Sovereign Alliance of the Nasca Namrium Ulmeria Empire
Name Sovereign Alliance of the Nasca Namrium Ulmeria Empire
Leader Ludra Nam Ul Nasca (former)

Unknown Name Emperor

General Kondou Tatsuya (former)

Calgurio (former)
Gladim (former)
Yuuki (former)

Troops More than 2 Million
Location East side of Jura Forest

East Side of Qanat Mountain
East Side of Dwargon
North Side of Milim's dominion

Country Tempest
Affiliation Tempest

Rimuru Tempest

The Eastern Empire is large military nation that is known as the strongest nation in the entire world prior Tempest Emerge.

Background Edit

The Eastern Empire. One of the oldest countries. It’s official name is Sovereign Alliance of the Nasca Namrium Ulmeria Empires. (SAN NUE) People say that it has been two thousand years since the records first speak of nations managed by SAN NUE. Managed under its overwhelming strength. And for two thousand years, SAN NUE did not allow a single rebellion to go unpunished. Under its sole Emperor: Ludra Nam Ul Nasca. Who ruled with an iron fist. And thus the empire eventually came to be called simple Eastern Empire.

Eastern Empire is a homogenous state. They rule through power, conquer and pillage, complete battle maniacs. Their only creed [Power is Everything] allows anyone to achieve greatness as long as they are powerful. There’s only one reason why this empire has yet to invade the Jura forest they are in the middle of preparations. Three hundred fifty years ago, they attempted to subjugate Veldora and lost a city because of it.  A whimsical dragon destroyed it before they could as much as regret. Around a hundred thousand lives were lost that day, and that was a city fortified to be the gateway for invading the Jura forest. They have built it up over a hundred years. “Build up your forces, conquer that forest, and expand our dominion.” That was the Empire’s burning wish since then. Expand beyond the Jura forest their failures pained them for a hundred years. But why would a country as bountiful as the Empire need to expand? Only because the Emperor wanted it to be so. That was the only reason, but no one complained. And as the invasion plan progressed, the Empire build up its forces and weapons. And hundreds of years ago they announced its invasion plan. Who would have thought that a single foolish idea that commanders had would cause that plan to crumble?

The Jura forest needs a master. Those lizards are no threat to us!

This foolish thought let them to their doom. They hardly know what actually happened. The books, the record keepers, and anyone who knew was reduced to ash. Their dreams, their ambitions, were reduced to ash. And time passed. The Empire continued with an additional creed: “Never invade Jura Forest.” Veldora’s anger left it’s scars; his power revealed how wide the world really is; the Empire could never as much consider an invasion. There were those who resented Veldora, but not one of them would disobey a superior each of whom forbid an invasion. As such, voices of young warhawks never reached the upper echelons. As such, the army solidified even further, regaining control superior to before the invasion. They could not allow the second invasion to fail. For them, this was an opportunity to prove their loyalty to their Empire.

And two years prior, they received those news. Storm Dragon Veldora disappeared. The Empire rejoiced. The time has come! Drums of war beat now even in the hearts of the commanders. These were not brash youth; they were hardened soldiers, so the fires in their chests burned all the brighter. Moreover, they could hardly allow their Emperor to wait any longer. And the Emperor blessed them with a single word,


Surely everyone was elated to hear them, but no one rushed–they meticulously carried his orders out. And soon the preparations were complete.

Chronology Edit

Empire’s Invasion Arc

940,000 Soldiers from the Armored Corps were completely annihilated by the Monster Country Tempest, which were invaded by the Empire. and had their souls reaped by Rimuru Tempest, the King of Tempest.

However, The Demon Lord Rimuru revived 740,000 among them for Tempest's laboured servitude and put curses on them so that they wouldn't be able to oppose Tempest ever again. These left 200,000 souls whose bodies were completely destroyed during the first war against the First Corps and the Third Corps, thus, the only "real" casualties of the first battle between the Empire and Tempest.

Ryuma Clash Arc

90,000 Soldiers comprised of the Magic Beast Corps and the remaining of Armored Corps, which included 30,000 Magic Beasts, 30,000 Magic Beast Riders and 30,000 Mages, were completely annihilated by Demon Lord Rimuru and the Black Corps/Numbers of Tempest upon invoking the Demon Lord's wrath by taking control of Storm Dragon Veldora, who's Rimuru's friend.

10 Strongest Royal Knights also fell victims to the Black Corps in the battle.

Only Vega (Yuuki's spy for observing the Magic Beast Corps), the Emperor Rudra and Scorch Dragon Velgrynd survived the battle.

Among the 300 Airships in this battle, 200 were salvaged for Tempest under Diablo's order.

Kagurazaka Yuuki Killed Rudra , Stole Ultimate Skill Justice King Michael and Invoke Armageddon to summon 1 Million B+ Rank non Sentient Angel causing 1 Million from 3 Million civilian at the Eastern Empire Capital Nasca Killed.

Kagurazaka Yuuki Revive Vega and Kagari (Kazaream).

Tenma Great War Arc

During the Walpurgis BanquetThe Eastern Empire was granted by Eight Star Demon Lords as Rimuru's New Territory.

Principles Edit

The Empire is found upon the maxim that strength is everything.

The Eastern Empire was a military nation that increased in size by absorbing its weaker neighbors. It invaded when it wanted and trampled down anyone in its wake. So it also made full use of spies.

“Death to those who disobey!” This was the principle they live by, so if the targeted state didn't swear allegiance within a week, they immediately invaded. Their sphere of influence failed to extend into the Jura Forest, though there had been victims among nearby states that had fallen to the Empire. The country itself is filled with people with various skills and knowledge. The Empire also welcomed world travelers with open arms, and most of their influence changed the Empire

The Empire was ablaze in activity. The Empire, has a Political and Military branches.Both are managed directly by the Emperor. No one else has any real power there. There are nobles, but their only boon is a fancy name and ability to enter the parliament without an election. Perhaps some of them do own and manage property, but such would be a rare and special person. In other words, the Emperor has absolute power. This Feudalistic state listens to the wishes not of the people but of the Emperor

Every soldier pledged their loyalty to the Emperor. Even Imperial Guard or Guardsmen is but a position that is rotated between various troops. Can you believe it: a single person is managing every aspect of such a large nation. But regardless of how bizarre it may seem, the truth is thus: the Empire has enjoyed many years of prosperity And the Emperor gave his orders Surely everyone was elated to hear them, but no one rushed they meticulously carried his orders out and soon the preparations were complete.

There were two individuals with absolute power that have authority over the rest: The Emperor himself and the Generalissimo. There were also others who were the de facto commanders that had control over the armed forces of the Empirethe de facto commanders also had the duty to protect the Emperor with the Emperor's personal guards / The Royal Knights. They were powerful enough to surpass the demon lords' standard level, and had ensured the Empire's safety for hundreds of years.

Next, there are three Generals. These three commanded each of the three Corps of the Empire's armies. the de facto commander and the Generals, these four men were the pillars of the Empire. Each had been given the Empire’s treasured God Grade Equipments Equipments of unbelievable power/the strongest equipment before which no man can be an equal to.

Through inter army duel and combat, a system where the young may usurp the seat of the elder was established. Though forbidden during Army's marches, any members of the army could challenge a superior to a duel if they believed they can surpass their superior. If they were defeated, they would have to wait a year before they were permitted to challenge the superior again. As such, everyone continuously sharpened their skills.The best system for a country where strength is everything. In addition to the position of a captain or a general, there's also the position of The Emperor's personal Guardsmen / Royal Knights that held great influence and power within the Empire. These positions were always filled with powerful individuals who can not be easily defeated within the Empire. As a result, if you wanted to rise in status, you would wait for an opportunity to defeat them.

The Empire increased its influence by absorbing weaker nations and invading nation that did not submit. With this principle, If the targeted country did not swear allegiance within a certain time, they would be immediately invaded by the Empire.

Military Strength Edit

The Eastern Empire was known as being the strongest military state in the world prior Tempest emerge.

It's implied that the author use the same Rank system for Officer like the one Rikujo Jietai (Japan Ground Self Defense Force) use.

  • de facto commander
  • General (Corps Commander)
  • Lieutenant General
  • Major General
  • Colonel
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • Major
  • Captain
  • First Lieutenant
  • Second Lieutenant
  • Warrant Officer

World Travelers are given preferential treatment, even at the lowest they will receive treatment as Second Lieutenant.

The Royal Knight Corps: 100 Empire's Greatest Elite Fighting Force. Edit

Behind the scenes another army is protecting the Empire. But calling it an army is too much, it is at most a unit, but its strength is far beyond that of the three corps. In other words, they are powerful enough to be called an army despite being a single unit.

A hundred individuals of great power joined the Royal Knight Corps; their strength was legendary. Of course, many of them were from another world. The Empire did not discriminate against world travelers, and recognized only strength. To these one hundred, the Emperor bestowed legend Class Equipment. These one hundred are the Empire’s strongest force.

They're the one who guard, receive the order and are under direct control by the Emperor himself. Only consist of 100 A Rank Soldier. Royal Knight No.1 10  are also Sage who had received Ultimate Gift "Alternative" from the Emperor himself. Each and every single member except No.1 Royal Knight receive Legend Grade Equipment from the Emperor himself. Royal Knight No.1 is a Sage who is bestowed with God Grade Equipment by the Emperor himself.

Those one hundred was selected Through inter army duel and combat. A system where the young may usurp the seat of the elder. Though forbidden during marches, any member of the army could challenge a superior to a duel.. If they were defeated, they would have to wait a year before they were permitted to challenge him again. As such, everyone continuously sharpened their skills. Such was the best system for a country where strength was everything. In place of a captain at each of 3 Corps, Royal Knight would serve. As a result, if you wanted to rise in status, you would wait for an opportunity to defeat them.

Publicly and Formally The Empire’s Military is split into Three Corps:

The Armored Corps: A Marvel of Technology by Imperial Engineers. Edit

They rode Modern Tanks and symbolized the Empire’s technological prowess. The Armored corps, where science and technology of the different world were fused as magic technology, is the largest Corps with the largest number of soldiers that could be mobilized exceeded 2 million. In reality, however, the number of soldiers who could participate immediately in military deployments was 1 million  The remaining were on standby in various places within the Empire. Even so, the scale of the corps could be considered abnormal.

The Armored Corps that could participate immediately in military deployment consist of:

1. Armored Remodeled Legion Legion of soldiers who received Magic Remodeling by magic and technology of the different world. The individual ability increases and has ability considerable to B A Ranks. Even at the lowest of the corps, the soldiers could still be considered to be stronger than C+ Rank. Number of soldiers affiliated: 700,000 people.

2. Magic Tank Division Magic Tank 4.000 units. Number of soldiers affiliated, 200.000 people. The Empire’s secret weapon, each Magic Tank were piloted by 5 people. The main armament of each Magic Tank was Magic cannon optimized by other world’s technology, the cannon was used by amplifying magic and firing it.

  • Along with the shell type that packed magic essence and increased the destructive power, the Magic Tanks contained another attack that fired a converged magic essence gathered from the air like a beam. If it’s a shell, it’s possible to accomplish rapid fire even if the quantity is limited. In case it’s a beam, energy charge takes time of a little over three minutes but there’s no quantity limitation for it. Because it’s possible to alternate between these two types of attacks, the beam type is shot first and the normal shell is shot during the time it takes for the next beam to be charged.

3. Aerial Fighter Legion Airship 400 aircrafts. Number of soldiers affiliated, 100.000 people. One aircraft can be boarded up to 400 people. Operating one aircraft needs about 50 staff. The other personnel is to be engaged in bombardment. It’s also useful as transportation for large scale military deployment. Since it could be said that there’s no concept of air supremacy in this world yet, the Airships can be considered to be invicible. Magic Reinforcement Cannons are installed on the Airships. The Airships which could be called an air fortress also had the largest magic canceller devices installed in them. In control of each devices was the elite wizard class member who commanded the magicians. In battle, the Airship fires the magic cannon that has the equivalent power of the main armaments of the 4,000 Magic Tanks, thus, it can kill with one shot of the magic cannon a Young Dragon of A Rank.

  • Adjustment of the magic amplification cannon was vital to every Airships. Also, the magic barrier that could easily block normal Wide Scale Annihilation Magic / Nuclear Strike Magic was laid out to always protect the Airships. Furthermore, Shield (Wall Shield), which is a magic to deal with physical attacks, is amplified to prevent attacks to the Airship. The spell of the magician who usually fire it is amplified to 20 times of its power by the magic amplification cannon. It's a cannon only in name since it’s actually just a pedestal with an ability to amplify the used magic. A huge spell control orb was made with a magic stone of high purity. Originally, orbs which were attached to staffs were as big as a fist to enhance spell amplification effects, allowing various large scale magics being able to be casted. Airships max Speed is surpass Mach 1 (around Transonic) while average speed is around 400 Km/Hour. but it couldn't use it Max Speed for Long Time due to its Enormous Magic Consumption thus its only use around its average Speed.

Magic Canceller (Magic Essence Disturbance Radiation). It can obstruct a magician’s casting. A technology that enables the weakening of a monster in battle. 

The Magic Beast Corps: A Group of Magic Beast Riders and Chimera Knights. Edit

From the four corners of the world, the Empire brought back beasts of wonderful strength and forced them to obey. They symbolize the Empire’s strength. It is the Magic Beast Corps that handle various of these captured magic beasts: they breed, strengthened, and trained them. The cultivation of the Magic Beasts was processed by DNA analysis the technology of the Other World that allows the strong soldiers of the Empire to ride the beasts.

Those strong soldiers with were said to have the blood of heroes who played an active part during the early days of the Empire in the old times. Different from how Magic Remodeling technique that changes an ability less person into a hero, they are born Heroes having an overwhelming ability. A minor Corps with only 30,000 personnel (100 Chimera Knight is A Rank while Most other troops are A- Rank). It was said that each one of them had the ability of 10,000 people while the Magic Beasts that they rode all had the strength appropriate to A- Rank.

Battle Chimera: Demon Beasts which were born from selective breeding after DNA analysis. They were seen as a type of weapon, having combat oriented abilities. And it was obvious that the Corps members who had tamed them, were also ranked above A- Rank in terms of capability. Their strength when battling together on land, were said to be second to none. But if they were above the sea, they'll be put at disadvantage. althought there existed within the Magic Beast Corps that excelled in aerial combat. However, that was only possible provided stable foothold. For the Demonic Beasts who were inferior in continuous flight ability, combat in the skies put them at a disadvantage. After all, their landing spots were easily predictable, they would be sniped, and that would be the end of them.

They are able to gain great power by using Medical Skill Beast Fusion but the risks of failure (death or going berserk) are high.

Medical Skill『Beast Fusion』was a skill that was developed by the team responsible for the analysis of Demon Beast DNA. This skill, fused the Demon Beast and it’s handler together. Letting a human attain the power of a Demon Beast; a forbidden power. The reason it was called a forbidden skill, was because it became impossible for the individual who activated it to cancel the effects. The drug used for the skill, had to be surgically removed in a facility with the appropriate tools. Through the fusion of the handler and his partner, a warrior that surpassed the original concept would be born. The drug was distributed and kept on hand, so it was possible to activate whenever necessary. But, usage is prohibited without the Secret Command from the corps leader (Gladim). There was another reason why it was “secret”.

Risk of death: 10% Risk of compatibility failure and completely turning into a Demon Beast: 20% Risk of losing control (applies for both Beastman and Demon Beast): 30% Risk of side effects resulting from the fusion: 20%

There were many underlying problems. There is only a 20% chance for “complete” success of the fusion.

But just like Gladim, there were corps members who successfully fused and completed the process. These members consequently attained new powers, and became stronger. These perfectly compatible individuals, made up less than 1% among the entire corps. They were called Chimera Knights, and were the aides of Beast King Gladim. The order that Gladim calmly issued, was akin to a death sentence for the Magic Beast Corps troops. If there were unable to attain power now, they will simply end up as fodder for the demons. It was a cold, but pragmatic order. And the troops swiftly followed it. They had prior knowledge to the risks, and knew of the high mortality rate. But because they had absolute faith in Beast King Gladim, they followed the order without hesitation. The result: out if 30,000 members of the Magic Beast Corps Troops.

7,700 turned into berserk Demon Beasts, 5,800 into complete Demon Beasts. 4,500 turned into berserk Beastman, 7,400 into Beastman soldiers. 450 turned into Chimera Knights.

It resulted in a fairly large loss in numbers. The ones who went berserk had already been let out, and were rampaging on the decks. An ejection type magic circle was prepared beforehand, to deal with those individuals. That was the job of the Mages, who were standing by around the squad members. This was to prevent being attacked by their former comrades. Those who were still sane and combat ready numbered 13,750, which was less than half of the squad. The members who turned into Demon Beasts but were still conscious are also counted in, so the drop in numbers was fairly significant. But Gladim nodded with satisfaction. The number of Chimera Knight born was higher than expected. There was roughly 100 of them who were his aides already a Chimera Knight were only composed of his countrymen who had been fighting alongside him for several decades. Through strict selection, only individuals with high chances of successfully fusing were chosen, but it was difficult to increase their numbers. 450 Chimera Knights of good quality were born. This time, those who had successfully evolved into a Chimera Knight, due the shortage of Demonic Beasts to consume, had been terribly weakened. They obtained the Unique skillBodily Manipulation』.

The Mixed Corps: A Group of Engineer Rejects and Beast Exiles. Edit

These members are too powerful and/or too smart to work as a single organization as it is generally thought so, However If their power was combined they would become the most potent threat. They represent the Empire’s heart. Young as it may be., while it may be true that they were dropouts, it didn’t mean they don’t have abilities. As such, instead of battles and warfare, various experiments and trials are carried out by this corps. The corps has its own technology development department. It also has magic research department. Their potential is unknown.

This corps employs the most number of Otherworlders as combatants. The total number of soldiers is 200,000 people. However, a lot of them were intelligence officers and general office work soldiers, making the number of soldiers that can actually fight around 100,000 People.

In additon, people who are in disfavor of Magic Remodeling, people who can’t ride Magic Beasts and people of the former Magic Corps that have no place to go were taken into this corps.

30 ‘Otherworlders’, 50 devils, 100 mix breed warriors, 100 slave warriors. In the Mixed Corps, they were the ones on the stronger side. With Otherworlders, Devils, and Officer class individuals, it wasn’t an exaggeration to say that they would be members of the Mixed Corps headquarters.

Diplomacy Edit

Dwargon Edit

Dwargon was able to establish diplomatic relations with The Eastern Empire and so avoided a potential invasion. This was due to the military strength of the kingdom while the strength of the Dwarf King also certainly has something to do with it.

Tempest Edit

The Eastern Empire is under control of Rimuru Tempest. but in exchange of their independence Rimuru Confiscate all of their technology including the right to construct and use Airship, Magic Tank and forbid Magic Remodeling Technology usage toward their citizen.

Departments Edit

  • Technical Department: Wizard which Specialize in Analyst.
  • Supplies Department: Place where most Soldier Sell their own Plunder including Weapon.
  • Intelligence Bureau: Intelligence agents are of first class combat abilities holders. (every single Members are A Rank and could defeat Nameless Arch Demon on  a "one on one" fight).

Known Members Edit

Ludra Nam Ul Nasca: The Emperor, The Generalissimo

Lucia Nava: Royalty

Velda Nava (Star King Dragon Velda Nava): Royalty

Scorch Dragon Velgrynd: Living in The Empire to observe, support and kill Rudra.

Royal Knight Corps: 100 Empire's Greatest Elite Fighting Force. Edit

Kondou Tatsuya: The de facto Commander, Leader of Empire's Intelligence Bureau, Leader of The Royal Knight Corps and No.1 Royal Knight.

Damrada: Vice Leader of The Royal Knight Corps and No.2 Royal Knight.

Graneet: No. 3 Royal Knight a Sage and Hero who laid the foundation of the Eastern Empire and has protected the Empire's peace for more than a thousand years behind the scenes.

Gardner: No.4 Royal Knight a sadist Sage who loves to torture his enemies while enjoying them crying and begging for their Lives.

Garcia: No.5 Royal Knight a short temper and impatient Sage.

Miraza: Knight who Kill 300 Member of Yuuki's Elite Subordinate, Member of Empire's Intelligence Bureau and No.6 Royal Knight.

No.7 10: Royal Knight who Kill 300 Member of Yuuki's Elite Subordinate and Members of Empire's Intelligence Bureau.

No.17 Royal Knight: Krishna: A Knight who Defeat Albert due to Albert's Sword break at contact with Krishna's Armor.

No.35 Royal Knight: Bazan: A Knight who Bested Adalman due to Albert's Defeat.

No.94 Royal Knight: Reiha: A Knight who Bested Adalman due to Albert's Defeat.

Armored Corps: A Marvel of Technology by Imperial Engineers. Edit

Calgurio: The Corps Commander (Leader) of The Armored Corps.

Miranda: Military Advisor (A Spy from Yuuki to monitor and manipulate Calgurio).

Gastar: Lieutenant General who commanded Magic Tank Division.

Minute: Major General who commanded and oversaw the dungeon capturing Squad.

Faraga: Major General who commanded 100 Airships fleet and oversaw the Veldora Subjugation Squad.

Xam’d: Major General who commanded 300 Airships fleet and oversaw the transport of The Magic Beast Corps.

Kansas: Colonel who commanded the annihilation of a Youma Village.

Raymond: Otherworlder soldier which rely on his Strengthening Physics and Martial Artist. 

Michel: Otherworlder soldier which boast a high power attack.

Magic Beast Corps: A Group of Magic Beast Riders and Chimera Knights. Edit

Gladim: The Corps Commander (Leader) of The Magic Beast Corps.

Vega: Gladim's Subordinate (A Spy from Yuuki to monitor Gladim).

Mixed Corps: A Group of Engineer Rejects and Beast Exiles. Edit

Kagurazaka Yuuki: The Corps Commander (Leader) of The Mixed Corps.

Claude: Vice Leader of The Mixed Corps (A Spy from Leon Cromwell to monitor Yuuki).

Arios: Otherworlder soldier which use a One Handed Sword and excel in Assasinate.

Tolneod: Otherworlder soldier which use a War Hammer imbued with Lightning element as His Main Weapon.

Zero: An Artificial Being created by Yuuki which use a Shield with Star Shape.

Aria: Otherworlder soldier which use a Great Axe imbued with Fire element as her Main Weapon.

Olca: Otherworlder soldier which use a Trident imbued with Water element as her Main Weapon.

Priscilla: Otherworlder soldier which use a Nine Tail imbued with Wind element as her Main Weapon.

Furuki Mai: Otherworlder soldier which use a Crescent Bow and excel in Long Range and Pin Point Attack .

Tanimura Shinji Major who had the qualification as an Army Doctor.

Mark Lauren First Lieutenant who rely on his Throw Skills.

Zhen Liu Xing First Lieutenant who rely on his Sense Skills.

Gadra: Hero, Imperial Court Magician and Former The Corps Commander (Leader) of The Magic Corps.

Trivia Edit

  • In Truth, Most Combatants from Sovereign Alliance of the Nasca Namrium Ulmeria Empire don't have Ultimate Skill and their power is only artificial from Magic Remodeling (not by their Natural Talent) thus once they fought against Sentient and Intelligence A Rank Monster they tend to be unable to do anything against it.
  • A- and A Rank Soldier is considered as Elite Soldier while average Soldier's strength is B Rank.
  • In Truth, the Fact about their General (Corps Commander) have the power to surpass Eight Star Demon Lord's member is nothing but a Lie from Over Confident and Ignorant People.
  • A Nameless Arch Demon is strong enough to destroy one of The Eastern Empire's vassal state.
  • It's Estimated that Calgurio and Claude's Fighting Prowess is as strong as a Named Arch Demon and according to Rimuru, Calgurio is quite a Decent Fighter.
  • Rudra only considered the Sovereign Alliance of the Nasca Namrium Ulmeria Empire as nothing but a tool to achieve his own Goal. and at the same time he purposely let his own subordinate that has pledged their loyalty to Him Killed while the survivor felt into fear and despair in order to evolve them into Sage. as long as there's only one that manage to evolve into sage he doesn't care even if 1 Million Soldier was Killed.
  • The Military Police Corps is far Weaker than the Army Corps (like a child and an adult).
  • Most Nobles and Higher up Think Eight Star Demon Lord is only at The Demon Lord Class Individual Level EP:200.000. This probably because Most of all Self Proclaimed Demon Lord come from Demon Lord Class Individual thus Most Nobles and Higher up tend to Look down on Eight Star Demon Lord.
  • According to Tanimura Shinji the Armored Corps that came to Invade Tempest (consist of 940.000 Soldiers) is considered to have less than 30% of Tempest Standing Armed Forces's War Potential prior Rimuru evolve his Executive evolve into True Demon Lord.
  • The Imperial Capital Nasca is Protected with 100 Royal Knight, 2.000 Guardsmen and 20.000 Military Police Corps.