Wednesday, December 21, 2016

BMG On Hiatus...

...For an indefinite duration. Sorry if any of you were looking forward to it. Have a picture.

Saturday, December 17, 2016


For a while after Hitomi slew the second Hydra, the swamp was silent.

Not even the sounds of insects and animals could be heard. Then again, those noises had been scarce around the lake ever since the Hydras had moved in. Either they learned not to make noise and hide, or they ended up as Hydra food.

Considering it was typically the first group who tended to survive long enough to raise offspring, the lesson quickly spread among the survivors.

After Hitomi's brief but bloody battle, the denizens of the swamp held their breath, wondering what its new conqueror would do. They understood the hierarchy here: they were weaker than the Hydras, and Hitomi had slain the Hydras. Thus, she had the power of life and death over anything within her reach.

However, it would seem Hitomi did not intend to exercise that power. After some time had passed, the animal instincts of the swamp creatures reasserted themselves, and they slowly, cautiously began to emerge and make their presence known.

Eventually, the swamp seemed to let out a collective sigh of relief, and the sounds of wetland life began to filter through the surroundings.

Hitomi lounged in the air as Julian gathered the remains of his colleagues below, her legs crossed and her arms and back leaned against an invisible armchair as she idly studied her surroundings.

It was kind of disappointing, all things considered.
This place looks about as bad as the last place. It's like a backed-up toilet. Or a landfill. You'd think a lake would have the decency to look good, but...

Perhaps if the newly ascended Obsidian Dragon had heard this, he might have taken offense. Whether or not he would be able to do anything about it was a different matter entirely.

Hitomi's mind wandered to other things. The two Hydras, for instance. The first had originally had 10 heads, while the second had 12. That made them credible low-mid level threats in YGGDRASIL, but they had massacred Julian's party. Granted, most of that was because her newly-acquired slave had provided illusionary terrain, learned from how they fought and took direct control of his minions, but even so, if the adventurers were on-level with the Hydras, they should have put up more of a fight.

Still, you could chalk that up to bad luck. Being surprised and unprepared tends to be fatal, especially around monsters.

That was not a slight on the adventurers' abilities. The simple fact was that they could not anticipate every emergency and threat and carry every possible countermeasure on them. Every pound of gear spent defending against a threat which did not come up was another pound of wasted carrying capacity.

This was why monster knowledge and knowing about their targets was so important for adventurers. In this case, it could not be helped; they were the ones who were supposed to gather information about their foe so future adventurers would be better-equipped to face them. Their plan had always been to get eyes on their target and then immediately retreat.

It was not their fault that their opposition had made skilful use of unexpected and powerful abilities to trap and kill them.

In fact, the Hydras seemed far more powerful than anything in the region. They were not exactly legendary monsters, but Julian said that this was the first time he had encountered one in the flesh, and he would never have taken the job if he had known they were around.

Speaking of which...

Hitomi decided to check on Julian.


The journey back passed in silence.

She would have teleported him home right away, except that she did not know where his home was. Therefore, they would have to settle for the comparatively slower method of physically travelling to the location in question.

The cleanup was messy, arduous and almost enough to turn Hitomi off the idea of looting corpses for good. Fortunately, it was mainly Julian and her conjured [Invisible Servants] going elbow deep into the muck and gore to look for body parts.

The bodies of the Hydra did not yield any data crystals or coins, which was somewhat disappointing, and more proof that she was not in YGGDRASIL anymore.

The corpses of Julian's party went into disposable Shrouds of Sleep, which in turn went into Hitomi's body-transport inventory. Igni was unconscious on top of a [Floating Board], while Julian sat beside him, gazing out into the distance.

His physical injuries were superficial, but there was no telling when, if ever, his mental scars would heal. He was still responsive when she spoke to him, but in all other ways, he sat limply beside his unconscious comrade, staring out into the distance. His powerless body looked like a puppet whose strings had been cut.

Fortunately, he was still responsive enough to point her in the right direction; else she would have had to waste time casting the spells necessary to compel him to speak.

Hitomi, on the other hand, hovered beside the [Floating Board]. More specifically, the [Floating Board] followed her like a horse pulling a wagon. Hitomi briefly considered going back out through the swamp, but she realised that having to dodge branches would slow them down.

Therefore, they climbed out of the swamp through the opening of the clearing and skimmed over the treetops until they were clear of the swamp. The effect was not unlike sailing over a quietly rustling sea of darkness, lit by the moon as it slowly plunged to the sea in anticipation of a new day.

Hitomi wanted to ask Julian more questions about himself and the world around her, but he looked like he was too out of it to do anything more than sit still. Instead, that left her alone with her senses and her thoughts.

Why was I helping him, anyway? What did I gain out of it? Wealth? Power? Information? 

No gold coins, artifacts or data crystals had come out of the Hydras when she had searched their bodies. She was already at maximum level, and enemies as weak as the Hydras would probably only give her a pitiful amount of XP anyway. Information... well, the Hydras proved that her favorite attack spell worked well on the natives, and hopefully, her newly acquired aboleth minion would yield useful information... but that still did not answer the question of why she had specifically chosen to help him instead of ignoring him and doing whatever she wanted.

Pity, perhaps?

She looked at Julian through one of her eyestalks. He looked utterly defeated, broken in spirit, if not in body.

Certainly pitiful, but she did not consider it her goal in life to help everyone who looked a little beaten down by life.


Hitomi remembered, back in the swamp, when she had looked down on Julian crawling around on his hands and knees, unable to see. She knew exactly how that felt. The time and place might have been different, but that particular brand of complete and profound helplessness resonated with her.

After that, everything had just been a matter of seeing the endeavour through to the end.

Poor bastard, she thought, and then they were past the swamp.


Hitomi guided the [Floating Board] down to almost ground level, until her own feet nearly touched the ground.

Flying around was guaranteed to draw attention (most likely hostile), but she could hover faster than she could walk (and besides, not touching the ground was cooler). Looking in all directions, she was struck by how beautiful this world looked from so close up.

This is the sort of thing you could only find in old photographs, she thought. But now it's real.

She felt the cool, clean air blowing in from the sea and across rippling fields of green. This was not a stagnant, salty surge within the swamp, or the dry, slightly biting cold from two to three miles up, but a gentle refreshing breeze that seemed to blow away the dark clouds in her heart.

Indeed, as it washed over Julian, he seemed to visibly perk up, taking a deep breath that filled him with life once more.

"Feeling better?" Hitomi asked, without looking at him.

Julian started, as though he had woken from a trance, and then he looked down at the [Floating Board] and Igni lying beside him. He tried to force a smile to his face, but he failed. He decided to nod instead.

"Yeah," he lied. Then he realised that this was not the tone to be taking with his savior, and he straightened up.

"Yes, ma'am," he said. "And... thank you."

He bowed, as much as he was able to do so while sitting down.

"Thank you for saving me, and Igni, and... well, for everything else. If there is anything at all I can do to repay you..."

"Anything?" Hitomi mused. "When you promise anything, you have to be prepared for the request to be everything."

Julian swallowed. He had gotten caught up in the moment and said something unwise. It was true that Hitomi had saved his life, but he had inadvertently opened the door to end up surrendering that life to her.

Then again, was that not right? She had saved him. Now he was technically her responsibility. It was the mirror of that "you keep what you kill" philosophy that the beastmen liked so much. Maybe it would be better to call it a life debt or something.

And indeed, that was what it was; a life debt. Putting any other price on that was essentially telling her how much he valued his life and her efforts.

All he could do was pray that she would continue to be merciful.

"But you already own everything of mine. Without you, I would have ended up like my other friends..."

Here he looked away, his chest suddenly full and heavy. Then he looked back, his eyes downcast.

"...So please, if I can help you in any way, please ask."

It was then that Hitomi realised something interesting about boundaries; they not only kept things from growing past them, they also encouraged things to grow up to them.

Now that Julian had said that she could take anything she wanted... she did not feel the desire to actually oblige him. Part of that was because she was wondering if there was some hidden catch, and another part was because she was wondering if she should actually live up (down?) to his expectations.

In the end, his faith was well-founded, because Hitomi replied: "I have come here from another land. Tell me about where we are now."

Julian blinked, and then he nodded.

"Yes, Ma'am," he said, and began speaking.


"I see," Hitomi said. The talk had taken quite a while, and had been quite informative.

Julian had grown steadily more animated the more he spoke, and by the time he was interrupted, he almost sounded normal again.

Meanwhile, the distance flew by under their feet.

According to Julian, the region she had arrived in was known as the Agrand Republic. It was a mountainous region, located on a peninsula which thrust out into the ocean. The Republic differed from many of its neighbors in that it was largely populated with demihumans instead of humanoid creatures. Humans like Julian were a rarity, as were creatures like Dwarves and Elves.

Its most famous feature was its leadership. The Republic was led by a Council, and on that Council sat representatives from the major member races, including Goblins, Ogres, various Beastmen, and even aquatic creatures like the Sea Lizardmen and the Mermen. However, five seats were reserved for the Agrand Republic's most potent denizens; the Draconic leaders of the Republic's Dragonflights, some of which had earned the title of Dragon Lord.

A Dragon Lord typically referred to an ancient Dragon -- one of the oldest of its kind, or one who could wield their Wild Magic, or one who had obtained some exceptional power that set it apart from others. There were three Dragon Lords extant in the Republic; the Blue Sky Dragon Lord, the Diamond Dragon Lord, and the one considered the most powerful of all, the Platinum Dragon Lord.

Oddly enough, the Platinum Dragon Lord's seat of power was not in the Republic itself, but far to the south, in the mysterious deserts below the Slaine Theocracy (a fiercely pro-human nation).

The capital city of the Agrand Republic, fittingly known as Conclave, was built up against the side of the Karakem Mountain Range, which dominated the heart of the Republic. It was generally considered to be the domain of the Platinum Dragon Lord, even though he rarely took up residence in his mountaintop lair, and each of the Dragons who were permanent Councillors had quarters there just below his. In general, height was equated with status and power, and so wealthier and more influential people could live in higher dwellings.

The heart of Conclave was constructed of volcanic stone quarried from the heart of the mountains and worked by artisans of various species. Every member of the Council had their position because they controlled a ward of the city, though the Platinum Dragon Lord's own domain was overseen by his Silver Dragon adjutant.

Conclave was in turn surrounded by the suburban regions, which were generally occupied by the less savory denizens of the city like Goblins and Ogres. It was hardly a slight on their character, but their homes tended to be more squalid, cramped and low-altitude. Still, said Goblins and Ogres served an important function of the city in that the ranks of the City Guard were often drawn from among their number. Hobgoblin sergeants led Ogre and Goblin constables patrols, being that the former tended to be smarter than the latter.

Beyond the suburbs of Conclave were the rural regions, less developed and typically home to the few farmlands of the Republic, often tilled by Centaurs, who did not favor the cramped environs of Conclave and enjoyed being able to run around large fields and plains.

Julian's own home was in this region, and he had a sturdy house built on top of a cape, affording him an impressive view of the sea and the land.

Speaking of which, the sea and its bounty were vital to the Republic. Arable land was at a premium in the country, and a lot of food came from fishing the oceans that surrounded the Republic on all sides. The Sea Lizardmen and Mermen came into their own here, managing and gathering the bounty of the waves with such skill that they were awarded seats on the Council.

Then, there were the Beastman races, ranging from the Panther Tribe which stalked the lush jungles on the other side of the Karakems from Conclave, to the Luna Moth Beastmen (technically Insectmen) who lived on the peaks of Karakem and praised the sun and moon.

Hitomi listened attentively to Julian's spiel, in between changing course to bring him closer to his home. However, just as Julian was about to begin discussing the Cyclops and the Dragon-Blooded, he pointed to the distance.

"Look, we're almost there."

Hitomi swivelled an eyestalk in the direction where Julian was pointing, and she saw the land rise, capped by a surprisingly large log cabin. Something about it seemed strange, however, and when she squinted, she saw the answer; just before Julian told her.

"Made of stone," he smiled. "Well, technically, it was made of normal wood, but I had a colleague enchant the outer walls with the [Petrify] spell. So it was cheap enough to build, but solid enough  once finished..."

Julian fell silent. Nishiru was arguably the one who had helped him the most with building his home, and now...

"Never mind that. Let's just go there first; I'll do the rest."


Hitomi was sure they had not made a sound as they pulled up to Julian's home. [Floating Boards] did not make any noise, and neither did she as she floated.

Neither did they glow or do anything like that.

So that would mean the only reason why someone would burst out of a well-lit house early in the morning and run right for them was because...

"Anya," Julian breathed, a hint of excitement rising to his face. "She's still up! But why, she should be resting..."

When Hitomi turned a quizzical eyestalk to him, Julian blinked and replied, "Oh, er, Anya's my wife. She's pregnant, she shouldn't be up so late... I'm sorry, but could you let me down here?"

Hitomi slowed down just long enough to watch Julian hop off and run up to the silhouette which, upon closer inspection, was taller than Julian himself.

This "Anya" woman was not human. In fact, she looked to be one of those Beastmen Julian was talking about earlier, looking like an anthropomorphic mountain lion who stood over six feet tall. She was dressed in a floral print garment that could not hide her bulging belly and displayed her sinewy arms to the world.

That said, there was no mistaking the look of pure delight and relief on her face as she picked up her husband and swung him around in a circle before pulling him up to her face level.

Hitomi instinctively ducked her head.

Was it jealousy?  No... she did not feel anything for him.

Resentment? Probably not; she had no reason to hate him.

Still, the feeling was quite close to them... which was when she realized it.

She was envious -- a subset of jealousy -- of Julian. Her resentment was directed at the bond he shared with someone; the fact that there was someone waiting for him, to welcome him back and to let him know he was wanted.

For all her life experience, for all her time in the game, despite everything Hitomi had done... she had not managed anything like that.

Home for her was just a place where she hid from the real world to enter the virtual one. But even in YGGDRASIL, she had not managed to accomplish anything close to what Julian had done.

I was looking down on him all this while... but I'm the pathetic one.

Anya was licking Julian's face, in some sort of savage greeting ritual, no doubt. Hitomi could not bear to watch any more. Every second only turned the knife further. Instead, she invoked the [Invisible Servants] from before to offload Igni and the corpses of his people, dismissed the [Floating Board], and moved on.

She passed Julian's house as she did. It was a solid, fortress-like place with cool gray walls of petrified stone. Yet, it glowed from within with an inviting warmth.

It was a warmth Hitomi had not seen in a long time. Her own dwelling place in the real world was a run-down apartment without any lights (not that it mattered for her anyway) and with nobody to welcome her back.

Her mind flickered back to the places she had dwelled in during her YGGDRASIL days. Being that she was immune to fire and light, what passed for a home base was a portable hole in the side of an active volcano's lava tube, screened by a [Force Wall] and [Mirage Terrain] spells.

A literal hole in the wall, she mused. Just a place to be safe when I logged in and out.

Hitomi sighed, and moved on.

Soon, she came to the edge of the cliff near Julian's house. The loving couple was behind their house and no longer in sight, which was something of a relief.

Sometimes it was better not to feel at all than feel bad.

Hitomi turned her attention to the scenery before her. The ocean at night glittered with light reflected from the dipping moon, the wave-filled surface sparkling like there were stars in the water. A pure-white sandy beach stretched in both directions as far as the eye could see, with the swamps to her left and the city of Conclave to her right.

And in between was a sprawling expanse of water, joined to the sky by an eternal horizon.

The breeze came in, and it slowly blew away the dark fog of negative emotions in her heart.

I don't have to stay here, she thought. This world is big. I should explore it.

In YGGDRASIL, she had been well-equipped to wander even the realms of Muspelheim, Niflheim and Helheim; the lands of fire, ice and the dead, the heteromorphic home planes. She had been adept at surviving in a world where everything was potentially hostile, and it seemed as though the one she was in was not as bad.

Besides, if what Julian said was true, then in all honesty, Conclave held little appeal to her. If Julian, as an adventurer, was stronger than the vast majority of people, and if she was far more powerful than him...

A quote from an ancient philosopher came to mind: He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god.

Assuming his description of Conclave was accurate, she would not need to abide by their laws. She would be a law unto herself. An absolute, supreme being, a single point of order from which a descending hierarchy would unfold.

Obey Hitomi! Or her peace shall fall upon you.

And her peace would be the peace of the sword. Or death ray, since she could not actually wield a sword.

The god route, in other words.

So, world conquest, huh, she thought, looking up at the setting moon.

She remembered the sprawling view below her when she had been in the sky. All that could be hers...

Or not.

"Yeah, right," she mused bitterly. "It never works out. Besides, it's not like I've got anything to prove or any legacy to leave behind."

Still, where did that leave her?

The beast route? Wander from place to place, surviving on instinct, avoiding contact with people...  it sounded bad, and then she realized that it was exactly what she had been doing during the time in YGGDRASIL. She went where her whims took her, avoiding people lest they decided to try and turn her in for a bounty...

Hitomi sighed.

I leave YGGDRASIL for a brand new world, and then the first thing I do is hide from it? This is bullshit.

But then, what else could she do? If only...

She turned an eyestalk back towards the stone house, where Julian and his wife were now surrounded by a group of smaller figures who had rushed out to greet him. They seemed to be throwing their arms around him as well.


Hitomi bit her lip.

She had wanted them, once. Before...

She sighed heavily, expelling as much of the negativity choking up her chest as she could.

She almost succeeded.

I don't belong here. I've done my part. I should go.

Saying so, Hitomi prepared to step over the edge of the cliff when --


A distant voice came from Julian as he waved to her.

"Over here!"

He called out two more times before Hitomi realised he was waiting for her to turn and face him, and so she did.

By that time, three people had reached her -- or rather, three children. They all looked like classical catfolk, with human features, cat ears, tails and some unusually-colored skin.

Two of them were boys -- twin boys, who looked to be around 10 or 11. They had mischievous yet curious grins on their faces, and they eagerly drank in the unusual sight of Hitomi and her many eyestalks. They flanked a girl who seemed to be 15 or 16. She seemed somewhat reticent, and there was a nervous smile on her face.

"Um... hi," the catgirl said, "My name's Mira, and these are my brothers, Ico and Cal."

The twins beamed to Hitomi, and she smiled back without thinking.

"Dad told us to come over and ask if... you wanted to come in and sit down with us for a while? He's very grateful, and he said it was the least he could do."

Hitomi froze.

What had she just heard?

An invitation? But that meant...

He wants me to come in. That's nothing. That's normal. But...

Just because she did not need to be part of society did not mean that she could not try to fit in anyway. Would that be so bad?

Hitomi had avoided contact with others for a long time because of the stigma against heteromorphs in general and the enemies she had made in particular. But this was a new world, a fresh start.

Julian had told her of the many species here; particularly the Cyclops, who were excellent warriors and smiths. Perhaps she could pretend to be one of them, and by extension, one of the people who were accepted here.

Maybe, just maybe, there was a third option, between becoming a god or a beast.

And besides, was mankind not the place where the rising ape met the falling angel?

It felt as though she had been wandering through the darkness, stumbling blindly on, but then a shaft of light had come down from the heavens -- and from it, an angel had appeared.

"We made a bit of extra fish," the angel/Mira said. "Maybe you'd care to share it with us?"

Just then, Cal and Ico pointed at her.

"Look, the sun's coming up!"

No, they were pointing behind her. But then, why did the paths their fingers were tracing go right through her?

Hitomi could see it too, without turning around. There was a warm red glow on the horizon, a promise of hope and potential.

She felt the same way.

"Yes," Hitomi smiled. "I would love to."

The boys tugged at her hands, and she obligingly floated after them.

The sun rose behind Hitomi, and her world filled with light once more.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


At the edge of the clearing, the other Hydra broke its teeth on Pardus' full plate harness. That was a bad thing, but it was hardly a crippling injury for a Hydra. Teeth grew back, after all. And while the Hydra itself was too stupid and bestial to understand the significance of that, the malign will behind its glowing yellow eyes had learned from the experience.

The Hydra's powerful jaws were ineffective against the armor; the enchanted mithril defied every attempt to rend his flesh and break his bones. The cyclopean smith who had built it for him was to be lauded for his work; it essentially made direct attacks against Pardus useless.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


The Hydra crashed through the foliage, hot on the heels of its prey.

Though it was only about as fast as the creature its Master had ordered it to hunt down, and its prey had a head start, the Hydra was bigger and stronger. It could step over smaller obstacles or crash through them, and sinkholes which would be a lethal hazard for smaller creatures were little more than a mudbath for it.

Conversely, the smaller size of its prey meant that it would be more severely impeded by difficult terrain, and soft ground slowed it more than a larger creature.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Still invisible, Hitomi surveyed her surroundings.

She had crashed down through a thick layer of tree canopy, but the dense branches had sprung back from the intruder forcing her way past them. The brief glimmer of moonlight faded, and she was in the darkness once more.

But not for long.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


Julian glanced behind him. 

He had felt someone or something watching him for some time now, but whenever looked around, there was nothing there. He informed the others, of course, and they promised to call out anything they saw, but so far there had been no response.

The feeling of being watched still remained, but as the night wore on with nothing to show for it, he slowly grew numb to it. Eventually, he wrote it off as simple fatigue.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


The light faded into darkness, and Hitomi opened her eyes.

The stars twinkled overhead -- technically, they ought to be twinkling in all directions -- and Hitomi sighed.

"So it's over," she murmured, and then she froze.

Something was wrong. Something was very wrong.

Hitomi blinked, and looked around. Assuming the forced logout from the end of the game was the same as any other logout, she ought to be staring at the World Tree as it floated in a sea of stars, with herself as an invisible observer beside her player avatar. There ought to be hotbars and menus at the edge of her vision, all the trappings of a DMMO-RPG.


"What the hell is this?"

There was no World Tree. There was a moon, though; much like the one she had been ascending towards just moments ago. Neither was she floating in a void; although she was clearly floating, given the lack of resistance under her feet and the darkness of the land under...

Wait, how am I even noticing all of this in the first place?

Her attention had been directed to the sky -- a starry expanse of night -- but at the same time she knew what was going on under her feet. To one side of her was a sprawling ocean and its sparkling waves, while on the other lay a range of mountains, all lit by the gentle light of the moon.

Somehow, she was seeing in all these directions at once. There was no need to turn her head; it was as though her field of vision had suddenly expanded to cover every single viewpoint which could possibly originate from her present location.

It was disorienting, of course; but hardly crippling. In fact, it felt so natural to see in all directions at once that she wondered if her vision had ever been limited to what lay in front of her.

No, that's not all, she mused, and then she froze.

She was looking at an eye.

It was clearly not a human eye. Human eyes did not have golden pupils, and neither were they vertically-slit and set into the end of a thick, black tentacle -- hang on.

In her second great shock of the night, Hitomi realized that the many-eyed being in white robes she was studying was actually herself.

He mind was awhirl with thoughts like "What the hell is going on?!" and "How am I looking at myself?" and "How come I never noticed those details before?" as she scrambled to feel her body and clothing.

There was tactile feedback from her body when the creature before her touched itself. That was either an incredibly unlikely coincidence, or certain proof that the body she was probing was, in fact, her own.

Hitomi studied the body which was presumably hers through the lens of whichever one of her eyestalks was observing herself. Sure enough, she was dressed like her game character -- no, she essentially was her game character, complete with mono-eyed face, mottled greyish skin, flowing black hair, elegant white robes and so on.

All the jewels and designs and patterns she had decorated her gear with were there, nearly picture-perfect compared to how they had been in YGGDRASIL.

Am I still in the game? she wondered.

Gross physical motions were easy enough to program and map to one's neural impulses -- in fact, they were downright necessary, due to YGGDRASIL's combat system -- but implementing fine physical motions like smiling or sweating and the like were considered too much effort for too little gain. And that was just considering humanoid-type players; the challenges of how a dragon would blush, for instance, were right out.

Therefore, the fact that Hitomi could see herself gasping in silent awe was very convincing proof that she was not in YGGDRASIL any more.

She blinked. Her central eye closed, and opened again.

I'm watching myself blink.

This was far too unreal for belief. This might not be YGGDRASIL, but it was not the real world either. As the rising tide of doubts and questions within her heart threatened to overwhelm her, Hitomi forced herself to focus and concentrate, taking a deep breath and quashing the pounding of her heart within her chest.

It was an old trick -- one she had learned to deal with exam stress -- but it worked. Her increasingly hurried breathing slowed down again, and the whirl of thoughts running through her mind subsided, leaving her calm and composed.

All right, all right... I need to calm down and figure out what's going on.

A few moments passed.

I have no idea what's going on. I thought YGGDRASIL would be over and I'd be dumped into the login screen, but apparently I'm somewhere else now.

She idly flexed her fingers as she thought, savoring the realistic sensation of her virtual(?) flesh as it compressed and relaxed under her snug-fitting dragonwing leather gloves.

Somewhere... real?

More possibilities flooded her mind: this was some sort of secret level, someone had dosed her with psychotropic drugs, someone had hooked her up to an unlimited node...

That last one was actually plausible. YGGDRASIL was very realistic, to the point where people had trouble distinguishing between real life and fantasy. In fact, there had been certain limits placed on the types of sensory feedback one could receive while playing.

For instance, the sense of touch in-game was very crude; like feeling a dull push on your arm from having someone chop at it. This was done both to enhance player comfort (nobody wanted to feel themselves getting eviscerated) and to limit their utility for lewd activities (which would make YGGDRASIL violate a whole host of laws if it were not immediately reclassified as an 18+ game).

However, that also implied the existence of "unlimited" environments, where sensory stimuli were not restricted in any way. Those would require a ridiculous amount of processing power to fully stimulate the nerves in response to a user's actions, but if done right, someone would be able to perfectly replicate reality; at least, for one particular individual.

And indeed, that might even be the answer, if not for the fact that she was currently looking at herself biting her lip as she stroked her eyestalks.

Indeed, she had been surprised by her expanded perceptions, but she had also gotten used to it in seconds, so quickly that it had taken her some time to realize how naturally she was pointing her eyestalks around to get a better view of things. It felt as though she had been born with them, and even the worst mutants she had seen on certain urban curiosity sites only had one or three semi-functional eyes, not eleven fully functional ones.

Even if one could perfectly tailor a virtual world to seem like reality, there was still the challenge of not only wiring her brain to accept the input from the eyestalks, but making it all seem natural. She had spent the better part of a year mastering the manual controls for them in YGGDRASIL, and even then, the knowledge that it was an external, unnatural skill was foremost in her mind.

Instead, she was naturally controlling and manipulating her eyestalks while using them to see as though they had been part of her since birth (which might actually be the case?). Such a feat would require someone to essentially take her visual cortex apart and rewire it to accept almost a dozen separate visual inputs while also interfacing with the motor cortex and the cerebellum to govern conscious and unconscious control over her eyestalks and so on.

More importantly, it would require time to become familiar with them; and almost no time had passed for her.

In other words, her brain would need to be physically altered to the point where it would hardly resemble that of a human being's and it would have to be done with her full awareness and consciousness in order to get used to it.

Besides, why would anyone go to all that effort for me, anyway? Hitomi wondered. Not like I'm anyone special...

Her voice trailed off, and she continued her contemplation. She pulled off one of her gloves, exposing the slightly damp flesh to the cool night wind.

She could never have felt this in YGGDRASIL. This was either reality, or something close enough to it that she could not tell the difference.

"No. No, that's just imposs--"

Hitomi's voice cut off halfway, as she traced the curve of her single main eye and the unfamiliar cheekbones of her face.

This felt all too real.

It seemed absurd, but the other alternatives -- that this was a hidden part of YGGDRASIL or some hyperrealistic simulation -- had already been ruled out. A quote from a certain piece of classic literature came to mind: "If life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me."

Which meant...

"...This is real, and this is me. Which means that this is another world. I've been brought to another world," she muttered. She touched her face again; lips and cheek and nose, cupping her chin in one hand and tracing the curve of her jaw.

Her fingers told her that this was an alien body. The response from her flesh said that it belonged to her.

"Even... even my voice is different. My body's completely changed. And this... this eyesight. It seems I've become Hitomi on just about every level... huh."

Her eyestalks were fully functional. She was airborne and hovering -- most likely due to her racial flight ability. If she decided to focus, she could make out distant details with ease, which implied at least some of her class skills were still functioning. It would seem she did not just have the form of Hitomi, but all her powers as well.

Still, a nagging doubt lingered in the back of her mind. This all seemed too far-fetched for her. Then again, perhaps someone else might be able to give her answers to this.

"What about talking to a GM?"

That would be the most conclusive proof of whether or not she were still in YGGDRASIL. However, as she reached out in the practiced motions of summoning up the console --

"It's not there."

The translucent window of options she had expected did not appear. In its place, an instinctive knowledge of those same options sprang up in her mind; an invisible, mental construct that did the same thing, albeit one that was far more easily usable than manually hunting and pecking over a haptic menu.

While contacting a GM was as easy as sending a [Message] to the general GM help channel, actually getting to the spellcasting menu was somewhat more challenging.

In YGGDRASIL, the system console was a tool which magic casters had to master, much like how warrior-types had to know their strike ranges and weapon weights. The process of casting a spell in the game was a laborious process of opening one menu after another and selecting the desired spell before casting it. All this was much slower than just drawing a bowstring or swinging a sword, which was why most warriors tended to have the upper hand against magic casters once they got close enough to ply their deadly art.

Of course, with enough practice, a magic caster could swiftly navigate the maze of menus and select a spell quickly, but that required great focus and a distinct goal -- in other words, a clear idea of exactly which spell one wanted to use and the practice and wits needed to select and make full use of it under trying circumstances. Some might decry it as simple button pressing, but just like in real life, knowing which button to press and the right time to press it could make all the difference in the world.

Now, she could feel the same menus popping up under her mental manipulations, but she did so at the speed of thought, and with far greater accuracy and dexterity than having to physically waggle her fingers and limbs.

Still, it was a huge change from the ingrained muscle memory Hitomi had from YGGDRASIL. Her mind had to parse the changes between the old and new ways of menu access and selection.

Thus, it took some time for Hitomi to retrain her reflexes and select the [Message] spell in this new, intuitive interface. Said time was on the order of seconds. It felt as though all the necessary mental steps were the same, waiting to be rediscovered by her. In an earlier age, an applicable analogy might be that it was like riding a bicycle. By the time her [Message] had gone through, the process felt as natural as breathing to her.

While she waited for the [Message] to connect, another thought came to Hitomi: if she could cast that spell, what other powers from YGGDRASIL did she possess?

That was swiftly followed by two more thoughts: Am I the only one from YGGDRASIL who came here like this? and If there's someone else, are they hostile?

That last one made her freeze. She was quite high above the ground, but she was fairly certain that she was still in the range of dedicated sniper characters. While her passive danger-sensing skills had not activated yet, it might be that her opponent was using some other skill to mask their targeting or that the skill itself was not fully functional.

More to the point, being so high up meant that she was an incredibly obvious target to anyone who cared to look.

Think - what should I do? 

The old reflexes -- hard won over years of simulated combat -- came easily to her.

Break contact. Secure a better position. Observe, orient, decide and act.

"[Perfect Unknowable]. [Night]."

A pale golden ring glowed on Hitomi's brow as she faded into the air, and then the ring too, disappeared. She could still see herself, but only as a ghostly image. Most others would not be able to see her at all.

In YGGDRASIL, the most powerful creatures could not be deceived by simply turning invisible. In addition to visual acuity, they often had unusual sensory modes to draw upon; such as echolocation, tremor sensing, scent... the list went on and on. All these forms of perception ignored their targets (in)visibility to normal vision, and they had foiled careless mages and low-level thieves alike.

However, [Perfect Unknowable] was designed to defeat most of these senses. Not only did it render its user invisible, but it concealed their scent, rendered all their actions silent, prevented them from leaving traces and even hid their presences, just to foil certain ki-using classes who relied on those to detect ambush. There were a few specific weaknesses to the spell, but for the most part [Perfect Unknowable] deserved its place as 10th-tier stealth magic.

In contrast, the Night aspect of the Anima Power skill concealed magic itself. Ordinarily, one could easily detect someone hiding with magic by using [Detect Magic] or a similar effect. The invisibility spell would practically shine to magic-attuned eyes, even if purely material ones could not breach it. It would be like trying to stay unnoticed while wearing neon light tubing in the dark.

The use of the Night aspect eliminated that flaw, just as it erased all direct sensory traces of a spell it enhanced. A [Fireball] enhanced in that way shed no heat or light, but its victims would feel pain and their surroundings would be burned. The scorch marks would be visible, as would any secondary fires started by the [Fireball].

When used in tandem, Hitomi was effectively invisible to everything short of certain illusion-breaching spells; spells which did not have a sufficiently long range to reach her from the ground. Of course, there might be invisible watchers, or some kind of super-tier magic which alerted the owner of this airspace to her presence.

Hm. It might be best to get behind solid cover. Speaking of which...

She focused her attention downwards. Several clouds drifted across her field of vision, but they might as well not exist after taking her powerful eyesight into consideration.

Thus she saw what was beneath them; a densely-packed region of trees with occasional clearings where water from the mountain streams had pooled into miniature lakes. Hitomi had never seen a proper forest outside of an online article or picture before, so it was only natural that she mistook the swamp for one.

I don't think anyone'll see me if I went down there...

Hard cover always helped, and if the visibility in there was accurate to what she had read online about forests and jungles, someone would have to literally run into her in order to see her.

Well, I'm heading down, then, Hitomi thought as she began her descent. On the way down, she contemplated the differences between its handling in the game and in this new world...


Even among the heteromorphs of YGGDRASIL, Gazers were quite a rare breed.

When Gazers had first been made available as player options in YGGDRASIL, many people had flocked to them. After all, they could fly and barrage their foes with a series of eye rays, whose effects included charming the opposition, wounding them, turning them to stone or outright disintegrating them.

However, that popularity faded within a few weeks.

The reason for that was because Gazers were very hard to use.

YGGDRASIL was a game where advantages were balanced out by disadvantages, and the shitty devs (as the players affectionately called them) had a taste for the ironic when it came to their work. "Yes, I will give you all this power," they said. "But be careful what you wish for."

In this case, being given eleven individual eyes meant having to juggle eleven points of view at once. Most people could not handle that, not while managing the complicated joystick which controlled their innate flight ability and remembering which eyestalk fired which eye ray, while having to deal with whatever challenges the game posed at the moment. As one player commented, "learning to play the race is harder than actually playing the game".

Then there was the fact that their signature eye rays were tragically underpowered for the level at which players could access them. Charm and domination rays were easily blocked with [Mind Shield] and easily available mental defense items. Telekinesis and negative energy rays did not do enough damage compared to normal attack spells. Petrification and disintegration eye rays were both stopped cold by magic items that made their wearers proof against external transformation. The dreaded [Slay Living] ray was rendered useless by the life-protection gear which was nearly universal among high-level players.

In addition, it was not just players who resisted them; most strong monsters were resistant or immune to their effects as well. Said monsters were the ones against whom those rays would be most useful, and they were the most commonly-fought class of opposition. Thus, even if someone actually trained to master the Gazer, their reward was to be useless against any decent opposition.

Thus, most people abandoned the Gazer, preferring a race that was easier to handle. Only a few remained to try and master it, despite the difficulties of doing so.

Hitomi was one of them.

There were various reasons why she had clung to a race that most had given up on, but one of them was sheer stubbornness; she liked it and was determined to make it work, one way or another.

To that end, she had invested a significant amount of time and effort into fine-tuning her character build and learning the ins and outs of the very complex race and class combination she had chosen. The results had been quite impressive, and quite satisfying considering the sheer amount of effort she had put into achieving them.

It was only after coming to this new world that she realised exactly how much time and effort she had spent on it. Now that this place was... real, for want of a better word, it was quite likely that her survival depended on how well she could (re)master all her abilities.

On the one hand, it would seem that using her spells and skills were innate, like muscle memory. On the other hand, this worked against her. Everything she did felt so ingrained and natural that she had no conscious knowledge of it. Even moving her eyestalks had been the work of pure coincidence; and that was when she had an actual physical appendage to manipulate.

When one did not understand how a process worked, it was very difficult to practice with and improve it. After all, there were not many ways to improve on trial and error.

Therefore, the crucial first step was to figure out what she could do, so she could move on to the second step -- making sure she could do it well. As a legendary martial artist once said, "I do not fear the man who has practiced ten thousand kicks once. I fear the man who has practiced one kick ten thousand times."

In other words, a skilful use of limited resources was better than randomly pushing buttons and using abilities willy-nilly.

Well, as long as you're not massively overpowered by your opposition. There comes a point when there's no point being tactical about fighting and you can just trample a weaker opponent without fear.

Of course, the same might well apply to her.

There was no telling what challenges this world had to offer, but it would be best to overreact and assume that the foes she faced would be more powerful than in YGGDRASIL, than assume the opposite and be destroyed.

After all, if this new world was real, then she would only have one life -- no.

Since her high-tier spells had carried over; it stood to reason that resurrection spells -- which were of a slightly lower tier -- might function as well.

The main problem was that in order to test that, she would have to die, and if she was wrong about those spells working, well, she would not be around to regret her naivete.

Best not to put it to the test, Hitomi thought. Just like the best defense is not getting hit in the first place.

It was then that Hitomi reflected on the results of her little experiment with her flight ability.

Just like in the game, Hitomi had complete control over her orientation to the ground. She could lounge in the air, walk as though descending a flight of invisible steps, run in circles parallel to the ground or simply float inverted with no ill effects.

That was much like how it was in YGGDRASIL, where Gazers could fly in complete defiance of gravity. While they were not as fast as winged fliers like, Birdmen or Dragons, they were far more maneuverable, given that there were no inconvenient wings to get in the way while in tight quarters.

In many ways, it was like the [Fly] spell which arcane magic casters could use, only it could not be dispelled and it did not vanish in areas which negated magic.

Even if she were subjected to some spell which specifically disabled flying ([Undeniable Gravity] came to mind), she would still land as softly and gently as a falling feather.

One could say that as long as her opponents were not faster than her, she had complete air supremacy. Depending on the terrain and the speed difference in question, she might even be able to overcome that as well.

Hitomi was still descending as those thoughts ran through her head. There were clouds underneath her, but they posed no obstacle to her potent eyesight.

Below them was a large... forest? Odd to have a forest growing up to the edge of the sea, but then again, this was a new world, and she had never been good in geography anyway.

More importantly, the forest(?) looked very dense. This meant a lot of cover... which meant she might be able to experiment with her less... subtle abilities. While she had not detected anyone observing her so far (through the grace of another one of her skills), making big, noisy, earth-shaking explosions might draw unwelcome attention.

That's better avoided, she mused. While she did not wish to plunge headlong into combat, her opponents might not give her that choice. When the time came, it would be better to know how to use her abilities for self-defense than to perish with unused skills -- and being interrupted mid-training would surely lead to that.

As she made a list of things to experiment with, she quickened her descent; slightly at first, and then she plunged like a falling star as she grew used to flinging herself at the earth.

Saturday, November 5, 2016


There was a small mountain range on the western edge of the Re-Estize Kingdom. A pass ran through it, which one could still cross with some difficulty, but for the most part it formed a natural barrier which also marked the borders of the Kingdom and its neighbor, the Agrand Republic.

E-Asenal was the last major city in the Kingdom before that mountain range. From there, one could travel north and west into the mountains, before descending again into the a great swamp. Beyond that, the land was flat and open plains, with a road leading to the capital of the Agrand Republic, which was built up against the side of a mountain.

Saturday, October 29, 2016



In Norse cosmology, it was the world tree, rooted deep in the earth and stretching to the heavens, uniting the nine worlds with its majestic branches. Heaven unfolded around it, the gods gathered around it, and it was the centerpiece of all creation.

In the real world, it was a DMMO-RPG, which rose from many game servers and extended into the minds of its millions of players. Yet it was more than a game; it was more like a digital multiverse, containing nine virtual worlds of fantastic creatures and landscapes.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

v11 Afterword and Character Sheets


This is Volume 11, the longest one of all. Did it excite you? Books get tiring to carry when they’re heavy and I’d like to avoid that, so why did it end up so long… And if I were to cut pages, where should I cut from? By the way, this has already been heavily cut down from the original proofreading. It feels like there were at least six more pages before… Hm. I guess there wasn’t much of a change, after all.

v11 Credits

JP => CN Baidu Translator Team

CN => EN Light Novel Team
Translator: Nigel
Editors: Skythewood, Deus Ex Machina, Cwilliams, ? (he's shy), John Doe, CEOBrainz

JP => CN Pure Pure Pleiades
Video Source: 黑轮
Translator: zzz水货, 双人鱼中二
Editors: 我在厕所吃撑了, 三十十, 破晓の晨議
Typesetters:  F宅
Timer: 酒浆

CN => EN Pure Pure Pleiades
Translator: Nigel
Editors: Skythewood, John Doe
Typesetter/Timer/Do Everything Else Guy: ?  (he's shy)

Character Sheets
Translator: Nigel
Typesetter: Riskyanon
Editors: yuNS, SifaV6

Previous Chapter || Main Page || Next Chapter

v11 epilogue


It was morning when Enri woke up. She quietly left the bed, so as not to wake her husband who was still asleep beside her. The air outside was very cold, and it made her want to get back into the bed that was still warm from their two bodies.

v11 Chapter 5

Chapter 5: Frost Dragon Lord


It was the next morning. Ainz had decided to set out early to take back the former Dwarven Capital, Feoh Berkanan, but just as he was about to leave, a familiar face appeared at the door.

It was Gondo.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Pure Pure Pleiades: The OVA

So the Baidu people did a CN sub of the OVA; I went over it in my spare time and a few kind people helped to edit and typeset the script.

Torrents are here.

Translator: Nigel
Editors: Skythewood, John Doe
Typesetter/Timer/Do Everything Else Guy: ?  (he's shy)

v11 Chapter 4

Chapter 4: A Craftsman and Negotiation



The two summoned Death Knights vanished from the other side of the gates. They roared in anticipation of joyful slaughter, while the cries of the dying rang out. Once the gates slowly closed, the thickness of the double doors meant that the sounds of carnage on the other side did little more than tickle the eardrums.

v11 Chapter 3

Chapter 3: The Impending Crisis



The Great Rift.

It referred to the huge chasm that ran along the western side of the Dwarven Capital, Feoh Gēr.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

v11 Intermission



He walked to the balcony, a glass of amber liquid in his hand.

The balcony was located on the tallest building in this city. From here, he could see the city which he ruled.

v11 Chapter 2

Chapter 2: In Pursuit of the Land of the Dwarves



Shalltear and Aura gathered at the lakeside near the Lizardman village, accompanied by their  hand-picked followers.

V11 Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Preparing for the Unknown Land



After returning from the Empire, Ainz sat at his desk in E-Rantel and leaned heavily against the back of his chair.

While he had already begun recruiting for the newly-founded Adventurer’s Guild of the Sorcerous Kingdom, it would take quite some time before the results could be seen. Until then, he would have to amply prepare himself.

V11 runes

As you know, the Dwarves in Overlord use runes. One of the CN translators did some digging and found that the JP names for the four Dwarven cities correspond to actual RL runes.

All the Dwarven city names start with フェオ - Feoh/Fehu, which roughly means (mobile) wealth, like cattle, sheep and the like. Probably named for prosperity.

The former Dwarven Capital is ベルカナ - Berkanan/Beorc, which means Birch.

The current Dwarven Capital is ジュラ - Jeran/Gēr, which means Harvest, or a (good) year.

The abandoned city to the south where Ainz found Gondo is ライゾ - Raido/Rad, which means ride, or journey.

Finally, the ruined Dwarven city is  テイワ - Tiwaz, which corresponds to the rune for the god Tyr.

Many thanks to 黒輪-san for this information.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Albedo's Settings?

A long time ago, someone apparently screencapped the long scrolling text of Albedo's backstory and translated it. Recently, I looked through baidu and saw that the artbook also contained that text, and that someone had translated it into CN. Thus, I decided to take a crack at it. I've also double-checked it against the JP, but let me know if I made any mistakes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016