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  2. =================================================================================================================
  4. Few volumes later
  5. Ainz annexes Katze plains
  6. During the thorough investigation of his new domain Zuranon secret base is located
  7. Go full SWAT on them with Guardians and 90lvl shop monsters
  8. Covering entire area with anti-skry and counter-teleport measures beforehand
  9. All Zuranon members were captured
  10. Presented to Ainz in respectful poses [Kneel]
  12. Ainz strode before rows and rows of prisoners, striking his staff into the ground while keeping regal posture he carefully rehearsed before the mirror.
  13. A pair of humans with most elaborated equipment caught his attention.
  14. AZ: They seem to have biggest mana pool among the prisoners
  15. AZ: "Tell me, I know that a man called Kajit and a woman named Clementine were among your members. What happened to them? Do not lie to me, this will end poorly."
  16. ZR: "Yes, exalted one, I would not dare to lie, we are all eager to pledge our life and loyalty to you, the absolute overlord of Death, we strove long and hard to find someone like your excellency!"
  17. AZ: "A, khm, get to the point"
  18. ZR: "As you wish: Kajit and Clementine were our executives, one of the highest ranking members in our humble organization."
  19. ZR: "Unfortunately-, they were killed by despicable human hero (be cursed his name *spits*) Momon! Before they could complete the ritual everyone worked so hard to prepare!"
  20. ZR: "We recovered their bodies from E-Rantel to avoid leaking any intelligence, as you may know-, no, as you DO know, your Highness, Kingdom have resurrection users."
  21. ZR: "We all are well versed in necromancy, but not in high level resurrection spells"
  22. ZR: "The bodies were preserved in hope of future when Zuranon would be able to wield such spells, we actually do that for most of our fallen comrades."
  23. AZ: Ainz gulps down non-existent saliva, this is the chance to resolve mistake that tormented him for so long
  24. AZ: "Hoooh, then pledge your loyalty to me! You will me find generous: your magic researches will supported well (I wonder if Fluder will be glad to have assistants?). But if you defy me..."
  25. ZR: "-We wouldn't dare, how could we possibly!? Serving your Magnificence is our dream came true!"
  26. AZ: "Very well, my subordinates will handle the transfer...*gulps again* Oh and hand over those two bodies to me for experiments. You do not have any use for them immediately, I promise to return them in good shape."
  27. ZR: "Surely you jest, your majesty, there is no need for someone as you to ask permission from servants! We will prepare the bodies for transportation immediately."
  28. AZ: "Good, Shalltear, you are in charge of corpses transfer, handle them with care"
  29. CH: "Yes! Ainz-sama!"
  31. Some time later at the 9th floor
  32. Ainz brought Clem back to life with his hard, glowing 30cm rod
  33. CL: What happened?...I remember Kajit, Spiral of Death, the cemetery, fight with that clumsy chunk of power, what was his damn armor made from and why did he not die...ugh, that damn monster! How could I be so sloppy!?"
  34. Clem adjustes her head just to see same terrifying fleshless form loom over her again
  35. Shudders and hicks loudly, instinctively crawling away from the oppressing figure
  36. Too weak from resurrection to do that fast, vision is still blurry, head spins, whole body feels heavy
  37. A female voice comes from somewhere:
  38. AL: "Ainz-sama, while writhing on the ground is a suitable position for such an inferior creature - it is a great insult to get away from your Great Self. Permit me to punish this despicable female"
  39. Clem forced herself to focus on the figure to the right of Elder Lich. There stood a stunning beauty: a horned woman in white dress with what looked like a wings growing from her waist.
  40. She was wearing a smile, but it seemed like other, darker emotions swirled under that facade.
  41. DM: "Albedo, don't be ridiculous, Ainz-sama judged this specimen worthy of resurrection, do you mean to disrespect his kind intentions right away? Ainz-sama, do allow me to take her into my custody for a lesson in discipline later"
  42. The figure to the left of Lich answered. Standing there was a tanned man in a strange suit, wearing a pair of round glasses. He would have passed for a human if not for a spiked tail laying calmly by his feet.
  43. A man has a collected demeanor, his gazed fixed on Clementine in what can be described as cold interest.
  44. AZ: "That won't be necessary, at least not until our negotiation are concluded. I have learned much from this woman and she deserves to hear what I have to say and decide on the answer without any pressure."
  45. Black wings twitched at these words. Albedo's smile became wider with "Hmm-, Ainz-sama learned...much from her", but this expression looked even more scary now to Clementine.
  46. AZ: "Good morning, how do you feel? A certain degree of confusion as well as sense of fatigue is expected after resurrection, you should rest now"
  47. CL: Resurrection!? You're telling me a magic caster that chocked the life out of me is capable of resurrection too!? That is at least 5th level Divine Spell, how the hell did Elder Lich like him even used it!? It's impossible!...No, that's not right: nothing is impossible for that monster, I will not underestimate him again. I must weight my words carefully, my life doesn't seem to be in any immediate danger, but there are far worse things than death.
  48. Ainz recognized her confusion but chose to ignore it for now
  49. AZ: "Our last encounter did not end well, but you may rest easy: I mean you no harm now"
  50. AZ: "In fact, as I said, I am grateful to you for great many things that you have taught me"
  51. Ainz seemed to reminiscent of past for a moment
  52. Albedo shifted her posture to relieve accumulated internal pressure
  53. AZ: "Let us not waste time on meaningless chatter, I will go straight to the point: become my vassal Clementine"
  54. AZ: Ainz considered reaching with his hand for a handshake but that would require approaching Clementine who was clearly wary on him. If his hand gets slapped away - there would be no telling what those two behind him would do.
  55. CL: Clementine could not believe her ears for a moment: what did this unfathomable undead mean by "vassal"? He himself was a caster who is able to defeat me soundly in a melee. His subordinates cannot possibly be any less powerful. To think that I was confident in my strength- now I'm not sure that my prowess is what he wants. Will this fucker torture me again for pleasure until I die and then use resurrection? Sounds like something Lich would do. Alright. I, Clementine, who already stepped in the realm of Heroes will not cover in fear on the ground before you Ainz Ooal Gown! I must stand up.
  56. Almost blacking out from the effort, she slowly rose first to her knees, planting her hands on the ground for support. Then used one knee to support her upper body weight and pulled herself upright. Her legs were shaky and her back felt like it would give in at any moment now. But she denied herself the luxury of rest. She could not afford it now.
  57. Clem started to speak playfully in a low voice.
  58. CL: "You gave me so much of your affection last time, mhmm~ Yes, that hug must've been the proof of your sympathy!"
  59. Clementine head was lowered facedown at first but she managed to lift it up to face Ainz by the end of her speech.
  60. She noticed how winged woman's face contorted but usual smile returned to it almost immediately.
  61. CL: "And yet now you're keeping the distance, this will make onee-san lonely~" She put an image of cute sulking on while hugging her with her hands.
  62. She was more or less confident in her ability to maintain balance enough to stand upright now.
  63. CL "Do not be shy, if you intend to toy with me before I die again - come, I will enjoy it more than you think!!" at the end her voice grown forceful, coming out more like a grunt as she opened her arms in invitation
  64. Her smile smile grew wider on her face like a crack, her eyes tainted with madness but she radiated resolve. The kind of resolve you may find in faces of warriors facing inevitable demise on the battlefield.
  65. AZ: Eh? Is she touched in the head a bit after resurrection maybe? Ya-ya-ya, that is only natural that she would think like this, I was quite dissatisfied with her and crushed her thoroughly without any mercy at that time. I need to better her impression of me somehow. Hm-, incentives perhaps? But first - reassure her in my good will
  66. DM: "Hoh~" - an exclamation colored with slight interest come from the side before Ainz could continue.
  67. DM: "My apologies for speaking out of turn, Ainz-sama. Please continue"
  68. AZ: What was this about? Speak if you have something to say! But I'll let it rest for now, there are more important things to say here.
  69. AZ: "I do not hold any grudge on you nor do I desire to make you suffer needlessly. You angered me at the time by meddling with my affairs, but that was a long time ago. Since then I've grown fond of the opportunities our encounter presented. Do not cause trouble and no harm will come to you. Do remember that I just wasted a resurrection charge on you, that alone speaks volumes about my intentions."
  70. AZ: Now for the incentives part.
  71. AZ: "You were being chased by one of the Slane Theocracy scriptures at the time, correct? No need to deny that, this intel comes from a reliable source. (Clem shrugged shoulders in annoyance) Right, at my side you can enjoy the best security that can possibly be found around. No scripture will be able to get to you."
  72. CL: Clementine scoffed and immediately reproached herself for that after realizing expressions of Lich minions hardened. I should not show disrespect. Doesn't look like he intends to kill or torture me right away, then it is time to play the good girl~.
  73. CL: Safety from scriptures it says, It would be amusing to watch him fight BS reinforced with Extra Seat. Don't know who would win though, they're all monsters to me.
  74. CL: Clementine face contorted in jealousy:
  75. CL: Shit, fuck that prettyface, fuck this damned halfbreed, fuck you dear brother and your bloody lizards and fuck you damn skeleton, all that training, all that effort, why do you all have be so far beyond my reach!?
  76. AZ: Well, that is quite an angry face she is making. It seems the fallout with her former comrades was this bad after all. Perhaps she's fearful of their retribution? I should reassure her more then
  77. AZ: "Be at ease, should they all come after you at once - no effort will be spent to repel them. If you accept proposal and swear fealty to me, that is."
  78. CL: Clem hesitated, still trying to grasp the meaning behind proposition of that Lich.
  79. AZ: Is it not enough? Fine, I have few backup things to offer, let's try equipment then. As a former member of Scripture - she should value good gear greatly. I doubt he'll ask for gold after that. These items are priceless treasures for people like her.
  80. AZ: "While some of your former equipment was...lost due to various circumstances - a suitable replacement will be prepared for you. It will be handpicked to compliment your abilities and fighting style best. I am sure it will not disappoint you."
  81. CL: "Hm, that's good and all, but what happened to my armor? It was quite precious to me~" - a picture of sad longing appeared before Ainz. It even looked sincere enough.
  82. AZ: "Your old armor is still in storage, although it was obviously...damaged...I will order it to be returned. However you cannot wear it in public."
  83. CL: "Hmmm, and why is that~?" - asked Clem in disappointment, that armor was embodiment of her past achievements after all
  84. AZ: "I expect many adventurers come under my rule in the nearest future. You strolling around leisurely wearing adventurer's plates for an armor will discourage them"
  85. AZ: Ainz said while pondering how can he compensate for that refusal just now? Perhaps, ah yes-
  86. AZ: "Come to think of it, you take pride in your abilities, which are formidable for this w- for a human like you. Perhaps would you like to become stronger?"
  87. CL: Clem stared at AOG in surprise. While her condition was currently far from peak one due to resurrection drain - after this gap is bridged there would be not much to do in order to improve her performance as a warrior.
  88. CL: She was not a Godkin, nor did she posses any magical powers. Number of skills she learned was already past the limit that was possible for average human.
  89. CL: There was no obvious way for her to become any stronger than she already was.
  90. CL: "I would have taken that as an insult in the past, but our passionate date at the cemetery changed me~"
  91. CL: Clem couldn't help herself but tease that woman in the white a bit. It was amusing how she slightly twitched, unable to take action now that AOG guaranteed Clem's safety
  92. CL: Look at her holding all that hate under a smile ah~ such murder intent, it makes me shiver~ I shouldn't push it though, she seems important to the Lich there. A mistress? Does he even have a dick though?- That's not important now. Probably should do her a favor or something if I am to stay here.
  93. CL: "Onee-san hit her limit a while ago, I'm not a monster like those two after all~ How exactly do you plan to make me stronger then?"
  94. CL: Dejected expression appeared on Clem's face when she lifted her hands to shoulder level in "nothing can be done here" gesture
  95. AZ: "Hm, while I still think you would get stronger with approach already tested on the Lizardmen, but- there is another way."
  96. CL: Clem focused all her attention on what Lich would say next. While she still felt extreme unease being near him after that Dance of Death - she cannot pass on a chance to get stronger. This is what all her life amounted to after all. Strong eat weak. You need to be strong to do the eating.
  97. AZ: Ainz though "Yosh" as it seemed that the other party was all ears. Now to propose it in a grand way. Just like I practiced
  98. AZ: "If being a human limits your potential - how about circumventing that obstacle?"
  99. AZ: I should bait her some more for a better effect
  100. CL: Clementine head went blank. Next she though that it's known that humanity as a race is one of the weakest in the world, their physique is meager, body too vulnerable and vision lacked in responsiveness and clarity.
  101. CL: But thinking about that before was meaningless since there was only one path open for humans to abandon humanity: to become Undead.
  102. CL: While immortality and other advantages were tempting to some - Clem did not see any appeal in such transformation. It simply would not suite her abilities well.
  103. CL: "What do you propose, I'm interested~" she dragged the last phrase in a cute way
  104. AZ: "I have items at my disposal that can change your race, thus removing the shackles holding you down from birth"
  105. CL: A sharp and warm desire alighted in Clementine chest, slowly reaching lower abdomen and pulsating there
  106. CL: Ah, the things I would be able to do if I was stronger~ There are other cute races I want to play with too~ you grow tired of humans all the time you know~ All that monster hunting BS do is no fun: they all insist on killing the target right away to accomplish the mission. Fucking hypocrites, at least admit that you like to do it too!
  107. CL: "Hooh, you even have something like that, sa-su-ga~. What do you want me to do in return? Need someone killed and tortured? Oh, these two come in one package with me, uhuhuhu~" - she couldn't contain excited laughter
  108. AZ: "I will have you train the Adventurers that I have already mentioned before. Your experience in hunting various monsters will prove useful in that field."
  109. AZ: "You will also train my my subordinates. They can eclipse you in terms of raw power, but they will still be able to learn a lot from you."
  110. Albedo's wings twitched and a cruel smile appeared on her beautiful face.
  111. AZ: "...such matches will be held under my supervision. There is nothing I would be more delighted to behold than growth of my precious subordinates, yes, it is so"
  112. AL\DM unison: "Thank you, Ainz-sama!"
  113. AZ: "You will also be thoroughly questioned regarding your previous line of work and employers. This intelligence can become useful in the future"
  114. AZ: "Additionally I would like an occasional melee sparring for myself. That thrust charge of yours was quite powerful, I even adapted it for myself" - Ainz wanted to pose like fencing but contained himself
  115. DM: "Ainz-sama, permit me to voice a suggestion regarding this person's future employment"
  116. AZ: "Permission granted, speak your mind Demiurge"
  117. DM: "Ha, while I cannot possibly grasp full extension of plans you may have for this human - it became clear to me that you are quite adamant about using her services. There should be no issues with Nazarick denizens once Race Change item is used, but how should I put it- according to my reports this person lacks loyalty and is- unstable to put it mildly."
  118. DM: "While your word is law to your fateful servants created by 41SB - there is no guarantee that outside hire as herself will not prioritize her whims over your will in the future."
  119. AZ: "Hm- that can be true, though I am sure there cannot be any doubts about swift retribution for defying me (Ainz glanced at Clem) - I would prefer not to have someone serving Nazarick only out of fear. Do elaborate your plan Demiurge"
  120. DM: "Ha, though I am sure Ainz-sama just generously allows me to voice his own thoughts. She showed pretty good eyes there for a moment, I thought that she would fit well among my subordinates on farming grounds. Permit me to borrow her to work there from time to time. I am sure everyone will profit from this course of action"
  121. AZ: "Work at your sheep farm, hm, that can be a suitable activity. I have heard about such labour therapy applied to the criminals in the past. Or was it the animal therapy?...Doesn't matter. Demiurge, you have my permission to borrow Clementine for your work."
  122. AZ: "I'm sure there is no need to remind you, but keep in mind all that I promised her as a motivation here. Protect her from harm. Though she is quite capable and will not go down easy - a contract is a contract"
  123. DM: "Understood, your will is my command"
  124. CL: "Do I kneel and genuflect here~? Ah, you've already seen me in more shameful pose though~ tehe~" - Clementine stuck her tongue out.
  125. AZ: "That won't be necessary, serve me well and you will be rewarded for you efforts. Defy me - and you will know hell. This is all."
  126. AZ: "Pestonya here will help you during your recuperation, you can occupy one of the free suits in E-Rantel for now."
  127. AZ: "You can bother maids for everyday necessities. Contact Albedo, Demiurge or me through them if you need something else."
  128. Ainz voice grow heavy and slow all of the sudden
  129. AZ: "All denizens of Nazarick are very precious to me. You would do well to remember that."
  130. AZ: "Prove to me that you are worthy of being one of them."
  131. AZ: Ainz did not trust Clementine enough to put her on the sixth floor where various newworlders were busy executing experiments. 9th Floor had the tightest security and Pleiades were no pushovers either, but NPC saw this level as some sort of Shrine and Clementine living there would be perceived as "desecration".
  132. AZ: "This is all. Dismissed!"
  134. In shortest time CLem strengthened her position as a combat instructor for Adventurers and Guardians
  135. Demiurge's Happy Farm provided plenty of opportunities for Clem to vent her sadistic desires in a controlled environment
  136. Leaving her in a relatively stable state of mind for other tasks assigned to her
  137. Kajit was resurrected too and joined Fluder in his Magical Research Department with promise of resurecting his mother later
  138. She also learned about Albedo looking for WCI MC shirt and disclosed this info to suck up to her
  139. As a reward for that information Clementine was awarded with Race Change item
  140. With access to SKAOG resources she met requirements for using that item in a few months and changed her race to a feline demi-human
  141. Providing great boost to her abilities and removing the Wall she struggled against for so long
  142. After intensive powerlevel course in newly prepared Adventurers training facility as well as in Nazarick Arena
  143. She was able to reach equivalent of Yggdrasil 100lvl
  144. And was appointed as an Area Guardian of recently subjugated Beastmen Kingdom
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