Sunday, August 25, 2019

Overlord Gaiden - Chapter 4

The Beyonders


“Say, Satoru, why did we come here?”

That suspicious mountain range was the destination of this journey.

Of particular note was the city near the Kaidinias Mountain Range. 

It was a city of the Aina League, which was located near the mountains — in other words, a neighbor
of Inveria — Seruk-3.

While it was not the capital of the Aina League, it was one of the largest cities in the surrounding
countries, and it boasted a population of over 400,000 people. The two of them had been travelling
towards the city on their covered wagon for four days now. Keno had no longer been able to contain
herself and asked that question.

It had been five years since they left Inveria.

They had not even come near it until now, yet they had suddenly — in a great departure from their
original direction of travel — moved towards Seruk-3, so it was hard to fault Keno for reacting like

In truth, he had no reason to continue hiding the truth from Keno. All he had to do was say, “This
mountain range might contain the reason that you became undead, so I wanted to check it out.”

Even so, Suzuki Satoru could not bring himself to say it.

That was because even Suzuki Satoru could not explain his reasons for coming here.

On his part, curiosity was the biggest motivation for Suzuki Satoru to go there, but if he actually said
that, Keno would have attacked his explanation from various angles and then made him take the
wagon elsewhere. If Keno had said, “There’s no reason for you to put yourself in danger, Satoru,”
then Suzuki Satoru would only be able to reply, “Well, yes.”

The other reason was because Suzuki Satoru did not want to get Keno’s hopes up.

The greater one’s hopes and expectations rose, the greater the disappointment when they
collapsed. It was just like how Suzuki Satoru had clung to the hope that his guildmates would return,
and had fallen into despair when he realized that nobody had come.

Three years ago, Suzuki Satoru had seen Keno pretend to give up hope. In that case, what would
happen if Suzuki Satoru gave her hope now?

Suzuki Satoru was clearly uneasy as he glimpsed the past — when he had first met Keno.

Therefore, Suzuki Satoru did his best to deceive her.

“Hm? There’s no special reason for it.”


Keno turned to peek at Suzuki Satoru’s face, but Suzuki Satoru was not afraid. His skeletal face was
expressionless and he did not have to worry about the beating of his heart.

In other words, he could probably lie without being found out.

However, the way Keno narrowed her eyes and kept peering at Suzuki Satoru made him feel a little
uneasy. Though his body could not sweat, he still wiped the hands holding the reins on his robe

And then, Keno cut in.


“I’m not lying,” Suzuki Satoru replied immediately. He was deceiving himself, that must have been it,
that must have been why he could reply so quickly. Even he wanted to praise himself.

His words were immaculately ordered, and he had not shown any emotion. Surely anyone who
heard them would think Suzuki Satoru was telling the truth. However…

“Yes, you are, Satoru. You must be in some sort of difficulty. I’ve been travelling with you for five
years — even if it doesn’t show on your face, I can tell if you’re lying.”


There was power in Keno’s words, and he could sense her great confidence. She was certain that
Suzuki Satoru had some other objective in mind. He wanted to say she was overthinking things, but
she had seen right through Suzuki Satoru.

Suzuki Satoru unconsciously felt his face. It was cold, bony and skeletal, without any hint of
expressions — how on earth could such a face produce emotions that Keno could read?

“…Well done, Keno,” Suzuki Satoru sighed, as though giving up. 

“Fufufu,” Keno giggled happily.

“It’s been five years. I can roughly guess what you’re thinking. After all, I’ve been by your side all this

“…It’s been five years, huh. Indeed, after such a long time it’s possible you might be able to tell what
mood I’m in just by looking at my face.”

A character could not change their facial expressions in YGGDRASIL. The only way to tell how
someone else was feeling was by their voice. Producing a normal voice and minimizing the times he
sounded different was not a skill unique to Suzuki Satoru. When he had been depressed, someone
else had also seen through how he had forced himself to appear jovial.

The words that person had said still lingered in his heart: “We’re friends, after all, I guess we can still
understand each other.”

“—Indeed, that’s right, Keno.”

“Hm? What’s wrong? Are you feeling lonely? … Or very happy? Satoru?”

“Ah… that’s right. The way I feel about you being able to understand my feelings is definitely not
loneliness, Keno. If I had to put it into words… it would be gratitude.”

Suzuki Satoru released the reins in his hands.

He had made up his mind.

He had prepared himself for this.

He was filled with determination that would never waver.

For that reason, Suzuki told the lie he had prepared beforehand.

“Our destination is a city of the Aina League, Seruk No.3. I learned that there was a rare item there,
and our objective this time is to recover it.”

“You’re… lying? I’m not too sure, but it still feels like you’re lying. Oh well, never mind. You’re hiding
something, but you must be worried about me, right, Satoru?”

Suzuki Satoru hesitated over whether he should not, but doing so would mean admitting that he was
lying to her.

“It’s fine, Satoru. Don’t worry about it. Just go.”

“Ah, thank you, Keno.”

As they approached the borders of the Aina League, they found their path blocked by a long
defensive line. It was not made of heavy stone blocks, but a simple wooden fence.

It was not hard to imagine that it had been built to curb the spread of the Zombies. Such defensive
structures would be enough to deal with Zombies, but the Zombies’ true threat lay in their numbers.
If an entire nation’s worth of Zombies — in the millions — flooded in at once, it would be completely
useless. However, a few short years would not be enough to build a kilometers-long fence around a
nation’s borders. 

He came to a stop some distance away and used 「Fly」 to quickly scout the area, but he did not
find anything like a checkpoint. All the roads leading to the Aina Multiracial League had been sealed
off. In addition, he had spotted patrols.

He knew that they probably would not let them through, even if he pleaded “Please let us pass.”
Therefore, he used 「Gate」 to teleport them and the wagon ahead.

After that, they drove the wagon down unused roads. They felt there was no need to pretend to
make camp at nightfall, so they maintained their speed and travelled day and night.

They passed through several cities filled with wandering Zombies and were less than a day away
from Seruk-3. However, they sensed something was amiss.

“This is strange.”

“Indeed, it’s very strange.”

They had seen all kinds of Zombies in Keno’s country. Not all of them had been formerly human. It
would seem all living things above a certain size had been converted into Zombies. In the wild, they
had encountered plodding animal Zombies. That much was the same in the Aina Multiracial

However, they were nowhere to be seen as they approached Seruk-3.

Perhaps someone had exterminated the Zombies, but typically they would have eliminated the
animal Zombies outdoors as well.

That was the problem.

Suzuki Satoru looked straight ahead. Seruk-3 lay down the road ahead of him, and beyond that was
Mt. Kaidinias.

If this phenomenon was limited to the surrounding area, then there must have been some kind of
connection there.

Nothing else happened after that, and they arrived at the main gate of Seruk-3. After that, the
mountain range descending from. Mt. Kaidinias slowly came into view.

The gate showed off the size and splendor of the city.

The Aina Multiracial League had originally been a country formed from the union of many races.
Among them were highly intelligent Giants. That was probably the link here.

However, they had not seen any Zombies in the vicinity.

In some cities, one could see Zombies spilling out from the city gate, but there were none in sight
here. Certainly, that would not be the case if the gate was shut.

But the gates were wide open.

…Could this city have some kind of protection which prevented it from being zombified?

Suzuki Satoru immediately dismissed that notion.

The population of Seruk-3 was 400,000.

Surely that many survivors would have caused a huge uproar. If they had not abandoned the city,
then they would have stayed here, and they would have taken extensive security measures.

However, not a single whisper had come from Seruk-3, to say nothing of any security.

It was true that they were some distance away. But things were too quiet, even at this distance.

There were no residents and no Zombies. It was as though this city had been abandoned.

Did someone come here and clear out the Zombies? It’s not entirely impossible, but then why didn’t
they liberate the other cities along the way? Or have they all been dominated by an undead of some
power, like “Corpus of the Abyss”?

Indeed, this place was quite a good location when considering the distance from the cities of the
living and the surrounding zombification. Since it was a major city, it ought to have magical items and
books for research.

“This place really is suited for an undead magician.”

After muttering to himself, the Keno in his head began lecturing him, and so Suzuki Satoru had no
choice but to concentrate and think seriously.

However, they lacked information. It would seem he had no choice but to enter the city.

“…Say, Satoru. Are you going into the city? The closer we get to it, the fewer Zombies we see… this
is the first time we’ve encountered something like this.”

“While I didn’t come here for that reason… it seems I’ll need to conduct some investigations.”

Suzuki Satoru was at a loss for what to do with Keno after this.

Should he cast 「Create Fortress」 outside the city to make a fortress and have her stay in there?
Or should he bring her into the city with him? While he would like to be able to draw on her
knowledge, he ought to keep her in a safe place.

Seruk-3 was nothing more than a base camp to investigate the mountain range. He had only come
here for ease of teleportation. 

He had not expected something abnormal like this to happen here. When he thought calmly about it,
he realized that he had never once considered the possibility that the culprit and cause for
everything might not have come from the mountains, but this city instead. It was a frustrating error.

“I want to go too. Ah, perhaps you might think that it’s dangerous and that you’re going to leave me
here by myself, but I know more about magical lore than you do. Therefore, I’m going with you, and
if there’s fighting — you’ll protect me, won’t you, Satoru?”

“—Ah. Yes. I will protect you. That’s my job — you’re in charge of the intellectual work, while I take
care of anything involving violence.”

In truth, he would feel better with Keno around if it turned out that there were clues present.

That being the case, could Suzuki Satoru, as the person responsible for brute force, protect Keno
when under threat?

It should be possible.

He had managed to keep Keno safe even when his opponent was the Brightness Dragon Lord —
the most powerful foe he had faced to date. To be precise, he had bought them time to flee.
However, only a fool would act in a blind and arrogant way. He had to plot his course carefully for the
sake of the future, and he could not be careless this time either.

“Keno, I’m giving you the usual crystal. If I give the signal or if you get attacked, you have to use it
without hesitating, okay?”

The item he had produced from his inventory was a spell-sealing crystal imbued with 「Greater

Spell-sealing crystals were one of the rarest magic items. In turn, they were also very easy to use,
and at high levels they were employed in large quantities. As a result, Suzuki Satoru did not have
many on him and there were almost no spell-sealing crystals in the gear his friends had left him.

He had entrusted this valuable item to her for safety’s sake.

Suzuki Satoru could destroy Keno in a single attack. Therefore, if he met an opponent that was on
his level, they could probably do the same thing.

It was only appropriate that they take extensive precautions so that they could deal with such an

As Suzuki Satoru handed the crystal over, he wondered if the spell infused into it was appropriate.

「Perfect Unknowable」 might have been more useful for fleeing, but 「Greater Teleportation」
was the best choice if he wanted to increase the chances of Keno’s survival. 

Keno using 「Perfect Unknowable」 might not be enough to guarantee that there were no mishaps.

While he had scrolls containing 「Perfect Unknowable」, a low-level magic caster like Keno would
not be able to use them. Wands could not contain such a spell, so Suzuki Satoru did not have one. If
he wanted one, he would need a World-Class Item that could allow him to make requests of the
developers. Perhaps Keno could have used a staff, but unfortunately Suzuki Satoru did not have
staves imbued with 「Perfect Unknowable.」

「Perfect Unknowable」 appeared to be a very effective spell at a glance, but its inability to be
applied to others meant that it saw surprisingly little use in party play. While it was possible that
ambushers might use it, both Suzuki Satoru and enemies of Momonga’s level had many spells or
abilities to see through it.

In the worst case scenario, one might end up being invisible to friends but not to enemies, which
would mean that they could not be healed or supported by their friends.

Simply put, many players considered 「Perfect Unknowable」 to be a spell that was used on
themselves when facing lower-level opponents or numerous opponents.

Therefore, the average player did not learn that spell, but instead used consumable items to make
up the shortfall.

Suzuki Satoru was the reverse. Since he could cast many spells, he chose to learn it himself rather
than rely on consumables. Therefore, he could not give her any appropriate items at a time like this.

He had not expected that practice to end up being a handicap at a time like this.

“Mm, got it. Should I set the teleport destination to the usual place?”

Suzuki Satoru expressed his agreement.

There was a small house in a city over 2,000 kilometers away that he had set as one of their teleport

After that, Suzuki handed over a legacy-class item known as the Ghillie Cloak to Keno.

While it looked like a tattered cape with cloth and strings dangling from it, it was an item that
conferred exceptional stealth capabilities.

While it was almost useless without concealment skills, it also possessed effects in addition to that,
and those additional effects were quite good.

Even the level 100 Suzuki Satoru would see Keno as a blur — as though she were blending into the
landscape — once Keno put it on. It was very effective against adversaries with low perceptive

Incidentally, Suzuki Satoru had forgotten who he had bought it from and he only had the one piece,
so he had kept it in its original state.

He told Keno — who was blurred and indistinct thanks to the Ghillie Cloak’s powers — to cast
「Fly」 and 「Invisibility」. 

The two of them looked down on the city from above.

The lack of obstructions meant that their opponents would have a clear view of them too, so it was
very likely that they would be attacked. On the other hand, it also meant that it was easy to collect
information while flying.

After weighing the former against the latter, Suzuki Satoru decided that the latter was more
important. Of course, he had also used 「Delay Teleportation」 and other such spells to protect
himself. If they were attacked, he would be able to protect Keno as well if he was nearby. That was
the power of his gauntlet, the legacy-class item Guardian Heroes.

As they looked over the city, the abnormality of this place became even more apparent.

“Satoru… there’s nobody here at all.”

“Yes, there’s nobody here, and — there aren’t any Zombies around either.”

After checking their surroundings, he pondered the strangeness of this city as he descended to
ground level with Keno.

The possibility that came to mind was that someone had invaded the city and then wiped out
400,000 Zombies.

But that would probably be very difficult to do.

It was not that they would lose to Zombies, the weakest of the undead, but at the very least they
would have left corpses behind.

Corpses vanished over time in YGGDRASIL, as did those of Zombies. But in this world, the
Zombies’ corpses should have remained forever after being struck down. Of course, dead Zombies
would begin to rot and after a while they would become skeletonized, and after that the bones would

As an aside, moving Zombies would not rot or harbor maggots because they were animated by
negative energy. However, the loss of negative energy once they were defeated meant that they
would rot as normal, flies could lay eggs in them, and small animals would gnaw on them.

It had been over 40 years since that incident.

Was it possible that someone had buried or cremated 400,000 corpses—

“—Keno, do you think an army invaded this place, killed all the Zombies, buried them and then left?”

“I doubt it. While you could take about 10,000 soldiers to dig a huge hole and then bury them all in it,
it would be very obvious and there are no signs of it now.”

“What about cremation?”

“It sounds even less likely. After killing a Zombie, you could just throw it into a house and burn them
with it. But on the whole, I don’t see any signs of burning.”

Currently, Suzuki Satoru had not seen any similar signs either.

It was clear that Keno had examined the area more carefully than Suzuki Satoru, but that was no
cause for alarm. That had become a clearly established fact during their five-year journey.

“If there were a way to do it, then surely it would be an assembly of high-level priests turning undead
at the same time, right?”

“I see…”

That would have disintegrated the Zombies, and it would explain their absence. However, there was
a limit to how many times one could turn undead each day, and low-level priests could not use that
ability often. Therefore, it would probably be impossible to annihilate a swirling horde of 400,000
Zombies without committing sizable numbers to the task.

While news would leak more easily as more people took part, Suzuki Satoru had not heard about
anything like that even though he had kept his feelers out and listening.

“Or could it have been a ‘super-tier spell’ like the kind you cast, Satoru? Of course, the existence of
a spell with that area of effect would be another matter entirely, but we won’t be able to tell if we
don’t enter the city, right?”

“That’s true. We’ll proceed with caution, then.”


The two of them entered through the city gates.

While 「Phase Door」 would have made entering the city safer, they had to discover what had
happened and if anyone was hiding within by using themselves as bait.

Naturally, Suzuki Satoru would be fine even if he were attacked from inside the city, so he walked in
front of Keno to block the line of fire to her. While it would be pointless if the enemy used an area-
effect attack, he would be an excellent shield for her against single-target attacks.

They passed through the city gates without incident, and they saw a wide street.

This was probably the largest street in the city.

There were no signs of Zombies in this place which should have been lively and bustling, and they
could not hear anything despite pricking up their ears. All that remained was a nauseating silence.

It looked as though all the city’s residents had abandoned it. However, it did not feel like they had left
of their own free will. The goods in the stores remained in place — though they were spoilt or rusted
— and after checking, even the coins were still in place.

While it did not seem like they had left of their own free will, it did not seem like someone had
invaded either.

No — is it possible someone whose objective was not money had invaded this place?

Magic items were more precious than mountains of gold and silver. If this city had a powerful magic
item, then it might be more valuable than all the wealth in this city.

However, that theory was also suspect. While one could not rule out the possibility that such an item
existed, surely there ought to be a more elegant way of obtaining it. Like say, sending someone with
thief skills to sneak into the city and so on.

“Ah, Satoru. You can dominate the undead, can’t you, Satoru? Can you use that ability to order
Zombies to go outside?”

“It’s possible, but there are various conditions for dominating the undead. For instance, there are
limits on the maximum number of undead that can be controlled at one time and how powerful of an
undead being can be dominated. If everyone in this city became a Zombie, then guiding them
anywhere would be annoyingly repetitive.”

“Even so, if they were undead, surely they could ignore their lifespans and do it over and over again,

“You mean a cabal of undead beings like ‘Corpus of the Abyss?’ While it’s not impossible… do you
mean they’d be walking around and dominating undead over and over again inside this city? If it
were me, I think it would have been fine to leave them alone since I was undead and wouldn’t have
been attacked anyway… mm, if that really was the case, then I’d have to take my hat off to their

“What if it were because of an item?”

“From what I know, there are no unlimited-use items like that.”

If such a balance-breaking item did exist, it would probably be a World-Class Item or something

“…Hm. I can’t break through the limits of my imagination no matter how much I think. We really do
need information after all.”

“Then how about taking a look in the castle?”

Keno was pointing to the castle of the marquis who ruled the surrounding lands. It was situated on a
small hill and they could clearly tell how solid its walls were.

Suzuki Satoru agreed with that suggestion.

If there were any traces left behind, they would probably find them in the castle. After all, it was the
most luxurious and comfortable place in the city, which made it perfect as a home base. Also, the
castle sported several imposing towers, which made it feel like the ideal place for overlooking the

The two of them cast 「Fly」 spells and headed toward the castle in a beeline.

If they looked down, they would see an empty city below them. It was a hollow metropolis, without so
much as the presence of small animals. Having Zombies wandering around would probably have
made it less scary.

“Still, there’s no movements here at all.”

While he had coolly spouted some stuff about movements and the like, Suzuki Satoru was not very
clear about what he was saying. However, it was true that certain monsters had an overwhelming
presence about them. The monster he had encountered with the most powerful presence was the
Brightness Dragon Lord.

“…Was this city destroyed by something else… hm?”

“A plague? Poison? But that would be weird, no? If a plague had broken out here, then they would
have burned the victims, and I think there would be signs of that within the city.”

They had found what looked like paupers’ districts when they were observing the city from above,
but no traces that looked like scorch marks.

Just as Suzuki Satoru was beginning to admire Keno’s focus, she continued speaking.

“Since there were no such signs in the pauper’s district, where a disease would have the highest
chance of spreading, I think that would rule out such a possibility.”

Suzuki Satoru had not thought that far ahead. He had to hand it to Keno.

“In that case — did the destruction of this city lead to some kind of chain-reaction zombification? For
example, was it because a monster with an instant death aura was walking around inside the city or

“But if that were the case, wouldn’t it be strange that there were no corpses? It’s as though everyone
here suddenly vanished. And it would also be very strange for people setting out from this place to
abandon all their wealth…”

Suzuki Satoru and Keno tilted their heads in bafflement.

When they reached the castle, the two of them walked inside without any hesitation.

Keno held Suzuki Satoru’s hand.

This was a bad move in a dangerous place.

Fighting while holding someone’s hand was very disadvantageous. However, Suzuki Satoru held
Keno’s hand tightly without saying a word.

After that, they did a quick survey of the castle, but they could not find any traces. Of course, neither
Suzuki Satoru or Keno were detector-types, so they would not have been able to spot any high-level
thieves hiding in here. However, there was a piece of evidence which made them conclude

“The dust is in piles. It looks like this castle was left empty a long time ago, and nobody else came in

It looked like the castle had been abandoned before the undead conversion had begun, or perhaps
the city had been abandoned with it.

“What should we do?”

“After a quick look around, we haven’t spotted any signs that anything happened in the castle. First,
let’s go take a look at the treasury. There might be powerful items inside.”


They broke the sturdy door and negated the magical traps with Suzuki Satoru’s magical resistance,
then proceeded to plunder all the treasure within. That said, it had not been done for acquiring
money, but more because Suzuki Satoru was interested in acquiring rare items.

The appraisal of the treasure took place as it was being looted, so it finished over an hour after the
robbery was complete.

“No powerful items here.”

“Yeah. While there were no powerful items, it seems there are quite a few pieces with historic value.”

While he knew that they were accessories and the like, that was all he knew. And while Keno,
responsible for the knowledge work, was familiar with art, magic, noble society, and so on, she was
not learned enough to determine whether or not a particular object was historically significant. All
she understood was that it looked valuable.

“We won’t be able to sell them, right?”

“Yeah. I won’t sell them, anyway. After all, we have money to spare. Plus, it would be troublesome if
we got wrapped up in annoying things after selling something with a history.”

Keno laughed happily.

“After all, the YGGDRASIL item you sold caused an incredible ruckus, Satoru.”

Suzuki Satoru could not help but be embarrassed. Looking back now, it had been a pretty good
experience, but he wanted to apologize to Keno for the trouble he had caused her back then.

“I won’t repeat that mistake again. After all, standing out isn’t a good thing, especially for undead
beings like us.”

This world ran on the axiom that the undead were the enemies of all living beings. The two of them
were heretics for wanting to enter the world of the living. They were practically traitors.

“Still, we managed to help someone in trouble because you sold that, right, Satoru? I don’t think your
judgement was wrong.”

Keno seemed to have misunderstood something. He could not care less if some human he did not
know lived or died. Ever since his body had ended up like this, he had not felt anything like love for
his fellow man or whatnot. The only important things to Suzuki Satoru were his friends.

“—Hm? What’s wrong, Satoru?”

“No, nothing’s wrong, Keno. Still, we need to let an appraiser look at them. However, if they’re from
too far away, it’ll decrease their historical value. What a pain.”

“While I’ve told you this before, you don’t need to worry about my share, right? After all, you gave me
all sorts of things, didn’t you?”

“Don’t worry about that. After all, it’s only natural for a senpai to take care for his kouhai.”

As undead beings, they had no daily expenses. While it was not as though they could not live
without selling accessories which might have historical value, they were items obtained through their
adventures, so he had to reimburse half their value in cash to Keno.

He took that sort of thing seriously even between guild members. He could not be lax on that.

“Also, our travelling expenses were all paid by you, weren’t they, Keno? These things need to be
split evenly, so would I do something dumb like not sharing the money we obtained with you? Let’s
not talk about who does more or less work, okay? We divided the jobs up into knowledge and the
use of force… hm? So we’ve got an operational allowance but no managerial allowances?”

Keno looked at Suzuki Satoru with a baffled expression on her face, as if to say, “What the hell are
you talking about?”

“Ahem! Uh, anyway, that’s why. We need to share everything valuable evenly. Got it?”

“Uh, um. Thank you, Satoru.”

“No, you really don’t need to thank me. After all, we’re moving as a team, and I need your strength
from time to time, Keno.”

“But, I don’t know how I’ve helped…”

“Well, you’re better in the artistic department, and now you’re better than me in terms of magical
knowledge, right? We’ll have to look to the future. In other words, this is an investment.”

“I understand, Satoru. I’ll work hard!”

He did not mind even if she did not go out of her way to work hard. Keno had been incredibly helpful
even as she was now. However, rejecting her determination might mentally scar her, so he decided
to accept her.

“Hm, we’ll go with that, then, Keno.” As he saw Keno looking delighted, Suzuki Satoru remembered
the reason he had come here. “Now then, let’s continue looking around this castle a little more and
look for the reason why there are no undead in this city.”

“What should we do?”

“Oh yes, there’s the top and bottom. Let’s check the bottom first.”

“The gaol? Given that this big castle wasn’t meant to be used as a fortress, I think usually they’d
build a prison elsewhere, don’t you think?”

“But wasn’t there a gaol in your castle, Keno?”

“Yeah, there was. But it wasn’t used for normal people, only to briefly confine high-status people. It
didn’t look like it had been used ever since I was born.”

“Perhaps there’s a gaol like that here too. Let’s go take a look. If it’s not there, we’ll look in the city
and check inside the cells in the guards’ duty posts.”

They found the gaol soon enough, but it was empty. The interior was piled high with dust as well, so
there probably had not been anyone inside it.

“What a shame. Let’s continue heading upwards, then. I saw several towers when observing this
castle from the outside — let’s go check out the surroundings from there.”


Perhaps the highest tower had been used as a landing platform for flying monsters, because it was
very wide and very heavily defended against attack and invasion.


Keno exclaimed in delight at the panoramic view of the city.

Suzuki Satoru thought, You saw it all from the air while using 「Fly」, so why does this scenery
excite you so much? However, he was smart enough to not actually say that.

When Suzuki Satoru had set foot upon the peak hailed as the highest in the world, he too had been
moved by the way he could see everything from the summit. But what had truly left the deepest
impression on him was the battle which had followed.

Suzuki Satoru watched Keno run around in circles and looking around in all directions, and as he
saw her display a childishness that matched her appearance, he smiled.

After that, he began examining the city, with the mindset that someone had to do what they came to
this city for, even if it was just himself. Then, he found something which bothered him.

While there were three gates leading into the urban area of the city, the gate leading to the mountain
range seemed to have been split open.

“Keno, look at that. What do you make of it?”

“Hm~ it doesn’t look like it was broken from the outside, but burst from the inside? Although… if it
wasn’t destroyed by some terrible strength… how should I put it?”

“Want to go take a look?”

After receiving Keno’s approval, Suzuki Satoru cast 「Fly」 and the two of them headed straight for
it. And then—

“Satoru, this is…”

“Yeah, you’re right. Something strange happened here… no, in this city too.”

One of the doors of the gate they had reached was leaning to one side. It had not been caused by
age. And he could see the forms of the city’s residents there.

No, it would be better to say that they had once been the residents of the city.

Countless bones were scattered in front of the gate, within the gate, and behind it. They looked like
they had been trampled to bits.

He did not know whether to call it a coincidence, but there should have been many more bones
which had been pulverized into a powder and swept away thanks to exposure to the elements.

And since the bones had been crushed, there was no way to tell how they had died.

“I trust there’s no doubt that these were once the city’s residents?”

“Yeah… did some emergency occur, some confusion that caused everyone to flee for their lives? Or
were they turned into Zombies, dominated, and then herded outside?”

“Probably the latter. I don’t see any luggage scattered around, only bones and clothing.”

An investigation of the tumbled bones revealed rings and other such items, but there were no gems
or other things one would have taken with them while fleeing.

Suzuki Satoru looked beyond the door — at the place where the Zombies of this city had probably
been headed.

“…If someone used 「Create Undead」, the undead produced would be under the control of their

After realizing what Suzuki Satoru was trying to say, a look of shock appeared on Keno’s face.

She could see a tall, steep mountain.

It was Mt. Kaidinias.

Its summit was wreathed in clouds and she could not make it out.

Suzuki Satoru took out his map and checked to see where the large road extending from the gate
would lead.

This road seemed to circle around the base of Mt. Kaidinias and led to other cities. If they went down
it, they would be able to reach other countries.

“Now then — stay here, Keno.”
“A-Ah, could I not? Would that be alright?”

Keno spoke in a frightened tone. She had probably understood the real reason why Suzuki Satoru
had come to this city.

“It’ll be fine, Keno. This was why we hunted “Corpus of the Abyss.” You heard it from those guys too,
didn’t you? Intelligent undead beings of great power remain animated even when their creator is
destroyed. Even if I annihilate the mastermind behind the zombification, it won’t affect you, Keno.”

“No! That’s not what I mean!! I’m worried about you, Satoru!!!”


“I mean, this is a being that turned so many people in such a large area into the undead! It’s
definitely not normal! Even you couldn’t do it, Satoru!”

“Ah, hm. I couldn’t do something like that.”

“In that case! In that case!” Keno’s face twisted in agony, and then she instantly resumed her normal
expression before it kinked up again. “Doesn’t that mean there’s a chance you might get defeated,

Indeed, that was true. He ought to admit it. He could not definitively state that “It won’t happen.”

“Ah, Satoru. Did you enjoy our travels together?”

“—Yeah. I was as happy as I had been with my former friends. Yes. I was happy, really, I was.”

He understood why those World Searchers had kept doing all those things he felt were pointless. He
also understood the joy of exploring the world that the management and the developers wanted to
give to the players. 

His journey with Keno had been a very enjoyable one.

“In that case, why don’t we keep travelling? I’m undead like you, so we can travel forever, can’t we,
Satoru? Let’s go and see a broader world! There’s so many places we haven’t seen before! Can you
forget about this, please?”

“…I could. It’s not right to do something my friends don’t like. Trying to put someone in my debt
would only vex them.”

“Y-Yes. Let’s, let’s go travelling together, forever, okay? Just the two of us. We’re undead, after all!
Don’t do dangerous things and continue travelling with me…”

That was correct.

Suzuki Satoru had no right to determine Keno’s happiness. If travelling together was happiness, then
would he not be showing kindness to Keno by doing so? However—

“Keno Fasris Invern!” Suzuki Satoru shouted, and Keno’s shrank away from him.

“Y-Yes… I’m sorry, Satoru. Please don’t get mad…”

“I’m not angry… Being a princess should be a job, right?”


Keno’s mouth hung open in a stupid-looking way. She was probably showing how she could not
keep up with the sudden change in topic and did not understand his meaning. Suzuki Satoru
mocked himself in his heart. Ah, it couldn’t be avoided.

“Like I was saying, being a princess is a job, right?”

“Is, is it? It doesn’t feel that way to me…”

“So, does that mean kings and queens are unemployed? Is that not how it is?”

“When you put it that way, that might be the case… is it?”

“Now, on to the next item; gaining the approval of more than half of the guild’s members — well,
there’s only one person, but that counts as more than half.”

A baffled look appeared on Keno’s face.

“In addition, you’re a heteromorphic creature of the type known as a Vampire, Keno. In other words,
you have cleared all the requirements. Now then, Keno Fasris Invern. I recognize you as a member
of Ainz Ooal Gown. You shall be the 42nd member. Or should I say, the second member of the New
Ainz Ooal Gown?”

Ainz took out the ring of Ainz Ooal Gown from his inventory and gave it to Keno.

Keno’s expression flashed from shock to normality to shock again.

She had heard Suzuki Satoru talk about how important that ring was to him countless times. It stirred
her emotions up enough that they had to be forcibly suppressed.

“Can… I?”

“Yes. Keno, you’re one of us now, a member of Ainz Ooal Gown. You have the right to take this ring.”

Of course, this ring would only be truly useful in a place like Nazarick. Without Nazarick, it was
simply the proof that one was a member of the guild.

…And now there are two members of Ainz Ooal Gown… who knows, it might be a good idea to find
another 58 members in this world.

“Thank you, Satoru!”

Keno put the ring on delightedly, as though she had forgotten what had happened just now.

Suzuki Satoru watched her, and then faked a cough before speaking.

“Now then, Keno. To me, there is one thing I cannot tolerate under any circumstances. And that
would be — forgiving anyone who has done wrong by a member of the guild and who is still at

“No, it’s just a little hardship. Travelling with you—”

Suzuki Satoru did not let Keno finish her sentence.

“—I might be able to turn your zombified parents back into human beings.”

Keno froze, and her eyes wavered.

“…Keno, this is what you hoped for, isn’t it? To stay as one of the undead, and resurrect your
parents, am I wrong? Or do you want to become human, along with your parents?”

“Can, can you do it?”

“I don’t know. But Keno, nothing would delight you more, am I right?”

Keno looked in all directions, and then she lowered her head and quietly replied, “Yes.”

In that case — Suzuki Satoru’s course was set.

It was only natural that a guildmaster would fight for his guild members.


Keno raised her head suddenly as she heard the iron in his voice.

“Do not let your guilt bind you. There is no need for that at all. I must go, first to see what caused this
all to happen, and then, depending on the circumstances — I’m very sorry, Keno, but you must stay

Keno hesitated for a few seconds, and then she nodded.

She was no fool. She understood that she would be holding him back.

“Now then, I’ll use 「Create Fortress」 to build a fort some distance away. You don’t mind staying in
there, do you?”


After leaving Keno in the fortress that he had made, Suzuki Satoru stared at Mt. Kaidinias — its
slopes were barren, with little vegetation. It was time to switch mindsets.

The first problem was how to investigate the destination to which the city’s residents had headed.

He had a higher chance of figuring it out if he cast 「Fly」, but if there were enemies around he
would be spotted easily while floating in the air, as opposed to if he were on the ground. While he
had 「Perfect Unknowable」 to use with it, there was a certain reason why Suzuki Satoru
considered it a bad move.

A steady and grounded approach would be best.

While he ought to have cast 「Fly」 to search from above if there were no enemies, Suzuki Satoru
was certain that there was a powerful enemy around.

Of course, while he could not be certain that all the information he had gathered to date was
accurate, he was sure that there was some intelligent being behind all this.

His basic objective was to defeat that enemy, and then rescue Keno and her parents from their
undead transformation. Ideally, he would be able to restore everyone in Keno’s country.

The chances were annoyingly high that he would not be able to negotiate a settlement with this
adversary. After all, he had caused so much damage. At the very least, he was probably a being like
Suzuki Satoru, who held no love for others.

Then again, there was a small chance that they might be able to make a deal. The problem would
then be the terms that the other party would set.

To begin with, he did not think the other party would make any material requests like asking for
treasure and the like. After all, if he had wanted, he could have ordered the undead residents to
deliver it all to him. He had made and could command them, after all. However, all the valuables in
that city had been abandoned.

Then could he defeat his foe and demand that he do so in exchange for his life?

Is that possible? Is my opponent someone I can hold back on and still accomplish that?

Suzuki Satoru had already acknowledged his foe as being on his level. No, he imagined said foe to
be stronger than him. However, it was hard to imagine a being more powerful than himself.

He had collected information on many mighty beings during his five-year journey. While he had
learned it through money or force from various knowledgeable individuals, what they all agreed on
was that the mightiest beings in this world were the ones known as the Dragon Lords. In fact, he had
already confirmed that one of them had the same fighting power as he had.

However, one could not say it was far stronger than himself.

In that case, he should be able to use strategy and tactics to triumph against his opponent — even if
it was a Dragon Lord. 

Still, I have the feeling that I’m heading into the enemy’s lair. That gives them the terrain advantage.
After that… Suzuki Satoru recalled the lessons contained in PKing For Dummies. Right after a patch
— that would be the right time. Powerful players attacking in small groups — that’s the people
united. So what about this time? I don’t know. Only… it’s going to be a gamble.
(TL Note: this refers to an essay by Meng Zi / Mencius. It is best to go to war when the time is right, the terrain is favorable, and social
conditions allow for it (i.e the people are united)

Of course, all this was founded on the assumption that the culprit responsible for the zombification
could restore the people to normal, or that he knew how to do it.

If that was not the case—

“—Then he shall pay the price for his foolishness.”

Suzuki Satoru changed his gear.

He put away all the equipment he had obtained from YGGDRASIL and dressed in the gear he had
stolen from “Corpus of the Abyss,” save for a divine-class ring on his left hand.

After that, he wore an icon of “Corpus of the Abyss” around his neck. He also had a crystal with a
spell sealed into it.

Truthfully speaking, Suzuki Satoru was much weaker now than he had been just now. Leaving aside
the tremendous drop in his ability modifiers and defensive power, his resistances were now riddled
with holes.

While he still had the HP of someone of his level, he could not place too much faith in that. In
addition, he had to avoid any attacks which would instantly kill him.

There’s one more thing, how should I do it? I’ll prepare a bit more before reaching my destination.

Suzuki Satoru sent a 「Message」 to Keno, telling her that he would need a little more time.

After that, he teleported to his objective.

After finishing his preparation — which had taken quite some time — Suzuki Satoru returned to his
original location and began moving by way of 「Fly」. He advanced toward the mountain without
lifting too far off the ground — it felt like gliding — and thought about his strategy as he did.

The occasional fallen bone pointed the way to his destination. While they had been crushed to
powder and blown away, the denuded mountain was very obvious.

Suzuki Satoru lacked any tracking skills, but he followed the clear traces up the mountain. It was as
though the bones were guiding Suzuki Satoru to the being who had made them like this in revenge.

He climbed the mountain without losing his way, and soon—

Ahhh, we’re here. An undead being, hm.

His undead detection skill was something like an omnidirectional radar. There was a blip on that

Suzuki Satoru looked in that direction.

“—Is it over there? Is the culprit behind all this over there?”

This skill could only sense the presence of the undead, not tell him their identity or their abilities.
While it was largely conjecture, the creature that had turned the city’s people into Zombies and
brought them here ought to be over there.

Having cast 「Fly」 on himself, Suzuki Satoru advanced a step forward, then ground to a halt,
standing stock still.

Although his face could not display any changes in expression — perhaps Keno might have been
able to discern them — Suzuki Satoru’s face had gone stiff.

That was because the number of undead reactions had rapidly increased with just a single step.

What’s this…

The sheer number of blips stacking onto each other made whatever it was seem like a huge ball of

Suzuki Satoru held his ground and looked straight ahead. The terrain was very rocky, so he could
not see the location of the ball of light.

Did it gather Zombies, bind them together and then do something with them? …What should I do?
Should I send a Zombie over to see what’s going on, then think about what to do next after I figure
out my opponent’s identity? But…

That approach posed a problem.

If his enemy was very intelligent or possessed magical knowledge, then this would be a poor move.
Also — Suzuki Satoru snorted. Things being what they are, what are you thinking, Suzuki Satoru
mocked himself.

Suzuki Satoru dispelled the 「Fly」 spell and began walking.

Suzuki Satoru’s mana recovery would not have been affected even if he had not dispelled the
「Fly」. However, sustaining the 「Fly」 spell might lead to his mana recovery going into the
negative once he started casting other spells. More to the point, he had to consider that things might
develop in a bad direction if he showed his opponent that he could cast the 「Fly」 spell. 

Suzuki Satoru continued walking.

Suzuki Satoru sensed the number of undead reactions growing with every step he took.

“Ahhh, I don’t have any basis for this, but I think I can guess what it is,” Suzuki Satoru muttered to
himself. YGGDRASIL also had an undead monster which resembled the one he was imagining, but
that undead would only display as a single undead reaction.

“Now then — 「False Data - Life」, 「False Data - Mana」.”

Suzuki Satoru cast two spells on himself.

Then, he shifted his mind into PVP mode.


He had shifted into PK mode.

The terrain at his destination was surprisingly open. A corner of the mountain was abnormally flat
and expanded in all directions. It was over two kilometers in length and breadth. Surely that could
not have been some naturally-occurring prodigy.

There was no doubt that it had been created by the power of magic.

And then, before Suzuki Satoru’s eyes — a bizarre object made of the people that had once lived in
the city came into view.

A gigantic ovoid mass made of countless corpses stacked one on top of the other sat in the middle
of this plaza. Its size was enough to make onlookers gasp in awe. To think something so big could
be made from gathering 400,000 people together.

Had the opposition gathered all these Zombies just to make an object like this? Suzuki Satoru could
not fathom what his opponent was thinking. No, if there was some aim to making this, then surely it
would be able to move.

“Is it some kind of armor? Or perhaps a sentry?”

As Suzuki Satoru conjectured, he mentally calculated various things in his head while striding boldly
into the plaza, toward that object which he would tentatively call the Big Ball of Undeath. 

Though the distance between them shrank steadily, the Big Ball of Undeath did not make any
obvious moves. Was it because Suzuki Satoru had not entered its attack radius, or was it simply
following orders not to attack? Perhaps it was as stupid as a Zombie and did not attack Suzuki
Satoru because it considered him one of them? Or perhaps—

—Who was the one who said it? Ah, yes. It was Luci★Fer-san. How did it go again? When we gaze
at our enemy, our enemy is also gazing at us. What a marvellous quote. How shall I put this, it’s
quite meaningful. Wasn’t Luci★Fer-san pretty smart?

Suzuki Satoru smiled as he waxed nostalgic over the words of his friend, and then he shouted to the
Big Ball of Undeath:

“Alright, alright, what are you gathering Zombies here for?”

There was no answer save the mountain wind blowing quietly past him. 

This was no longer just a lack of reaction — it was actively ignoring Suzuki Satoru. It was just like
talking to a wall. It would be terribly embarrassing if this Big Ball of Undeath was completely

“…What’s the matter? Keeping quiet because you’re afraid of me? How boring. I am the Night Lich
— Momon. The mightiest magic caster of them all! Look at you, so terrified you don’t even dare to
speak. Still, it can’t be helped. I can understand why you’d be scared speechless after seeing all the
magic items I have on me.”

But the Big Ball of Undeath remained still. 

Was it some kind of guard? That would mean the opposition had gathered a great number of
Zombies and ordered them to respond to any attacks in kind, in order to block up the entrance to a
cave of some sort.

Or what if there was no enemy after all, just an item stuck in the middle of that ball?

In order to learn about his foe, it was a given that the opposition would react in some way. If the
enemy did not react at all, then he would truly be out of options. Launching an attack to force
information out of his opposition was a last resort, for when he had no other choice.

“Honestly… speaking of which, it looks like you need to be taught a lesson for not even greeting me.
「Summon Undead 3rd」!”

Suzuki Satoru summoned a Skeleton Warrior.

Then, he ordered it to the base of the Big Ball of Undeath.

While it was plain to onlookers that he was wary of his opponent’s actions, walking into the enemy’s
attack range was really quite scary. In addition, it would interfere with his future plans.

Still, it hasn’t attacked yet… if the plan was to gather the corpses and then have them wash over any
nearby enemies like a crashing wave, then distance shouldn’t be a matter to it. Or is it really just an
item in there?

If this was just a mountain of corpses, then it was not impossible for it to be a Necroswarm Giant.
The problem was that he was pretty much certain that it was a Zombie horde. In that case, then it
would be an undead creature unique to this world that Suzuki Satoru did not know about. Perhaps
he should call it a Combi-Zombie for now. 

Suzuki Satoru moved the Skeleton Warrior up to the side of the Big Ball of Undeath.

“…What the hell, so it was just a mass of Zombies gathered together. I can’t believe I made such a
mistake. To think I actually mistook a group of unintelligent undead for something strong.”

The Big Ball of Undeath wobbled. Then, as though breaking out of an egg, the Big Ball of Undeath
slowly changed shape.

“Is that… a Dragon?”

It had a long neck, a reptilian-looking head, and wings. It had six thick legs and a slender, whiplike
tail. It resembled a Western-style Dragon.

However, its neck was extremely long compared to the normal image of a Dragon. Also, the extreme
thinness of its tail made it look like a mash-up of a Western and an Eastern Dragon. Or rather, it
looked like someone had stuck six legs and a winged beast onto the body of a snake. Also, it looked
ugly and lumpy, without any of the beauty a Dragon’s form ought to have, probably because it was
made out of Zombies.

In addition, it was far too big.

It was 150 meters long from head to toe at the very least. Not even YGGDRASIL had something of
that size.

Of course, Suzuki Satoru understood that this was a cosmetic change in the Big Ball of Undeath. In
other words, it was made from 400,000 or more Zombies joined together. But when he thought about
its length and width and the fact that he needed to crane his neck just to see its full size and so on,
could a mere 400,000 Zombies be enough to make a gigantic body that was over 150m long? Surely
it was not hollow—

“—I had originally intended to ignore you because you were being utterly foolish. But no matter. You
have a big mouth for a mere middle-class undead being.”

The Dragon’s mouth slowly opened, and its bass voice echoed in all directions.

What he called a mouth was just something made of piled Zombies. Surely the voice’s owner must
be someone else. But where had this powerful voice — which seemed like it was being spoken by all
the Zombies at once — come from?

Is its true form in its mouth?

Its mouth was big enough to easily swallow Suzuki Satoru, so it would not have been strange if there
was someone the size of Suzuki Satoru in its head.

One would not be able to discover someone like by remote observation. However, Suzuki Satoru
could not make out anything else about it.

The mouth was not just made up of humanoid Zombies — there were beast Zombies in there too.

So that was why they had not seen any animals on their way here. All the animals on this mountain
must have been zombified and then driven to the Big Ball of Undeath. It would seem there were
more than a mere 400,000 Zombies making up that Big Ball of Undeath — that Dragon Zombie. 

Also, the opposition had let slip something more important than that.

From his opponent’s reaction, it probably knew about Night Liches. In addition, it had not been able
to tell that Suzuki Satoru was actually an Overlord. 

In other words, Suzuki Satoru had made it past the first hurdle, but that did not make him careless.

…It might be a bluff. If it were me, I’d pretend that I was fooled even after seeing through my
enemy’s lies. Looks like I’ll need to continue gathering information to see what other cards the
opposition has up its sleeve…

Suzuki Satoru predicted and double-checked over and over again as he backed up one step.

“W-What are, what are you? Are you not a mere Necroswarm Giant…?”

The Dragon’s face moved. Actually, it was the Zombies moving, but they were very well controlled.

If, for instance, the opposition could not just freely control the Zombies used for facial expressions,
but all the Zombies — far in excess of 400,000 — that made up its body, then its undead control
ability would be far beyond that of Suzuki Satoru’s.

If that was the case, then that left another question.

Why had the enemy not tried to directly dominate Suzuki Satoru?

Was it because Suzuki Satoru was of a higher level than it could control? Or was there some kind of
special condition required for domination, like say personally turning the target into an undead

Just as Suzuki Satoru was pondering this, the Dragon’s expression changed. He did not know
whether to say it was expressive, or if he should laud its control of Zombies, but it was plain to see
that it was sneering at Suzuki Satoru.

“What? You do not know of me — you dare make a fool of me with that pitiful knowledge of yours?
No, surely I am the fool for bothering with you.”

“You’ve got a pretty big mouth, you Dragon-shaped Necroswarm Giant. You might have gained
intelligence because you formed a big mass, but unfortunately you’re too blind to see how much
more powerful I am than you!”

The Dragon’s face shifted again, and it opened its mouth.

“Fuhahahaha! To think you could entertain me so! I did not think mocking the ignorant could be so
amusing. Fuhahaha—” The laughter suddenly stopped. “Oh miserable little undead, you — will you
not be my jester? You need not do anything. Simply stand there and entertain me. While the position
of Jester requires a certain degree of intelligence to fill, it seems there are born clowns in this world!”

“What, what’s so funny! I’m an undead creature that’s struck terror into the hearts of people all over!”

“Fuhahahaha! …Oh no no no, everything you say is just so amusing. Alright, now what do you want
to do —- I forgot your name, because I was planning to annihilate you… no matter, forget it. Night
Lich. Will you serve as my jester? You do know I am willing to spare you if you agree, do you not?”

“…I don’t want to be laughed at by an undead creature who doesn’t even dare state his name.”

The gigantic body moved.

“I see. While it feels foolish to give my name to an undead creature of your insignificant stature — I
am Cure Elim, the XX Dragon Lord.”


“Ah, yes… indeed! I am — the Elder Coffin Dragon Lord!!”

“I see…”

So it was a Dragon Lord. In other words, it was in the same league as the Brightness Dragon Lord.
Simply put, it was very strong.

A bolt of pain stabbed at Suzuki Satoru.

From now on, things would be disastrous if he made one false move.

And the problem now was — was Cure Elim in that thing? Or was it controlling the ball from afar?

“Surely one as impotent as yourself should know the nature of a Dragon Lord?”

“I can’t believe a mere pile of Zombies is calling itself a Dragon Lord. It looks like you’ve moved up in
the world. Or does it mean Dragon Lords have fallen far? In any case, it’s rather unsightly for you to
act like a big shot in front of a great and mighty undead being like myself, don’t you think?”

“Fuhahaha! What a marvellous jester you are! Truly, you are entertaining!” With that, the air around
Cure Elim changed.

“Still — the undead really do displease me. Even when standing before me, even in the face of
annihilation, you do not know fear.”

The Dragon’s right foreleg suddenly swelled up, and a vast quantity of Zombies extended forward
like a rope. Then, they seized the Skeleton Warrior, dragging it before the Dragon’s foreleg.

The Skeleton Warrior tried to flee, but in the face of superior numbers, defeat was its only recourse.

The Skeleton Warrior was swallowed up by the Dragon’s foreleg and Suzuki Satoru could hear it
being crushed to bits even from where he was standing. At the same time, he felt his link to the
Skeleton Warrior break.

“—I see… you’re not bad.”

Suzuki Satoru cast 「Fly」 and retreated.

“Not bad? …Fuhahaha, you really are amusing. Truly, you are a born jester.”

“…Hmph. You think you’ve won just because you destroyed the lesser undead I summoned? 「Fireball」!”

The third tier spell struck the Zombies in the shape of a Dragon Lord and flames erupted in all

It was true that the burst of flames was tiny in comparison to the massive size of the Dragon.
However, Suzuki Satoru narrowed his eyes and looked closely. That was because he saw the
blasted Zombies crumble and fall.

After the fried Zombies fell away, they were replenished by undamaged Zombies from the interior.

“W-What’s this? Are there Zombies under there too!?”

“「Fireball」… that warped magic spread by that accursed lot. Not only are you pitiful, but
infuriating… speaking of which, that should have been a low-grade spell. Night Lich, try a higher-tier
spell on me… as it happens, I wish to assess the completion of this body.”

“W-Why you! How dare you use me for your experiments!”

If Suzuki Satoru had been alive, he would have been spluttering and frothing as he said that, but
Cure Elim simply replied with mocking laughter.

“Indeed, that was my intention. Despite your vacuous skull, it seems you at least understand that

“—I see. So you turned all the people in the city undead to protect yourself? Like armor made of
Zombies, to protect your fragile body, then?”


Maybe it was because Cure Elim regarded Suzuki Satoru as a being far weaker than itself that it was
being so chatty. Or perhaps it had been looking for someone to talk to all this while.

“No, it was not for such a pedestrian reason. The souls of that city — no more than that — have
been used by myself.”

“Oh — and how did you do that? What’s your aim?”

“I have no reason to tell you.”

“…Surely you can tell me as a parting gift before I depart to the underworld?”

Am I obsessing about this? Suzuki Satoru thought. However, he probably would not be able to learn
anything if they really began laying into each other. After considering Keno and the fact that his
opponent was still willing to talk, he ought to learn as much as he could.

“Would you tell an inferior lifeform such a thing — tell the ants crawling around on the ground? Then
you must be quite the generous soul. Ah, no, you born jester. Perhaps I revealed it long ago without
realizing it.”

“—Tch. Hmph. If you call yourself a Dragon Lord, then I must be the Undead Lord. While I have
hundreds of servants at my command, I shall make an exception and go one on one with you. You
should be grateful.”

“Fuhahahaha! Indeed I am! Undead Lord! Fuhahahaha!”

“What’s so funny?”

“The fact that you do not realize why makes it all the more mirthful!”

The mood in the air changed. Suzuki Satoru had always been a commoner. Though he had
experienced things like presences and killing intent over his five years of travel, the truth was that he
did not quite understand them. Even so — he could sense the Dragon Lord’s fighting spirit.

However, it was not being serious.

“While I would have liked to take your spell head-on, I suppose it would not be good to go too easy
on you, Undead Lord-sama. Perhaps I should essay an attack as well. Take care to avoid it so it
does not destroy you, alright?”

Cure Elim made its move.

The movement was ponderously slow, but it closed the distance with incredible speed.

Suspicious, Suzuki Satoru immediately realized the source of this disconnect. The Zombies below
Cure Elim’s feet that were in contact with the ground were writhing as though on a set of tracks,
driving its body forward after it took its first step.

If he was deceived by that movement, Cure Elim would be standing before him in an instant.

Suzuki Satoru narrowed his eyes. 

Cure Elim was raising its right foreleg from far away, swinging it like it was going to perform a
sweeping kick.

There was no way it could hit him from this distance. He had no idea why Cure Elim had done this,
but Suzuki Satoru’s instincts told him that there must be some trick to it, and he reflexively bent
down to dodge it.

Just then, the right foreleg unfurled like a paper roll. 

The massive forelimb formed of Zombies swept over Suzuki Satoru’s head as he bent down so low
he was practically prostrate.

The speed of the sweep was not very fast. Even Suzuki Satoru, whose abilities were comparable to
a level thirty-odd warrior, could evade it. However, he did not know if it was because Cure Elim had
purposely slowed his strike.

“Fuhahahaha! Well dodged! But you look quite unsightly!”

Suzuki Satoru realized the intention of Cure Elim’s attack as he heard its roaring laughter. It was
exulting in its superiority as it watched Suzuki Satoru go face down into the mud. Suzuki Satoru
raised his head and shouted angrily.

“How dare you make me crawl on the ground!”

After the sweep, the foreleg rolled back up like a snake, and its shadow fell on Suzuki Satoru.
Perhaps it was because it was made of Zombies, but every intense movement seemed to ignore
inertia. The Zombies in the joints made squelching and cracking noises, as though they were being
pulped by the forceful movements.

Suzuki Satoru desperately struggled to escape from Cure Elim’s attack radius. He did not even have
the time to cast 「Fly」; all he could do was run on his two feet.

With a thud, the foreleg smashed into Suzuki Satoru’s former location. There was a splatting sound
as many Zombies were squashed flat. 

He was not being serious yet.

That attack just now, made with limbs of Zombies that extended like rolls of paper could have hit
him. There was only one reason why it had not done so.

This was a cat toying with a mouse.


Suzuki Satoru cast a spell at Cure Elim’s forelimb, which was on the ground.

The bluish-white electrical stroke of the 「Lightning」 spell pierced through the massive, trunk-like

However it had even less of an effect than that 「Fireball」 just now. Several Zombies fell, and then
the Zombies inside flooded out from the inside as though they were being spat out.

The dead Zombies looks like they had been spat out. He did not know if Cure Elim was doing this or
if it was happening automatically. However, considering one would need over 500,000 Zombies to
make a body like this, it would probably be impossible to control each individual one, so it was
probably the latter.


The limb moved again as Cure Elim laughed merrily.


The part of the forelimb that stood on the ground expanded and shot out in Suzuki Satoru’s direction.

Ten-plus Zombies reached their hands out for him like they desired his body. The Zombies extended
like they were tied together by ropes, with the Zombies at the back holding the bodies of the
Zombies in front. In this way, they could extend for several meters without touching the ground.

This was the attack which had destroyed the Skeleton Warrior.

Suzuki Satoru dealt with it in a calm, unhurried fashion.

He pulled away with a 「Fly」 spell. The Zombies which had failed to grasp Suzuki Satoru slowly
retracted into Cure Elim’s leg.

They had pulled back quickly after seizing the Skeleton Warrior, but they were very slow now. Why
was there a difference?

“What did you do!? I’ve never seen anyone use the undead like this before! How did you do it!?”

“An undead creature of your caliber would not understand, This is something which only I can do.”

“Why you! 「Iceball」!”

While this was an area-effect spell of the same tier as 「Fireball」, ice spells were essentially
useless against the undead. And indeed, it had done nothing to the Zombies. Cure Elim did not even
bother responding to it.

It was probably going easy on him. Then he would do as he pleased.

“「Acid Arrow」!”

He cast a second tier single-target spell

The struck Zombie fell. 

“What’s the matter, jester? You will need to cast that weak spell tens of thousands of times to kill me.
You are a Night Lich, are you not? Cast a filthier spell of a higher tier at me. Or does this mean —
you cannot?”


“Then I shall verify it.”

Cure Elim attacked again. This time, he hit Suzuki Satoru.

It was a strike, as he had expected, but the damage it did was trivial for his present gear to absorb.
However, the force of the attack was not cancelled out. Suzuki Satoru rolled several times along the
ground before stopping.

Suzuki Satoru shakily rose to his feet.

“Is something the matter, jester? My experiment is not yet over, so take care not to die, will you?”

Cure Elim closed the distance to Suzuki Satoru in that nauseating way again. This time, it raised its
left foreleg. Then, it repeated its huge area-effect attack from before.

Evading it was simple enough, but that was not the end of Cure Elim’s attack.

The forelimb that had swept past him extended long, thick, tentacle-like objects. They opened their
maws, latched onto Suzuki Satoru and entangled him.

Suzuki Satoru thought they were snakes, at first, but then he realised his mistakes.

—They’re Dragons!!!

He could not escape the Dragon Zombie’s gaping maw, and Suzuki Satoru was seized in its jaws
from his right shoulder to his chest. The teeth sinking into his shoulderblades creaked as they
damaged him. It might have been zombified, but it was still a Dragon.

While he knew of Beast Zombies, not knowing that even Dragons could become Zombies had been
a very big mistake.

The strength of Zombies depended on the base creature they were made from. Surely a Dragon
Zombie would be several, if not dozens of times more powerful that a Zombie made from a human.
In addition, its increased HP meant that he might not be able to kill one with a single third tier spell.

While they were not especially mighty foes for Suzuki Satoru the existence of Dragon Zombies
implied that there were more powerful monster Zombies in store. No, he ought to say that they were
definitely out there somewhere.

Suzuki Satoru suddenly had an idea.

It had not collected the people of Keno’s country because it did not need to.

The 400,000 human-sized Zombies of Seruk-3 were enough. It had then turned more powerful
creatures into Zombies and stored them in its body.

It was very likely — no, it was the only possibility.

“—To think you’d use your own kind!”

“Own kind? Fuhahaha! What a jester you are. How could I consider inferior living beings to be of the
same kind as myself?”

Dragons grew more powerful the bigger they got. Was it saying this in light of that point? Or were
Dragon Lords a different kind of creature altogether. Suzuki Satoru did not know about that.
However, if it had zombified several Dragons, then part of his battle strategy would need to be

Something picked up Suzuki Satoru’s body.

The Dragon’s body began to retract into Cure Elim’s foreleg, bringing Suzuki Satoru with it.

Escaping was easy enough. It might have been a Dragon, but it was just a Zombie after all. Suzuki
Satoru worked his hands into the gaps of the teeth seizing his shoulder and forcefully pulled them

The Dragon’s lower jaw opened. Suzuki Satoru’s strength overcame the Dragon’s might, which
meant that this Dragon was not yet fully grown.

Just as he was thinking that he could slowly struggle free, a massive hand came into view.


A hand that was several times the size of a normal human’s seized Suzuki Satoru’s body.

“Giants too!?”

The Giant’s body poked out from beside the Dragon and grabbed Suzuki Satoru. He could not tell
what species of Giant it was, but it probably lived around here.

The rate at which he was being reeled in suddenly sped up, and Suzuki Satoru was drawn into Cure
Elim’s foreleg.

The undead domination effect which he was most wary of did not take place. Of course, he had
never once lowered his Turn Resistance III in order to protect against it. It would seem he would not
be controlled just by being pulled into it.

In that case, it would seem the undead domination only happened to the Zombies raised by its own

The maw biting his shoulder and the Giant hand holding his body let go. In its place, an arm the size
of Suzuki Satoru held and pinned him.

There were so many Zombies around him that he could not see the outside. However, he could feel
himself moving like he was being carried by an underwater current. Or rather, it would be more
accurate to say he was being propelled by the surrounding Zombies.

Just as he was wondering where he would be taken, his head was suddenly thrust outside.

What skillful control of the undead you have, Suzuki Satoru mused with genuine admiration for Cure

The outside — it looked to be around Cure Elim’s shoulder. It would seem he had been pulled up
from below.

A head that was many times smaller than before looked down on Suzuki Satoru from above.

No, that was not it. 

That could not possibly be something made out of Zombies.

That was Cure Elim’s true form. Wrapped by Zombies, Cure Elim had revealed its true self.

Though he could only see its head, it looked very much like the head made of yuringigers. However,
it was beautiful. Its vibrant scales rippled like they were alive. However, Suzuki Satoru could sense
Cure Elim’s main body — though he was surrounded by the undead — with his undead detection
sense. The massive creature before him was also undead.

The blood-red, vertically-slitted red eyes looked straight at Suzuki Satoru.

As he saw those eyes, he suddenly thought of Keno — he hid his anxiety with all his might.


Suzuki Satoru screamed.

It was a hideous cry that one would naturally expect from those who understood that they could not

“Fuhahaha,” Cure Elim narrowed its eyes and twisted its neck. “What a pleasing scream. It would
seem even the undead can make such sounds when they know their doom is at hand.”

“W-Wait! Dragon Lord. No, Dragon Lord-sama! I, I was wrong! Please accept my apology! You —
you’re very strong, I know that now. I was wrong, so please forgive me!”

“Hmph! Only now, at the end, do you understand.”

“Ah! You’re the mightiest Dragon Lord! I was wrong!”

“—Is that so? In that case…”

Suzuki Satoru could imagine what the Dragon Lord would say next. That was why the Zombies
holding on to his right arm were beginning to exert force on him. They — the Zombies — were
probably using a lot of strength.Their muscles made a pulping sound as they were torn apart, and he
could feel rotting fluids splashing onto his body. But no matter. He pretended that his left arm was
stuck. At the same time, he took out his hidden item and prepared to use it at any time.

“Fulfill your duty as a jester to the very end. Allow me to enjoy the screams of a foolish undead
creature as he is crushed flat!”


The crushing sensation grew stronger, and Suzuki Satoru wailed in an uncharacteristic way. At the
same time, he raised the crystal he was holding to a place where Cure Elim could see, and then
released the spell within.

“「Greater Teleportation.」”

He arrived at Seruk-3’s main gate, which he had memorized beforehand so he could teleport to it.

Suzuki swiftly passed through the gate and hid behind cover that Cure Elim could not see past from
his current position. He pricked up his ears and observed his surroundings. The empty city was dead
silent, and the mountains above were also quiet.

It would seem his escape had not driven Cure Elim into a rage, and there were no signs it had
pursued him.

Was it because moving that huge body needed time, or did it not see the value in squashing a single
bug? Suzuki Satoru continued observing for a while before concluding that it was the latter.

“And now…”

Suzuki Satoru’s expression suddenly changed. His pathetic demeanor from just now was gone, and
in its place was a calm thoughtfulness, as though he was following up on the results of an

Suzuki Satoru deployed his anti-divination defensive spells. This way, he would be able to instantly
sense if the opposition was trying to find him with magic. 

Even so, it would seem the Wild Magic his foe could use was different from the spells that Suzuki
Satoru could use. It was not impossible that it could pierce his defensive spells. Therefore, it would
be safer for him to act as though every move he made was being observed by his opposition.

Suzuki Satoru narrowed his eyes.

He had spent so much time on preparations precisely because he had considered this possibility.

As he analyzed the information gained from that battle, he looked over at Cure Elim’s direction.

“You really are strong.”

He had to admit that even the phrase “mighty foe” was not enough to describe it. One could say it
was an extremely tough opponent.

The Brightness Dragon Lord was strong too, but Cure Elim was stronger still, and—

“How troublesome.”

The most basic thing was that Cure Elim’s original body was undead.

Suzuki Satoru — or rather, the character Momonga — had mastered various skills which fit his role
as an undead magic caster. Now that he was fighting an unliving enemy like one of the undead, his
options for effective resistance were extremely limited.

He could be certain that Cure Elim had surrounded himself with a mass of Zombies. While Zombies
were the weakest kind of undead, defeating that many Zombies would need a great deal of time and
mana. Worse still, it was not just human Zombies in there, but even Dragon Zombies. Even if he
killed all those Zombies, a mana-depleted Suzuki Satoru would then have to face an untouched
Cure Elim. It was an overwhelming disadvantage.

However, from the spells he had cast earlier, it would seem there were no special Zombies in there,
and it would seem they could not breach Suzuki Satoru’s High-Tier Physical Nullification. Therefore,
he ought to be able to ignore the damage and focus on keeping enough mana to maintain that skill,
letting them hit him as much as they wanted — but things were not that simple.

If one’s armor was damaged, normally one would choose to retreat, repair one’s armor, and then
fight again. Thus they would choose to flee. Therefore, he felt that it would make sense for Cure Elim
to escape, unless there were some special reason to make him stay there. However, there did not
seem to be anything like that.

If it had some way to collect the Zombies from its surroundings, then while he was not sure exactly
how many Zombies there were in the surrounding countries, their numbers would run into the eight
digit range at the very least. If he let it escape, he might end up having to fight Cure Elim through
tens of millions of Zombies.

When that happened, the same tactics would probably not be effective again.

The more times he fought, the more likely it was that Suzuki Satoru would lose.

He had managed to escape this time, but it would be best to assume that his High-Tier Physical
Immunity would only be effective for the next battle.

Analyzing the knowledge one had gained and working to counteract the abilities of one’s opponents
was a matter of course. Cure Elim would definitely do such a thing. Only a fool would assume all
their enemies were fools.

More to the point, the enemy might have found a countermeasure in the next battle, if he was
unlucky. Since he was a Dragon Lord like the Brightness Dragon Lord, it was possible that he might
wield Wild Magic — an incomprehensible power that did not exist in YGGDRASIL.

No — he ought to take that into consideration too.

You lose less by overestimating your opponent compared to underestimating them.

Also, if he let it flee, the worst-case scenario might play out — he would join forces with the
Brightness Dragon Lord and attack Suzuki Satoru again.

It was very likely to be the case if it was as strong as Suzuki Satoru and he managed to strip away
its Zombie armor.

When that happened, Suzuki Satoru would be out of luck.

In other words—

“I need to win the next battle and make sure I kill Cure Elim.”

He did not know if he could do it.

But he had to do it.

First, he had to destroy that layered armor of Zombies. Otherwise, he would not be able to strike at
Cure Elim’s body. But it would be more dangerous the more time he spent on it. While he had no
idea how far its Zombie-summoning ability could reach, Suzuki Satoru would have no chance once it
managed to replenish its shield of Zombies.

In that case he would need to use an attack spell that could penetrate all the way into the interior
and cover a wide area at the same time.

In that case, his options were— 

“Super-tier magic.”

Suzuki Satoru thought about the most potent spells he knew. Could any of them destroy all those
annoying Zombies around Cure Elim?

He thought of several options, but each of them lacked an element of decisiveness.

Also, even if he destroyed the Zombie conglomerate, the fact that he knew nothing about the abilities
of Cure Elim’s true form meant that he would simply be engaging in a blind gamble.

Could the rewards of this battle, or rather, this victory, satisfy him?

As Suzuki’s thoughts wandered unbidden in that direction, he suddenly laughed.

“What am I thinking? Isn’t the reward of this greater than anything else? I’m doing this for Keno.”

Suzuki Satoru — or rather, the character Momonga — might have been the Guildmaster, but in truth,
all he had been doing were miscellaneous tasks or making sure things went smoothly between
everyone. He was not someone who stood at everyone’s head and pointed the way for them to go.

Therefore, there was a powerful sense of fulfilment in Suzuki Satoru’s heart now.

It was because he was fighting on the frontlines for his friend.

He was the one making sacrifices for his friend’s happiness.

“Cure Elim — you’re going down today,” Suzuki Satoru declared in a quiet, calm voice.

However, his words were filled with powerful emotion.


Suzuki Satoru began changing his gear. As he opened the ring section of his inventory, his eyes
lingered on the Ring of Ainz Ooal Gown.

However, it was only for a moment.
He would be fighting today’s battle personally, going to the frontlines as a guildmaster, so he needed
to be certain of victory. If it did not aid him, then he needed to set it aside, even if it was the ring that
symbolized the guild.

Without any hesitation, Suzuki Satoru exchanged his rings for ones which would be most effective
during the coming battle with Cure Elim, according to his analysis.

He placed the ten rings in front of himself and used a cash item. After that, he put them on, one after
the other.

With that, the rings registered to him were now these ten rings — the rings that would be most
effective in the battle against Cure Elim. In fact, the cash item that he had just used was one that
could change the rings registered to his fingers, and Suzuki Satoru only had two of them. Perhaps
using such a precious item was a foolish decision, but dying because he had held it in reserve would
be a total waste. Therefore, the most important thing was to prioritize his ability to win in the
upcoming battle.

Finally, he put on a pair of leather gloves. It was not a magic item; he had put it on to hide the rings
he was wearing.

It would seem Dragons had the ability to detect treasure.

While he did not know the level of this Dragon Lord or whether or not it still retained that ability, he
would go all-out in order to raise his chances of victory. If his opponent was stronger than he was,
then raising the odds against it by 1% or even 0.1% would be good.

After that, he adjusted his equipment loadout, selecting gear that was especially effective against the
undead or Dragons. 

Finally, he came to one of his trump cards for this battle — the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown.

As he looked upon the staff on his hand, Ainz smiled from the bottom of his heart.

This was something beyond even his wildest dreams, being able to wield the Guild Weapon —
which he had never used before — in a live battle. Surely his guildmates would not have thought of
such a thing.

“You are the proof of our guild’s existence. Let’s go.”

As if in response to Suzuki Satoru’s words, black smoke overflowed from the staff, as though it were
displaying its will.

Along the way, Suzuki Satoru thought of something — it was not entirely impossible, but the systems
within the staff might have actually developed a sapience of its own after coming to this 

“Take your pent-up resentment at having being sealed away for so long and pour it all out during this
battle. Prove the invincibility of ‘Ainz Ooal Gown’ with me!”

He was talking to himself. There was no way anyone could have responded to him. Yet Suzuki
Satoru felt a strange satisfaction.

Of course, that so-called invincibility was just big talk. They had suffered minor setbacks countless
times in the past. It was not like they had not experienced things like going to PK others and getting
PKed in turn. But the guild had never suffered a defeat that had been big enough to shake it. From
that point of view, if they could get back up again, it was not a true defeat.

He returned the staff into his inventory and took out the World-Class Item he usually equipped and
put it on. Now, he had the protection of the world.

If Cure Elim could use the same abilities as the Brightness Dragon Lord — namely, Wild Magic —
then he would be powerless against it without this item.

That was the end of his preparations.

Suzuki Satoru looked toward the fortress he had created. Should he say something to Keno before
beginning his battle against Cure Elim?

And then, Suzuki Satoru shook his head.

There was nothing to be said.

Nothing at all.

All that he had to do was win and safely return to her side.

The other matter was more important.

Suzuki Satoru sent a 「Message」, and gave directions in conjunction with that item that could play
the voices of his friends from the guild as it told the time.

After finishing this preparation work, he followed his previous route back into the mountains.

He could have greatly shortened his journey by casting 「Fly」 or a teleportation spell, but he did
not do so. Part of it was because he wanted to match up with the time, let his mana regenerate and
various other reasons, but it was also because Suzuki Satoru was still a little afraid.

In the past, he had fought under the assumption that he could escape, and he had set up many
methods of escape for himself.

This time, however, he could not flee.

Unlike the game YGGDRASIL, this was a battle that concerned Suzuki Satoru’s life.

“I’ve only fought the Brightness Dragon Lord once, I still haven’t gotten used to this.”

Suzuki Satoru stopped and looked at his bony white hands.

Was he imagining things, or were they trembling?

“…I’m scared.”

He had made up his mind once and for all just now, he had been determined to fight for a guild
member, and yet he had ended up like this.

Suzuki Satoru could not help laughing at himself.

“Alright… 「Breath Ward」.”

“「Bless of Magic Caster」.”
“「Infinity Wall」.”
“「Life Essence」.”
“「Mana Essence」.”
“「Greater Full Potential」.”
“「See Through」.”
“「Paranormal Intuition」.”
“「Greater Resistance」.”
“「Mantle of Chaos」.”
“「Sensor Boost」.”
“「Greater Luck」.”
“「Magic Boost」.”
“「Draconic Power」.”
“「Greater Hardening」.”
“「Heavenly Aura」.”
“「Venerate Up」.”
“「Resistance From Natural Weapons」.”
“「Greater Magic Shield」.”

He stacked layer after layer of buffs on himself.

His undead detection told him that Cure Elim had not moved during this time.

Suzuki Satoru felt a little uneasy. Had he underestimated the Dragon Lord?

Could this all be a trap? Had his opponent seen through all his actions beforehand and made
preparations to definitely kill him? Had he just left the Big Ball of Undeath there and fled somewhere
else long ago?

His uneasiness grew and grew. It was as though he was trying to give himself a reason to run away.

Suzuki Satoru could not help snorting in laughter.

He laughed at his weak self.

Suzuki Satoru fixed his eyes forward, raised his right foot, and took a step forward.

Then he did it again, with his left.

There was no stopping now.

Many reasons to flee appeared in his mind, but Suzuki Satoru ignored them all.

He was close to his objective.

And then — Suzuki Satoru, guildmaster of Ainz Ooal Gown, was face to face with Cure Elim.

“—Jester. I thought you had escaped, but here you are again? Have you come to swear your loyalty
to me? But… that equipment.”

His first sentence made Suzuki Satoru narrow his eyes.

There was no need to speak to him. Getting the first spell in would be wiser. However, he could inflict
spell damage at any time, but he ought to do what he could only do now. Of course, there was no
telling if that would bear fruit. However, he had to give it a try, however faint the chance.

Suzuki Satoru shouted.

“—This time! Let us have a real battle! Until one of us dies! Bring it, Dragon Lord!”


In contrast to Cure Elim, who was laughing merrily, Ainz took a stance as though to show off his

“Hmph, is that the source of your confidence? — I will not let you flee again!”

A thin, membranous substance expanded and seemed to cover the entire mountain. It was massive,
and looked to have an area measured in kilometers.

While he did not know its official name, Suzuki Satoru knew its effects.

It was a teleportation-blocking barrier. It was the first Wild Magic spell that the Brightness Dragon
Lord had used.

In other words — things had gone as he had anticipated.

However, it would be troublesome if it only looked the same, but was something else entirely. 

Suzuki Satoru gave an order with a silent 「Message」, and then shouted.

“What have you done!!!”

“Hmph, you said you wanted a battle to the death, did you not? Then we cannot have you fleeing like
last time.”

Suzuki Satoru cast a spell through the crystal. It was an extremely wasteful way of using it, but it was
a necessary action at this stage.

The spell he cast was a 「Widen Magic Shark Cyclone」. Normally, one could not store enhanced
spells inside a spell crystal, but Widen Magic was an exception.

A tornado 100 meters wide and 200 meters tall appeared. A black hurricane that churned up the
land separated the two of them.

Cure Elim began to move.

His vision was blocked by the tornado, and he could not see Cure Elim. However, Suzuki Satoru’s
undead-sensing ability picked up a massive undead reaction behind the tornado.

Before Cure Elim thought to break through the tornado — Suzuki Satoru charged in first.

He’s not wary or trying to evade… which side is he on?

The shapes swimming through the wildly-blowing winds — as though they were swimming through
the ocean — were six meter-long sharks, which were gnawing at the Zombies and chewing them to
bits. However, it was insignificant compared to Cure Elim’s massive body. Just entering the tornado
had gotten rid of a few Zombies which made up its exterior, but that was all. There were countless
Zombies on the surface of Cure’s body alone. Given the massive size difference between both
parties, Cure Elim planned to easily break through the tornado at the cost of a small number of

The gigantic Cure Elim would probably regard this tornado spell as meaningless resistance. One
could say that was why he had chosen the spell, but there was one thing he wanted to verify.

Suzuki Satoru began to think fast.

Why had Cure Elim chosen to charge through the tornado?

And when he found his answer, his response was, “I see.”

He had wondered if that was the case while wearing the ring, but now it was all clear.

Dragons typically had excellent eyesight. Sometimes, they could tell what was happening even when
a dust storm blocked their vision. Therefore, he did not actually need to charge into the tornado. All
he had to do was deploy Zombies from his feet and attack from safety behind the tornado. Surely
there was no reason for the arrogant Cure Elim to personally close the distance.

In that case, why had he chosen to break through?

The answer was because much like 「Undeath Slave Sight」, he had to rely on the Zombies’
eyesight when seeing through their eyes. Perhaps the Zombies that made up its eyes were magical
beasts with exceptional powers of vision, but they had lost various abilities after becoming Zombies.
Therefore, they had become Zombies whose vision was only slightly above average, and so Cure
Elim — hidden within the Zombies — would not be able to see through the tornado.

Of course, he could not conclude that it was not seeing through the Zombies on its wings or its legs.
But from Cure’s movements — the way it moved its head to lock onto targets, it was more likely that
it was using the Zombies in its head — specifically, in the eye region.

In that case, he had a move readied for it in advance.

Suzuki Satoru took the Guild Weapon from his inventory and hurled it out.

“—Go forth, Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown! Initiate automatic interception mode!”

The staff obeyed the order and began moving on its own.

At the same time, Suzuki Satoru used his ace in the hole.

It was a trump card that only a player with the job class of Eclipse could use.

The name of this trump card was “「The Goal of All Life Is Death」.”

A clock foretelling death appeared behind Suzuki Satoru, and then he cast a mighty spell on Cure
Elim as the latter drew close, through the tornado.

As though it were another Suzuki Satoru, the staff selected the most appropriate spell.

The staff was socketed with seven divine-class gemstones, with the elemental alignments of Sun,
Moon, Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and Time, with the ability to use each of the spells sealed within
each jewel.

It began with a spell from the Fire Gem.

It was the divine area-effect attack spell 「Fire Storm」.

The magical blaze consumed Cure Elim’s head. The undead making up its eyes were destroyed,
and Zombies crawled out from within to take their place.

Of course, he had already anticipated this. All he needed was to blind Cure Elim for a moment.

At the same time, Cure Elim’s legs slowed down by a hair, probably because it could not see. That
was an unexpected bonus.

Suzuki Satoru and and the staff moved out of Cure Elim’s path — taking care not to get trampled as
the latter charged over — and cast their spells.

A gigantic magic circle appeared around Suzuki Satoru.

This implied that he was casting a super-tier spell.

Suzuki Satoru used the cash item he had taken out, and truncated its casting time.

And then, what came forth was—

“「Tribute to the Black Bounty (Ia Shub-Niggurath)」!”

What seemed like a black breeze blew past him. And indeed, the tornado just now had been raising
gusts, not this spell. However, both of them were fundamentally different. The dark breath had no
physical effect, and at the same time it was not something that could be stopped by physical means.

The super-tier spell 「Ia Shub-Niggurath」 was not a particularly scary spell. The reason was that
was because all it did was inflict an instant-death effect, and it was useless against the undead,
golems, and other beings which had no life. While it was effective against living players and
enemies, it was hard to imagine anyone on Suzuki Satoru’s level not having immunity to instant

Indeed — it was a quaint little spell, which only had an instant-death effect. However, with the aid of
the Eclipse class’s skill, this spell suddenly transformed into a vicious, terrible magic.

The clock floating behind Suzuki Satoru’s back beeped twelve-o’clock, and as the spell cast, its
hands began moving. 

Meanwhile Suzuki Satoru had already begun his preparations for the next step.

He would not give Cure Elim any time to strategize. This was the moment of truth. If he allowed Cure
Elim to raise his defense by even a little, or if 「Ia Shub-Niggurath」 was disrupted, then it would
spell defeat for Suzuki Satoru.

Certainly, he could have cast 「Time Stop」. However, 「Time Stop」 had been ineffective against
the Brightness Dragon Lord which he had fought before, which meant that it was very likely that it
would also be useless against the Dragon Lord Cure Elim’s original body. However, it ought to be
effective against the Zombies surrounding Cure Elim. If those Zombies had the same defensive
strength as Cure Elim, then his first round of attack spells would have been ineffective, and he would
not have been able to defeat so many Zombies.

In other words, they were not equipped with magic items.

Equipped magic items added their abilities to their wearers and had the same resistances as them.
For instance, consider the necklace Suzuki Satoru had on, and if it were on the ground. While they
both had the same durability, the one on the ground would be more easily destroyed.

In other words, given the present circumstances, Cure Elim’s defenses did not apply to his Zombies.
They were not equipment; more like dominated undead clinging to its body.

In other words, the Zombies were just Zombies. If he cast 「Time Stop」, it ought to be effective
against the Zombie mass even if it was not effective against Cure Elim himself. That would make
them a prison for Cure Elim, who would be sealed inside them.

While he felt that it was an effective attack method, there was one thing about it which made him

Namely, where had the Brightness Dragon Lord’s time-stop resistance come from?

All of Suzuki Satoru’s time-stop resistance came from his gear. However, the Brightness Dragon
Lord did not look like the sort who used equipment. Did that mean it had innate resistance to it?

It would be fine if that was all. The question was whether said resistance could be applied to others,
as though it were a defensive spell.

Of course, even if it could cast a spell like that, it would not be wasted if he could force his opponent
to play a card. However, it would be troublesome if that ability worked against his trump card as well.

That was why Suzuki Satoru did not cast 「Time Stop」. 

Instead, he cast another spell.

His first objective was to buy time.

It would be bad if his opponent ignored everything and strengthened its defense, so he had to
confuse his opponent. He did not think that his opponent, as one of the undead, would lose its cool,
but if he could use a variety of attacks to make it forget about defending itself, all would be well.

At the same time, he dismissed 「Shark Cyclone」. He did not know if his timing was perfect, but
Suzuki Satoru discovered a dog Zombie which had been staying behind Cure Elim all this time. It
was far behind it, at a distance where he would not have been able to see if not for the keen vision
he had gained after becoming undead.

“「Armageddon - Evil」.”

Darkness gathered around Suzuki Satoru and formed a swirling vortex.

Then, a gurgling sound came from bubble-like objects around him, and demons were born from the

The first to appear were demons below level 10; there were a total of 128 of those Inferior Demons. 

There was no other word he could use to describe them other than “deformed.” Their heads were
swollen, their left arms were unnaturally thin, their massive right arms were made of several
tentacles twined together, and their legs were of different lengths. They did not possess anything to
tell their gender apart, and yellow pus oozed from countless small holes all over their bodies.

Their forms seemed to imply that they had been born solely to pollute the world.

These demons, made for destruction and slaughter, were not under Suzuki Satoru’s control. Instead,
they attacked everything around them. Given the circumstances, the only one near them was Cure
Elim, and so they attacked it.

And as the demonic horde began their attack—

“—You miserable little demons! Out of my way!”

Cure Elim’s roar brought a smile to Suzuki Satoru’s face.

That was it.

After abandoning the surface Zombies on its head, Cure Elim’s body began moving again after
regaining its eyesight, forming thick tentacles of Zombies. Over 20 tentacles shot out at the demons.

One could not defeat the demons by swatting them one by one. However, the tentacle Zombies
grabbed and bound the demons, then dragged them into Cure Elim’s body. It was very difficult for
lesser demons to resist the strength of ten-odd Zombies.

The demons which were swallowed up were immobilized and brutalized, and soon they were
reduced to vile dross and returned to the netherworld. 

However, that was fine.

It was fine because it was like this.

One could say that it would be troublesome if he had taken a long time to beat them. 

He had summoned them because they were very weak. Perhaps it might have been more
troublesome if Cure Elim did not know they were demons and treated them as powerful foes. Having
won his bet, Suzuki Satoru did not let a mocking smile show on his face.

The bubble-like objects around Suzuki Satoru formed into a vortex again, and now demons of
around level 20 appeared — 「Hell Scythes」.

These demons looked like a fusion between praying mantises, humans, and other creatures. Their
gigantic scythes shone with a steely glint, and they were coated in poison.

There were 64 of these demons in all.

Much like the Inferior Demons from before, they spread their praying mantis-like wings and flew
towards Cure Elim.

Perhaps he was starting to panic because of their numbers, but Cure Elim’s body began to writhe.
Then, tentacles formed of Dragons, Giants, and other mighty beings hurtled towards the Demons.

One of them extended towards Suzuki Satoru.

“「Wall of Skeleton」”

The wall that appeared clashed with the tentacle. It was incredibly fast and tremendously massive,
but that alone made it a very powerful attack. One could say it was like a car driving straight at him.

The wall formed of countless bones could not resist that overwhelming destructive power and was
destroyed. At the same time, chunks of flesh from the Zombies that made up the tentacle scattered
in all directions as said tentacle broke through the wall.


“Too late. Time’s up.”

As Suzuki Satoru — who had been quietly counting down in his head — said that, the clock which
foretold doom had finished a circuit, and both hands once more pointed to the sky.

In that moment — the world died.

The land became a desert. Even the air became a thing of death.

Zombies of all kinds — there were most definitely more than 400,000 of them, and quite possibly
more than a million — rained down on the desertified land. Suzuki Satoru flew back, clearing a large
gap between them.

The demons needed to breathe, and so that spell had caught them in it and killed them too. But that
meant nothing to Suzuki Satoru. That was because Cure Elim’s true form was completely exposed
at last.

That mass of undead creatures had truly been made in imitation of Cure Elim’s body. They looked
very similar, but his true form looked very graceful in comparison. It was an undead Dragon, with a
body like a feline predator, whose legs and neck were both very long.

At the same time, black bubbles appeared around him, and from them emerged demons of around
level 30 or so, Rotting Demons. They were over two meters tall, with tarry black skin that resembled
bubbling swamps. The bubbles rose to the surface and burst, releasing a yellow mist. Despite being
surrounded by these demons who were wreathed in rot-inducing gas,Suzuki Satoru was not
affected, because he was undead.

There were 32 of them in all.

Suzuki Satoru shrugged.

“You’ve shrunk, Dragon Lord.”

“—So you were the filth of the Dragon Emperor. That spell… that powerful panoply… I would never
forget it…”

Its voice echoed with heartfelt hatred. Suzuki Satoru remembered that the Brightness Dragon Lord
had said something along those lines too, and kept his eyes trained in Cure Elim. Of course he did
not forget to press the button on the bracelet which had his friend’s voice stored in it.

“Don’t you think it’s a bit too late to notice that now?”

“…Your jester act was truly magnificent. I was completely deceived by your charade.”

The black bubbles appeared again, and the demons which appeared this time were around level 40,
Supplicants. They had female bodies with long hair and bluish-white skin, and that alone would not
make one think that they were demons. However, their eyes, noses and mouths were all sewn up
with thread, and their hands were also sewn together as though begging the gods for mercy. There
were eight of them.

Cure Elim used his foreleg to sweep aside the Rotting Demons that flew at him, killing them in one

The summoned demons charged at Cure Elim in unison, as though they had been waiting for that
chance. However, Cure Elim trained its crimson eyes on Suzuki Satoru, entirely unmoved, as though
it wanted to indicate that Suzuki Satoru was its only opponent. It lashed out with its forelimbs, wings,
and tail, destroying the demons one after the other. 

Cure Elim was completely unaffected by the Supplicants’ “sigh” or the Rotting Demons’ “rotting gas”
special attacks. It was probably not just because it was undead, but also because it had resistances
to them.

The demons changed over to attacking with magic, but due to the differences in their levels, the
damage they did was insignificant.

As Suzuki Satoru watched all this, he remained as cautious as ever. Originally, Suzuki Satoru had
placed Cure Elim in the same category as the Brightness Dragon Lord. It would be child’s play for
such a powerful being to wipe out demons like that. If Suzuki Satoru took a combination attack like
that, even he would have taken great to disastrous levels of damage.

Of course, he had no intention of taking it.

More black bubbles spewed forth, and the demons which appeared were around level 50 — War
Devils. They were demons who wore full plate armor and looked like warriors. They held bastard
swords wreathed in black hellfire, and their black wings protruded through their armor. They actually
looked pretty cool, and there were four of them.

Normally, the spell would summon two level 60ish demons and one more level demon of around
level 70, but Suzuki Satoru cancelled that and instead chose to summon more lower-level demons
instead. And so, there were twice as many level demons ranging from level 10 to 30.

This was when the spell’s effects ended.

The War Devils used their skill, a commander-type buff which improved the abilities of all summoned
demons. However, Cure Elim used its long tail to sweep back and forth, destroying the demons as
they pulled away to cast spells. A minor stat buff meant nothing to a high-level Dragon.

Cure Elim seemed abnormally calm as it neatly exterminated the demons.

This isn’t good, Suzuki Satoru thought. It would be better if it had continued underestimating him like
just now.

“Now then, time for you to die. Your—”

“—Waitwaitwaitwait, are you really in such a rush? I’d like to ask you something, ah, what’s that, die
without regrets part, can’t you even spare that little bit of kindness for me?”

“I have no mercy for your kind, you fools who pollute this world.”

Cure Elim coiled himself up with a whoosh.

Dragons resembled feline predators in some ways, such as their dextrous movements. Cure Elim’s
stance must mean that it was planning to pounce on its prey — Suzuki Satoru.

It would seem it planned to ignore all the demons around it. Of course, that was not a mistake. If
Suzuki Satoru were faced with beings that could harm it and beings that could not harm it, then it
would be obvious which ones he would be wary of.

After deciding he could no longer buy time, Suzuki Satoru began goading Cure Elim. While his place
was to make his opponent act without being able to calm down, he had the feeling that it would be
ineffective, given that his adversary was undead.

“Fuhahaha, where has your smile gone? What happened to your laxity? Take your time—”

Cure Elim’s eyes narrowed in hate.

“—And savor your destruction, filth of the Dragon Emperor!”

And then, as though casting those words behind it, Cure Elim began to sprint, its feet crushing the
Zombie corpses flat. Even so, they did not affect the speed at which he was closing in.

The War Devils which had flown between the two of them were struck by its charge and were
knocked far away. While they had not been killed in one hit, their injuries were such that they were
practically dead.

“Oi oi,” Suzuki Satoru smiled as Cure Elim closed in. “I’m not done attacking yet.”

A black orb floated in the air.

It fell to the ground, as though waiting for Suzuki Satoru to speak.

This sudden development led Cure Elim to spring far, far away, keeping its distance from Suzuki
Satoru. How had it managed to cancel its previous velocity and suddenly retreat, as if in defiance of

The fallen black orb ruptured like a bag of water hitting the ground, or like a ripe fruit splitting open.
Its contents spilled out, a black, tarry substance that did not reflect the light at all, a sticky black fluid
that looked like it would dye anything it touched jet black.

It swallowed all the Zombies.

The black mud-like substance soaked his feet, but Suzuki Satoru was not afraid.

He kept an eye on Cure Elim, who was busy destroying demons. Suzuki Satoru made no attempt to
attack and seemed utterly at ease.

A tree grew between the two of them.

There was one at first, and then their number went up. Two, three, five, ten… they were tentacles,
waving despite the lack of wind.


Suddenly, he heard the adorable bleating of a goat. And it was not just one of them — it made one
think that there would be a whole horde of them.

As though pulled by that sound, the tarry liquid emitted a hollow moan, and then something seemed
to emerge from it.

Those beings were abnormal, far too abnormal.

They were roughly 10 meters tall, but there was no telling how much that number would be if he
included their tentacles.

They looked like turnips, but with countless black tentacles in place of their leaves. Their thick roots
resembled lumps of flesh, and below them were five legs, like those of black goats.

The root portion — that is, the lumpy section — was fissured and split open, in more than one place.

Even Cure Elim simply watched the proceedings warily. It did not seem to have any intention of

That reminded Suzuki Satory of the Dragon Lord he had fought before.

Ahhh, so that’s it. These guys… they’ve never fought beings on their level before, or at least, not

Sensing an opportunity, Suzuki Satoru smiled, and then—


—The adorable bleating of goats came from those fissures.

They were maws that oozed sticky drool.

The five fearsome monsters which had appeared were called the “Dark Young.”

They were monsters that appeared in numbers proportionate to the victims of the spell 「Ia Shub-

While they did not have any potent special abilities, they had exceptional defensive power, and they
were over level 90.

“Hoho, this is a high score… Cure Elim, it seems the people you sacrificed for your stupid plan all
long for your death!”

That was impossible. The dead could no longer have wills of their own.

However, that might be possible in this world. The idea that the Dark Young had taken the last
wishes of the dead onto themselves refused to leave Suzuki Satoru’s head.

Their tentacles were extremely long, and they seemed eager for Suzuki Satoru to give an order.
Perhaps that was the case.

“—Alright, go!”

The Dark Young bleated and charged at Cure Elim.

Cure Elim’s tail struck a Dark Young dead center and gouged out part of its body, and its tarry blood
spewed forth. However, it trembled for only a moment, and then its thick legs trod the ground firmly,
with hardly any decrease in its forward momentum.


Perhaps it had thought the Dark Young would have been sent flying, or that it would disappear like
the other demons. The Dark Young closed in on Cure Elim as it spoke in a confused voice, and they

It was Cure Elim who was knocked back.

The Dark Young surrounded it and made their move, striking Cure Elim countless times with their
tentacles, some of them even moving up to bite it.

“Don’t look down on me!”

Surrounded by the Dark Young, Cure Elim twisted and dodged like a cat, using its wings, tail, legs
and fangs to counterattack.

Just then, Suzuki Satoru cast a spell on him. He no longer needed to pretend that he was too
arrogant to cast spells. Now, he would seal off his opponent’s choices and lead him onto the path he
had prepared.

The spell Suzuki Satoru had cast was 「Lopsided Duel」.

It was a third tier spell. It bound the caster to the target such that whenever the target tried to flee by
teleportation, both caster and target would appear in the same place.

It could even ignore the target’s use of 「Delay Teleportation」 and teleport both of them to the
designated location. However, this spell had a fatal flaw. If the target teleported among its friends,
then the caster would be brought to the same place thanks to the binding, whereupon he would be

That was why such a seemingly-useful spell was found in the third tier. Before it was patched, one
could cast it on a teammate and piggyback off their teleportation, but after the patch it could only be
cast on enemies.

Of course, if Cure Elim decided to teleport to the Brightness Dragon Lord or a similarly potent
Dragon Lord, immediate escape would be his top priority. As the name 「Lopsided Duel」 implied,
this spell had the advantage that if the caster teleported away, his opponent would not be teleported
with him, which made fleeing easy.

Next, the guild staff also cast a spell.

It was the eighth tier spell 「Dimensional Lock」. 

While demons, angels, and other outsiders often used this ability as a skill, this spell had the same
function. This spell prevented instantaneous movement through means such as teleportation outside
its area, but it did not hamper physical movement. In order to avoid this, he had to keep an eye on
every move that Cure Elim made.

Cure Elim was within the area of the 「Dimensional Lock」. If it tried to escape the area and teleport
away, 「Lopsided Duel」 would take effect.

Suzuki Satoru and the guild staff had constructed a magical prison. The Dark Young served as a
physical prison.

It would seem the Dark Young found the demons attacking them bothersome.

While they had been summoned by the same caster, the demons summoned through
「Armageddon - Evil」 were valid targets for attack. However that was the reason why summoned
monsters could coexist.

Since he could not give orders to the demons, who were not under his control, he had no choice but
to instruct the Dark Young to bear with it.

Suzuki Satoru ordered the Dark Young to “bear with it because the demons can’t do you much harm
even if you don’t defend against them,” and then cast a spell.

“「Triplet Maximize Magic Reality Slash」.”

The attack spell of the highest order ripped into Cure Elim’s body.

This was probably the most amount of damage it had taken in all its battles to date, and Cure Elim’s
eyes looked like they were trying to burn through Suzuki Satoru.

The guild staff cast the spell imbued within the Sun Gem — 「Shining Blast」.

This was an area-effect attack spell, which did extra damage to evil creatures and the undead, with
more damage the lower their karma value was. In turn, as their targets’ karma increased, it would do
less or no damage to them.

Of course, the Dark Young would also be harmed, being that Cure Elim was in their midst. However,
the karma value of the Dark Young was 0, despite their appearances, so they did not take much

However, the demons which had taken damage from the area effect began to consider the guild staff
as an enemy. That said, since the staff was considered part of their summoners’ equipment and the
demons were bound by the sole rule of “do not attack your summoner,” they did not attack it.

The way the demons redoubled the intensity of their attack on Cure Elim and the Dark Young might
make one think that they were venting their frustration.

“Ohhhhhhhh! Damn you! Damn you, you filtttthhhhh!”

Cure Elim’s voice sounded strained. It was in check now. A minor level difference meant nothing as
the last piece fell into place.

However, it would be a different matter if Cure Elim had been a certain other individual that Suzuki
Satoru knew. It was precisely because Suzuki Satoru knew that tank, a monster who could make
their attackers wonder exactly how they had been damaged, that he did not ease up.

“「Triplet Maximize Magic Reality Slash」.”

He kept casting the most powerful attack spell he knew because he was determined not to give the
enemy time to catch its breath and to defeat it here. At the same time, the guild staff cast a spell.

“「Summon Primal Fire Elemental」.”

The flames that spiralled into the sky reached a full six meters in height and then slowly condensed
into a humanoid shape. 

This was the best move he could make, by further solidifying his advantage.

While Suzuki Satoru had wanted to do such a thing himself, he could not do so, much to his regret.

The summoned Primal Fire Elemental worked its way between the Dark Young and punched Cure
Elim with flaming fists.

“「Triplet Maximize Magic Reality Slash」.”

The guild staff cast the ninth tier divine spell 「Crack In The Ground」.

Just as Cure Elim was wounded by the 「Reality Slash」, the ground split open and a fissure gripped Cure Elim’s leg, leaving him stuck there like an animal in a bear trap.

The instant-death effect had not activated, as he had expected. However, the damage over time and
movement impediment effects should have applied.

While he did not know how fissures could form on a desert, such was the effect of the spell.

I’ve won, no—

Suzuki Satoru immediately tensed up in the moment he felt himself relax.

It was true that Cure Elim ought to be out of options given the present circumstances. Even Touch
Me would not — probably — be able to break out of this. But it would be a different matter if Cure
Elim still had a trump card in store. It was much like the battle with the Brightness Dragon Lord —
Dragon Lords of that level had a super move in the form of Wild Magic. He could not lower his guard

As the guild staff cast its attack spells, Suzuki Satoru observed Cure Elim’s rear, its right, above it,
and then put a bracelet on. How well would his own ace in the hole be able to adapt to the
circumstances, and what kind of play would his opponent make? This ought to be the moment that
determined victory and defeat.

…Keno… I’ll safely return to your side...

Why, Cure Elim thought amidst the chaos.

Why had he been driven to such desperate circumstances despite his immaculate planning? The
Dragon Emperor’s filth — why had he, the most self-sacrificing of the six Dragons that had prepared
to annihilate the masterminds who had polluted this world, been forced into a situation like this?

The answer was very simple.

Cure Elim knew that foes of its level existed, but it had never fought them.

In the past, it had avoided entities on the same level as Suzuki Satoru. That was not because it was
weak, but because its intelligence had told it that they could not be beaten.

It was because it had been so intelligent that Cure Elim had lost the chance to understand and learn.
The importance of prior preparation. The right way of using power. The importance of swallowing
one’s pride and working with others. It had not understood any of that.

Suzuki Satoru and Cure Elim.

Those were the differences between these two mighty beings.

While it had been a game, Suzuki Satoru had accumulated vast amounts of experience in battles
with his equals, and he understood the importance of fighting with his friends. In turn, Cure Elim
knew nothing about these.

If Cure Elim had some relevant experience, it would not have been reduced to this state. It might
have been able to kill Suzuki Satoru.

But — it did not.

Therefore, it was only natural that Suzuki Satoru — who had analyzed his foe’s abilities and made
preparations to guarantee his victory — should be able to triumph.

However, that was only in theory. One could not simply conclude that in reality.

There was also the difference in their individual power.

It was just like how an ant could not hope to bother an elephant, no matter how hard it prepared. A
difference in individual power could become the ultimate obstacle. Dragons were still the mightiest
species even after becoming undead, because their basic abilities far exceeded those of Suzuki

And True Dragon Lords all possessed a certain mighty power. In Cure Elim’s case, he had been
honing that power, preparing to deal with Players.

That was the reason Cure Elim had made himself this way.

Wild Magic.

The Wild Magic that Cure Elim could use was considered the most vicious of all the spells that the
Dragon Lords could cast.

Naturally, it required a massive price to be paid.

But as Cure Elim sensed that it would be destroyed if this kept up, it cast the spell.

Cure Elim’s opened its mouth.

It was not in the way that a serpent would swallow its prey. Its mouth gradually split open, until the
fissure reached its long neck. The split portion hung down, as though to make a gigantic maw
several dozen meters wide in order to devour everything.

And then, it spewed forth from that massive mouth.

“Soulbreaker Breath”.

It was a Wild Magic spell considered to be on par with the World-Class item Longinus. It was an
irresistible power that would discorporate the soul of anything it touched.

This utterly malignant power consumed everything present.

Keno’s eyes went wide as she looked at the black orb floating over the mountain.

She could tell that it was huge, even from a great distance.

What was that? What on earth had happened? Question after question piled on top of each other,
but in the end, the most important one was “What kind of power could have created something that

Was it a secret technique wielded by Suzuki Satoru, her travelling companion? Or was it the power
of the mysterious person who had taken Keno’s country, Keno’s family, Keno’s everything away from

Regardless of what it was, this was not something that Keno’s own power could hope to achieve.
This was the nigh-miraculous power wielded by those faraway individuals who stood upon the apex
of the world.

It would be good if that was Suzuki Satoru’s power. No — it was not good.

It would mean that Suzuki Satoru, who could casually crush any foe he encountered — apart from
the Brightness Dragon Lord — had encountered someone who warranted the use of that power.

In other words, Suzuki Satoru’s opponent was as strong as he was.

Suzuki Satoru’s might was beyond question.

He was the person she had spent the most time with other than her family, and Keno had learned
that much about him over the course of five years of travel.

He had many flaws.

He had terrible taste in naming. He laughed at the strangest things. He treated the living badly. He
made up incredible stories at the drop of a hat. He would gladly sacrifice the lives of others for
himself — and for Keno. He was a very cruel person.

Even so, he had many virtues.

He was very polite to everyone. He was very curious. He always looked forward to the unknown and
things he had encountered for the first time with a sparkle in his eye. At some point, he had learned
how to properly comb out her hair. He treated her as an equal, even though she was weak and could
only hold him back. And most importantly — he was very kind.

Keno hugged her flat, childlike chest, which would never grow.

He was a man who could protect her while fighting against an incredible monster like the Brightness
Dragon Lord, and who had managed to retreat safely from it in the end. Surely he would be able to
return safely to her side as well, right?

Even if she believed it — no, even if she wanted to believe it — she could not help but feel uneasy
after seeing such great power.

“You’ll come back, right? You’ll return safely to me, right?”

He was the one who had saved her, after she had lost everything.

He was the one that she believed would continue saving her.

Keno Fasris Invern had gained eternal life. As a being detested by the living, even if she made living
friends, they would eventually die before her.

And then, when she was like this, that night had come.

Being able to meet him in the city was great good fortune.

He would walk with her towards eternity. He would never let her feel the loneliness of being
abandoned in this world. Her meeting with him was destined by fate.


But now, he was not by her side, and he might abandon her at any moment and flee. This
uneasiness tormented Keno.

He had gone out there for her. Keno knew that very well, and she was very grateful for it.

“Do your best, Satoru…”

Keno prayed.

She had once believed in the gods, but after becoming undead, the gods in her heart had died as
well. She understood one thing, which was that no matter what prayers one might have, the gods
would not answer them.

Therefore, her prayer was directed to one person only.

The only person who had eased her pain.

Her prayer was to Suzuki Satoru alone.

Please return safely to me.

He could see something black in Cure Elim’s mouth — something that sent a shiver down the spine
of even an undead being like Suzuki Satoru. It was something so overwhelming that his biological
instincts — though he was undead — were responding to it.

It was too dangerous, too dreadful.

Faced with this breath that far eclipsed his own power, Suzuki Satoru lost his cool and shouted,
“Dark Young, block—”

There was nothing wrong with that order. However, it had come too late.

Cure Elim expelled something that looked like a massively thick beam of light.

That beam consumed everything.

In just a moment — no, perhaps it was because he was linked to the Dark Young — Suzuki Satoru
could feel the Dark Young being annihilated, right before the beam touched himself. That level 90-
plus meat shield, whose defensive strength was higher than Suzuki Satoru’s own, had been

It was probably not some kind of instant-death effect, since the Dark Young resisted that.

Then what was it — Suzuki Satoru thought of the trump card he had just used. Was it something like

But the black beam that Cure Elim had released did not have the weaknesses of his own move.

Was it an improved version of his skill?

The black beam whipped around wildly with the twisting of Cure Elim’s long neck and destroyed
another Dark Young. The Primal Fire Elemental was also unable to resist the instant eradication.
Then it was the third and fourth Dark Young, along with the demons. And then — Suzuki Satoru
remembered a video clip. It was a video made when a player who had been about to retire had
attached an item to an important NPC. Amidst the storm of curses like “God dammit!” “Fucking hell!”
“Son of a bitch!” and so on which had filled the video—

It was—

“Long— 「Wall of Skeleton」!”

At the same time, the staff cast 「Veil of Moon」.

Both defenses deployed before him at the same time. It was a double-layered defense, composed of
a physical barrier and an immaterial magical barrier.

However, part of his mind was coolly contemplating the fact that defensive barriers were useless
against a World-Class Item like Longinus. 

In fact, the black beam had easily pierced the barriers — as though they were not there — and
swallowed up everything.

The beam of darkness racing out at him had no obvious destructive power — or pressure — to it.

Yet, it was a fatal blow.

With all the interfering nuisances destroyed, Cure Elim pulled its leg out of the fissure.

Although it hurt a little when it raised its leg, that did not matter. Perhaps if it were alive, not taking
care of the wound might have inflicted a reduction in movement speed due to a damaged limb, but
such a negative status effect meant nothing to the undead.

In addition, pain held no fear for the undead.

This was one of the three reasons why Cure Elim — who had once been a coward — had chosen to
become undead.

Cure Elim glared hatefully in front of itself with its crimson eyes — at the world that had been
transformed into a desert that was utterly set apart from the living, and within it, a wall of bones and
a shimmering, multicolored wall which looked like a curtain of thin cloth.

Its keen draconic senses spoke to it.

The one who had polluted the world was still there. As though they were waiting for Cure Elim to
realize that, the two walls vanished as though they had melted away into the air.

The magic caster who had driven Cure Elim to its wit’s end stood calmly in front of it. Beside it was a
floating staff.

While it had no reason to doubt its own senses, its opposition had not been hurt in any way.

Walls like those could not stop the Soulbreaker Breath. That being the case, how had its opponent
done this?

Perhaps he had teleported out of its range while Cure Elim’s line of sight had been obscured. The
World-Warping Barrier it had opened with simply interfered with teleportation through it. Teleportation
was possible as long as the start and end points were both inside the barrier. He could have simply
teleported to the edge of the barrier and then walked right through the barrier itself.

In that case, had he evaded the beam in that way? The answer was — no.

It was impossible to avoid it that way. In that case, there was only one other way to stop that attack.

“Wild Magic…”

Cure Elim’s face twisted in utter hatred. The fact that it was undead was the only reason it could
control its powerful emotions. However, the raging passions inside it could not accept that fact. It
flared up, calmed down, and then flared up over and over again.

“Destroy, you. Filth. Not even your bones will remain—”

Just then, its enemy extended a hand. He was probably trying to say “wait, hold on.”

“—Cure Elim. My name is Suzuki Satoru.”

What else was there to say at this point? Cure Elim’s face knotted up.

There was no point in knowing such a thing. Or was he trying to award it the name of the opponent it
had destroyed, as a sort of trophy?”

That only displeased it more.

If its opponent had been an equal, then the name would have been worth remembering. However,
simply keeping the names — even a fragment — of those excrescences in its mind made it want to
throw up

“Would you call every single piece of filth in your way by name? You world-polluting fiiiiiilllttthhh!”

Its anger became a mighty roar. The explosion of wrath seemed to shake the very earth. 

However, its foe simply shrugged. Such composure made Cure Elim all the more wary of him.

Its opponent was unhurt, while its own stamina was greatly depleted. Was that why he could be so
calm? Or was he laying some sort of trap?

“—Shall we make a deal now?”

Cure Elim was taken aback by those words. For a moment, he could not parse their meaning.

“…What. Are. You. Saying!? We’ve come all this way and you still!?”

“My aim was not to destroy you. Actually, I simply came here to investigate what was going on here,
if there was a way to dispel your undead-conversion spell. Do you know? The surrounding countries
have promised a huge reward for it, you know?”

It could not be sure if this was the truth. However, it was possible that those contaminated rabble
were trying to do something about the result of Cure Elim’s magic.

However, that only made Cure Elim even angrier.

Challenging it for such an utterly pointless motive as money was incredibly infuriating.

Cure Elim glared silently at its enemy.

Several seconds, no, almost a minute had gone by. Its opponent had probably sensed that Cure
Elim did not want to speak, and so it continued talking.

“Money is very important, and it would be wonderful if I could obtain it without having to kill you…
because exterminating you would be a source of additional income. In other words, I’d like to get
paid twice for the same job… ah, yes, I have another question. All the Dragons I know amass larger
hoards of treasure as they get stronger. Does the same thing apply to you too? If I kill you, that
means I’ll be able to lay my hands on a huge pile of—”

Suddenly, several spells exploded against Cure Elim’s body.

They were high-tier force-element attack spells.

They easily pierced the barrier protecting its body and dealt significant damage. This was a group of
fairly high-tier magic casters. 

Cure Elim hurriedly twisted its neck, looking for the source of the spells — behind it.

There were several undead creatures there. Its draconic senses told it that the staves of those
undead contained great power.

And dangling from the necks of those undead was — Cure Elim turned to stare at its enemy.

“Didn’t we agree that it would be one-on-one!?”

Demons, those black monsters, and that staff. Cure Elim had nothing to say about those. Anything
you could summon by your own power was part of your own strength. After all, Cure Elim had
amassed 1,200,000 Zombies. However, this was different. Bringing backup was not covered under a
one-on-one battle. Surely anyone would feel like Cure Elim did, no matter how they tried to look at it.

However, its enemy shrugged lightly and nonchalantly replied, “Hah? We’re trying to kill each other,
aren’t we? Why do I have to obey such a rule? Anything goes as long as you win. As long as you

Its mind went white for a moment—

“You bastaaaaaaaaaarrrd!”

Cure Elim broke into a sprint. But it was not headed for its enemy. Rather, it was headed behind, at
the undead who had cast spells at its back.

It was easy to tell who was easier to eliminate. Reducing the number of distractions was essential.

“You despicable scum!”

That dialogue had only been intended to buy time for his reinforcements to show up.

Falling into a trap like that and binding itself with the rules of the word “one-on-one” was truly foolish.
No, not expecting his opponent to fight dirty like that was a disgrace.

As expected of filth.

And for believing a bald-faced lie coming from filth like that, Cure Elim had truly been a fool.

Though it was undead, it held on to its rage, and Cure Elim rushed at the band of undead with what
was probably its greatest speed to date.

Several high-tier spells flew at it from straight ahead, wearing down at Cure Elim’s health.

And then behind it was the high-tier magic of the Dragon Emperor’s filth. It was a vile spell, with
overwhelming power that could rip its body asunder with three invisible slashes. However, it
understood that the spells from the undead band would destroy it before it could annihilate the first
enemy, so it had no choice but to ignore the spell.

Its draconic senses told it that a great wind was blowing. That wind gusted up to the sky.

It shifted its line of sight and saw a mighty Wind Elemental, on par with the Fire Elemental from just
now. Its opponent was probably trying to gain control of the airspace and suppress Cure Elim.

Suddenly, the word “retreat” flashed through Cure Elim’s mind. However, it was immediately
forgotten as it saw the group of undead before it waving their staves.

“Get out of my sight, fangs of the filth!”

Unlike that filth, these undead were not as powerful. Still, it would use Wild Magic to augment its
tail’s destructive power, just in case.

After sweeping away these nuisances, it would take care of that enemy. When the time came, Cure
Elim would use that magic on its claws and fangs, and finish things in close combat to prevent him
from fleeing. It would seize with its claws and pin it to the ground, then crunch him to pieces with its

Perhaps it ought to widen its World-Separating Wall to prevent enemy reinforcements from further
intervening. But that would drain a great deal of power, and so it would prefer not to use it. However,
it might have no choice, depending on the circumstances.

It reached the filth’s lackeys, and then used its long tail to sweep all of them with wind-parting force.


Cure Elim was shocked. Something had been destroyed when its tailed had swept through the filth.
However, nearly half of the undead seemed intact.

Cure Elim did not consider its tail swipes to be the mightiest of its kind. It would probably be nothing
much compared to the Swordmaster Dragon Lord. However, it was impossible for them to be unhurt.

Had they completely defended against it somehow? Or — could it be, those undead were as
powerful as the Dragon Emperor’s filth?

The latter was impossible. If that was the case, he should have thrown them into the fray from the
beginning. If not, then what other reason could there be?

Spells flew from the remaining undead and pared away at Cure Elim’s strength. The enemy
approaching from behind also cast two spells at it. The Air Elemental did not seem to have

What should it do?

How could it turn this situation around?

Cure Elim thought.

In the end, it came to the two options of “fight” or “flight.”

One Cure Elim said that it ought to flee. Cure Elim barely had any vitality left. Under these
circumstances, it would be very difficult to defeat that intact opponent. Now was the time to retreat
for the time being and readjust itself before fighting again.

But the other Cure Elim said this: Are you going to run again? After depleting your collected souls
and using Wild Magic and having nothing to show for it? Will you let it end like this?

That’s right!

Cure Elim had already bade its weak self farewell.

It was no longer its old self.

It swore to annihilate the filth of the Dragon Emperor, here and now.

Having made up its mind, Cure Elim used its most powerful attack 

While it had been ineffective against its most hated enemy, there was no way it would not work
against the undead before it.


Cure Elim fired the huge black beam from its mouth.

Suzuki Satoru verified that as he used 「Fly」 to close the distance

The members of “Corpus of the Abyss” who had been forced into the battle had been annihilated.
Even the Primal Air Elemental that was airborne to ward against Cure Elim taking flight had met the same fate.

Naturally, Suzuki Satoru had been attacked as well. However, it had no effect on him because of the
protection of his World-Class Item.

If this were in the game, Suzuki Satoru would have screamed “you shitty devs” at the idea that such
a broken attack could be used twice in rapid succession. However, in a live battle, he had no choice
but to accept it.

Suzuki Satoru breathed a sigh of relief.

The fact that his opponent had chosen to stand and fight instead of fleeing made him happier than
being able to nullify that attack.

Of course, that was why he had chosen to provoke his enemy. However, taking the special qualities
of the undead into consideration, it was very likely that it might have chosen to flee once the situation
proved untenable. Suzuki Satoru would have run if things had turned disadvantageous. His
opposition had no reason not to do so either. Therefore, he had been very lucky.

However, it was strange that his opponent had not called for its friends. If one could not win alone,
then surely one would choose to attack in a group.

Suzuki Satoru mentally tilted his head in puzzlement.

Was that because of pride or something?

If that were the case, then it would truly be laughable.

The arrogance of the strong was delicious to the weak.

The members of “Corpus of the Abyss” vanished, and Cure Elim’s ray stopped.

Suzuki Satoru gave them his sincere thanks. Cure Elim turned, and then it spoke — in a voice that
was surprisingly calm, but which was laced with undertones of a blazing inferno.

“One more time, I can only use this one more time.”

It was a lie.

Suzuki Satoru scoffed at Cure Elim’s words. Where could one find an enemy who would reveal their

“This day — all my efforts up to this day! To think! To think!”

There was no need to reply. His response to Cure Elim’s cry was an attack spell. In truth, the staff
had already indicated that Suzuki Satoru should “fuck this bitch up.” However Suzuki Satoru could
not help answering Cure Elim.

“—You ruined my friend’s life and plunged her into an abyss of misfortune! Your life’s work deserves
to end in nothing, you son of a bitch!”

There was no more need for words.

“「Triplet Maximize Magic Reality Slash」—”

“—「Triplet Magic Wall of Skeleton」.”

Suzuki Satoru’s eyes went wide.

A wall of bones suddenly appeared in front of Cure Elim, intercepting the 「Reality Slash」.

Behind the wall of bones that had been rent by the 「Reality Slash」 was Cure Elim, whose torso
was coiled in preparation to lunge.

It had never used tier-based spells until now. Did it still have the strength to fight? 

Suzuki Satoru began to panic.

His opponent’s health was almost gone, but its mana was still full.

He sensed the staff asking him “Can we smack him down now?” and responded with “Wait a bit.”

“「Triplet Magic Undying Flame」.”

As that fifth tier spell took effect, Cure Elim’s hooked claws and fangs blazed with bluish-white flame.
This was a spell that added negative energy and fire damage.

He had finished all the experiments he had planned over the past five years. However, it looked like
it had been patched. The bug that caused undead targets struck by it to gain infinite healing was no

In that case, it was probably just planning to add fire damage to its natural attacks. That would make
it an even lower-tier spell.

—Is it in some kind of mode where it can only use spells of the necromantic specialization?

He theorized that this was the case, but he lacked the information to draw a conclusion.

Suzuki Satoru had not prepared any spells specifically to deal with Cure Elim. Instead, he ordered
the staff: “Go.”

The spell it cast was called “Summon Primal Water Elemental.”

The water erupting from the ground took on a massive humanoid shape. At the same time, Cure
Elim charged without hesitation. Upon seeing this, Suzuki Satoru could not help but feel relieved.

His opponent was clearly trying to achieve victory in close combat — because it did not want to get
drawn into a long-range fight. Simply put, his foe had decided that it would lose to Suzuki Satoru in a
shooting war of spells. From that point of view, he could conclude that even with ample mana, his
opponent would not be able to make full use of it under these circumstances.

And the most important thing was that his foe had chosen close combat, while Suzuki Satoru had
already summoned up a shield.

In that case, why had it waited until now to use tiered spells? As Suzuki Satoru thought, he arrived at
a possible answer.

Cure Elim did not want to use the magic that he called “the Dragon Emperor’s filth.” Therefore, it had
only cast aside his taboo against tiered magic right at the end, when it had been driven into

Ahhh, what an idiot.

Suzuki Satoru mocked Cure Elim’s stupidity.

In truth, Cure Elim could have won.

Due to the difference in their sizes, it could have trampled Suzuki Satoru flat. However, its
carelessness, its ignorance, and most importantly, its arrogance had all contributed to its defeat.

Even in the face of this reckless suicide attack, Suzuki Satoru did not relax. That was because he
suspected that it was an act, or it was looking for a chance to slip away.

Who knows, he might just run away on the spot.

As he considered that such a thing might happen, he prepared the spell that he would need to
respond to it. That was also why Suzuki Satoru did not cast a spell, but kept looking straight at Cure
Elim as he charge in.

The staff cast one of its once-a-day spells, 「Vermilion Nova」, scorching Cure Elim’s flesh.

However, it did not break its pace in the slightest. Was it because the undead felt no pain, or
because its determination overrode it?

It doesn’t matter anymore.


None of that mattered any more. There was no need to learn about Cure Elim’s state of mind. It was
just like how it would be pointless to speculated on the thoughts of an opponent which could not be
baited in any way. All that was left was to wear it down until it was dead.

In front of Cure Elim, the Primal Water Elemental stood as a shield in front of Suzuki Satoru.

It did not intend to try for a lunge. Instead, Cure Elim seized the Primal Elemental’s throat.

Perhaps it planned to use its weight to bowl over the summoned monster, but the Primal Elemental
was resistant to such things. As one of the undead, surely Cure Elim’s attacks could inflict various
status ailments. However, the Primal Elemental was also highly resistant to such attacks. One could
say that it was immune to virtually all negative effects.

As Cure Elim gnawed at its neck, it raked wildly with its sharp foreclaws. As expected of a high-
tiered elemental, it still had vitality left over even after being attacked by a Dragon that was stronger
than itself.

Ahhh, what an idiot. You had one more shot, so you should have used it.

As it tore at the Elemental’s throat, Cure Elim locked its hate-twisted crimson eyes on Suzuki

Cure Elim was almost out of stamina. That big, beautiful HP bar was now nearly depleted, like a
candle in the wind.

The high-tier spells from the staff and Suzuki Satoru — who had concluded that his foe would not try
to escape — assailed Cure Elim as it grappled with the Primal Elemental.

The fire in its crimson eyes flared brightly — and then faded.

“Damn you damn youdamnyoudamnyou… damn you… damn… you…”

Still spilling curses from its mouth, Cure Elim’s ruined body began to disintegrate and flake away.
Just them, the Primal Elemental’ slam attack hit with explosive force, and Cure Elim broke into two.
Like a piece of spun glass, Cure Elim’s remnants scattered on the wind, and then vanished as
though melting into the air.

There was nothing left — a most unprofitable victory. He could still have gotten some value out of a
corpse, if one had remained. Was this because it was an undead Dragon? Or had it saved its last
shot in order not to leave a corpse behind?

Suzuki Satoru had no idea.

“…Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, huh.”

The barrier around them had vanished, and all the undead responses were gone. Just in case, he
ought to check the surrounding area to make sure it had been fully annihilated. While he had
encountered many kinds of undead, he had not heard of any which could come back to life after
being obliterated. Still, he could not entirely rule out the possibility.

“Haaah…” Suzuki Satoru sighed in relief.

“I didn’t get a chance to use the nuclear mine, the Death Knights, and the Overlord Undead General.”

There were two more cards he had not played yet, and he had held the upper hand throughout the
second battle. However, he had been walking a tightrope during that fight. After all, his foe might
very well have had aces in the hole. It was possible that he had just happened to negate all of his
opponent’s moves and thus won handily.

That was why he hated fighting opponents that he knew little about.

He wanted to celebrate his victory, but he felt so little joy that it was pitiful.

This victory had not been because of his individual combat strength, but due to his use of tactics, a
strategy which led to an eventual victory. Had any part of his plan failed, it would probably have been
Suzuki Satoru and not Cure Elim who would have been destroyed just now. If he became arrogant
because of this overwhelming victory, he might be the one to be annihilated next time. With that in
mind, Suzuki Satoru stepped his caution up further.

And to some extent, Suzuki Satoru had lost.

I didn’t manage to find a way to save Keno’s parents, huh.

He had been worried that if he had remained obsessed with that information and Cure Elim had
seen that, he would have no way to win. After all, if he exposed his weaknesses, it was possible that
they could be exploited.

He had gone “tch” back then because he knew he had lost his only chance to gather information.

Suzuki Satoru looked around at the empty desert around him.

Since he did not know when Cure Elim’s reinforcements would arrive, it would be best to scan his
surroundings for relevant information. But before that, there was something he needed to do.

“Now then, I need to send her a 「Message」.”

Should she have said that it was as she had expected? Before the door opened, the sight of the
chains hanging on the handle in one piece had told her everything. Even so, Keno quietly closed her
eyes, and then slowly opened them.

Nothing had changed. What she had seen just now was not some deception or illusionary
landscape, but reality.

She was in the sewers of Inveria. Keno opened the hidden room that had been closed five years
ago, but the three people inside were still mindless Zombies.

As she had thought, things would not go so easily.


Behind her stood the mightiest magic caster in the world, and also Keno’s travelling companion. He
called out to her in worry. Keno turned around, taking care to smile.

“Mm. No need to worry, Satoru. I’m not hurt by this. I just thought, it really was this way after all.”

“Is that so…”

“Mm… Say, Father, Mother.”

She looked at the three moaning people in the room, and addressed them.

“Satoru avenged everyone.”

They probably would not be happy even if she told her that, because they were not intelligent
enough to be. She knew this would happen, but the pain stabbing at Keno’s heart eased a little.


“I’m fine. It’s alright, Satoru. You don’t need to worry. This world is a big place. Therefore — it’s
possible that there might be an item that could help everyone, don’t you think?”

“Of course!”

There was no expression on Suzuki Satoru’s face, but his voice told her that he was very happy.

Surely anyone who could show feelings like this to others must be very kind.

“Yeah. The world is large. Let’s go see this world — together.”

“Yeah. I know I might hold you back a little, but — I’ll be in your care, Satoru.”

“Ahh, I should be saying that, Keno.”

Keno looked back at her family members in the cell.

Would it be okay to leave them like this?

Keno clenched her hand into a fist.

Would killing them and freeing their souls from those hideous bodies not be a mercy? Perhaps those
souls might still be suffering, even now. 

But having one person deciding the fates of others — even if it was right to do so — might well be a
very arrogant way of thinking. However, one could say that there was only one person who could
make this decision, and that was Keno.

She had the feeling that she would not be able to find a way to restore her family to normal, even if
she searched the entire world. That was why she had once abandoned that line of thought.
However, now that Suzuki Satoru had destroyed the culprit behind the incident, it was true that Keno
had gained a new sliver of hope.

She could feel Suzuki Satoru start to worry about her spacing out. It would seem she would have to
make a decision right now. Otherwise, even Satoru would start agonizing over this.

This time, Suzuki Satoru had fought for her. In that case—

“—Time to hit the road again. Let’s go, Satoru.”

“Ah, ahhh, well, it’s good as long as you feel that way, Keno.”

She waved to the three people inside, and walked with Satoru.

Keno had chosen to leave the problem alone.

Originally, she should have chosen to finish off the three of them herself and not endanger Satoru
any further. That was the proper way to thank someone who had shown such kindness to her.
However, she still could not bring herself to do so, even now.

Keno looked at the sewer shrouded in darkness — at the room which held her family — one last

When she came back here again, would she come to rescue them, or destroy them?

Keno turned her eyes to Suzuki Satoru’s back, a back she had been watching for nearly five years.

Then, she quickened her footsteps, until she was side by side with Satoru and holding his hand as
they walked together. How long had it been since she had done such a child-like thing?

She could tell, more or less, from the way Suzuki Satoru had glanced down at her.

However, she did not say anything, and neither did Suzuki Satoru. His hand — his icy cold hand,
from which one could not feel the slightest trace of body heat — felt warm to Keno.

And then, the two of them went forth.

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