Chapter 292 To Take a Tome
"I'm going to be straightforward here. I am only comfortable being friendly with all of you on the premise that you all depend on me to live. At best, I would repay you with freedom only when I feel I have enough power to challenge you on my own," said Aldrich.
"I know that well, Usurper," said the Death Lord. "And I am fine with it. My time has passed. I am content with allowing you to inherit my power and realm.
But Medula, as you may well tell, is not as tired of existence as I am."
"It is in my nature. I yearn for knowledge. And there is knowledge in vast droves in the Usurper's new realm," said Medula.
"I understand. But you will do as the Usurper wishes. Treat him with the respect that you would treat a heir of mine." The Death Lord admonished Medula.
"Fine." Medula sighed. She said to Aldrich, "Then I want another favor. I am going to split my heart into a fragment. I want you to take that fragment to your world and see if there is a suitable being that it can possess.
My lord and the rest of this realm may not share my curiosity, but I still seek the freedom to explore. That fragment will explore for me, like a probe, and in time, I will consume it back to see its memories."
Aldrich remembered Nilah. Her threat that when she reached the real world, she would open a Flame Arc and cause Armageddon.
Medula predicted Aldrich's worries. "And no, I cannot call to other demons. I have been Severed for serving a non-demon. I hold no Insight, nor can I call upon a Flame Arc to Morhal for I hold no more connection to my brethren."
"That, I can vouch for. I would not have taken her in had she still been tainted with demonic alliance," said the Death Lord.
"...I'll consider it. Give me the fragment," said Aldrich.
"It takes time to split my heart. In your next visit, I will have it readied," said Medula. "Along with your Cursevein."
"Good. Then things are settled without conflict." The Death Lord reached into her robes with her emerald prosthetic arm and withdrew a grey pyramid like object. She held it out to Aldrich. "Here is your second nether idol. The only one in my possession, might I add."
Aldrich took the idol and ported it into his inventory.
[1 x Nether Idol obtained]
"With that, you will have two chosen undead. How nice, no?" said the Death Lord.
"It's good enough. But not what I wanted you here for," said Aldrich.
"You wanted me...for more?" The Death Lord tugged at the robe fabric clung tightly to her chest.
"Father, her clothes are too tight. She can't breathe!" Chrysa pointed at the Death Lord's seductive gesture.
"Right, but she can help herself with that, can't she?" Aldrich eyed the Death Lord.
The Death Lord sighed as she moved her hand away from her chest. "It does get lonely here, you know. But fine, tell me what you desire."
"I want you to cast [Soul Lock] on Chrysa," said Aldrich.
"Hm? For what reason?" said the Death Lord.
"What's that?" asked Chrysa.
"It prevents anything from reaching your soul, Chrysa," said Aldrich.
"What about you, father? I liked your dreams! I was learning how to fight in them."
"So long as you two have your bracelets, that link will not be disrupted," said the Death Lord. She cocked her head at Aldrich. "But why the lock? Do you fear a spiritual attack in your new realm?"
"I don't know. You tell me. I gave you the corpse of that old man. Did you find anything remarkable about it?" said Aldrich.
"Not yet," interjected Medula. "I am still conducting tests on it, mostly to read into the energies infused into it during death. I have isolated an energy sample, but its composition and flow is unlike any I have encountered before.
I am cross referencing it with all other energy signatures I have stored. Within the span of another day, it will be possible to see what matches, particularly if said energy originates from Elduin magic."
"The fact of the matter stands that whether it was magic or not, it managed to destroy the soul," said Aldrich. "There's nothing in my realm that can do that. Hell, the existence of the soul itself is still a debate."
"Do not be so sure," said Medula. "Just because your realm does not have experience with soul flow does not rule out the existence of soul affecting abilities. Abilities that are not magic, either."
"I know. That's why I'm being cautious. And which is why I want a [Soul Lock]," said Aldrich. "Chrysa's species seems to have some form of connection to an entity known as the 'Voice'. My working theory is that it's like a central cluster of a hivemind, something that controls variants en masse.
I don't want it to affect her."
"Hm. Interesting. But it is better to stay safe." The Death Lord thought over this for a minute before she went over to Chrysa and held her hand. "There."
When she withdrew her hand, there was a faint green mark in the form of an ouroboros - a serpent devouring its own tail, on Chrysa's palm.
"Cool," Chrysa looked at her hand in interest.
"She is locked." The Death Lord nodded.
"Will this protect me?" Chrysa said.
"Hopefully, yes," said Aldrich.
"Not hopefully. It will. I learned that one directly from Wai'Ki. There is no need for concern." The Death Lord put a hand to her head and grimaced. Her pointed, pale ears twitched.
Medula instantly drew her gaze to the Death Lord, showing that she still cared about her lord greatly.
"Are you okay?" asked Aldrich.
"You hurt?" Chrysa held her hand out to the Death Lord, showing her the ouroboros symbol. "I can give this back if it makes you feel better!"
"No...it is nothing." The Death Lord shook her head and stood up straight and proud again. "I really should stop sparring with Rella. It is not good for my health, and yet, I throw myself there again and again.
I will take my leave to rest now."
The Death Lord walked walked away, her body shrouding in green as she began to teleport to some other place in the Necropolis. She did not turn as she spoke. "And, Aldrich, one last thing."
"What is it?"
"When you reach level 50, I will warn you that the fourth trial quest may be different. For the better, however, I assure you. Now go, go and spread the cold embrace of death in that realm of yours." The Death Lord disappeared in mist.
"Awfully cryptic. Do you have any idea what she's plotting?" Aldrich asked Medula.
"My lord moves to the flow of her mood. I work with structure. Thus, we do not work together often, for our personalities clash. So I hold little knowledge of her own activities or research. That is, if you believe my words," said Medula.
"I will believe what I want," said Aldrich. "And I would stay here to chat longer, but my time is running out. Let me cash in on that spell tome you promised me."
"That Mel promised you," corrected Medula with a sigh. "But fine. Choose. I will decide if it is too precious to take or not."
"We get to choose a book!?" Chrysa stood atop Aldrich's armored shoulder and clapped her hands in glee. "So many shinies! Let's choose!"
"Yes, let's," said Aldrich.