Chapter 280 Greater Demon 2
"That one?" Chrysa bit her lip nervously. "But it's almost as strong as father!"
"But not as strong as the two of us, right?" said Aldrich. "We're going to be working together now, so keep your ears open."
Chrysa nodded, and her pointed ears actually grew as she scrunched her brows and focused on adapting to what Aldrich wanted.
"Okay, here's what we're going to do-," Aldrich began.
Several minutes later, and Aldrich sprinted down the sheer drop of the hill slopes leading into the flame ravaged town. In his hands was a lightforged halberd. Atop his shoulders were two skeletal arms. One held Chrysa and another a lightforged shield.
It seemed Aldrich could have a maximum limit of two lightforged weapons at once, and an offensive weapon plus shield combo seemed the best for most situations.
The moment Aldrich neared the town, the flame topped branch and leaf dens getting closer and closer and the blank stares of the possessed elves clearly visible, the demons came.
Hellhounds materialized like saplings, rising up out of the ground in flickering snapshots of fire. They, like the other secret demons, had masks instead of canine faces, though that did not mean they had any less of a bite with circular, leech-like holes in the mouths of their masks.
The mouths were studded with teeth and sputtered with fire.
The hounds leaped up at Aldrich from every direction. He did not stab with his halberd, that took too much time to target just singular units. Instead, he performed wide, flowing swings, kind of like sweeping a broom. Like that, he knocked down several hellhounds with considerable force, breaking their bones and sending them flying away from him.
Aldrich did not want to waste time on weak hellhounds. They were weak mobs that ranged from levels 8 to 15 and their only danger came from their uncanny ability to hide in pockets of infernal space, particularly in the corners of buildings for jumpscares.
But since Aldrich knew their trick, he treated them more as a nuisance than anything else.
Whatever hounds Aldrich missed, Chrysa ripped apart with spatial distortions.
Aldrich reached the town itself, standing level with the burning wreckage, the static eyes of masked Grinners, imps, and hounds staring at him from every corner.
A voice echoed towards him.
"Ah, Death Walker, I was wondering when you would make your appearance in this forsaken realm."
"Barbos," acknowledged Aldrich.
This was the spider-totem fusion abomination guarding the temple further in the town, a good three to five minute sprint away.
"You remember my name! Very sweet. If I could blush like a maiden in love, I would. Though, you already are taken, no?"
"Reading my game files, are you?"
"Game files, heh. Is that what you still call this?"
"A matter of habit." Aldrich raised a brow. He had never conversed much with Barbos back in the game. Dialogue options were limited with the demon, relegated mostly to generic villanous talk about how Barbos would never let Aldrich enter the temple and wield the pureflame against the demons. "You seem less tense. How about you let me into that temple and I can consider giving you a fast death."
"Now is not that considerate? I would if I could; it would certainly be interesting. But I am bound to some rules in this realm, and one of them involves annihilating you on sight, unfortunately. Though, rest assured, I do enjoy seeing you again.
Is this not our sixth meeting? Or is it our ninth? I forget."
"Ninth." Aldrich noticed the demon mobs were not moving, letting him talk.
Nine times was how much Aldrich had played through Elden World.
"It is quite sad, in a way. Only I know how many lives you have lived because I can truly, truly see. And look at you, you are living another life again. This time, in an entirely different realm.
No wait, this was you all along, 'player'. A little disappointing, I must say. So, in the end, you were nothing but an ordinary mortal.
But that scent on youâ€¦how quaint."
Maybe I should try my best to kill you. Maybe then I can take over your body and escape this realm. If you are my jailer, then it stands to reason that you must have my keys, no?"
"Well, I never expected an outcome any different from us trying to kill each other. It's in your programming, after all," said Aldrich. "And it looks like you're more talkative than usual. You might even have information I want."
Demons could 'read' game files because they were extradimensional and could see that the player character was being controlled by a greater extradimensional entity.
The player, so to speak.
"I am quite free, you know. Freer than any of the other blind creatures trapped in these quaint little quests of yours.
But I am also very, very shy. I do not think I will tell you much."
"Don't worry. I know how to break the ice. Among other things." Aldrich readied himself to move forward. The more time he spent, the more the Flame Arc opened up.
The deeper the Flame Arc tore open, the stronger the demons got and the faster they regenerated. Aldrich needed to close it as soon as possible.
"Very good. Then let us do this dance again, Death Walker, as we have so very many times."
The voice faded away, and Aldrich saw the demons all around him start to move again. He reacted by keeping his stats boosted with the passive effect of the [Solar Seal] and the active buff of [Negative Surge].
Aldrich jumped up on a rooftop of intertwined branches. Demonfire burned atop it, but the [Solar Seal] plus his divine grade cloak gave him so much resistance he took minimal damage from it.
Either one of those items did not give Aldrich enough fire resistance to negate his undead weakness to the element, but with both combined, he had near immunity.
"Oh, things are very different. You can wade through fire. Very impressive, Death Walker, very good, very cute. Some upgrades here and there, I see, but was it worth losing your legion?"
Aldrich ignored Barbos's voice echoing through the air. On the rooftops, he could minimize getting swarmed not just by demons, but the hundreds of possessed elves. He sprinted through the roof and jumped to another close by.
There, hellhounds appeared in flashes of fire, already midair in lunges towards him. Aldrich just ducked and moved past them. He ignored as many demons as he could, focusing instead on jumping from rooftop to rooftop, getting close to the Velis Temple at staggering speeds.
On every rooftop, Aldrich slashed his way past hounds and imps, flicking them away like they were flies. Eventually, a Grinner demon stood in his way.
"Hold it!" Aldrich commanded.
Chrysa nodded and closed her eyes.
The Grinner froze, distorted space rippling all around it. Chrysa was not strong enough to tear the Grinner apart as she did with the imps, but she could keep it in place.
Aldrich thrust his halberd into the Grinner's heart and twisted, killing the demon. He did tossed the demon's dead corpse to the side, pocketing its purified heart from the tip of his halberd and putting it in his inventory.
Chrysa and Aldrich were, for the first time, truly in synch. Their soul link worked in their favor now, their instincts and senses and thoughts all melding together like the gears in a well oiled machine.
There was still work to do, practice to be had, but the Death Lord was right: Chrysa naturally had skill in protecting him.
It was part of the skillset she was born with.