Background[edit | edit source]
An exchange game tournament held by the E-Rantel Adventurer's Guild. New adventurer candidates will be sent to add Nazarick's information gathering means to take advantage of this event for the purpose of comforting residents and recruiting adventurers.
Purpose of Tournament[edit | edit source]
A few weeks after the demons attacked the fortress city of E-Rantel, the devastating scars left by the Demon Emperor Jaldabaoth were gradually fading with the "fourth wall' finally being built outside the city. The new section has finally starting to get settled in by the refugees and accepting demi-humans, but on the other hand---reconstruction measures for the old sections of the city were underway in the office of the E-Rantel Adventurer's Guild. Their Guildmaster Pluton Ainzach, Surako and the protagonist to speak about matters on adventurer recruitment. So far good progress has been made thanks to a suggestion made by the protagonist that has well received by the guild: gathering the adventurers and have the residents of the city enjoy witnessing a tournament. At the same time, it would recruit promising people who wish to become adventurers and be issued plates. Ainzach especially is grateful for the idea as the guild has been pressed by urgent calls to replenish their numbers. Under this new event it would do not just that but also provide comfort to the people. He already received a confirmation that members of Blue Roses will be participating. The news pleases the homunculus, as the lessons he learned from the idol plan are paying off to heal the humans of the city. He tells the guildmaster that prioritising the mental needs of the city inhabitants is a part of the reconstruction of the city especially after the experiences with Jaldabaoth. Ainzach of course agrees and is looking forward to seeing the adamantite adventurers that the city is so proud of. Speaking of which he inquires whether Soi will be coming to join in the event. Surako answers that she will be attending for the tournament, which Ainzach is glad to hear since the other adventurer is almost always seen with the protagonist and Surako. Though the veteran adventurer does have another query as it concerns confirming the sponsorship of the tournament. He heard their country is investing a part of the operating expense and wants to know if that fine to rely on it.
The protagonist assures him that his nation has completed the necessary confirmations and informal process of quietly laying the foundation in advance. Other talks though will need to be discussed at the time of the tournament. Ainzach is relieved and promises to prepare them an estimate of the costs. He is still curious to know more about the protagonist's country investment in this tournament. The protagonist explains it mainly for the Tripartite Alliance, though specifically the Slane Theocracy. While the answer is not very satisfactory for Ainzach as he has to report the details to others, the adventurer clarifies that the event is to help create opportunities for trading goods. This piques the old adventurer's interest who asks what kind of goods. The protagonist offers Ainzach a question instead on whether he liked sweets.
Later at the Round Table Room, the protagonist and Slimeko are in attendance with Momonga and the Floor Guardians. They report to Momonga that the they used chocolate sweets from their Project Valentine in their diplomatic talks. So far it has suppressed any doubts about the tournament and helped confirm that the substance is a valuable trade item for humans. Slimeko expresses her agreement as when they presented a sample to Ainzach it caused the man to weep after tasting it. In regards to investment for holding the tournament, if Nazarick profits include this trade item then they should be able to recover earlier than assumed. Additionally the idols for the tournament are expected to be Solution Epsilon aka "Soi" and Pandora's Actor aka the "Dark Warrior" and the protagonist adds that there is a request from the guidlmaster. Momonga listening to the report believes that Solution will be able to come though is currently on a information gathering mission and notes to call Entoma Vasilissa Zeta to relay the message to return. As for Pandora's Actor, who is present, he looks forward to being sent out at his master's command and resume his identity as the protagonist.
Momonga gets into the main subject of the meeting, on a proposal that the protagonist sent to him in advance. As all the Floor Guardians have been made aware, this tournament is to gather adventurers to E-Rantel and also to serve as practice for the idol plan they tried before. For this the homunculus suggests that Shalltear Bloodfallen participates in the tournament as an undercover adventurer. The vampire Floor Guardian hearing this is surprised at being volunteered. Momonga understand her confusion but asks the Floor Guardians what they think of the idea. Mare is the first to answer who states that it is a bit hard for him to understand how Shalltear could look like an adventurer. Albedo answers that for this assignment the two main purposes for the tournament are implement the idol plan and to grasp the hearts of the humans with the idol "Dark Warrior". Aura sees that the protagonist wants to use do something similar as LittleMass but instead wants to make the "Dark Warrior" into idol. Demiurge explains that due to the achievements in repelling the Demon Emperor Jaldaboth and his contributions to rebuilding E-Rantel, the protagonist is closest to that position. Through this event the "Dark Warrior" persona will become number one and it can be expected that they can aim for economic effects. Shalltear though is still confused as to why she is going out as an adventurer. Albedo tells her that the tournament will allow aspiring adventurers to join. If a person like Shalltear participates under the guise as a human then she could gain status as an adventurer. Shalltear isn't too sure about it as she isn't very experience in undercover missions and mostly focused on defense, meaning she can't show her strength that much. Albedo believes that she will be fine, albeit with some difficulty but encourages the vampire to quickly establish an identity and impress the people. Cocytus adds some of his feedback asking if the information will be gathered on the other adventurers which the protagonists confirms. Momonga states that some nations such as the Slane Theocracy have been so far hard to conduct field surveys, as of now he does not wish to take the risk to investigate them but this tournament will act as a stepping stone for when they do.
Preparations[edit | edit source]
While enjoying being given such an important task, Shalltear teases the elf, asking her if she is jealous that she got such an important mission. The Dark Elf does not deny it, but admits that practically only Shalltear can go out as both her and Mare can't infiltrate the tournament anyway as the Sunlight Scripture have seen their faces and would raise an issue of they went there. Cocytus raises an issue if Shalltear going alone is sound. Demiurge thinking on this does state it would look suspicious if she were alone, unfortunately it too bad Solution cannot join her as it would raise ideas that they are colluding. Albedo believes that they would need a partner for Shalltear in order to make her adventurer background more believable. The idea does not sit well with Shalltear, but Aura tells her friend that this would be her first mission in being in contact with humans and asks if the vampire can honestly be sure that nothing will go wrong if she is alone? When Shalltear can provide no answer, Momonga steps in and tells Shalltear that they are only doing this for her benefit as she is about to be embarking in an unfamiliar mission. Demiurge looks through who they could assign the role of Shalltear's partner, with Soi being considered as well as Narberal Gamma, though the latter is slated to act as the liaison for the Sorcerer Kingdom. With Shalltear Bloodfallen, Pandora's Actor and Solution Epsilon going out into the field, Momonga is hesitant to send more forces out.
A proposal comes from Aura with a possible solution. This involves using Kyuko who is living in the Great Forest of Tob. Momonga recalls that the fox has the ability to change form, which Aura expands that Kyuko can take on a from similar to a human. She is deemed the perfect candidate for the role as she has little direct association with Nazarick. Momonga believes it's not a bad choice as the fox had a past of getting along with humans. Demiurge vouches on the idea as Kyuko is also highly loyal to them. Before the plan is approved, there is one aspect in the plan that Mare points out such as the fact that Kyuko can't fully hide her tail which will likely cause the humans to be wary.
Mare's insight makes the people in the room believed they overlooked such a critical flaw. Slimeko admits that Kyuko's tail remains whether in her beast form or humanoid form and Albedo remembers that though the fox girl lived in harmony with humans, but her tail is also why she wasn't able to stay in another village while traveling. Cocytus thinks that such a obvious trait will point her out as different in the world. This leaves Aura disappointed as she hoped Kyuko would be the perfect choice as Shalltear's partner. The idea is not dismissed by the protagonist as though the tail may be an issue for Kyuko to blend in with humans, but they can use it to their advantage. Demiurge is the first to catch on what the homunculus is saying as the current state of E-Rantel could allow Kyuko to traverse there. Aura is confused as how could that be a factor, but Cocytus tells her that the city is now home to many races and understanding. Demiurge states that the plan is to help Shalltear establish herself an identity as a human, so having her have a companion who is non-human would not be an issue. Normally it would be unnatural for humans and non-humans to interact together, but Demiurge explains that thanks to E-Rantel reinforcing the unity of humans and non-humans it should be doable. The city is settled by many refugees both human and demi-humans since the attack by Jaldabaoth. Already there is a group of goblins that have assisted in the repairs to the city faster than anticipated and supplies to the city were distributed thanks to the loot taken during the demons raid. Pandora's Actor highlights Nazarick has been funding the city repairs at zero cost, using goods stolen during Jaldabaoth's attack. This is all part of the Three Nations Revitalization Plan as it has seen erasing prejudice in the face of practical benefits. The cover story for Kyuko visiting E-Rantel could include not just acting as an escort to Shalltear but also visiting the cosmopolitan city of E-Rantel. Shalltear thinks the story is doable as Kyuko can be her servant while the vampire plays the part of a aristocrat.
While Momonga watches Aura and Shalltear bicker over the details of the cover story, Momonga reminisces of how they remind him of Bukubukuchagama and Peroroncino before he orders the two to make preparations in a day to head to the Tob Forest to retrieve Kyuko and explain her the mission. Aura complies promising to assist the covert mission with the help of Solution. The Overlord directs his attention to the protagonist on the date for the tournament who reports that in about five says the event will take place when various adventurer groups like Blue Roses will appear. The protagonist is then ordered by Momonga to return to E-Rantel with Slimeko and to report to them as soon as the exact date is confirm. Until then the protagonist will direct Pandora's Actor. The meeting is closed as all parties go to work.
At the Amphitheater, Aura meets with Shalltear who has dressed for the occasion as her identity "Shall". Before they set out to the Tob Forest, Aura asks if the other Floor Guardian is going to stay in character for the duration of their trip. Since Momonga lent her a ring that hides her magical abilities, Shall believes it be best to get used to working undercover. Aura also suggests to her friend that she uses magic as little as possible as her level of power does not fit her appearance. The vampire agrees which is why she has taken using her parasol given to her by Peroroncino and decides to keep her background as a Cleric who magic is sealed by a curse. The dark elf thinks it would save time if she stuck with being a Cursed Knight, though Shalltear argues that the latter job class is a high level profession and based on the protagonist's report having that job class would attract unwanted attention for a human girl.
The two Floor Guardians arrive at the Great Forest of Tob, where they are greeted by Hamsuke, Kyuko and the Death Knight who they immediately explain the plan. The trio in the forest are surprised by the request as they find it hard to believe Shalltear needs an escort. But the group are explains that "Adventurer Shall" requires a partner that is not related to Nazarick which makes sense to Hamsuke. Kyuko is willing to help if it means to be an asset to Nazarick and also speak with humans once again. Shall asks the fox if she is able to transform into something useful for the mission to play the role as her servant. The fox girl believes she does and heads to some bushes to retrieve what appears to be a beautiful Japanese sword. On its origin, Kyuko tells her friends it one belonged to a fallen samurai and was given to her as a keepsake. The fox plans to use this in conjunction with her disguise and so she transforms into a mature looking version of herself with samurai armor.
As Aura and Shall expected the tails of the fox still remain but as promised the form gives the outward appearance of a warrior. The form is impressive to the Floor Guardians as it gives the same feeling as Warrior Takemikazuchi and Nishikienrai. Kyuko apologies for the tail as while the children in her village liked it, her experiences in the outside world saw her being driven away and a monster. When she suggests it would be better to have it cut off, Aura rejects the idea. Shall tells her partner that having her tail would actually be useful on this mission. Aura adds that the city of E-Rantel, thanks to the efforts of Nazarick's Three Nations Revitalization Plan and the protagonist, is now home to many demi-humans and where racial prejudice is vanishing so she will blend in. The news sounds like a utopia to Kyuko shocked at the feat made by Nazarick. Interested Hamsuke asks if it would be possible for magical beasts and undead to visit the city? Aura tells her pet that while it may be possible in the future, for now it is impossible. This leaves Hamsuke disappointed, though Aura suggests that it Kyuko becomes an adventurer in E-Rantel, Hamsuke might be able to visit the city as a mount. It sounds to Kyuko who is eager to work hard and prove herself. Before they head out to E-Rantel, Shall wants to go over their cover story such as going over why Shall went on a journey and why the two went to E-Rantel. Another thing is to see if Kyuko can adeptly fight as a warrior. The three women then begin practicing for the mission.
After watching Kyuko sword fighting, Aura fully understands her capabilities. The fox to her was skilled in magic though her swordsmanship was a bit rough. Shalltear compares it to someone without formal training, paralleling it akin to herself and her parasol so its not too much a issue. They put aside handling weapons they are are still not accustomed to, and turn to developing their cover story. For Shall she was born into a noble family, but lost her parents due to the Catastrophe and since then embarked on a journey. Her magic has been sealed by a curse so she hired the skills of Kyuko to protect her on her travels. Kyuko think for her story she should say she worked as a concubine, though her friends believe they need something nicer, and so Shall has Ku as a former princess and Aura adds that Kyuko belongs to a race that lived deep in the forest who is honor bound to serve Shall as a vassal. The cover story includes Shall being cursed after saving her lord, and on her journey killed a village of a different race where she saved Ku. Hamsuke listening to the development believes it to be interesting. Aura thinks it might be a bit too flashy but it would makes sense for nobility to get along. Kyuko finds the cover story acceptable and includes her character's desire to work as a Martial Artist to protect her master. Their motivation for going to E-Rantel is seeking a safe haven. As for the name of Kyuko's undercover alias, Shall gives her partner the name of Ku and "Kuko" as a nickname. The fox believes she has all the details she needs for her profile, though asks the other two women if a two person group would look suspicious? Aura and Shalltear had talked about this part on the way to the forest as the two lack roles of healer and ranger, but the undercover adventurers' strength could be used as the reason why they are strong enough to not need such roles.
Aura informs the agents that Solution Epsilon or Soi as she goes by in E-Rantel will rendezvous with them in E-Rantel at the Adventurer's Guild where she is an adamantite adventurer. When Ku asks if there is any danger for meeting with her as it could point a prior connection to Nazarick. Shall states that is will be fine, as long as they make it seem they do not know the protagonist. Instead Soi will initiate contact as agreed. To others it will look as if Soi is reuniting with some old comrades and is trying to motivate Shall and Ku to stay in E-Rantel. The Death Knight roars out a warning and Hamsuke reports that the Chaos Beasts are due to arrive. The two under cover agents then decide to use this as an opportunity to play their roles in fighting as adventurers. In battle Ku uses her fire magic and apply it to her sword slashes giving the illusion of a sword technique. The implication brings her much praise for her ingenuity. Once the Chaos Beasts are taken care of, Aura deems her subordinate to be ready to head out. Preparations are make to have Surako contact Soi, who is on an errand with Pandora's Actor, and have her meet the two at the front gate. The dark elf bids the farewell as she returns to Nazarick, while Hamsuke and the Death Knight remain behind to look after the forest.
The two undercover agents then set out to the city and along the way they deepen their knowledge with each other by talking. On the road, Ku learns about the idol plan that preceded this mission and how it was used as a template for the adventurer tournament. To the fox it isn't that different from her experience of when she was worshiped at her shrine. Shalltear jokes that would make are a veteran idol and tells her that this plan would see the "Dark Warrior" be raised on a higher pedestal. Ku understands the gist of the plan as well as the promotional campaign to attract new adventurers. The two princess duo continue on emphasizing with each other as they make their way towards E-Rantel.
While Shall and Ku left the Tob Forest, the protagonist had already returned to E-Rantel, busy with the various tasks such a public communication with resident and notifications to all vendors. Ainzach informs him that the adventurers who will be participating in the tournament are due to arrive today as the tournament will be schedule the next day in the afternoon. The protagonist and Surako then take the opportunity to greet the adventurers while the guildmaster takes care of things at the guild.
Once the duo reach the city square they are greeted by some old faces, the Swords of Darkness who have come for the event. They came at the personal request of the "Dark Warrior" and the silver ranked adventurers are enthusiastic about the coming challenge and also to helping their friend who has become the light of hope for E-Rantel. Their conversation is soon joined by Saint Clementine who wishes to thank the protagonist for organizing the event to lift the spirits of the residents. The saint wishes that she could have done more to help but her duties in managing the new section of the city have been time consuming. The two undercover Nazarick agents state that the tournament would not be possible had Clementine not helped managed the new section and provide the time for two them to schedule the event. The members of the Swords of Darkness comment that though the reconstruction of the city has been progressing sections of the old are a bit embittered by the new. Even Clementine is worried about the new residents mingling with the old. The protagonist plans to hold the tournament in the square to make it visible to all. While it may be a hindrance for the old city resident, the protagonist hopes that both residents will interact naturally as they watch the fights and release their anxiety. Those words are enough for Clementine who them bids the group goodbye.
Lukrut Volve hoping to catch up on one of the protagonists' companions, asks Surako on the whereabouts of Narberal. The girl sadly informs the ranger that Narberal would not be able to join in the tournament as the time was inconvenient. Unknown to the Swords of Darkness, Narberal is on the rooftops, scouting out a location to view the venue of the central square for tomorrow's tournament. The absence of the woman causes Lukrut to whine in disappointment of being unable to reunite with her while his comrades watch in pity. The group then prepare to leave to get ready for tomorrow's event. Soon after Blue Roses come to greet the protagonist and his partner, having come directly from the Royal Capital. The team having already met with the guildmaster wanted to see the protagonist to give their support for such a grand idea. With the women are Brain Unglaus and Climb who have come to view the festivities and raise the dignity of the Kingdom at the permission of Princess Renner Theiere Chardelon Ryle Vaiself. it was specifically more for Climb's benefit as he wished to witness the protagonist in combat. Not only that she approves of the tournament as a way to bolster the strength of the Kingdom. Lakyus Alvein Dale Aindra comments that the protagonist is not in his usual "Dark Warrior" gear, which the fellow adamantite adventurer says that he will equip at the tournament as he does not want to be conspicuous. Noticing that one of their party is missing, Brain asks where Soi is only to be told that she is preparing for tomorrow using equipment that was requested by the guildmaster. At a hotel suite, Soi is with Pandora's Actor working with him on some custom-made products.
Back at the city square the adventurers are joined by members of the Slane Theocracy: Nigun Grid Luin and Ian Als Heim. Ian welcomes the visitors from the Kingdom, while Nigun acts cordial. The captain is in approval of the tournament as both he and Ian agree it would help the Kingdom's defenses as the Empire's soldiers have returned to their home country temporarily. Aware of the dangers the protagonist promises to minimize discomfort for the city's resident and to support the Tripartite Alliance. Ian looks forward to the upcoming matches for tomorrow as he and his superior depart. After they leave Evileye muses how well members of the Theocracy have handled the new influx of demi-humans into the city
Gagaran keeping the mood positive tells her friends to smile for tomorrow like the Buddha above them. The homunculus adventurer thanks the senior adventurers and warriors for their participation. Privately he is glad the representatives from the Kingdom do not suspect a thin, though he feels that there is still skepticism from the Theocracy, but it is expected. That in mind he projects that the completion of the Three Nations Revitalization Plan is nearing.
Outside the city walls adventurers are gathering one after another in E-Rantel. Shall and Ku have also arrived at the site in the afternoon the day before the tournament, as planned. At the checkpoint they give their cover story and name of Soi who invited them offering a safe havem. The guard at the checkpoint is a bit surprised that they know the adamantite adventurer. The two travelers explain that they heard rumors that the city was now a place were many races could interact and mingled so they came to visit to see if it was true. On the way they claim they heard about the tournament and hoped to compete and become full fledged adventurers. The guard listening to their story notes that they lacked an escort when they arrived which Shall states that Ku is the only protection she requires on her travels.
Before the interview can go further by the guard, Soi arrives to greet her guests. Greeting them like old friends, Shall is stunned at her colleague's appearance as she is dressed rather differently from her usual simple attire and in tight dark costume and a mask that covers the bottom of her face. Soi tells Shall that this is how an adamantite adventurer dresses as. With the adamantite adventurer present the guard is satisfied that the woman vouches for the two travelers and releases them into her care, wishing them luck in becoming adventurers
All the while Ku tells her colleagues that she won't be able to hold 'it' for much longer. This prompts Soi to guide them to her hotel suite. There at the room are Narberal and Pandora's Actor who greet Soi and her new charges. The two Doppelgängers welcome them and offer some food and drinks. The undercover Floor Guardian tells Ku that the area is secured and with that the fox releases her disguise to return to her Kyuko form. While resting her transformation abilities, the Treasurer of Nazarick takes the opportunity to introduce himself to her. His greeting is respectfully returned, although the Treasurer shows interest in her armor that she wore. But he is cut off by Shall as the it is not time to discuss his hobbies. Returning to Soi's armor, Shall expressed that it was unexpected but worked in their favor as it elicit genuine emotion from Shall and Ku who to others could be interpreted as not having seen their old friend Soi for many years.
The need to wear Soi to wearing her new equipment stem from a request by Pluton Ainzach as after being promoted as a high ranking adventurer she is required to dress the part. Thus she had Pandora's Actor outfit her with some items that makes her visually parallel to her teammate the "Dark Warrior". While the style is not to her liking the protagonist urges her to bear with it as part of her cover story. Still Soi notes that the style is kind of like the previous appearances of the Supreme Beings Warrior Takemikazuchi and Nishikienrai.
Kyuko's disguise so far have been successful. After that she hopes by tomorrow, they she will proceed as plan and escort Shall and present themselves as foreign princesses. To help let them know more about the city Soi decides to give the two undercover agents a tour of the new section where the demi-humans and humans live. As the three set out, Kyuko changes back into her Ku form. As for the two remaining shapeshifters, Narberal will stay with Pandora's Actor who is happily feeding an insect some cabbage until the tournament begins.
The fox is confused as why Pandora's Actor is feeding a bug, when Soi explains that it is a Lip Bug that ate and uses the protagonists' vocal chords to mimic his voice. Pandora's Actor uses it to take the protagonist's role as the "Dark Warrior". The thought of the extreme lengths the protagonist committed to his the identity of his alter ego leaves Ku a bit disturbed.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
At the fourth wall, Shall and Ku are given a tour of the new section, keeping in role with their characters. The two women view the secure outer wall and the organized field of crops contained within. Soi elaborates that the refugees have settled here with many demi-humans. It is a place of good governance and exactly what the reconstruction promised. The trio are met by Saint Clementine who is on patrol, as noted by Soi. The saint asks who her two friends are and Soi introduces Shall and Ku as wandering princesses she met on a small request in her past. The mention of princesses piques the other woman's interest, though Shall tells her that her position as princess is a thing of the past as she is now just a traveler who escaped from the Chaos Beasts and only desires a safe refuge. Ku also gives a story of her being a member of the heteromorphic race who's tribe was displaced by the Chaos Beasts and came to work under Shall as an escort.
Clementine welcomes the two as they are friends of Soi who she feels indebt to. The undercover vampire tells Clementine she heard of the changes happening in E-Rantel and the ordeals it faced by the Chaos Beasts and demon horde. So far it seems to be a wonderful place in both her and her escort's opinion. When asked if they will participate in tournament, Soi confirms that is the reason why she invited them. The two wanders hope to impress the masses of their skills and Martial Arts they refined on their journey. Not only that hope to make E-Rantel their home as adventurers
The saint tells them if beauties like them join in the tournament there definitely will be excitement and looks forward to it. After she leaves Soi smiles in success having fooled a city official on her two colleagues bogus stories. Thus with the various preparations for the exchange game tournament having been made the plan for tomorrow noon is moving forward.