Wow, a Behelit! Oh well, I’m sure everything will be just fine!
— This is the first time I’ve ever seen a lich represented as a centaur, but yeah, this is the other bad guy. He wants to become the King of Corpses, whatever that means. All I know is that it involves killing people (mostly children?) in order to collect a bunch of “grudges” for this crystal. Fun.
— Ray got stabbed by a poison dagger, but if you’ll recall, he has the ability to reverse debuffs whenever Nemesis is in a certain form. Good thing he unlocked that ability just in time for this fight. And as long as Nemesis is in this form, he’ll be good enough to fight. I guess the downside is that he can’t switch weapons.
— It’s hard to take our hero seriously with those dog ears.
— The bad guy tries to escape, but he quickly runs into Hugo. Forced to stand his ground and fight, he goes, “This is the strongest offensive magic a Lich can wield! Deadly Mixer!” Sounds like an evil DJ or something.
— Anyways, Ray makes short work of the lich. All’s good right? Well… I’m flabbergasted that our heroes basically ran off and left the children stuck in those carriages on their own. Yeah, I know, there are still kids in the dungeon to save, but one person should’ve stayed behind.
— Those are some large coins.
— One of the items in the former lich’s possession, however, is that Behelit-thingie at the top of this post. It proceeds to transform the dead minotaur, the dead lich, and of course, the surviving gang members into one “epic” monster. No, really, this thing is apparently an epic-class UBM. I have to assume that the Behelit didn’t touch the children trapped in the carriages… but I’m not sure why it would spare them. Maybe it’s a Behelit with a conscience?
— By the time our heroes emerge from the dungeon, it’s already dusk. Luckily, the ox-horse is too preoccupied with Hugo’s mecha to attack the defenseless children. That’s pretty lucky.
— Our heroes weren’t eager to tackle an epic-class UBM, but then this crying girl shows up out of nowhere and draws the monster’s attention. Where the fuck did the girl come from? Did she escape from one of the carriages? Anyway, how convenient…
— So Ray stays behind to fight the monster while Hugo tries to get the children to safety. And sadly, this fight is like every other fight in this series, i.e. lots of mind-numbing chatter between our hero and Nemesis. “Master, my damage counter feels weird!” Cue long-winded explanation about how the lich’s grudge is contained in the UBM, so Ray’s vengeance thing carried over from the previous battle, blah blah blah. Let’s just skip all of that.
— Normally, when a monster this big spawns in an MMO, the zone or server is notified. Everyone then shows up to get a piece of said monster, because they want the loot. But no such thing happens here. In fact, it almost seems like nobody else has even heard of this quest. Ray and Hugo stumbled upon it, and they alone get to finish it. If children NPCs die en masse and nobody is around to see it, does it even happen?!
— There’s also the fact that Ray is admittedly not very high level, but this doesn’t seem to matter at all? I mean, what makes this UBM so epic if a guy like Ray can take it out? What’s the point of having a leveling system if being high level isn’t necessary?
— Infinite Dendrogram is thus in a weird place. On the one hand, it is a video game. Ray can only enter this world by strapping on a VR headset. On the other hand, the show continues to drop countless hints that (ohmygosh) this is more than just a game! I just don’t know why we even bother with the MMO nonsense. The real world doesn’t matter at all to our hero. Hell, we don’t even know anything about the real world. At least in SAO, even if Kirito didn’t particularly mind being trapped in the game, there were young children that needed to be saved. In a vast majority of these VRMMO anime series, the real world doesn’t matter at all, so it makes me wonder why they can’t just be a straight-up fantasy adventure anime instead.
— Midway through the fight, Ray eats a particularly huge hit from the ox-horse, and this leaves him at death’s door. Nemesis tries to save him, but apparently, potions aren’t effective when all of your bones are broken. They also probably not effective if you just dump them on the guy’s hair. So what does she do? She takes a sip of the potion, then feeds it to her Master via a kiss. And just like that, his HP is no longer critical. I’ve never seen this in any MMO that I’ve played, but at this point, we should just give up on the idea that Ray is playing a video game. No, this is real life! And as such, a kiss from your waifu will always perk you up!
— Still, Embryos are based on their Masters’ personalities and actions, right? So falling in love with one is kinda self-incestuous.
— Ray is still unconscious for the time being, and we get to see what’s going on inside his head. It’s then followed by a talk with Shu that pretty much explains why Ray is the way that he is now. I have no issue with the memory itself. What’s odd is how this random girl is talking to Ray about said memory. Can this MMO probe our memories now? Oh right, right… this isn’t just an MMO. It’s real, bro. It’s all real.
— Who’s the girl? I guess she’s the anthropomorphized version of his gauntlets. She was supposed to be born as the ogre’s daughter, but because Ray kicked the UBM’s ass, she was born as a pair of gauntlets instead. That, uh, fucking sucks. I would’ve rather been aborted. Plus, this MMO is just as important as real life, but when monsters die, they drop loot that was going to be their children…?
— And yet, gauntlet-girl harbors no ill will towards our hero. Of course not. And although she will stay a pair of gauntlets for now, he’ll probably be able to summon her at some point. You can’t have just one waifu!
— Ray finally wakes up and rejoins the fight. His new plan is not much different from a certain shield heroine. Yeah, eat all of our enemies! Let’s start with the rich!
— Eventually, Ray and Nemesis defeat the ox-horse thing without too much fanfare, and our hero walks away with a new pair of greaves. So is this item gonna turn into a waifu too?
— In the aftermath, Ray wonders if he should really stick with this “game,” because… well, watching children die is pretty darn messed up. But my issue here is that Ray doesn’t spend any significant time reflecting on his dilemma. All we get is a throwaway line at the end of this episode. He’s just paying lip service to the idea before moving on with his adventuring life, so the concern feels hollow.
— Meanwhile, Hugo bumps into that weird penguin dude. They obviously know each other. The former is impressed with Ray, but he is afraid that they will soon become enemies. On the other hand, the penguin dude takes off his costume and goes on and on about how they will bring an end to the war between the two major factions with minimal casualties. That sounds like a direct attack against the royal family. I’m not sure how else you would get an entire kingdom to capitulate. In any case, I wouldn’t be surprised if this upcoming storyline takes us all the way to the end of the anime adaptation.
— The funny thing is that these two are Masters, so you can’t really “punish” them. Alright, you can kill them and thus lock them out of the game for a day. But they can just come back and do whatever the hell they want. If a Master wants to be evil within the world of Infinite Dendrogram, the best you can do is inconvenience them. You can’t stop them for good or anything like that. It should be interesting to see how this plays out… if we ever get to that point.
Oh, they skipped so much content it hurts me as someone who actually loved Volume 2 in the Light Novel.