“War of Words”
Don’t you love it when a plan falls together? Especially when said plan wasn’t your own and you had no idea the plan was ever in motion? Because Ainz sure as hell enjoyed the keikaku (which means plan) this episode as schemes within schemes, crosstalk, and more than a little doubling down featured from front to back. Nation building is hard planning and even harder work, but hey, someone’s got to do it.
Probably the most unsurprising fact of El Nix’s apology this week was the guile—and hilarity—of Demiurge’s subtle manipulation of the moment. While the funnies are always a given considering the band of misfits we’re dealing with (seriously Ainz shock faces and calming magic will never get old), Demiurge (through Ainz) actually did some pretty impressive political manoeuvring here. The random trading of courtesy insults and treatment of equality for example was textbook diplomacy, utilizing the meaning of seemingly innocuous actions to direct and dictate long term policy. As Ainz mentioned, the whole charade served to make his plan for a country desirable for his enemies, as his displays of power and downright nasty use of Demiurge as intermediary provided the impetus needed to show what would happen should anger take control. Both sides of course know it’s a false front (even if Ainz was a little slow on the uptake—stop making me laugh Albedo), but for the time being the “alliance” serves as useful cover to lay the necessary groundwork for the real fight and conquest to come.
As far as such preparations go, humanity’s likely won’t be as thorough as it intends them to be. While El Nix certainly has the right idea in needing a united front (a testament to the guy’s shrewdness), he sorely lacks information on the true strength and reach of Ainz Ooal Gown. A little bit of thought for example would easily lead to questions about who Ainz has under his grasp in the other countries of man given Fludel’s treachery (looking at you princess), and any questioning of loyalty here should have him seriously consider the viability of actually turning one of the Floor Guardians against Ainz—i.e. what thing of value does he have to trade? Naturally this musing doesn’t touch on either Demiurge’s knowledge of what El Nix will try to do or the use of an aid in “convincing” Ain’z subordinates (remember Shalltear’s rebellion back in the first season?), but El Nix already had an uphill climb even before factoring these issues in. And don’t even get me started on trying to wrangle several states together into an alliance you freely admit you cannot suggest yourself. The man will try his hardest for his people and his empire, I’ll give him that, but when you’re dealing with the devil it’s always a question of just what you’re prepared to lose.
Mankind in part may be increasingly willing to stand up to the spooky scary skeleton, but when Ainz is ready to come knocking few—if any—will likely be ready to rise to the occasion.