Like a small convoy, the original members of the Swords of Darkness moved alongside the wagon belonging to Nphirea whilst Nabe walked several paces behind them, and then there was Cipher and Momon taking up the rear.
"So that's why you're so interested in that Ninya character, hm." Momon chuckled lightly, learning that Ninya was in actually girl disguising themselves as a male.
Considering the way that Lukrut had talked to Nabe and probably any other woman who he had an attraction to, he could understand why. On top of that, it would protect her from sexual assault for the most part. That is unless someone saw through it in some way shape or form.
"That's part of it, so far she has learned tiers higher than most humans and mortals in this world can reach thanks to my 'tutelage', heh..."
"And I learned that I can manipulate their memories... I kind of used necrotic magic on a group of bandits between the Citadel and Carne Village. They began to think I was a necromancer, or something much more powerful." He laughed lightly even though it was true. He was an Arch Lich, but he wasn't originally a necromancer. Unlike an Elder Lich, any type of sorcerer could become one of his species as long as they had the potion and magic point capacity to do so.
"Tell me more about their limits," Momon was curious about the humans and other species in this world. He was sure that many players had their hands on high teir magic. So in this world, it was different. Could it be that they couldn't withstand the use, or were the just unknown?
"So far I learned that with special exceptions, most mortals haven't gone over the third tier. The highest known is probably fifth or in some very rare instances seventh."
Momon nodded slowly, "this is most interesting... And you said Carne Village? You were there when it was attacked."
"Yes, it happened soon after that."
"Is your Citadel close by?"
Cipher nodded to the skeleton in a suit of armor. "It's to the North in a clearing between two arms of the Great Forest of Tob. It's really close to the Border with the Barharuth Empire."
"Really?" Momon was definitely impressed about that location. It was very strategic, unlike how his location was more of a random drop in the middle of the plains. They literally had to restructure and terraform the area around the Tomb in order to hide it. "We're just East of Carne Village."
"Interesting, my guardians found that hilly area with 'ruins' as an abnormality." Cipher chuckled a bit, in turn causing Momon to laugh on his own to join him.
"Will you be visiting?"
"I'd like to," he smiled his ally. "Though I have a question... Is it Mare or Aura who is the female?"
Momon, if he had sweat glands, he would have had a sweat drop on his temple. "Aura is the female. Mare is the male. It's really hard to tell sometimes."
"No kidding," Cipher was pretty aware of the creator's tastes when it came to those two dark elves. Crossdressing wasn't something he minded as long as it fit, or was immersive and confusing enough.
"Why do you ask?"
"I was thinking of getting close to her, she's adorable, reminds me a bit of my sister. Though the only thing that worries me is what you said, about them being fanatics towards you as you're the only member of your Guild left."
"Hmmm... Was your sister that energetic?"
"In life, she could never sit still and in death, she wasn't even caught dead in a dress." Cipher closed his eyes slightly, they started to sting a bit. "I kinda wish I didn't have tear ducts right now, you lucky bastard. Why didn't I choose to be a skeleton?"
"From what I remember from our spars, that body of yours is just a massive sum of magical mass. If you get hit with magic, your skeleton is visible through your skin for a few seconds."
"What's the purpose of pointing that out?"
"Didn't know you knew?" Momon tried cracking a joke and shrugged, laughing to himself. "But what will you do if that happens in front of them?"
"I'll think of something should that happen. I'll just have to passively protect myself from magic belonging to other people." He snickered to himself, before folding his hands behind his head.
"Sounds like a plan, but back to the girl..."
"Right... Her family, her older sister, was taken by a noble. I promised to help her find her sister and potentially save her if she is still alive." He smiled lightly as he scratched the back of his head, enjoying the feeling.
"Sounds noble of you. I'm assuming you're getting something out of it?"
Cipher shrugged slightly, "Her maybe?"
Momon found himself smiling slightly. This guy had only been in this world for a select amount of days and was already chasing romance. "So you're looking to impress her?"
"I guess you could say that. None of my relationships really worked out outside of Yggdrasil. I was always too in my head or I just have a bad choice of people..." He huffed lightly, letting his hands fall to his sides.
"Ooof," Momon just looked at him as they were walking before turning his attentions forward. "That's pretty heavy."
"Haha... Yeah... I know," He shook his head slightly and looked towards those around the wagon. A small smile was printed though across those lips of his.
Part of him wanted to live a normal life, but because of how this world was and what he had become, it was a pipe dream. This was no longer a game, this was life, despite how everything worked. The other part of him wanted to live a life of luxury and adventure.
"I've been meaning to ask you, Cipher."
Momon called upon him once more and it dragged his attention from the Swords of Darkness back to him. His eyes rested on the form in black armor.
"What is it?"
"Would you be interested in a merger?"
"Excuse me?" Cipher pursed his lips at his words. A merger? Was he asking if he wanted to merge the guilds together to consolidate resources? It wasn't a bad idea. In the game, if this happened, they didn't lose their castles or dungeons. It was like an alliance or a pact that acted as a temporary or even permanent merger.
"So far we are the only two players here and we at least know each other." Momon said as he eyed their surroundings through the slot in his helmet. "They may as well count you as one of the 'supreme' ones."
"Is this because... I defeated you four times out of five?" Cipher asked as he stared through Momon, trying to gauge his ally's motives.
"Four out of Five? You're holding those against me, aren't you?" Momon brushed off the question. "No. It would just be good to have someone to talk to, to work along side, that one can relate to."
Cipher nodded slightly hearing him, "That is understandable. Let me think on it?"
Momon nodded and started to move faster to catch up with the wagon. He regrouped with Nabe and he was soon walking with the rest of the party.
However Cipher remained lagging behind. The idea of merging with Ainz Ooal Gown sounded promising. He already had a large collection of cash items and world items in his inventory as well as the primary vault of the Citadel.
Pros and Cons, betrayal wasn't something he'd want, but he doubted Ainz would betray him.
The only concern would be being lumped in as being Evil should Nazarick be exposed to the world. If he were to do this, he'd have to get great renown for himself and even a following. He'd need even more of a foothold in this world if he wanted to cement his presence and his freedom.
That's when his thoughts went to the letter of introduction. An audience with the King, the royal family. Could he use this as an opportunity?
"King Cipher?" He wrangled his nose slightly at the sound of it. It didn't quite fit, it didn't resonate.
Thinking back, he could use his real name. It fit the setting enough since he wasn't necessarily Japanese. He didn't grow up in Japan. He just chose to live there in his adult life. "Jack Graham... King Jack? King Graham... Hmmm..."
The idea of calling himself by his real name made it feel as if he was claiming this reality as his own. It was him admitting it was real, tangible. There was nothing that proved it otherwise, except for having access to the game mechanics.
"Who's Jack?" Ninya's voice suddenly appeared beside him, almost making Cipher jump.
Ninya smirked a bit having gotten the jump on Cipher, she a bit surprised that she did though.
"It's my given name. My sister's name was Eve," he chuckled as he scratched the side of his head.
Ninya's smirk turned into a casual smile as she was looking up to him.
"How long had you been there anyway?"
"Uh..." She nervously averted her sight for a moment before looking back to him. "From the moment you said your name..."
He raised a brow at this and nodded slowly, continuing to walk at a singular pace. He tried his best not to appear embarrassed at being caught talking to himself. Let alone calling himself a King.
"What made you come back here?"
"Oh, Momon said... He wanted to switch spots," her head tilted to the side slightly. She wasn't quite sure what to make of what was going on.
"He did, did he?" Raising both of his brows, he looked to the back of the bone head in the front. He then looked back over towards Ninya as she nodded to him.
"...Is something wrong?"
"Can... Can I call you Jack?" Her simple smile was tugged wider as she asked this question.
"You like that name more than Cipher?" Cipher asked curiously, raising a brow.
"I... guess I do," Ninya began facing frontward as she walked beside him.
Cipher began looking down to her hand which was swaying at her side. He wondered how soft it was, how warm it would feel. Would her hands get all clammy? How nervous and confused would she get?
"Is something wrong with my hand?" Ninya asked as she caught him staring. It appeared he lost track of time and had been looking at her for a few minutes now.
"Hah, no. Nothing's wrong with your hand. It's fine."
Furrowing her brows, she glanced him up and down for a moment before facing forward again.
"Can I hold your hand?" Cipher blurted out, pointing down at her free hand at her side.
"Huh? What?" Surprised and caught off guard from the sudden request, Ninya had a hard time processing it. "Why?" She'd squeak at him nervously, bringing her hand close to her center as if to shield it.
His cheek twitched slightly as she asked him why, "Reasons?"
Ninya calmed down after a few seconds and just stared at him for a few. "Reasons...?" She could see how nervous he was, but couldn't understand why. She had a vague idea that he knew she was a woman, but still. Out of everyone he had encountered, was he really going to show interest in her?
She was looking at him, she knew he was handsome. The question was though, why did he feel so unnatural to be around? He filled the air with magic just by existing. He had these powers that surpassed any known human being she had ever known of.
She was having a hard time letting herself accept this conclusion.
"I like you," he said this plain as day.
The moment he said those words though, her world exploded. It was as if she had gone deaf and blind all at once. All she could do was see his face and hear her own heartbeat drumming away in her ears.
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"I..." Her voice was shaking, did she like him? Could she like him? She didn't know.
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