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  1. Chapter 4: A Craftsman and Negotiation
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  7. The two summoned Death Knights vanished through the other side of the gates. They roared in anticipation of joyful slaughter, while the cries of the dying rang out. Once the gates slowly closed, the thickness of the double doors meant that the sounds of carnage on the other side did little more than tickle the eardrums.
  8.  
  9. “Things should be alright for now.”
  10.  
  11. There was a time limit on Death Knights that were not made with corpses. Even so, if the estimates of Quagoa combat power from their captives was accurate, they should be able to defeat a sizable portion of the attackers even without knowing their opponents’ numbers. As long as the enemy was not too incompetent, they would surely pull back to regroup after taking sufficient losses.
  12.  
  13. I hope they don’t retreat just yet. If they build a field camp, it’ll mean the danger is still clear and present. That way, the Dwarven nation will have to work with us. I should order the Death Knights to hold back for now… it’s quite troublesome when you can’t win by too large a margin.
  14.  
  15. As Ainz contemplated these details in silence, he glanced to the commander-in-chief, who was looking at him with a twitching smile on his face. Ainz had no idea why he had that smile born of terror on his face -- and in that moment an imaginary light bulb shone above Ainz’ head.
  16.  
  17. He should have become used to my appearance by now, so it’s probably because of the Quagoa screaming outside. Well, it’s true that the wails of the dying can be somewhat disturbing.
  18.  
  19. That said, Ainz felt that he should not mind the screaming of the enemy so much. Still, he would not be human -- or a Dwarf, rather -- if he did not think that way.
  20.  
  21. But how can someone like that be a commander of warriors? This is somewhat worrying.
  22.  
  23. He knew he was thinking too much about this, but Ainz continued looking at the commander-in-chief. At this moment, Gondo approached him.
  24.  
  25. “Then, Your Majesty. I shall be returning home for a bit.”
  26.  
  27. “Ahh. Then, will you help me settle things on your end?”
  28.  
  29. “Of course. I will arrange for it and send it out. It’s alright if the time or whatever isn’t adjusted, right? I can count on your spells if something happens, right?”
  30.  
  31. Ainz extended a fist and bumped it against Gondo’s. They had talked about many things before coming here, and it would seem it had been effective.
  32.  
  33. Gondo really does go on and on...
  34. (龚德的话很漫长啊……)
  35.  
  36. He tended to monopolize the conversation, and he spoke at such lengths that it seemed neverending. This must have been the result of being obsessed about the almost lost-art of runesmithing and then being ostracized. That was why he kept babbling about the topic to Ainz -- who had an interest in the topic -- like a burst dam.
  37. 他的话是单方面的,而且长到让人觉得无休无止的程度。这是执着于符文工匠这种即将消失的技术,体会到了被疏远的感受的缘故。所以他才会对抱有兴趣的安兹,将想说的话如决堤一般地滔滔不绝的吧。
  38.  
  39. Ainz could understand how he felt, because there were times when Ainz had also wanted to talk to people who shared his interests. However, Ainz was not going along with this long monologue out of the kindness of his heart.
  40. 想要与志同道合的人交谈的这种想法安兹也是有的。所以才明白他的感受。但是安兹会配合这么漫长的谈话可并不是因为温柔。
  41.  
  42. Gondo lightly tapped his magic backpack and began walking away.
  43. 龚德轻轻敲了敲自己的魔法背包,背对安兹迈开了步子。
  44.  
  45. The commander-in-chief seemed to have something to say to the retreating Gondo, but he did not call out to him.
  46. 总司令官像是有什么话想对离去的龚德说的样子,但并没有叫住他。
  47.  
  48. “Then, what should we do now? Should we wait a while before opening the gate and inspecting the results of the battle?”
  49. 「那么我们应该怎么办呢?是该稍等片刻后打开门,确认一下结果么?」
  50.  
  51. The commander in chief must have anticipated Ainz’s question. He replied instantly, as though he had already prepared the answer beforehand.
  52. 是预料到了安兹的问题吧。就像是回答早就准备好了一样,总司令官瞬间给出了答复。
  53.  
  54. “It is deeply disrespectful to have the sovereign of a nation waiting here. I feel we should proceed to the Council Chamber and present your suggestion to everyone.”
  55. 「让身为一国之主的陛下您在这里等待实在是失礼至极。我认为应该先前往摄政会,在那里将陛下您的提议告知大家才对」
  56.  
  57. “Why not take a look at the consequences?”
  58. 「不看看结果也行么?」
  59.  
  60. “I think Your Majesty’s introduction is more important. I sent a message to the Council while the Quagoa were attacking. They are probably still fumbling for some way to deal with the situation now. I feel that we should present them with new information before they panic and give bad orders.”
  61. 「比起那个更重要的是对陛下的介绍。在土掘兽人攻过来的阶段就已经向摄政会送去了传令。现在,应该正在摸索着应对的方法。我认为在因为慌乱而发出不恰当命令之前,应该先把新的情报交给他们」
  62.  
  63. “I see. In that case, I have no objections. Please, lead on.”
  64. 「原来如此。那样的话我没有异议。带路就拜托了」
  65.  
  66. “Understood. However, Your Majesty’s magical beasts will surely terrify the common folk. It ashames me to ask, but could you have them stand by here? We will take care of them to the best of our ability if you inform us of the key points…”
  67. 「遵命。但是陛下的魔兽怕是会给民众带来混乱。非常惭愧,能让它们在此待机吗?告诉我们要点的话会尽可能地照顾好它们的……」
  68.  
  69. Ainz looked towards Aura, who nodded.
  70. 安兹向亚乌菈送去视线,亚乌菈上下点了一下头。
  71.  
  72. “I see. Then they shall wait here.”
  73. 「知道了。那就让它们在那边待机吧」
  74.  
  75. Ainz indicated to a corner of the garrison with a bony finger, and the commander nodded in agreement.
  76. 安兹用指骨指向这个驻屯基地的一角,司令官点头同意。
  77.  
  78. “Also, there is no need to care for them. We will take care of that. I will have three of my followers accompany me.”
  79. 「而且你们没有照顾的必要。这边会处理好的。跟在我身边的随从就选三名左右好了」
  80.  
  81. Ainz selected Shalltear, Aura and Zenberu. He ordered the others to wait here.
  82. 安兹只选了夏提雅、亚乌菈和泽贝尔三人。对剩下的人给出了在此待机的命令。
  83.  
  84. The commander-in-chief looked somewhat relieved. It would seem he did not want to have the undead strutting through the streets.
  85. 总司令官的表情变得安心了一点。果然是不想让不死者在大街上大摇大摆地走来走去吧。
  86.  
  87. “Then, shall we make a move?”
  88. 「那么就动身吧?」
  89.  
  90. “Ah, please do.”
  91. 「啊啊,拜托了」
  92.  
  93. Ainz and company walked proudly through the Dwarven city, led by the commander-in-chief. An almost painful amount of curious stares focused on him, while Dwarven mothers who saw Ainz hid their children indoors. That made him somewhat disappointed.
  94. 由总司令官带路,安兹一行人堂堂正正地走在矮人的都市里。奇异的目光自然是让人难受地聚集了起来,目击到安兹的矮人母亲更是把孩子藏到家里,这可让安兹有些失望。
  95.  
  96. Of course, he could have been less obvious if he wished.
  97. 当然,想要不那么显眼也是可能的。
  98.  
  99. If he had put on a mask, much fewer people would have stared at him. That said, there was a reason why he had not chosen to cover his face.
  100. 恐怕戴上面具的话,视线的数量就会减少很多吧。明明是这样也没有把脸遮起来是为了某种目的。
  101.  
  102. It was because he wanted to announce his arrival in the city of the Dwarves. It was not very likely that there would be a player in the Dwarven nations if it had to seek external help against an invasion like this. However, there might be low-level players here, or items they had left behind.
  103. 那就是要做出自己来到了矮人都市的宣言。让土掘兽人攻到这种地步,不得不靠外部的力量来应对的矮人国里想来是不会有玩家的。然而还是有可能会有低等级的玩家,或者玩家留下的道具。
  104.  
  105. Like that spell-sealing crystal.
  106. (就像那封魔水晶一样)
  107.  
  108. In order to avoid being attacked by such items, he would have to manufacture proof of his visit in an aboveboard manner. In this way, they would not be able to settle things clandestinely.
  109. 所以为了不被那样的的道具攻击,要在台面上制造出来访的证据。这样就没办法在暗中解决了吧。
  110.  
  111. In addition, while he had not yet decided what sort of ambassadorial party he would send, it was quite likely that he might end up using undead beings for that purpose. Therefore, he wanted to let them get used to it.
  112. 而且还没有决定好今后要派遣什么样的使节团,使用不死者是非常有可能的。为此想要让他们多少能够适应一些。
  113.  
  114. “Still, nobody seems worried, despite the extent of the Quagoa invasion.”
  115. 「不过,明明土掘兽人都已经攻到那里了,却并没有什么紧张感啊」
  116.  
  117. Ainz asked the commander-in-chief that question after seeing two red-faced Dwarves stagger out of a tavern, arms around each others’ shoulders.
  118. 目击到与朋友勾肩搭背走出酒馆满脸通红张大着嘴的矮人的身姿,安兹向总司令官发出了疑问。
  119.  
  120. The unmistakeable scent of alcohol surrounded them.
  121. 那些男人身上毫无疑问散发着酒精的味道。
  122.  
  123. “That is because the people do not know the Quagoa have attacked.”
  124. 「那是因为市民们还不知道土掘兽人们发起了进攻这件事」
  125.  
  126. “And… why is that?”
  127. 「那是……怎么一回事?」
  128.  
  129. Their sense of self-preservation appeared to be terminally defective.
  130. 不是太缺乏危机意识了么。
  131.  
  132. The commander-in-chief seemed to have read Ainz’s mind, and he replied:
  133. 就像是看出了安兹的这种想法,总司令官回答道。
  134.  
  135. “The Quagoa advanced too quickly, so the information did not spread. Depending on the Council’s decision, it ought to start spreading within an hour.”
  136. 「因为土掘兽人的进攻速度太快,情报还没有那么充足而已。根据摄政会的判断,大概不到一小时里就会流传开来的吧」
  137.  
  138. “Hm. Well, I did order my vassals to retake the bridge, so once they do so, the city will be safe for the time being, no? This is quite an important factor for when we begin trade with this country.”
  139. 「嗯。姑且是对派出的仆从们下达了夺还吊桥的命令,成功夺还后这座城市是不是暂且就安全了呢?今后,与这个国家进行贸易的时候,这可是必须重视的重要事项之一啊」
  140.  
  141. “That is hard to say. Given the size of the enemy force, we don’t know when the opposition will begin their advance in earnest. Once we take the bridge back, we’ll need to solidify our defenses, investigate their flanking route, and plan a strategy against them.”
  142. 「很难啊。要根据这次进攻的敌人的数量,也不知道对面进攻时认真到了哪种程度。夺还之后,应该会巩固防御,调查他们的迂回路线,做好进一步对策吧」
  143.  
  144. Ainz smiled evilly within his heart.
  145. 安兹在心中邪恶地笑了。
  146.  
  147. It looked like there would be many chances to sell this country favors in the future. That being the case, it might be best not to change his Death Knights’ orders to retake the bridge.
  148. 自己一行人活跃——卖给这个国家人情的机会似乎还有很多很多的样子。那么给死亡骑士的指示就还是夺还吊桥不变好了。
  149.  
  150. “--What?!”
  151. 「——什么!?」
  152.  
  153. Ainz’s voice set the commander-in-chief’s shoulders trembling.
  154. 安兹的声音让总司令官的肩膀大大地抖了一下。
  155.  
  156. “Aiiiee! What, what is it, Your Majesty?!”
  157. 「噫!怎!怎么了,魔导王陛下!」
  158.  
  159. “No, it’s nothing. Something on my end. There’s no need to worry. There’s no need to ask further,” Ainz emphasised those words in iron tones to shut down the other man’s questions.
  160. 「没,没什么。这边的事情。无需介意」
  161.  
  162. 不要追问下去,安兹用强硬的声音中止了对方的质问。
  163.  
  164. This reaction -- which was quite unlike Ainz -- was because he had lost his composure.
  165. 这不像安兹的应对是因为失去了余裕。
  166.  
  167. There was no response from the two Death Knights he had made, which should have been stationed near Feoh Gēr.
  168. ——应该待在菲欧·玖拉近郊的、自己生成的两具死亡骑士的反应消失了。
  169.  
  170. There was only one conclusion he could draw from this shocking conclusion.
  171. 能根据这惊愕的事实推断出的答案只有一个。
  172.  
  173. --The Death Knights had been defeated.
  174. 那就是死亡骑士被打倒了。
  175.  
  176. Hoh!
  177. (嚯哦!)
  178.  
  179. Death Knights were fairly weak to Ainz. However, by the standards of this world, they were formidable opponents even for the most powerful members of a nation. Anyone who could defeat two fearsome knights like that must be very powerful.
  180.  
  181. In addition, their responses had vanished at almost the same time.
  182. 死亡骑士对于安兹来说是比较弱小的。然而,以这个世界的基准而言,即使是对于在国内屈指可数的强者来说,也应该是相当难对付的强敌。能击败这样两具恐怖骑士的人一定是强者。而且两具的反应又几乎是同时消失的。
  183.  
  184. Had they been simultaneously destroyed as part of a carefully laid plan?
  185. 是算准了时机刚好同时击破的吗。
  186.  
  187. Had someone finished them off with an area-effect spell?
  188. 是用范围攻击来做最后一击的吗。
  189.  
  190. Had a powerful individual simply obliterated them in one stroke?
  191. 是强力的个体直接将其一扫而尽了吗。
  192.  
  193. Whatever the answer was, there was certainly another mighty being present, apart from the bizarre masked magic caster he had encountered in the Royal Capital.
  194. 无论答案是哪一个,恐怕都无疑是继王都遇见的那个古怪面具魔法咏唱者后的又一强者了吧。
  195.  
  196. Someone who could defeat the defense-oriented Death Knights by themselves would probably be over level 45.
  197. 如果是单人打倒的死亡骑士,考虑到能同时击倒防御型的死亡骑士,推测等级应该要在四十五级以上。
  198.  
  199. “Does that mean I’ve been found out?”
  200. 「这是被我找到了吗?」
  201.  
  202. The commander-in-chief looked at Ainz in response to his mumblings, but Ainz had no time to worry about him.
  203. 对自言自语做出反应,总司令官再次抬头看向这边。但现在没有闲工夫去管他。
  204.  
  205. An unknown, powerful being was most likely to be a player. If an enemy of Ainz’s level had come to this world, a measly two Death Knights would be child’s play to deal with.
  206. 考虑未知强者的话首先应该是玩家。要是和安兹一样以高等级来到这个世界的敌人,区区两具死亡骑士很容易就能收拾掉。
  207.  
  208. If there’s a player-related entity here who’s not connected to the Dwarves, does that mean they’re on the side of the Quagoa? Then, are they related to the people who brainwashed Shalltear?
  209. (和玩家有关的人物不是在矮人之中,而是在土掘兽人那边吗?那么,与洗脑了夏提雅的家伙有什么关系么?)
  210.  
  211. Searing fire blazed up in his chest.
  212. 胸中那灼热的火焰喷涌而上。
  213.  
  214. Hitherto smoldering embers flared into a raging inferno, as though someone had poured gasoline on them. However, they were swiftly suppressed.
  215. 至今为止微弱燃烧着的火苗,就像投下了燃料般猛烈了起来。不过,立刻就被抑制住了。
  216.  
  217. “No, it’s not possible. If they were related, the Dwarven city would have fallen long ago. It’s more likely that it’s a mighty individual from this world. However, I can’t conclude that there’s no connection. That being the case, I will need to alter my plans.”
  218. 「不,不可能。要是有关系的话,矮人都市应该早就陷落了。是这世界的普通强者的可能性更高。然而,没办法一口断言绝对不可能。这样的话就有变更预定的必要了啊」
  219.  
  220. Ainz had originally hoped that the war between the Quagoa and the Dwarves would go on.
  221. 安兹原本所希望的是,土掘兽人和矮人的战争能够就这样持久下去。
  222.  
  223. With the obvious enemy of the Quagoa before them, the Dwarves might well choose to flock to Ainz’s banner. However, leaving the Quagoa alone -- giving them too much time -- would be very dangerous.
  224. 土掘兽人这明确的敌人的存在,根据状况说不定会让矮人选择加入安兹的麾下。但是,那样将土掘兽人放置下去——给予过多时间的话可能会很危险。
  225.  
  226. If they were a race that habitually spawned powerful individuals, then while they might only have slain Death Knights now, who knew what else they would destroy in the future? Right now -- while he could still deal with them -- the best thing to would be to either enslave them or annihilate them completely.
  227.  
  228. The latter might well be the better course of action.
  229. 要是个经常出现强者的种族,这回只是死亡骑士,但将来不知道会触及哪种程度。就在现在——能够应对的现在,给他们戴上项圈,或是彻底歼灭的做法说不定会更好。
  230.  
  231. Ideally, I would be able to subjugate the Quagoa and have them threaten the Dwarves from the shadows, but… A single misstep might lead to a fatal error. It would be safer not to do that.
  232. (最好是能将土掘兽人支配,暗地里操纵他们来威胁矮人,但是……要是有一个小错误就会演变为致命的失态啊。还是不这么做比较保险)
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