason if both of them had been transported here, so had others. Maybe even hostile guilds. Not just lone players who would be problematic, the longer Kyuketsuki was not found. This is why he had to be careful, and even if it was infuriating how childish or scattered brained his friend could be at times. He was pretty smart. If even the residents of Nazarick could not track him, neither could other players.

A quiet knock came to the door, gaining both of their attention as Albedo went to answer it. Albedos expression soured at verifying who was at the door. But replied back on the visitor

"Shalltear and Velvet are requesting a visit."

"Those two? It's fine, please let them in."

At receiving permission to enter, both of them walked in,

Despite Velvet being clothed in the form-fitting armored maid uniform, her dress boots clicking on the stone ground. Ainz could still perfectly remember Velvet in her natural glory. Which he had trouble banishing from his mind, only helped by his emotion suppresser kicking in.

Next to her was Shalltear in her ballroom dress though somehow the vampire looked different even a little older than before. But maybe it was just his imagination he couldn't be sure. Pushing the line of thought out of mind for now.

"Greetings Ainz-sama." They both answered.

"Hello, what did you need coming to my office."

"Naturally, it was to admire your handsome features, lord Ainz."

Whereas Velvet just blushed. "Actually, we came here to report before the departure on Shalltear’s mission, which I shall be accompanying her on as per your orders. I was hoping that if we succeed. You would allow me to return to finding lord Kyuketsuki.”

Ainz was glad he could not show a grimace on his face as much as he wanted to believe her. This situation didn't add up, so he would err on the side of caution for now. Until he could determine the cause of his message spells failing to connect to Kyuketsuki or Kathrin and what caused this situation with jade. Kyuketsuki would hopefully forgive him later; till then, he had to think of Nazarick’s safety.

"I'm sorry, but at this time we are not sure of E-Rental’s location. when we find it, I will be the first to tell you, for now, keep up your good work."

Even as Ainz spoke, he could see the faint quaking of her body and slightly slumped shoulders. As her eyes dulled a little, no one else seemed to notice yet, he wasn't sure what to make of this. Already she seemed to be asking at every appropriate time masking her desperation to find her creator. Did she know he was lying to her? Velvet was one of the hardest NPC's to get a read on.

"I see than I shall strive to work harder."

This response was starting to worry him a little. Ainz had heard Velvet utter this response almost robotically over a hundred times now.

"Don't worry dear, we will find the other supreme ones as fast as possible."

Shalltear's encouragement seemed to brighten her gaze a little though her out word appearance was Neutral.

"Well, now you two have seen Ainz. You may go as we are discussing the future of Nazarick."

"It is polite to greet the person before launching into something else or are you-

"Shalltear would it not be better to prove your worth and loyalty to Ainz-sama with action. Rather than launch into an argument in front of the supreme ones presents like children."

"What?!" Both of them glared at her.

"Ainz-sama, as an apology for Shalltears acts, please allow me to properly apologize for this! [rabbit ears] [bunny tail] [rabbit's foot]"

Using all three low tier spells, the redhead was now dressed in a bunny girl outfit. Standing in a provocative pose, it was terrifying just how good Velvet was at pulling this off seamlessly. Even using a seductive voice, but now there was at least no doubt, it was one of Kyuketsuki’s creations.

Ainz was happy for once that he couldn’t get flustered about this. Even if he could still correctly remember Velvet in her naked glory. He coughed into his palm to play it off. Already albedo looked jealously as his attention was on Velvet in such a provocative pose. 

He still couldn’t believe the dev’s put such a feature in if one combined those spells.

"Cough! Its fine Velvet no harm done. I do believe she is correct; I remember telling you two not to fight around me."

"Sorry, Ainz-sama."

Now he felt worse for this truly he wanted to believe her, but he would like to have a second opinion of his friend first to verify this wasn’t a trap. Maybe he could at least make them feel just a bit better before they left.

"-and Velvet."

"Yes, Ainz-sama."

"Carry out this task with efficiency and I will personally bring you along on a lead I'm working on in regards to your question."

A small smile graced the maiden’s face at this, which at least lessened his stress he was feeling right now.

"Of course, we shall not fail Ainz-sama."

Ainz watched them depart out of the room with albedo behind him, showing a neutral face with a clenched fist. Memorizing the three-spell combo for later. 


-Alleyways in E-Rental-

Hurried breaths could be heard as Sotoram ran through the shadows looking over his shoulder. Falling over exhausted after hours of trying to outrun them. Still trying to figure out how he ran into this guy. The descent lives in a hidden away part of the city Squeezing his now uncovered hands, remembering the shame of having to flee.

“~hello, bull-chan, I see you had a workout. ~”

The childishly sweet voice gave him a realization turning to the double-crossing clown, rage in his eyes. If he were not so tired out, his fists would already be swinging.

"You set me up!" Shaking his fist in outrage.

It was not a question, and the way Jester only tilted his head chuckling. Which only made it much worse. It made sense now playing along with the mission, slowly starting to see those devious eyes behind the mask. Blank would have to hear about this when he got back from this fubar of a task.

“~Not very nice, and I'm keeping those nice fangs from seeing us. It would be a shame. If I don't know, they suddenly found you?” Teasing like it was fun.

Taking a step back at this, he wouldn’t do it, right? Yet he didn't even know how jester’s or his own artifact worked. The blasted magic items he also hated how complex they were if only...

"You can't kill me. Remember, this would anger the boss!"

The madness was the only way to describe the laughter followed out of this lunatic's mouth. Feeling the perspiration roll down his fur, he could take jester, but if that vampire found him again, he was dead. This monster was a nightmare to deal with. He barely got away alive, even having to sacrifice the [god of death fists].

“~Oh, Sotoram, you are so silly who said I would kill you. After all, you were so mean to vampire-kun it would be just a shame if he found you again so soon. I would just have to report your abject failure, but brave actions in finding your target only to fall testing out mister vampire. ~”

Panicking, he tried to grab the betrayer by their collar only to pass right through them. Falling on to his face and freezing, not daring to move as the red eyes lurking in these shadows snapped to the sound.

“~ oh, did I fail to mention this is a complicated trick of mine I'm still following vampire-kun. So, I would be careful if this copy disappears, so would your cover. vanishing, just like your hope of living. ~”

It was official bull hated that childish singsong tone! Even if he could not do anything to them right now. Carnival would pay for this humiliation after this was all said and done with. Pushing off the ground with a snort of rage glaring at the red and black cloak.

"What do you want then." Huffing out with hatred in his veins.

Jester circled around Sotoram. Which only made him more uneasy about all this trying to figure out this person's plans.

~Oh, nothing much bull-chan, but you were so wimpy I think we need to run through all this again. Lady luck seems to like you~

"That makes no sense I already-

“~what's that sound I hear crawling closer hehe it sounds like hungry bats. ~”

Shakely, he glanced back to see the vampire brides indeed seemed to be creeping closer. Cursing out this double-crossing thrice-damned fiend turning back to them with haste.

"Fine! Fine! I will play along brat, but once this is over. I'm killing you myself if blank doesn't." Hate-filled gaze locked on to jester’s merry dance.

“~yeah, I knew you would understand, and look here comes our help now. ~”

Scanning over to the direction they were pointing were two adventures judging by their copper plates, one in full dark plate armor with gold trim, red cape shifting around them. Two huge swords on his back would be a challenge for even Sotoram to use at the same time.

Next to them was a female with an ax on her back and covered in armor herself with odd horns at the front. Of the helmet, with an air of superiority to all the crowd around her. Getting looks of interest and distrust. Clinging to the knight's arm like it was a lifeline, it almost looked like the man was trying to keep some distance from her for some reason and failing.

"What are you mad if I reveal myself... do I look like a fool the whole point of our mission was stealth not-

“~Oh, my, you really seem to fail to realize something. My dear sweet bull-chan so naive sigh. ~”

"Stop calling me that! You insufferable little traitor! I'll-" Barely holding in unbridled rage.

“~What attack me? Did you forget I'm not here right now, and second, you either follow along like a good puppet, or I might just have to cut your strings! ~”

Snarling in Absolut rage and shame, Sotoram could not think of any way out of this situation without betraying the rules of the crows or getting killed by a monster. Swearing he would end this clown trying to punk him like a fool, all he needs was a good plan.

“~Good now with this sorted out. Here is the new plan after all vampire-kun needs a good show partner, right? ~”


-With Albedo and Ainz-

Making headway down the busy streets of E-Rental was tough with all the commotion going on around them, but this was unusual behavior even to these two. Though now Ainz could not believe he was swindled into this plan. He was convinced Velvet planned this, though he could not prove it.

Initially, he was planning on bringing Narberal until Albedo brought up her fact after fact. To force him to bring her along. Hell-bent on not being left in Nazarick. One crucial point still plagued his bewildered mind. When had Velvet figured out, he was planning on leaving Nazarick to Adventure around. He did his best to keep albedo calm as a few passersby bumped into them forcing him to pull her close with an arm on her shoulder

 


-Flashback-

"Ainz-sama, it has been brought to my attention why you may not think I am the best choice for this most important task of yours ahead. Which is why I must humbly ask for the honor of explaining why I would be the absolute best option, my love."

Looking at Albedo's beaming face gave the leader of Nazarick a chill up his spine. How did she find out he hasn't even said it yet? Racking his brain for an answer. Wait, she went to talk with Velvet at the last minute. She couldn't have figured it out! The redhead was smart almost as smart as demiurge if he was, to be honest, could it be possible?

'Really Kyuketsuki, even your maids are giving me trouble now!'

"I will hear you out, Albedo, but I already have a plan set up."

In a rush to shut down this, he didn't even want to hear this idea. Stop by the cute face Albedo was giving him, which wasn’t like her. There was no way Albedo should know how to do puppy dog eyes pleading. Was not common among nazarick. Most stuff out of Yggdrasil wasn't familiar. To the NPC's of Nazarick, let along in Yggdrasil just how much did Velvet know.

"I understand my love, but a very concerned worker of Nazarick has notified me of why. At first, I was angry and concerned until I realized you didn't know if my skill will greatly help on our secret private mission together."

Already terror was suppressed just listening to this. It had to be Velvet. There was no one else who could have figured this out. Being just the right amount of humble but wise to figure out far more than she let on.

Thinking up a plan to derail this before he got stuck with Albedo as his traveling companion. As lovely as she was, it just didn't feel right, he had messed with her setting if not for that. None of this would be happening.

"First off, if you are wondering, I gathered the other Pleiades to give you the consensus of our thoughts on humans girls."

"Weak"

"Lesser beings."

"Snacks"

"Pointless"

“…”

Hearing each reply already, he could feel part of his hope fall through. Ok, this could still work though apparently all of them thought alike on the topic of humans. Why was this relevant though it didn't change what he had in mind?

"Ok, it is nice to know Albedo though you have yet to give me a reason. As to why you would be a better option than Narberal, who can change form and act as a magic caster roll. Not to mention someone needs to lead Nazarick, and I can think of no better option than you."

Yes, there was no counter to get around that point. It was why she was overseer of the guardians. No matter how upset she got. She would have to accept this fact.

"I realize my love; however, I got a generous tip on an item that can help with your most glories plan. With this ring of a greater doppelganger, which will allow me to change at will and as for the magic part."

Oh no, feeling his hope of a plan dyeing with each second there. ...no, don't say she had that item set! Watching albedo pull out a book and scepter a set of items that were rare in YGGDRASIL. The scepter had a certain amount of charges per day to cast spells. Combined with the book of spells, non-magic caster classes could use with the scepter to cast spells they normally could not. It would be without meta-magic, and the boost to the spell casting would be dependent on the wand itself, not the holder.

These books could record up to 6th tier spells in them; it was useful if not hard to find. Or buy in the cash shop, but to Ainzs knowledge, only one guild member even got lucky enough to win or find both of these. How to turn this back around in his favor, he would be sweating bullets right now if not for having no sweat glands.

"Uh. Cough it's true, Albedo, but what about Nazarick someone still needs to lead it while we are away, and you are the best option."

"I have thought of as well, my love. Cocytus can lead in my stead, and the Pleiades will give me reports to go over the night, and if they're truly is even one problem, I will immediately switch places with Narberal. Not to mention would it not be weird if there was no one to eat the disgusting slop they call meals. I will gladly fill the role for you or be a pillow at night as I have found out the inns are quite deplorable."

Admittedly this was something he had not thought about before. Which he didn’t have a real counter for. If he could question Velvet, he might have been better prepared. However, it would sound stupid to shoot down those points without a good counter. He didn’t even have that kind of knowledge about the RE-Estize kingdom. Nor did it seem necessary to know before now.

Thinking about the fact that jade had died and re-spawned here at Nazarick. Meant Kyuketsuki must be raging about it now with how personal he was about his NPCs. He didn’t want to risk bringing albedo along if it was a player who had killed Jade. Wielding [Hel’s torch], an item he assumed was high level to summon the Hellen’s flame wolf packs.

Ainz had to think of a solution presently to answer this somehow. But albedo was making a hard argument to counter. Cutting off his escape routes to just pick Narberal. As much as he hated to admit, it might be less of a risk to have Albedo. 

'I need to question Kyuketsuki and figure out how his creation is so insightful about his plans. When every other resident of Nazarick just assumes, Ainz is way smarter than he actually was. In a way, velvet might be a bigger threat then demiurge for this alone.’

"Albedo, I really feel it is unnecessary when it would just be more work for you as overseer of our great tomb. Would it not be better to stay here to maintain order by yourself?"

Those sparkly eyes looked up at him, no she wouldn't. It was difficult enough to turn all this down as it was. Praying, he could just end this nightmare already; he just wants to not be suffocated here as it was.

"It is no trouble at all Ainz-sama; in fact, I realize why you want to go out there now to better understand those who would dare oppose you. As your future wife, I must join you so I might better understand your wish for me to tolerate these lower lifeforms."

Despair rolled over any hope of ending this. Where was Demiurge when he needs him.

"Please, my love, I only wish to help you, and this unworthy servant only wishes to better suit your needs. I beg you."

Defeated, Ainz felt his resolve crumbling at Albedo's depressing look with teary eyes. As his mouth hung open, but no words came out as the silence was deafening in the room.


-Flashback end-

Weaving through the street, as merchants bid for goods and people mingled about, up to the inn where they would be staying. Hesitating to act thinking of the best way to temper his overseer's temper. This would be half as much trouble with Nabe as a cover, but apparently, Albedo had a cover story ready too

Whispering to Albedo, "Now remember we are undercover. I'm Momon and your Abey. We are adventurers. Who are new to town and no-killing unless I allow it."

Sighing at this turn of events, he should have just brought Velvet with him suspicion or not. Then he wouldn't be dealing with this mess right now.

"Of course, my love."

Walking into a very familiar bar (Already went over it once and it is pretty much the same, just imagine a dent still in the ceiling.) looking at all the adventures which looked more on guard than usual. Around newcomers, some of which interested him to a slight degree.

"Hay, another one, do you think it will be like the last one!"

"Quick, clear the table just in case!"

"I bet five copper these two are just being flashy."

Approaching the bartender scarred features as he was cleaning a glass glancing up at them both with a hardened expression.

"Copperplate Hun. Five copper a night and where are currently short on meat, so no meat in the meals."

Speaking up after getting a good layout of the room around them genuinely, it seemed more and more, Velvet's story was not fictional but truthful. Just looking at this grimy place, how Kyuketsuki’s maids hadn't done something overstaying here was beyond him.

"We will be staying for one night, and I would like to request a double room."

angrily the keeper looked at him with evil eyes, but Ainz was unfazed by it staring at the man.

"Tell me, greenhorn, do you know why you were sent to this inn, for Adventurers because mine is the worst one of them. It is where you can learn to build teams to compliment your strengths. Now, do you want a dorm or a double room?

Ainz was unmoved by this though rubbing Albedo’s back to keep her calm. He just wanted to get this over with already.

"A double room! Now could you finish up my love, and I would like to sit down after our long travel."

Upset, the man ticked at the new adventurers, at least the other one wasn't half this rude.

"Fine, it will be seven copper upfront and don’t get too close to other people's rooms; they might get the wrong idea."

Handing over the money, they turned to go up the stairs or at least planned to. Until a foot was put in their way. By a very arrogant iron plate, was it too much to ask to be left alone, Ainz thought? Walking around the foot to hopefully spare this fool's life.

Only for the punk to pretend to be hurt. "Hey, that hurt!"

"My mistake, I must not have seen your foot from my limited view now move."

Ordinarily, he would be a little nicer but much needed to be discussed in a more private setting. Plus, he didn't have time for this though to Albedo’s credit. The man was not a bloody smear on the ground yet so progress.

"Well, how about you make it up to me? Let say give me some time with your woman."

Grabbing the punk by his collar much to Ainz's surprise, it was not him, but Albedo lifting him up with ease. Fear filled him as he quickly thought of a way to keep this from getting out of hand. Though he was beaten to the punch as his partner glared at the fool.

"Listen here, you minuscule inexcusable maggot, the only one to touch me shall be Momon-san and no one else! Be happy; I have decided you are not worth my personal time to crush. Now get out of our way."

Throwing the punk through the air with a controlled but powerful force as the punk smacked into a wall indenting it, then falling on to the table below. While glaring at the other two, one of them fainted from the sheer force of the glare. As the other one trembled in fright of this person before them.

"No point in wasting time are you coming at us as well."

"No!"

"Then, seeing as how your friend started it, I'm sure you wouldn't mind paying for the damages right."

With both armored people towering in front of the only person still up at the table. Feeling the intimidation of both of them.

"Right!"

"Oh yes, this reminds me we will need adventuring packs as well,” Ainz commented to the barkeep.

Impressed by the show of force, the innkeeper contemplated both of them with appraising eyes. They might be like the last group. Grimacing, he would need to replace more tables again. Right before they could go up the stairs, someone called out.

"Wait a minute!"

Turning to see the irate redhead (Brita, not Ritana just to not get confused) marching up to both of them.

"You just broke my potion!"

"Just a potion?"

This was confusing to Ainz are potions hard to come by here; either way, he was hoping to move on quickly.

"look, Brita, I don't think you should mess with them. I'm still dealing with something like this with how it turned out last time."

This intrigued Ainz. "Last time you mean, this happens a lot."

Shaking his head, the scarred innkeeper looked them over again but decide against telling them too much. He didn't want to stay on bad terms with Kyuketsuki. Letting out an exasperated breath.

"Let's just say the only reason these punks stay here. Is nowhere else will take them. Long story short, you're the second adventures to come in here this month and teach them a lesson of manors."

"Oh, you mean the new guy Ky-

Slamming his hand down on the wood. "Brita, please refrain from sharing too much it is still regrettable. It ended so badly with his group."

"So, I assume my friend was here than I actually came to E-Rental looking for him."

Sighing. "Well, you can ask him when you find him yourself if he wants you to. He is not here now though, if you could just help out Brita with a potion, I don't want to repair this place anymore then I already have to."

Ainz was hoping to get more answers, but it appeared the innkeeper was unwilling to prompt any more info on the subject. He didn't want to start a big scene here if he could avoid it so reluctantly, he pulled out a spare healing potion for allies back in Yggdrasil.


-Double room-

Shutting the door to the small two-bed room, Albedo looked at her beloved with trepidation, trying to get a look under his armor. Not only to see if she has acted appropriately for the role for fear of being sent back to Nazarick. Also, to see his royal features now that they were alone in the room.

"Was this acceptable, Ainz-sama? I was as light as possible with the worm. Though was it necessary to give that woman a potion."

Sighing Ainz turned to the overseer. "Yes, it was Good work, Albedo. also, for the times we are in town, call me just Momon."

"Yes, Momon-san."

"It was an iron plate; it would be unwise to make her appear weak. Besides, we have more pressing issues. You noticed all the shadow demons around town correct along with those others in the shadows."

Since just getting in from the front gates, there appeared to be someone watching from the shadows at every turn. Which didn't fit Kyuketsuki style, but without detaining one, it was impossible to know for sure. What was worrying was it was noticeable if they knew what to look for. But none of the ordinary people about town even picked up on it.

"Yes, I have, and I can sense other demons here in town like the lead guard at the gate."

Taking off his helmet to contemplate this mess. It was looking like bringing Albedo along was the right call. He would need to find information on his friend quickly, but he was a bit paranoid about this being the scheme of another player.

"How many did you sense so far."

"About fifteen so far, but I would estimate a total of forty spread overall, not counting all these shadow demons roaming about."

Taking in this information while going over the most secure places to gather information in town. Possibly detain one of them lurking around to find out who they work for.

"Then I will head out to gather the information you stay here and guard the room in case someone tries to get in and inform Nazarick of the situation."

"At once, Momon-san."

Once Momonga was out of the room, Albedo smiles as she reached out with a message spell to Nazarick. Feeling it connect with Narberal.

{Hello mistress Albedo is everything going ok.}

{Excellent Velvets ideas are working wonderfully now are the others on my side or that lamprey.}

{Well, most of the Pleiades are on your side though Solution is on Shalltears side because of their shared habits. While Entoma is unknown. I'm still unsure if Velvet supports you.}

{Well, see about getting them on our side, and as for Velvet, I'm sure she is. She is just playing the parasite to appear neutral.}

 


-E-Rental Cemetery-

Footsteps echoed in the tunnel system as both of them swiftly went down the steps leading to the new laboratory. Which was crudely set up, but it was far more than most would expect from just days’ worth of work done so far.

"I see you have gotten this set up quickly."

Turning to look at Kathrin with disbelieving eyes as much as he was impressed, this was very unusual to have done. In such a short time, even with humans helping which he would need to inspect later.

"Yes, Kyuketsuki-sama, I have managed to set up a fairly good system for our new workers."

"Then you don't mind answering a few questions?"

"Of course not, I figured you might be interested. So I took the liberty of writing up the details."

To Kyuketsuki surprise, the battle maid already had part of this covered with a scroll handing it over. To him, along with five others which each was titled differently for convenience. A population scroll that had the names and personal information of all the workers, including any items they had.

Next was the workload and reward scroll, which keeps logs of their work hours and break times evenly spaced out. With children having a playing and learning time added in so they mostly were given the most manageable tasks. With the old humans being given more teaching and leading positions to not strain them too much.

Lastly was a description of the supplies gathered together from one of the few Eight Fingers slave bases in town. Kathrin had ensured this one looked like a fire got out of hand, and everyone died. Leaving eight fingers with a loss and them taking everything for there own needs.

Kathrin had turned the former slaves or forced workers in loyal followers and blood donors, which they could build up needed blood tanks without killing now. The coins taken covered most of the cost of food, new clothes, and even comfortable housing for them. Lastly, those loyal to eight fingers or disgusting nobles were turned into zombies to be used for hard labor and farming in the underground fields to save on future food costs.

He was happy overall everything he needs to set up his lab base in E-rental was set. This didn’t lower Kyuketsuki suspicions of his knowledge. Kathrin only saw all humans as some weak and untrustworthy tools to be destroyed when they broke. Why was this set up so much different from that human-hating kind of mindset?

"Well, I am very pleased with this. You seem to be tolerating them much better than I would expect. why?"

Somehow the beaming grin on Kathrin's face failed to ease his worry for those under her command. He could already feel the sinking feeling in his heart rise at this deceptive grin.

“I realized why you wish for me to treat these insects with such undeserving kindness, lord kyuketsuki. I will admit I had planned on just abducting a few and forcing them to work. Then I realized it would be too noticeable and could lead back to us. Something you have told me many times to avoid.”

Hope arose back up was he finally able to get his message across for once. This could be good for future prospects and plans where he didn't have to protect humans from Kathrin.

"So?" Sitabus prompted, hoping she would finally understand his want for some normalcy.

"I decided to use local slaves from Eight Fingers instead. In part to burn eight fingers for there actions in jades death and Since they know how horrible, their miserable, wretched kind can be. Applying this to slowly train them into totally loyal obedient dogs and work sheep for our every need and whim. Possibly to serve you directly if they prove devoted enough even if it means dying at your command.” Kathrin spoke With a serious face as if this was good and just talk.

Dread came rushing back; no, this was not what he was trying to say at all. Why couldn't she just be neutral to them without an unneeded twist! Keeping up his poker face while screaming in his mind.

'Why is she so smart yet can‘t even realize I just want to help others.'

With an idea to help further change Kathrin's way of thinking, "Then tell me what are your thoughts of letting those proven loyal. Join our ranks as respected and trustworthy members of our family."

Sitabus hoped to shift her view to less hostile intent if nothing else. Leading up to another topic of strengthening their power base in this city.  Xennessa had stretched her control far enough for now with the cemetery, adventures guild, magic guild, city watch, and mayor’s office. Had each been infiltrated, even a few businesses that gathered monthly cases of coins in return for protecting them from eight fingers or other criminal groups. Though it was lower, then he would like to avoid bankrupting them.

He didn’t want them to get the idea that they could mistreat anyone working for him, indirectly or not, Human or not. If he was going to be a ruler, he wouldn’t be like his old world with workers treated like replaceable parts in one big machine.

"I would say they should know their place under us. If they hope to keep such an honorable position. As only our sons and daughters shall have the honor of ruling this city and all else we claim. If the unthinkable should come to pass."

Being in such close proximity to Kathrin ignited a fire in his heart. Trying to fight it off, no, he needs to make a point. Don't cave into this! Working to control his train of thought off of the warm squishy feeling on his chest.

“Kathrin, my dear, I’m undead, and you are mostly a magic-powered automation. With both those factors, we may not be able to bear children…mum.”

Kyuketsuki gave into pleasure as their lips met tasting charry, and tongues intertwined with his own. Pulling Kathrin close unwilling to let go of the warm embrace, feeling her magic core steady and strong pulse waves, in place of a heartbeat.

Finally, Kathrin pulled back, staring into his own loving and lust-filled eyes.  With a kind but teasing beaming grin, her eyes held nothing but trust, love, and devotion.

"My love, I know you can find a way to change this as master of blood and flesh. Is this not why you went after the forbidden secrets and arts rather than the power of your classes. Even now, you work to find a way to bring back my sister Jade. When others would like sheep, just accept it and move on.”

Sitabus remembered the conversation that referred to with Momonga about his unholy alchemy class and rare vampire classes. Limiting which spells he could pick up, like blocking off fire-based spells and classes. Capping the max number at 350 spells. Along with the power of his build Which Kathrin was present for at the time. If she remembered this, how much else did they recall from YGGDRASIL?

"Maybe, but it may not be born in the traditional sense, are you ok with this."

Kathrin's bright golden eyes dimmed a little but still determined to try for this possibility. Even with the lackluster mood hanging in the air. Kathrin rests her head on Kyuketsuki's broad shoulders.

"Then we may adopt a few if we decide they are strong and worthy enough to handle your divine blood.  We can talk about our future young later. I assume there is another reason for coming here rather than cuddling Rita's affection?”

Patting Kathrin's head with a scratch behind those cat ears.

“How perceptive of you as always I want to personally meet those who work for our cause. After all, I must know the names and faces of those who work for me. Worry not about Ritana is training and reading a book of magic I gave her after the drake battle. Bardic should finish up his changes soon another day or two at most. He will be stronger and hopefully help raise the team another rank soon.”

Nodding at this declaration, they moved throughout the lab tunnels Kyuketsuki taking note of the one wall pushing one brick in halfway. Part of the wall slid away to reveal a winding staircase down. Lit by candles and blue light the whole way down to the hidden tunnels a rather brilliant idea.

This hidden entrances to his lab would also allow vampires to move about the city with little trouble. Sitabus wasn’t going to ask anyone to trudge through the sewers every time he needed them to go somewhere. So he went with the less smelly and hazardous health options for the more time consuming and safer alternative.

It was concerning that he was finding servants and family as an interchangeable term lately. As he takes in the relatively clean (as a dirt tunnel could be), it was less built up and livable as the tomb above.

"Hum, this seems to be lacking in style. You do plan to have actual brick and mortar tunnels put in. Possibly carpets and decorations if we can afford it."

"yes, my lord, but I don’t want to overwork the fragile sheep. Zombies are only good at so much before more intelligent minds are needed for more delicate work. If you are not happy with the speed Kyuketsuki-sama, I can make them finish faster.”

"No need to rush them. Just make sure it gets finished in the next month. I don’t want to worry about the tunnels collapsing on them."

Once he entered the main chamber where the people gathered, their eyes watched him with interest and wonder. Some gave inquisitive stares of his presence here. Not surprising considering just days ago, they were slaves beaten and mistreated under eight fingers rule. Which is why he needs to earn their trust before asking too much of them.

Stopping in the middle of the living quarters as the humans came to gather around an idea came to mind. To build there, trust and help rebuild what they had lost under eight fingers.

"Is everything to your liking Kyuketsuki-sama."

He nodded yes to Kathrin inviting some to come up and talk with him. Taking time to get to know some of them and hear their stories or thoughts after listening to a few. Sitabus decided to reward a few for their understanding and time. It would only be a few right now. He didn't have too much time to spare.

"After talking with a few of you, I have an idea to help ease your lives and foster more trust between us. Kathrin informs me you are all hard-working servants, so I am willing to reward a few as proof of my appreciation of your trust and respect. Simply ask, and if it is within my power, I shall grant it.”

Three brave small children volunteers came forward from around the gathered crowd. With broad smiles on their tiny faces. Unaffected by the air of fear from around them, which still lingered over the group.

"Can me and my friends get something cool?"

Hearing these cute voices brought back only memories of a time before all this. One which had been forgotten in the rush of this new world; a smile graced his face as he thought about how best to grant such a vague request.

"[create magic items: affinity three] How about this?"

In a flash, three floating sticks appeared in his hand, looking to dance in his hand before floating over to the three children, "So cool thanks, Mr. Kyuketsuki." The three thanked him before running off to play.

"Uh, could you perhaps heal some of our wounded. Their wounds are still healing from before we got here."

Looking to the five bandaged up men and women before him, each one having been scarred by their time in eight fingers employment. Though he didn’t know if they would fully heal the scars. Treating them back to full health should be minor enough. Pulling out ten spare miner healing potions from Yggdrasil. He dare not use his own negative energy healing spells.

"Have them drink these healing potions, and they will be good as new."

"Thank you, good master, you are so kind."

Bravery to come up was slowly rising in his workers as the anxiety of his presence was replaced by praise. As another group approached them with broken tools in hand, gazing at him. "Um, could you perhaps fix our tools they got broken towards the end of our shift."

Beaming at this simple matter as he pulled out some trash digging items and workman's toolsets. Handing them over to the awestruck eyes of the workers.

"These tools are so expertly foraged and excellently crafted where did you find them?"

Chuckling to himself. "I have been traveling with them for some time, though do take good care of them."

After they came up two more, which appeared to be two lovers by how close they were to each other. They seemed to be somewhat shy as they came up, holding hands kneeling to Kyuketsuki.

"Um, my love Aerin and I were planning on getting a gift for each other, but since we lack any funds, could you spare two or some coin to buy something."

With a broad smile, he used [create item] flashing two straightforward but beautiful rings into his hand as the two took them out of his palm with praise and thanks as they went back into the crowd.

Lastly, an old man appeared with a walking stick curtly bowing to the leader.

"My lord, I wish to help teach, so would it be possible to get a training ground set up? so we might learn to defend ourselves should eight fingers come looking for us."

Kyuketsuki saw a very beneficial idea, even if he could not simply create it without risking a cave-in at this time. He would have to have Kathrin grant this task, which would take time.

"I will see to it Kathrin puts together a training area for all to use. It should take a few days to put together after we ensure none of the tunnels are at risk of collapsing. Know I expect it to be used to keep yourselves healthy and for everyone's betterment.” 

"Of course, we will use it well thank you for your generosity, lord Kyuketsuki."

Before any more could come forward, the twin doors to the dining hall opened. Though he would work to help keep all his servants healthy and happy. He would have to be careful not to create another Tarick. Motivating loyalty and discouraging ungrateful curs that sought to burn him.

"Well, since no one else as any requests, how about you all have a lovely feast on me. Kathrin will even give you all an extra hour to bond with your friends and fellow-servants.”

With a cheer, they quickly but orderly went into the dining hall, leaving the two alone in the cavern. Inwardly sighing terrified of failing any of them. He would have to do more to stay on their good graces. Most of the workers were unable to realize the damage they could do to his persona as a hero and adventurer if they betrayed him and let out what they know of his lab.

"Kyuketsuki-sama, I believe we have a problem. One of the vampire brides just reported someone approaching the cemetery. It would appear to be a blonde human woman with unknown weapons on them.”

"I see. Then why don't I go introduce myself to our uninvited guest. You stay here and use some of the Yggdrasil coins. I gave you to summon or create something to help speed up the construction of the tunnels. Nothing that drains the food stockpile too much, maybe golems?

Kyuketsuki halted partway out, "Also, see if you can make this place fully self-sufficient I don’t want to drain our street money more then needed.”

Teleporting out of the room into his personal study, Briskly exiting into the night air with a smile. Smelling his quarry nearby, they might be the final piece needed to bring jade back. After all, few would go wandering the cemetery by choice at this hour.

 


-Cemetary of E-Rental-

A hooded figure trudged through the graveyard with an almost uncaring attitude about them. Under the hood, they were a little tense all the way through town. They got the feeling of being watched. Had them worrying if the last distraction had been enough or had the wind flow scriptures caught up. Banishing the thought away if they had, Clementine would already be engaging in combat with them.

Clementine halted halfway to her destination, feeling eyes upon her back; this was getting annoying. Glancing over her shoulder at someone walking up a man dressed in a mix of armor and noble clothes. Black and silver hair swaying in the cold night air whistling. Well, at least it wasn't her hunters on her trail.

It is not to say she had not heard of this person; instead, a more important question was what was this new big shot adventurer doing here. Maybe she could get a chance to test his skill before ending it with some tortures fun. It wasn’t like Khajiit was going anywhere fast.

"I wouldn't attack my dear; I could kill you in seconds."

Clementine was confused, hearing the dangerous undertone of that soft, gentle voice. Seeing a second Kyuketsuki walking in front of her, glancing back to see the other fade out of view. Cracking a wide grin under her hood, oh this could be fun. Clementine being an ex-black scripture member, knew few could sneak up on her like this.

"Hello, stranger. You know others might find it strange if they saw you sneaking up on a poor girl like me in a place like this.~”

Clementine spoke sweetly, hiding her deadly undertone of blood lust. As this Kyuketsuki adventurer only chuckled at her peculiar tone. Which was interesting. Her paranoia and blood lust got the better of her stealthily reaching her stilettos, preparing to stab him. Clementine rushes up, waiting to hear his lovely screams of pain only to her a clang as a dagger was floating in front of her blocking her attack.

"If you want to play, then please remember I'm no novice, my dear guest."

The adventurer taunted. Her focus was on the dagger, spotting five more on his belt. She would have to watch out for those.

"I can see that, but can you keep up? ~”

As Clementine stared into his eyes, the world began to spin and shift as her mental wards tried to counter the mental invasion. She felt her body grew slack, relaxing unconsciously dropping her daggers. Struggling to fight off this mind, manipulation magic.

"Much better. Now, why don't you tell me, Why you wandered into my graveyard?"

Clementine would say she was impressed with the strength of his charm spell, if not for those red eyes. Willing her mouth to stay shut as it spoke without her permission.

"To find an old acquaintance hidden here. Then use him as a distraction to escape the people chasing me."

Clementine sneered when she finally wrestled control back. Still feeling a little hazy as she rolled and reclaimed her weapons. Clementine was now on guard; no one should be able to bypass her mental wards put in by the slane theocracy. If not for her strong will, she might have revealed a little more then she ever intended with anyone she planned on killing.

"Interesting trick, you got their mister vampire. Don't think [Charm Species] will work twice!~” With a sing-song, Clementine charged Kyuketsuki planning to hear him scream as she stabbed. Right through thin air, one arm was pulled behind her back painfully.

"If you plan to dance with me. Then at least move a little faster. I would hate to accidentally break something because my dance partner was too slow."

A shiver went down her spine as Clementine could hear the playful mocking tone whisper into her ear. Realizing they were either holding back or using illusions to cover their real movement. Possibly both, while toying with her. Clementine smirked using her training to flip her body over on to Kyuketsuki’s back using the movement to free her arm and both stilettos into his chest, careful to avoid vital spots. She wanted to enjoy this, or at least that was the thought as her thrusts were blocked by another clang.

"Oh, this is fun, my dear, but I feel we have gotten off track."

Suddenly there was a gust of air as they were now in the air two strong hands gripped her wrists. Currently flying a hundred feet in the air, a breeze blowing past them.

"Oh, trying to romance me too bad, I'm faster than this! [ability boost] [greater ability boost]

Clementine flipping her body around in the air, quickly planting both her boots on his chest, pushing off. Landing with a roll on to the ground, grinning as she charged him once he hovered back closer to the graveyard earth, trading blows with the floating daggers. Looking for a weak point to strike at struggling to get past these floating blades. They were clearly not human by the red eyes and wings on there back. On top of their fast speed, which was on par if not faster then her old working partners with their martial arts active. Which she didn’t see any sign they had any active.

In a lightning-quick clash of blades under the moonlight, both of them grinning as the conflict was drawn out. Clementine was dashing around to an unprotected side as one of her stilettos found its mark in a weak point in the armor.

Yet even with the electricity flowing through them, they didn't scream out; in fact, Kyuketsuki was laughing, turning to glance at Clementine. She jumped back, unsure of what to make of this reaction. They should at least be in pain, not laughing and clapping at this. Even as the stiletto was still stabbed in their side.

"Very nice, my dear, I think I may have a job proposition for you. fulfill it, and I shall ensure whoever is chasing you will never bother you again."

Clementine was Leary to just trust this man on his words; still, it might be beneficial. Watching them pull out the weapon from their armor, not even grunting in pain. Yet this also only raises her desire to see such a mighty adventurer cry out in agony under her. But she was no fool. They weren't even taking this seriously or going all out.

Licking her lips at the thought of a real challenge, few could even claim to have lived this long after fighting with her.

“Oh, and what do you want me to do? Join your little merry band. you know I'm a professional assassin.~”

To her surprise, he shook his head no. "It would be a waste of your talents to constrict you like that. Besides, I think you are a bit too bloodthirsty for it, you couldn't go around looking for victims. I think you would be much better for a bigger plan I have in motion. A new danger to the city?

They where both still as those words hung in the air. Clementine had a broader, bigger grin at this. If anyone heard an adventurer talking like this, it would be treasonous, to say the least. Oh, she thought he was just planning something dull, but this sounded fun.

~What kind of new danger?~

"The kind which requires a change of management, so to speak. With a delightful proposition for you, my dear. I can't say the same for this acquaintance of yours. You see, I don't share very well, and the cemetery of E-Rental is my domain."

 


-At the Mausoleum in E-Rental-

Glancing about the mausoleum, Sitabus followed the woman named Clementine into this dark room, which looked empty, but his nose could Cleary pick up a faded human scent in the air. It was old and decayed some, which made it all too easy to figure out this acquaintance was a necromancer.

Watching discreetly as one of the faces was pushed in, sliding open a stairway down. "Were coming in.~” Clementine announced

Hearing the voice sound just as high and cute as Jades, he smiled. This would help to hasten his work to gain full control of the city. Kathrin and the others were working wonders, it was still a very loose hold that could be discovered and blocked. Which is why to speed it up, he needed a big distraction. Something which could panic the whole city. Like an army of undead clamoring along.

Also, in fighting this danger, he would control the danger level, ensuring he was promoted to adamantite rank along with his party. But more importantly, managing the loss of life something this necromancer and psychopathic woman wouldn't care or think to do. One extended the time frame for Xennessa and a few others, he would need to call into work. second to ensure only the bare minimum of deaths was achieved with these objectives

Reaching the misty green atmosphere of this decrepit place in the future it might be useful with such a large cavern. And pillars around to stabilize the area lit by what seemed to be crystal light.

"Yo, I'm here to see you, Khajiit, and I found a friend."

Scanning the surrounding area as an old elder man in robes came out in to view scowling. Clearly wanting to say something, but upon noticing the adventurer, his eyes took a hateful glint. Oh, he saw this as a betrayal, maybe? It was hard to say, but nothing good would come of losing this Pawn just yet.

"You know it's quite dangerous to be intruding here after I have been charging my death orb!"

Holding back a snort at this negative energy from the orb washing over him. Only heals what little damage he took by letting clementine land a hit. Even accounting for the assassin next to him, he just shielded her. Wanting to test out how potent this necromancer was without that strange orb.

Reaching out his hand, sensing the negative energy which filled the orb. [shadow hand] khajiit was shocked as the shadow hand reached out pulling the orb out of his hand. Back to Kyuketsuki as he felt the orb’s sentients come alive in his thoughts.

'Hello, master you are so powerful so good are we-

"Shut up now! You call this a death orb. Let me show you a true death orb!"

Channeling a silent skill to improve the object as master of blood, he could enhance objects linked to death or filled with negative energy like this. It would drain a little of his mana and hp to do so. The other two occupants of the cavern watched as scarlet drops of blood encasing the orb in a deep red. Supercharging it with negative energy as it glowed ominously. Even gaining a face as it floated up out of his hand.

"Yes, I can feel your power master so much energy flowing through me I'm free."

"Shut up and fly back over to khajiit."

'And make sure he stays loyal, or I can unmake you.'

'Of course, master.'

After commentating through thought to his new cursed item, it would test this necromancer for him and, if the need arose, end him.

"How did you do that?" Khajiit spat, shocked, and appalled.

Kyuketsuki chuckled darkly. "Simple, you should know not to underestimate a vampire lord. We are masters of un-life and such a simple matter as this was easy unless you would like to challenge me."

"See Khajiit, I found a good friend, but looky what I found it looks so lovely I just had to take it. The priestess went mad as soon as it left her head."

While Kyuketsuki could only look on in question at the item. It looked to be made of spider webs and crystal shards. He noticed the necromancer's eyes of recognition as he went on to explain part of what it did.

Learning about this item, Sitabus knew it was a trash item. This crown of wisdom had a significant drawback. Who wanted an object that deleted personality? There were endless other ways to gain more magical power besides this! And the person themselves could just be kill because they wouldn't dodge, they would be cumbersome to keep around.

{Lord Kyuketsuki, it was reported a group of humans is flying over the town invisibly. Would you like me to take care of them?}

More issues to take care of what a pain. Probably, Clementine's pursuers well better to take care of them now rather than later.

{Yes, I have made an ally I believe they are after, please take care of them.}

{At once lord kyuketsuki!}

"Hey Kyuket, what were you offering to the deal.~"

Remembering he had a guest to entertain, it must look like he was just spacing out for a few minutes.

"Well, it's simple, really. I want to change those in charge of the city to ones I can trust interested? You both could have key roles after it is over.”

All three of them felt maleficent smiles come over them, unaware of Kyuketsuki’s own hidden plans for the pair.

 


- The wind flow scouts-

Three figures hovered over the city of E-Rental looking for the traitor to their cause and where she had gone to. After getting a tip, she had been spotted in town. It didn’t make the task any more comfortable; however, as their leader kept insisting, they stay together, something which they disagreed with.

Their mission was imperative. It was to retrieve the crown of wisdom back from that backstabbing Clementine. Or at the very least find her location so one of the other scripts could handle this mess. It was still unknown how she got away in the first place, but that could be answered when they were being interrogated.

"I still say. We should split up and look in separate areas, or she may slip away again captain this is crazy."

Glaring back at the insubordination of her new recruits, the two were still quite young to this, and Anglia had worked with Clementine enough to know just how dangerous and deranged she was. Something neither of them genuinely understood, but it was risky for her plan.

Still, she was aiming for a promotion, and bringing in this target would help in that regard. Even if both of these idiots failed to see it was their mission, nothing would stop her from finishing it.

"I told you before. Gingroe, this needs to be done quickly, now either suggest something else or keep looking we know, she is in this place somewhere."

"How do we even know for sure it could be a trick or a false lead."

Sighing in frustration. "Because Alerick is a member still in deep cover, and he saw her in town. I'm surprised, he's still alive if the report of this monster is correct."

"Yeah, I heard one new guy's group held their own. Against such a beast, there are rumors the teams still recovering from the battle."

It wouldn't be farfetched to say it would be strange if the team weren't after the betrayal of one member and another member's death. Still, Anglia would have to try and push Alerick to recruit them for the Slane Theocracy. They sounded like an excellent group of humans, even if one was a dwarf.

"Uh, captain, what is that?"

Squinting in the direction they pointed at. Anglia could make out some kind of light that was getting bigger and bigger until they realized what it was with widened eyes.

"Move now!"

Dodging out of the way as purple arrows shot past them, dissipating only to see more heading their way weaving through the storm of arrows. They came at them, unable to find the source of the attackers anywhere.

All three going back to back, putting up magic shields to weather the storm of attacks. With still no sign of an attacker, this was bad. They should be un-seeable right yet Cleary they were being watched.

" Barbosa, find the source quick!"

"Right [mythical eagle sight]" Glancing around till something stood out a little cracking a small smirk "I found some ack-

Both of them looked to see why Barbosa stopped there was some kind of purple substance on his eyes hissing, Cursing Anglia knows the attack was aimed at him; they didn't want to be found they need to get out of the air now.

[triple teleportation]

All three of them appeared on the ground as the dome of magic above was crushed. Sighing, turning to her underlings. Stopping neither of them was close by; instead, she was alone on a roof. Feeling dread, they used delay teleportation, so they had to be skilled in magic.

"Aghhh-

A shrill cry was heard in the distance of Barbosa, panting Anglia pulled out her twin daggers rushing to look for Gingroe before whatever claimed Barbosa did. Feeling eyes follow her but glancing back, she could not find the watcher. Sweaty palms gripped her weapons harder; this should not be happening. Who was even skilled enough to target them?

"Come on, where are you moron." Frantically glancing around for the lost member.

Finally, spotting a flash of movement to the right. Following it into an alleyway on the ground was a blood trail leading deeper into the darkness. This screamed trap, but she needs to at least confirm if they were still alive. So, Anglia pushed on into the night as no light seemed to penetrate into this void. Using a dark vision spell to try and locate her missing member.

Scanning the wall for traps or enemies, yet none popped out to her, struggling to at least identify what or who had attacked them. Which is why fear is permeating her mind, just trying to understand the situation. Was this part of Clementine’s trap or hired help? Who was attacking them if it was the case?

A bunch of low-level casters or a sniper, it was dizzying just trying to figure out their end game. Why had they pulled back? They clearly had the upper hand, so why were they holding back now.

Hearing a sound to the left, they turned in horror to see a badly cut up cloak ruined with cuts and burns all over, breathing hard. Rushing over to look over their injuries, there was a lot of blood.

"Come on, speak to me what happened here."

But there was no response as they lay there bleeding out quickly, pulling out a healing potion to at least slow the bleeding.

"There is no point worm you have already lost."

Snapping her head to look at the person with a hard gaze spitting at them. As she began pouring the potion down Gingroe’s throat. Standing with both weapons drawn, Anglia was wary of the danger of this woman.

"Tell me what is your intention here did Clementine send you to slow us down?"

No answer came back over the silence, glaring at each other, feeling the tension in the air. Waiting for them to attack, yet they made no move to advance on her or the downed ally. With great confusion looking for any hidden dangers.

"Last time I check, it wasn't wise for adventures to work with criminals. You know what that traitor is like, right?" Anglia tried to reason with her.

"I am sorry if I gave you the impression that I know who you are talking about! But it won't matter to answer a dead maggot."

Angered by this, Anglia charged forward at the adventurer, hoping to at least gain some answers. Yet her attack was blocked by some kind of claw weapon, which was rare to come by. Twisting around to stab under her guard only to meet a second claw.

Getting kicked back in her shock of the surprise trying to gage her adversary, yet no aggressive action was made. It was like they were waiting for something to happen as Anglia heard a groan from behind.

"Hurry up and help me out here, Gingro. We need to beat this woman and get back to the mission."

Silence followed by the odd shuffling of feet was he to injured to talk the mystery plagued her worried mind. Praying to the six gods, they could make it out of here unharmed.

"I would move. If I were you little sheep."

Ignoring this enemy's words, Anglia felt confident in her position in this battle or at least did. Till something bit into her side, screaming out in pain while stabbing her daggers... In to Gingros green, pale skin unfocused eyes looking at her hungrily. Stabbing at the zombie, trying to free herself.

Only to stop as something small stabbed her heart, dropping to the ground dying as the zombie munches away at the dead body. Until it was cut down head rolling away on the uneven ground. Kathrin made a disgusted sound at the dead bodies While pulling out a long-poisoned needle from the human’s heart.

"So easy to beat, I even warned you! How foolish can sheep be."

"Still, thank you for the free red vials. Make sure to clean up the rest.”

Speaking harshly to the shadows as red eyes watching the scene unfold.

"Of course, mistress Kathrin."


-End of Chapter-

 

Chapter Text


-Laboratory in E-Rental cemetery-

Bubbling in the glass beakers around the laboratory illuminated by a mix of different colors around the room. As long tendrils of amber slime stirred some containers while shifting other ingredients around and mixed many different things at once multitasking the very taxing endeavor. As puffs of sickly and deadly multitudinous colored smoke swirled in the air, most living beings would find such thin air hard to breathe in being choked by noxious fumes of the laboratory at work.

At the center of this room stood Kyuketsuki hovering over a table covered in complex charts and graphs. Formulas of considerable length and difficulty in varying languages and texts of old. Gazing intently at each piece, idly feeling his linked slime wings work at each task with extreme caution.

So as not to disturb the highly volatile room filled with an unseen balance of chemicals and glasses. Built-up after hours of tiring work with delicate care and planning to speed up the process of this lengthy task.

"Hum, I still seem to be missing some crucial parts. Glee, where was the list Kathrin had?"

Sliding up into a vaguely humanoid shape was one of the slimes he rounded up from the young mage’s request. The fool would have had him killed them off. Kyuketsuki found a better use for them working in his lab with conditions that would endanger his fresh human servants below

As the highly toxic air in the lab could starve them of oxygen something, he didn't need anymore. Though he lacked rings of substance, they were reasonably content to feed off of the solutions cleaning like suckerfish though it was still unknown if this was a spell effect or just part of these new slime's ecology.

Taking the list from the slimes hand. "Well, this was to be expected but no less annoying without a rare green Perl, drake scales, and some blood or fire...?"

This last part wasn't too specific on what would be the best reagents for this potion. Though the dragon scale could have been solved if he didn't give away the body of the drake... still it might work. Thinking about this intensely, the plan would be enacted soon, and by then, this needs to be finished.

Making a difficult decision to try something untested, which could be tremendously dangerous if the brew behind him acted negatively. Still, it would eliminate one problem or blow up the lab, but such was the typical case when working with cursed alchemy. It was far more alive and active magically then regular alchemy, which made it very finicky yet an extremely efficient art.

Carefully taking out a flask of red liquid, slowly pouring it into the mix watching as the large boiling flask calmed. Sighing in relief one part down still, two pieces were missing, which could drastically alter the chances of success.

'For now, I will have to finish up and add the last two ingredients in the field; still, most of the work is done.'

Sitabus picking up the larger than average flask after the amber slime adds in the last powder in with a splash. Eyes fixated on the brew in hand, putting a cork on the top, gently setting it down with loving care. 'Soon, Jade, you will come back to me…I'm close. Where do I get the last parts or find suitable replacements? Already I'm pushing my limit on how much time I have to complete this...'

A knock came to the door, which would have startled him if not for his trained reflexes. After dying for the third time in Yggdrasil for dropping a cursed potion. In this regard, unholy alchemy was very unforgiving. Its complicated nature combined with magic and ritual art in Yggdrasil made it unfavorable due to the concoctions needing to be completed far in advance.

With particular requirements like extremely hard to find ingredients, planning, and items needed for every single potion. In Fact, if one were to open the door to Kyuketsuki’s lab while working, an explosion or other effects had a 75% chance of happening at random based on a ton of different factors.

"Sitabus-sama, it is time for us to meet up with the vermin scum."

Sighing for some reason, Kathrin loathed Clementine with a passion, although if she truly understood the assassin’s role in his plans, she would probably be overjoyed. Or not Kathrin was proving to be far more intricate and puzzling to figure out. For example, he would think because of her low opinion of humans, she would get along with Clementine's murderous ways.

No, he would not be surprised to find the battle maid plotting the blonde's death right now if not for strict orders not to.

"Thank you, my dear, I will be out in a minute."

Holding up the container of the brew as subtly the toxic fumes gathered into the mixture changing color and temperature till all of it had drained into on an eerie off violet color opening his inventory, he stored it away. With a clap of his hands, the shifting colored runes dulled back into normal light of the room.

"Clean and organize the room, Glee, and Flex."

Observing for a minute as the slimes got to work creeping around the room, recognizing then eating any mess or spills. Slyly smiling as Kyuketsuki opened the doors to see his love and creation standing there with dark-cloaked clothing and a mask.

"Excellent, I see you're ready! let me just get changed and we can go."

-hours later-

He was strolling down the dark side streets next to Kathrin. Sitabus readjusted his ivory and gold armor. Made up of what would look like a white knight in shining full plate armor if not for one fact. It was entirely made out of bones of fierce beasts held together by two under layers of lighter armor. Moving the curved and jagged blade of the spear on his back. Though it was not attuned to Kyuketsuki’s body like his Twin draconic blood sabers, which allowed him to merge the edges with his hands in his actual appearance.

Still, the wicked spear was longer and even quite deadly cursed with a high chance to turn any slain with it into undead and recharge his MP after every hit draining the victim of their magic as well.

'It’s good insight. I always carry spare armor around with me. Now even if spotted, no one should recognize the adventurer Kyuketsuki. Still, I wish part of the drawback wasn't having to wear all of it without it disintegrating.'

Thinking about it, this was part of the reason few players took cursed weapon mastery; in theory, he could use any weapon or gear as long as it had a curse on it without restrictions, but all weapons, shields, and armor were automatically cursed. This includes any weapons held by him that would have one drawback or curse. They would be unknown to him, and even if he gave the gear away, it would retain the curse on it.

The only way to figure out what they were was to test them out though luckily, nothing had a delete personality drawback on it like the crown of wisdom.

Still, for all the trouble the class gave him thanks to the Devs nerfing, it was a pretty useful class.

For one, he could cast a spell even in this armor without penalties, and it boosted his magic stats, but this was part of the plan to make them think he was a mage. Not a warrior, even the spear was more useful for magic than melee.

Thankfully he didn't have to look around too much. He just had to follow Kathrin to were one of Xannessa's infiltrators had run into a problem. Four guards had found out about the plan. Which was perfect for the next stage of the project in mind.

Glancing at Clementine, who was still upset over the interruptions of her playtime. If you counted torturing and killing others for fun as ‘fun.’

"If you keep staring at me, I might just think you want me to gorge your eyes out Threrus.~

"Oh, stop pouting besides, I thought you enjoyed seeing a human be burned from his own blood once it turned to acid."

Really this was just a distraction of a fool working for Clementine. Little did she know all those working for Khajiit were being hunted down to either join the winning side. Or see firsthand what awaited them on the other side.

However, even with her cheerful demeanor, her shoulders were tight, and her hands kept twitching over her stilettos. It was funny how similar her hatred of humans was to Jades; still, he needs to confirm how much himself.

"Besides, I think you're going to like your part of this next job."

"Oh, what's this bone boss.~

Leading down to one house hidden away in the side streets, Kathrin unlocked the door into the simple abandoned house. With continuous light spell illuminating the area to reveal four bound knights next to them a table full of tools. Looks of distrust and terror darting across the room upon the three people.

"What are these four chumps for? Didn't know you had a reason to hate random guards.~”

Clementine smirking slyly. "These four stood in my way as simple as that. Do you really care about their backstories? After all, this is the job."

"What you want me to guard them? Maybe scare them a little." Clementine deadpanned glaring at kyuketsuki.

Unseen from view, Kyuketsuki felt nothing about this, but he gained a gentle voice leaning close, putting an arm around her tense shoulders.

"Well, I don't care what you do with them, or for how long all I want is to know they won't be bothering me again; I heard a rumor all of them are retired adventurers."

Without looking, Kyuketsuki could feel the shift in Clementine’s mood beaming. It was one of her buttons he found really set her off. For some reason, this woman had a deep hatred of adventurers. If her body language was correct, it might have to do with her enjoyment of seeing and causing others pain. If she was telling the truth before, though, that conversation had been cut short too soon to tell.

"Really very interesting, Therus, so you're letting me have my fun then! ~”

Even with the hood covering her face, those gleeful cold red eyes, and a sinister grin was clear as day. Kyuketsuki walking around the assassin with careful steps seemed to be louder than usual, echoing even to everyone in the room.

"Of course, go wild Clementine use any tools or means at your disposal. Just make sure you finish your job and show me your true self."

If the assassin had been paying attention, she would have noticed how loud and clear it seemed to resonate in her. She was too hyped to care even if Clementine planned to kill Kyuketsuki later. This put her in a good mood.

"Well, if you're really interested, I suppose I could share a tale or two though I warn you it gets quite messy."

Kathrin just glared at the blonde with disinterest, uncaring about the pleas of mercy still not sure what the plan was. she disliked Kyuketsuki being so close to the clearly dangerous and treacherous human. Hands-on her claws in case anything happened.

They were standing off to the side, observing as Clementine stabbed into one of them with her daggers noting their effects on the victim's mind. As they cried out in pain yet stopped edging away from the singed stab wound in the shoulder.

"No, stop, please, we ahh!"

Watching on with neutrally of what was happening secretly judging comparing the likeness of this lesser being to Jade, even if she didn't understand why it was necessary. Noticing lord Kyuketsuki slide up to her unnoticed by the others.

"So how similar would you say they are? My dear, keep in mind to ignore the lesser lifeform bit," Kyuketsuki asked her.

Sighing with frustration, Kathrin answered back. "Well, if I am, to be honest, to are very similar in their taste for the suffering of pray. I still say we should end this insect."

He hides it well under a well-practiced poker face, this was a shock to him. 'Really, When! I have never seen Jade torment anyone was there a hidden side!'

"Really, I didn't know she was the type." Kyuketsuki turned to her with a raised eyebrow

"Well, she limited herself for your command, she actually enjoyed hearing her pray scream in pain, and with a few strong illusions, it would greatly hurt them without causing physical harm."

Keeping his depressing thoughts to himself, how much did Jade hide her bio wasn’t long but did this mean the reincarnation bit changed something. Thinking on it was a possibility how much could phrasing changes things, or was it something hidden about this new world? Doubt and fear piling up in the back of Kyuketsuki’s mind.

Taking in the scene before him would sicken most as Clementine let herself cut loose. Slowly and deliberately drawing out every injury and pain into pure agony. Listening to her pour out her story. Of how she got to E-Rental, it was a good source of info on this Slane Theocracy smirking. He might be able to find a good fight in this later.

"Also, I have my own order for you, my dear, I need you to collect two essential items in the next two days. Failure to find them will delay my plans!"

Glancing over, Kathrin could see the seriousness radiating off her master feeling the nervousness rise up could she complete this task in time. Looking at the scroll in hand, shaking slightly.

 


-The Adventure’s Inn-

Holding up the scroll, Ritana read over it, unsure what to make of this weird script in her hands? Trying desperately to understand it yet failing to read it at all, was this what the supreme being felt like every time he tried to read the job postings? Still, the harsh, unyielding eyes of her mistress loomed over her feeling sweat roll down her body.

"So, as you can see, I need you to find this item with all haste, or we will have failed as servants!" Kathrin spoke as if that was a fate worse than death.

The grim tone only increased her worry, trying to figure out what was needed as she refused to say it aloud. Rita knew asking would be partly admitting failure from the start of this job handed to her.

It did not help Bardic was still recovering from a severe cold he got just days ago. Warily she tried to put out an air of confidence to not appear lost even though she was.

"Now I would go with you, but I need to hunt down a drake and skin it, so we have the other component. I will need you to take care of this. Remember, we only have two days to find these or be punished for failure in our task handed to us from Kyuketsuki-Sama!"

Ritana is struggling to keep her shaking from being noticed in front of the pack leader with no idea how to read this scroll at all. How was she supposed to finish this task in time? At least if the supreme being was here, she could ask, but…

"Now I know this will be difficult for you, but this must be done alone as the master is attending to an evaluation of another task And Jinna will be watching over your friend while he recovers, he really shouldn't overwork himself like this. Fun or not... I will leave this task up to you good hunting."

Dread rose up inside her feeling the pressure of this task, watching her mistress teleport away. Before she could even ask what, she was supposed to do glancing at Bardic moaning from under the covers. Ugh, if only she had stronger healing spells, the lazy dwarf at least he would know! What she was looking at besides calling it a green ball of some kind.

"Ugh, this is complicated. Where do I even start looking? Wait, maybe I can translate this language."

Quickly rushing over to pull out every book in her pile in hopes of finding a clue to what was needed of her. Rita Scans over every page in hopes of finding a solution to this problem. There wasn't much to be perceived as the standard written language had replaced older ones. Even still, she saw a few books on older texts from the time during the evil deities rule.

Shifting over the pages, it was different but similar, so it was a start looking over the pictures and strange words. Until Rita came across an unknown green orb of some kind, but it seemed similar enough. She quickly works on reading the translated part of the page.

"Let see…the core of a diopside gem golem infused with magic to power an evil golem. Hun must be it. Now, where do I find one? Let's see they were scarce and almost impossible to find through a core that could be created from infusing diopside with any form of magic. Some kind of warning... ok, so this is what I need."

Those were rare to come by, and it was unknown how big of one she would need to find. Luckily, she knew a friend might be able to help with her mission if he was in town — quickly getting dressed after repacking her things into a neat pile in the corner again.

Leaving the room looking over the much more delightful inn though far costlier. Rita would admit it was far more beautiful. Because not many wanted to pay for expensive repairs, and the innkeeper was very strict in being pay fully for any damages.

Rita waves at a few people passing by, smiling back at one particular group. “Ah, Ritana, ever the beautiful warrior I see. How goes your journey for today!"

Beaming right back at them. "Good Asto though I'm short on time, so can we make this quick!"

She wouldn't mind him so much if not for his constant attempts to wow her; she only had eyes for her marvelous leader. Though she couldn’t be too open about it. Secrecy was vital for them, so she had to be careful about what was said.

"Oh, without your team, perhaps I can help. We, the Solar Bloom, can surely help any maiden in trouble. No matter how perilous or daunting the task. we shall strive to bring a smile to your face, with satisfaction in your heart's desire."

Sighing glancing over the group of five, she didn’t want to work with them, but if nothing else, her task might get done faster, which she needed to complete quickly as annoying as it would be to work with them.

"Fine, do you know where I can find diopside gems I need say a hand size one, or as close to and round-shaped as possible."

"Hum, not an easy task though I believe I know just the person to ask. There should still be a job offer up from a merchant in town who sells large gemstones like this. You might be able to get one from him as payment." Asto commented with an elegant pose.

"Thanks, it will help a lot! See you later, Bye."

Rushing off before they could offer to come with her. It would be a challenge to do this solo, the supreme one said to do it alone. At least mistress Kathrin implied it, And she would hate to kill anyone for a mistake of saying too much, so it was better to work alone for this one. Rita smirking to herself, it would be a good test of her skills to measure her growth as a warrior.

Stepping into the building, she noticed two newcomers dressed in full plate mail with giant swords and an ax. Most of the adventures in the room were whispering about them. What catches her eyes was the way they stood. The man looked to have exceptional armor, but his stance was of an inexperienced fighter.

Locking eyes with the second one dread-filled Rita with just a glaring gaze. She knew this person was Adamantite rank if not a legendary fighter in their own right. Both of them were not what they appeared though no one else seemed to notice the subtle danger signs.

'I will have to tell the supreme one about this. They might be another one of them!'

Shivering as Rita remembered the fight with the minotaur and those dangers metal fists, which sent out a wave of rut upon contact with anything. Tensing up, are they after her master again or someone else. Either way, she couldn't afford to fight them here. They might hold a world item as Kyuketsuki called it something which could be genuinely frightening to take on. If Kyuketsuki guess was right then, the dragon woman was also a part of this group.

Carefully making her way up to the board watching them, they didn't appear to know her, so this was good. Now, if only they weren't blocking the board thinking of the politest way to get them to move, or would they attack regardless of her actions. Rita's mind imaged endless scenarios and paranoia?!

"Is there a reason your standing so close?"

Hostility and aggression are rolling off this woman. Rita panicking, trying to think of what set them off. Were they just waiting to act against her? Was this a trap she had just sprung? Backing up while holding an emergency scroll in hand thankful the supreme being was so insightful about this.

"Well, I came to pick up a job off the board, so if you could move, please." Rita timidly asks.

Instead of gaining some space or deescalating. It only seemed to anger this person more as the whispering stop from the ominous presence filling up the room.

"Well, we are looking so you can back up and wait your turn worm, or do I need to teach you, your place!"

Preparing to act, they were definitely with that group based on hostility alone. She would need to respond quickly. Cursing her luck, at least she could send in one of the shadow demons or just have to ask around for the merchant. Ugh, she didn't have time for this; still, maybe they could be tricked.

Scanning over the board once they moved closer, finding a job that would delay them. They probably didn't know they couldn't take higher-ranked jobs, so this could buy a few minutes of distraction.

Ritana quickly moving around the woman to pull off a job off the board even as they gripped their ax in rage.

"Why you! Daring to get in...

"If you want a job take this one, it should be right up your alley nice and simple. Me and sir Kyuketsuki did it once just yesterday."

At the name, Rita felt the other one turn to her grabbing her arm as Panic gripped her heart. So, they were after Kyuketsuki she needed to get away quickly, or else the adventures guild would be turned into a battlefield.

"Sorry to be rude, but How do you know this name would you mind telling me?"

Though the tone was neutral, she could feel the sinister vile of this person before them, they were dangerous. The only time she felt this terrified was when her master held a knife to her throat when they first met.

"Maybe, but I'm swamped right now. Though you could find me later at the Bulick inn, so if you don't mind letting go, sir...

"Momon is my name. It sounds like a good idea."

Internally sighing in relief, he bought it great now. Rita just needed to get away and alert one of Kyuketsuki’s agents in the city. One of them should be close by to here. After all, he was very protective of her and Kathrin.

After seeing Momon take the paper for an Orichalcum rank, she quickly scanned over the jobs listed and found the gem merchant job. They need extra protection from some sewer beast; this will have to do. Taking it and activating the teleportation scroll tossing it into the air just as Momon turned to look at her.

"What ...

In a flash, she was in an alleyway hyperventilating that was too close. gathering her wits, she turned to the dark alley with two sets of red eyes. "Hey, I need one of you to come out I have an urgent message for master Kyuketsuki."

From the shadows, two vampire brides came out looking her over before answering back.

"What do you need, Lady Rita."

Glancing around to make sure she wasn't followed out. "Warn Kyuketsuki, I found more of them! Two, one goes by the name Momon followed around by an armored woman. I would go with you, but I have my own task."

Nodding they ran off into the shadows Rita rushed off herself through the busy streets of the crowd her eyes kept scanning the crowd for any sight of those two. The whole way she was on edge after the first one, they keep popping up. It worries her much, but she could not be sure why they were targeting her and Kyuketsuki. Only They needed to be stopped quickly.

Putting the thought out of mind as she came up to the storefront of the person. Rita was looking for entering as the bell rung and not noticing a shadow following her in unseen.

 


-Kathrin-

They are traveling along the chilly mountainside even as the harsh winds kicked up winter slush her way. Eyes locked on a glowing rod in her hand with ten goblins behind her grumbling about the crappy weather. They were traveling through yet unwilling to disturb the demon woman in front of them. Already they saw what those two monsters could do in battle when they came after them.

This was when their chief was still alive. When their large bandit tribe of goblins had not seen the terror of watching their numbers cut down in mere minutes. When they didn't know of the might of these monsters. So, they were following lady Kathrin’s orders though she was much gentler as long as they didn't step out of line.

"We are getting close, be ready to move. When I give the signal, we don't want to take more time than necessary!"

"Yes, lady Kathrin but ah…could we not get warmer clothes for this?" Timidly asked the closest one.

Which seemed to be the wrong thing to say as her cold, angry eyes turn to wash over them. What was even more unnerving was Kathrin herself appeared unaffected by the harsh winter biome of the Azerlisia mountain range.

"No! Time is short as is, and it would take far too long to wait for something else to come along. Besides, do well here, and you may even earn Kyuketsuki's favor if you survive this."

Trekking through the thick snow as the glow got brighter with each step. Which did not make it any easier for the goblins? Short stature, which made travel harder on them. Still, it was better than being dead, which was a big issue. None of them wanted to fight a dragon, yet lady Kathrin was hell-bent on it, so they followed even if they all felt considerable misgivings about this foolish action.

Finally, their leader stopped her boots crushing down snow as the tension in the air rose up all of them pulled out their weapons in worry. Watching with trepidation as Kathrin pulled out her spear lightning crackling around her body.

"Come out, Dragon, and I will make your death quick, but know I will not be leaving here without a few scales!"

A booming roar could be heard as a dragon came out from the trees glaring down at them towering up to 18 meters, tall long-tail whipping down trees behind it. Scars all over its scaly body muscles stretching out as snow rolled off its hide. Slit eye scanning over the shaking goblins on to their leader.

"You think you can take me human? Is it not enough those dam frost giants wish to enslave me. Now you think I will hand over my skin? Return from which you came before I crush you!"

No one moved as Kathrin's golden eyes glared right back, gaining a sinister smirk raising her spear and taking a few steps forward. Ignoring the roar of the dragon or this weak cold thrown against her. Lord Kyuketsuki had fought in areas where it was extremely cold to the point. You needed cold immunity to stand in it without freezing to death.

So, standing before this overgrown lizard with wings merely was a cold breeze in comparison. If anything, it just shows how arrogant dragons were to stand against the supreme beings. The only way she would not kill this dragon is if they begged for mercy for daring to stand before her or master. This kind of over-inflated ego reminded her too much of Doragro to stand if they could not be humbled. They would die.

"Do I look like a lower life form lizard you can either hand me some of your repulsive scaly hide. or I will cut it all off slowly and painfully from your cold bleeding corpse."

Narrowing his frosty blue gaze, the dragon leaned its head closer rage in its eyes yet also curiously at what Kathrin meant.

"You think you scare me? Trying to pass yourself off as something better then you are mortal. Let me show you why you should fear dragons."

Opening its mouth as darkness and cold shot out of its maw blocking the group from view. Not stopping for ten straight minutes of frozen death upon the fools. Stopping to get a look at their frozen bodies.

Only to be shocked to see all of them unharmed lightning still crackling around the maid unmoved by the assault in the least.

"Is this it! Your weak ice doesn't even get through my storm armor. Let me show you real power! [chain dragon lightning] [Storm charge] [Legacy of lightning] "

As the dragon-shaped lightning formed, it split into ten after the second spell. After the third, the light emitted was almost blinding as the snow it passed over melted. Even scorching the ground with ash just being near the vortex of energy speeding at the dragon.

The dragon, for some reason, did not dodge the attack as Kathrin expected; instead, it spread out its wings and breathed out again in a foolish attempt to stop the three spells. Alone maybe, but with the three spell cast all at once, it was implausible it would not be harmed.

Upon contacting the lizard, the torrent of radiant blue energy exploded with light as its top scales burned, with both wings scorched to the point they flopped to its sides. Hissing in pain from the aftershocks of this magic. Smiling to herself now, it would be much more sluggish and unable to fly away.

Kathrin carefully watches it pant for breath. Its muscles occasionally spasming from aftershocks sparks.

"Now that you have felt just a taste of my power. Either start cutting off scales or allow me to cut off your wings, or I will skin your dead hide dragon."

Kathrin’s chilling and sharp voice rang out slowly, walking forward with rage, she had to raise her spear to block the claw of the dragon. Scowling could it not see this was pointless already. She was taking longer than necessary just to be nice if this dragon could not see her kindness than it would need to die.

"Funny, you seem to take me for weak just because it hurts. It doesn't mean I will bow to some sadist of a human. I think you need to know my strength."

The area around the dragon froze over as a chill forced the goblins to move back to the tree line. But Kathrin remained unaffected, holding back the claw over her head.

"Is this all then. My turn again. [twin: negative burst]"

Jumping back, the dragon still felt some of his front scales rot off him snarling in rage, swiping his tail out at this intruder only to feel pain. As the cutting of flesh was heard, then a thud as half of its tail now lay on the ground.

"I told you this is pointless; you even made me waste a few scales. [Thor's hammer] [storm charge]"

Swinging the spear blade out, launching ten beams of vaguely hammer-shaped lightning raining down on to the dragons hide one after the other. Kathrin gave it no time to rest after the last beam hit. She thrust forward, meeting the dragons claws with each thrust or slash of her spear. The dragon was in a desperate battle for survival after taking so much pain from the last wave of lightning spells. A battle it hated to admit it was losing against the strange cat-eared human.

 

As blood poured out of the numerous injuries and cuts created by the four-prong spear. Cutting deep into the dragon hide but unable to think of a way to counter the storm of attacks.

"I Warned you dragon now say goodbye to your wings! [storm slash]"

Jumping up above the dragon's claw, she cut the air horizontally as seconds later, the wings of the dragon hit the ground blowing away snow and slush. Crying out in pain as blood oozed out of the fresh cut. 

"So, you're... strong so... what I still haven't... shown you my true power! [wild frozen sphere]"

A dome of blue took shape around them, but again Kathrin was un-weathered, only holding up an arm to keep ice and snow from getting in her face. Grinning as the dragon tries to step back out of the sphere only for a nasty surprise.

As a massive explosion blasted, the dragon off its feet chilled rock and slush raining back down. As the dome of blue magic vanished from view, Kathrin calmly walking over to the fallen lizard wicked grin on her face. Standing next to its head, underbelly bleeding from the blasted coating the ground red with dragon blood.

"Did I forget to warn you, I put a [creeper mine] down my bad. Though it was a fine battle for a lizard, I think I will be taking your skin now. Fari, get your group over here now! We don't have time to waste. I want this thing skinned and ready to transport in two hours."

“r.u.n…a...”

"Oh, what was that I couldn't quite hear you?" Kathrin turns back to the dragon with a taunting eye.

Looking at the dragon as it mumbled incoherently, but she didn't have time to waste, she could not find a drake, so a frost dragon would have to do. After all, they were both dragons; hopefully, Ritana didn't have too rough a time green pearls were hard to come by without traveling out near the sea to find them, and she could not see any in the market.

Morbidly watching as the dragon cried out with every cut into its hide. Oh, how she missed dragon hunting with Kyuketsuki. Sighing sadly but resolving to finish the mission given to her complaining goblins or not.

While in the shadows, one figure slowly, very slowly slinked away, shaking in fright from the carnage.

 


-Adventures guild-

Gathered in a room of the guild for meeting up, all of them sat at the large table with two very familiar figures Momon and the swords of darkness, but his thoughts were elsewhere more on a strange adventure, which he forgot to ask their name.

She said his friend's name, and he had reacted faster than he intended to. Realizing too late, Albedo had terrified her. Then using the very rules to not only get distance but prolong his search. When he turned back to question her, she was holding a scroll from Yggdrasil teleporting away, which confused him until he looked over to see the aura around Albedo again.

She must have been scared off by Albedo’s defensive nature around him. But how to find her if the job was a distraction, then the inn was probably a lie as well. Forcing Ainz to send a shadow demon to follow her but it left the question of was it his friend or a trap, He could not tell. However, they would have to wait for later sighing to himself.

'Well, at least Kyuketsuki never changes he's as hard to find as back in Yggdrasil. Though this behavior worries me if she is working with him? Have other players attacked them?'

So far, no known players had shown themselves, but it would explain the added creatures across town. Still, Ainz needs to find more clues. Luckily this group could provide the answers he was looking for.

"Before we go on, I must ask, have you heard of a friend of mine I'm searching for named Kyuketsuki. Have any of you heard of him?"

Seeing recognition in their eyes, along with awe at the question 'looks like they will be helpful.'

"Yeah, actually he is known in E-Rental been in town for about a week jumped up from copper all the way to Orichalcum after fighting off a huge dragon which was going to attack the town with an army of blue wolfs."

Lukrut continues. "He got famous rather quickly for this alone though we don't know where they are staying at, he has a team with fine redhead Ritana, a cute maid Kathrin and Bardic a dwarf there was two more teammates, but well one died, and the other got kicked out for betraying the group."

Dyne, "I heard the person who died was one of his twin battle maidens as they are calling them."

Inside this worried Ainz knew Jade was low level, but she shouldn't have been killed. What had happened a flood of possibility filled his mind trying to figure out what. With his lack of information, it was impossible to tell. Still, he at least knew kyuketsuki was somewhere in town.

"What happened? And is there a way to find his group."

Peter commented. "Well, the green vultures have become rather hard to find after this originally they were staying at the brass cage but move after. As to what happened, you would have to ask them, we talked to Rita about it, but she has become rather tight-lipped about anything relating to her team as of late."

Sighing Peter lost his chipper mood seemed to suggest that something was different now. But it would explain Rita's change in attitude a little, so they were attacked. Suppressing Ainzs rage, but this still didn't explain Jades change upon respawn.

"That is sad to hear still. I'm sure we can reconnect with them after this job."

Then Lukrut shot up, "So what kind of relationship do you two have."

Already Ainz eyes were locked on to Albedos watching her like a hawk noticing the slight shift of her body. Hopefully, she wouldn’t go too wild with this part, but it was a necessary act for the role so far.

"We are both deeply in love with each other, and if you lay one hand on me, I'm sure my husband Momon-san would cut you to ribbons filthy worm. so don't get any ideas."

Sighing as Albedo leaned in closer to Ainz’s armor rubbing against him. Well, it wasn't like this was unexpected. Still, it only made it much harder trying to decide how he felt about this. If not conflicted about his past actions, he might not be so hesitant.

"Then how about we start out as friends."

Lucky Lukrut backed off some after the harsh glare shot his way though there was more; he wasn't saying about this. At least he wouldn't have to do anything to back up the act.

"Why don't we head out then. Now, are we ready?"

 


-On the road-

Momon glanced at Nfirea with calculating eyes wondering why he really came to him? He wasn't fooled by the request. The only thing he could think of was the potion he gave to the adventurer. As Momon Turns to Albedo, her eyes kept glancing his way before turning back to the road before them.

Though both of their attention was drawn to a cloaked muscle man and a shorter one fighting off goblins down the dirt road. Yet Ainz's mind free of emotion could clearly make out this seemed almost staged being just out of range of the city but close enough to take up the main road out of E-Rental.

“We should go help them!” Hearing Nfirea's voice, Momon turned to him With a doubt full gaze. Maybe it was just his paranoia, but he felt they should avoid this situation. Though he didn’t speak up trying to blend in.

Quickly coming up with a plan just in case this turned out to be a trap. Though the only way to know was to test this out. “Abey, and I will guard Nfirea while you four go help.”

Watching the swords of darkness rush up to help with Lukrut taking aim with his bow and arrows, as Ninya shot out acid arrows. As this was happening, peter and Dyne were swiftly getting closer to help fight off the goblins.

Something puzzled Momon as the cloaked figures seemed to suddenly, if not subtly, become much better at taking down the goblins surrounding them. In fact, despite the taller man looking cut up and hurt and the fact they must have been at it for a few hours.

They didn’t seem as tired as Ainz would have expected them to be. As the wagon got closer to the area, Ainz noted the tall man named Soloram seemed to glare at Jester. With a look far more intense than expected for two travelers, which seemed to work together.

Leaning close to whisper to Abey. “Keep an eye on both of them; this seems odd.”

"No problem. We were just headed out to slay some monsters anyway. we are the swords of darkness I'm Peter this is Ninya, Dyne, and Lukrut ...so what are you two doing out here you don't look like adventures." Listening to this, Ainz's curiosity rose even more so with their answer.

“No, we are traveling mercenaries, just passing by. we are mercenaries traveling out to Crain village.” Ainz’s narrowed his red eyes at the two.

'so, they are headed in the same direction why?’ Before he could question them, Peter spoke up. "Well, then I suppose you can come traveling with us seeing as how we are headed to the same place." Putting up a friendly smile.

“Great idea. It will probably be safer that way.” Jester's voice seemed happy to hear this, but Ainz could not help but feel this was all a little too convenient.

After a rather uneventful day spent on the road, they stopped to make camp for the night. Eating around the campfire while Albedo was eating the food made as they had planned. While Ainz watched the campfire crackle scanning over all of them.

Watching Nfirea turn to the two travelers as they somehow eat without removing their masks. “So why are you headed to Crain village?”

Jester set down her empty bowl, mask turning to Nfirea. “We are headed there to find something to help us fight a mighty monster back in E-Rental.” It was odd how playful jester voice sounded while saying all this.

"Oh, really, I don't know of this monster. Where is it?" Piped up Nfirea, with an unsure look. Momon perks up at this. It sounds fascinating to growing his fame in hopes of finding his friends Discreetly looking over at Abey.

All of the others turn to Momon, and Abey with questioning gazes at both of them. Neither Nfirea nor the swords of darkness weren’t too sure on just how truthful they were being.

"A mighty one, we need help fighting this one. I have been after it for a very long time." Jester's voice grew quiet and somber, almost sounding like they were talking about a missing lover. Which was bizarre to hear though most of them brushed it off as nothing. Still, it bothered Ainz unsure what to make of this unmatching tone compared to the topic they where talking about.

"What did this monster do to get you chasing it?" Momon asks, interlocking his hands together. Suspicious about all of this, if he could figure out what this is, it might relate to the situation in E-Rental.

"Well, long ago, there was a powerful group I once served with loyalty and respect of those lords and ladies. Those days were great; indeed, I felt so alive. Until a great army of monsters came upon them in the ensuing fight, many were slain, and even their leader came down. After the rest had been slaughtered, but it was all a trap. One set for my master, I could only watch from afar as slowly he was withered down and slain." Pain and heartache filled jester's voice.

All of them were rapidly drawn in by this tragic tale listening carefully to her oddly Soloram just glared at them.

"After, I slowly wandered till I found your city E-Rental and the monster had killed my master. Now I need your help to fight this threat before it destroys the city. Luckily we have a few days before it acts."

Something was bugging Momon aside from all the details left out of this, but it seemed impolite to ask with the gloomy mood put over the camp. So, he would settle for asking later on when they were alone.

"If this is the case, what is the name of this monster, your hunting." Asked Momon hoping to learn something of their motive or some kind of clue.

Looking up with an extraordinary mix of anger and something else in their voice. But none of them could rightly make out what it was. If one listened close enough, it might even sound like desire and excitement though this didn’t seem right given the topic.

"Therus Marrow, a powerful magic caster, which can weave illusions and charms. If you don't mind, I could accompany you to finish this task first." This didn’t sound like a request to Ainz though the rest of the group seemed set on the choice already Much to his cringe.

‘At least I should be able to gain fame out of this. I will have to keep an eye on those two regardless.'

 


-Rita-

Stepping out of the storefront into the dark night air, Rita sighed, holding up the perfectly round diopside emerald orb. The size of her hand shining brightly in the darkened area. Looking around for danger before remembering, she had to hurry back. Swiftly rushing through the streets back to her inn, at least she was planning to before something dropped down behind her.

With trained reflexes, she turns short sword drawn out to see some kind of shadowy form being held up by… Smiling happily to see the supreme one standing there. Even if she didn't know where this other thing came from.

"I see I will need to train you to better spot shadow demons. Still, this is to be expected. If not disappointing, you could not even sense it."

Upon hearing those words, Rita looked down at the paved road in shame; still, she could make up for it. Now she could at least show off her success in her first task.

"Um sorry, lord Kyuketsuki but I have this. I am still a little tired from infusing this with magic."

A blush rose up under his wonderous gaze bowing her head holding out a little green gemstone. Which could be mistaken for a pearl as his hand patted her head. She never knew a scratching behind the ears could feel so good. Lost in bliss at lord Kyuketsuki’s touch, feeling saddened as he removed his hand.

"Well, then I suppose I can't be upset with you working so hard for me now.”

Kyuketsuki glared at the shadow demon. “Who are you, little shade?"

Looking at the strange shimmering creature, which seemed as thin as paper in his grasp, was this a shadow demon? She had never seen one before only heard of them from Kyuketsuki in case she needs to alert them. Its red eyes shifting between her and master though it only seemed bothered by the tight grip on its thin, almost flat throat.

"I won't tell! Can't betray master." Its wispy voice cried out.

Watching with interest yet feeling Kyuketsuki’s blood lust rise, feeling a shiver run up her spine. It both terrified her and awed her at feeling this power roll off him in visible waves. Rita would never say it aloud, it would interrupt the supreme being.

"Really, you think so. Let's test this out. Now tell me who your master is?!"

To Rita, it felt like the world shook around her with this booming voice; in fact, she could not keep her mouth from moving at the command. "You are lord Kyuketsuki!”  

“Wow, what was that!" Rita blinked, not sure what just happen to her body there for a second or two. Noting the shadow demon shaking but didn’t speak out as she did.

"Sorry about this, my dear Rita. But as long as you're in range, this will affect you. It's called [vampires command] part of a racial ability I have if you don't want to be affected, then step back."

Vigorously shaking her head at this, "No, it's fine I was just surprised so cool. Can you teach me?"

Watching her master turn to Rita with a stoic face. Had she stepped out of line? Dreading lord Kyuketsuki’s wrath. Rita was fully prepared to apologize if needed. One thing she learned quickly under Kathrin was to never anger their master or mistress Kathrin.

"Are you sure I could gift you with something similar, but you might lose part of your humanity are you ok with this?" Kyuketsuki’s voice was kind and caring. It warmed her heart to hear his worry for her wellbeing.

Before that fateful night, Ritana had feared becoming like her father a grand adventurer only to get consumed by greed. It was part of why she was so against doing wrong she promised mother she would never become like him. The supreme one didn’t act like she expected or heard of most undead. Perhaps like her, Kyuketsuki strived to be better than those that came before him. The chance to be closer to someone like herself a shining example of being selfless and sincere. Like the moral values, she strives to live up to every day. Brought a burst of joy to her heart.

"I don't mind lord Kyuketsuki if it means I can be closer to you. Any gift you give would be welcome."

For some reason, Kyuketsuki sighed, turning to her locking eyes with her own. Rita Blushing madly as her heart pounded so loudly in her ears. She felt so warm as well, seeing those warm, welcoming red eyes meet her own.

"Then come with me later on to my study. It shall be done. Just be warned everything has a price." There was a substantial edge to her master's words.

Too awed by those loving words, the world was toned out even if she did not know what he meant. It was spoken with such care and conviction Rita struggled to not get lost in a fantasy of a future with her master. Sighing dreamily.

While Rita was lost in her own little world, Kyuketsuki turned back to the shadow demon glaring at them. They should be speaking up by now. It was very stubborn, which wasn't good at all. Few things could keep any being from talking under his [vampires command].

Even under his command mantra, it should be speaking up at least a little. Yet it was not, which could mean only an active player had called them forward at least above level fifty; However, if this was the case, then it could be a problem.

'Is this group after me I made up of mid-level or higher players or just one powerful one? This can't be Momonga. He said he was alone unless it was a trick as well. Even his powers could be tricked if they had a world item on hand he didn’t know about.’

Recalling the two in his inventory after the fights with two members, one getting away. He wasn’t willing to risk Rita safety at the time if more where in the area. ‘How many world items and members does this group have?’

Sighing in frustration, it was a serious question without knowing how numerous the group was. Kyuketsuki even with his high resistance to counter his vulnerabilities to fire and holy attacks. Couldn’t safely fight large numbers of high-level players if he was caught unprepared. Already that minotaur had gotten into his city without any shadow demons, blood knights, or vampire brides spotting them.

The worst possibility was something like 30 levels 100 players, all armed with world items waiting to catch him off guard. It would be a nightmare to deal with and would surely test him thoroughly to overcome such odds.

"Fine, if you will not talk, then I will just have to end you. [maximize magic: subzero touch]"

It screamed out as its body felt extreme cold fill it first becoming sluggish, then icing over under the negative degree chill. Slowly cracking as the air temperature around it fractured its form dropping to the ground, it broke into pieces.

Snapped out of her daydream by the sounds, Rita looked at her master with a questioning gaze.

"Um, wouldn't it have been better to interrogate it more before doing that?"

Squeaking as Kyuketsuki’s hands graced over Ritana shoulders, holding her closer to the vampire though his skin didn't feel as cold as she expected.

"No! Shadow demons can resist the same things their summoners can to a degree. If my skill failed to work, then this group is far more dangerous. Then I first thought I just hope Momonga gets here soon." Kyuketsuki hissed with worry.

"Uh, who is Momonga? The name sounds like the other guy's I told your vampire bride about Momon."

Smiling at her red face. "How about I take you to my study for this. It is a long story not suited for talks out in the open like this. [Group dislocation]" In a flash, they vanished out of the street.

 


-Kyuketsuki’s lab-

Deep in the tunnels under the mausoleum, the workers went about their new lives with makeshift homes as full houses where being constructed slowly into a hidden village underground. As black marble pillars were put into place, sturdy tile floors and walls, and even a farm was being put together.

A new training area was being put together as well though it was barren and straightforward with only a few training dummies to hit. They had even gotten a little bar set up with some of the former slaves were seated with comforts they never imagined they would have.

As slimes, goblins, and even the odd catkin was talking among themselves as they all raised a toast to their new lord Kyuketsuki. Cheers rang out with the laughter of children running around the camp.

"So, I hear you guys had to skin a dragon up in the Azerlisia mountain range, how was it?"

Asked one dirty blond-haired human dressed in a mix of leather armor and regular clothes. Fairly muscular from the last few days of hard labor of digging tunnels or training. Photio taps the goblin seated next to him on the shoulder. Surprised to see them glare at him but gained a smirk glad, the worst he had to do today was give a pint of blood.

"Cold, miserable, and terrifying Photio, your lucky lady Kathrin is a slave driver on us, ugh my poor aching body!" The goblin groaned.

Laughter rang out at the goblin's dismay. "This is what happens when you get in a fight with her my friend why do you think none of us-

"Hey, I resent that!" Yelled out a person near the end of the bar.

"Ok, most of us smart ones learned not to pick a fight with her, but look on the bright side she is warming up to you."

Turning a deadpanned looked to his friend. "Yes, because threatening to fry us with lightning. Which she shoots out like a passing lightning storm is so much better than just telling us to hurry up."

"Oh, trust me, my friend, if she only threatens your fine only worry if you actually hear or see her charging up a spell. Then you know you screwed up besides was it that much different with your old leader."

Hearing a sigh, Photios looked over to his friend. It was still so hard to believe just a few days ago seeing slimes or goblins would raise the alarm or mean death. After being found by mistress Kathrin, things started to look up for all of them.

"Worse, if you can believe it, why do you think we were raiding the roads. Because outside of here, goblins are hunted down like rats. But our boss wanted to have a better life, so we started raiding traveling caravans of supplies to get by it was going fine till they showed up-

Hearing the fear in his friend's voice, Photio glanced over. He never asked before what happened to them. Though from the sound of things, lord Kyuketsuki was a deadly fighter if the rumors above the surface were true.

"Both of them cut down ogres like they were nothing. The two of them spent seconds to cut down whole groups of goblins. When it would have taken several teams of adventurers with the tribs growing size. Then as if to prove how fruitless the fight was lord Kyuketsuki froze our boss Gorgo with the lightest of touches.”Dread and admiration rolling off of the goblin’s voice.

Patting the forlorn goblin on the shoulders. "Well, look now you're working, got free food, a home, and best of all free ale, haha."

At this, he cheered up slightly, taking a swig of his drink. "This is true still, what do you think they need dragon scales for."

Hearing a cough, they looked over to the blue, vaguely human-shaped slime on a seat. "Well, you can't spread this around too much, but well, one of the bosses women bit the dust, and he is working on some way to bring her back." Photio still felt a little strange to hear the slime speak with some kind of bubbling.

Widening their eyes at this with deep frowns, they had both heard dragon parts could be used in powerful alchemy potions. Though they didn't think it would be used for this.

"Really now... didn't think it would be used for something like that. Lord Kyuketsuki is pretty smart, so I suppose it is possible."Photio rubbed his mug of ale in thought.

Then a flash appeared as everyone stiffened scanning over the newcomer looking over glee was already gone slithering away in fear. As a moving blue puddle with cute unintelligent noises to hide, it’s reasonably intellectual mind. Scared to let lord Kyuketsuki know for some reason.‘Crap! Did he overhear us and now is here to punish us. Just play it cool you can do this man.’ Glancing over to the stiffened goblin, unmoving, trying to look like he wasn't even breathing.

"Greetings lord Kyuketsuki did you need something maybe a nice drink or two." 'Please don't kill me!' He repeated in his head sweat pouring down his forehead. As he still had terrible flashbacks from being part of Eight Fingers.

Looking around him, Kyuketsuki seemed confused. "Oh, right, I put an anti-teleportation ward in my study, sorry about this, Ritana."

Silently sighing in relief. 'Wow, he just teleported here by accident not because we were talking about him.'

"Uh, where are we master, I don't think I know this place." Rita glanced around the tunnel.

Outside, Sitabus was calm and had a small smile, but inside he was freaking out. 'Damn it, I forgot I still need to code the wards to my magic think how do you explain this!'

"These are ex-slaves I have freed from Eight Fingers grips."

"Then why are they underground? Would it not be better to move them out of the city? And why are there monsters down here as well?" Rita took note of the goblins and cat folk around the area.

Feeling dread of how to explain this situation to her cursing his lack of thought desperately trying to come up with something which would work. Without saying hey, I'm just building a hidden lair/blood farm to take over the city with. Yeah, that would go against Ritana’s moral code.

"because…I ...am …”Kyuketsuki fumbled, trying to think of a just and morally secure lie.

Luckily Photio spoke up. "Hiding us from Eight Fingers anywhere above ground would not be safe from them unless we ran into one of the other kingdoms. Lord Kyuketsuki was uncanny to hide us here of all places under the cemetery."

Nodding, along with the brilliant man, who was getting a reward after this now as to the monsters. Time to try something which could work differently to test out how to get a more open and fair understanding of non-human races.

"My dear Rita, not all monsters are bad goblins are just not well-liked, and is just one example do you see any of them attacking humans here."

"No, but it just feels weird, I guess." Rita lifts her gaze to meet Kyuketsuki’s red eyes. "I plan to change the view of humans in this area, but to do so, I must first show them it is possible to break through the stereotypes."

Kissing her forehead as the crowd awed cheering thankful, he thought up just now ha, and Momonga once said he was terrible at thinking quickly on his feet.

"This is so cool, but isn't it risky to let me see this what if I let it slip by accident." Her eyes shimmered with admiration. Still feeling uncertain about why Kyuketsuki was showing her all this. He was so secretive lately was this what it was about.

"Then it just shows how much I trust you, my lovely Ritana. Now I believe you want to hear about my old friend Momonga this way, please. Also, I need to hear from you personally about this Momon person."  Taking her hand and leading her up the stairs to his study.

 


-End of Chapter-

Chapter Text


-Crain Village-

Carnival watched the trees rustle and shift as if strong winds were blowing through them. Rocks floated in the air paying no mind to gravity as Jester floated above the ground. Gaze set on the three gems floating around her hand. Each glowing with a sickly aura around them.

Carnival felt something move behind her back, turning just enough to see, the figure cloaked in the shadows of the forest. Even with their eyes covered by the mask, they could clearly see the glare sent their way. Though it only brought a smile to Carnival's lips, not a word dare be spoken between them. They both know the moment either said a word, the calm winds would stop.

Carefully contemplating each decision with the minds of master chess players. Both of them on two different sides and ideas about how the world should be. With limited if not god-like power to subtly change the world around them. For far worse of all creatures around them if Carnival wasn’t careful.

The tension in the air was thick between them, Jester would make a move soon it would begin again. Another miner duel to slow jester’s plans. Begrudgingly carnival couldn’t help but smirk in excitement under there mask. As she tried to anticipate the shadow's next move.

“Really! Making me go first again how defensive of you. Did the last move hurt your plans so much? All I did was mislabel a returned package.~” Carnival taunted her tone, filled with glee. Receiving a glare at the jab increasing jesters aggravation.

The silent wind stopped in the stillness the jester raised her shadowy hand. The air Flowed by an unseen force dented the ground rushing forward [Telekinetic blast].

With a wave of Carnival's hand [psionic shield], the force meets the barrier as violet wind both forces struggling to dominate the other, as the attacking force failed to pass through the barrier fading. “My so angry, and here I thought you might be happy. I saved E-Rental from that rocked head minotaur you picked up.”

“Which is not the real reason you came out here. I know what you're trying to do with Momonga and the vampire!” Jester kept moving around the shadows. Carnival not losing track of jester once in her full view of the clearing.

 “Maybe, but you can’t stop me without giving me another move.” Carnival reminded the shadow Smirking as they stopped slowly, turning their head to glare at her. Carnival could sense the dark smirk under jester’s mask.

“True, but then I have the Advantage on the next move, and you still haven’t gotten in yet.” At this carnival frowned, unable to dispute the point. Jester still forgot how vengeful that old vampire could be, Smirking under her mask.

“This won’t last much longer your little group of revolutionary fools can’t stay hidden much longer. Not after this next play, I set up.” Carnival Shifting to raise another [psionic shield] blocking another attack.  Before thrusting out a hand [solar rays] as light filtered into the woods with a hiss, the shadow blurred before vanishing.

“Don’t think you can change what will happen; you may have delayed it, but nothing can change his destiny,” Jester screamed out before totally vanishing. A peaceful silence returned to the clearing. Carnival took in the view of the village walls sadly smiling.

 ‘If only I hadn’t been so foolish, then none of this would be necessary.’ There was no going back carnival learned the hard way. Lowering her head, noticing Bull stomping up, Cleary displeased with what was happening. ‘Too bad, you picked the wrong side. You should have just moved on after your defeat.’

Jester adapted her playful voice again as if to mock him. “~Sooo, how’s my little min'o' Bull doing today?~” Carnival suppressed her laughter as he dropped the bag of items. Leaning closer, she was glad she could read behind the masks so well. 

“This isn’t over, Jester when we get back, you will pay for all of this. MARK. MY. WORDS. here's your crap.” Turning to leave but stopping as chains just appeared around him.  with a pull of her arms, the illusion forcefully turned the minotaur around to face her.

“OH, how cruel of you, and here I thought we could be friends. Though first, you have to survive to get back.~?” Jester shifting her head oddly. Seeing the air of fear roll off Bull, mixing with his anger, he must be scarlet faced under the mask.

“What is this supposed to mean you can’t just kill me!” Bull roars out while Jester just chuckled.

 “Oh, you will see in due time. Just watch your step. Now, why don’t we head back.”

Jester turns her gaze to see the pharmacist and the new village chief walking up to them.

 


-Cemetery in E-Rental-

Clementine glanced at Kyuketsuki again with a strange sense of discomfort as they walked through the tunnels. Past the collection of zombies who were raised by Khajiit. She found joy in seeing the hollow, empty faces of adventures, guards, and the like. It had been far more fun over the past couple of days then she expected with no end of targets to kill.

An angry scowl came over Clementine’s lips. “We aren't done yet right, no matter what the fool Khajiit said? You could let me kill him.” she sang out, hoping to gain Kyuketsuki-sama approval. ‘Why do I need his approval again? I could just aghh.’

Grasping at her head, Clementine felt something try to emerge but vanished just as quickly by the soft touch of the vampire's armored hand touching her shoulder. Looking up into those bright red eyes seemed to flash red though it was probably just a trick of the light.   

“Are you alright, my dear? You seemed distressed for a moment.” Kyuketsuki’s voice purred into her ears.

“Ugh, fine now, please remove the hand before you lose it.” Clementine sang out with a teasing grin, not too serious about the threat. Though this seemed odd for some reason. Didn’t she usually mean every bodily threat she spoke? After thinking about it and finding no reasoning for such a weird train of thought. She let the matter vanish from her mind altogether.

Kyuketsuki just smiled something which, if Clementine was honest, unsettled her greatly. The madness which brought a sense of dread to her thoughts would be rude to say after all the fun he allowed her. So, she continued to follow him deeper into the tunnels.

‘How big are these tunnels anyway?’ clementine contemplated watching Kyuketsuki wondering why he was so quiet.

 “To your earlier question, my dear, Khajiit will die when I say so no sooner. Besides, I have something you will enjoy to death.”  Watching the back of Kyuketsuki's head. Hearing the way, he said death set off warning signs. Clementine casually watches as Kyuketsuki pulled out a large flask with a small hand size gem init. Which made clementine take notice. The only thing illuminating the caverns was the ominous mixture.

“Would you kindly drink this you will need it for this next part.”

Clementine’s hands hesitated to take the concoction from Kyuketsuki as if some part of her was screaming not to take it. Fearing what would happen if she drank. Which only further confused her straining against herself. Willing her arms to take the glowing bobbling concoction.

Popping off the cork as the almost toxic fumes invaded her lungs. Despite the smell, she brought the heavy drink to her lips, the unpleasant taste on her tongue. Unwilling to disobey lord Kyuketsuki’s watchful gaze staring deep into those comforting eyes before drinking it all down. Eyes tightly closed as the agonizing pain filled her body, dropping to her knees.

Clementine let out a gut-wrenching scream of pain, Eyes snapping open to glare at this lying backstabber. The red rings around her eyes vanished. Grunting out curses writhing on the ground. “How I have barriers from the slain theocracy?” Clementine struggled to get the words out. Her heart racing as she fought to get air into her lungs, it felt like she was dying seeing the ground around them crack letting out beams of blinding crimson light. Filling her vision as the cracks spread out around her.

Kyuketsuki kneeled to look her right in the eyes though they were not the kind eyes she knew before now filled with longing and madness. “It doesn't matter; I know this will work. You will give me Jade back. Though I must thank you, Clementine, you have been a great help to me. This is the end for you, sadly. Nothing personal, but it is not healthy for two souls to inhabit one body!”

His voice seemed to echo throughout the large cavern as the blinding light seemed to obscure everything around them. Clementine was screaming out as the ground beneath her shattered sinking deeper into an endless sea of red filled with memories and faces of all those she had killed or seen before.

Haunting her with her parent's eyes as if mocking her knowing she would never be better than her brother. Even after joining the black script.

Clementine was cursing her inability to prevent this, struggling in vain to grab on to something anything. ‘I won't end like this, you bastard. You think I will take this lying down. I’m Clementine!’ screaming in her mind with her mouth refusing to open. Lest she drowns in this blood-red sea.

Laughter filled the red sea as she frantically scans around to find the source. “Would you like to fight this I can help.”  

Clementine gritted her teeth, glaring at nothing but these infuriating memories around her. ‘Yeah, like I'm falling for a trick!’

“Fine, then have it your way. Quick question, have you looked at your legs?” The many-layered voice asked. Curiously she glanced at her legs only to stop paling in terror her feet already vanishing before her eyes, climbing up to her knees.

‘No! No! No! This can’t be happening?!’ Letting out a silent scream unsure what to do; however, if she didn't stop this now, she wouldn’t exist anymore. She could feel it in her corrupted heart.

Do you want my help now, or am I un-trustable still?” The voice chuckled as if her disappearing was funny. Clementine growls as bubbles escaped her lips. ‘Fine just help me already!’ she growled out.

Kyuketsuki stood in the confined room as the changing mist swarmed around them violently, he watched Clementine still body with anticipation. Now clad in a dark bodysuit with red armor for her chest and waist similar to what she had before; however, it was not made out of adventure plates instead now forged armor far sturdier and more enchanted to be far more useful. Already the assassin hair had started to change to a deep red as, a tail bursting from her rear, her nails had grown into sharp claws. Her skin began to lose its color, becoming almost colorless blue.

‘Odd? As long as I have jade back, it doesn’t matter what she looks like.’

A ghost of a smile graced his face. ‘Good it is working finally I can...halting as Clementine’s body started to spasm. Clementine’s hair was fusing into shoulder-length tentacles.  The tail halting it change, staying a thin, spaded tail.

“No, what's wrong! This should be working!” Sitabus balled his hands into fists, unable to stop this. Trying to think of what he had done wrong. Glaring at the assassin spasming body.

Pulling up an arm to keep the fogy mist out of his eyes as it blasted back.  Blinking opening his eyes to see the body sitting up eye slowly opening landing on him with an empty look. Sitabus felt like a deer in the headlights. Unsure if it worked, seeing the fanged mouth as she yawned stretching out her arms.

“Hello, Master, where are we! The potion tasted horrible. Also, where are my stilettos?” She asked even as her hands felt around for them on her person.

‘I can’t tell which personality she is… is this Jade, right? It has to be!’ Reassuring himself still, the doubtful fear lingered.  Heart heavy with unease yet taking a careful step forward, keeping a neutral face. “Tell me what your name is first, and I can fill you in.”  

Clementine's face didn’t show any sign of disdain for him or lies. Only a warm smile graced her lips. ‘why does that grin seem weird?’ He asked himself, waiting for the answer ready to attack if need be.

“Why Clementine coin, of course, who else would I be?” Clementine purred out, confused by the question, her hands playing with her slithering tentacle hair. Missing the complete look of despair in his hollow eyes or the angry scowl, which grew over his lips.

Kyuketsuki’s Hands tightening around the spear.  Resisting the urge to murder her here and now, ‘Easily fixed I can just try again maybe it will work better if I through her whole body in ...’ The scowl remained even as the rage cooled into resolved crazed, murderous eyes — harsh gaze piercing into Clementine.

“Uh…is something wrong master? Is my current form displeasing? I can’t quite remember what happened after the battle did, I die what are these other memories?”

Kyuketsuki, hearing this broken small voice, stared deep into Clementine’s faltering face downcast eyes with a sad pout. Seeing only one thing in her a simple wish to bring joy to him and upset that she was failing with her appearance alone. Sitabus felt a painful discomfort in his gut at a face only his jade could make. Could he really kill her knowing it was his failure! He made the super tire magic potion; if he messed up or forgotten even one small variable, it could be the factor that made it fail.

He could try this three more times, but if he didn’t kill clementine now, how would this affect a second try? In Yggdrasil, NPCs like Clementine should have simply died even if it didn’t work.

 “Why is nothing working as it should.” Sitabus glares at the ground with frustration and fury with no target to take it out on. Seeing Clementine’s innocent look, Kyuketsuki couldn’t. Not now, after all the trouble he had gone through. Turning away to punch the cavern wall as it caved under the force. Angrily huffing as the dust settled, concealing his rage. ‘Why can’t I bring you back?!’

“Master what's wrong; you seemed distressed! Has someone hurt you if so tell me so I can murder them slowly for your entertainment!” Clementine's voice moves right behind kyuketsuki, hugging his back. Glancing back to see the purely loving and worried face only further drove home the painful truth; this was neither Clementine nor Jade.

This was someone born from a melding of both personalities; it would be easy to kill it. Doing so would not change the fact Kyuketsuki’s last resort had failed….

Sitabus struggled to control his wild emotion-filled pants resisting the murderous rage inside his heart. Kyuketsuki only managed to calm his breathing after several minutes of trembling with wrath. Sitabus did not trust himself to move around Clementine coin lest his blood rage consumes his rational mind. Battling fiercely with his heart to contain the monstrous fury. Sought to be free and erase his failure until it was little more than a bloodstain on the cavern walls, then use said bloodstain to try again.

Turning to this new person with a calm face, not showing any emotion as Clementine’s mismatched red and blue eyes tracked his every move. Clementine Refusing to let go as if he would vanish if she did. “kyuketsuki-sama?”

He carefully Reaches out an armored hand on to her head, rubbing the strange soft tentacles mixed blonde and crimson hair?  Sighing, at last, Sitabus buried his rage under shame. “It doesn't matter. Let's just go. We have work to do.”  His voice was soft and hollow, almost sounding lost as Kyuketsuki moves past the confused assassin. Clementine rushed up to take his hand. Like they did before jade’s last battle, gently squeezing Kyuketsuki’s hand with a tender smile and a blush dusting her cheeks.

“OH yes, I believe these are yours.” Sitabus hands over Clementine's stilettos, which to his surprise, her hair moved to take without missing a beat wrapping around them and securing them to her belt without even having to look.

As if noticing his gaze, Clementine purred leaning closer into his side. “Do you like the new hair due Kyuketsuki-sama.” Meeting those mismatching eyes filled with devotion, it almost brought tears to his eyes.

 


-Kyuketsuki-

Dejected Kyuketsuki scanned over the outside of the residents of Lissize Bareare. Clementine licked her lips with a hunger Kyuketsuki had seen before. Sighing this would take some normalizing.

Walking up to the building, it appeared to be empty. Kyuketsuki knew they would arrive soon, so he would have to move quickly. Raising his hand to the door flicking some blood on to the handle as it hissed melting the door lock

'Better to be safe than sorry.'

[disenchantment level 10]

A glow came over the door before vanishing, pushing the door open, looking back at the group of hooded figures behind him and Clementine. "Aright Kathrin your part will start once the undead break through the gates the rest of you don't get captured and remember, don't kill them unless absolutely necessary."

Bowing, they all disappeared into the night, leaving him and Clementine alone in the darkness of the street. Looking over the place before him smiling. 'Perfect not only can I learn about how this world's alchemy works. I can gain favor with this shop after I take out Khajiit unless he gets killed first.'

Kyuketsuki Walked through the front into the back, going over the shelves and large tanks in the room truly a great place to study alchemy.

"What shall I do master while we wait."

Turning to look at the glowing eyes of the assassin sighing, trying to calm his restless mental state. His emotionless mind trying to puzzle out what made a super tier potion fail. ‘What went wrong, was it the ingredient or just the magic not working like in Yggdrasil?’

He was not too worried once the undead attacked only adamite adventures would be able to even make a dent in his plan. With the fourteen elder litchs and the [army of undead], he summoned had practically guaranteed only his team would be capable of “breaking through.” Ensuring his team instilment as Adamantite adventures, which was perfect for his future goals.

‘It is fine even if you are not here, Jade, your sacrifice will not be forgotten. Neither shall I grow so complacent again.’ Even the words did not lift the pain which lingered. It was eased by Clementine’s loving touch on his shoulder. Helping him push the dark thoughts down.

Even now, he could hear the voice in his head, whispering to end this fake Jade. No, he would not kill his family; he lost one. He would not lose another. Besides, this was just the price of his failure to bear the weight of it by ensuring; Ritana’s and Kathrin’s hard work didn’t go to waste.

Kyuketsuki grips the strange red glowing rock in his hand before turning back to answer. "It's fine. Clementine be ready to act when they arrive here. be sure to use the ring, we can’t have the real you recognized in this mess."

Obediently nodding before putting on the ring as her tail and appearance changed to look like her old form. Those eyes gave away the bitter truth. No matter how much he longed to see Jade again. It felt like a dream staying just out of reach.

This Didn't stop his doubts from popping up. If he had screwed up, maybe it was still possible. Sitabus shaking his head, there was nothing he could do now focusing his thoughts on something he forgot to ask in the catacombs.

“Tell me something, Clem-chan. What did you see when you went through my [harmonizing condition: corruption]?” His blood-red eye seeing through the dark as Clementine turned to him.

Meeting his piercing gaze with an unsure look. “Oh is hard to explain as I don’t remember it too clearly. Though I do remember this much."

Flashback

Clementine dropped out of the endless sea of red filled with memories dropping on to something though it was hard to make out. What the hard-cold surface was with no light illuminating the void. Glancing around, pulling out her stiletto’s muscles tense relaxing into a low stance.

“Now what? You think this will be enough to stop me. Once I’m out of here, I will kill YOU do you hear me. Bloodsucker, this won’t keep me down forever.” Her angry ranting into nothingness was interrupted. Dodging to the right as a strange chain shot past her looking over to see the attacker. Wearing a maid outfit with some light armor on top, with two chains in each hand both spinning around at untraceable speeds with red hair and some snake tail. Horns were jetting from her red-skinned forehead.

“Oh, what do we have here you want to die first.” Clementine glared at this attacker Jade; the name flashed in her mind.

“Oh, you want a piece of me, didn’t anyone tell you I don’t play nice!” With a sing-song voice, she charged, pushing her body to close the gap between them. Jumping over a chain and rolling under another just barely in time. Crouching down on all fours with a smirk as Jade pulled back the chains. Activating [paces of the wind] and [ability boost]. She uttered with a whisper again rapidly advancing just a few feet away before she had to roll past Jade or risk losing her head.

Though licking the blood off her blade as she observed her enemy who just tracked her blankly. Not even bothered by the cut on her leg as it closed quickly enough.

“You know it is not as much fun if you're not even going to grunt. Just don’t expect me to roll over and die. This is my body, not YOURS!” Roaring out, Clementine tried to find a weak point as she circled her prey.

She Grinns as they were slow to start to pull back, having overextended rushing up with blinding speed stabbing into their shoulder. Though they were not affected by it, enchanted weapon or at least Jade didn’t show she registered the pain of being injured. They only retaliated with a wild slash at Clementine’s side.

Clementine cursed as she jumped back. Deflecting the other weapon coming at her right. Though grabbing it, holding it tightly only to feel her feet get dragged towards Jade. Letting go just In time to avoid getting cut again rushing past to score two more light cuts.

Not even a grunt left the doll-like Jade, which seemed to be blindly attacking. As if on autopilot, which only angered Clementine more. ‘what is up with her? It’s like she can’t even feel pain. No, this is more like a cheap copy of the original.’

Clementine sees visions of this Jade as If through her own eyes, with far more passion then this hack. Letting out a grunt was expected from pain. Everything seemed to blur together in a jumble of Clementine's memories along with Jades. Clearing her mind in time to dodge another twin attack trying to think of how to take this thing down.

Smirking, Clementine spoke. “Don’t worry, Kyuketsuki, soon I will be back, and then I can kill you.” Her voice filled with both affection and blood lust. It was confusing, but Clementine didn’t have time to sit down and think this out right now she had to survive this strange dream.

Clementine weaves and dodges through the attack pattern with grace and skill rushing up to Jade with stilettoes stabbing into the Weak points of the armor. Though with a quick thought, Clementine's new hair shot up entangling both of Jade's arms.  Changing slightly with a wicked smirk on her face, as Clementine started ruthlessly cutting into the now defenseless enemy.

“Oh, I could get used to this not so tough now. Are you!” Clementine took great delight in the helplessness of this other her. Even if she couldn’t fight back, it felt lacking for one reason or another. The thrill she usually felt was lacking. She saw Kyuketsuki’s face flashed before her eyes feeling a rush much to her confusion. Clementine’s vision started to blur, watching this fake Jade melt into nothing but particles.

End flashback

“What happened after?” Kyuketsuki’s gaze entirely focused on Clementine.

“Ah, well, I don’t remember much past this part.” Hesitantly answered Clementine fiddling with her hands. There was more she wasn’t telling but with such a cute flustered face. It reminded him of Jade again, so he let the matter drop for now as they waited.

When the door finally opened, Sitabus locked on to their primary target. His eyes held only pity for the young man as they passed a frown set on his face as the adventures filtered inside. He closed the door behind them. Signaling Clementine to move in with one sweeping motion. “Hello, I’m Therus. I hate to intrude, but I will need to take Nfirea with me.” Seeing all of them tense up around the Pharmacist. Letting out a breath of frustration.

“Please just come peacefully, and you all will be spared; however, if you persist. Clementine, if you would.” Before they could even react, their magic caster had a blade to her throat, with the blonde assassin holding her.

“Ninya! Let her go. We aren’t handing over Nfirea.”  The leader shouted tightly, holding his sword. Seeing the ranger started to move, Sitabus scowled. ‘I gave them a warning. Let see how they like a demonstration!’ Pointing his spear forward at the archer.

[triple: acid arrow]

“No, Lukrut!” Peter turned to his friend but too late as the three-arrows penetrated through him. Pete could only watch in horror as Lukrut withered in pain, screaming out as his armor and skin corroded away. Tilled Lukrut stilled merely laying on the floorboard’s dead with the open wounds bleeding out blood into a crimson pool around his body.

Dyne and peter froze in place, trapped between Clementine and Therus, glancing at their fallen friend. Beads of sweat rolled down peter's forehead, trying to think of how to get out of this.

“Just give up, and I will heal your friend keep defining me, and you will have to say goodbye to Ninya next.” Therus let the persona of this character come in full force. Pain vanishing beneath the cold mask of Therus. He advanced a few steps, his glowing spear aimed at both of them.

Both of the remaining swords of darkness shared a glance with steely eyes. There resolve to act only to get a shock as Dyne got pelted with magic arrows in the back. Dropping in a pool of blood, peter felt his veins run cold. How had this happened? None of them could even act snapping over to Ninya with a blank look and outstretched hand.

Peter opens his mouth to speak as the words failed him petrified in fear. Ninya held up her hand. Still outstretched from casting the spell which injured Dyna.

“Now do you see, nothing you can do will stop us. Just surrender, and I will revive your friends. Don’t, and you will join them in death.”  The cold, angry voice filled peters ears turning back to Therus gulping before resolving himself,

after a few minutes of waiting in the tense silence, neither side moving.

“Run, Nifrea!” Therus parried peters strike, running him through as Peter coughed up blood.  Peter Feeling his veins burn like fire, poison most likely, strength leaving his body “I’m sorry guys...” He whispered as his eyes dulled.

After letting the body drop, Therus turned to the now terrified Nifrea. As Ninya screams filled the room with a look of contempt and pity to the boy before him. Nothing could change what was going to happen now. ‘Just like I can’t change Jade’s death.’ “If you wish your last friend a quick death, you will be coming with me willingly.”

Peter watches Nifrea shake with fear backing up a step. In a vain attempt to escape whatever malevolence plan was in store. Ninya's dying scream was the last Peter heard before his vision went dark.

 


-E-Rental Cemetery-

Looking on from on top of the mausoleum, Sitabus could not believe how smoothly everything was going. Watching as the gathered group of necromancers chanted their ritual, it would be just about time to show his hand.

‘It should be just about time to tie up this loose end and meet up with Kathrin.’ Though he faltered as something caught his eyes. Something shouldn’t be possible. His eyes tracked three figures unmolested by the undead, in fact, none where to be seen, walking up adorned in adamantite armor with two great swords on his back — followed by a woman adorned in similar armor only with an ax. Last was a muscular humanoid too large to be an average human, hidden by a cloak and mask. Some giant hamster with a snake tail in the back?

However, the third one, he instantly recognized, “So, you came back to play minotaur.” He muttered with disdain pushing off the wall. Observing as the group approached the gathering area. Glancing at his wristwatch, he scowled ‘where Is Ritana and my greater doppelganger she is never late!’

The smile quickly left Kyuketsuki’s lips, replaced with an angry scowl under his helm. Scanning around disappointed to see no one else coming close. With narrowed eyes remembering this man named Momon. Rita had warned him about this one.

[Message] 

It worried Kyuketsuki at the lack of answer tried again to connect to Bardic then his doppelganger...none of them answered.

[Message] Deciding to test a connection with Kathrin as she picked up.

{Kyuketsuki-sama what is the matter I am happy to confirm things on my end should finish up in just a few minutes.} Happily purred Kathrin, though waiting for further orders.

{Tell me the location of my adventuring group now!} Patients had left Kyuketsuki. He couldn’t afford to lose another so soon. He wouldn’t lose anyone else even if it meant dying.

There was silence for minutes before an answer came back.

{The greater doppelganger posing as you appears to have been killed or banished. While I can't locate either my packmate or the abyss dwarf either master. Orders!} Regret radiated from Kathrin's voice.

Kyuketsuki trembled with rage glaring at the trio before his eyes.

Kyuketsuki’s hands balled into fists a dark smirk came over his face as his vision went red partially going into a blood rage. 'Alright I might have to alter some memories time for plan B.’

{Kathrin once you complete your part gather all of the dominators and blood knights nearby to encircle the graveyard and wait for further orders.}

{at once!}

Ending the message, he teleported into the shadow of a pillar where Clementine was standing guard nearby. "Do we get to have fun now, master!"  She purred with a toothy grin,

"Change of plans you are to rescue the boy. Do not allow him to make any connection to your old self Clem-chan or I will punish you!” The kind thoughts of Sitabus felt muddy as wrath filled his mind. Perhaps he was still bitter about the failed super tire potion; however, it didn’t stop him from cringing at his coldness to her.

‘It is not her fault moron, the blame falls on yourself!’

"Aw, but what about these intruders I can’t just let you face them alone." Clementine objected, drawing his attention to see the worry in her eyes.

Kyuketsuki smiles as he patted her head. “They can’t take me. Besides these people need to learn I will not be messed with; soon enough, we will be hunting down the rest of these rats till then contain your enthusiasm.” Stepping past with a merciless glare right at this group.

Clementine could not help but trace his every move with hearts in her eyes before quickly moving to save the weakling below. “Why is he so upset with me? Did I say something wrong,” Clementine asked herself, slinking into the shadows.

 


-With Kyuketsuki-

"Where is Clementine?"

Gazing at Khajiit without a care, he was in no mood to play around already. They had killed Jade, crept into his area undetected, and now they somehow got to his team without him knowing. Rage boiled in Kyuketsuki’s ice-cold veins refusing to be made a fool of any longer or losing anything else to these people.

Whoever they are, they just hit the top of his hit list, and no mercy will be given. They would become nothing but ash by the time he finished. But first, he needs to take care of these three.

Therus snapped his fingers as the death orb in Khajiit's hands explodes with negative energy. Killing them all off as the sphere gathered said energy becoming a body of evil crackling darkness, With glowing red eyes, mouth, and a glowing orb for a heart.

“I don’t know who you lot are or what your game is, but you will regret not running when you had the chance. Though I am not without mercy, tell me were the Green Vultures' adventures are, or I destroy this whole city.” Therus let out the evilest laugh he could muster. At least till he knew his cover is blown.

The one in armor spoke up first. “I am Momon, I don’t know who they are or what game you mean? Though I thank you for taking care of the other fools, it saves me the trouble.” Momon gained a dark edge to his voice.

“You do not look like your responsible for killing Ninya. Tell me who it is!” Therus could swear two red dots glowed behind the helmet.

“Oh, you want answers, but so do I sadly we don’t all get what we want. I had a deal with the Green Vultures if they could stop me, I would spare this city. If they fail to show up, I will destroy this city now.”

Therus let the threat linger in the air waiting for their response. Though impressed when they failed to take the bait, this did not change his resolve. “Fine, if you will not tell me the truth, perhaps, I shall just beat the answer out of you!”

Stabbing the spear into the shadows [maximize magic double: darkness mirror] smirking as twenty copies of himself rose out of the shadows forming into a line in front of Therus. “Now, who will be the first to try and stop me before I destroy all of E-Rental.” Grandly waving out his hands, inviting an attack.

The first to move was the Minotaur charging forward Therus grinned with an air of blood lust. Each of his doubles raised their spears, uttering one spell together [triple: phantom pain]. Upon casting so many spells on to one target, the minotaur which he never learned the name of; had his blood practically explode out of his body as hundreds of cuts covered his body blood rushing out of his veins. Bull Drops dead into a large pool of crimson liquid.

“Next, please.” Therus taunted the next fighter, the armored woman holding her deadly ax, which seemed familiar charged forward. Only to get stopped by a wave of pitch-black energy [darkness thrust].  As they jumped back, watching both of them. He needs answers, and he couldn’t get any fighting both of them at once right now.

“Red orb, please keep the young maiden occupied while I talk with their leader.” At the command, the death orb flew at albedo, flinging her further away from their fight. He moves his attention on to the last one taking note of the sloppy stance and lack of movement he expected for a living being.

Watching his [blood pool] form out of the blood of the minotaur above him. As Momon didn’t move an inch despite the skill at work. From what he could gather, none in this world are used to seeing this skill active. Momon remained unphased despite this.

“Now that we are alone. Tell me, are you from YGGDRASIL?” Therus could barely make out Momon stiffen with narrowed eyes. ‘so, I’m right then let see just what level you are.’

“What if I am.” At this reply, Therus sent out five mirrors to rush Momon. Each shooting off [acid arrows] and [frost rays] in rapid succession and as two semi-solid illusion drew close thrusting at Momon’s armored chest only to fail to penetrate. It did dent it, if only slightly. As Momon wildly swings out his sword into the two-illusions dispelling them with a blast of dark energy.

Though the second blade got block by one mirror as to other thrusts out [acid blood] and [blood blades] at once. A rain of dark red swords shot out of them at Momon just enough to penetrate the armor in a few spots.

No blood or pained grunt only silence as Momon throws back the third copy and thrust at the fifth one with his second sword, vanishing it before wildly swinging to match the two doubles in an unskilled almost talentless manner.

‘This doesn’t make sense. He doesn’t fight like a warrior at all. Is he mocking me or just pretending to be one? And why is he not acting as if he’s injured at all?’

To his disappointment, the semi-solid illusions were again cut down by lucky strikes, though they were truly giving it there all. Scowling under the armor watching as the other fifteen mirrors divide into either casting spells from afar or trying to test out any hidden fighting style.

The longer Therus watched, the more he was sure. This was no warrior, let alone a melee fighter of any kind as the spells bounced off the armor or failed to take effect. Though looking closer, the armor appeared to have some magical aura around it. His scowl Deepaning, teleporting right behind Momon as he fought off his illusion. Bringing up his spear from the ground into an upward slash.

 [abyss rising]

Momon could not react fast enough to the negative energy blast as the shield shattered into particles as Momon was flung at the pillar. Breaking through stopping his momentum by stabbing his sword into the ground but not before throwing his second sword through the last three illusions.

“You are surprisingly unskilled for a melee fighter. Magic caster, tell me, What are your real skills arcane, necromancy, maybe divine?” Therus asked rhetorically, impatiently tapping the bud of his spear into the earth.

“Oh, is it so obvious? I thought I wasn’t too bad at this.” Momon sounded annoyed though Therus was far more focused on how unharmed by any pain he was. Despite all the scratches and holes in his armor.

While Momon was agitated about how badly he was getting beaten in swordplay. If one thing did augment this, it was the continues use of negative energy spells, which only healed any damage he received. Momon noted this person seemed far too adept at close combat for most purely magic caster classes. If they were indeed an arcane necromancer, they looked like one better suited for melee.

Both of them watched the other with analytical eyes trying to find the real answer to who the other was. Both of them were sure on only one thing they were both players from YGGDRASIL, even if it wasn’t outright stated.

Still, Momon didn’t want to resort to his magic unless his opponent showed his cards first. Glancing over to see the skeleton dragons near were Albedo was fighting and thinking up the best way to distract Therus.

“So, what was your goal in attacking the swords of darkness?”

Therus thought this question was unneeded, yet he still went through with it. As his bitter regret rose up, ‘ It doesn't matter if a few humans die if I can’t have Jade.’ Clenching his hands around his spear with a chuckle-filled tented with an edge of madness.

“Why? Why not! It doesn’t matter either way. They died if they had just backed down, the swords of darkness might have lived too bad they had to get heroic.”  Finishing with a few frost rays launched at Momon

Sidestepping the spells rushing up with his greatsword into a wide horizontal slash. What Momon didn’t expect was for the attack to be stopped by a wall of crimson glass. Followed by Therus tapping the barrier as the blood shot out spikes [crimson trap].

Momon jumps back though he predicted the next action turning to swing at Therus teleporting behind him. Only to stumble as the first Therus rushed at his exposed back, trying to shatter the armor blocking him.

Keeping both hands on his sword as Momon blocked a frontal attack. He knew he would be panting right now if not for the fact he was undead. Putting in his strength into pushing Therus back, which didn’t go as planned. Instead of staying in the bind, Therus maneuvered Momon’s sword to point down, allowing the copy of Therus in his blind side to stab at Momon’s back.

Momon managed to push Therus away as he cut the copy down. But not without receiving a few more stabs to his back. Once the copy was cut down, it dispelled into a pool of blood on the ground.

“You are terrible at this for a fighter with such oversized swords. I think I’m tired of these games. [cursed blood dome]” Momon watched the familiar spell form a dome of red energy over the area. Ancient runes appeared on the ground deactivating [true warrior] spell.

The sword slipped out of Momon’s hands on to the ground. ‘Great guess there goes any chance of avoiding this now.’ Momon, even with the enchanted armor he would be unable to use weapons outside of his class so long as they were inside this dome.

“Prepare for horror! You people may have taken Jade from me, and though she will not return to me, I will make sure you feel endless pain before your end!” Therus spoke even as he pulled up blue sticks from his belt. Snapping them both as his armored suit replaced his armor and staff. Ainz froze under his persona in shock, whispering out, “Kyuketsuki!”

Kyuketsuki almost halted glaring at Momon. “So, you know my name. It shall not change your death.”  Ainz felt panic as his friend quickly hovered into the air before rushing down at him. Thinking fast, he pulled out his neckless of flight, jumping over the thrust at the last-minute landing behind his friend dismissing his armor, turning to him.

“Wait, stop Kyuketsuki. It is me, Momonga.” Holding up his hands, watching as confusion filled the true vampires’ eyes, lowering his sabers.

Sitabus halted, losing all his energy at the sight of his friend, the persona of Therus slipping away. Using his detection spells to be sure this wasn’t a trick, nothing was going as he planned. It felt like another stab at his empty heart could it really be Momonga?

“Is that really you?” The words rolled out of Kyuketsuki’s mouth.

“Momonga, what are you doing here? Where is my team? Wait, does this mean the other one is? Is that Albedo?” Sitabus just now realized how similar the armor was.

Ainz let out a breath as the battle frenzy left his friend calm if no less frantic for answers.

“Well, we came here to stop an undead army while growing the fame of Ainz Ool gown. And avenge my team which... You kind of killed quite brutally too.” Letting his bitterness rise even if Ainz was happy to see his friend, it didn’t change the fact he killed the swords of darkness.

“This was Khajiit’s idea though it will help later. Besides, if you're still mad at me for this, we can Revive them later, maybe?” Not trusting his abilities fully.

Ainz gave Kyuketsuki a strange look. What did he mean, maybe?

“This is not important; I have just been having some difficulty with resurrection magic.”Kyuketsuki could feel his friend penetrating gaze on him as if demanding an answer. Before anything, more words shared Clementine dropped down between them, taking a low defensive stance.

Kyuketsuki glanced over nearby to see Nifrea watching them all as if looking for an answer to what was going on. Sighing explanations would have to wait.

“Good work, Clem-chan, did you take care of your sister?” Getting back into his adventurer role. Keenly observing as Clem forces a smile.

 “Of course mas- I mean boss. She is dead, and I rescued the boy. Now, what about him?”

Kyuketsuki gestures for Momonga to play along. As he cleared his throat, “Ah, we are adventurers we came to help as soon as we could, I’m Momon albedo should just about be done finishing off the last monster.”

They all turned to where the skeletal dragon was as the second one fell. All the while, Momon’s eyes focused on Kyuketsuki.

{Later we can talk let's finish this up, and we can hash this out then.}

{sigh...Alright but I’m holding you to it and no running off this time.}

{I didn’t run off I was teleported here ugh. Your still mad about the swords of darkness aren’t you.}

{no, I’m not!} Cutting off the telepathic message though Sitabus could Cleary see, he was just a little bitter about how all this turned out.  He was too if albeit for a different reason.

“We can go check up with them and find my team.” Kyuketsuki leads the way to Albedo, all the while wondering where his team was?


-Else were-

Ritana struggled to stand up after the fight if it could be called such after this Jester summoned an enormous tree to fight them. Looking at the smoldering remains as the horrid smell of burned rotted trees permeated the air. Stumbling to one knee, clutching her bruised stomach, at least two ribs felt broken.

Glancing over at Bardic out cold on the ground, then over to the dead pool of her master. Rita’s eyes were dulled over with regret. She had failed even to prove her strength against a clown. None of her spells so much as scratched them.

She would not even live to regret her failure as soon as the mistress found out he was dead. Punching the ground in a mixture of shame, regret, and rage hearing their mocking footsteps. Only a few feet out of view.

“You can’t stop it; you never could though this is only a premonition to his true fate. Remember this girl.” The phantom's words lingered in her mind, only increasing her despair. Ritana Gathering her courage to approach the spot with a heartbroken gaze into the pool of mush, which was once a living undead.

Unable to find the words as to what to say in her beaten and battered armor struggling to find the strength to stay standing. On wobbly legs not helped by the dizziness from the last wild attack of the enormous tree.

“I’m so sorry if I had only been faster or stronger, I could have…”

Rita was halted in her task by the familiar scent mistress Kathrin had trained her to know. Part of her gift from mistress Kathrin's changes. Her golden eyes zooming over to see Kyuketsuki-sama approaching with two familiar armored people and someone new a blonde and red-headed assassin with mismatching eyes, light armor, and two small thin daggers at her side.

“Ritana, what are you doing come here and help me lift Bardic we must be going.” Ritana hearing her lord seeing the loving smile and those eyes filled with worry for her. It was all too much after just thinking she had failed felt tears of joy well up in her eyes. As her tired and bruised body finally gave in fainting.

Kyuketsuki just sighed. “At least their alive, but what happened here.” Without looking, he could pick up the faint scent of magic all over the area. Most notably illusionary arts and summoning.

If the smoldering tree was any indication, he would say a Treant. They were not very common to summon in YGGDRASIL. Partly due to the difficulty of finding or gaining access to such a spell. Kneeling down to pick up Ritana as Clementine carried Bardic.

“What happened here?” Momonga asked

“This is what I would like to know, as well. Kathrin, did  you see the person who did this?”

Kyuketsuki took her silence and bowed head as a yes. Balling a hand into a fist, the one who was using illusion spells to get into the city. It explained how the minotaur got in, but why did they attack his team. What other objectives did they have here?

...

-Hours later-

Kyuketsuki gaze silently fell on to Kathrin's fingers interlocked together as she finished her search. Turning to Ainz and albedo as if hoping for answers on the matter. Glancing again at the missing rings, though, it was a bigger shame to be missing the [god of death hands] somehow taken out of his inventory while he was busy fighting Ainz, he guessed.

“So, we have no leads or ideas were Jester went.” His voice is drained and weary from the long day. Nothing seemed to be going right.

“No, I’m afraid we lost track of her once we entered the cemetery. Though why only steal a transformation ring, the ring of concealment and a rather weak world item.”  Pondered Ainz with Albedo looking static as ever nearby. Not without a subtle glare sent Kyuketsuki’s way.

Sitabus thoughts linger on Jade, glancing over at Clementine, trying to think of what had gone wrong. The only consolation was all of E-Rental was under his control now. Even if no one knows it yet. Which was the whole point of the undead attack little more than a smokescreen to clear any unseen danger in this town?

“We will need to find this Jester later; for now, Xennessa can keep a lookout. With E-Rental under our control, nothing will go unnoticed again. Though we should probably combine our team for now unless you want me to revive the swords of darkness.”

Kyuketsuki couldn’t find it in himself to feel anything for their passing. He gave them a chance no if anything he felt terrible; they had got close to Ainz. Only to get killed a few days later.

“No, it won’t be necessary.”  Even hearing Ainz's words felt empty like he didn’t care at all. Perhaps it was just the emotion suppresser affecting Ainz as well. While they both had some kind of emotional damper at times.

‘Ainz; however, seems to be feeling the loss of emotion more even if he won’t outright say. Then again, maybe it is just a natural change in this new world.’

“Alright, though, I am sorry about it. If I had known, I would have. - halting as Ainz just gave him an understanding look to drop it.

“What’s done is done. Nothing will change this. I am just happy to see you again. Your skills seem as sharp as ever.”

Sitabus let a small smile grace his lips. “You say that, but we both knew Touch Me was the best PVP fighter in the guild. Then again, I could probably handle him to if I had game-breaking gear like his too.” He grumbled under his breath. This remarked earned a laugh from Ainz.

“Maybe, but you got far too focused on your role-playing and character build to go after world champion.”

“Very true, still your skills at swordplay need some real improvement. It might work on low-level enemies, but I’m far above the like of goblins or bandits.” Sitabus Brushing off the glare from Albedo, she seems relatively attached to Ainz for whatever reason.

“I can work on it later.”  Ainz huffed in annoyance, “now why didn’t you just teleport back to Nazarick once you arrived here. you only answered my message spell twice as well. ” Ainz rested his chin on his hands, waiting for an answer.

“Well, for one, I didn’t want to scare the town, seeing as they don’t even have magic above the third tire. As for another after the first message, I thought you were traveling alone, but this doesn’t seem to be the case.” Sitabus watched Ainz face his red eyes seemed to be the only give away.

“I don’t recall ever saying that.”

The edge in Ainz's voice only confirmed his suspicion. He is racking his brain for an answer that didn’t seem to exist. Narrowing his eyes in thought. “I see then. It will just be something else to look into.”

“Kathrin, go update Xennessa. I want anything on this group delivered to me immediately!” watching Kathrin teleport away with a bow.

“Well, I suppose I can take a break to let things die down here. it will be nice to return to Nazarick again.” Letting out a breath before sipping the tea though it provides no benefit. It did calm his nerves a little. Bringing a kind of normalness to such a crazy day.

Before Sitabus could even say a word, Clementine was already by his side. She is patiently watching him with lustful eyes, Hair wriggling around her body, With a sly grin on her lips.

“Clem-chan, please go tell Bardic and Ritana I will be away for a few days. Though keep active while I’m away.”Sitabus gently asked, setting the cup back down on the table.

Ainz only spoke up once he hears the door close. “Kyuketsuki, are you sure she is trustworthy she seems unstable.”

Sitabus gave his old friend somewhat of a reassuring smile letting out a sigh. “I believe so even if her demeanor seems predatory, she is loyal. Though I really must get back to Nazarick to check on something.”

Ainz gave his friend a blank look disbelieving statement. “Don’t give me that look I made friends with other NPCs in the past, didn't I. Before they were half as alive as they are now.”

Ainz just sighed, “Fine, she is your responsibility, …sorry to hear about Jade.”

Sitabus turns his gaze to the night sky, not wanting to show his mournful face. It seemed the more time went on, the more the longing to see Jade again would be something he would have to deal with, pushing the regret down into his heart.

“Let's not talk about it here…not now…besides, I believe Clem-chan is back.” His voice was empty of emotion. Meeting Clementine’s caring gaze as she bowed. “The Void vultures are clear on their orders. Though in a few days, Pluton wants to talk to all of us. You, in particular, master.”

Ainz gaze at his friend with worry though unwilling to press the issue so soon. Perhaps it would be better to tell him later when all this had passed over.

Giving Clementine an encouraging nod of approval. “Are you ready to return Ainz I can fill you in on the rest on the way back.”

“Yes, and it is good to see you, Kyuketsuki. Again, come along, Albedo.”  Opening a gate back to Nazarick following his friend through.

“Of course, lord Ainz” The overseer chippered happily following her love back home.

 


-CARNIVAL-

Stopping just outside E-Rental to turn back, looking at the city from above as smoke trails still lingered from the destruction wrought upon it. People were quickly traveling all over the place. As the city guards worked overtime to secure the city after its near annihilation at the undead attack.

Carnival could only chuckle at how funny they all looked from so high up. Unknowingly passing by vampire brides keeping watch from the shadows of the alleyways. Along with shadow demons traveling unseen throughout the three-ringed walls of the city.

Holding up her hand with two rings, one of greater doppelganger and the other of concealment. It had been tricky to steal in the fight ‘It a necessary evil,’ she told herself. Though it was necessary to do, it didn’t mean she likes doing this. “Now, it is only a matter of time before mister vampire starts hunting them.”

“~What to say to blank-san he will be so angry. When he finds out what Bull did too bad.” Putting up a sing-song voice

“Oh, did you forget about me, or did you think I wouldn’t notice what you did.”  Hearing the angry voice of the shadow behind her, Carnival lost her smile under the mask turning to glare at the shadow's eyes.

“It doesn’t matter if you did or not soon, we will be meeting in person. Besides, no rules were broken, so you can’t do anything.” Carnival smirked in victory

Not a word was spoken from Jester, at least until they chuckled. “Oh, you think so, I guess we will see. But this changes nothing besides I think you miss something and how much can two rings and a world item do.”

“They can do a lot more than you think Jester; besides, I know my gambit will pay off just you wait.” Carnival watched the shadow vanish before teleporting away herself.


-End of Chapter-

Chapter Text


-Nazarick-

Dark shadows covered the room as he sunk into the soft sheets and firm yet soft pillows like a haven. Brought a soothing comfort one he had not felt in a while after the last few days. Sitabus Tried to block the memories haunting him with pleasant memories of lying next to Jade and Kathrin.

Yet these sweet moments could not last, feeling the shift in the covers next to him as squishy and warm tentacles brushed over his back. Neither of them had tentacles, so with one swift motion, his clawed hands tightly gripped the soft neck of the intruder. His slime wings already moving to restrain this interloper, daring to interfere with his pleasant memories.

Kyuketsuki’s vision was unfettered by the pitch-black room, Thanks to his superhuman senses, he could clearly see Clem-chan cuddling close to him unafraid of just how close to death she was. If anything, a light blush colored her cheeks, letting out a slight moan at his touch. 

Recoiling a little flinching back with regret at both the odd kinkiness and how close he was to killing Clementine. Before the change, she probably deserved a far worse fate than the light cuts on her bruised neck already healing.  Panting with loving eyes not even bothered by the killing intent he had moments ago.

Rolling over to the edge of the bed, sitting up sighing and rubbing his eyes. “I told you not to disturb me till it was time for me to wake up, Clem-chan.” Sleepily lecturing the assassin, reaching into his inventory to retrieve his gear and clothes. Halting as slim but toned arms slid over his shoulders, cooing hungrily, draping her body over his back.

“Don’t be so cold, lord Kyuketsuki; I wanted to give you a pleasant wake-up gift.” seductively whispering into his ear.

Sitabus turned to gaze over his shoulder at Clementine with a questioning look seeing a ghost of Jade with a blinding smile. ‘Why can’t you stop making this difficult for me?’  Shifting his eyes away, afraid to get sucked into the soothing voice and laugh.

“I already told you Clem-chan I am not doing it with you-you have to earn the right as jade did…” He trailed off, missing the faintly hurt gaze of Clementine.

Clementine Watches as Kyuketsuki pulled away to stand getting dressed all the while Clem takes careful note of his muscular back and compact body. Ever since reawakening, she could not tear herself away from the vampire.

She was still trying to make sense of the two different sets of memories with an ache in her heart. Craving her handsome and caring master. She Inches closer yet refusing to leave the comforts of the bedsheets Covered in master scent disappointed to see Kyuketsuki finishing putting on his shirt.

“I know, but tell me what to do, and it will be done lord Kyuketsuki. I want nothing more than to know your loving touch again. I don’t understand what I did to displease you?” There was a painful longing in Clementine's voice, pleading for an answer.

Which only made it sting more when he tried to explain, but no words came out. What could he say it wasn’t that Clementine did anything it was his own failure! This was very uncomfortable; she was like jade and, at the same time, wasn’t. Unsure of what to do or say fearing he might make it worse, which would make it so much harder to bring the real jade back.

Deciding to breathe out an unsteady breath in his room, at least he was back at Nazarick. One comfort; however, this did not help him find an answer to Clementine's question. Chancing a look back at the crimson-tipped blond mismatched blood red and icy blue eyes peering through the darkness.

Persistent in getting an answer with a confident smile, making it much more painful to deny her. ‘Why can’t I tell you this just isn’t the same as before?’  

“No, I... Why did you wake me up, Clem-chan.” Sidestepping the question unintentionally for the moment.

A small smile returned to her face. “It’s time to wake up, and lord Ainz and Demiurge wanted to meet with you. Also, Aveda and Kathrin still needed to deliver their report on the state of things.”  Chipperly reporting summer salting into standing. 

‘Oh, right, I forgot about that, uh, I really need to stop putting off mental rest for so long again.’

“Then come along Clem-chan behave well, and I will think...about your request.” Struggling to get the last part out his reluctance to grant. He just couldn’t let go of Jade. It wasn’t like he could just, let this changed Clementine run loos either. She never asked to be like this, smirking at the small victory the old Clementine hated the idea of following orders.

Walking out of his bedroom into the main room Clementine following like a lost puppy. Approaching his laboratory as the doors slid open with Aveda already waiting in the room. It was like the room back in E-Rental yet far more extensive and more elaborate.

“Hum another incomplete mix if only Karin town were still sending supplies.” The maid sounded frustrated.

“I fear the village may no longer exist, my dear, though I hope it hasn’t been too difficult to maintain while I was away.” Sitabus gently patted her shoulder, shocked she was not surprised, not even jumping at the surprise touch from behind.

“No, it hasn’t, but the blood tanks have not gotten resupplied since you vanished, and much of the automatic functions have had to be turned off to either save resources or because they were not working properly. Only about 10% of them are still working, I am happy you returned father.” Aveda turns with a beaming grin of joy.

Sitabus returned the happy smile, “It is good to be back.” Before shifting his thoughts back to the other topic. Sitabus lost a bit of his chipper mood; “This bad hun? Has Kathrin contacted you about my new lair in E-Rental?  might stem some of the loss of supplies.”

Aveda shook her head negative. “At most, we can resupply the blood tanks possibly get back to full within the year, but a lot of rare and hard to find item drops came from Karin castle. At most, we could restore 15, maybe 20% of the operational function for a time. what we lack are rare materials.”

He clicked his tongue in annoyance, looking around the room at most of the dulled circles, empty or half-filled flasks. Right perhaps, he could find what he needs later under his adventurer's guise.

Aveda wasn’t done as if reading his mind. Pulling out a small book with most of its pages full of lists of the supplies they needed. “father, We might be able to supplement what we lack.”

Thinking intensely on it, Nazarick had no way to restock supplies as of yet. Needlessly using up what they had was not an option till the long term shortage was solved. If it was not, his mass production of potions, which was beneficial to Nazarick, would be minimal. If even a handful of players with a grudge were waiting for him to slip up again. These potions could be the difference between Nazarick’s downfall or continued safety.

Being able to use potions with the same power of 10th or higher spells saved mana and help them achieve victories, beaming fondly at the recollections before the decline and eventual fall. He could almost see it clear as day talking with Ulbert, Nearata, Nubo, and Peroroncino, helping him learn about the craft of alchemy in-game.

‘I had no idea just how hard mastering the art would be back then...I hope they are doing well. Where ever they are.’

Kyuketsuki was pulled out of his nostalgia by the gloved hand of Clementine. Looking at him with a curious look as if trying and failing to read his mind. It was funny to see though Clementine was far too inexperienced in vampire levels. Letting a smirk come to his face.

‘You are too young to read my thoughts Clem-chan.’ Letting out a chuckle at the cute pout donning her face. “Not fair! Can we please get something to eat now lord Kyuketsuki?” Clementine half heartily complained mostly out of hunger.

Her eyes kept glancing at the tanks full of red liquid occasionally licking her lips.

Sitabus shifted to appear as if he was thinking about it before turning to Aveda. “Tell Demiurge to meet me at the cafeteria, then we can go greet Ainz.” Sitabus waved to the maid before returning to the main room with a quick touch of the maw jagged teeth of the wood door swung open.

Clementine was a little slow to follow, watching the door with wary caution. “Oh, come on already, Clem-chan, it won’t bite your soul unless you're an intruder or try to enter without my permission.”  He tried to play off the bite he told her about earlier.  Mostly as a last-ditch defense though Clementine seemed unsure of the handleless door.

“You say that like you haven’t messed with my soul already.” Clementine softly commented half-joke, half playfully. Kyuketsuki flinched away slightly; even if it was never his intent, Clementine would be bound to him till death, maybe after. It was hard to tell with how sketchy his last few spells and potions had been.

He Swiftly hides the grimace with a halfhearted smile. “Would it matter if I have beside you still need a tour of…our home.” In half forced half truthful voice. ‘Part of Jade still in there even if it is hard to see. Why am I such a coward about this?’

Almost missing Clementine’s reply. “I guess not you did create me…I think.” Her voice was not assured even after a few days to get used to the changes.

Not being affected by the changes would be stranger than Clem showing this reaction.

 

 

Letting the silence become comfortable as they traveled down the halls, every now and then glancing at Clementine. Kyuketsuki wanted to ask lots of hard questions to Clementine to get the answers he needed; however, this was before a part of Jade was fused with her. Now it was hard not to see the phantom of Jade when looking at Clementine.

Which made it impossible to interrogate Clementine without feeling regret filtering back into his heart. His servants felt like a strange family he had found in this new world. Avada seemed to think of his as a father. Kathrin and Rita where like shared lovers with him. Clementine was trying to replace Jades' spot. Not counting those under his protection in E-Rental. It felt almost alien compared to his life back in the toxic and dying world of earth he had come from

It was not Sitabus intent to walk for so long in silence if only he could find the words to talk without an uncomfortable air rising between them. At least until they arrived at the Staff Canteen full of life yet no less clean or marvelous than the rest of the Tomb of Nazarick.

 Filled with the chattering of plates, silverware, and maids talking to each other, each one seemed so full of life with their own thoughts and ideas, which was still a little odd to take in. Taking a step back, he was uncomfortable around crowds, partly due to his own paranoia after Bellriver's death.

Feeling overwhelmed by the large crowd but this was different from the E-Rental groups of strangers. This was different, and worse, he didn’t know any of them. Unsure how he should even talk to them, would it be weird for him to come down here when he never had before? If Kathrin was here, he could just follow her lead. He didn’t know where he stood in this massive crowd.

Kyuketsuki felt he must look so stupid just standing there. But he felt self-conscious with so many people around old fears bubbled back up. With no one to turn to for strength, only Clem, who was clearly not the kind of person he wanted to emulate in this kind of new situation.

Torn between being happy to see the creation of his friends happy, and yet Sitabus didn’t think he fit in here. Not helped when they all started to go quiet, eyes gravitating to them. As a thick tension fell over the room. ‘No stop looking at me; I am not ready for this much attention.’

‘Wait, why is Clem-chan so tense.’ Almost petrified as Clementine step forward as if ready to act. What was she going to do fearing a harsh reaction Sitabus reaches out a hand on to Clementine's shoulder surprising her a little?

“Sorry, I…just haven’t seen them all so lively before.” These red and blue orbs softened relaxing again. Clementine still looked ready to act, which eased his fragile nerves about crowds a little. His fear vanishing as quickly as it had come.

“Please just go about your day like normal...” Kyuketsuki forgot what all of their names were of the homunculus maids. Walking between the tables, though, he could still feel many eyes upon him.

Somehow Clementine slid up very close to him when he wasn't looking whispering. “If they are bothering you, master, just say the word, and I can make them leave.”  Sitabus cracked a small smile leading them up to the chef who looked humanoid in a cooks attire with brown hair. Their panicked coal eyes lock on to one of the last two supreme beings.

“uh, how may this humble servant help you lord Kyuketsuki.”

Now he felt even worse for forgetting this person's name; if only they knew how nervous he felt right now, they might all laugh about it.  Composing his thoughts before speaking to make it easier on both of them.

“Hello, sorry to bother you, but could you get Clem-chan a cup of crimson venue and something else to eat. As for my self-something to drink will be all surprise me.” It was not like he needs to drink. But drinking something helped Sitabus feel normal again.

“Of course, no trouble at all, my lord Kyuketsuki.”  Sitabus gave a quick thank you. Once they hand their meal, they quickly found a seat mainly because the first table both of them went near cleared a space for them the maids' joyfully giggling as they did.

“I thought you said Nazarick didn’t have any humans,” Clementine asked before biting into the steak with a pang of savage hunger. Not sure which animal it came from.

He hummed in thought before answering. “These are not normal humans in the sense all of them were created by my friends. Like I created Aveda to maintain my room and lab, I believe they are called homunculus humans.”

Chuckling a little due to how recently he created Jade, she must not have learned much before the end of Yggdrasil. Idly drinking whatever the sweet drink was, it was delicious. Thinking of how best to approach the subject at hand.

“Now you are at least part vampire, one thing I must stress is the control of your battle frenzy. Along with the thirst for blood and last ground rules for when you are in and out of Nazarick.” Sitabus put up a stern and series stare to make sure Clementine was paying attention.

Clementine herself-paused as if confused a little as if trying to recall old knowledge. After realizing what it was. “But I know those rules don’t cause visible or lasting harm unless allowed by you, don’t attack humans while in cover, no killing anyone who doesn’t attack first, and not harming any residents of nazarick.”

He gave a smooth grin. This showed clem could recall jade’s memories and showed some of her personality mixed in with clementine’s for the most part: However, so far, she proved to have none of Jade’s abilities or spells.

 “True; however, your old body was a demon or succubus to be more accurate. Based on what I can tell, you’re a kind of Eldredge vampire or mutated vampire. Probably due to putting some of my blood in the potion. So keep this in mind.” Sitabus lectured Clementine with a steely warning gaze.

Clementine's face twisted into joy then confusion as if thinking about this herself; she had not considered the change too much or how it would affect her physically and mentally. Not that Kyuketsuki knew the answer himself. Yes, he knew how it was supposed to work, but this was a completely new situation he had not even considered to occur.

One Sitabus could not even adequately explain why either. It should have failed killing Clem or worked. Not stopped halfway, leaving a mutated person of both people. Keeping himself from diving Deeper into the hole, there was nothing he could do to change the past only the future.

The air around them still felt different than before. It just wasn’t the same. Kyuketsuki had made the most of the situation. He couldn’t help but wish this was just a bad dream he might still wake up from. Then what would it mean about this world he bitterly asked himself?

Sitabus talked with Clem trying as best he could to make this work at least until the real Jade could come back.

 

Thankfully it wasn’t long before Demiurge enters his view, walking up and taking an open seat.

“Ah, it is good to see you, lord Kyuketsuki. I have come as summoned.” Smiling at the archdevil with a warm beaming look.

Taking in all the details of the 7th-floor guardian, he had a kind of gleam in his eye as if calculating thousands of plans up in a minute. In his Sharpe suit and attire, adjusting his tie as if it wasn’t perfect already. This was what worried him, however remembering how Ulbert created him so many of those plans where not for the benefit of humans.

“Sorry to disturb you, but I wanted to know your plans for E-Rental. Along with your plans for the bipedal sheep under Kathrin’s control.” Hearing Demiurge chuckle at his joke only made this more laborious, but a line needs to be drawn. 

Kyuketsuki opened his mouth to speak halting before a single word left his lips. Would it be mean to reprimand Demiurge? It was just the way he was made, not outright hate for humans. Perhaps there was a way to do this gently and get his point across why did all of them just assume he had some grand plan for everything.

“First, let me ask you what Ainz plans. Then I will tell you my plan for the bipedal sheep of E-Rental as you call them. This way, we can avoid any misunderstanding of my grand goals for the human city.” Hiding his Smirk, Sitabus would be able to figure out what Ainz was doing Without any misunderstanding.

Watching as Demiurge adjusted his glasses with a gleam in his eyes. One which reminded him of Kathrin about to say something unsettling to Kyuketsuki about humans plans to murder or enslave them. “It is quite complex. Ainz has far-reaching plans for world domination. I am still trying to see the full scope of his plans…”

Sitabus felt his mind grind to a halt…no he must have misheard this didn’t sound like something Momoga would want to do at all. His words failed him, what if Demiurge was telling the truth had Momonga really changed this much. Doubt fumbled through Kyuketsuki’s brain trying, hoping Demiurge was just pranking him, but no the archdevils face never wavered even as he spoke.

Kyuketsuki could feel all of the onlooking maid's eyes staring into his soul. Thankfully he didn’t need to breathe, so holding his breath was no problem for him, taking several long minutes just trying to contemplate how his friend had decided this action.

Demiurge didn’t dare speak up waiting for his response, and he missed the rest of what he said after. It would be rude to ask him to repeat what he said, how could he reply quickly to this without looking like a fool. Glancing at Clementine for an out of this conversation or if nothing else by him time to think up something.

Thankfully she did with a broad beaming fanged smile. “Oh, how fun perhaps we could help with a few messy operations. Though if you have other plans master, you can send me to prove my devotion as you asked.”

Seeing Demiurge give Clementine an inquisitive look, Kyuketsuki knew he had to act unsure of Demiurge's thoughts of the ex-human. “What Clem-chan means to say is first I wish to either return my laboratory to fully working operation or build a replacement in E-Rental. So, I may be of more benefit to Nazarick then I have been while I was displaced.”

Sitabus could almost feel himself sweat in panic and sorrow. He didn’t want to seem as useless as he felt. If he could not even protect his creation from harm, how could he protect all of Nazarick from the world? Sitabus envied Ainz in a way all he had to do was maintain it.

“My lord, you have been of great help already capturing E-Rental in three weeks. I doubt I could have done it faster or more effectively without them even knowing it, myself.” Demiurge assured the supreme being.

How could Demiurge be so sure of this, Sitabus wanted to ask, but it might be too weird. Settling for another question instead. Hoping this would give him an answer to something on his mind.

“Tell me, Demiurge, what makes me a supreme being exactly? What makes you have such faith in my abilities?” Softly asking it while avoiding the original question, but he wanted to know.

Sitabus knew he asked the wrong question when Demiurge gave a disbelieving look. Struggling not to show his worry on his face. “What doesn’t make you one of the 41 supreme beings. I am afraid I don’t understand the question even without your power or brilliant mind for battle strategies. You would still be a supreme being, my lord, does this satisfy your question?”

Oh, how he wanted to scowl so bad right now. But he didn’t want to Demiurge to think it displeased him. Sitabus tried to think of what his plan was, but in truth, he just wanted a safe haven was too much to ask for?

Even if he said otherwise, Demiurge would probably think he had some other grand plan in mind. ‘Think…think…think…now, you're taking too long to answer, and they're both looking at you. You can’t ruin those expectations.’ How could he word it without it getting misinterpreted somehow? No doubt, this would go right back to Kathrin who would enforce it like it was law.

The more he thought about it, the worse he felt watching Clementine talking with Demiurge while they waited. As his mind travels back to Momonga's plan of world domination, just why. This was sure to have so much paperwork and communicating with nobles over petty things. It would be right back to where Sitabus didn’t want to be. What role he could play once they succeed.

Sitabus was at a loss for what he should or shouldn’t say he was so bad with words. Panicking, he did the one thing that could buy him time to think of the answer.

“Sorry to cut this short, but I need to talk with Ainz as well. I hate to keep him waiting too long. Demiurge, do not harm any humans in E-Rental without alerting me first, it is too delicate at this stage. Come along, Clementine!”

Sitabus could not leave the room fast enough, only hoping he didn’t disappoint them more than he already knew he had.

 


-Clementine pov-

Clementine quickly rushed down the hall in pursuit of her master's back. Unable to understand why he left so quickly or why he seemed so shaken was he still blaming himself for her own failure.

Replaying it in her mind, she was having a rather inspiring talk with Demiurge about playing with bipedal sheep, as Demiurge called humans. It was all going fine as they waited for the supreme being to talk about his plans.

When he just panicked and left the hall even now, the air of danger and paranoia surrounded him. Probably one of the changes he was talking about earlier. There was something else, only his emotions were too guarded and well-hidden to discern.

With a hard stare at Kyuketsuki’s back, trying to understand what had changed. Was it her inability to remember the last few moments of the fight before jade’s death? Did Clementine do something to anger master so he would not even look at her like Jade?

Thinking on it more in-depth, it only brought more confusion as to where this deep longing for Kyuketsuki came from. Pushing the thought away, Clementine swiftly moved closer to masters cold but comfortable body.

Looping an arm around Kyuketsuki’s arm halting, the few maids who had finished eating in the hallway started to whisper, looking at them both.

Her mismatched eyes meeting those crimson eyes. “Tell me you have her memories. Why couldn’t she just message me if she was in trouble.”

The question was not for Clem, but Jade, a question Clementine wasn’t entirely sure she knew an answer to. This desperate look allowed her a glimpse into the master’s heart, which had been so well hidden for the last day since they had come back.

Fear of losing the truthful view of Kyuketsuki’s emotion drove her to answer quickly. “Because she loved you too much to see you get hurt or fail you.”

The hallway was silent. Even the whispering maids were silent out of respect, or interest Clementine was unsure.

It was my job to protect her! How can I do that if…your dead Jade.” Kyuketsuki halted, realizing he shouted her name, but he could not turn away as Clementine's hair caressed his cheek.

Clementine felt her head hurt as ideas of taking advantage of this moment, her heart: however, she felt a need to reassure him even if it went against her nature to break people and things.

Again, her thoughts went to war, yet the love won out. “You don’t need to protect Jade or me, my only master. We love you, unconditionally while I can’t remember how she died. I know she did so out of love and devotion, so stop letting it weight down your mind.”

“I don’t know if I can do that, Clem-chan, I should have prepared more. I should have had better control of my battle frenzy.” Kyuketsuki’s voice lost a little of its luster; still, those eyes seemed less cold than before.

“I know you can master Kyuketsuki. It’s part of what makes you a supreme being and my one and only master.” Clementine murmured, staring deep into his deep red eyes. Leaning in to kiss those juicy lips as her body felt so hot being so close. Easing as their lips touched if only for a few seconds, it felt like hours.

Smiling, she was finally making progress on reclaiming her spot in the master's heart. Though she dared not test those limits so soon. She could wait besides tasting the sweet flavor of his lips would be enough to state this hunger for now.

“Now, I believe lord Ainz is waiting to meet you at his office.” Gaining Kyuketsuki’s focus again.

“Right, let us not keep my old friend waiting any longer. What do you think he wants to talk about?” Kyuketsuki asked Clementine, turning to continue back on their path.

“No idea, kyuketsuki-sama.”

Both of them were quite though Clementine could not help but wonder if there were supposed to be other beings like Kyuketsuki were where they now. Demiurge seemed all too happy to speak praises of his creator, which had left, at least of what little Clem learned. While talking with the archdevil.

“Can I ask lord Kyuketsuki what happened to the other supreme beings like Ulbert-sama.”  

Clementine leaned in close to Kyuketsuki’s arm, watching master’s eyes filled with a kind of longing. “It is a little hard to explain some well, most left for one reason or another. Still, it was fun to have them around. You should have seen them. I think Ulbert would have gotten along with you.”

“Really?” This seemed odd, given Ainz distrust of her even after reawakening. “Yeah, well, maybe Ulbert had a certain flair for evil and getting into his role. He helped me perfect my strategy for hunting small guilds, even if he wouldn’t let me use his imperfect world item.”

Clementine took those words with wonder and befuddlement. “What like an adventuring guild?”

Kyuketsuki chuckled. “Not quite. A guild from Yggdrasil had anywhere from five or more players as Ainz Ooal Gown had 41 at its peak. Momonga has been a part of the guild far longer than me. It was fun for quite some time meeting and getting to know them all at least of the ones I met.”

Seeing the fanged smile brought a light dusting to Clementine's cheeks, this smile didn’t last. “It is funny the whole reason I started hunting guilds was Dorgaro tried to get them to attack Nazarick. So, I stopped him by (Player Killing) PKing the guilds aligned with him till they left or stopped trying to hurt Nazarick.”

Clementine wanted to know more about the master's past; Kyuketsuki seemed far more human now. Excited to talk about the group which made Nazarick the grand place it is. But this was different than other adventurers like her brother, who only cared about his fame.

“Sigh, it wasn’t long ago before guild Members started to leave. As to why they left. It was because they could not live in Yggdrasil. Their avatars could not sustain their real bodies. Among other reasons, I'm sure they would have stayed if they could.”  

Kyuketsuki let out a gloomy demeanor that seemed to permeate through the hall. Even Clementine could not help but feel touched by the dim mood, caressing master’s arm, hoping this comfort was not going too far still whatever Kyuketsuki-sama was talking about with avatars and other bodies escaped her.

“Knowing you stayed is all that matters to me. Do you miss them?” Clementine rubs up against the true vampire side. Taking advantage of the private moment as they sluggishly walked down the silent halls, farther away from the others.

“Yes, very much so, but I suppose they are all one more friend I had to say goodbye to. I hope you don’t mind getting dragged down with me, Ja...Clem-chan.” Kyuketsuki tone hides a deeper sorrow Clementine could not understand. Almost every part of her being wanted to make it vanish yet unable to without knowing more.

Catching her sharp gaze, Kyuketsuki forced a smile; his crimson eyes were dull. A feeling bubbled up in her chest, something she hated this feeling — jumping in front of her master with a hard gaze. “I don’t see it that way at all, master. You say it like it's a curse.”

Both their eyes locked into an intense gaze. These bright red eyes seemed empty at the moment. The answer went unspoken between them because they both knew it already. Which only unsettled Clementine more why would he not say something already? She couldn’t let it remain like this even as a forced smile returned.

“It’s not true at all they should have stayed if they were frien...” halting at the tight grip on her neck.

A dark, oppressive shimmering Aura washed out of her master in waves darkening those halls as Kyuketsuki’s rage-filled stare froze Clementine in her tracks. Sweat rolled down her skin, unable to form words at the face of death itself.

Clem-chan, if there is one thing, I will not allow it is for you to disrespect the choices of my friends. Though I know not what has happened to them, they are part of the reason I have remained.”

Kyuketsuki gave Clementine shivers at the unrelenting chills invading her soul as she is pulled closer. Kyuketsuki Whispers, the next part of this puzzle, was part of his past. “I am not even sure if I should have survived the hell of a toxic world. I already failed her once, and I will not again.”

Clementine's mind was bogged down by a rush of emotion but not panic. She could not fight Kyuketsuki if he chose to kill her here. Out of every last question to ask, one stood out the most.

“This one is... sorry for displeasing...you master...Is...  why you are... called the forgotten vampire.” The tight grip made it hard to speak, not that it would stop her from asking.

Kyuketsuki halted at the question, scowling his grip loosened as he pulled back. As if burned but not angry at her but himself. “Sorry I... fumbling with his words the dark murders mood forgotten.

“Part of hunting guilds was being an unknown threat. So, they didn’t see me coming and prepare ahead of time. It was dangers enough hunting them solo as it is; to prevent this, I controlled information about my avatar, both from information brokers and other sources to give myself an edge. Ulbert really helped me out...just don’t speak about them like this again ok.”  

Listening to Kyuketsuki, it was clear whatever he was whispering about in rage was not going to be revealed. Clementine let the issue drop, still curious as to why the subject hurt him so much.  The rest of the walk to find Momonga was in silence.

 


-Momonga’s office-

Entering Ainz’s office, which before now never served any purpose other than ascetics. Looking around it now, it still had a few papers on it even if Albedo and Ainz were nowhere in sight. Chuckling at the odd behavior, it seemed Albedo followed Ainz like a lost puppy now. Or was it because it was just Albedo acting naturally? Still, it was strange he wasn’t here unless something came up. Turning to the two guards of the room, both beetle guards seemed to share a glance.

“Sorry, Lord Ainz got a message from Albedo about something urgent before you arrived.” they both apologized. He waved off their worry. There was nothing to panic over.

“It is fine. Keep up the good job. Please have Ainz message me when he has time to talk.”  

Kyuketsuki ignored the praise of the guards as his mind wandered to the issue of what he could do for the future. ‘For now, maybe the best option is the drop off the world item.’  Sitabus couldn’t believe he forgot to do this before letting his mind cool down.

Grabbing Clementine's hand before teleporting in the treasury with a vast towering mountain of gold before them, Clementine seemed mesmerized by it all. “Where are we master.” wonder-filled her voice.

“The treasury of Nazarick, this will be your first time here. Though you won’t be able to enter here without a ring of Ainz Ooal Gown,” Sitabus answered before turning to the black marvel, almost mirror-like surface in the corner. ‘Now what was the password again.’  

“Do I get one if I do well enough?”

It had been a while since he was last here, ignoring Clementine’s question. “GLORY TO AINZ OOAL GOWN” In response to these words, Clementine could not read what appeared, as Kyuketsuki spoke up. And the archway cleared to reveal the entrance to a grand narrower hallway. Clementine followed him through the long hall lit by green bars along the wall, unable to tell what magic-powered them. Scanning over the weapons lining the hall on display shelves in the wall.

Finally, coming up to a room with couches, a table, and a desk with what looked like lord Ainz only Albedo was no were in sight; however, somehow, the unimaginable power around him seemed dimmed.

Not that Clementine needs a reason to dislike Ainz, the only master she would bow to was lord Kyuketsuki. Clementine reaches to draw out her stilettos. Stop by Kyuketsuki hand singling for her to wait, which confused her greatly.

“Hello, pandora actor. I believe this is only the second time we have met.”  Sitabus gave a fanged smile.

Clementine could only watch as Ainz in wonder as the imposing overlord's body shifted and changed into a yellow military uniform, which she had never seen before. As Pandora stomped his feet together, saluting them. “grüße herr Kyuketsuki und seinen lieben freund, it honors me for you both to have come to the treasury. Pandora Actor, the guardian of the treasury, is at your service.”

Bowing with grace and posing dramatically. Clementine shared a look with her master for clarification. Who only beamed happily back? “Don’t mind him; he is great to hang around even if I get the feeling Ainz doesn’t like him for some reason. Even though he created him.” Muttering the last part and patting Clem-chan’s hair before turning back to the floor guardian.

“I am here to drop off a world item. [Hel's torch]” pulling out the blue flaming lantern from his inventory and handing it over to Pandora, who was thrilled to be inspecting it.

“Wunderschönen to think I would see another world item.  Give me but a moment, and I shall catalog this item at once.” Pandora salutes before quickly leaving to put it away with an overjoyed face.

Glancing at Clementine, it was funny to see her bewildered expression. Patting her head to gain her attention, “Don’t get too surprised this is just how energetic pandora can be most of the time. Frankly, I find him pleasant to be around along with a very powerful greater doppelganger.”

It was easy to read the agitated exertion on Clem-chan’s face “If he is a floor guardian, why haven’t I seen him around like Demiurge or Albedo.”

At the inquiry, Sitabus sighed, “That would be two-fold. One because Momonga is embarrassed about him for a stupid reason and second because Pandora loves his job of overseeing the treasury. At least I think he does, or Ainz doesn't want others to know too much about him.”

Before they could talk more about this, a message rang picking up Kyuketsuki was answered by Kathrin. “Hold this thought, my dear.”

Message spell

{Sorry to interrupt my love, but we have a problem it has come to my attention a powerful vampire has popped up near E-Rental. Ainzach, the head of the adventure’s guild, has personally asked for the vultures of darkness to handle this matter. Alongside three other mithril teams}

{I see, have you informed Momonga about the situation yet}

{No, I would have, but he has been unresponsive to any messages I had sent. Should I try again.}

‘Odd still, this was strange to be sure if nothing else this was a situation I can handle.’  Smiling this was perfect, Sitabus could sway this vampire to join them and if it was a trap better not to get Ainz involved in the matter anyway if he wasn't taking messages.

{No, we will be there shortly I need to prepare first.} Ending the message locking eyes with Clementine.

“Master?” Before they could talk again, Pandora returned, “Is there anything else I can do for you today  great one perhaps enhances for the lieben weapons.” Elegantly tipping his hat, taking a pose and hand gesturing to Clementine.

“Yes, I will need my quick change sticks the red ones and a few of my healing potions I have a vampire to tame. Also, please inform Aveda I will be away for a short trip.”

Pandora actor was all too happy to help the supreme being as Kyuketsuki formulated plans for the battle to come.

 


-Adventurers guild-

Ainzach intently stared at Kathrin, Clementine, and Kyuketsuki with trepidation. Though Ainzach was keeping his end of the deal, he was still coming to terms with the truth of someone he once trusted greatly, not just as a friend but as an adventure. This complication would make it harder to get what he wanted to work out of this situation. He knows the agreement meant he couldn’t kill the three leaders of the mithril, adventuring parties in front of him.

Because Kathrin herself sent out scouts to confirm this vampire was indeed strong, none of the mithril teams here would be strong enough to face it or the other person waiting. Worse, SItabus couldn’t have them killed. He would lose the adventures guild followed by the magic guild because of how close-knit they were. So, he would either have to convince them he could handle it or use other means to get them out of the fight early. There is a strong possibility of using memory altering spells to make sure they didn’t spill the beans after. Kathrin already wanted to kill them all and be done with it.

Kathrin, while effective at leading, was far too overzealous to please his wishes, which would be fine. If this didn’t include murdering everyone in the room which disagreed with him. ‘It great she has gotten levels in a ruling class to handle the city management better. Now, if only she weren’t so quick to take the most effective option, Regardless of human life.’

Kyuketsuki was Leary to try to get her to change her thinking after how well it went the last time he tried. Gauging the three leaders seated across from them. Just off of their out word personality, two of them didn’t seem like they would be too stubborn, but by the glare, one of them was sending him. Sitabus knew he would be troublesome about this mess.

What did it mean to be a supreme being it was a question he stilled didn’t have an answer to even after thinking about it, the whole way to the guild?  No matter how he spent ruminating on the subject, he didn’t feel like he deserved such a title. What was the difference between the other four in this room and him was it just his inhuman power? Now was not the best time to be thinking about this. Still, the question gnawed at the back of his mind.

No matter the answer, Kyuketsuki had to prove he could do more than slay his enemies. Even if he hated the fact, this was almost sure to get him stuck doing more paperwork and getting involved in politics again.

‘I couldn’t protect one of you how can I protect more.’ In spite of those thoughts, Kathrin’s gaze only held love and devotion, as did Clem-chan.

“I am glad you could all make in on such short notice. Igvarge leader of Kralgra, Bellote Leader of sky wolf, Moknach the leader of Rainbow and Kyuketsuki from darkness vultures in place of Momon.” Ainzach voice gathered their attention.

“Hold up! How come your leader isn’t here, what too lazy to show up.” Igvarge snidely commented, though, by the hateful eyes, the man Cleary didn’t like Kyuketsuki either.

“There is no need to be rude. I’m sure there is a good reason.” Bellote scolded him.

Each of the three passed an odd look his way, knowing this would be complicated to explain. Still, it was better than tieing them down in the same team. “Momon agreed to join teams; however, when the need arises, we split teams again between the vultures and darkness.”

After accepting the explanation, they nodded and moved on.

“It has come to our attention a silver-haired vampire with lots of sharp teeth has appeared near E-Rental killing an adventuring team- the more the guild master of the adventures explained the situation, the more he had a sinking feeling about this. Though in case it did turn out to be Shalltear, he needs to find out what was going on. Second, he would need to make sure this vampire did not connect to Shalltear.

‘No matter what I won't let Shalltear be revealed here and revealing too much might lose the trust of Ainzach, this will be tricky.’  Taking a deep breath to clear his thoughts.

“I think my team should take care of this vampire personally. I'm something of an expert on the matter.” Kyuketsuki forced back the grimace off his face. Too late to change the start now.

“Hold on! You have only been an adventure for a few weeks!”  Igvarge stood up, glaring hatefully at him.

Sitabus smiled at this.“I have been adventuring a lot in my travels long before I came here. Vampires are a specialty of mine. I can guarantee I will stop this monster before it kills more. If you all will trust me enough to handle it? with minimal loss of life.”

Ainzach narrowed his eyes almost unseen by the others at the true vampire. This tipped his hat but would help his cause. He needs to finish this quickly. The other two were more than happy to take the explanation, but Igvarge was dead set on making this a challenge.

“You expect us to hand this task over to your team. I refuse my team is going on this too!”

Kyuketsuki would have preferred for it not to have come to this, but people like Igvarge were glory hounds. Nothing could be gained by killing him no matter how tempting the offer was. “Alright, but I warn you this will not end well for your team. As for compensation, allow me and Ainzach to discuss this in private.”

“I wish you luck then.” Two of the others commented before leaving, the last one takes his time sending one final glare before leaving.

Finally, Kyuketsuki turned to the guild master who did not look pleased by the topic at all. They were both silent before the guild master finally spoke Unfolding His hands, “Why do you want to take on this quest so much?”

The distrust was palpable in the air the very fact Ainzach wouldn’t even say his name spoke volumes about how much faith he lost between them. Still, he couldn’t back out of the bargain, not without risk. “This vampire, regardless of origin, is a threat to my city. What more reason do I need? Don’t you trust me anymore?”

The glint of venom in the guild master's eyes didn’t diminish in the slightest. “You had a demon ask. No demand my help after having the city attacked by undead, with someone for that matter who is supposed to be dead in your company from said undead attack! I might add. Don’t think just because she changes her look doesn’t mean I don’t see the resemblance!”

Sitabus winced at this would not help his case much. His eyes hardened, remembering Jade bringing back his resolve. “Because I will not lose another servant Jade was enough. I will burn whoever I must to keep them safe. Would you not do the same if you could save your loved ones or your family?”

Ainzach face was hard to read; still, his eyes softened slightly. Looking down in thought, which gave us both time to think before he stood and turned to the window. The guild master was deep in thought; sadly, he couldn’t read his friend's mind like Clementine since they are not converted.

 It almost seemed like this might turn sour before Ainzach turned back to them. His face set like a stone as he scanned over then before finally breaking the silence of the room. “I still don’t agree with your methods, and I think this is a bad idea, but...you won't harm the adventures in my guild!”  

“Yes, you have my word. Have I ever broken my word before? I have let you all run the guild like normal in return for your loyalty.”

At this, Ainzach gained a small smile before it vanished again. If nothing else, Sitabus had his respect, for now, not his trust, though.

“It wasn’t your fault, you know, right? I have lost people adventuring myself. It happens. All we can do is honor our losses.”

Kyuketsuki was already leaving because there was no point in answering. Of course it was! Ainzach was a good man, but he didn’t understand he would make up for this here. Along with finding answers to this mess.

 


-Forest Near E-Rental-

 As Kathrin moved her hands, losing their green glow, she moved back from the last of Igvarge team. Now knocked-out on the grass under the shade of the trees pinned down by bark restraints. Not one of them would remember how they got here. Only they had failed to provide support to the mission and got knocked out early in the fight.

“Great work Kathrin now onto the real challenge. Rita, you and Bardic, will guard our rear once we arrive.” 

Both of them agreed with grimaces, not liking the idea of sitting out the fight. They understood caution is needed if this turned out to be Shalltear. He couldn’t take any chances.

Sitabus mind raced to figure out if this actually was the nightmarish vision in his mind or just a rare convenience of a powerful vampire showing up. It almost made him sick with worry at best he could be walking into an ambush with little info and minimal preparation. His hands brushing over the red sticks on his pouch.  Glancing at them, all Bardic and Ritana looked pensive at the prospect of the upcoming fight.

On the other hand, both Clem-chan and Kathrin almost look happy at the challenge they might face. As if death didn’t even scare them in the least, maybe frightened him more than the threat ahead. What if one of them dies?

 What if he couldn’t protect them?

What if he was cursed to see them die as well? 

Kyuketsuki’s mind was bogged down with so many scenarios of the worst possible outcomes. His body trembled as he fought back the darkness trying to consume his brain. No, he couldn’t lose himself now. He had to focus tightly, gripping his sword handles.

‘This time, it will be different no matter what awaits us ahead.’ The encouragement did little to chase away the fear. With every step, the dread of what he would find only grew the closer they got. 

“Is the threat so strong to have you shaken so lord Kyuketsuki.” Ritana’s voice was filled with concern, was it showing how little he believed this would be easy. Or was it just jitters making his stomach feel tight right now?

Either way, he couldn’t be so pathetic to let his fears affect the mood. Doing so was guaranteed to get them killed. If this indeed was as bad as he believed, forcing a smile at Ritana loving the cute blush which found its way on to her cheeks.

“No worries, I'm just overthinking things, my dear just follow my orders, and I will win like always. Before you know it, we will be back at the inn celebrating.” Rita beamed happily.

Right, he couldn’t lose faith in himself even if it still hurt determined to fix this situation. Maybe also get an idea of how he would help Nazarick with Ainz’s plan. No matter how much Sitabus wanted to talk with his friend. If nothing else Narberal, who was at the inn waiting for Ainz as instructed, was sure to inform Ainz of what was happening. 

Meaning if worst came to worst, he would have back up on the way. Scanning the surrounding forest, bushes, and trees, this kind of area would be perfect for ambushes. At the same time, it would also limit the line of sights forcing any ambushers to be a small number or close by. Least they risk exposing themselves by signaling or limiting the effects of large numbers. In such thick woodlands. 

What had him panicked was the thought of them having a world item or worse the Downfall of Castle and Country. If this we're the cause of then the only solution would be to end Shalltear quickly, could he really kill her. Sitabus was Nazarick’s hidden blade hunting threats. This would be the second time he had been forced to fight a member of Nazarick.

Clicking his hand shut, it hurt to think about, and this was before they were alive like they were now. What if Shalltear couldn’t come back like Jade, would he be cursed to slay those he cherished most again? 

Kyuketsuki snapped out of his thinking as Kathrin's gentle hand covered his shaking one. Her golden eyes stared into his with understanding, banishing the fear and pain. Her smile brightening his mood. 

“No matter how strong this vampire, we shall slay them together. Just like old times back when the dreadful dragon rival still lived.” Kyuketsuki softly rubbed Kathrin’s hand as they walked, soothing the dread in his heart.

Finally, after a few more minutes, the group came out into the clearing the vampire came into view Shalltear hunched over holding her spear turned away from them unmoving and close by was Velvet’s beautiful doll-like face void of emotion. Kyuketsuki’s mind almost shut down at the surprise. 

He couldn’t move feeling heartache skyrocket how had this happened? How did velvet reappear, when? Why, if it really was the Downfall of Castle and Country, how has it affected two targets? Unable to look away from the horrible site of velvet once again mind-controlled.

It was like he was back in those snowy mountains again. Just discovering the trap was set. The same dread filling his heart only eclipsed by what this meant. Realizing too late why Momonga had rushed off without telling him. Worse with velvet here, most of his strategies for dealing with Shalltear was not going to be possible now.

“Master Kyuketsuki, how is this possible? I thought my sister was dead!” Panic filled Kathrin’s voice as her hand tightly gripped his. Pleading to know just as freaked out as he was at this moment. Sitabus, however, could not form the words to describe this situation. It was one of the worst possible outcomes. Why had both of them been sent out, regretting not asking Momonga about what happened while he was away sooner? 

What should he do if he left Ainz would come here and be forced to fight them both? Shalltear was already tough enough, but putting all the attention on her would give Velvet more than enough time to sneak up and attack at the worst moment in a fight. 

He couldn’t undo the mind control either-even if he unloaded every charm, enchantment, and illusion spell he knew.  With how high level they were, both of the new worlder adventures would be useless, and Clementine would be hard-pressed to get involved without dying in the process. What should he do to guarantee success here? Pulling out switch sticks as a desperate plan started to take shape.

With a Snap echoing as Kyuketsuki’s usual gear was replaced by lavender rusted and jagged armor. Putting off a dark aura dimmed the light around him and chilled the air. The twisted metal plating makes all of them shake under the unholy pressure of the armor. Kathrin's face looked the most concerned of them all. 

“My love, it can’t be bad enough to require the Abyss Devils armor?”

“Ritana and Bardic, if things go bad here, you are to retreat back to town at once under no circumstances are you to join this battle. If you do, you will die!”

“Clem-chan, you are to stay close, do not let either of them hit or catch you and finally Kathrin.” Kyuketsuki voice lost all joy his eyes locked onto both of them almost entranced by the two hunched over allies. 

Kathrin looked ready to have a panic attack at his mood. As if knowing what he was going to say tightly gripping his armored arm. “No, I will not leave you to fight this alone, lord Kyuketsuki, you could die!”

Sitabus could not help but smile despite the situation they were in; his future queen would not let him fight this alone. Possibly the only time, she would reject an order no matter what he said. It seemed almost comical did she not know how Important her life was to him. “Kathrin, I can’t lose you too.” He softly cooed, rubbing her cheek.

“If you go into this fight and I don’t follow how could I live with myself. It may be selfish, but I will follow you anywhere, my love I can’t be a queen if I can’t even keep my king safe!” Kathrin cooed, drawing him close into a passionate kiss, purring her emotion into the link as their lips pressed together. Unaffected by the rough and menacing armor pressed against her body at painful points.

Absorbed into the moment, Kyuketsuki felt daze by the passionate kiss. As time lost meaning to them at the moment. Parting after an eternity of the rush coming from those sweet lips. What could Kyuketsuki say to change resolution in the eyes of his love, he doubted anything could scare her away? Sighing as he rested his head on her forehead as they locked eyes.

“What if I can’t do this, we could both end up dying here. I don’t know if I have the strength to kill them both it hurts too much just seeing them like lifeless dolls. Knowing the only way to end it is to kill them or the wielder of the world item.” Kyuketsuki whispered.

A bright beaming smile graced her features even as tears filled her eyes. “Then I shall help you, and should this end in defeat, then I shall follow you through hellon itself to see you again if I must. Nothing shall keep me from finding you again.”

The silence of the touching moment didn’t last as cloaked figures walked out led by one with an owl mask scanning over them. All of them went on guard at the visitor and the seven others in cloaks with much more simpler masks.

“Ah, you must be the vampire who has been giving us so much trouble. Have you seen Jester by chance I need to have a talk with him?” 

“Leave now!”  Kyuketsuki growled as his party readied for battle; however, the masked person only laughed with contempt.

“How rude and after we came all this way over to give you one last chance. we will even help you with this situation should you be willing to join us.” The owl mask gestured to the two-mind controlled NPC’s.

“No thanks, I don’t work with scum like you!” Kyuketsuki drew out both his swords struggling not to go into his blood frenzy at the sight of them. 

“I see. Too bad. Then what comes next is your own fault. The Covent of Crow's does not forgive those who cross us! [twin: vine arrows]” The owl mask launched her spell from under her robes at both Velvet and Shalltear. As the seven minions rushed into attacked the group. 

Sitabus could not stop it as one assailant got in his way, attacking with some strange appendage that looked green and infected.  With a single slice, they went down too late to stop it as the vines hit both of Shalltear and Velvet though they did little damage. 

Glancing back, Ritana and Bardic were handling them self’s excellently against two each. Clementine and Kathrin had already taken down their attackers. Gathering his wits, Sitabus scanned the area, but the owl mask was nowhere to be seen. Apparently, having vanished the moment they lost sight of him.

Cursing his luck as the damage was already done. His attention drew back to the pair Shalltear now clad in her red armor with wings, javelin raised to attack. Next to her was Velvet clad in a light shimmering armor her floating spike balls ready. Looking their way with a deadly gleam in their eyes.

“Hello lord Kyuketsuki, it is good to see you again too bad I need to kill you." Velvet politely uttered as if such a saying was typical.


 -End of Chapter-

Chapter Text


-The Bloody Valkyrie Battlefield-

Kyuketsuki knew he would be sweating right now if he was still human.  Glancing at both Velvet and Shalltear with no time to contemplate how the world item could now affect two targets. The moment he moves, both of them would be on him in the blink of an eye. If not Shalltear than Velvet would react first even if she weren’t a level 100, she had the power to boost her hits just enough to kill one at half their health.

If he were careless for just a second, he would be a goner on the plus side. She only had a select number of skills to boost damage; so, if he could burn those out without getting hit with them. Glancing back at Shalltear, she would be a monster to fight the prideful creation of Peroroncino. He had higher resistance, agility, and specialization build, but Shalltear had the edge on health and, both on magic and physical attack damage. 

Kyuketsuki would almost laugh at facing one of the worst combos to fight. If it didn’t hurt so much to do this. He could only feel despair and hopeless in this situation. Losing even the proper time to prepare thanks to this group’s persistent interference. From his blind side, he could still hear both Ritana and Bardic fighting the minions. Knowing if he lowered his guard, this battle would end badly. 

‘All I can do is hope they can handle those grunts. If I survive this, I'm hunting down this owl mask assassin and every last one of this convent of crows.’

“It's good to see you both again though I do wonder how you got out here?” 

“If you want to know, you can ask lord Ainz. tragically my orders are to kill you now.” Velvet answered with a cheerful smile; did she understand how much it stung to hear this.

“Oh, and who gave you such orders, or will your answer be the same as last time?” He retorted back, buying time to cast a few silent boost spells. 

“…I might tell you right before you die!” without warning, Velvet punched both spike balls forward. Kyuketsuki slides out of their path right into deflecting Shalltears thrust spinning to the left and blocking a surprise attack from Velvet. 

“Kathrin, execute Velvet don’t let your guard down.” Without needing to be told twice, the head warrior maid jumped into action, rushing at Velvet. Kyuketsuki’s attention focuses on Shalltear, freeing his wings as he flies over Shalltear’s charge. Narrowly avoiding being run through. 

Carefully watching the Valkyrie turn back to him as she again attacks with high speed only now he was ready [maxzimize magic: devouring shadow] unleashing the 8th tire, slashing out a dark wave which almost looked alive with red-eyes, and maw prepared to feed off the enemy's magic. Knowing she couldn't dodge in time, she reacted by [maxzimize magic: Impure Shockwave Shield] as the shield blocked the damage.

They stilled both watching each other as the soft breeze past them in the air. Sitabus smiled at this fortune of the tactic as long as he could keep her away from Velvet, he stood a chance of winning. Giving the other’s time, they needed to settle the battle below. Until they cleared the area on the ground, Kyuketsuki couldn't use his AOE spells least he risks hitting them.

“Do you know my creator gifted me with many powerful skills like this. Lord Peroroncino had great insight like that.” Shalltear boasted with high confidence, which would play in Sitabus’ favor if played right.

“Oh, I’m sure he did even still such petty tricks won’t change the outcome of this battle, Shalltear.” Kyuketsuki taunted, praying she would take the bait.  Not disappointed by Shalltear's reaction summoning a spear of light.

Stealing his nerves as he was flung back as the spear just penetrated the armor.  Roaring out as the divine energy flowed into the wound. He panted, shaking, not daring to grin till he was sure. 

“I thought you said nothing would change the outcome. It looks like it hurt a lot lord Kyuketsuki. Why not try another!” Shalltear yelled out with a giggle as she throws the second holy spear. 

Tanking it like the first unnoticed to Shalltear, the armor was slowly repairing the damage. ‘That's Right, unleash all you have, Shalltear.’ He flies to the side of Shalltears spear, letting his six daggers stab into her armor. Surprised Shalltear almost missed his twin counter strike as their weapons clashed. 

“Didn't I forget to show you my bat fangs, my bad. Here why don’t you try again.” Already the craving for chaos and battle was rising in his veins. Sitabus was fighting back his want to go wild. He couldn’t lose control. The memory of Jade's death flashed in his mind reinforcing his will power.

Shalltear grunted irritation showing on her face trying to land a blow to heal the damage. Kyuketsuki with [cursed wings] along with a few other spells boosting his speed and defense Shalltear was struggling just to break his guard. Sitabus was actually faster he could be unleashing a barrage of strikes right now, yet he couldn’t bring himself to do more than a few glancing blows.

Finally, Shalltear had enough retreating higher into the air smirking as she throws another holy spear. Tanking the blow while grunting to fool her before teleporting behind Shalltear [maximize magic: crimson shard weapon], [maximize magic penetrate: winters death edge].

Both blades of at Shalltears back as a rain of red glowing shards and wave of ice stabbed into the armor. Hearing her scream of pain forced a wince out of him, forcing down the pain thumbed in his heart. 

Closing his eyes was a mistake; however, one he paid for as Shalltear finally landed a hit feeling his hp dip a little; however, his resistance to the HP drain minimized the HP Shalltear gained. ‘Sorry,’ he thought to move to his next phase of the plan, swiftly pulling out a red stick and snapping it.

Appearing in his hand was a shield and spear, both radiating flames and lightning in bright burning waves at the Valkyrie as she cried out retreating from the fire and electrical storm.  Forcing a dark grin on his face as regret bloomed in his heart. 

“Tell me, did Peroroncino tell you about how we got Sugdrorun’s Shell and Talen. If he didn’t, I might share it later with you.” Kyuketsuki question had Shalltear thinking she didn’t know the range of the elemental waves he could launch slowing her down. Kyuketsuki thrusts the shield and spear, threateningly forcing her to dodge and weave through the waves and lines of flames and lightning. 

Risking glancing down at Kathrin, who had Velvet on the back foot of their battle. While Rita and Bardic had finally fallen back in the tree line watching. He felt conflicted watching wanting to help Velvet. Sitabus could almost see it again in the alleyway in the domes. Her eyes lifeless the light practically burned away. The knife was so close to her chest as he ran to stop it, knowing he would never make it.

When he left the memory, he screamed out as divine energy came down in a beam on him.  Refocusing on Shalltear as fire spells were shot his way, trying to block as much as he could.  Panting as the attacks finally ended, Shalltear was smirking at this.

“Don’t get distracted by your companies polite. I might feel insulted.”  

Gritting his teeth, Kyuketsuki wanted to stop this already the longer this dragged on. The more it felt like his mind was sinking into madness numb to the pain or joy, he hated this feeling so much. ‘Stop holding back, or you will die.’ some part whispered as his anger boiled with no target to focus on.

‘No, I need to do more I can’t let them down.’ Drawing up his energy, Sitabus is ready for his tenth tire spell [maximize magic: plasma style: guillotines fall]. Hiding the pain of the HP loss as Shalltear had seconds to get prepared before a giant light-absorbing blade fell from above following the fall of his sword. But he wasn’t done using [time stop] then [delayed teleport] below Shalltear when resuming time Appearing in her blind spot.

Watching Shalltear healed as if she had not just been crushed by a giant blade of a guillotine. Frowning Sitabus snapped another three sticks he drew as blood filled into his [blood pool]. “Ha, did you like hu? Where did you go!” 

“Right here!” [maximize magic; plasma style: death dragon rising] [maximize magic; plasma style: sparrows’ storm] [maximize magic; plasma style: draining vines.] 

All Shalltear could do was watch as the crimson dragon rushed from below, her left and right came a rush of bird-like flocks of flowing crimson, and last red vines shot from his blade holding Shalltear in place cutting into her armor.  With a great explosion of dark red liquid, Shalltear cried out. 

As his blood pool vanished, spent in his triple combo attack, not one ounce of joy came to him even at the successful surprise attack. Losing the element of surprise about Shalltears skills mattered little. Only finishing quickly before his shaking hand refused to attack, or the blood frenzy finally took over. With how much will power it was taking to keep fighting back the red tint at the edge of his vision. Both options would surely bring his death, what else could he do mental attacks and illusions were useless. 

Kyuketsuki’s blank eyes watch Shalltear her armor damaged with blood dripping down from holes in the armor. Shalltear Panting with rage and pain alights in her red eyes. “You will pay for this pain you have caused me!” 

Blindingly rushing in Shalltears, strikes were savage and wild. Sitabus could feel his reluctance to fight all-out rises at seeing Shalltear so severely injured. Hindering what he could really do in this death match without dragging it out longer. Sitabus struggled even as his mind screamed for him to unleash his rage bubbling like magma underneath. Shalltear next blast of holy energy spell was reflected with [greater reflect evil], feeling the agony of her spell launched back at her. 

Names of spells were lost to Sitabus as he reacted without thought with spells of his own to counter. Not caring for the minor cuts or wounds were piling up. His only focus was making sure this plan worked Nazarick would be defended, and Ainz wouldn’t have to go through this.

Hovering and waiting for Shalltear at a critically low hp now making Shalltears next move predictable. “You're making this very difficult for me, lord Kyuketsuki; however, can you counter this. [Einherjar]” 

Kyuketsuki felt his heartbeat quicken as the double of Shalltear appeared, which would have been fine if she didn’t summon her household only to sacrifice them for regaining her health.  ‘I’m not sure if I should feel pity for her summons or proud for her quick thinking.’ Kyuketsuki looked into the copy with narrowed vision deciding what to do as he traded blows with quick succession. If they kept up, he would be unable to play his last ace in time. 

Pushing einherjar back, pulling out his next two sticks. “let's see if this works like before.” Sitabus voice edged with madness and despair.  Snapping them once the lance was mere inches from his face. An explosion wave radiated out with smoke and blue flames blocking all view. 

Destroying the rest of Shalltear’s household summons, even pushing the vampire back to the ground.  Coughing as the smoke thinned enough to finally spot Kyuketsuki hovering, half of his armor gone as burns marked his body still steaming from the blast. Slowly this blank, hollow face morphed into a crazy grin as madness entirely takes over his face.

Shocked, Shalltear watched, hoping to regain mana as Kyuketsuki slowly shifted to his true form. Laughing as his long tongue hung out of his fanged mouth. Tail and wings erratically vibrating   

“You know I hate this situation; I hate this world item making this happen. But most of all I hate the fact you won't die so I can taste your blood already! I want to hear your pained screams for making me do this!”  Shouting out as he throws both the shield and spear. Narrowly hitting Shalltear as flames and lighting nicked her sides. Cursing as [darkness mirrors] clones attacked Shalltear. 

While she was distracted, a blue dome of magic circles surrounded Kyuketsuki. “Hear me and bring down my last blade of winter's wrath, which kills eternal flames. [Kingdom of Ragnarök]” In the blink of an eye, the clear sky was blocked by clouds as the ground rumbled before the curtain of clouds cleared to bring down a beam of pure blinding dark blue rays from the sky. 

Kyuketsuki screamed and letting out a hollow laugh as the cold death frost penetrated even his cold immunity. The vampire lord special super tire magic could instantly kill anything below level 50 upon contact. Damaging anything in its area of effect even him, this would satisfy his agony, which filled his heart. Relishing in the repetition of pain as his divine class, Ice demon armor became brittle breaking away in chips. 

Kyuketsuki would not stop; he couldn’t! Not until he was sure Shalltear was dead. Fueled by pain and madness, he let loose his power of death frost over the area. Losing track of time or feeling in the blinding sea of blue light. In peaceful silence, humming even over his mad laughter, until he didn’t have the strength to hold it up any longer. Lacking even the power to keep his wings flying, flaming with a dull pain radiating over every part of his body. Kyuketsuki plummeted to the cracked and frozen earth below, gazing over the now freezing peaceful wasteland of ice and snow below. Reminding Sitabus of the last time, he saw Peroroncino smiling.


Flashback

“So why do you like this place so much, Kyuketsuki. I would think you might like Shalltears floor better or the ninth floor.” Peroroncino asked, looking over the frozen tundra.

Letting out a little laugh as a smiling emoji appeared, “Easy it what helped me decide my super tire special spell for my elder crimson king class. To turn the land into peaceful winter wonder, clear of enemies or conflict only to be used to defend Nazarick and cute little penetrable Shalltears.” 

“Hay Shalltear is my NPC protect your own!” He lightly tapped his shoulder.

Sitabus had so much he could say to this yet settled on, “What if one day I convince Shalltear to come to my side. Besides, it's not like you’re staying right; why else would you ask to greet me here so late!” 

Neither of their emotionless avatars moved as Peroroncino looked away. If the vampire’s avatar could, it would be crying right now. “Hey, don’t take it like it’s because of you. I just need to take care of my own life. The price of food hiked up again, you know.” 

He turned to his friend, “How am I supposed to take this you are probably just saying this to run off and play more H-games without me. You don't have to delete your avatar, which means your never coming back. Just like the others.” 

Kyuketsuki shouted, stepping away, he didn’t mean to be bitter, but what could he do. Forcing him to stay would only make things worse. Yet he couldn’t help but want to be selfish; he didn’t want to be alone again. The bittersweet reason of why he picked [Kingdom of Ragnarök] it would fill the void in his heart with pain as his hp dropped the longer it was used. It was better than feeling hollow and empty. A beauty, hiding its lonely pain under ice and snow. Like a cold shell to defend sacrificing the feeling to keep a home safe.

“Look, I get it. I don’t want to do this either, but I can't afford it right now. I don’t know when I will be able to come back for a while. It almost feels unfair not to delete it knowing it won’t help anyone...how about a promise after I'm gone if your still here take care of Shalltear. I'm even giving you permission to corrupt and tame her if you can?” He joked Sitabus couldn’t help but laugh at the lewd joke.

Even without reading Shalltear bio, it would be surprising if Shalltear could be corrupted any more than she already was. Then again, there was just no telling with Peroroncino.

They let the silence settle in a bitter moment turned bittersweet if only for a short time both of them would be smiling if these faces could. “Ok fine, but promise me. We will meet again. Then I can tell you how well I can make Shalltear mine. Without you here to stop me.” 

They both put up a smiling emoji. “Please, you couldn’t handle her type; you always had trouble with them whenever we play the other games, remember. The beast of domination, which is Shalltear, will have you under her leash by the time I come back.”

Both of them looked back at the scenery. “Thanks for being here. I know this is hard…chuckle…you made it fun around here. Really though, I am leaving Shalltear in your hands, so keep her safe, will you? I didn’t want to say this in a message, you know.”


End flashback 

Eyes snapping back to reality as the madness started to fade a small smile returning to his face, just in time to impact the ground with a cloud of snow. ‘I can’t believe I forgot a promise; I'm sorry, Peroroncino... hehehe...to think I let myself fall so quickly. Time to finish this. Ugh, everything hurts.’ 

Pushing himself off the ground as the snow crunched under his hands. His divine tier armor was shredded, barely holding together. Letting out soft painfilled chuckles and looking around. Before Sitabus could even fully stand, shining chains burst from the ground, gripping him tightly arms tight to his sides. Kyuketsuki curses his lowered guard. Indeed, he had gotten careless to forget about Velvet. This spell or skill, whatever it is, was new to him. Flexing his arms halting soon after as a sharp pain stabbed into his arms.

“I am a little surprised this worked on you, lord Kyuketsuki. But with how low on health you are, I think this is the end.” Velvets voice flittered in with gentle footsteps. Stepping into view covered in cuts, he was sure she wasted her only death saving move in the last blast.

Scanning around the now flash-frozen forest area to see Shalltear looking fully healed. Trying to find the link to his bat fangs, which was not connecting. ‘When could Velvet block the control of my bat fangs. Well, I guess this leaves one option left. Better time this just right.’

“I see you learned some new skills while you were away, Velvet.” Sitabus complimented her standing up to glance between both of them.  Not seeing the others nearby. Hopefully, they were out of the massive blast radius. 

“A very admirable effort I used up most of my skills and mana in this fight. But now I’m back up to full thanks to the wisdom of my creator. Kyuketsuki-sama, it is too bad you didn’t know all my skills. Any last words before I claim my victory?” It almost seemed like Shalltear was blushing; he couldn’t focus on such minor things. If he times this wrong, then his only help would be revival magic, as much as it would suck to have to regain levels along with dying. 

“My last wish, you say? How about you finish this in one final blow give it all your strength I would hate to think you held back. Before Ainz arrives to finish off this fight and both of you.” He smirked as the look of realization struck Shalltear mortified halting as if stung, just putting the pieces together.

“Believe me; I knew of your skills, abilities, and gear the whole time. Knowing this, my goal was never killing you both. It was burning out your skills, death saving tricks, and mana. Kill me, or don’t Ainz will still finish you off. Does this make you angry, Shalltear knowing this was all according to plan.” Kyuketsuki taunted, loving the enraged look. As he closed his eyes, waiting for the moment, he was hit. 

Kyuketsuki didn’t have to wait long as Shalltear lance hit home hard, stabbing right through his broken armor and out his back blood spraying out. He smiled a wicked smile. “This makes check [Release blood seal: fatal binding and refute of death]!”  It came like a flood as the pain increased, his body started to melt through the chains binding him, armor, and gear dropped to the ground.

Across from his melting body, Velvets grip slacked, tasting blood and dropping to her knees. Looking down at the hole in her chest at the same place where Shalltear had run through Kyuketsuki. Pain overrides her senses. Her body started to vaporize into ashes.

Shalltear herself looked on in confusion, unable to figure out what was going on. That should have ended the fight! Scanning around the blood-red liquid which Kyuketsuki turned into started to take a vague shape of the true vampire with all six bat fangs floating around him.

A liquid-like voice wavered out of the strange slime. “You seem confused. Let me tell you about one or two skills of my own I haven’t used in a very long time. Called [fatal binding] and [Refute of death] both are very useful but hard to implement. For one, if I use the first one, I can inflict the same injury with double the damage of any hit I take, but it goes both ways.” 

Growling Shalltear demanding, “Then how are you still alive my attack should have killed you. I know it did. I could see your hp dropped to zero!” 

At this, she could almost see a slime-like a mouth formed and beam a fanged smile. “Because the second [refute of death] allows me once a week to regain 00.5% of my health instead of dying the downside is, I can’t hold or pick up any equipment till I recover 10 percent of my health you might as well count me as a blood slime in this form.” 

Sitabus Adjusted to this strange form far different than his solid body. Everything felt sluggish and hard to control, needing his concentration to keep this shape. Most of all, it was terrifying to feel how close he was to dying. Like if Sitabus didn’t hold on, he would vanish. Now, if Momonga could get here any time would be great.

 ‘Just one hit, and I’m dead, but I have a promise to Peroroncino to keep. I will show you how strong my will is! I won’t forget this time.’ 

Shalltear’s confidence returned, raising her lance back up. “Ha, then all you are lord Kyuketsuki is some pathetic slime which shall fall to me, lord Ainz will fall to me as well!” Rushing in with superhuman speed commanding his dagger to move, they shot at the Valkyrie. Alone the bat fangs only slowed her down, taking two hits but blocking the rest. 

Kyuketsuki cursed, trying to bend his body out of the way, but it felt so sluggish and bizarre. He panics, shooting out an arm to try and create something. All he could manage was a soft blood spike. ‘Seems it will be my end here live well Kathrin. I hope Momonga gets here soon.’  Shutting off his red-tinted visual without eyes. 

Hearing a dull thud looking to see he wasn’t dead, no a shield formed around him. Joy and relief filled Sitabus as he slumped down into a ball of red slime. Kyuketsuki turns to the small crest of the hill standing there were Ainz with Albedo and his team nearby. 

“Took you long enough to get here! Mind wrapping this up for me.” Ainz enraged flames glare at the state of his friends’ body. “I think we need to have a long talk about this later. Though I thank you for your help. This will make this battle much easier for me.” 

 


-Nazarick Throne Room-

Ainz glared at Kyuketsuki as they gathered in the throne room both Kathrin and Clementine at his side. Happy to be solid again after the last few hours of being a slime. Still, his only death saving skill was used up for the next seven days. All the guardians were looking at him eyes filled with what he guesses were dread of someone they thought almost committed suicide.

Kyuketsuki felt regretful for making them worry, having apparently watched the fight, thanks to Aveda. Who out of worry for him alerted Lord Ainz and the others? How they found out, and why they didn’t show up still lingered in his mind?  From what he knows, most of Nazarick would die to protect the supreme beings even if he didn’t think he honestly deserved such a title and was grateful not to have them show up.

Kyuketsuki still needed to know how this whole mess got started in the first place. If nothing else, he could proudly wear the smile on his face having protected the guardians from fighting each other.

“So, before we bring back Shalltear and Velvet, do you mind telling me why you rushed in there without alerting me. Then almost dying! If I have been even a few seconds slower, we would be resurrecting you as well!” Ainz unconsciously let out his aura showing his rage at the situation.

“I was going to take care of a powerful vampire sighted near E-Rental, imagine my surprise when what should I find? Both Shalltear and Velvet alive and mind-controlled by Downfall of Castle and Country. Before I could prepare for the battle a group, I have been dealing with for a while ambushed us. Care to explain, Ainz!”

Kyuketsuki shouted back if he had just been informed before this, then maybe he could have avoided sacrificing rare divine class armor. The ice devils’ armor was a rare drop he had spent hours grinding with Peroroncino help to get. Still, it was worth it if he could get Velvet and, by extension, Jade back. Not even diving into what Velvet’s returned meant for Jade being a reincarnation of Velvet.

“I didn’t mean to hide the information from you Velvet showed up a little after Jade's death. I didn’t know at the time, so I sent her out on a mission with Shalltear. After discovering them, I realized what was going on and returned to Nazarick. Still, this doesn’t explain why you didn’t contact me before then.”

Kyuketsuki stops thinking about it, but this wasn’t the first time this had happened now. He contemplated alerting Ainz, but there was only one group that had the answers. Already if he was right, they might also be responsible for teleporting him out of Nazarick and were interfering with their communications now. Who knows what else they could do still these powers sounded familiar to one type of person in Yggdrasil!

“You're saying you didn’t get Kathrin’s message spells.” How much should he share this theory? At least till he knows without a doubt if one did get transported here.

“No, I didn’t how odd. Tell me about the group which ambushed you where there any players in the group.”

“There were no players present to my knowledge; however, this particular group has world items, so they may be behind this or the Slane Theocracy. Don’t worry, I will be hunting them down sooner than later.” He smiled at Ainz to reassure him not to worry.

Ainz’s gaze still lingered on Kyuketsuki. “Even still, you should have been more careful. I don’t want to lose the only other friend to come to this world with me. You don’t know how terrifying it was to see you so close to death. We still don’t know if…” 

"I know how Velvet works because I designed her for crowd control and taking out weakened enemies. I couldn’t let you face such odds knowing how Velvet would fight.” putting in an unmovable edge to his voice.

Kyuketsuki saw the guardians also had similar thoughts, even if they wouldn’t dare interrupt Ainz or him. It brought joy to his heart to see how much they cared. Still, he would do it in a heartbeat again if he could protect them. Yet it wouldn’t do to have them worry.

After a few minutes of silence settled in, they moved on to resurrecting Shalltear and Velvet, or was it, Jade. It was hard to say what would happen if an administrator or developer was still watching. What was the goal?

Watching as Shalltear was brought back as the gold melted into Shalltear’s form; However, she looked different slightly taller and more mature with small but noticeable breasts.  Trying to cover herself glancing around, all the guardians were on guard. Which only confused Shalltear more wondering what was going on.

Kyuketsuki sighed, ‘will I did promise I would protect her.’ Paying no heed to the guardians approaching Shalltear.  Pulling out a spare swap stick not used in the battle, snapping it as a red fur edged cloak appeared over Shalltear. Under it was an old and slightly worn dress. Shalltear snuggled into it then looked at Kyuketsuki with wonder. “Thank you, lord Kyuketsuki. What’s going on why are they all looking at me like this.”

Sitabus smiled softly, holding up a hand to stop demiurge rebuttal. “You don’t remember, but you were mind-controlled by the Downfall of Castle and Country. Along with Velvet, I was forced to fight you along with Ainz. You died in the battle, and here you are.”

A look of horror came over Shalltear’s face as tears built up. “What I hurt you and lord Ainz but I can’t remember any of it! I would never!” Recoiling back as the bitter truth set in.

Kyuketsuki didn’t let Shalltear step back too far, bringing Shalltear into a hug. “It’s ok now! It wasn’t your fault. I promise we will find whoever used the world item on you and make them pay… and destroy the wicked item.” He whispered out the last part into her ear.

Unwilling to let his own thoughts on the world item be known. Ainz might want to keep it, but he hated the cursed dress. Sitabus would see it ripped to pieces so small it would never be put back together, for all the pain it caused him.

Shalltear seemed to have different thoughts “No, I dare hurt the supreme beings I should be punished. Please, Lord Kyuketsuki punish me, so my guilt may be erased.” Almost crying as her blood-red eyes met his scarlet ones pleading. Kyuketsuki could see Shalltear would not let this go quickly; it may even cause more pain to not grant her request.

Ainz reacted accordingly. “No, there is no need Shalltear it is as Kyuketsuki said your actions were not your own fault.” 

Albedo neither where any of the other guardians were going to let this slide. Sitabus looked back to Shalltear, still in his hug. He saw her not objecting, and Ainz didn't seem willing to punish Shalltear.

"Ainz, how about you let me handle Shalltears punishment. While I agree she is not at fault, I believe giving her one would ease any guilt she feels over the matter."  Hoping he would agree already, he knew if Ainz didn’t accept the guardians wouldn’t take Sitabus words over Ainz’s.

“All right, if you believe it will help Shalltear then I will allow it now please move so we may revive Velvet next.”

Even as Kyuketsuki walked with Shalltear over to the side, he had a feeling Velvet wouldn’t take up all the gold of a floor guardian. Even with this said, it would take at least half as 375,000,000 gold coins melted back into Velvet just as naked as Shalltear was a few minutes ago. Unlike Shalltear, Velvet stood unbothered by her beautiful body showing. Only blowing to Ainz and Kyuketsuki.

“It is great to see you again, master. Where are we? I can’t seem to recall how I got here.” she calmly asked she was humble and pure, just like how he remembers her bio. Still, it was hard to devise what her reaction would be, yet he explained. Velvet's face nor her body gave any indication as to her response. All she did was bow hiding her face as she spoke only a hint of sadness in her gentle voice.

“Then what shall be your humble servant’s punishment master?”

Sitabus wanted to faceplant after hearing this. Well, at least this cleared up her thoughts on the matter. Velvet seemed calm even when saying those words. There was much he wanted to talk to her about. Only in a more private discussion where they had plenty of time.  “We can talk about this later alongside Shalltear’s punishment.”

Kyuketsuki tossed a bundle of spare clothes to Velvet, catching them with ease. Waving for his group to come along, he would talk with Ainz later.

 


-Kyuketsuki’s Room- 

Both Shalltear and Velvet swiftly enter the room, taking a seat at the table. Following them close behind was Kathrin with Ritana both in battle maid outfits Bardic was mesmerized by the place. Next was Clementine mere steps behind Kyuketsuki taking a seat at the one end of the table. Scanning over each person, not showing the torrent of emotion by his neutral face. 

As Aveda came in last to awaiting her master to say if any of what he required her to fetch. Quietly watching them all with an almost hidden smile.

“Let us begin first with the punishments. Even if I don’t think either of you needs one, you both seem to think differently by your forlorn faces, correct?” 

Sitabus asked he would rather not have to do this if such could be avoided altogether. Never was it his intent to see them both so depressed only raising his wroth wanting to track down the user of the Downfall of Castle and Country.

They both lowered their heads softly, saying yes. 

Standing up, Kyuketsuki’s eyes landed on Shalltear as he traced around the table. Taking in the changes to Shalltear’s body thinking about what might have caused the slight differences. Making her look slightly older and c cup breasts when they were A cup before. Before taking the flask, from Aveda handing it to Shalltear. “Then, for Shalltear as punishment, I will need you to drink this potion, you will see its effects quickly.” 

Shalltear gently takes the concoction before drinking it in one quick gulp. Dropping it seconds later as memories filled Shalltear's brain. Along with the emotion, not her own swelling up inside. Unable to describe the battle she was seeing or what to say as it was not her view, but lord Kyuketsuki she was viewing it from. 

“What your seeing is my memories of the fight, and remembering those will be your punishment. As I so eloquently put it in our fight, my weakest form is a blood slime. Part of what makes me a master of blood; my ability to manipulate it to do something few can share my mind and heart for but a few moments with you.” Sitabus voice echoed an almost unnoticeable sad tone to it.

The view of Shalltears crying eyes and trembling lips pained him, but this was the fastest way to ease the guilt. If not, show how much he cared and how much they need to destroy this single world item the most. Perhaps it was his own hatred of it, but at this point, the longer it was around, the more of a danger it presents to Nazarick.

“I see then I shall bear it with honor, thank you lord Kyuketsuki,” Shalltear commented through teary eyes. Giving Shalltear a light kiss on the cheek.

Then he turns to his long-lost creation. “Velvet your punishment shall be different, seeing as this is the second time this has happened. You are not to leave my side unless I allow it, I will not see you afflicted by this world item, do not allow yourself to be controlled by it a third time.” 

Velvet agreed without words; thankfully, it wasn’t so much a punishment as protection.  She knew he was unwilling to offer any other sentence as it hurt him deeply to see her in pain. Even if she didn’t understand, she was created in the image of a dead friend. 

Only after letting the mood settle and sitting back down in his chair did Sitabus continue.

“Now, with this out of the way, let us get to the next part of this talk. Every one of you here will help me with my two main goals for the future. The first is to hunt down the group known as the covenant of crows. The second goal is not to be said to anyone, but us is to destroy the Downfall of Castle and Country."

All of them feel like the air was pressing down on them. As Kyuketsuki let a dark, cold rage filled his eye. A nasty sparkling shone in his eyes at the prospect of destroying it. A long-term goal as the user of this item had fled far away.  

Kyuketsuki gestured for Aveda as she pulled up a clipboard looking over it. Listing what an autopsy of the slain follower of the covenant of crow. Surprised to hear this, they appeared to be infected by some kind of parasite. It was impossible to tell which type, With the death frost damage done to them by Kyuketsuki super tier magic. Sighing at his loss of control in the battle, even knowing there were limited options to force Shalltear to use up her death saving gear.

Sitabus put all his effort into thinking of which way the assailants would have gone. Even with teleporting, there were limits, scanning over the crude map in front of him. For any details that would help only making him nervous with these three options at hand, the forest near E-Rental was a crossing point between the RE-Eztie kingdom, Baharuth Empire, and the Slane Theocracy. 

‘Each one is a possibility, but the Slane Theocracy is the least likely for something like a demi-human or Heteromorphic. Which owl mask most definitely was one by the way his cloak moved in inhuman ways underneath.’ 

Still, it would be a gamble as to which of the two they would pick to head. Sitabus needed a lead, or else he would miss this opportunity turning to Kathrin and Clementine.  “Do either of you have any ideas where this masked covenant member would go?” 

Both of them glanced at one another before both staring at him. “Well, they have to be nearby listening to see how the deadly trap went. It is what I would do unless I were sure the trap killed you master.” Clementine chimed eyes sparkling with glee. 

Kathrin sent a subtle glare at the assassin standing. “We have gotten no suspicious sighting in or around E-Rental. Even after I had Xennessa widen the area of surveillance after the battle with Shalltear; however, they may already know about us and be avoiding the city altogether.” 

Hearing both of them, a plan began to take shape in his mind, a fanged grin over his face. ‘This only leaves one good option and one risky one. Which, while safer to hide would make, any second attempt to kill them much harder.

“Keep our agents in the city on high alert for any followers of this covenant. Also, move up our plans to integrate the city fully. If I'm right, this assassin is here!”  Sitabus pointed to the map at the nearest city in the Baharuth Empire close to the border. 

Before he ended the meeting, Sitabus gestured Aveda this time, handing out one luxurious and expensive looking papers to only five Clementine, Velvet, Shalltear, Ritana, and Kathrin. All of them reacting to the document differently, some pleased like Kathrin’s prideful smirk. Others like Shalltear glaring at Ritana and Clementine.

"As all of you can see, these documents officially make you as one of my five and only wives. Along with the structure of command between each of us. Should anyone get separated during the mission." Sitabus tried to smooth it over hopeful this solution satisfies all the promises he made to each of them.

"I understand why Kathrin is second in command. And why Velvet is third, but why am I at the fifth place under those two!" Shalltear pointed, at Rita and Clementine Panting with rage and jealousy.

Ritana slides closer to Kathrin, and Clem smirked, putting her feet on the table. Velvet just watched them statically with disinterest.  

"Because both dear Rita and Clem-chan earned their spots. Rita has been loyal, brave, and understanding. Clem-chan has been of great help in helping stopping Velvet."

In truth, he had no idea what the assassin was doing most of the battle. Only she was helping in some way by the joyful feeling, she sent through there link. Which he guessed probably meant she was cutting loose on Velvet.

Kyuketsuki felt relieved Shalltear took his answer without further questioning. Because there was a more personal reason for this. One he hoped never to have to use. “Besides Shalltear, we will still get some private time after we get to know one another better.”


-Nazarick Guild Member Meeting Hall-

Sitting down in front of Ainz, Kyuketsuki felt awkward to see him still cornered for his risky actions. Both of them were friends so they could work past this. Even if he didn’t regret his actions, only regret he worried Momonga, who was sure to enjoy the surprise he had planned. 

“So how has Nazarick been since I was away.” He smiled at Ainz, hoping to ease into things. Enjoying the excellent talk, they were having 

“Don’t change the subject, Kyuketsuki! You almost died, and we don't know if we can be revived. You may not care if you perish, but I do, which is why I’m ordering Shalltear to protect you!”  Ainz shouted before calming down, most likely the emotions suppressor. 

“I get it ok I shouldn’t have underestimated the situation. Still, you could have told me about Velvet instead of trying to deal with it on your own.” Sitabus rebutted glad to have Shalltear close by. 

Ainz's skull was impossible to read; it would take some getting used to. “Like you did even after finding out the Situation. At least I had a plan to deal with Shalltear and Velvet. What about you!” 

Sitabus cringed at this cursing the fact Momonga was better at bluffing. While he was guessing at what Momonga was thinking. “Because you were apparently planning world domination and failed to tell me. I felt like I would be useless. I'm not even sure what my future will be in this new world, and here you are planning world conquest!” Snapping at Momonga, cringing at the angry outburst. With most emotion dulled, the only few which stood out where like waves washing over everything else.

Before he could apologize, Ainz mandible dropped before he panicky asked. “Who told you this?” The confusion in the skeleton’s voice only made him realize something. 

Kyuketsuki laughed as he facepalmed, right so apparently, he wasn’t the only one dealing with these miscommunications. “Demiurge when I asked what your plans where. Now I see my fear was unfounded.” Kyuketsuki chuckled as relief filled his mind even if it didn’t change what demiurge thought Ainz planned.   

“No, this is not my idea at all, and why do you find this funny. What am I going to tell Demiurge! When did he get the idea this is what I wanted?” Ainz rattled, shifting between staring at Sitabus and second-guessing where demiurge got the idea? 

Kyuketsuki waved his hands, holding back chuckles at the irony. “Because Kathrin seems to think I want to create a kingdom and I chickened out of correcting her. I think you have similar problems with our subordinates’ expectations.”  They shared a look before letting out a worried laugh. 

 “So, where both straddled with high expectations have you tried telling them the truth.” Ainz posed the question, hopefully. 

‘Oh, if only you knew my friend, they might hate me then.’  Sitabus thought about telling them the whole truth, not just about his goals but where they were from. The very image looks of utter disappointment, terrified him when they realized how much he didn’t deserve to be a supreme being. About how even as just an average human, he couldn't save anyone, only watch them die.

“Sure, sure right after you.” He nodded with vigor sagely staring Ainz down. Daring him to try. ‘At least you have a chance at redemption. my past is better left forgotten and dead.’  Pushing down the guilt as it rose like a phantom pulling at his heart. 

Both of them sat there, unable to make eye contact only brave enough to speak up. 

“So, since neither of us wants to find the courage and tell the truth, what will you do?” Ainz sighed, rubbing his forehead. 

“I guess we'll just have to make sure we don’t disappoint them. Why did you say Darkness and Vultures can work separately anyway? Nabe told me about what you told the guild.” 

Glad to be off the old subject Kyuketsuki smiled even if it might not be visible. The problem could have huge effects later. Ainz probably didn’t see it yet, but if they did the math. Money in any world could only go so far.

“Because adamantite adventures take up a lot of money having eight in one area is straining the pool of money we earn. Also, you may not have noticed it, but with both of us in E-Rental, most of the high-end jobs have all but vanished. Kathrin has seen the complaints of other mithril groups can barely find any jobs on their rank or higher. This will make relations with other adventures far harder.” Sitabus pulled out a stack of papers of the financial report of E-Rental. A second smaller stack of complaints sliding over both to Momonga.

Watching as he read over the papers, both of them could efficiently juggle finances. Only Sitabus got a bit higher a choice he regretted making even now. If Momonga knew how many connections and control corporations back in the old toxic world, it was disturbing, to say the least.

‘I will make sure this kind of world doesn't happen again. If for no other reason than her.’  Gazing at his reflection in the mirror surface of the table.

Awakened from his depressed state by Ainz coughing into his boney hand. “I see what do you suggest then. We go to different cities?”

At the comment, Kyuketsuki snapped his fingers as an illusionary map appeared with one city circled named Barune Hubert. “Not quite, I have something else in mind.” 

Ainz gave an inquiring gaze wondering what Kyuketsuki plan was going to be. 

“Simply put, I want to hunt my ambushers and show them Ainz Ooal Gown will not be trifled with. This and I can take the Baharuth Empire as my kingdom. You can focus on Re-Etzic, and E-Rental can be our middle ground should anything arrives. We will know for certain if there are any other players here.”  

‘And I can check if any administers are here without you worrying. Players are one danger, but admins are another entirely. If they really are our enemy, I will cut them down!’  Resolving to continue being Nazaricks hidden blade so far, he seemed to be the main target of them if his theory was right. Still, he had to know for sure, and this would prove it.

“Sounds like a good idea. why the empire specifically, they could be anywhere?" Ainz's flaming eyes glowed.

Kyuketsuki proudly smirked this trap of his would show their hand for sure. "If they are players who know [gate], then yes. I am sure none of this covenant of crows are players. Limiting there range and abilities still, you should be careful of them just in case."

Before leaving, Sitabus pulled out an amulet that gave off an eerily rainbow glow. Shaped like a skull for one half and a human face for the other.

Tossing it over to Ainz surprising him, "Momonga put this on it should be able to bypass the block on messages.”

Skeptically Ainz did feeling strange blinking as he breathed in sharply. As Ainz's skin touched the cold table. Gasping, as his fleshy human hands came into view.

"KYUKETSUKI, what did you do!?" Ainz shouted just as Albedo came rushing in, blushing brightly on her cheeks. Why was his heart racing so fast looking at Albedo?

Snapping over to the vampire who was smiling. "Don't worry, this item curse will wear off after 12 hours. After, you should be able to shift forms at will once a day. Make sure to show your wife plenty of love and take some time off. Bye!"

Kyuketsuki teleporting away with fear and arousal clearly showing on the humanoid face of Ainz. Albedo rushing up to him in worry and lustful gaze at this original form of lord Momonga according to lord kyuketsuki.


-Baharuth Empire near Barune Hubert-

In the dark night of the forest, a light wind blows through the trees and underbrush. Illuminated by a half-moon as the void of darkness opened. Shalltear stepped through the [gate] dressed in a beautiful vibrant white dress embrittled with golden lines, hidden by the red cloak she got after revival hugging it close. Blushing at her husband’s smell, even if it was not lord Momongas, Kyuketsuki scent aroused her considerably.

The vampire scowls as Clementine Stroud out with a hopeful grin scanning the foliage for prey to hunt. Under her cloak, her hands fingered her stilettos hidden from view. As her tentacle hair swayed with her tail. Shalltear could see the gaze of a predator looking for pray with her mismatched eyes.

“Don’t get your hopes up insect Master may favor you now, but this won't last. Soon you will be lapping up my juices where you belong.” Shalltear taunted, glancing back to make sure the supreme being had not come through yet. 

Clementine didn't drop her grin at the threat, only smiling wider. “Oh, are you upset I’m ahead of you in command? Don’t be. I don’t even know why the master keeps me alive perhaps he misses Jade? All I care about is getting to break his enemies and feel his love envelop me, ahh.” A blush came over Clementine's face letting out a moan while hugging herself.

Shalltear’s hostility dropped replaced by a curiosity about the answer, Smelling the arousal rolling off the assassin. With a playful glint, Shalltear took of stock of the slim assassins toned body, perhaps this wouldn’t be so bad after all. “My, you may be a better toy to have around then I believed. Still don’t think you can steal all his love, insect.” 

Clementine continued to take up the role of century shifting every so often. As they waited for the others to arrive. 

Finally, Kathrin came out adorned in a slightly different outfit than usual. Her shoulders guarded by metal vampire wolf heads, on the fur cloak over the shimmering dress which shined bright even in the dark of the night. Under the light of the moon. Like liquid metal made into an elaborate royal dress. Turning into dark red pants padded with armor and fur ending in metal boots crushing the grass underfoot. Kathrin tested her clawed gauntlets, watching them lengthen to long metal claws and return to normal. Allowing both Ritana and Bardic to follow behind almost unseen.

“What's with the new armor trying to look like a barbarian queen now?” Shalltear shouted, annoyed by the gleam of superiority in the werecat's golden eyes. It reminded her a little too much of Albedo’s gaze.

“Unlike some fools, I have been planning to be queen for some time. Thanks to Kyuketsuki-sama, allowing my selfish request, it shall come to pass soon. At least little Rita knows her place.”  At being brought up, the redhead blushed, looking away, mumbling, thank you, mistress.

Shalltear growled, crossing her arms, refusing to pitch a fight. Still feeling guilty as she remembered Kyuketsuki punishment feeling his pain as if it was her own. “Just because your queen now doesn't mean I can’t get from 3rd wife to true queen or queen’s mistress soon enough.”  

Kathrin just gave a Cheshire-cat smile giggling as if Shalltear told a joke. Turning to Ritana and Bardic with grace and nobility. “Would you be a dear and set up camp while we wait for lord Kyuketsuki to arrive.”

The redhead got to work, putting up tents with a shiftiness and dexterity as her tail swayed a bit. While Bardic started to set up his own. Kathrin turned to Clementine distrust bright in her eyes, before letting out an annoyed breath. “Clem be the uncultured brute you are and fetch us some food for the few that need it. You can even get messy if you want just don’t keep master waiting.” 

Clementine gained a wicked smile at getting to taste blood again, dashing into the darkness. Not bothered by the insult at all, which confused Shalltear. Sure, the assassin would have said something to such. 

Shalltear glared at the werecat, waiting for some kind of order. 

Neither of them said anything Kathrin just looking at the vampire with a knowing gaze. 

“Oh, sorry, I don’t have any orders for rebellious or foolish lackeys. Which are even worse then Treacherous one! Master forgives, far too easily.” Kathrin sneered at Shalltear. 

Shalltear was unable to comment, looking down in shame she was right. If she hadn’t gotten careless, she wouldn’t have almost killed one of the last two supreme beings.  Gritting her teeth in the self-loathing mix with rage at being reminded.

“What about, what lord Kyuketsuki said about getting along.” Shalltear harshly shot back.

To this, Kathrin scoffed, turning to the stars her tail casually swaying from under the fur cloak. 

“You have no idea how long I have been protecting lord Kyuketsuki from dangers. The Centuries I have kept watch for enemies both seen and not. I know his scars, his goals, his desires better than seductress’ like YOU ever will, floor guardian or not. The only job I was created for is to support and protect Kyuketsuki in every way I can, no matter the trial or enemy.” Pausing with a wishful tone before adopting a much darker air around her.

“I will not let him die so long as I draw breath even if I must fight death itself to bring him back. So, I will warn you once Shalltear Bloodfallen. If you or my sister ever try to kill or betray him again, I will make sure you never come back!” The future queen's hard voice hissed, lacking any warmth as she turned her icy golden eyes to bore into the vampire. Over her shoulder, eye practically glowing with hate.

Briskly walking over to a tree with one swing spending several minutes cutting it into a highly detailed throne for two. 

Shalltear could remember lord Kyuketsuki’s promise to her creator. Wondering what drove him and the others to leave them, not willingly because something prevented them from staying. Trying to understand the meaning of leaving such a special memory for her. Why did he choose a spell so dangerous to himself?

Kyuketsuki was different than lord Ainz in a way that confused her and attracted her. Ainz was wise, powerful, and handsome beyond compare. Lord Kyuketsuki, however, was brave willing to fight even when he couldn’t actually win. He is passionate and kind yet filled with regret over Velvet for some reason.

A puzzle to decipher later just in time to see Velvet and Kyuketsuki step through the now closing [gate]. Sharing a sympathetic look with Velvet unnoticed by the others.

“Sorry for taking so long I needed to gear up for this. Looks like you set up without me.”  Shalltear watched him take stock of the camp with a cheerful smile.

Seeing the three tents already set up a campfire set with rocks around it. What stood out was not the log seats but the finely crafted wood throne, which was a tree just 30 minutes ago. Kathrin beamed, waving him over with a bright smile snuggling close in the seat.

Shalltear could only wonder why lord Kyuketsuki and lord Ainz stayed? Out of all the 41 supreme beings. While all the others, even her creator seemed to be forced to leave.

Snapped out of her thoughts by the sound of Kyuketsuki beginning their planning meeting. “Alright, so the plan, for now, is to camp here and head into Barune Hubert in the morning. I can’t stress enough once we are in the city, keeping our cover is vital until we can locate the enemy. Find out their goals, both long and short term, and kill them.”

Turning to Shalltear, “You are forbidden to enter combat until I say so. I can’t have our cover blown, or the vampire in E-Rental traced back to us got it Shalltear.” Disappointed, Shalltear agreed with the knowledge the order was for her protection. Mulling over the memories of her supreme being as they waited for Clementine to return with food.


-End of Chapter-

Chapter Text


-Forest near Barune Hubert-

A dark portal opened as the vampire dragon rose through. Clad in dark silver armor shielding its upper body. Only evil glowing crimson and patches of scales showing through as it growled, turning to its master.  Its tails stopped thrashing as its four claws dug into the soft earth.

Hissing at the vampire lord in affection walking calmly despite the air of malevolence, it gave off.

Kyuketsuki petted the top scales not covered by armor with joy, enjoying the company of his steed. Loneliness evident in the undead dragons’ eyes, this has been the first time it had been summoned in the new world.

“Hello Siegfried sorry I haven’t called you out in a while, would you like a snack?”  Kyuketsuki raised his hand with a chunk of meat from the deer Clementine caught last night. As Siegfried gladly devoured it, hissing in approval of the offering.

Sitabus turned to the tents. What to do for them, it might seem odd if he rode into the city while the others walked. For more than one reason, not just because he wouldn’t ask this of them. It was too hazardous walking into another unknown situation like before. They would need to come prepared for danger. Not to mention he needs the cover story to work for Shalltear, which won't work if royalty walked while Sitabus rides his steed.

Kyuketsuki glanced at Siegfried, knowing the vampire dragon wouldn’t allow anyone else to ride him. Annoyed as he thought up his options, the first would be asking Ainz for help, yet doing so would bring up questions he wasn’t ready to answer yet. No matter what Sitabus wouldn’t be useless, one of  Ainz Ooal Gown rules demanded he pulls his weight. Two, it would just show how little Kyuketsuki deserved to be a supreme being, not really believing he had any right to the title, to begin with.

The next option was asking Kathrin, no she had enough on her plate, keeping E-Rental balanced and under control. It would be unfair to ask her to take over this problem as well.

Sitabus had to come up with a solution before Kathrin returned from E-Rental. The mercenary monsters could fill the ranks as needed. Summoned mounts ran the risk of vanishing at bad times. On top of not having many mounts, he could summon to begin with.

Running through his knowledge of his inventory spells and summons for a solution, When Sitabus remembered a passive ability of Seigfried's, grimacing at the thought of what this entailed. Kyuketsuki gazes to Siegfried, standing there enjoying the neck rub.

Given the situation, he couldn’t wait too long to finish; it would just give their ambushers more time to prepare or move. Gently pulling himself on to Siegfried saddle, rubbing his armor.

“Hey boy, do you think you could make some ghoalestes? If I round up some more food.”

Sitabus wasn’t sure what he disliked more the fact he couldn’t feel the empathy or his steed’s reaction.

The vampire dragon’s eyes glowed brightly as it breathed out a cloud of thick smoke from his nostrils. Stomping his front claws with glee at the ghastly offer of meat and blood.

Calmly taking up the rains despite never riding a horse in the real world. Kyuketsuki felt like it was second nature as he speeds Siegfried on undeterred by the trees or flora. Leaping over bushes, jumping off of trees, and through the woods with a frenzied blinding speed.

Kyuketsuki beamed enjoying the ride through almost not needing to direct Siegfried. As his [detect life] leads them closer to the nearby beast of the new world. With Siegfried mobility and speed alone, few other mounts could keep up on land.

So, it was no surprise they arrived so quickly to the clearing. Atop the grassy knoll viewing the majestic animals below. A sight Sitabus had never seen before now.

All the wild horses stop grazing, froze up at the attention of Siegfried the wingless, as its crimson eye stared at them.  Opening its fanged maw as drool dripped out, letting out a joyful merciless roar. Rushing forward with gusto at the first prey jumping on to and biting down on its neck.

Rising Siegfried gaze to scan over the now running prey with predatory hunger. Rushing forward without much thought to feast on another and another. Sitabus had to hold back his grimace at the grizzly deaths of each of the seven wild horses. If he allowed it, Siegfried would have slaughtered the whole herd before they could even get away.  

In fact, he had to pull the vampiric dragon back before he could go after any more. The point was the horses stood no hope of escaping if he allowed it.  Siegfried panting in excitement, steadying himself for his master, drawing in the endless hunger.

“Wow, boy, we got all we need; in fact, I might have let you get too gluttonous.” Looking at the seven mutated ponies with pity as they all spasmed and jerked bodies changing before his eyes.  Each torn out neck regrowing with patches of scales. Gaining natural scaly armor with burning red eyes and an air of similar malice.  Standing on four clawed hoofs ready to rend flesh, with a hunger for the carnage in each one’s eyes.

Each approaching Siegfried with a submissive posture with a growl from him, they all stopped a few feet away. He beams a small smile, happy to have one part of the plan finished.

Now he could just have them ride, but it might do to have a carriage to entirely sell the nobility of Shalltears cover.

Choosing not to cause unfortunate wildlife any more harm than needed. These seven would have to be enough.  

Before they even leave the clearing, he felt eyes on him turning with [detect life] still on he spotted them they were stronger than the average human. On top of being so far away from the city, he worried it might be a spy.

 Kyuketsuki narrowed his eyes with a silent [shadow hands] he reached out as the shadow arms rushing at and gripping the spy before they could move. Just realizing it was more than one of them. Pulling out a scared mouse humanoid with torn clothes on and rusty dagger at their side.

They didn’t speak terrified by both his monstrous horse and the bright eyes of a vampire snapping his eye shut in fear.  Looking back, the others were already gone. He cursed his luck.

Kyuketsuki just stared at the demi-human confused. There was no way this person was a spy. If he had to guess by the clothes and look, there was a village of them nearby. Though then, this brought up the question of the metal collar around their neck.

Finally, after a few minutes of trying to figure out the demi-human.

“Please don’t eat me or feed me to your beast!  We just wanted a horse or two to get to Barune!” Came the demi-humans girly panicked shout almost crying. Taking pity on the poor creature and letting out a breath.

 Setting down the mouse person silently commanding the ghoalestes to be on guard in case this was a trap.

"Calm down. What is your name? Little mouse."  Kyuketsuki watched the demi-human with guarded hope.

The mouse chuckled nervously, eye still fearful, with a glint of hopeful optimism. Standing up, “I'm um... Revie no last name, you're not going to drain my blood? But you’re a vampire.”  

Sitabus scowled, annoyed by the question of why did everyone in the new world, assumes he would eat or enslave them.  The minute his nature of being was known to them. It was like dealing with Tarick all over again.  “No. I'm Kyūketsuki O Wasureta adamantine adventurer of the darkness vultures.” 

Revie was taken aback with shock “What there Is no way...they let a vampire become an adventurer.”

Kyuketsuki pushed back his annoyance with this demi-human. He needed to know how much they knew, depending on the answer, he might just erase the mouse's memory. 

“Look, I'm kind of hunting an assassin, which may be a part of a dangerous cult. So, if you could tell me why you came out here.” Kyuketsuki leans closer, hoping to get eye contact. Revie, however, kept edging away, never allowing their eyes to meet. 

 Siegfried growled, feeling his master’s irritation only calming down when he felt a soothing rub on his mane of quill-like spikes smoothing them as to not harm its rider.  Revie turning to the beast again, took a step back scared, unable to run. 

Seeing as Revie didn’t appear to be talkative, he settled on a snap decision. Hoping he wouldn’t regret this later.  Pulling the reins leading Siegfried away as the seven Ghoalestes followed. Much to the confusion of the demi-human watching with great caution. 

“If you do head to Barune Hubert. Watch out for a man in an owl mask and cloak. I will pay for info on this person, Fairwell, little mouse.”  

Sitabus quickly rode away back to camp, though it was risky. He was banking on the hope by letting the demi-human go it would help him understand not all undead where evil. This mentality would slow his investigation into the covenant he was hunting. 

Keeping watch on the forest as they rode back to camp. ‘Now all I need is a wagon or carriage to complete the look of royalty for Shalltear. But where do I find  one...’

Kyuketsuki halting his musing in shock as he cleared the tree line into his camp already cleaned up and tents packed. His attention is drawn to the dark blue painted wood of a carriage decorated like a starry night. Looking closer at the wood of the carriage, noticing the defensive runes carved into the timber, reinforced with metal around the wheels and sides shining with hidden runic power.  

Standing in a circle around the royal wagon shining like a jewel in the sunlight. “Again, what possible reason would we have for a wagon. Lord Kyuketsuki can just gate to the city.” Shalltear angrily shouted, unaware of Kyuketsuki just a few yards away.  

As Sitabus retraced his steps, trying to figure out when he told Kathrin what clues had he given about his plan, he just thought up this morning. Unable to understand how she found out, was it when they were together last night? No, when could it be? 

“This is exactly why I still believe you are unfit to marry lord Kyuketsuki if you can’t even pick up the basis of his masterful plan. How can you possibly figure out the best ways to pleasure our lord? At least Demiurge and Albedo can read both lords to see their goals.”  Glaring at Shalltear shaking her head in disappointment. 

“Um, where are the horses then. This is at least a four-horse wagon.” Clementine cheerfully perks up with a knowing smile, which brought a twitch to Kathrin’s face. 

“I brought a herd from the city, but as soon as they were through the [gate], they ran off. Disobedient beasts, my love doesn't need them anyway.” Kathrin scrawled as if talking about the worst kind of enemy.

Clementine’s smile widened into a wicked grin. “You mean they ran from you the moment they could.” pointing to a few still smoldering corpses of two horses almost hidden by the foliage. 

Kathrin refused to answer on the matter, only sending an intense glare at the assassin, who smiles back in victory. Kathrin was unable to comment again without pointing out the reason for killing two steeds and her evident fear of horses.

Deciding to walk up out of the shadow of the trees, Kathrin's ears perked up under her cap, gaining a warm smile. Feeling master’s aura turning with a beaming smile.

“Hello, Kyuketsuki-sama. I hope you enjoyed your morning ride with Siegfried. Oh, you brought beast of burden how brilliant my love.” 

Sitabus first thought was to ask how she knew, but doing so would give away an apparent flaw in his leadership skills. When he tried to say something to the contrary of his lack of foresight, no words came out. ‘Think quick shift the focus.’ 

“Kathrin, please don’t look down on Shalltear. I have my reasons to chose her to join us. Though I applaud you for understanding my plan so quickly.”  Hiding his panic under a thin smile.

“My apologies, my lovely lord, I didn't mean to upset you. I only point out the truth, so Shalltear may be of more benefit to us. Also, when I was in E-Rental, demiurge said to pass along this message to keep you in the loop as per lord Ainz's instruction.”  Kathrin pulled out a scroll with an enchanted wax seal. 

Breaking it and skimming over the contents with a grimace. Kyuketsuki may not feel much for the people of the new world. Still, to wipe out a race of lizard people just to make an undead army sounded extreme. There was no way he was taking part in this even if Ainz asked.

‘Sorry, my friend, but I can’t slaughter without good reason. You are on your own in this regard; I might not be human. Still, I won’t go around massacring for the fun of it.’ 

Destroying the scroll with [frostbite touch] as it crumbled into tiny bits of ice. “Thank you for the message, my dear. Ainz has things well in hand; now, here is our cover story; everyone pay close attention. We can’t blow our cover on this not just for the current plan but for the future of Nazarick.” 

 

 


-The next day at Barune Hubert-

The guards of the gate where board as they stay alert, watching the road for trouble. Everything was going as usual with minimal activity from the southwest gate. In part because the Slane Theocracy didn’t send up many trade convoys their way. As for the RE-Eztice kingdom, merchant trade thinned as the annual war approached. 

For fear of getting caught between the two sides, which is why both guards where board. This gate had very little trouble, so it was a safe job, or so they thought before they spotted the dost of travelers heading up the road. 

But no message of them had been sent from the border, which was the first warning sign. The second was as the group drew closer, a deep dread filled both guards’ hearts at the blood-red eyes of the horses no! Armored monsters. 

Out of each of the mounted beasts, the lead one drew their gaze, shaking at the eyes, which promised death. Showing its fanged mouth as is savoring their fear, which slowed both of the guard's reactions. 

Not noticing just how close the monster where in minutes, they were at the gates just a few feet from them both. Finally, seeing the monsters had riders the first to recovering shouted: “Halt state your business and why you are riding such fiends.” They both shuttered out with what little bravery they could muster.

Both of them shaking as they held up their spears in fear. Even as the stranger smiled kindly at them. “I'm Kyuketsuki O Wasureta leader of the adamantine adventure group the vulture's, part of a joint group the darkness vultures, from E-Rental.”

Both of the guards froze as if petrified before lowering the spear recovered, taking off his helmet. To show his brown eyes and dull short auburn hair pale features guarded but hopeful. “Ah, you must be the new adventure group I heard so much about. When you saved my brother from a monsters’ curse, dragon invasion, and then the undead attack, I’m Tundra. I can’t thank you enough for your bravery and courage. Though your steeds the fearsome monsters, did you tame them?”

Sitabus gave a sly grin, so his gamble had paid off. “Yes, on the way here, I found and tamed Siegfried the wingless. The dragon was lurking in the deep woods. Possibly turned by the vampire near E-Rental. Sadly, I was too late to save our horses, but after taming the leader, the rest submitted easily enough.”

The other guard still kept his distance, but Tundra relaxed, wiping his brow of sweat. “That's a relief they gave us a fright though, please keep them under control. The other guards might not hesitate to kill them if they attack anyone.”

Kyuketsuki relaxed, talking with the guard taking his time to gather information about the area and the city.  Subtly having Velvet sent out the shadow demons in the town. He sent an approving look, while he learned a little about the nearby farm villages and the state of the city of Barune Hubert. 

Or Barune by most after the emperor toke power over the empire.

It had apparently been renamed after the noble which once owned the area Barune Hubert fox tin. After he was killed by the bloody emperor in the purge of nobles. His death was still a mystery, but most knew it was the emperors doing. The city itself, like the walls of the city, looks beautifully made but hide deep scars being around since the time of the demon deities. A town that had to survive drought, famine, sieges from the war with RE-Eztice army twice, and one of few cities to escape the hellish reign of demon deities still standing. 

The more he heard about the town's history, the more impressed he was. Even if most of its history seemed lacking with most of the exact details of said accounts. It shows the people of Barune where durable people. Then finally, the conversation turned back to business. 

“So, what brings you here with the noble's carriage.” Tundra glanced at the carriage itself, impressed by its immaculate detail, possibly rivaling one made for the emperor himself. Though he wouldn’t dare say it out loud.

“I'm here with the noble lady Tearus Bon Shellder who asked our help in hunting down the cult responsible for releasing the powerful vampire near E-Rental. We believe they may be lurking around your great city and hope to stop whatever their plan is. Their name is the Covenant of Crows and is extremely dangerous.” He spoke with well-rehearsed lines and conviction, glad he had taken the day to practice this.

Both of the guards paled at the thought of something like this happening near the city. “If you speak the truth, we must get the word out quickly! What do they look like I will have the guards search for and apprehend them as quickly as possible?” 

Crap this was a quicker reaction then he expected perhaps his fame had reached farther then he thought if they weren't even questioning his claim. How to dissuade them before they ruined his plan. 

With some quick improvisation, Sitabus came up with an idea though he might be able to get there help later. 

“No need we don't want them to act rashly if you do find them. Let us know at once, but don’t act till we can determine their plan and goal here. They Mostly wear cloaks and greatly detailed masks, each carrying a powerful item. I believe one may have used their tool to mind control the vampire for some nefarious ends. Thankfully we stop them before they could act.”  Quickly constructing a story of half-truths. Relived when Tundra bought it.

“I see we shall keep watch for them just send word to captain Tundra Marine when you find them. I shall rally as many capable men as I can to help you.” Waving them on and allowing them to pass. 

In the streets of the city where it was alive with activity, most gave them a wide berth. Taking in the architecture of the town, the tall walls, and stone houses. Shaped with an artistic flair making a detailed calculating observing at each person they passed. 

Noting the lack of adventures with merchants and civilians seemed relatively free and happy. But the guards walked differently than those in E-Rental. They possessed soldier movements and a trained stance with every step. Even holding higher levels and better gear, if Sitabus was to guess, then the empire had a full career military force. 

There was a higher choice of materials here, making it a great place to search for the supplies he was lacking. This would be later even with his glasses of translation; he needs to take time to read the signs and find the shops he required.

 

After wandering the town and asking for some directions, they found an inn to stay at with a stable. Before splitting up into three groups, Kathrin and Ritana went to locate the adventure guilds and other guilds or places of importance for the future. Shalltear and Clem-chan went out to probe the underbelly of the city if there was one and gain control of it. 

Peacefully if possible, but with how most of those types acted, it would be wishful thinking at best.

Which left Bardic, velvet, and Kyuketsuki to hunt down leads. Which wasn’t going very well at all, he had hoped just wandering around would have prompted them to act yet hours later still nothing, was it possible Ainz was right about there being a player or two in the group. 

Kyuketsuki hissed in annoyance, scanning the streets for anything suspect. With the only thing being though rare, there were a few slaves mostly demi-humans.  This wasn’t really odd with how close this city was to bordering with the Slane Theocracy, a place of human supremacy.

As much as it bothered him to see, he couldn't risk acting on it now, so it was labeled an issue to fix once he had a kingdom.

Kyuketsuki’s current problem was luring them out. ‘This is going to take a while. I should have gone to see the lizardmen.’

Traveling by foot past the many stalls and building with little to go on. Thinking about it was probably a bad idea with how little they knew of the group.  All he knew of this covenant was they seemed to kill particular targets, have destroyed one small city in the RE-Estize kingdom, and mostly kept out of public view.

Sitabus didn’t even know how many members the group had, let alone the aim of this group.

However, there was one thing he was sure of somehow, this group was connected to an admit or dev. Which had transferred here from Yggdrasil? Questioning the limit of their power and just how dangerous they would be. 

At the very least, they where making message spells between him and Momonoga unreliable. Who knows what else is going on behind the scene of these city streets.

Sitabus scowled all he could hope was the others were finding more clues then him right now.

 

 


 -Two Days Later Lady Tearus and Clem-

Shalltear waited and kept watch as Clementine viciously cut through the last of the thugs. Pouting as she watched the assassin work their magic almost pitting them, she did give them a chance as her lord had demanded. The stupid insects couldn’t understand how hopeless refusing was.

Shalltear yond holding her umbrella in one hand and brushing the dust off her spotless white dress sidestepping a thrown thug as he splattered against the wood. Gracefully walking through the wrecked warehouse dead insects lining the walls and floor. Watching the crimson drain slowly into the Eldridge vampires [blood pools].

Hearing the screams of the last victim as she approached Clementine drenched in blood as her imperfect [blood pool] spilled over her body and armor.  It was kind of alluring to watch as mad laughter echoed from the assassin.

Sighing as she walked past Clementine enthralled by her hunger with a smirk. “So, have you reconsidered our offer, or should I let my pet Clemmie play a little longer.”

Smirking hungrily with a sing-song voice at the frightened owner of the black-market shop. As he frantically shifted his gaze around the shop now in tatters, broken crates and tables everywhere. His small army of thugs, which wasn’t more than twenty at best, little more than a mess of guts on the floor and walls.

As if to put the icing on the cake. Shalltear rubs her finger in some blood and licked it off her lips. Moaning a little all with a cute smile of a beautiful monster watching the human allowing the shadow merchant to see Clementine feed her frenzy from the corner of his eyes.

As sweat poured down his body in waves, the man sank to his knees on the creaky wood floor. “Fine just spare my son and me, I will take the deal.” His voice hollow and broken transfixed by the sight of slaughter and dead around the room.

Shalltear snapped her fingers, getting Clementine's attention as sanity returned to her eyes. Almost looking dazed, Shalltear wouldn’t say it, but it was a good look for the insect. No pet with how loyal Clementine was following orders, the assassin was starting to grow on her.

“What already, but I haven’t finished yet.” She childishly protested, licking the blood of her blades and hands.

“You don’t want to disappoint your master, do you?” Shalltear slyly smirks it took her a while, but she found the words to get lord Kyuketsuki’s pet to do what she wanted soon enough; she would be more than willing to hand the rank of the second bride over to her.

The true vampire would make it more than worth her while to do so when she was ready.

Watching Clementine scowl before cleaning her weapons and putting them away. Gathering the blood into vials as asked of them, Shalltear almost wanted to laugh at how easily she and the pet got along. Perhaps it was their strict and ruthless way of getting things done. Or just the fact this pet wasn’t too bad to hang around and share their taste in men and fun.

If not for once, being human Shalltear couldn't really find a problem with the woman. Shalltear was only uncertain on one point, which her heart craved more lord Ainz or lord Kyuketsuki. Part of her still wanted lord Ainz, Lord Kyuketsuki was different not as wise or gifted with such in-depth planning as lord Ainz. Instead, he had a charisma and considerate aroma as he led them into this mission head first. Taking on the most dangerous part himself.

It still worried Shalltear some, he would put himself in the danger zone before even considering asking them. Blushing yes, it was part of his allure as a supreme being of Nazarick.  Cooing as she summoned her vampire brides, checking each of them with a steely gaze.

“Clean this mess up and have the bodies moved through the gate. Don’t harm the shopkeep and his son.”  Commanding them with a threatening undertone. Clementine joins her eyes locked on the broken man soaking in the misery with a smirk of a cat that just caught a bird.

“Just 10 more shadow markets and our job is done. It's kind of boring how weak they all are, don’t you think.” Shalltear prompted to the assassin as Clementine’s tentacles wiggled with excitement.

“All part of the fun isn’t it because these weak humans underestimate our one and only master. I get to have fun slowly breaking them watching as the light in their eyes dies as they realize how hopelessly outmatched, they are!”

It took some getting use to, but for some reason, Clementine only acknowledged lord Kyuketsuki as their master. It just showed how good the king of blood was at breaking his enemies Clementine didn’t even miss being human.

“Maybe for you. I prefer a challenge to show the strength that my creator gave me.”

Clementine looked at Shalltear curiously. “Oh, what was he like master doesn’t seem to talk about him much. Though I know they Are good friends.”

Shalltear beamed sitting at one of the few bloodstained tables not destroyed by the fight. Completely ignoring the insect near the back wall embedded with splinters. “Take a seat. I can tell you what I know about my creator. I can’t say too much because of our guest, I hope you don’t mind.”

“Fine, I just want to know what makes them so important to master.” spilling some crimson into a half-broken glass.

 

 


-Three Days Later Kathrin and Ritana-

As Kathrin scanned the two finely dressed gentlemen across the table. Sending a casual smile leaning on her elbows just enough to show her cleavage. Hoping to lower their guard again, at first questioning the tactic of sexual charm. Yet once again, the nobleman and merchants’ eyes were drawn to her body.

Did all humans have this weakness, already she could slide past a more advantageous deal for the long run? With only a peek, not even touch, and they lost the advantage of this business proposition. 

For something they would never get to touch, it just showed how lacking their negotiating skills where. While once again, Kathrin was gaining experience, levels, skills, and more control. Over the economics of the empire for her love.

Slowly swirling her glass of cheap, tasteless wine; indeed, these sheep didn't even have good taste in alcohol. Was it any wonder they were waiting on her every move. Instead of asking for details about what she could offer for, or looking for a weakness in her offer?  All the while, Kathrin was weakening the emperor's power under his nose.

“Hello, Ministry of Magic Guild of Barune Hubert, Eldro Cawmen and Tradesman Guild Leader of Barune Hubert, Duke Von Shillrin. I am glad you could hear out my generous master’s offer. You have a fine establishment here, fine wines to boot; However, I think we both know you can get more with what I have to offer.”  letting out a teasing giggle once again lowering their mental defenses. 

“What is it you have to offer miss Kathrin being an adventurer no less. I will listen; still, I hardly see how you can offer half of what your assistant offered us.” looking to his business partner, little did they know shadow demons overheard every word they said. A precaution and a way to shake them up should they get too uppity. 

With a disarming smile, Kathrin straightened up her posture, ready to snare the trap.

“Like dealing with the shadow markets to get more money for your Noble family’s debts which have broken their deals with you or Ms. Duke Vons low flow of coins with the impending annual war feeling a little tight? I can fix both these problems for you and more if you want me to!” It wasn’t a question but a statement which spoke of just how underprepared for this they were.  Kathrin had them cornered either to blackmail them or to get them to be more malleable to future dealings. 

Taking joy in both of their stunning faces carefully measuring their reactions even as she sipped the tasteless drink hiding her fanged grin. Pretending to gaze at it, the implication sinks in no need to rush; with a single glance, she could see both men's choices before they even made it.

“You dare! we could tell the emperor what you think of him!” Predictable, the red-haired man showed why he got into debt far too prideful to admit defeat. Even as he hovered over her trying and failing to seem even the least bit threatening. 

‘Shouldn’t gamble unless you can bluff little sheep.’ Thinking to herself with a confident smile snapping her finger as Ritana came rushing over, dropping a heavy bag of gold coins on to the table. “No need to get angry. We all have our... vulnerable points. Consider this your debt paid if you accept my offer. Your daughter will thank you for it.” 

The prideful caster paled at the threat, understanding just how cornered he was. After all, …

“Wait, you have a daughter, Eldor; why didn’t you tell me. No, not...!” Kathrin had to hold back a laugh, all the minister of magic could do was glare at the cloth-covered table meals forgotten waste of mediocre food really. 

“As for your deal, we have all the coins we need from E-Rental for the rare materials on my list, of course. Which you will have advancing trouble selling with the annual war drawing ever closer. Win-win, really, what do you say.” 

Kathrin leaned back in her chair legs crossed with the smile of a queen over the war of words. Gently setting the drink down, absorbing the silence, if they even tried to rebut her offer, she had plenty of aces up her sleeve to slam the ball back in their court. Daring them with her sharp golden eyes alone, it did help with Shalltear and Clemmie having already finished their task ahead of time. 

If not with blood and death Kathrin under her loving master, guidance was learning how to crush them without an ounce of mana or blood. He knew how difficult it would be to oversee an entire city. Yes, it was hard at first, but Xennessa had been an incredible help in this regard.

This single test had brought with it a wealth of knowledge about how to lead unruly sheep. The grin wouldn’t leave her face as she waited patiently, enjoying her victory. 

Then one of them actually used their brain to think too little too late. “How would you possibly be able to get this many coins. Are you telling me the darkness vultures have sway over E-Rental?!” 

Kathrin just couldn’t hold back a telling smile; this indeed was fun. “Maybe, maybe not you won't know till you agree. Just as I'm sure, the empire has its own spies in the kingdom. Just imagine how impressed the emperor would be if you could alter the state of E-Rental with. One. Word. To. Me.” Emphasizing each of the last four words pushing the document forward to both men. 

They came in sure of their strength and stance only to leave just as shaken and malleable as the rest. The emperor really didn’t know how weak and predictable humans were if he thought for one second. Kathrin couldn’t hold control of the city’s every coin and secret by the end of the week. The emperor wouldn’t even know till long after.

 

 


-Barune Hubert Silver Dragon Inn-

The week after they arrived ended as all of them meet in the Inn private dining room away from prying eyes. Kathrin even engraved runes to ensure their private meeting just to be safe with Kybirht keepers hiding in the shadows. Also, if Only low-level 50, they could slow down any intruders and tank damage should the need arise. 

“Now a week has passed a letter should come with Kathrin, upon her return, of Ainz progress with pointless slaughter.” Kyuketsuki was just too tired to pretend he understood his friend’s need to build a weak army of undead.  Putting up air quotes His fear of being caught unaware had forced him to stay alert for the past three days. 

‘If only my mind didn’t need to rest like my body.’ not even willing to try a ring of substance after the last lousy reaction his body had. ‘Ugh, my finger still feels like they're on fire just thinking about it.’

“It is not pointless, my lord, lord Ainz just has a great vision.” Shalltear tried to defend, but a harsh glare at her halted her thoughts. Kyuketsuki rubbed his eyes, his mind screaming for rest.

“Shalltear do you know right now most people of this world at best will create low-level undead. At best! Slaughtering weak lizard men, even if higher level than humans, won't change. I have tested the theory. Guards of E-Rental only ever rose as skeletons or zombies with dismal levels. Even the only level 30ish human I could find became a level 21, devout vampire. Do you understand what I'm saying!” Kyuketsuki slammed his fist on the table, cracking it with a single hit.

Shalltear pointed at Clem-Chan as if it would prove her point, his eye twitched with fury. “JAde...cough Clem-Chan drank a super tier potion, with MY BLOOD mixed in. Even with all this, she is still not above level 45. So, what magic solution does Ainz have!” Screaming out the last part. Heavily breathing before realizing his frenzy rage was showing, Cursing his lack of control. 

we know Ainz will always have her affection over us. After all, he earned it; you didn’t, pathetic! You can't even protect anyone just let loose, and we can fix everything!’ A dark voice bubbled up from the darkness of his mind.  With insulting and alluring words of power, It was like an echo of overlapping voices twisting his own voice into a nightmare that scared him.

Where the voice came from, he couldn't be sure, but letting it take hold would be wrong. Looking into the cracked mirror surface of the marble table, seeing a shadow with red eyes and mouth. A blurred twisted version of himself of the bloodthirsty monster lurking inside. Ever since he got here, it felt like it was getting stronger with each kill with each drop of blood taken. 

Closing his eyes, ‘It is just your mind playing tricks, your just tired you can get through this. Just breathe.’ Fearfully opening his eyes. Sighing happily to see his own reflection. 

Kyuketsuki turns to the hand on his shoulder, seeing Velvet calming gaze not scared in the slightest.  A warmth filled his being as if the fatigue of his mind drained away. As the darkness receded back into himself. Staring into those kind seas of light red transfixed by the absolute belief in him almost brings him to tears. 

“If the weight of the world feels overwhelming, let me carry it with you, Kyuketsuki-sama.” Smiling an almost blinding beam of hope, Sitabus couldn’t help but smile back.

“Sorry, this issue has gotten on my nerves. Why are they waiting so long to attack? I gave them a perfect opportunity to target us for a week now, yet nothing. Any word from Tundra?” Sitabus begged Velvet he needs to deal with this so he could discover what the voice was. It didn’t help Ainz wouldn’t just admit neither of them knew what they were doing. 

“No, the captain and guards have not sighted them. The underworld has no knowledge of them. Only the shadow demons had sighted them before they evaded them.  I fear lord Ainz might be right, this may be a player we are dealing with.”  

Sitabus grimaced great this could only mean; the person had already prepared for them before they even got to the city. If so, what were they waiting for? This didn’t make sense wait! How did velvet know about players?

Sending a steely glare at Velvet, nothing appeared to be off. Still, he narrowed his eyes. 

“I have ascertained the knowledge of players from my time in the in-between of worlds. Also, watching over you from a faraway place has kept me going. While we were apart master. And yes, I can read your face quite well. I have had about five million years’ worth of time to do so.” 

Sitabus brain crashed what…his mind couldn't figure out what was going on. 

Before this could get crazier, Kathrin walked through a [gate] handing Sitabus a letter. Meaning it wasn’t too bad if Ainz needs his help, he could always tell him personally.

Ranking open the seal, he quickly scanned over it, scoffing, destroying it like the last. “Nothing has changed still; this gives me an idea. Any new leads?”

Kathrin grinned, pulling out an odd book he couldn’t read the title of it, though. Kathrin pulled out glasses of understanding, carefully skimming over the text. “Yes, interesting a few years ago, a plague once threatened to destroy the whole town. Many solutions were tried, but all failed. When it looked like the city might fall. The previous defender of the town which the city was named after in the past.” 

Pausing to gather as much as was needed to explain. “Salami Hamlin used a spell beyond his power to desolate a part of the city. In a wonders light to cleanse the threat and all who inhabited this half of the town. Fearing another infection, this part of the city has been blocked off and banned from entry.”

Snapping the book closed with the eyes of a hunter finally finding their prey. Yet still displeased by something. “The book also described a sickly green mutated skin similar to the helper of our Owl man followers. Though we are still no closer to understanding their goals.” 

 

 


-Barune two days later-

Velvet was the first to see the decaying and ruined buildings. Weeds and dust covered the cobblestone streets, gave this part of the city an air of a ghost town. All of the guards watched not daring to step past the dividing line.

Fear shining in their eye’s Clementine giggling under her cloak. Following the others into the abandoned city of Salami.

"Are you sure you must go in if it were anywhere else, I would gladly support you but…

Taking in the setting sun over the shadowy dead silent ruins. Kyuketsuki ran back over all his information gathered so far. Which wasn't much other than the odd death of a Noble family the other day.

Odd because their house, belongings, and gold were left untouched. On top of the fact of how badly mutilated and tortured the bodies where. In this time, none of the followers of the covenant had been sighted.

  " Our prey is most likely here. They can't be given any more time than allowed by my carelessness."

steering Siegfried forward, stomping over weeds and plants stopping to glance back at Tundra and the guards closing the gates.

Traveling along the road looking for any sign of enemies. It might be relaxing if not the danger lingering here.

Riding up alongside Kathrin’s ghoalest, giving a beaming grin. "So how has our other project been going. I hope it’s not taxing."

Kathrin's stoic face changed into a joyful one. "Operation paper walls are on schedule. Though I might request, we spend some gold to call up reinforcements after we leave."

Kyuketsuki let a sly grin show despite the situation. 'Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad for me to let Kathrin handle the politics and economic issues.' 

Turning to both Shalltear and Clementine riding very close to each other. Watching them giggle and blush about something. At least they were getting along. 

'Looks like team bonding is working. Now, if I could figure out why Kathrin seems to still distrust Velvet and Shalltear.'

Seeing Kathrin subtly send a watchful gaze at them. Before noticing the movement following them from the shadows of the buildings.

"Clem-Chan, please bring out our watcher." A sharp edge lining his voice.

The response was instant as Clementine rushed left with lightning-quick speed. It only took a few moments to see results as cloaked figures were thrown down in front of the vampire lord. Wounded, both of their masks broke to reveal the sickly green mutated faces hidden underneath. With tentacles appendages and strange eyes which seemed to shift colors every few seconds.

“Ugly things aren't they,” Bardic commented

Kyuketsuki takes a deep breath and glaring at both of the creatures on the weed-covered cobblestones. “Tell me your plans and all you know about the covenant of crows.” His commanding voice carried in them, but something was wrong as both of them started to convulse and change.

Neither of them uttered a word as bodies altering into monstrosities beast looked closer to plant monsters, then humans. Both of them roared out with fury as if in pain. Wildly swinging out their limbs, Siegfried, already seeing their action, breathed out a cone of blue flame.

Burning the creatures to ash, pawing at the ash piles with rage.

“What just happened, my lord, it looked like it hurt them.” Rita gazed at the piles with pity.

He wouldn’t comment on it, but it was strange how Rita seemed to keep most of her human traits even after the change. Perhaps it was a hidden skill, either way, it brought a small burst of joy to his heart.

“If a creature is not high enough to resist but is unable to speak or tries to resist my command, they will feel great mental pain. Though I admit demiurge has a better command mantra, then I do.”

“Couldn’t you use your hypnotic gaze you never seem to want to use it.” Rita's innocent question brought up a very embarrassing truth.

He refused to just blurt something out, restraining himself from thinking of a response. Sitabus would never reveal why he lacked that racial skill. It was embarrassing enough knowing why he required it.

“I lost the ability in a fight with a Dragon. I picked up this one; instead, it works a little better if lacking in control.”  Kyuketsuki put up a robust convincing face.

Marching forward into the silent streets, Sitabus could almost hear children laughing or people talking on. It put him on edge as Clementine had to deal with a few more watchers. Like they were stalling him for what he couldn’t be sure, but it wasn’t agreeable.

Commanding Siegfried to ride faster, turning to Shalltear with steely eyes. It might be a risk still if they had the downfall of the kingdom and country. There would be no need to stall them like this. “Shalltear, I am temporarily giving you permission to seek and destroy only the cloak covenant members. Take Clem-Chan and clean them up.”

Watching both the vampires rush off to complete their mission with an eagerness, which would have to be rewarded in the future. Hopefully, they wouldn’t be too insistent till this mess was cleaned up.

“O’ what about us? We are itching for some action too.” Bardic injected riding up close with Ritana, whose eyes kept switching between Kathrin and Kyuketsuki. Holding close the leaf engraved bow in her left-hand twitching at the quiver of arrows on her back.

Already hoping to test out her new arcane archery skills, she was building up over the last few days. 

Even if Ritana was new to the art, her skill with a bow was good enough. For the strategy, Sitabus had in mind.      

Turning to Rita and Bardic taking into account both their levels and strengths. Both of them had grown much stronger in the time they had been together.  Whatever was going to happen would be significant, with this in mind.

Sitabus wouldn’t let them near the front line of this fight without first finding what was being launched at them.

“Rita take Bardic and cover us from range. Don't let whatever the covenant is doing, pass over into the city if you can help it. Signal if it looks like you can’t hold.”  

Rita acknowledged the order riding back with Bardic grinning at the chance to use the siege weapon. Even without knowing what they were up to, Sitabus knew this felt like the kind of set up for a boss fight. Only if he failed to stop it in time, the city would pay for his mistake.

Even if he didn’t feel the urge to protect humans, Kyuketsuki wouldn’t let this covenant hurt his group or nazarick again. Besides, the failing might ruin the deals Kathrin setup.

Glancing at both Velvet and Kathrin, it almost felt nostalgic, bringing joy to his heart. Only he wouldn’t be fighting a dragon this time. As if reading his thoughts, both of them replied. 

“Where ever you should go, we will follow lord Kyuketsuki.” 

No spells were needed to find what the danger was as the ground shook old building splintering and cracking apart. Forcing all of them to avoid falling rubble and rocks. As long brown withered vines started to spear out of the ground.

 Negative energy radiating over the now crumbling town increased with every step closer. But it was also making it harder to find the source 

“Stay close, we won't have much time to act once we get there.” 

 

 


-Underneath the abandoned Salami-

As the canting filled the candlelit room, all of the masked humanoids bowed even as the ground began to shake, the withered spiked vines of the beast rose up around them.  Regaining life and slowly breaking out of the rocks which bound it.

In the magic circle carved into the rocky ground. Revie watches in horror bound by ropes, as one by one, the four others who embarked on this journey to save his sister along with those taken by the slaver. Where infected by some parasite and fed into the maw of thorns and rot. Angry tears ran down his face as he could do nothing to keep them alive.

The leader turned to him putrid face in full view, mask broken by the spell infused punch earlier, smiling through those tentacles things which made up his mouth.

“Worry not young one, your sister has already joined our cause. Soon you will live on in our hive mind memories. Not one death shall be forgotten this time when the demon deities rise once more.” The man spoke as if dyeing in the monsters’ jaws was an honor.

Revie wasn’t sure what was scarier. The vampire who controlled the monster it rode like a horse. Or this nightmare only regretting angering him at least the vampire acted more human than these people.

Daring to glance at the exit before tightly gripping the sharp rock, holding in a hiss of pain as his hand bleeds. Revie held strong cutting his binding around his feet. Just enough to sprint to the tunnel with all the strength he could muster up.

Raggedly sucking in air as he ran like a mad mouse to the exit to freedom. Aching bruised muscles straining to move at fast as they could to escape.  Getting only a few steps away… before losing his footing as he found his view turned upside-down dangling in the air.

“Seems one of my drones was careless I can fix it later. I give you credit, you must have a strong will to have much energy left. Even after your punishments and lack of food for these last few days.”

Revie hated the voice so much as the last of his energy drained away, panting for breath. Trying to regain some amount of strength for the right moment. He needs a way out of this mess then he felt a tremor in the appendage holding him up.

“Kalver Damnok! This vampire is far more persistent than I thought. At this rate, we won't even fully awaken the seed!”

“All of you sacrifice yourselves for the great minds rule.” Turning to see the other followers swarming around the cavern, chanting twice as loud before jumping into the monster maw.

Seeing the leader distracted, Revie pulled up this strength and clawed at the elastic limbs. Holding him up with wild, desperate fury till at last, he was free plummeting to the ground. 

Groaning before dazedly getting up and dashing for the exit pulling open the door.

Only to get blasted back skidding across the hard-stone ground. Slowly painfully getting up to see the entrance blown open as a familiar fright full beast stepped through.

Ears still ringing a little as Revie’s hearing came back to him. All he could do was watch both monsters talk. As the vampire glared at the cult leader. Finally, as his hearing came back, he caught the last of the conversation.

“-I am done with this city anyway feel free to take the rubble if you survive!” The leader shouted before rushing into the tree monster's jaws as well.

Watching petrified with terror as the monster of roots and thorns finally broke its binding rising up. Breaking the caverns stone ceiling like it was soft earth, all Revie could do was curl up into a ball, arms raised to defend his head expecting death.

But it never came as the roar of the monster could be heard along with the sounds of battle. Sending termers through the ground, unwilling to even look fearing the sight he would see. Till curiosity got the better of his fear peeking out. To see a red-haired maiden holding two metal finely crafted ball and chains. Holding up some kind of barrier magic protecting them both.

Beyond the pink barricade of magic, the vampire from before, along with four others. Are flying around the demon tree attacking and dodging out of the way. While two other near some kind of weapon firing spell and huge arrow bolts at the monster. From the limits of the Salami section, it was fantastic to see.

Revie turned to the maiden warrior static and unmoved even as a giant vine slammed into the barrier only, forcing Revie to flick away. Hearing the screech of pain from the tree as it was scorched upon touching the pink dome.

“What is going on?” It was all he could think to say Revie was sure he was going to die, and now he was being saved.

The redhead turned to him with calm, gentle eyes. “My master has decided your enemy is our enemy. So, you must live if you prove a useful ally. Should you prove resourceful as an ally, my master promises one request granted should it be in his power.” 

The words seemed so strange a vampire offering to help and protecting the town. Was this why they were posing as an adventurer or something nefarious. Turning back to the fight as the ground shook with a boom.

The demon tree's arms were cut off, crushing the crumbling buildings below. The fight even had the ground crumbling in after standing unused for years. Ice and snow obscuring the destroyed areas changing the very scenery from the battle alone.

With such power, Revie couldn’t think of one reason why a vampire so strong would want to help the living. Yet here they were saving the city from some cult. Who moments ago, unleash a seed of the demon tree upon the land!

Revie's mind went back to his mission to save his sister and kin. From the humans who had attacked their village.

Could this group be the help he needs to succeed? Alone his chances were low but with the darkness vultures maybe.

Attention snapping to the bright flashes of light in the sky. Watching in wonder at what looked like the storm itself attacking the demon trees seed.

Lightning rained from above on to the tree as it tried to heal. Revie zeroed in on the lady he seen earlier in town meeting with high ranking men and women around the city. Just a few days ago, yet now they looked like a storm god smiting the demon tree from the sky.

In tranced by it all, it had only been a month since Revie left the tribe home on his mission. Everything seemed so rational then now here he was in a battle on a scale with the 13 heroes. Led by a vampire of all things acting as if they loved life when all undead were said to hate life, protecting the town with powerful magic.

 Revie wanted to ask so much, yet his voice failed him at the sheer power on display. As the storm above attacked with them aiding the vampire fight.

Unsure which tier of magic was being launched only sure it was far above his level.

Revie shot a look of utter confusion to the maid.  Wondering why what looked like a human would be working with a vampire. “Who are you, and is this really the vultures of darkness?”

“yes, I’m Velvet.” 

The redhead softly spoke her name before returning her attention to the battle above them. Revie was left to watch on as if showing how easy it would be for this vampire to kill him. 

Still, did he even have a choice in the matter to return to his tribe now would only prove his mission a failure. Not just his pride was on the line but also his only living family. Struggling to stand up to get a better view. 

In time to watch the vampire bring down a rain of blood, burning the rest of the tree into a cloud of poisonous smoke and splinters.  


-End of Chapter-

Chapter Text


-Vultures near Lograth-     

The Ghoalestes slowed to a halt as the three carriages behind soon followed as the group pulled to a stop. The horses on the back two carriages needed rest as did the human merchants they were escorting. Dismounting Siegfried, Sitabus waved over Kathrin from the back row so they could talk, throwing up a [minor illusions] and [silence zone] for privacy.

“Any trouble with the support project?” Sitabus scanned over the surrounding area to be sure.

It appeared even after three days of travel they weren't being followed or tracked. Not even a bandit group or danger on the road so far. This could change at any moment, but so far, they were clear of trouble.

“No, Sitabus, my love, the merchants are eager to help if not wary. Everything is going smoothly, and afterward, we will have spare coins to help in the next city.” 

Kathrin pulls Sitabus close with a beaming grin rubbing his shoulders. “There is no need to be nervous, my lord soon we will crush this group like all others which have threatened Nazarick.” 

Relaxing into the embrace despite the worry, the Covenant of Crows didn’t appear to be actively hunting them. Which while good didn’t mean they weren’t taking action elsewhere. Kissing Kathrin's lips to sooth the dread he felt at the moment. Melting away into the sweet intoxicating taste of those lips and tongues dancing.

There was only so much he could do while undercover as a human adventure. Suddenly popping up at the capital would be much harder to explain than just going through the Tobe forest.

“I know, but if we can’t stop their plans, there may not be a kingdom to rule.” 

Kathrin’s gaze lit up with understanding softly rubbing his cheek. “Then lord Kyuketsuki, we can just build one up from the ashes or find another. So long as we are together and you are happy, nothing else matters.” Kathrin spoke those words with such confidence, sure in this belief.

“Besides, we can’t help it if the sheep are too weak to survive long enough to know your greatness.”

Sitabus thoughts wandered back to the lab in E-Rental. It had been a while since he heard how they were doing. “How is our lab holding up in E-Rental? And how much of the list do we still need?”  

Kathrin gained a wide fanged smile at the question. “Better than expected though you never told me if you wanted to move the lab or bring them up to the surface in E-Rental?”

Sitabus held back a grimaced right he was supposed to tell her before the plans got changed after the undead attack on E-Rental. “Let's keep them underground for now till we have more control over the empire. What about the list?”

“As for the list, a good number of the low and mid rarity items we are looking for should be getting shipped to E-Rental in the next few months. I will be keeping an eye on our contacts in Barune to make sure we have no surprises.  Unless you would like me to move the shipments to Nazarick directly?”

Kathrin gazed at Sitabus for an answer waiting patiently. 

“No, Kathrin, it is fine after this city we should move on to Phovine it the last midway point between the capital and emperor. Ainz may want us to show up to impress the lizardmen, which will slow our plans down slightly.”  

He really didn’t want to show up, but Ainz was a friend even if they were both dealing with a loss of humanity differently. Maybe he could revive a few for a future plan regarding the demi-human slavery. Or at least it was the answer he would give if asked about it.

Giving one softer kiss before Sitabus sent Kathrin to start cooking the stew for the group. Mostly to seem reasonable to the merchants traveling with them. Even if half their group had no need for food. With only Rita, Bardic, and Revie needing to rest, Clementine needed some food thought a little blood would do every so often. 

Sitabus approached Revie, who, despite being saved, still didn’t fully trust him or the other two vampires in the group. The hard-disturbing gaze did leave the demi-human’s face as he and Velvet came up. Sticking to the edge of the camp, watching Rita and Bardic step up the campsite. With the merchants setting down the wagons for the night. 

“Let me guess you want to have the talk now lord Kyuketsuki.” Revie didn’t take his eyes off the others, still refusing to look Sitabus in the eyes. Struggling with the title after the first time Revie didn’t add it, Kathrin gave him a terrifying speech about proper respect.   

Crossing his arms, Sitabus hated how much of a border this distrust was putting on getting pieces of information of the covenant. The mouse demihuman could see through his low-level illusions, at the third tier, Sitabus was using to keep his undead status under wraps.

Leading Revie away from the camp to talk. Once they were far enough, Sitabus turned back to the demihuman. Velvet lingered in the shadows keeping watch.

"So, do you feel like sharing what you know. I can't help you till I know why you wanted to get into Barune." 

Sitabus was not surprised by the dark eyes which refused to meet his own.

Revie sighed before gathering his thoughts. "It is a personal matter. What I will share is I was trying to get inside to find those who have been taken from my village."

Sitabus could guess the reason, even if it were unsaid, either a lover or family member by the glistens of unshakeable resolve in his eyes. One Sitabus had for his creation or servants under his care, which was part of the reason he came to the empire. Instead of staying in Re- Estize, which would have been far less trouble to get around in. 

“What about the cult which killed your fellow travelers?” Ignoring the vague answer for now. What he needed to know was did he have any relevant information, if the cult wasn’t just a small part of the covenant.

“Not sure what I can really tell you about them, most of them seemed to be controlled by a parasite. Were inhumanly strong and practically immune to my magic attacks. They kept us trapped we tried to escape the city a few times...but we never did, not till you came. I already told you how being their prisoner went. It was hell in case you forgot.” 

Revie glared at the tree bark, probably remembering how they died by his expression. Letting out a ragged breath of frustration, Sitabus pinched the bridge of his nose. ‘Looks like another dead end, great now I have to think of a reason to keep him alive.’  

It was no secret Kathrin very much didn’t like the demi-human, be it for not calling him lord or sir or some other pleasantries. Her general dislike of the new world's people in general or just his unwillingness to trust them. If Sitabus couldn’t think of a reason to hold off, Kathrin would probably enact one of her plans to kill the demi-human. 

“Alright, I will see what I can do about finding these kinsmen were taken. Just know I can't promise we will find them quickly.” 

Revie didn’t speak at the answer turning away to walk back to camp as Velvet appeared from behind the tree. Watching the guest leave the area careful not to show the rage. Clenching fists were the only sign of emotion; still, she never lost the graceful calm in her voice.

“Would you like me to press for answers." 

Glancing at velvet ruby eyes filled with a series willingness to act. "Watch him for now in time he will open up." 

Coming back to the sight of the campsite prepared tents set up and the carriages and wagons, off to the back guarded by Ghoalestes with Siegfried looking far less lonely. Kathrin stirring the bubbling stew adding in spices to the large pot over the crackling firepit. To the side of the fire, Rita and Bardic were keeping the merchants busy chatting about trades and travels.

Though both Shalltear and Clementine were near the tents keeping up the noble and bodyguard act. Revie was already secluded away in his shelter, at least till dinner was ready like the previous two nights of travel. 

Silently taking up a seat near the fire, enjoying the beauty of the starry night sky and chippering of crickets near the forest edge. Basking in the moment of peace around the fire, grateful for the few days of normalcy. Letting a joyous grin show not daring to intrude Rita and Bardic’s tale. Of these battles with the first demon tree seed, as they were widely called, mostly believed to be legends left over after the demon deities.

Apparently, there was one more buried someplace dormant for now. The last one, however, had grown quite strong when fed enough in the high 60s. Sitabus still wasn’t sure how long this one had been trapped away being fed by the cult for years. In comparison, the first one, an overgrown acorn, barely reaching the mid to low-forties. Both had taken hundreds of years to grow so large, gathering vast amounts of negative energy from the area. So, it was unlikely the last seed would be much trouble.

“Truly sir Kyuketsuki you have wonderful swords to have faced such demon trees. May I see one, Most blades I make couldn’t stand up to such monstrous might.”

Sitabus eye snapped over to the bearded dark brown eyes filled with admiration and awe at the two sabers at his side. Scanning over Madric Vantrin was a weapons smith by trade with a modest business with connections to the trade network throughout the empire. 

With a proud smile, Sitabus draws out one draconic blood saber hesitant to even let Madric touch his sword. 

“It is well balanced only half the weight it would appear. I can feel the magical aura around it without even needing to check. Would you mind telling me what this sword is made of I haven’t seen any metal like this before?” Wonder and excitement flowed off Madric as he examined the blade.

sitabus didn’t know why, but he couldn’t keep himself from talking. “I foraged it with two different metals to get the mix just right. One from Niflheim and the other from Jotunheim, forging them both in the flames of muspelheim using special tools made out of dragon bones. Infusing it with data crystals and EXP levels from me along with a few million gold coins.”

Leaving out what the metal was called, adamantane was reasonably low, so it would be hard enough getting them to believe this metal could cut clean through adamantine with only a dulled edge at most. It was one of the high-grade ores which might not even exist in the new world. 

Madric was left speechless, trying to think of where these places where. Sitabus could see the wheels in his head, trying to think of how to use this. But reproducing anything close to Taconic would be a miracle. Even if they found enough of the two mid-tier metals were found to make it, they wouldn’t have the tools needed to meld it together. 

“Do you have any other samples of your work?” A fragile and hoarse whisper filtered into Sitabus ears.

Glancing at the strangely dressed merchant adorned in shady leathery clothes and robes with a plague doctors mask. Even his hands were covered by gloves, he wasn’t too tall, but it was about all Sitabus could tell. He had yet to say his name or what his trade was.  Still, Kathrin assured him the person under the mask was reliable for now.  

“Yes, I admit my methods made be a bit harder to master than others, but the results speak for themselves. Here is one potion I made just a few days ago.”

Sheathing the saber back into place with practiced ease and pulling out a potion of elemental protection. Handing the flask over to the gloved hands watching the merchant’s movements as he examined the swirling, sparkling white liquid.

He handed the potion back, careful not to drop it. “Very nice quality work I can see offering your lady my acquired services will not be wasted. Call me Ville as a reward for seeing such a rare and expensive potion.”  

Ville's voice was a hoarse whisper barely heard over the crackling of the fire.

"A master smith and pharmacist too. Why become an adventure with such fine talents?" Madrid asked.

Kyuketsuki stopped to think of the answer. At the time, it seemed like the best way to find solutions. This wouldn’t satisfy Madrid, who could not see the reason for hunting monsters. A job which even in the empire was not well-liked by most. On top of having limited pay in the empire where employment depended on more independent hire like merchants traveling from town to town.

“Because of a rather personal matter, I suppose. One which I must complete for those depending on my work.” Sitabus replied, watching both Madric’s and Ville’s reactions.

Once Kathrin finished dinner, the group settled in for the night as Kyuketsuki excused himself from dinner to take the first watch. With Clementine and Shalltear close by most of the night. Idly listing to his team talk with the merchants until it was time to rest.  Though Ville only seemed interested in his wares or anything he sold, which included just about everything.


-Next day at Lograth-

The Mithril Knight Guild Hall doors opened wide to the dimly lit room, the tables all but empty except for a hand full of well-equipped adventures. All their eyes turned to the newcomers already well known from their exploits in the kingdom and in Barune city. As Kyuketsuki, the leader of the vultures, walked in with Kathrin and a new girl at their side, which was still a mystery. 

The rest were oddly absent as many started to whisper about this turn of events. One group, in particular, made up of one human fencer with two swords, a magic caster with loose sturdy robes, which also had blonde hair. A half-elf ranger with a bow and long purple hair. Last was the healing priest of the team with armored gauntlets, which also had short blonde hair.

This team was known as foresight. Most of all, Arche's eyes widen upon seeing the leader of the vultures' team. Holding her gut to keep from vomiting at the sheer power radiating off him and his two teammates.  Pale and huffing for breath, trying her best not to make a scene.

Hekkeran leaned closer and whispered. “Arche, what’s wrong?”

Composing herself, Arche turned to the team leader sweat rolling down her face. “All three of them have a huge amount of magic radiating off them.”

Imina taking an interest in this glance over at them with keen eyes. “Well, I suppose that is to be expected. They have fought off some dangerously powerful monsters.”

Roberdyck glanced at the group before patting Arche's shoulder. “ I think it is more than that by your reaction, Arche?”

Her face was still slightly pale eyes, never leaving the three, not believing what she sees. All of them were beyond any tier or level of human power. What’s more, she could pick up the faint wisps of illusion magic around Kyuketsuki.

Being shaken out of her shock by a second pat on her shoulder. “You ok, Arche?”

Sighing before explaining what caught her off guard. “Yeah, still, the sheer magical power they have is beyond human.”

Imina cut in with. “Like stronger than Fluder?”

“Not sure who this Fluder is, though I wonder why is this guild so empty?”

All of them turned to Kyuketsuki, realizing how close he was to their table. Hekkeran recovering from his surprised first answered with a charming smile. “Fluder is the most powerful caster of Baharuth Empire head magic caster of the emperor.”

Kyuketsuki slyly grinned at this quickly, hidden by a frown. “This is kind of sad to hear I’m stronger than him magic wise. Still, why is the guild so empty?”

Imina spoke up this time. “I’m surprised you haven’t heard apparently some cult took over the mining forts near the Azerlisia mountains. In response, a noble of the city is paying adventurers willing to help the imperial soldiers camped nearby retake the mines.”

Kyuketsuki face scowled briefly before taking a seat at their table. Both Kyuketsuki’s teammate's taking a seat on either side of him. Kyuketsuki moved his focus off foresight, scanning quickly over all the adventures sitting around the few tables. “Interesting what are they paying to have 12 whole teams working on this.”

Hekkeran glanced at Arche, being oddly quiet before Turning his attention to them again. “A 30% cut of any metal or ore vines retaken by each team. Also, there is a very truthful Rumer has it they found an old ruin in the tunnels filled with treasure. They even offered the job as far out as Arwintar. Though few adventures took the offer as you can see.”

Kyuketsuki scowled at this with narrowed eyes silent for a moment before speaking with disdain. “So, all of you are rushing into certain danger and death. All for greed with little to no knowledge of the dangers ahead. I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me.”

All of them could feel the harsh glare from Kathrin, and a more subtle stare out of the other. Arche fidgeted more than usual under the stares of all three.

“What reason do you have to take this job then? Since you don’t appear to be leaving.”  Roberdyck rebottled politely.

Kyuketsuki grew quite in thought none of Foresight could guess what he was thinking about. Before, a somber answer was given quietly.

“My reason is I believe this cult may be connected to a group that must be destroyed for the safety of all. I do this not for the pay but for those innocent and close to me which could be at risk, later on, should I ignore this matter.”

All of them were taken aback by the stern yet quiet response, hearing the hurt tone lingering in his voice. Arche finally getting over the sight Infront of her spoke up as if inspired by this answer. Complied to vanish whatever horrible image the adamantite adventure had of them.

“My little sisters are dependent on the money both to pay off my parents’ debt and keep them from being sold off. I need this money for them, so it is far more than greed, sir Kyuketsuki.”

His eyes softened at Arche’s reason for taking the mission. "I see sorry for assuming the worst. After a rather sour agreement with one member, I have become a bit jaded."

Kathrin's static face was unreadable by foresight, yet this was almost more unnerving than her glare. Before they could ask anything, Kathrin flashed a sly grin. “Your parents are nobles refusing to give up their lavished lifestyle. Even after the noble purge of the emperor Perhaps we can help your debt problems.”

Kyuketsuki shot Kathrin a worried questioning gaze not missed by Arche. As both the adamantite adventurer's eyes meet, it was like they were having a conversation with just their eyes. Hekkeran’s eyes narrowed at something about her words unsettled him. Even if Foresight was retiring after this, it didn’t mean he would not look out for Arche.

“Hold on, what are you suggesting to Arche!” Uttered with a harsh whisper.

Those molten eyes move over to him with annoyance, before Kathrin could act Kyuketsuki put a hand on her shoulder. It was like her anger vanished as Kathrin was pulled close.

“I believe what my dear Kathrin means to say is that after this job. We are willing to pay off her debt and help look after her sisters. Even guarantee a place to live for a trifling price to be discussed later.” Kyuketsuki’s words sounded too good to be true to Arche.

Arche couldn’t hold back her surprise at this. He didn’t even know how much the debt was. Yet out of the blue after just meeting, he was offering not only to pay it off but also to house and support her and her sisters.

Arche couldn’t see any sign of deception. What would they even need of her with the sheer power emitting from them? It couldn’t be magic support? Glancing back at her team for guidance on this matter.

Roberdyck curiously if not wearily asked. “Why would you be willing to do this you barely know Arche.”

“Because I know how it feels like trying to support younger siblings on your own. While questioning if you can scrap enough coin together just to pay rent.” Kyuketsuki’s voice was cold and somber as he spoke. Most of all, his eyes shined with an understanding and pain in them.

The steps echoing through the room, alerting them to the three imperial knights walking down the steps. The scarred dark-haired man in the middle scanned over the place, looking over all the adventures before speaking. 

“A little short, but I suppose we are short on time. The duke will be paying you for the rest of your time till the mines are cleared of this rebellious rabble. You will be working with us. Do well enough, and the emperor may want to reward you personally at Arwintar.” The commander’s eyes seemed to look directly at Kyuketsuki as he said this, but no one but foresight noticed it.


-Imperial Army Encampment near the Azerlisia mountains-

Arche kept glancing back at the Vulture members or rather Kyuketsuki with suspicion, if not a hopeful gaze. The deal he offered earlier sounds excellent, yet her doubt and worry it was some plot had her hesitating to wonder if she should risk taking the deal.

Hekkeran seeing her wondering eyes, cleared his throat. “You don’t have to take his offer; something seems off about it even if he was very sincere about it.”

She turned back to her team, taking in the concerned looks they all knew this would be the last mission before the team was retired. Still, it didn’t mean they wouldn't support each other afterward. “I know, but I think Kyuketsuki can back up what he was saying. It would be home and support something I don’t know if I could do all on my own so quickly.”

Roberdyck gave a kind smile at Arche. “I think you should take his deal. He might be able to keep any debt collectors away should your parents try anything.”

Imina signaled to them. They had arrived as all of the adventure teams lined up. With the vultures on the right, however, now there appeared to be a masked blonde noble in a white and gold dress and a hooded woman with long hair which by the light armor she had on looked to be a fast melee fighter. With the cormint sabers on the left, a team known for all having sabers or a similar style of swords and magic of 2nd tier.

In front of them stood the general of one of the eight knight orders. Imperial soldiers moved about the camp setting up for what she guessed would be a battle.  “Hello to all of you who have taken up this mission. I would like to thank all of you for coming. I’m general Coilin C. Beltron. Within the hour, we will be attacking the mines; your job will be to support my men. Then spearheading clearing out the ruins further in you will all have a few minutes to prepare your own plans before we begin, use your time well.”

Letting the information sink into all the adventure teams most grimaced or seemed nervous; however, the only Adamantite adventure team didn’t seem to be bothered by the implications of a battlefield.  Arche's eyes again linger to the vultures as were whispering to each other without the others noticing. Even her own ears could not pick up what they were talking about.

Arche focused back on her own team as they started to strategize what their plan would be for the conflict to come. 

Quickly they all agreed to hang back till the initial charge where Roberdyck could heal those who needed it. While the team would support him, Arche would be the ranged support.

After which they decided to talk to the other teams to cooperate at least till they cleared out the enemy army. Arche's first choice was to investigate what the Vultures we're doing.

Finding Kathrin looking up at the storm clouds intently as lightning almost crackled with a twist of her body. The two new people she didn't know were whispering to Kyuketsuki.

As she got closer, the warrior maid with spike balls and chains, stepped in her way. "Can I help you with something?"

She gathered her courage despite this woman practically teleporting in front of her. "I was hoping to see what you plan for the main battle."

"The others are preparing at this time." 

Despite the polite reply, it was short and didn't really answer her question. Glancing over at them, it didn't look like they were preparing.

"Could I talk to your leader then." Arche at least hoped to learn more about him before making a decision on the deal.

"Not at this time." The warrior maid answered without even thinking about her question.

Arche couldn't help but scowl in annoyance tempted to just turn away. At least before the masked woman in white and gold came up. "Sorry, my lord Kyuketsuki is unable to talk to you right now. He did allow me to tell you this. His plan should end this battle before it drags out too long."

The woman sounded like a noble lady adorned in such a finely made dress. Though why would a noble even be in what looked like they were dressed for a ball. She didn’t have a weapon on her.

“Who are you?” The masked noble looked at her before answering. “You may call me Lady Tearus, now if you excuse me, I must prepare for this event myself.” Tearus swiftly walked past her vanishing into the crowd of soldiers moving about.

When she turned back to where Kyuketsuki and his team were moments ago now out of sight.


-A few minutes later-

Arche stands with her team in the back of the first formation of soldiers with one or two other adventurer team’s insight. Though she still couldn’t see Kyuketsuki or his team. Hekkeran told her most of the other groups were closer to the back or front. As they marched up the path to the mines. Arche kept watching the tree line for any surprise attacks. Only hearing surprisingly loud booms of thunder in the distance.

It was only a few minutes before the mostly wooden fortress came in to view. Burned and half-destroyed making most of the defensive structure useless. Even the gate to the front blown off by a massive explosion.

Even this far back, Arche and her team couldn’t make out how many were holding the fort. Only hearing the shouts of the commander ordering the loosing of the arrows. Before they charged forward to the fortress as they got closer. Arche could tell it must have taken a tremendous amount of magic or powerful spells to break just about every defensive advantage the fort had before they arrived.

She focused her mind on the battle to come keeping up with the rest of their team as the imperial soldiers clashed with cloaked, hooded figures. Which looked like the knights where winning, as she was carefully repeatedly casting [magic arrow] at the cultist on the walls.

Until something huge charged out of a fort wall breaking the shield line as knights were sent flying overhead. Which allows the cultist to break the line as the battle devolved into chaos. Glancing back her team Hekkeran and Imina were clearing a path for Roderdyck healing those still alive, yet were severely injured by the armored ogre.

Arche paled, seeing the ogre charging at them something was wrong with this ogre. It had dark, sickly magic circling around it, charging her strongest spell.

Shooting off [lightning] right at the armored monster, it seemed to only stun the ogre for a few minutes. Panicking, Arche stepped back, hoping to draw it away from the team.  Once the ogre started to move again, it went right for her rising its massive club high above to crush her.

Rolling away, hearing a crash along with the ground shake. Arche righted herself with hands raised to attack halting at the sight of a stiletto stabbed into the ogres head. As flames surged through its body, burning the metal armor. As it dropped much to Arche's surprise, the cloaked person from the Vultures walked up, pulling out her weapon and licking the blood off.

“Don’t get careless, you’re not allowed to die here.”  The woman reprimands her before rushing off ahead, cutting down enemies in single precise cuts or stabs with blinding speed.

Arche turned back to her team, casting [reinforce armor] on them rushing up to cast [lightning] again at three cloaked enemies sneaking up from the blind spot.

“Hey, Arche, you ok, we saw that ogre charge you?” Hekkeran patted Arche's shoulder.

 “Fine, it just caught me off guard though a person from the vultures killed it. How’s the battle going.” Shakely, she replied, glancing over them all as Roderdyck help a fallen soldier up to his feet.

Hekkeran didn’t answer scanning around them Arche followed his gaze. The inside of the fort was littered with bodies both of imperial soldiers and the cloak mutated humans and demi-humans. Most striking of all was nine other armored ogres acting like moving walls for the cloaked cultists to rush forward or use as cover.

The imperial knight orders where getting pushed back towards Arche’s team. They were just a few feet from the front line now. Seeing the danger, she unleashed more [lightning] at the encroaching enemy line with Imina supporting her while Roderdyck and Hekkeran tried to move the injured soldiers back.

They were getting closer, she worried they would be overrun. Kyuketsuki’s warning came back to her. Sweat rolled down her body. She was getting tired fear-filled Arche’s mind as two giant ogres got closer.

[Triple: Brilliant Radiance] The soft voice was all they heard before the approaching army was washed away in a bright wall of light. Once the shining light vanished, she saw the cloaked woman from earlier sprinting through them, cutting down the cloaked humans and demi-humans alike like wheat.

“You really should be more careful, or you might end up like the others.” Lady Tearus mocked, pointing to three other adventuring teams mutilated almost hidden among the bodies of cultists.

Arche was horrified at the sight of adventurers she knew lying dead. Turning to lady Tearus, she couldn’t see her magical power well. That spell had just wiped out a force that almost overwhelmed them.

“Arche! Imina, you guys, ok?” With a weary smile, Arche turned to her friends coming up.

She had little time to thank lady Tearus though focusing back on the crumbling fort around them. Seeing lightning rain from above in the shape of huge hammers, spears, and dragons. Shattering parts of the fort and superheating all who tried to get closer.

Seeing Kathrin flying overhead channeling the lightning down on the enemies. She couldn’t hear the name of the spells from so far below with loud winds. Even though she couldn't see Kyuketsuki, she was glad his team was around. Still, all the bent and broken men and women lying around them dead, Some by being crushed by the strange ogres, others by accurately aimed daggers, arrows, and magic, which marked the weak points in the armor. Fear no terror ran through, not just Arche; she could see the other knights and adventures present shaking. Mithril rank teams were crushed or dead along with thousands of soldiers. Only three members of the vulture’s team were holding the line at this point.  She felt weak even the highest third tier magic she could cast did little to no visible damage.

The emperor’s army was shaking only brave enough to watch at this point. Arche could feel her arms shaking, questioning how she could help in this battle. Looking over, Hekkeran, Roberdyck, and Imina stood waiting with her all too scared to try rushing at the cultists again.

More than this, she could see the same strange energy around the ogres earlier around all of the cloaked defenders. It felt sick and vile though this power was nothing to the magical power flowing off all three Adamantite adventures. Now watching them, they were in the realm of hero’s capable of crushing this army with just three of them.

 

“What should we do, Hekkeran?” Arche almost pleading an answer from the leader of her team. But he stared at her, unsure how they could help.

She almost missed the shadow flying overhead, spotting a frost dragon. It was followed by two other dragons landing just outside the fort, breathing out a cold breath followed by the screams of the soldiers on the other side.

“Don’t worry, Kyuketsuki will be taking care of those.” Hearing the voice, she turns to lady Tearus standing close by glancing behind Tearus to see the remains of the army of cultists most dead and a few of them retreating back into the mines.

“Those were three dragons flying over how is there nothing to worry about!” Arche demanded of the noblewoman whose voice seemed unconcerned about dragons! Only feeling the smile of Lady Tearus from under that mask. 

Staring into those red eyes under the mask. “Dragons are Kyuketsuki’s favored prey to hunt. Also, those dragons are not strong enough to pose a real threat to my lord.”

She couldn’t focus on those words, instead choosing to help her team treat the wounded while they waited to find out what happened as the screaming stopped, it was silent outside the fort. None of the soldiers had the morale to try rushing into battle a rare sight. Considering the strength and determination, the imperial soldiers were known for in the annual war with the Re-Estize kingdom. Yet here they were scared, guarded, and passively waiting to react to what entered the fort.

Finally, Arche stopped near Roberdyck, seeing a familiar huge power walk through the missing gate of the fort. As Kyuketsuki and the other battle maid led in the others, many being either guided or carried into the fort. Arche was feeling far less confident about this last mission seeing three orders of knights 30,000 professional soldiers get reduced to half of what they first saw. Many wounded, dead, or missing as foresight worked to help those they could. Though the rest of the day, Arche's thoughts lingered on Kyuketsuki and his deal. His team was strong; they could protect her sisters; it wasn’t even a question. After never seeing the three dragons again after they landed out of sight. She wasn’t brave enough to ask how the battle went for Kyuketsuki, and his whole team didn’t even have a scratch on them.

 


-Next day-

Six of the original thirteen adventuring groups had been killed in the battle, and one Arche found out had been revived by the vultures but refused to go on with the mission. Leaving only seven left for the lackluster meeting in the morning. The imperial army would not be supporting them any further, due to low morale and having to collect the dead along with injured to tend to. General Coilin himself, surviving only thanks to Kyuketsuki’s intervention, was seriously wounded by the dragon’s breath and still recovering. Unable to even explain things to them, which Is why a messenger explained things briefly.

 She could only assume some kind of deal was reached regarding the bodies of the dragons as they were not even talked about by this messenger.

The travel through the tunnels was without incident though most of the tunnels were flooded with knee-deep water. The candles which lit the way where all missing or broken, leaving the seven teams to choose their path down to the ruins.

Kyuketsuki’s group was traveling with Foresight, only the sound of splashing water echoing around the caverns. All the cloaked humanoids that retreated into the mines where nowhere to be seen. Much to Arche surprise no ambush, no traps, not even any sight of magic with her all-seeing eye spell.

Arche didn't like the feel of the atmosphere as the ruins came into view.  The ruins looked like an old castle or keep built underground.  However, parts of the machicolations and towers had fallen or crumbled in on itself. The grand glass windows were cracked or missing. Leaving rusting bars where light poured out of the castle.  

Even still, it was relatively large for a castle; nevertheless, a lot of its infrastructure showed signs of falling apart. Not helped by the waterfall pouring on to one tower of the castle.  As the knee-deep water flows out through the front gate.

Kyuketsuki cast [fly] and flew up to the waterfall, followed by velvet. To Arche, once he was close enough, he just froze the waterfall solid. Stopping the flow of any more water altogether before breaking some ice to enter through the top.

Though Arche's eyes track to Kathrin, who was looking ahead for a few moments before turning to her group. “Lord Kyuketsuki has chosen to go on ahead, his order is for lady Tearus and Clem to search the area for the stragglers from yesterday.”

“What about waiting for the other groups they could back us up for-Hekkeran was halted mid-sentence by the withering glare.

“They will only slow us down; my power is more than enough.” Kathrin stared at them, all daring them to say otherwise.  Arche glanced at Hekkeran and Imina, who were still unsure about this action after yesterday’s battle.

Reluctantly they all walked up to the front gate of the castle. Kathrin simply raised her hand, saying [corrosive cannon], watching as a sickly green orb launched at the entrance. It took seconds to fully melt the rusted metal away as if it was never there.

Walking through the gate under the arrow holes above into the courtyard of the dead plants and a rancid smell permeating the area.  Passing quickly through the dead garden into dimly lit halls of the castle with no visible sign of where the light was coming from.

The halls were littered with skeletons of humans and not so human creatures, armor, weapons, and torn banners of some strange symbol caught Arche's eyes, though it was hard to make out being worn by time. As Kathrin came over and eyed it for a few seconds. “I see this is where it went.”

Arche wondered, did she know what this place was? She must have by the familiar tone of voice. “You know this place?”

Watching Kathrin closely as she bent down to pick up the banner banishing it into a void. “Nothing you need to worry about. Though now I see why Kyuketsuki went ahead.”

Kathrin didn’t linger, moving on unwilling to share what the banner meant. Still, the adventurer seemed happy about this discovery. There was little in the way of gold most of the armor and weapons where magical.  Each room they passed looted, bear, or already ransacked long ago.  They did find a few odd gold coins with a tree with a dragon circling it and a woman with long hair on the other side.

Arche couldn’t ignore the grim air of this place like a battle had taken place long ago. Moss growing along the walls, the further they went in along with more visible signs of the water eroding the stone walls around them. Not helping the chilly cold air of this abandoned keep.

She almost didn’t notice a flash of blue light-emitting out of a room to her right. Looking in there was a magic circle on the ground dimming as the floor caved in, Arche had to stabilize herself as water rushed into the hole, clearing out the knee-high water. Arche noticed only Roberdyck was still with her.

“It looks like a teleportation trap probably somewhere else in the castle.” Arche could agree with Roberdyck. As they move through the first floor, forcing less on finding treasurer and more on seeing their friends. Finding the stairs to the second floor of the castle by a room filled with rotting wood and broken tables. Arche had to be careful climbing the stairs as the damage seemed to get worse as they went up.

Whole steps were lost or just missing with scorch marks and charred wood all the way up the steps. Upon coming to the second level, Arche had to cover her nose and mouth at the horrible smell.  The smell of long dyed and rutting blood filled the air with a nauseating copper smell. As she recoiled, from the shock of the smell, the sight was far worse. The stone walls and floor where covered with black viscid ooze moss and fungus were growing out of the old long dried blood.

She struggled to take the lead, guiding Roberdyck to pass the reek of this area. Not daring to peek in any of the rooms as the smell was ten times worse near each doorway, the wood doors rotted off the hinges. Several times Arche had to fight back the bile from her stomach coming up. What truly scared Arche was the sight all the black viscid ooze radiated magic as if still alive. It appeared to pulse and move slightly if she looked at it too long. Both of them practically sprinted pass most of the floor to the stairs to the third floor.

Arche halted about where the stairs should be. Only it was destroyed. Rubble blocking their path up much to Arche’s dismay at staying on the second floor any longer. Before she could ask Roberdyck what they should do, a spot of black viscid ooze pulsed and moved into the vague shape of a human-like creature.

“That way is not safe; much water flows this way, then again neither is here.” The voice of the black viscid ooze was sluggish and sleepy.

Arche was on guard her staff between her and this slime-like creature. “What are you, and what do you want.” She knew this thing should be long dead; still, it didn’t seem to be hostile, only angling its head at both of them.

[Turn Undead] Roberdyck spoke, letting a bright light wash over the black viscid ooze being. only it just giggled as if tickled looking at the healer in amusement. “This one can’t be banished by such weak power. Hum are you, intruders, as well… stopping as the slime person moved closer, sniffing them both.

“Oh, this one didn’t know you brought the great one with you.” It moved back, tapping its chin in thought. Glancing at the rubble blocking their path, Arche didn’t know if she should attack or not. Sharing a glance with Roberdyck, neither knowing if this slime thing was an enemy or not. Who was this great one? Before they could ask, the viscid ooze gathered around it as it grew larger. The viscid ooze in this room was all in the giant slime thing In Front of them. Moss and fungus still growing on its top layer.

“The stairs are not safe though this one knows another way up. if you promise to tell great one, this one humbly asked he come to visit.” The round orbs it had as eyes narrowed on them with a friendly smile.

“Sure, so what is this other way.” Arche felt scared as at the slight grin of the slime.

Only about to watch with a sickening feeling as it shifted and twisted slamming into the ceiling. Arche almost vomited at sight, smell and sound of the stone floor above them being broken and dissolved in the boiling tower of moss, fungi, and black viscid slime.

Luckily it only took a few minutes before the slime to halt and shift again into squishy and sticky stairs.  Neither Arche or her friend wanted to step on it, they still need to find their friends. So, with great reluctance, they accessed them the steps, hearing a giggle every step.

Once on the third floor, a slime head popped out of the top step of the stairs. “Remember to tell great one to visit this one. Or this one will hunt down and assimilate you to this one’s mass in 100 years.” Arche was very disturbed at the childish happy voice threatening whatever horror it promised, giggling as the head sank down, staying as stairs.

She could still feel some of the slime sticking to her shoes, no matter how much she tried to scrape it off.  They both took a few minute’s breathing fresh air again before moving on.

This castle was huge; they must have quickly passed a hundred rooms by now. It didn’t help that all the halls looked the same; it was like a maze. She and Roberdyck did find more odd gold coins along the way. This was not to say they had an easy time moving through the third and fourth floors. With so much damage done by the water, both Arche and Roberdyck had to watch out for falling stone or collapsing walls. They really hoped they find them soon. They didn’t want to risk going on the fifth floor.

Passing through a hall, Arche spotted Kathrin talking with Hekkeran and Imina. Only they were different than before. Both having cat ears and tails with a similar color to their natural hair.

“You’re ok! What happened to you?” Arche asked as they both glanced at Kathrin with her own black ears and cat tail, before replying.

“We found an item Which gave us all cat ears and a cattail. It broke after we found it, though.” Arche found it odd though accepted it even if Kathrin was watching them all with keen eyes. As if searching for something she didn't like before smiling.

 


-Kyuketsuki and Velvet-

Once again, he checked the vault to make sure no trace of Yggdrasil coins remained. It was a reasonably small pile only a little more than a million coins, yet why where they here? Why did this room look familiar? Turning to the door again, he had to move down. It had been an hour or two now.

Yet every time he tried to leave, a great dread began to fill him, making his legs hesitate like he wouldn't like what he would find. Finally, Sitabus gathered his courage and floated down where the stairs should be. Landing on the unstable stone floor into a throne room, there was once a few halls, but now all the walls had fallen any distinguishing features of this place were washed away by the waterfall.

There were large chunks of the floor missing along with half the back wall to the throne fallen. Revealing the dark cavern outside a message crudely carved into the wall. Being cut off near where the wall was missing.

{Though we have failed to fight off the pretenders of greatness, our great treasure was stolen. Please father of vampires-.}  

He felt his rage boil as the horrible realization this was the Gland Latherin castle of the village, which supplied his personal lab in Nazarick. There would have been 300 native NPC here guarding the place.  

None were in sight, not even a body, the regret, and rage grew as his vision tinted red, punching the throne over the edge. ‘I'm sorry I failed you too!’  He took out his rage on the crumbling room, unable to calm the storm of emotions. 

As if looking for someone hoping this too has not been another distraction. Which would mean more murders of the covenant while he was fighting monsters? Blinded by self-loathing the covenant of crows, it seemed had outsmarted him again. Did they know what this place meant to him had they taken whatever treasure they spoke of? Could he have done anything to help them?

“Where have you hidden you dam crows come out so I can fight you!” He screamed out in his true form.

Raging at the room, angry with himself, why couldn’t he pin them down. He was so sure they might be here they wanted revenge but against who the army, the nobles, or the Baharuth empire? What was the covenant of crow’s real target?  

His mind worked for an answer as he let loose his rage on this dead ruin. He needs to destroy it in vain, hoping it would make the guilt vanish, so it would be another failure another reason why he should have never been transferred to this world. If it meant he couldn't even protect those few people.

“Lord Kyuketsuki! I know you are angry; however, this floor is unstable any more damage, and it might collapse.” Velvets loud and soft voice spoke over the sound of breaking stone. 

He snaps over to glare what did it matter this place needs to vanish. Not just for his own sanity but so it couldn’t be linked to Nazarick. Even if most of such evidence was washed away in however many years those ruins had been around, Possibly all the way back to the time of the demon deities over 200 years ago.

I know that velvet I want it to crumble to dust! I won't let this mark of failure stand!”  Smashing one more pillar with a punch.

Which shook the whole castle, the ceiling above them caving in as huge stone blocks started to fall. 

Velvet throws up a barrier of chains and magic before giving a loving gaze to her master. “Then what about the foresight team and Kathrin she had reported being on the level below this one.” She spoke even while holding up the barrier 

Despite the veil of rage blinding him, Sitabus realized Velvet was right; however, it was too late to undo the damage the castle was crumbling. As the floor gave out under them, they fell down to the fourth floor.  As velvet worked to delay or slow the process of the two floors above them from completely falling in. 

Turning still in his true form, the hallway ceiling was much closer, being eight feet tall. To Sitabus shock, foresight was standing there, bracing themselves as the castle shook violently. 

Arche and others quickly drew their weapons ready for a fight. Though Kathrin stopped them turning to Sitabus with a questioning gaze. Lucky, she wouldn't attack him no matter the situation, which would make this next part harder. 

“Lord Kyuketsuki, why are you in that form did something happen.”  Kathrin steps closer to him, not concerned with the unstable castle around them.

Calming his rage as he shrunk down to his humanoid form, for now, he couldn’t afford to be angry. Rushing up and pulling Kathrin into a kiss. “Sorry, no time to explain right now this place has been weakened too much by the water. It is coming down, so we need to move.” 

Opening a gate near them, Sitabus decided he couldn't keep hiding under the guise of a human adventurer, no matter the repercussions. He wouldn’t be tricked a third time. 

Ushering the very concerned and troubled foresight team through the gate. Waving velvet over to step through the gate. Taking one last glance back before stepping throughout to a few yards away outside the crumbling keep. 

With Clementine and Shalltear nearby giving a bow to them. “The area is clear of any cultists it appears they fled out the back tunnels lord Kyuketsuki.” 

Kyuketsuki attention fell onto foresight, which was all looking at him with betrayal and apprehension. Though oddly Hekkeran and Imina were not, then he noticed the cat ears and tails. ‘Really Kathrin, this wasn’t part of the plan. Then again, neither was destroying the ruins.’ 

“You’re a vampire is that the real reason for offering the deal. For our blood or to turn us into vampires?” Arche lost any comradery she had before. Still too afraid to fight him, she knew that would mean death. 

Sitabus felt trapped, looking away to the castle as it broke each floor, collapsing to the floor below till it stopped on the second floor. Did he even feel like playing this ruse any longer? It had not helped him on his search for the group he was after clenching his fist. His eyes landing on the water, seeing that dark shadow smiling at him, its red eyes filled with glee. Its red mouth smiling wide

‘Just turn her, it will make things easier. It's not like your human anymore. Just look around you. This facade of yours has gotten that poor village wiped out. What do you gain by holding this petty morality anyway? Just let me show them why all should fear us!’  The shadow laughed at Sitabus failure glaring at the shadowy reflection.

Unintentionally he let his [blood lust aura] seep out around him, bringing everyone splashing to there knees at the sheer pressure of his power. Even the water around them seemed to be pushed back. ‘what should I do? What would help me find this group?’  Sitabus felt empty. He didn’t want to hear that name again. He wasn’t great, nor was he a king of vampires. He tried to forget it. Maybe then he could find his prey. Chuckling, ‘Maybe this mask needs to fade along with Kyuketsuki?’

His gaze lingered on the crumbling castle then to the ceiling of the cavern with a smile. Turning to the others still trapped under his [blood lust aura]. He pulled out a bag of gold coins along with his Adamantite adventurer metal. Letting up on his atmosphere with a fanged smile.

“Take this gold. It is all I have right now. I don’t need it anymore, it should be more than enough. The rest shall come later. As for my price, tell them that the adventure Kyuketsuki has died here. Know we will meet again. Maybe then you will understand.” He tossed the bag to a very confused Arche.

Pointing a hand at the ruins, feeling a presence he had missed before now calling it over. To Arche, it was a shock to see the black ooze it was eating all the rubbles of the ruins into its mass, growing in mass with each piece of debris it dissolved reeking of death and decay. Once it had eaten every last brick, it rushes at them faster than something that size should be able to move.

The ooze steamed and smoked as it crossed the water changing the murky water tar-black. As it approached, it pushed team Foresight out of the way several feet back. As it concealed those around Kyuketsuki.

Pulling herself up to watch as this black sludge spins and swirled violently at high speed. Before blood-curdling screams could be heard as the sludge let out a black mist.

“Thank you, humans, for returning us to the true supreme one again. This pain fills this one with such joy to serve again!” It shrieked almost in pain and pleasure, Arche thought. If not for what Arche assume was this sludge eating them.

Shrinking down in size unseen behind the thick smoke and steam to foresight. Sitabus scowled at the pain the elder slime seemed to be in while touching the water. Still, it would make it all the more convincing casting [ghostly howling] to make it sound like they were being eaten alive.

As he opened a gate, feeling the drain to his mana, turning to his group. “Aright through the portal. I have a new rule stop calling me Kyuketsuki for now. Just call me Kettor. Also, Kathrin, be sure to pick up Rita and Bardic later.”

Kathrin, Shalltear, Clementine, and velvet all walked through the portal, leaving Sitabus to rub the Slime. “I’m sorry I didn’t find you sooner though I don’t know your name follow through the portal. If you still think I’m worthy of being your master.”

With his peace said, he stepped through the portal greeted by the harsh winds of the mountainside overlooking the city of Lograth. With his group waiting already, Kathrin had left to gather the other two. 

Turning his eyes back to the portal as slowly, the dark red mass slid through the portal. It had not been an original NPC from the village. Instead, it was a mass of negative energy, undead blood, and souls of the original 300 NPCs. It was a mid-level 50 Elder Ooze higher than any of the NPC of that castle, so Sitabus could only guess what had happened to bind them up like this.

“Hello, master this one has waited for so long to be near you again- Sitabus toned out the slime consumed by these thoughts once more.

Guilt and shame shined in his eyes, he could not have helped them; he knew that much. Still, was he really doing the best he could, he had tried to save as many as he could. Even then, it didn’t feel like enough, he thought he could do more. The shadow scared him the most it wasn’t an illusion; Was it this vampire body driving him mad. Either way, it was right about something he had to change his approach, no matter how much he hated to admit it.

He knew what he would need to do, but it felt slimy and twisted. ‘Isn’t that how I played in Yggdrasil through deception, charm, and utterly crushing guilds from the inside.’  No, it was different now. These where real people, and when he killed them, there would be a chance they might not come back if killed even with resurrection magic.

Turning his sites past the city below off into the distance where the capital lay. Hearing the chuckle of the shadow in his head. ‘Don’t act like some saint. This must be done to protect them. This is old hat for us! Is it not how many times have we changed names, roles, and masks. To hunt our pray, they shall know our pain.’  

Velvets gentle touched his shoulder as the voice quieted, vanishing into his mind again. “Don’t lose yourself, lord kyu-Kettro.”  Confused by the cryptic words, Sitabus was not sure how to react. 

“Speaking of my lord, what shall we do now do I still have to wear this mask,” Shalltear asked mostly because she was tired of being held back to only casting spells, among other things. 

Clementine only smiled, licking her lips. “I don’t mind any order you have for me, my lord. I love the blood of our enemies.”

“Kathrin has rejoined with her kitten and the dwarf. It appears another noble family was brutally murdered the same way as the last city while we were away.

Sitabus turned to them. He hated to pull out this plan so much. Yet he couldn’t think of any other way to find out who these noble families being killed was, only the emperor seemed to have this knowledge.

“We are going to Arwintar. I have an emperor to talk with. We are leaving in a few minutes all of us.” Sitabus grimaced for this next part; still, this had to work. He wouldn’t let another part of the covenant plans be reached by playing the role of a human adventurer, this time they would lose hard.


-End of Chapter-

Chapter Text


-Arwintar-

Turning down the dark alleyway, all four cloaked people moved swiftly in silence. Kathrin kept glancing at Shalltear and Malga then back to lord Sitabus with worry. His mood shimmered unseen; still, he clearly saw the ruins as another failure. His mood was not helped by what they had learned only hours after traveling into the capital Arwintar. She knew where they were headed; she was just unsure how lord Sitabus could track them so well.

He stopped suddenly as his gaze locked on to the wooden door, almost unseen in the shadows of the alleyway. Above it was a faded sign barely readable with a wand and scroll.

Without much thought, he practically punched the door open without care. Kathrin followed closely into a room dimly lit by a few candles filled with tattered scrolls and some assortment of items. Which smelled of magic only burn out; at first look, it might seem like a downturned magic shop; however, all the shelves were kept with spots of dust. The magic scrolls and items where long used or failed magic scrolls, which are sure to misfire.

Kathrin then focused on the three people near the shopkeeper; the first two looked like a couple dressed in luxurious, expensive clothes reinforced by a layer of magic. The pretty woman in a dress brushed her auburn hair out of her face as the slender, raven-haired man in a suit, pulled her closer, whispering.

On the other side of the counter was a short man in robes of a mage, one of his eyes glassy and lifeless, with a deep scowl glaring at the group, his hands gripping a glass orb.

Behind the counter, the grizzled green-skinned, with his ears missing their tips, shopkeeper stopping his argument between the three. His face adopting a sly smile at the three, it would seem friendly, if not for the devious glint in his eyes.

“Ah, new customers it so rare to have, if you give me a minute to talk to these three, I will be right with you.”

Lord Sitabus marched forward, not regarding the man’s words. Kathrin readied to act, staying back her gaze, keeping watch of her love. Usually, he might be more talkative; however, the last place they went to seemed to ignite a deep rage in her master. Or perhaps the ruins of the village keep was still affecting him.

Either way, lord Sitabus was not himself; Kathrin hoped this would not last long and find answers. Under this rage was a deep pain one she had only seen upon Jade’s or Velvet's death. It felt like there was now a barrier between them, which hid her loves secrets.

She would not let this stand; Only she was having trouble thinking of how to help him. As his loyal and loving queen and servant, she couldn’t let him drift in this darkness, which consumes his thoughts. Changing him in ways, she was not happy with even if she didn’t know why. Perhaps she would consult Velvet after this; She seemed to understand what was affecting him.

Sitabus stop between the three in front of the counter, glaring intensely at the shopkeeper. “You know a fallen nobles house burned down, and their children were taken here.  I want them Ureirika Rile Furt and Kuuderika Rile Furt.”

The mage narrowed his eyes at lord sitabus “How do you know this-

Lord Sitabus turned to the aged and scarred mage; under the gaze, he fell to his hands and knees as the noble couple stepped back. Watching as the mage struggle till it became too much slamming into the ground cracking the wood floor unconscious.

Without a word, lord Sitabus turned back to the Shopkeep, ignoring the couple completely, glaring at the shopkeep now feeling the blood lust aura pressing down as well.

“Hey, we came to buy them first. You can’t possibly afford what we offered.” The woman demanded, still quivering too fearful of stepping closer.

Kathrin felt both wrath and annoyance, at the sheep, could they not understand lord Kyuketsuki’s rage. Under this thinly veiled act, she knew whatever they wanted Arche’s sisters for would mean their death. This was not something she could allow, and perhaps if she helps speed matters along, it might lead to her love calming down so they could talk.

With this in mind, Kathrin hissed in irritation with a hand raised whispering [Chain dragon lightning]. Watching as the enchanted clothes did little to stop the spell screaming as the charred corpses fell to the floor.

Walking up beside her lord, much to his surprise. “Your other Customers are unable to talk at this point now about the children my love is looking for!”

To her surprise, the shopkeeper only grinned leaning over the counter. “As I was telling the others, those two are already being processed. Besides, what is the rush? Rumor has it that Arche died in the vanishing ruins along with all the other adventures and the army at Lograth… he trailed off before narrowing his gaze.   

…then again you two are still alive, so I suppose she might be alive as well. Not that any of what you have done will change the punishment for this Empire and its heroes.” The shopkeeper spat out at the word heroes as if it was venom.

The shopkeeper shot his arm out as a familiar green parasite at her love who growled, as the parasite withered upon trying to bite into Kyuketsuki’s skin.

Kathrin felt a shiver down her spine at the blood lust leaking around her love like a haze of death. His lovely red eyes were almost glowing as he cracked the shelve as his fist slammed down on it.  His other hand pulling the Scarf of the shopkeeper’s white shirt and vest over the counter.

At which point lord Sitabus had already shifted to his true form. Most humans might find it terrifying they didn’t see the charm in his form. This shopkeeper's eyes and face didn’t show fear or shock, only curiosity at the true vampire’s form.

“A True Vampire! Why are you helping these ants?”

Lord Sitabus seemed to lose himself to rage as he bites into the shop keep draining his blood.  Dropping the drained body to the floor without care eyes narrowed. “Shalltear and Kathrin find Arche's sisters! Malga, watch the front.”

Kathrin felt conflicted as he ran ahead, hunting the masked crow leader. With reluctance, she jumped over the counter, followed by Shalltear. As they travel through the back of the shop, which quickly changed into a stone tunnel.

Which turned into more uniform and wood covered halls Kathrin kept scanning the area, as they when farther in some of the artifacts, and items looked like they were from Yggdrasil.

“Lord Kettor has been different after the ruins what happened? Why is he so angry?”  

Kathrin spared a glance at Shalltear, agreeing with the statement and had no answer. After arriving at Arwintar, her lord had not spoken to her much. In contrast, he usually would explain the plan, despite it not being necessary. It was a worrying sign, pulling out the flag from the ruins as she scans the area around them.  

The only piece of information she had gathered to indicate a reason for her loves rage. “Shalltear, as you know our, lord, cares greatly for his servants. Seeing the state of the castle and the amalgamations of all its servants turned into Malga… to him, it must have been a great personal failure.”

Her eyes darkened, thinking about it only confirmed her own thoughts. ‘They were all weak, and if that wasn’t enough, they have brought pain to lord Kyuketsuki as well. I won't allow such vulnerabilities in future servants!’  Kathrin could not tolerate weakness or, worse, seeing physical or mental pain brought to her love. Once Kathrin was empress, she would reforge such limitation out of all servents to avoid another reaction like this from her lord.

 “Why does he not punish Malga? why does he seem to blame himself?” Shalltear hissed breaking down the door leading to the next hall.

Kathrin let a nostalgic smile show remembering the old days. When she was still growing stronger, remembering when she was once slain by a human defending Kyuketsuki, most would think he would punish her for such a failure. Instead, lectured her on being reckless, of course, she couldn’t understand the reason to his words back then and spent the rest of that week boosting her up so she wouldn’t die again.

“Lord Kyuketsuki would never do that! The only reason he punished you and velvet was that he knew It would only cause both of you more pain. He puts his followers and friend’s happiness above his own, which is why we must always strive to be stronger, so he doesn’t need to feel discomfort ever again.”

Kathrin beamed, taking down the thugs in their way as they found the split in the pathway. Judging by the shattered doorway and the bodyes sprawled around it, her love had already started clearing that path with the other door untouched.

“Is that why he showed me a memory of lord Peroroncino vanishing and destroying his avatar because he couldn’t sustain his body in Nazarick? I still don’t understand?” Shalltear’s voice wavered in a sad and disappointed tone, still not understanding why he would share such a personal memory.

Kathrin’s ears twitched her sharp eyes, snapping over to shalltear with blazing intensity. She took note of every word and Shalltear’s expression analyzing this information and adding it to what she had learned in this new world.

 “So, the supreme ones had other forms?” She mumbled she knew they could travel to other worlds; however, this was news. It would explain why her love would talk about the need to log off and rest before work.

‘Could this be part of the change in this new world?’

“Yes, from what I could gather, something seemed to force my creator to leave and not come back. Which is why lord Kyuketsuki promised to protect and gain my love.” Shalltear confirmed, blushing with a dreamy smile.

Kathrin's mind hid her annoyance and rage at the idea of something forcing a supreme being to leave.  Along with fear was this the power of these Dev’s her lord cursed out so often. What kind of power could threaten the supreme beings of Nazarick, which hunted gods like prey?  

“Do you love lord Kyuketsuki more then Ainz?” Kathrin couldn’t help but hope she would say no. As much as she didn’t mind sharing her lord’s affection, she knew not all of Nazarick held the same level of loyalty to her creator and love.

They might all adore the supreme beings; however, Kathrin would always follow her creator’s orders over Ainz. A view which was shared only by Velvet, Clementine, and herself. Along with her lords’ summons, and the humans she had turned into pack mates, mostly because of the magic used to summon or create them.

“I don’t know he is very charming and caring, and he found such a wonderful toy in the ex-human assassin…I can’t decide yet.” Shalltear sighed, Kathrin could see the conflicting emotions in the floor guardians’ eyes.

They both halt as they came to the iron door, which hummed with low tier magic enchantments. Ticking in annoyance at how weak this new world was. ‘How did the supply keep ended up falling to such weak beings of this new world.’ with a simple lightning spell, the door was blown open. Revealing two blonde twins chained to a wall withering as the parasites slithered inside them, four infected humans and demi-humans watching talking among themselves.

Those must be Arche sisters though I will need to heal them.’ Kathrin grimaced in Yggdrasil there where parasitic races of insects. Her interactions with them were rare, and most had to have their hosts exposed to specific magic to drive them out.  A lot were weak to holy magic, even with this knowledge; if the spell is too soft, it would just hurt the host, and if too overpowering, it might kill the host as well.

Scanning deeper into the room, they were not alone; there were several other cells most empty, some with bodies of rejected hosts rotting inside. Some still holding in the uninfected hosts, slaves, all of which hide back in the corner of the cells. Each of the cells with people in them had a guard near them.

Kathrin concludes this must be an infection room where members were turned into hosts of these parasites. She smiled at Shalltear even if she still felt angry for the floor guardian allowing herself to be mind-controlled. They might find answers here; she could only hope her lord was having as easy a time.

“Shalltear, please clear the room, capture a few alive. I shall save the two children.” 

Kathrin calmly approached the four with one swift motion of her spear all four around the girls fell lightning scorching them to blackened corpses. She studied the twins carefully, gaging the effects of the parasites, with similar green skin and visible veins. Once they both stopped spasming around, they both glared at Kathrin with hate, not of their own.

“You are too late unless you would risk their lives.”

With a critical eye, Kathrin scanned over the twins analyzing the effects of the parasite on them. “You must not see the difference in level between us.”

Without saying a word, Kathrin raised her hand carefully, calculates the odds of what would be the right tire of magic.

Settling on seventh-tire holy magic, which rushed through both twins causing the parasites inside them to scream, as the children both flopped into Kathrin’s arms unharmed.

“You're done as well then?” Shalltear’s voice rang, standing just a few feet away.

Kathrin beamed brightly. “Yes, please send those captured to painkiller for interrogation. I will protect those two. Once done, we can meet back up with lord Kettor.”

Sitabus tried to calm down as he rushed through the halls of the crow's base; however, each time failed. Hearing the shadows mocking voice, not allowing him to forget why he was here.

‘What's wrong can’t control yourself anymore? Sit back and let us have some fun. They all deserve to feed our blood pool, how many times have they shown us up, how many loyal servents have they killed, what gift did they steal from us!”

It felt like his body was moving without his command. His vision tinted red as he barreled through each door each barrier in seconds. He was not even thinking straight as he cut down every person who crossed his path.

Feeling the wall of blood following him, growing with each person slain. Still, he couldn’t let them escape, not if this part of the plan was to work. No information could get out; he couldn’t cure them all of the parasites, not without risking Kathrin or Nazarick safety any more than he already had by playing around.

‘Is this really all I’m good at playing the monster?’ He questioned himself he had come here hoping to talk his way in yet again he was resorting to slaying his way through minions. How could he prove he could be of future use to Nazarick if he couldn’t even trick a few level 30 and 40 enemies.

The only upside was that he was starting to get the hang of the one martial art he had. He had been practicing since Ritana explained and showed him how [ability boost] worked. Unlike the battle with the three dragons at the fort were activating the martial art felt unstable. Now [ability boost] was staying active without much effort thankfully.

Yet Sitabus was unable to feel any drain due to the battle frenzy numbing any pain or draining effects. He wasn’t sure when the rush of rage and fury had left. Sitabus found himself standing alone in what he assumed was the back exit of the wreaked shop blood drained body parts and destroyed shelves scattered about.

Try as he might Sitabus still felt emotionally numb to the slaughter, unsure what to feel. Glancing back at the strain, he felt shocked by the amount of blood gathered by his [blood pool] skill. He could not even see past all the red liquid blocking the way. There was no way to even begin using this much unless he wanted to start using tenth tire spells in the capital.

Dismissing the idea, he opened a gate to his lab in Nazarick, moving it all through into his blood tanks.  Once the gate closed, Sitabus scowled, just noticing the smell hidden among the death around him. Almost unnoticeable among the stench of blood was the scent of fear and sweat.

Kyuketsuki’s dulled eyes locking on to the right, under a pile of body parts and a broken door.  Walking towards the hiding spot, slowly flexing his clawed hands. Glancing in a pool of blood not collected by his [blood pool], seeing his true form instead of the lust for battle or rage, he felt empty seeing the reflection.

No, it felt worse Sitabus could only describe it as lacking something which he could not identify, which had been there before? As Sitabus casually cut through the gore and wreckage, to the sight of a cowering demi-human resembling the same race as Revie. The mouse demi-human covered in blood and his clothes ruined.

The words were barely above a whisper. “Please don’t kill me…I…I ”

Then it struck him Sitabus couldn’t feel any emotion for this demi-human only board and ideally contemplating ending the wretch. Taking a step back, fearing what he would do, ‘Am I losing my humanity if I keep using this appearance will it happen faster?’ Not trusting himself, he turned away from the demi-human.

Sitabus’ hands were shaking, feeling the voice whispering to kill the demi-human.  What scared him was he couldn’t help but agree they might be a possible threat. Where they even apart of the crows he was hunting?

“Answer carefully if you lie, I don’t think I will be able to control myself. Are you working with the covenant of crows!” Sitabus harshly growled out his claws twitching.

He answered with a quivering voice. “NO, they forced me to work the shelves promising if I did my job, they wouldn’t do with me what they did to the others.” 

Sitabus didn’t have to turn around to hear his body shaking, racked with fear of death. ‘It doesn’t matter, he is still a witness; he could still ruin the plan.’

Sitabus fought the impulse to attack, forcing himself to change back. Willing the blood lust away struggling with this dark will. ‘No, he is not part of it.’ Finally, gaining back control, he pointed to the door leading to another alleyway.

“Leave and find Revie he is looking for his kin.” Hearing a gasp of surprise before silently leaving stopping halfway.

“If you could please save Tesera, I couldn’t…” the muse demi-human went quite mumbling apologies and rambling before finishing. “…She is somewhere in this city; it is all I know. I only hope Revie will forgive me; I was so scared…”

Once the mouse man was gone, Sitabus let out a breath. ‘We should have ended the weak vermin.’  Refusing to argue Sitabus settle for silence, answering a message from Kathrin.

{My lord, we have secured the twins and found prisoners. I am having them transported to our base in E-Rental for screening.}

{What about the raids on the other base around Arwintar?}

Kathrin purred through the link. {They are clearing them as we speak my lord shall we move on to phase two of your plans.}

 


-Royal Palace-

Sitabus couldn’t help but wonder about the idea there was still time to back out. Though it would be effective, and he was sure the crows would strike at the emperor soon. It would even drastically alter the future of the Baharuth Empire if he wasn’t careful. Then what would be the difference between him and these crows?

What he could gather so far, they wanted revenge against the thirteen heroes and current ruling human populous. By the disregard and outright planned events, which would have been far more devastating without him there to stop them. How far their plan reached, he could not be sure only that if they got their way, a lot of innocent people would get hurt. Yet that wasn’t the reason he was stopping them no matter how much he tried all he could think about was how they destroyed his supply keep and hurt both Shalltear and Velvet.

Sitabus hoped to end this stage quickly without using his true vampire form. Hoping it might slow the loss of humanity still doubt lingered. ‘What if my loss of humanity was just slower than Ainz’s own. What was the shadow which whispered in my mind to let it go?’

The most frustrating thing was that he couldn’t find an answer, only a feeling like he had forgotten something.

As the doors to the throne room opened to the heart of the palace with a red carpet leading up to the throne. Where Emperor Jircniv Rune Farlord El Nix sat looking board on his throne. Nearby his four knights, and finally Fluder Paradyne. Rubbing his long beard his eyes locked on to the three

The emperor’s eyes seemed curies with a raised brow at Arche's sisters following the cloaked Kathrin. Before settling onto Sitabus as he stepped forward, ignoring Fluder’s stare.

“Hello, emperor I am Kettor, and I can solve your problems for a small price.” Sitabus gives a friendly smile.

Jircniv, eyes narrowed almost unnoticeably, smirking at the group. Though his eyes were trying to read Sitabus, unable to see or detect the seventh-tier illusion around him. Finally, the emperor spoke after a few minutes. "What problem do you mean, and even if we had such a problem, what would be your price?"

Sitabus beamed knowing though he was unsure if the emperor already knew and was playing, or honestly didn’t know. “Simple I recently found out that all the nobles killed have some relation to one of the Thirteen Heroes. Second, this cult of crows has been targeting the empire’s armies. Based on what little I know, they will come for you next, possibly this city.”

The emperor, despite scolding his features, let his surprise show, though his voice was neutral as he stood moving closer to the strangers. “How do you know this?”

Sitabus scowled, thinking of the masked assailant, which forced him to fight Shalltear. He had to be careful not to give away too much information, or else the emperor might figure out he was at the battle. 

“Have you read the report of the battle of Lograth they convinced dragons to attack for what an adventure in E-Rental did to their brother. They had well trained and armored attack trolls; they also crippled the defenses of the fort, so even if it were retaken, it would take months to repair. All this would have taken planning and time, plus I have a hunch that this is not the only battle that occurred like this, is it?” Sitabus felt both happy he had guessed right and annoyed it had taken him this long to figure out.

The emperor was stoic as he thought about the last reports of the battles. “Yes, they have nearby three other cities, unlike Lograth, it was a total massacre with only a few remaining to report the battle. This still doesn't tell me how you plan to help or how you know about the reason the dragons joined them?”

Sitabus cursed his slip up quickly, recovering with a lie. “I heard the rumors while passing through if you must know. As for how I can help that is simple, I will ambush them when they come after you.”

One of the four stepped forward, taking offense to the claim. “You dare suggest you can do the elite four knights’ job better than us!”

Sitabus glanced over the knight before disregarding him altogether. Unable to suppress an urge to smirk darkly at the weak knights. Sitabus, not noticing his red eyes shining brightly for a brief second. “If I wanted to, I could do it single-handedly with ease, but no. An emperor that cannot even cure such a mild curse is hardly worth my time.”

Nimble snarled at the arrogance of this stranger, unsheathing his sword, pointing it at them. “If you are so confident of this, you won't mind a test of strength.”

Sitabus broadly stared at the foolish knight before scoffing at the idea. He didn’t come here to lose himself to his battle frenzy again, fearing what might happen. “I see no point in such a one-sided fight.”

The emperor picking up on his reluctance to fight. Sitabus didn’t like the look in those eyes, the emperor saw some way to manipulate the situation to his advantage.

“No, I agree. Let us see some proof of your prowess before I agree to this. Especially since you haven’t said what you want out of this deal. For all I know, you could be working with these crows as you call them, sir. Kettor.”

Sitabus knew the emperor was forcing him into this situation, though why he wasn’t sure. Glancing at Fluder, realizing that same talent must have given away his strength. If the emperor thought he was just some magic caster, he was in for a rude awakening.

“If you must know, I have already routed out a few nests in this city, and I am still tired, so I will let one of my companions fight in my sted. I would ask for a chair, but I don’t see one nearby.”  Calling both Shalltear and Kathrin over.  “Now which one of you would like to play with them.”

Both of the women looked at each other, silently messaging one another. Before glancing at Sitabus with some strange look, he couldn’t place. This went on for a few minutes before finally, Shalltear turned to Sitabus with a slight blush.

“Lord Ky-Kettro, if you feel tired, then allow me to be your seat to watch Kathrin fight these fools.” Shalltear was breathing heavily at the request.

Sitabus was cursing this moment, seeing the smirking face of the emperor. Along with the odd looks of the knights. ‘Great if I say no, the emperor might try to force me to fight or blow our cover. If I say yes, I will have to explain to Ainz why I used Shalltear like a chair. Along with them thinking I’m some kind of weirdo, what should I do should I risk it?’  His thoughts were interrupted by the shadow again.

‘What’s there to think about let us play. Unless you are too scared, don’t worry, I won’t make too much of a mess of them.’

Halting his thoughts, Sitabus glanced back at the children near Kathrin's side. Realizing if he lost control again, it might traumatize them or worse. Staring at his shaking hands, not for fear but the lust for combat and blood, he knew he couldn’t risk Arche’s sisters or the promise he made her like this, not trusting himself. He forced a smile at Shalltear, hoping Ainz wouldn’t be too angry. 

“Thank you, lady Tearess, I might rest after this and reward you later for your kindness.” Shalltear, herself, was thrilled to help the supreme being finding a great thrill as her lord got comfortable on her back. Her red panting face hidden by the hood at the warmth above her.

While the emperor and his elite four were trying to understand why someone would volunteer for doing something like this. ‘How much loyalty and control over his group does this man have?’ Even being the emperor, he could never expect a servant to be willing to agree to be a seat, let alone volunteer to be one. Subtly glancing at gramps, not only was this group powerful with magic, they were almost totally loyal to this man. If just one of his followers could defeat all of the elite four, he would have to be very careful about how he handled them. Yet, at the same time, they would be a massive boon to the emperor if he could find a way to get them to stay.

Still, Jircniv would have to find out all their weaknesses and skills to know just how significant a boon for the empire they would be. He might even be able to finally expand into the Re-Eztic kingdom in the next annual war.

Then turning to Leinas Rockbruise if he could so quickly cure her curse, that would mean controlling the leader of this group would nip any question about loyalty to him right away, so long as he commanded this man.

“So, Kettro will have her fight for you, then how about a deal. If she can beat all four of my elites, then I will let you name your price later.” 

Sitabus took in every detail of the emperor’s face trying to get a read on why he would offer such a deal. Trying to ignore how weird this all felt, the only thing making this ruse bearable was the fact that Shalltear seemed to be enjoying being his chair for whatever reason. Which he was trying very hard not to think about, Peroroncino would be enjoying himself teasing him for no end if he saw this. 

“Kathrin show them our strength; just don’t kill them.”

Jircniv’s eyes show his shock since this Stranger had not even asked what he would get if he lost. Wondering how he could be so confident Kathrin would win or was it arrogance. It was still four against one, yet even knowing so little about the elite four, the bored look on his face scream that this man knew how it would end. 

This fact didn’t seem to matter; however, as they both watched as Kathrin holding her spear waited for the elite four to strike first. It quickly went downhill as only Sitabus, and his group, save Arche’s sisters, could keep up with Kathrin's speed.  The whole fight didn’t last more than a minute before the elite four were knocked out armor broken and weapons scattered.

 


-Leinas POV -

Leinas Rockbruise closed the door to the room. The emperor had given it to the stranger to stay in, despite its large size and splendor like much of the royal palace. This stranger’s eyes were unimpressed, which brought into question just how much better they have seen. Her thoughts linger back to the test of strength; she was powerful, yet against Kathrin, she felt like a child holding her weapon. In just fifteen seconds of the fight, she had been disarmed of her spear and heard the cracking of her armor.

Rubbing her chest, Leinas could still feel the sting of the bruise; it scared her a little to think back on. Just how strong Kettro must be or what he would want for the price of curing the curse. She couldn’t think of a single thing he would wish to have; still, she would gladly pay whatever he wanted to be rid of this curse, wiping the ooze from her eye.

“Before I cure this curse, I want proof you won't betray me like the last person I cured of a curse.”Meeting those bright red eyes radiated distrust and rage just looking into them, she knew this man wasn’t human.

Leinas started to sweat under the pressure of the deadly tone unconsciously shivering. Knowing the wrong answer might be death or worse, now more fearful of just what this person would want in return.

Leinas moved her hair, which covered her eye to show the sickly rough green skin and the glassy yellow puffy eye that looked dead. Kettor’s bright red eyes watched as if waiting to be betrayed as the illusion shimmered, Showing pearly white fangs. Leinas hesitated to answer now seeing the undead though she couldn’t be sure how the illusion had tricked the emperor's item, which detected such tricks.

Leinas saw the difference in Kettor's stance; his muscles are relaxed yet tight ready to pounce at the first wrong move. It was like looking at a feral animal prepared to rip her apart and despite the fearful rational side of her mind screaming for her to run. She knew this wasn’t an option; besides, the vampire said he could cure her curse something no one else had claimed and succeeded.

“I..gulp…I have been looking for a way to get rid of this curse for ages, please. If you free me of this curse, I would vow my service to you.” She hoped it would be enough bowing.

A steady hand fell on to her shoulder, pulling her face up to meet those angry eyes. “I thought I could trust the last person too, yet I see that same fear which drove him to hurt me in your eyes. Show me you aren’t the same, or clementine will be having fun.”

All the air around them chilled as Leinas could swear she saw her breath. A terror gripped her heart; still, she would not back down being so close and hearing a cheery voice behind her. “Oh really, thank you, master! I can’t wait to hear her scream.”

She glances back at the other vampire, her tendril hair wildly swings around her. The strange vampire stepped back at the look from Kettor's cold gaze. How long he would wait was unknown, thinking quickly to answer the question. She could think of only one thing to appease those distrustful and hateful eyes looking for any reason to end her. 

“I…offer up my unwavering loyalty and life if you would lift this curse. Master Kettro!”

The blinding shine of those crimson eyes dimmed as the chill left her. It was like someone else had just replaced the monster ready to attack only a moment ago. Seeing understanding and acceptance shine through as Kettro leaned back.

Before she could ask how he would cure the curse, he reaches out his hand over the eye feeling a tug. As if the curse was being pulled out, watching in awe as the dark green energy flowed out of her eye. Until his hand held this mysterious crackling power of the curse, Leinas reaches up to feel normal skin again, she felt tears of joy swell up in her eyes. The curse which had haunted her for years was gone, finally gone!

[Plasma purification] To her surprise, he brought the curse up to his mouth, eating it in one bite. Then that predatory look returned taunting almost as she shivered. “Now for my payment, I would have Kathrin do this, but she is off on a special mission. So you will have to get my gift instead if this doesn’t kill you, that is.”

He pulled out a dark red vile which seemed to shimmer with darkness, dimming the light around it, Leinas could feel the liquid radiating power. Carefully if not cautiously taking the flask into her shaking hand.

“Drink this; I will come back later to see if you survive my gift. If you haven’t taken that before I come back, Clem-chan has permission to play with you.” Without another word, Kettor turned away, opening the door to one of the guest bedrooms closing it.

With a single glance back at the strange vampire, Leinas didn’t feel like testing her luck, gulping the vile down. It felt like her body was on fire spreading out as she let out the loudest scream her lungs could, as pain overloads her mind then the world faded to black.  

 


-Sitabus-

Hearing the shriek, sitabus scowled, he didn’t intend to be that harsh. He had been careful not to transform into that form again all day. The memories of Tarick came back to his mind. ‘Stop showing me those she is not like him!’ he screamed in his mind, hearing laughter. He turned to see the shadows smug pure red eyes smiling. ‘You don’t believe that at all or you wouldn’t have given her an experimental potion. We don’t even know what it will do to her.’  

Kyuketsuki growled, marching up to the glass frame before halting taking a step back. ‘No, I gave up that name. I can’t just take it back now.’  Hearing the shadows mocking laughter, he turned to glare at the mirror.

‘Tell me. Do you even remember why you took up that name? No, of course not otherwise you would know you can’t just throw it away. We both know it.’

“Of course, I know what... I…” words failed Sitabus as he could not recall it had been a default name for so long. In YGGDRASIL, it was a name feared by enemies and cheered with praise by friends. Even if he changed the name to infiltrate other guilds, that name had just always been the name of the avatar.

For some reason, the shadow scowled red eyes narrowed as it moved from one reflective surface to the next. ‘You really have forgotten…no matter you will remember soon enough after all it’s why-’  The shadow warned as it faded away from view as Sitabus felt a firm and soft hand on his shoulder. It didn’t bring comfort, only dread. Why did this shadow haunt him?  Trying to push the feeling down as Sitabus turned to see Velvet lock eyes with him.

“Don’t do that, please lord Kyuketsuki; if you keep ignoring these feelings, it will only make this worse.”  Velvet’s usually calm voice was showing her worry. He couldn’t show his doubt if they knew he would hate him.

“I’m fine, really it was just…never mind. How are Rita and Bardic doing in Phovine.” Trying to change the subject ‘trying’ being the keyword as velvet let out a sigh.

“Please, sister, won’t dare question your order, and I am worried scene the ruins you have changed. Is it the darkness or something else we only wish to help?” Velvet gently asked, taking his hand in her own.

Guilt rose at velvets words along with fear; still, it felt wrong not to share something to calm Velvet’s worry. It takes a moment to steady his thoughts before his mouth just blurted out something. “Before YGGDRASIL, I came from another world which was harsh and cruel, filled with only humans doing whatever they could to survive. A world where kindness was a novelty at best; it was every person for themselves. Not even the air was safe to breathe unless you lived in domes.-”

Velvet caressed his hands, listening attentively to every word. As if sensing his fear, she didn’t speak, waiting for him to start again. They just stared at each other for a long minute.

“-I took up work with a corporation after…someone I knew died. This company only cared about discretion and effective workers. Shortly after I left Bellriver died, they said it was an accident, but I knew it was because I left. When I first got here, I thought here would be different, yet people I know keep dying around me. This is why Kyuketsuki is better off Forgotten as am I.” Sitabus words brought a sense of hollowness and lingering pain.

Eyes clenched shut why had he said that now they would inevitably betray or leave him. In the silence, he Halted, expecting some anger or backlash. Wouldn’t any of Nazarick hate him he had gotten another supreme being killed, another one of his friends killed! To Sitabus surprise, he felt only a comforting hug.  “No one should be forgotten, certainly not my kind lord.”

It felt so strange to be hugging Velvet how could she accept that he had gotten two friends killed. He betrayed them to let them die because he was too slow, always too slow.

Velvet pulls away after an extended silent comforting hug speaking again. “They are both doing well; it seems the four gods’ churches are using the disasters to raise fear of demi-humans and undead. Worse is seems the cell of crows may be behind this as well.”

Sitabus scowled deeply, thinking about this other threat. “So, they are looking to make them so extreme that people flock to them only to passably be used as more hosts to infect. Are you sure the Slain Theocracy isn’t involved?”

Velvet stoic as ever lightly grinned. “No, I put out a few of your summons to check any scripture members in the empire are closer to the borders. It seems the crows hate them as much as we do. Even if they were just Theocracy supporter’s, all of the higher-ups appear to be infected more subtly them most, we have run into inside the city, same here on Shalltear’s end.”

“I see I will have Shalltear look into the main churches later then just to be safe.”

Velvet nodded in understanding still the unanswered question in her eyes remained. “I will message her before returning to the others. Please message me if you feel that darkness again. I don’t want to lose you.”

Sitabus glanced back at the window; the shadow still banished to the back of his mind. An action velvet noticed though she didn’t see what he was looking at. “I am not going anywhere, after  all, I have five beautiful women to look after and the future of Nazarick to think on.”

Velvet didn’t comment on this; however, her eyes were still searching Kyuketsuki’s. Pulling him close into a warm, gentle meeting of lips fearing if she left, he would slip back into the darkness. It took a few minutes before they parted again velvet was pleased to see the mood had passed.

Sitabus just as happy to see velvets smile; still, he didn’t have much time to linger. “Velvet, you should return to Rita, and Bardic keep them safe. I will let Kathrin know she doesn't have to worry myself.”

 


-Ministry of Magic-

Kathrin kept her face neutral as she stared at the old wizard, waiting for his answer. Finally, reaching level five on empress class had paid off even if it kept her busy. Understanding the sheep helped her see the subtle signs of Fluder’s disloyalty to the empire while she hated disloyalty and betrayers. She saw an opportunity to take something from the weak fool claiming to be an emperor.

“I have never heard of something affecting a vampire’s mind. What I do know mistress is yes, I have been in contact with these crows as you call them. what do you wish to know about them?”

As Kathrin thought back to all the new things, she had learned about her lord traveling to this new world. ‘First, there is the fact that he was human before. He had another body which he lost connection to after the change. Along with the fact that she concluded from the data, that this other body most likely came from another world as well.’ 

Cutting off the line of thought, she would not share such sacred information with such an un-trustable human. Intensifying her rage as she glanced at the death knight kneeling next to her. Showing only a pleasant smile, asking, “What did you trade them for, and how much do you know about this group. Tell me this, and I will consider not letting this lovely death knight destroy this place to the last brick.”

Kathrin lightly grinned, seeing the two young sheep mages behind Fluder squirm and grimace. Fluder himself was desperate to learn from her, even willing to betray the crows. She would have to ensure he didn't end up betraying them in the future.

 For now, she listened to the human mage explain what little he knew of, which was nothing of great importance at least till he pulled out the book — written in the same language as books in Nazarick. Kathrin narrowing her eyes as she snatched the book and skimmed through it.

“Tell me truthfully can you read this!” Kathrin only let her voice reveal hints of her emotion growling out the demand. 

Fluder was thrilled to hear this reaching out to get the book back only to receive a glare. “No, I have been trying to translate it for the last two years, though I have been making progress. If you would indulge me, my lady, please tell me what it says.”

Kathrin shut the book, calculating if she should grand this request. Only an hour ago, Shalltear had informed her that the church of the four gods had been infected by the crows. As Kathrin thought about this, an excellent idea came to mind. A way to test the wizard’s loyalty and eliminate another section of crows. Even if this went badly, the blame would fall on to the old mage. She holds up the book with a cold smirk. “If you want me to teach you how to read this book, you will need to prove yourself. First, you and all your followers must receive my blessing, and second, you must destroy the church of the four gods near the palace, no survivors.”

She loved the way both young mages gasped in shock, knowing what this would mean. Once the emperor found out his own adviser destroy the symbol of the main religion of the empire capital. Besides, it didn’t matter if he succeeds or failed. She would expand her pack, weaken the emperor standing, and strike a blow at her lord’s enemies.

“Of course, mistress, though, what is this blessing if I may humbly ask?” Fluder’s curiosity rose at the chance of gaining more magic. It was all too easy as Kathrin stood flexing her muscles as gray goo seeped out of her body, dripping from her mouth. Her eyes become pure, moving gold as her body stretched and hissed.

Growing in size as her body began to look less organic and more metallic. Becoming two feet taller, a bright blue light shined pulsing with magical power, in her chest.  Her clawed hands and feet hardening as the gray goo solidified into a metallic shell armor of an enormous monster cat hissing at them.  Even Kathrin's voice became carnivorous, stepping closer, which only served to scare the young mages taking a step back in fear.

“Hold still, I am short on time, and I won't waste my lords or my time hunting mice. This will only hurt for a moment.”  She pounced forward with inhuman speed, first biting the old man than the younger humans as they screamed much to her joy. Watching as her nanobot goo swiftly move to change them, most notably adding them to her mental link connection, as liquid metal turned into ear receivers to get her orders directly and tails out from their rears, sending their emotional signals back to her.

‘It is unfortunate that I can’t make any of them transform without implanting a magic core like my own.’ Kathrin bemused still that was part of being more automation then organic. Her nano goo did strengthen and allow her to communicate long range mentally with those she had blessed with her bite. ‘Perhaps I can change the most useful pack members later.’ Humming to herself as all three pack mates stopped withering and rose now fully loyal.

“Thank you, my mistress, I swear, your gift shall not be wasted.”

Kathrin ignored them, sending further orders through the signal. “Accomplish your task; you have two days to get it done; I will spread my gift to your other followers. Let no one but me or my lord know of your new allegiance. Fail me, and that gift will turn to a curse as it eats your body’s alive.”

Not staying to listen, she made her way out of the room down the halls. She was biting every human in Fluder's personal tower. She had to get her job done before her body burns out too much magic. While she couldn’t use magic in this form due to the drain of power, she didn’t need to worry as she finished stopping near the entrance of the tower.

Kathrin was almost tempted to let the nano goo go out of control because of how weak they all were. If not for her brilliant plan surely this would help soothe her lords worry. As she pulled her metal slime back into the gaps in her body, shifting back to her human-like form.

Smirking to herself with glee, she could not wait till tomorrow, opening the door and walking outside just in time to see her love stepping through a [gate]. She rushed up, hugging him, leaning into a deep kiss. Not caring who might see them. “My love, I found out excellent news Fluder has been turned to our side. I also found a book from YGGDRASIL. First, it seemed like a magic book for demonic and parasitic spells, however-

This caught her lord’s attention. He took the book stopping at one page detailing a spell that was definitely not in Yggdrasil since a patch update. “This doesn’t make sense the dev took off that spell it was far too buggy to work. Wait, it has worked here. Is this why…”

Kathrin watched Kyuketsuki tightly clench his hands. His eyes shined as he seemed to glare at his shadow. Much to Kathrin’s confusion, she didn’t sense any shadow demon or see any sign of other hidden foes.  It was like back in Barune as he mumbled: “No, that wouldn’t change the dangers…I’m not scared, and I will make them pay without your help this time.”. Her Concern grew; still, she would find whatever was causing him to scowl like this and obliterate it.

Kathrin leaned close, pulling her love into a tight hug, unsure if she should say anything. Trying to piece together what could be the cause with only one answer coming to mind. ‘but why would he fear that powerful, handsome form.’

Putting that thought aside, she gently caressed his muscular back. “My love. Lord Sitabus…I know not what is causing you to scowl so, but I must say I cannot think of a single thing I don’t find beautiful and wonderful about your true form.”

Kathrin’s words seemed to have the desired effect as he relaxed in her arms. They Zoned out the world around them as she felt his breath on her neck, a shiver going down her spine.

“It is nothing, my dear, though I don’t see what part of that form there is to love it is repulsive.” Kathrin pulled back with a heart-warming smile full of nothing but love.

 “I can’t even slightly agree with that, my love. There is not a single thing about you I find repulsive. Just thinking about the things your regal vampire glory can do gets me so warm and wet.” Despite the doubt which still seemed to linger, seeing the small fanged smile. Let her know that her actions had helped.

“Thank you, Kathrin I must check on how Shalltear is doing. Keep the book safe and go back to check on Clem-chan and the human knight; the potion should be yielding results by now if she still lives.” Kathrin gave one last peck on his cheek before heading to her other objective.

With Fluder clear and safe from infection, she now had to ensure the safety of the imperial palace as well. Not that it would help the false emperor for ruling much longer.  Rushing off back to the palace to spread her gift and finally create the army of loyal servants for her lord.

 


-Royal palace-

Jircniv reflected on the reports given by three of the four, unsurprisingly both grandpa and Leinas were missing. What worried him most was the feeling of dread he couldn’t shake that something was wrong.

“So, they said he never left his room, but then the others watching Kathrin reported he appeared through a vortex of darkness. In front of the Ministry of magic tower, grandpa is in before he used another vortex to leave. They lost track of the third person, and they couldn’t even pick out what Kettro was talking to Kathrin about despite being only a few feet away. Is this about, right?” He knew Kettro was powerful but to effortlessly teleport, block eavesdropping, and they could not even track the third. It started to scare him just how dangerous they were.

‘I may have to come up with a plan to control them sooner than expected.’  Admittedly he didn’t even know this group’s origins. It was like they just appeared in the city today. Intertwining his fingers in thought, it was almost time to sleep, and neither grandpa or Leinas had reported back to them. At the very least, Leinas should have told him her answer if she was leaving his services. It would be hard enough trying to find a replacement.

Baziwood answered back, “Yes, sir, that’s what they reported as for Leinas, she has not left the room we gave them after going in. Also on my way here, I saw a lot of servants and guards wearing hats and cat tail belts, when I asked where they got them, they answered that lady Kathrin was handing them out.”

Jircniv slightly narrowed his eyes; this had not been in the report. That name sounded familiar. He couldn’t place it, something to look into later. “Odd when did Kathrin have time for this or did, she teleport back from the Ministry of magic? And where is she now?”

Nimble stepped forward, handing over the report as Jircniv skimmed over it; he talked. “We don’t know the report goes quite after meeting Kettro, at which point they simply said she returned to the palace and lost track of her.”

Jircniv didn’t like this at all; how did they lose track of her in the palace. He swirled the wine glass nearby as the servant stepped back, glancing over to notice the odd hat covering her head and the brown tail belt. Thinking nothing of it so long as they were in uniform and did the jobs, he asked of them.

“Nimble, I want you to go to the great temple to request an audience with them for me. Nazami pick out a few of our best trackers and tell them to replace those following Kettor’s group. I don’t want to keep losing track of them if that is all. I will retire to my chambers. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow.” Jircniv dismissed them expect for Baziwood as he left his main office to head down the quiet halls.

It was oddly more silent than usual as the maid followed them down the hall. His mind keeps trying to place where he remembered reading about lady Kathrin. Noticing Baziwood seemed tense, wanting to say something.

“If you have something you wish to talk about, say it, we should be safe to talk privately here. Marina knows not to speak about what she hears.” He has known her personally for a long time, and she was a loyal worker. It helped that if she spread what she heard, he could threaten her little brother. 

“I wonder if it is wise to trust this group; they have come out of nowhere. One of them could best all four of us easily. Now both Fluder and Leinas are missing while I trust your judgment; they have little reason to help us at all or remain loyal. So why come to us at all?” His most trusted guard and a close friend warned, speaking his concerns.

Jircniv smirked a little at the question he was right to worry one thing was clear to the emperor. He wanted revenge against this group that much he could glean from the meeting. Even if they were strong, everyone had a weak point; he just had to find it. He hoped the tails would see it and did, to an end, show him more of their abilities.

Even if he didn’t know them, he could prepare to bring his full army against them to keep them here if need be. They were far too useful and resilient to let roam around. Jircniv gave several strategies deep thought for gaining their loyalty. He was sure if he could keep them around the annual war and the group causing him trouble would be no issue.

“Not to worry if we can gain control of Kettor. I’m sure all this trouble will be worth the risk. If he truly is not willing to agree to our terms, we will have to be prepared to mobilize all of the royal guards and army when this is over.”

As he reaches his bedchambers, he turned to Baziwood, dismissing him too. Halting when he notices Marina was still following him. He stared at her, hoping she would get the point and leave. As pretty as she was, he was not looking for another concubine to deal with,

However, looking closer, she did seem different her breasts seemed more prominent, and she looked more slender and well-toned than usual. Under Jicniv stare, she didn’t shy away; in fact, she got closer.  Her brown eyes were now closer to honey color and hungry for him. “My lord, please allow me to join you so I may prove my usefulness beyond simpler tasks.”

Jircniv kept calm despite the close proximally gently pushing her back. “I thought you wanted to keep it professional besides what about your brother.”

Marina coyly grinned at his question. “I asked Marybell to watch him tonight. I feel with everything going on, I should secure my place here. and show my thanks to you unless you disagree.”

He knew at least that sounded reasonable; however, she refused to live in the palace due to her little brother. Plus, she was still rather ordinary for him, or at least she should look plain. Then he felt attracted to her for some odd reason as a sweet flowery scent filled the air.  Failing to notice the Medallion of Mental Protection had slipped off his neck. Marina came closer till he was kissing her as their tongues danced, his mind was clouded by lust and attraction.

“Alright, I could let you try out for tonight see where things go,” Jircniv replied before he knew it, they were in his bed.


-Pov switch-

After a few hours of fun, Marina smiled, looking down at the sleeping Jircniv. She had always found him handsome though she could never ask before with her little brother to think about and his dismissive thoughts of her.  This changed once her new mistress awakened her like so many others. Her talent had been useless to her most of her life, and she was too poor to afford to go to the Ministry of magic to learn. Something she always cursed her luck for.

However, after meeting her mistress, Marina found her talent had changed now. She could produce a strange aura of attraction. Even better, her mistress had ordered her to distract the emperor and ensure he would be unaware of a surprise tomorrow.

Perhaps if she did well enough, she would allow her to marry the emperor and ask him to move in with her and her little brother. Pulling out a sleep potion, this would ensure they would have plenty of cuddling time. Hopefully, he wouldn’t be too mad, but Jircniv was a fool to oppose her mistress in the first place, as all would learn after tomorrow.


-End of Chapter-

Chapter Text


Roxy groaned as she woke up, wondering why her neck and shoulders hurt so much. Opening her eyes, she saw the woman from yesterday standing just a few feet away, her back turned to Roxy. She was talking to some handsome man with deep red eyes, though why was she in her room. Stopping as a headache started to form with strange thoughts rushing into her mind. Compiled to look over at the neatly folded maid uniform.

Then she hears a voice in her head ‘Put the uniform on and get ready for the day.’ Roxy was still confused. She was the emperor's favorite concubine, so why was she dressed like a maid for the imperial palace. Again, she compiled for some reason, unable to concentrate on what the two are saying.

Once she was dressed, more orders were coming in as she walked up to both of them bowing to her mistress and master. Thinking about it, the headache slowly subsided as she realized the handsome vampire lord was her emperor, and the golden-eyed woman was the new emperors.   “How may I help you today and um why are you having me work as the staff I thought I was...”

Roxy trailed off, unable to make sense of why she ever thought Jircniv was the emperor. Then again, he foolishly tried to control her new mistress and master, so perhaps he was being punished.

 “Your awake good. If you have any questions, just ask the other staff or think about them and you will have an answer. As for your new station, you should already know now leave you're interrupting my time with my love.” Mistress Kathrin hissed and waved her off. As her order for the day came to her mind, not wanting to anger the mistress, she went to leave.

 


-POV change-

Once Roxy left the room Kathrin turned her attention back to lord Sitbaus with a frown. She very much didn’t like the little rat too plain and ordinary for her lord. Still, he insisted they shouldn’t kill anyone they didn’t need to.

“She is the last one my love aside from the three personal knights of the emperor though they won’t be a problem much longer.” Kathrin beamed with joy at the head pats she received.

For now, she would let them stay mostly organic; however, they were weak, and her army of loyal pack mate would need to grow stronger. Perhaps after they officially claimed the empire and moved the main lab form E-Rental to here. She could research a way to make the magic cores needed to make them automations more befitting her army of loyal followers for her master protection and happiness.

Her love pulled her over to sit on the maid’s bed; she was half tempted to try for some more pleasurable rewards. It is not like her packmates would mind. “Excellent work as expected of my empress. Sorry I was gone most of the night Shalltear required some special attention for her work. I hope it wasn’t too taxing on you is there any issue with the number of pack mates.”

Kathrin, for her part, simply reached out to the thousands of staff and guards now under her control. It had been a new experience to her having to sort through all the minds linked to her pack network. It did take some fine-tuning, yet the effort was worth the headache and time needed to sort out an order system to make them easier to manage. Even then, she couldn’t be sure how range would affect this delicate network.

“It was no trouble at all lord Sitabus. I take great joy in the confidence you have in me.” Kathrin pulled him into a hug loving the smell and warmth from his body.

“Alright, now there is the trouble of how to deal with the church. The crows where smart to take control of there. Perhaps I should send Clam-Chan and Leinas to deal with it.” She loved watching her love hum in thought, thinking of so many plans.

Even if he clearly already knew she was taking care of it. It brought a burst of joy to see him back to normal after yesterday, which was only more reason to make sure he didn’t slip back again. Kathrin would just have to find what was causing him to doubt himself and show him the scum only got lucky before.

Leaning him down onto the bed as Kathrin’s hands caressing his chest, all the while rubbing her body on his. “So thoughtful, my love, but I already have agents taking care of it. Just in case I had the assassin and Leinas keeping watch. With any luck, the knight sent by the emperor will die as well.”

- Limen start-

Kathrin pulls Kyuketsuki into a passion-filled kiss, letting her tongue roam distracting Kyuketsuki for whatever doubt or worry lingered in his head. Kathrin’s gentle touch massaging his tense muscles, careful not to harm him. When Kyuketsuki hesitantly pulled back, Kathrin knew she would need to convince her lord there was no need to worry. Kathrin would not lose him in mind, body, or spirit to anything!

“Please trust me and let us enjoy ourselves. The result will be to your liking, and they will pay dearly for crossing us.”  Seeing the resolve to see it in person weaken but not vanish, Kathrin realized what the issue was smiling with pride. Of course, Kyuketsuki would want to personally hurt the leader in the owl mask.

Trying to ease Kyuketsuki back down on to the mattress, uncaring that this was Roxy’s bed. “My love, if this masked attacker shows I promise we will leave at once to end them for their interference in Velvet and Shalltear’s rebelling. So, will you indulge your empress in our official crowning.”  Seductively Purring into Kyuketsuki ear, his hands grasping Kathrin’s firm backside.

“Aright, my dear, I will trust you, but are you sure you want to do this here the poor woman will have to sleep here tonight.” Kyuketsuki murmured into Kathrin’s ear one hand, reaching to help remove her dress.

Kathrin could only coyly smirk back, nibbling Kyuketsuki’s ear. Almost rolling her eyes at the thought of even one of her packmates dared complain about them using any room in THEIR palace. They would find themselves cleaning up the mess themselves. “I am sure she will be fine; if not, I can talk to her later.”

Forgetting the matter, her love reached up, helping Kathrin unzip the top layer sliding the dress off her shoulders. Exposing her ample bosom earning her lord's attention as he fondled them gently, bringing a shiver down her spine as she moaned in bliss at the touch. Her tail swaying gently as the dress slowly slides off the rest of the way. Kathrin’s magic core humming in tone with her moans sliding her gentle hands down Kyuketsuki’s arms to the battens of the trench coat and suit, unbuttoning it slowly. Slowed by the caressing of her breasts, Kathrin’s moans mixing into purring.

Enjoying the feeling of Kyuketsuki’s hands moving tantalizingly slowly down Kathrin’s sides. Squeezing, pitching, and teasing her soft flesh at the simulations, the pleasure was increased by Kyuketsuki’s red eyes fixated on Kathrin’s every jolt and move as his hands slowly reached down to her Clint she gasped lightly. She was only able to uncover his chest before letting out light moans a building pressure at her nether region. Kathrin gained a teasing grin stopping her hands from reaching his pants.

Kathrin leans into a deep kiss allowing Kyuketsuki’s tongue to dance with her own feeling the familiar building Intensity and warmth. Moving to purr in his ear. “If you keep distracting me, we can’t get to the best part. If you still have your pant on.” Gasping as to fingers sneaked inside Kathrin’s slit as his other hand reached up to caress her bosom again.

Forcing Kathrin to use her hands to steady herself on Kyuketsuki’s chest. Kyuketsuki’s fingers Playing with her inner tunnels, Kathrin’s moans dissolve into pleasure mews. All the while, Kyuketsuki’s other hand pinching Kathrin’s massaging her chest and brushing over her G spots as he increased his speed. Looking into Kyuketsuki, warm blood-red eyes, which glowed brightly as she stares into them. It had been only a few minutes, and she was feeling so close to the edge of Cuming.

Kathrin was unable to hold in her moans and purrs, gripping Kyuketsuki’s chest, panting heavily. Kyuketsuki seeing how close Kathrin was he gave a toothy grin as his eyes change slightly. Kyuketsuki’s eyes began looking more hungrily, taking in her perfect body just as it was. “It is fine. I love this face your making. It makes me want to see you orgasm first.”

Kyuketsuki’s hands increased speed as Kathrin’s moans grew louder, going faster and faster till it felt like she was burning up. Loving the feeling of Kyuketsuki eyes on her naked body, looking only at her. The building knot in her core kept tightening, rising in intensity.

Kathrin couldn’t hold it any more screaming out in bliss, her juices rolling down her legs still panting as in the afterglow. Hovering over, Kathrin notices Kyuketsuki brought his hands coated in her juices up to his lips, cleaning them off. “Yummy, delectable I love the flavor would you like to return the favor, my queen?” Kyuketsuki hummed, capturing her lips, allowing her to taste her seed in the after taste.

Kathrin grinned her face glowing red, taking off his pants to see his morning wood hard and at attention. Licking her lips, Kathrin kept her gaze lock with Kyuketsuki, her hands reaching down seductively gripping his staff. Not done, Kathrin moves her head using her tongue and lips to play with his balls.  The moan from Kyuketsuki caused a shiver to run down Kathrin, her haunches waging as her tail swayed back and forth like a cat with a canary.

“This is better than last time have you been practicing.” Kyuketsuki groans his hands, brushing through Kathrin’s silky hair. Kathrin’s mouth Playing with his balls, and her hands pumped his staff. Leaving Kyuketsuki reeling as Kathrin made sure to lick and stroke all the best spots, bringing a wave of pleasure with each pass above her as Kyuketsuki’s hands tightly gripped her head. Making sure to ignite a rush of heat to every part of Kyuketsuki’s manhood.

Kathrin Switches her hands down to caresses Kyuketsuki balls as her mouth stretches to take in Kyuketsuki’s large staff. Kathrin swirling her tongue around Kyuketsuki’s rod, reaching her lips all the way down to the base. Moaning into the staff of mouth-filling rod, taking joy in the way he jolted or shifted to her every touch.

Moving faster and brushing over the head of his organ each time as Kyuketsuki groans increased in time with Kathrin’s Deep throating of his organ. Moving faster and faster with each wave of pleasure washing over both Kathrin and Kyuketsuki, she felt his hands hold her close, fingers brushing through smooth raven hair holding her close as Kyuketsuki precum started to leak out, followed by his bulging staff.

Warning Kathrin that Kyuketsuki was close to coming any second now. Kathrin kept pumping her swollen lips over her lover staff. Kathrin breathed out her nose, inhaling the sacred sent of Kyuketsuki.

Kyuketsuki grunting out as he was close to release with one final thrust deep into Kathrin’s throat. Kyuketsuki came down Kathrin’s throat flowing into her belly. As the minty flavor of Kyuketsuki seed fills Kathrin’s mouth, hollowing her cheeks, she made sure to swallow every drop. Kathrin seductively Crawls back up the bed to straddle Kyuketsuki’s waist, his still hard staff rubbing up against her nether lips.

-Limen End-

Kathrin husky voice still hungry for more. “I memorized serval books on the matter, in-between running the lab, approving or reading over documents from E-Rental, and keeping up with your daily orders. Among other skills, I have picked up in case you require them. my love, as usual, I will be ready for anything you should ask of me.”

Kyuketsuki gained a thoughtful look before recalling something. “Right, I programmed that into your bio. Even so, that is a lot to do for me, would you like a reward?”

Kathrin was ready to shut down the question. She didn’t need a reward. Knowing he would not leave like the other supreme beings is reward enough.

Kyuketsuki, as if sensing this, kissed her chin before stopping her. “I would feel I’m taking advantage of you if I didn’t give you something for all your hard work. How about this for the next week you can ask for anything I can reasonably give.”

Kathrin beamed with joy at this, feeling her heart soar. Kathrin’s fingers taring the bedsheets as joy-filled her core. “Well, if you insist my love, may we do the next round with your true form, I rarely get to see its beauty up close. After if it is not too much, could you tell me about…

what would be a fitting term to the first world he came from. Kathrin beamed happily as an answer came to mind-…tell me about your first world the one your real body comes from. I feel like since coming here I haven’t known you as best I could. Which brings me shame to think for so long I thought I knew everything about you, yet I didn’t.” Kathrin purred gently into Sitabus ear, rubbing his shoulders, feeling them tense had she go too far to ask the second part.

Sitabus subtly shifted again uncomfortably, looking away from her. Kathrin cursed her foolishness; she should have known it was painful to hide this part of himself. Bringing his face back to stare into hers, yet he wouldn’t look into her eyes. ‘Great, this is ruining the mood.’

“What if seeing these parts only leads you to despise me. Or worse hurt you that form has changed here. It feels like it’s alive. I could-

Kathrin cut off Sitabus argument with a deep kiss, not allowing doubt to rise back up. Kathrin would wash it away in waves of pleasure. She refused to lose him to see him leave like every other supreme being in Nazarick. Convinced if she just poured her love over It, she could make it vanish like every other insect which dared hurt lord Kyuketsuki.

Gasping as they parted lips a trail of saliva connecting as Kathern repositions herself to guide his rod into her maidenhood. Earning a gasp from Kyuketsuki, Kathrin smiles Velvet might have done this differently, but she knew her way would work too. “The only thing you could do to hurt me is disappearing on me, my love. I know you can control it again, break anything in your path. I will help you. If I must, but please don’t shut me out now. I want to feel all of you, know all of you, and have all of you here with me is enough reward to ever have.”

Kathrin watches her lord hesitantly groan under her grappling with something before finally shifting to that lovely appearance. Kyuketsuki’s long tong enters Kathrin's mouth as she moaned into the kiss. Kathrin will spend all day like this if this is what it takes to finally crush any doubt in her love. ‘That’s it, my love leave fear behind along with all those walls, let us feel nothing but bliss. I will show you how much I love everything about you.’

 


-At the temple of the four gods-

 Nimble was a proud knight and supporter of the bloody emperor, as he was commonly called. Which is why he still couldn’t understand how he had lost in seconds to the woman. She wasn’t even taking them seriously infuriating grin on her face the whole time. It was terrible enough Kettor’s group had spent the entire day just wondering the palace and city or evading their trails.

That whole group couldn’t be trusted; they are arrogant, selfish, and unloyal to the emperor. Still, the emperor said he had a plan to deal with them, so he would just have to trust Jircniv on this. Not that they really had a choice in the matter from what his connection to friends he working within the empire army. They were stretched thin and losing numbers far faster than they should.

Turning on to the street of the main temple, he was shocked to see it blocked by a massive crowd as a voice boomed from the stand near the entrance to the main temple of the city.

“Good people our emperor does nothing to contain the threat of the demi-humans which are raiding the countryside. Why just this morning, I heard an adamantine rank adventuring group who was slaughtered by the beasts! Which is why we must rally and call for him to see the rising danger they have in our cities.”

Nimble was shocked by the cheering of the crowd Infront of him he could not even get to the into the main temple like this. Seeing other guards nearby, he approached. They were failing to contain this mess.

“What is going on here?”

The two shared a nervous glance. “Sir, we are too low on numbers we sent for reinforcement to help quill the crowd, but they haven’t come back, and it has been almost an hour.” 

Nimble was at a loss; he wouldn’t even be able to get through a crowd like this. He turned back to the watchmen. He would find out what was taking so long later, for now, the emperor’s task came first. “I will look into it but help me clear a path to the front I need to speak with one of the head priests,” Nimble Yells over the crowd just to be heard.

It took several minutes of pushing and shoving to get through all the people who were so antagonized by the speaker's words they barely notice them. They were good at making sermons, but not this good. Finally, the priest takes notice of him as did all of the crowd. He did not like this feeling of hate and anger filling the air, all of it pointed at the three. He might have to fight his way out of this if the Slane Theocracy was really doing this.

“So, the emperor finally takes notice of us; you see the four gods have answered our call. What news do you bring of our call to action of these devils, undead and demi-human scum?” The priest called the people cheered along with his words.

Singling the guards to be ready should anything happen. Something was Cleary going on the emperor needs to know about.  Nimble stepped forward closer to the podium, the preacher on the wooden stand over his head.  “I did not come to talk about that. I merely came on the emperor's behalf to talk to one of the head priests of the church about private matters.”

Nimble could swear he saw the priest smirk vanishing just as quickly as it showed, it was Replaced by a glare. “Then you have been sent to silence us and the rumors of beast-man attacking cities destroying the army piece by piece, is it?”

He really didn’t like the mood of the crowd; still, he hopes to avoid killing anyone if he could prevent it. With so many people gathered around him, he would have to be careful not to get overwhelmed. “No, I am mealy here to talk to you in private or someone else if you are busy, and I will gladly pass your message along to him.” 

 The sinking feeling in his gut only got worse as the priest spread out his arms to the crowd. “Why should we need privacy unless you mean to silence me. When your little watchmen, are too scared to move with such a large crowd.”

Nimble gritted his teeth, what could he do to change their minds. “Look I will leave my sword out here if this is what you wish, but I only want to speak-

Before he could finish, fire rained from the sky all around them. Nimble was blown off his feet by the blast as raging flames consumed the crowd before he could even figure out what had just happened, he saw it a towering armored undead charging through the crowd.  Butchering and crushing all who were unlucky enough to get in its way.

He just barely rolled out of the way as the undead monster bashed through the temple entrance, followed by magic casters following in as the chaos outside only rose people running in fear. Turning to see Fluder landing nearby with a grin on his wrinkled face and what Baziwood had described seeing the servants having on.

“What in the name of the four gods are you doing!” Nimble could not believe this had the old wizard gone mad. The emperor would have a nightmare dealing with the backlash after this.

“Doing what is commanded of me.” He paused as if thinking about something with a gleeful grin, which was anything but good. “Jr. told me of the plot the temple leaders were planning.”

Nimble was shocked; this must have been a lie, but then was it Kettor’s group at work? It only got worse as the priest somehow survived his skin severely burned and charred still, he stood despite the injuries. “You see, the emperor has been corrupted turned against us by the monsters and beasts.  Flee and spread the word, do not let this blasphemy go unpunished, or you may be next.”

Nimble took notice of the few commoners still close enough to witness as Fluder gathered more flames to his hand with [Grand Fireball].  Trying to stand, but he was too late to stop Fluder as Nimble watched the priest vanish into the fire. Nimble turns with narrowed eyes to Fluder. Why would the emperor ask him to see the priest if he already planned to attack?

Realizing were Fluder was headed, Nimble follows him into the main temple where chaos and flames were already spread quickly. Watching in shock as the undead knight was just cutting loose. The mages were Cleary with Fluder and gave no mercy as they destroyed everything around them.

Nimble had to roll out of the way as part of the roof had fallen from the upper floor where he was standing before. Nimble had to do something to at least minimize the damage and backlash this would bring on Jircniv.

He rushed past the death and destruction trying to catch up to Fluder, who was oddly much faster than he remembered him being. Nimble was forced to draw his blade to stop something launched at him cutting down whatever it was, turning to the attacker he was shocked to see Jasper head priest of God of Water.

Only something was wrong with him. His skin was bloated out green, black, and red veins pulsing. In fact, he barely looked human with some kind of tail and tentacle wings. Nimble gasped in shock, barely raising his sword to block faster-moving projectiles.

“So, the fool playing emperor found us out, would you tell me what tipped him off.” The distorted voice of the monster asked, pushing Nimble back. Killing off a few mages with black spines.

“He didn’t. I just came here to talk. Though now I know it’s not the Slane Theocracy. Fluder just attack, which has almost killed me twice now!” Nimble grumbled, annoyed with this whole mess activating [ability boost] and [greater ability boost], he charged the monster getting close enough to unleash [three-fold slash].

Only to be shocked at some kind of barrier shattering halting the attack. The changing tentacle monster gave up any hint of humanity moving behind him with inhuman speed and flexibility. Gripping Nimble’s arms tightly. Nimble was forced to drop his sword before his arms broke.

The ex-priest chuckled at his struggling, failing to break free. “Don’t think you can beat me. Our original has been planning the fall of your emperor for years. It was bad enough you slew his master. But then they dare forget his killer like killing our master was nothing! Your arrogance will be your downfall when we bring him back.”

Nimble could only use the last of his energy to gasp out a curse, feeling those green vines starting to strangle him. How did this day end up like this? All he had to do was talk to a priest and return to the palace. His vision started to fade, clawing at the arm for air. He could only hope the emperor would be able to deal with this. 

 


-Outside the Temple on a Nearby Rooftop-

Clementine glared at the woman next to her before turning back to the collapsing burning temple as smoke billows out of the crumbling roof. Licking her lips at the blood splattering the ground and humans below screaming and running away.

Leinas signed, trying not to look at the assassin. “Can you not do that it creeps me out. You use to be human too.”

The girl giggled her tentacle hair flailing around her body, her hands touching her blades. “I still love to join in the blood bath human or not. But lady Kathrin is a killjoy she hasn’t’ even let me play with a few ‘stray sheep.’ At least Shalltear, let me have some fun.”

Leinas looked disgusted by the comment, why Kettor tolerated his woman was beyond her. Then again, Kathrin seemed to keep taking about humans like they were sheep, sending a sympathetic look at those below. As Kathrin said, ‘This was necessary for the future of the empire.’ She flexed her light brown feathery arm watching her clawed hand move. At least is what she told herself, she had not seen much of Kettor after he vanished the other day. So, it was hard to know his thoughts on this mission.

“I would say this is an improvement, wouldn’t you say.” Clementine giggled much to Leinas annoyance.

Leinas narrowed her changed yellow bird eyes sent a glare the assassin way. It was odd enough getting use to the changes the potion caused. The wings and lighter body helped her move faster, though, with the mood of the crowd below, she would have to hide her demi-human feathers for a while.

Leinas was not even sure what she was, too scared to ask. It was shocking enough to learn about Heteromorphic races as Kathrin was all too happy to lecture her about. Even still, she couldn’t deny the change did not take away from her beauty. If anything, the new feathers on her arms, legs, and hair only help highlight it.

One thing for sure was whatever bird-like demi-human she had become: could fly, was light and fast, and had an almost hypnotic voice to everyone she talked to.

Leinas could not say how shocked she was to be Complemented by her voice and looks again. For so long, the curse had taken this from her, with no one wanting to get close. Now it was gone, maybe she wasn’t human still so far, the price had not been too bad. If Fluder would hurry up, she hated watching this unfold.

Leinas turned away from the horror below to ask something if nothing else then to take her mind of what was happening. “So how did you join Kettor’s group anyway? I don’t see what need he has for someone like you.”

Leinas regretted asking the question at the creepy lewd face Clem was making. Leinas doubted she was ever sane by the mad blush and crazy fanged smile. “We met in a cemetery had a beautiful dance, before he wormed his way into my heart through moonlight dates where I got to play with my food. Then he gave me this awful potion, and here I am one of his lovely brides.”

Leinas skeptically looked at the woman with narrowed eyes, she didn’t want to know what she counted as dates or dancing. However, the most unbelievable thing was her getting any kind of position in bed. It was like inviting a viper into bed. “Right like any sane person would trust a sadist like you not to stab them while there sleeping.”

She didn’t like the way her evil grin only got wider at her comment. “Oh, you wound me with such harsh words.” She fainted being hurt, which Leinas didn’t buy for one moment.

“If you must know just a few days ago, I got to share some special time with Shalltear and my only master. Would you like to see my proof!”  Clem never lost her grin, pulling out some kind of magic paper written in a langue she couldn’t quite read at first. Shifting to legible words as a marriage certificate- 

“What!” was the only thing she could think to say skimming over it. Before finding the wording 3rd bride, though, the name was Cleary rewritten. “Your telling me you are the last of three women I suppose that doesn’t surprise me. As much as you being able to get off without murder or blood.”

The deceitful glint in the assassin told her there was more to the story. “Oh, I was fourth of five if you most know. But placement doesn’t matter as much as remembering the feeling of master incredible- Leinas put her hand over Clem's mouth, not wanting to hear these kinds of details. Either it would be very bloody and gruesome or sensual in nature, either way, she didn’t need to know.

Not pulling back her clawed hand despite the tongue licking her feathers. ‘I will never get along with this woman nor understand what he finds remotely interesting in this sociopath.’

Then her eyes caught movement below some kind of monster dragging along…Nimble! Deciding to act if nothing else, she could say she was keeping them from escaping as Kathrin had asked. “Stay here and keep any others from getting away!”

 Jumping off the roof, flying quickly to keep up with the moving mass of whatever the creature was. Leinas might not know what it was; however, it was not human.

Tracking them carefully, pulling out her spear taking aim. Activating several martial arts with skillful aim before swooping down. If nothing else, Nimble would owe her after this.

Leinas was surprised when her attack didn’t take down the monster in one shot. A few odd tentacles had been cut off, but it was still standing the spear sticking out of it. Then Leinas noticed the height difference. She jumped back, flapping her wings to help distance herself from the monster’s range. Glancing at Nimble, he was out cold. Dangling from the vines like tendrils which were its arms.

“Ah, you must be another of the four, yet you look far different.” The monster's eyes watched her raising one arm and launching out vines of green at her. Leinas cut and slice everything which got close with her claws.

Leinas was worried her armor only covered her chest and body till she could get new armor made. She couldn’t get her spear back without risking getting close. Narrowing her eyes and readying her claws for a fight.

“Run along little ant I don’t have time for you right now.” The tentacle monster turns away to leave down an alleyway.

Leinas was still new to her body’s changes, so she didn’t want to risk fighting in a cramped alleyway. Charging the monster slashing at the limbs holding Nimble, dodging back at the black spines launched her way.

“So be it ant you will be joining your friend.” Growled the mass of vines, its red eyes glaring as it whispered and started to launch more spines Leinas way. Which she evaded thanks to her much lighter and more agile body. Leinas began to sweat as the battle dragged on; this was a harder battle then she bargained for. Not helped by the fact it just kept regenerating limbs every time one was cut off.

Thankfully it had a limited range; it could stretch. Despite knowing this, it was only thanks to her martial arts Leinas could keep up. Which was quickly proving to be a losing battle.

Realizing she was outmatched in this fight. She had a choice to make if she ran; it would be seen as a failure to Kettor. Leinas didn’t want to die either after finely being free of the curse. Grasping the scroll on her belt, Clementine had given her from Kettor should she need anything. Pondering if it would be better to run, then would he see it as a betrayal?

Leinas was inches from being stabbed by her own spear thrown Back at her. A trickle of blood rand down from the small cut on her cheek. Deciding she needed to try something, she opened the scroll as it burned up a link forming feeling Kettors presence in her mind.

[What do you need, Leinas? If this is unimportant, you will pay for the next scroll with your own skin.]

Leinas gulped at the gravely commanding voice knowing his darker side was out. Rolling away from a hail of spines. [um, sir. Kettor, as per your orders, I went to pursue something escaping from the church. However, it is shrugging off my attacks like nothing. I humbly ask for your aid, or I fear I may parish, please.]

There was silence on the link before it cut off. Leinas fears she would have to fight alone as the vine-like arms finally caught her while she was distracted. ‘Dam it, No, I refuse to die here!’

Clawing scratching and struggling to break the vice grip around her throat. Yet nothing seemed to truly hurt the monster, she had never even seen something like this before.

“Such spirit, you will make a fine addition to our numbers. A shame the message scroll failed you.” It taunted much to Leinas annoyance, hoping she would be saved. 

Wanting to scream, she gathered the air still in her lungs, screeching out a loud bellow forcing the monster to drop her.  Coughing as air returned to her lungs, taking serval minutes to catch her breath. Noticing a shadow fall over her, she quickly held out her claws in fear.

Only to see Kettor red eyes looking over her with a proud smile. Leinas sat silently, unsure what to say before looking past him to see the frozen remains of the monster. Breaking apart into pieces, ‘When had he arrived and where is Nimble’ looking back to those kind crimson eyes.

“It seems you don’t just look like a harpy; you have some of their abilities too. We can test this more later.” Kettor offers her a hand pulling her up.

Leina’s gaze went to the ground; she couldn’t believe she thought he had left her to die. She was about to apologies before a comforting hand on her shoulder, snapped her attention to Kettor’s smiling face, filled with pride and joy. “Good job I’m surprised you managed to survive with how much he was above your level.”

Leinas wandered over to pick up her spear, turning back to lord Kettor. “What about Nimble? I don’t see him anywhere. Also, thank you. I didn’t think you were coming for a second.”

Kettor gave a look of understanding. “There is no need to worry about him for now. As long as he is willing to work with us, he may yet live. I protect those loyal to me, always remember this.”

Leinas watches his hand vanish before pulling out a new scroll tossing into her hands. “Remember to only use them for times like these. I only have so many on hand. hopefully, Demiurge might have a solution when I speak with him again.” He mumbled the last part.

“What should I do now, sir,” Leinas inquired half expecting to be sent back to watching with clementine. Even if Leinas couldn’t stand the madwoman, despite the claim of being married to someone like Kettor, she was half tempted to ask how he could stand Clementine’s madness for more than a few minutes. Which is why she was surprised by the warm answer and pat on her shoulder.

“Enjoy some free time you earned it. We can talk later at the palace tomorrow. I will message you or send Clem-chan to get you if I need anything more.” he waved and teleported away. Leaving behind a very confused Leinas.

‘Maybe it won’t be too bad working for him. Still, what changed his mood, he seemed like he was in a hurry to get back.’   Shrugging, Leinas looked around the empty street before taking flight might as well enjoy a fly over the city before deciding how to enjoy the rest of the day.

 


-Royal palace-

Marina's eye opens, after the warmth of her crush got up, see Jircniv get up and awake. His body was still sluggish and slowed by the sleep potions side effects, as it would be for an hour. Silently following him to the door as more orders from mistress Kathrin came in. It was time for Jicniv to choose his fate; she could only hope he would realize his time at the emperor was over. 

“What do you mean, Fluder destroyed the temple of the four gods! Get all of the four to meet me now in my office!” Jircniv's angry yell entered her ears.

Marina hid her grimace; it seemed he didn’t realize with his public image destroyed; he lost the last bit of control he had in Baharuth. The nobles still hated him over his purge, the common people would hate him after today, and mistress Kathrin had already insured anyone who might help him was dead or on her side. All she was waiting for was the orders to have Jircniv become hers and keep him hidden till, as everyone would think, he is well and truly dead.

Then the massager told him Kettor wanted to see him, his reaction was less than happy. Marina sighed, quickly dressing and getting up. Maybe if she reined him in, then mistress would not have him kill more then once. If he angers mistress too much, she will make sure he vanished.

Warping her arm around Jircniv's shoulders purring in his ears. “No need to be so tense my lord we can just talk with Kettor.”

Loving the way his eyes dulled a little, even still, he was agitated. “Marina, if I don’t do something, then people will think I planned this. If I don’t act, now my reputation will be ruined.”

Marina gave a light-hearted smiled and followed him, not letting go of his right hand. Letting her mistress know where they were headed. Receiving the wave of joy from mistress, she had done well. Now she just had to make sure Jircniv didn’t do anything impulsive.

As they traveled down the halls, Jircniv toke notice of the changed helmets to better fit the new ears. Even noticing the changed eye colors to yellow, copper, amber, and gold.  Most notably was the tails were now moving, not playing the act of being belts.

It was a welcome change to Marina though she kept her tail wrapped around her waist to not scare Jircniv yet. Coming up to the meeting room, its use was to strategies and talk with advisers.

This is where things would get complicated. Marina frowned slightly, trying to think of the best way to break the news.  As two guards blocked their path, Jircniv was shocked at this, not seeing the other guards around the hall tense.

‘Please let us in to meet you mistress Jircniv is here.’ She could only patiently wait and try to keep Jircniv calm.

“What are you doing. I order you to let me into this room.” Jircniv harshly ordered his face calm, though his heart was beating faster.

What followed had him turning pale as his heart raced his mind, unable to believe what was happening. “Empress Kathrin and Emperor Kettor are in the middle of a meeting. They gave orders not to be disturbed by a pretender.”

Even with her calming aura, Jircniv was panicking his eyes darting around them hall. The guards were now blocking his paths. Then she saw lady Shalltear with two of her brides dragging bodies of two armored men. Their armor cracked, and broken weapons missing.

“No!” Jircniv whispered, finally realizing he was no longer in charge. As he tried to pull away, Marina held firm, not letting him move. If he did something stupid, he would get himself killed.

Then Jircniv's eyes turned to her, noticing the same color of eyes, ears, and tail. “Marina, how long have you…wait, where are my medallion and my other protection. Where is it?” He tried reaching for it only to find nothing.

 Marina gave a calming, gentle smile rubbing his arm, her aura could only do so much without being more Sensual in nature. Still, Marina didn’t want to lose her soon to be husband. After all, the empire was in mistress Kathrin’s caring hands. “I teleported those weak trinkets to mistress last night. Don’t worry, mistress Kathrin is handling the mess of the temple.”

They watched Shalltear approach the door being let in servants already clearing the trail of blood. Then the guards closed the door waiting a few more minutes before they were let in.

Lord Kettor greeting them Shalltear with her two brides, Nimble, the blonde assassin, mistress, and a moving blob of red slime in the corner.  “Hello, Jircniv, sorry for the show, but Shalltear wanted to show off her quick work. It only took her an hour or two to track them down.”

 Sweat rolled down Jircniv skin; he was hyperventilating his eyes, taking in two of his broken and beaten elites and Nimble, refusing to look him in the eyes. “Sorry, sir, but I had to make a choice.”

Jircniv eyes locked on to Kettor with rage and distrust, as he realized just how outplayed he was. “So, you planned to take everything from the start vampire.”

 Silence settled over the room as a servant brought a tray of drinks on the table.

“Want something to drink most of it doesn’t compare to Nazarick. But still, I am a graces host, and I must thank you for not running. After all, I need to decide what to do with you.” Kettor waved him over to the couch, an invitation he didn’t take.

This wasn’t good; Marina could feel her mistress displeasure at the disrespect. Quickly taking a glass and drinking while pulling Jircniv over to the seat. “Please, Jircniv, don’t be so rude in front of the new empress and emperor.”

Kettor’s laughter caught both their attention. “No need to worry, Marina, no offense taken. I will only kill him if we can’t come to an agreement. I hate needless bloodshed just as much as I hate paperwork and politics though they are a necessary evil. Jircniv stop wasting time and lest talk about my payment now.” 

She noticed the emperor seemed calm, but his heartbeat and sweat told a different story. Don’t do anything foolish she repeated in her head.

Jircniv held back as he scanned over the group before him. Trying to think of some way to turn this around, he was trapped, and he knew it. “Talk about payment, what could I give you! You have my palace, killed my advisers, turned Fluder against me, and now the commoners will believe I planned to destroy the temple. You haven’t even done what I hired you for!”

Marina cursed his sharp tongue did he not see mistress’ narrowed eyes or not care just how close she was to frying him alive. Marina hissed at him to stop talking so harshly, a warning he disregards.

Kettor picked up one glass of tea, taking a sip before explaining. “The leaders of the great temple were infected; I personally fought one of the head priests. With them gone, all we have to do is wait for the head to show itself now that his control is gone, and he thinks he has the upper hand.”

“What about Fluder and my four knights! was taking one of my knights not enough.?” Jircniv asked, giving a respectful side glance to his fallen loyal knights.

Kettor sighed, handing the empty glass to Kathrin. “Fluder has been in contact with some of the crows for years. As for your other knights, two chose not to surrender, so my lovely dear Shalltear politely gave them a quick and painful death. I saved Nimble and gave him a chose, join, and live, be banished without his memories or die.”

Jircniv eyes shot open at the threat of erasing memories had to be an empty threat, Yet none of his body language hinted at this being a lie. This was worse than he could have imagined. Still, he tried not to show just how cornered he was if he had any hope of stopping them.

Merina could see he wasn’t going to just give up on trying to fight this. Mistress, reading her thoughts, creased her lips, her golden eyes warning her what would happen should he even try.

“Even if it is true, you have taken over Baharuth capital. Now you want to use me as a scapegoat for this mess, right? What would you need me for?” They stared each other down Jircniv was really pushing his luck. At this rate, Marina would see him permanently dead.

Then Kettor glared sharply at Jircniv. “Not if you agree to my terms, you will live a long, happy life with Marina here as she requested to my dear queen. I will make sure the empire prospers despite the crow’s best efforts. All you have to do is kneel and call me emperor.”

Jircniv was still silent as he processed the information, Marina didn’t need to know his thoughts to see the repulsion in his eyes his distrust shining through. “You really expect me to believe an undead vampire would do that. Who could you possibly blame other than me?”

To this, Kettor smirked his eyes shining brightly. “The Covent of Crows, they were waiting for the next annual war with Baharuth and Re-Estize. Only I got in the way at E-Rental and followed the trail of one up here.”

This was when he remembered the name Kathrin was one of the adamantine adventure groups in Lograth. “Your Kyuketsuki, the leader of adamantine adventuring team darkness vultures.”

Marina shivered at the chilly air, which now filled the room. Why did he have to keep testing his limits? She quickly went to cover his mouth, apologizing to her lord and mistress for the fool daring to utter the name.

Luckily Kettor didn’t kill him or her on the spot. Nor did mistress despite all of the others int the room drawing weapons ready to kill Jircniv, save Nimble who took a step back.

 “I am giving the name up, it is cursed just like my last nickname. One which I kept trying to forget even as I used part of it to remind myself. I earned that name by killing for those that run a mega-corporation. At the time, revenge drove me until I realized all I did had become a handy tool for the people who killed her. After this, I joined YGGDRASIL to forget this curse, which has followed me here. But I found that even in this new world, all my power is useless if I keep repeating the same mistakes. Nazarick deserves better as do all who follow me.”

Kettor rises out of his seat with clenched hands, taking notice that Jircniv did not move from his place. Showing his intention without words, Kettor could see the secret plans forming in his enemy's mind.

“We will break this curse because we are no longer wandering blades defending nazarick. We are defenders of its rising nation, which Baharuth will be part of under our watch, and it will prosper.  We will no longer slip back to that weakness or allow the old human naivety or mistakes to repeat again.”

Both Marina and Jircniv watched Kettor shift to show his real appearance. Despite the horrified look of Jircniv, Marina saw the true vampire look the same way Kathrin did handsome his elegant slime-covered bone wings welcoming, even if she still preferred to have Jircniv.

Kettor continued his voice calm and steady despite the aura of bloodlust leaking out. “If Ainz can adapt to take on the challenges of this new world, then so can I. I will face these changes no longer controlled by my fear of it. It is sad to see you will not be working with us, as I had hoped. But then the Slane Theocracy did assassinate you over letting the crows get control of your kingdom, and with how hard Marina is working to keep you alive, I suppose I will reward her. Please hold him still I would hate for my claws to scar your new husband.” 

Marina beamed even happy to see mistress Kathrin smiling with pride at her. She held down Jircniv as Kettor shadow fell over them. Jircniv was in full blow terror mode, trying to break free. Once Kettor's hand touched his head, his eyes dulled, then watching for a few hours, she watches him work. Even if Marina didn’t know what he was doing.

 


-Near Phovine -

Arche awoke with a start as the image of the ruins returning to her seeing Kyuketsuki vanishing in the red vortex and smoke. Sweat rolling down her skin, panting for breath as she put a hand on her chest over her racing heart. She could still hear those words repeating in her mind ‘we will meet again.’ Not wishing to experience the dream again, Arche got up out of her tent, looking over to the other shelters.

It was still dark out the sun had yet to rise; the fire pit was out. Sitting down to think about the recurring dream. She sent a nervous glance over to the horse-sized dragons Hekkeran and Imina had brought back in Lograth, she didn’t know where they got them, but she always got nervous when their red glowing eyes turned her way just being around them made her feel unnerved.

Still, something about the night air felt different, as the chilly breeze blows through the clearing.

Arche sifted her thoughts to the dream she was having each night since Foresight left the ruins. It should make her feel at ease, yet she couldn’t get his last words out of her mind. Her hand gliding over the gold bag tided to her waist; it was more than enough for what Arche was planning when she got back home.

‘He had so much power even as a vampire, so was he really killed by whatever it is they found in these flooded ruins?’

“I think we both know the answer to that question Arche.”

Arche jumped to her feet, her staff at the ready if not shaking slightly, she could not see anything. Even as Arche scanned the camp and the forest edge, she saw nothing.

“Sorry, but I can’t risk any of your team seeing me, nor do I trust the new undead dragons you call horses.”

Arche saw the air shimmer as the cloaked person appeared their face covered by a clown mask. Even their voice seemed to changed Arche talent couldn’t see the mana level of this person. An illusion a strong one at if it hides everything about them, she could be stronger than Kyuketsuki.

Arche takes a step back as this stranger raised a hand. “I couldn’t take that old vampire even if I wanted too. Besides, I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Only you can see me right now.”

Arche narrowed her eyes, sparing a glance at both her team mate’s tents and the dragon horses. They were right nothing seemed to even know their presence was here.

“What do you want, and how are you reading my thoughts.”  She shouted, testing just how much was being affected.  The only reaction she got was a huff out of one of the dragon horses.

“Simple I need to talk to Kyuketsuki; however, I fear my connection with a past group may have left some bad blood between us. Besides, you need my help if you want to stop Jester's plans.”

Arche stared at them; she still wasn’t even sure if she would be happy to see Kyuketsuki alive. If nothing else, she could at least trust the vampire more than whoever this was.

“Why don’t you want my team to know you’re here. For that matter, who are you, and who is this Jester?”

The masked clown person slumped their shoulders and sighed, bells chiming as they moved. “let’s just say those cat ears and tail are not an item affect, on top of this those undead dragons” They pointed to the odd beasts which Arche still didn’t know where they came from. “Only let you ride then because their masters allow it. If not for that, one of them could have torn your whole team to bloody chunks. Against all four, your team is light snacks at best.”

Arche could agree with the last part just to be safe. She pulled some spare meat out and throws it to the horse size dragon. Watching as it quickly devoured the meat without care.

“You expect me to believe they would lie to me? Plus, you have yet to even tell me your name.”

Arche didn’t drop her guard, trying to think of some way past this illusionist.

“Knowing my name would only put you in danger. Kyuketsuki and Kathrin see use in your talent; it helps that your past is similar to his, and he made you a promise. Don’t risk that with your little sister lives in their hands.”

Arche narrowing her eyes, how much did this stranger know about her? Recalling the promise Kyuketsuki made to her about her sisters. “Why would he keep that promise he’s an undead, every undead me or my team has faced didn’t care or hated the living?”

The masked clown Stanger only shook their head. “You know nothing of the undead. The only undead of this world humans or demi-humans know is the low-level ones, which can’t think or are driven by past grievances. Kyuketsuki is neither of this world, nor does he have such simple motivations like them…yet. But if Jester is not stopped, that may change.”

Arche shifted her gaze to the ground. She was right with how powerful Kyuketsuki was. He had thousands of times he could have ended them. Yet his team was the only reason they were alive and richer because of it.

“Ok, who is Jester then and what does he want. At least tell me that before I agree to help you with anything.”

Arche watched the stranger; she could almost swear they were remorseful about something before the feeling left as quick as it came. “He was…a close friend before he got an idea to recreate the past. Something which can only happen if this world’s magic system breaks down. So, will you listen and help me now?”

 Arche had no idea how someone would breakdown magic or what past they could mean. If nothing else, she could hear out what they had to say. “Alright, but I’m not hurting my friends.”

Arche watched the mask shimmer to a sly grin. “I won’t ask that, once you get to Arwinder, then I need you to go to the arena. Kyuketsuki will be there though he is going by a new name, and I would not call him by the old one. Once you get close to him, I can do the rest; this is all I need.”

The stranger paused before adding something else. “Oh, and I would avoid Phovine as much as possible Jester's little parasite soldiers are not something you or foresight is ready for. If you run into trouble, look for Ritana, Bardic, or Velvet, though I think Hekkeran and Imina will take you to them anyway.”

Arche took note of how little details this plan had; it didn’t feel like all of it.  It put her on edge just how much this stranger seemed to know. Before she could question how she knew so much, the first rays of the morning sun shined through the trees making Arche blink.

They shimmered away as if never there at all. Arche clutched her staff tightly, going over the stranger’s words Imina and Hekkeran did seem to be acting differently.

Hearing some bushes rustling, she turned to them, seeing both Hekkeran and Imina talking and laughing about something. ‘When did they get up?’ Taking a side glance at the tent they shared.

Hekkeran answered first though Arche noted his ears twitched a little as he was speaking. “Oh, Arche, you’re up, sorry we both couldn’t sleep; mis…monster was crawling around the area.”

Arche put the stranger out of mind, for now, she could look into it later. “It fine I had a strange dream which woke me up. why don’t you wake up Roberd while I un pitch the tents?”

It wasn’t long before they were on the road again though Arche's mind kept going back to the stranger and its odd warning.  She glanced at both of them; they were a little different after the ruins, but she didn’t focus on it at the time. More worried about the dream she kept having of the ruins.

She almost didn’t notice Roberd come up beside her. “Had that dream again last night, Arche?”

Arche nodded yes before adding. “Something else is on my mind, do you think. They are acting differently since the ruins.”

Roberd hummed in thought before answering. “A little bit, I think what happened at the fort has had us all a little rattled. Why do you ask?”

Arche wanted to talk about the encounter with the stranger, then thought better of it. She didn’t even know if she could trust what they said.

“They were already awake and just got back to camp after I woke up from that dream again.”

Roberd hummed in understanding. “Yes, the same has happened the last few nights as well. They always seem to be up before me. I think it might have to do because of the vultures' adventuring team. Do you think-

Hekkeran shouted back, “Look up ahead!”

Both Arche and Roberd turn to see what the problem was and where shocked to see what was ahead of them. The city of Phovine was burning. The guards were fighting some kind of monster they had never seen before.

Arche felt fear grip her heart because the warning was real.

 


-End of Chapter-

Chapter Text

 


-Phovine-

Rita used [twin fold slash] to cut through two more monsters with her flaming sword. As she glanced back at the people behind her. This had turned into a mess after the parasites, lady Kathrin had sent them to wipe out change tactics. Before they were hiding, making her and bardic stealthily have to track each one down, then find a proper place to end them.

Everything was going fine, and velvet had tracked down the main hosts for this cell to the head priests of the main temple of the city. Then tonight, everything changed; the parasites quit hiding and started to bring out everything they had. Infecting as many as possible and Rallying demi-human slaves to rise up.

In response, Rita and bardic gathered up every adventure or magic caster proficient in fire magic to burn out these monsters before everyone in the city got turned. Velvet had gone to investigate the walls after hearing a boom.

‘I hope lady velvet does something soon; otherwise, we might have to wipe out the whole city to keep this contained.’ Rita bitterly thought to herself as she dodged and cut another group down with several [twin fold slashs]. Seeing a larger one come into view, this one was at least four times as big as the others. With a large group behind it marching her way. There was no way if they got close that she could protect everyone they had gathered.

Glancing over bardic was still busy dealing with a group as the voltaic adventurers helped him hold them back.  Rita had a frown form on her lips, looks like she would have to deal with this one alone.

Rita took a breath gathering the mana needed for this charging up a massive fireball in front of her watching it grow. This spell she had been working on after the battle with the wolfs. Sweat rolls down her body as Rita tried to cast this new spell for the first time. Hoping it would work better than on the altered version of [fireball], she called [Rapid fireball barrage].

Now she had perfected it as a whole new spell, which was costly and was ten times as destructive as the panic wild magic she instinctively used in the heat of battle. Refine into something better for large groups of enemies something more potent than the fifth tire[Grand fireball], her first 6th tire spell.

[Grand fireball storm]

As the magic eye opened in front of the ball of flames launching a deadly hail of boulder-sized fireballs. Concentrating, Rita kept shooting flames until she was sure there would be nothing left of the wave.

Panting as she let the spell fade seeing the absolute desolation of scorch stone road and burning buildings as flames blocked the path. She didn’t have time to worry about this. As Bardic came over whistling at Rita’s power. “Sweet shot, is that the new spell you have been working hard on?”

Rita nodded yes before gathering the crowd's attention along with the other adventures. “Alright, this part of the city looks clear Voltriv, your group take point and get them out of Phovine. Bardic and I will go searching for others who need help.”

The leader who had a bandage over one side of his face came forth. “Ok, stay safe! let's move out.”

Rita took the lead as they ran through the streets, focused on saving as many as possible. She didn’t know how they managed to infect so many with no one noticing before now. Still, one thing was bugging her why did they change up plans. They could have taken over the city despite her and bardic hunting down so many. If they kept up the past way of spreading.

Cursing her lack of focus as a tentacle arm grabbed her once she cleared a corner. Something bites into her skin as she hissed in pain, stabbing the monster with her burning sword. Making it back up, glancing at her arm to see a small parasite. She was worried at least till she felt a pulse of energy through her.

The green worm squealed and dropped off her arm. Withering away on the ground, Rita turned to the monster seeing it just as confused as her.

‘Thank me later, little kitten, I will not allow such weak parasites to control one of my pack!’ Rita heard lady Kathrin’s voice in her mind. Rita then launched a [fireball] at the parasitic monster watching it burn.

As bardic came rushing around the corner. “You ok, lass got ambushed by one myself.”

“Yes. We need a better plan; otherwise, this whole city might be lost.”

Before Rita could take off again, she got an image in her mind of the gate she entered the city in. with a clear order from lady Kathrin. {Save Arche Eeb Rile Furt and team Foresight! Then regroup with velvet and head to Arwintar.}

Rita felt conflicted about the new orders for mistress Kathrin her hands shaking before sighing. Her shoulder slumping in defeat, her mission had been to save this city. Had she failed almost feeling well up tears before her tail shifted as mistress sent emotions, not of disappointment but understanding and joy?

“Rita, what's wrong.”

Rita turns away for the other route pushing down her mixed emotions about these orders.

“I am feeling drained is all. Let's go I think I know where a few more people are.”

She couldn’t disobey orders even if it hurt a little, taking in ruins and burning buildings. This felt like a loss, and failure to her still mistress Kathrin would not give her those orders without good reason. All she could hope was that she had saved enough lives.

Running into a few more groups of the infected monsters before they came upon the main road to the gate. There were a few monsters here, but one caught Ritana’s attention. It had a cloak on with that same owl mask over its face and war scythe in one hand with the other hand shooting black spines at a group of guards. The inadequate city guards were cut down to ribbons in pools of blood.

Rita calmed her fear, scanning the area for Arche or Foresight. Turning to bardic silently telling him to wait. She didn’t see the person mistress wanted them to save, so they must be hiding gathering her strength of will she gathered every last ounce of magic she could muster.

[Maxzamize penetration widen Magic: Grand fireball storm]

She hailed the area with fire, hoping Arche wasn’t nearby because she didn’t know if she could take on the mastermind responsible for so much death. With the element of surprise, she hoped to take him out.  She didn’t stop casting the spell until all her mana was gone. Panting hard to get air as her [flaming sword] spell faded. Covered in sweat still, she had her martial arts she could use if it came down to it.

When the heat and smoke cleared away to reveal most of the area covered in ash and flames. She almost sighed, seeing the monster gone. Then fear and shock rose to see the leader still standing his cloak burned and scythe missing, revealing his green and blue tentacle form. Looking closer, he almost looked more like a plant than a person. He stands under a shimmering blue barrier that fades shortly after.

She grimaced as they took notice of her and Bardic.

“Impressive for a mid tire spell. Still, I won't let you have Arche. I owe that true vampire for what he did in Arwintar.” Its voice was gruff and annoyed vines shifting and snaping around it.

Rita knew this was out of her league still. They appeared to be a magic caster, so if she could close the distance, she had a better chance. Holding her swords out, looking past the monster to the gates as mistress was sending signals to her tail that Arche was just outside the gate.

“Uh, lass, are you sure you want us to fight that one. As much as I love a good fight, this one is stronger then I would like.”

Rita shot an annoyed glare at bardic she wouldn’t let this chance slip by charging at the monster. To her surprise, it was like time jumped ahead, having to dodge left than to the right to avoid two hails of spines. Spotting the mastermind was standing on a half-burned building looking down at her.

‘What was that I should have seen him move. Or heard or seen him cast those spells.’

“You look confused. Do you even know what I did? Does that true vampire not train his tools properly. Maybe you are just a pawn?”

Rita growled, analyzing what just happened. It had to be magic of some kind. But she had never seen anything like this before. Not even when Kyuketsuki was fighting shalltear. Putting the matter aside, she put away her swords and pulled out her bow and one arrow. Getting ready with a new strategy

‘If I can't get closer, then I will go for a range option. Till I can figure out how to stop it.’ Activating [ability boost] and [greater ability boost]

“You think being fast will help. Allow me to prove you wrong.” The mastermind taunted vanishing again as Rita felt lady Kathrin's gift alert her that time had jumped forward.

Jumping back as the ground where she once stood exploded. Her eyes spotting the mastermind shooting off two quick arrows boosting the damage it would do with [heavy strike] twice.

Rita again felt the flow of time jump. No, it was like it skipped a few minutes. Dodging and getting two more shots off, only again, the flow of time skipped as the mastermind was standing a few feet in front of her now.

She fires an arrow with heavy blow impacting before having a vine pierce her shoulder. Biting back a scream of pain, Rita used her good arm to quickly pull out her sword and activating [twin fold slash] twenty times in a row.

Stopping to pant for air, her muscles burning as she felt fatigued catching up with that gamble. She wouldn’t be able to use many more martial arts before she was out cold.

Yet her attacks didn’t make the monster drop her or entirely cut through his limbs or body. Finally, the beast lashed out with another tentacle grabbing her other arm, stopping any further attacks.

“Very spirited that even hurt a little. Still, you should stop soon, ahhh!” The mastermind dropped her as his vines penetrating her shoulder withered.

Rita smirked, jumping back, cradling her shoulder blood dripping down from the wound. Quickly pulling out two healing potions and drinking them. Sighing as it took a few minutes for them to take effect. In this time, she glanced around to see bardic subtly waving him on to go ahead.

The mastermind took notice of this mumbling a spell as a wave of gas consumed bardic. Once it cleared, he was out cold on the ground.

“I see now your no true lycanthropy. You just have some automation slime mixed in your blood. Here I thought you and that maid where a werecat. Even though I can’t turn you against your master. You're out of your level and out of mana and getting tired after all those martial arts in a row. How do you plan to get past me to your friend alone?

Rita scowled, holding the sword with both hands glancing at the bow on the ground. Though she preferred to use her sword and short sword, she didn’t want to drop them, and she could use one sword faster and with more force than two.

She needed to get past this monster, and with bardic down, she would need a plan to get both of them away. Which would make it impossible to complete her mission? Despite the fear in her heart Rita steadies her rapid breathing as another message from lady Kathrin came to her mind. {Stall him! Lord Kyuketsuki and I will arrive shortly.}

She beamed circling the monster slowly before rushing at the beast, feeling time pause again. She stumbled forward as her target vanished.

“You just don’t learn. Still, your loyalty is admirable, something I would expect no less from my own followers. In just a few more minutes, my drones should be finished killing the guards and Arche along with her team. How does it feel to know that you were so close only to fail your masters.”

Rita turned back to him growling. He was trying to get under her skin. Still gloating in the middle of a fight would be his downfall. She kept trying to cut him down as he sidestepped or deflected the cuts with his vines. Finally, slapping her blade out of her hands, entangling Rita’s wrists.

Rita glared up at the monster of vines with hate trying to pull her arms lose.

“Times up looks like you failed. How does it feel? Knowing tomorrow, I will march on Arwintar and end him along with my master.”

Then a ripping sound gained both their attention as lord kyuketsuki stepped out; first, blades were already drawn, with lady Kathrin’s army of royal guards carrying a new royal banner (Kyuketsuki’s flag style from Nazarick). Fluder was close by studying the [gate] spell writing down notes. Students of his close by looking ready to act.

The mastermind couldn’t help but notice that every human had a similar appearance to Rita with the same color eyes, ears, and tails. He turned to glare murder at Rita, who was smirking hotly back.

“Yes, your time is up, and it looks like you fail.” Rita taunted back, throwing back his own words at the monster.

Kyuketsuki kept his glowing eyes locked on the parasitic monster. “Kathrin contain this mess put out the fires. I want every single infected cleared of this city. Heal or revive those that can be saved give a quick and painless death to those who can’t.”

Kathrin turned to the crowd casting a few buffs to them.

“At once, my love. You all heard the emperor hunt down the invaders, put out the fires, and reclaim this city. If your empress sees even one infected host not cleaned, you will be punished.”

Kyuketsuki hears them move out of range throughout the city. Shalltear aided by the blood knights, and vampire brides should be able to help if needed.  He would not move his gaze from this enemy and let them slip away again.

Just in case Kathrin was hidden nearby, if he tried to run, she had orders to fry them.

“At first glance, I would say you’re a death vine. If not for those powers which belong to an Adrofine parasite caster class. So would you mind telling me how you have that class before I erase you?”

The monster of Vines let his plant exterior wither to show the green-skinned worm-like creature underneath. Standing on four tentacle legs with four tentacle arms. Its head had four eye stocks and a round serrated mouth. Still holding Rita’s wrists with two of its tentacle arms.

“If you attack me, you will be hurting your tool.”

Rita tried to warn him of the time magic before she felt time skip again. Only this time, her lord had the monster at sword point, and the things around her have frozen in place, not a sound could be heard; her arms were free as well.

Looking over to see the copy of lord kyuketsuki pointing to her chest, which had an amulet on it glowing blue.

“Sorry, I didn’t give you something sooner, Rita, but I didn’t think he would know [time stop] or at least some variant of it.”

She got up and retrieved her sword and bow before turning back to the two. 

“You are quite impressive. I am to assume the moment I drop this spell, you will kill me.”

 Kettor gave a fanged smile shifting to his original appearance his now clawed hand's inches from the monster.  He didn’t speak, watching to see what his enemy did. The moment he moved, he would follow if this Adrofine had a delayed spell; he had a wide range, delayed counter ready. No matter what the moment they drop, he would end them.

“Why are you against me? You should know the humans will never accept those like us. Or my master. Killing me won't change this. My master will be waiting for my return even if you kill me, he will come after you.”

Kettor was silent, glaring at him. He couldn’t hold this forever. He wouldn’t be tricked or allow them to one-up him anymore. Even if their master came after him, he would just kill him too. He only wanted to know one thing. “What is the artifact you stole from my ruined supply keep.”

The worm twitched, realizing part of the reason he was going to die. Before laughing much to Kyuketsuki’s confusion.

“I see you want revenge as well. Ironically, I heard your little maid died. What was her name Jade? You know that keep had an item I have been looking to revive my master I believe it was a world item. As he called it able to revive anyone no matter what killed them. Too bad, I already used it to bring back my master. Once I was done, it vanished from my hands. It is funny if you think about it.”

Rita fell to her knees at the over welling hate rolling off lord Kyuketsuki. It was suffocating watching as he gripped the worm's neck tightly. Growling yet despite his long blade fingers, the green worm was not hurting.

“I am Rediavine Eed Markshack! Though I am to die, I die knowing my master will avenge me!”

Just as the world began to move again, it was like lord kyuketsuki went crazy, stabbing and slicing the blue worm to bits.leaving deep gashes in the ground as his claws thrashed Repeating die over and over, he genuinely seemed like a monster at that moment, at least till she noticed the blood tears freely flowing down his face. It took several minutes for Rita to work up the nerve to approach him in this state.

Seeing the pain in those madness filled eyes, Ritana ran up to him, hugging his back, trying to pull him back.

“It is over. He is dead!” She yelled, hugging him tightly, feeling nothing but rage and pain.

When he did calm down, the green worm was little more than a blue smear in a crater. Rita felt overwhelming tiredness and pain, although she didn’t let go. Even as this dark bloodthirsty air tried to crush her flat or push her away. Rita knew she needs to comfort lord Kyuketsuki before she lost him to this madness.

Throwing her off, he turned to her his claws inches from her face and chest. Still, she didn’t show fear knowing it was just the pain blinding him. It was almost like something was building up inside him. As the light of the nearby flames dimmed around them.

Growing darker and darker with only Kyuketsuki still in view. Rita didn’t edge away from the blades letting it cut her cheek and body. As those blood tears didn’t stop flowing, dropping on to her armor and clothes. 

“It is ok, lord Kyuketsuki. I'm here. You need not fear. I know it hurts. I still miss my mother and father, but we have to move on.” Rita gently rubbed his face despite the long tongue around her throat. Smiling gently at the person she cared so much for.

It took a few minutes before he seemed to snap out of it, changing back to usual backing away from her. As the cold darkness faded, as the world and light returned into view. Fear plain in his eyes. “Rita, I almost I'm so sorry I was just so angry.”

Rita, unfazed by the change, only beamed brightly, walking up and hugging him happy to have him back. “It is ok, Jade is gone. I know how hard it feels to let go, but you have to move on. It will only hurt more obsessing over it.”

She felt at ease as Kettor hugs her back easing into it even if the pain lingered. It wouldn’t vanish all at once. She knows that well enough, but it can become tolerable in time.

 


-Arche-

Fear filled Arche as she backed up a few steps huffing glancing over at the others none of them wanted to get close to this strange monster. Sparing a glance at the two burned corpses of the infected guards.

Hesitant to with the idea she could just go around, she needs to get back to her sisters. At the same time, she stared past the walls of the city where smoke was rising out in massive columns. Clutching her staff as she cast [fireball] once more at the mass of tentacles.

“Arche I think we need to go around there is nothing we can do here.” Roberdyck patted her shoulder, pointing to the walls going around the city.

Arche widened her eyes at him; he would be one of the first to say they should stay. Then again, her spells and Imina arrows were only slowing it down.

“No, we need to stay and fight! all we have to do is hold it off, and help will come.”

Arche stared at both Imina and Hekkeran with a shocked look did they not see they couldn’t beat this thing. If it got close, they would be infected like the guards. Ranged spells and arrows weren’t working just like at Lograth.

“You can’t be serious. If this thing gets close, we will turn out like those guards.” Arche panted as she edged into the forest casting another [fireball]

Staring into both Hekkeran and Imina's eyes, she could see them shaking, yet they didn’t follow Arche and Roberdyck standing there ground. She then sent a pleading gaze to Roberd, who looked away before tossing her his bag of coins. “Go, Arche, we will hold it here.”

Arche caught it, staring in horror at her team. They were going to die here if they stayed.

 “Run all you would like. You will all die.” Roared the monster charging them.

Arche stared as their backs thinking of her sisters if she died what would happen to them. Then again, if she left now, she had no illusion they would die, not that she could do much to change this.

Arche turned to run with tears in her eye, hearing the cracking of a tree as shambling slithering vines drew closer. Hearing Hekkeran shout out something, she turns to see the monster a few feet away from her. 

Arches teary eyes widened in shock shaking with fear if the tendrils touched her what would happen. Trying to jump back time slowed as she saw the outstretched arm inching closer even as Hekkeran slashed away at it again, and Imina loosed a few more arrows.

[Holy punishing chains] a voice echoed as bright flaming chains burst up out of the ground stopping the monster in its tracks. The monster Screaming as it burns trapped and unable to move, allowing Arche to fall back on her rump.

Watching in numb shock and relife as two spike balls on chains Shotforword eviscerating the monster into chared vines. As a red-haired battle maid stepped out of the shadows

“Sorry, it took a little longer than expected to get here.”

Arche’s attention was drawn to the battle maid, one who should be dead. Confirming something else, Kyuketsuki was alive. Here they were saving her again, taking out a monster in two hits. They struggled with for several minutes just to stop.

“Glad you showed up when you did.” Hekkeran thanked Velvet, helping Arche up to her feet.

“Please follow me we are gathering all the survivers to [gate] to Arwintar till this mess with Phovine is cleaned up. Also, Arche, your sisters are waiting for you at the royal palace.”


As Arche followed Velvet down the halls away from the courtyard, doubt and fear lingered in her mind. How had her sisters end up here, or where is Kyuketsuki chief among her many questions?

As the grand doors to the throne room opened, she took in the broad place, walking up the red carpet to the thrones. In one seat was Kathrin, no longer dressed as a richly decorated armored noble. Kathrin was adored in a long white and gold dress with black gloves and boots a crown of her own.

Across from her was kyuketsuki adored, not in his battle gear, but a new gold and red gown which was befitting an emperor with his own crown. His head resting on his open palm, smiling at Arche. To either side where two of the famous elite four with to replaced two she had heard of but not met till now.

What kept Arche's attention both Ureirika and Kuuderika giggling with big smiles. Sitting around a table with a board of some kind with small pieces on them. Lady Tearus moved her piece to three spaces. 

“Oh, you landed on my square now you have to pay up to stay at my inn.” Ureirika giggled, reaching out a hand.

Lady Tearus leans forward, pulling a cookie off a tray a servant was holding nearby. “Couldn’t you let my poor piece stay for free pleas for a friend. I will even give you a Cookie.”

Ureirika giggled “OK lady Tearus.”, taking the cookie Kuuderika pouted cutely. “That’s the third time you did that sis. This is not how you play this game, right mister Kettor.”

Kyuketsuki chuckled, waving the servant to step back. “It may be played differently, but so long as you are all having fun, that’s what matters. Still, Tearus, Kuuderika has a point you are using that trick a lot. How about a punishment.”

Arche watched as kyuketsuki created a magic eye over his palm [slime jet]. He spoke as a blast of green and blue slime-covered Tearus’ white and gold dress, even her hair. Earning a giggle of both girls at sight. Strangely Tearus didn’t get angry as she would expect most nobles too.

“Now, play the rest of the game like that, and I will wash it off with you after the game is over.” To which Tearus agreed without complaint.

Finally, kyuketsuki noticed Arche and velvet.“Hello, Arche, it is good to see you again. I hope your road back wasn’t too stressful.”

Both sisters dashed over to their sister with large hugs. “Arche Onee-san your back, we are so happy to see you!”

Arche enjoyed the hugs and warmth from her sisters. “I am glad to see you two what happened while I was away. Why are you two here.”

“These wicked people came and killed papa and mama. Then they took us than miss Kathrin, and Kettor came and saved us. Since then, Kettor said we could stay here at the palace, miss Kathrin and lady Tearus have been eating with us, teaching us and showing us these cool games. Even some magic look! [Bunny ears]” They both cast the first tire magic. It didn’t do much besides create bunny-like ears over their heads. It only lasted a few seconds before vanishing both of them sweating but smiling proudly.

“I’m glad to hear that you too. Still, I would like to talk to mister Kettor alone.” Arche stared at kyuketsuki with hesitant eyes.

“Tearus change of plans, why don’t you play tag with them. then go to the library and read them a child-friendly book.” Kettor warned her he didn’t want another awkward conversation with the twins.

They watched them all leave the room before Arche glared at Kyukettsuki. “What happened to emperor Jircniv!”

Kettor sighed. He knew this was coming. It didn’t make it any easier to say, entwining his hands together. “He is dead by the wind flow scripture’s hands. I couldn’t leave the empire in the state. It is without a leader. So I took his place and as I promised you Arche and your sisters are free to live here as long as you wish. All I ask is that you help Kathrin with some tests.”

Arche narrowed her eyes try as she might kyuketsuki don’t show any sign of deceit. thinking about it, he only seemed to do right by her keeping her safe and alive.  “What kind of tests. Is this about my talent?”

Kyuketsuki nodded, waving over to Kathrin to explain. “We wish to test the limits of your talent and see if it might be blood transferable. Should you agree, along with personally teaching all three of you a full education. We, of course, will not fully begin to train your twin sister till age 15 if they wish with your permission.”

Arche trembled hesitantly to agree even if she found little reason to disagree with the deal. “What if I want to leave here and take my sisters with me.”

Kettor gave a gentle smile at her hostility. “Then I will personally give you an item to summon a bodyguard and enough supplies and money to take you where ever you wish. If you want to stay, we shall pay you, and the palace shall always be open to you so long as I remain alive.”

Arche went through everything she knew about kyuketsuki, or was it Kettor now. Settling on her decision, he had yet to harm her or her family. In fact, his followers had saved her more times than she ever cared to admit. “Alright, as long as my sisters and I are happy, I will take your deal. But I want to be at the arena when you make the announcement.”

This statement caught both kyuketsuki and Kathrin by surprise, Arche could see the gaping mouth of kyuketsuki turn to a forced smile eyes narrowing. “Alright, when we publicly announce ourselves as the new king and queen, you shall have a front-row seat.”


-Arena one Week Later-

Kettor smiled to himself in the mirror of remote viewing over the crowd settling on Arche’s seated among the masses. A slight frown on his lips checking over the area around himself and Arche for illusions or something hidden.

“How do you think she found out even she could not have guessed where we planing it.” Kettor dismissed the mirror adjusting his shirt and royal trench coat for the hundredth time.

Kathrin beamed brightly, twirling around him in her royal dress, pulling his hands away. “Perhaps she guessed. Please do not worry, my love. If anything should happen, we have our undying guard ready to move. I even personally have my pack mates hidden among the crowd should they try anything.”

Kettor scowled lightly, staring into Katherine's golden eyes. ‘Still, this demon deity has not once shown himself we should have found him by now!’ recalling the reports every single remain of that Adrofine parasite should be dead.

Sighing and taking Kathrin's hand in his own walking down the halls of the arena, they were quiet. Giving him time to think he almost wants to laugh, Sitabus told himself he wouldn’t get involved with politics again so soon, yet here he was. About to take the reigns of a monarchy for himself.

No, this would be for Nazarick and Kathrin glancing back at the new Four Imperial Knights Leinas Rockbruise in her new dark red armor made to be easier to fly in but still defend her. Nimble Arc Dale Anoch's gaze was set at the ground in his new red armor as well.  Ritana Enruos, finally finding out her last name for this ceremony, beaming proudly adorned in her new reddish armor with a handed short sword and long two-handed sword at her side. Carrying a shield and bow on her back. Last was Bardic Tamber, the shortest of the four in similar armor talking to leinas about something.

“Tell me, Kathrin, this will reach all of the Baharuth empire at the same time as we agreed?”

Kathrin pulls his arm closer, rubbing her hand over his sleeve. “Of course, and yes, our project paper walls should work, so stop worrying. Should we postpone for an hour to release stress?”

Kettor calmed some relenting as they approached the entrance to the arena. Calming his breathing, he could only hope this would go well if not a lot of work would need to be done to manage the damage. As many tried to leave the empire, quite a few probably still would.

“Without further ado, I present your emperor and empress and their elite four Leinas Rockbruise, Nimble Arc Dale Anoch's, Ritana Enruos, and Bardic Tamber.” Osk waved over to them.

Crossing the threshold of light out into the cheering crowd, which grew quiet upon seeing there new emperor was a vampire. Despite the gloomy cloud cover, his eye shined, and he gave a fanged smile.

All eyes were upon him; this would be his moment of truth. He could still back out. He could say it was a joke. Gazing deep into Kathrin’s bright eyes full of expectations. Kettor gathered his courage remembering the speech they, mostly Kathrin, prepared.

“Hello, good people of Baharuth. I am Kettor minx. I stand here happy to be your new emperor with my love, Kathrin minx, your new empress. I stand here before you with joy to see so many alive and doing so well despite the parasites which threatened to devour the Baharuth empire to bring back one of the demon deities. Which brings me to why we are all here today.”

Waving shalltear over in her mask, teleporting to Kettor’s left from the emperor's private balcony. Looking right at Arche, Kettor could only hope this show of sincerity eliminated any negative thoughts she had about him being undead.

“I first came here under the name Kyuketsuki leader of the vultures by request of lady Tearus Bon Shellder to hunt down a dangerous cult that unleashed the demon tree seed in Barune. Only to discover they had much deeper plans, which led me to find and help emperor Jircniv to save as many as possible. The way to Arwindar was filled with many who wished to stop me. The same parasites who would wish you all dead. But I could not have predicted the late bloody emperor would risk the Slane Theocracy’s wrath when he found these parasites hiding in the very great temple that once stood in this city. A risky price he paid for with his own life by the wind flow scriptures themselves. For trying to save all of you here today.”

Kettor pauses to let it sink in the gasps and shocked looked they still seemed to question him though not to be unexpected. It was not as bad as he was expecting no one calling for his death so far.  

“I was there my self as are the only surviving members of the elite four Leinas and Nimbral. In his dying breath, he asked me to save this empire. Which is why I have spent the last week hunting down and destroying every last remnant of this parasite poison Adrofine. I won't ask that you forgive his rash actions, only that you ask yourself, does someone so selfless deserve your hate. I will let both of them along with eye witness of the battle of Phovine and two of the new members of the elite four as a whole tell you themselves. Question them ask them what my Undying Guards and I have done for the empire. Before we begin the usual tournament.”

Once he was done, he used [create item] to make two chairs for both of them as they watched the crowd question all four of them. Keeping tabs mostly on Nimbral, he was the least trustworthy of them.

Kathrin whispered into his ear. “The speech was lovely and regal. Still Are you sure you can trust Nimbral, my love.”

Kettor met Kathrin's inquiry gaze whispering back. “Yes, besides that is why we started the paper walls project, is it not?

Kettor knew that wasn’t the reason at all, but Kathrin accepted it quickly, so she at least believes it.

Kettor laid his head on her shoulders as they wait for an hour until everyone had asked their questions. Even answering a few himself till it was time for the tournament to begin.

Rises from his seat with [break item], making the chairs dissolve away, taking in the mood of the crowd. They were still subdued, noting the cloudy sky rain might make the tournament harder to see and enjoy.

“Before we begin, I have two other announcements first; I would ask my empress to clear up the weather, and second, my four will be the final duel after which the winner will fight go grin.”

Kathrin clapped her hands together, clearing the sky to the crowd's amazement as clear skies showed through the clouds before casting mass fly allowing the emperor and empress along with the four to fly up to the balcony. 

Once landing Kettor when over and fell back on to the couch, Kathrin was quick to snuggle up her tail wrapping around his right arm. With Shalltear on his left. Sitabus felt at ease for the first time since fighting Shalltear. He glanced over to Clementine near the balcony even from here he could tell clementine was bored by the way she kept touching her stilettos.

“Now that we are alone, Kathrin, let's go over the first topic, how is the slavery reform going.” 

Kathrin beamed, pulling out a few papers out of her inventory. Quickly reading over all the documents before putting them down on the table. “The prosses is slow, and resistance is slowing the development that said within six months to a year, we should have eight legions.”

“What about your thoughts on the matter. Do you think there is any way to improve this time.”

Kathrin scowled with a concentrated look before shooting down the idea. “No, morale and mental trauma of the trap battles on top of the losses. To get them back up to battle-ready level will take the paid downtime of six months at a minimum. Our undying guard shall cover them for now, even with only 5000 low to mid-level undead you created for paper walls. It helps that general, Coilin, along with two other generals, are backing you for saving him and his troops at Gramith fort and saving their families in Phovine.”

Kettor couldn't keep the smile off his face. Maybe it was him telling Kathrin about his experience on earth. Perhaps it was his teaching her to go easy on beings of the new world; either way, this was a considerable improvement to how she would have treated them when they first arrived.

“Why would they need downtime serving the supreme beings should be enough! for that matter, why should we even pay them if they can’t even take attacks like Gramith fort or the attack on Phovine.”

The four turned to Shalltear, hissing at the standard concept to them. Kettor himself frowned. ‘Great now, I need to teach Shalltear about the limits and needs of humans as well.’ Bitterly thinking to himself, it took him weeks of talking to Kathrin for her to understand the importance of rest and mental health for living beings.

“Shalltear, if we openly break these fragile sheep, it sets a bad example and makes them useless. When with a gentle touch and training, they can be molded to full potential, and unceasingly loyal. The pay is not a reward, but the incentive to build stable family units through which young future servants can be created to devote their lives to our empire.”

Sitabus hides his sincere regret under a proud, twisting smile. How did Kathrin always find some twisted point of view to justify being kind and respectful? Was it her negative karma score or her bio he could barely remember what he wrote?  Pondering this, as he zoned out Kathrin, enlightens Shalltear about his wishes for the future of the empire

Leinas gave Kathrin a strange look before turning a pitting gaze to Kettor. Breaking him out of his train of thought.

Biting his lip as he coughed and move the subject along. “Anyway, moving on, how is Photio doing in his new leadership role with moving the lab to the ministry of magic.”

Kathrin beames leaning close. “Exelntly, Flunder was overjoyed to learn and help expand his tower for our magical needs. They should have it fully set up within the next month or two. The red tanks should take longer about three months total to have them ready to start filling.”

This went on for a while, going through subjects until it was time for the final rounds. This was calming and relaxing, if not a little frustrating as finances and politics had to be brought up a little before the last two rounds of the tournament. Clementine chimed in as any further matters where tabled mainly to see the full growth of the two adventures which he had become so close to.

 


-On The Main Arena Floor-

Rita steadies her breathing as she looked up at the war troll Go Gin. This would be a tough match glancing up at the balcony where the emperor and empress were seated watching her. Kathrin, most of all, gave her a proud, if not encouraging, stare. This would be a test of her growth. She had beaten leinas, nimble, and bardic in the four-way match.

For this fight, she chose to use her new two-handed sword, a gift from Kettor, for finding the leader of the parasites, with a round shield strapped to her arm. Despite the considerable troll’s size and armor, all she needs to do was avoid the club and find the weak spots in the armor.

Rita bowed slightly to the troll out of respect. “Hello sir Go Gin, I’m Ritana Enruos strongest of the Four Imperial Knights. Let us have an honorable duel.”

Ritana bites her lip nervous she was slightly stronger than this troll, but not by much and without her magic to fall back on against a troll’s regenerative abilities even without the armor, it would be a hard fight. 

“Let us have a fine battle, lady knight.”

Ritana raised a brow at the respectful tone. “I am surprised you acknowledge my name; the last troll wouldn’t do so before I burned him to ash with my sword.”

“Yes, unlike most of my kind I have lived with, I have learned long names do not show a human's strength. I won't hold back for this fight.”

Rita grins, raising her sword, activating [ability boost], and [greater ability boost] before shouting. “Then let us see which of us is stronger.” Fainting a frontal charge before sidestepping the club by a few feet. Bringing her sword down with [heavy strike] and [twin fold slash].

To her frustration, she pushed the troll’s arm down but didn’t make him drop the sword or dent the armor. Retreating back out of range of the club, lady Kathrin and lord Kettor must know she had trouble breaking through armor like this on death knights. This would be a real test of her skills. She would not lose like the fight with Rediavine at Phovine.

Sheathing her sword and moving back as she pulled out her bow and arrows quickly shooting off five blunted arrows with [heavy blow]. At least denting the armor where they hit, forcing her to block with her shield grunting at the force of the hit.

Managing to stay on shaky legs with a grimace. ‘I can only take a few more hits like that.’ Redrawing her sword as she charged to meet the troll ducking under the swing. She needs something more to have a chance of winning this; she needs more. Digging deep, she would not be weak like phovine again this to be faster and stronger shouting out. [superior ability boost]

She brought her sword up with as much force and speed as she could muster, feeling the increase as her muscles burned. Hearing a loud clank and a grunt from Go Gin. Widening her eyes in shock to see the spot she had shot earlier dented in.

Seeing the arm let go of the club, she jumped on to it, flinging herself on to his shoulder, steadying herself. Spotting an open slot in the armor thrusting her sword deep with a [heavy strike].  Hearing more grunts of pain, sweating as she pulled back and jumped off the shoulder before she could be hit. Rolling to her feet with a proud stare, she could do this.

Watching as the troll removed the left arm of the armor. Seeing the damage heal, this still wasn't enough hissing in irritation, if Rita could use her fire spells, the damage wouldn’t be healing.

“I have heard you use fire magic. If you had not agreed to avoid using it, those attacks would be far more effective. By the way, you keep dodging my blows, you must use your wings of magic and speed in place of defensive martial arts.”

Ritana frowned, trying to think of some way to stop his healing without fire magic. Go Gin was right. Gaining a sly grin if nothing else this new martial art Rita had unlocked was helping, but the extra drain on her stamina was tiring her out quick. She needs to end this quickly.

Panting as she charged side-stepping the club again and ducking under the swing spinning with a [heavy blow] and [twin slash]. Forcing the troll to step back as ritana was grunting from the force on her arms. He must have activated a martial art. Still, she managed to cut through it seeing the blood as the wound closed.

Growlings she would not be weak again, she wouldn’t fail again thinking hard pushing her body to the limit of its strength.  Trying again and again to find another soft spot, Rita got more reckless and desperate to find a solution without her magic.

‘Have my spells become such a crutch for me that I can’t even beat this opponent without it!’ Screaming in her mind as hse used her shield to tank another hit sliding back. Panting as sweat rolled down her head, her helmet knocked off after the last attack.

Feeling the darkness of her undead command voice screaming to be let out. Growling as her eyes changed, tinted orange feeding off her weakness.

“You are powerful for a young Knight to damage my armor and push me so much. Even still, without your magic, you will lose this match. You should stop before you die and come back when you are stronger.”

Despite the respectful tone, ritana refused she would prove she was strong that all her training wasn’t useless. “ No, you said you won't hold back, so neither will I!”

Rita could not explain the rush she knew she should back down, glancing up at the worried eyes of Kettor. She needs to break her limit to reach farther, locking eyes with mistress Kathrin. Feeling her heartbeat race with a calling to keep going all out.

Seeing the club coming down at her instincts, screaming to move, she ignored them. Rita would show why she was strong without resorting to magic every time Don’t die. Break your limits.’ She heard a strange voice with a shiver of her body. Not noticing her sword alight with four colored flames along with a bright blue aura around her body, her now orange eyes glowing as sweat rolled down her body. Feeling pain as she pushed her arms to break this club. To not end with a defeat like  Rediavine.

Instead of another [heavy strike] and [twin fold slash], she screamed out. “[Flaming shell aura] and [Four flames shell cracker strike]” Two new ones bringing with it a wave of fatigue and pain gritting her teeth forcing her self to move and stand her ground.

The force of the wind and heat flung her back, skidding on the ground, digging her shield into the dirt to stop her momentum. Hearing a scream of pain, forcing her self to look up at the sight of the magic club broken in four places and scorched. The troll's armor was sheered with four scorched lines. The trolled burned with dancing green, red, yellow, and blue flames.

Rita failed to rise hissing in pain; her arms felt like they were on fire. As did most of her body grunting, taking several minutes to stand on one knee. She didn’t know what she just did, but go gin was cut clean through into smoking pieces his head, arms, torso, and legs. 

“I said no magic casting! Go Grin!” Osk ran up to the fallen troll.

She didn’t know how, but she had won she thought for sure she was going to die. Rita's body refused to move even as lord Kettor teleported down next to her with a proud smile. His gaze quickly scanning over her body for any severe injuries.

“Good job Rita. I thought I would have to jump in there for a minute.” Kettor turned to the crowd as he walked to the troll Rita watches, wondering what he was going to do. Along with the audience in the arena with bated breath.

“This was an entertaining match. I think we can all agree, let us give a round of cheer for the elite four strongest Ritana Enruos.”

Rita finally heard the crowd applauding loudly for her before quieting down. As Kettor motioned them to quiet down.

“However. I see no reason to see combatants die pointlessly with such skill and martial prowess. As a show of good faith that all who come here of any race may improve and show their talent. From now on, I shall have someone with revival magic to bring back all who die in tournaments in this arena from this day forward, starting with Go Gin.” Walking up to the troll's body, many fearful of what kind of undead would rise.

Only to watch as he touches the trolls head softly speaking [True Resurrection} as Go Gin did not rise up an undead as they feared, but fully healed and alive.  Earning shock and awe by everyone, Rita would give applause too if her arms would move.

Kettor walked back over, picking Rita up bridal style, making her blush. “You don’t have to carry me. I just need a few minutes.” Rita protested.

Kettor just kept walking to the entrance of the arena. “Rita, your lucky, that didn’t kill you. You may be level 36, but your health is almost as totally empty as your stamina. I don’t know what I would have done if you had…I felt like I was going mad watching you nearly kill yourself for a match!”

Rita looked ashamed for a moment seeing the fear evident in his gaze. Still, she had a confident smirk. She wasn’t weak, and she won without magic. “I had to prove it to myself. That I could win without you having to save me every time like in Phovine.”

He scowled before sighing, “Rediavine was almost double your level besides. You don’t need to prove your self like Kathrin or Shalltear. I value each of you for your own merit. You are my ground when all the others just agree with me, Rita. At times I feel like I can’t feel my humanity anymore. So long as I have you around to remind me, I still feel it. Being human doesn't make you weak or a bad leader; in fact, I respect your stubborn drive to be better. Just please don’t scare me like that again.”

Rita could see his shame he must have been thinking of when he lost it in Phovine. She would leave him like that smiling as she forced out a hiss reaching up a hand to lightly slap him.

“Alright, I promise to limit scaring you, but I will still do what I believe I should. So stop moping around about the past. I don’t want to see you like phovine again. Ok?” Rita glances around the halls, not seeing any of the others.

“Where are we going anyway, and why aren’t the others with you.”

Kettor gently stroked her cheek. “Kathrin will handle finishing up the tournament and paperwork for me. Shalltear is taking clementine to make sure the slavery reform is inforced. The other three I gave the day off after how badly you slapped them around with your sword.”

He stared into her eyes with concern and affection. As they neared the exit out of the Arena, holding her gently caressing her back and rump. His tail bringing up a healing potion to her lips.  Finally, putting her down as the drink took effect standing on shaky legs.

“As for you, I am spending the rest of the day with. To make up for scaring me after being fully healed, that is. So show me your deadly womanly charms.”

Rita beamed bring him into a kiss letting the exhaustion fade in the deep passionate kiss even if she was not back up to full health; it still hurt to move too fast. Feeling comfortable in his arms, which seemed afraid to let go. 

“Alright, don’t go wasting potions just for me though they are expensive.” Ritana teased as she led him, holding hands through the streets.

“I thought my brave warrior woman wanted to walk not be carried?”

 


-POV change-

They giggled at each other's jokes walking down the street, not noticing Carnival watching them from the shadow of the arena entrance. Letting out a sigh of relief.

‘If I had not broken Ritana’s limit any faster that would have been disasters, just how much has jester altered his karma score.’

“I will have you know all I did was make sure he can’t ignore it anymore. Besides, at some point, he will use it. You can’t be everywhere at once. All I need is one more crack to corrupt wild magic enough in this area..”

Carnival turned to glare at the shadow she had gotten careless she was lucky, Rediavine the fool didn’t push him more then he did. ‘Perhaps its time to lift the veil.’ Reaching out like she was going to attack only to be blocked hissing pulling her hand back.

Seeing a flashing [Invalid command: message block around Kyuketsuki still  in effect till the change of turn counter.]

Carnival turned to glare at the shadow’s red eyes. “What? Take your turn already!”

An evil grin showed on Jester face his flat dark red eyes practically glowing with malice. “Oh, why should I? You took so long last time. As you said, ‘better they fumble in the dark to find their own paths.”

“NO, come on, don’t you want to attack me!” Carnival waved him to attack only to get silence.

Jester’s 2D form lifted out of the floor with a mad grin. “You wanted Momonga to watch over? You got him. Now you want to play with my vampire. Pick one you can’t watch both, or I will edge Momonga to embrace his darker nature as well.”

Carnival screamed at the shadow, trying to punch it only to have it phase through him. “That wasn’t part of the rules we agreed upon. It was those loyal to the NPC demons or the thirteen heroes.”

Jester waved his finger rage showing in his eyes. “Then you ruined it by bringing the new arrivals into our game. Killing the demon deity yourself in the arena before you got another move. Between Kyuketsuki, Momonga, and your dirty tactics. My covenant of crows is down to two. I have had it! You went and lock me in here! You influenced my group without forming one of your own! Then you abuse the newly arrived players to your aid without informing them, as I did like we agreed upon!”

The shadows around them shimmered with Jester’s wrath, the narrow red eyes glaring at Carnival. “We agreed upon those rules to be fair! Yet you have done nothing but cheat. I let it slide because I thought we where friends. You won’t even let me out while you get to play around, do you know what it feels like to be unable to touch, smell, or taste anything, to fear touching light which will shove you back into total darkness!”

People nearby started to move away from the area at this overwhelming feeling of Jester’s hate.“Not anymore, we play by the rules from now on or no restrictions at all, so choose one or watch what I do next!”

Carnival could only watch the shadow vanish back to the admit realm with a clenched fist. It seemed she pushed too far again. “Dam it, Muketsu, Get back here! Please, I didn’t mean to hurt you. But you have to let YGGDRASIL go this isn’t a game anymore!”

She pleaded to Jester. The shadows burned her and the entrance forcing her to [teleport] out of danger, still seeing the red warning.

Only the words ‘choose one month’ burned into the roof near her. Feeling regret rise, she had screwed up again, trying to do the right thing. But her sister didn’t see it; this wasn’t a game anymore. These weren't just NPCs and Players. These people's lives were in their hands. They could either be like the eight greed kings destroying all they touched or like the six god players saving and improving the lives of others as best they could.


-End of Chapter –

Elite four ranking 1-4

Ritana Enruos level 36 Hero rank/ Bardic Tamber level 32 Hero rank/ Leinas Rockbruise level 30 adamantine rank/ Nimble Arc Dale Anoch's level 29 Adamantite rank

superior ability boost- Improved version of greater ability Boost that dramatically increases the total strength and speed past normal limits. May damage weapon or armor of both user and enemy if used on tougher materials

Flaming shell aura- channels the focus of the user to numb and absorbs damage that would usually kill them. Burns and push back anything, trying to hurt them for a massive amount of focus. Boost the destruction of [four flames shell cracker strikes] when used together. Doing so also damages the body if they can’t take the combined strain of the two martial arts.

Four flames shell cracker strike- by combining [heavy strike], [two fold slash], and [Flaming shell aura] this martial art is created. Covering or surrounding their weapon with four-color flames. To cut through armor and weapons depending on their warrior spirit. These four strikes also block any kind of healing for a short time. Considerably demanding in focus and damaging to the user's arms if they can’t support the stamina needed.

 

Chapter Text

 


-Six months later-

Sitabus glanced out the window to the overcast grassy planes zooming past with Ritana riding close the other elite four out of view. She glances over with a happy grin. Before he let the curtain move back to cover the window.

Sitabus looked across from his seat at Kathrin, busy looking over reports for him while they traveled. Velvet was polishing her weapons in her usual maid outfit as spotless and clean as ever. She is staring at his side where Shalltear and Clementine were seated.  

Shalltear was clinging to his side with a broad smile. Velvet narrowed her eyes as the long white and gold skirt moved around her legs. “Shalltear, can you please restrain your hands and have clementine sit on the seat, not under your skirt. In the bedrooms, I might allow such perversion, but this is stretching it.”

Shalltear stares Velvet down with a satisfied smirk patting the dress near her nether regions. “If lord Kettor’s toy wishes to please her betters, who am I to disagree. So long as lord Kettor has no complaint.”

Sitabus resisted sighing at Clementine’s want to live dangerously only encourage Shalltear. The two worked well together and had a productive work ethic. ‘I swear Peroroncino would love this situation.’ Still, he couldn’t complain Shalltear was keeping clementine distracted from boredom. A bored Clementine was annoying to deal with and dangerously hungry for action or something to break.

“Velvet leave them be. At least Clem-chan isn’t antagonizing you or Kathrin so long as her hands, mouth, and hair are full and out of sight.”

Velvet only scowled with her eyes, her lips remaining in a thin line. Letting the matter rest for now.

"Kathrin, who did you put in charge of watching Arche and her sister? while we are away."

"I had Kevlar and his friends to play with them and Fluder to teach them with some translated magic books and lore books of Yggdrasil."

Sitabus thought about the argument with narrowed eyes. Since meeting Fluder, he had found the man's sanity and attention lacking unless it was a subject related to magic.

"Was there no one more stable to teach them?"

"No, my love, the only other is his top assistant, Sophie Noia, who is as perverted as shalltear. I thought it better to have her on our potion research and monster taming programs."

Sitabus, while happy Kathrin could deal with the obsessed magic wizard. Felt conflicted about him being around Arche's sister. Still, it is nice Kathrin had come to stand on her own decisions without needing his orders all the time. Still, he genuinely worried for those directly under her control.

The disregard Ritana showed for her own safety and brutal training, which pushed Ritana to get so strong so fast, could break people. He had seen it first hand as she demonstrated the training she put the army through. Back on earth, such cruel training methods would have crippled soldiers for life either mentally or physically. Luckily they had dedicated healers who could heal most wounds like Roberyck and the new mental support system.

“Where are we headed my love, you never said where lord Ainz wanted to meet us, after the last message spell?” Kathrin put the last of the papers away into her inventory.

“To meet the leader of Crain village where we will meet up with Ainz.”

I still don’t know if there is a Dev' Or admit around?” Going back over the oddity of message spells working fine with Ainz and Nazarick now. It was still being investigated why the arena entrance had collapsed and the three words burned onto the rooftop.

‘What are the connections, and where is this demon deity that parasite talked about?’

Just as he was about to stow the question away and answer Kathrin. An elegant and childish voice with a joyless undertone answered.

“I can tell you my champion of darkness if you will entertain me a little.”

Everyone in view grabbed their weapons as the silhouette of a cloaked woman melted together off the floor of the carriage. It was like a shadow had gotten off the ground with two pure red shining eyes with small dots of yellow in the sea of red and a thin red line for a mouth smiling.

Sitabus growled his hands on his sabers as his bat fangs were ready to fly at this administrator. Daring to stand before him after all they had done.

“Tell me why I should listen to someone who has been interfering with myself and those around me.”

The admit smiled, giving a bow. “I have not taken any action that would hinder you. If not for my actions, Velvet and Clementine wouldn’t be as they are now. I have also forced the other admit to take the block off you and stop interfering, Lord Sitabus Karrgin.”

Halting as they revealed knowing his real name glancing at Velvet and Shalltear's skirt. Telepathically telling Clementine to stay hidden. He Watches as Kathrin’s claw blades went right through the shadowy form.

The administrator paying the attempted attack no mind taking a seat next to Velvet. Sitabus raised a hand, stopping any further attacks. Until he could be sure of how to hurt this administrator or find out if they were telling the truth. There was no point in destroying the carriage Kathrin had made if they could not cut the enemy.

“I will at least listen for now, but we are meeting with someone soon. If I don’t believe you, I will be coming after you.”

The threat only brought a broad smile to the administrator's face. “Thank you, emperor Sitabus! Now I am the real Jester Troop. I was trapped by the other Admin’, who came here with me. Since we have gotten here, she changed, she believes she is doing good. The same belief, which led you to fight and kill those of my covenant of crows. The permanent death of your Jade and until recently blocking all communication of importance between your group and Nazarick.”

“You were planning on bringing chaos and destruction? Or did you not care what they did.”

Sitabus watches Jester, but this was harder than trying to read Momonga. Even if he is having trouble connecting with his humanity, he couldn’t condone such careless destruction without good reason.

“I was merely helping them in return for their help. As I am now offering my help with your own goals like destroying the Down Fall of Kingdom and Country, I will even personally bring you the person who used it along with the item itself if I must. Something we both know you can’t reach without putting those of Nazarick at risk. or endangering your public image right now.”

Sitabus narrowed his eyes, leaning back into his seat. He hated to admit it; however, he didn’t even know where to start looking. Why change sides now and pick him over Momonga if this was the case.

“What about the crows, and how would my love, even know you will keep your end of the bargain.”

Kathrin glared heatedly at this shadow. Sitabus was sure she would be trying to kill them for this. Kathrin had harshly punished Fluder and others who helped the crows for a month to warn against betrayers.

Jester paid Kathrin no mind with a dismissive wave. “Carnival has forced my hand by manipulating both you and Ainz to hunt down my covenant of crows. So long as I am trapped in the admit realm, most of my powers are limited or locked. As proof of my need for an alliance, I will tell you if my shadow projection is exposed to light, it will vanish just as Carnivals projection will vanish if hit enough." 

Sitabus turned his gaze to the door of the cabin. Then to Kathrin, he could get rid of this admit right now with just a little light? Thinking on it, he signaled Kathrin to hold.

“How can you help me against this other admit if you can’t even take a hit?”

Jester narrowed her red eyes, hiding the fear as she edged away from the curtain. “I can block her blunt tricks and illusions. The same which have kept you from noticing her and altering the perception of others. Which is what allowed Jade to get cornered, you already saw how I scraped together what was left of Jade, allowing your last resort to work.”

Sitabus glares at the wooden floor as he intertwined his hands in front of him. Could he trust this person? As much as he didn't want to, they were offering help and information. In Yggdrasil, the prospect of fighting  Administrators was impossible; no player really knew what they could do or the limits they had. Yet here they could be standing right next to them and never notice if they decided to try killing him.

"Alright, but I want your total cooperation and everything you are willing to share now."

Jester's dark smile put all of them on edge. "That was already part of my deal coming here."

Sitabus watches jester the whole time she explained what she knew, which was a lot to take in, she and some other admin’ had arrived here before the six gods. Making them well over 300 years old.

As for the crow members, Jester was the one that gathered them together and helped the foremost eight leaders find their world items. Each one having there own numbers of spies and hidden minions under them. 

However, the last two didn't have many and were the most united of the eight. With only one world item and a guild weapon between them.

Sitabus did his best not to show it as he silently answered a message spell from Ainz.

{Hello, Kyuketsuki. I need you to hurry to Crain. It seems I miscalculated something! Crain is under attack, and I am busy with my own battle.}

{Sure, I can speed things along.}

Hanging up, he hated the grin on Jester's face. For now, he couldn't attack without being sure he could first hurt them, and second, know for sure they were the once that had terminated jade.

Moving over to the carriage door. "Well, this was nice, but we must be going. A village requires saving. I will move ahead Kathrin catch up quickly. " Jumping out as Siegfried appeared jumping on his steed with Rita riding up close.

"What is the danger, Kettor-sama?"

"Just follow my lead. We need to help allies of Ainz Ooal Gown."


-A few minutes later-

As Sitabus and his four knights came close to Crain village coming into view. A massive army of beast-men at least ten thousand strong, fighting against an army of five thousand goblins and some brave human villagers. Looking closer, he could see a man befitting a member of the royal family of Re-Estize near the back with a cloaked person having the mask of a wolf. This person was holding a twisting and oddly shaped spear. Which seemed to be putting up an aura of light around him and the beast-men attacking?

{That is the wolf. His real name is Wolfgrand Varrow, the second in command of the crows. The spear he is holding is an old guild weapon I found only useable to Lycan’s and demi-humans. Kill him, and the spear should break for good this time.}

Jester’s voice chimed in before fading out Sitabus couldn’t be happier, even letting a fanged grin show. “Rita lead the four in to help defend Crain. Once Kathrin arrives, she and the others will help where they can..”

He charged at the leaders of this army if the spear was buffing the soldiers then by taking them out. It would destroy the line of command and allow the other side to quickly break the stalemate below.

Cutting through a few mounted knights trying to stop him once he was close enough.

“[Triple: winters death edge] and [summon true blood paladins]”

The three dark blue waves of cold cut through the back of the army, killing 300 beast-men and a few humans mixed in, right off the bat. Those slain melted down and merged into three 2.5-meter-tall winged vampires dressed in shining red armor with large shields and long swords or lances. Unlike blood knights, these monsters had a more powerful air of danger and restrained blood lust.

The three high-tire true vampires quickly started cutting through enemy beast men and humans alike, throwing back enemies bashed with their shields. After clearing a path for him and forcing the scared soldiers to give them a wide berth, they each slammed their shields down into the ground creating a shock wave of negative energy. Followed by raising up their swords, creating a dark tinted barrier of instant death magic. Around Kettor and the two leaders of this army.

‘I love these paladins. Now, if only they weren’t so expensive to summon. They are about level 60 but still. I could have created 30 mid-tire vampires and 300 low-tire vampires.’  While he would have like to help Ritana more. Even this lycan would have trouble escaping his favorite summons for being one of the best vampire tanks and high tier caster of instant death magic.

Dismounting on to the now-dead grass with one saber drawn his six bat fangs floating around him.

“Ainz must be fighting your boss. How did you get the beast-men and humans to follow you anyway?”

Wolf's answer would tell him if Jester was telling the truth. From what he was told, they shouldn’t have this many following them. Glaring at both the werewolf ready for battle and the first prince who was shaking even as he held out his sword unwilling to dismount. Not that it would do him any good.

“You should have kept hunting us. Giving me six months to rally the new beast-man kingdom was a mistake this village will pay for. once I kill you, my forces will join Blank in crushing the Re-Estize army.”

Sitabus stared at wolfgrand. Did he honestly believe he would win? Sitabus pulls out a vile of silver and coating his sabers and daggers with it. Making them shine as he activated [ability boost], this would be over quickly.

Rushing forward at the werewolf, which throws off his cloak changing into a towering wall of claws and fur growling. Thrusting out the spear, Kettor sidestepped the thrust as his daggers stabbed into Wolf's arms, gaining a hiss of pain.  Before, the werewolf could move back slowed by pain. Sitabus thrust his saber into the werewolf's heart. Twisting the blade and pulling back his saber and cutting off the head for good measure.

Watching the guild weapon crumbled into dust before his eyes. Sitabus turns his attention to the trembling prince with his sword shaking in his hands. Hearing the boom of lightning and explosions of Rita’s magic in the background.

Sheathing his saber and slowly approaching the prince frozen in terror. His six bat fangs floating close to the prince's neck. “Why is one of the old royal families of Re-Estize helping beast-men to attack Crain.”

The prince glared with hate and rage momentarily overcoming his fear. “You are the undead scum that took over the empire. Like that bastard, the elder lich killed the king and fooled the people into following him. I will still be king, and this stupid village should have helped me take back what should have been mine!”

Sitabus stared at the prince, trying to figure out what he was talking about. ‘Just how much have I missed that was not the plan Demiurge had told him about.’

“The ex-first prince Barbro. You must not remember Crain and Re-Estize are now part of the Sorcerer Kingdom under King Ainz Ooal Gown. Decreed by governor Renner for saving its people from Jaldabaoth~su.”

Kettor looks over past the barrier at Lupusregina Beta's smiling face holding her huge mace. With the young blond village girl and the goblin army behind her.

“Hello, I'm Erin, Lupusreg tells me you are the new Emperor Lord Ainz asked to meet with me.”

Waving to the three True Blood Paladins to drop the barrier quickly moving to stand behind Kettor. With Kathrin landing nearby, a pleasant small smile showing as she takes a stand next to him.

“Yes, I am the new emperor, Kettor minx, and this is my lovely empress Kathrin.”

Kathrin took up Kettor’s hand, glancing over at the carriage where clementine and Shalltear where keeping watch.

“How about we all clean up this mess and talk in a more comfortable setting. I would very much like to know where this army of goblins came from. Then we can decide what to do with Barbro.”

Sitabus took in the wooden houses and walls of the village. It had the air of a small town homy and welcoming. Seeing the goblins, humans, and Ogres, it was a beautiful site if not for one problem. There were now 5000 goblins to feed. They would need help to sustain the required food. 

Kathrin could easily arrange to supply them with food until they could find a solution to the issue. It helped that they didn't seem to mind his true blood paladins or his vampire nature.

"Thank you again for the help in the battle. What do you think of Crain so far, Emperor Kettor." Erin encouragingly grinned at him. As if just a few hours ago, they weren’t fighting off an army.

"It is a lovely place to live general Erin, as a show of our goodwill for any losses, please take these. The first you know of already, the second one is a wand of resurrection. It has a limited number of uses to revive your dead." Kettor reached into his inventory, pulling out one Horn of the Goblin General, and one short glowing ivory stick. Holding them out to Erin’s awe and shock.

"You have them too? why give them to me?" Erin took the ivory stick and one small horn carefully before she had no idea just how powerful they were. If used right, she might double the goblin armies size. The wand was even rarer; she could sense the power coming off it. The ability to bring back those she had lost

Sitabus chuckled lightly at Erin's sputtering. "You have discovered a secret about them and can use them much better then I can. Do me a favor; only use them when needed. As for your new supply needs, why don't you go talk with my dear Kathrin."

Letting go of Kathrin’s arm and urging her to help them. Not just as a village in need but as allies under Nazarick's protection. With Leinas and Nimble following Kathrin.

Looking through the crowding spotting Lupusregina time to find out what Ainz has been up to. Waving to a few as he approached one of the Pleiades, "Good to see you're doing well, Lupu, would you please fill me in on Ainz actions so far." 

Lupusregina leads him over to a table the environment of joy and cheers after only an hour ago they were in danger of being destroyed. This didn't vanish his unease about crowds throwing up [silence zone] and [greater illusion].

Sitabus had to be cautious about information connecting him to Ainz and Nazarick.  "Ok, it should be safe to talk openly. Please only call me emperor or lord Kettor to be safe."

Lupus stared at him with a happy smile, but her eyes gave away her discontent. "I’m glad to see you well, lord Kettor; many of us were worried about you with only a few letters to tell us where you went. Is there a reason you seem to be avoiding Nazarick?"

Sitabus stared at the table with a frown. He had never stopped to consider how they would feel. It had never been his intention to make them think he was avoiding them. This was the last thing he wanted them to think then again; he had up and vanished for half a year what did he expect.

“Lupusregina, I want you to remember this. Nazarick safety is my first priority, even when I am far away. I promise once things in the empire settle down, I will spend more time in Nazarick.” Grasping Lupusregina’s hand in his.

Lupusreguna met his gaze with a questioning look and disappointment. “You could ask for help none of us like the fact that you are out alone so unprotected. All of us would be more than willing to help just as we will follow lord Ainz.”

Yes, because the truth is, they respect him more than us.’ Sitabus resisted the urge to glare at the shadow. This thought was jealousy at best, and he knew this. It was still a fact if Ainz gave an order, they would take it over his. As much as he loves Nazarick and its beauty, he needs a place where he doesn't feel like the third wheel.

The last six months with Kathrin and the others had been fun and relieving where he did not have to be reminded, he had the burden of the title of a supreme being. “I am safe. I have Shalltear and Kathrin with me, along with many others. Ainz is better at leading then me, but I am better at fighting battles and war. If I need any of your help, you will know. Now, how has Ainz been doing.”

Lupusregina gave a weak smile before she could tell him. Ainz and Albedo, teleported next to the table. Ainz dispelled the spells taking a seat as Lupusregina moved over. Gaining awe and wonder-filled stares of all those around them.

{Really Momonga I wanted this to be private!}

Ainz waved at them, gesturing for the crowd to stop kneeling. {Sorry Kyuketsuki, I was planning on meeting you here than those two showed up. After this I have to decide what to do with Barbro.}

Sitabus forced a happy face ignoring his discomfort. He came here to talk with a friend, not deal with relations between kingdoms. “Hello, King Ainz, it brings me joy to see you doing so well, old friend. After Helheim fell to those demons.”

Sitabus was overjoyed at the twitch of a frown to the lie. If he had to do this, he might as well have fun with it. {What are you doing Kyuketsuki!} Sitabus gave a confident smirk back to his friend. {Roleplaying the moment.}

Ainz sighed. “I did emperor Kettor though I learned Jaldabaoth the demon emperor seems to have followed us here if not for Momon and Abey’s help we would not have saved the kingdom.”

{Ok I get you got Pandora to be Momon and Narberal to play as Abey but who is Jaldabaoth?}

Kettor stared at Ainz with a deep frown Ritana and Bardic shared a glance behind him having never heard such a demon name before. “Well, you dealt with him, and you and your wife are still alive. Still, what about that crow cult?”

{Demiurge came up with the plan after eight fingers tried to take someone, we had under my protection. I changed the plan after finding out two of the crows were convincing the nobles and king to attack Nazarick.}

Ainz took Albedo hand lightly, gripping her’s for support. “Sadly, they tricked many adventures and an army of 200,000 into attacking our home. Only blue rose survived as payment for those they killed. I have them working for Nazarick.”

Sitabus struggled not to show his annoyance and rage; someone had attack Nazarick without him noticing. Balling his hand into a fist, how had he failed to even see this. If even one of them was from E-Rental, this could ruin Pluton’s deal. {Please, tell me you didn’t kill any from E-Rental if you did don’t tell Pluton. What did you do with Blue Rose really?}

Ainz lips twitch up into a small grin. “Seeing how easily the nobles and even the king was tricked by the cult. I demanded they hand over E-Rental and Crain village along with other outlying villages to better protect them and save those I could from their tricks.”

{Thanks to Kathrin’s help Rheanna Allegra Day Rettenmaier daughter of the previous mayor made sure to not allow any adventures to take the request. Blue Rose took some convincing, but I couldn’t let their part in raiding Nazarick slide without punishment.}

Kettor glanced around them. No one seemed to take offense with the demand, to Ritana and Bardic surprise. The whole village was listening with rapid attention. No one dares to speak up. watching to kings talk like old friends. “I’m surprised the old king would allow it. Jicniv, before his death at the Slane Theocracy agents, told me how proud he was.”

{Really you’re going with that lie Kyuketsuki!}

Ainz stared at the emperor with an unreadable look. “Well, with my show of force, the loss of there army and the regrettable death of Ganzeoff the warrior captain. He had little choice, then Jaldabaoth joined forces with the cult brutally taking over cities and killing all who got in his way. I had to step in, and Rheanna mayor of E-Rental was happy to have my protection for the good of the small villages and her city.”

{Clementine saw one of the black scripters wearing THAT world item! As far as I care unless they want to apologize and better yet hand it over, I won’t stop. Besides, it is not a lie while I was busy dealing with an Adrofine parasite caster class. The whole of the Empire would have been destroyed or infected before they intervened. They chose to let it get overrun and forced me to act to save those I could.}

Kettor laughed genuinely at this. “Always one for theatrics, Ainz. So how did you get Re-Estize to become part of your Sorcerer Kingdom.”

Ainz took a minute to gather his thoughts about the matter, not prepared for this question. One small victory to Sitabus, he was always better with PvP and Tactics in battle.

“I took my undead army and marched through each city, retaking it and fighting back Jaldabaoth’s demon maids. Turning them against him before finally coming to the capital. It was a hard fight, even with my wife. It took both the darkness adventurers and myself to beat him back and reclaim the last city. Only lady Renner, her personal guard climb, and Brain, the new warrior captain, was left of the royal family. After saving them, queen now governor Renner asked to allow Re-Estize to become part of the Sorcerer Kingdom.”

Kettor slightly narrowed his gaze keeping up his impressed look; there was no way the last member of a royal family just gives up the kingdom. Glancing over at Albedo. Yeah, he couldn’t read her at all still, his instincts told him Albedo had something to do with this.

He got the gist of it. Basically, Ainz tested Nazarick defenses, gathered information about any players that might be around, and changed Demuirge’s plans. Which forced the people to choose the lesser evil that wasn’t trying to kill and enslave them.

  Breaking the message link as he moved away from the table taking in the village around him. Despite his out worldly happy appearance, he scans the area. Jester informing him about what had him on edge. {Carnival is not here don’t worry I will let you know if I sense her.}

“Well, Ainz now with this out of the way how about we move this to the capital. To have our alliance in writing and an end to the annual war between the old Re-Estize and Baharuth Empire.”


-Capital of Re-Estize-

Once Rita followed Lord Kettor out of the gate, she saw the destruction still being repaired. The once-great city of Re-Estize now in ruins with scaffolding and undead everywhere busy repairing burned or damaged buildings. The people came up to see their king and the emperor, she could only guess what they must be thinking.

Even the royal castle in the distance looked like it had been through hell. Should she have asked her lord to stay and help them how many had the demon emperor killed! She balled her hands into fists; she should have been here to help.

Turning her gaze to lady Kathrin looking back with pleading eyes. She needs to check if they were still alive. ‘Alright, you and Bardic may check but meet us at the castle after.’

Rita gave lady Kathrin a bright smile as their eyes met. Pulling the dwarf’s hand as they went into the crowd. Horrified at the damage and destruction around the city while repairs were beginning. It might take a year to undo the damage done by Jaldabaoth. It was hard enough trying to find her way through the streets.

“Lass, do you really think they survived this. My brother might be tough, but if what King Ainz said is true…” Bardic didn’t dare speak it aloud with despair hanging over him.

“Shut up! They are alive, I know it. We just have to find them!” Hissed Rita pulling him faster down the streets passing carts of dead and people with wills so broken they would not meet her eyes.

Turning a corner, she saw it the old tavern at least what burned remains still stood letting go of Bardic she rushed up to the charred wreckage. Hopefully, looking around for them, they had to be alive. Huffing as she lifted a burned support beam out of the way.

The ruins where silent, huffing as she searched, seeing only burned skeletons and bodies. ‘They should have been safe; otherwise, what was the point of her leaving.’ Looking around, she still remembered the old dwarf asking her what was wrong, the somewhat shady bar with friends new and old, which helped her start her journey to become an adventurer.

As the bright memory faded replaced by the charred ruins and death. Asking if anyone was here only to get silence of the empty street. Bardic walked up, putting a hand on her shoulder. “Lass there gone if they are still here, their dead.”

Following Bardic’s gaze, over to the building next door, the ruined blacksmith wrapped metal and off-color swords. In place of his brother's hard work.

Hearing footsteps, they both turned to the butler with gray hair and a thick beard, followed by skeletons pulling carts.  “Hello miss, did you know these people?” The old butler gently asks as the skeletons got to work, moving the rubble and picking up bodies.

They both move out of the way to talk with this butler. Lady Kathrin sent her his name Sebas. “Yes, we did a few years back. They helped me train to be an adventurer and introduced me to the blacksmiths next door. I still remember arguing with Rudyard Tamber about using two swords.”

Bardic laughed lightly. “Yeah, my brother always argued the standard style of one sword one shield would be better.”

Rita grinned softly with a chuckle. “Right up till I beat him three times in a row. He got so flustered.” Her two-sword style was rare and difficult to learn. This is why she had to be active and fast, always being aware of both blades to not catch on her self or end up only using one sword, which would nullify the point of the style.

Both Bardic and Rita were silent as they watched the skeletons work. Ritana turns to Sebas taking in his static face.

“Do you think any of them made it out, Sebas?”

The old butler stared deep into her eyes before extending a gentle hand. “It is possible. Would you like to meet other kind warriors, perhaps they know?”

Rita gave a weak grin at the lie, turning away from the wreckage. She couldn’t do anything for the dead, perhaps her lord could revive them, but she thought better of it. There was no way to say what kind of torture the demon had put them through before ending them. “Sure, lead the way.”

Giving one last respectful glance back at the Feather Born Tavern and Tamber Brothers Blacksmith. Leaving her past to rest; hopefully, they found a better place beyond death.

Rita took her mind off the matter by looking around as they traveled. There had to be something she could do to help, but her time would be limited here. Toning out Bardic talking to Sebas as they followed him to the main castle through the devastated ring wall.

Leading up the stone steps in the wall up to a training room. Where a blue-haired warrior with a katana adorned in silvery and red armor on top of the sides of his pants and black shirt training with a blonde knight in full dark plate armor without the helmet. It took Ritan a few seconds to realize who the blue-haired warrior was, Brain Unglaus.

 “You two have been training hard have you thought about our last session in the spar?”

Both of them stop noticing the three they bowed to Sebas. “Yes, Sebas- sama.  Who are these two?”

Rita smiled, stepping forward, “Ritana Enruos leader of the elite four knights of the emperor. This is my best friend and fellow knight, Bardic Tamber.”

Brain watched her with a wary gaze his hand on his sword; this was not unexpected. News about the new emperor and its troubles had been kept under wraps. Not counting for those that left after Kettor’s reveal of his undead being. “There is no one among the four with that name. and what would an imperial knight be doing here.”

Sebas stopped the warrior captain before it became violent. “She is, I personally saw the Sorcerer king meeting with the new emperor Kettor minx. It has not spread far yet, but they are putting an end to the annual war.”

The blond knight rose a brow stepping closer, unlike Brain, he didn’t have the same hostility. “What happened to the emperor Jircnvi ?”

Rita gained an angry scowl at the memory of the insane cult. It would be foolish to ask, but she had to at least try and hope one of them got out alive. “The cult of crows, if not for lord Ky-Kettor the empire, might be in the same sad state as here.”

 “Tell me, do you know if anyone from the Feather Born Tavern and Tamber Brothers Blacksmith survived or what happened to them?”

Brain shivered as he stared at the ground and the young knight, he gave a mournful gaze at the two. “I wouldn’t know my mistress, and I was lucky the demon wanted her for something. I saw how some were… treated, if they were lucky, they died quickly.”

“I’m sorry for your loss. many across Re-Estize lost their lives, and much more to the Demon Emperor short take over.”

Rita loosened her fist with a new fire in her eyes. If she could not save them and didn’t want to know what happened to them, the least she could do was hunt down this demon; it would surely be a worthy challenge for lord Kettor. “What happened to Jaldabaoth, and where can I find him.”

“Lass no, we can’t do that! Think about this.” Bardic gave a warning tone.

Rita stares into her friend's worried eyes, but she had to do this. If not for them, she would not be where she was today. Pushing Bardic aside with some struggle.

Brain grimaced, crossing his arms at Rita, agreeing with the dwarf. “Your friend is right back off. Momon and the Sorcerer King had trouble forcing the demon to leave our kingdom. Your weak, and you will only get yourself killed.”

Ritana drew her swords, her eyes changing to orange, ignoring the shock and horror of Bardic and the young knight. “Brain Unglaus, I heard you were skilled and strong enough to fight Gazef Stronoff! Yet all I see in your eyes is a defeated coward. Show me I’m wrong or take that back.”

Brain glared at Rita putting his hand on his sword. “Humans are no match for monsters, no matter how much you train or how many skills you gain! I saw firsthand what Jaldabaoth and monsters like that vampire could do. They are beyond human limits and powers.”

Drawing out his sword as Ritana wasn’t going to back down. They both glanced at Sebas, who stood there watching holding back the blonde knight and Bardic. As the tension built up between them Ritana grit her teeth, how dare he insult her and Lord Kettor’s strength like that.

“No, you’re only too weak to get back up and grow.” Ritana sprang at Brain into a bind while her other blade came under his sword halting as he grasped her wrist, angling her first blade to the right, bringing his katana forward, forcing her to step back to avoid the edge coming at her neck.

Hissing in annoyance as she came at him with quick slashes and thrusts, testing his speed and skill. She was hoping not to have to use her martial arts for this. She had to teach him a lesson lord Kyuketsuki kept reminding her. Humans might be weak in many ways compared to monsters. Skills, determination, and quick thinking could allow her to beat and overcome all enemies. Humans or monsters, even brain Unglaus, while he had more martial arts and experience than her.

Rita had trained with lady Kathrin to use her limited range to overcome and beat the war troll Go Gin. She would prove his defeated mindset wrong here and now. Catching him in a weak stance and forcing him on his back foot.

Using quick light slashes to force Brain on the defensive, not letting him rest or he would lose. She kept her body moving around Brain, looking for an opening or weak guard. Even so, Brain was managing to counter and block her. He was skilled enough to match her fever pace.

Rita gains an angry scowl panting a little he was skilled. She could give him this much. But she would prove she wasn’t weak-willed like him, like before lady Kathrin had shown her real strength. [superior ability boost]

When their blades met again, Brain hissed as his arms trembled under the shock of the blow. Her second blow sent him sliding back, nearly dropping his sword. Before Brain could counter, he had a sword at his throat and chest. “Warrior captain, you lost this dual because you have lost your way. Lady Kathrin and Lord Kyuketsuki showed me there is always a way to win with justice and honor if you just push through the pain and fear.”

She pulled back her swords, sheathing them. Showing her disappointment at such a strong warrior acting spineless and defeated without even trying. “If you wish to regain my respect, get back up and show me the warrior who stood his own against the Warrior captain I was told storys about.”

Hearing applause, she took notice of Sebas, the young knight and Bardic. Rita blushed quickly, recomposing herself with sweat rolling down her face. She didn’t mean to blow up on Brain-like this, but she could not stand his depressing monologue.

“I see lady Kathrin taught you well.”

Turning back to Brain to thank him for the spar only to meet his cold stare. It seems even that quick match had done little to change his mind. ‘Well, if you're going to be like that, I'm not so sorry after all.’

 “Now, with practice done, how about we head inside for some food.” 


-with Ainz and Sitabus-

Sitabus relaxed in his seat across Ainz with no one else in the room, only Kathrin and Albedo in the room next door, writing up the alliance between the empire and the kingdom.  Two of his knights and Shalltear outside the door guarding it with Rita and Bardic taking care of personal business from what Kathrin told him.

Right now, they were just enjoying catching up while they had time alone. No windows and only two doors they could both watch.

“I get the strategy; still, I think you let demiurge go a little too far. To take control of eight fingers and fight the crows.”

He had far more he wanted to say, but so long as eight fingers didn’t step out of line. He would leave them be for now. If they did cross them again, Rita would love to hunt them down.

“I changed Demiurge’s plan to have the empire test Nazarick defenses. I will say Blue Rose is a useful asset, and Evileye has confirmed the two leaders of the thirteen heroes were players.”

This just kept confirming what Jester had told him was true. At the very least, the Administrator could be trusted for now. He would still keep careful watch of Jester's words and actions.

“Do you know how Carnival was effecting our message spells?”

He should tell him about the administrators; however, he didn’t even know the extent of there power? He didn’t know any of their weaknesses or if he could trust the one ‘helping’ him. There was one thing he was sure of Carnival killed Jade. “I found out the name of one player that may have a world item. Jester, who convinced you to attack us, is really Carnival.”

“This would make sense Neuronist with my supervision managed to pull out all the information of two members of the Covenant of Crows we captured. There were eight members, one of those members before they went missing went by the alias Jester. Who had odd connections to the leader?”

[Carnival’s projection is nearby, which means Carnival must be somewhere in the city.]

Shooting up, Sitabus glared at the door partly because of Jester, partly because he heard the sound of steel clashing. Flying over to the doors, throwing them open with a glare unleashing his [blood lust aura].

“What is going on here, Shalltear!” His voice booming over the kneeling group.

Spotting his four knights, Climb Renner’s personal knight, the new warrior captain Brain Unglaus, Shalltear, and Sebas.

Brain paled at him sweat rolling down his forehead with a deep dread in his eyes. Brain’s gaze switching between him and Shalltear nearby kneeling just as he was. Kettor took note of one of her broken nails. Then switching over to Brain, his sword dropped near him. Realizing what the problem was as Rita was quick to explain the situation.

“Sorry lord Kettor  Brain recognized Lady Shalltear. Lady Shalltear antagonized him and allowed him to attack her.”

Turning to Shalltear with a disappointed glare. ‘Great another mess to clean up. On top of Ritan’s grudge against Jaldabaoth and administrator hunting.’ What happened to having a few hours of peace and quiet to talk with Momonga.

Calmly walking up to Shalltear, his gaze never leaving her body. “Shalltear we are guests here, and I will not have you fighting with random people of the Sorcerer Kingdom. I will have to punish you for this later.”

“Yes, lord Kyuketsuki.”  

Sitabus turned to Brain with wide eyes at the Scene. He let out a sigh well he was planning to hunt down jester any way. “Sorry for any past misunderstandings warrior captain. It looks like we will have to cut this short, my friend. Please tell Kathrin when she is done to meet us in E-Rental.”

Taking Shalltear’s hand and with his knights following closely behind him as he moved down the halls. None of them speaking up till they were well outside the castle with one mass fly over the group. They took flight over the city as Kettor instructed them to look for Carnival.

Scanning over the city streets below for something. ‘Where is Carnival now?’ [Your close just go to the right a little.]


-E-Rental-

Kathrin stepped through the gate with a blank face trying not to show her infuriation after learning her love have left quickly. Something was off even if Shalltear got recognized there was no reason for him to go rushing off unless Carnival had been found.

Walking down the halls of the mayor’s office building, ignoring the surprise of those she passed. While she waited for more orders, she hoped to talk with Rheanna to gauge her reaction to everything. After Albedo expressed her concern about the human, it might be the overseer’s paranoia.

If not for the fact that she had seen an undead kill her father. An oversight on her part, but the woman was just as savvy as Mayor Panasolei when it came to forecasting future trends in the economy. This is why she had to check finally coming to the door ignoring the guards and pushing open the large carved wooden door.

“Hello, mayor Reanna; how has your day been.”

The dark red-haired woman looked up in surprise at lady Kathrin before smiling warmly. Putting the pen down, not a hint of deceit in her eyes, behind those glasses.

“I wasn’t expecting you, my empress, Kathrin, did you want me to arrange another hidden trade convoy or something else?”

Kathrin Takes careful notes of Rheanna’s every muscle twitch before taking a seat. “Yes, most of this will probably have to be run by Baldo Lauffray. Recently Crain village has taken in an army of goblins to take residents there. What they need are food supplies to get them started and help to expand their food production long term.”

Rheanna hummed in thought, opening a drawer pulling out some papers. Kathrin watched her work through the mental calculation, which she already knew what it should take. It was more helpful to have underlings that could come to the answer themselves.

“It will be tough, but we should be able to help them. I may need to ask for help from the sorcerer king for the skeleton labor is this acceptable?” Rheanna signed the papers handing them over to Kathrin to review.

‘What was Albedo-sam messing with me, or did she honestly believe Rheanna show disloyalty.’ Handing the papers back to Rheanna after skimming over them. Everything was in order and logistical as she would have done. Thinking to another question that had been bugging her.

“Has there been any news regarding some new beast-man kingdom?”

Rheanna's bright mood dimmed a little clasping her hands together. “You mean the old dragon kingdom. We have recently gotten a flood of refugees from them. passing through to the Slane Theocracy or into Re-Estize.”

Kathrin thinks back to the emperor's notes on them. they had been having beast-men troubles. “What happened to them last I heard they were still fighting?”

Rheanna denied this answer pulling up a message on to the desk. “One old soldier of the dragon kingdom brought this in, written by the new beast-man council. Any human to come near their lands will be considered open food for the taking.”

Kathrin frowned. They were holding out fine until now it should be at least a year before they needed help what had changed? This would be an excellent chance to test the newly reformed army. Add on the three new high tier vampires when required, and it would be secure and controlled.

How would she pitch this to lord Kettor to please him best? She could have Demiurge’s new persona show up personally and help with Ritana’s progressing growth. She might even be surprised like her battle with Go Gin.

“This is horrible news, I will inform my love as soon as he arrives. If I may ask, is blue rose available if we should need help?” Kathrin feigned worry while holding the mayor's hand to comfort this sheep.

Rheanna gains some of her chipper mood back at those kind words. “I will send them your request, where should I have them meet you if they accept.”

 Before Kathrin left the mayors office, she gave a teasing grin. “I will find them if they accept not to worry.”

Leaving two shadow demons behind to let her know as she went down the halls keeping up the ruse of caring for now. Careful since Xennessa, along with most of her succubi, were now positioned around the empire. Only a handful was needed in E-Rental for keeping watch. 

Walking out the building met by the cold wind clouds dotting the mid-afternoon sky. ‘Now what to practice while I wait for lord Sitabus to arrive?’


-Carnival-

She rushed down the streets glancing behind her to the sky and alleyways. Jester was officially angry at her. This was to be expected, but too send Kyuketsuki after her was a bit much. She could sense him nearby. The only way he could be closing in on her is if Jester was helping him.

Something she couldn’t do much about without totally giving her position away to Jester and by proxy Kyuketsuki. It was the only real saving grace of why he had not found her yet. Reaching out to the most substantial point she could find. Vanishing in a flash to the edge of the capital's outer walls.

Her attention is drawn to one shadow on the wall with a menacing grin. Hopefully, she could smooth this over quickly, or else she would find out what happened if she died with the admin’ realm locked.  Glancing around using her admin’ sight to spot Kyuketsuki a safe enough distance to talk for a few minutes.

“I see you are still not following our rules! Does Ainz know you have been shadowing him for months now?”

Carnival couldn’t show off, not with the innocent people in the area, and she didn’t have much time to stick around for her own safety. Kyketsuki wanted her dead if Jester told him the truth about Jade’s death. “Muketsu, we can talk about this. Sister’s don’t sic deadly vampire lords on each other.”

The cold laugh that answered filled Carnival with fear of how seriously was the locked-down on the Admin’ Realm affecting her.

“Oh, are we sisters now? The sister I remember was kind, understanding, and fair. Not cold, cruel, and all too willing to shove me in a void hoping to forget I exist. Or worse Like what you did to poor Jade.”

Jester extended a hand cracking the street as a huge dust cloud rose around them even as she blocked the blast. She could see the vampire's wrath filled eyes turn her way.  Creating a light projection to buy time scaring people nearby away with Nightmarish visions.

“I only made Jade vanish to teach him a lesson; this is not a game. Please just calm down and let's talk, I know we can find a way to unlock the admin’ realm.”

Jester’s glare intensified as her red eyes shined with wrath her red lips pulling down into an angry scowl. “You locked me in without even knowing how to undo it!”

Carnival could bearly hold back the waves of black flames sent her way with little time to think of another way out of this. Even as her light projection vanishes, Skidding back, realizing negotiation was out the window, she reaches up to clear the clouds. Only to watch [control weather]shift again as the rain began to fall.

“That is the person that attacked me at the cemetery!” Shouted Rita from her blind spot.

“So we finally meet Carnival. If you didn’t kill Jade, tell me the truth now, who did!”

She didn’t need to turn around to know they had arrived. If she had actually gone to Momonga, this wouldn’t be much of an issue. But with Shalltear, Kyuketsuki, and Velvet ready to attack any minute, she did not have a lot of options.

What to do to get out of this as much as she hated to use it wild magic would be her only bet. Luckily Kyuketsuki’s group was hesitant to move in; they didn’t realize how limited her combative skills where. Holding up a hand, she turned on [area block], preventing any nearby message spells from being sent. Quickly creating a small doll in her other hand shaped like Momonga sensing the death of three people nearby.

“Stay back if this breaks your friend will feel it.”

Relieved to see the fear In Kyuketsuki’s eyes glancing at Jester, this shouldn’t be working. This poorly thought out rushed bluff shouldn’t even fool Jester? This was really just a smoke bomb that could temporarily block the magic of those who breathed it in. What was Jester up to now with such a dark grin?

None of them spoke in the silence as they encircled her the vampire lord looking to Jester with narrowed eyes. Carnival stayed ready. This wouldn’t work for long, or it shouldn’t be, which is what was worrying her the most.

“As one Administer to another hand over the pieces of the world’s gem shards to lord Kettor. Do this, and we will let you flee in return for Ainz’s safety.”

Cursing under her breath so this is what this was about balling her free hand tight. Turning to Kyuketsuki, her face hidden by the mask, she couldn’t lose them, but she didn’t have much choice. Putting her hand out vanishing into her inventory to the grave gaze of Kyuketsuki.

Muttering something to himself, pulling out the three sickly glowing gems. Carnival had to shift the way she held them to keep from being burned. These gems did not hurt this much last time she held them. What had changed since then? Locking eyes with Jester staring at the small gems like a lost prize.

“You can’t trust Jester. You have no idea what these gems can do. If you take these, you are putting this world at risk.” She pleads to Kyuketsuki, holding out the gems which started to hiss, forcing her to drop them to the ground.

Kyuketsuki was silent, thinking about her words before lunching out a [shadow hand] to pick them up. Spinning them around in the shadow hand’s grip with narrowed eyes. Before Kyuketsuki stabbed at the air in front of him, then everyone acting like a flash of light happened, covering their eyes.

“Where did she go shadow.” Hissed Shalltear, as they all acted like her illusion, was working again.

 “She fought back my control, but keep those safe if Carnival gets them again, she can affect other souls like Jades.”

Letting out a sigh of relief before turning to glare at the shadow projection. Leading her on like that was uncalled for. Yeah, carnival screwed up, she would confess this. Still, this player had the most reason to want to kill her. Now she couldn’t ally with any of Nazarick after this either, which was definitely planned.

[Don’t act ungrateful we are still sisters, but keep this up, and I will watch him kill you for real.]

Hearing Jester's message Carnival took the hint and flew away as quickly as possible. With a hidden smirk, this was a setback, but they were not the only players around here. Nor was that all the pieces of the new world’s world item if she could collect a few pieces of them, it would go a long way in slowing Muketsu down at least till she could make her see reason.

‘Maybe I can go to the dragon lords no, they still see Jester as a player. Rigrit was unknown if she could even help at her age. Blue Rose, no, they were wrapped up with Nazarick for now.’ Huffing in frustration following the sensation of the player high over the mountain top. The smell of blood and death could be picked up from here.

Sometimes she hated the superhuman senses for times like now giving a pitying look to those below. She had not anticipated the dragon kingdom falling to there ilk if it was a better situation she might be in a position to help. But without a champion to fight with Muketsu would hold the upper hand.

 Reaching out her hand [Avatar beacon sense], three red dots appeared in sight. They were weaker then she would like, but it was better than nothing. Hovering above the ground as the capital of the old dragon kingdom came into sight, its once clean walls and high towers where a shadow of its former self with the smell of death and blood filling the air.

Now beast-men patrolled the walks phasing through the gate. It was even worse inside. ‘Really how barbaric have they become while I wasn’t watching.’ If these players turned out to be beast-men, it would take hours to hunt down more. The actions of finding others might be better given how cruel and violent most of them had become here.

A problem to fix after she could counter her sister's control. Already it was taking more strain to remain unseen then it should. Following the beacon, she had to hold back her disgust at how savage these beast-men were to the humans. Even there own kind was not spared seeing one get stabbed for trying to steal a miserable, broken young man being sold as food.

The beacon blinked at one building turned into a stockade/ holding cell for food. Carnival prays she would find humans, not beast-men avatars the fact they where being held captive here was not promising unless they were freaking out.

The shift had different effects on people. Her sister was calm, almost cold, and logical. While she remembered screaming her head off and panicking for an hour after first arriving. The best outcome was only mild panic. She really didn’t want to deal with suicidal ones again, like the leaders of the thirteen heroes.

Grimacing at the memory of the outcome for her and them in the end. ‘Do they not have a guild base it should be.-

There was a pulse, a beep, and a boom of a crash as if a mountain had fallen from the sky.

Carnival turned her head to see a city that had fallen from the sky. Fighting was already breaking out as angels poured out of the wreckage. Resisting the urge to facepalm, there went subtlety. Becoming visible Carnival spoke [admit truth seeker] a long two-handed sword appeared in hand. Cutting the two guards heads off. [Psychic blast] bust the doors off with unseen force. Walking into the dark building, ‘This was going to be a long week.’


-End of Chapter-

Chapter Text

 


-Cemetery in E-Rental-

Sitabus sat in the graveyard in front of the mausoleum, reaching out with one hand holding the gem, which pulls in the soul of Khanjii. He could hear the dead necromancer voice whispering in his mind. Pleading to be let go closing his hand, hearing the silent scream as the soul was shredded into experience points refilling some of what was lost after his kingdom of Ragnarok super tire spell.

When he opened his hand, he was unaffected emotionally by the soul he just destroyed. It did assure him he couldn't lose this world gem shard. Glaring at it with hate, this is what had taken Jade from him. As much as he would like to hide it away in Nazarick’s vault, it would not be safe there. Not that he could think of a safe place to keep them where the shards would be safe from Carnival stealing them. 

He looked around, spotting a zombie target to test the next shard closing his eyes, he formed a mental link between the zombie and himself. Numbly feeling it shuffle and move unevenly, one foot scraped across the ground as it was locking the second shoe. Taking control, he willed the legs to walk right, moving its arms to hang down normally not awkwardly like it was seconds ago, walking like it was his own body up to the gate of the graveyard and punching. 

Making it look up at the guard as they shot down arrows at the undead. Killing the weak zombie and breaking the link. With another successfully tested, he opened his eyes, listening to the whispers in his mind from the last gem he would need another target for this.

Looking over to Nimble, Leinas, Bardic, and Ritana waving them over to stand in front of him. As he rose to stand in front of them, he held out the gem. “Limit Break,” the world gem glowed brightly as he saw the air shimmer around three of them, but Ritana remained unaffected. 

This one is not near her second limit yet,’ an old draconic voice whispered in his mind. 

Narrowing his eyes at the gem before looking at three of his knights. “Leinas, Bardic, and Nimble, you should have an easier time training go with Velvet, and she will oversee the world gems shards effects.”

“Yes, lord Kettor.” They all saluted before each of them follows Velvet into the mausoleum.

Ritana walks up with questioning eyes and a frown. “Why didn’t you use it on me, lord Kettor.”

“It is not that I have not used it, but rather it has already been used on you once. Have you heard those words spoken to you before?” Sitabus rubbed his thumb over the shard in thought.

“Yes, in my fight with Go Gin, are you saying someone used it on me before?” Rita shot him an annoyed glare reaching out her hand to touch the shard as if that would give her an answer. 

Sitabus watched her gloved hand touch the shard before recoiling with a yelp of pain. The same reaction had occurred when they tried to touch the shards. ‘Why did she react like the others? Am I the only one that can hold them if so, why? What could be the requirement to hold them?’

It burned everyone but him who tried to hold them undead, living, and even his vampire summons. Yet when he picked them up after meeting Carnival, they whispered to him in approval. He couldn’t figure out why though not without much more in-depth study, which he didn’t have time to do.

He could only stay in E-Rental a day or two before he would need to return to the empire. The trip wasn’t even going to be this long before Carnival popped up. Which was another issue where did Carnival go after the last illusion, or was it a spell. The administrators had illusions that could fool anyone, even the undead true sight.

Without Jester, He didn’t even know if it would be possible to fight another administrator. As much as he didn’t trust either of them, he needs Jester’s help, and Jester Couldn’t do much right now other than watching him. As the suns, early morning rays shined down over the cemetery.

“I don’t know; it is very possible. Do you know anything, Jester, if someone might have had them for a time?”

“Carnival locked me in a void to get those world gem shards. I will remind you this is why I can’t hold them myself. Do you really believe she would trust anyone but herself with them?” Jester crossed her arms as leaves fell through her shadow under the shade of a tree.

Sitabus scowled at Jester, staring deep into those crimson eyes. “Then why help Ritana but not Jade. What does she gain from it.”

“Carnival was my best friend before we got here; we learned to code together. This was when I had more than two of my five senses; that is the price I paid for thinking her good deeds are signs of kindness. Take my advice, don’t let Carnival fool you. Her justice trumps compassion and personal feelings always.”

Touch Me was like this. It was why he fought with Ulbert so much he didn’t realize how overbearing he could be. Not to say that Ulbert didn’t have his harsh side, he still couldn't remember which one left first. He had been sick that day.

“Then why were you at the arena if not to help Ritana against Go Gin?” Kathrin hissed at the shadow projection.

Kathrin walks up, keeping her eyes on the projection, tightly holding the spear in her hands, softening her gaze at both Ritana and Kettor. Kettor caught an odd moment for the shadow projection jerking slightly, indicating she knew Kathrin favors her spear for casting since Kathrin had every lightning spell he could find in YGGDRASIL. This spear complemented these lightning-based spells by boosting the effectiveness of channeling lighting.

“I feared she planned to kill another of your family. I would have helped you, my champion if anything had happened to Rita.”

Sitabus waved her away, watching the administrator shadow vanish from sight. Focusing on Kathrin and Rita. “My dear, you have that look in your eyes what happened?”

“I found out the Dragon kingdom had fallen to beast-men. They say they will consider anyone who comes close as food for the taking.”

“You don’t think they will stay put in their border?”

“If they invaded the dragon kingdom over a food shortage, it is only a matter of time before they attack the empire.”

Sitabus messaged Shalltear telling her and Clementine to be ready to leave then sent another to Velvet to return to Airwindar when the testing was done. Kathrin opened a gate to Arwintar, as he pocketed the gems, for now, he wouldn’t let them leave his person till a safe place could be found.

 


-Carnival-

Carnival regretted not contacting Momonga more as she stared at the three too busy arguing between themselves despite the guards being dead, and the door to the cell was already open. She could feel her headache building at this mess; it didn’t help one of them was a bloody Heteromorphic.

All three had blue and gold armor covering most of there bodies. The first had mostly light armor over her priestess robes. She had a curvy body with her helmet off, showing under the dark blue hair two curved horns of a succubus and a slim lizard tail.  No weapons in view, possibly a monk-like fighter or she was hiding her primary weapon. “We should leave and regroup. You can mope about killing the savages later.”

The second had a mix of metal armor and more modern combat armor holding an assault magnum 34. A magic gun that drained mana for bullets and was a mid to long-range weapon. At the very least, he was a sharpshooter with a few other smaller weapons in his pouches. He was a human avatar with dark skin as well with dark green hair and black eyes.  “We should go back and try to find the floating Alvanle city. With the angel NPCs, we could save the city.”  

The last was fully covered in blue and gold armor, similar to the others. Only it was thick full plate armor. Though his face was hidden, Carnival knows he was human as well; his war sword still stabbed into the last guard tower shield left on the ground.  He was silent, but Carnival could feel his shock and regret from her location.

‘He must have high positive karma. Worse these where his first kills here.’ Turning to the other two trying her best to suppress her disdain for players of Heteromorphic avatars. She never liked those avatars; few picked them because of how hard it was to survive with them, those that did had a high chance of becoming like Ainz Ooal Gown guild, PKing, many human players, which is why Carnival found it odd to see one with two human players.

“Which one of you control the guild base which just crashed into the city.”

All three of them stopped arguing shock filled their eyes with the healer pulling out daggers from her inventory, and the rangers rifle pointed at her.

“Who are you, Simmra is anyone else close by.”

The succubus closes her eyes using her divine magic to scan the area around them for hidden enemies. Carnival could sense the strange demonic and holy magic twisting around in Simmra. It was unknown which classes she had, but Carnival could guess given her build was one of the harder ones to make. Combining to opposite magic types like this took weeks to obtain the right classes.

Unfazed by the magic bullets hitting an illusion or the hellfire as she absorbed the mana out of the spell before it could go off. “I am Administer Carnival Master. Now can one of you Go outside and control your guild base angels?” 

There was silence before the knight came up to her. “Log us out now!. This is still Yggdrasil, right?”

“I didn’t really just kill anyone?” Guilt and regret were evident in the knight's words.

Carnival looked into the broken cell seeing a few malnourished humans many dead. The rest must have run past her as they killed the tiger men guarding the room. This is why she hated the new world in some ways. It was cruel, nor did she or her sister understand why people from YGGDRASIL where being transported here.  She had spent years looking for a way back with no answer to comfort those like this man.

“You are stuck here just as I am.”

“Wait, the guild base got transported here as well! Guys, we need to go now before they notice us. I am not dying to the stupid last boss again.” Simmra urged them both grumbling about the last fight they must have had before arrival.

“NO Simmra, we can beat it this time, use the beast-man as a buffer and help this city.”

Carnival couldn’t believe this; these three players did not have much experience at all or much knowledge of YGGDRASIL. The fact that one of them was level 100, and the other two were close but not one hundred. Meant they had at least a month of playing Yggdrasil before arriving here. Yet they did not have control of the guild base their leader. The highest level of them was pleading to be sent back. The whole group dynamic was fragile and on the verge of breaking if she wasn’t’ careful. This mess of a group was going to take more personal assistance then she hoped for.

Thinking back to the world gem shards, she didn’t have an option she could use them to get back the shards then go back to helping them from the shadows. “I believe I can help you three so long as you save this city.”

Simmra glared at Carnival crossing her arms. “You can’t be serious. You want us to fight these angels after how well it went last time.”

Carnival turned to the succubi. If Simmra would not be cooperative, then she would have to remove the choice. Staring at Simmra with her administrator control, she forced teleported the avatar closer to the guild base. Before the other one could freak out, she turned to them.

“It seems your friend went ahead. Perhaps you should go help her out. I will help-”

Carnival used her [administrator sight] to see both their names. Jurououto HK9 and Delight Stromer 54, who kept his magic gun trained on her before quickly blasting out the back wall and heading off to help. Once she was alone, the last part of this new “team” needed to be motivated to move. Kneeling to his eye level, taking in the despair filled eyes behind the magic metal armor.

“Tell me, do you have a family back home?”

Jurououto HK9, the tense silence lingered before he finally answered. “A wife and child I need to get back to them. You must have some way. You were just lying before you must have.”

Regret filled Carnival as she contemplates telling him the truth. By his mood and her experience, she knows it would be like dealing with the leaders of the thirteen heroes all over again. Clenching her fist, if Jester could let the past go and be content to watch the world silently, she would not be stuck dealing with this. As much as she hated to lie like this, the reality of this situation wouldn’t help anyone.

“I know of ways, but first, you must help me reclaim my stolen powers. From an evil player called Kyuketsuki. He is part of Ainz Ooal Gown. Help me stop him, and you shall see your family again.”

She heard his growl at the name clearly; he was familiar with them. This would at least make this easier, helping him back up levitating over his weapon into the warrior's hands. He didn’t need to say anything to know the resolved look in his eyes. Leading Jurououto out of the building as many different beast-men circled them.

{First, we need to take the Alvanle guild base and clear the city of these beast-men.}

Carnival had a ping of guilt and pity as she watched Jurououto quickly cut through the beast-men every slash felling enemies. As he kept muttering to himself as blood spilled on his armor and sword. Keeping truth seeker hidden under her cloak for now. Only using illusions to trick attacking beast men into killing each other.

It didn’t take long to find the angels pop monsters fighting Simmira and Delight in the middle of the street. As both players were fighting off both beast men and angels. Simmra glaring at Carnival with distrust and fear unwilling to speak up for fear of what Carnival could do, the upside was that no players know the admin’s power range.

Which was her greatest weapon as long as they didn’t know she could be hurt and didn’t know her limits. There was little risk of them rebelling against or forcing her to find another option. Watching them fight these angels, she knows the only threat was the leader who had the skills to take on Kyuketsuki.

 


-Royal Castle in Re-Estize-

Ainz took in what Albedo had told him. It was a little odd that Kyuketsuki had not asked while he was there in the capital. “Why has Kathrin requested Blue Rose’s help?”

“She has requested their help for investigating the new beast-men kingdom. The one who supplied the army to the Crow member and the prince Should we deny the request Ainz-sama.”

Kyuketsuki was different from the last time they met he was on edge about something. It wasn’t Shalltear meeting Brain, but something else he wasn’t secretive unless it was a personal matter or a threat to Nazarick Kyuketsuki knew he could handle. Usually, Ainz wouldn’t be worried about this kind of reaction, but based on what Shalltear had reported to him, Kyuketsuki was dealing with Administrators.

In YGGDRASIL, he kept a lot of secrets about his life outside the game. Refusing to talk for more than a few minutes vaguely about his life. More so than any other guild member, it always seemed to weigh on him heavily. In this new world, he could physically see Kyuketsuki struggling with something. He just had not been brave enough to pry it out of his friend about what troubled him. He hopes he would speak up if it became terrible enough.

The only reason he had a general idea of what was going on is that Shalltear guards his friend and sent reports regularly in case he got himself in danger again.

“No lend Kathrin blue rose to them, but I want reports on their actions and location every 3 days.”

Albedo smiled with some difficulty. “Of course, Lord Ainz. Are you sure they can be trusted near another supreme being?”

“If they do, Shalltear will report it, and we shall lengthen their sentence accordingly.”

Albedo accepted his orders allowing him to turn to the prince that had escaped Demiurge purge of nobility. “I leave prince Barbro’s fate up to you and Demiurge to decide.”

His next action would be together information about the dwarf's kingdom in the Azerlisia Mountains. While he had his undead army, many adventures in his sorcerer kingdom lacked proper magic armor or weapons. It didn’t help that many had died between trying to raid Nazarick and Demiurges testing Re-Estize.

Which was the central part of sparing Blue Rose on top of Gazef refusing his offer. After seeing just how lacking adventure jobs were and talking with Pluton and other adventurer guild leaders. He wanted them to become more what he envisioned for them. To explore the unknown with Renner to take care of Re-Estize. He could explore with Albedo, which had been working out better than he expected.

After a short message from Entoma, he already had a plan forming. It would be a nice break from ruling and hopefully find the dwarfs to forage war gear for his adventures.

“After we meet with the lizardmen, how about you and Aura go adventuring with me to find the Dwarf kingdom.”

Albedo gaze filled with lust and desire trembling, holding her self back.

“Lord Ainz, will you be going in your handsome superior human disguise lord Kyuketsuki gifted you?”

 He shivered at the stare Albedo was giving him fearing saying yes. Albedo was almost guaranteed to jump him at some point if he did having noticed his libido returned to him in that form. Forcing him to use it sparingly, but now Albedo seemed to encourage its use.

Did Kyuketsuki realize the monster that was Albedo’s lust and love he now had to deal with when he gave him the cursed item? Even if the human face put the public at ease, it also attracted Albedo’s attention to his weakness.

“Uh, we will see how it goes! For now, have Momon and team darkness help out around the sorcerer kingdom.”

The overseer quickly obeyed and went to go inform Renner and Pandora while Ainz prepared to meet with the lizardmen. Letting out a breath once she was out of the room. He still had a little guilt about the changes to Albedo, wondering what Tabula would think. Envisioning the moments along with Albedo overflowing with happiness and bliss.

He was making Albedo happy, so it was a small comfort, and the rest of Nazarick did not mind. Deciding he would just have to talk with Tabula when he saw him again.  Lowering the magic defenses to allow the teleportation of the lizardmen to arrive.

 


-Arwintar-

Aveda followed him through the streets of the city a few vampire brides and blood knights patroles pass him. As Ghoalest pulled carts, it was the only suitable option after Kathrin had band horses in the empire. He still remembered her arguments.

‘They are weak, an untrustworthy beast which will fail our people at the worst of times!’ She had already passed the law, and he didn’t feel like going through the paperwork and logistics to change it back. Sitabus used the opportunity to test out the Ghoalest Siegfried created. They could easily create and breed others, so they were quickly becoming a staple of the empire.  

It was an issue among a few he was working through with Kathrin on. The only reason the empire still has silver currency is his insistence; it would create undue confusion before the coming beast-men attack.