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Seeing that the last of the enemy Servants being moped up by the other Servants, Ainz breathes a sigh of relief. Really, what would happen next? A nun that really should read her chastity vows again, using the entire Earth for a really suggestive attack!?

Ignoring the chill that ran through his neck, Ainz took a quick cursory glance at the surviving Servants. Happily, it allowed him to determine that none of his Servants had been killed – or even particularly wounded.

The most significant wounds were that of Cú Chulainn's, who was still leaning on his staff, holding onto the shoulder that had been shot a little earlier. The other wounded Servant was Angrboda - which was especially surprising to Ainz - whose body still had a few small black burned spots on it, quickly healing before his eyes.

What was slightly less expected was that the number of Servants assembled as a kind of 'victory celebration' did not match Ainz's expectations.

Instead of the six Servants that Ainz had expected, there were as many as eleven.

There were two unfamiliar young men, one with white hair and black clothes, apparently a sort of tight-fitting diving suit, and another with black hair and white clothes who hung like dead weight in Angrboda's arms. The two are not in the least embarrassed by this fact – not moving from their place.

Though, looking closer, they're in fact unconscious.

The question of whom these two Servants were, settled in Ainz's mind. But judging by the fact that Angrboda cast a slightly saddened glance at the spot where the figure of the huge girl had been visible until recently, she was saddened by her demise.

Considering the fact that Ainz had actually killed her, he wasn't about to bother Angrboda right now.

There were also another two Servants, Lancers apparently, but Ainz didn't pay any attention to them, especially since none of his Servants even looked at them, so he wouldn't expect anything interesting from them. At the very least, they seem to be more strangers that decided to join Ainz's side at the last second.

It was the tied up girl with her red hair in two long ponytails at the sides of her head, which reminded him strongly of one of the Servants he had killed earlier, that interested him. If looks could kill, and his Death Resistance suddenly decided to take a vacation, the girl, who was staring at him with both hatred and defiance, as if she were waiting for him to torture or kill her, she'd kill.

But from the fact that her hands were tied behind her back, and she was barely holding on to life already with wisps of mana already wafting off of her, she was no longer a danger to anyone around her. So Ainz shifted his gaze.

Then there was the last stranger. The girl was standing next to Tesla, and for some reason have her cape pushed up to her forehead with a defeated look on her face, Tesla looked satisfied for some reason? Ainz hope that he hadn't done anything criminal… Well with him standing with the girl, and her not looking at him with much anger, Ainz doesn't need to worry much, especially with Angrboda around. Why was Tesla staring at one of the lads she had hanging in her arms, though?

And finally, Medb, who right now manages to look both like a hysterical person who has lost her closest relative, Cú Chulainn Alter to be exact, and like the cat who caught the canary. Already, she was hanging around the other Cú Chulainn, at least she was trying to look at his wound and help in one way only she knows?

Cú Chulainn, however, continued to try his best to stay away from the girl, sleeping away her hands and carefully continuing to maneuver so that at any given moment someone would protect him from Medb just jumping on him.

Huh, if Ainz was still in YGGDRASIL – he'd prefer to stay away from Medb, too…

Just in case, Ainz even took a small step away from the pink menace as she got a little closer, then gave the Servants another look.

So, now that everything's over and done with, what actually happened here!?

Ainz had no idea!

His involvement in the whole Singularity thing was, frankly, as insignificant as it could possibly be.

After his encounter with Cú Chulainn Alter, he was depressed for a while when he headed to that pub. Then after pulling himself out of his funk, he went in search of magical textbooks and eventually just went traveling the world before he was suddenly summoned to the massive and, one must assume, final battle of Singularity.

And, contrary to Ainz's own thoughts, instead of being summoned right at the beginning, for some unknown reason he was kept in the dark as long as possible. Right, before being pulled into the conflict, apparently at the very last moment, allowing him to play his part.

So what, in the end, was the mystery of the Singularity? Who was behind everything? Ainz didn't know that at the end of the day.

And, what was particularly terrifying, it looked like he would never know.

Ainz felt the surrounding space slowly begin to shake – a familiar sign of the Singularity's demise and the world line being corrected – but he still had many questions in his mind.

Who, after all, was fighting for what? How were the Servants involved in this confrontation? And Solomon – what was Solomon's insidious trap?

Ainz didn't even know what exactly caused the Singularity to start slowly collapsing at that very moment – had he accidentally killed some Demon King? Or maybe the Grail was responsible for that giant Servant, and him killing it the reason for the Singularity to collapse? Or were the conditions for resolving this Singularity not at all connected to everything that was going on here?

Ainz was completely lost.

Yes, his assignment had managed to resolve itself, but the fact that he had no hand in it vexed him a bit. And even more than that – Ainz wasn't sure that whatever his Servants did were actually the thing to solve the Singularity!

Even though they were the ones who had fought and performed the bulk of the necessary actions that probably ended the Singularity – without understanding exactly what had caused the resolution of this Singularity, Ainz couldn't even praise them properly!

But, judging by the way all the Servants looked at him with awe – this time probably because of his ease in handling that gigantic Servant – any hope that he could just ask them what was happening died a quick death.

He should not have been pleased that everyone would hang on his every next 'brilliant' plan or on how amazingly he had beaten all his opponents by taking some absolutely necessary action.

No, Ainz, to be honest, liked being… Cool.

Speaking even as a man who had already lived part of his life with some experience, being ignored, he finds the attention pleasing. Yes, after all, he liked to play YGGDRASIL, so naturally he liked to be seen as powerful, smart, strong, and generally much better than he really was. But at the same time, it caused so many problems that Ainz didn't even know whether he should have cried or laughed.

For example, right now.

He didn't even know who and with whom he ended up fighting, how it happened that right now there were more than six of his Servants remaining. Because Ainz, although he took the opportunity to rest and unwind a bit, ended up losing all opportunity to observe what was happening in the Singularity.

He'd seriously underestimated the Servants' attitude toward him – he'd thought that once the battle had begun, the Servants would summon him – instead, Ainz had only appeared in the last moments of the battle. And surely he was as pleased as he was that they deemed his business more important than fighting a powerful enemy until the situation became hopeless. His absence, signaling that he was sure that his Servants were able to handle the enemy on their own, that he had some kind of plan…

Throwing a glance at Angrboda, though, Ainz was forced to sigh. With some of them, Ainz had no doubt, though for the others? Seeing Mashu's face beaming like a polished copper nickel, stretching her stiff shoulders, her face sporting an expression of contentment, and Nobunaga grinned contentedly while looking at the surrounding destruction, Ainz was only glad that everything went alright.

With his last worry somewhat abated, Ainz suddenly came to a stark realization as the Singularity continued to collapse around him.

How… How exactly does Proper Human History rationalize what happened in this Singularity?

Destroyed cities, nuclear wastelands, many dead Celtic heroes on American soil, never mind the heroes playing warlords to entire city-states.

Ainz looked around, then looked up at the huge black hole in the sky, which had already begun to warp under the action of unknown forces closing the hole in human history, the Singularity.

Although, the fact that the Singularity was now closing in on itself indicated that history did seem to have found a way to solve the problem and rationalize itself, which was a definite plus.

The minus, of course, was everything else, but…

Looking around again, Ainz was forced to conclude that, apparently, even without his intervention, the Singularity had been resolved. So… Whatever done is done for the better.

So, glancing around at the rest of the Servants, Ainz merely nodded, "Okay, we'll… Go back." A last dim thought on the back of his mind that he needed to bother Da Vinci again for a new body.

Ainz wasn't even sure which body was his real one anymore. While he was thankful that Da Vinci keeps a stock of Ainz's new body, he couldn't but feel disquieted that he was now like some kind of body snatcher. The fact that he didn't suffer body dysphoria or even dysmorphia to go along with it, was a silver lining.

No, more than that, he hadn't perceived his real body as his real one for a long time. Real in the sense of his twenty-second century human body – the same, old body he'd spent many years of his life in.

He wondered what has become of that? What happened to his old body?

Was there a Satoru Suzuki somewhere out there in the distant world that, after saying goodbye to his YGGDRASIL, had gone to bed before getting up and going about his new work day? Or… Maybe his body had long since died and no one would discover him until the end of the month, until he was required to pay his taxes and bills.

It seemed like such a long time ago to Ainz when he last said goodbye to Herohero… Literally, in his past life, in fact.

Now he is Ainz Ooal Gown. The mighty, invincible, great black mage, consummate strategist, and savior of mankind.

Who sent him to this new reality, and for what reason? What would happen next? Was it an accident, some kind of cosmic coincidence, or some incredible mission entrusted to him by something that could be called God in the full sense of the word?

Ainz closed the door of his room behind him, about to head for the shower. It was funny how he felt as comfortable to his bony body as his human body. Ainz was about to disrobe, before he stopped half a step away when he heard a knock on his room door.

"Hmm?" Ainz frowned slightly at the unexpected guest. 'Usually Da Vinci is able to wait at least an hour before she starts pestering me with questions. And in this Singularity, I wasn't doing anything unbelievable. So… who could it be?'

Ainz frowned a little before he reached the door and opened it, preparing himself to stare into Da Vinci's eyes; always sparkling with something on the border of adoration, interest, and the desire to start sawing you into pieces in order to study each piece separately.

But instead of that, his eyes suddenly caught the glasses and the eyes of the girl he hadn't expected to see behind them.

"Mashu?" Ainz glanced at the unexpected before he took a step back, opening the door further. "Is something wrong?"

Mashu, who had already changed her dress from her usual armor to a simple sweatshirt and T-shirt along with a simple pair of pants, looked a little unsure when she followed Ainz in. Clearly not knowing where she should have rested her eyes on.

Ainz, closing the door behind Mashu, glanced at her before his mind suddenly made him remember that he had seen a similar picture before.

A girl who had unexpectedly come into his room just after the Singularity ended… looking just as nervous as Mashu was acting right now…

Ainz gulped at the image his memory brought on before his suppression of emotions worked, causing him to take a deep breath and look at Mashu with determination. The only kind of people that are allowed to be indecisive with these kinds of matters are dense harem comedy protagonists, and teenagers with self-esteem problems.

Of course, the fact that he was having relationships with multiple people and actually consummated the relationship marked him as an eroge protagonist instead was summarily ignored.

"Mashu, are you in love with me by any chance?"

"What?" Hearing that question, Mashu suddenly looked up at Ainz with a deer in the headlight shocked expression, before her reflex kicked in. "No!"

Ainz didn't have time to exhale a sigh of relief before she continued speaking. "I mean yes!"

Mashu froze after that, clearly stunned by her own words, before shaking her head. Ainz's gaze, however, noticed how in a matter of seconds her face was comparable in color to a plump, juicy tomato, but clearly not about to stop there, turning into the perfect illustration for some designer magazine with the words 'perfect red' emblazoned on the cover.

"I mean, not really, I mean no, but sort of not, no, but yes…" Mashu started gibbering so fast that after only a few seconds she was completely confused with her language and was forced to shut up, looking at Ainz with tears in her eyes.

Looking at Ainz for a long time in such an embarrassing situation, she still blurted out other important information, "I'm dying! I just came about it, that's all, nothing special!"

Ainz, like Mashu, took a full second to actually realize what was being said, and at the same time that information about someone dying very rarely fell into the 'that's all, nothing special' category.

"You're dying?" Ainz momentarily frowned a little, the news bothering him more than he thought it would. "What do you mean?"

"Oh, right, I guess I need to explain that, don't I?" Surprisingly, the conversation about her imminent death became much more preferable to discuss rather than her crush, and Mashu was even kind of happy to be distracted by it.

"I'm a homunculus, a 'designer child', to be exact. I was raised in a laboratory for an experiment with the introduction of Servants into the human body, so no one really cared for my lifespan all that much, only about how they could complete their experiment. And so because of that, in about a year or maybe a year and a half, I will reach the end of my lifespan…"

Gradually, as the conversation progressed, Mashu's awareness of the grim topic did begin to reach her mind. And her tone, at first cheery, gradually darkened, along with that she began to speak more and more slowly, as if she were just newly aware of the whole situation in which she had found herself in.

Ainz, on the other hand, could only blink.

So, his Servant was dying… Could Ainz do anything about it?

The answer to that question was… Complicated to say the least.

In YGGDRASIL, players could certainly die from abilities and spells that aged them, leaving behind horrific debuffs that were difficult for even specialized priests to remove. But, for obvious reasons, Player avatars couldn't actually die of old age – even if someone created an old arch-mage with an Avatar that is one foot in the grave already. Whether their created Avatar were two hundred years old or even five hundred years old – there were no such mechanics in Yggdrasil as allowing a player avatar to grow old and die on their own.

Some NPCs, however, could and even sometimes did die of old age. But these were NPCs, game characters that died not because of a specific mechanism within the game, but at the behest of the writers, designers, and other important people who determined how the game world would look after the next update.

Bringing back such characters… was possible – in a sense. Using an Ouroboros World Class Item, players could send a letter directly to the developers – or the people in charge of receiving such letters more likely – demanding that anything in the game world be changed. And usually, if these demands were not absolutely ridiculous like 'close the game' – the developers granted the request.

Thus, it was possible to bring back the dead from old age and even make them immortal, even those not subject to the game mechanics like NPCs.

However, it was a World Class item, one of the most powerful of all – a one-use item at that. After one letter, whether the changes were implemented or not, this item would self-destruct, only to appear somewhere else, waiting for its next owner.

And speaking of Mashu…

Ainz could only find that he was disgusted with himself, that in the hypothetical situation of having to use this item to help her, he was… hesitant to use it for the sake of helping Mashu.

However, he still had another possibility, one that he found much easier to let go.

Ainz looked intently at Mashu, causing her to draw near, clearly awaiting Ainz's verdict. Even Galahad in her head was hushed by the development, watching through Mashu's eyes for Ainz's thoughts and actions, waiting for his every word.

"I… " Ainz finally spoke up, slowly. "I… I can help you with this problem…"

Mashu remained on her tiptoes, looking intently at Ainz as she prepared to hear his terms.

She had a little hope that Ainz could be interested in her – if only for her body, but…

If… As a condition… He would ask her to…

'Mashu, Mashu, don't go there!' Galahad's voice sobered her up, before her imagination could work its way to distract her. 'Think about those things later! When you're in your room under the covers!'

However, regardless of Mashu's inner panic, and perhaps a little bit of excitement, Ainz did not continue to speak, instead, he only sighed and abruptly collapsed on the spot. It took Mashu a full second to notice that Ainz had appeared before her in his bony body, the sight knocking her out of her fantasies. Mashu herself could only swallow a nervous gulp as she watched the powerful and alien deity of death stare at her with the fire in the burning empty eye sockets of the whitish skull. Her eyes were then transfixed as Ainz started extending his arm forward.

Mashu could see only the ring gleaming on one of Ainz's bony fingers, and the three falling stars on the ring's seal. "I wish…"

The unassuming technician stirring his mug of cheap coffee smiled slightly, looking off to the side before taking a sip from his cup.

Slowly, day by day, he continued toward his goal.

After all, Ainz's use of the most powerful super-tier wish-fulfillment magic served his plans, too.

Even if he had to wake Galahad a little early to do so.

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