Chapter 203: Resting
Aldrich looked down at his hands, at the last ickers of shadow leaving them, owing past the ower vase and stack of books he held. "So what? Does that mean my Boundary has a high probability of being useless?" "I would not say so." The Death Lord held the sleeping Chrysalis out towards
Aldrich. "This one may have her own unique soul, but at the same time, it is not truly unique.
It is a soul that developed using your own as a template. She may be a separate being, but fundamentally, she is still you. Odd, though." The Death Lord cocked her head at the Chrysalis's sleeping, sweetly innocent smile. "I would never have expected you to have a side like this within you." "If there was ever a side of me like that, it's long gone," said Aldrich. "Hmm. Not gone. Buried." The Death Lord smiled. "It is not a bad thing, to have a side of light, of warmth, like this within you. It balances your being and makes you more interesting.
Creatures that are pure dark or pure light are boring abominations. Like that blindingly awful goddess."
Aldrich gently placed the ower vase and books down and took the Chrysalis from the Death Lord, holding the girl. She felt snug in his warms. Incredibly warm, too, contrasting deeply with the chill of his undead skin. "It is my current theory that you two represent two halves of one soul," said the Death Lord. "Thus, your Boundary is still technically of one soul.
Interference only occurs when two separate souls project incompatible boundaries.
The greater the closeness of the souls, the greater the compatibility. Kal'Ves, twins by birth, could project a perfectly complementary Boundary.
I should surmise that this little girl, created of your own soul, possesses an even closer link that that of birth twins. I do not see an issue with your
It will just require more training to use properly." "Training? This isn't an innate racial ability?" said Aldrich. "The ability to project a Boundary is innate to any suciently powerful Lich, but to actually develop and control it properly requires training." The Death
Lord reached out and squeezed Aldrich's shoulder muscles. "Your muscles are part of your natural body, are they not?
And yet to maximize their strength you must break them down and build them up - you must train them. It is just the same for your Boundary.
That is another interesting thing I have noted from you. The knowledge to use spells seems to imbue naturally within you. You have no need to train to wield them. But for racial abilities, you seem to require training just like the rest of us."
The Death Lord put her hand to her chin and looked away, talking to herself in a quieter tone. "Perhaps it is because this system of transferral did not account for racial changes, hm..." "System of transferral?" said Aldrich.
The Death Lord looked up. "Hm? Yes. This 'system' of yours is a function meant to transfer power. You may be asking from where, and that, even I do not know originally.
Now that I have taken it over, that power comes from me, but in the beginning, who or what it was bestowed this system upon you is something that eludes me." "..." Aldrich thought about the mystery of his system's origin and how few clues he had to actually guring out how it had originated.
There were so many unanswered questions and too little context to answer them. At best, his main lead was researching the Elden World game, his console, if it still existed, and tracking down the seller, but these were all a long shot. "But do not think so hard, Death Walker," said the Death Lord. "And take some rest. It may not have seemed like it, but you spent several hours vying against your Boundary core.
And you may still feel powerful, tireless with your undead body, but you should allow your mind to rest. To that end, I have prepared proper quarters for you and your guardian knight." "The Trial Quests-," began Aldrich.
The Death Lord rolled her eyes. "Come now, slow down a little. What, are you that eager to clear your mere second Trial Quest? You alone could annihilate any little being in that.
You have all this time to spend with my wondrous looks and personality, and you choose the Trial Quests?" "If possible, yes," said Aldrich.
The Death Lord pouted. "Goodness, you truly are an odd specimen. But heed my advice, Death Walker. You must take some time to rest. Your Boundary core is still stabilizing. Casting magic on an unstable core is a risky endeavor that I highly advise against.
Rest assured, you are not wasting time here. While you rest, I will devise a method to train both you and the Chrysalis in utilizing your Boundary. There are also some rare items gathering dust I would like to bequeath you, mostly for your followers, but only if you pass a few trials of my own." "And what would those trials be?"
The Death Lord smiled and shrugged. "I do not know. I have not thought of them yet. So get your rest, Death Walker, and give a lady some time to think." =====
Aldrich sat upon a large, king sized bed of plush silken green covers and royal purple blankets. The bedframe oozed with ornate luxury, made of gold carved into patterns of bones and lilies. Behind the bed, he had hung the painting of a house on a meadow that his mother had made. On a stand o to the side, his father's comics and his mother's ower vase stood. 'This is a spare bed I had, but I suppose you can use it. Laying upon it will increase the recovery of your soul, mana, and body tremendously!' The Death
Lord's words rung in Aldrich's mind.
As did the rest of her words, though these were spoken in whispers. 'And of course, I am sure you are interested in body recovery, are you not? It cannot be helped, being a young man of vigor as you are.'
Aldrich sighed and put a hand to his forehead. The thought of doing anything like that beside his parents' mementos felt incredibly wrong. Not to mention the Chrysalis was here, sleeping in her own smaller bed o to the side.
Aldrich took his hand o his face and looked at it. At the scars and calluses that marred it. He wondered whether it was actually okay to just sit around and do, well, nothing.
It felt incredibly odd.
It seemed like his entire life, all his actions and thoughts, was devoted to some kind of purpose.
Mostly vengeance, he realized. But that too, was mostly gone. He had killed
Seth Solar and the Butcher now suered eternal torture.
There was, of course, the rest of the Trident to take down, but that was a faceless entity and a much larger goal than just capturing the Butcher. He could not pursue that goal with vengeance, he had to approach it with cold calculation.
And that was the thing. Now that personal vengeance was done and over with, he was left with much larger goals to take care of.
Taking down the Trident was one thing, but the biggest goal of all, to bring his idea of order into the world, to essentially conquer it as Volantis said, was on another scale entirely.
He had no clear plan yet as to how he would do it. He just knew for now he had to get stronger and nd out more about where he stood in the world, and then he would know what pieces to play and when.
Right now, though, Aldrich was meant to just rest.
According to the Death Lord, he was not even supposed to think too hard about things and just stay in a state of calm, mindless rest.
Aldrich look over to his side, at a smaller bed where the Chrysalis lay sleeping, curled up in a ball reminiscent of how she had looked when she was a crystalline serpent. She still slept soundly.
Aldrich shrugged and laid down on the soft bed. Everything from the bed to the feeling of his new clothes felt soft.
Too soft for his liking.
His training garb had been taken away and replaced with what was known as spiritweave clothing. This was magical clothing conjured up using a catalyst from Aldrich - in his case strands of hair - that would manifest with his
Materius, xing his ashing problem.
Even more useful was that the clothing was bound to his Materius, basically being a part of it. If he regenerated his Materius, he could regenerate his clothing too.
Granted, spiritweave clothing did not have very strong stats and little capacity to hold extra magical enchantments, but it was still useful regardless for walking around in human form.
As for its design, Wai'ki had looked into Aldrich's memory and fashioned a sleek black suit as she had no idea what a suit looked like. Right now, he had dematerialized his suit jacket and dress shirt, leaving him in a form tting white undershirt and pants.
In a way, this was very similar to how Strand, the world's premiere costume making company for heroes, made their outts for heroes who were too physically strong to use conventional body armor or who had powers like intangibility or invisibility that made conventional clothing inconvenient.
They took strands of hair or other genetic material from heroes and built what was basically a 'second skin' that would interact properly with the hero's powers, preventing accidental nudity.
Could not have heroes walking around naked after ghts or using their powers, after all. That was just not good for public image and ratings, and ratings were everything for heroes that only cared about credits and fame.
Aldrich laid down on his bed and looked up. Across a ceiling and walls of gray stone were dotted magic crystals carved into the shape of lilies that shone with faint white light, illuminating the room.
When was the last time he had ever just laid down and relaxed like this? He could not really remember. Anytime he ever took a rest, it was to make sure he recovered from an injury or a workout.
Rest was just a tool to leverage. That was how he thought of it.
Technically, he supposed, this was like that, what with needing to recover his spiritual stability. But it still felt strange.
Or, perhaps, he was the unnatural one.
Someone who had, over time and abuse and suering, simply lost the ability to wind down and enjoy life at his own pace.
In stark contrast to the Chrysalis who rested without a care in the world.
Like he had done when he was a child.
Aldrich watched the Chrysalis, at her rhythmic breathing, at her sweet smile she managed even while sleeping, and sighed.
That was the thing, though. In the world Aldrich lived in, he could never enjoy anything 'at his own pace'.
That was a luxury for those that did not need to do more than just struggle to survive, struggle to be heard, struggle to be accepted, struggle with every ber of muscle and bone just to make an impact, just to carve out even a tiny bit of satisfactory vengeance.
If possible, Aldrich wanted to fashion a world where people like him did not need to struggle like that anymore.
A strong series of knocks echoed through the room.
Aldrich sighed. It was probably the Death Lord here to harass him again. He got o the bed with a ip just to feel like he was active and went over to his door. "What is it now?" said Aldrich gruy as he opened the door, but instead of the
Death Lord, there was Valera.
She stood in the doorway in her revealing black dress, her red eyes looking shyly down as a small blush tinted her white cheeks. "May...may I come in?"