Chapter 188: Volantis Restored 3
The strange chant that Wai'Ki uttered was the Ancestral Tongue, a language of
Old Spirits where every single word held power in them.
Even if Aldrich had a spell or passive that gave him Allspeak, the ability to understand every language, it still would not have let him understand this tongue for, according to the lore, it predated any regular spell.
In Elden World, the Elduin realm was ruled over by a variety of deities, but these gods were outsiders from other realms that had spread their inuence upon the world.
Before them all, the Old Spirits ruled the land, acting as aspects of nature that represented everything from forests to the realm's three great moons.
With the arrival of the Elder Gods, however, the Old Spirits were cast away, their inuence relegated only to the Soul Stream - the great spiritual realm where all souls were cast back into upon death, to be washed and cleansed anew for renewal and rebirth.
As a result, though the Old Spirits lost the capacity to grant their followers power over nature or the elements, they could still grant a strong anity to spiritual magic.
In particular, where the new gods used written Runes to infuse their power, the
Old Spirits used spoken words in the form of the Ancestral Tongue to grant their followers an avenue to access their strength.
The issue was that with the advent of the gods, the followers of the Old Spirits thinned out from a variety of reasons ranging from active purging to simply a loss of followers over time.
Wai'ki's race, the Rusa - humanoids with features of deers - were one of the few peoples that maintained a connection with the Old Spirits.
Aldrich remembered how the Death Lord mentioned the Soul Stream in trying to revive Adam and Elaine. How the Soul Stream of this new world was inaccessible to her.
Yet could Wai'ki achieve what the Death Lord could not through the Old Spirits?
No, to begin with, were the Old Spirits even here to channel from? "How will Wai'Ki channel the Soul Stream? I'm assuming the Old Spirits haven't transported over here," asked Aldrich to the Death Lord. "No, not even she can reach into the waters of a foreign Soul Stream," said the
Death Lord. "And she cannot call upon the Old Spirits directly. However, their words of power that comprise the Ancestral Tongue still hold sway for a reason
I cannot fathom.
Medula is still investigating why.
There are many things I do not know yet, so you may nd questioning me rather unhelpful." "I see," said Aldrich. "I'm also curious about how all this happened. I have to spend the majority of my time in what you call the 'New World', so I can't devote myself to guring this all out. But you have the time and resources to get answers.
If you nd any, let me know." "I shall when I can," said the Death Lord. "When you can?" "I plan on secluding myself in my Throne Room for some time to recover my injuries. Worry not, though. I shall still grant you quests that continue to give you more and more of my power," said the Death Lord. "I doubt Medula will answer you even if you call to her – she does hate to be removed from that dreary study of hers – but I will give her an order to let you know of any breakthroughs in her research." "Done!" said Wai'ki cheerfully. She wiped a few beads of sweat away from her forehead. The blue glow around her antlers started to fade away, leaving them to their original color of bone white.
Aldrich inspected Volantis. Nothing about the armor seemed changed. It just stood there as if in suspended animation, unmoving and unresponsive. The eye dot was still white as well. "Are you sure?" said Aldrich. "O-of course I am! Oh, maybe something did go wrong, I don't know -I always mess things up somehow." Wai'ki frowned as she nervously held her sta.
At that very moment, Volantis responded. Smooth streams of blue energy swirled out from Volantis, and in the creases and crevices of his armor body, an eerie glow permeated through. Like an overcharged lightbulb, that glow exploded outwards in a ash. "Eep!" Wai'ki yelped as she pranced backwards, closing her eyes and holding her sta out defensively. Her deer ears twitched in terror. There was no doubt about it: Wai'ki was never meant to be a ghter.
Volantis started to twitch, the metal body of his loosing a rattle as he began to regain movement. A good sign. "O-oh, it worked!" Wai'ki sighed, her ears opping down in relief.
Aldrich felt a twinge of pity for Wai'ki in how she had died in Elden World.
When the goddess Amara laid siege upon the Necropolis and defeated the
Deathguard, Wai'ki was the rst among them to go for she was the weakest.
She had been ambushed on a journey to harvest mortal souls for the Death
Lord. While isolated, Prelates – high level assassins of the Radiant Faith that served Amara – ambushed Wai'ki and her subordinates.
To save her subordinates, Wai'ki stalled the prelates for her life.
It must have been a tremendously dicult decision for someone with such a frail heart like her to make the brave decision to give up everything for another.
She must have felt terried and utterly helpless going against trained, ruthless killers of the light when she herself had little to no combat ability.
In a way, that was perhaps the biggest fundamental dierence between Aldrich and a true hero.
Real heroes were willing to lay down everything on the line for others. Aldrich was not. He did not consider himself any less because of that – it was simply a dierence in ideology.
Conversely, he did not look down on the golden age heroes that sacriced themselves. In fact, he respected them.
It just was not the path he wanted to take. Not after he had seen what it had done for his parents. "I sense turmoil within you, Death Walker." The Death Lord put a hand on
Aldrich's shoulder. "Is anything amiss?"
Aldrich glanced at the Death Lord, at her gaze maintained regal dignity and yet still showed sympathy. She had been like this with Aldrich when he had said goodbye to Adam and Elaine as well. Even as a warlord of death that sought the demise of all living beings, she was strangely perceptive of the emotions of others. "No. I'm ne," said Aldrich. "You are strong, Death Walker, and growing stronger by the day" said the
Death Lord as she withdrew her hand. She glanced back at Valera who looked at the Death Lord's hand with suspicious eyes. "But you as a Necromancer of
Legion should know more than any that it is always ne to rely on others.
And that is not only in matters of strength as well.
There are others like that girl who would support you through matters of the mind, for it is often that the battles we hold within ourselves are the greatest we struggle through.
Far greater than any blade or magic we face upon the battleeld." "I've dealt with myself for as long as I can remember. I'm used to it," said
Aldrich. "The strength of youth. Ah, it is wonderful to see," said the Death Lord with a gentle shake of her head, as if she was remembering a fond memory. "But simply know this: to face one's feelings, to face one's inner battles, is not a sign of weakness.
It is in eeing from them, in locking them up, that one faces defeat."
Before Aldrich could respond, Volantis spoke. "Where...am I?" Volantis's voice was guttural. Deep. Natural. Not at all like the smooth, programmed elegance of the Demonwill. This was his true self. "I-I don't remember."
Volantis grasped at his helm head in confusion. "Oh, this will help!" Wai'ki reached out with her sta and tapped the ower head upon Volantis's head. "Don't touch me!" Volantis roared as he swiped at Wai'ki, causing her to yelp and fall backwards. "D-don't hurt me! I'm just trying to help!" said Wai'ki.
Medula instantly stepped in front of Wai'ki. Though her expression was still unchangingly bored, it was obvious she cared a great deal about protecting her allies.
Immediately, Aldrich and Valera were behind Volantis, holding back his arms on either end.
The Death Lord stood behind, her eyes narrowed as her magical energy surged in a green aura around her, ready to deal with Volantis if needed.
But whatever Wai'ki had intended to do worked. From where she had touched his head, blue butteries of pure energy ickered about, the uttering of their wings releasing glittery little sparkles.
As those sparkles hit Volantis, he calmed down. "I get it now," said Volantis. "It's all coming back to me. My life, no, my lives."
Valera looked to Aldrich, wordlessly asking if she should let the armor go.
Aldrich nodded, and together, they released Volantis.
Volantis stood up, looking at his armored body. He put a clawed hand up to the air, splaying his ngers out as he inspected them. "This is what I am now. A chunk of metal. All that muscle and bone I was so proud – all gone.
Gorr the Bone Taker. The Butcher of Demons. Turned to nothing but a heap of scrap for the same horned monsters I used to slaughter."