1 「The Beginning」
The warmth of an alien sun tore Cipher's eyes open, greeting him with the sweet singing of birds.
What was this strange sensation? The DMMO was still active... Where was the main hub? A million thoughts were processed in swift moments as his eyes took in the world around him. Reaching up, he rubbed his eyes with the balls of this thumbs.
That's when he paused and stared forward. The sun was high in the sky, it was noon. The last time he had even peered outside it was that of night.
His head snapped to the right, then to the left. No one was in the room, his study. He was alone, why was he alone? He was pretty sure his other two guild mates were here. Did they sign out when he had fallen asleep? A light frown swept across his lips.
This would've been the sixth time they had left him be, and sadly, last night was their last union. Their only connection was this game, and the servers had shut down.
Cipher paused, what was going on here? The servers were supposed to have shut down, he shouldn't be here! He pressed his lips together firmly and flared his nose in a strange series of thoughts.
Was the game really shut down? Or was it an update for a new world, a new game? No, this didn't make sense to him, not by much.
Gazing over the nearby shelves which decorated the walls. He was growing curious of what happened. Everything seemed to be in finer detail, more interactive and life-like. When he walked over to the nearest shelf and reached to retrieve a book, he slipped it right off the shelf.
His sights were set on the cover. It looked aged, a leather bound book with mystic glyphs on the cover.
In a sound moment, he froze when her received a message from another person. It was someone he knew, or at least came in contact with in more than one occasion. Momonga, one of the forty some members of a Guild known as Ainz Ooal Gown. It was a supposedly evil aligned guild, but to him it was just roleplay, something he enjoyed very much. This game was an escape, even though he used his skills as a hacker and developer to get what he wanted without trying too hard.
Of course however despite his abilities and his cheats, he was a perfect PVP build.
"...Momonga?" He said aloud, though answering the very message sent out to get the attention of players with the intention of making allies or helping them with his telepathic voice.
"That voice... Cipher?" Momonga who was in the King's Throne within the Tomb of Nazarick. "Are you the only one?"
With the book clutched in his hand, Cipher made his way over to the terrace of his study. His eyes casting their view over his Citadel. The city which once surrounded it, that his fortress overlooked, was gone. He was surrounded by greenery on all sides, elevated from the ground and dominating the scenery. However his eyes quickly rested upon an approaching party.
"I am the only one, but I see people outside. Looks like a party of four," he squinted his eyes for the moment before turning his head to the side. "Where is this? And is there really no one else?" Cipher frowned at the idea of being in a world with just one acquaintance. While that could be remedied quickly, he was growing curious of what could possibly over the horizon.
"I am not sure where this is, but it sure is not YGGDRASIL. Judging from what you said, you are inside of..?"
"The Citadel, but the City it overlooked is gone." His eyes seemed to gloss over at the thought of what could have happened to it.
With his eyes still on the incoming forms, he could only wonder, would these people tell him? They weren't players, as far as he could tell. Otherwise they would have responded to Momonga, right? All he could do was stare at the four figures encroaching on what he could only assume was his territory.
The gates to the courtyard were closed, but they weren't locked. All they had to do was push on them, but it was likely the guards would pounce on the soon to be intruders. "Hm..."
The great white outer walls, coral blue roof tiles and the Japanese interior. He loved this place as much as he loved his home. Next to just about anything else that he had interest in, was historic architecture of Japan. While he himself wasn't native Japanese, he had lived there up until this happened.
"Are you able to log out?" Cipher asked as he turned his head to the side, as if to look at someone who was standing beside him. Yet no one was there. Again, this caused him to frown, so impersonal.
"No. I couldn't even contact the GMs either."
Pursing his lips at this, it appeared that this wasn't one of his initial thoughts, it wasn't an update. This isn't a new world per say in the way he was thinking.
Looking down from the terrace and into the courtyard below, his sights narrowed on a small bouncing female elf with black hair and blue wearing a Miko Priestess outfit, waving both hands up at him. One of her hands was grasping a straw broom which was actually an ancient straight edge katana in disguise.
Cipher could only blink so many times as the last time he could recall, NPCs didn't move like this. They didn't have all that feeling in their gestures and movements like he was seeing now.
"Uh... Momo, why are the NPCs acting strangely?"
"... Did you just call me Momo?" A rhetorically curious Momonga asked with a chuckle, "And the NPCs... They're sentient now."
Cipher was almost speechless, but for some reason it began to make sense in his own twisted lemon of logic. His eyes traveled from the NPC and over to the adventurers who were at the bottom of the legion of stairs leading up to the courtyard gates.
"So they're more... Human now?"
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"I wouldn't call them more Human." Momonga laughed a bit nervously, "They're more like fanatics, in a good way, kind of... I think."
"I may or may not have changed Albedo's settings..."
"Oh?" Cipher scratched his chin as he stared at those at the bottom of the steps. He could see them just over the roofing over the gate. He locked eyes with one of them, one who seemed to be their leader.
"What should I do about these unknowns?" He asked as he had no idea for the time being who he was dealing with.
"First tell me, what does it look like outside?"
"Very green. It doesn't look at all like the Game. Everything also seems a lot more... Real." His eyes narrowed as he felt a slight breeze brush his nose. "Is this really not the game?"
"I haven't gone outside, I'll be arranging for one of the NPCs to survey my surroundings."
"Understandable. I will assess these... Humanoids. When you find out your location, I have a world items that allow the relocation of any facilities. I can bring the Citadel to Nazarick."
"No, save your items. You might need them to hide or run from any enemies."
Cipher was known for his PVP, so he knew what to do. Having Momonga advise him, he didn't take it to heart, but he also enjoyed just having someone familiar to talk to.
"Alright. Offer will remain standing though, it's up to me after all."
Already sighted by the Adventurers down below, they appeared to wave to Cipher and attempted to shout to him.
The Miko Priestess turned her head towards the gate and raised a brow, her stance becoming tense.
"Stand down, Min." Cipher said immediately, waving his hand back at them with only two of his fingers raised. He couldn't hear them clearly and soon enough they were disappearing behind the gate as they made their way up the steps.
"Yes, M'lord!" She shouted up at him.
Cipher rubbed the tip of his nose with his index finger. He was dressed in Divine Class attire and armaments, a double breasted black military tunic and baggy pants, hard leather boots. Over his tunic was a black cuirass chest piece and back piece, along with the addition of a gorget around his neck and shoulders. Over his shoulder and to the opposite hip, was a gold sash, while there was a blue sash around his waist along with a black belt.
He also wore a divine quilted cloak, blue in color, called the Cloak of Greater Attributes. It was originally a vanity item which he in turn made into a true functional piece. Increasing all of his attributes several times over the already surpassed limits.
As he looked over toward the mirror in the study, he traced over his scruffy dirty blond almost dirt brown hairdo, sapphire blue eyes and pale peach toned skin. It reflected his real looks, or the looks which were once himself.
"My Lord, there are unknowns arriving! What are your Orders!?" A man in scale armor came clambering into the room. It was none other than Sir Gallifrey with his salt and pepper hair and thick grey handlebar mustache waxed to perfection.
Blinking a few times towards the man, Cipher let out an awkward chuckle. "I... Know that already. Thank you. Have the defenses stand down for the time being until they are assessed."
"My Lord?" Gallifrey asked as he stepped forward, his hand resting idly on the hilt of his katana.
"You are the Master Guardian of the Blue Citadel are you not? Relay my orders! Have the other guardians assemble in the main foyer!"
"Yes My Lord!" Gallifrey made a brief bow of respect before scattering clumsily out of the room.
While in combat Gallifrey is one of the most dangerous to deal with amongst all the other members in the sixteen Guardians of the Blue Citadel, he was clumsy when not in a tense situation.
Moving to face the courtyard once more from the terrace, his eyes were locked on the gate.
The wood-guised material would creak open, revealing four adventurers with silver tags. He pursed his lips slightly viewing them. An interesting group.
In that instant he used spell 「Greater Identification」he could see their general statistics, their names and various other items of interest such as their party names. He used this on players to learn about them before direct confrontation. So he was using it on them, his prime targets for information gathering. However as he was reading through their information, he pursed his lips. The one identified as Ninya, which appears to be an assumed name, had a talent. Magical Aptitude.
Then there was the druid named Dyne. A Ranger named Lukrut and the Warrior Peter.
"Three Blonds and a Brunette," Cipher uttered under his breath and chuckled to himself.
"Excuse me?" Momonga spoke up, they were still connected using 「Message」.
"A group of weaklings, but they have some surprising talents. A druid, a spell caster, ranger and a warrior. A very cliché group of adventurers maybe?"
"Hm... What are their levels?"
"I'd say they're below level thirty, a bit stronger than a Villager NPC from the game. Newbs."
"Huh. I'll leave you to it, Cipher. If you need any help, call upon me. We may have our creations, but we are still alone." Momonga pointed out and soon enough the back of Cipher's head was silent. Momon was no longer using 「Message」.