Chapter 316 A Deal with a Demon
"Your world? Spoken like a true conquerer, heh." The Death Lord laughed. "But I like this attitude of yours. I know you have recently acquired territory of your own. It seems that has made you more receptive to the idea of conquest."
"Control, not conquest," countered Aldrich.
"Oft times, they are the same thing." The Death Lord shrugged. "But think of it as you may, so long as you grow strong enough to take my power, I do not care much what you think. As long as it does not make you boring."
"That eye-," said Aldrich, changing the subject. "Do you think Volantis could incorporate it into himself? He does have the Shattered Bone necromancy, after all, and that's all about stitching parts. Alterhuman and Variant parts are too foreign for him, but the [All-Seeing Eye] is from Elduin."
"Correction. Not from Elduin per say," said Medula. "The [All-Seeing Eye] exists across many realms. It is a naturally occurring phenomenon that we demons are taught to be wary of, though exceedingly rare."
"I see. That still doesn't preclude the possibility that Volantis can incorporate it."
"He likely can," said Medula. "It will simply take some time for his form to get used to it."
"Good." Aldrich pondered Supermind's last words for a bit.
Take my body. Hopefully, it will help you see.
Those words had more meaning now. Supermind was telling Aldrich to see as he did. To literally take his eye and defeat the Stranger. Not just the Stranger, too. The eye could identify Aldrich as someone not native to Earth, likely meaning it could do the same for any other alien entity.
"But, I will not give the eye to you," said Medula as she waved her hand, telekinetically floating the eye into it.
"That is ours by right!" protested Valera.
"Right? Did you not take it from a corpse? One slain by the demon you call the Stranger? What spoils of war right is that? That of the vulture?" said Medula.
The Death Lord was surprised. "Medula, what are you-,"
"I am tired of giving and not receiving enough, Mel," said Medula. "I know you are resigned to your fate, that you are fine giving away pieces of yourself until there is nothing left. It is your way of atoning. I understand that.
But that is not me. I am curiosity incarnate. I abhor being chained here when there is so much before me to explore."
"M-Meddy, w-what are you saying?" squaked Wai'ki, her deer ears fluttering down in fear. "Are you...rebelling?"
"My mind," said Medula. "It is fine, Wai'Ki. I am not rebelling. I am simply asking for a fair price for my efforts."
"Name your price, then," said Aldrich, calm. "You were the one to analyze Supermind and Randall's bodies. You processed the Cursevein into a necklace to fend against the Stranger. You gave me the [Night Parade of a Thousand Spirits].
I understand where you're coming from.
So, name your price."
"Hm. You are more agreeable than usual today," said Medula.
"I'm being reasonable. I do owe you one."
"Then I will be straightforward." Medula pointed at Supermind's suspended body. "I want that body."
"Why?" Aldrich raised a brow. He was going to bury Supermind's body as he did not want to turn the legendary hero into a zombie. He wanted to give Supermind the respect he deserved.
"It is a suitable body for me to possess," said Medula. "Powerful and capable. Were I to inhabit it, I, as demon, creature beyond realms, could walk in your realm unbound by the Necropolis. All I need to do is reshape it into a form that mimics my current one.
You promised me before that in exchange for processing your cursevein, you would find a suitable host for me. Well, you have found one. I am here to claim my just reward."
"I see." Aldrich thought about this. Medula, it seemed, was the only one in the Necropolis that could permanently escape it, and that was because as a demon, she had an innate ability to traverse between realms.
Provided, of course, she had a host body.
And, it seemed, the stronger the host body, the higher the chance of her leaving the Necropolis.
But it was understandable. Medula could see her ticket out of here dangling right in front of her face, just inches away from her. Of course, she would try to reach out for it.
Aldrich had not known so far, but he could tell now that Medula had the most 'discord' with the Death Lord. She was the one that spoke her mind the most and disagreed the most. The one that had the least loyalty.
That did not mean Medula was not loyal. She certainly was. But not loyal enough to stay in an eternal prison when she had a way out.
Aldrich was not too worried about her annihilating the Alter world if she got out. Medula was a 'benevolent' demon in that she despised killing. All she really cared about was learning new things.
But he still did not want to to give her Supermind's body. It was TOO powerful. If she managed to rejuvenate it once she possessed it, she would be nigh-unstoppable.
And Medula did not have as much leverage as her attitude would make it seem. Yes, she could live on earth permanently with a strong host body, but she could not make the jump from the Necropolis to earth by herself. Otherwise, she would have already tried.
Aldrich needed to take her out manually in the first place.
"You do understand that even if you make that host body, unless I personally take you out of here, you're still stuck here, right?" said Aldrich.
"I know. That is why I am keeping the body and the eye," said Medula.
Aldrich glanced at the Death Lord, wondering if she would intervene.
"O-oh Mel, can't you stop this? I hate fighting among friends," said Wai'ki as she nudged the Death Lord's shoulder.
"I will let the Usurper talk. When necessary, I will intervene," declared the Death Lord.
"You demons, always a greedy lot," muttered Valera, but she deferred to Aldrich to negotiate.
"Let's cut a deal, then," said Aldrich.
"It best be a good deal, Usurper," said Medula.
"Depends on how reasonable you are." Aldrich continued. "That body has importance to me. I want to bury it, same with the other one. I cannot give it to you.
But-," He raised a finger. "I can give you this. In time, a time I assume is nothing compared to your immortal lifespan, I am going to initiate a wide-scale attack in an area populated with Alters, many of them strong just like that one.
I had asked for a favor once, when I lost my divine flask. It was for you to cast [Outworld Imprisonment] when I needed you to."
"Another favor, is it?" said Medula, annoyed.
"A favor for both of us. If I remember correctly, [Outworld Imprisonment] creates a prison realm that's neutral. It has no 'natives', so it doesn't reject anyone.
Which means as long as it's active, you can move around in it without a host body."
"That is correct."
"Then here's the deal. Not a favor, a deal - something that can work for both of us.
You cast [Outworld Imprisonment] to start my attack, as promised. Normally, after that, you go back to the Necropolis. This time, though, you stay inside the prison realm. There, you can take your pick of whoever you want to be your next host."