Joint release with the guys from AnimeSuki forum. You'll see some changes here and there.
Translators: Ghoststaker, CoCayn
Collaborator: Imoutolicious LNT
Momonga left the room named the Round Table.
Any guild member wearing the guild ring would automatically log into this room unless there were special circumstances. If there were any other members coming back, they would definitely appear here. However, Momonga knew well that the other members would no longer return here. During the last moments of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick, only Momonga was left.
Repressing his turbulent emotions, Momonga silently entered a vast foyer. A world of grandeur and brilliance, reminiscent of a giant castle clad in marble.
Suspended from the high ceiling, evenly placed chandeliers could be seen emitting a soft, warm glow. The smooth floor of the wide corridor reflected the lights from the chandeliers above, shining luminously like a mosaic of bright stars. If the doors along the corridor were opened, the luxurious furniture inside the rooms would attract the eyes of many.
If players who have heard the name Nazarick came here, they would have been stunned for sure by the fact that such beautiful sights existed in a place known for its infamy.
After all, the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick overcame the largest player organized military offensive in the server's history. An alliance of eight guilds, guild affiliates, mercenary players and NPC mercenaries, numbering a total of fifteen hundred people, tried to raid this place and were annihilated. That event turned this location into a legend.
The Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick used to have only 6 floors, but it underwent a major reconstruction after being occupied by Ainz Ooal Gown. Now it stretched over 10 floors, each with its own characteristics.
Floor 1~3 ─── Catacombs
Floor 4 ─── Underground Lake
Floor 5 ─── Glacier
Floor 6 ─── Jungle
Floor 7 ─── Underground Volcano
Floor 8 ─── Wilderness
Floor 9 ─── Royal Suite
Floor 10 ─── Throne Room
The last two floors were the base of Ainz Ooal Gown, one of the top 10 guilds in Yggdrasil.
Momonga's footsteps echoed in the Royal Suite's passage, followed by the tapping of his staff. After a few turns around the corners of the wide hallway, Momonga saw a woman in the distance moving towards him.
She had a luscious blonde hair down to her shoulders and well-defined features.
She was wearing a maid outfit, including a large apron and a long skirt. At a height of about 170 centimetres, she had a slender body with a full chest threatening to spill out of her clothes. Overall, she gave a virtuous and elegant impression.
As the two of them approached each other, the maid stepped aside and bowed deeply to Momonga. In response, he slightly raised his hand.
The maid's expression did not change; her face was showing the exact same unsmiling face as before. Facial expressions did not change in Yggdrasil. However, there was a difference between the unchanging expressions of players and this maid. The maid was a Non-Player Character (NPC). Within the game, these artificial intelligences only move according to their program. In other words, they were the same as moving mannequins, and even its bow to Momonga was just a pre-programmed action.
His greeting earlier could be seen as a waste of time, but Momonga had a reason why he didn't treat them with disrespect.
All 41 maid NPCs working in the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick were based on different illustrations by a guilder member, who had lived off his artwork and was now a manga artist serialized in a monthly manga magazine.
Momonga gazed not just at the maid's appearance, but also at her astonishingly elaborate uniform. Especially, the exquisite embroidery on the apron was the subject of admiration.
Since it was illustrated by a person who boasted that "a maid's best weapon is her uniform", the level of detail on the outfit was far beyond normal. Momonga couldn't help feeling nostalgic when he recalled how the guild member who was responsible for her visual rendering would start to scream at the task.
"Ah… Right. Since then, he was always saying things like "Maid uniforms are justice!"... Speaking of which, the heroine of the manga that he's drawing now is also a maid. Are you still making your assistants cry with your excessive attention to detail, Whitebrim-san?"
As for its behavioural program, it was created by Meromero-san and five other programmers.
In other words, this maid was created from the hard work and joint efforts of the past guild members, so ignoring her was a little out of the question since, like the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown, she was also a part of his precious memories.
As Momonga was thinking about these things, the maid tilted her head as if to ask what's the matter. As long as someone was close to her for a certain period of time, the maid automatically adopted this position. Recollecting his memories, Momonga was amazed by Meromero's meticulous attention to detail. There should be a few other hidden positions programmed in as well. Although he wanted to see all her postures, there wasn't much time left.
Momonga's eyes turned to the semi-spherical holographic clock displayed on his left wrist and confirmed the current time.
Indeed, there was no time to idle around.
"Thank you for your hard work."
Momonga said this phrase of farewell filled with many sentiments and walked past the maid. Of course, the other side did not respond. Nevertheless, Momonga believed that a farewell was in order since it was the last day.
Leaving the maid behind, Momonga moved on.
Before long, a giant staircase with a luxurious red carpet covering the middle appeared before him. Momonga slowly walked down the flight of stairs and reached the tenth floor ─── the lowermost floor in the the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick.
The place he arrived at was a wide, open lobby with a few servants waiting for him.
The first servant to catch his attention was an elderly butler dressed gracefully in his traditional uniform.
His hair was entirely white, just like his immaculate beard. But the old man's back was straight as an arrow and strong as a steel sword. He had visible wrinkles on his hollow face, which made him seen gentle in appearance, but his eyes were as sharp as an eagle after its prey.
Following behind the butler like shadows were six maids. However, their equipment was completely different than what the earlier maid had.
Their hands and feet were covered in gauntlets and greaves decorated with gold, silver and black metals. Donned in armours with a maid uniform motif, they wore white headdresses instead of helmets. Each maid was holding a different type of weapon, establishing the image of a maid warrior.
Their hairstyles were also quite different from each other: buns, ponytail, straight hair, braids, curls, French twist, etc. But something they all had in common was their transcendent beauty.
Additionally, the maids were divided into types such as flirty, sporty, traditional and other personalities.
Although they were NPCs and their designer had made them all playful and unique, their main purpose was to fight intruders.
In Yggdrasil, guilds in possession of a base equivalent to a castle or greater were given several special benefits.
One of these benefits were NPCs that guarded the base.
The undead monsters in the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick fell under this category. These so called 'spawn NPCs' had a level cap of 30 and respawned automatically at no cost after a fixed period of time, but since it wasn't possible to change their appearances and AI programming, they did not pose much of a threat against other intruding players.
On the other hand, another special benefit was the power to create an original NPC. When a guild takes over a base with a castle-level rank, they could create NPCs with a collective maximum level of 700. Since the highest level was 100, you could create a maximum of five Lvl. 100 and four Lvl. 50 NPCs as an example.
When creating an original NPC, in addition to their appearance and AI, it was even possible to change their armours and weapons. This allowed a guild to create far stronger NPCs and assign them to guard key locations.
There was no need to create these NPCs with combat in mind. Another guild who occupied a castle, the Great Cat Kingdom, turned all their NPCs into cats or other feline creatures. It could be said a guild was given the exclusive right to create the image and atmosphere of their castle.
Looking at the butler and the maids bowed down before him, he brought his hand to his chin while. Since he had always used teleport to move from room to room, Momonga didn't come here very often, which caused him to look at them somewhat nostalgically.
Momonga's hand operated the console, opened a page that was only accessible to guild members and activated one of the options. As he did, the names of the servants appeared above their heads.
"Ah, so that's his name."
Momonga had forgotten this name. He made a bitter yet nostalgic smile as he recalled the disputes he had with his companions over deciding the name for this NPC.
Sebastian, the butler, also served as the house steward.
The six maids next to Sebastian were under his direct command; the combat maid unit called the 'Pleiades'. In addition to them, Sebastian had several manservants and assistant butlers under his supervision.
The text log had a more detailed setting, but Momonga wasn't in the mood to take a closer look. There was little time left until the server's shutdown, and he wanted to sit down somewhere else.
All NPCs (including the maids) contained intricate details since there had been plenty of guild members who were fond of elaborate settings. Thanks to the fact that there were many illustrators, graphic designers and programmers in Ainz Ooal Gown, they were able to obsess over the visuals and go all out.
Originally, Sebastian and the maids were the last line of defense against intruders. However, because they were unlikely able to stand against enemy players who managed to come this far, their only real purpose was to buy some time. But since no invaders were ever able to reach this point, they had never received orders and had been just waiting endlessly in this place.
Gripping his staff, Momonga felt pity towards these NPCs, even though that kind of thought was foolish. NPCs were simply data and the only reason to believe they had emotions was due to their excellently designed AI.
"As the guild master, it's about time I started ordering NPCs around."
While ridiculing himself for his arrogant comment, Momonga issued an order:
Sebastian and the maids respectfully bowed, showing they have accepted the command.
The act of moving them from this location meant disregarding what the guild members had in mind at the start. Ainz Ooal Gown was a guild that emphasized on majority vote. It was forbidden for one person to mess around with what everyone had created together out of stubbornness.
But today was the day everything would end. Momonga believed that everyone would forgive him if it was on such a day.
Pondering these kinds of things, Momonga led the sound of several footsteps following him.
Eventually they arrived at a massive, dome-shaped hall. A large four-colored crystal embedded in the ceiling was emitting rays of white light. There were seventy-two alcoves in the wall, most of them filled with statues.
Every statue imitated the appearance of a devil, and there were sixty-seven of them.
This room was called the 'Lesser Key of Solomon', also known as the Lemegeton. It was taken from the title of a famous grimoire.
The statues, modeled after the Seventy-Two Demons of Solomon, were actually golems made from rare magical metals. The reason why there were only sixty-seven golems instead of the original seventy-two was because the creator got sick and tired of the project partway.
The four coloured crystal set into the ceiling was in fact a monster. If an enemy invaded this place, it would summon high-tier elementals of earth, water, fire and wind, and launch a bombardment of offensive wide-area magics.
Combining everything, it had the firepower to easily eliminate two full parties, which was 12 people, of Lvl. 100 players.
Indeed, this room was the last line of defense that protected the heart of Nazarick.
Momonga walked across the Lemegeton with the servants and arrived in front of a great gate on the other side.
Towering over five meters, this majestic double door was meticulously engraved with a goddess on the left panel and a devil on the right panel. The engraving was so vivid that it felt they would jump out of the door and start attacking.
Although it seemed like they could move, Momonga knew they weren't actually able to.
────If they make it to this point, let's give the heroes a grand welcome. There's a lot of players saying we're evil and whatnot, so why not wait for them majestically inside like final bosses?
It was because this proposal had been approved with a majority vote. And the proposer was...
Among all the guild members, Urbet Alain Odle was a person who fixated on the word "evil" the most.
"Well, he suffered from Chuunibiyou, after all......"
Taking a look around the hall, that was quite evident to Momonga.
"......These statues won't attack me, right?"
His words were full of anxiety and he was right to be so.
Even Momonga didn't completely grasp all the inner workings of this maze. It wouldn't be a surprise if some members left behind something strange as a retirement gift. The person who designed this door was that kind of person.
There was this one time where they activated a powerful golem made by that person, and it turned out that its combat AI was bugged, causing it to suddenly attack everything around it. However, Momonga remained skeptical and believed the 'error' had been intentional.
"Luci★Fer-san, if something like that happens today, of all days, I'll get really angry...."
Momonga carefully touched the door— but his worries had been groundless. Befitting of its grandeur, the door opened slowly as though it was automatic.
The atmosphere suddenly changed.
The ambiance until now had resembled a shrine with its tranquility and solemnity, but the sight in front of him surpassed even that. It felt like as if the change in ambiance was overwhelming him.
Its interior was enormous: a space wide enough to fit hundreds of people with room to spare, and ceiling so high that you had to look all the way up. The walls were white, adorned with a variety of golden embellishments. Hanging from the ceiling, rows of opulent chandeliers crafted from rainbow-colored gems gave off a fantastical brilliance. From the ceiling to the floor, a total of forty-one giant banners with different patterns decorated the walls.
There was a low stairway that had about ten steps at the innermost area of the room, lavished with gold and silver, and at the top stood a majestic throne that seemed as though it was cut from a gigantic crystal. On the wall behind it was a huge dark red banner embroidered with the guild's coat of arms.
This was the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick's deepest and most important place ─── the Throne Room.
Even Momonga was in awe with the magnitude of the room. He was convinced that its scale was probably ranked first or second in Yggdrasil.
This room was the perfect place to face the final moments.
Momonga stepped into the hall; it was so vast that it felt it would swallow every sound of his footstep, and then he turned his eyes to the female NPC standing next to the throne.
Clothed in a pure white dress, she was a beautiful woman with the face of a goddess. In contrast to her dress, she had a lustrous jet-black hair flowing down to her waist.
Although her golden irises and vertically split pupils were peculiar, she was an impeccable beauty. However, on her left and right temples were two thick horns protruding crookedly, and on her waist were black angel wings. Perhaps due to the shadow cast by the horns, her goddess-like smile seemed like a mask concealing her true self.
She wore a golden spiderweb necklace that covered her shoulders and chest. Donned in a silky glove, her slender hand was holding a strange object that appeared to be a wand. It was about 45 cm long and, extending from its tip, a black sphere was floating in the air.
Her name, Momonga had not forgotten.
Her name was Albedo, the Overseer of the Floor Guardians of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick. She was a NPC that supervised the seven Floor Guardians, and that meant she ranked above all the other NPCs in the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick. It was for this reason that she was allowed to stand by in the Throne Room.
Momonga looked at Albedo with his sharp eyes and wondered:
"I knew she had a World class item before, but how come she has two now?"
In all of Yggdrasil, there were only 200 World class items.
Each of them had their own unique ability, and some were powerful enough to destroy the game balance. Of course, not all of the World class items had such game-breaking abilities.
Even so, if a player managed to get hold a World class item, that player's reputation in Yggdrasil would jump to the highest level.
Ainz Ooal Gown had eleven of these items, and it was also the guild with the most legendary items in their possession. Compared to other guilds there was quite a gap, since the guild after them only had three.
With the approval from his guild members, Momonga possessed one of these ultimate items. The rest were scattered inside Nazarick, the majority of them lying asleep deep inside the treasury under the protection of avatars.
There was only one explanation as to how Albedo had gotten hold of such secret treasure without Momonga knowing. It had been given to her by the guild member who created her.
Ainz Ooal Gown was a guild that emphasized on majority vote. It was forbidden for one person to move the treasures that everyone had gathered together as one pleased.
Along with a slight displeasure, Momonga thought about taking it back.
But today was the last day, and after taking into account how much Albedo was treasured by his companion, he decided to ignore the issue.
Having arrived at the stairs leading to the throne, Momonga solemnly ordered Sebastian and the Pleiades to stop following him.
As soon as he started to climb a few steps, he noticed the footsteps still following behind him. Momonga couldn't help but to smile bitterly— of course, the expression on his skull did not change at all.
NPCs didn't understand any commands outside of their original programming. You had to use a specific words in order for them to accept the command. Having forgotten about it, Momonga realized that he haven't ordered NPCs around in a long time.
After his guild members left, Momonga hunted alone and gathered funds to maintain Nazarick. He didn't build any friendships with other players, even going as far as to avoid them. He also avoided the dangerous areas his guild members used to frequent.
Day after day, he was constantly earning money and putting it into the treasury until he logged out. There was almost no contact with the NPCs.
The footsteps stopped.
After Momonga gave the correct command, he climbed the final steps in front of him to the throne.
Momonga gazed unreservedly at Albedo who standing next to him. He rarely visited this room in the past, so he never paid any special attention to her before.
"I wonder what kind of setting she has."
The only thing Momonga remembered about Albedo was her role as the Overseer of the Floor Guardians and that she was the highest ranking NPC in the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick.
Struck by curiosity, Momonga operated his console and perused Albedo's detailed setting.
A dense array of text flooded his vision. Its length was equivalent of an epic poem. It seemed like reading it all slowly would take him past the server shutdown.
With the feeling of having stepped on a landmine, Momonga's unmoving face started to tremble.
Deep in his heart he wanted to scold himself for forgetting that the member who designed Albedo was an extremely meticulous person.
But since he already started reading, he decided to see it through to the end. Paying no attention to the actual content, he skimmed the walls of text in a flash.
After skipping past all the lengthy texts, Momonga finally reached the last part of her setting. But after reading what was written down, his train of thought came to a sudden stop.
[She is also a nympho.]
He was at a loss for words.
"... Huh? What the hell is this?!"
Momonga could not help but to shout. Holding on to his doubts, he read it several times but it was still the same sentence. Even after several moments of pondering the matter, he couldn't think of any other interpretation.
"A nympho… Meaning she has excessive sexual desire?"
Each of the forty-one guild members had been in charge of the settings for at least one NPC.
Was it possible that one of them had decided on such a setting for their own character? Momonga was bewildered. Perhaps he would be able to find a different meaning behind it after carefully reading the entire text.
But among his guild members, there were indeed people who would come up with such a distinctive and strange setting. One of those people was 'Tabula Smaragdina', the creator of Albedo.
"Ah, he was crazy about character dissonance, wasn't he? But even so......"
—But even so, isn't this going overboard?
Every NPC made by a member was part of the guild's legacy. Momonga felt disheartened about Albedo, who was ranked first among the NPCs, having such a setting.
Was is okay for him to modify a NPC that a guild member had created dearly? After giving it some thought, Momonga came to a conclusion.
"Let's change it."
Now that he had the guild weapon in his possession, he was truly the guild master. It should be okay for him exercise his prerogative. Momonga's hesitation vanished with his unreasonable logic that he should fix the errors of his guild members.
Momonga stretched out the hand he was holding the staff with. Normally he would have to use the editing tool to change a setting, but because right now he was using his guild master privileges, he was able to access it directly. Operating his console, he erased the sentence immediately.
"That's good for now."
While looking at the empty space in Albedo's setting, Momonga thought for a moment.
— Maybe I should put something in...
"No, that's just silly."
Laughing at the idea that popped up in his mind, he typed on the console's keypad. It was a single sentence:
[She is also in love with Momonga.]
"Wow, that's cringeworthy."
Hiding his face behind his hands, Momonga felt extremely embarrassed about his action. It was like programming his ideal girlfriend complete with a love plot. Although he wanted to rewrite it at first, he decided to go with it. Today the game will end and the feeling of embarrassment will soon fade away. In the end, the part he deleted and added were about the same length. If there were some blank parts left over, Momonga would've felt bad about it.
Sitting on the throne, embarrassed and somewhat satisfied, Momonga looked around the room and noticed that Sebastian and the maids were standing motionless. Even though they were together in the same place, it still felt a little desolate.
—I think there was a command like this.
Momonga remembered a command he never used in the past. He held out his hand and slowly moved it down.
Albedo, Sebastian and the Pleiades genuflected simultaneously.
Everything is set.
Momonga raised his left hand to look at the holographic clock.
Just in time for the last moments.
Probably a GM had already begun broadcasting and shooting fireworks outside. But sitting inside here reminiscing, completely isolated from the outside world, Momonga had no way of knowing.
Momonga leaned back on the throne and slowly looked up at the ceiling.
Considering how this was the legendary base that had destroyed the great expedition force in the past, Momonga thought that maybe there were some players who might try to invade Nazarick on the final day.
He was waiting. To accept the last challenge as the guild master.
Although he had sent emails to his old companions, almost none of them showed up.
He was waiting. To welcome his companions one last time as the guild master.
Now we are a relic of the past...
Momonga thought inside his heart.
The guild was now an empty shell, but he still had a great time in the long run.
His eyes looked at the huge banners hanging from the ceiling. Their total was forty-one. One banner for every guild member, each with its own design. Momonga lifted his fleshless finger and pointed at one of the banners.
Then he moved his finger towards the banner next to it. That one belonged to one of Ainz Ooal Gown's—no, to one of Yggdrasil's strongest players. The guild's founder and the one who once brought together the "First Nine".
Next he pointed at the banner of the person who was an university professor in the real world, and also the oldest person in Ainz Ooal Gown.
His finger moved faster and faster, pointing out the banner that belonged to one of Ainz Ooal Gown's three female members.
Momonga smoothly recited the names of the banners' owners.
"Meromero, Perorontino, Simmering Teapot, Tabula Smaragdina, Takemikazuchi, Variable Talisman, Genjiro───"
Remembering the names of his 40 companions wasn't very difficult for Momonga.
The names of his friends were still deeply imprinted into his mind.
Momonga tiredly leaned at back on the throne.
"Yeah, it was really fun…"
On top of the monthly fees, Momonga spent almost one-third of his monthly salary on cash purchases. It wasn't like his income was especially high, it was just that he didn't have any other interests, so he spent most of his money on Yggdrasil.
The game had a system where players could pay a fee in order to participate in a lottery to win a rare item, and Momonga had spent most of his money on this. After many expenses, he managed to get many different rares. But after hearing that one of his guild members managed to win the lottery using only his lunch money, Momonga was green with envy.
Since every member of Ainz Ooal Gown was a working member of society, everyone had spent money on cash purchases, but Momonga was in a league of his own.
He was addicted to it that much. Going on adventures were interesting, but freely roaming about with his friends was the most fun out of all.
For Momonga who had no friends or remaining family in the real world, his memories of the time he spent with his friends in Ainz Ooal Gown were all he had.
Today, that guild would disappear.
With a heart full of dismay and regret, he clenched the hand holding the staff. Momonga was just a normal person, he didn't have any financial power or connections that could change this fact. He could only wait silently as time ran out for all the players on the server.
The holographic clock read 23:57. The server was ending at 0:00.
Time is running out. This virtual world will end and I will return to my everyday life.
This is obvious. People cannot live in a virtual world, so everyone will have to leave sooner or later.
Tomorrow I'll have to get up at 4am. I need to go to sleep immediately after the server shutdown, so that it won't affect my work tomorrow.
Momonga slowly counted the seconds.
Momonga shut his eyes.
With the clock counting the remaining seconds, he waited for the end of this fantasy world—
And the eventual forced logout—
Momonga opened his eyes.
He was not back in his familiar room. He was still sitting in the Throne Room within Yggdrasil.
"What's going on?"
The time was correct. Right now he should be forcefully logged out from the server shutdown.
It was already past the announced time and unless there was a system error, it was impossible to get it wrong.
Momonga looked around confusedly, searching for an explanation.
"Did they delay the shutdown? Or did they decide to postpone the end the end because they were unable to shut the server down?"
Various explanations came to his mind, but none of them seemed to be the correct answer.
The most probable explanation appeared to be a delayed server shutdown due to an error in the system.
If that were the the case, a GM should've made a statement by now. Momonga hurriedly tried to find any news on the shutdown in the chat channel—— but stopped abruptly.
There was no control interface.
Although Momonga felt anxious and confused, he was also a little surprised by his own calmness. He tried all the functions used in the game: Forced System Access,Chat, Call GM, Log Out and so on───
Nothing was working, it felt as if he was completely removed from the system.
"...What the hell is happening here?!"
His angry shout echoed in the Throne Chamber and then faded away.
For such a thing to happen on the last day, when everything was supposed to end... Were the developers actually tricking everyone?
Momonga's voice was furious and he felt frustrated from being unable to meet a glorious end.
Usually, there should have been no response to his furious exclamation.
"Is everything all right, Momonga-sama?"
It was the first time Momonga ever heard this sweet female voice.
Although shocked, Momonga started looking for the source the voice. When he found out who it was, he was left speechless.
The response came from a NPC— It was Albedo.