The pressure that was crushing their heads to the ground suddenly vanished.
Even after the departure of the master of their revered creators, nobody raised their heads. After a while, someone sighed in relief. The tense atmosphere was gone now.
The first to get up was Albedo. Her white dress was stained where her knee had touched the ground, but she did not mind at all. She flapped her wings to swipe off the dirt on her feathers.
After seeing Albedo rise, the others followed suit, though nobody dared to speak.
“That, that was scary, nee-chan.”
“Yeah, I thought I’d be squashed flat.”
“As expected of Momonga-sama, to think his presence would have such a great effect on us Floor Guardians…”
“As. A. Supreme. Being. His. Might. Overmatches. Ours. But. I. Did. Not. Expect. Him. To. Be. This. Powerful.”
Thus the Guardians shared their impressions of Momonga.
The aura that Momonga emitted was the source of the power that had crushed the Guardians to the ground .
Besides inflicting a fear effect, it could reduce the stats of its victims. Normally, it would not have an effect on the level 100 NPCs, but on this occasion, its effects had been strengthened by the Staff of Ainz Ooal Gown.
“Momonga-sama must have unleashed the air of authority that represents his right to rule.”
“Indeed. Before we stated our positions, Momonga-sama did not exert his might. However, once we showed ourselves in the role of Floor Guardians, he must have revealed a fraction of his awesome power to us.”
“In. Other. Words. Momonga-sama. Revealed. His. Face. As. A. Ruler. In. Response. To. Our. Pledges. Of. Loyalty.”
“That does seem like the case.”
“He didn’t radiate that aura when he was with us. Momonga-sama was kind, and gave us something to drink when we were thirsty.”
Aura’s words caused the other Guardians to emit an air of tension. It was condensed jealousy that was almost visible to the naked eye. The worst-off was Albedo, whose clenched fist was trembling and whose nails threatened to rip through the fabric of her glove.
Mare’s shoulders trembled, and then his eyes went wide.
“That, that must have been the true power of Momonga-sama, the ruler of the Great Tomb of Nazarick. It was amazing!”
That changed the mood instantly.
“Exactly! He showed us his ability as an absolute ruler in response to our feelings… as expected of our creator. The zenith of the 41 Supreme Beings, and the kind master who remained here with us until the very end.”
Albedo’s words put a blissful look on all the Guardians’ faces, although the expression on Mare’s face was better described as “relaxed”.
There was nothing which could delight them more than the master who created them, the master to whom they owed their utmost loyalty, revealing his true face to them.
The Guardians, no, every entity created by the Supreme Beings wanted nothing more than to aid their creators in some way. The next best thing would be to receive their trust and to be treated as useful servants.
This was a simple, natural truth.
This was the greatest joy in life for these characters who were created to aid the Supreme Beings. Then, as though to wipe away this jubilant atmosphere, Sebas said from the side:
“Then, I shall take my leave first. I do not know where Momonga-sama has gone, but I should stay by his side.”
Jealousy was written all over Albedo’s face, but she quashed her feelings and replied:
“I understand. Then, Sebas, serve Momonga-sama well and do not disgrace him. Report to me if anything happens. In particular, if Momonga-sama summons me, you must let me know immediately. Everything else is of secondary importance to that!”
A pained expression crossed Demiurge’s face as he listened quietly from the side.
“But if he desires me in his bedchamber, you must inform Momonga-sama that I might be a while, in order to bathe and cleanse myself for him. Of course, if he wants me to proceed to him immediately, that is fine as well. After all, I do my best to keep clean for him, and my clothes have already been selected so I can heed his call whenever it comes. In any case, Momonga-sama’s wishes will always come first—”
“—I understand, Albedo. If I waste too much time here, I will not have enough to properly serve Momonga-sama, which would be disrespectful. Therefore, forgive my abrupt departure, but I must take my leave. Floor Guardians, I bid you all a good day.”
After saying his farewells to the wide-eyed and open-mouthed Guardians, Sebas immediately jogged away, as though to leave Albedo (who was preparing for a long monologue) behind.
“Speaking of which… it is fairly quiet around here. Shalltear, is something the matter?”
After Demiurge’s question, everyone’s eyes went to Shalltear. She was still on her knees.
“What. Is. Wrong. Shalltear?”
She lifted her head after she was called on again. The dazed look on her face would make people think that she had just been woken up.
“Ah, after being exposed to Momonga-sama’s awesome presence, I could not help but get excited… I fear my underwear has gone through a bit of a crisis…”
Everyone looked at each other, unsure of what to say. The Guardians mused that Shalltear had, by far, the most fetishes among them, and that one of said fetishes was necrophilia. They facepalmed as they thought about this, although Mare didn’t quite get it and was thoroughly confused. No, one of the Guardians was not content to simply shake her head and sigh.
That was Albedo.
The jealousy surging in her made Albedo come out and say:
Shalltear sensed Albedo’s hostility as she heard those scornful words. Her lips curled in hostility, and she responded with a bewitching smile.
“What? Having Momonga-sama, the most beautiful of the Supreme Beings, bless us with his energy is a reward! Anyone who doesn’t get wet from that
must have something wrong in their head! Or could it be that you don’t just look pure, but you don’t have any fleshly desires at all, you big-mouthed gorilla?!”
The two of them glared at each other. The Guardians did not know if they would fight as a result of this, but the way they were looking at each other was very unsettling.
“My appearance was created by the Supreme Beings, do you have a problem with it?”
“Shouldn’t I be saying that?”
Shalltear slowly raised herself, and the two of them closed in on each other. Even so, their eyes remained locked. Eventually, the two of them came so close that they collided into each other.
“Don’t think you’ve won just because you’re the Guardian Overseer and can stay next to Momonga-sama. If you really think that way, I’ll laugh my ass off.”
“Hmph. That’s correct. While you’re stationed in a faraway place, I’ll swoop in and achieve a complete victory.”
“...What do you mean by ‘a complete victory’? Teach me, Guardian Overseer-sama.”
“As a slut, you should be fully aware of what that means.”
Throughout their trade of verbal barbs, neither of them had turned their gaze from each other. They simply looked into each other’s eyes with a blank expression on their faces.
With a pacha, Albedo unfurled her wings in a threat display. Black mist wreathed Shalltear as she responded in kind, unwilling to admit weakness.
“Ah — Aura, matters between women should be settled by a fellow woman. If anything happens I’ll come to help, let me know when the time comes, all right?”
“Hey, wait, Demiurge! Are you planning to dump all of this on me?”
Demiurge simply waved lazily as he walked away from the feuding pair. Cocytus and Mare took a step back as well. Nobody wanted to get drawn in by them.
“Really, do they have to argue over this sort of thing?”
“Personally, I would be quite interested in the result.”
“What do you mean by ‘the result’, Demiurge?”
“I refer to the increase in our fighting power, the future of Nazarick, and so on.”
“D-Demiurge, what do you mean?”
Demiurge pondered how he should answer Mare’s question. For a moment, an evil impulse swept through Demiurge’s head and he thought of infusing the simple Mare with adult knowledge, but he promptly discarded that line of thinking.
Demiurge was a devil, and he was cruel and ruthless, but that only applied to people outside Nazarick. To Demiurge, the characters made by the 41 Supreme Beings were his comrades.
“Any great leader requires a successor, no? Momonga-sama may have stayed with us until the end, but if he loses interest in us one day, he may leave for another place like the rest of the Supreme Beings. Thus, there is a need for a successor to whom we can pledge our loyalty.”
“I see. Then, which of us will be Momonga-sama’s successor?”
“How. Disrespectful. As. Guardians. We. Are. To. Serve. Momonga-sama. Faithfully. So. He. May. Stay. That. Is. What. We. Were. Made. For.”
Demiurge turned to the interrupting Cocytus.
“Of course I understand that, Cocytus. But do you not wish to pledge your loyalty to Momonga-sama’s heir?”
“Hmm… Of. Course. I. Would. Like. To. Swear. My. Allegiance. To. Momonga-sama’s. Heir…”
Cocytus began imagining himself running around with said heir on his shoulders.
Then he began imagining himself teaching him swordsmanship, drawing his blade to defend the Young Master, and even hearing the full-grown Young Master giving him orders.
“...Oh. How. Wonderful. What. A Glorious. Sight… Uncle… Uncle…”
Somewhat unable to bear it, Demiurge averted his eyes from Cocytus, who was fully into imagining himself as a cool old uncle, faithfully serving Momonga’s heir.
“Well, that aside, I’m quite interested in knowing what our children can do for the strengthening of the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick. How about it, Mare, do you want to make a child?”
“Still, you don’t have a partner… if you discover any Humans, Dark Elves, Wood Elves or similar species, would you kindly capture them for me?”
After thinking for a bit, Mare nodded and said, “If, if it helps Momonga-sama... I’m willing to contribute. But how will I have children?”
“Well, I’ll teach you about that when the time comes. But if you decide to try some breeding experiments on your own, Momonga-sama might scold you. After all, the operations of Nazarick are perfectly balanced.”
“That, that’s true. I’ve heard that all the underlings were created after careful calculation by one of the Supreme Beings… If we carelessly increase our numbers, we’ll be scolded. I, I don’t want to be scolded by Momonga-sama…”
“Of course, I don’t want to be rebuked by the Supreme Beings either… if only I could set up a farm outside Nazarick…”
As Demiurge thought of this, he decided to mention the one thing nobody had teased him about:
“Ah yes, Mare, why are you dressed as a girl?”
Mare grabbed at his miniskirt to hide his legs after Demiurge asked his question.
“This was Bukubukuchagama-sama’s decision. She said this was called a ‘trap’, so it should have nothing to do with my gender.”
“Oh, so this was Bukubukuchagama-sama’s decision. Well then, those clothes should be fine on you… although, should all boys dress in that way?”
“I, I don’t know about that.”
The 41 Supreme Beings were no longer around, but even so, the mention of their names still compelled obedience. Or rather, in the Great Underground Tomb of Nazarick, Mare was dressed as he should be, and nobody apart from another Supreme Being could change his wardrobe.
“...I wonder if I should talk to Momonga-sama about this. Perhaps all boys should be dressed like that. I say… Cocytus, it’s time to wake up.”
After hearing his colleague’s words, Cocytus shook his head several times, a deeply satisfied smile on his face.
“Ah. What. A. Beautiful. Sight… Truly. it. Was. Everything. I. Have. Ever. Dreamed. Of.”
“Is that so… well then, that’s good.... Are Albedo and Shalltear still fighting?”
The feuding pair’s eyes were slightly averted. However, the one that answered Demiurge was the tired-looking Aura, standing by the side.
“They’re… done. Right now, they’re arguing about…”
“The problem of who should be the first wife.”
“It would be strange for the ruler of the Great Tomb of Nazarick to only have one wife. The question now is who is worthy of being Momonga-sama’s first wife…”
“...While that is quite an interesting question, we should probably discuss that later. All right, Albedo, won’t you give us our orders? There will be many things to do later on.”
“Indeed, you’re right. I need to issue orders soon. Shalltear, I’ll discuss this matter with you at length soon enough. We’ll need to spend some time on it.”
“I have no objections, Albedo. No other matter is more worthy of our time.”
“Very well. Then, let us move on to our plans for the future.”
After seeing Albedo recover her dignity as the Guardian Overseer, all the Floor Guardians lowered their heads in respect. However, they did not genuflect.
Of course, they had to show their respect to the Guardian Overseer Albedo, but she was not their master. While the 41 Supreme Beings had set her over all the other characters that they had created, but even the position of Guardian Overseer was merely one set down by the 41 Supreme Beings, and as such the other Guardians needed only to pay her the respect due to her station. Thus, they lowered their heads to her. On her part, Albedo was not angry at this, because she knew that was the most correct course of action.