Overlord The Vampire Princess of the Lost Country Prologue Part 2
He had thought that once the light faded, he would be greeted by the familiar sight of his room beyond a pane of thin glass. After all, YGGDRASIL was going to be shut down, he had thought. However, what he actually saw turned out to be something else entirely.
Momonga muttered to himself.
That had not come from loneliness, but because he had encountered something he could not understand.
The first thing which came into view was the night sky. Constellations sparkled all around him, and the slowly-moving clouds seemed to trying to cover up their light. He could see the towering peaks of mountains in the distance, and the dark forests at their foothills rippled like waves in the breath of the night wind.
It was a sight he could not see in the real world – aside from the arcologies – and it was as though he had never left the game at all.
He looked down – and saw that he was floating in the air. Well, that was fine. After all, he had just cast a 「Fly」 spell.
However, what lay beneath his feet was not a swamp.
–Instead, it was ruins.
It was not just a mere one or two buildings, but on the scale of a town – no, it was greater than that. He could see a building which looked like a castle in the distance, and a wall surrounding a city. These ruins had once been a fairly large city. From the various traces, it did not look like it had been conquered so much as abandoned for some reason.
While he was several hundred meters above the city, he had no way of knowing exactly what was going on inside it. However, Momonga could not help but recall the abandoned underground city with an automated puppet production plant, Vilisyrteria.
No, this isn’t like Vilisyrteria. It looks different… what on earth is this place?
With a surprising degree of calmness, Momonga checked the watch on his left hand.
0:03:45, 46, 47…
Momonga glanced around at his surroundings again. The landscape was unfamiliar. Granted, there was no way Momonga could know what every single square inch of YGGDRASIL’s map looked like. Perhaps there was scenery like this tucked away in some corner of the game.
However, this was the last day of the game. The game was scheduled to end at twelve midnight. And now that time had passed. There was no way the display would be in error.
What, what is this?
YGGDRASIL’s end of operations had been delayed. Or perhaps it would show him something like this if he did not log out on his own. Various possibilities flashed through his mind.
Did they delay the server shutdown?
The most likely possibility was that a certain – an undeniable – reason had led to a delay in the closure of the servers.
If that were the case, the GMs would have announced something. Momonga hurriedly made to open the communications function that he had shut down until today – and then he froze in place.
The control console did not show up.
What… happened? What is this?
As a mix of anxiety and doubt filled him, Momonga tried activating other functions.
None of them responded.
It was as though he had been completely excluded from the system.
…What’s going on?
Rather he should be thinking about what to do next. Where’s the control interface for the 「Fly」 spell – as he thought that, Momonga suddenly realized that there was no need for it.
Momonga slowly lowered his altitude.
What’s going on? What is all this? Why can I use 「Fly」? No, wait, that’s not all, is it?
Momonga had suddenly “understood” how to control the 「Fly」 spell by feeling alone. He was not even conscious of it; it was as though it were perfectly natural.
This was a very abnormal situation.
After that, Momonga looked at his hands.
His left hand held the symbol of the guild, the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown. His right hand held the launcher for the fireworks.
It was true that nothing had changed. There was no doubt that those bony white hands belonged to Momonga, just like in YGGDRASIL.
However, the sensation was different. Precisely detailing the difference was a little difficult, but there was a strong sense that those were his own hands. While they were the same hands from YGGDRASIL, there was a perfectly natural feeling to them, like he was looking at his own hands from the real world.
However, it was his ability to remain calm despite being in a situation like this which scared him more than anything.
Unconsciously, Momonga recalled the words his friend had said.
Anxiety is the seed of defeat, you must think logically and keep your cool at all times. Stay calm, broaden your vision, don’t get caught up on small details and let your thoughts flow–
His first consideration ought to be “where was this place”?
If only there was someone I could ask… no, it would be better if there wasn’t, right?
Momonga thought as he descended toward the ground. Perhaps he should investigate his surroundings from the air with 「Fly」… or not. This might be a set of tumbled ruins, but there were still many houses which retained their shape in it. There might be infiltrators there. It seemed like there might be someone hiding in the little alleys between the ruined houses peeking out at him.
Open spaces might offer a good line of sight, but it was essentially exposing himself to the enemy.
While he did not think that anyone would still be thinking of PKing him in the face of this incomprehensible state of events, and it was possible that Momonga was the only one who had ended up this way, he ought to move stealthily until he had unravelled this mystery.
Also, Momonga was holding the proof of the guild, the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown. That ought to cut down on the probability of being PKed.
That being the case, this was the first measure he ought to take.
Momonga cast a spell. This was a high-tier spell that far surpassed 「Invisibility」. Now, he ought to be invisible barring the use of some special spell or ability. While it was a trivial obstacle to a select group of players, it ought to reduce the chances of him being PKed too.
Momonga looked at his bony white hands and looked down. He could still see himself, and there was no icon which told him that he was invisible. All in all, he had no confidence in himself.
As he descended, the details of the city gradually came into view. The residents ought to have abandoned it for quite a while, since he could see signs where houses had collapsed from rot.
What happened to this city? More to the point, what on earth is going on now? Did YGGDRASIL 2 start? Or is this a hidden event by the devs? Like say, being forcibly teleported here if you didn’t log out at the end? But in that case, how do you explain this realism?
He could not find the answer, no matter how he agonized over it.
As he descended, Momonga contemplated using a skill.
There were many kinds of skills, but using undead creation skills while invisible did him no good. All it would do was expose his position. While he could use them to set a trap, under the circumstances it might make someone who could have been friendly become suspicious instead.
Should I cover my face up? No, it feels like people who cover their faces are suspicious… good grief…
Momonga activated one of his skills. It was the ability to detect undead.
In YGGDRASIL, places like this often had undead in them. As such, Momonga had used the skill almost subconsciously. As he did, the skill told Momonga a piece of bad news.
Momonga had originally been descending slowly, but now he suddenly plunged down at great speed and hid himself in a two-story building whose roof had collapsed.
The speed of his descent threw up a cloud of dust. Momonga hurriedly waved his arm to try and settle it, but to no avail.
It was a fairly spacious room. The furniture inside had been crushed under the fallen roof, and after exposure to the elements they had completely rotted away.
He sustained his 「Fly」 spell so his feet were not touching the ground. He had considered the possibility that the floorboards might collapse. If he continued observing the situation in this way, he ought to be able to learn more.
However, Momonga had something more important to think about–
–What the hell’s going on? Why is the surrounding area full of undead reactions? Where on earth was I teleported to?
The fact was, Momonga had glanced toward an area bearing an undead response before he had ducked into this house, and he had definitely seen a human-like figure there. Its uncoordinated movements were most certainly not those of the living.
Momonga remained still as he pressed himself to the wall and focused all his energies on spying on the outside. Even if he could detect the undead, he could not determine their strength. The most powerful undead creatures included beings that could see through 「Perfect Unknowable」.
Right now, there were two things that Momonga ought to do.
One of them was to leave – to be precise, go far away from – this place until the undead reactions vanished.
The other was to investigate the level and so on of the undead creatures, and if they were of a level he could handle, find out where exactly he was.
He should pick one of them, then.
However, there was no guarantee that he would be safe if he left. In that case, it would be better to stay here and investigate the undead reactions. In addition, Momonga was one of the undead as well, so it was very likely that he would not be attacked as long as he took no hostile actions.
Well, assuming it’s really just undead out there.
Momonga recalled the feeling of using the 「Fly」 spell, and confidence welled up in him.
It’ll be fine. I don’t know why, but I’m confident that I can use attack spells without any problems too… this actually feels kind of bad. I don’t feel like myself any more… –No. I’ll think about that problem later. More importantly, I’ll have any number of ways to escape as long as I can cast 「Teleport.」
Momonga looked around, then at the floor – which was covered in the remains of the collapsed ceiling – and then at the ruins of the roof.
“…It won’t collapse, I hope.”
Talking to himself was a sign of uneasiness.
The character called Momonga would be fine even if the roof fell on him.
But that was ultimately a YGGDRASIL thing, and even if he could use his spells and skills normally, there was no guarantee that his body would function the same way it did in the game.
But then, there’s these eyes. I can use my darkvision normally too. Should I assume my passive skills are functioning normally as well? Speaking of which, isn’t the tech level here a bit low?
This building did not use steel rebar or concrete. The debris scattered at his feet was hard to make out given that it had been thoroughly pulverized, but it looked to have been made of wood and bricks.
Is this… still YGGDRASIL after all? No, although it feels like the answer ought to be close to it…
No matter how he thought about it, this simply was not the real world. But even if that were the case, it still left many doubts unanswered.
Momonga put that question aside for the time being and cast a spell. He started with 「Message」. He ought to see if he could contact someone else, whether it was the GM or another person.
After a while, he began to grumble.
“I can’t connect, huh…”
He could not contact anyone and neither could he log out. It was as though he was trapped in this world.
Next up… let’s try looking around the surroundings to gather information. In that case, I’ll use–
He created a magical sensor and let it float in the air.
This was a bet. It would be a pain if there were undead that could see through invisibility, but it would be worse if the opposition had ways to interfere with detection spells or even to counterattack against divinations.
However, what Momonga felt afterwards was confusion.
“What the heck is this…”
What he saw now was completely different than in YGGDRASIL. In YGGDRASIL, using 「Remote Viewing」 would create a viewing window in the corner of his vision. One could adjust the window’s size at will, but fundamentally it would be depicted as a different image.
However, this time was different.
It was as though he had opened a new set of eyes, and with it, another field of vision.
He did not know whether to call it fascinating or bizarre. Still, it was not a problem. It felt natural to him, and he could operate the spell as normal. He even felt that he had completely changed
Momonga ignored his brief confusion and used 「Remote Viewing」 to catch sight of the undead creature.
A man was stumbling along, in an unintelligent lurch.
There were cloudy eyes beneath the opened lids, and he showed no signs of blinking.
It would seem this was not a high-level undead being. Rather, it was a low-level one – a Zombie. Only, a Zombie’s appearance was typically very gruesome, but not in the case of this undead being. It did not look like it had suffered major damage or was badly rotted. It looked just like a clean corpse moving around.
An undead being like this… if this were YGGDRASIL… no, why am I thinking about this like it’s not YGGDRASIL? This might be some big patch… but after the servers shut down? How could that be?
Momonga suddenly realised something, and he shouted in a voice that would not agitate the nearby Zombies.
“This is illegal! It’s illegal confinement! Let me out of here!”
If this really was in the game, and if it was being managed by someone, then it was very likely that those words would be recorded. The Computer Act-mandated helmet that Suzuki Satoru was wearing would also record it. If the company noticed, they would probably take some kind of action. However, he did not see any response along those lines.
As I thought… this isn’t YGGDRASIL after all? I don’t think the company would gain anything by deliberately targeting me for a crime either… But the game becoming reality or whatnot is im… or is it not impossible? Plus, the fact that I’m using these skills and spells like they were a part of me is also extremely weird…
Momonga shook his head.
That was also very important, but his priority now was to take stock of the situation around him. He had to protect himself first. If he died, would the game end with him logging out, or would it just be the end because this was now reality?
Momonga let the spell-created sensor float past the male Zombie’s eyes.
There was no response.
The man continued shambling forward.
He couldn’t see it… can I be sure it’s a Zombie?