A/N: REVIEW FOR IT FEEDS THE ENGINE OF CREATION~!
WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME OVERLORD ACTUALLY GOT A SEASON 2, OI?!
Here I am, twiddling my thumbs and then surprise surprise, what do I see in my recommendations?
I've just spent the last day catching up!
I have a newfound respect for Sebas in particular. The Lizardmen...well, that goes without saying, does it not? Between this and No Game No Life-which I've only just got into, and one might say I'm outright hooked! I've got plenty of ideas stewing! More plots, brewing! The idea of Naruto and Ains interacting with one another is just too good to pass up. Of course, it also helps that Naruto has a fair amount of "allies" in this quest of his. Another of which rears their head in this chapter.
I DID mention he's got a diverse cast under his wing, didn't I? If sodding ESDEATH of all people could be recreated be here, than I think SHE could easily exist as well. Adds for a touch of chaos and a bit of bloodshed. What? Want a hint? I really shouldn't, but ah, what the hell. I'll give you guys and girls one anyway. Of course, that might spoil things. Don't say I didn't warn you!
Honestly, when the idea was presented to me-you know who you are-it was just too amusing to pass up...
...though I almost pity the parties involved. Naruto included.
So, in lieu of a long winded spiel, lets get the ball rolling!
LET THE NEGOTIATIONS BEGIN~!
And let the surprise be revealed at long last!
"Yes! There is nothing in this world as wonderful as the unknown! Don't you agree?!"
"Hardly. To offer one hope, then snatch it away...that is the height of delight."
"I prefer the carrot, myself. Better than the stick, most of the time."
"Ho? You seem confident, there. What makes you say that?"
"Gotta keep my army of misfits happy, ya know?"
"Hmm. Fair enough, Sage."
~A strange discussion.
Journal Log Entry: #5
This world is a fascinating place.
At first I thought it was merely the game of YGGDRASIL brought to life by some fell magic but no, there's more to it than that. I feel it in my bones. The people here live. They die. They laugh. They cry. To think otherwise, to assume that this world is still a game despite that notion, is the height of fallacy. Any creation here, of this world or not, lives. Thinks. Feels. Men, women, children, even the wild beasts of the Forest themselves possess some semblance of emotion. As easy as it would be to ignore them, I cannot. I'm not that far gone yet.
Hopefully I never will be.
If I see someone in trouble, I'll help them. If someone fights an impossible battle, I'll do my best to make sure they beat the odds against them. If someone calls out I've already had my wish granted; because of that, I'm able to see nearly all of my friends and family once more...and a few others besides. Honestly, I don't know what to do with them. When I recreated "Konoha" it was meant to be haven for me. A piece of the past, brought back to life with painstaking work and effort. Then others got their hands on it, and well...
...misfortune, to say the least.
My allies are legion now; ninja, Servants, knights, assassins, sorcerers, explosion-loving mages, cooks, kings and queens all. Beings created by minds long since forsaken, then cast aside. You name it and they're here. I've even got a knowledge-hungry flügel wandering around somewhere. What the hell is a flügel, I ask you?! See, this is what happens when you let your guild members have free reign. You fall behind the times. You're left scrambling to catch up. I kinda regret that now. What's the purpose in having all this, this army, these allies, this sheer might, if I don't do anything with it?
I want to live here.
I want to make this world my home. My old life? That old world? Screw it. I have no intention of going back. I want to grow old-assuming this new body of mine actually can-and die here. If that way of thinking makes me a pariah again, so be it. I'm used to that. If it means ruling with an iron fist, so be it...though I'd rather not Am I a hero? Am I a villain? I don't know. At least I know I'm not alone in that dilemma. Perhaps that makes this easier. Perhaps it makes things more difficult. I don't know. But I do know his name.
Ainz Ooal Gown.
He's a Player. Just like me. He has to be. Who else could possess such powerful skills?
As of this entry, the Great Forest is entering into negotiations with Nazarick.
When I say negotiating, I mean I've gone to the Great Tomb.
Now, I know what you're thinking, dear reader. This is foolish, no? I don't think it is. If anything, it would be foolish to put this off any longer. Ains...hmm. How do I put this? We're going to be the best of friends, or bitter enemies. Best to have it out and be done with it. Besides, its not like I'm going alone. I've brought Esdeath and THAT one with me, and if push comes to shove, I'm certain we can fight our way out. I just hope I don't encounter that crazy vampire again. She might actually kill me if I let my guard down.
So, if you're reading this, I'm about to negotiate with death itself.
I'm walking right into the lion's den, without regrets.
As to what those negotiations will entail...
Whether we'll be friend or foe...
(...Within the Great Tomb of Nazarick...)
The Journal vanished from his hands with a soft rush of air.
With a long-suffering sigh, the Sage of the Great Forest turned to find the one responsible. He needn't look far. Hanging over his shoulder like a grim reaper, their arm extended with his stolen book in hand, they somehow projected an aura of absolute innocence despite being caught red-handed in their ill-chosen act of scribbling. A pair of sheepish amber eyes regarded him cheerily, their cross-shaped pupils widening in faux despair behind pale violet tresses. She tilted her head, causing the faint halo hanging above it to tilt askew.
"Is something the matter, Master?"
A muscle jumped in his jaw.
Naruto wasn't fooled for even a moment. To believe that this...individual was innocent, would be to call the sky green and the earth blue. Some might call her an angel. Others, death itself. The few who saw her true face knew better. She was, in a word, a bibliomaniac. Completely and utterly hopeless. Any attempt to reform her was doomed to failure from the outset. Many words could be used to describe this strange being, more than a few of them crass. She was the sole being responsible for maintaining the hidden libraries of the Great Forest. A hoarder of books. Not one of his creations, but faithfully reproduced by a member of Konoha all the same, she was a maiden clad in scraps of white, her midriff exposed for all to see.
A seeker of knowledge.
An peerless killer.
Presently, she was trying not to like she'd been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. Under any other circumstance Naruto would've found her actions downright humorous...if she hadn't scrawled all over what he had written and subsequently snatched his journal away from him. Perhaps sensing his gaze upon her, she nimbly retracted her limb and retreated to hide both arms behind her back, as though she could somehow hide her prize away from his prying eyes. Rather than chastise the flügel for her theft, he patiently extended an arm and crooked four fingers in her direction.
"Jibril. What have I told you about scribbling about in my journal without permission, hmm?"
As he spoke, snow-white wings drooped even further to match her ears. "To not to?"
"Hand it over."
They drooped yet further.
Still, she conceded to his words.
"...very well. Yes, my master. Here."
Reluctantly, she returned the worn leather tome to its proper place in his hand. A flick of his fingers returned it to his inventory and sealed it there. Somewhere ahead of him, he heard a muffled noise from Ains that might have been laughter. The sound of Esdeath's grinding teeth also proved prevalent. Ah. He'd have to make this up to her latter. For now, Naruto wisely chose to ignore the foreboding sense of doom a this back and returned his attention to the recalcitrant being hanging behind him. Was it wrong that he felt just a touch of guilt for spoiling her fun? It wasn't as if they hand anything better to do, given the long trek ahead. A portal was absolutely out of the question; for all he knew Ainz could drop them in a nest of basilisks.
Which brought them to their present predicament.
A long, arduous slog towards the throne room.
Perhaps it was foolish of him to willingly depart for Nazarick under such a light guard. If he'd had it his way, he would've simply gone alone. Half the guild would've gone with him if he'd let them. He absolutely refused to allow Yui to enter a place like this. She might be wise for her age, but she was still very much a child and the horrors of Nazarick were not meant for children. No, he'd never bring his daughter here even if it cost him his second life. He'd sooner die than expose her to the twisted terrors that dwelt within this tomb.
Unfortunately, Esdeath was far beyond tolerating his slippery tactics today.
Konoha's resident Librarian had been most insistent as well...
Still, that left the undisclosed matter of his precious book.
"If you want one that badly I'll get you one, alright?"
"No, no, no! That's not it at all!" she lurched at him from behind and draped herself piggyback over the Sage like an eager child, nearly bowling him over with her enthusiasm. "You have so many secrets!" the angelic being cooed into his ear, "They're in that journal! And I don't know them! That's unforgivable!" her longs legs kicked petulantly at the air, knocking against his shin. "I need to know them all! Yes! There is nothing in this world as wonderful as the unknown! Don't you agree?!"
...you're soaking my shoulder."
"Ah! My apologies." Hurriedly wiping the drool from her mouth, Jibril straightened against his back.
She made no effort to move beyond that.
"How long are you going to do this?"
"Aw, why not? This is comfy~!"
The Sage of the Great Forest took a moment to gaze into the darkness ahead and willed himself not to dash his skull against it.
"Of course its comfortable for you." Naruto sighed and palmed his face. With Esdeath and the others he had least held some modicum of control. He could tamp down their more destructive desires in that regard. Jibril was...unique in that he had little to no control over her temperament. Created by a long-since-lost member of Konoha's once prominent guild, she was driven by the singular desire for knowledge above all else; with the latter interrupted by sporadic bursts of violence against those she felt had slighted her. If her power weren't so utterly eclipsed by his own, he might've been worried.
"I think that's quite enough, don't you?"
Ah, it seemed Esdeath had finally reached her limit.
"Ah, is the icy bitch getting jealous?" the flügel sneered, craning her neck. "Too bad! His back's all mine-KYAH!"
The icy general didn't raise a hand against Naruto-no, of course, she would never do such a thing-but Jibril was another matter entirely. A pale hand snaked down and plucked the heavenly being by the scruff of her neck in a devastating display of strength. Twisting her wrist, she flung from the blond's back and tossed her into a wall, never once breaking her stride by his side. Naruto pinched the brow of his nose, knowing full well what'd happened, rather, what was about to occur. Something like that would only stun the flügel, and not for very long-
"This means war~!"
An outraged snarl informed him that Jibril had finally righted herself and done as she was wont to do. Naruto didn't need to see here to comprehend her expression; her words had already done that much for him. Yes, any moment now Esdeath was going to find herself on the receiving end of a decidedly mortal wound-
Rather, she would have, were it not for a wall of crimson.
A thread of killer intent wove its way into his words, stopping her assault cold just as she reached the bluenette.
Icy blue eyes blazed scarlet, pinning his two generals in place.
"We are guests here and I expect the two of you to behave as such." his crimson gaze swept over both of them; holding them in thrall, putting them in their place before they could come to blows. "There'll be time enough for your squabbling once we've concluded our business here. Of course, you're free to kill anyone who attacks us." he paused, considering their rigid postures and how best to alleviate the fear he'd accidentally instilled in them. "I trust the two of you implicitly to keep me safe. My life is in your hands."
It was exactly the right thing to say.
Both women straightened.
"As you command."
Just as well; not a heartbeat later the icy timber of Ain's voice rang out ahead of them in the dark.
"Are you quite done? We've arrived."
The doors parted at the Overlord's touch, lending strong light in place of the faint braziers that had lit their way until this moment. A breeze rushed through the hall, snuffing out the flames. Not a bad effect. Perhaps he'd install something similar once he returned home. If he returned. The latter depended entirely on the outcome of the negotiations here. Naruto silently prayed for success in that regard. It wasn't that he feared Ains or his powers, rather he was cautious of them. If he had to put this feeling into words he'd call these feelings...dangerously curious.
Behind him, Jibril uttered a soft sigh.
The room that awaited them beyond was, well...
...grand didn't even begin to encompass its majesty.
Indeed, to even call it a room was the height of fallacy; this space was large enough to house a mansion. A grand expanse beyond compare, its beauty rivaled only by that of the Great Forest. Of course, Naruto was biased in that regard. He could never accept something to be the equal of the home he'd so lovingly crafted. But that didn't mean he couldn't admire its beauty. So. This must be the throne room, then. It looked as though a good deal of it had been remodeled recently at that; rather than a great empty space before the throne itself someone had erected an awning of sorts and thrust a grand table beneath it, complete with chairs.
"Please excuse the accommodations," the Overlord rumbled. "I'd asked for something a little more grand, but it appears they didn't have time to set up."
"No, that's fine." Naruto managed through clenched teeth, a muscle jumping in his jaw. "I'm ready to begin whenever you are."
If he noticed his irritation, the undead didn't show it.
"Good to hear."
Without another word, Ains claimed the foremost seat for himself at the head of said table.
All of this would've been well and good, had that been the end of it. Unfortunately, someone else occupied the southernmost chair. She had risen and bowed and Ains approach, yet her pale visage had not once turned in Naruto's direction. Indeed she appeared to be ignoring him outright, despite the pleasant smile adorning her cherubic features. As though sensing his gaze focused on her back, she tilted her head and turned to face him with that insufferable smile of hers. Slitted crimson eyes rose to meet him, like his own and yet entirely unlike them, regarding him with sardonic delight.
"Urk." Naruto managed eloquently.
This was the source of his flustered state.
Of all the individuals he'd expected to encounter here in the Great Tomb of Nazarick, this was the worst possible outcome. It wasn't fear that caused him to clench his teeth, but anger. This put the negotiations at a poor start indeed. If she was here, that meant she was doubtlessly going to reveal his previous incursion to Nazarick. He'd hoped to reveal it on his own terms and apologize but this one, yes, this one was undoubtedly going to make things difficult for him. After all he'd put her through he couldn't expect any less of her. Of course, he had no way of knowing that Ains already knew of his activities and thus anxiety and anger sank their searing fingers further into his mind.
He ought to erase her right here and now!
As he looked on, she rose for a second
"Greetings, Lord Rikudo-Sama." she beamed, sketching a genteel bow. "I'm pleased to see you survived our last encounter. Oh, and you brought company." her crimson eyes noted Jibril and Esdeath with a faint hint of scorn, unable to see the two for who they truly were. "Were you that terrified?"
Esdeath hissed softly, placing a hand on the pommel of her weapon.
"Its fine, Esdeath."
Naruto's teeth clenched down until he heard something crack in his jaw.
"Ahahaha," he forced a laugh, "Its good to see you again."
Imperceptibly, the vampire's smile widened just a bit.
"I do hope you will entertain me a second time."
Just like that Naruto suddenly and abruptly reached his limit. He couldn't say what it was about Shalltear that irked him in that moment. Perhaps it was her face. Maybe it was the smile. That she'd so easily gotten under his skin, achieved the upper hand, or the fact that she took great sodding delight in deliberately dismantling his plans. Whatever the case, he found he couldn't contain himself any longer. Yes, it couldn't be helped. That temper of his was never something he'd truly mastered, and Shalltear knew just which buttons to press. However, let it not be said that he didn't have his own way of countering such diatribe.
...ha?" he growled in an unbelievably dark tone.
"Ara, have I upset you? I do apo-
Red eyes narrowed to slits.
"Pads." he quipped.
Shalltear's hand knifed into his chest, only to find itself deflected by the impenetrable wall that was his armor. Naruto, for his part, took the strike in stride and retaliated with one of his own. As she looked on, his body seemed to warp and twist in on itself, sprouting extra limbs where there had been none, taking on a monstrous appearance. A clenched fist roared down at the vampire's exposed head and was narrowly blocked by her open palm. The sheer force behind his strike caused the limb to buckle and cratered the stone beneath their feet. Realizing her peril, the peerless vampire felt her beautiful visage pale as she struggled beneath the raw wrath of the being before. Ah, that's right. She'd nearly forgotten. This filth was a Supreme One. A being near-or-equal to that of Ains-sama. Which meant...
Perhaps she understood just how much he'd been holding back in the past.
Whatever the case, the thing looming over her instilled a terror in her she'd never felt before.
"Now laughing now, are you?! Ya shitty vampire!"
"Ah, that's right." Ains remarked, utterly unfazed by the potential life-or-death squabble taking place before him. "I remember, now. You fought him before, didn't you, Shalltear?"
"Yes, Ains-sama!" Shalltear's head snapped toward him. "He did such terrible, terrible things to me!"
"Ho?" red eyes swiveled. "Is that so?"
Just like that, the tension drained right out of the room.
Naruto twitched slightly, releasing the vampire.
'That's a misunderstanding, you damn vampire! Ya did that shit on purpose!'
"Perhaps the rest of us should depart, for now?" Jibril proposed with serene tranquility.
Ains was in total agreement.
"Albedo." A skeletal hand gestured. "Shalltear. You may leave us."
"To leave you unguarded...?!"
"Are you implying I would fall?" the elder lich regarded them with the emotionless pit of his face.
"O-Of course not! But-
"Then do as I say."
In the end the floor guardians obeyed and diverted from his side down a side passage, but not before casting one last scathing glance over her shoulder at the trio. Naruto didn't blame her for her spite. He wouldn't trust a stranger in his home either; it was part of the reason he'd come to Nazarick in the first place. In part while he allowed Esdeath and Jibril to retreat to a respectable distance. He was already well aware of its location; while Ains didn't seem to be aware of the Great Forest. Even should something happen to him it would still be safe...for a time at least. If he fell here, they'd at least have some time to prepare...
"I apologize for Shalltear's behavior." Ains' rumbling voice cut through the reverie of his thoughts, "She's been in a foul mood as of late."
"Eh, that's probably my fault." the bond shrugged. "And I'm the one who should be apologizing. I scouted this place out before I was aware of things. She didn't take kindly to that."
"Are you certain you haven't sullied her?"
"Oi, oi, that shit's not funny."
He couldn't tell if the lich was joking or not; that stoic visage hid any and all visual cues. His deadpan tone left no room for guessing. For all he knew the undead might well be messing with him. Or not. Even his emotions were difficult to sense, as though they were being regulated somehow, by a force he didn't understand...
Sensing his scrutiny, Ains exhaled deeply.
"You're insufferable, you know that?"
"Hey, I try." the blond beamed.
Claiming his seat the table, the whiskered warrior steeped his fingers and leaned forward over the polished surface until his elbows rested against it. Ains made no move to mirror him, but he felt the full weight of the lich's regard settle upon him nonetheless. In that moment, he had his full, undivided attention. Any trace of levity between the two vanished in an instant. Not to say that they were on edge, rather, simply aware of the other. A facade had been dropped by both of them, and they saw the other for who they truly were. Whether this would lead to triumph of catastrophe...who knew? Only time would tell, and both were admittedly anxious to begin, at that. Better to settle things with words, rather than fists. Neither had the desire to risk their precious resources, after all...entertaining though such a brawl would be.
"Shall we begin, then?"
A soft sigh echoed.
They hadn't dismissed their allies to be cruel; the act had been intentional on their part. Indeed, to subject their precious commanders to this would have been the height of cruelty itself for both parties involved. It was for their own good. A tainted, crimson aura stemmed from Naruto's shoulders and found its match in the murky jet black miasma exuded from Ains Ooal Gown. This was the pressure of two Supreme Beings, entities that defied the very laws of the world. Anyone else would have been suffocated by it. Even that of a high general or a floor guardian would've been hard-pressed to breathe, let alone exist in such a stifling atmosphere.
"First, we should establish where we stand with one another-
It was subsequently shattered by a nearby door slamming open with a rush of hot air.
Ains tilted his head.
"Shalltear? I told you to leave."
The vampire looked suitably chastened at that remark, but her pallid visage suggested otherwise.
"I'm sorry Ains-sama, I tried to stop her, but-
A pale blur registered in their peripherals.
"Stop her? Who are you-oh."
"Ara, and who is this?"
The child blinked.
So did Naruto.
An ethereal beauty in every sense of the word, she seemed almost perfect. Truly a superior creature, framed in battered-looking rags that seemed entirely too large for her petite frame. Hair the color of the palest snow framed a cherubic face from which wide eyes stained a strange red-blue-but-not-quite-violet shone. The one flaw, if one could call it that, was the tiny fang peeking over her lower lip. Was she a vampire? His couldn't be certain, indeed, he wondered about that but quietly filled that tidbit away as she turned her gaze upon him.
"She one of yours, Ains?"
"No," the contemplative tone told him all he needed to know. "I can say for certain that I've never seen her before."
"Which begs the question...
Exhaling softly, Naruto knelt before the little girl, careful to seem as unthreatening as possible. She tilted her head at him, regarding him with confusion and...a hint of awe? Even so, he remained cautious. Couldn't make any sudden movements now, could he?
Wouldn't do to spook her, after all.
"Hey there, chibi." he remarked quietly. "Are you lost? Where's your mommy?"
Those eerie eyes regarded him for a moment.
A tiny finger rose.
Shaltear's jaw clicked open.
"Oho!" Naruto cried! "She broke character! Didn't think that was-
Then that finger swung towards him.
A pall fell over his very soul.
"Oho?" a deep, dark voice resonated behind him. "I entertain you in my home and this is how you repay me? By sullying Shaltear?"
He didn't have to turn to know who it was.
Naruto blanched at Ains's menacing aura. It would've been funny, really, if he wasn't so confused. Really, none of this made any sense. A child? Between him and Shalltear. How? He hadn't so much as touched her in such a way, let alone done that to her. His last memory of the furious vampire was their magic colliding, slamming against one another in a battle for supremacy. But...no. Surely such an event couldn't have produced a miracle like this, even in this brave new world. No. Of course not. That was impossible, right? Right? Hence the confusion.
And the terror.
Did he mention terrified?
As if on cue, the child pivoted on one heel and turned towards Ains.
The Overlord paused, taken aback.
Until she spoke.
"Grampa." she lisped.
The silence was deafening. And then:
"N-Now wait a sec! I don't understand what's going on! I swear, I never-
A hand snapped up in the same instant.
"Triplet Maximize Magic: CALL GREATER THUNDER!"
And the world burned white.
A/N: Decided to end things on a funny note.
Also, names for Naruto and Shalltear's "daughter" would be nice, because I'm bloody stuck.
So...in the Immortal Words of Atlas...
...Review, Would You Kindly? And of course, enjoy the preview! Hope it makes you smile. And Review! Or face the wrath of AINS!
Its going to be a nice LOOOOOONG chapter filled with action, humor, and all the good bits!
Remember that crystal Naruto swiped from Nigun?
"I HAVE A LITTLE SISTER?!"
The little one blinked.
"Oh, dear. A betrayal! How unexpected."
"How can you be so nonchalant about this?! We're under attack!"
"A tide of undead-
"Not interested. NEXT!"
"Well, there is the matter of the Lizardmen."
"Ho? Sasuke sent a report on that, didn't he? Lemme see...
The crystal stirred.
Gradually, a shape formed.
Small, faint, vaguely humanoid.
"Mortal. Why hast thou summoned me-EEK!"
She took one look at Jibril and nearly fainted outright.
"Are you sure this is a wise course of action?"
Naruto shrugged, tugging the hood over his messy hair.
"I've never been known for making smart decisions, Madara."
...while I won't argue that point, I still don't think its wise to send her."
"You might have a point there. Say, you don't have anything better to do, right?"
"My schedule happens to be open at the moment, yes. Why? What are you planning?"
Adjusting his shoddy-looking armor for the sake of appearances, Naruto turned to face him.
"These Eight Fingers...wanna help me crush 'em?"
A crazed grin blossomed on that pale face.
"I thought you'd never ask."