*A/N: Greetings!

Winter was fighting tooth and nail to hold onto Re-Estize. Lakyus had to just look out the window of the inn to see the truth of that. By rights, things should be warming up with the coming of spring yet the cold kept so many people in their homes. The only people she could see had to be about important business to venture far from home. It wasn't even a beautiful kind of cold with snow falling from the sky. Just an ugly, dreary, overcast cold that soaked into a person's bones.

"And isn't that why I'm hiding from the cold by myself?"

Gagaran stopped her pacing at hearing the boss' voice. "What, we don't count as company anymore?" Lakyus could hear the smirk in her voice. She knew the woman was trying to drive the melancholy away, but it was pervasive. Still, her old friend managed to get an honest smile from Lakyus almost on command anyway.

"Only when you stop pacing like an anxious hound," Tina was quick with the reply. She was in an even worse mood than Lakyus herself. She sat huddled in a corner opposite the door with a commanding view of the room the three women resided in at the moment. Her instincts were still razor sharp, just like her sister's.

"It's just the weather," Lakyus finally put in herself. "Darkens even the most joyous of spirits."

"What has put a damper on your mood, boss?" If the weather was having any effect on Gagaran, she hid it well with her voice.

Lakyus knew the woman was aware something was on her mind. She had tried to bury it but Gagaran was often more cunning than she let on. "I've just been thinking. The weather has forced us all to have plenty of time for thinking."

"And?" Gagaran persisted.

She isn't going to let it go. Maybe it would be best to just… get this off my shoulders anyway. "I've been trying to think of when exactly… the world changed," Lakyus admitted. It had been gnawing at the back of her mind for a long time now.

The confusion was obvious on both women's faces. "Well the world is always changing boss, you know that better than me!"

"There has been a way in the world all our lives but something big changed years ago. I just can't stop wondering when and why things started to change."

Everybody knew of the storm that swept the human world 10 years ago with the foundation of the Sorcerer Kingdom. Like one domino after the other, the Sorcerer Kingdom brought nation after nation to heel. Some resisted the pull harder than others, but it seemed like fate itself demanded all things bow before the name of Ainz Ooal Gown. Not even the Adventurer's Guild could resist, not that they had really tried.

Tina's face looked like it had been carved from stone, her stare piercing. "You are thinking about her, aren't you?"

"What, you mean shorty?" Gagaran's pet name for Evileye.

Tina is right, Lakyus again admitted to herself. Evileye had parted ways with Blue Rose a little over a year ago now, headed straight to E-Rantel, the eye of the storm that shook the world. She was certain Momon from Darkness would have answers. Answers to what questions though? Evileye had been tight-lipped before leaving. I should have seen it coming. She had been showing high anxiety for so long. And it all started when Rigrit visited us. When she finally left, it was a simple letter that assured the other Roses that everything was fine and that she was off to see Darkness. And didn't that calm us all?

"Yes," Lakyus admitted, "in part. I never thought I'd miss seeing that silly mask of hers. Why? Do you or your sister know something I don't?" The reprimand in Lakyus' voice was mild and knew right away she struck the truth.

Tina quickly averted her eyes, knowing breaking eye contact had given her away, but not quite yet ready to part with the little information she had. Suddenly bashful she tried and failed to rally herself. "I don't know what you are talking about."

"Tina…" The reprimand from Lakyus was more stringent this time.

"I, that is we, might just-"

Before Tina could continue, her twin sister Tia barged in the door. Her cheeks were still red from the cold outside. "And they say it is springtime out there!" With a quick glance around the room, Tia realized she walked in on an important conversation. "Did something happen? I wasn't gone that long."

"Seems you sisters have been keeping something from the boss," Gagaran taunted lightheartedly.

Tia froze and chose to stare at her sister. "What has the blabbermouth said now?!"

With a triumphant tone in her voice, Lakyus spoke to the twins. "I was being informed you both know something about Evileye that you chose to not share. What are you two hiding?"

The silence was deafening, neither twin wanting to speak first, but knowing Tina had started, there was little reason to hide back what they knew now. Taking the plunge, Tia began to answer. "Precious little. We haven't been spying or anything, just enough to know she is alive and well. Over in E-Rantel."

Alive and well in the Sorcerer Kingdom?! The melancholy was gone, now Lakyus was angry. "Have you forgotten the name of that nation? How do you know she hasn't had her mind taken from her already or blackmailed or worse? They are no strangers to mental magic!"

"We are respecting the boundary Evileye set when she left," Tina answered softly as she finally found her voice.

From the look, Gagaran wasn't much happier but to prevent a fight she broke into the conversation. "How exactly did you come about this information? When and where was she last seen?"

Tina continued, "Last time seen she was leaving E-Rantel about a month ago, probably for the town of Carne."

Tia taking up where her sister left off spoke. "There's an information broker in E-Pespel. He tells us what he knows, and we don't pay him visits in person anymore."

Did Evileye know something I did not?

"Did shorty know something about the Undead?" Gagaran echoed Lakyus' own thoughts. Nobody needed to clarify which undead.

"That really is all we know. Nothing held back, promise." For her part, Tina looked contrite.

For hiding the truth or for slipping that they knew something though? "Now you two just have me worried about our little sister. Once a Rose, always a Rose," Lakyus proclaimed.

"It has been so long since we've had a proper contract for an adamantium team. Since the feeling seems to be held by all, why don't we take a trip to pay Evileye a visit?" Gagaran suggested.

It isn't her worst idea to be fair. "Going across the border has been safe, even during the civil war. But it isn't going in that I'm afraid of," Lakyus admitted, "it is coming back. Evileye didn't and if she is being held by magic she can't resist, none of us would stand a chance."

Evileye had been their expert par excellence on magic. Gifted with power approaching Fluder Paradyne's at only a fraction of the age and with nowhere near as much formal study, she had been a magical prodigy. Is the Undead keeping her because of her gift with magic? No, that doesn't make sense, Ainz Ooal Gown himself far surpasses her strength. But then why hasn't she returned, to be with Momon? Is there something else about Evileye that caught the Sorcerer King's attention?

"If the boss is really that concerned why don't we ask Her Majesty? She has never led us astray and with no work in sight, looks like we have time," Gagaran continued her suggestion.

They all knew the truth of that. The once Princess Renner, now queen, herself was formally a vassal to the Undead. Maybe… just maybe…

With a steadying breath, Lakyus spoke her proposal. "I think we all want to know more. About our companion if nothing else, and myself I just want to know more about the large cataclysmic shift in the world. But this is a decision too big for just me to make. Time for a team decision. Is anybody opposed to going to E-Rantel?"

Nobody breathed a word. "Then, it looks like Blue Rose is going on a trip. I like your suggestion Gagaran, we should see if the queen can see us first. Unless there are other thoughts, let us prepare to set out in the morning."

With a deep laugh, Gagaran nearly shouted, "It's about time we go to see our shorty!"

"I can only hope there isn't too much trouble seeing Renner. It isn't like it used to be when she had no responsibilities." Renner is a monarch now. A great burden for one so young, Lakyus thought.

Tia rose to her aid. "The palace has been very quiet lately. Or rather more efficient. Nobles come to report to her, not to jockey for power or scheme like the old days."

That is true. A challenge to Renner is very much a challenge to Ainz Ooal Gown himself, and nobody is so foolish as to invite his wrath. "All the same, if we can I'd like to see her if possible. If not, then we will go ahead with our plans. Are there any objections to that?"

One by one, the members shook their heads. "Okay then. Time to schedule an appointment with Her Majesty."

*A/N: Greetings! This is the first real attempt at creative writing I have done. Many of the stories on here have the format of what I call "Momonga and me" with a great number of original characters and author inserts. As a reader I asked myself, "what kind of story would I like to be reading?" This is the result of that question. A good bit of the story is already written and planned out, so this first bit will be rather rapid fire on releases. Some of this story is inspired by Henopenko's story "The Girl Without a Village," so my greatest thanks goes out to Henupenko, and some elements are borrowed with permission.

With this, I have baited the hook and there will be a lot more to come. I hope you enjoy the journey going forward. So on that note I do greatly enjoy hearing from my readers and I make the attempt to reply to every review. Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated or if we just wind up talking about the rich Overlord world so Reviews are the real prize for me. I hope you enjoy this bite size appetizer, and thank you for reading.*